Starting Again

By Sunflower

June 2003

Disclaimers: I'm sure you already know the drill, but just so I can't be blamed of anything, here it is again. All characters all the sole possession of the author, nothing may be done with them with out my permission (and that includes your dirty little dreaming). All resemblance to people dead or alive, fictional or real is just a coincidence. Yes, they do look like the best fighting duo of TV, but it's not them. Women are doing it in this story and I mean, graphically doing it. They're adults and they're having fun, so if this bothers you, don't let the door hit you in the -beep- on your way out. If you're under 18 or are not allowed to read this kind of material, see ya'. There is a lot of angst, some violence and cursing in this story, so be prepared for it. The hospital presented in this story is fictional, as well as the procedures, professionals and treatments, no disrespect was intended to any health institutions, their professionals or their work.

No squirrels were harmed during the production of this story.

All comments are very much welcomed at sunflower25br@yahoo.com.br


The sun was setting over in the horizon painting the clouds in orange, pink and purple, creating a beautiful contrast with the bright blue sky behind them. The ocean was a deep green and the waves were breaking with such force that they formed small pools of white foam. It was another January 1st, yet another New Year for Alison to live through. She could feel the gentle breeze that caressed her tanned skin, the fine sand crushing between her toes, however her thoughts were elsewhere.

The sound of fireworks, the countdown before midnight, Jordan's voice saying "I love you" still haunted her dreams, especially on New Year's Day. Seven years later, Alison still wondered what went wrong after they said goodbye at the airport. Jordan simply vanished, evaporated from the known world. Alison thought of all the times she tried desperately to contact the short blonde without success. She waited for the phone to ring, for a letter, an e-mail, as a matter of fact she waited for the woman who had claimed her heart and soul on the dawn of that same day years before.

Eventually Alison stopped waiting and decided to move on with her life. She went out and met a few women, she dated off and on, but was never capable of keeping a relationship for too long. Her excuse was that her life was too busy for the demands of a relationship. She buried herself in her work and all of her off time went to Helena and the adoption process.

The dark woman slowed down her pace as she spotted a group of teenage girls heading for the water with surfboards under their arms. Alison took in the happiness she could see in their eyes for enjoying the last rays of sun and the waves crashing nearby. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer asking for things to go well on their trip to the United States, the first time she was going back in almost ten years. She then turned around and went back home.

***********

Alison checked her suitcase again, making sure she had everything she needed. She looked around and decided that another coat wouldn't harm anyone. She pushed the heavy jacket down her already overflowing suitcase and finally decided that unless she sat on the damn thing it would not close. After a few grunts and some force the suitcase clicked shut and Alison released a satisfied sigh. She looked over to the clock on her nightstand and realized they were running out of time.

The moment Alison stepped out of her bedroom she could hear muffed complaints coming from down the hall. She moved her head sideways and smiled at what she knew she was going to find. She stopped by the door and spotted the 13-year old teenager, with long curly light brown hair and big green eyes, complaining.

"Need any help, Lena?" Alison said trying to stifle a smile.

"Mom, it's hopeless. I'll never be able to finish packing in time. Maybe we're not supposed to go, maybe this is just a stupid dream. What if..." the teenager was cut short by the taller woman.

"Lena, stop that. I know you're scared and so am I, sweetie. Honestly, I'm scared to death about this surgery, just as you are, but I know Dr. Wilson wouldn't make us go all the way there for nothing. Sweetie, we both know you have a pretty good chance of walking again. Isn't this what you wanted all your life? Remember all the times we went to Buzios and you told me someday you would teach me how to surf?" Alison tried to comfort her daughter.

"Yeahhh, I know. It's just that now that we're actually going thru with this, I'm afraid it won't work." Helena told her mother as she pushed herself on the bed and laid her head on Alison's lap.

"Shhh... I know sweetie. But don't worry, whatever happens we'll still be together." Alison said running her hand on the back of the sobbing teenager.› She kissed her daughter's head and whispered softly against the young girl's ear "I love you, Helena. Now let's pick what you're taking 'cuz unlike what you think, young lady, we cannot fit your entire room in that suitcase." That granted the raven beauty a chuckling daughter with a renewed spark of hope in her sea green eyes.

...

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

They arrived at Dulles International airport early the next morning. The family's driver picked them up and drove them around the busy streets of Washington to a large colonial style house, situated on a large property by the Potomac. Both Alison and Helena felt the biting cold of winter on their bones, not being used to it.

The expensive Mercedes parked in front of the large house. Alison looked up the length of the imposing house and childhood memories creased a smile on her face. She helped Helena out of the car and into her chair. They rang the doorbell and were answered by a heavyset woman who instantly took Alison in her arms.

"Oh, Miss Alison. Look at you, the little rugrat that kept bothering me for more cookies. You're all grown up and so beautiful too... Oh, my God." Emma said delighted to see the woman her baby had turned into.

"Hi, Nana. It's good to see you. You haven't changed a bit, it's amazing." Alison said with true happiness in her eyes.

"Oh, and look at you, little one. You're so grown up, now." Emma said giving Helena a tight hug. "What has it been, three years since you last came to visit?"

"Three and a half, Nana" Helena replied with a big smile and a naughty look, "Did you bake me any cookies?"

"But of course. I would not miss it for the world to see you and your mamma wrestling for those." Emma continued on her chatting as they made their way inside the house, "you know, when your mamma was just a tiny thing, she would hide behind the counter and..."

As Emma continued on her story telling, both Helena and Alison laughed at the tall woman's antics as a child. They reached the spacious, perfectly decorated living room when Alison heard a soft squeak on the staircase. She looked up and saw her mother. 'How does she handle high heels at home?'

The older woman approached the three women and said in a cold tone, "Helena, sweetheart. It's so good to have you here again. How are you, my darling?"

"Hello, grandma. It's good to see you. I'm good. Where's grandpa?" Helena responded anxious to see her beloved grandfather.

"He went to the grocery store, he should be back soon, darling. He insisted on buying his girls', as he put it, favorite treats himself. He said no one else knew just right what you both like. Imagine that" the elegant woman said in an indignant tone.

Alison rolled her eyes at her mother's speech. 'Oh, God... I knew there was a reason I did not come home in the past ten years' Evelyn Hatch circled her grand-daughter's wheelchair and took a good look at her daughter.

"Well, well, well... the prodigal daughter finally returns. Hello, Alison." Evelyn said looking straight in her daughter's eyes.

"Hello, mom. It's good to see you TOO. I hope our staying here is not too much trouble for you. We could always go to a hotel, you know?" Alison said actually giving the thought some serious consideration.

At the suggestion, Helena turned in her chair and gave her mother puppy dog pleading eyes, "Mom, I want to be with grandpa!" The girl quickly realized her slip and added, "and grandma."

Mrs. Hatch, looked at her granddaughter and then back up at Alison, "Yes, Alison, don't start with your progressive ideas. You're staying right here with your family, for as long as necessary, like a proper well raised Hatch is supposed to."

Alison blew a resigned breath and decided to drop the issue. "Sweetie, why don't we go upstairs and get some rest, huh?" Alison addressed Helena. "I bet you're pretty tired. I know I am."

"Ok," Helena said wheeling her way towards the kitchen where her grandfather had an elevator installed for the girl, "but promise someone will call me when grandpa gets home."

Alison chuckled at her daughter's obvious adoration of her father, much like Alison's own. "Don't worry, Lena. Will do."

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

The next couple of weeks after their arrival in Washington, D.C. were filled with trips to Baltimore Memorial Hospital for pre-surgery exams. Alison accompanied her daughter in every step of their preparation for the complicated and risky surgery Helena would go through. This procedure was a groundbreaking discovery from a doctor and professor from a local famous University. A few other patients had gone through the procedure with excellent results, however it was still a hard surgery and the recovery period was long and painful. Alison wanted to wait a little longer and see more results, but Helena convinced her otherwise. The teenager insisted that if she had any chance at walking again, then she would try it.

Finally, the day of the surgery came. Helena had been hospitalized the day before and the doctors were keeping her sedated. Alison almost fainted when her baby slumbered into a deep sleep in her arms. The last words out of Helena's mouth touched Alison's heart in a way she never thought possible. Despite her own fears the kid tried to comfort her mother, "I'll be all right, mom. And when we go home, I'll teach you to surf..." As Helena closed her eyes, Alison could no longer contain the tears that were burning her eyes. She hugged her baby tightly and silently asked God and anyone else up there listening for things to go all right and for Helena to come out of the surgery well.

Twelve hours later, Alison was awakened by a light touch on her shoulder. She jumped from the uncomfortable plastic chair where she had been snoozing and looked around trying to locate herself. Her father chuckled at the tall woman's disheveled dark hair and at the mark the chair had left on her right cheek.

"It's over, the doctor wants to talk to you, honey" Don Hatch said.

"Is she all right, dad? How is she?" Alison asked her father, trembling a bit.

"I don't know, honey, they haven't told me anything. Come on, let's go talk to the doctor" the older man said as he circled his daughter's broad shoulders with his left arm and guided them down the long light blue corridor.

After the long talk with the doctor Alison was feeling her confidence renewed. She was so excited about the news and she just couldn't wait for Helena to wake up so she could share the good news with her daughter. Unfortunately that would have to wait a little while longer. After the surgery Helena was taken to the Intensive Care Unit and was still kept sedated for another five days, all standard procedure, which would help her heal faster.

The doctor assured Alison that the operation had been a success and that the chances of full recovery were very good. Alison thanked the good doctor a million times and hugged him tight, not able to contain her emotions. Dr. Wilson laughed at her excitement and took the opportunity to send Alison home. Even though the tall brunette wanted to stay at the hospital until Helena woke up, the doctor convinced her that she would be better off at home, resting. After all, the kid would need all of Alison's strength and support during the long recovery and endless physical therapy sections she would have to endure.

Alison stepped out of the doctor's office feeling alive. She felt like jumping, laughing, screaming to the world how happy she was.

Don Hatch looked at his daughter's face and gave her a bright big smile, "Congratulations, kiddo. I'm so proud of you two. Helena is a strong kid, just like her mother."

Alison soaked in his words and replied with a smile of her own, "Thanks, dad. I'm so happy, you have no idea."

"Sure I do, Ali. I know my girl" he said pulling her into an embrace, "So, what do you say you and I skip my diet and hit the next Dairy Queen we can find, huh?" he finished wiggling his eyebrows.

"You're bad, but I love it." Alison replied already tasting Belgian chocolate in her mouth.

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

"Ashley, come back here right now!" an angry voice said from an adjoining hallway. Before Alison could stop a little strawberry blonde child crossed her way making the tall woman trip over the kid. Alison fell on top of her right arm and the crushing sound of bone breaking made it to her ears together with the excruciating pain. She turned sideways concerned with the child, afraid the little body had broken in half. The kid was already sitting up, her lower lip shaking and tears threatening to escape her eyes.

Alison felt bad for the kid and managed to mutter a "it's okay, sweetie" trying to calm the little one. Her father ran to her side and tried to help her up as he called a nurse to take a look at Alison's arm.

"Are you okay, Ali?" her father inquired.

"It hurts like hell, but I'll live, don't worry, pop" Alison reassured him with a smile.

"Ashley, baby, are you okay?" a short woman kneeling in front of a scared and by now screaming Ashley asked, "Do you have any owies, sweetie?"

"No" Ashley replied between sobs.

The child's mother picked the little girl up and turned to check on the poor woman who had fallen down. She saw a tall, slim woman already on the far end of the hallway entering the orthopedics isle accompanied by an older man and a nurse. When she managed to calm Ashley down and do a thorough check for any bruises, scratches, cuts or bumps, she went after the really injured one in order to apologize.

The woman approached the information desk and inquired in a low tone, "Excuse me, a tall woman was just brought in here a few minutes ago. I think she had a broken arm. Could you please tell me where she is?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am, are you family?" the nurse asked without taking her eyes from the chart she was checking.

"Uhh, no. You see, that lady tripped over my daughter and..."

The nurse did not let her finish, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we only give information for family members."

"I know, but I'm just trying to apologize" the short woman felt her temper flaring.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but there is nothing I can do for you" the nurse finished her statement clearly indicating that the conversation was over.

As the impatient woman opened her mouth to start a vehement protest, a gentle voice echoed from behind her.

"Excuse me, ma'am. I believe you're looking for my daughter" Don Hatch said.

The woman turned and her eyes went round as she took in who the man speaking to her was.

"Mr. Hatch? Hi, it's been such a long time. Oh, my..." she said on a shaky voice, "You said, your daughter?"

"Oh, hello there. It has indeed been a long time. It's good to see you again." Mr. Hatch replied, not really understanding why the woman seemed to be shaking and all color vanished from her face. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine. But you were saying the person I was looking for was your daughter?" she asked feeling faint all of a sudden.

"Yes, Alison's inside. They're taking an x-ray of her arm. Looks like the little one here did a good job" he replied playing with Ashley.

The short blonde tried in vain to reply, but her voice failed her. She put Ashley down, opened her mouth several times and finally after taking a long deep breath asked in a whisper, "Alison is in there?"

At that moment, the double doors that lead to the inner hall opened and Alison walked out to find her father and a pair of green eyes from her past. Their gazes locked for a few instants making the tall woman stop dead on her tracks. A few seconds later a loud thump was heard as the other woman fainted and hit the cold floor of the hospital.

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

"Jordan? Jordan, wake up. Can somebody help us here, please?" Alison shouted to the nurse behind the counter.

Ashley's eyes grew wide as she saw her mother falling down and the young girl started crying once again. Don picked her up and took her to the waiting room, trying to calm the kid saying they were going to buy chocolate at one of the vending machines.

The nurse fumbled towards the fallen blonde. She kneeled down and checked the petite woman's pulse. She then told Alison to hold on to Jordan while she called another nurse to help her get Jordan on a stretcher. As the nurse left, Jordan started moving and opened her eyes slowly. She took in the features of a dark woman with piercing blue eyes sitting next to her and a smile emerged on her lips.

"Ok. It's just another dream..." Jordan murmured before she closed her eyes again and was quickly taken inside by two nurses.

Alison stood up seeing the blonde who had haunted her nights and days for seven years being taken away. She shook her head trying to clear it and also to make sure it was not another dream, or nightmare. She looked around and spotted her father with a tiny strawberry blonde sitting at his lap and telling him stories.

"Dad, am I dreaming or was that really Grace Jordan Harrington?" Alison asked her father still incredulous.

"Yep, kiddo. That's her all right and this one here is Ashley, her daughter" the older man finished pointing down at the agitated kid.

"Hi" Ashley supplied.

Alison kneed by her father and looked at the little girl's deep green eyes, painfully similar to her mother's, "Hi, I'm Alison. Nice to meet you."

"I'm Ashley. Sorry I hurt you" Ashley said with a tiny pout forming in her lips.

"It's ok. Now I need to get a cast put on so people can draw on it, what do you think?" Alison replied trying to cheer the kid up.

"Wow. Can I get one too? But Michael won't draw on it, only mommy and daddy" the little girl said determined.

Don chuckled at the youngster's ideas, while Alison felt her throat tightening, 'Daddy?' Forcing herself out of cold grip Ashley's words brought to her heart, Alison continued the conversation, "Who's Michael?"

"Michael is my older brother. He is sick, Daddy is there with him."

'Oh, my God, two kids and a hubby? What happened here?' Alison thought to herself as the nurse came out of the inner hallway.

Don Hatch stood up and approached the nurse station. Apparently Jordan was all right, she had just a slight blood pressure drop. Of course that was about all the information the nurse would supply, after all they were not family.

They decided that Don and Ashley would try to retrieve her missing father, while Alison went on to get a cast put on her arm. They split up and about twenty minutes later Alison returned to the orthopedics lobby where they agreed to meet at. As she was walking back down the long hallway, Alison finally realized what was about to happen and that it was too late to stop her father, so she simply prayed for whatever Gods were willing to listen for the day to end. The unexpected encounter with Jordan was already too much of a shock for her, but meeting her ex-lover's current better half was being cruel.

As she walked into the waiting room she spotted her father accompanied by a tall, burly man with dark hair and dark eyes. Alison felt a chill run down her spine as the man looked at her and took in her beauty with appreciative eyes.

"Hey dad, any news?" Alison asked.

"Oh, hi honey. No, no news yet" Don said before looking at the tall man at his side.

The large man extended a hand towards her before Don could introduce the two of them, "Nice to meet you, you must be Alison."

Alison shook his hand, much to her disgust and replied back, "Yes, and you are?"

"Matt Richardson. I'm Jordan's husband" he finished with a snobby tone.

Alison stood up feeling very awkward by the whole situation, but most of all by the clear way that Matt Richardson was staring at her breasts. 'Bastard'

"Well, now that you're here, I believe it's time for us to go home, right, father?" Alison said nudging her father in order to get her point across.

"Huh, yes, sure. I'm sure Matt here can take care of this situation." Don said trying to understand what was wrong with Alison and why she looked like she desperately wanted to get out of that place.

"Well, it was very nice meeting you, Alison. I hope you and I and Jordan can sit down some time and have a cup of coffee" Matt finished still ogling Alison's breasts.

'In your dreams...' Alison thought, but decided it was better to simply leave instead of making things worse.

She said goodbye to Ashley and started towards the exit. As they approached the door, a nurse came out and asked who was with Jordan. Alison turned around to see Matt already answering the nurse's question. 'Wake up, moron. You're not with her, you've never been with her for real' As she was about to leave the room, Matt rushed towards them.

"Alison, Mr. Hatch, I'm sorry, but it seems that Jordan wants to see Alison" he said coldly.

Alison felt her world collapsing under her feet. Her mind screamed for her to simply walk out of there and forget all that had happened, but her heart pulled her inside.

She took a deep breath and looked at Matt with a look of defeat in her eyes, "Listen, Matt, I'm sorry, but I have a broken arm, I've been up all night and the painkillers they gave me are starting to work. I really just want to go home."

"I wouldn't call you if this wasn't serious, but she said she won't talk to anyone else" Matt said angrily.

Alison thought for a while, but finally gave into her heart's desire, "Fine, but Dad don't go anywhere, I'll be out of there in a second."

...

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

Alison walked inside the curtained area where Jordan was lying on a bed. The blonde had her eyes closed and seemed to be asleep. Alison approached the bed and took her time looking down at the woman whom she had never been able to forget. Jordan shifted in the bed, as if sensing someone watching her. She opened her green eyes slowly and smiled as her vision focused on Alison standing by her side.

"Hi" Jordan said in a hoarse voice.

"Hi, are you feeling better?" Alison inquired truly concerned.

"Yes, I'm all right. I just fainted, I wish they'd let me go" Jordan said looking down at the IV in her left arm.

"They are right, you should rest a little" Alison said quietly.

The space around them grew quiet as neither knew what else to say to the other. Alison shifted nervously on her feet and decided she had enough.

"Well, I better get going" the brunette said turning on her heels trying to make a mad dash to the hallway.

"Alison, wait" Jordan called out.

"What?" came the short reply.

"Well, I was wondering if we could see each other again, catch up on what happened all these years" Jordan supplied hopefully.

Alison could not believe what she had just heard, anger boiled inside her at Jordan's words. She pinned the blonde woman to the bed with a cold blue stare. Jordan shivered at the sudden change in demeanor she saw in Alison. Before Jordan could brace herself for what was coming, Alison exploded.

"You want to catch up? Let's do it right now then. You left Brazil, got married and had two kids. Any other detail you want to add?" Alison said fuming.

"I missed you" Jordan said feeling hot tears running down her cheeks.

"You have got to be kidding me" Alison said feeling her anger boil to unexpected levels.

"I mean it, I did" Jordan said between sobs.

"Oh, yeah, I could tell by all the times you called and wrote" Alison retorted bitterly.

"It wasn't like that" Jordan tried in vain.

Alison stopped pacing, took a deep breath and looked Jordan in the eye. The pain reflected in the deep blue pools looking back at her broke Jordan's heart in a thousand pieces.

"Jordan, listen, it's been seven years. I don't understand why we're even talking about this. So, I'm just going to continue to live my life, like I have been. I really wish you all the best."

And with that the tall raven beauty left, leaving behind a stunned blonde who wanted nothing but to tell her the true story that had kept them apart.

...

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

The following year was full of surprises and good news for both Alison and Helena. The girl's treatment was arduous and a little longer than expected, but the results were marvelous. Helena started walking again six months after the surgery and by the end of the year her balance and ability to move without help were impressive. Alison managed to get a correspondent position in Washington and negotiated her work hours so she had free time to accompany Helena during her physical treatment appointments. Don Hatch also made a point at being at his granddaughter's side whenever possible, while Evelyn kept herself mostly to her social affairs and events.

As the holidays came closer, both Alison and Helena looked forward to moving back to hot, sunny, summer season Rio de Janeiro. They missed the beach, their friends, speaking Portuguese, Brazilian cuisine, but mostly they missed being home. One afternoon after running around the crowded malls doing their Christmas shopping, Alison, Helena and Don sat down at the noisy food court of a large downtown mall and nibbled on their snacks while the mass of shoppers passed them by. All of a sudden Alison felt a chill run down her spine, as if she sensed something different, and as she looked up the angry fire she caught in Helena's green eyes put her into caution mode.

"Lena, what's wrong, honey?" Alison inquired not quite sure of what had caused the radical change in her daughter's mood.

"Nothing, mom. I'm all right" the teenager hissed.

Don Hatch lifted an eyebrow, very much like his daughter always did and looked around trying to figure out what was wrong. Alison also looked around and felt her heart crushing as she spotted the reason of her daughter's sudden anger.

"Ohh" Alison babbled, "I thought you had forgotten her" she said averting her gaze from the blonde trying to control two young kids.

"How, mom? You never forgot her" Lena stated simply.

Don Hatch scratched his head and tried to make sense of what was going on. He finally gave up and went for the kill.

"I'm sorry but I'm not following you two here. Actually I still haven't figured out why Jordan fainted when you two met at the hospital the day Lena had surgery, Alison. I thought you had a good time down in Brazil. Does anyone care to explain to me what is going on here?" Don asked in a rather demanding tone.

"You and her met already?" Lena asked surprised by the news.

Alison fiddled with her napkin, her mind racing to find a plausible excuse for her to simply crawl under the table. Since she couldn't find any, she looked up and found two pairs of eyes pinning her to the chair, forcing her to speak.

"Well, we did have a good time in Brazil, dad" Alison began, only to be cut by Helena.

"A reeeealllly good time, grandpa" the teenager added.

"Helena! I'm still your mother, you know? And he's still my dad, so would you spare us of your comments?" Alison said in a rushed tone before her daughter could supply her father with further detail.

"Alison, don't try to fool me. What does Lena mean by that?" Don asked leaving no doubt that he would not back off until he got the truth.

Alison began to tear her paper napkin in tiny pieces and her mumbling became even worse. "Well, you see dad, uhm, Jordan and I, we, uhhm, were young, and we, well, you know how hot it is in Brazil, and..." Alison continued to go nowhere with the story.

"Well, Alison, I think you could tell me what happened right now or I can wait until Jordan gets here and ask her myself" Don replied with a saucy smile.

Alison turned around to find Jordan indeed moving through the crowd towards their table, "SHIT! Daddy, please, I promise you I'll tell you everything that happened, but please, don't ask her." Alison begged.

"Everything??" Don shot back with a raised eyebrow and a giggling Helena joining him, "Yeah, mom, do you promise to tell grandpa every little thing that happened?"

At that moment Jordan, Ashley and Michael reached their table. Jordan cast a quick look at both Don and Helena, but focused all of her attention on the brunette who looked like she had just been giving terrible news.

"Hello, Mr. Hatch" Jordan said before drinking in all of Alison, "Alison"

"Hello, Jordan. It's good to see you again. Alison and I were just talking about..." Don began to drop the bomb when Alison cut him short.

"DAD, I promise, anything you want" Alison said afraid of what might just come out of her father's mouth. She then cast a motherly look at Helena and pointed her a long finger, "And you and I, Miss Helena, are going to have a long talk once we get home."

Alison's last statement made Jordan shift her attention to girl who hadn't changed much, despite her size, since Jordan last saw her going inside the orphanage.

"Helena??? Oh, my God. It's so great to see you. Look at you, you're beautiful. How are you?" Jordan asked truly excited to see the little girl she once considered taking as a daughter.

"I'm fine, thanks" Helena replied coldly.

Jordan did not miss the coldness of the reply and quickly realized that not only Alison was upset with her, but Helena as well. Still she decided to try once again.

"Helena, I want you to meet Ashley and Michael" Jordan said in a soft tone.

Helena looked down at the kids and a warm smile spread on all three young faces, they immediately liked each other.

"Hi, how old are you guys?" Helena asked.

"I'm almost eight and Ash is three" Michael answered, "and you?"

"I'm almost fourteen, my name is Helena" the teenager said back.

Alison who was still sweating and very uncomfortable by her ex-lover's presence stood up and said in an apologetic tone, "Well, Jordan, I'm really sorry, but we were already leaving and we are really late."

Jordan looked disappointed, but she understood why Alison was trying to keep her distance, after all she had done the same thing for over seven years, even if she had her reasons to do so. "Well, it was a pleasure seeing you all, especially you Helena." Jordan said looking the girl in the eyes.

"Same here" Helena replied with sarcasm.

Don simply went along with the situation after all, he would know what the hell was happening the moment they left the mall.

They stood up and the realization that Helena was not on a wheelchair finally hit Jordan.

"Helena, you're walking, oh my..." Jordan said amazed at the discovery.

"Yeah, I walk and now I'm walking away from you, like you did to us. Goodbye, Jordan." Helena said turning her back and walking away.

As Alison was passing by, a bewildered blonde took her arm and turned her around, "Alison, I'm sorry. Please, let me talk to you..." Jordan pleaded.

Helena went back to retrieve her mother who was quickly being consumed by the spark in the green eyes she longed for so much.

"Jordan, stay away from my mom. You already caused her enough suffering. Go back to your life. Come on, mom, let's go" Helena finished pulling Alison by the arm.

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

As they entered the garage to pick up the car, a flood of questions from Don and reprimands from Helena started pouring over Alison. After a few minutes of listening to, 'I can't believe you were actually going to listen to her, mom' and 'So, young lady, will you tell me what the heck is going on here?' Alison snapped.

"Stop it, you two. One at a time please" the tall woman shouted.

Both Don and Helena looked down at their shoes like young kids caught assaulting the cookie jar.

"Ok, now, first of all, dad... Jesus, this is hard to tell your own father, but I think I can do it" Alison began as she unlocked the car doors and they all got inside, "Dad, Jordan and I had an affair while she was down in Brazil"

Don almost choked with that bit of information, "You what? Alison, she's married. She's not gay."

"She sure was gay in Brazil" Helena added.

"Lena, stay out of this" Alison warned the girl.

"Yes, ma'am" came the shy reply from the back seat.

"So, Ali, let me get this straight, you and Jordan Harrington had an affair while she was in Brazil, then you split up and she came back home?" Don inquired.

"Not exactly, dad. We had agreed that she would only come back to close things up here and then she would move back there. She even had job offers in Rio, good ones. But then she left and never called back, never sent an e-mail, a letter, nothing. She wouldn't take my calls or anything. I figured I was just one of those things, that her feelings were not as strong as mine, so after a while I quit" Alison finished with a hint of sadness in her voice.

"I see. Before Jordan went there her family got into some serious financial problems and things blew up the day she came back. Your mother, being your mother, avoided having social contact with them, saying they were not one of us anymore, so we lost contact" Don explained.

"Mother, always a stuck up" Alison added.

"Well, you know your mother, Alison. I was out of the country at the time and when I came back the harm had already been done. A few years ago, they resurfaced again, apparently Jordan's marriage to Matt Richardson saved them from total bankruptcy" Don concluded.

"Wow, that's some piece of news... Well, at least now we know she didn't just marry him because I was a lousy lay" Alison said before she could stop herself, "Oops, did I just say that in front of my father and daughter?"

The car exploded with laughter and after things calmed down, Don decided he should ask the tough question, "So, are you still in love with her?"

"Of course she is, grandpa, and that's the problem" Helena responded for her mother.

"Helena, what did I tell you? Stay out of this" Alison told her daughter harshly.

"Fine, mom, but stop fooling yourself, you're still crazy about Jordan and she's still not a possibility" the teenager said with a heavy sigh, 'adults... crazy people.'

"So, Alison, are you still in love with her or not?" Don pressed his daughter again.

Alison took a deep breath and gave up, "Yes, dad, I'm still in love with her. I've tried to forget her, but I simply can't. We were perfect together, you know. It was the real thing, dad. She was the one" the tall brunette said with tears in her eyes.

"Oh, darling, if you feel this strongly about her, then you have to do something about it" Don pondered.

"Do what? What can I do? She's married, father. She's got two kids. There's no space for me in her life" Alison shot back.

"You won't know that until you try, now will ya?" Don ended the conversation, sure that Alison would think about this.

...

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

The conversation regarding Alison and her feelings for Jordan really ended in the car, however Alison could not stop thinking about what her father had told her. She wanted to call Jordan and get her side of the story, after all the blonde had tried to tell her at the hospital but Alison didn't let her.

Alison was munching over this one afternoon at the library, the quiet presence of the books surrounding her and the warmth coming from the fireplace in front of her giving her the peace she needed to order her thoughts and make a decision. Her quietness was broken by a soft knock on the heavy dark wood door and a light brown head that popped in right after.

"Mom?" Helena said quietly, not really wanting to disturb Alison.

"Yes, sweetheart, come in" Alison replied still lost in her thoughts.

Helena crossed the space between them and plopped down on the soft cushion next to the large chair where Alison was seated.

"Grandma is calling you, she wants you to review the list of guests for the party" Helena informed her mother in a bored tone.

"Oh, that. She just doesn't give up on it, does she?" Alison said releasing a frustrated breath.

"Apparently not. She wants to introduce me to society" Helena replied eyeing her Nikes.

"Well, do you want to be introduced to society?" Alison inquired seriously, sensing her daughter's discomfort with the whole situation.

"Not really, but grandma wants this so bad, I'll amuse her" Helena said honestly.

"Lena, you're awesome," Alison said with a large smile on her face, "Now, come on, let's go face the list of guests."

"It's huge, mom, you won't believe it" Lena added as the two walked out of the library hugging each other.

The list turned out to be indeed huge. One name caught Alison's eye though, Jordan Richardson. The tall woman tried to keep her tone even as she asked about such invitation, "I thought you weren't socializing with the Harringtons anymore, mother. How come Jordan is being invited?"

"Well, you know how these things are Alison. Apparently the Harringtons and the Richardsons have bought out the old country club and it's always good to socialize with people from the club. You know how much your father loves polo games" Evelyn explained.

"Yes, but from what I know, you distanced yourself from them when they broke. What makes you think they'll accept your invitation?" Alison asked, her anger starting to show in her voice.

"Alison, honey, things change. And who wouldn't accept an invitation for a ball from the Hatchs?" Evelyn inquired not understanding what was her daughter's problem.

'How petulant of you, you can't treat people like that. And I hope they don't accept it. Well, actually, I don't, I'd get to see Jordan' Alison though, but decided to keep her opinion to herself, after all she and Lena would be going home soon enough.

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

Helena's debut turned out to be a major high society event. Evelyn Hatch not only had invited all of Washington's finest, but the press as well. After all, she said, a non-documented party is the same as no party. The main living room had been cleared and transformed into a ballroom, where a small band was playing for the couples dancing, while the adjoining rooms were bursting with politics, lobbyists and others all trying to get something out of the great opportunity a party like this represented.

Alison was walking through the crowd holding hands with Helena. Their beauty catching the eyes of all whom saw mother and daughter side by side. Helena was wearing a light green long dress with a low cut and ample skirt that made her look like a princess. The soft tone of her dress enhanced her naturally tanned skin and made her emerald green eyes sparkle alive. Alison was fashioned similarly to her daughter, however the vibrant red of her dress and the amount of cleavage exposed gave her a dressed to kill touch that proved to be very appealing to the eyes ogling the statuesque beauty as she passed by.

The dark woman didn't pay attention to the crowd around her, her eyes fastened on tracking down the one person she really wanted to see that night. Her efforts, however, proved worthless. After walking around the rooms a few times, Alison finally gave in to the knowledge that Jordan would indeed be a no-show. She picked a champagne flute from one of the waiters and went outside for a little while. The cold air hit her warm skin and made her retrieve inside immediately. 'Duh, Alison, December + U.S. equals winter" As she turned to come back to the party or maybe find another hiding place, a large body blocked her way.

"Alison, good evening" Matt said eating her with his eyes.

"Mr. Richardson, what a pleasure" she replied a little disgusted by their sudden encounter.

"Oh, come on, we don't need such formalities. Call me, Matt" he said as he took her arm with his and led her towards a corner of the room.

Alison felt really uncomfortable by the way he was holding her in place and also by the distinctive smell of alcohol in his breath, "Why don't we go talk to the others?" she inquired trying to rid herself from the tall man.

"I'm quite comfortable here, Ali" he said tucking a lose strain of hair behind her ear, "You look very nice tonight, did you know that?"

Alison felt a cold chill run down her back as the insistent man touched her, her anger starting to boil inside, "Thank you. And where is Jordan?"

"Oh, Jordan was running late, so I came alone. She probably won't make it" he said leaning closer to her, "it looks like it will be just the two of us tonight."

A sudden urge of panic hit Alison as she realized the guy was not going to back off. Before she could think of a way out, he pulled her by the arm and dragged her across the room only to stop in front of the library door.

"Matt, let go of me." Alison urged him.

He opened the door and pushed the tall woman inside pinning her to a wall, his liquor breath hot on her face, "What's the matter, Ali? Afraid I'm too much of a man for you? Afraid you may like it?"

Alison pushed the slobbering man with all her strength and freed herself long enough to reach the door. As she was turning the doorknob, Matt pulled her by the hair and slammed her against a wood desk. As she landed on top of the flat polished surface, her forehead hit a tiffany reading lamp cutting deep into her skin. Alison blinked at the stinging pain of the cut and the blood that was dripping down her eyebrow. Matt rushed back to Alison's bent body and pressed his larger body on hers.

He lowered himself on top of her and spoke against her right ear, "Oh no, you're not leaving. Tell me, Ali, what is it with you dykes? What part of cock don't you like?"

"Go to hell, Matt" she shot back.

"Hell? I already live in hell. I spent my whole marriage with that whore listening to her calling your name at night and running from me in bed" he said as a line of slobbery drool fell on Alison's cheek.

"Get off me. What's the matter, your manly pride can't accept that your wife likes a dyke better than you?" Alison taunted the drunken man to his limit, her own patience extinguishing fast.

"Shut up!" he shouted at her as he raised himself and tore her dress apart, "You must be a really good fuck, Alison, cause you're all she ever wanted", he violently spread her legs apart and started unzipping his pants, "Let's see what kind of taste Jordan has for women, shall we, bitch?"

Alison heard the distinct noise of zippers being opened and her heart froze in place. Until then this was merely a violent argument over a jerk's hurting pride, but now Matt was truly going too far. She closed her eyes as her nostrils flared, a dangerously dark force emerging from within that made her alive like never before.

"I said get OFF me" Alison shouted loudly just before she landed a strong kick right into Matt's groin. The power of the blow made him stumble backwards and fall down at her feet, holding his groin with both hands and cursing her with words Alison did not even know the meaning.

The dark woman cleared her right eye from the running blood, pulled her dress up and looked down at the groaning mass of man on the floor.

"Now you can tell your buddies that the same dyke who fucked your wife kicked your ass, you asshole" Alison said disgusted.

The shouting and loud noises coming from the library had caught the attention of a passing waiter who decided it was better to warn Mr. Hatch. Don was greeting Jordan who had just arrived, when a rushed waiter relayed what he had heard coming from the library. Jordan looked at Don terrified, making the connections of her previous conversation that night with Matt.

"Oh, my God, Mr. Hatch, he said tonight he would clean his name. I didn't give it much attention, I thought it was another one of Matt's bravados, you know?"

Don didn't say anything, he simply rushed through the crowded ballroom towards the library with Jordan following him.

Don Hatch opened the library's large door and found Alison looking down at Matt, who kept cursing the tall woman.

"Alison, honey, are you okay?" Don asked stepping over Matt to look at his daughter's face stained with her own blood.

"I'm all right, dad, but I'm not so sure asshole here is" Alison replied finally registering Jordan's presence at the door. She hurried to the blonde who was in shock with the scene before her eyes. Alison approached the smaller woman carefully landing a soft hand on her shoulder while her other fingers lifted Jordan's chin and their eyes met. A chill went through Alison's body making her quiver with the intensity of the gaze Jordan gave her.

"I'm sorry, Jordan. I didn't mean to, but he left me with no choice" Alison apologized.

Jordan threw herself on Alison's arms, holding her for dear life. Hot tears ran freely down her cherub features as she looked up at Alison and said between sobs, "Oh, sweetie, are you okay? Did he hurt you? That bastard, I'm going to kill him with my bare hands."

Alison hugged Jordan tighter, "He's not worth it, honey. Come on, let's go upstairs. I need to clean my face and change. Dad, will you take care of scumbag over there?" Alison asked looking down again at the pathetic form still curled on the floor.

"Sure, honey. You kids, go on." Don said on a soft tone.

"Bye, sissy. And don't forget to tell your friends that story" Alison said with disdain as she and Jordan left the library.

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

Alison and Jordan cleared the ballroom quickly and went upstairs through the kitchen. They entered Alison's bedroom and locked gazes again just before both burst in laughter.

"I can't believe you kicked his balls" Jordan said laughing so hard she had to hold her belly.

"I wish I was facing him so I could see the pain in his eyes, asshole" Alison replied.

"Well, he deserved it" Jordan said clearing the tears that escaped her eyes from laughing.

"Jordan, why.." Alison began only to be halted by a short finger that pressed against her lips.

"Shhh. Later, I'll tell you everything later. Now let's get you cleaned up. I'm going to start a bath for you, ok?" Jordan said already on her way to the bathroom, never waiting for an answer from the tall brunette.

"Ok" Alison replied with a shy smile to the empty air.

Jordan returned a few minutes later to find Alison slipping down an oversized Calvin & Hobbes shirt. Her breath caught at the sight of the beautiful woman standing in front of her and her heart skipped a beat as the dark beauty turned and gave her a diamond blue look.

"I thought they didn't make those anymore" Jordan said pointing to the shirt.

"They don't, it's a really old one that I kept. It's got more holes than fabric in it, but I love it so much I just can't get rid of it" Alison replied pulling the sides of the old ragged T-shirt.

"Your bath is ready" Jordan said still amazed at how beautiful a person could look dressed in nothing but an old shirt.

Alison moved towards the bathroom but stopped at the door when she realized Jordan was not following her. She turned around silently and pressed her body against Jordan's back, not missing the deep throaty moan that escaped the shorter woman. Her own breath caught up fueled by the warmth of Jordan's body and the intoxicating sweet smell of her hair.

"You promised me a bath. Are you backing on your offer now?" Alison inquired in a husky voice against Jordan's ear.

"No" came the weak reply.

"Good" was all Alison said as she unzipped Jordan's dress.

The short blonde turned around as her dress touched the floor. She took off her shoes and slipped off her stockings, being left in nothing but lacy satin underwear.

Alison took her companion by the hand and was greeted by a soft glow coming from the candles lit around the large marble bathtub. She tested the water and found that it was just perfect. She then looked back at Jordan and caressed her soft skin with the back of her hand. Neither spoke, they simply held each other's gazes and enjoyed the sweet moment.

Jordan tugged on Alison's shirt as the tall woman pulled down the straps of her bra. Alison stopped touching her blonde lover only to remove her shirt. She then proceeded to free Jordan from her remaining clothes. Jordan closed her eyes shut as she felt the chilly air of the large bathroom brushing against her breasts' warm skin. She lost all sense of time and space as Alison embraced her and brushed her full lips against Jordan's neck. The dark beauty knelt in front of her companion and peppered Jordan's abdomen with soft kisses that left a trail of goose bumps. The tall woman pulled Jordan's panties slowly down her well defined legs and was awarded by the wetness that already coated her lovers legs and the musty smell of Jordan's desire.

It was all becoming too much for Alison to resist but she wanted to make this time special for the two of them. She wanted to take her time, to take things slowly and to make love to Jordan all night long. She got up on her feet and guided Jordan to the bathtub, still in comfortable silence.

The air was charged with eroticism only found in movies and both Jordan and Alison enjoyed the feeling of it. They entered the bathtub and sat down facing each other, their legs entwining immediately and their bodies brushing against one another. Jordan reached for a nearby cloth and began to clean the now dried blood off of Alison's face. The taller woman winced as the water entered her cut, but soon relaxed as she felt Jordan's fingertips caressing her shoulder.

After Alison was clean their gazes locked once more and the warmth of their feelings flowed freely. Alison took both of Jordan's hands and began kissing her knuckles. She only stopped when she reached the large diamond sitting on Jordan's left ring finger. Jordan opened her mouth to speak, but this time it was Alison who halted her words.

"Jordan, don't think about anything. Just live this moment. I don't know what will happen tomorrow. All I know is that I have dreamed about this for eight years now. I just want to enjoy being with you" Alison stated, the honesty of her words piercing through Jordan's heart as the dark woman slipped the stone off of her lover's finger.

"I've dreamed of you too" Jordan replied, her eyes sparkling with sincerity.

Alison's long arms pulled Jordan closer and both women released moans of pleasure as their nipples brushed against one another. Alison shut her eyes and simply enjoyed the feel of Jordan's skin under her fingertips. She then felt soft lips brushing against her own and a tentative tongue trailing a wet path across her bottom lip. Alison allowed the sweet intruder to take her mouth and their tongues began a sensual dance. As they broke off the kiss both women were panting heavily. Alison felt all her self-control melt in the water and she took Jordan in her arms with a passionate force.

Their quiet moment was soon broken by moans of desire and pleasure as their bodies ground against one another in unison. Both women were quickly nearing the edge of their pleasure when Alison heard a knock on her bedroom door.

"What now?" the taller woman growled.

"Don't go" Jordan said in a husky tone against Alison's ear.

Alison didn't reply, she simply took Jordan's lips once again.

The knocking grew bolder and harder. Alison finally decided that she should go check on what was going on, after all; with the evening events it could be anything.

She kissed Jordan tenderly on the lips and said, "I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere"

"I'll be waiting for you right here" Jordan replied with a naughty grin.

Alison put on her white robe, tied her hair back in a ponytail and went for the door. As she approached it, she heard another series of loud knocks. Her patience vanished at the insistent person on the other side.

"What?" she asked as she yanked the door opened. Her eyes grew bold as she spotted her father and Helena standing there.

"Mom" Helena cried as she hugged Alison tight, "are you okay?" the youngster asked truly concerned.

Alison melted at her daughter's concern and hugged the girl back, "Shhh... sweetie, I'm all right."

Don simply stood there watching the scene unfolding in front of him and glad that Alison did indeed look all right. As a matter of fact, she looked a bit too well. At that moment it hit him that Alison and Jordan had left the party together and the small blonde was yet to be seen.

The older man decided that if Alison and Jordan were finally talking, or whatever else they might have been doing, it was best for them to simply be left alone so they could work out their problems.

"Come on, kiddo. Your mom is all right, let her rest now" Don said winking at Alison.

"No, grandpa, I'm going to stay here and keep mom company" Helena said with conviction.

"Lena, I really think that all your mom needs right now is some peace and quiet. Come on, I'm sure she'll call us if she needs anything" Don insisted.

"It's okay, grandpa. Mom wants me to stay, don't you, mom?" Helena stated more than presented a real question.

Alison was caught flat-footed, she didn't want to hurt Helena's feelings, but certainly didn't want to stop her former activities in the bathtub.

"Well, honey, maybe grandpa is right" Alison mumbled.

At that moment, Jordan stepped out of the bathroom clad in nothing but a tiny towel. Her curiosity got the best of her and the blonde could no longer sit there and wait for Alison to return.

Helena cast Jordan an evil look as she hissed, "You??? What are you doing here? Didn't I tell you to stay away from my mother? You already hurt her enough!"

Alison had to hold the young girl who looked like she was about to hit Jordan.

"Lena, your mom and I are trying to solve our differences" Jordan started.

"Are we?" Alison slipped, "I mean, yes, Lena, we are. And what is it with you now? I thought you wanted this to happen" Alison added.

Helena looked busted, "Well, yes, but did it have to be solved in the bathtub?"

Both Alison and Jordan blushed furiously at the girl's comment. Don decided that a quick retreat was the best course of action, so before anyone could say anything else, he took Helena by the hand and left the blushing couple alone.

Alison finally mustered the courage to look up and meet Jordan's eyes, "Well, so where were we?"

Jordan gave her a sexy grin and replied, "In the tub. But Ali, I think Lena is right, maybe the tub is not the best place for us to solve our problems."

Alison smiled at the irony of their situation and said, "Well, I thought it was a very good start, but you're right. Why don't we get dressed and talk about this?"

"If we must" Jordan replied with a heavy sigh, "can I borrow a shirt?"

"Only if it's a Calvin & Hobbes one" Alison replied giggling as she went to the closet to retrieve clothes for the two of them.

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

The sun came up and Alison and Jordan were still swapping stories about what had happened to both of them during the eight years they were apart. Jordan got her chance to explain to Alison that as soon as she landed foot in the U.S. her parents began pressing her to marry the Richardson's son. Jordan didn't pay much attention to her parents' plans until two days later when she got home from just buying her tickets back to Brazil and found Matt and his parents having tea with her family. From then on things just got out of hand with a wedding date being set up and wedding arrangements being made. By the end of her first week back home Jordan just couldn't take it anymore and decided that speaking with Matt and telling him the truth would be the best for all of them.

Alison suddenly got tense feeling that whatever came out of that conversation between the woman that held her heart and the prick she had married could not have been good. Jordan trembled a bit as the memories of that night flooded her. Alison took her hands and worked on reassuring the shaking blonde.

"Shhh... you don't have to tell me, if you don't want to" Alison whispered as she pulled Jordan into an embrace.

"I have to. Otherwise you won't understand why I stayed with him all these years, Ali" Jordan replied back still shaking.

"Okay. Go ahead." Alison whispered back.

Jordan sat straight on the bed and looked deep down into the blue depths of Alison's eyes before she spoke again.

"I called him and said we needed to talk. He told me to go over to his house and I did that. Once I got there we went over to his bedroom, so we could have more privacy since his parents were home. I told him I was in love with you and that you were waiting for me. Oh, God, Alison, I was so naive. If only I knew then what I know now" Jordan said with tears pooling in her eyes.

Before Alison could stop her, she began speaking again.

"He didn't say anything as I was speaking and I thought he actually understood and would help me. How stupid! He grabbed my hair and threw me against a wall. I didn't realize what was going on until he pulled me back again by my hair and started beating me and calling me names. He said I would learn to never embarrass him like that again" Jordan took a deep breath and looked down, not being able to hold Alison's gaze any longer, "he tore my clothes off and pressed me against a wall. After he was done with his dirty business, he threw me out of the back door and told me to come back once I looked presentable and ready to marry."

Alison could not believe the story she was hearing, her anger boiling to an almost uncontrollable level. The dark beauty got up not able to be sitting any longer she paced around the bed while her hands closed into fists. Jordan didn't dare to say anything else, she was actually wondering if she had done good by telling Alison what had happened.

All of a sudden Alison stopped dead in her tracks and looked back at Jordan. She barely opened her mouth to speak, "What else happened, Jordan? I know there's more."

As Jordan opened her mouth to protest, Alison cut her short, "You wouldn't still be with him if that were all"

Jordan swallowed hard and felt doomed either way she went with this story, "You're right. There is more, but please, Ali, sit down" Jordan motioned the brunette to join her again on the bed, "I went home that night ready to stop that circus once and for all, however, things didn't go quite as I expected. My parents felt it was better to avoid the scandal than to send that prick to jail for rape. A few weeks later, while I was still recovering from his beating I found out that I was pregnant"

Alison felt her breath catch and her eyes grew wide, "Michael?"

"No, Michael came later. I lost that child to one of his beatings. After the marriage, he used me as his punching bag for quite some time. One day, after Ashley was born he stopped. I barely saw him at home, he was too busy with his lovers. I didn't mind, at least that way he left me alone." Jordan finished in a sad tone.

"But why did you marry him? You could have moved back to Rio and we would have the kid together if you wanted to. I would've supported you in anything you wanted, sweetie. Why didn't you call me?" Alison asked not understanding what kept Jordan under Matt's control for so long.

Jordan looked at Alison, resignation and love filling her eyes, "Because he threatened to take away what I loved most in life," Jordan said between sobs, "He promised me he would kill you if I went after you. So I stayed. I didn't have you close, but at least I didn't lose you for good."

Alison absorbed the words, the pain, the years that Jordan lived in hell. She absorbed the size of the sacrifice that woman had made, a sacrifice that could be translated into one word, love. Alison took Jordan in her arms and squeezed her tight. Her eyes stung with hot tears and her head was spinning with the news she had just gotten.

"Jordan, I'm so sorry" was all Alison could say at that moment.

It was Jordan's turn to reassure the love of her life, "It's okay. It's over now and you're safe."

...

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

The following day Alison, Don and Jordan were at the police station pressing charges against Matt Richardson for attempted rape. Alison was amazed to learn how much the laws in the United States had changed during all these years. On the year 2007 new legislation extended its protection for abused women and guaranteed that even attempts of rape were severely punished. New medical procedures which allowed the exam to collect evidence of rape and attempt within a week after the attack had taken place, also supported Alison's charges against Matt. The eye witnesses at the party should be enough, but the bruises Matt left on Alison's back left no doubt to the medical staff that he did indeed attack her. They were so clear that there wasn't even the need to peel off a thin lawyer of her skin to collect his fingerprints, a procedure that was being used with great success in situations like this. In Alison's case though, a laser scan was enough to register full fingerprints, which matched Matt's perfectly.

In addition to Alison's charges, Jordan also pressed charges against her husband, when she presented the police with photos of her and their house after his beatings. She also managed to collect testimony of a couple of neighbors, who were willing to testify against Matt whenever Jordan wanted to press charges. Alison was amazed that with all that evidence Jordan had stayed quiet for some many years.

"Why didn't you come to the police before? I mean with all this you could have him locked up couldn't you?" Alison whispered in Jordan's ear, not wanting to draw the attention of her father, who was waiting for the sheriff to return with some news.

"Unless I had actual proof I could not risk pressing charges, Ali. And since he never let me out of the house after he attacked me, I could not have the exam done" Jordan explained to her partner.

"But, Jordan" Alison replied a little lower, feeling her guts turn into knots.

"I couldn't risk him not being locked up, Alison. Can you imagine what would happen if I pressed charges and they let him go? I would probably end up dead" Jordan reasoned.

"You're right. I'm sorry, it's just that I feel like killing him every time I think of all you went through" Alison replied back, her frustration clearly showing in her voice.

The sheriff returned to the office where three impatient people waited him. He closed the door behind him and started speaking before he was flooded with the questions he knew he would be asked.

"I've got an arrest warrant issued to Mr. Richardson and we have a patrol car on its way to pick him up and bring him here" he noticed the relieved looks of all three, but mostly the heavy weight that seemed to have been lifted off of Jordan's shoulders.

"Mrs. Richardson" he started on a softer voice.

"Don't call me that" Jordan asked.

"What should I call you then?" the officer asked feeling truly sympathetic for the small but strong woman sitting in front of him.

"Her name is Jordan Hatch" Alison answered as she held Jordan's hand.

Jordan looked at the diamond blue eyes she loved dearly and a smile shaped her lips, making the corners of her eyes wrinkle with happiness.

"You may call me Jordan, Mr. Hinks"

The sheriff gave them both a nod, feeling relieved to see that at least in this case it seemed that the victim wouldn't have to deal with more years of suffering ahead of her. 'No, this one is one of the few lucky ones, she has someone that loves her' he though before he went back to tell them the procedures the police would follow from now on.

"Well, Jordan, as I said Mr. Richardson will be brought here at any moment, so if you'd like you can go now. We have enough evidence and we shouldn't bother you until trial, which has been scheduled for two weeks from now."

Alison looked surprised, but decided to keep her mouth shut, 'Jeez, two weeks? Things did change around here...'

Jordan lowered her head and gave this some thought, she wasn't sure whether she wanted to be there when they brought Matt or not. As much as she tried, she couldn't hate the bastard, resentment, anger, disgust, all of it, yes, but not hate. She was truly at a loss of what to do about this situation, so she looked at Alison for some guidance.

Alison caught her lover's gaze and read her mind, she pulled Jordan into a warm embrace and held her tight for a few seconds. Then she lifted Jordan's chin with one hand and locked their gazes.

"Jordan, sweetie, listen. Why don't you and dad go on home, huh? I'll be there in a little bit" Alison said trying to convey as much confidence as she could.

"Are you sure, Ali? Why stay here?" Jordan asked.

"Because my heart is not as good as yours and I want to see the prick go down. I want to be there when it happens and I want him to know it was me" Alison replied her anger starting to boil in her guts all over again.

"Ali..." Jordan tried to change Alison's mind.

"Shhh, Jordan, don't even try. I want to do this, I need to do this" Alison finished the question.

"Okay. Well I'll see you in a bit then" she stood up and extended a hand to the officer standing there, " Mr. Hinks, thank you very much for all your help. I assume I'll be contacted by the DA's office, right?"

"That's right, Jordan. Good luck!" the older man with salt and pepper hair replied.

Don Hatch stood up as well and opened the door for Jordan and Alison. He thanked the sheriff and left the small office with some sense of justice.

Despite their efforts to get Jordan out of the station before Matt was brought in, as the trio was leaving the station to cross to the parking lot a patrol car pulled up and Matt Richardson was taken out by two officers. It looked like he had given the cops a rough time, since all three looked flushed and their clothes were wrinkled and untidy. Jordan gasped at the sight of her ex-husband being hauled inside the station handcuffed and shouting like a mad man. As the cops were about to give him a final push to get him out of the streets, Matt turned around and saw Jordan and Alison holding hands. His rage boiled to unexpected limits and freed himself from the officers holding him. He ran towards Jordan, hate and rage in his eyes. Alison positioned herself in front of the small blonde who was shaking badly.

Matt stopped just a step before he crashed on the tall figure who wasn't moving. He looked Alison in the eye with disgust.

"Are you happy now, bitch? Huh?" he shouted against her.

Alison didn't reply and simply waited for the cops to make their away across the parking lot.

"I'm talking to you, you dyke. Are you happy now? Happy that you're finally going to have her? You wanna to know something? You can have her, cuz I don't want anything else to do with this filthy whore" he barely finished, when Alison took him by his collar and lifted him off the ground.

"You listen to me, small dick, you watch your mouth when you speak of her, do you understand?"› she said through clenched teeth.

"Let go of me, bitch" he replied as he struggled to free himself.

She tightened her grip making him cough a little, "I said to watch your mouth, did I make myself clear?"

At first Matt didn't reply, he simply cast her a hateful look, but after a bit feeling the air leave his lungs he lowered his gaze and replied hastily, "Yes"

"Good" was Alison's reply. The cops were standing by them, but didn't bother to interrupt Alison's speech since it seemed she had it all under control. She lowered the large man to the ground but did not let go off his collar. A soft touch on her shoulder made her look behind her.

Jordan stood shaking but managed to find her voice, "Let him go, sweetie. Don't get your hands dirty on a scumbag like that."

Alison pushed Matt away from them as she said, "You're lucky she has a good heart. If it were up to me, I'd squeeze until your eyes popped out."

The officers rapidly took custody of the rebellious felon, who kept kicking and cursing. They dragged Matt inside the station and the sound of the heavy doors closing behind them made Jordan shiver. Alison took her face in her hands and looked deeply inside the green eyes that were filled with pain and tears.

"Sweetie, are you okay?" Alison asked concerned.

"Yeah, I guess I'm fine" Jordan replied not being able to hold Alison's gaze.

"Jordan, he brought this up on himself, he deserved it. You know that, don't you?" Alison inquired.

"Yes, I know that, but I wish it didn't have to end this way, you know?" the blonde stated as hot tears ran down her pink cheeks.

"Yeah, I know. Come on, let's go home" Alison wrapped her arms around the small blonde and they headed for the car.

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

The year of 2009 was about to end and Alison decided to take a few hours before it actually ended to review what all had happened. Certainly 2009 brought her many good things along with a few incidents, which in light of all the good that had happened were minor and unimportant. Helena's surgery and recovery were amazing. Alison's heart still skipped a beat every time she saw her daughter getting up from bed and walking to the bathroom early in the morning. Alison took that moment to say a silent prayer of thanks and her eyes filled with tears. She then thought of Jordan and how their lives had changed. Alison closed her eyes and a sob made its way up her throat, a mixture of pain for the years they had lost and relief for the future they had ahead of them.

"Aunt Ali, are you okay?" Ashley asked.

Alison had to stifle a laughter when she opened her eyes and saw Ashley standing a few feet away from her all bundled up in her heavy winter clothes, only a pink nose and vibrant green eyes peaking out.

"Yes, sweetie, I'm all right. What are you doing out here? I thought you weren't supposed to come outside. You still have a cold, don't you?" Alison asked enjoying the look of being caught that made its way up the little girl's face.

"I'm tired of being inside. I want to make snow angels" Ashley replied a pout forming behind the scarf that hid her mouth.

"Ok, why don't we do this? You and I play a little in the snow and then we go inside and make hot chocolate for everybody." Alison suggested.

Ashley's eyes sparkled with true contentment and the little girl ran back to the house shouting that she would call Lena to play with them. This time Alison let the laughter that she was holding come out and she once again marveled on the realization that in the past couple of weeks she had not only gained her lover back, but also another daughter and a son. 'Well, Michael is still going to take some working on, but I know I can break his guard.' Helena, Michael and Ashley were a bit distant the day Jordan moved into the Hatch's home. Helena understood the situation better than the two little ones, but being a regular teenager wasn't thrilled with the idea of having to share her kingdom. Michael was still confused by the whole situation and kept asking where his father was. Ashley was the only one who seemed to be enjoying everything. She seemed to have felt an instant admiration for Helena, she followed the taller girl around all day and was constantly imitating everything Helena did.

As the days passed by Helena and Michael seemed to relax around each other and began discovering that they had more in common than expected. More than once Jordan had to force them to quit playing with their 3-D computer games and go to bed. Alison and Jordan hadn't had time to discuss their approach to the situation and how the kids were impacted by it, especially Michael. Jordan was constantly out dealing with business and her divorce from Matt, she had put their house for sale and had had many meetings with his family trying to settle a deal for the division of their shared patrimony. Alison once again was amazed at how things had changed in the U.S., everything seemed faster and easier than she remembered. Not that she was complaining, she was looking forward to returning to Brazil, and the sooner they settled things here the sooner she would be walking around Ipanema and enjoying the warmth of summer in Rio.

Helena came out to the back yard holding hands with Ashley. The two were giggling about something and for a second it seemed to Alison that they had known each other all their lives. 'Kids, they never stop amazing me.'

Alison stood up and noticed a light flicker of the curtain behind the large glass doors of the main living room that faced the yard they were at. She looked again but there was nothing there.

"Ash, where is Michael?" She raised her voice a bit so that the boy hiding could hear her.

"I don't know" Ashley responded truthfully.

"Lena, take care of Ashley, ok? I'll be right back" Alison said before she went after the little fellow that was giving her more resistance than she had predicted.

She found him sitting on the large imposing sofa with his arms crossed and a sad look on his hazel eyes. The view of the kid tugged on Alison's heart and she finally understood that in reality he was just scared.

"Mind if I sit with you?" she asked him.

He shook his head no, but didn't meet her eyes.

Alison sat down next to him, but careful to keep her distant and not make him more uncomfortable than he already was.

"You know" she started not really sure of what to say, "playing in the snow is fun, but I like to be warm better."

That got his attention and he turned to look at her, "Me too" came the shy reply.

"Where Lena and I live there's no snow, it's always warm" Alison tried to continue their conversation, taking advantage of the fact that she had his attention.

"My mommy said that you have a beach on the other side of the street" he commented.

Alison could see the spark in his eyes and felt more confident with where this conversation was going, "Yeah, we do. It's pretty there. When we go back Lena will take surfing lessons", the dark woman threw the bait praying for Michael to take it.

The boy grew silent and turned away from her. 'Shit... what did I say wrong?'

"My dad doesn't let me surf" Michael said as his lips curled down.

"Oh, I see. Maybe if you explained to him that you would take lessons before you actually do it he might let you. I'm sure he's just afraid of you getting hurt" Alison tried to give the kid some hope.

"My dad is not afraid of anything" Michael replied in a defiant tone.

'So much for that...' Alison thought as she decided that pushing the boy right now was not the smartest course of action. She stood up and brushed her pants down.

"I'm going to make some hot chocolate. Do you want some?" she asked him feeling frustrated.

Once again he shook his head no.

As she began moving away, she heard a small sound.

"Uhhh" Michael began, "Do you really think that if I explained to him about the classes he would let me try?"

Alison turned around and kneeled in front of the kid. "I don't know for sure, Michael, but I think you should try."

"Why did we move here?" Michael asked suddenly.

"Because your mom is selling your house" Alison replied truthfully after she recovered from the shock of Michael's bluntness.

"Why is my dad with the police?" the kid kept on asking all the difficult questions Alison feared he would ask.

'Jordan, where are you when I need you the most?' Alison thought in despair.

She cleared her throat and sat back on the sofa. They faced each other and Alison began the most difficult conversation of her life. 'God help me!'

"Michael, can we make a deal, you and I?" she inquired seriously.

"What deal?"

"That you and I will always tell each other the truth, no matter what. No matter if it hurts or if it's hard, we will always say the truth. So, when I tell you something you can trust me and when you tell me something I will not doubt you." Alison finished trying to read the look in Michael's eyes.

"So you will always answer my questions and not give me the kid version, right?" he inquired.

"Right" Alison replied already afraid of her choice.

"Deal" Michael agreed.

"Ok" Alison took a breath and started laying the truth out for the boy in front of her" your dad did some wrong things to your mother."

Michael cut her before she could continue, "I know, he beat her."

Alison swallowed hard at the confession, "Yes, he did. And no one has the right to that to another person, Michael. Not even a husband, not even a parent."

The kid lowered his gaze, "I know. I asked him not to do it anymore."

Alison felt her heart breaking, "But he didn't. And it had to stop."

"Did he hurt you too?" Michael asked looking deeply inside Alison's eyes.

"He tried to" Alison replied surprised that the boy knew about that.

"The day I was at the hospital and mom fainted he told me he would teach me how to be a man. That he would clean our honor with your blood and that I would be proud of him."

"Did he tell why he wanted to hurt me?" Alison asked fearful.

"Yes"

"And that was why?" she kept on pushing.

"Because he said that mom loved you more than she loved him or me or Ashley" he replied between sobs and hot tears that began to trickle down his cheeks.

'Coward' Alison thought but quickly gained back control over her emotions.

"Michael, that's not true. Your mother loves you and Ashley more than anything else in the world." Alison put as much confidence in her voice as she thought possible.

"But she loves you too, doesn't she?"

"Yes, she does." Alison said feeling relief and panic permeating her reply.

"And she doesn't love him"

"She loves him too, Michael. It's different that what she feels for me or for you, but I know she loves him. He gave her you and Ashley and she loves him for it."

Michael frowned trying to digest all this new information. Alison's stomach clenched as she waited for him to say something else.

"Isn't it wrong?" he finally spoke again.

"What?" Alison asked confused.

"For her to love another woman" he explained.

"No. Love is never wrong, Michael."

"Do you love her?"

"Very much. Always have" she replied feeling the words simply escape her mouth as if she never had any other choice, but to love Jordan.

"Does that bother you?" Alison inquired after she noticed that Michael stiffened at her confession.

"A little"

"Why?" she asked feeling truly curious.

"Because if I like you then I can't like my dad and if I like him then I can't like you" he responded with defeat in his voice.

Alison was granted with another piece of the puzzle and she felt herself being pulled closer to they boy with every word of their conversation.

"Who told you that?" Alison asked trying to get to the bottom of this crazy logic.

"No one, I just know it"

"Well, you're wrong. You don't have to hate me because you love your father. And you won't love him less if you like me" she tried to reason with the kid.

"But you're trying to take his place" he accused.

"No, I'm not. I will never take his place. I can never replace your father, but I can be your friend if you let me" she offered, "Michael, the problems your father and I have cannot change the fact that he is your father and that he loves you very much. I don't want to break that, do you understand? I just want to make a new friend."

"Are you telling the truth?" he inquired suspiciously.

"We have a deal, remember?" Alison pointed out.

Small hazel eyes locked with piercing blue ones and a tiny smile emerged on the boy's lips.

"Can I have some hot chocolate now?" Michael asked in an embarrassed tone.

"Sure, come on. Wanna help me out? I'm really bad in the kitchen." Alison replied honestly.

Michael chuckled at her confession and looked up at her before he said, "Me too."

"Then let's make a mess" the taller woman said feeling hopeful "and then we have to go retrieve to those nutcases out there before they freeze."

"You're gonna be in so much trouble when mom finds out you let Ashley play outside" Michael informed his taller mate.

"I know," she said feeling very much like a kid, "any ideas of how I can get out of the dog house?"

"I can teach you a thing or two" he told her giggling.

'It's a start' she thought as they crossed the living room towards the kitchen.

...

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

Jordan got home to find her four favorite monsters snoozing in front of the large screen where a movie had finished playing and there was only a blue display showing. She smiled and captured that moment in her mind. Then she thought of a better way of keeping this image and she went after a camera to snap a shot.

The flash made Alison move around and disturb the three other sleepers who were all laying on some part of her long frame. Ashley was the first one to wake up and her eyes grew wide with excitement as she noticed Jordan standing in the room.

"Mom" the little girl shouted scaring everyone else awake.

Alison's body shot up to a sitting position making Helena's head bump to the floor.

"Ouch!" Helena said as she rubbed her head.

"Sorry sweetie" Alison apologized.

Jordan chuckled at the grumpy looks of all three sleepy heads.

"Good evening, sleepy heads"

"Hi, mom" Michael replied.

Alison looked around still lost, "What time is it?"

"Time for you to get up and get in the shower. Where are your parents by the way? I thought your mother wanted us to go to that boat party at the river tonight?"

"Yeah, but dad called and said they got stuck on a storm or something up in Vermont and they would stay with mother's brother for another day or two" Alison informed the short woman.

"I see, so do you still want to do the boat thing?" Jordan asked out of politeness, if it depended on her she would stay right where she was.

Alison looked around and got faces from Helena and Michael. Only Ashley seemed to be interested in going out in that weather.

"I guess everybody wants to stay in" Alison finally said.

"I want to go" Ashley said making sure her opinion was heard.

"You always want to go where it's cold, Ash. I don't know how you don't freeze" Michael retorted.

"Sweetie, you're still a little sick, so why don't stay here tonight and have our own party, huh?" Jordan suggested to the girl in her arms.

Ashley frowned deeper and pointed a chubby finger towards a tall woman who was desperately trying to hide under the blanket they had laid on the floor, "But Aunt Ali let me play outside today."

"Crap" Alison muttered under her breath. Both Michael and Helena busted in laughter.

Jordan looked at the long curled body under the blankets and the blue eyes peaking out, "Alison??"

"Yes, honey" came the shy reply.

"Care to explain?" Jordan inquired seriously.

Alison crawled out from under the blanket and pointed back at Ashley, "she forced me." Michael and Helena laughed harder rolling around and holding their bellies.

"Uh, huh" Jordan replied, "And how did this dangerous child do that?"

Michael and Helena could barely breathe and tears were rolling down their faces.

"Stop that you two, you're not helping any" Alison told the two laughing kids.

"Michael, why don't you go to take your shower? Helena could you ask Nana to give Ashley her shower?" Jordan said.

The still giggling duo got up from the floor and followed Jordan's request.

"I'm going to take my shower too," Alison said as she fled for the door trying to escape Jordan's reprimand.

"Hold it!" Jordan held her lover in place by pulling her by the belt loop of her pants.

"Oh, boy!" Alison said as she turned around. "I'm in the dog house, ain't I?"

Jordan flashed her a naughty grin and bit her lower lip, "Yes, you are. But I know of a great way for you to get out."

Alison grinned broadly as she felt Jordan's lips brushing against her own, "Maybe I should get in trouble more often."

"Pervert" Jordan chuckled, "come on, let's take a shower, I have a lot to tell you."

**

Alison sat down on the sink counter drying her hair as Jordan finished her shower. Her lover was thrilled with the accomplishments she made those two weeks after Matt had been arrested. She talked to her ex-in laws and they agreed to help her in getting Matt to sign the divorce papers, all in the name of avoiding a bigger scandal. They forced Matt to accept the divorce without problems as long as Jordan wouldn't ask for anything other than the house they had lived in. She tried to reason with the older couple about putting some of their other property under the children's name, but that proved to be useless. If she wanted to ensure her children's rights she would have to fight for them in a courtroom.

She wasn't surprised when Matt denied to pay pension for his own son and daughter. Jordan was disgusted by his attitude towards his own children, but she realized she really couldn't expect anything else from him. She found an excellent real state agent who sold the large property in only a few days. With the money from the sale she would be able to restart their lives without much struggle. Of course they would live a less comfortable, snob life, and she would have to get a job soon, but they would still be fine. Custody of the kids had been automatically granted to her since Matt was in jail and after the judge who was dealing with their divorce heard of why he had been arrested, he granted Jordan with permanent custody.

Jordan turned the water off and stepped out of the shower wrapped in a large white towel. Alison pulled her closer and kissed her lightly. They locked gazes and stayed that way for a few seconds before Alison spoke.

"So, what else do you need to do now?"

"Well, the papers for the divorce and the custody should be ready next week. The real state agent told me this afternoon that the buyer's bank cleared everything and that the money should be transferred to my account on the first business day of the year. Then I guess I'm done" the blonde sighed. "When do you plan on going back to Rio?" Jordan asked the question that had been giving her chills all day long.

"Lena has a final appointment on the 4th. I have reservations for us made for the night of the 5th." Alison answered afraid of what this meant for the two of them.

"When do you start working again?" Jordan asked.

"February" Alison replied,› "but I have to get settled before I do that, I need to talk to Lena's school and see what we are going to do about the year she spent here. She didn't want to lose one year and be in a different class, away from her friends, but I don't know what else can be done."

"I understand" Jordan said not able to look Alison in the eye.

›"Uhhh.." Alison cleared her throat, "I know we haven't talked about the future yet, but I was wondering if..."

A giggle made the two women jump with surprise. They looked over to the door and saw their three brats standing there. Ashley pointed to Alison and said chuckling, "You're blushing."

"Don't you guys ever knock?" Alison inquired annoyed by the unwelcome interruption.

"We did, but you didn't hear it" Helena replied. "Nana asked us to come get you two, she said dinner is getting cold and that we are not going to wait until midnight to eat, that it's not healthy."

Jordan looked at Alison and chuckled, "Pushy, isn't she?"

"Very" Alison responded, "Tell her we're coming down in a second. We'll meet you guys downstairs."

"Ok" all three kids answered in unison.

"Come on, let's get dressed. I'm getting cold" Jordan said pulling Alison by the arm.

"But..." Alison started to protest.

"Shhh..." Jordan pressed a finger against Alison's lips "we'll talk later. I promise."

Alison nibbled on the tempting finger and shook her head in agreement.

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

They enjoyed their family dinner in a relaxed, playful atmosphere. Jordan immediately noticed that Michael and Alison were much closer and the previous tension that existed between the two seemed to have lessened considerably, if not vanished.

Helena sounded really excited to be going back home and she kept dazzling Michael, Ashley and Nana with her stories about Brazil. She told them about her city, her apartment, her friends, her school, the beach, anything she could think of. She then proceeded on telling how she would learn to surf and that she wanted to take a diving course also. At the mentioning of surfing Michael immediately looked at Alison, who simply blinked at him and mouthed a small later. Jordan caught their exchanged and made a mental note to ask Alison about that.

After dinner they sat by the fireplace, toasted marshmallows and traded more stories. Ashley told them all about her trip to DisneyWorld and how she thought Donald Duck had fallen in love with her, because everywhere she went he was there. She also invited them to spend the coming summer with her at her palace. Alison lifted a single eyebrow wondering if this was a child's story or if she did really have a palace.

"And where is your palace, Ash?" the dark woman inquired.

"It's right in the middle of Disney. It used to be Cinderella's, but she gave it to me because she was getting old and she couldn't be a princess anymore." Ashley explained seriously.

Everyone in the room stifled their laughter trying not to embarrass the little girl.

Alison looked at Jordan and pulled her closer, "See? Now I can't call you princess anymore. You're too old for that."

Jordan poked Alison on the ribs and gave her an offended look, "Oh, look who's talking... I'm younger than you are."

"Not by much" Alison continued her teasing.

Michael and Helena smiled at each other, contented to see their mothers playing and laughing. The two kids realized that neither woman had seemed that happy in a long time. Helena chewed on another marshmallow and decided it was time for her to ask the big question.

"So, when are you two getting married?" the teenager asked nonchalantly.

Both Alison and Jordan stopped their playing and looked up at the three sets of eyes waiting for an answer.

"Well, she's your daughter, you answer her" Jordan pushed the sensitive question over to Alison.

"Well, your kids are waiting for an answer too" Alison shot back pointing at the other two looking at them.

"Just answer, will you?" Helena said impatiently.

"Yeah, just answer" Michael repeated after her.

"They've only been together for a couple of weeks and they are already ganging up on us" Alison spoke in shock.

"I know, it's scary" Jordan completed.

"Uhhh" Jordan started, "we haven't talked about this yet, you know? Why don't you let Alison and I discuss this first and then we can talk?"

All three heads looked at each other and agreed with that option.

"But can I treat them like brother and sister?" Helena insisted.

"If that doesn't mean beating the heck out of them, yes." Alison answered.

"Yeahhhhh!!!" all three kids cheered.

"Yep, they ganged up... we're screwed" Jordan whispered on Alison's nearby ear as the dark beauty giggled.

By the time they finished the bags of marshmallows the kids were falling asleep. Alison picked up Michael while Jordan carried Ashley and Lena followed them upstairs for all of them to be tucked in bed.› Lena insisted on sharing her bedroom with the two younger kids, so she could keep an eye on them during the night, being the oldest and all.

Alison just raised her eyebrows at how motherly her daughter had turned overnight and Jordan was just glad the kids had finally fallen asleep and she and Alison would have some quiet time together.

The petite blonde couldn't control her lustful thoughts towards the raven beauty anymore. Between Evelyn Hatch putting them in rooms opposite from one another and the kids wanting to spend the night with her, Jordan had managed to only steal a few snuggling with her lover but nothing more. 'Not tonight, tonight she's all mine' the blonde thought as a bright smile lit up her whole face.

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

ito Alison to tuck the kids in bed and went downstairs to set the mood for their night. She moved a large, comfortable couch around and placed it in front of the floor to ceiling windows that granted a magnificent view of the Potomac and the fireworks that would announce the New Year. Her heart was beating a little faster than normal as she realized that eight years ago they were declaring their love for each other on that same night. 'Eight years, oh my God. What a waste of time' She fluffed the cushions and laid out a comforter on top of the couch, she wasn't sure if the comfort she was trying to provide them was a way to make her feel less nervous about the talk she knew they would have and that would finally decide if their eight years apart would become nine, ten, eleven and forever, or else. A chill ran down the short woman's back as she considered that this was a possibility. 'Stop being a chicken shit, Jordan. Go, get the girl for once and for all, and live happily ever after. It's not that hard. Even Ashley knows how to do that... ok, it's in her fairy tales, but still...'

Jordan was so lost in thought that she didn't hear Alison approaching. The tall dark woman placed her hands on the blonde's shoulders and whispered in her ear, "Debating whether this is a good idea or not?"

Jordan turned around, a nervous smile curling her lips, "No, I was actually debating on how to convince you it's a good idea."

Alison pulled her lover a little closer as she wrapped her long arms around Jordan's waist, "I need no convincing, my love."

The smile on Jordan's lips spread to a full grin and her eyes glowed with a naughty spark, "Well, then that's settled. We can go to sleep now," she said swatting Alison's backside and moving around her tall companion.

"Well, maybe I need some convincing" Alison said in a hush, pulling Jordan back to her embrace. "Maybe you could convince me with some kissing."

"Some kissing, huh?" the blonde asked playfully.

"Yeah, kissing would be nice" Alison retorted smiling brightly.

"And you think only kissing would do it?" Jordan teased.

Alison couldn't hold the laughter that made its way up her chest, "You just made my conviction melt entirely. I think I need some real convincing now."

"You're such a brat!" Jordan said feeling truly happy about how at easy and comfortable their banter had made her.

Alison pulled the short woman closer and brushed her lips lightly on Jordan's. The blonde shut her eyes and simply enjoyed Alison's mint breath against her mouth. She reeled in the sensations that being this close to her lover brought to her body, nothing had ever felt so right, so good, so perfect other than being in Alison's arms.

The brunette caressed her lover's ear with her lips and softly nibbled on an earlobe as she placed a velvet covered small box in Jordan's hand.

"And will you marry this brat?"

Jordan's world suddenly stopped, all she could hear was her own heartbeat hammering in her chest. All she could feel was Alison's chest moving up and down with nervousness against her own and the velvety surface that was nestled in her hand. She opened her eyes and found a pair of diamond blue ones filled with tears staring back at her. She cleared her throat and also her mind looking for words.

"Ali...I, I don't know what to say" Jordan whispered.

"Yes would be nice" Alison replied already shaking inside, afraid she had moved too fast.


Jordan untangled herself from Alison's arms and pulled her by the hand to the nearby couch. She reached on her pocket and placed her hand on top of Alison's letting a cold round metal fall on her lover's smooth palm.

"Only if you say yes too" Jordan said as she watched tears running down Alison's cheeks and a long smile forming on her lover's red lips.

Alison pulled the small woman into a fiery kiss and their bodies entwined immediately. The heat of the moment and the long waiting time they had to endure was quickly consuming both women and they had a hard time controlling their emotions and actions.

"Easy" Alison whispered› "We have all the time in the world"

"I know" Jordan replied as she pulled Alison's shirt up "it's just that I miss feeling all of you so much it hurts" she finished before unclasping the taller woman's bra open.

Jordan's words sprinkled Alison's soft skin with goose bumps, at the same time that her nipples hardened from the cold of the room and the fire building inside of her. The feel of Jordan's rough pullover touching her bare breasts was making the dark beauty lose control.

"Jordan, touch me, love" the brunette asked feeling all her self-control vanish.

Jordan took her time in pleasuring her lover and enjoying the feel of Alison's body against her own. The short blonde ran her lips along the neck and down to the swell of her lover's breasts. Alison gasped from each of Jordan's touches and when she felt the blonde slightly kissing her hardened nipple she held on tight afraid of exploding with pleasure right then.

"Oh my God, you're killing me, love, stop teasing" Alison said with heavy breathing.

Jordan simply smiled at her lover's choice of words and proceeded down the long lean body underneath her. She unzipped Alison's pants as she peppered her stomach with nibbles and slow licks. Alison trembled when she felt her pants being pulled down and Jordan's hands covering each exposed inch of her long legs.

Jordan looked down at the beauty lying in front of her and realized just how much she had missed this woman, the one who had taken her heart on a New Year's Eve, just like this night. She played around her lover's wet lacy underwear making Alison release little whimpers of desire. The smell of her lover's passion made her want the raven-haired beauty even more and Jordan finally gave into temptation and freed Alison of all her clothing as well as her own.

Alison felt Jordan's whole body touching her own and a wave of electricity cursed thru her body. Nothing ever felt so right and perfect like the two of them making love. The brunette could barely control her legs, which were shaking with her intense desire. She lost track of everything when the world became just the two of them and the feel of Jordan's tongue flickering along her slick folds. The fire burning inside of her was only intensified as she felt Jordan's fingers feeling her completely and the moans of pleasure coming from her lover only helped fuel even more the overwhelming feeling of passion, heat and love that involved both of them. Alison felt her resolve of making the moment last longer melt as she felt Jordan's lips involve her swollen clit and suckle gently sending her over the top of ecstasy and collapsing back on the couch still cursed with waves of passion and love that rocked her body.

Jordan felt Alison's legs press against her body and her lover tense and explode all at once. She felt her own legs shaking as she pressed her mound on the couch. As the brunette arched her back Jordan could no longer resist and felt herself coming in unison with her lover. She held on to Alison's hips as the waves of their passion rocked them both. Alison pulled Jordan by the arm and the blonde eagerly coped nestling herself on her lover's embrace and listening to Alison's heart beating.

"I love you Jordan, I don't ever want to lose you again" Alison declared.

"You have me for life, Ali." Jordan promised.

At that moment the sky was once again painted in all the colors of the rainbow as the clock stroke midnight and a New Year began, along with their lives that were starting again.

The End.

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