All That Matters

 

by

 

S X Meagher

 

 

Chapter 11

 

On Sunday afternoon, Kylie tiptoed into the living room and spied her lover sitting on the couch. She walked up behind her and surprised Blair with kisses to both cheeks. When the blonde turned around in surprise, the doctor pounced upon her lips, kissing her soundly. “I called every one of my poker buddies, then I called my parents. Everyone is very, very happy to welcome you into the family,” she said, beaming a grin. “For some strange reason, no one seemed very surprised. I think we might have been the last ones to know," she said, laughing.

"No, I was the last one to know. You, Doctor Mackenzie, had a clue."

"True. Oh, my parents asked to speak to you, but I figured that might be a little embarrassing, so I said you were napping.”

“Why would I be embarrassed?” Blair asked. “If anyone should be embarrassed, it’s them. They’re the ones responsible for creating you.”

“You’re such a funny woman,” Kylie teased. “Lucky for me, I get your rather odd sense of humor.” She sat on the floor in front of Blair and took her hand. Giving her a sober look, she said, “I didn’t want to put you on the spot. I figured that if you wanted to talk, you could call them back.”

“Thanks. I think I will.” She leaned over awkwardly and kissed Kylie. “Will you call them back and then put me on? I feel a little uncomfortable cold-calling.”

“Sure. They were leaving to go to Alan’s for dinner. We can give them a buzz later this evening.” She smiled up at Blair and said, “We can use my family as practice for telling the more difficult people on the list.”

Running her hand through Kylie’s hair, Blair said, “My parents will be fine honey, really.”

“I didn’t mean your parents. I was thinking of Sadie and David.”

The smaller woman rolled her eyes and put down the book she had been reading. “I changed my mind. I don’t wanna tell him,” she said, sounding like a child. “I guarantee he’s been boinking that girl I saw him with, and lord knows, I don’t want him to call and tell me that.”

Giving her a faint smile, Kylie pulled herself up and kissed Blair lightly. “Okay. I didn’t mean to interfere.” She picked up the discarded book and put it back into Blair’s hands. “I’m gonna take the pups for a long walk. They’re getting a little antsy.”

“Let me come with you,” Blair said, starting to get up.

“No, I’d … like to be able to let them go at a good pace. You and I can go out later for a more leisurely stroll, okay?”

“Kylie?” she asked, taking her hand. “Are you okay?”

“Sure.” The taller woman bent down and kissed her partner on the top of the head. “Take a nap if you need to. We’ll be out of your hair for a while.”

“I like you in my hair,” Blair said, still holding onto Kylie’s hand.

“That’s good to know,” Kylie said, lifting Blair’s hand to kiss it once more. “See you later.”

Blair watched the dogs react jubilantly when their retractable leashes were taken from a drawer in the kitchen, then chuckled to herself as they immediately wound their way around Kylie’s legs, making her partner have to slowly unwind them. “Have fun guys,” she called out.

“We will,” Kylie said, blowing her a kiss.

When the door closed, Blair decided that Kylie’s suggestion was a good one, and she curled up on the sofa in the living room. She lay there for a long while, unable to relax enough to sleep. She knew something was bothering Kylie, but she couldn't decide what had triggered it. She kept going over their conversation, wondering why Kylie would be upset by her reticence to tell David of their relationship. She tossed and turned for a few minutes, trying to recall exactly what she’d said. All I said was that I didn’t see why I had to tell him, and I made it clear that I didn’t want to know about his personal life, either. What’s wrong with that?

She got up and went into the kitchen to get a glass of juice. Standing there, she recalled the exact words she’d used, then started to shake her head. Oh, shit, that sounded like I was equating her with the bimbo David’s screwing. She set the glass down and grabbed her keys, heading out to look for her partner. She found her in a place she didn’t expect. Their neighborhood was quite hilly, and they normally walked on the more level streets close to their house. But today the good doctor had taken the pups on the street that led straight up into the hills behind the house. The trio was resting under a large Chinese elm near the edge of someone’s property. It was hard to tell which of the three was most winded, but all looked grateful when Blair pulled up. “Somebody got carried away, didn’t she?” she asked, giving Kylie an affectionate look .

“Little bit,” the doctor said. “I was gonna have to carry ‘em back. They lay down here and refused to go another step.”

“Those are my smart puppies, right, babies?” Blair soothed the jumping dogs, Kylie holding them so they couldn’t scratch the car. “Come on and hop in. You look like you need a cool drink.”

“I won’t argue,” Kylie said. She herded the pups into their crate and climbed into the front seat.

“Let’s get a drink and go to the palisades,” Blair suggested. “I’d like to sit by the ocean and watch the world go by.”

“Okay.” As they took off, Kylie turned her head and gazed out of the side window, lost in her own thoughts. Blair didn’t try to make conversation, figuring they could talk more easily once they were outdoors. After buying a couple of Italian sodas and getting a cup of water for the dogs, they went over to Ocean Boulevard and found a bench along the cliffs above the Pacific. The ocean rolled rhythmically below them, and the air was sweet and clean here above the water. Each woman held a dog on her lap, and Blair reached over and took Kylie’s hand. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” she said softly.

“I didn’t say that you did,” Kylie responded, not making eye contact.

“You didn’t have to say so, sweetie. You acted like you were hurt, and after going over the conversation in my mind, I realized what I’d said and how it must have sounded to you.”

Kylie was staring out at the ocean, the strong planes of her face burnished a golden hue in the late afternoon sun. “I’m sorry if I was being overly sensitive,” she said stiffly.

"Tell me what you think I meant, then I'll tell you if you were being overly sensitive," Blair said.

Kylie frowned slightly. "I don't wanna."

"Come on, you can tell me."

"No. You'll think I'm being stupid."

"Will not."

"Will so."

"Kylie," Blair whispered into her ear, "you're not stupid. I hurt your feelings, and I'd like to know what you thought I meant. Then I can tell you what I was trying to say."

"Tell me what you were trying to say," the doctor said, completely intractable.

Blair paused a second, then mentally conceded. "Okay. I was trying to say that I don't want to share my private life with David. He's gonna be pissy about it, and I don't wanna deal with that right now."

"Then why'd you mention the woman he's 'boinking'?" Kylie asked, her voice filled with hurt.

"'Cause I'm stupid," Blair said. "I meant to say that his private life isn't my business, and hearing about it will piss me off. I'm sure hearing about mine will do the same to him. I didn't, in any way, mean to equate our relationship with some casual fling he's probably having. Nothing could be further from the truth." Lifting Kylie’s hand and placing a kiss on it, Blair insisted, "I’m very proud to be your lover, and I'm sorry I made you angry.”

“I’m not angry,” Kylie said. “I was hurt. It’s no big deal.”

“When I hurt you, it is a big deal,” Blair said. “It’ll always be a big deal, and I’ll always try to apologize when I do it.” She leaned in and kissed her cheek, then rested her head on Kylie’s shoulder.

“Thanks,” the larger woman said. “I’m better now.” Blair felt the stiff set of her lover’s body shift and relax, and she knew she was telling the truth.

They sat that way for a long while, neither speaking, just feeling the cool breeze coming off the water. The dogs were in their semi-alert state — half-dozing, but waking whenever another dog went by. First Nicky then Nora sat up and took notice of a cute Jack Russell terrier, and Blair sat up abruptly when the owner of the dog said, “Blair?”

“Hi, Daniel,” she said. “How are you?”

“I’m good,” he said looking surreptitiously at Kylie. “Cute dogs. Are they … yours?”

“They’re ours,” she said without hesitation. “Daniel Carr, this is my partner, Kylie Mackenzie. Kylie, Daniel’s one of the principals of the firm I used to work for.” Kylie extended her hand and shook Daniel’s, and they each mumbled a greeting. Turning back to the surprised-looking man, Blair said, “I have a couple of pieces of news. Kylie and I are having a baby this December.”

“Wow,” he said, looking truly stunned. “I had no idea … I hadn’t heard that you’d gotten divorced.”

She shrugged, unwilling to reveal too many details. “Yes, I have a new family now, Daniel. A new spouse, two young dogs and a baby all in one year. Just goes to show that you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

“I guess not,” he said, trying to sound like he wasn’t flabbergasted. “Well, you look great, Blair. Pregnancy obviously agrees with you.”

“It does,” she said. Squeezing Kylie’s hand, she added, “Being in love with a wonderful woman agrees with me, too. It’s been a great year.”

“I saw that you hit the $25,000,000 mark already,” he said, shaking his head. “I never should have let you get away.”

Laughing wryly, she said, “I believe that’s what I told you when I left.”

“I honestly thought you were bluffing, Blair. I couldn’t believe that you’d struck such a good deal with my biggest competitor.”

“You know, Daniel, I’m one of the worst card players in the world. And it’s all because I can’t bluff. I was straight up honest with you.”

“I know that now,” he said, giving her a chagrined look. “I assumed you were lying. Everyone does!" He laughed and said, "Having a $25,000,000 woman on the staff would ensure me of a hell of a year.”

“Daniel,” Blair said, giving him the same smile she gave Kylie whenever she had her dead to rights, “I was selling over $12,000,000 when I was with you, and I’d only been selling for five years. It was clear that I was going to be a good earner.”

“But I thought you’d peaked,” he said. “I was sure you were too frank to really make it big in this business.”

“Apparently not,” she said, grinning at him.

“Well, if you ever need a change, you know I’d love to have you back. I’m sure I could improve on your current deal.”

“Thanks, Daniel. I’ll keep that in mind.” She reached down and scratched his dog behind the ears, while Nicky and Nora sniffed at him. “It was nice seeing you.”

“You, too, Blair. Good to meet you,” he said, shaking Kylie’s hand again. “And congratulations to you both.”

“Thanks,” both women said as he walked away.

“That was interesting,” Kylie said, watching as the man walked away. “How’re you feeling?”

Blair sat in thoughtful contemplation for a moment. “Good. Very good," she said, looking quite content. "That's something that's been bugging me for years. It’s nice to know that he realizes he made a mistake. I was really insulted when he wouldn’t even negotiate with me. I wasn't looking to leave, but when my current firm approached me with such a great deal, I had to listen to them. I tried to get Daniel to counter-offer, but he blew me off!”

Kylie nodded and found she couldn’t help smiling at her partner. She’d assumed that Blair would be a little uncomfortable about coming out to someone for the first time, but it obviously hadn’t fazed her in the least. “How’d it feel to tell someone about our relationship?”

Blair looked at her for just a second, then smiled at her, her eyes crinkling up when she did. “Huh. I didn’t really think about that. I guess it felt fine, since I didn’t notice it.”

“You are a woman of surprises,” Kylie said. “Most of them good ones.”

Blair reached up and tugged on her partner’s ear, pulling until Kylie fidgeted. “Wanna correct that?”

“All of ‘em,” Kylie said. “Every single one of ‘em.”

The pups settled down again after the excitement of meeting a new dog, and Blair once again placed her head on Kylie’s shoulder. “I could stay like this all night,” she said. “I am perfectly content.”

“Me, too,” Kylie said, gripping her hand tightly. “Me, too.”

 

ĄG

 

Later that night, they lay upon the sofa in the den, sprawled upon one another as usual. “It was so cute to listen to you talking to my parents,” Kylie said, unable to control her enthusiasm. "You looked so adorable.”

“They were really nice,” Blair said. “Your mom especially. She’s very sweet — kinda like you.”

Kylie chuckled and said, “My dad has some wonderful qualities, too, but sweetness or sentimentality isn’t one of them. My mom is pretty warm when you get past her reserved veneer.”

“That describes her perfectly,” Blair said. “She has a veneer that makes her seem a little stiff.”

“Hey, we’re WASP’s,” Kylie said. “We’re all about stiff. Now my dad doesn’t have a veneer. He’s stiff all the way through.”

“He’s a nice guy,” Blair said. “I think we’ll get along fine. He was very interested in how my pregnancy’s going.”

“Shop talk’s his favorite thing. When we go to visit, he’ll drive you nuts.”

“Nah. I can handle him. As long as he doesn’t try to examine me, everything will be cool.”

“I defer to him on nearly everything,” Kylie said, “but you can rest assured that I’d voice a complaint if he tried to get your clothes off.”

“Only one Doctor Mackenzie sees me with my clothes off,” Blair said, pressing a kiss to Kylie’s temple.

Kylie slid her hand under Blair’s shirt, tickling across her belly. “How ya feeling tonight, sweetie? Need a backrub?”

“No, I feel good tonight. Lying around all weekend is really rejuvenating.” She cuddled closer and said, “I’m mentally gearing up for work tomorrow. I wasn’t really prepared to do it yet, but I’m going to have to tell my co-workers about us — if Daniel hasn’t done it for me.”

“Are you serious?” Kylie blinked.

“Oh, yeah, he’s the world’s biggest gossip. I guarantee he was on the phone thirty seconds after he got home.”

“Are you okay with that?” Kylie asked. “I mean, I don’t know what your plans were, but I can’t think you’re happy being forced to tell people.”

The smaller woman shrugged. “It’s no big deal. I haven’t really wanted to get into it with people, but I can handle it.”

“How many of your co-workers know you and David have split up?”

“None of 'em,” Blair said lightly. “I don’t like to talk about my private life at work. Never have. There’s a reason it’s called a private life,” she said. “I only wish some of my co-workers shared my philosophy. Some people tell you the most intimate details of their lives. I’ll never understand that.”

“You bring that out in people,” Kylie said. “You’re not only easy to talk to, you seem interested. People pick up on that.”

Blair said, “I’m interested in people. There are just some things that I don’t want to hear about. Just like there are some things I don’t like to talk about. My sexual and intimate relations are definitely in that category.”

Sitting up a little, Kylie looked at her partner for a moment and said, “Then don’t tell them. You don’t like to talk about it — other people obviously do. Let the ones who like it go ahead and talk about it. They’ll probably like it even more if they can speculate and imagine all sorts of scandalous scenarios.”

With a small smile on her face, Blair cocked her head and asked, “Do you think I should do that?”

“Why not?” Kylie asked. “I told my partners, but that’s only because I socialize with them occasionally. You don’t see any of your co-workers outside of work, so you’re obviously not very close to them. Why tell them intimate things if you don’t want to?”

“You know, that’s not a bad suggestion. My telling them won’t make them gossip any less. Why not simply let the rumor mill handle this?”

“Exactly. If anyone gets up the nerve to ask you directly, you can confirm it or tell them it’s a private matter that you don’t care to discuss.”

Blair nodded, her expression contemplative. “I’ll tell the members of my team tomorrow ‘cause they’ll be hurt if they think I didn’t trust them enough to tell them. Then I’ll see what happens.” She smiled and kissed Kylie tenderly. “Thanks for the suggestion. I feel calmer already.” Adding another kiss to the tip of her nose, she said, “Now I only have to worry about telling David.”

“But I thought …”

“Kylie, I spout off about things, but I’d never let David hear about this from someone else. Besides, no matter how he feels about it, he’s Mac … Simon’s father, and there’s a chance he’ll want to be involved in his life in some capacity. I really want to maintain as good a relationship with him as possible.”

“I think that’s wise,” Kylie said.

“I’m not ready to do it yet,” Blair cautioned. “Maybe next weekend.”

“Do it when you feel ready,” Kylie said. “You’ll know when the time's right.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Blair said wryly, “but I’ll know when I’m able to gut it up and get it over with.”

“I, uhm … noticed that you’re having trouble with the switch to Simon,” Kylie said. “I am, too.”

“We’ll get used to it,” Blair assured her. “We’ve been thinking of him as Mackenzie for so long that it’s gonna take a while. It’s like when I changed my name to Spencer.”

“Are you sure you want to change it? It was just a suggestion.”

Blair smiled at her partner, then reached up and tugged on her nose. “I hate it,” she said, starting to giggle. “I love the idea of the change, but he’s Mackenzie to me. I think he’ll always be Mackenzie even if his birth certificate says Simon.”

“I hate it, too,” Kylie admitted. “And not just because it’s my name — but that’s a part of it. I really like the thought of his having my name and yours. Besides, I don’t wanna have to have my locket engraved again. I’ll do anything to save $20.”

Blair tapped on her belly and said, “Hear that? You’re back to Mackenzie. Your middle name will be Simon.”

“Or Simonize if you’re a girl,” Kylie declared.

 

ĄG

 

On the following Thursday, Kylie came home from seeing a play with Nick. “Hey, sweetheart,” she called out while trying to fend off the dogs who were determined to ruin her nylons.

“I’m in the baby’s room,” Blair called out. Kylie walked down the hall and poked her head into the guest room, finding it empty. Next she tried her office with no luck. Finally, she looked into Blair’s room and gasped in surprise when she saw it filled with baby furniture.

“What in the hell …?”

“Hi, honey,” Blair said warmly, going to kiss her. “Do you like it?”

“Did I miss a meeting?” she asked, looking around confused.

“No. We haven’t talked about which room to make into a nursery, so I had to make a quick decision when the furniture started to arrive.”

“But why did you buy this stuff without consulting me?” Kylie asked, her confusion giving way to pique.

“I didn’t buy it, honey. Our neighbors gave it to us.”

“Gave it to us! This stuff must have cost a fortune!”

“I’m sure it did,” Blair said, “but he didn’t pay for it. One of the studios gave it to him when his new baby was born. He claims that was their last baby, so rather than move it to the new house he bought, he thought we could use it.”

“When did you learn about this?” Kylie asked, running her hands over the highly polished wood.

“This afternoon. I was talking to him about some last minute details on the new house, and I said I could walk a few things over, since I was living right next door now.”

Kylie chuckled and asked, “Did he wonder how that came to be?”

“Didn’t say so, if he did. You know how people in Hollywood are. You never know who’s living with whom. Anyway, he noticed I was pregnant, and he asked if I wanted the furniture. I sure as heck wasn’t going to say no to a whole set of hardwood cherry furniture, so he had his gardeners bring it over.”

Looking disappointed, Kylie said, “But I was looking forward to buying our own stuff.”

“Honey,” Blair soothed, taking her hand, “this stuff is really nice, but Mackenzie will only use it for a few years. You and I can buy him something cool when he’s old enough to appreciate what he has. Maybe we can get him one of those race car beds.”

“I want one of those,” Kylie said. “I wish they made them in a king-size.”

“Don’t feel left out,” Blair begged. “I would normally have checked with you first, but he’s very hard to say no to. He really would have been insulted if I’d refused.”

Kylie nodded, then said, “I wouldn’t have said no. I don’t like to feel left out of decision-making. This was a little bit of a shock — that’s all.”

“Well, do you like the thought of using this room? I thought it made sense since it’s the closest to our room. I can keep my clothes in this closet until we start filling it up with baby things. Then we can shuffle things around, maybe store some clothes in the office.”

“Yeah, sure, that’s fine,” Kylie said, still a touch irritated. She walked around the room, looking at the furniture carefully. A smile began to grow, and she said, “Hey, I guess it’s official now. You don’t have your own bedroom anymore.”

Blair looked slightly startled, then smiled and said, “No, but if either of us needs some space, we’ve still got the guest bedroom.”

“Yeah, I guess we do,” Kylie said, her smile now departed.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea,” Blair said, seeing that the doctor was still perturbed. “There’s one extravagance I’d really like. This crib is great, but I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a cradle, too. That way we could have him sleep right next to us. Why don’t we buy a nice one? We could give it to Mackenzie when he has a family.”

A pleased smile started to bloom again on Kylie’s face. “Okay,” she said. “Can I buy it?”

“Sure, if you want to.”

“I do. I want it to be a special gift from me.” She wrapped her arms around Blair. “I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to think of having our baby in his cradle, sleeping right next to us. It makes my heart nearly burst.”

“You have a sweet heart,” Blair said, holding Kylie close. “You’re gonna be such a good mom.” She gave her a squeeze and said, “Now we only have to have the room painted or papered, and we’ll be set.”

“Ya wanna go look at colors this weekend?”

“No. Let’s wait a while. I accepted the furniture because it was too good to pass up, but I feel a little funny about finishing the room. Let’s wait until I’m at least in my thirty-second week. I won’t feel like I’m tempting fate.”

“Whatever you want. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”

“You must be uncomfortable still in your dress. Let’s get you into your jammies.”

“I have a better idea,” Kylie said, giving Blair a decidedly lecherous look. “Let’s skip the jammies tonight. I have a compelling need to feel those pouty pink lips on all of the spots my jammies usually cover.”

Blinking up at her with a faux-innocent look, Blair asked, “Why, Doctor Mackenzie, are you propositioning me?”

“You said you wanted me to tell you when I needed some lovin’,” Kylie reminded her. “I warned you that you’d live to regret it.”

“If you tried, you couldn’t be more mistaken,” Blair scoffed. “There’s nothing I love more than a woman who can ask for what she needs.”

“Then it’s no wonder that you love me,” Kylie said. “I need it bad, and you’re the only one I want to give it to me.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Doc. Let’s hit the sheets!”

 

ĄG

 

On Saturday morning, Kylie had been up for four hours before Blair made an appearance in the den. “Hey, sweetheart,” she said, getting up to offer a hug. “Are you feeling okay? I was starting to worry about you.”           

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she mumbled into the cotton of Kylie’s blouse. “I decided yesterday that I’m going to tell David today if I can get hold of him. I think I was subconsciously trying to sleep the whole day so I didn’t have to do it.”

“This is really hard for you, isn’t it?” Kylie asked sympathetically.

“Yeah, it is. I’d be hurt if he were engaged already,” she admitted. “It’s awfully quick.”

“It is.” The doctor placed a kiss on Blair’s mussed hair. “Want some breakfast?”

“Sure. I’ll take whatever’s easy.”

Kylie grinned wickedly. “Well, I’m the easiest thing around here, but you had me thoroughly last night.”

“Hmm … that’s a good idea,” Blair said, capturing her in a hug. “If we stay in bed all day, I’ll have a perfect excuse not to call David.”

“Go shower, sweetie,” Kylie said, patting her on the butt. “You’ll feel better when this is over.”

“All right,” she grumbled. “I doubt that, but I don’t have many options.”

 

ĄG

 

Blair walked back into the kitchen quite a while later, showered and dressed for the day. She was wearing Kylie’s favorite outfit: putty-colored corduroy overalls and a putty, black and brown striped turtleneck. “Oh, you look so cute!” Kylie said when she saw her.

“I found myself trying to look as non-pregnant as possible,” Blair said, “but then I reminded myself that it doesn’t matter what David thinks of me any longer. You’re the person I dress to please now.”

“That’s a good thing to remember,” Kylie said, urging Blair into a chair to eat her breakfast. “David doesn’t have any hold over you, honey.”

“I know that, but I'm still very nervous about doing this.”

“What are you planning?” Kylie asked. “Are you going over to his house?”

“Mmm … I guess so,” she said, looking unenthusiastic. “I don’t really want to, but I don’t want to cause a scene in a public place. I’m anticipating that he might raise his voice — at a minimum.”

Kylie watched her eat for a minute, a look of deep concern on her face. “Have him come here,” she said, making it sound more like an order than a suggestion.

“Why here?”

“Because I’ll be worried about you if you go anywhere else. I know this'll be upsetting for you, honey, and I don’t like for you to drive when you’re upset. If you insist on going to your old house, I’m gonna go with you and wait outside.”

“Oh, Kylie, I’ll be all right,” Blair said.

“I know you will, but you’ll probably also be a little emotional. Please, Blair,” she begged, looking at her intently.

“All right,” the smaller woman said. “I don’t want to worry you.”

Kylie looked down at the ground and shifted her weight. "I'm worried already."

"Already? Why? David won't be horrible about this. Really."

"That's not why I'm worried," Kylie said. "I'm really anxious that he'll change his mind and want to be involved with Mackenzie."

Blair put her arms around her and looked up. "Why does that worry you?"

"'Cause I'm afraid he'll take my place. If he's Mackenzie’s dad and you're his mom, that doesn't leave much room for me."

"That's where you're wrong," Blair said, her voice full of confidence. "Even if David has a complete turnabout and wants to be super dad, you and I are still gonna co-parent. I've never known a mother who didn't feel tired and stressed and overworked. Two of us should be just about right. I mean that, Kylie. I promise."

The doctor smiled, nodding her head, grateful for her partner's reassurance. “Okay. I believe you. Sorry for that little burst of insecurity."

"I have them every fifteen minutes. You were overdue."

"When he gets here, we’ll stay out of your way,” Kylie said. “I’ll keep the puppies outside with me.”

“Okay.” Blair looked at her for a moment and said, “To be honest, I’ll be much more comfortable here in our home. Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. We’ll be right outside if you need us, ‘kay?”

“I always need you,” Blair said softly, watching Kylie pad across the kitchen and realizing as she said it how very true the statement was.

 

ĄG

 

Blair dawdled a bit over her breakfast, but finally felt ready to make the call to David. Her unconscious still managed a few last delays. She cleared her place at the table, went to the bathroom — though nature hadn’t called — and carefully rearranged the flowers in a vase on the breakfast counter.

Blair took a deep breath and granted that she felt a little shaky. Well, no way out but through. She went to the kitchen phone, glad that Kylie was busying herself in her office, and dialed her old number.

David answered after only one ring. “Hi, David, it’s me.” Blair could almost hear the man’s shock in the profound silence on the other end of the line. “David?”

“Blair. Oh … hi. Hi. I’m, uh —”

“David, I need to see you.”

“Okay. That’d be fine.”

“To talk,” she said, wanting to be clear with him. “We need to. Can you come over to Kylie’s at, say, 3:00?”

“Today? Sure! Sure, Blair.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you then. Bye.”

Blair put the cordless back in it’s base, her feelings of anxiety still calling the shots.

 

ĄG

 

Shortly before 3:00, when David was due, Kylie took the soft Frisbee and a few squeaky toys and headed for the back yard, two enthusiastic playmates making mad leaps for the toys that minutes before had elicited nothing but boredom. Blair came out as well and kissed her partner after she had thrown the Frisbee for the first time. “Thanks for staying home,” she said. “I’ll feel better knowing you’re here.”

“I’ll always be there when you need me, Blair. That’s what partners do.”

“Good partners,” Blair said. She checked her watch. “I’ll go keep an eye out so he doesn’t ring the bell. I don’t want the pups to get frustrated when they can’t run to the door.”

“Turn on the stereo in the kitchen when you go by. That drowns out a lot of noise.”

“Okay. Classical music calms both me and the baby. Good idea.”

Kylie wrapped her in a warm hug and promised, “You’ll do fine, babe. I’m certain of it.”

“Thanks,” Blair said, her voice rather thin. “See you later.” Her shoulders were slightly slumped as she went into the house, and Kylie desperately wished she could talk to David for her lover, but Blair was an adult, and she was sure she could handle the situation.

A few minutes after 3:00, David pulled up, and Blair opened the gate to the property before he could roll his window down to buzz. Walking out to meet him, she found herself enveloped in an all-encompassing embrace that seemed to last for a very long time. They were both crying when they pulled apart, and she accepted his handkerchief to dab at her eyes and nose. “Seeing you again is so hard,” she said wearily. "I never would have believed that this could happen to us."

He draped his arm across her shoulders, and she felt her head drop to rest against him. “I’ve missed you,” he murmured, kissing her temple.

She didn’t return the sentiment, unwilling to admit to how

infrequently she thought of him, especially now that she had Kylie. She started to head toward the house, and he stayed right with her.

When they got inside, he looked around and asked, “Are those dog toys?”

“Oh. Kylie adopted a couple of Norwich terriers.”

“Cool! Where are they? You know how I love dogs.”

“Oh, they’re outside,” she said. “I didn’t want them to disturb us.”

He looked a little puzzled and said, “I’ve never seen Norwich terriers. Can’t I take a peek?”

“No. Kylie’s outside playing with them, and they’ll never leave us alone if they get to meet you. They’re crazy for new faces.”

He shrugged and stood there, looking a little uncomfortable. “Can I have something to drink? Anything’s fine.”

She nodded and went into the kitchen where she chose orange juice, one of his favorites, and poured a glass for each of them. “This is such a nice house,” he said, looking around. “I didn’t get to see much of it the last time I was here. Wanna take me on a tour?”

“Uhm … maybe later,” she said, not in the mood to start off by explaining why there was only a crib in her room. “Have a seat.”

He sat down and looked at her expectantly, a small smile on his face. “How've you been? You look really healthy.”

“I am,” she said. “We’re doing very well.”

“That’s good to hear.” His smile was stiff and reflected his growing unease. “Uhm … did you want to talk about anything in particular? I don't remember your mentioning why you wanted to see me.”

“That's because I didn't,” she said.

Now a warm, familiar smile settled on his handsome face, and he said, “I know. I just hate to admit that I'm clueless.”

She looked to the floor and fidgeted for a moment, unsure of where to start. “I have to talk to you about something that’s making me very uncomfortable, and I can’t seem to make myself start.”

“Hey,” he said softly, causing her to look into his eyes. “It’s only me. You can tell me anything.” His expression warmed even further, reminding her of the depths of the empathy and trust they had once shared.

She started to cry again, and he got up to sit by her, but she shook her head and put a hand up, warning him off. He sat down and looked at her with a bemused expression. "Is something wrong?"

"No, no," she said. "Nothing's wrong. This is just hard." She took a breath and let it out slowly, then looked him in the eye and said, "I’ve fallen in love, David. I wanted to tell you myself so you didn’t hear it from someone else.”

He looked as though he had been punched in the gut, actually leaning over a little as he tried to get a breath. Finally, after waiting for what seemed like the better part of the afternoon, he gasped, “You’ve fallen in love? Already?”

“Yes,” she replied. "I know it's awfully quick, but it happened."

"Wow." He ran his hand through his short hair and then shook his head roughly. He looked very confused, and when he met Blair's eyes, he said, "How did it happen? Is it that guy I saw you with?"

"No. Nick's my friend, but that's all."

He nodded again. "Well, I guess I should come clean and tell you that I've been dating the woman you saw me with."

"I thought as much," Blair said. "You've never been the kind of guy who likes to have women friends."

He gave her a melancholy look through half-lidded eyes. "I was lonely," he said. "I missed you so much, but I knew you'd never come back."

She was on the verge of arguing with him, but knew it was a waste of effort. "I hope you're happy, David."

"I was happier with you," he said, looking right into her eyes. "I wish we'd never tried to have a baby."

"Things would have been different," she agreed. She saw no need to tell him she was very glad things had turned out as they had, since she didn't want to intentionally hurt him.

He looked very uncomfortable, obviously not knowing what to do with his hands, self-consciously drumming his fingers on his thighs. "So, are you moving?"

"No. Why would I …" She winced, realizing why he'd asked. "I'm staying here, David. This is my home."

"Huh? What does that mean?"

"This is the part that I've been uncomfortable about," she said. "I'm staying here because I've fallen in love with Kylie."

She paused, watching his face as the information finally reached his brain. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. "You what?"

"I've fallen in love with Kylie," she said quietly.

"You're not gay!" He said this loudly, but he didn't seem upset, he seemed absolutely flabbergasted.

"I don't know what I am, David. All I know is that I'm in love with Kylie, and she loves me, too."

"Is she gay?" he asked.

"Yes. She's known she was a lesbian since she was a girl."

His brow furrowed, and he cocked his head. "Did you know that?"

"Yes, I knew that."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Now his tone was angry, and his face was turning a deep rose.

"I didn't think it was important," she said.

"Not important? Your best friend — your confidant — the woman you spend all of your free time with — is a lesbian? And that's not important enough to mention to your husband?" He was shouting now, and Blair heard the sliding glass door in the den open very quietly. She knew Kylie was in the house, and she prayed she wouldn't interfere.

Blair could tell that David wouldn't be able to hear another word she said. All of their years together had made her very attuned to his moods, and when he was angry, he became as good as deaf. Nonetheless, she answered his question. "I didn't tell you because I thought you'd react exactly like you are reacting. I thought you'd assume she wanted something from me."

He jumped to his feet. "She did! And she got it! Jesus fucking Christ, Blair! How stupid can you be? You let some woman talk you into getting divorced! Can't you see she wanted this all along?"

Blair stood up, having a little trouble getting her balance as she often did these days. She walked right up to David and stared into his eyes. "If you want to know about my life, I'll answer any questions you have. But you have to go home and calm down first. You haven't called me once in the last couple of months, and it's too late now for you to play the wronged spouse. I want you to leave. Now."

He looked like he wanted to argue, and for a fleeting moment, she felt a flash of fear. His hands were balled into fists, and his eyes were burning with such rage that she was afraid he might hit her. But he turned around and kicked the chair he'd been sitting in, then stormed out of the house, leaving the front door wide open.

She followed behind him, shut the door and leaned against it heavily for a few moments, feeling numb. Wearily, she forced herself to begin to move, her natural instinct compelling her to head for the guest room to be alone. But halfway there, she stopped abruptly and headed outside. After she slid the door open, both dogs ran for her full-tilt, nearly crashing into her. “It’s nice to see some friendly faces.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her partner, leaning against the house — her hands in her pockets.

“You heard me, didn’t you?” Kylie asked.

“Yeah.”

"Thanks for not coming into the room," she said softly. "I would have hated that."

"I'm sorry I came in ," Kylie said, "but when I could hear him even with the doors closed, I got worried."

"I understand," Blair said. "I probably would have done the same." Kylie took her hand, and they walked over to a chaise. The doctor sat down first, her feet on the ground. Then Blair sat between her legs and shifted around, trying to get comfortable.

"Let me lower the back a little. That'll give us more room." She did, and Blair snuggled a little closer, rubbing her head against Kylie's chest and neck.

“I don’t want to talk,” Blair warned, “but I need to be close to you.”

“You don’t have to say a word,” Kylie said. “Lie here and relax.” She started to run her fingers through Blair’s hair, moving down to deeply massage the tense muscles in her neck and shoulders. Moving back to her head, she lightened the touch, continuing to slide her fingers along Blair’s scalp until the smaller woman’s breathing evened out and she fell asleep on Kylie’s chest. Even though Blair was clearly asleep, Kylie continued to stroke her gently, trying to soothe her even when she was not consciously aware of her touch.

 

ĄG

 

Later that evening, they lay in bed together, Blair still clinging to Kylie like a lifeline. She had not said a word about the events of the afternoon, and even though Kylie wanted to know what was going on in her lover’s head, she was loath to press her to speak. They’d been in bed about twenty minutes, and though Kylie would normally have been asleep in seconds, she fought her drowsiness in order to stay awake with Blair.

Despite her efforts, Kylie nodded off, waking with a start when she heard her lover sniffling. "Baby?" she asked. "You okay?"

Blair nodded, then curled herself into a ball, crying just enough to make a soft sound.

"Tell me what's wrong," Kylie soothed. "You'll feel better if you talk about it."

"No," Blair whimpered. "Not tonight. Please."

“Okay, okay,” Kylie said, kissing her forehead. She started to gently rub her lower back, and in a few minutes, Blair was asleep. It took Kylie quite a while to relax enough to join her — her mind unable to erase the look of abject sorrow that had been on her partner’s face after David left or the tears that lingered on her pale cheeks.

 

ĄG

 

The next day, Blair left the house at noon, her afternoon and evening completely booked. Kylie hated to see her go since she knew how tired and drained she was from the emotional scene with David the day before, but Blair rarely let her personal life get in the way of work, and today was no exception.

She had dinner with a pair of gay men whom she'd worked with before. They were looking to buy a bigger house and sell the one they currently owned. They were a very pleasant pair, and they had been very easy to work with before, so she could relax and enjoy dinner instead of trying to impress them. Her mood was good when she drove up her street, but it soured immediately when she saw Sadie's car in the drive. "God damn! Am I gonna have to throw her out of the house now?" She got out of the car and slammed the door, knowing she'd have a fight on her hands.

The dogs ran to greet her, and she spoke to them, too tired to get down to their level. She heard quiet voices coming from the den, and she kicked off her shoes and walked to the room, anxious to kick some ass and get it over with.

Sadie and Kylie were sitting in the den, both of them looking up rather idly when Blair walked in. "Hi, honey," Kylie called out, putting up her hand to give a poorly formed wave. "Come on in."

Blair stared at her partner, then looked at Sadie.

"You're so lucky you weren't home when I first got here," Sadie said, giggling like a little girl. "I was sooo mad at you!" She thought this statement was extremely funny, and Kylie was also caught by an attack of the giggles.

"You've never seen a woman so mad," the doctor chortled. "I thought she was gonna have a stroke!" She paused, then nearly went into hysterics when she said, "I'm a doctor! I coulda saved her!"

"What have you two been doing?" Blair demanded. She looked at the coffee table and saw an empty bottle of Scotch. She picked it up and pointed the neck of the bottle at Kylie. "This was half-full the last time I made you a drink!"

"Not anymore!" Kylie laughed so hard, she started to choke, and Blair pounded her on the back a few times.

"Kylie, I've never seen you drunk!" She turned to her mother-in-law and said, "Sadie, you don't drink!"

"I do now," she said, then looked at Kylie and laughed.

Blair flopped down onto the sofa. "Nothing better than coming home at the end of a long day and having a pair of drunken women in your living room. What am I supposed to do with the two of you?"

"You could take me to bed," Kylie helpfully suggested. "I'm tired." She rubbed her eyes like a small child, and Blair couldn't help but find her behavior adorable.

"I should make you sleep on the couch," she said, "but you'd probably fall off it."

“I could — I could fall off the floor, honey.” Kylie seemed determined to help.

“I would, too! I would, couldn’t I?” Sadie asked the doctor, excitedly grabbing her hand. This selfless offer from Sadie sent the pair into a frenzy of helpless laughter.

Blair waited — somewhat in wonder, she realized — for this little episode to end, then snapped her fingers a couple of times, and Sadie, wheezing to recover, blinked at her. "Yes?"

"Do you want me to drive you home?"

"No, I have my car here. I drove it." She said, just to be clear.

"You can't drive home, Sadie. I'll drive you, or I'll have David come get you."

"Oh, no!" Sadie said, her eyes wide. "He doesn't wanna see you anymore. He's mad!" She waggled her finger at her daughter-in-law for emphasis.

"Fine. Then I'll drive you." She got up to put her shoes back on, muttering, "I get to haul your ass all the way to Glendale because my lover decided to play bartender tonight. That's an hour I could use for sleep, for the record. There’d better be a really good explanation for this!"

Blair walked back into the room, and Kylie was lying on her side, her feet still on the floor. “Pssht, pssht, pssht,” Sadie said, mangling what was probably supposed to be “Shh,” pointing at the now-snoring doctor. "She's tired."

"Yeah. I can tell," Blair said. "I've made an executive decision. You're staying here tonight."

"Really?" Sadie asked. "Here? I don't have any pajamas." She looked around the room as if she expected her things to appear.

"I have something you can sleep in," Blair said. "I think we all need to go to bed now, or at least one of us is going to be very grouchy in the morning."

"Oh, Kylie's too sweet to be grouchy," Sadie insisted. "She's such a …” Drift had set in, and Blair put her arm around her to get her up. Once they were moving, the older woman leaned in and whispered, “She’s a doctor!”

“I’ve heard, Sadie.”

“And funny,” the sleepover guest added.

"Yeah, she's a pip," Blair agreed, "full of surprises."

 

ĄG

 

Blair woke up early — very early. The couch, such a luxurious place for a nap, was far less comfortable as a bed. Kylie came into the den to let the dogs out, and the light from the open door nearly blinded Blair. Kylie saw her stir and went to stand next to her. "How much trouble am I in?" she asked, looking very contrite.

"You're not in trouble, but I've gotta go back to bed. Will you help me up?"

"I must be in trouble for you to refuse to sleep with me," Kylie said. Blair looked at her and the saw that the doctor was near tears.

"I went to bed with you, honey, but you were snoring so loudly that I couldn't stand it. I came out here at around 3:00." She put her arm around her and said, "I swear I'm not mad at you. I'd like you to tell me why you poured Scotch down my ex-mother-in-law's throat, but that can wait until you get home."

"I can tell you now," Kylie said.

"No, I'm dead on my feet. I've got to get some rest. I feel like I've been awake for three days."

Kylie led her to their bedroom, then tucked her in. She grabbed each dog before eight wet paw prints could be left on the bedspread, then wiped them dry with a towel. "I'll go get ready for work in your bathroom," Kylie said. "Then I won't disturb you."

"How's your head?" Blair asked.

"Not bad. My stomach's upset, but I don't feel as bad as I should."

"I have a feeling Sadie's not gonna say the same thing." Blair rolled over and cuddled her body pillow. "Thanks for taking off and leaving me with her. You owe me several."

"You still love me, don't you?" Kylie asked. She sat down on the bed and kissed Blair's cheek.

"I'm not even gonna dignify that with an answer," Blair said, almost smiling. "I love you no matter what, baby. Now give me a real kiss."

Kylie did, holding her breath since she knew she must smell like a peat bog. "I love you," she said. "Call me if you need anything. Can you sleep in?"

"Yeah. I had a staff meeting, but before I went into the den, I left a message canceling it."

"That's good. I'll put a note on your door telling Sadie not to wake you. I'll also make a pot of coffee and put out some Tylenol for her."

"Thanks, honey. You don't have surgery today, do you?"

"No. I’d never drink the day before surgery."

"Just checking. I don't wanna have to call the A.M.A."

"I'll be home early — with something special for dinner. I'll wait on you hand and foot tonight."

"All week," Blair decided, scrunching her pillow into the perfect shape and falling asleep almost immediately.

 

ĄG

 

Blair rolled out of bed at 9:00, surprised that she felt as well as she did. She took a long shower, then dressed for work. By the time she left her room, it was nearly 10:00, and she was famished. To her surprise, Sadie was sitting in the kitchen, fully dressed in yesterday's wardrobe, looking much like her usual self.

"You're quite the lady of leisure," she said to Blair. "Do you always sleep so late?"

"No, I don't," Blair said, forcing herself to smile. "Have you had breakfast?"

"Not really. Kylie left me some coffee and told me where all of the food was, but I'm not very hungry."

"I'm desperate for food," Blair said. "It won't bother you if I cook something, will it?"

"Why would it bother me?" Sadie asked, making Blair wonder whatever became of the good old-fashioned hangover. "You sit down and let me make you something. What would you like?"

Her instinct was to protest, but Blair had a fondness for anyone else's cooking, so she took a seat. "I've been in an egg mood lately," she said. "Can you make me some scrambled eggs? I need them dry, by the way."

"How about a little cheddar cheese in them?"

"Hmm … that sounds pretty good. Let's try it."

"Toast?"

"A bagel I think. I won't have lunch today, so I need to stock up."

"Good," Sadie said. "I'm glad to see you have your appetite back."

"Oh, it's back," Blair said, relaxing enough to laugh. "With a vengeance."

"When I had David, I gained forty-five pounds," Sadie said. "I'm still trying to lose the last fifteen."

Blair had heard this lament many times, but she smiled and nodded. "I'm on target to gain about thirty. Kylie supervises me very, very closely. I think I've had junk food twice since I moved here. If I were on my own, I'd probably live on Big Macs."

"That's not good for the baby," Sadie said. "You need to eat right."

"I do," Blair said. "I'm very careful, and so far, it's really paying off. I don't have a lot of the problems that I've read about."

"You don't have hemorrhoids?" Sadie asked. "Oh, my God, mine almost killed me!"

"No, that's one part of my body that hasn't betrayed me yet, thank God. Kylie would consider it a personal failure if I got them, so I try to eat as much fiber as I can."

"Fiber," Sadie said. She was busily scrambling the eggs and moving around the kitchen, looking for what she needed without asking. "We didn't know about fiber. We didn't have all of the pampering you girls do. You went to the doctor a couple of times, he took a look at you and sent you on your way. None of these big, expensive machines. I think my doctor bill was $400 when I had David."

Blair was feeling quite adult and was proud of herself for not saying, "You overpaid." Sadie got the eggs into the hot pan, and in a few minutes, she delivered them complete with a lightly toasted bagel.

"This looks delicious, Sadie. I think I'll start adding cheese on a regular basis. I like to have protein early in the day."

"Eat what you want," the older woman said, waving her hand dismissively. "Doctor's don't know more than they did forty years ago, they only charge more."

She sat down and watched Blair dig into her breakfast. "You don't want anything on that bagel? Don't you have jam or jelly?"

"I like it dry," Blair said. "Butter's too oily for me in the morning. It's great exactly like this."

"All right. You know what's best."

Blair took another bite, then put her fork down and said, "Do you want to talk about yesterday? I know you must’ve been angry when you got here — before the resident mixologist got her hands on you — and I can't believe everything is fine now."

"No, everything's not fine," Sadie admitted, "but you could have done a lot worse. That Kylie's a very, very nice girl."

"Uhh … yeah, she is," Blair said. "So, that's it? You're okay with my being in a relationship with her?"

"Oh, of course not!" Sadie said, laughing as she slapped Blair's hand softly. "But what am I going to do about it? You're not my daughter, so I don't have much control over you. I'm certainly not happy about my grandchild growing up in this environment, but it could be worse." She looked at Blair's empty plate and said, "You need another egg."

The younger woman was too stunned to speak, so she sat there for a minute while Sadie cooked. "I … know how you feel about gay people," Blair finally said. "I'm having a hard time believing that you're not more upset about this."

"Look," Sadie said, sliding the egg onto Blair's plate, "what do I do? I can't go to court to take the baby away from you. I can't get David to sue you for custody. If I want to see my grandchild, I have to act like this is all normal. It's not … but I don't have any choice."

Blair shook her head, then slowly began to smile. "You know, you have some good qualities, Sadie. At least you're honest. Most people wouldn't admit they'd take your baby from you if they had half a chance. But you put it right out there on the table. I've gotta give you honesty points, if nothing else."

Sadie looked at her daughter-in-law for a few moments, then said, "I'm too old and too tired to raise a baby. And that girl David's dating doesn't have the sense to come in out of the rain. You're going to be a good mother, Blair, and I'm very, very impressed with Kylie. Like I said, things could be worse."

"Well, I guess it's lucky for me that David's dating an airhead," Blair said. "Plus the fact that he doesn't give a damn about the baby of course."

"I don't want to talk about that," Sadie said, turning her head away. "It's giving me an ulcer."

"Now there I can empathize," Blair said. "It almost drove me mad."

Sadie met her eyes and reached out and took her hand. "I'm so sorry that David deserted you. I think I can understand just a little bit why you've given up men. I don't agree with it, God knows, but I can understand — a little bit."

There was a part of Blair that wanted to set Sadie straight, but a bigger part had no interest in it. She nodded, letting the woman believe what she wished.

When breakfast was finished, Blair put the dishes in the dishwasher and put her shoes on. After saying goodbye to the dogs, she walked Sadie to her car. The older woman hugged her tightly and said, "I love you, Blair. I know you're going to do your best to be a good mother." She released her and asked, "Will you have the baby baptized?"

"I'm not sure, Sadie. We haven't talked about that yet."

"If you don't, I'll take him or her to my church behind your back. You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, I know that," Blair said, strangely amused by her mother-in-law’s nerve. "It can't hurt to be baptized — go for it."

"That's my girl," Sadie said, pinching her cheek. "We'll get along just fine."

"We will get along fine," Blair said, "and I'm going to be as honest with you as you are with me. I know how much having a grandchild means to you, and having my grandmother in my life was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. I want you both to have each other, but … I want you to understand something. I don't ever — ever — want you to tell the baby how you feel about homosexuality. You have to keep those feelings to yourself. I'm going to have the kind of relationship with my child where he'll tell me if you say hurtful things about Kylie and me. If that happens, even once, you're cut off."

"It's a deal, Blair. Frankly, I'd prefer to never discuss the thing at all."

"Okay, we've got an understanding. I know you're a woman of your word, Sadie, and so am I." Blair gave her a hug, then Sadie got into her car and drove away.

Too bad Sadie's got all the balls in the Spencer family, Blair thought, smirking to herself. And the biggest headache.

 

ĄG

 

Even though things had gone relatively well with Sadie, Blair had a very bad day on Monday. When she got home that night, she looked considerably worse for wear. “Did somebody put rocks in my pockets?” she asked grumpily, dropping her briefcase on the kitchen counter. “I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds. My back hurts, my legs ache, and those tendons on the side of my belly feel like they’ve been cut with razor blades.”

Kylie got up and wrapped her lover in a warm embrace, then pulled away and started to undress her. “You probably feel crummy because of this outfit. It must kill you to have to wear heels all day.”

"Hey. These shoes were a major pregnancy concession. I had to put my Manolo Blahnik's and Jimmy Choo's away since my feet looked like a pair of bratwursts sticking out of the top of them. This is the lowest heel I've worn since I was in college." She stuck her foot out to remind herself how much she hated the shoes. "They suck," she said, with a touch of venom in her tone.

Kylie wanted to give her partner a lecture about wearing heels at all, since she could easily lose her balance, but she knew this wasn't the time. She removed the dress, then reached behind her partner to remove her bra, the endeavor taking a minute since there were so many hooks to unfasten. “Boy, I bet it’s really arousing to undress me,” the grouchy woman said. “A nursing bra that could stop a pair of cantaloupes from swaying, the sausage casing panty hose, and the panties that I could dry my whole car with.”

Kylie didn’t say a word. She just gave her partner a wry smile, letting her voice her complaints without interruption. After helping her step out of the panty hose and remarkably unattractive panties, Kylie sat on a kitchen stool and started to speculatively look Blair over. “Some of the clothes you have to wear are a little fashion challenged,” she admitted. “But the delights those clothes hide …” She shook her head while her eyes widened in appreciation. “They are truly works of art.” With a look of intense pleasure in her eyes, Kylie started to run her hands over Blair’s body, her smile growing wider and wider as she caressed her.

Standing naked in the kitchen while Kylie looked at her and touched her with such veneration made the smaller woman start to feel uncomfortable. She placed her hands atop the doctor’s and said, “I’ve got to get off my feet, honey. Let me go put on my pajamas.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Kylie said, taking her by the hand. She led her out to the back yard, having to tug on her a little to get her to follow.

“What in the heck are we doing?” Blair asked.

“I want you to lie in the pool and float for a while. I guarantee you’ll feel significantly better to be relatively weightless.”

“But it’ll be cold!”

“No, it’s not. I keep it at 84 degrees. I think you should start getting at least part of your exercise in the pool.” She was retracting the cover as she spoke, and Blair realized that she wasn’t going to get a vote in the matter. Kylie took her hand and helped her into the lap pool, saying, “I’ll go get you a towel. Be right back.”

By the time she returned, Blair was floating on her back, a blissful smile already settled upon her face. Kylie was fascinated by the sight of her buoyant breasts and belly breaking the waterline, but she didn’t think Blair would share her feelings, so she wisely kept her thoughts to herself. “The doctor is most definitely right,” the blonde sighed when she saw Kylie. “This feels divine.”

“I’ll leave the pups here to watch you,” Kylie said. “I’ll go finish dinner.”

“Hey, Kylie?” Blair said, lifting her head. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, my little mermaid.”

 

ĄG

 

uring dinner, Blair said, "Given the discussion Sadie and I had this morning, I have an idea of what you two covered last night."

"Oh, yeah? What's your guess?"

"I think you charmed her and let her know what a good parent you'd be to her grandchild, and I think you also let her know that she didn't have a legal leg to stand on — in a polite way, of course."

Kylie smiled and nodded. "I couldn't help being charming, but I did manage to let her know that grandparents don't have the right to visitation in California. That seemed to impress her."

"You did a good job, honey, but I'm more than a little interested in why you both got stinking drunk?"

"You'd know if you'd been here at one o'clock," Kylie said. "She was breathing fire!"

Blair covered her eyes. "You had to deal with her from 1:00 until 10:00?"

"Yep."

"I'm surprised you didn't inject her with a sedative."

"If I carried any on me I would have," Kylie said. "Scotch was the closest thing I had. We started off with very mild Scotch sours, and I kept pouring 'em into her until she stopped yelling and started listening."

"What was she yelling?" Blair asked, suddenly feeling very sorry for her partner.

"You don't wanna know," Kylie said. "Trust me."

"I do trust you, but I want to know. I hate to be kept in the dark."

Kylie gazed at her for a second, then asked, "Where did you two leave things?"

"We decided we'd try to have a good relationship. She promised never to talk badly about our relationship or gay people in general, and I said she could see Mackenzie if she behaved."

"That's great," Kylie said. "Really great."

"So … tell me what she said?"

"No." The doctor was shaking her head, looking like she wasn't about to change her mind. "She was upset, and she vented for a long time. But there wasn't one thing she said that you need to hear. It would just piss you off — and you don't need the aggravation."

"This is what's aggravating me," Blair said. "I want to know."

"I'm not gonna tell you, so don't bother asking. You don't have to use too much imagination to guess, honey. Just take every negative stereotype about gay people you've ever heard, and say them all in a very loud, abusive tone."

Blair was frustrated, but also very unhappy that her lover had been subject to Sadie's wrath. "Baby, I hate to think of her abusing you."

"It's all right. Really. I'd rather she do it to me than you. I could depersonalize it, given that she'd never met me."

"Still, it's not fair. I wish you would have called me and told me to come home."

"I deal with people like her all of the time," Kylie said. "It really wasn't a big deal. I'm just glad she was calm by the time you got home."

"She must have been like a charging rhino," Blair laughed. "You know, like on the nature shows when they have to keep shooting tranquilizer darts at 'em?"

"It was a little like that," Kylie agreed. "I was gonna have to go out for more Scotch!"

Blair reached out and took her partner's hand. "I appreciate what you did. I really do. I know you were only trying to protect me."

"I was," Kylie said earnestly.

"As much as I appreciate it, though, I don't want you to do anything like that again. Sadie's my problem, not yours. I can fight my own battles."

"But your problems are my problems," Kylie said. "We both have to deal with her now."

Letting out a heavy sigh, Blair said, "I know you're trying to help, but this isn't the kind of help I need. If she makes another unannounced visit, call me or don't open the door. Just don't try to handle her alone. Please!"

"All right," Kylie said quietly.

Blair gave her a chagrined look and said, "I’m sorry I'm being so pissy.”

“You’re not feeling well, are ya?”

“No, I’m not, but it’s not anything in particular. I’m just tired and achy and feel like a walking sack of potatoes.”

“You’re a cute little spud,” Kylie said, holding her grin until Blair joined her.

“Okay, you’ve spent enough time trying to cheer me up. Now go relax while I do the dishes.”

“No, you’re not feeling well. You sit down and put your feet up. I had a really easy day.”

“I can manage to do the dishes, Kylie. Now go do something relaxing.”

“But I’d really rather be with you,” the doctor said. “At least let me dry.”

Giving her a decidedly perturbed look, Blair said, “No one wants to do the dishes. Go enjoy yourself.”

Not wanting to start another tiff, and recognizing that Blair was on a short fuse, Kylie did as she was told, even managing not to mumble under her breath. She went to her office and started to work on her bills for the month, getting everything organized by the time Blair walked in some time later. “Whatcha doin?”

Turning in her chair, Kylie said, “Waiting for you to come in and sit on my lap.” She patted her thighs, and Blair fulfilled her wish.

Draping her arm around Kylie’s neck, she asked, “What else are you doing — besides waiting to have your thighs crushed under my massive weight?”

“I’m getting ready to pay my bills.”

“You pay your own bills?”

“Well, yeah. My dad stopped when I graduated from med school,” she said. “Does some benefactor pay yours?”

“No, silly. My accountant does mine.”

“Well, aren’t we indulgent,” Kylie said, immediately regretting her words when Blair’s eyes narrowed.

“It’s not indulgent,” she sniffed. “It’s logical and practical. I have employees you know, and I have to make sure their tax issues are handled properly. I use my car and my cell phone and part of my home phone and fax for business, and I have to keep very careful records. The incremental cost for having her do my personal bills is next to nothing.”

“Hey, I didn’t mean that you were being indulgent,” Kylie said. “I was just teasing.”

Starting to stand, Blair said, “Things don't seem very funny tonight. I'm gonna go watch TV.”

Tugging on her arm, Kylie held her in place. “Tell me what’s going on. You seem so unhappy tonight.”

Blair sighed heavily, sat down, and rested her head upon the doctor’s shoulder. “I was sitting at work for a couple of hours, doing paperwork and making calls between appointments. I’m always grouchy when I have to do that. My desk chair isn’t very supportive, and those damned pantyhose are like tourniquets around my belly.”

“Why don’t you work at home, honey? You can make phone calls from here.”

“I know, but I’ve never wanted to have a home office. I wanted my home life to be separate from work. I’ve been able to maintain the separation so far, and I hate to merge the two now.”

“I understand,” Kylie said, “but this might be the time to rethink that policy. What would you need to work from here?”

“I guess I’d need a desktop computer. My laptop is fine, but I intentionally bought a tiny one so I could carry it with me. I’d need a much bigger monitor to be comfortable, too, and a fast Internet connection, and I’d have to have someone configure the computer to let me get into the system at the office. Then, obviously, I’d need a desk and a good chair.”

“There’s a lot of room in here,” Kylie said, waving her hand at the empty space in the generously-sized room. “There’s plenty of space for another desk. Let’s get you set up with a home office, babe. It might let you stay home for a couple of hours a day.” Kylie gave her a curious look and asked, "What did you mean when you said you had employees?"

"I have employees," Blair said once again. "I have an administrative assistant and two agents who work for me."

"That's your team," Kylie said, looking confused.

"I know. They're my team. I'm the manager."

"I had no idea," Kylie said. "I thought you all worked for the same firm."

"Who do you think does most of my paperwork and goes to all of the broker's open houses? Who does my floor duty?" She gave Kylie a puzzled look and said, "Do you have any idea what my job is all about?"

"Yeah, yeah, I do. I listen very attentively," she said. "You've just never told me this stuff before."

"Everybody who sells over twenty million dollars of real estate has people who work for her, Kylie. You couldn't possibly sell that much if you were tied to your desk or running around the Westside looking at a bunch of loser properties."

"Well, do you have to be in the office to supervise your team?"

Now Blair's look was even more puzzled. "Do you think I hire idiots? They're all independent and do their jobs well. I'm almost never with them."

"Okay, then there's really no reason not to work from home, is there?"

Blair looked unhappy, but was forced to agree. “I guess I have to. I know a guy who can get me set up with the computer. All I’ll have to do is get the furniture and research the Internet connection.”

“We can network," Kylie said. "I have DSL and you can piggyback off me.”

“Okay. I’ll take care of the furniture.” Kylie gave her a half-smile and Blair amended, “Okay, I’ll have Walter take care of the furniture. You’re already onto my tricks. That’s a very bad sign. We’ve been spending way too much time together.”

“Oh, that reminds me. There’s a medical convention in Chicago, and it starts right after my dad’s birthday. I wasn’t planning on going, but Jon Greene had to cancel. He asked me if I’d go in his place.”

Blair just smiled. “Okay.”

“Do you mind if I stay for a few days?”

With a look of true confusion, Blair asked, “Why would I mind?”

Kylie shrugged, trying not to look embarrassed. “No reason. I was just letting you know.”

“Okay. Consider it noted. Have you changed your plane reservations?”

“Mmm … not yet. I’ll do that now.”

Blair got up and said, “I’ll warm up a spot for you on the sofa. See you in a few.”

Nodding, Kylie tried to swallow her hurt feelings. I didn’t change the reservations because I thought you might want to stay with me. She shook her head, thinking, She’s not that kind of woman, Kylie. She has her own life, and she wants you to have yours, too. She’s an adult and she doesn’t need to stick to you like glue. Sighing, she started to change her travel plans, thinking, I wish I hadn’t told her about the stupid convention. Now I can’t cancel or I’ll look like a big, needy baby. Pouting, she admitted, I can’t bear the thought of being apart from her for three days — but I have to now.

 

ĄG

 

When they got into bed, Blair was already half-asleep. Kylie tried to curl up against her, but the smaller woman mumbled, “I need some space, tonight. I’m too grouchy to be close.”

“Okay,” Kylie said softly, scooting away. She lay there in silence, staring at the back of Blair’s head, feeling terribly hurt.

Without warning, Blair turned onto her other side and caught the look in her lover’s eyes. Trying to erase the scowl that she knew was etched upon her own face, she made herself smile and asked, “Can I hold your hand?”

“Of course.”

Kylie extended her hand and Blair captured it and nestled it between her breasts. “I can’t sleep if I don’t have a little part of you touching me,” she said, staring right into Kylie’s eyes. “No matter how grouchy I am, I still need you.”

“I need you, too,” Kylie whispered. She kissed her partner tenderly and closed her eyes, feeling some of the hurt disappear as if by magic.

 

ĄG

 

When Blair came home the next night she was still not in a very good mood. Once again, Kylie undressed her and sent her out to the pool, hoping that the water would buoy her spirits. The doctor went outside after a while and found her lover slowly kicking her feet just enough to keep her legs afloat. She didn't say anything since Blair's ears were underwater, but Kylie knew that something was wrong. And it was more serious than the minor physical complaints that Blair had voiced the day before. She sat on the edge of the pool, watching her lover. There were a few lines etched between Blair's eyebrows and neither the weightlessness nor the relaxing, warm water was doing anything to wipe them away.

After a long time of merely floating, Blair started doing laps, gliding through the water with lovely form, even given her changing body. Kylie thoroughly enjoyed watching the muscles in her arms and shoulders flex and extend through her stroke, and the way just a few inches of her adorable ass stayed above the water line.

Blair was at it until she was tired, and that was only about ten laps. She stopped, and her head popped up while she gasped to suck in air for a minute. "Jesus! That sucked!"

"What? You looked wonderful."

"Ten laps? Ten stinking laps? I used to do sets of two hundred, and I could do that for hours!"

"Blair, you haven't been swimming in a while, and your lung capacity isn't what it used to be."

The blonde tried to get out of the pool the way most good swimmers do, but her arms needed to be at least a foot longer to allow her to propel herself up on the coping. "Fuck me," she muttered, walking over to the stairs. "I haven't used the stairs since I was three!"

Kylie intercepted her on the way to the house and wrapped her in a big towel. She held on tight and said, "Tell me what's really bothering you."

Blair tried to break her hold, groaning in frustration when she couldn't. "Let me go!"

"No, I won't," Kylie said, trying to sound soothing. "Something's really bothering you, and I want to know what it is."

"Let me go!" Blair yelled again, loud enough to rouse the neighbors. But Kylie wouldn't give in. She knew Blair was on the verge of exploding, and she wanted it to be sooner rather than later. She got her wish when her lover started to cry, sobbing so hard that she almost fell. Kylie increased the pressure of her hold, and guided her to a chair. Blair sank to the cushion and cried, great shuddering sobs racking her body.

Kylie squatted down beside her and tried to hold her, but Blair wrenched her body away, crying even louder. "Don't!"

"Okay, okay." Kylie backed away and sat on the ground, watching her lover cry piteously while holding herself around her belly.

It took a long time, but Blair finally calmed down enough to get out a few words. "I feel so vulnerable!"

"Ooo … " Kylie stroked her wet leg, glad that Blair didn't give her a swift kick. "Tell me why you feel vulnerable, honey."

Blair looked at her like she was dull-witted. She pointed to herself and said, "I don't have my own body!"

"Sure you do," Kylie soothed. "You just have a little more of it."

"I do not! When David was here I honestly felt afraid of him for a second. I thought he might hit me, and I didn't know how to defend myself if he did. All I could think of was that I'd have to bend over so he couldn't hurt the baby! I would have had to let him hit me right in the head!"

Kylie's eyes grew dark and her voice dropped. "If he had hit you," she said, enunciating each word, "I would have killed him."

"Great! My husband leaves me and my lover's in prison! That'd solve everything."

Kylie closed her eyes, angry with herself for such a knee-jerk reaction. "I'm sorry, honey. That was a stupid thing to say. The best I could have done is tackled him. My mouth got away from me."

"You don't understand," Blair said. "I could defend myself before. I never felt small and defenseless. David's a big wimp! I could have taken him — easily — before I was pregnant. But now I feel like I'm at everyone's mercy! I'm just an incubator for Mackenzie, and I have to protect him at all costs! I'm losing my identity!"

Seeing that some of the fire had gone out of her, Kylie got to her knees and put her arms around her partner, letting her drop her head to her shoulder and cry for a long time. She didn't speak, just held and rocked her, letting her cry herself out. Finally, Blair picked her head up and looked at Kylie, her eyes swollen and red. "Do you understand?" Her words were more a plea than a question, and Kylie nodded her head vigorously. Blair let out a breath, then put her head back down on the doctor's shoulder, finally calm. They stayed just that way for another few minutes, then Kylie felt her partner shiver, so she got to her feet and helped her up.

They went into Blair's bathroom and Kylie stripped off her own clothing and got into the shower. She adjusted the water and helped Blair in, then spent some time washing the chlorine from her body, gently massaging her back and shoulders when she had her soapy. When she was finished, she turned Blair so her back was to the spray and held her while the water rinsed all of the suds away. "I understand," she said softly. "I really do."

She turned off the water, then gently dried her partner, then herself. Naked, she guided Blair into their bed and lay down with her, then held her and stroked her softly until she fell asleep. Kylie stayed awake, watching her lover sleep, while patting her belly, trying to soothe the baby as well.

Blair slept for so long that she wanted breakfast when she woke. Kylie made a rather unconventional dinner of oatmeal loaded with fresh fruit, and that seemed to satisfy Blair's hunger. But she was still holding something back, and she didn't reveal what it was until just before bedtime. Kylie had been watching TV, but Blair was just staring in the direction of the set. She finally turned to Kylie and said, "Sadie said she'd tried to talk David into going to court and demanding sole custody of the baby. Because I'm in a lesbian relationship," she added, just in case Kylie didn't get the point.

Kylie dropped her head into her hands for just a second, then took a breath and held Blair. "We won't let him. We'll leave the country before we let that happen. There's no way in hell he's gonna get custody of our baby!" Blair could feel her lover's muscles tighten, and she let out a sigh of relief that Kylie really understood.

Blair patted her back, trying to calm her. "Sadie said he wasn't interested. Apparently his girlfriend isn't interested, either. Thank God."

"I didn't know he had a girlfriend," Kylie said quietly.

"He's with that child I saw him with when you were in Vermont. I knew it then. I'm not surprised in the least. He has to have a woman around to take care of him. I'm actually pleased that he sought out a sex partner rather than moving home to mommy."

"But still … " Kylie said.

"Yeah, I hated to hear it," Blair agreed. "But if he didn't have her, Sadie probably would have talked him into trying to get sole custody — so I should be thankful." She put her head in her hands, then ruffled her hair. "How did my life turn into a soap opera? I was a happily married woman a year ago, and now I'm a pregnant lesbian with an ex-husband, his domineering mother and his teenaged girlfriend trying to wrestle my baby out of my arms."

"We've gotta get a lawyer," Kylie said. "Immediately."

"Can’t Allan give us some advice? Or I could also ask the guy who's handling my divorce. He's competent."

"No. We need a specialist. We need someone who works with gay people. We need to find out what we can do to make Mackenzie ours — only ours."

"Sadie and I parted on good terms," Blair said. "She said she knows that David isn't interested."

"I don't care," Kylie said. "I don't want this threat hanging over our heads. It's not good for any of us."

"Okay," Blair nodded. "I guess you're right. Do you want me to look for a lawyer?"

"No, I can do that. I don't know a ton of people in the community, but I have a few contacts. It's time to call in some favors."

 

ĄG

 

On Friday afternoon, Blair had an appointment to see Monique. Kylie had been in surgery all morning, and Blair had been unable to get hold of her. But just after the blonde was shown to an examining room, her cell rang. “Hi, I can sneak over for a few minutes, but I don’t have much time," Kylie said. "When do you want me?”

“How about now? Monique should be here in a few.”

“Be right there.”

Kylie arrived about five minutes later, and Blair blinked in surprise when she saw her partner. She was wearing bright blue scrubs and a stunningly white lab coat with "Kylie Mackenzie, M.D." embroidered in red above the breast pocket. Her stethoscope was draped around her neck, and Blair noted that the rubber part of the instrument was a bright purple, adding a splash of color to her ensemble. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she’d never seen Kylie look sexier, and was unable to hide her obvious admiration. “Hi,” she said, her voice a little low.

Kylie’s head cocked a tiny bit in question, reading the subtle signals that Blair was sending out. She leaned close and kissed her, lingering for a moment. When she pulled away she pressed her lips to Blair’s sensitive earlobe, then whispered, “Do examining rooms make you hot?”

“No,” Blair giggled. “But gorgeous doctors do. I didn’t realize until just this minute that I have a uniform fetish.”

“I could tell Monique we need a half hour,” Kylie purred, her lips brushing across Blair’s neck. “Might be the first time you ever had fun with your legs in the stirrups.”

“Who says it’d be the first time?” the smaller woman asked, pulling Kylie down to plant a scorcher on her. Thankfully, Monique knocked before she entered, giving Kylie time to stand up, albeit on rather rubbery legs.

“Well if it isn’t the Mackenzie-Spencer’s,” she said. “Or is it the Spencer-Mackenzie’s?”

“Either one,” Blair said. “Actually, they both sound pretty good. Thank God I didn’t go back to my maiden name. The Mackenzie-Schneidhorsts is horrid!”

“Oh, you poor thing,” Monique teased, patting Blair’s shoulder. “Aside from having a difficult maiden name, how are you?”

“I’m good,” Blair said. “I’ve been a lot grumpier than normal, but Kylie’s more affected by that than I am. Other than that, I feel good. I’m sleeping well, I’m eating right, and I’m getting my exercise.”

“Sounds good,” Monique said. “Any other complaints?”

“No, not really. The only other thing that’s bothering me is my right hand and wrist, but that’s not a part of the body you’re interested in.”

“Sure it is,” Monique said. She took Blair’s hand in both of hers and looked at it carefully. Blair noted that her partner tried to look over Monique’s shoulder, but that the obstetrician moved just enough to block her view. “Looks a little swollen,” she noted. “Have you been using your hand in any repetitive motion lately? Anything new or unusual?”

Blair began to blush, and when Monique looked up she caught her expression. Unable to resist, she turned to Kylie and said, “Damn, woman, give her a break, will you? You can’t make up for lost time all at once.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault that women find me irresistible,” Kylie maintained, winking at her partner.

“Uh-huh. That’s why you did without for over two years,” Monique said. Looking a Blair, she said, “Your tissues are a little swollen, and they compress your carpal tendon a bit. Try to avoid a lot of repetitive motion for a while, and it’ll calm down. I think I’ll have you take a little extra B-6 for a while, too. That should help.”

“Lord, is there any part of my body that isn’t pregnant?” Blair asked in exasperation.

“Nope. Every cell gets in on the act in some way. It’s all good, Blair, even though it doesn’t seem like it at times. Now let’s get you settled so I can take a peek and make sure the baby’s as happy as you are.”

Kylie helped her lie down on the table, and stood by Blair’s head, holding her hand. “You really want to look, don’t you?” the blonde asked, giving her partner a fond smile.

“Yeah, but I can control myself.”

“You can peek if you want to, Kylie,” Monique offered. “Everything looks perfect, Blair.”

“No, thanks. Blair wants to reserve that view for you.”

Monique nodded and withdrew the speculum, patting Blair’s thigh to show she was finished. “Well, you’re in great shape. I thought we’d do a glucose screening test to make sure you’re not developing gestational diabetes. If anything looks suspicious, you'll have to take the extended Glucose Tolerance Test but there's no reason to put you through that if we don't have to”

“Okay,” Blair nodded. “What’s the drill?”

“Do you like really sweet lemon-lime soda?” Monique asked, in an overly cheery tone.

“I don’t like soda at all,” Blair said. “Never touch the stuff.”

“Well, then you won’t like this test,” Monique said. “You have to drink a bottle of sugar solution, wait an hour and then have a blood test."

"Golly, when can we start?" Blair asked, matching Monique's jolly tone.

"I have a couple of options for you. You have to do it after a twelve-hour fast, so obviously you’ll want to do it first thing in the morning. You can do it here, or at the lab over at the hospital, and they open earlier than we do, so that might factor into your decision. I’ll give you a bottle of the stuff and you can chill it — most women find it goes down better if it’s really cold.”

“Do I need an appointment?”

No. I’d like you to do this within a week or two, though. Just pick a day where you feel good and your stomach’s settled, gulp the drink down, then show up an hour later. The lab opens at seven, and we open at nine.”

“All right,” Blair said. “My stomach’s in good shape these days, so I should be able to do it.”

“Great. Anything else?” Monique looked from Blair to Kylie.

“Oh, yeah. We’re planning on going to Chicago next weekend. That’s okay, isn’t it?” Blair asked.

Monique thought for a moment and said, “Yeah, that should be fine. But that should be your last trip until you deliver.”

"That's not a problem. We don't have anything else planned. Is there anything I should watch out for?” Blair asked.

“Mmm … leg cramps are a distinct possibility from sitting in one place for a long time. Try to get up and walk around the cabin every half hour or so. But remember that your center of gravity is shifting, so your balance might be off.”

Giving Kylie a warm smile, Blair said, “I have a feeling someone will be right behind me, making sure I’m safe.”

“Only on the outbound trip,” Kylie reminded her. Looking at Monique she added, “I have to stay for a few days. Medical convention.”

“You’ll be fine,” Monique assured Blair. “I only bring it up to remind you to pay attention when you walk.”

“I do,” Blair said. “I’ll be extra vigilant without my guardian angel.”

“Never thought I’d hear anyone call you a guardian angel, Shakes. It’s nice,” Monique said.

“It’s even nicer from here,” Kylie admitted, giving Blair a look filled to bursting with love.

 

ĄG

 

Blair woke early on the following Wednesday, and noted that Kylie was still home. “Sweetheart?” she called out.

Kylie poked her damp head out of the bath. “Yeah?”

“I think I’ll go to the lab and have my test today. Can I page you when I’m done?”

“Sure. Go up to the second floor and talk to the nurses at station number three. They’ll know where I am.”

“’Kay. Gimme a kiss. I’m gonna go back to sleep for a while.”

Kylie did so, tickling her partner's face with her damp curls in the process. “See you later, baby. Call me if you need to. Good luck with your soda pop.”

 

ĄG

 

At 8:30, Blair exited the elevator on the second floor of the hospital, and made her way down the wide hallway. As she drew near the nurses station she spotted her partner, leaning casually against the counter and chatting with two nurses. Inexplicably, she felt her heartbeat start to pick up when she saw her in her element, and by the time she reached her she had a silly grin on her face. “Hi,” she said, coming up behind the doctor to place a hand on her back.

“Hi.” Kylie’s face lit up when she saw her, and the smaller woman’s eyes fluttered closed as she considered how remarkably lucky she was to have earned Kylie’s love. The doctor twitched her head in the direction of the nurses and said, “Let me introduce you. Marsha and Cathy, this is my partner, Blair.”

“Good to meet you,” Blair said, extending her hand over the counter to shake each offered hand.

“Congratulations!” Cathy said, her enthusiasm obvious. “Doctor Mackenzie was just telling us about the baby. We had no idea!”

“Oh, you know how she is,” Blair said. “She likes to keep her little secrets.”

“You won’t have a minute’s peace when you deliver,” Marsha predicted. “Everyone’s gonna want to see Doctor Mackenzie’s baby.” She looked up at Kylie with what Blair could only describe as a wistful look and added, “Everybody’s crazy about her.”

“How could they not be?” Blair asked, tucking her arm around Kylie’s waist. “She’s absolutely perfect.”

“That sugar solution’s gone to your head,” Kylie said. “Let’s sneak into the doctor’s lounge. There’s always something to snack on in there.”

“See you later,” Cathy said, and Marsha waved as well.

“Well, that doesn’t surprise me a bit,” Blair mused as they walked away.

“What’s that?”

“That the nurses love you. Although old Marsha looked like she might like to love you in a more physical sense.”

“Uhm … I’ve kinda thought that myself,” Kylie said. “I’ve just never allowed myself to date anyone connected with work. That’s part of the reason my options were so limited.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re introducing me around. I want to make sure everyone knows I called dibs.”

Kylie poked her head into the doctor’s lounge and saw that it was empty. Blair walked in and spotted a tray of bagels and nearly leapt for one. “If I don’t get something solid in my tummy I’m gonna start hallucinating.” She cut a bagel open and stuck it into the toaster, giving Kylie an appraising look when she was finished. “Navy blue scrubs today, huh? I like.”

“Yeah,” she said, looking down at herself. “We have several colors to choose from. I usually stick with the blues.”

“They make your eyes look even bluer,” Blair smiled, coming closer. She stared up into Kylie’s eyes and said, “They’re as blue as I’ve ever seen them. They look like the Caribbean today.” She stuck her hands inside Kylie’s unbuttoned lab coat and caressed her back. “You are so pretty,” she sighed. Kylie bent to kiss her, and Blair smiled through the kiss, her eyes open. “You just brushed your teeth. Was that for me?”

“Yep. Ever since we’ve been involved I carry a toothbrush with me.” She reached into one of her large pockets and pulled out a small travel-sized brush with a tiny tube of paste. "I knew you were coming over, so I brushed after I had my last cup of coffee."

“I swear you’re the most thoughtful woman on earth. How did I luck out and snare you?”

“Must’ve been your lucky day,” Kylie said, planting another soft kiss on her lips.

Blair’s bagel popped up and she shook her head as she went to fetch it. “If I don’t watch myself I’m gonna have you right on this table.”

“I’m gonna get to the bottom of this,” Kylie decided. “That’s twice you’ve seen me in my doctor clothes, and twice you wanted to get frisky because of them. Now, what gives?”

“We can talk about it later,” Blair said, giving Kylie a heated kiss. “I’ve got to go meet a client.” She dropped a hand to her lover’s ass and tickled along the bottom of her butt, feeling the bikinis that she knew would be present. “Nice panties, even in scrubs. My kinda doctor.”

“Kiss me goodbye,” Kyle said, bending to thoroughly investigate Blair’s mouth. “And be ready for action when you get home tonight, hot stuff.” She placed the earpieces of her stethoscope into Blair’s ears and held the diaphragm over her own heart. “You make my heart race.”

 

ĄG

 

When Kylie came home that night Blair was in her former room, where she still kept her clothing, laying out what she wanted to take to Chicago. “Hi, snookums,” she smiled. “How’s my favorite doctor?”

“Good. How’s my favorite real estate broker?”

“Good also. I’m really looking forward to this trip.”

“I am, too,” Kylie said. “Dinner on Saturday is kinda dressy. Do you have anything to wear?"

“I’m bringing the outfit you bought me to wear to the symphony,” Blair said. “Is that good enough?”

“That’s perfect. I’ll go start dinner.”

“I bought something from the gourmet market. I knew we had a lot of things to do tonight.”

“Cool. Have you had your swim yet?”

“Nope. I thought I’d swim after dinner. I want to get packed first.”

“Okay. I’ll do the same.” Kylie gave her a gentle kiss and said, “Let’s go to bed early tonight. I want you well rested, ‘cause traveling takes a lot out of you.” She added one more kiss and decreed, “Doctor’s orders.”

 

ĄG

 

The pool was only wide enough for one person to swim laps, but it was sufficiently large for Kylie to sit on the coping and dangle her legs in the warm water. She’d been using the pool as well, finding that swimming rejuvenated her body after a long day of standing. Neither was particularly fond of swimsuits, but Blair was forced to wear the top from her suit to support her breasts. Kylie had no such requirement, and she loved jumping into the warm water stark naked. While waiting her turn she wore a T-shirt just to keep the evening chill from her skin, and that was her outfit on this night. One dog leaned against either hip, all three waiting for Blair to emerge.

Over the last week and a half Blair had worked up to fifty laps, and she pledged to be at a hundred by the time the baby was born. “You have such nice form,” Kylie said when her partner finished her workout. “Can you help me improve mine?”

Blair shook her head roughly, then tilted it until a few drops of water trickled out of her ear. She gave Kylie a look, then felt her smile turn a little lecherous as she said, “Your form is absolutely perfect. Nice, long legs, smooth as silk.” She grasped one leg and rubbed her cheek against the skin. “Lovely cheeks, just waiting to be squeezed.” Coming closer, she did just that, making Kylie squeal. “A sexy, dark triangle of perfectly groomed curls.” Her fingers tickled along the edge of Kylie’s mound, the doctor’s giggle music to her ears. “I need to have a little nibble,” she said, and before Kylie could say a word Blair nestled her head between her legs and started to mouth her playfully.

Without further urging, Kylie scooted forward and draped her long legs across Blair’s shoulders. Lying back on the grass, she relaxed and let Blair work her magic, gazing up at the twinkling stars in the indigo blue sky. Sliding her fingers through Blair’s hair, she sighed heavily as wave after wave of spine-tingling pleasure rolled through her body. “God, this feels so good, I don’t ever want it to end.”

Blair’s head lifted and she rested her chin on Kylie’s pubic bone, the moonlight causing her lips to glisten. “I’ve got all night. You just relax and enjoy.”

“Oh, I’m enjoying. I’m definitely enjoying.” She tried to hold off for as long as she could, but Blair was a very quick study and she had learned most of Kylie’s triggers. “Oh, God!” the long legs jerked upward, until her feet rested on Blair’s shoulders. Blair felt her partner begin to pulse against her mouth, grinning to herself at how easy it was to make Kylie come.

“You’re such a pushover,” Blair said, dipping into the water to rinse off. She kissed the delicate skin of Kylie’s inner thighs, and watched the goose bumps rise.

“I know,” Kylie moaned, joining in her laughter. “I always think this will be the time I hold out and really make you work, but I have no self-control whatsoever.” She slid into the water and grasped Blair around the belly, making her scream. Kylie started to kick, and the smaller woman stopped struggling and let herself be drug along after her. They played together for a long while, the dogs running along the side of the pool, yapping excitedly. After tossing Blair around like a doll, Kylie nibbled on her ear and said, “Let’s go inside so I can return the favor.”

“Don’t you have to swim some laps, Doctor Mackenzie?”

“I’d rather lap you,” Kylie said. “I wanna see if I can make you come as easily as you do me.”

“How can I lose in that competition?” the smaller woman asked. “Let’s go rinse this chlorine off and get moving!”

 

ĄG

 

Kylie lost the bet, but she still felt like she had won, resting with her head on Blair’s thigh, a wide smile on her face. “Hey,” she said, beginning to crawl up to lie next to her partner. “We didn’t talk about your doctor fetish yet.”

“I don’t have a doctor fetish,” Blair said. “I just found myself incredibly attracted to you and only you in your doctor togs. I assure you that this isn't a universal phenomenon. You’re the only object of my affection.”

Smiling, Kylie said, “I didn’t get the impression that we were taking about affection. I thought we were talking about lust.”

Returning the smile, Blair said, “I guess that'd be closer to the truth. You look hot. What can I say?”

“You can say a lot more than that! I want some details!”

Her brow knitting, Blair looked at her partner and asked, “Is this really important to you?”

Giving her an adorably shy look, Kylie nodded, her curls bouncing around her head. “It’s important to know what turns you on, babe. If there’s a certain way that I look that works for you, I’ll go out of my way to look like that. If you want me to wear my lab coat to bed, I’ll gladly do it.” She said this with a teasing tone of voice, but Blair didn’t doubt her sincerity for a moment.

“No, it’s not really the lab coat,” Blair said. “It’s just that when you’re in your doctor clothes you exude this sexiness that I find absolutely compelling.”

“But what specifically appeals to you?” Kylie persisted.

“Mmm … I’d have to say that it’s your demeanor. You seem forceful and kinda powerful. You honestly look bigger and more authoritative when you have on that white lab coat. It makes your shoulders look really broad, and makes you look even taller than you are.” She shrugged and said, “You just look impressive. Powerful and impressive. You’re in full-tilt surgeon mode when you’re at work.” Smiling in remembrance, Blair said, “The first time I met you I was taken by how you seemed like the powerful one in a room full of doctors. I thought that was really cool.”

Blinking, Kylie asked, “Were you attracted to me?”

“Yes, but not sexually. There was something about you that was very compelling — kinda like Bill Clinton.”

Her brow knit and Kylie looked confused. “Bill Clinton?”

“Yeah. Everyone who meets him — whether they like him or not — agrees that he fills up a room with his charisma. You do that when you’re at work.”

“But not when I’m at home.”

“Mmm … not as much. Oh, you’re still charming, but you don’t have the aura. At home you’re a little quiet, and kinda self-effacing. You’re really gentle and sweet and thoughtful at home. But at work you’re completely self-possessed. That’s a turn-on,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“Okay,” Kylie said. “I think I know what you mean.” She lay on her back and waited for Blair to curl up against her. She was almost asleep when she jerked sharply and said, “Would you like me to be more like that at home?”

“At home?”

“Well — at home — in bed,” Kylie clarified.

“Oh, honey, you don’t have to put on an act for me. I love you just like you are.”

Raising up onto one elbow, Kylie quirked a grin and said, “I can be a lot of ways. I’m a very flexible woman, and I have a lot of facets to my personality.”

“Really?” Blair asked tentatively. “You’ve never been very uhm … forceful when we’re in bed.”

“No, I haven’t been,” Kylie agreed. “But that’s only because I’ve never gotten a signal that you want me to be.”

Now Blair lifted up, and matched Kylie’s posture as much as she could, given her center of gravity. “What do you mean by that?”

“I mean,” Kylie said, “that all I want is to please you. I read your signals, baby, and I try to give you what you need.”

Blair lifted her hand and scratched her head, her face in a confused scowl. “I don’t get it,” she admitted.

“Maybe this is a cultural difference,” Kylie said. “Maybe it’s the difference between men and women.”

“I don’t know,” Blair said. “All I know is that I wasn’t called on to set the tone before I met you. The guy did that.”

“Okay,” Kylie said, warming to the topic. “Tell me how it felt to have sex with a man.”

“Really? You want to know that?”

“Sure I do, if it’ll help us have better sex. My ego’s not very fragile. I’m open to suggestions.”

“All right,” Blair agreed. She lay back down and thought for a moment. “When I had sex with a man it was mostly about power and a little bit of force. Not coercion — just a forcefulness to his need that I found really appealing. I liked having someone take charge and show me what he needed,” she said. “I found it hot to have a man reveal how much he needed me, and then be able to satisfy him. In a way, it was a reversal of power. He was stronger, and he was kinda dominating me — but I had to cooperate and work with him to allow him to be satisfied. I guess what I liked was the way the power shifted between us. That was hot.”

“I can understand that,” Kylie said. “Now tell me how you feel when we have sex.”

“That’s easy,” Blair said, smiling warmly. “I feel loved and cared for. I feel like you’re focusing on me to the exclusion of everything else in the world. I feel really precious, Kylie, like you practically worship me. You’re gentle, and sweet and so concerned with my pleasure and helping me reach orgasm.” She shook her head and revealed, “David was pretty concerned with my response, but my previous boyfriends weren’t. If I had an orgasm that was nice, but they certainly didn’t lose sleep over it if I didn’t.”

Kylie nodded, taking in every word. “Are there things from your experiences with men that you’d like to incorporate into our sex life?” she asked, her expression one of deep interest.

“No, honey,” Blair insisted. “I love feeling so connected to you, and having you focus on me like you do. I don’t want to give that up.”

Drawing closer, Kylie looked into Blair’s eyes and asked, “I love that too, but it sounds to me like you might like a little change of pace.” She tucked an arm around Blair and pulled her as close as she could. “How would you like it if every once in a while I didn't spend any time at all worshiping you and a whole lot of time …” she placed her lips next to Blair’s ear and whispered a few incendiary words.

Blair pulled away and blinked slowly. “You could do that?” she asked, eyes wide.

“Sure could. Have. Many times.”

Starting to giggle, Blair wrinkled up her nose and said, “That could be fun.”

“Oh, don’t you worry,” Kylie growled playfully, “it’ll be fun.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before we have to leave for your parent’s house?” Blair asked. “I can just see those little nieces and nephews of yours running into the room, trying to get in on the game.”

“We can wait until we get home,” Kylie said. “But don't worry. I won't forget.”

Blair cuddled up to her partner and joked, “I know what I’m gonna dream of tonight, and it isn’t visions of sugarplums dancing in my head."

 

Continued in Chapter 12

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