Disclaimers: There really isn’t any sex in this installment but there is a loving affectionate relationship between two women. This installment does pick up immediately after the end of the part 2. So you might want to check the previously parts out before reading this one. I do apologize to my readers for taking so long with this part. It seemed like it took forever to be edited. By the way, I am in need of a new beta-reader. Anyone interested can email me. Thank you so much to everyone who has written so far. I truly to appreciate hearing from y’all. If you like the story or have any questions, let me know. You can email me at s_lee_bard@hotmail.com.

Ms. O’Connor Goes to Washington

By S. Lee

Laura held on tightly to Cynthia. "Cynthia. I know this is hard. The family needs to know soon. If she went down in Ft. Hood, James can help. He was stationed there, he knows the terrain, plus he is a retired Lt. Colonel. He can get more people out there." Cynthia nodded.

"I know Laura. I just can’t lose her. I’m scared to death." Laura’s heart was breaking for her friend.

"None of us can lose her. Listen to me, she loves you, she will fight to come back to you and the kids. You know that. You need to call your friends at the local stations. We don’t want them to report the story before the family finds out. Give them the heads up, but tell them if they break the story, all future interviews will be difficult. Let them know that as soon as we can, we’ll send out a press release with everything we know. Then we’ll go see James. We’ll tell him and the kids first and then her mothers and her dad." She raised Cynthia’s face to meet hers. "We can do this Cyn. Jordan is counting on us. She needs us. After you call the stations, we’ll go together."

Cynthia just nodded her head in agreement. "We need to call the staff and set up a temporary headquarters in Austin. Call her cousin’s, we can set up a headquarters there. I want to be close. They’ll probably bring her into Austin when they find her." She picked up the phone.

"KSAT 12. How may I help you?"

"Yes. I need to speak to Will Garcia, this is Cynthia Price." Cynthia waited on hold until her old friend came on the line.


"Cynthia. Hey what’s going on? I hear you’re working for Jordan’s campaign?"

"Yeah I am. That’s why I’m calling. You’re about to find out about this. I wanted to let you know ahead of time. There has been a plane crash. Jordan was on her way to Dallas for a fundraiser when the plane disappeared off of the radar. They think the plane went down somewhere in Ft. Hood."

"Oh shit. I’m sorry to hear that. I like Jordan. I hate to see something bad happen to her."

"I appreciate that Will. I need a favor. The family hasn’t been notified. I need you to hold off on the story until we tell them. After that is done, we’ll send out a press release. We’ll be forthcoming in all information thereafter."

"I can do that. The story hasn’t broken yet. I can hold it off for a couple of hours or so. Call me as soon as you’re ready."

"Thanks Will. I appreciate it and so will Jordan."

"Sure Cynthia. I hope she’s ok."

"Me too my friend, me too." Cynthia broke down again when she hung up the phone. ‘Damn this is hard. Why did you do this to me Jordan? I told you not to take that plane. Please don’t leave me. I need you.’ She continued making calls promising a press release as soon as the family was notified. She looked at Laura.

"Ok. Let’s go. We need to tell her family and get the press release together After all of that, we leave for Austin and set up there. Did you call Theresa?"

"Yeah. We’ll be stationed out of her house. I’m keeping Sarah and Jim here at the headquarters along with some volunteers to answer phones and such." They solemnly got in Laura’s car to go to James’ to tell him and the kids. They spoke very little to one another. They each held the other’s hand for comfort. Cynthia couldn’t keep her mind off of Jordan and what she must be going through. She thought of the first time she saw Jordan. Cynthia was mesmerized by her. Jordan spoke with such passion and she had the most charming grin Cynthia had ever seen. She had fallen in love with her at that first moment. She prayed continuously for her lover. They pulled up to James’ house. They looked at each other sadly and walked up to the door.

"Hey Cynthia, hey Laura, what’s going on?"

"James, are the kids here?"

"Yeah. Is something wrong?"

"Jordan’s plane went down. They’re not sure exactly where. They disappeared off the radar around Ft. Hood. They’ve lost radio contact." James reacted as if he had been hit in the stomach, he stepped back to sit down on the couch.

"Oh my God. It can’t be. I can’t believe it." Cynthia walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulder. She knew James still had a place in his heart for Jordan. They were married for six years and had loved each other very much. Jordan always said that the only reason she divorced James was because he wasn’t a woman. She and Cynthia had both been careful about making sure he was a part of their family. James reached up to take Cynthia’s hand and pulled her into a comforting embrace, sharing one another’s pain and fear.

"We’ve got to tell the kids. I’ll go on up to Ft. Hood and call some old friends. I'll throw my weight around a little; it should speed things up and get some of the units out to look for her. I’m also going out there myself. I know the terrain." Cynthia looked up at him and gave him a weak smile. "Thanks James." He stepped away to get the kids and bring them into the living room. The kids walked in the room and sat down. They knew something was wrong by the demeanor of everyone in the room.

"What happened? Is it Mom?" James sat next to his son and put his arm around him.

"Chris, your mom’s plane went down in Ft. Hood. They’re not completely sure yet. The plane hasn’t been found." Chris turned into his dad’s arms and began to break down. Chris and his mother were very close. She was his hero and he wanted to be just like her. He went to the same school she did and majored in the same subject. He tried hard to be as strong as she was. But right then, Chris felt like he was drowning. Kate went up to them and James put his other arm around his daughter as the three of them cried together.

"What if she’s dead? What if she doesn’t come back? What if I never see my mom again?" James stroked his daughter’s hair softly holding her tightly. "Daddy, I want my Mom."

"We’ll find her Katie. I promise you. Besides, your mom is too stubborn to give up. She wants to see you graduate in a couple of weeks. I’ll make sure they find her or I’ll find her myself." Chris looked at Cynthia and Laura.

"What exactly happened?" Cynthia put her arm around Chris.

"Your Mom left this morning about eleven o’clock. She should have been there between noon and one. Around the Ft. Hood area, air traffic control lost them on the radar. The plane did not respond to radio contact. They didn’t arrive. They have begun searching for the plane. That’s all we know. She’s going to be ok. We have to believe that. We are doing everything we can do to find her."

"Chris, I’m going up there to help with the search. Remember when I was stationed there a few years ago? I’m going to make sure they call in the units to go out and look. Do you want to come with me?"

"Of course Dad."

"Cynthia, I’m going to call Governor Cisneros. Jordan only took a leave of absence from her staff position. She didn’t quit completely. She’s still a state employee. He can get more people out there to look and he can help with the press."

"That’s a great idea Laura. We still need to tell her parents."

"Let’s go do that now. I’ll call the Governor from there. Kate walked up to them. "Can I go with you? I have to do something to help." James walked up to his daughter. " I’m sorry Katie. I guess we still think of you as being the baby. We forget that you’re an adult too. Do you want to come with us? It’ll be dirty and kind of rough but you can handle that."

"Actually Dad, I’d rather help with things on this end. Plus I want to be able to be at the hospital if she gets brought in." Kate felt like her entire world was collapsing. Her mother had always been such an important part of her life. The thought never crossed her mind that her mother would ever not be there. James hugged Kate tightly. "I love you and I’m proud of you both. You are both handling this so well. Your mother is going to proud of you too when she finds out."

They all went their separate directions. On the way to Jordan’s mothers’ house, Cynthia turned to Kate. "I’m glad you’re with us. I think your grandmothers may handle this better with you there. Plus, I need you. Having you here with me makes me feel better. It makes me feel close to her. She and I are back together. We were going to tell you and your brother when you came back from your Dad’s house." Kate took Jordan’s hand.

"She’s going to be ok. I know she is and I’m glad you two are together again. To be honest, she’s been sad inside for the last six years, until you came back. She’ll fight to stay with us." Cynthia gave Kate a reassuring smile as they pulled up to the driveway. They got out of the car. Cynthia had an overwhelming sense of dread at having to tell Jordan’s mothers. They rang the doorbell. After a couple of minutes, Janis answered the door wearing her work boots, gloves and gardening hat.

"Hi. Come in. What brings y’all here? Is everything ok?" Kate ran into her grandmother’s arms. Cynthia put her hand on Kate’s shoulder.

"No. It’s not, Janis. Is Elaine here?" Janis looked puzzled. "Yeah let me call her. Is Chris ok? Where’s Jordan?"

"Chris is fine, he’s with his Dad. Jordan is lost somewhere in Ft. Hood. Her plane went down and they’re not sure where." Janice looked stunned.

"Oh no. Oh my God." Cynthia put her arms around Janice.

"We wanted to tell you before the press went public with the story. They’re giving us time to notify everyone."

"Let me go get Elaine. She’s not going to handle this well." Cynthia and Laura looked at each other. Jordan’s mother was fanatical about her daughter. They were extremely close. When Elaine and Janis walked in, Janis was supporting the distraught woman to keep her from collapsing. Elaine looked up to see Kate and pulled her into a crushing hug. Kate held onto her grandmother speaking to her softly.

"Shhh. Nana it’s ok. Mom will be ok. They’re looking for her now. Dad and Chris are going to look for her and to get more people looking. We’ll find her soon. You have to hold on." Elaine was sobbing.

"My baby. My baby. I can’t lose my baby." It was everything Cynthia could do to not break down right there. She held on with all of the strength she had. She walked over and put her arms around Kate and her grandmother.

"She’ll be ok. They’ll find her. We’re going to Austin as soon as we send out a press release. Laura is even going to call Alex Cisneros to call out more people for the search."

Laura went to the other room to call the Governor. She couldn’t bear to see the family so upset. In many ways, Laura felt like it was her own mother who was falling apart. Over the years, Laura had become a member of the family. She remembered when they were in high school and she would spend the night at Jordan’s house. She always felt welcome and at home. Laura didn’t know how she would get by without Jordan. When she finally reached the Governor, she had to keep her voice from breaking.

"Alex. It’s Laura Dodson."

"Hi Laura. How’s Jordan doing? I’ve been keeping my eye on her. I hate to lose her from my staff, but I’m so excited for her. I do plan on joining y’all this summer for several dates."

"Thanks Alex. Actually there’s a problem. Her plane went down in Ft. Hood earlier today. They haven’t found her. It’s been over four hours since they’ve heard anything from Jordan. She still officially works for you. She needs your help."

"Anything Laura. I’ll call up the local guard unit to join the search. I’ve known Jordan for twenty years. I’ll do everything in my power to help. Do you want me to make the announcement to the press?"

"No. We’ll do that. Jordan would rather us handle that ourselves. The story is about to break though. We’re notifying her family."

"How are Chris and Kate taking it?"

"They’re scared. They’re afraid they may never see their mother again. You know how close Jordan is to her kids."

"Yes I know. I’m going to do everything I can to help, Laura. Just keep me informed of contact numbers. You know the press is going to be here before long. I’ll make sure people know how highly I think of her and how important she has been to this state."

"Thanks Alex. I really appreciate your support in this and so will Jordan. I’ll talk to you soon." Laura hung up and silently thanked God for the Governor’s help. She walked back into the family room and watched Jordan’s family helping each other hold on. "I talked to Alex. He’s calling in the National Guard in the area to get more people looking. We need to call Gene and let him know of the accident." Jordan’s mother looked up. "I’ll call her Dad. I should be the one to tell him."

Laura walked up to Elaine and hugged her tightly. "Thanks Elaine. I appreciate it. Cynthia we need to go write that press release. We’ll call you as soon as we get to Austin and you can join us." Cynthia, Laura, and Kate left and went to the headquarters to prepare the press release. Sarah, Jim, and the interns were already there. Sarah walked up to Kate and put her arms around her.

"I’m so sorry Kate. Your Mom is going to be ok."

"I know Sarah. Thanks." Laura spoke up. "We need to get that press release written so we can go up to Austin. Sarah, you and Jim need to be here to handle the press and everything. We’ll be in Austin and will keep you posted." Cynthia wrote up the press release and sent it by email. Soon, all the local TV stations were reporting.

KENS Channel 5 Breaking News

"We interrupt this scheduled program for this important breaking news story. The plane carrying local U. S. Senate candidate Jordan O’ Connor and her cousin Joe Dale Edwards, who was piloting the aircraft, has disappeared off of radar and is presumed to have crashed in the Ft. Hood area. Radio contact has been lost and a search for the missing plane is underway. The plane has been missing since eleven thirty this morning. The family is declining to comment at this time until further information is discovered. Ms. O’Connor grew up here in San Antonio. She graduated from Churchill High School in 1984. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Texas in 1987, and served in the Peace Corp in Latin America for two years. She worked for a number of local and statewide political campaigns until running for Bexar County Commissioner in 1996. There, she served the people of San Antonio for four years. She then was elected into the State Legislature, where held office until 2006 when she left her office to join the staff of Governor Alex Cisneros. She has worked on the Governor’s staff as his Head of Public Affairs since and is on leave from that position pending the outcome of the election. She is also the mother of two children. Her son is a starting tackle on the University of Texas Longhorn football team. Her daughter is graduating from Churchill at the end of the month. The Governor made a brief statement expressing his concern for his staff member."

"Jordan O’Connor has led a life of service; not just to her fellow Texans, but to the rest of the world as well. Jordan has proven herself to be a capable leader, a trusted ally, and a true friend. I am sending out National Guard Troops to aid in the search. I encourage all Texans to send out their prayers or positive thoughts for this dedicated stateswoman and my dear friend."

" In a statement from his home, her Republican opponent Kris Benson stated," "We are praying for Jordan’s safe return. I have known, admired, and respected Jordan for many years. My family offers our sincerest regards and support to her family."

"We will keep you posted as more information comes available. We now rejoin the programming already in progress."

In Austin

Family members and friends were gathering at Jordan’s cousin’s house waiting to hear from the searchers. Jordan’s father, stepmother, brothers, and sister arrived and joined the group. Cynthia walked up to Jordan’s dad and hugged him tightly

"Hi Gene. It’s good to see you. I’m sorry it was under these circumstances." Jordan’s dad walked over and put his arms around Cynthia in a tight hug.

" I’m glad you’re here. I’ve missed you. So has Jordan." She smiled at Gene.

"I’ve missed you too. As far as Jordan and I are concerned, I’m not leaving her anymore."

Jordan’s dad smiled in return. "That’s wonderful. By the way, you can still call me Dad if you want." This almost brought tears to her eyes.

"Thanks. Dad." Cynthia loved Jordan’s family. Her own family had disowned her because of her sexuality. She still occasionally spoke to her sister, but this was her family. She looked around at them. Her heart broke to see the pain and worry on their faces.

Soldiers and volunteers were looking the through the miles of seemingly endless woods. Jordan’s family prayed and paced waiting for news. It had been almost twelve hours since the plane disappeared. The press stood outside the house also waiting for any news. Dark eventually fell and the family feared that a rescue before morning was unlikely. The Governor ordered the search to continue through the night. The story ran on the national newscasts. Calls of support flooded into the headquarters in San Antonio.

In Ft. Hood, James and Chris were driving in the dark expanse looking for a sign of anything. They had been riding around for hours. James sat silently. Thoughts of his life with Jordan ran through his head. He thought about how they met in South America, how she wore red flowers in her long dark hair. He was training anti-Communist troops and Jordan was working with a local village. He remembered their December wedding when they returned to the States in ’89. She looked gorgeous in her off-white suit. He smiled at how she insisted she wasn’t the "flowing gown type." He thought about the births of their children and how beautiful Jordan looked when she was pregnant. James looked over at his quiet son. The picture of her nursing and singing to him still hung in his head. The strong boy always acted like a grown up, even when he was five. Now he looked like a frightened little boy whose world was crashing down around him. Chris’ big brown eyes were fighting back tears. The sight broke James’ heart. He said another silent prayer for Jordan and his children. Suddenly, they spotted something white in the headlights, under a grove of broken trees. The drove closer and James got out to look. He pulled the branches back and saw the wreckage. Chris jumped out of the jeep and looked inside. The cabin was empty. They began to call out Jordan’s name. They heard a faint cry about a short distance away.

"Mom." Chris screamed and ran to his mother. She was cut and smeared with dried blood. Bruises colored her face and arms.

"Chris?" Jordan smiled at her son. Chris wanted to hold his mother, but was afraid to move her.

"It’s me Mom. It’ll be ok."

"Jordan I’m so glad you’re alive."

" Me too. Thank you both. I love you." Jordan gave a faint smile as tears rolled down her face. James walked over to Joe Dale lying unconscious a couple of feet away. He checked his pulse and breathed a sigh of relief when he felt life. The soldiers called in a helicopter to airlift the two crash victims to a hospital in Austin. Chris held his mother’s hand softly and ran his fingers in her hair to help soothe her pain.

The medical chopper arrived soon to take Jordan and her cousin to the hospital. They moved Jordan carefully as every move caused her pain. Chris cried at the pain his mother was in. Jordan looked at her son and smiled.

"Hey sweetheart. I’m fine, it looks worse than it is." The helicopter flew off and Chris and James headed back to the post to pick up their car to head to Austin. James pulled his son into a strong hug.

"I can’t tell you how proud I am of you. You are quite a man Christopher Austin. I’ve never been as proud as I am tonight."

Chris sniffled. "Thanks Dad." James then picked up his phone to call Cynthia to tell them of the good news.

"We found them."

"Oh my God, are they ok?"

"I’m not sure Cyn. Joe Dale was unconscious and Jordan was barely conscious. They’re pretty banged up. I think they both have some broken bones. I’m not sure about internal injuries. They’re taking them to Breckenridge Hospital by helicopter. The estimated time of arrival is one a.m."

"Thank you James. I don’t know what else to say"

"It’s ok Cyn. Believe me, you’re very welcome. She’s going to be alright. Chris and I will be there as soon as possible."

Everyone looked to Cynthia.

"They found them. They’re alive. They’re pretty cut up and bruised. James said he thought they had a few broken bones. But, they’re alive and are on the way to the hospital via helicopter. That’s all I know. I assume we’ll get details later. " Cheers erupted as the group cried with joy and hugged each other. Kate put her arms tightly around Cynthia. Cynthia returned the hug with even more enthusiasm.

"See I told you she would be ok. Thank you for being with me Kate. I really needed you here. It was great of you to take the coffee and sodas out to the press. Remember what I’ve always said about maintaining a good relationship with the press. They’ll remember how helpful you were tonight when we need a favor or they’re covering your Mom. You’ve learned very well. Your mother knows how to work with the press. That’s why they like her so much. She accommodates them as much as possible. You’re alot like her. Do you want to make the announcement?"

"Are you sure I should?"

"Kate, you’re her daughter. I think it would be great coming from you. Plus, you grew up around this stuff. I have faith. You know what to do." Cynthia hugged her one more time, placing a soft kiss on her cheek. Kate opened up the door and stepped outside.

"Hi everyone. I have an announcement to make." The reporters stopped what they did and focused on the young woman.

"I’m going to make a brief statement. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know. We just received a call from my father. My mother and her cousin have been found. They are alive, but injured and being transported to the hospital by airlife. Are there any questions?"

"What was the extent of the injuries."

"We aren’t sure yet. There are lots of cuts and bruises, and some broken bones. We don’t know if they have internal injuries."

"Are they conscious?"

"My mother was conscious, but my cousin was unconscious. I don’t know for how long. That’s all we know right now. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know. We appreciate all of the calls, prayers, and positive thoughts we’ve received. Thank y’all for being here" Kate walked back into the house. Cynthia held her tightly and whispered, "That’s my girl." Laura, Cynthia and the family went to the hospital to wait for Jordan’s arrival. They all paced until they heard the helicopter arrive. They could only see doctors rushing to get up to the roof. Cynthia had her arm around Kate, soothing her. Kate eventually began to drift off to sleep. It was after 2 am and everyone was exhausted from the emotional roller coaster of the day. One of the doctors came out to talk to the family. The family stood up to find out what the doctor had to say.

"She’s fine. She’s banged up and bruised. She has a number of cuts. Her shoulder is dislocated; she has two broken ribs, several stitches, and a broken ankle. She also has a strain in her back. However, there are no internal injuries. She can even go home Monday afternoon if there are no complications. She will probably need some help at home for a couple of weeks while she recuperates. She has been given pain medication and IV fluids."

Jordan’s family breathed a sigh of relief and hugged each other tightly.

"How is Joe Dale?"

"He’s undergoing a CT scan. He is conscious, but we still want to check for swelling. He has a number of bruises and stitches as well. He has two broken legs. It appears she dragged him out of the plane after the crash. They’re both very lucky. She’s asking to see her daughter and Cynthia." As they walked toward the emergency room, Cynthia walked up to Laura and wrapped her arms around her neck.

"Thanks for everything Laura. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you." Laura smiled at Cynthia. "You’re very welcome. I’m just glad she’s ok. I’ll go tell the press. This has become really big. She’s going to be thrilled at the free coverage she’s getting."

This made Cynthia laugh. "You’re right. Her numbers are going to go through the roof."

" Now go see her."

Cynthia and Kate walked through the doors to see Jordan lying in the bed all bruised and bandaged. Kate began to cry as she kissed her mother on the forehead. She smiled at her daughter and wiped the tears away.

"Shhh. It’s ok baby. I’m fine."

"I was so scared Mom. I was afraid you were dead."

"I’m so sorry you went through so much. I love you baby."

"I love you too Mom."

"I want you to go get some sleep. You look exhausted. I want everyone to go get some rest. I’m fine. Believe me, I’m feeling no pain. Go tell your grandparents I’m fine. I’d like to speak to Cynthia alone for a minute if that’s ok."

"Yeah Mom. We’ll be back in the morning."

"You better." Jordan smiled at her daughter as she left. Cynthia leaned down and kissed Jordan’s lips softly."

"I was so scared Jordan. I couldn’t stand the thought of anything happening to you. I love you. I’ve waited six years for this I can’t lose you now." Jordan was struggling to stay awake

"I know baby. To be quite honest with you, I was scared to death. I was afraid I wouldn’t see you or the kids again. I did a lot thinking when I was out there. There are some things I need to talk to you about, but I’m exhausted. I can’t keep my eyes open. Why don’t you go and get some sleep. They should be taking me to a room here soon. We can talk in the morning." Jordan’s last words were slurred. Cynthia watched her lover for a few minutes, trying to comprehend everything that had happened in the last couple of days. Cynthia kissed Jordan’s forehead and reluctantly left the room. She went back out to the waiting room.

"She’s fine. She’s on painkillers and is exhausted and sleeping. She wants everyone to go home and get some rest. Y’all can go. I’m going to stay here. James and Chris should be stopping by soon. I’m going to have them go on to get some sleep too." Elaine walked up to Cynthia and pulled her into a strong hug.

"Thank you Cynthia. I’m so glad you’re back. I’m going to go see Joe Dale and then we’ll go. I’m glad you’re here with her."

She smiled at Elaine. "I’m not leaving her ever again. You can count on that." Elaine returned the smile and gave Cynthia a soft kiss on the cheek. Elaine went to go find her nephew and Cynthia went to wait until Jordan was moved to a room. James and Chris soon arrived. They ran up to Cynthia to find out Jordan’s status.

"How is she?"

"She’s fine. She has a bunch of stitches and bruises. Her shoulder is dislocated, her ankle is broken, she has broken ribs, but she’s ok. They gave her some pain medication and she’s sleeping. They’re moving her to her own room now." She reached up and threw her arms around both men, kissing them each on the cheek.

"You two are my heroes. Thank you so much." James returned the kiss and smiled. "It’s ok. We love her too. I’m just glad we found her." They walked together to Jordan’s room. They looked in to find her sleeping. Chris walked over and took his mother’s hand and kissed it softly. James kissed her cheek.

"Y’all can go ahead and get some rest. I’ll be here."

"Are you sure Cynthia?"

"Yes James. I’m sure. She sent everyone home. Get some rest and come back in the morning." James and Chris left and Cynthia sat down with her lover and watched her sleep. ‘I’m never losing you again Jordan. I don’t want a life without you anymore.’ She held her hand softly, letting tears of relief roll down her cheek as she laid her head down on the bed and drifted off to sleep. Several hours later, Jordan woke up and looked down at the sleeping blonde holding her hand. Jordan stroked her head softly, smiling at her. ’I never want to be without you again. You are one of the most important things in my life. This election means nothing if we don’t have a family together.’ She began to wake her lover.

"Cynthia, honey, wake up." Cynthia slowly began to raise her head until she saw Jordan’s smile. She squeezed the injured woman’s hand.

"Good morning baby." Cynthia reached up to place a soft kiss on Jordan’s lips. "How are you feeling?"

"Sore as hell. But glad to be alive. How are you doing? Sleeping in that chair couldn’t have been comfortable."

"I’m fine. You’re here. You’re alive. Your injuries are minor. I could fly baby. That’s how good I feel." Jordan laughed.

"Oh God no one’s flying anywhere anytime soon."

"Ewww. Poor choice of words. Sorry about that." Jordan winced in pain as she laughed.

"Don’t make me laugh please. It hurts too much." Cynthia kissed Jordan again.

"Cynthia, I was out there for a long time. I did a lot of thinking. I thought about the kids. I thought about the election. I thought about everyone I love and my life and that includes you."

"And what were you thinking about us?" Jordan smiled and held Cynthia’s hand tighter.

"All of this in my life; the election; the Senate; means nothing without my family. That includes you. I don’t want to hide anymore." Cynthia began to cry. "I want you to move in with us. I want us together as a family. I want you to be my partner again. I want us to be public. I want the four of us to win this election together as a family. I want you to be by my side when I’m sworn in. I want you to move to D.C. with me. I know we’ve only been seeing each other again for the last two months. All I’ve wanted for the last sixteen years is you. When you were gone, the only thing missing was you." They were both crying now.

"What about the election?"

"It means nothing without you. I don’t want to wait until it’s over or until we’ve spent more time together. I kept thinking how I could have died in that crash. I wouldn’t have wanted to go like that. So what’ll it be? Will you have me? Can you face everything that’s going to come up?"

"Yes. Oh my God. Yes Jordan. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I don’t want to live my life without you. But, I’m willing to keep things under wraps until the election. You don’t have to do this. What if this costs you the election? Will you resent me if I’m the reason you lose."

"No. I don’t want to hide you anymore. I would resent myself if I won because I wasn’t honest. Believe me, if I lose, I still have a job with Alex or I could go into lobbying. But I can’t stand to lose you or deny our family. If we hid our family and what we are to each other, what does that say? It says that our family has to be hidden because we aren’t as good because we’re two women. I won’t have that anymore. I won’t live that way. I love you." Cynthia kissed her partner over and over again as tears poured down their faces.

"I love you too honey. I always have." They were interrupted by a knock at the door. It was the doctor making his rounds.

"How’s the patient?"

"Sore, but fine." Cynthia stood back blushing, wondering how much the doctor saw. The doctor checked Jordan’s chart and examined her.

"Everything seems to be progressing nicely. I’ll make sure you get something for the pain. If everything continues, you should be going home tomorrow afternoon."

"Thanks. I hate hospitals." He walked out and Jordan got a lascivious look on her face. "Ok darlin’. Where were we?" Cynthia moved back to her lover until their faces were inches apart.

"I think we were right here." Their lips met in a kiss full of passion, love, and promise. Another knock at the door separated them. It was the kids.

"Hey Guys." They went over to their mother. "You both look better. You got some rest. Did you eat?"

"Yeah Mom. We both did. How are you doing?"

"I’m great. Sore, but good. I’m so glad to see you two."

"Hey Jordan. Guess who made the press announcement of your rescue?" Cynthia nodded in Kate’s direction.

"Kate did you make the announcement?"

"Yeah Mom. I did." Jordan reached for her daughter and pulled her into a gentle hug. "I’m so proud of you baby. You’re such a grown up. And Chris; you saved my life. I’m proud of both of you. You two are amazing." She wrapped her son into her good arm.

"Cynthia and I want to talk to you two about something. We’ve decided to get back together."

"We know Mom. Cynthia told us."

"It’s more than that actually. She’s moving in with us and she’s coming to D.C. if we win. We’re going to allow the relationship to become public. I want us to do this as a family, like we should have been all along. I want to make sure it’s ok with you two first. It could get ugly. There’s no telling how hard this could get." Both kids put their arms around Cynthia.

"Whatever happens, you both have our support. We’ll deal with everything as a family. We just want you two back together." Kate nodded her agreement with her brother.

"Do you both understand this could cost us the election?"

"Of course we do. If you’re willing to take that risk, then we of course are." Cynthia had her arms around the kids. "So that settles it? We’re a family again?" Jordan smiled at her again. "I guess so. Laura’s not going to be thrilled. But, I don’t care." The four of them sat and talked together as they briefed Jordan on the press coverage she received. "Well hot damn. I’d love to see those numbers."

"You’re leading Benson by 30 points and the national morning news shows want to interview you this week." Laura walked in. "How are you feeling?" Jordan beamed at her best friend.

"Like I got thrown off a damn horse. But hey, the numbers are great. I’ll deal with it." She grinned and winked. She then turned to everyone in the room. "Guys, can I talk to Laura alone for a minute. " As they walked out, Cynthia kissed Jordan’s lips softly and smiled at her. She knew Jordan wanted to tell Laura in private about the change in the campaign.

"Jordan, I’m so glad you’re alive. I was so scared. I never thought about a life without you." She started to cry. "We’ve been together since we were seventeen. I haven’t had many relationships, at least none that lasted long. I’m not good with them. Emotion makes me uncomfortable, which is why you and I together didn’t work. You are the one constant in my life. I don’t know what I would’ve done if you had died. I love you." Jordan reached out to Laura.

"Shhh. It’s ok honey. I’m here. I love you too. You were so great with my family. I can’t thank you enough. I don’t know what I’d do without you either." Laura pulled out of Jordan’s hug wiping her eyes.

"Ok. That’s enough. I’ll schedule all of the interview from your house, so you can continue to rest."

"Laura we need to talk about the campaign. I’ve made a decision. I’m not going to hide my relationship with Cynthia. She’s moving in. We are going to run as a family. I’m not going to announce it. But, I’m going to be honest if asked, and we both know it will happen. I’m also going to include her in all family appearances and photos."

"Jordan. You’re lucky you’re injured, otherwise, I might hurt you. How can you do this? You are golden right now. You can kick his ass. You could be throwing this away."

"Laura. I thought I was going to die. I don’t want to waste the chances I have left in this life. I’d rather lose and be proud of my relationship and honest, then win and hide my family. If I hide, what does that teach my children? I want them to be proud of who they are, and the family they come from. That includes Cynthia."

"I’m not happy with this Jordan. But, it’s your decision. I’ll stand by you and we’ll work with it. We’ll take whatever comes."

"I just want to win or lose with complete honor." Laura smiled at Jordan and sighed. "Alright. I’m just glad you’re alive and I want you to be happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you."

"I know and thank you." The rest of Jordan’s family arrived and started knocking on the door wanting to come in. Her mothers and her sister came in. Laura smiled at Jordan and left the room.

"Hi y’all." They walked over to Jordan and gently hugged her. Her mother started to cry. "It’s ok Mom. I’m fine."

"But what if you weren’t"

"Mom. Everything turned out ok. There is something I need to let you guys know about. Cynthia is moving in with me and is going to come with me to DC if we win. I’m not going to hide my relationship with her anymore. She will be included in all family photo op’s and appearances. I’m not going to publicly announce it. But when I’m asked and I will be, I will answer honestly. I just wanted to let you know because it could get ugly."

"Are you willing to lose the election?"

"Yes. I’m not willing to hide anymore." Janis smiled at her daughter.

"Good. I’m glad you finally came to your senses." Jordan returned the smile.

"Me too." Throughout the day, Jordan’s family and closest friends came in and out. Finally it was just her and Cynthia. Cynthia leaned in to softly kiss her partner.

"You must be exhausted. Why don’t you go? You’ve been here since they brought me in. You need to get some rest."

"Honestly, Jordan. I couldn’t even if I tried. I don’t want to leave you. I’d rather just stay here with you. I got a shower and a nap earlier when your family was here. I feel fine really."

"Well who am I to argue with a beautiful woman? I’m actually glad you’re here. I just hate to be selfish about it. But, I’d love it if you stayed." Cynthia sat with Jordan through the night.


At Kris Benson’s House

The Benson team argued back and forth about what to do next. Kris made his statement to the public expressing his best wishes for Jordan’s speedy recovery. He said he was thankful for her safe rescue. When the press left, his attitude changed. He began to rage.

"Damnit. Have you seen the numbers? She’s on every fucking channel. That dyke bitch is winning. How can this happen?" His oil and political cronies were in his living room with him. His wife came down the stairs.

"Kris do you think you could bellow not quite so loud?"

"Tell you what Amber. Why don’t you go back upstairs into your alcoholic haze? When I want you to make yourself heard, I’ll tell you ok? That bitch is way ahead. If you want all the perks and benefits of a Washington wife like you’ve always wanted, I suggest you let me handle this."

His wife stumbled back up the stairs.

"I want dirt on her. Find something. If you boys want someone to help you out up there on the "Hill." I suggest you do whatever you have to do. Tear that bitch to pieces." His campaign manager got in his face.

"What the fuck do you expect to find on her? She has had investigations done on her. She’s clean."

"Nobody is that clean. There has to be something. Invent something if you need to. These boys will put up whatever it costs. Won’t you boys?" The oilmen nodded their heads.

"Until then, get a hold of the religious groups. Convince them to start an ad campaign against her. Tell them she’s a liberal dyke baby-killer. Tell them we want to restore family values or some shit like that. I don’t want it officially associated with the campaign though. I need to keep my hands clean. But I want to rip her apart. Do what you have to do."


The next day, Jordan and her family arrived home amid a swarm of reporters. Cynthia helped Jordan out of the car. Her mother walked out of the house with a wheelchair. Jordan sat in the chair. She turned around to face the press.

"I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I want to thank the soldiers who were out there searching for me. It won’t be forgotten. I’m just so happy to be alive."

"Ms. O’ Connor, will you have to take a break from the campaign while you recuperate?"

"I’ll be doing most of my work from home for a couple of weeks. I am also temporarily going to cut back on my appearances. I’ll be doing interviews from home. After my daughter graduates, we’re still going out around the state as planned. I’ll just be on crutches. This campaign is moving full speed ahead."

"What was going through your mind as you pulled your cousin out of the plane? How is he doing?"

"I really wasn’t thinking much. I didn’t want to stay in the plane in case of an explosion. He’s doing fine. He was injured a little more severely and will probably spend another couple of days in the hospital."

"Can you tell us what happened?"

"I’m not a mechanic or expert on planes. We were flying, the engine started sputtering, we began to lose altitude and we crashed. I believe there is an investigation pending. That is about as far as I know at this point. If y’all will excuse me, I’m really worn out and would like to get some rest. I’ll talk to y’all soon." With that, she smiled her most charming smile, waved and went in the house.

"It’s good to be home. Thanks everyone for everything."

"You’ve been having phone calls all day. There’s a stack of messages waiting for your attention."

"That can wait. I just want to relax right now." She pulled Cynthia aside. She took her hand, kissed it softly. "Why don’t you go pick up your stuff from your hotel? Move in today."

"I don’t know if that’s a good idea Jordan with everything else going on. It seems like a lot to have to deal with at once."

"I don’t care. I’d like for you to move in now. Besides, you said you’d take care of me. Remember?" Jordan gave Cynthia her most pathetic face, batting her eyelashes.

"Must you do that?" Jordan nodded her head. "Ok. You got me. Will you be ok till I get back?"

"Cynthia. I’ve got three mothers, a father, two brothers, two sisters, an ex-husband, two kids, and a best friend here. I’ll be fine. But hurry before they make me crazy." They both laughed and Jordan winced in pain. "I’ve got to stop doing that." Cynthia kissed her on the lips. "I love you."

"I love you too baby. Now go get your stuff and come back home to me." Cynthia left to get her things. Jordan went to lie down and rest as the family ran the house and took messages. The phone rang again. Laura knocked on Jordan’s door to tell her she had a phone call.

"Laura. I’m not taking any calls."

"You’re going to want to take this one."

"Who is it damnit?"

"The President of the United States." Jordan got a big grin on her face.

"Really? OK. I’ll take that one." Jordan picked up the phone extension in her room.

"Jess? "

"Hey Jordan. How are you feeling?"

"Like I was in a plane crash, but I’m fine otherwise. How’s Jack?" They both chuckled.

" He’s a pain in the ass. I caught him with another damn intern. At least he’s discreet. I’m glad you’re ok. I was very worried about you. You know you still have a soft place in my heart. I’ve thought about you often since that weekend in L.A." Jordan smiled at the memory.

"I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it. Sometimes when I watch you giving the state of the union address, I tend to chuckle. Once you see someone naked and screaming, it’s hard to look at them the same way."

"You know I adore you Jordan."

"Same here."

"Did Cynthia tell you I’m going to do a number of dates with you in Texas this summer and probably a few in the fall. We’re actually taking a train around the U.S. We decided it would be fun and would get people’s attention. I want you to ride with us for a couple of weeks."

"Really? I didn’t know."

" I guess she didn’t get the chance to tell you yet. Let me say I’m quite hurt she didn’t come work for me this election. You got very lucky to steal her away from me." Jordan chuckled.

"Jess. You have no idea."

"I was thinking that maybe when I come to Texas, I could possibly arrange some discreet time alone for us." Jordan couldn’t help but smile at the implication. Her weekend with Jessica several years before, after her breakup with Cynthia, had helped her in a very difficult time.

"Actually Jess. That weekend in LA means more to me than you know. Cynthia and I had split up not too long before that, I was a mess and hurting badly. You eased some of that hurt and helped me to smile again. But, Cynthia and I are back together. So I’m afraid I’m not available. In fact, we’re going to allow the relationship to go public. Can you be associated with that?"

"Wow Hon, that sucks for me. But I’m so happy for you. I know how much you loved her and how much you hurt. As far as allowing myself to be associated with a lesbian couple, I’m the incumbent and my approval ratings are fabulous. My opponent is weak and the economy is doing well. I have the utmost respect for you Jordan. Actually I’m jealous. I wish I had your courage to be out. Instead, I have put up with a sham of a marriage in order to have my career. I want you here in D.C. We can do a lot of good together. I’m happy to help you. Did you know the National Committee is going to be asking you to speak at the National Convention?"

"Shit. No. I haven’t heard that yet."

"You’ll be getting a call. They like what they’ve seen of you nationally. Besides they always like to have the lesbians on TV. You know how it is. They want the gay votes and money. They have to have a few gay people speak. They want you."

"Does Cynthia know?"

"Nope. Just me. I’ll let you get some rest Jordan. I’m glad you’re ok. I was worried. "

"Thanks Jess. I’ll see you soon."

Jordan laid there taking in what she had just heard. ‘Wow. I’m going to be speaking at the National Democratic Convention. Oh my God. What the hell am I going to say? What am I going to wear?’ After obsessing for a while, Jordan finally dozed off. A couple of hours later, Cynthia returned with her things. All of the family left, leaving enough food for at least a week. Cynthia went in to check on Jordan. She kneeled next to the bed stroking Jordan’s hair. Jordan opened her eyes and smiled softly. Cynthia kissed her softly.

"Hi honey. I’m home." Jordan returned the kiss.

"I like the sound of that."

"Me too baby. How are you feeling?"

"I’m sore. But feeling ok. Guess who called?

"Enlighten me."

"The President of the United States."

"Jessica called?"

"Yep. She said she wants us to travel with her and do some appearances together."

"I forgot to tell you honey. I was going to tell you when you got back from your trip. It was the surprise I was working on. There are several dates with you, Alex, and Jessica. I got distracted and forgot to tell you."

"That’s ok. Guess what else?"


"It looks like I’m going to be speaking at the National Democratic Convention."

"Oh my God Jordan. Are you going to be televised?"

"Yes. I should be getting their call in the next couple of days." Cynthia reached up and kissed Jordan passionately.

"Honey. That’s so great. I’m proud of you."

"Thanks. Now I just need the perfect speech to give in front of millions of people and you here in bed with me." Cynthia reached up and touched Jordan’s face lightly. "I think I can help you with both."

"Is everyone gone?" Cynthia grinned, leaned into her lover, kissing her neck and whispered "yes".

"Come to bed." Jordan raised her eyebrows playfully. Cynthia knew that look.

"Oh don’t even think about that Jordan. You are in no condition for sex."

"Oh C’mon Cyn. I feel good, really I do. I’ll be fine. Besides, I can live with the pain." Jordan knew her arguments wouldn’t work, but she had to give it a shot. Cynthia just stood there with her hands on her hips. "Ok fine damnit. Can I at least kiss you?"

Cynthia smiled in triumph. "Of course." Cynthia lay next to her partner. She leaned towards Jordan. They began to exchange slow, deep kisses. They whispered soft words that lovers share. They talked of their past and their future. Jordan eventually drifted off and Cynthia watched her partner sleep peacefully. She laid her hand on Jordan’s stomach. ‘Oh God Jordan. I love you so much. I think I even love you more than I did years ago if that’s possible. You are my gift. I don’t know what I’d do without you. How would I live if you had died? You are the most important thing in the world to me. I’d do anything for you.’ Cynthia allowed the sound of her partner breathing put her to sleep. They spent their first night of their new life together.

Part 4

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