A New Year, a New Life

By Sunflower

September 2002

Disclaimers: The characters in this story sure look like those drop dead gorgeous ladies from that show we all love, but trust me, it's not them. Xena and all others belong to the nice folks over at MCA/Universal. However, THIS story, characters and everything else are the sole possession of the author and may not be reproduced, posted, translated or sold without the author's permission. Sorry, but yes, you will have to ask for permission. There are graphic descriptions of two consenting adult women in sexual situations in this story, so if that bothers you for whatever reason, don't read it. Or better, review your concepts, you have no idea of what you're missing. Now, if for any reason it is illegal for you to view such material, then do yourself a favor and move. In the meantime, do me a favor and don't read this until it is no longer a crime for you do so.

Special thanks to my three WONDERFUL beta readers, Maria- my movie star like friend, Madison Ó the girl who works too much, and Ethel Ó the cutie with a fairy name. Kids, you rock! Couldn't have done without you at all.

Since this is a first timer, for the author, not the characters, all comments are very welcomed!

sunflower25br@yahoo.com.br


'Why me? Why do these things always happen to me?' Alison wondered after she hung up the phone with her mother. She was not amused at all by the news her mother had so cheerfully passed along. "Damn it! This is my home. I'm supposed to invite my guests and not have them dumped on me" she said out loud, as if trying to get rid of all the anger that was consuming her insides. Talking to her mother was always a tricky experience, Alison never knew what to expect from her, but this time she really had gone too far.

Alison was still trying to sort out what she would do with her "guest" when it finally hit her. "Oooohhhhhh, shit!" It was the week before New Year's Eve and she had made plans to spend midnight and the rest of the day with her latest lover. She just knew that Linda would not be thrilled by this, at all, but what could she do? Her mother had already told Grace she was more than welcome to stay at Alison's home for the entire period she was staying in Brazil.

Alison could vaguely remember the odd looking teenager with thick glasses and chubby cheeks, she once met in DC, during one of the boring dinner parties her parents would host. 'Yippee, not only will l get my ass chewed by Linda for this but I'll also have to play straight and baby-sit someone I barely know'

Alison had moved back to Brazil a couple of years ago. Her father being a diplomat for the American government, she had lived all over the world, but Rio de Janeiro conquered her heart when she was only 12 years old. She promised herself someday she would come back to live in the "Wonderful City." That day had come with a job proposal to work as an international reporter for a large Atlanta headquarters news channel. She was as happy as she ever imagined living here. The year round summer like weather, the gorgeous beaches and moreover the amazing, friendly people made her feel right at home. Rio de Janeiro was her home and she loved every aspect of it. Not to mention the thousands of miles that kept her away from her mother's sophisticated life style.

"Babe?"... "Alison?"... "Heeeelloooooo?"... "ALIIIIIIIIISSON...."

Alison snapped out of her trance and looked dumbfound at Linda. She really did not want to say what she had to say, so she just cast a sheepish glance at her girlfriend and murmured "Yes?"

Linda looked at her with a weird expression. "Earth calling Alison! What were you thinking about?"

"Ummm... nothing really," she swallowed hard "Just something my mom did."

"I see, so are you ready? The girls must be waiting for us by now."

"Yeah, sure" Alison stated.

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The next few days Alison was so overloaded with work, she barely had time to think about New Year's Eve, her guest or how to tell Linda. It seemed like the whole world was flying down to Rio, to watch the fireworks at Copacabana and then lose themselves in the parties and celebrations that went on until late morning. Alison being the head reporter for Brazil had to make sure all the news regarding this huge party were updated and sent to Atlanta. This year she got lucky. She would not have to do the live broadcast from the beach, she stuck Carlos, a co-worker and friend, with the task. He was not very thrilled by it, but at least he got to spend X-mas with his lover and their families, and not at the office.

She was wrapping things up when Carlos popped his head into her cubicle "So, girlfriend, what time are you picking up chubby, freckled Grace at the airport?" he said with a wicked grin.

"You just love to torture me, don't you?" she said as she pinned him with a crystal blue gaze.

"Relax, boss... you just never know what good may come out of that. Maybe you and 'Cruela' could have a little threesome New Year's party. How did she take the news, anyhow?"

"Carlos, first, I don't like when you refer to Linda as 'that'. Deep inside, she is actually a really, Ummm, nice, person."

"Sure. Problem is, Ali, it's so deep inside you can't find it. Honey, I really care about you, you know that, we've been best friends since you first lived here. And trust me I would love to see you stuck with some hot Latin beauty, so you would stay here forever, just not her. You deserve better, Alison."

"Carlos, let me handle my own love life, ok?" Alison snapped. She dearly loved Carlos and truth be told he was right, but she knew what she was doing, right? And besides, Linda wasn't so bad... she wasn't bad in bed at all, not to mention her gorgeous body, long hazelnut hair and pitch black eyes that drove Alison crazy. The problem was that other than that, there wasn't much the two of them had in common. 'Can't have it all, can you Alison?' she thought.

Carlos just sat there, watching the wheels spinning in his friend's head. He could read right through the little twitches of Alison's mouth and the sad look in her face, 'Trying to convince yourself again that you can't have it all, aren't you, my friend? Oh, Alison, you deserve so much more'

She decided it was time to change topics, it was a bit too intense for this early in the morning, especially after working all night to get her share of the season coverage done. "So, pretty boy, are we all settled for the big show this weekend?" she asked, trying to steer the conversation away from herself.

"Yes, darling, we're ready... and you still have not answered my questions."

"You just don't let go, do you? Grace will be here around ten and Linda hasn't said a word about it."

Carlos really did not expect this. He truly thought Linda would have had the biggest fit in the history of humanity. "Ok, so I misjudged her... that's pretty cool that she took it well. I'm glad!"

'Oh, boy...' Alison thought. "Well, she didn't say a word because she doesn't really know about it, yet."

Now Carlos was really surprised, he picked his jaw up from the floor and stared at Alison in disbelief. But seeing the concerned expression in his friend's face, he decided to go slow "Alison, dear... Umm, don't you think it would be nice to tell her before Grace got here?" he smiled, weakly.

"I am, it's just that I've been working so much and, and, .... and, she's going to kill me, Carlos. I promised her, no work, no meetings, no nothing this time... we would just spend some time together and have fun."

Carlos just looked at her and thought 'You're screwed!' but somehow he managed to bite back his retort and push the phone towards Alison. "Do it, I'm sure she'll understand"

"WHAAAAAAAAAAT?" Linda screamed.

'Thanks, Carlos, yes I'm sure she understands' Alison thought as Carlos smirked and wisely left the room, after the first shout from Linda was heard through the speakerphone.

"Baby, it's not that bad. Listen..." Alison tried.

"Not that bad? Not that bad?" Linda fumed. "Alison, you know what? I'm tired of making plans with you. There's always something. I hope you have fun with your little friend." "Babe..." Alison tried again.

"Happy New Year, Alison" and then, click. Alison put the phone back on the console, with a feeling of total despair. How could her mother ruin her life so completely, even being on the other side of the planet? She could still hear her mother's words to her "Oh, Alison, darling, I'm sure you'll enjoy chaperoning Grace around. Just be careful, huh? We wouldn't want anything to happen to sweet Grace. Oh, Alison, she's so gracious, she's a doll. But, remember, don't take the poor child around those God awful people you enjoy. You have to think of your father's image." ąARGGGHHH....' this was not looking to be a promising day, Alison thought.

She finished cleaning her desk, then grabbed her bag and threw it around her shoulders. As she was heading to the elevator, Carlos caught her on the hallway. "Sorry! I didn't mean to push you," he said as he eyed his shoes.

"It's all right. I had to tell her. It's my own fault I didn't do it sooner. Not that it would've mattered," she replied.

"Well, try to have some fun, ok? Maybe Grace is nice. You never know" he tried to cheer his friend up.

"Yeah" was all Alison could say.

All she wanted right now, was to go home, take a shower and drop dead in bed. She wasn't in the mood to drive around town through Rio's hectic traffic and she definitely wasn't in the mood for chubby perky blondes. Before she stepped in the elevator, Carlos gave her a sign.

"Thought that maybe after all those years, you won't recognize her anymore" he said as the doors to the elevator closed. He still could see Alison smile a little and hear her shout a thanks through the iron doors. 'I wonder if she'll ever talk to me after she reads the sign' Carlos thought.

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Alison wasn't in a good mood, but at least traffic had been a whole lot lighter than she expected and Grace's flight was on schedule. She wandered around the airport for about ten minutes, before she heard the same boring, worldwide, airport announcement "United Airlines flight 4155, from Los Angeles, landed."

'Ok, here we go, Ms. Grace...' only then she realized she didn't know Grace's last name. She wondered what Carlos had put in the sign. 'Carlos, you are a DEAD man!'

The sign was written in big, bold, flourish, pink letters... 'GRACE KELLY! Welcome to Brazil!' Alison didn't know what to do, so she just stood there, with her stupid sign up waiting for Grace Kelly to show up.

It seemed like all of North-America had walked out of immigration, and yet no sign of Grace. 'What would you expect from a person named Grace? Gracious Grace... yuck. She probably wouldn't know her way out of a cardboard box with instructions written on the inside.' It was then that her attention got diverted to a much more pleasant subject. A Goddess walked out, dressed in tight jeans and a white shirt that exposed a bit of nice smooth cleavage. Alison found herself lost in that image. Her lower anatomy instantly awakened. Her goddess had long blonde hair, slightly curled at the ends and the most amazing green eyes Alison had ever seen. She was so dumbstruck by such beauty, she didn't notice that the object of her drooling was walking straight at her.

Then, her dream woman spoke: "Grace Kelly. Uum... thought she was dead!" she said as she flashed a bright smile at Alison.

'Okay, this goddess speaks, and she is talking to me... wow, what a smile!'

"Hi, Alison. Long time..."

'How does she know my name? Long time?' "Hi, I'm sorry. Have we met?" It finally hit home, and Alison blushed visibly. She mentally kicked herself. 'Wake up, Alison!'

The blonde woman smiled, having been through this situation many times before. "Grace Kelly," she smiled again pointing at the sign.

"Ohhh, my.... I'm so sorry. It's just that you were so, Umm.... and you're so, Umm" Alison said before she could stop herself.

"Yes, I've changed. A lot! Thank God for that, huh? We wouldn't want you to be stuck with an ugly, shy, chubby, full of freckles, not to mention the glasses, Grace, now would we?" she said. "By the way, thanks for offering to let me stay with you. I hope it's not much trouble."

'Oh, mother... you never learn, do you?' But amazingly the anger she felt towards her mother evaporated the moment she looked back to her charming soon to be houseguest.

"Not a problem at all. Shall we?" Alison pointed Grace towards the exit, focusing her gaze on the nice twist Grace's body had when she was walking. 'My pleasure, Grace.'

All of a sudden Alison's day started to improve immensely.

****************************************************************

They left the airport and headed to Alison's apartment in Ipanema. She decided to take the scenic tour and show Grace some of Rio's beauty. Periodically she would point at some tourist attractions and make small talk regarding the history of the city. Not unexpectedly, they got stuck in traffic as they hit Copacabana.

Grace seemed a bit scared by the traffic, and Alison saw an opportunity to tease the blonde beauty sitting next to her and also, take her mind off of Grace's body and back on to traffic. "Not very gracious traffic around here, huh, Grace?" she said with a mischievous smile.

Grace looked at her with a hurt expression. She caught the joke and honestly did not like it. "Yeah, it seems like a real adventure to drive around here."

She took a deep breath and released what had been bothering her since she met her hostess. "Alison, would you do me a favor?"

Alison was now focused on the idiot ahead of her, trying to cross three lanes to make a right turn and clogging up the whole road. "Sure."

Before Grace could open her mouth, Alison shouted "Sai da frente, sua anta..."

Grace was taken back by the sudden eruption of anger from her friend. Alison noticed her slip and sheepishly apologized "Sorry! It's just that I get sooo frustrated driving around this town sometimes."

"It's ok. I can relate" Grace breathed. "But why did you call him a moron? Wasn't telling him to move enough?"

Alison's mouth just hung open, the cute little blonde was just full of surprises. "I didn't know you spoke Portuguese," she managed to say, as she swerved away from a crazy lady crossing the street.

"Well, it's one of my secret skills... maybe I'll show you some others," Grace said sporting a naughty grin.

Alison turned several shades of red before she could get herself to say something. She could already feel her panties getting wet. Alison was well aware that her libido was, at least, above average in terms of activity, but she never really felt this turned on by simply watching and talking to someone before. 'Get a grip on yourself, Ali. The girl would probably swim back to America if she knew you're gay' she scolded herself mentally.

"Uum... so what favor was that you asked for?" she asked relieved for the change in subject.

"Well, you know, I really hate my name. Grace... it sounds sooo..."

Alison finished for her "Gracious!"

"Yeah, so I'd love for you to stop calling me that."

Alison nodded completely understanding how Grace felt. "So, what should I call you? Hotty?" She said before she could stop herself. 'Smooth... way to go, Alison. How much dumber can you be?'

Now it was Grace's turn to blush deeply. She decided to pretend Alison hadn't said anything and simply go on with the conversation "Jordan. It's my middle name and that's what most people call me."

'Jordan...' Alison liked the ring to it. "Ok. Jordan it is then."

****************************************************************

They finally arrived safe and sound at Alison's apartment. Jordan immediately loved the place, it was spacious, clean, broad, and yet, cozy. There were several pictures of Alison and friends hanging on a wall. The clean edges of the furniture gave the place a very contemporary and comfortable feel. But best, however, was the gorgeous view of the beach. Alison showed Jordan around and then left the woman in the guestroom to take a shower and rest. Jordan found herself very much awake and felt no desire to rest. However, she did want a warm leisurely shower.

Alison had explained to her that she would have to use her bathroom, since the shower in the guest bathroom was not working very well. Jordan collected her shower kit and proceeded to venture into Alison's bathing room.

The moment she stepped inside the bathroom, she found herself smiling broadly. The place was decorated from top to bottom with adorable Calvin and Hobbes cartoon characters. Everything from the border on the wall, to the trash can had something of the cartoon on them. 'Cute. Just like her! I wonder if she's Calvin or Hobbes. She seems to have Calvin's distaste for authority, but at the same time she has Hobbes' cocky personality. Not to mention, she sure looks like a tiger. She's definitely Hobbes!' she thought, chuckling at her rumbling.

She stripped and stepped into the already running water, but as she did so her bare breasts grazed Alison's towel. The rough texture of the towel against her smooth skin sent a jolt of pleasurable pain through her entire body. But there was something much more pleasing about that towel than its texture. Alison's distinct, fruity, intoxicating smell was all over it. Before she could even think about it, Jordan found herself burying her face on the towel and drinking in her tiger's scent.

Ever since she stepped through the black doors of immigration at the airport and laid eyes on Alison, her body had caught on fire. She couldn't explain why or how, but the simple fact of being near the tall woman was driving her insane. Not to mention, Alison's constant stares and little comments. Jordan was not blind, she could tell when someone was hitting on her, and it appeared Alison was doing just that.

'Alison was interested, right?'

Now the problem was what would she do about it. She was clearly attracted to Alison, but was the reverse true? 'You could be seeing things, Jordan. God knows, it has happened before. More than once! You really don't want to make a fool of yourself, do you?' she chastised herself, still clinging to Alison's towel.

Jordan decided to further investigate her very interesting friend, before she would do anything or even let Alison be cognizant of her obvious interest. With that settled, she finally got under the water and started soaping her body. Her mind kept playing flashbacks of Alison standing at the airport, wearing loose cream-colored cotton slacks and a simple, tight tank, which exposed her nice toned long arms.

Jordan's hand slid down south and she began to massage her throbbing clit, as she replayed Alison's words in her mind 'So, what should I call you? Hotty?... hotty?... hotty?' Jordan could see the spark of desire in Alison's eyes as she said that. The images of Alison's eyes consuming her legs and breasts during the drive home and the husky tone of Alison's voice calling her 'hotty' were driving Jordan near the edge. The pressure of the water on her nipples and the fast movements of her fingers between her legs did the trick as she felt the ripples of a much needed orgasm fill her body. As she finished washing herself, she once again remembered Alison's words and smiled inwardly, 'Maybe there is hope.'

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Jordan walked out of the shower to find a peacefully sleeping Alison lying on a hammock in the balcony. 'God, she's so hot!' Jordan felt her heartbeat picking up. 'Grace Jordan Harrington, control yourself. You're practically devouring the poor woman with your eyes' Jordan was so focused on her own scolding, she didn't notice Alison watching her.

"Beating your inner devils, Jordan?" Alison said, smiling at the look on Jordan's face as she got caught.

"Well, yeah... can't leave them in peace too long, you know? They get dangerous" she purred, and then instantly mentally slapped herself. 'Stop that.' She was grateful that Alison let that slide without further comments as she got up and went on to take a shower herself. Jordan decided that maybe it was a good idea for her to rest. 'Maybe it's the lack of sleep that is making me this horny,' she lied to herself. She told Alison she was going to take a nap and it seemed that Alison was truly relieved with that thought, since she felt like a wet noodle from her chaotic night at the office.

About an hour later, Jordan found herself lying in bed, still unable to sleep. She walked around the apartment and from the quietness she figured Alison was fast asleep. The blonde woman then decided that a walk on the beach might be just what she needed.

Once she got outside, she thought that being at the beach at that hour might not be such a great idea. It was incredibly hot and the sun was burning her alabaster skin. Quickly changing her mind, she then decided to walk around the narrow, charming streets of Ipanema. She made sure she memorized Alison's street name, the number of the building and the phone number to the apartment, before she went exploring. She felt a slight chill of adventure and grinned widely as she put herself to the task of getting to better know the place that claimed the heart of the raven-haired beauty.

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Jordan came back to find Alison lying against the balcony railing, watching the sunset. She was wearing shorts and a tank top that left little to the imagination. Jordan's mouth became dry and her palms started to sweat. 'So much for walking,' she thought as she entered the large living room. Alison heard Jordan come in and turned around to find the petite blonde drooling over her. 'Well, well, well... maybe I'm not the only one around here with a thing for females,' she thought. Alison had never really been one for hiding her life style, but at the same time she was no gay rights activist. Her life motto "Live and let live."

Jordan started to make small conversation, asking if Alison had seen her note, to which the brunette only nodded. Jordan was very aware of Alison's eyes on her and of her own body responding to the sight in front of her.

"And, and . . . there's a c-c-cu-cute, little shop, uhm-uh . . . right around the corner and . . ." Jordan was very aware that she was stuttering and she hated that she did that when she was nervous. 'Damn! I can't even talk right in front of her. What is it with me?'

Alison just stood there, pretending to listen to what Jordan was saying, but all she could think about was, how nicely Jordan's legs connected to her hips, how tantalizing the curves of her body were, and how easily she could lose herself in those eyes the same color as the crashing sea right behind her.

"Alison?" Jordan said trying to catch the tall woman's attention.

"Huh? Sorry, I got sight tracked, uh . . . I mean side tracked" stumbled Alison.

Jordan hid a knowing smile and went on describing the rest of her adventures. Alison snapped out of her ogling and joined in the conversation. Jordan showed her a few things she had bought most of the items being souvenirs.

The two friends sat close to one another on the couch and the conversation just seemed to flow easily between them. Alison finally found out what exactly Jordan would be doing in Rio. She was pretty amazed that the petite blonde in front of her would be making the opening speech to a world conference on Human Rights.

Jordan, as well, was pretty amazed by the strong woman sitting next to her. Alison had traveled the world, she was fluent in several languages, had a great job, was very respected within her field, but above all, there was an innate lack of self-consciousness that captivated Jordan's heart.

The hours passed by as the two exchanged funny and not so funny tales about their lives. They managed to stay clear of dangerous waters, such as relationships, for the entire discussion. At that point, both were happy to not have to get into the issue.

They lost track of time, when an unexpected rumble made Alison jump a little and Jordan blush deeply.

"Umm... I guess I'm a little hungry." Jordan blushed even more.

Alison stifled a smile and held her hand out, "Come on. Let's go feed you."

They went into the spotless kitchen and started sorting through what they could find in Alison's nearly empty pantry.

"Do you really live off of this?" Jordan asked.

Alison gave her a blue stare and stuck her tongue out. Their eyes locked and Jordan felt herself moving forward to capture that piece of pink flesh, poking out at her. She could feel Alison's breath grow faster as her hands slowly parked on Jordan's hips. Their moment was broken with the phone ringing. Both women jumped a little startled with the loud ring.

Alison reluctantly released Jordan and went searching for the cordless phone in the living room. Jordan focused her attention back to the food, or lack thereof, and started producing something resembling dinner. She could hear Alison speaking softly in the other room, but decided to give her friend some privacy.

Twenty minutes had passed and Alison was still on the phone. Since their dinner was ready and was getting cold by the minute, Jordan decided to let Alison know that they actually had something to eat, in case the brunette forgot. Which was a great excuse, she mused, since her curiosity was driving her insane about whom it was that was taking so much of Alison's time. Her wonderings were answered the moment before she stepped into the living room. She overheard Alison saying, "Eu também te amo, Helena"

Jordan immediately spun on her heals and trotted back into the kitchen. Her feelings were a mess, she could not believe that Alison would be flirting with her one minute and then sweet talking another woman the next. She was angry, upset, but overall feeling stupid. 'She never promised you anything. Nothing even happened, Jordan. Just let go!' but still it hurt, Alison's words so intense 'I love you too, Helena...'

She sat down on the cold tile floor of the kitchen and reviewed their day and mostly their night talking on the couch. They seemed so close then, so at ease, as if they had known each other all their lives and beyond. Sadness washed over her heart, as if she had just lost something as precious as life. She couldn't tell why she was so upset, just that she was. Still lost in her thoughts, she vaguely heard Alison hanging up the phone. She quickly got up and moved to the counter.

Alison walked in with a non-recognizable look on her face. She made no comments about the phone call and managed to keep the conversation to a much shallower level.

Jordan didn't pry and mostly kept to herself while they ate. There was tension between them and they both could feel it. Jordan forced herself to be cordial, even though she felt like slapping Alison senseless for having given her hope.

As soon as they finished eating, Jordan apologized and said she was really tired and needed to sleep. Alison explained that the following morning she would have some business to attend to, but that she would be back around 2 p.m. She suggested that Jordan could go to the beach across the street and enjoy herself until then. If Jordan would like they could go to the Botanical Gardens in the afternoon, since it was one of Alison's favorite spots in the city.

Jordan simply murmured, "Sure. Have a good night, Alison."

The tall woman stood there looking at the empty space that only seconds before was filled with a saddened short blonde. She was sorry she would not be able to spend the whole day with Jordan, and she knew the blonde resented that, but Helena was always a priority.

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Jordan stormed into her room, tears already running down her cheeks. 'How could she? We were almost kissing. And then she comes back as if nothing had happened... I can't believe I let myself fall in this kind of trap. How stupid can you be, Jordan? Did you really think that a drop-dead gorgeous, smart woman like Alison would be alone?' Jordan felt the tiredness from the trip hit her all at once and she shook her head, trying to clear her mind off of those eyes so blue you could almost swim in them. Slowly, she ran out of tears and faded into a heavy sleep.

A pair of green clouded eyes opened slowly and gave the sun peeking in a murderous look. 'Forgot to close the blinds,' Jordan thought as she slowly lifted her tiny muscular body off the bed. She stretched, yawned, stretched again and decided the bed felt too good for her to get up yet. 'The beach will just have to wait,' a clear memory crossed her mind at that instant and she remembered the previous night. 'Well... so, she's already taken. Nothing I can do about that,' Jordan thought 'Might as well enjoy my time here.'

She wasn't really thrilled with the way the night ended or with the fact that she would simply have to control her feelings towards Alison, but Jordan was a grown woman. She'd been in one too many relationships to know that you should take what life gives you and make the best you could with it.

With that squared away, Jordan felt her spirits rising and since she was already up, she should get going to the beach. After much looking in every corner of her suitcase, she gave up and acknowledged the obvious, she had forgotten her bathing suit. 'Who goes to Rio de Janeiro and forgets their bathing suit?' Jordan chastised herself as she remembered seeing a shop with plenty of suits the day before. She got ready and as she was leaving she noticed Alison was gone 'Probably attending to Helena's business right now.'

And that was exactly what Alison was doing.

"Aunt Alison, can you give me a piggy back ride? I don't want to be stuck on that chair." Alison smiled at the cute little girl sitting in the passenger's seat in her car.

She ruffled Helena's curly brown hair and said, "Ok, buddy! Piggy back ride it is. Are you ready?" The girl just nodded with the biggest grin on her face.

Helena lived in an orphanage on the outskirts of Rio. The girl lost all the feeling in her legs in an auto accident, which unfortunately had killed her parents. Alison ran across the public orphanage during one of the many times she got lost around town, when she first came back to Brazil. Something about the place drew her attention. She had no idea why, but something inside her kept pulling her to check the place out.

Helena was already four years old when Alison discovered the orphanage. Back then the girl would refuse to leave her room or even talk to anyone. It was love at first sight. Something about the girl's big puppy green eyes tugged deep down at her heart. From that day Alison made sure she would always come around and spend time with her best buddy. She would take Helena out shopping, to the movies, to the beach, anywhere the little girl's heart desired. Every year, Helena would spend the weekend around her birthday at Alison's house. They had the greatest time together. Alison had filed a petition to adopt Helena, but so far nothing had been decided on the case. The social assistants asked Alison to not tell Helena anything until the government of Rio had made a final decision. They did not want to raise the girl's hopes in case something went wrong, and the petition was denied. Alison agreed to that, having the same fear of hurting little Helena with the loss of a parent once again.

They walked around the mall with a mission in mind. Helena had called her the night before, panicking, because she had not bought the orphanage assistants anything for Christmas and they all got her a little something. Alison tried to calm the anxious girl, but there were no words to convince Helena. She then promised her best buddy that they would go to the mall the next morning to buy ALL the assistants something. Helena grew so excited, she would not stop shouting "I love you, aunt Alison! I love you so much!" Just the thought of the kid's words brought a big smile to Alison's face. She gave the little arms around her neck a squeeze as she remembered telling Helena she loved her too. How true that was. She truly loved Helena.

At that moment, an unexpected thought crossed her mind, 'Would Jordan like Helena? Would Helena like Jordan?' That was a question she would have to think about later, since Helena was choking her as she tried to get Alison to enter a "cool store" according to the girl.

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Jordan managed to buy herself a bikini that would not leave too much of her exposed, if that was possible in Brazil. She was never so glad for the extra hours she had been putting in the gym after she broke up with Meg. If she was going to expose most of herself in public, at least she wanted it to be a pretty sight for others. As she sat down on the beach under a big umbrella she found herself noticing that even though Brazilians really wore tiny bikinis, they did not seem to care about checking people out.

'Maybe it's such a common sight, that you don't even realize it anymore,' Jordan considered. 'Yep, I like this place!'

She walked around the beach for a while trying to pick a place to sit, when rainbow flags caught her attention. 'Ahhh­ home' she smiled broadly trotting down to the spot known as Farme, the gay block of Ipanema. She noticed there were people from all over the world at Farme. It amazed her that that many gay men and women would come down to Brazil. 'Umm, maybe there's more to Rio then I'm aware of' she pondered as she sensed someone sitting close by. The brunette smiled over at her. Jordan smiled back, not missing the woman's long legs, full breasts, beautiful long hazelnut hair and pitch black eyes. 'Yep, I sure like this place.' An image of Alison crossed her mind and she forced it back to the recesses of her memory. There was no space for Alison in her mind right now. Alison was committed and that was that.

Jordan and her new friend chatted the morning away. Somehow, they ended having lunch together at a cafe near the beach. Jordan found herself entertained by her friend's conversation, but occasionally her mind wandered to Alison. Every time that happened she would remind herself that Alison was busy, 'With Helena.' She would then resume her interest in the woman sitting across from her and focus on their conversation.

When they left the café it was a bit after three and Jordan remembered that Alison had invited her to go to the Botanical Gardens. Her friend offered to show her around Lagoa and Leblon, but Jordan apologized saying she already had something planned.

The woman insisted a little more "Oh, come on­ who's this hot date you're going to meet?" Jordan sighed as she wished she would actually be on a date with Alison that afternoon. Seeing a bit of doubt in Jordan's eyes, the brunette went on with her advances, "I don't know, Jordan, but she must not be very smart, leaving you all alone this morning. What was so important that she couldn't take you to the beach?"

Jordan thought about that for a moment, the truth of the words sinking in. She still had something planned with Alison, but at this point, she was very inclined to follow the pretty eyes in front of her anywhere. She decided to call Alison first, and then think about what she would do, after all she didn't want to be rude to her hostess.

The phone stopped ringing a second before Alison picked it up. She had been stuck in

traffic for almost two hours, trying to make her way back downtown. It seemed that this year everyone decided to come to Rio for New Year's by car. Traffic was total chaos. Her head was pounding so hard, she felt sick to her stomach. She waited a little more hoping whoever she had missed would try again. Since the call never came, she simply went into the kitchen and retrieved a huge bowl of Belgian Chocolate ice-cream. She went over to Jordan's bedroom, wondering if the blonde had seriously overslept. Not that unexpected since she had been flying for almost 15 hours, not to mention airport time and six hours of time difference. A trip from California was never easy. She softly knocked on the door. Nothing. She knocked again, a bit harder this time. Since no response came she opened the door slightly and peered inside.

A tiny pout formed on her lower lip when she did not spot the object of her thoughts during her drive back home. Alison found herself a little surprised at just how much she was missing having Jordan in the car to chat with. Not finding her blonde friend, she went into her bedroom, with Jordan still in her thoughts, she changed and plopped in bed with her bowl of ice-cream. She turned the TV on and was happy to see that Xena was on. 'All right! I love when they play the re-runs on Saturday.' As she watched Xena and Gabrielle on another adventure, she wondered where Jordan was and what she was up to. Before the Warrior Princess' episode was over, Alison had drifted off to sleep. Her dreams were filled with two sets of green eyes, of her two princesses.

Jordan came home around sunset. She missed seeing Alison's purse on the couch and simply assumed by the quietness of the apartment that Alison was still out. 'Well, at least I didn't waste my afternoon waiting for her' the blonde's thoughts were abruptly cut short when she heard the television on in Alison's bedroom. She walked over there, to find Alison snuggling into her pillows and sleeping deeply. Jordan took her time examining the tanned fit form lying in bed. 'Oh, God­ why do I turn into butter every time I look at you?' She could not help noticing how tempted she felt to lay next to Alison and snuggle next to her. Especially since all the flying and the time difference were really catching up to her. She silently went back to her own bedroom and fell into bed. Before she knew it, she too was fast asleep.

****************************************************************

Alison was awakened by a loud scream from the television. She peered over at the tube and gave it a dangerous smoky blue gaze. She looked at the alarm clock next to her bed and was a bit surprised to see it displaying 10:00 p.m. 'Well, time to wake up and cruise the bars, after all it's Friday night.' She felt a little smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as she thought about how much fun it would be to finally take Jordan out on the town. 'And, I can check if she's family or not.' The shy smile turned into a huge grin. On her drive home that afternoon she took her time to analyze Jordan. After much thought, 60% of her believed Jordan was indeed gay, while 40% believed it was only her wishful thinking. She also thought about her mother's worries regarding Jordan finding out that Alison was gay. 'She's a big girl, she can live with it. That is, if she's not gay herself.' Before Alison knew it, her heart had decided for her. No hiding, no pretending. She was going to be herself.

Long legs walked down the hallway to stop in front of Jordan's bedroom. The door was slightly open and Alison could see her blonde desire sleeping soundly on the bed. Alison approached the bed carefully, not wanting to wake Jordan. She slowly sat down on the bed and let her eyes roam over Jordan's fit body. Her eyes started at Jordan's hair and made their way down, not missing anything. This close to Jordan, Alison could smell her coconut sun block mixed with the blonde's natural smell. It all started to affect her breathing and her heart was pounding so loud in her chest, she was afraid she would wake Jordan. She decided to let her friend rest a little more while she took a shower.

Jordan had felt Alison sitting by her side. Her body burned with desire, as she had awoken from a very erotic dream involving piercing blue eyes, long black hair, a luscious mouth, and powerful arms that were wrapped around her. She thought she could feel Alison's eyes roam over her, but chastised herself immediately 'In your dreams, Jordan,' she almost chuckled at her own words as she thought 'Literally.' Then a soft sound made her wonder. It sounded like Alison was breathing faster, but she did not want to open her eyes for fear of breaking the moment. A few seconds later her fears came true as Alison got up. 'So much for that,' Jordan sighed inwardly. At this point it did not make a difference any more, so she spoke.

"Where are you going?"

Alison jumped a little, startled by the soft voice coming from the bed. "I didn't want to wake you up. Guess I failed, huh?"

"It's ok. I was already up," Jordan said.

Alison felt a lump form in her throat, 'Busted!' She walked back to Jordan's side and sat down on the bed.

"What time is it?" Jordan asked.

"Ten-fifteen. I had thought about taking a shower to give you a little more time to rest."

Jordan thought about that and decided she was rested enough. "I'm all right. If I keep sleeping like this, I won't get to see any of Rio," the blonde said.

"You're right. Then up with you, my friend. Tonight we are going out to party. I believe you have an open mind and are not afraid of experimenting, right?" Alison finished her question in a daring tone.

"Ooo ... a challenge. I like that," Jordan said as her eyes sparkled with curiosity. She jumped up, sitting closer to Alison. "So, where is this mysterious place we're going?" She inquired.

Alison leaned her head sideways, a usual habit of hers when she was pondering upon something. 'Well... should I tell you or surprise you?' and while she thought about answering, she realized it was driving Jordan insane 'Surprise for sure.'

"It's a surprise. You'll know once we get there."

Jordan pouted and batted her eyes at her. Alison chuckled at the sight and started to get up as another thought crossed her mind. "Where were you this afternoon, by the way? I got stuck in traffic and got here later than I had planned," she asked.

Jordan had totally forgotten about that. Actually, she had completely forgotten about ... 'Helena.' She sighed heavily and decided to answer truthfully. "I met someone at the beach, we went out for lunch and for a walk around Leblon. I called here, but you weren't home. I thought you probably got tied up ..." she didn't finish her sentence.

Alison was a little surprised by the statement. Of course she knew Jordan was a beautiful woman, not to mention, very interesting, but deep down inside, the brunette did not expect this. "I see. And what's this new friend of yours like?" Alison asked quietly.

When Jordan gave Alison a brief description of the woman she had spent the day with, she felt the awkwardness her words had caused. She decided to drop the subject and lighten the mood a bit. "So, are we going out or not? I'm not sure what to wear, SINCE I DON'T KNOW WHERE WE'RE GOING," she joked.

Alison flashed Jordan her naughtiest smile. "Nothing sounds good to me," she said as she left the room.

****************************************************************

They arrived at the club around midnight. It was just the right time, as Alison said. Jordan was curious about the place and the crowd, so she kept looking around at anything that moved.

They made their way to the bar through what seemed to Jordan like a million people. Alison ordered them both drinks and suggested a toast.

"To us" she said as she winked at Jordan.

Jordan felt her mouth go dry for a moment, then she replied "To us."

Alison thought about Jordan's new friend. 'Whoever you are, you're way out of your league. She's mine!' Her eyes locked with Jordan's and her heart skipped a beat. She was in a very good mood and the night promised to be a good one.

She snapped out of dreamland when she heard her name being yelled from the other side of the dance floor. 'Oookay Carlos. Couldn't you be a little more subtle?'

Carlos made his way to the bar dragging a short man by the hand. He hugged Alison enthusiastically and kept talking until he finally noticed the short blonde standing next to Alison.

"Oh, hi. I'm sorry! My name is Carlos. And you must be..." he did not finish his sentence not believing the gorgeous woman in front of him could be Grace.

"Jordan. Nice to meet you." she replied.

"Can you believe I thought you could actually be Grace? Oh, my... Ali, can you imagine that? Chubby Grace Kelly being this beautiful? Where is she anyhow?" he asked.

Alison felt like strangling Carlos right then and there, but she felt sorry for Marco, Carlos' boyfriend. She gave him a lethal look as she clearly stated her words, "Carlos, this is Jordan. GRACE JORDAN HARRINGTON. My friend I went to pick up at the airport. The one you made the SIGN for."

Carlos didn't know what to do. He was so embarrassed he actually thought about crawling under the bar and hiding there for the rest of the night. "Ooo... I'm so sorry, Grace, Jordan," he said sheepishly.

Jordan just chuckled at the two friends. She was not bothered that people remembered her as chubby. After all she was really chubby as a teenager. It actually amused her to see how they reacted to how she looked now.

"No problem Carlos. So, you made the sign, huh? And here I thought the smart tall lady here had come up with the Grace Kelly idea all on her own," she said as she winked at Alison. Everyone laughed, relieved that Jordan did not take offense on Carlos' big oops.

They finally managed to introduce Marco to Jordan and after a few more jokes, the party moved to the pulsing dance floor. As they walked through the crowd Carlos whispered in Alison's ear, "I like her. You go, girlfriend!"

Alison smiled at her friend's comment and said to herself "Me too, Carlos, me too."

Alison and Jordan were dancing so close to one another they could actually breath the other's air. Alison managed to get out of her trance from having Jordan that close. She realized Jordan was completely comfortable at the club, not once having winced or worse at the kissing couples of both women and men. 'Maybe my theory is right' she smiled to herself, lost in her thoughts.

At that precise moment Jordan came close to her ear and said in a husky voice "Penny for your thoughts­"

Alison blushed visibly and got tongue-tied.

Jordan chuckled and shook her head from side to side. She moved closer to Alison again, rubbing her breasts against Alison's blouse as she said, "It wouldn't be about me, now would it?"

As she distanced herself from Alison, she graced her with a sexy smile, while biting her bottom lip. Alison was so turned on she could barely breathe. 'Oh, God. She better be gay, otherwise...' she caught her breath and bravely told Jordan about her thoughts. "I noticed how at ease you are here, so I was wondering about two things. First, if you had already realized I'm a lesbian and second, if you're one too?"

Jordan did not expect Alison to be this forthcoming, but she appreciated the honesty of her taller friend's words.

"Yes and yes" she replied. "Now what are we going to do about that?" Jordan whispered in Alison's ear as she licked a tiny earlobe.

It was too much. Alison could feel her body pulsating with desire, her heart and soul desperately screaming for her to move forward and take Jordan in her arms. 'I'm in heaven!' Alison thought.

 

****************************************************************

As Alison closed the gap between herself and Jordan she saw the last person she wanted to see that night. And worse, her nightmare was taking large steps towards them. 'Houston we have a problem' Alison thought as she prepared herself to face the other woman.

"Good evening Alison, I see you have already found yourself a new doll­" At that moment the tall woman with liquid black eyes looked at Jordan.

All three women were dumbstruck when Alison's nightmare and Jordan spoke at the same time.

"Jordan?"

"Linda?"

Alison didn't understand a thing, especially when she saw Linda, her ex-lover and Jordan, her soon to be lover, hugging each other. Confused as hell, she chose to stay quiet and just watch.

"Oh my God, Linda. It's so good to see you." Jordan said, smiling broadly.

"Same here. What are you doing here?" Linda asked as she remembered who Jordan was with, "And why are you with her?"

At this point Carlos and Marco were glued to Alison's side, paying attention to every detail of the movie-like scene going on in front of them.

Jordan didn't fully understand Linda's last question. "What?" she looked at Alison as if seeking for an explanation. "I take it you two know each other," she finally said.

"Yes, we know each other" Alison replied.

Linda, being Linda, simply could not let an opportunity to torture Alison slip by, so she decided to put a bit more pepper to the already hot situation. "Actually Jordan, Alison and I used to know each other reeeeaaaallly well, right Ali? But that was until Alison decided to dump me to spend her time with some bimbo she is hosting at her house."

Before anyone could say anything Linda continued with her dumped ex-girlfriend speech, "So, Alison, where is Grace? I'd love to meet her."

Alison just rolled her eyes wondering how her night had gone from floating in paradise to crawling in hell.

As she was about to reply, Carlos intervened "Shut up, Cruela! I knew you were stupid, but I never thought you were this stupid," he said forgetting his own mistake earlier in the night. "This is her," he said pointing at Jordan.

Linda blew a heavy puff of air as she rolled her eyes. "Ummm, Earth calling Carlos­ this is Jordan. Ali is hosting Grace. Got it, shorty?"

Only then did Alison realize what was happening. 'How could I have not seen it? Jordan told me what her friend looked like. Of course, Saturday morning, Linda is always at the beach. Linda could have never guessed that Jordan is Grace. But, Alison, how could YOU be this dumb?' As Alison was about to say something she got cut off again.

"It's true. My name is Grace. Grace Jordan. I happen to hate Grace and prefer to be called Jordan," the blonde stated "And I'm Alison's guest, Linda. NOT her bimbo," Jordan finished, her temper flaring.

Linda was in shock, but still she managed to say something "Well, well, well­ isn't this a small world? Who could have guessed that Alison's bimbo would be picking up women at the beach while Alison was out, with­ Who were you with again?"

Jordan shot Alison a hurt look and Linda an evil one, "I was not picking up women at the beach, Linda. You were the one who came to talk to me. And for the last time, I'm NOT Alison's bimbo."

Things were getting out of control quickly and Alison knew it. She had never discussed Helena with Linda. Knowing Linda's antagonism toward children, Alison felt it was better not to bring up the whole adoption issue. Actually she made a point of not mentioning Helena to anyone. She felt that way if her petition was not approved she would not have to deal with her friends' sympathetic feelings. She hated when people were sympathetic to her.

Alison felt her shoulders slump, 'How am I gonna get out of this mess?' She looked at Jordan and felt her heart tighten as the green orbs shifted their gaze away from her.

"I was with Helena" Alison said.

Carlos, Marco and Linda felt their jaws hit the ground. Jordan simply stood there chastising herself for falling into Alison's trap again.

"My, oh, my. Three, Alison? And here I was worried about Grace. And now there's a Helena? Jesus, Alison, how long have you been cheating on me?" Linda inquired, her pride hurting more than her heart.

"I did not cheat on you" Alison said, actually directing her words at Jordan.

Jordan felt trashed, tears threatening to spill over. She cast a pleading glance at Carlos as she said "Carlos, please get me out here." Carlos hugged her and said "Sure, hon. We're leaving. I'm taking you to my house." They left leaving Alison and Linda standing there staring at each other.

Linda saw the trio leave and stepped closer to Alison. "Well, since we were left alone­ what do you say about dancing with me?"

Alison pierced Linda with an icy blue stare. Barely opening her mouth she stated with a clear cutting edge, "Fuck off, Cruela!"

****************************************************************

Alison awakened the next morning with the noise from the preparations for New Year's Eve. 'That's right. It's tonight.' She thought about Jordan and felt her heart sink. She took a quick shower, changed and headed towards Carlos' home at São Conrado.

On her drive there she rehearsed a million times what she would tell Jordan. Her worst fear was that Jordan would not believe her. 'I'll take her to meet Helena then."

Once she parked in front of Carlos' house she felt her courage fading away. She stood in front of the gate for about 5 minutes before she had the guts to ring the doorbell. Carlos opened the door and gave her a dour look. "What do you want?"

'Great. Now I need to get past Mr. Bodyguard' Alison thought.

"Carlos, mind your own business. Where's Jordan?" she asked feeling her hands shaking.

"She's not here. She just left, said she would go to a hotel. I tried to convince her to stay and talk some sense into her head. Where's she gonna find a hotel today? Everyone's completely sold out," he said, pretending to be very mad at Alison and putting up a cold façade for her.

"Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!" Alison screamed as she jumped up and down like a lunatic.

Carlos had to laugh at the scene in front of him. He finally gave up on being angry with his best friend and said, "Come on, let's get inside. I think I deserve a first hand report on what's going on." Alison followed him inside as she started to tell him the whole story.

Jordan was walking down the beach, her eyes so puffy from crying she could barely see where she was going. All she could think about were Linda's words 'Three, Alison?' It hurt so bad to think that Alison had done that. But what hurt worse was the thought that she, herself, had chosen to forget about Helena and was flirting with Alison. Jordan's mind was spinning trying to sort out all this information.

She had left Carlos house almost six hours ago, had walked into several hotels, but nobody had a room. She didn't even remember how to get back to Carlos' house and did not have his phone number. 'Great! This is just great. What am I gonna do now? Spend the whole day roaming around the beach and wait for everyone to leave town after midnight? Not likely.' She considered her option of going back to Alison's apartment and asking her if she could stay there another couple of days, before she could move into a hotel room. 'Never.' She sat down on the sand and started crying again, not knowing what to do and asking God to send down a guardian angel to give her a hand.

And like people say, God listens. Carlos had been driving around for about two hours now. After listening to the whole story, he sent Alison back home and told her to stay put, in case Jordan showed up there. Alison had explained everything to him and he was so touched to know that his friend actually wanted to adopt a child. Carlos had always known that Ali was a good person, with a huge heart, despite the tough façade she always put up for the world. He understood Alison's reasons for not having mentioned Helena before. He knew that she was actually protecting him, Carlos would be heartbroken if the adoption did not go through. He also realized that if Alison was willing to open up this part of her life to clear a misunderstanding, it was because Jordan meant a lot to her. So, he made it his personal last good deed of the year to get Alison and Jordan to talk and sort out this mess.

Carlos spotted Jordan sitting at the beach and almost caused a huge traffic accident as he made a forbidden U-turn and parked on the sidewalk. He looked around as he got out of the car searching for cops 'If I get a ticket it's for a good cause,' the short dark man thought. He then trotted down to the blonde sitting in front of him.

"Hi" he started "you know, this is not a very good spot for you to watch the fireworks, they'll go off four beaches down the road," he kidded Jordan, trying to get a smile from his new friend.

She smiled a bit before she answered "I wasn't really worried about that, but thanks for the tip," she cocked her head to the side moving away from the blinding sun and continued "And what's a handsome guy like yourself doing around the WRONG beach?"

It was Carlos' turn to smile "Well, I'm looking for the perfect date. Someone with a sense of humor, blonde hair, puffy eyes and sand in places where sand does not belong. Have you seen anyone like that around here?"

Jordan cleaned her tear stained cheeks, smiled broadly and gave Carlos a mischievous look, "Brat!"

"Come on, Jordan, let's go home," Carlos started "some mad man put my car in an illegal parking space and Marco will kill me if I get any more tickets."

Jordan stood up and gave Carlos a big hug. They started towards the car, feeling the soft sand crunch under their feet and the sun warming their backs. Jordan thought about her rescuer and chuckled a little.

"Thanks for rescuing me, oh, Prince Carlos" she said.

"Thanks? You're gonna pay me for this," he joked. "You're very welcome, my friend" Carlos said, putting his arm around her neck to let Jordan know he actually meant his words.

****************************************************************

Alison was about to have a heart attack. It was close to 9 p.m. The streets down to Copacabana had already been closed, people were already heading towards the beach and still she had not heard a word from Carlos or Jordan. She had called Carlos' house, his cell phone, the office, Marco's cell phone, and nothing. She paced from one side of her balcony to the other, both her cell phone and the cordless phone, tightly held in her hands. She was so lost in her thoughts that she almost fell over the balcony rail when the phone rang.

"Hello. Carlos? Hello­." Alison urged.

"Alison? Can you hear me?" Carlos answered.

"Damn it, Carlos. Where are you? What is all that noise? Where's Jordan? Do you know what time it is?" she kept asking.

"Shut up, Ali. Geez, let me answer, ok? I'm heading to the beach. The noise is from the people on the streets. Jordan is fine and yes, I know what time it is. Happy now?" he finished.

"Where is she? Did you talk to her? Did you explain what happened? Is she mad at me? Is she there with you? Where are you? I'll come down and meet you." Alison's mind was spinning so fast, she could barely breathe. All she could think about were those green orbs that had captured her heart the moment she saw them at the airport.

"Easy there, tiger. Yes, I've talked to her. Now, about the being mad part, you'll have to ask her yourself," he said as he handed Jordan his cell phone.

"Hello?" came the trembling voice from the other end.

"Jordan? Oh, my God. Jordan listen I can explain everything. Cruela, uhh, I mean Linda, was trying to get us into an argument. Helena is not who you think she is. I didn't cheat on Linda or you or anyone, ever" Alison was trying so hard to let Jordan know it was all a misunderstanding, she barely let Jordan speak.

"Alison? Alison?" Jordan said as she turned the cell phone in all directions trying to get a better connection.

"Jordan, can you hear me?" Alison urged.

"Yes... I hear you now. But you better have a really good excuse for all this, otherwise... I mean, you were busted when I heard you tell Helena you loved her for Christ sakes. It's not like you call your friends over and whisper I love you's to them, Alison. And Linda, what was that all about?" Jordan asked feeling her stomach turn in knots just at the thought of Linda. 'Gosh, how could I have even thought about dating her??? Yuck!'

"Honey, Linda and I are over. We have been over for a long time, but I was too lazy to do anything about that. We were never meant to be together in the first place. When I told her you were coming to Brazil, she threw a fit and broke up with me. Best thing she did in ages, I tell you" Alison reasoned. "As far as Helena goes, you shouldn't be bothered by her at all... she's six years old," Alison finished waiting for her words to sink into Jordan's mind.

"Six?" Jordan asked feeling a bit stupid as she recalled her reaction to Helena's existence in Alison's life.

"Yes. She's a kid, Jordan. She lives in an orphanage outside town, I met her a couple of years ago, after I moved back here." Alison said gathering the courage to spill out the last, most important, detail regarding Helena "I filed for an adoption. I hope that Helena will be my daughter someday."

"Oh, my God. Alison... I ... I don't know what to say..." Jordan stuttered as Alison could hardly hear her due to the static that now threatened to end their phone call again.

"Jordan?? Jordan???" Alison screamed with frustration. She couldn't believe that right at that moment, the line went dead. 'Go ahead fates, have a good old laugh. It's on me tonight!' she thought disgusted by the whole situation. She tried calling Carlos back, but it seemed like the whole city was glued to their mobiles trying to talk to someone, putting the system on overload, which was probably true. Getting a good connection in Rio was almost a miracle due to the hills that permeate the city and the number of users. During the holidays this situation only worsened, with all the tourists that cramped the city.

"Stupid, useless piece of..."Alison cursed Carlos' phone, when her own rang again.

"Jordan?" Alison asked.

"No. It's Santa, sorry I'm late, but it took me a long time to get from the North Pole down to here," Carlos teased her.

"Very funny! Where is she?" Alison asked feeling her patience failing her badly.

"Listen, the phone lines are crappy. And I'm not sure Jordan will be able to talk to you right now, she's still recovering from what you told her. What did you tell her anyhow, she's white as the candles they have here on the sand," he said as static played through their call once again.

"I told her the truth, that's all. Where are you anyhow?" Alison snapped, feeling her last thread of patience leaving her.

"Be by posto 4, on the beach not the street, right in front of that fabulous gray building we love, at 11:50 p.m. Happy New Year, Ali." and then he was gone.

"Carlos? Carlos? Son of a­" she put the phone down as she replayed Carlos words in her mind. 'She's still recovering from what you told her.' Alison stood in her balcony watching the waves crash on the sand as she mentally said a little prayer, 'God, please give me a hand here. And, please, let Jordan not be upset anymore.' She looked at her watch, and started calculating how long it would take for her to get ready and walk down to Copacabana. 'I better get going.'

****************************************************************

The beach was crowded beyond belief. Alison could see a huge white wave stretching all over Copacabana. People were sitting on beach chairs, hugging each other, putting candles and white roses on the sand, all according to Brazilian tradition as to how you should enter the new year. Alison always enjoyed watching the preparations for the turnover and since she moved back to Brazil, she made a point on participating in it too. This year, however, her mind was focused somewhere else. She still remembered to buy four roses on her way here, two red, two white. 'I hope Jordan enjoys this tradition' White roses were for peace wishes and red for love wishes. After midnight, people would walk to the water, throw roses in the sea as they made their wishes for the beginning year. Then they would jump over seven waves, a little superstition for good luck. Many would release little handcrafted boats full of roses, candles and written wishes in the water. It was a beautiful show of faith that always touched Alison. She thought it was amazing how much hope the New Year would convey to these people, it was almost palpable. She checked her watch again, it read 11:54 p.m. 'Where are you Jordan?'

Jordan was walking towards the place Carlos had told her Alison would be. She had no idea there would be this many people on the streets. She was impressed with the white wave around her, practically everyone was dressed in white and she found herself enjoying the pre-midnight celebrations very much. Despite her will to simply stop walking and just take in all the new sights, smells and noises going on, her heart kept urging her to move, she wanted to meet Alison, she needed to see Alison. When Jordan spotted the gray building Carlos had showed her earlier, she frantically started looking for Alison but there were just so many people around, and everyone dressed in white, she thought it would be impossible to find the owner of her heart. After searching a few minutes, she looked up at the street clock and sighed heavily when it read 11:58 p.m. 'She's probably gone. Or maybe she didn't even come. After all I was accusing her of dating three women. Ouch! That was harsh, Jordan. She probably doesn't want to see my ugly guts anymore.' Jordan chastised herself as she still looked around. 'But why would Carlos tell me to come here then? No. She does want to see me. I can fix this. We can fix this.' As Jordan felt her hopes rising, she saw a tall brunette a few feet away from her. Her heart skipped a beat from the view. Alison was dressed in a white lacy short dress that floated around her, making her look like a dream. Her hair was set loose and she had a tiny bit of gloss that only accentuated her naturally luscious lips.

Alison looked back at her watch and then at the street clock to make sure she wasn't going time blind. It did indeed read 11:59 p.m. She could see people around her standing up and gathering in small groups, all anxiously looking at their watches waiting for the countdown. She felt tears start to sting the corners of her eyes as she looked down at the four roses in her hand, 'You lose again, Alison.' she told herself as she closed her eyes.

The crowd got excited and very loud as people started the so awaited countdown for midnight.

"10­"

"9­"

"8­"

"7­"

"6­"

"5­"

"I love you. Will you forgive me?" Jordan whispered in Alison's ear as she wrapped her arms around her tall companion.

"4­"

Alison felt her heart stop for a moment, not sure if her mind was playing tricks on her. But as she felt Jordan's arms around her, she was sure this wasn't a dream. The tears started to roll down freely. At this point she could no longer contain them. She turned around and found her gaze locked in deep emerald green eyes that told her heart all it had waited a lifetime to hear.

"3­"

"God, yes." She gasped.

"2­"

"I love you too, Jordan" Alison replied as she pulled Jordan closer, and let her lips claim those that had been tempting her. Jordan allowed her own desire to take over and felt the softness of Alison's lips pressing against her own. Both their hearts began beating in unison at that moment.

"1­" the crowd cheered "Feliz 2002!" a million people chanted as the New Year began and 60 tons of fireworks started going off in the sky.

'Happy 2002 indeed' Alison thought as she hugged Jordan tighter. They stood there hugging each other and enjoying the fireworks. After the blues, greens, reds, yellows and all other imaginable colors had faded from the sky Alison took Jordan's hand and led her down to the shore. She then proceeded to explain the Brazilian tradition. First they cast the white roses in the water and as they were about to throw the red ones, they smiled at each other and wished for the same thing­

'Forever with you.'

****************************************************************

Alison stood by the door to her apartment feeling Jordan's close presence behind her. She could feel Jordan's breath warming her back and soft pressure of her arms around her hips. Both women were having a hard time controlling their desire to explore each other. Jordan felt her hands roaming across Alison's stomach and dangerously close to the swell of her breasts.

"Jordan?" Alison said, her breathing very ragged.

"Yes?" Jordan replied absently.

"I'm having a real hard time opening this door as it is and if you keep this up I'm not sure I'll be able to find the keyhole." Alison explained.

"I see­" Jordan said, but didn't move an inch nor did her hands stop their exploring.

"Jordan, please­" Alison begged.

Reluctantly, Jordan stepped away from the reason causing her insides to twist. Alison quickly opened the door and pulled Jordan inside taking her in her arms and dragging them both across the apartment to her large bed.

As they walked into the bedroom Alison took her time softly kissing Jordan's lips and neck, as she stripped the short blonde beauty in front of her. She lowered Jordan's silk blouse straps and undid the buttons on the back. As the shirt slid down Jordan's slim body Alison felt the warmth of her lover's skin under her fingertips and felt lightheaded from the touch. She then proceeded on to unhooking Jordan's bra with her left hand, while her right hand drew circles on Jordan's lower back and kept moving lower and lower.

Jordan had a hard time breathing as she felt Alison's fingers teasing her firm backside. Her mouth seemed to not be able to get enough of Alison's and she simply couldn't control her desire to kiss the tall woman any longer. A small moan of pleasure escaped both women as their tongues met and played with each other. Alison got a bit more aggressive and started to unzip Jordan's skirt. She felt her thighs shaking as the soft piece of fabric fell to the floor and she got a full view of Jordan's tantalizing body. Her lover had muscular legs that fit her small body perfectly. The shorter woman's mild curves accentuated her toned muscles, giving her body a smooth flow. Jordan's abdomen had a nice smooth texture that connected to the swell of her breasts forming a delicate pleasing view to Alison's eyes.

"You are so... beautiful!" was all Alison could say to the blonde standing half-naked in front of her.

The warmth of Alison's touch was driving Jordan crazy. She could no longer keep her hands still and before she thought about it she felt her body pressing Alison towards the bed. Her hands started roaming up and down Alison's long legs, slightly touching her already wet panties.

"Alison, I need to feel your skin" Jordan murmured into a close ear.

Alison simply moaned and led Jordan's hands to the brim of her dress. She arched her back a bit to help Jordan pull the short dress off of her burning skin.

Now it was Jordan's turn to relish the view in front of her eyes. Everything about Alison was appealing to her. From the almost contentious long strength of her legs to the delicate softness of her full breasts, Alison was perfection lying in front of Jordan's hungry green eyes.

She slowly pushed Alison down on her back, never letting her skin lose contact with her lover's. She then straddled on Alison's flat belly and started teasing both nipples with her fingers. She took her time playing with her lover's libido, kissing each hardened nipple and sucking on them ever so slowly, but hard enough to send jolts of pleasure through Alison's body. Alison's reaction to her touches were making Jordan even more turned on and she felt her own wetness dampening the belly she was sitting on.

Alison felt herself completely lost in the eroticism of the moment. She could have never imagined in her wildest dreams that she would feel this turned on by Jordan's simple gestures, such as biting her lower lip or showing just a bit of pink tongue between her teeth as she smiled. Jordan untied her blonde locks and leaned down a little to capture Alison's lips with her own. Her long blonde hair teased Alison's skin and she felt herself smiling in pure pleasure as goose bumps made their way up her lover's torso.

Jordan was enjoying the moment immensely, but she could no longer contain her desire to feel more, to taste more, to have more of Alison. She teasingly whispered in Alison's ear "Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back." Alison had already been in ecstasy for some time, she could no longer control her desire for the short woman straddling on her. She had no control of her actions and simply let Jordan take her as a love slave. "Yes," the love slave whispered back.

Jordan went down peppering tiny kisses, licks and bites over Alison's long body. She felt her own desire growing as she came closer to her lover's pulsing center. She removed Alison's undergarment in one quick motion and felt herself getting lost in those damp curls and passion scents. She started off slowly, gently licking the slick folds and throbbing nub in front of her, but as she felt Alison's hands pulling her head further inside, Jordan began to suck harder, tasting all her lover was giving her.

Alison was almost giving in to the explosion of sensations she felt overcoming her body, and yet she wanted, she needed more of Jordan.

"Jordan, love, please..." she urged Jordan to take her, "I can't wait any longer."

Jordan entered Alison's soaking center and started fast circular movements around her insides. Alison clenched her fingers on Jordan's shoulders as she let out a load moan of pure ecstasy. She felt the electricity of their lovemaking taking control of her body and jerking her off the bed, as her back arched in pleasure. Jordan continued to drink off of Alison, until she felt her lover's legs collapse around her. She pulled herself up and went in search of the diamond blue eyes she so dearly adored.

Their gazes locked and they simply let the passion float between them. No words could describe how they felt no words were needed. They knew!

Alison captured Jordan's mouth with her own and felt her desire ignite once again, as she tasted passion filled lips. She rolled Jordan on the bed and started a new teasing session, but this time she was in control. Alison felt a smile creeping on her face as she thought 'You're really mine now.' Like Jordan she took her time teasing her lover and driving her crazy beyond belief.

When Jordan could no longer hold her own moment of ecstasy, Alison lay on top of her, carefully placing two fingers inside her lover and thrusting hard against the blonde's throbbing clit. Jordan was covered in a thin sweat that only enhanced her defined body and did wonders for Alison's libido. Alison felt herself coming near the edge and whispered in Jordan's ear, "Wait for me, my love."

Jordan looked up and found herself, heart, body and soul, locked in blue eyes glossed with passion. Alison shut her eyes and gave Jordan a sexy smile as both moaned in sheer pleasure, feeling their mutual thrusting sending them over the edge to unknown galaxies. They clung to each other for dear life and whispered I love you's through the early rising sun of a New Year.

****************************************************************

The week after New Year's had flown by. Jordan delivered her opening speech at the Human Rights conference with such power, she became an instant success. It seemed like everyone wanted to have her around on a discussion panel or mediating a debate. Overall she ended up spending more time at the event than she had planned on. Alison was also caught up at work. Putting up a retrospective for all events and important news in Brazil of the past year consumed very much of the precious little time she had left with Jordan.

They agreed to find a way out of work and business meetings on Jordan's last weekend in Brazil. Alison took her to a charming little city called Buzios, where she owned an even more charming chalet. Thursday night before they left for Buzios, Alison called the orphanage and talked to Helena. The girl could hardly believe her best pal would take her for a two-day trip out of town. The assistants at the orphanage rushed with the required legal paperwork in order to attend to Alison's request. They also were very thrilled, mostly because for the first time Alison would be taking a special friend. They all liked Alison very much and worried about the tall brunette being very lonely. Of course, some of them would be happy to fix this little loneliness problem they thought Alison had, but the brunette never even noticed the lustful looks she got from some of the assistants whenever she went there.

Friday morning Alison and Jordan were at the main lobby of the orphanage waiting for Helena to show up. Jordan had her stomach turned in knots. She knew Helena was very important to Alison and she really wanted to get along with the kid, ąBut what if she doesn't like me? What if we don't hit it off well? What if...' Jordan's thoughts were cut short by a loud scream and the squeaking sound of rubber on the tile floor.

"Aunt Alison!!!" Helena shouted.

"Hey there, pumpkin. I missed you!" Alison said as she walked over and picked Helena up in her arms.

Alison had the biggest grin Jordan had ever seen on another human being. 'Yep, she sure loves this kid,' Jordan thought as she slowly turned towards the two hugging friends. Jordan was shocked to see Helena in a wheelchair 'A wheelchair? Alison never told me about that.' Jordan took a shaky breath and stepped forward, trying to catch a glimpse of the kid Alison was cradling in her arms.

Helena heard the soft footsteps approaching them and stuck her head out from under Alison's armpit. Her big round green eyes were instantly locked with a pair the same color as hers. She smiled a bit and said a shy "Hi." Jordan could not hold a smile of her own at the cute view in front of her. She instantly liked Helena. Jordan extended a hand out as she said "Hi, I'm Jordan, pleasure to meet you!" Helena wiggled furiously around Alison's arms trying to free one of her own. She finally managed to get one hand out and smiled proudly at Jordan as they shook hands.

The trio headed off to their two days of non-stop entertainment. Helena and Jordan found out about their mutual interest in stars and pets. Amazingly they also liked the same singers and movies. Alison was beyond pleased with the way her two loves were getting along. Their weekend could not have been better, between Alison's and Jordan's constant attentions Helena managed to do everything her little heart wished for. Helena was so good at her persuasion techniques, pretty much just batting those green puppy eyes, that she even got away with convincing her buddies to take her snorkeling. Her excitement was almost funny to watch, the little girl would point her finger at everything that moved and ended up forgetting that there was a limit to how much lower in the water she could get her head without breathing water.

Unfortunately, the weekend came to a quick end. Late Saturday night Alison and Jordan dropped Helena at the orphanage. Jordan could not hold back the tears as she and Helena said their goodbyes. She promised the little girl she would come back very soon, maybe even before Helena's birthday in April. Alison just stood by the car and blew Helena a kiss saying she would come back to see her pal the next day.

Their drive home was filled with non-spoken emotion as both women could feel their time together ending. They got home and Jordan headed to her bedroom with the excuse of having to pack. 'Be honest with yourself, Jordan, you simply don't know what to tell her. That you want to stay, that you want to come back, that you want New Year's in Rio forever' the blonde mused as she started folding her clothes. 'But is that what Alison wants?' a sudden fear squeezed its cold hands around her heart as the realized that it didn't only depend on her. Jordan felt her knees buckling and tears rolling down as her heart sank in a quiet panic. Then her pragmatic side kicked in and slapped her across the head 'There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Jordan? Get your sorry ass up and go talk to her.'

Alison was on the balcony pacing, a habit of hers whenever she was nervous. 'Ok. I'll walk in there, then get on my knees and ask her Ó Jordan will you stay here?' pace, pace, pace, 'Good grief, Alison, couldn't you be any cornier? That's pathetic... Jordan will you stay here?' she quietly mimicked herself saying the words.

"Yes," came the soft reply.

Alison jumped up, startled, and blushed a bright shade of red as she got caught. Then slowly she turned around and faced Jordan, who had a huge grin across her face.

"Yes?" Alison asked.

"Yes, yes, yes!" Jordan replied.

They rushed to each other's arms and walked back to Jordan's room trading kisses and making plans for the future.

****************************************************************

The next morning came too soon. After a long night of wild passionate love making, both women were exhausted and neither wanted to leave the bed so Jordan could catch her flight and leave. They had agreed that Jordan would settle her life in California and move back to Brazil as soon as possible. Her excellent performance at the conference landed her several job proposals in Brazil and being no fool Jordan took the opportunity and the good position she stood in to start some early negotiations with the best bidders.

They arrived at the airport a little late and rushed to the airline counter to proceed with Jordan's check in. Both women were nervous, anxious and deeply sad as they got Jordan's tickets and luggage settled. They walked around the airport a bit, holding hands, but not daring to speak. Alison's mind was spinning 'The one time my mom actually sends me a good present, one I do love, I have to give back. What if she doesn't want to come back? What if she finds someone else over there and decides to stay?' Jordan's thoughts weren't very distant from Alison's 'What if Cruela strikes again? Or anyone else for that matter? Alison is beautiful, I'm sure there are plenty of interesting women around here after her.' Suddenly, the cacophonic sound of the airport speaker cut their thinking short.

"United Airlines, flight # 4154, to Los Angeles, now boarding." The announcement dropped like a bomb in both women's hearts. They simply stopped walking and turned to face each other, their fears showing so clearly through their expressions it actually startled them.

"I guess you're probably feeling the same way I am, or at least thinking the same horrible thoughts I am" Alison joked a little.

"Must be, if I look the same way you do" Jordan teased her.

"Well..." Alison went deep down inside her guts to retrieve some courage to finish her sentence.

"Well?" Jordan urged her to finish.

"Well, I, I ... umm, guess, I'm afraid..." Alison stuttered terribly before she could actually say what was torturing her.

"You're afraid?" Jordan insisted.

"I'm afraid..." Alison tried again.

"Jesus, Alison. Just say it... you're afraid to tell me you don't know if you'll actually wait for me? Is that it?" Jordan verbalized her own fears as she turned away, already feeling the tears running down.

"No." Alison absorbed Jordan's words and finally said "No, no, no! Jordan, I was actually afraid of the contrary that you wouldn't want to come back anymore."

"It's ok, Alison. You can say it..." Jordan continued, not really listening to Alison.

"Jordan, shut up and listen to me, will you?" Alison said nervously, as she heard the second call for Jordan's flight.

"Jordan, you are the most special person I've ever met. I love you, I'm in love with you. Gosh, I fell in love with you right here at this airport. You turned my world upside down, inside out and I sure as hell don't want it back the old way. I love the new way, I want the new way to be my life's way." Alison said as she paced in front of Jordan, throwing her hands up in the air in exasperation, before she continued "Can't you see that? Did I fail so terribly in showing you that? Please, please, let's not allow our inner devils to take the best out of us. We can do this, Jordan, I know we can. I want this!" and then Alison crossed the small space that divided them, as if trying to shorten the distance that their fears had put between them, and clearly spoke the most truthful words that had ever escaped her lips.

"I want you! I want us! Forever!" Alison finished in a whisper.

Jordan felt the world around turning to nothing but shadowy people and muffled sounds. Right here, right now all that mattered to her was the tall brunette with piercing blue eyes standing in front of her, spilling her heart out. She never expected Alison to be this articulate, not in the matters of the heart, that is. Alison had said the right words, everything Jordan's heart needed to hear and she managed to do it in the cutest possible way, pacing, throwing her hands all over the place and yet, being so naturally romantic and sexy. 'Exactly like she always is' Jordan thought inwardly. She smiled a bit at her lover, who was standing there waiting for an answer, with the most worried expression in her face.

"So, aren't you going to say anything?" Alison inquired, getting more anxious by the second.

"No" Jordan teased her.

"NO? Like in, no, I won't say anything?" Alison asked, not believing her ears.

"No. I won't say anything. I'll do this though..." the blonde said as she threw herself in Alison's arms and captured her tall lover's lips in her own.

They stood there kissing each other without another care in the world. People passed by and watched the loving couple, some laughed, some shook their heads in annoyance, but most simply smiled a bit, happy to see that the New Year was already showing signs of being a good one.

THE END! (Or not...)

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