I Found My Heart In San Francisco
By: S X Meagher
Part 22 (conclusion)
Taking the pizza box with her, Jamie started to search through the apartment, finally finding her partner in the most unlikely of places a bedroom. Ryan was sitting on the bed, with her arm around another woman, speaking softly and soothingly to her. The pair was facing the door, and when Jamie poked her head in, Ryan dropped her arm and gave her a stunned, nervous smile. "Hi! Uhm I was uhm kinda looking for you."
"Did you think I was under the bed?" Jamie asked, her voice in its usual, conversational tone.
Ryans smile grew even tighter, and she jumped off the bed. "Uhm Mandy, this is my partner, Jamie. Jamie, this is my friend, Mandy."
"Pleased to meet you," Jamie said, extending her hand.
Mandy shook it, then got up in an ungainly fashion. As she did, Jamie noted that she was pregnant. The blonde must have been staring at the womans belly, for Mandy patted it and said, "6 months. Seems longer."
Jamie stared at the woman as she walked away, then turned to her partner and raised an eyebrow. "Youd better not have had anything to do with that, Ryan OFlaherty."
"Am I in trouble?" Ryan asked, swallowing audibly.
"That depends on if youre the father of that baby," Jamie said, giving her partners hair an affectionate ruffle.
"Close the door and come over here, honey," Ryan said.
"Are you holding court in here? I havent seen you in a while." Jamie closed the door and walked back over to the bed, holding the pizza box open for her lover.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Ryan murmured as she grabbed a piece of pizza and took a big bite. After swallowing, she said, "No, Im not holding court. Mandy grabbed me a few minutes after I saw Sara and Ally, and weve been talking ever since. Shes having some problems, and she thought I might be able to help."
"Do tell," Jamie said, leaning over to take a bite off Ryans slice.
"Well, the details arent important, but the person she was relying on to be her Lamaze coach backed out on her. She thought I might be able to step in."
Rolling her eyes, Jamie gave her a resigned sigh, and asked, "When do you start?"
"Not for a while," Ryan said, stifling a smile. "Not until youre pregnant."
"What?" Jamie gave her a puzzled look and asked, "You turned down a friend who asked you for a favor? You?"
"Yep. Me," Ryan said, nodding. "I thought about it while she was telling me what had happened, and I decided that helping a woman give birth is too intimate a thing to do with someone other than you. I want the first newborn I ever hold to be ours," she said, putting her pizza down and giving Jamie a tender hug. "Its too precious an experience to share with Mandy."
"Oh, Ryan, thats so sweet," Jamie sighed, giving her partner a kiss. Smoothing the hair back off her face, Jamie gave her a concerned look and asked, "Was it hard to say no?"
"Yeah, it was," Ryan said. "I dont have a lot of practice in refusing favors. But Mandys got some issues that I cant afford to get involved in. I dont think Id be able to walk away after the baby was born I think Id feel like I had to keep an eye on her and I cant afford to share my time like that." She gave Jamie another kiss, this one longer and filled with emotion. "I have to concentrate on you."
"Thank you," Jamie said softly, lying down on the bed and tugging Ryan down with her. "I know it must have been hard to turn down someone in need, but I would have been very jealous if youd said yes." She kissed Ryan tenderly, and added, "But I can certainly understand why she asked you. Youd be a wonderful birth coach."
"Well have to see about that, wont we?" Ryan asked, kissing the tip of Jamies nose.
The door opened, and a pair of women stood in the doorway, one of them peering into the darkness and saying, "Is that you, Rock?"
"You gonna be long?"
"All my life," Ryan said, kissing Jamie softly. "But you can have the room."
* * * * * * * * * * *
On the way through the apartment, they stopped repeatedly, with Ryan kissing each of her friends on the mouth, then dutifully introducing Jamie. "Uhm you dont mind the kissing thing, do you, honey?" Ryan asked when they had a moment alone.
"Have you always kissed these people when you see them?"
"Yeah. Sure. Always."
"Then why should you stop because youre in love? I think it would be odd and a little awkward to try to avoid a kiss its like I own your lips or something."
"Well, ya do," Ryan said, wrinkling up her nose.
"Okay, then I give your lips permission to kiss any of your old friends. But dont go out of your way to kiss people if it hasnt already been established, kay?"
"Its a deal." They stood in the living room, just a few yards from Sara and Ally, who were talking rather than kissing. "I guess we have to go say hello, huh?"
"You dont have to do anything, honey. We can go down to the second floor if you want to."
"No, no, thats not necessary." She was looking around nervously, and spotted someone who caught her attention. "I have to go say hello to Marcus, an old workout buddy from the gym. I havent seen him in over a year. Wanna come?"
Jamie looked over at a rather short man, who obviously spent all of his time working out. He was wearing a tank top and shorts, and his ample muscles were revealed upon every bit of exposed skin. He also had rather intricate tribal tattoos on his biceps, and down the backs of his arms, ending in cuffs at his wrists. "Mmm I think Ill go talk to Sara and Ally. Marcus looks like too much of a gym rat for me."
"You might be surprised," Ryan said in a singsong fashion.
"Ill come get you if I start missing you," Jamie decided. "Go talk about pumping iron with your buff friend."
"Okay. Love you." Ryan kissed her, lingering a bit, then running the tip of her tongue all over the outline of Jamies lips, making the blonde giggle and rub her mouth against Ryans shirt. "Just want to make sure everyone knows youre taken," she murmured, adding one more serious kiss to be certain.
"Brat!" Jamie swatted her on the butt and sent her on her way, chuckling to herself when she approached Sara and Ally. "Hey, guys, whats going on?"
"Not much," Ally said. "Did you ever find Ryan?"
"Yeah, but she got waylaid again. She knows so many people!"
"She does," Ally agreed. "And I bet every one of them wants to ask her about the carjacking."
Jamie blinked at her, then shook her head. "That didnt even dawn on me! Damn, I must be getting better when thats not the first thing I think of when we run into someone we know."
"Are you both getting better, Jamie?" Sara asked.
"Yeah, we are. Its gonna take a long while to be completely over it, but it doesnt interfere in our daily lives much anymore. It still pops up every once in a while, of course usually when you least expect it."
* * * * * * * * * * *
Jordan sat against the wall, with Mia sitting between her spread legs and leaning against her chest. "I cant imagine how hurt you must be," the blonde said, bending repeatedly to kiss the crown of her lovers head.
"Thats it exactly," Mia said. "Im not angry anymore Im deeply, deeply hurt. You know," she said thoughtfully, "it isnt even the fact that they dont approve. What hurts is that theyd made up their minds last night. They were fucking with me today. That feels like such a betrayal."
"I know it does," Jordan soothed. "Id feel the same way."
"Its like they knew Id be pissed, and they wanted to have a nice day so they acted like they were interested in you, and how I feel about you, and how we came to love each other. But they didnt give a crap," she said bitterly. "They just wanted to get through the day in peace. That sucks so bad!" She took another swig off her bottle of tequila, no longer bothering to use a cup or bite the lime.
"They probably didnt want to hurt you. Maybe they wanted to work up to it, but it took em all day. I think they really do love you, honey."
"Maybe they do, Jordy, but they have to learn to love me as an adult. Im not their little girl any more they cant tell me who Im allowed to play with."
"Give em time, baby, theyll probably come around."
"Theyll have plenty of time," the curly haired woman said. "They can reconsider while Im in Colorado."
"Uhm when are you coming to Colorado?" Jordan asked, completely puzzled.
"Tomorrow. Im going with you."
"Mia! Are you serious? What about school?" Jordans face was lit up with excitement, her expression alone reassuring Mia in ways that words never could.
"Whats the rush? You and I can finish at the same time. Its not a big deal."
"Oh, but, honey," Jordan said, "youve only got two more months of class. Dont you want to graduate with your friends?"
"Sure, I want to graduate and be done with it all, but I want to be with you a hundred times more than I want to graduate. I cant wait any more, Jordy. And now that my parents know, theres no reason to be apart any longer. Well both finish our last semester at some point then Ill graduate with my best girl."
"Damn," Jordan said, wrapping her arms tightly around her. "Is it really that easy? Can you just decide to quit school and come to Colorado with me?"
"Yes, its that easy. The hard part is trying to figure out how Ill support myself. I told my parents Id drive my car uninsured, but Id never do that. So, Ill have to have the money for the car and food and a little entertainment. And I want to make sure Im home when youre home so I have to get a day job. How will your roommates feel about having me around?"
"Huh?" Jordan shook her head. "Damn, Ive got so many thoughts racing through my brain, I can hardly concentrate."
"I asked about your roommates," Mia repeated. "Will they mind having me move in?"
"Doesnt matter if they do or not, cause we wont be there long. I want to be alone with you, Mia, not have three other women hanging around all of the time. Well get our own place."
"Jordy! How will we afford that? You said that apartments are very expensive."
"They are, but our relationship is worth too much to fool around with, Mia. Living in a dorm-like setting isnt right for us."
"Oh, Jordan, I feel like Im forcing you to do things youre not ready to do. Are you sure you want me to come?"
"Turn around and look at me," Jordan said. Mia shifted around so that she was facing her lover, and she gazed into her clear, blue eyes. "I love you with all of my heart," she said. "And I want you as close to me as I can get you 24 hours a day. I want to wake up holding you, I want to kiss your sweet lips when I get home at night, and I want to go to sleep cuddled up so close to you that youll feel like youre covered with a Jordan blanket. Nothing on this earth would make me happier than to have you live with me in our own apartment."
"But how will we pay for it?" Mia asked.
"Ive got money," Jordan said. "Ive been forcing myself to live on the stipend I get from USA Volleyball, and putting every dime of my modeling income into savings. But having you with me is worth more than having money in the bank. We can easily live for at least two years on my savings, and Im only too happy to spend it."
"But, Jordan, thats your money for graduate school! You cant spend that!"
"Yes, I can," she said, her eyes blazing with determination. "Im not merely looking out for myself anymore, Mia. My decisions have to include whats best for you and for us. This is whats best for us right now. Graduate school will take care of itself when the time comes. We need a place of our own, we need to keep your car insured; and we need to get health insurance for you. Im not going to worry about what will happen if you break a leg skiing."
"You sound like my dad," Mia said, chuckling softly.
"Thats because I love you, and I want to protect you," Jordan said, bending to kiss her partner. "Youre the most wonderful part of my life, Mia."
"I love you, too, Jordy," she sighed. "Two hours ago I was as depressed as Ive ever been, and now I feel like everything will be all right." Hugging her partner fiercely, she asked, "How do you work that kind of magic?"
"Love," Jordan whispered. "The secret is love."
* * * * * * * * * * *
Jamie went into the kitchen to fish out a beer, but when she took a look at how deep the ice water was, she thought better of it and started to leave the room. "Hey, good looking," Ryan said, filling the doorway by grabbing the top molding and stretching.
"Hi. I was gonna get a beer, but I dont want to get frostbite."
"Let me assist," Ryan said, pushing off from the door and making for the tub. She looked inside, shook her head and muttered, "Heathens." Looking around the kitchen, she spied a large, aluminum pot and started to bail the icy water from the container, not stopping until she reached ice and beer. Sticking her long arm into the tall tub, she extracted two of their beers and handed one to her partner with a flourish.
"My hero," Jamie said, batting her eyes.
"Hey, gotta make sure I get my date at least half drunk if I wanna get lucky," Ryan teased.
"I think Id better stick close to you for the rest of the night," Jamie said, smiling up at her. "I didnt mind letting you hang with Marcus, but hes practically the only guy here. Youve probably had your way with everybody else at the party. I dont want to find you in the bedroom again."
"Fooled you. Had my way with Marcus, too," Ryan said, adding a randy wink. She started to leave the kitchen, but found that a hand reaching out to grab her waistband slowed her progress.
"Hold on there, stud. Youd better be joking."
Ryan turned to find a very stern look on her partners face. "Uhm yeah, Im joking," she said.
Jamie slapped her soundly on the rump, muttering, "I can never tell whether youre joking or not."
"Well, Im only partially joking," Ryan admitted. "I didnt have my way with him, but we did make out at a party once. I didnt want to go any further, though, so we stopped at that."
"What? You made out with a guy?"
Giving her a curious look, Ryan asked, "Why does that bother you?"
Rolling her eyes in frustration, Jamie said, "Because, youve specifically told me that youve never been attracted to a guy, youve never fooled around with a guy, and that youve never even been on a date with a guy. Now, which is it, Ryan?"
"Wow," Ryan said, her brow furrowed, "youre really upset about this, arent you."
Looking embarrassed, Jamie nodded. "Yeah, I am."
"Lets go for a little walk," Ryan said. "I dont want to discuss this in here."
They went outside, and strolled up and down in front of the building, taking sips of their beers to cool off from the overheated apartment. "Ive never lied to you about my sexual history, Jamie. Id never do that. But, I am puzzled about why it doesnt seem to bother you that Ive had sex with at least 10 women here, but youre pissed off to think that I kissed Marcus."
Scowling, Jamie took another pull on her beer and tried to explain herself. "This sounds stupid, but something about you kissing a guy is kinda gross."
"Gross? Youve kissed your fair share of guys. Was that gross?"
"No, its not that guys are gross but your kissing one is."
"I need a little more to go on," Ryan said, scratching her head, "cause that makes no sense."
"Look," Jamie said, "its like this. Expressing your sexuality with women is natural for you. Thats who you are. But the thought of you making out with a guy at a party seems perverted. Its like you did it because you needed someone to kiss, and he was the closest one around. Theres something about it that doesnt sound like you, Ryan, and thats what bothers me. I have an image of you as this super-lesbian; and to hear you say that its any port in a storm seems kinda sick. Im sorry if that hurts your feelings, but Im really bothered by it." She crossed her arms over her stomach, and said, "This is the first thing Ive ever heard of you doing that bothers me. It seems immoral."
Ryan took a sip of her beer and gave her partner a slow smile. "I guess I can understand that. And, no, it doesnt hurt my feelings to have you say that. Like I said, Ive never lied to you about my sexual history. Ive never kissed a man."
"But you said "
"Marcus wasnt a man when I kissed him or her."
"Marcus was Marcia when we first met," Ryan said, smiling when Jamies eyes grew round. "She was kinda cute, and I liked her when I met her, but there was something funny about kissing her. It sounds funny now, but she gave off male vibes, and I couldnt get into it."
"Male vibes?" Jamie asked, still trying to get her mind around this information.
"Yeah. She was more aggressive than I like a woman to be."
"You liked Ally," Jamie reminded her dryly, lifting one eyebrow.
"Ally wasnt aggressive," Ryan said. "To me, theres a difference between being aggressive and being dominant. Ally was definitely dominant, but in a very slow, gentle way. Ally makes you want to submit to her," she said thoughtfully, her mouth unconsciously easing into a smile. "Marcia was just plain aggressive. I didnt like that at all."
"But you stayed friends with her?"
"Oh, yeah, I like him a lot. Now that hes more comfortable with his sexuality, he seems much more laid back. I dont want to test my theory," she said, chuckling, "but I bet hes not as aggressive now that hes had the surgery. I think he had some trouble coming to terms with who he was back then."
Jamies eyes grew even wider as she asked, "He had the surgery? Hes a real guy now?"
"As close as medicine can make him," Ryan said. "Hes still genetically a woman still has the double X chromosome, but he had a double mastectomy a couple of years ago, and about 6 months ago he had the bottom half done."
Gritting her teeth, Jamie crossed her arms over her breasts. "Jesus, I cant imagine choosing to have my favorite erogenous zone removed. Thats a man with convictions!"
"Having the mastectomy is one thing, but risking losing feeling down below is a hell of a lot bigger commitment in my book. Nobodys messing with my girl thang."
Jamie chuckled; giving her partners girl parts a pinch. "I like em as much as you do, baby."
"I rather doubt that," Ryan said, barking out a laugh.
With a thoughtful look, Jamie said, "Damn, I cant get my mind off that surgery. I wonder what his thing looks like."
"His thing?" Ryan asked, chuckling. "For someone whos been well acquainted with things, its rather odd that you cant even use the word."
"Penis," the blonde said, sticking out her tongue. "I can say penis. Happy?"
Tweaking her lovers nose, Ryan said, "Delirious. I uhm can arrange for a peek. Do ya really wanna see?"
"He said hed show me, but I said I didnt have enough knowledge of the equipment to give him an opinion. You could help him out, though."
"Help him out?"
"Yeah, hes kinda weirded out about showing it to a woman in a sexual setting. I think he wants to be reassured that it doesnt look freaky."
"Why do all of your friends feel comfortable asking you to do the most intimate things with them?" Jamie asked, her pique showing.
Ryan slid her arms around her partners waist and looked down into her eyes. "Dont you feel comfortable asking me to do intimate things with you?" she asked, her voice sexy and low.
"Yes, Ryan," Jamie said, unable to hide a smile.
"I guess I give off the right vibes," Ryan said. "But, dont worry, cupcake, I refuse all intimate invitations, unless theyre issued by you."
"Lets go back in," Jamie said, taking Ryans hand. "In only two hours, youve been asked to help someone have a baby, and check out a new penis. I cant wait to see whats next. Lets hit the second floor and see what kinda trouble you can get into."
"Have I ever told you what a good sport you are?" Ryan asked.
"Yes, you have, but I dont mind hearing it again."
* * * * * * * * * * *
After a tour of the second floor, and meeting more people than she could ever hope to remember, Jamie led her partner back upstairs. "I dont want Mia and Jordan to sneak away before I see them," she said. "Mia threatened to get drunk, and I want to make sure Jordan didnt join her."
"Jordan never gets drunk," Ryan said.
"No, but neither did Juliet before Mia got her hands on her," the blonde said, chuckling.
When they got back upstairs, Ryan briefly said hello to Ally and Sara, giving the brunette a quick kiss on the cheek; while presenting Ally with her lips. "Be right back," she said, before she even sat down. "I want to see how Mias doing."
Jamie sat down on the couch next to Sara, while Ryan went over to the corner. Crouching down next to the pair, Ryan said, "Jamie told me about how it went. Im very sorry, buddy."
"It sucked," Mia said, nodding. "I was betrayed by my family tonight, Ryan. I never thought that would happen."
Reaching for her, Ryan sank to her knees and wrapped Mia in a firm hug. "Were behind you. Whatever you need whenever you need it. We wont let you down. Were your family, too."
Sniffling, Mia said, "I love you, Ryan."
"I love you, too. Now, I know how hurt you are, but dont forget that things will change over time. Your parents will eventually come around. Look at how nice Jamies dad is to me now. If he could change that much, Im sure your parents can, too."
"I know," she said quietly. "Someday well all get along. But were a long way from that now."
Jordan unwrapped her long legs from around Mia and said, "Im gonna go make a pit stop and then get a beer. Want one, Ryan?"
"Uhm sure," she nodded. "I guess were walking home, so I can indulge."
As Jordan walked away, Ryan cuddled Mia to her side. "How ya you doing? I heard you were planning on getting hammered."
"Yeah, Im half hammered. I was shaking so badly when I got here that I looked like Id been in the freezer." She rested her head on Ryans shoulder and sighed deeply. Lifting her free hand, Ryan started to run her fingers through Mias curls, soothing her. "Mmm that makes me sleepy. Can I take a nap while Jordys gone?"
"Of course. My shoulders always available, buddy." She continued to stroke Mias hair, quickly realizing that the brunette was breathing heavily already.
I think half-hammered might be an under exaggeration. Looking up, Ryan caught Jamies eye and gave her a wink. Sitting quietly, holding Mia in a loose embrace, Ryan allowed herself the rare pleasure of sitting back and watching her partner interact with people. She loved watching how open and genuine she was; how she brought a spark to every conversation, making both Sara and Ally laugh repeatedly.
Turning her attention to Ally, Ryan watched as Sara said something to her, the brunette stroking her thigh as she spoke. With her mouth twitching into a slow smile, Ally nodded, her eyes crinkling up as they did when she was particularly happy.
Thats what it is, Ryan thought, trying to figure out what was different about her friend. Shes happy. Being in a relationship is really working for her. She watched for another few moments, finally correcting herself. Being with Sara is really working for her. Ive never seen her look so completely comfortable and relaxed.
Sara put an arm around Allys shoulders and tugged her down in front of her, kissing the back of her neck while the larger woman giggled like a child. Damn! After 6 years I wouldnt have had the nerve to push her around like that! Watching carefully, she once again amended her thought. Ally wouldnt have wanted me to push her around like that. Thats the difference. Shes let her guard down with Sara. Damn, I wonder why she never felt comfortable being that way with me? Ryan sat pondering her question for a few minutes, watching the two women play gently with each other. Suddenly, it dawned on her. She didnt let you in because she didnt feel the same way about you. You slept with her for 6 years and you were no closer at the end than you were after the first few months. And heres Sara, only knowing her since Thanksgiving treating her like shes her own personal doll and Allys loving it. Something has clicked between these two that never clicked with you it wasnt right, Ryan, and you know it. You were sex partners just sex partners.
She smiled at the animated blonde who had captured both her body and her soul. Thank God it didnt work out, she thought, shaking her head. As much as I was attracted to Ally, and as much fun as we had in bed, we never had the kind of chemistry that Jamie and I have. Theres not a doubt in my mind that Jamies the perfect match for every part of me not just my libido.
Just as she was considering this thought, Jordan returned, bearing a pair of beers. "Here ya go, Boomer," she said.
"Thanks. Heres your girl back," Ryan said, kissing Mias head. "Shes been thoroughly cuddled, and shes sound asleep. Now, dont rile her up again." She untangled herself from Mias embrace and smiled when the curly-haired woman immediately cuddled up to Jordan in the same way. "You guys are gonna stay with us tonight, right?"
"Yeah, I think we will," Jordan said. "Especially if youll make us breakfast."
"Its a deal," Ryan said. She started back to her partner, but was once again waylaid. One of the birthday girls stopped her and dragged her over to the opposite corner of the room to say hello to a few old friends. Ryan went along willingly, and spent a few minutes chatting with the women. The birthday girl, Shay, was feeling no pain, and she launched into a long, pointless story that Ryan was completely unable to follow.
As usual, when her attention wasnt otherwise required, Ryan gazed at her partner, thoroughly enjoying the way she was interacting with Sara and Ally. How lucky am I? I can bring her to a party full of ex-lovers, former sex partners, a trans-sexual, a woman who wants me to be her Lamaze coach, and God knows what else and shes unflappable. She honestly looks like shes enjoying herself, she marveled. What a perfect match she is.
And speaking of perfect matches, she thought wryly. Who would have guessed that Ally would be the one to bring the old Sara back? She watched her friend flirt and play with Ally, while seamlessly carrying on a civilized conversation with Jamie. Shes grown into such a woman, she thought fondly, so different from the girl I fell in love with. But, theres a familiar lightness to her now that was completely absent when we met again this fall. Its like being with Ally lets her be the woman shes become; while reclaiming some of her girlish playfulness. She seems like Allys equal. She shook her head again, as she was forced to admit, We were never really equals. She always looked to me for validation, for approval I dont see that with Ally. She seems to trust herself more now. Sparing another fond glance at her old friend, she thought, I truly hope it works out for both of them they both deserve to be who they really are.
Looking at Jamie again, she considered, Thats what life is all about. Striving to be who you are no matter how painful the journey sometimes is. I can be myself with Jamie I dont have to be someone for Sara to look up to, or for Ally to control and drive mad in bed. We dont have roles were just ourselves. In good times and bad were just our struggling, questing selves. Damn, that feels good.
Okay, she said to herself, so, what are you doing standing all the way over here, listening to someone who barely knows youre here. Giving a tiny wave to the more sober people, Ryan walked over to her partner, and asked, "Anyone need anything while Im up?"
"I need something," Ally said, "let me go with you and see if any of the water I brought is still here."
"Oh, water tends to last," Ryan said, laughing. "Its the beer that disappears. Jamie?"
"Be right back," the dark woman promised.
The pair made their way into the kitchen, and Ryan performed her bailing task again, since Ally couldnt find any of her water in the first tub. The water was all gone, so Ally helped herself to a Pepsi. "I hate this stuff, but Sara likes it," she said, smiling at Ryan. "One of us might as well be happy."
"Speaking of happy," Ryan said, giving her friend a gentle punch in the shoulder, "you look positively blissful, bud."
Grinning shyly, Ally said, "Im in love, Ryan, and it feels fantastic. Really fantastic."
"You look like youre in love," Ryan said. She wrapped one arm around Allys shoulders, and gave her a rough hug. "I assume Sara feels the same?"
"Uhm well to be honest, I havent told her yet. But, I think she does. She acts like she loves me," she admitted.
"Thats the important part," Ryan said. "Words are easy its the actions that count."
"Things have gone a lot quicker than either of us had planned, but it feels right, Ryan. Its all falling into place."
"Im very, very happy for you both," Ryan said. "I mean that, Ally."
Looking down at the floor and shifting her weight, the larger woman said, "I was a little concerned when you seemed to be avoiding us earlier. Are you sure youre okay with this?"
"You know," Ryan said, climbing up onto a bare space she created on the counter, "Ive been having some trouble getting used to it. But seeing you both tonight has helped me turn the corner. You seem right for each other, Ally. You both seem happier than Ive seen either of you. Since I love you both and want you to be happy, I think its time for me to let go. I honestly think I can do that now."
Standing between Ryans spread legs, Ally tucked her arms around her waist and held her to her chest. "Dont let go completely, sugar. I want to have you in my life for a good, long time."
"I do, too," Ryan murmured into Allys shirt. "I was sitting over there with Mia, looking at the 3 of you, and you looked like you were having such a good time. I want to start doing things together." Pulling back, she asked, "Would you like that?"
"Yeah, we both would," Ally said. "We wanted to go out dancing the other night, and we both thought it would be fun to ask you and Jamie. But we werent sure youd be up for it "
"I am," Ryan said, "and Jamie likes you both. Id really like to get together more often."
"I think we need to hang out with some other committed couples," Ally said. "Sara doesnt know any lesbian couples, and most of my friends are terminally single, so you and Jamie are our role models."
Ryan laughed softly, saying, "Those are some big shoes to fill, pal."
"Youve got big feet," Ally teased. "And I should know. Ive nibbled on those tasty toes many times."
"Yes, you have," Ryan said, chuckling. "And you were darned good at it."
Ally looked at her for a long minute, stroking Ryans cheek with the tips of her fingers. "Thats not enough, is it?"
"No," Ryan said softly. "Its not nearly enough. I used to think it was."
"So did I," Ally said, giving Ryan a wistful nod. "You know, Ive been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think it would have been different between you and me if wed been friends before we became lovers. I got into the same old patterns with you that I always fell into, and I never had the nerve to try to change them. Going slow with Sara has made a very big difference."
"I dont think either of us was mature enough to go slow back then, Ally. I know I wasnt."
"Yeah," she said, smiling. "I was newly sober, and the last thing I could have done is been truly vulnerable. Im finally ready to let someone know me deep inside. And boy, that makes all the difference."
"It does. So, why dont we get back to those women we love," Ryan said, smiling warmly at her friend.
"A fine idea." Wrapping an arm around Ryans neck, Ally gave her a hug. "Who would have thought that the two of us would both fall in love within a year?"
"Not me," Ryan said, laughing softly. "But Im sure glad we did."
* * * * * * * * * * *
"Hey," Ryan said, sinking to the floor beside her partner.
"My beer had better not be warm," Jamie said, taking the frosty brew from Ryan. "Are you avoiding me, sweet cheeks? Every time you leave, youre gone for a half hour."
"Never," Ryan said, giving her a kiss. "As a matter of fact, I plan on being within an inch or two of you for the rest of the evening."
Seeing the slightly hazy look in the pale, blue eyes, Jamie kissed her partner gently and asked, "Are you a little tipsy?"
Holding her thumb and index finger an inch apart, Ryan nodded, giving Jamie a slightly goofy grin. "Its hot in here," she said. "I have to keep drinking to stay cool."
"Shoulda worn your shorts," the blonde teased. "Youre way overdressed."
"I thought jeans and a knit shirt was about right for a 45 degree night," Ryan said, shaking her head. "I should put all of my long pants away until spring."
"You," Jamie said, tapping her partners nose, "are a goofball."
"Yeah, but Im your goofball, and youre stuck with me." Ryan tucked her arms around her lover and pulled her close. Several slow, sexy kisses later, Ryan let a sweet, languid smile settle on her lips.
"I think youre more than a little tipsy. How many beers have you had, baby? I cant even smell pizza on your breath. Youre all hops and malt and barley."
With her mouth forming a little pout, Ryan asked, "Bad?"
"No, not at all. I just need to drink a little more to keep up."
Nuzzling her nose into her partners neck, Ryan murmured, "Youre such a good egg."
Jamie took a little nibble on a nearby earlobe. "Do you know that you lapse into your Irish accent when youre a little drunk?"
"I dont!" Ryan declared, sounding like a lass straight out of County Mayo.
"Oh, but you do," Jamie said, her own accent sounding much more English than Irish.
With a slightly lopsided grin, Ryan asked, "Do ya like it, then?"
"Umm-hmm very sexy."
"Well, not to brag, but we do have a certain charm with the ladies." She pulled back and focused her attention on Jamies clothing. "Have I told ya how juicy ya look tonight, love?"
"Pretty," Ryan said. "I dont know what you call this little design on your jeans, but its adorable. And the shirt looks so nice with them. Its almost a hippie look very sixties."
Looking down at herself, Jamie said, "Yeah, I guess it is. The design is called batik, by the way. Its an Indian look, and that was pretty popular in the sixties. I bought it because I like the eyelet design down at the hem."
"I like this part," Ryan said, tracing the deep v of collarless shirt with the tip of her finger. "Just another inch and I could reach your bra."
"Go ahead," Jamie said, giggling softly. "I think Im the only woman here who hasnt been felt up yet. Im feeling like a real wallflower."
"Told ya my friends are a little wild," Ryan said. "And they get a lot wilder when theyre drunk."
"This is very frat partyish," Jamie decided. "I went to a few Stanford frat parties with Mia when we were in high school, and I was more than a little shocked."
"Are you shocked tonight?" Ryan asked, her finger dipping a little lower into Jamies cleavage.
The blonde took her partners hand and pushed it further into the v of the blouse. "Not really," she purred, smiling at Ryans wide eyes. "Im a big girl, now."
"Mmm heres one part thats exactly the right size," Ryan insisted, raking a fingernail along each crescent-shaped curve below Jamies breasts. "Perfect."
"When you say that with your little accent, it sounds like paerfect," Jamie said. "Its terribly cute."
"Give us a kiss, then, will ya?"
"With pleasure, my wild, Irish rose."
"You can search everywhere, but none can compare " Ryan sang softly before she took her partner in her arms and kissed her passionately. Before she knew what had happened, Jamie was lying on the floor, her ravenous partner greedily consuming her.
The hosts of the party had declared that the third floor was now the dance floor, and the pair barely avoided being hit with a couch as the guests busily moved all of the furniture to the walls to make some room. "Uhm honey were about to get trampled."
"No matter," Ryan said, sucking lustily on Jamies tender neck.
"Yes, honey, it matters. Were lying on the dance floor."
"They can go around."
Pushing against Ryans chest with both hands, the blonde managed to extricate herself from her partners feverish embrace. "Up. Now." Jamie got to her knees, then stood and offered Ryan a hand. "You need to cool off, hot stuff. Lets go outside for a bit."
"Huh-unh," Ryan said. "Lets dance."
"Youre steaming hot in every way. Wont you get overheated?"
"Not if I strip down a little."
"Uhm what did you have in mind? I concede that most of the people here have seen you in your undies, but "
"Just my shirt," Ryan said, wrinkling her nose. "Ive got a tank top on under it." She tugged off her shirt, then ran her fingers through her hair. "Ready?"
"Mmm you look fantastic in that," Jamie said, her eyes bright with interest. "Maybe we should find a quiet corner and do what our friends are doing."
Ryan looked around and saw Mia sitting on Jordans lap; and Sara in the same position with Ally. Both couples were kissing passionately, and Ryan shrugged her shoulders as she turned back to Jamie. "Im always up for that, but Im not the most disciplined woman in the world tonight "
"Mmm good point. Lets dance a little bit and then go home. We can skip the foreplay," she said, giving Ryan a lusty wink.
Winding their way through the crowd, they found a relatively spacious spot near the kitchen, and started to dance. Theyd each taken their beers with them, and Ryan continued to take generous sips from hers as they moved to the quick beat of the music. By the time the first slow number came on, both beers were empty, and she tossed them into the recycle bin in the kitchen. At Ryans quizzical look, Jamie shook her head, so the brunette grabbed a fresh one for herself.
"Aisling and I used to call a set of slow songs the erection section," Ryan said, pulling her partner so close that Jamies thigh slipped between the long legs.
"I can easily give you an erection." Jamie wrapped an arm around her, and took the ice cold beer from Ryans hand. With a mischievous grin, she pressed the cold bottle right against the small of Ryans bare back, making her jump in surprise. "Damn, thats cold!" She waited a moment, then said, "But it feels great." While they moved to the slow beat, Jamie ran the cold, sweating bottle across Ryans shoulder blades, bronzed skin pebbling from the sensation. "Grrrrr " Ryan murmured, her hips moving against her partner. "I love it when you tease me."
Moving a few inches away, the blonde took the bottle and slid it across Ryans bare belly the black, cropped, tank top exposing a surfeit of skin. The brunette shivered, and Jamie slowly ran the mouth of the bottle up along each rib, then flicked it against the remarkably rigid nipples. As the taller woman shivered and squirmed, the impish blonde pressed the side of the bottle against first one, and then the other rock hard nub. "Mmm that had a decidedly frigorific effect."
Blue eyes narrowed, and Ryans nostrils flared. "If I had a dictionary, I couldnt turn the pages cause my hands are shaking so badly. Youre gonna have to give me that one."
"Chilling effect," Jamie said. "Your nipples look like theyve been in that tub of ice."
Blinking slowly, Ryan promised, "In about two minutes, were gonna be back in that bedroom. Im about to explode."
"Hmm?" Jamie drawled, moving the bottle again and sliding it under Ryans hair to chill the back of her neck. "Whys that?" With a devilish grin, the blonde slipped the bottle into the waistband of Ryans jeans, then kept going when her path to bare skin was unencumbered. "Mmm commando."
"Yeah," the dark woman gasped. "These jeans are a little big and I didnt want my drawers sticking out of the top."
"Tonight Im glad theyre loose," Jamie said, pushing the bottle until it started to make a forward turn.
"Like that?" the blonde husked.
"Ye yeah!" Ryan said, shivering all over. "Just dont make a mistake and lose it!"
"Ooh I bet you have a place that I could easily insert this given how those hips are grinding." She pulled the bottle from the back of the jeans, then immediately slipped it down Ryans belly, watching it disappear beneath the faded denim.
Ryans eyes grew comically wide while her legs instinctively spread, the bottle sliding down her thigh. "I I dont Im not sure "
Chuckling evilly, Jamie said, "Im teasing you, baby. You know Id never risk hurting you."
"Im not Im not tracking very well," Ryan admitted. "Im half crazy for you tonight, and the drunk part of me wouldnt mind giving that bottle a try."
"Im not nearly that drunk," Jamie said. "And no matter how turned on I was, I would never, ever put anything breakable anywhere near your girl parts."
"Thank God Im marrying a moderate woman," Ryan sighed, resting her head on Jamies shoulder as the bottle slid back up her belly.
"Ive gotta admit that its hard to stay grounded tonight. The estrogen is flowing through here like a river," the blonde said, "and theres enough smoke to get us all stoned."
"Im stoned on your estrogen. Your pheromones are about to drive me mad."
"Show me," Jamie purred. "Right now."
Suddenly, Ryan fought through her fog to recognize an altitude change. Blinking, she found herself sitting in a chair in a dark corner of the room, with Jamie ensconced upon her lap, kissing her energetically. Fully giving in to the experience, she let her senses open up again and allowed the smaller woman to explore her body to her hearts content.
The amorous couple touched each other unabashedly, kissing and moving against each other with alacrity. When Jamies hands claimed her breasts, Ryan held on for as long as she could, finally pulling away enough to mutter, "Bedroom. Now."
Panting, Jamie sat up and stared at her partner, her eyes glassy with desire. "God! What am I doing?"
"Youre making love to me," Ryan answered thickly, looking perfectly happy with the development. "I just dont wanna to take my pants off in the living room."
"Oh, lord!" Jamie collapsed against her partner, groaning, "You make me lose my mind!"
"Who needs a mind when you have a perfectly functioning libido? Lets pull up our socks and claim that bedroom." She patted her partner on the butt, urging her to get moving.
"I dont think adults make love on top of a bunch of coats at a party," Jamie said, pushing her sweat-dampened hair from her face.
"We can throw the coats on the floor," Ryan suggested, looking hopeful.
"Wouldnt you rather go home and make love nice and slow and unhurriedly?" Jamie asked, licking all around the pink shell of Ryans ear as she spoke. "And then, do it all over again, and again, until we collapse? Doesnt that sound better?"
"Mmm that does sound nice," Ryan admitted. "And if we go into that bedroom and let a little pressure off first, Im all for it."
"Make you a deal," Jamie said, smiling fondly at her over-excited lover, "Ill call a cab to get us home faster."
Ryan kissed her hungrily, nipping at her bottom lip with lascivious intent. "Charter a helicopter, and youre on."
"Ooo I know youre serious when youre ready to spend that kind of money."
Slowly, Ryan stretched, taking in a deep, cleansing breath. "Youve got me talkin crazy," she said, smiling. "The thought of spending money snapped me right out of my lust-filled haze."
"I had a feeling that would do it," Jamie said, giggling. "Now, lets say goodbye to our friends, collect our roomies, and head home."
"Well, our roomies disappeared down the hall while we were dancing. They either went out the back door, or they had the sense to claim one of the bedrooms. And our friends are about to combust over there. If theres a spare bedroom, its not gonna be available for long."
Twinkling green eyes looking Ryan up and down, then Jamies voice dropped into a sexy register as she said, "Lets head home so I can get you into bed."
"We cant leave Mia and Jordan, honey. I know Mias not able to drive, and God knows what shape Jordans in."
"Lets put a note on Mias purse, and take her keys so she cant drive. Ill tell her where we hide the spare key to the front door. We only have to say goodbye to Sara and Ally and the rest of your friends."
"If you think Im gonna interrupt Ally and Sara youve lost your mind!" Ryan said, bursting out in a laugh. "And no one else in this shower of savages will notice weve gone."
"Good point," Jamie said. She slid off Ryans lap and pulled her to her feet. "Ill find our coats you leave the note and get your shirt."
They went about their assigned tasks, and met up at the door. Ryan had put her shirt back on, and as they walked along they both began to chill. Jamie cuddled up to her partner, and Ryan tucked her arm around her waist to share her warmth. "Boy, this is one way to sober up! It must be 30 degrees!"
"Maybe we should have called that cab," Jamie said.
"Nah. I really am a little fluthered, and being outside for a while will sober me up."
"Yeah, thinking about consenting to have a beer bottle inserted in a sensitive spot is about as drunk as Ive ever seen you," the blonde said, chuckling wryly.
"I swear, it was estrogen poisoning," Ryan said. "Its impossible to be around all of those writhing bodies and keep your cool."
"Well, Im plenty cool now, and you must be freezing!"
"No, not yet, but weve got another 8 blocks to go. Give me time!"
* * * * * * * * * * *
By the time they reached the house, Ryan was shivering all over, and this time it wasnt from arousal. "Go on downstairs," she said, teeth chattering. "Im gonna get something to drink."
Expecting her partner to arrive with a cup of hot tea, Jamie was puzzled to see Ryan gulping down an enormous glass of Gatorade. "You cant be thirsty!"
"No, of course not," she said, shaking her head. "But if I force some of this down itll help me not have a hangover."
"Well, drinking as much as I did will make me get up to pee, and every time I do Ill drink another glass of this. By the time I get up Ill be hydrated and since a hangover is usually because of dehydration, I shouldnt have a problem."
"Youve got too much experience with this," the blonde said. "Are you sure Im the one who should watch her drinking?"
"Im sure I dont want to spend much more time talking about the issue," Ryan said, stripping out of her clothes. "Remind me of this conversation tomorrow, when Im completely lucid, okay?"
"Deal. Now hop in bed and Ill warm you up."
"Mmm shower first," Ryan decided. "Im all sweaty, and I definitely need a little lovin."
"Ill wait for you," Jamie promised. "Dont take too long."
After a very quick shower, Ryan dashed across the floor and dove for the covers, crying, "Im perishing!" She rolled up in a little ball while Jamie rubbed every part of her body vigorously trying to get her blood moving. "Okay, Im warm now," Ryan said, as her dark head popped out of the bedding. "Im also pretty sober," she said.
"Good. I want you to be aware of everything I do to you tonight. I want your senses heightened not dulled."
"Theyre getting there," Ryan decided. She scooted up and sat against the headboard, propping herself up with a couple of pillows. "I uhm realized a couple of things tonight, babe, and I think I should share them with you. Theres a good chance they wont stick with me," she added, giving her partner a slow smile.
"Im all ears," the blonde said, cuddling up to her lovers side. "Well, Im all ears and sex drive, but the libido can wait for a few. You know I dont mind simmering a bit."
"That makes one of us," Ryan said, grinning. "Luckily, Ive cooled down a little, so I can think straight."
"I like that T-shirt you have that says I cant even think straight."
"That is a good one," Ryan agreed. "Did you have a good time tonight?"
"You know, I did. It was very different but I liked it. I like feeling like one of the big girls. How about you? Did you have fun?"
"Yeah, very much so," Ryan said, nodding thoughtfully. "I like seeing my old friends and thinking about the past. I almost always learn something from these experiences its very worthwhile for me."
"What did you learn tonight?" Jamie asked.
"Uhm I guess what struck me tonight was how much Ive changed in the last year. Before, I would have noticed every woman who came in the door, and within an hour I would have been trying to make a move. But now, I hardly notice anyone in that way, and I dont get a sexual vibe from anyone but you. Some of them might be sending a vibe my way, but I dont pick it up anymore. Its like I have a vibe-shield," she said, chuckling softly.
"You need one," the blonde said, giving her lover a little tickle.
"No, not really," Ryan said. "When I was sitting in the corner with Mia, I couldnt help watching you. Everything about you attracts me, Jamie. Your body, your personality, your mind, your heart there are so many layers of attraction that I couldnt even begin to tell you which is the most powerful. Thats never happened to me before."
The blonde looked into Ryans eyes, seeing that the hazy look was nearly gone. She lifted her hand and traced her lovers strong features with her thumb, making Ryan close her eyes in reaction. "Never?" Jamie asked, a slight hesitation in her voice.
Pulling back, Ryan looked at her, gazing deeply into her eyes. "Never."
"Not even with "
Ryan bent to kiss her, lingering a good, long while, letting the intensity of their bond flow between them. "Never," she repeated, her eyes bright with conviction. "Its taken me a while," she said, "longer than I would have liked, but something became clear to me tonight."
Jamie cocked her head in question, and Ryan couldnt help but give her another kiss, just because of how cute the gesture was.
"Most of the women Ive been with have appealed to one part of me," she said. "They turned me on because of their bodies, or their senses of humor, or their energetic personalities. I knew that there was nothing else there it was only sexual chemistry. "But there was more to it with both Sara and Ally," she said, and Jamie nodded in confirmation. "With Sara, I cared for her and loved her as well as a 17-year-old can love. But I was still a child then, Jamie, and part of my attraction to her was childish. It was as real and as important as it could be at the time but it was immature. I was immature, and so was she. Were women now, and were both able to love as women. Im ready to put my feelings for her where they belong with my fondest memories. Shell always be my first love but shell never be my great love. That place is reserved for you, and you alone."
Jamie pulled her partners head down and bestowed a kiss that made Ryan offer up a sincere thank you to her creator for having been born. The sensations were overpowering, and seemed to assault each of Ryans senses in sequence. Jamies clean, fresh scent tickled her nose, while her lovers strong, determined hands ran up and down the muscles in her back. Soft, firm breasts pressed against Ryans, her nipples growing hard once again. A warm, wet tongue gently explored every surface of the tall womans mouth, Jamies sweet breath merging with her own.
"God, I love you," Ryan sighed. "You do more to me with a kiss than any other woman ever has."
Jamie settled back down and looked at Ryan carefully. "Any woman?"
Ryan nodded, looking a little confused.
"What about Ally?"
"Oh." Ryan nodded, and collected her thoughts. "I can see why youd think that she had that effect on me. Mmm not to denigrate my relationship with Ally, but I didnt feel nearly as close to her as I did to Sara. I think my feelings for Ally were mostly gone already."
"Yeah. I think so. I think whats bothered me lately is having the two of them together. Its like my feelings for each of them were magnified when I saw them. But, if Im completely honest, I have to admit that what Ally and I had was barely a relationship. We had fun together in bed, and I liked her a lot, but thats not enough to build a relationship on. I think my attraction for her was partially because I couldnt get her," she admitted.
"Huh. I guess that makes sense," Jamie said. "Do you honestly think youll feel differently about them from now on? I hate to see you struggling with your discomfort."
"Yeah, I think I will feel better about them. I mean, I didnt go out of my way to watch them make out, but I didnt feel like I had to avoid them once I got this settled in my head."
"I think theyre usually pretty well behaved in public," Jamie said. "But Sara has been out of town for a few days, and they had some excess energy to burn off."
"They did a good job," Ryan said, chuckling.
"Youre really okay with it?" Jamie asked once again. "It wasnt hard to see Ally all over her?"
"Well, I didnt spend a lot of time with them, but I caught a look when we were dancing." She looked at Jamie and cocked her head. "Wanna hear an embarrassing admission?"
"Sure. Hit me."
"Seeing them together that way has completely ruined Saras allure."
"Cause the thing that most attracted me to Sara was her purity, her innocence. When I fell in love with her, shed never been kissed, or touched by another person. She was mine alone," Ryan said softly. "I fantasized about her for years since then, Jamie, and in my mind, she was always that way it was like having sex for the first time, every time I dreamt about her."
"That would be compelling," the blonde agreed.
"Well, I dont fantasize about her any longer let me make that perfectly clear," she said, smiling softly. "But when I think of her, I think of her as an 18-year-old. Ive been having a hard time seeing her as the woman she is now. Ive been locked in the past and thats never a good thing."
"But weve been with her quite a few times this year, babe. What happened tonight to change your view?"
A slow, warm smile settled on Ryans face. "I think Ive had the fantasy that Ally was the one pushing the relationship along. I think Ive been feeling protective of Sara like I subconsciously wanted to guard her innocence, but I didnt know how. Seeing them together drove me a little crazy, probably because I felt powerless."
"Okay, I think I can understand that. But my question remains, sweetie. What happened tonight?"
"I dont know if you saw this," Ryan said, "but when we were dancing, Sara climbed onto Allys lap, straddling her."
"Oh-oh," Jamie said, her eyes widening. "She didnt have a stitch on under that cute little kilt she was wearing."
Ryans head cocked, and she gave her lover a calm, but questioning look.
"I couldnt help it!" Jamie insisted. "I was on the floor at the perfect height! I wasnt trying to look, but Sara crossed her legs at one point and " She shrugged, blushing a little.
"Well, that makes the scene even more interesting," Ryan chuckled. "They were making out like mad, and Allys hands disappeared under that tiny skirt. Saras hips started to twitch, and it looked like they were gonna go for it." She smiled and said, "Thats why I moved over near the wall when we were dancing. There was no way I was going to watch Ally " She rolled her eyes and said, "The bottom line is that once youve been with Ally, you dont have a pure molecule left in your body. The spell has been broken, baby. Saras a woman now someone elses woman. Ive got my own, and Im very, very happy that things worked out like they did."
"I am, too," Jamie said, leaning in to kiss her again.
"And Im doubly happy that I have a lover who gives me the space to figure these things out for myself. If youd forbidden me from seeing either of them, I might have always had a little doubt."
"Huh," Jamie said, thoughtfully. "I guess that might have happened. Luckily for you, Im not the jealous type."
"Im lucky in so many ways," Ryan said, sighing deeply and tucking her arms even tighter around her partner. "I think I learned a lot tonight, honey. And one of the biggest lessons is something that Im just now beginning to understand." She shook her head, her brow furrowing. "Ive always known that Id be able to be faithful once I fell in love. Honestly, thats never been a concern. I know how important it is, and I was brought up believing that being true to your spouse was absolutely vital."
Jamie nodded, knowing that Martin would have made that message come through loud and clear.
"But, Ive always thought that having to give up sex with other women was a trade-off. Do you know what I mean?"
"Mmm Im not sure."
"Well, I knew that being faithful would ensure that Id get love, and security, and commitment, and intimacy. But I thought Id miss the variety and the thrill of the chase."
Giving Ryan an adorably hopeful look, Jamie asked, "And that hasnt been true?"
"No! Not in the least," Ryan insisted. "Monogamy isnt something that I have to endure in order to have a good relationship. Its something I freely and lovingly choose. Its what I want its what I need." She looked down at Jamie and gave her a warm, sexy smile, then reached out and touched her chest with her index finger, letting out a long, slow hiss. "Monogamy is sizzling hot."
Book 14: Nurture
NB. With the posting of Book 13, the series is half complete. Im going to take a short break to catch my breath and work on a few other projects, then resume the story this summer.
To chat with me and ask questions, get updates as soon as theyre available, and commune with fellow aficionados of the series; consider joining my Yahoo group. The group is, by far, the easiest way for me to handle my mail and I will continue to read and respond to the postings during my short break. My e-mail address will be changing soon, and I dont know what the new one will be; so the Yahoo group will be the best way to reach me during my spring hiatus.
Click to subscribe to SX_Meagher
My thanks to Day for all of her efforts and expertise in beta reading the story; and to Dee for taking another look at it after I was unable to stop making changes <s>.
To Carrie, for providing ample evidence that choosing her as my partner was the smartest thing Ive ever done. I can only hope that I enrich her life as much as she does mine.
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