I Found My Heart in San Francisco

Book 5: Entwined

By S X Meagher


See Part 1

Part 12

On Monday morning, the volleyball team made their way through the obligatory five-mile run, with even Ryan and Jordan sticking to the bare minimum. Their grueling workouts were driving them both to the brink of exhaustion, but neither could admit that to the other.

"Do you want to get breakfast afterwards?" Ryan asked as they neared the end of the loop.

"Sure. I don’t have anything scheduled for the rest of the day."

"Great. Meet me in the locker room."

After a quick shower, she and Jordan went out for a real breakfast. Normally when they grabbed a bite it was just coffee and muffins, but she was feeling generous, so she offered to take her friend to a nice little cafe on a quiet street in Berkeley.

"I’ve never asked you, Ryan, how long have you and Jamie been together?"

"Since June 15, officially."

"That’s all?" she gaped. "The way you talk, I thought you’d been joined at the hip for a year or so at least! Do you think this is permanent?"

"I’m certain of it," Ryan replied confidently. "I dated a lot, and I do mean a lot," she said emphatically. "I never even really had a girlfriend. But once I got to know Jamie, I was hooked. I couldn’t even enjoy casual sex anymore. She ruined me!" she said with a hearty laugh.

Jordan gave her a shy smile and said, "I guess I shouldn’t wait around then, huh?"

Ryan sat up very straight in her seat and looked at her slowly. "Um, if you mean..."

"It’s okay, Ryan," she replied as she patted her thigh. "I would never make a move on someone who was attached. I’ve heard of your reputation, and I was hoping that we could have a little fling someday. I’m not really interested in anything long term right now, but I thought we could have a lot of fun together. Too bad, though; you look like your reputation is well deserved," she said with a shrug.

"Um, thanks," Ryan said weakly.

"Hey, did that upset you? I certainly didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’m just pretty up front about sex. I like for things to be clear."

"It’s okay, really," she said as they pulled up in front of the restaurant. When they were seated they quickly perused the menus, and both ordered omelets and bagels. When the server left Ryan said, "I need some practice with how to say no and not feel awkward. I’ve spent a lot of years saying yes, and this is much harder," she admitted.

"So you’re monogamous?"

"Yes!" she said with some alarm. "I mean, I’m not sure that we’ve ever said that word, but we’re together for life, Jordan. This isn’t something I’m doing until someone better comes along." She chuckled softly, adding, "I’d have to wait several lifetimes for that to happen, and even then it would only be because of evolutionary improvements."

"Calm down, Ryan," she laughed. "I’m not coming on to you. I just didn’t know how you had structured your relationship. I know a lot of people in committed relationships who still have sex outside of it."

"That’s not for us. I want to expend my energies on both of us getting what we need from each other."

Jordan nodded as she took in this information. After a minute she shot Ryan a sly smile and asked, "So you really were a player, huh?"

Ryan sighed, deciding to reveal the truth. "I hate to think of myself like that, but to be honest, I really was."

"Hasn’t it been hard to give up the excitement of meeting someone new and having that first flush of excitement the first time you kiss?"

"I think it’s going to be a challenge for me," she admitted. "And I’m sure that we’ll have some low times in our relationship where other women will look particularly appealing. But I’m going to be 24 this year. I’ve been sleeping with everyone who caught my eye since I was 17. I think that’s enough excitement for one lifetime," she laughed.

"I don’t know," Jordan replied. "I think I get off on the thrill of the chase a lot more than the capture. I get bored with people pretty quickly."

"Hey, no one loved the chase more than I did. But I’m discovering that really opening yourself up to love has rewards that surpass the thrill of the chase. Knowing that someone loves you for more than your body or your face is a very powerful feeling. Knowing that they’ll stick by you when things are hard is really meaningful for me. I wouldn’t trade Jamie for the chance to be with every gorgeous woman in the world. She means everything to me," Ryan said fervently.

Jordan just shook her head. "Boy, are you ever in deep! I think we need to pay a visit to Telegraph after breakfast. I want to buy you a little something to commemorate your enslavement!"

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

Jamie fumbled for her phone, finally getting it open on the fourth ring. "Hi," came the low voice, the melodic tone so familiar, but still possessing the ability to make her smile every time she heard it..

"Hi, I’m almost there. Don’t start without me," she replied. They had planned on going to the gym for a workout, and Jamie was on her way to meet Ryan there.

"Oh, I won’t," she said innocently. "You’re an integral ingredient."

"Ryan," she said suspiciously, "what’s going on?"

"I want to change our plans a little," Ryan explained.

"Really? What do you want to do?"

"You," she replied huskily.

Jamie quickly pulled over to the curb to make sure that her cell phone wasn’t distorting the message. "What did you say?"

"I said," she enunciated precisely, "that I…want…to…do…you. I want to do you several times, as a matter of fact. I want to do you right this very minute. And I want to keep on doing you until you beg for mercy."

The startled, yet aroused woman tried to create enough moisture in her mouth to be able to respond. Finally getting out, "Where are you?"

"Our house."

"Give me five."

It actually only took four, but that was because she ran from the car to the house and took the porch stairs two at a time. The door opened before she could knock, and a hand reached out and grabbed her wrist, pulling her in forcefully. Her feet left the floor as her lover whisked her into her arms and carried her up the stairs, her determination as obvious as her desire. Jamie was kicking off her shoes as they ascended, and when Ryan tossed her down onto the bed she immediately started to unbutton her jeans.

"Uh-uh," Ryan said, her dark head shaking slowly. She placed her hands on Jamie’s and gently lifted them from her waistband, placing them onto the bed. "Let me."

A gentle, knowing smirk settled on Jamie’s face as she locked eyes with her partner. Ryan truly loved to undress her, and the smaller woman knew that a significant portion of Ryan’s arousal came from performing this act. If I’d known we were going to do this, I would have worn something sexier than a sports bra, she mused, acknowledging Ryan’s strong preference for her sexiest lingerie.

Ryan knelt down on the floor and began to tease the clothes off of her very willing partner. It took nearly ten minutes to render her completely nude, but none of the time was wasted. The loosening of every button was followed by gentle kisses upon each inch of newly exposed skin. Kisses rained down on her belly as her shirt was opened in an excruciatingly slow manner. Once the buttons had been opened, the kisses followed the sliding fabric down each arm until Jamie’s squirming became too intense for Ryan to concentrate. She placed her hands very firmly upon wriggling hips and held her completely still. Very serious blue eyes gazed at Jamie, fully capturing her attention. Ryan’s voice was low, and slow, and terrifically sexy, and her eyes glittered with the promise of how she planned to love her partner. "I don’t want you to move another inch. If you do, I won’t do this," she said as she abruptly bent and kissed a wet path from the base of Jamie’s belly, up her torso, around a shoulder and down to her fingertips.

Following instructions to perfection, nary a muscle twitched as the path of kisses was created. But Ryan had not forbidden moaning, groaning, or panting, and these were done with abandon. The throbbing in Ryan’s groin grew stronger as she watched her lover try to remain still, and she smiled at Jamie and placed a very gentle kiss upon her hungry lips. "You’re doing very, very well." But when Jamie tried to intensify the kiss, Ryan pulled back, needing to be in complete control this morning. "Uh-uh-uh," she chided, tapping the tip of Jamie’s nose with her finger. "Your only task is to lie back and let me love you. I’m in charge today, Baby."

A silent nod gave Ryan permission to lead the dance, and the glittering highlights in the moss green eyes indicated that Jamie was very happy with the decision.

Ryan was still fully clothed in blue jeans and a red tank top, but she did not want to waste the time to undress at the moment. She was having too much fun, and Jamie was too turned on to stop. "Now remember not to move…at all. I’m going to keep my hands on your hips. If you so much as flinch, I’m going to stop. Do you understand?"

She nodded her head only enough to signal her complete acceptance.

Climbing onto the bed again, Ryan started at the very tip of Jamie’s ear, nibbling, kissing and sucking a blazing path across her cheek and onto her moist parted lips. The gasp of pleasure accompanied by the low, sexy moan was almost too much for Ryan to take, and she had to fight to maintain her control and her pace. Consciously slowing her heartbeat, Ryan leaned in again, this time lingering on her lips until it became too hard to breathe. She sat up, panting slightly, and took a deep breath. Jamie was staring at her with hooded eyes, her face a study in desire--her lips were slightly swollen from the intense kissing mixed with her arousal, and her nostrils flared with each breath. She struggled to keep her eyes open, batting them seductively at her partner.

Still firmly holding her hips, Ryan bent her head to touch Jamie’s aching breasts for the first time. She loved each tender mound with equal intensity and dedication, lavishing soft kisses upon both, as she felt her partner’s struggle to avoid moving against her. Focusing again, she interspersed light bites with soft, wet swipes of her tongue; forceful sucks with tender mouthings; delicate suckling with firm nuzzling-- each met with a different cry or gasp. Jamie faithfully followed her admonishment and did not move, not even twitching her burning muscles. She did, however, give Ryan every instruction that she needed without using her body. The more forceful the touch, the more forceful the moan. The nibbles were rewarded with grunts. The sharp little bites received gasps of appreciation. The slow, loving suckling received low, deep sighs.

Since Jamie had proven herself to be so compliant, Ryan finally let go of her hips. She raised both hands to hold a breast firmly at the base, forcing the flesh upwards and stretching the skin taut. When she lowered her head, she began to suck the entire mound into her mouth as deeply as she could. After just a few powerful pulls Jamie cried out loudly, simultaneously breaking every rule. Her hands flew to Ryan’s head pulling her roughly against her tortured flesh. Her hips lifted off the bed and began to futilely thrust into the air. Her breathing became louder and more ragged, as a growl began low in her chest. Seconds later she screamed out her release as she held onto Ryan’s head, rolling frantically from side to side, taking Ryan’s attached head right with her. Her hold did not loosen in the least as she ground her breast against her lover in decreasingly desperate thrusts, her breathing slowing down with her increasingly weak motions. Finally spent, she released her grip and let her arms fall to the bed. Her legs were splayed open limply beneath Ryan, and her breathing was quick and shallow. A few anemic moans barely had enough force to be heard, but Ryan smiled at each, knowing a sincere, albeit weak, ovation when she heard one.

Laughing a little as she rolled off of Jamie’s sweat-drenched body, she shook her head regretfully and informed her. "You moved. I’m going to have to stop now. I hate to do it, but a promise is a promise."

"Have I ever told you how much I love your ideas?" she asked weakly, a faint laugh joining her partner’s.

"You’ve mentioned something along those lines," Ryan acknowledged, slipping an arm under Jamie’s shoulders to pull her into a warm embrace. "I have to give you some credit with inspiring my ideas though. They’re not as much fun when I act on them alone."

"You just keep talking, Honey, I’m having too much trouble getting my mouth to work."

"Ohh," Ryan pouted teasingly, "I had big plans for that mouth. Will it work again later?"

Jamie sighed heavily and affected a long-suffering sigh. "Oh, all right. I suppose you deserve some small reward for your brilliant idea."

As Jamie began to unbutton Ryan’s jeans, she noticed a large wet spot on the front of her thigh. "How did that get there?"

"You don’t remember locking your legs around my thigh and humping me with abandon?"

"Uh-uh," she said blankly, having no memory whatsoever of said act. "Are you sure you didn’t come that way?"

"Oh, I almost came that way," she admitted with a sexy grin. "And speaking of coming, may I compliment you on having your first breast orgasm?"

"You’ve always known they were my favorite erogenous zone. Now you know just how much I like them."

"I like them an awful lot too," she said fondly, tapping each pink nipple with her fingertip.

"Well, I like yours too, and I want to see them," she announced as she began to tug at Ryan’s tank top. "Ummm, I love it when you don’t wear a bra. Your breasts just look so scrumptious jiggling around under here," she said as she slid her hands under the snug top to cup the flesh.

"I really shouldn’t go out in public without a bra," Ryan admitted, smiling at the view she had of Jamie’s eager hands roaming around under her top, "but I forgot to take an extra with me this morning."

"You didn’t forget," Jamie murmured, leaning close to mouth a firming nipple through the cotton material.


"You didn’t forget. I took it out of your gym bag when you were putting on your shoes."

"You did what?" Ryan was slightly mystified by this admission, but knowing Jamie, she had a good reason.

"I swiped it," she admitted, propping her chin gently up on Ryan’s breast to look into her eyes. "I saw that you had packed this sexy tank top, and I love to see you moving around in it." Both eyebrows waggled impishly, with Ryan only able to shake her head in amusement.

"You are something else, Ms. Evans. You never cease to amaze me."

"That’s the plan," she admitted, getting back to work. After she pulled the tank top from Ryan’s body, she began to work on her jeans again. As the last button opened, she pulled the fabric apart and looked down into the fly suspiciously. "No panties? I didn’t take those out."

"No. I started out with my boxers but Jordan convinced me to take them off," she casually informed her.

"Pardon?" she asked slowly, drawing the word out until it sounded like it had three syllables.

"Jordan convinced me to take off my underwear. And once it was off, I figured I might as well leave it off," she said breezily.

"If you want to have a butt left to put underwear on, you’ll explain that comment post haste," Jamie threatened.

"Nope," she said, rolling on top of her lover. "You can figure it out for yourself. I’m not telling."

"Ryan," she said in a menacing growl.

"Nope, not telling."

Diving for her taunting partner, she began to tickle her in earnest. She got her fingers up under her ribs on her right side, clearly her most sensitive spot. She dug in deeply and was rewarded with near hysterical laughter, but Ryan would not give in. Since a counterattack was in progress, Jamie tried to cover her own ribs while continuing the assault on her lover, but they ended up grappling with each other and rolling around wildly on the bed, shrieking with laughter.

One mighty hip check found Jamie rolling off the rather high bed and onto the floor. Ryan leaned over to help her up and was roughly pulled down herself. She tumbled over slowly, her jeans sliding from her hips, and wound up sprawled across Jamie’s lap, face down.

"Ryan!" she shrieked as she took in the sight before her. "What have you done to yourself!?"

Emblazoned across her lover’s right cheek was the word ‘Jamie’--tattooed in a pretty script with a little red heart dotting the ‘i’.

"Do you like it?" she asked with a wicked grin.

"You got a tattoo?" she asked once again, stunned beyond belief.

"Do you like it?" she repeated patiently.

"Um, I didn’t know you were the tattoo kind of girl," Jamie said haltingly, trying to remember if laser tattoo removal worked better on a fresh one.

"I’m not," she laughed. "I’d faint with every needle prick. This is just temporary. It should last about two weeks."

"You big goof!" she screamed. "I believed I had to go through life looking at my name on your ass!" Since she had the pseudo-tattooed butt so attractively arranged on her lap, she had to spend a few moments spanking the cute round cheeks with both hands. She was pounding out a fierce bass beat when she abruptly stopped, "What did Jordan have to do with this?"

Ryan sucked in a breath, trying to control her laughter. "She was asking me about our relationship. After I went on and on about how much I loved you and how wonderful being in love was, she decided I needed to give you some tangible proof of my undying devotion," she said with a twinkle in her eye.

"So you had to take off your underwear?"

"Yeah. They use this permanent type of dye. I didn’t want to get it on my white underwear, so I just left them off."

"Was Jordan with you the whole time?" she asked with a hint of jealousy infusing her words.

"Yes....Why does that bother you?"

Jamie closed her eyes for a moment, trying to get a handle on her feelings. "It’s kind of odd to think of you with your pants off in front of her, so yeah, I guess it does."

"She sees me in the shower almost every day, Baby. We all get dressed in front of each other. It’s a jock thing. We don’t look at each other sexually."

"Oh, so you didn’t used to sleep with the people on your teams," she said, already knowing the answer.

"Um...I guess that wasn’t a very good argument, huh?"

"Not very," Jamie agreed.

"You get naked in front of Mia," she argued.

"That’s true, but we aren’t gay. Or at least we weren’t. Or I wasn’t. Oh...you know what I mean," she finally said in frustration.

"Jamie, I can’t control the reaction that people have to me, but I can control how I feel about other women and their bodies. And I’m not interested in any other naked body. Yours is the only one that holds my attention," she said firmly.

"So now I have to think of you in that locker room with a dozen other women lusting after your body," she sulked.

"Jamie, I don’t know of any other lesbians on the team. And if anyone’s body was going to be lusted after it would be Jordan’s. She’s nearly perfect."

She cocked her head and stared at Ryan for a long minute. "I thought you didn’t notice other women in the locker room?"

One eyebrow lifted slowly, as Ryan gave her a very suspicious look. "If you can honestly tell me that you haven’t surreptitiously checked out other women, even when you were ‘straight’, you can have that point," she replied, confident of victory.

"Okay, okay, so I have. This just feels weird to me," she said.

"It doesn’t to me, Baby. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable around my teammates. I’ve been in athletics for a long time, and I’m really used to being naked around people. I don’t want to change the way that I behave. So please try to understand and to trust me."

"I do trust you. But I’ve got the feeling that Jordan is used to getting what she wants, and I got some vibes that she might want you," she said, looking carefully at Ryan to gauge her reaction.

"If she was in the locker room stark naked with her legs spread wide open begging me to do her, I wouldn’t give her a second thought. You are my only love. Emphasis on the ‘only’. So please try to accept this. Okay?"

"I’ll try," she agreed. "But don’t take anyone with you if you go to get your clitoris pierced. That’s over the line."

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

They spent the next hour playing and making love. At noon Jamie awakened from her stupor and looked over at her partner. "We should get up so we can get some lunch."

She rolled over with a moan. "I’m too tired," she whined. "You did me good, Baby. Too good."

"Come on," she said as she tried to pull her to a sitting position, astounded, as usual, by how tremendously heavy Ryan was. She got no assistance whatsoever, finally giving up and getting out of bed alone.

Starting the shower, she stood in the bath, waiting for the water to warm up. "Oh, I wish I had someone to shower with me," she said aloud. "I have some spots that are particularly hard to clean…"

"Need a hand?" a sexy, low, voice purred in her ear, while warm hands grasped her around the waist..

"You are sooooo easy," Jamie laughed.

"Only for you, Babe," Ryan insisted. "Only for you."

* * * * * * * * * * *

Ryan returned home from work a little after three, and just as she got in the door her pager went off. "Oh great," she muttered as she looked at the familiar area code. She flopped down on the loveseat in the living room, portable phone nestled against her ear. "Sara? Ryan. What’s up?"

"Hi, Ryan," Sara’s soft voice replied. "Nothing much is up, but the bar exam starts tomorrow, and after that I’m taking off for a long-delayed vacation. I just wanted to let you know in case you needed to get in touch about your search."

"Hey, that’s really nice of you, " Ryan said sincerely. "I sure wish you good luck. I remember when Brendan was taking the bar–he was a basket case!"

"I’m not much better," she admitted. "I’m calling everyone I know who isn’t taking it, just to keep my mind off of it."

"You can rest assured that I’ll never take it," Ryan laughed. "I do appreciate your concern about my search, Sara. I’m at the point now of having to contact all of the girls from the team, and that’s going to be a real bitch."

"Look, Ryan," she said. "I know we’ve been over this before, and I’m sure you’ve thought about it a million times, but is there anyone else you could have told? Even inadvertently?"

Ryan took in a deep breath and shook her head. "It wouldn’t have been too hard to figure out I was a lesbian, Sara," she admitted. "I was draped around some woman every chance I got. But I didn’t tell anyone about what happened between us." Ryan had been idly rubbing Duffy’s head during the entire conversation. Her hand stilled as she was hit by a thought. "I take that back, Sara. I told one person–Father Pender–but that was during Confession, and I’m sure he would never breach his vows and reveal anything he heard in that manner."

"No, I agree, Ryan, he wouldn’t do that." She paused thoughtfully and said, "It surprises me that your father hustled you off to Father Pender, too."

"Too?" Ryan asked, slightly puzzled. "You talked to Father Pender?"

"Talk is a little strong," she admitted. "My father marched me over there and stood guard while I went to confession."

Ryan sat in stunned silence, listening to her own heartbeat pounding in her chest. "He wouldn’t," she mumbled. "He couldn’t!"

Understanding the implication, Sara rushed to reassure her. "Ryan, Father Pender takes his vows very, very seriously. I know he’s a gossip, but he would never do something so horrible!"

"I find it nearly impossible to believe too, Sara. But it sure as hell adds up!"

Sara was quiet for a moment, letting her analytically trained mind consider all of the facts. "When did you tell him?" she asked.

"Umm…right before school started. Probably August sometime. I was in Ireland all summer, and I know it was after that. How about you?"

"Around the same," she recalled.

Ryan paused for a moment and thought about the timing. "Why so late? I would think your parents would have gotten over it by then."

Sara’s sigh was audible, nearly louder than her voice, which said, "They would have, if I had. When I was getting ready to go to Cal, I told my mother that I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I told her that I just had to call you…" her voice trailed off, and Ryan thought she could detect some tears.

"What happened?" Ryan asked gently.

"She told my father. Apparently she hadn’t said anything before. He really flipped out and scared the living daylights out of me, Ryan. He’s normally so quiet and calm, but he was just wild!"

"What did you say to Father Pender?"

"I was so scared I don’t have any idea what I said! All I know is that he gave me a long lecture about avoiding temptation and told me that I had to resist my ‘urges’."

"Damn! He didn’t say anything like that to me," Ryan revealed. "He tried to get me to join that group that urges abstinence, but I think he could tell I thought it was bullshit."

"I rather doubt he would have tried to talk you out of anything, Ryan," Sara said fondly. "You were never the type who could be coerced."

Ryan thought about that for a moment, and realized that at 18 Sara would have appeared quite malleable. It wasn’t that she didn’t have a strong character, but she was always very focused on pleasing the authority figures in her life, something Ryan had yet to get the hang of.

"Well, Sara, it looks like old Father Pender is going to have a very pissed off visitor in about an hour, and he’d better be in a talkative mood!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

"Are you sure you want me to go with you?" Jamie was nearly jogging to keep up with her long-legged lover. They were cruising up the hill between Ryan’s home and the church, and the smaller woman was nearly out of breath.

Ryan slowed, doing her best to calm her racing heart. "I’m just so pissed off I want to throttle him!" she cried. "He’s like family to us! I swear, Jamie, if he admits this, I’m going to the Archbishop! I’ll not have him betray another person if I can help it!"

"Honey," Jamie said with as much calm as she could muster, "this isn’t the way to approach someone that you want to admit something. I really think you need to calm down."

Ryan slowed even more, acknowledging that her partner was correct, but feeling very out of control. She nodded once, shoving her hands in her pockets roughly, a decided slump to her normally proud shoulders. They walked the rest of the way in silence, but instead of going to the rectory where the priest lived, Ryan detoured to the church and sat down in a pew to gather her jumbled thoughts. Jamie sat right next to her, a hand on her back, providing as much solace as she could by her mere presence. It took about fifteen minutes, but Ryan finally stood and stretched, getting some of the accumulated tension out of her back.

She extended a hand to Jamie and slid her arms around her when she joined her. "I really think I need to talk to him alone," she whispered. "I think he’ll be unwilling to reveal much if we’re both there. Will you wait for me?"

"Of course, Love. You take as long as you need, Ryan. I’ll be waiting right here."

The minutes ticked by, with Jamie becoming more anxious with the passing of each one. Almost 30 minutes had passed and Jamie was on the verge of going to find her partner when a long frame cast a massive shadow down the center aisle. Jamie was on her feet in a flash. "Are you okay?" she asked, her eyes darting to Ryan’s pale face. Her hands automatically went to Ryan’s arms, running up and down them slowly.

"Yeah. I’m all right," she muttered. "Sick to my stomach, and a massive headache, but I’m fine."

"Wanna talk about it?" Jamie wasn’t going to rush her. She knew Ryan would tell all when she was ready and that trying to get her to talk before she was ready was a wasted effort.

"Later," she mumbled, needing some time to sort out the jumble of emotions that were causing her head to pound.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Ryan didn’t want to go to her family’s home, even though they were in the neighborhood. She knew that she could not help but show how upset she was, and she was not in the mood for another scene. Instead, they grabbed a quick bite and headed back to Berkeley. Jamie drove since Ryan was too scattered to focus. Placing one hard on the steering wheel and the other on Ryan’s leg, Jamie gave it a gentle rub. "Anytime you want to talk about it, just let me know, Love. No rush."

Ryan smiled over at her, once again pleased beyond measure that her partner respected her boundaries. "I hate growing up," she muttered, lowering her seat as far back as she could, and staring at the roof of the car.

"Pardon?" Jamie couldn’t figure out how this was on point, but she knew Ryan would explain herself.

"It was nice being a kid and believing that adults knew what the hell they were doing. I trusted everyone when I was young, and even though I know you can’t survive like that, I really miss those days sometimes."

Patting her thigh Jamie reminded her of one important benefit of adulthood. "Yeah, but you didn’t get to have sex with the girls on your sleepovers," she teased, deciding that a little levity was a good thing.

As usual, a delighted grin settled on Ryan’s face at the thought of how much fun their current sleepovers were. "I guess I’ll trade being jaded for sex," she agreed, knowing she was getting the better end of the bargain, "but I’m still mighty pissed off."

"Wanna tell me about it?" Jamie asked.

"I’ll spare you the rationalizing and get to the bottom line," Ryan agreed. "Mrs. Andrews talked to him a day after everything went down. But she didn’t talk to him in the confessional. They just had a chat. Because she didn’t tell him to keep it confidential, he doesn’t feel that he was under any obligation to do so."

Jamie’s mouth dropped open, and she cast so many glances at her partner that Ryan finally said, "I don’t want to fall into the Bay, Honey. Keep your eyes on the road."

"Ryan, that’s…that’s…that’s criminal! My grandfather isn’t bound by any vow to keep confidences, but he sure as hell does! You don’t skate by on a technicality!"

"I agree, Honey, but he certainly did."

Jamie was still too flabbergasted to think clearly, but she managed to pull herself together enough to ask, "Did he at least apologize?"

"Nope. He truly doesn’t think he did anything wrong, Jamie. Because he talked to Sister Mary Magdalene before Sara or I confessed, he doesn’t think he violated our trust. As a matter of fact, he seems to think he was protecting me!"

"Get out!"

Blazing green eyes locked on Ryan and, once again, she reminded her partner that she was driving a car. "Focus, Babe," she said, pointing at the roadway.

"How on earth does he justify that?" Jamie was dutifully staring at the road, but her hands were gripping the wheel furiously, her knuckles whitening under the pressure.

A deep sigh came from Ryan’s lungs, and she ran both hands through her hair, settling it against her shoulders. "He said that he knew that word would get out, and he wanted someone in authority to know the truth about what had happened. He claims he went to Mother Superior and told her that he knew both Sara and me, and that we were goods kids who were just having a tough time with this. I don’t have any reason to doubt him on this, since he was so forthcoming about everything else, but he swears that she’s the only one he told."

"And she told the other students??!!"

"Don’t know. Gonna find out," Ryan declared with a fierce glower on her normally placid features.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Continued in Part 13

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