Disclaimer: These characters are all mine. No need to disclaim them.
Subtext: Yes, there will eventually and unapologetically be a loving relationship between two people of the same gender. If this offends you or is illegal where you are, please press the back button or move on. If you are under the age of 18, go away until you're old enough.
Violence: Some. There is an incident of semi-domestic violence.
Language: Mild profanity.
Crying: One of my characters is very emotional, so I'm disclaiming a lot of crying. Give her a break. Her hormones are out of whack.
Feedback welcome at email@example.com
Dr. Jada Reimer sits behind the wheel of her silver BMW M3 Coupe in the parking lot of Kennedy General Hospital after coming off of a 72 hour shift in the ER. She takes down her ponytail and runs her fingers through her shoulder-length wavy dark brown hair. She relaxes back against the leather seat, sighing as she closes grey eyes red-tinged with exhaustion. She really didn't mind the long hours of being on call in the ER every month, especially considering the week-long vacation she gets pager-free afterwards. My bed is calling me. She puts the key in the ignition and starts up. She powers on her cell phone as she pulls out of the parking lot. She powers on the Bluetooth and turns onto the highway, taking her usual route near the beach on her way home. She checks her messages and smiles, rolling her eyes as she listens to a voice mail from her mother. She calls back. “Hey, Moma.” “Hey, sweetie. How's my baby girl?”
Jada smiles to herself. “I'm ok. Just came off of my 72 for this month.”
“Honey, do you think you can make if down this Sunday for supper? David has the boys this weekend and he agreed to bring them.”
Jada pinches the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes briefly. “David's the Constable, Moma. He can have his Sundays off,” she sighs rubbing her hand across her face. I really just want to get some sleep.
“Oh, sweetie, please? It's been so long since I had both of my babies here at the same time,” Mom whines, smiling.
Jada sighs and shakes her head, unable to resist. “Oh, Ma…Ok, ok. You win. I'll try to be there.”
“Great! I miss you all the time, Jada.”
Jada smiles softly. “I miss you, too, Moma.”
“I swear I didn't, Bobby! I don't know what you're talking about!” a petite blonde screams as she tries to protect her protruding stomach from her irate boyfriend.
He slaps her. “Stop lying to me! You fuckin' whore!” he yells grabbing her arms tightly. “How did it feel to fuck my sister?” he asks punching her in the side, outside the protective embrace of her arms over her stomach.
She falls to the ground covering her stomach still. “Please, Bobby. Please don't hurt my baby!” she begs as tears stream down her face.
He grabs a handful of her shirt and slaps her again. “She told me she was in love with you. She said she was gonna take you away from me. When did you start fuckin' her, Carrie?”
Jada frowns as she drives up to the confrontation. She blinks in disbelief at all the people just standing around watching. Nobody's helping her? She pulls her car over to the curb near them and calls her brother on speed dial. “David, it's Jada.”
“Hey, sis. What's up?”
“I need you to send a couple of units down to the seawall right past Saltgrass on the gulf side. There's a guy down here beating a very pregnant woman right out in the open,” she says opening her car door.
“Alright, Jada. You just sit tight.”
She gets out and takes off her lab coat. “I can't, David. I have to help her. Who knows what damage he's done to that baby?”
David frowns. “What if he has a gun, Jada?”
She leans back inside the car and opens her glove compartment. She pulls out the silver 9mm. “Then so do I. Just make sure they get here quick. I have to stop this. You taught me how to use this thing, David. You know I can handle myself.”
“Damn it, Jada. Be careful. Two units are only 5 minutes out.”
“Ok,” she says hanging up and putting the gun under her scrub top inside the waistband of her scrub pants. She then cautiously makes her way towards the scuffle.
“Bobby, I swear to you that I never slept with Dana. I never did. Please just stop! Don't hurt my baby…” she begs crying.
“Liar!” he yells and pulls back his arm to punch her.
Jada runs up and locks her elbow with his; effectively blocking his punch, and pushes him back away from the woman. “That is enough!”
“Who the fuck are you?” Bobby asks with balled up fists.
“All you need to know about me is that I'm not gonna let you keep hurting her,” Jada says stepping between the irate man and the injured pregnant woman on the ground.
“The hell you won't!” he yells, swinging at her. She dodges him easily which infuriates him more. He swings again and again. She dodges each punch then gets inside his defenses and slaps him open-handed across the face. He steps back stunned.
“Doesn't feel good, does it?” she asks frowning. She looks back at the woman who has bruises all over her face and a busted lip. She turns back to him with cold grey eyes. “I will not let you hurt her anymore and I won't not defend myself. It's up to you.”
He lets out a primal growl and rushes her, swinging wildly.
She dodges the first few punches, blocks the next few then drives the heel of her hand into his chest, knocking the wind from him. As he's bent over, she lifts her knee, hitting him in the forehead and snapping his head back, knocking him to the ground. He lies gasping for breath as she kneels with her knee on his chest. “Kinda hard to breathe, eh?” He just glares at her. “Think about how she feels right now you piece of crap,” she says coldly. She looks up at the crowd that had gathered. “Can a couple of you guys keep an eye on him while I check on her please? I'm a doctor.”
Three college age guys that had just run across the street move to keep an eye on him.
“Thank you. Don't let him get away. The cops are on their way,” she says standing.
“Hell, after you kicked his ass, it's the least we could do. Right fellas?” one of the guys says looking at his friends. They both nod in agreement.
She shakes her head and goes to the injured woman. She kneels next to her, ignoring the obscenities being thrown at her back by Bobby. She reaches out to her and the woman recoils. “Hey, I won't hurt you. I only want to help you, okay?” she asks softly. The woman looks up at her with frightened blue-green eyes. “My name is Jada. I'm a doctor. Could I please examine you to make sure you and your baby are ok?” The woman looks into her eyes and nods, slowly. Jada smiles encouragingly. “Ok.” She reaches out and tenderly examines the bruises on her face. The woman closes her eyes at the light touch. Jada studies her face. She's beautiful. Probably gorgeous without these bruises. She moves the woman's short blonde hair out of her face to examine the cut above her brow. That's gonna need some stitches. The woman opens her eyes again to look into Jada's grey ones. “What's your name?”
The woman wets her dry lips and clears her throat. “C-Carrigan. My name is Carrigan,” she says quietly.
Jada nods smiling slightly. “Carrigan…How far along are you?”
“About 8 months,” she says wincing in pain as Jada palpates her abdomen.
Jada frowns and stops immediately. “Did he hit you in the stomach?”
Carrigan shakes her head. “No, my side.”
Jada raises her hoodie, noting the purpling bruise already forming. She gently probes the area and Carrigan whimpers and winces in pain again. Severely bruised, possibly cracked. She hears the sirens getting closer. “Ok, Carrigan. You hear those sirens? They're coming for him. You're safe now, but I need to get you to the hospital to make sure you and the baby are ok.”
Carrigan shakes her head. “I can't. I don't have any insurance.”
“Don't you worry about that. We have to be sure of the welfare of your baby, Carrigan,” she says touching her arm. Carrigan looks down. Jada grabs her hands. “Please trust me to do what's right for both of you right now.”
Carrigan looks up into her eyes. “Ok, doctor,” she says quietly.
Jada smiles at her. “Call me Jada.”
Carrigan smiles slightly. “Ok, Jada,” she says even quieter.
“Think you can stand?” Jada asks with raised brows. Carrigan nods.
Two police cruisers pull up with lights flashing and sirens wailing as Jada helps her stand.
“Jada…what happened?” one of the officers asks walking up to them as the other moves to apprehend Bobby.
“Hey, Bill. That guy was attacking this woman when I pulled up. I stepped in to break it up and he attacked me. I defended myself and knocked him out. Those 3 guys agreed to make sure he didn't get away until you guys got here.”
Bill jots down Jada's statement. He turns to Carrigan. “What's your name, ma'am?”
Jada puts her hand on Bill's arm. “You think you can come by the hospital to get her statement? I have to see to her wounds and make sure that baby is ok.”
Bill sighs and nods. “Okay, Jada. We'll take care of this scum then I'll be over there.”
“Thanks, Bill,” she says guiding Carrigan to her car. She opens the door for her and helps her in. Carrigan grabs her hand before she can get away. Jada kneels next to her, looking up at her with questioning eyes. “What's wrong?” she asks softly.
“I…I just wanted to thank you…for helping me and my baby. I didn't think anyone would,” she says looking down.
“I wish I would've gotten here sooner.”
Carrigan shakes her head. “I'm just glad you got here.”
Jada's pacing outside of Carrigan's emergency room. Officer Bill was in there questioning her about the events leading up the beating. It broke her heart to see how scared Carrigan was when she had to leave out for them to examine her then for Officer Bill to question her.
She had learned that there was no family to call. Carrigan's parents had been killed in a car crash when she was 10 and both of her parents were only children. Both sets of her grandparents were dead. So, a family friend had taken her in until she turned 18. She had been on her own for the last 7 years.
A tall red-head walks up to Jada and places her hand on her shoulder. “How goes it, Wonder woman?”
Jada chuckles and rolls her eyes. “Hey, Ally.”
Ally caresses her back through her scrubs. “I heard what you did for that woman. You should be proud of yourself.”
Jada looks at her and steps away, effectively ending the caress. “I did what I had to do,” she says softly. Ally sighs and places her hands in her lab coat pockets, stung by Jada's silent rejection. “How is she? How is the baby?”
Ally clears her throat. “The baby is fine. Damn near full-term.”
Jada nods, smiling slightly. “That's really good news. What about Carrigan? Is she ok?”
Ally flicks her brows. “I won't lie. He did a number on her. She's got multiple bruises all over her face and arms. She's got a cut over her eye that needed stitches. She's got 3 bruised ribs where he punched her and a busted lip. I'm amazed that the baby wasn't harmed.”
Jada shakes her head. “She was protecting it. She let him bust up her face so that he wouldn't go after her stomach,” she says looking in the window of the door of Carrigan's room.
“Wow. Well, I hope you kicked his ass good.”
Jada narrows her eyes, replaying the incident in her mind's eye and hearing Carrigan pleading for him not to hurt her baby. She nods slowly, feeling again the satisfaction she felt taking his wind from him and knocking him to the ground. “He'll definitely feel it in the morning.”
Ally nods. “I need to keep her at least overnight, Jada. That kind of stress on her body and the baby could send her into labor at anytime.”
“Ok. She's not gonna want to stay but I'll try to talk her into it…for the baby's sake,” she says opening the door.
Carrigan looks up as Jada walks in and her countenance immediately relaxes. “Hi,” she says quietly.
Jada smiles at her and nods to Officer Bill on his way out. She sits next to her on the bed. “Hey. How do you feel?”
Carrigan sighs. “Pretty sore. My face must look awful, huh?”
Jada shakes her head studying her face. “Just some bruising and a little swelling.”
Carrigan nods and looks at her hands. “Well it feels awful…but at least he didn't hurt my baby.”
“You did a good job protecting it,” Jada says softly.
The blonde smiles slightly. “Her. It's a baby girl. Dr. Lloyd just told me.”
Jada cocks her head, frowning slightly. “You didn't already know?”
Carrigan shakes her head. “Couldn't afford to see the doctor, but I tried to eat as well as I could…as many fruits and vegetables as I could. And milk, too.”
Jada smiles, charmed by her innocence. “That's really good, Carrigan.” The blonde lowers her head, blushing slightly. “Did Dr. Lloyd tell you that she wanted to keep you here to keep an eye on the baby?”
Carrigan looks up at her sharply. “What? No, I can't. I can't stay in here,” she says trying to sit up.
Jada stops her with a hand to her shoulder. “Carrigan…Carrigan, please. Just calm down.” The blonde closes her eyes, shaking her head as her tears overflow. “Hey, just listen to me. It is very necessary for the health of your baby for you to stay here at least overnight, ok?”
“But I can't afford this. They're gonna kick me out when they find out I can't pay anyway,” she says miserably.
Jada frowns. “The hell they will. I will not let them just toss you out. I won't let anyone bring harm to you or this baby in any way,” she says vehemently.
The blonde opens teary blue-green eyes and looks at her. “You promise?”
Jada sighs and takes her hand. “I promise you…and I never go back on my promises.”
“Never?” she asks with a tremor in her voice.
Jada shakes her head. “Never.” Carrigan looks into her eyes and only sees the truth. “So will you stay?”
Carrigan nods and looks away. “I don't have anywhere else to go anyway. I was living with Bobby and Dana.”
The brunette frowns, slightly. “Dana?”
“Bobby's sister. She told him that she was in love with me. That's how it all got started.”
Jada nods, looking down then back at the blonde. “Do you want me to call her?” she asks slowly taking her hand away.
“No! No, please. I don't love her. I don't want to see her. Ok?” she asks anxiously not letting go of the brunette's hand.
“Ok, I won't.” Carrigan sighs and closes her eyes. “You must be exhausted, huh? Why don't you get some rest? Try to relax,” she says standing.
Carrigan grips her hand tighter. “Please don't go. Please don't leave me here alone,” she begs softly with her tears overflowing again.
“Shh…Please don't cry,” she whispers wiping at the blonde's tears. She scoots the chair beside the bed closer and sits in it, facing her. “I won't leave you,” she says squeezing her hand.
Carrigan bites her trembling lip. “You promise?” she asks in a whisper.
Jada sighs. No one should be so afraid of being alone. She moves blonde strands of hair out of her face. “I promise, Carrigan. I'll be right here when you wake up.”
The blonde smiles a full genuine smile. “Ok,” she sighs then closes her eyes, visually relaxing and falling into an immediate sleep.
The brunette continues to stroke her face lightly after she's fallen asleep. She wipes away the rest of her tears. She reaches over and pats her stomach, lightly. She smiles softly and leans in close. “I promise I won't leave you either.”
Dr. Allison Lloyd enters Carrigan's room in the maternity ward to check on Carrigan and her pregnancy only to find Jada asleep, head resting next to Carrigan's hip on the bed. She walks up to them and scowls when she notices their joined hands. What the hell is going on here? She kneels next to Jada and gently rouses her. “Hey…wonder woman…”
Jada blinks herself awake. Her gaze going automatically to Carrigan then to Ally beside her. “Hey, Ally,” she says quietly.
The redhead glances at a still sleeping Carrigan then back at Jada. “Didn't you just come off a 72 last night?” Jada nods and sits back, rubbing her face with her free hand. “Don't you think you should go home and rest then?”
The brunette looks back at the blonde sleeping peacefully still holding her hand. “I promised I wouldn't leave.”
Ally sighs. “But it's morning now, Jada. Don't you think…?”
Jada frowns annoyed and interrupts her. “No, Ally. Some people may go back on their promises but I don't.” Ally looks down and away and Jada knew she had scored a direct hit. She sighs, feeling a bit guilty. “Look…I appreciate your concern, Ally. I really do. But due to circumstances that aren't her fault, she's lost everything she knows. She doesn't think she has anyone to care about or for her and her baby. I'm determined to prove her wrong. They have me if they have no one else,” she says softly looking back to Carrigan.
“But you don't even know her, Jada.”
“Do you have to know someone's life story to be their friend? You and I are friends and there are secrets you still keep, right?” she asks frowning. Ally stands, frowning as well. “Right. So don't interfere,” she says glaring up at her. Jealousy doesn't become you at all, Ally.
Ally folds her arms and goes to check the fetal monitor.
Jada watches her, shaking her head. She runs her fingers through her hair and looks back at Carrigan to find beautiful blue-green eyes watching her. A smile automatically graces her face. “Hey, you. Good-morning.”
Carrigan smiles back. “'Morning,” she says softly. She rubs the side of her stomach, looking around. She notices Dr. Lloyd standing rigidly at the fetal monitor. Somebody's angry… She looks back at Jada. “You didn't leave.” She catches, out of the corner of her eye, Ally turning back to look at them frowning then just as quickly turning back to the machines. Ok…
“Of course not. I promised, remember?”
“I remember. Thank you, Jada,” she says quietly.
Jada moves pale hair out of her face. “Sleep ok?” she asks softly. Carrigan nods, watching her adoringly. “Any pain?”
The blonde shakes her head in the negative. “Not much. Just my side really…and my stomach every now and then.”
The brunette frowns in concern and turns to the redhead. “Ally?”
Ally sighs and turns to them, pasting a smile on her face. “She's having small contractions. I'm gonna need to keep her to keep an eye on this.”
Jada looks back at Carrigan who has her eyes closed and shaking her head. She leans down to whisper in her ear. “Don't worry ok? It's what's best for the baby. I'll take care of this. I promise,” she says pulling back to look in her eyes.
Carrigan looks her in the eyes and nods. “Ok,” she whispers.
The brunette smiles at her. “I'm gonna go home and shower…grab something to eat and I'll be back, ok?”
Tears well in the blonde's eyes as the irrational fear returns. “Promise?”
Jada squeezes her hand and nods. “I promise. Believe me?” Carrigan nods, smiling tremulously. “Ok. I'll be back soon,” she says standing and finally letting go of her hand. Ally follows her out of the room with Carrigan watching the whole way. Jada turns to Ally outside the door. “Is she in labor?” she asks in a hushed voice.
Ally sighs and nods. “Yeah she is. The very beginning.”
The brunette shakes her head and sighs. “Ok. I'm gonna go shower and I'll be right back,” she says stretching her back.
“Jada… She's only just beginning her labor. You need some rest and food.”
“I slept just fine last night.” The best night of sleep in a long while actually. “And I'll grab something on the way home,” Jada says searching her pockets for her keys.
The brunette sighs. Enough already. “Ally, listen to me. She doesn't have anybody else. This is her first baby. When you go in there and tell her she's in labor, she's gonna freak out. So, I'm gonna be there for her…and you need to accept that.”
The redhead shakes her head. “Ok. Fine. You're so determined to do this…”
“Will you at least make sure you eat something substantial? No coffee and doughnut crap either, Jada,” Ally says folding her arms.
“Ok. Ok. Just take care of her till I get back?” Jada asks with raised brows as she backs away.
Ally rolls her eyes and nods. She watches Jada as she gets on the elevator and disappears from sight. I'm gonna take care of you, too, Jada.
Jada stands under the steady stream of hot water of her shower in her 4 bedroom 2 ½ bath country home on the outskirts of the city trying to let the heat work the tenseness out of her muscles. She closes her eyes and the first thing she sees are Carrigan's blue-green eyes. Geez… How did that woman get under my skin so fast? She gets out of the shower and wraps a towel around her body. She goes and makes her a sandwich and a pours a large glass of juice. As she finishes up, her cell phone rings. “This is Jada.”
“Um… Dr. Reimer?”
The brunette frowns slightly. “It is…”
“Dr. Reimer, this is Nurse Trudy. I'm calling for Ms. Carrigan Anderson.”
Jada stands, getting upset. “Is she ok? Are there complications?”
“I don't know, ma'am. She's very distraught and begged me to call you. She also asked Dr. Lloyd but I'm assuming she didn't call you.”
Jada sighs. “No, she didn't. Could you just keep an eye on her until I get there? Please?” she asks hurrying into her room to change.
“Sure, Dr. Reimer.”
“Thank you,” she says, hanging up. She tosses the towel down as she reaches for her tank top. “Damn it, Ally.”
Tears flow unbidden down the blonde's cheeks as she sits in her hospital bed. “Please? Could you please call her?” she begs, crying.
The tall redheaded OBGYN turns to her and sighs, shaking her head. “I'm sorry but I can't. Dr. Reimer just came off of a 72 hour shift and she needs her rest.” Not you. I won't let you take her.
Carrigan covers her face, crying. “But she promised. She said she wouldn't leave me alone. Please. Please call her.”
Ally folds her arms. “Dr. Reimer is not your family. I will not disturb her just because you ask.”
“Ally!” Jada exclaims incredulously from the door. Ally snaps around then looks down, embarrassed.
Carrigan takes her hands away from her face and sighs in relief. “Jada,” she whispers, smiling through her tears.
Jada goes to her and takes her hand. “Hey… Why the tears, huh?”
“Just scared. So scared,” came the whispered reply.
The brunette moves pale bangs out of her flushed face. “Why scared?”
The blonde glances at Ally then back at Jada. “The pain is getting worse, Jada. And it's coming more often. Then my water broke. She said the baby's coming soon.”
The ER doctor clenches her jaw in anger. “Yeah?” she asks softly. Carrigan nods, squeezing her hand. Jada looks at Ally. “How far apart?” Ally looks away. “How far apart, Dr. Lloyd?” she asks sternly with narrowed eyes.
The OBGYN sighs. “5 minutes,” she says and leaves out of the room.
Jada closes her eyes to calm her temper. She looks back at Carrigan and smiles, softly. “I'm gonna go check with Dr. Lloyd to check on your progress, ok? I'll be right back.” The blonde squeezes her hand imperceptibly. “I promise I'll be right back. I'm gonna be right here through it all.”
“Till the baby gets here?” Carrigan asks softly.
Jada smiles tenderly. “Even after that.” Carrigan smiles at her then. “Ok?” The blonde smiles, nodding. Jada smiles back. “Ok.” She winks at her and heads out to find Ally. She sees her at the nurses' station and makes a beeline to her.
Ally sees her and meets her halfway. She holds up her palms to try and stem the onslaught that she knew was coming. “Now, Jada…”
“5 minutes? 5 minutes and you didn't call me, Ally?” Jada asks fuming.
“You were home. I thought you were resting. You're not obligated…”
“Don't you tell me what I am or am not obligated to do!” Jada whispers vehemently getting in her face. Ally looks down. “I ask you to take care of her and this is how you do it? By getting her damn near hysterical? This is her first child. She has no one else to be here. You were gonna let her go through this alone?” Jada asks, her own feelings about that showing in the hurt in her voice.
Ally sighs. “I was concerned about you. I thought…”
“It's not your job to be concerned about me! Your job is to make sure your patient has an uncomplicated delivery and a healthy happy baby. What were you gonna do when she became hysterical with fear in the delivery room? How were you gonna see to her or that baby's welfare then, Ally? How dare you talk to her like a child when I promised her I'd be there?”
“But that's not your job, Jada. She's not your responsibility.”
“And I'm not yours. Worrying about me is not your job. Not anymore,” the brunette says coldly. Ally looks away with tears in her eyes. “Now I'm gonna be here for her right now, during her delivery and well afterwards. You need to deal with it…or do I need to call the OBGYN on call to replace you?”
Ally sighs and straightens up. “You don't need to do that, Jada.”
“Then be professional and objective and do your job, Dr. Lloyd,” she says and goes back into Carrigan's room.
The OBGYN ducks into her office and lets the tears flow.
Jada walks into Carrigan's room a few hours later. She had gone to get something to eat while giving the new mom and her daughter time to bond. She watches as the blonde stares at her new baby intently as if trying to memorize her face. “She's such a beautiful baby, Carrigan,” she says softly as she approaches the bed.
Carrigan smiles wistfully and touches baby's face tenderly. “Yeah, she is.”
The brunette sits on the bed next to them, eyeing the baby girl's head full of hair. “Where'd she get all that black hair?”
The blonde shrugs. “I would guess her father's side. We only had blondes and redheads in my family.”
Jada nods, watching the baby. “Where is her father, Carrigan? Is it Bobby?” she asks picturing the stocky, angry man with dark wavy hair and cold dark eyes.
“No, not Bobby. I was at a party for New Year's and my drink was drugged. I don't remember much of anything from that night. All I know is that I woke up the next morning in this strange house where the party was feeling like I had sex. Couple of months later, I know for sure. Anyway, with her hair and coloring, she could pass for your child faster than mine,” she says quietly, watching Jada out of the corner of her eye for her reaction.
The brunette flicks her brows and smiles. She does look biracial like me. “I guess she could.”
The blonde nods, smiling. “Would you like to hold her?”
Jada's smile brightens. “I would love to,” she says holding out her arms. Carrigan gently places baby in her arms and watches them smiling. The baby stirs, blinking blue-green eyes identical to her mother's. “She got those gorgeous eyes of yours though.”
Carrigan looks at her hands, blushing deeply. “Thank you,” she whispers. Jada glances at her then looks back at the baby, smiling softly. “I…I named her just before you got back. Would you like to know what it is?”
The brunette looks at her with raised brows. “Sure. Whatever it is, I'm sure it suits her,” she says smiling at the baby.
“Jadyn Angelique Anderson.”
Jada's head snaps up to look at her. She searches her eyes. “You named her for me?” she asks clearly in shock.
Carrigan nods, smiling softly. “And my mother. I did it so that when she grows up, she'll remember what all you did for us.”
The brunette smiles with tears in her eyes. “I'm…I'm honored, Carrigan.”
Tears come to Carrigan's eyes. “Could I ask you a huge favor? I know you've done so much for us already but can I please ask one more thing?” she asks softly.
Jada frowns in concern. “What is it, Carrigan? You can ask me anything.”
The blonde can't stop the tears from falling as she thinks about what she's about to ask this amazing stranger. She reaches over and gently strokes baby Jadyn's hair. “Would you please take my baby?”
Jada gasps in surprise and is about to spew off a number of protests until Carrigan interrupts her.
“ Please. I don't have anywhere to go when I leave here. I can't raise a baby on the street. At least with you she'll have a roof over her head. You're a doctor. You can take care of her. I can come and visit, you know? If she grows up and takes on any of your strength, your courage or your kindness, I'll know that I chose right. Please, Jada. Please take my baby,” she begs looking down.
“Oh, Carrigan…”the brunette whispers, shaking her head as her own tears start to fall. Jada studies baby's face. She's willing to give you up just to make sure you don't have a hard life. She takes a deep breath and releases it, her mind made up. I will take care of you…but I'm gonna take care of your Mommy too. She clears her throat. “I'll take her on one condition, Carrigan,” she says looking over at her.
The blonde looks up at her. “Anything, Jada. Just please…”
“Only if you come too,” she says softly.
Blue-green eyes widen in disbelief. “What?” she asks in a whisper.
“I'll take her into my home…but only if you come too.”
“You want both of us to live with you?”
Jada smiles at her. “Yeah. I've got enough room.” She looks at the baby then back at Carrigan. “I won't take your baby away from you Carrigan…and I won't let anyone else take her either. She is my namesake after all.”
The blonde hugs the brunette and starts to cry. “Thank you, Jada. Thank you so much. I'll never be able to repay you for everything you're doing for us,” she chokes out.
The brunette rubs her back and kisses her temple to calm her. “No payment necessary. You're giving me an opportunity that I wouldn't otherwise have.”
Carrigan pulls back and focuses teary blue-green eyes on her. “What's that?”
Jada tenderly wipes the blonde's tears away. “The opportunity to help raise a child.”
The blonde cocks her head in question. “Cause you're not married?”
The brunette shakes her head and sighs. “No…cause I'm a lesbian,” she says softly. Carrigan raises her brows in surprise. Jada turns to study her reaction. “I…hope that doesn't bother you. I hope you won't change your mind…”
The blonde shakes her head. “No, I haven't changed my mind…and it doesn't bother me, Jada. I'm gay, too.”
Jada frowns in confusion. “But Bobby…”
“Bobby and Dana gave me a place to stay. He always assumed we were together because we shared the same bed. He offered me his bed because the couch was too uncomfortable with my pregnancy. He just took to sleeping in there with me. He thought I had sex with his sister when I wouldn't with him. That's why he was so angry. But I never did.”
Jada nods thoughtfully. “I see.”
The blonde watches her and smiles, slightly. “Is that why Dr. Lloyd doesn't like me? She seems to very…protective of you.”
Jada looks at her and raises a brow. Perceptive. Carrigan raises her brows in question. Jada sighs and rolls her eyes. “Yeah. Ally and I used to be in a relationship a while back. She cheated on me and I dumped her. Simple as that.”
“But she still wants you…and I'm guessing she sees me as some kind of threat,” the blonde says quietly.
Very perceptive. “I guess.”
Carrigan shakes her head, frowning. “She's a doctor and she's beautiful. I have nothing to offer that would ever compare to that.”
“It's not what you have or how you look that attracts me…it's who you are and how you treat me. Ally cheated on me which means she never cared that much for me at all,” the brunette says matter-of-factly. Besides, you're beautiful yourself, Carrigan. Oh, Jada…Don't even go there right now. “Don't worry about Ally, though. As soon as you're discharged, I'll be your doctor and we'll find Jadyn a great pediatrician.”
The blonde nods then chuckles. “She's really gonna hate me when she finds out we're going home with you.”
Jada chuckles and shrugs. “Let me deal with Ally. As a matter of fact, I'm gonna go find her and see when you two can come home.”
Home. I like the sound of that. Carrigan smiles at her. “Ok. Can you hand me the call button? I need to call them to come and get Jadyn.”
Jada shakes her head. “No need. I'll take her back while I look for Dr. Lloyd, ok?”
“Ok, Jada,” she says quietly.
The brunette nods once. “Ok. Now that that's settled, give Jadyn a kiss so we can go.”
Carrigan giggles and kisses the baby's forehead. “See you later, sweet baby. How I love you so…”she whispers to her daughter, lowering her forehead gently to the sleeping newborn's with tears in her eyes.
Jada stands, smiling tenderly. “I'll be back as soon as I learn something.”
“Ok,” she whispers, leaning back and looking at Jada.
Jada grins at her then kisses the same spot on the baby's forehead. “Come on, princess,” she whispers walking to the door. She raises her hand to wave at the blonde then leaves out.
Carrigan waves back then puts her hand to her mouth. “I'm falling for that woman. I just know it,” she whispers to herself.
Jada's standing next to Carrigan's bed later that same night while Ally examines her fundus to make sure it's still firm. She smiles softly at her. The blonde smiles back. The ER doctor reaches over and grabs her chart to look it over. Everything's normal. She should be able to come home tomorrow. She glances over the coversheet, closing the chart. She frowns and open it back up as something had caught her eye. Birthday, September 13 th ? That was yesterday. Does she even realize…?
“Jada?” Ally asks reaching for the chart.
The brunette looks up distracted. “Oh sorry. Here you go.”
The blonde looks back and forth between the two doctors. “So, what's the verdict?”
The redhead flicks her brows and turns to her after checking off the chart. “Everything checked out all right. Your daughter is in excellent health and so are you relating to the pregnancy and delivery. The most severe injuries you have are the bruised ribs and the cut over your eye.”
Jada smiles brightly at Carrigan. “That's good news. So, when do you think you'll discharge her, Dr. Lloyd?”
Ally sighs at the formalness. “Tomorrow afternoon barring any complications with either of them overnight.”
Carrigan smiles brightly showing tiny dimples in both cheeks and claps her hands. “Awesome.”
Jada watches her, smiling. She really is so beautiful when she smiles. I'll see if I can continue to have her smile like that.
Ally watches Jada watching Carrigan and shakes her head. This chic is nothing but trouble.
The next day finds Jada supervising the delivery of furniture into one of her guestrooms at her home that she's turning into a nursery for Jadyn. “You can put the crib against the wall and the rocking chair next to it.” She looks around and smiles, shrugging. Not bad on less than a day's notice. I hope she doesn't mind. Her thoughts are interrupted by her cell phone ringing. “This is Jada.”
“Jada?” a soft voice asks.
“Carrigan? Hey. You ok?”
The blonde smiles into the phone. “I'm fine, Jada. I just wanted to call and let you know that Jadyn and I have been sprung. We're free to go.”
Jada smiles brightly. “Oh yeah? That's a little early,” she says as she watches the movers leave out. She holds up an ‘ok' sign to convey her satisfaction with the placement.
“I think that the dragon lady wants me out of here before you have a chance to get back up here to see me,” the blonde says softly.
The brunette frowns. “Where are you, Carrigan?”
“Um, we're still in my room. I don't know how much longer they'll let us stay though,” she says quietly.
“Damn it. You stay right there in that room. Do not move Jadyn. If anybody has anything to say, you tell them that I'm on my way to get you, ok?” she says grabbing the baby carrier from the pile of things she bought for the baby.
“Ok, Jada. Uh, hang on,” the blonde says turning her attention to someone in the room.
Jada frowns as she listens to Ally telling Carrigan that she has to vacate the room. She also listens, getting angrier by the second, as Carrigan explains that Jada is on her way to get them.
Ally scoffs condescendingly. “I'm sure she is. Whatever the case, you have been discharged and this room has to be readied for the next patient.”
Jada's hand tightens around the handle of the baby carrier until her knuckles turn white. She grabs a baby blanket and outfit for Jadyn and heads to the front door. “Carrigan?”
“Yeah?” she asks quietly.
“Put her on the phone, please,” she says as she puts the carrier in the car and gets behind the wheel.
“Ok…um, Dr. Lloyd? Jada wants to speak to you,” she says holding out the phone.
“Sure she does,” Ally says laughing lightly. She rolls her eyes and grabs the phone; sure she's calling the girl's bluff. “This is Dr. Lloyd.”
“I thought we talked about your professionalism, Ally,” she says coldly.
Ally's eyes widen at the realization that Jada is indeed on the other line. “Jada, I…”
“I warned you, Allison. You will be reported for your treatment of Carrigan and Jadyn. When I get there, if they are not in Carrigan's room waiting on me to escort them safely from the hospital, I swear I'll have your license,” she says hanging up in her face and speeding down the seawall.
“Jada…”Ally says sighing as Jada hangs up. She hangs up the phone and turns to stare at Carrigan who is cooing at the baby. She sits in a chair next to the bed and crosses her legs. “I'm gonna keep my eye on you. Jada doesn't need you taking advantage of her kindness.”
The blonde sighs and looks over at her. “The only thing I've ever asked Jada for his her presence. Everything else, she offered,” she says knowing for certain that she would never divulge to this woman the conversation about Jadyn.
They sit in silence for long moments. Carrigan's attention on her baby and Ally glaring at the both of them.
Ally narrows her eyes at her and breaks the silence. “Why did you name your child for her?”
“I would believe that is none of your business,” Carrigan says quietly.
“I know you want her. Even though you just had a baby, you're as gay as the day is long,” Ally says sneering.
That cracks Carrigan up. “Takes one to know one,” she says chuckling.
Ally looks at her disgusted. “So what did you do? Have her put you up in a motel?”
“No, she didn't,” a low voice says from the doorway. Carrigan smiles as Jada enters the room. Jada smiles at her and winks. “If you must know, I'm taking them both home with me,” she says sitting on the bed next to Carrigan.
“You what?!? Jada, you can't be serious,” Ally says standing.
Jada stands toe to toe with her. “Please believe that I've meant every word I've said to you today, Allison,” she says, lowly, grey eyes staring a hole right through her.
“But Jada! You don't even know this person! Now you're gonna take care of her and her baby? Where is that child's father anyway? Some john who didn't give his name?”
“That is enough!” Carrigan exclaims standing. Jadyn starts at her mother's raised voice and begins to wail. Jada takes her from Carrigan and comforts her. “It's bad enough that you've treated me like dirt since Jada brought me in. You think you're better than me and that's fine. Say what you want about me. But you will leave my child out of this! Do you hear me?” she asks, eyes flashing green.
The brunette raises a brow, smirking. Damn, she's a feisty one. Those pretty blue-green eyes turn bright green when she's angry. Nice… “You can leave now, Dr. Lloyd. We wouldn't want you to be in the way when they come to ready the room for the next needy patient,” she says coldly.
Ally spins on her heel and storms out of the room.
Jada tsks and shakes her head as she coos at the baby. “Don't let that mean old lady scare you, princess. I won't let her get you.”
Carrigan giggles watching Jada interact with Jadyn. “Hey! What about me? I'm the one she hates.”
Jada chuckles and bends down to kiss her forehead. “I won't let her get you either,” she says softly.
The blonde's eyes close at the contact. She opens her eyes and blushes, looking away. “What's all this?” she says touching the car seat.
“Uh…it's for the baby. She needed this carrier…plus I wanted her to wear something other than a hospital onesie to come home in…plus it's chilly outside…” Jada says rambling on.
The blonde chuckles and touches her hand, interrupting her. “Jada?” The brunette looks at her sheepishly, blushing slightly. “Thank you. I wouldn't have been able to do this for her. I appreciate it so much.”
“What about for you?”
Carrigan shrugs. “I wouldn't want you to do for me. Jadyn can't work and take care of herself. I can.”
Jada sighs and looks at her. Her short blonde hair falling in her face as she looks down. She's wearing the same blue jeans and pullover from the other night. “Carrigan?” she asks softly. Blue-green eyes peer up at her through blonde lashes. “I promised to help but you have to let me. Jadyn is set for a while. Trust me on that. But what do you have to wear besides what you have on?”
The blonde sighs and tears come to her eyes. “Nothing. This is all I have. All my other stuff, what little it is, is at Bobby and Dana's place.”
The brunette nods. “Do you want me to go and get it for you?” she asks as she rocks Jadyn.
Carrigan looks at her hands. “There are some things of my parents' that I've had since they died…my dad's pocket watch. My mom's jewelry box. A photo album when we were all together before they died. That's all I have of value. The rest is just clothes and stuff.”
Jada reaches over with her free hand and rubs her back. “I'll get whatever you want me to get. Some of it. All of it. I can get your valuables and start you off with new clothes. Just tell me what you want me to do.”
The blonde looks up into caring grey eyes then looks down at her jeans. She runs her fingers over the holes and worn spots. She looks at her worn tennis shoes then tugs on the stretched out pullover. “I want my parents' stuff and I want to start over on clothes,” she says quietly.
Jada bends down to look her in the eye. She smiles when Carrigan meets her gaze. “Then that's what we'll do, ok?” she asks softly. The blonde nods, smiling slightly. “Ok. But first, let's get the princess dressed and get out of here before the dragon lady returns.”
Carrigan giggles. “Okay…”
Jada opens the front door to her home and steps back to let Carrigan and Jadyn walk inside first. She closes the door behind them and turns to watch Carrigan take in everything. “Would you like the tour?”
The blonde grins, nodding. “Yes, please.”
The brunette smiles and takes her free hand. She leads her through the foyer and into the living area. “This is my living room.”
Carrigan looks around. She steps down into the sunken living area. Blue-green eyes take in the layout and color scheme, creams and browns, the thick plush carpet, the fireplace, all the windows and the huge plasma TV. “Wow,” she whispers in awe.
Jada chuckles and goes to her. “There's more to show. Can I carry Jadyn for you?” Carrigan nods, handing the baby over to her. The blonde moves to step down onto the carpet but stops, looking down at her shoes. “It's ok. I have a vacuum.”
“I'll look later after I've taken my shoes off. I'm sorry,” she says going back up the steps to wait.
The brunette follows her and touches her shoulder. “Carrigan…this is your home now, too. There is nothing here that can't be replaced, ok? I want you to be comfortable here.”
The blonde looks up into sincere soft grey eyes. That Ally is an idiot. “As long as you're here, I will be.”
Jada smiles and reclasps her hand. Carrigan smiles back at her. The brunette shows her the kitchen, the dining room, her master bedroom, her office, the room where Carrigan is to sleep before stopping before the last room. The brunette turns to the blonde. “I purposely left this room for last.”
Carrigan smiles up at her. “What else could it be? Your home is so beautiful, Jada.”
Jada smiles at her and motions with her head. “Why don't you open it up and see?”
The blonde shrugs and opens the door. She gasps as her hands fly to her mouth. “Oh my god. How did you…? When did you…?” she stammers as her eyes fill with tears and overflow. The nursery was decorated in every shade of pink with princess designs everywhere. The blonde goes to the crib running her hand across the edge then does the same to the rocking chair. She takes in all the clothes Jada bought. She goes to the wall that has Jadyn's name spelled out in jumbo lettering. She turns to Jada sobbing.
The brunette goes to her with Jadyn on her shoulder. “When I left last night after you agreed to live with me, I called in some orders and some favors. They had just delivered all of this when you called earlier,” she says softly. Carrigan continues to sob, burying her face in her hands. Jada shifts, nervously. “I hope I didn't overstep. I just wanted…I didn't even ask you but I…I wanted to surprise you. She doesn't have to sleep in here if you don't want her to. I just thought…”
The blonde cuts her off by going into her arms and hugging her close. “Nobody has ever done anything like this for me before. You're such an amazing woman, Jada. Thank you so much.”
Jada hugs her back. “You're very welcome. I'm glad you like it.”
“I love it, Jada.”
The brunette smiles in relief. She lays baby Jadyn down in the crib and covers her with a blanket. She leans down to kiss her on the forehead. “Welcome home, princess,” she whispers.
Carrigan tilts her head, smiling at the love and tenderness that Jada is showing Jadyn already.
Jada straightens up and turns to Carrigan. “So, you tired? You must be.”
The blonde nods. “I am.”
“Why don't you take a nap? Your room is next door so you can hear Jadyn when she wakes up. I'm gonna run out for a bit to pick up some things for dinner, ok?” she asks rubbing her arm.
“Ok. I will.”
“Ok. I won't be long. You have my cell number if you need me.”
Carrigan awakens hours later to the smell of dinner cooking. Whatever that is smells delicious. She stretches and relaxes. “I love this mattress,” she sighs sitting up. Only then does she notice the packages on her floor. She peeks inside to see jeans, shirts, sweaters, underwear, socks, sweats, a coat, a pair of boots, and another pair of sneakers. “Oh my…” she says looking at it all. She stands when she notices the items on top of the dresser. She goes over and picks up her dad's pocket watch. She opens it and smiles, brightly. It works! She must've had it fixed. She opens her mom's jewelry box. She sits the pocket watch down and picks up her photo album. She shakes her head as she flips through the pages, tears coming to her eyes. “Oh, Jada…” She sits down her treasures and goes out in search of her. She finds her and Jadyn in the sunken living room. Jada's walking a fussy Jadyn while humming to her. She cocks her head taking in Jada's informal attire. Blue-green eyes travel from bare feet up white and navy blue and white plaid pajama bottoms being filled out quite nicely by her shapely bottom on up to a navy blue tank top. I wonder if she knows just how sexy she really is. She spies an empty bottle on the table and assumes that Jada had finished feeding Jadyn and is burping her. Sure enough, Jadyn lets loose a healthy burp and promptly falls asleep. She walks up behind Jada and hugs her around the waist, resting her cheek against the back of her bare shoulder.
The brunette tenses momentarily then relaxes into the hug. “Is this my thank you?” she asks teasingly. The blonde nods and closes her eyes still holding her. Jada chuckles softly until she feels the blonde kiss her shoulder blade tenderly then lay her cheek back on it. Her breathing hitches in her throat and her heart starts to beat triple time as her face flushes. She clears her throat. “Are you hungry?” she asks softly.
Carrigan nods and reluctantly lets her go. “I'm starving.”
Jada turns to her, smiling. “Good. Cause I made plenty.”
She's blushing. The blonde smiles, softly. “Ok. How long was I out?”
“About 6 hours…”
“Wow. What time did you get back from shopping?” she asks rubbing her daughter's back.
“Around 2. You two were still asleep. Jadyn woke up a little while later, so I fed her and we talked for a minute…”
Carrigan giggles. “Oh yeah?”
Jada chuckles. “Of course. Then she fell asleep on me. She just woke up and I fed her again. Now she's back out.”
“Why didn't you wake me?”
The brunette shrugs. “You needed your sleep and I don't mind caring for her at all.”
The blonde shakes her head, smiling. “You're amazing, Jada. Here. Let me put her down and then we can eat, huh?”
Jada hands over the sleeping baby. “Ok, but hurry cause I have a surprise for you.”
“A surprise? For me?” Carrigan asks, smiling brightly. Jada nods, chuckling. “But you've already done so much…for me and my baby.”
“I know but it's already done now….so, hurry up,” Jada says shooing her away.
Carrigan smiles up at her. “Ok,” she says softly as she starts away with Jadyn.
The brunette watches them walk away then goes into the kitchen to arrange the candles on Carrigan's birthday cake. I hope it's a happy birthday for you, Carrigan. She smiles and goes to set the dining room table. When the blonde calls out for her, she directs her into the dining room.
The blonde walks up next to her taking in all the food. “This looks and smells so good, Jada.”
The doctor smiles and pulls out the blonde's chair. “I hope you like Italian.”
Carrigan smiles at the gesture and sits down. “I haven't really had much Italian food unless you count cup-o-noodles,” she says jokingly.
Jada chuckles and shakes her head. “I assure you this beats cup-o-noodles hands down.” The blonde studies the food in front of her then looks back up at the brunette. “What would you like to drink?”
“Uh…Anything is fine with me.”
The brunette nods and pours them both a glass of grape juice then takes her seat across from her. “This is garlic-herb chicken with broccoli in a creamy garlic sauce. It's my favorite. I hope you like it too.”
The blonde nods looking at the food as her mouth waters. She looks up at the brunette sitting across from her. “Can I try it?”
Jada frowns, confusedly. “Sure. Go ahead. You don't have to wait on me if you're hungry,” she says softly. She watches as Carrigan dives into her food, only stopping to wash down the bites with some juice. “Hey. Hey, slow down. I made plenty. You can have more if you want.”
Carrigan stops and sits her utensils down, blushing. “I'm sorry. It's just…Bobby would get so mad if I started before him…and he'd take my food if I didn't eat fast enough. If there was any left, he ate it, too,” she says quietly.
The brunette looks down, frowning as her temper threatens to boil over. I should've hurt that prick a lot worse than I did. She takes a deep breath and looks up at the blonde who has her head down. “I'm sorry you had to live like that but there will always be enough food here and always more if you want.”
“Ok, Jada,” the blonde says quietly. She looks at Jada to make sure it's ok to start back eating. Jada tilts her head and nods. Carrigan picks up her utensils and makes a concerted effort to slow down and enjoy her food. And when she did, she discovered it was quite delicious. “Oh my god! I could eat this every single day!”
Jada smiles brightly at the compliment. “Maybe not every day but I'll make it whenever you want.”
Carrigan's eyes shine. “Yeah?” The doctor nods, smiling at her. The blonde looks down at her empty plate then back up at Jada. “You said there's more?”
The brunette chuckles and nods as she finishes her last bite. “Sure is, but you may want to save some room for dessert.” Jada watches as blue eyes brighten.
“Dessert? Yeah? What is it?” the blonde asks excitedly.
Jada laughs and stands. They're blue when she's happy. “Just sit tight and I'll go get it, ok?” Carrigan nods, enthusiastically. The brunette shakes her head, smiling and goes into kitchen. She lights all 25 candles on the double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate icing, picks it up and heads back into the dining room.
The blonde's head snaps up as she hears Jada singing the birthday song to her. She gasps and tears come to her eyes when Jada appears with a birthday cake. Her tears overflow when the brunette kneels in front of her with the cake. “How did you know?” she asks smiling through her tears.
Jada studies her face and realizes how little it takes to make this soft spoken little blonde happy. You deserve to be happy, Carrigan. This is only the beginning. “I saw it on your chart. The day we met was your birthday. I'm sorry this is so late.”
Carrigan shakes her head, smiling. “Oh, Jada… I haven't had a birthday cake since I was 10…since before my parents died,” she says softly.
“Really?” the brunette asks softly. The blonde nods then smiles as she turns her attention back to the cake. Jada's heart breaks for all the things this woman has missed. Jada smiles tenderly at the teary-eyed smile on her face as she studies the decorations on the cake. “Make a wish,” she whispers.
Carrigan closes her eyes. I do believe you are my fondest wish, Jada. She opens her eyes after making the wish and blows out all the candles. She giggles when Jada claps and cheers that she got them all on the first try. “This looks so good.”
Jada stands and sits the cake on the table. She cuts a couple of pieces, smiling. “I was hoping you were a chocoholic like me.”
The blonde laughs. “I am.”
“Good. Then you'll love this,” Jada says as she breaks off a piece and offers it to her from her fingertips.
Carrigan looks at the offering then up into mischievous grey eyes. Jada quirks a raven brow slightly in challenge. Carrigan smirks and leans in to capture the brunette's fingers in her mouth. She closes her eyes and moans softly at the burst of flavor of rich chocolate and Jada.
The doctor gasps slightly when the blonde's warm mouth closes around her fingers. She clenches her jaw tightly to stifle the moan threatening to get out when Carrigan's tongue cleans the chocolate from between her index and middle finger. She stares barely breathing as the blonde sucks her way to the tips of her fingers and lets go with an audible smack. Jada watches as the blonde licks her lips with closed eyes. She sticks her own thumb in her mouth, sucking the chocolate off and whimpering softly in response. She closes her own eyes and shakes her head willing the deep blush away. She's trying to kill me.
Carrigan opens green eyes darkened to emerald and stares at Jada. I heard you. Her eyes narrow at the sight of Jada sucking her thumb with closed eyes. “That was delicious,” she says softly.
Bright grey eyes open to meet emerald. “Yeah, it was,” she whispers after taking her thumb out of her mouth and replacing it with the fingers Carrigan just licked.
The blonde bites her lip as her gaze is transfixed on the brunette's mouth. Her breath hitches when she sees Jada's tongue swirl around the fingers she just licked. She stands shakily and steps closer to Jada almost as if she was in a trance. “Can…Can I have more?” she asks barely above a whisper.
Jada stares intently at her. Her eyes are dark green when she's…Holy shit! Get a hold of yourself, Jada. She just had a baby for goodness sake! She takes a deep breath and folds her arms. She clears her throat and looks away at the cake. “Sure. Um…it's your cake so you can do with it what you want. You want some milk to go with it?” she asks shifting her weight.
Carrigan watches as Jada fidgets and chuckles internally. Down girl! At least I know she's a little attracted to me. She started it anyway! “I'd love some. Can I shower first?”
Jada nods and clears her dry throat again. “Yeah. I'll get it ready for you while you shower,” she says turning away as she starts to clear the table.
The blonde touches her back. “Thanks so much for dinner, Jada,” she says softly.
The brunette throws a smile over her shoulder. “You're more than welcome.” Carrigan smiles and heads to her bedroom. Jada watches her until she disappears down the hall and sinks into a nearby chair. She puts her head in her hands. “I'm in trouble…” She shakes her head as she finishes cleaning up. She then cuts 2 slices of Carrigan's birthday cake and takes them into the living room. She goes back and gets 2 glasses of milk and sits them on the coffee table next to the cake. She checks her pocket for Carrigan's birthday gift after settling on the floor in front of the couch. She lays her head back and sighs. What a whirlwind the last few days. I hope she likes my gift. The ringing of her home phone interrupts her thoughts. She gets up and grabs the cordless off the arm of the couch. “This is Jada,” she answers.
Jada smiles. “Hey, Moma. How are you?”
“Question is, how are you ?”
The brunette frowns slightly. “I'm fine, Mom. Why do you ask that?”
“Cause you were supposed to be her for dinner tonight and you didn't show. Not only that, you didn't call,” her concern showing in her voice.
Jada groans and sits on the floor. “I'm so sorry, Mom. I completely forgot. A lot has been going on here.”
“Like what, honey? You never forgot us before.”
Jada sighs as guilt washes over her. “I'm really sorry, Moma. It's just that a friend of mine was in some serious trouble and needed my help.”
“Okay… Talk to me, hon.”
The brunette glances towards the hallway to Carrigan's room. “Um…she was having some problems with her living situation and needed me to step in because she was pregnant. Anyway, long story short, she went into labor and she and the baby are living with me now.”
“What? Really, Jada?”
“Yes, Moma. I can't really get into it right now. It's too complicated…or rather quite simple. I'll talk to you about it soon. I promise. I've just gotta get them settled, ok? I'm sorry about dinner.”
“It's ok, sweetheart. I'm just glad you're ok. Take care of her and the baby.”
“I'm doing my best.”
“Then she's in good hands,” Mom says smiling.
Jada looks up as Carrigan enters the room in orange and white pajama shorts and a white tank top. She takes in the tanned muscular legs up to a stomach that's back near flat after the birth of Jadyn up to damp blonde hair combed back from a face flushed from the heat. “Not yet,” she says quietly.
“What's that, hon?”
“Huh? Oh nothing, ma,” she says watching as those legs came closer. She clears her throat and tears her gaze away as the blonde stops next to her. “Listen, I gotta go but I promise that I'll come by before my week is up, ok?”
“Ok, sweetie. Love you.”
“Love you, Ma,” she says hanging up. She looks up the expanse of bare leg to Carrigan's face, holding up the phone. “My mother.”
Carrigan smiles at her. “I gathered,” she says settling in next to her. She watches out of the corner of her eye as Jada checks her out. She flicks her brows. I knew I wasn't imagining it. She gestures towards the cake on the table. “For me?”
Jada nods. “Yep. Dig in.”
“This is so good. Double chocolate?” she asks taking a drink of milk.
“Or triple. I put chocolate chips in the batter.”
“You really are trying to spoil me, aren't you?”
The brunette smiles and shakes her head. “Spoiling you would be getting you a gift on top of all of this,” she says sitting her cake down.
Carrigan nods as she finishes off her milk. “That would be spoiling me. I wouldn't even know what to think if you…” she says, her voice trailing off as Jada raises a small wrapped box into her field of vision.
“Happy birthday, Carrigan,” she says softly as she hands it to her. The blonde is speechless as she takes the gift in her hands. “Go ahead. Open it.” Carrigan looks at her with tears in her eyes then back at the gift as she begins to unwrap it. “I didn't get a chance to ask you what you wanted, but I figured I couldn't go wrong with this gift. I hope you like it.”
The blonde unwraps the gift to reveal a small blue velvet box. She looks at Jada then back at the box. “Jada…I…I-I can't…”
“Yes, you can. Open it. Please,” Jada says softly. Carrigan opens the box and her tears overflow when she sees what's inside. “I noticed your ears were pierced. Every woman should have one pair of studs. I saw these and thought they'd be perfect for you.”
Carrigan stares down at the shiny square stones. “Real diamonds?”
“Yes, set in platinum.”
The blonde starts to shake her head, trying to hand them back to the brunette. “I can't, Jada. I just can't.”
Jada stops her and looks her in the eye. “Tell me why.”
Carrigan lowers her head, shaking it. “You've done too much already. I haven't done a thing for you.”
“No? What about naming Jadyn for me? What about letting me help raise her? You don't think I realize what a gift that is?” the brunette asks earnestly.
“You really think so?” the blonde asks quietly.
“Yes, I do.”
Carrigan looks up into Jada's tender gaze and reaches over to hug her. “Thank you for everything, Jada. For helping me. For loving my baby. For everything.”
Jada hugs her back. “You are so very welcome.”
The blonde sighs in her embrace. “The earrings are beautiful, Jada. Thank you.”
Jada pulls back to look at her. “Does that mean you'll keep them?” she asks with raised brows.
Carrigan nods, smiling. “Absolutely. Will you help me?” she asks handing the box to Jada.
Jada takes the earrings out and carefully puts them in her ears. She sits back on her heels to look at her. “Beautiful,” she whispers as the diamonds twinkle in the low light.
The blonde moves her hair behind an ear, blushing. “Thank you,” she answers shyly.
Jada's in her office at her desk reviewing charts a month after that fateful night. She looks over at the new edition to her desk and smiles. It was a picture of Carrigan and Jadyn taken in Jadyn's nursery. Carrigan had just finished feeding and burping her and was just holding her in the rocking chair. The brunette smiles brighter remembering the blush on Carrigan's cheeks when she told her how beautiful she looked holding her daughter. Jadyn for her part dosed happily, clinging to her mother's finger. Too special of a moment not to get on film. She stares at Carrigan's profile. What would've happened to you that night if I hadn't come along? How much worse would he have hurt you? Would he have eventually hurt Jadyn? She traces where the baby grips her mom's finger. I won't let anyone hurt either of you ever again. She looks up at the knock on her office door to see her secretary standing there. “Come on in, Elizabeth . How can I help you?”
The platinum blonde steps into the office. “There's someone here to see you, Dr. Reimer.”
Jada frowns, slightly. The review board isn't supposed to meet until Friday regarding Allison. Couldn't be them. “Who is it?”
Elizabeth clears her throat. “She says her name is Dana Patton. She says it's in regards to Ms. Anderson.”
The doctor raises a brow and sits back in her chair. And just what do you want, Ms. Patton? “Show her in.”
The secretary starts out but hesitates. She turns back to her boss. “Everything's ok with Ms. Anderson and the little one?”
Jada smiles and nods. “They're fine, Elizabeth . Thanks for asking.”
Elizabeth smiles back. “Good. You're the best thing that could've happened to Ms. Anderson …to the little one. They're meant to be with you. No matter what Dr. Lloyd or anyone else says.” Jada cocks her head, smiling at her secretary. “I'll show Ms. Patton in now,” she says leaving hastily.
Jada chuckles to herself. Looks like you two have another protector. She wipes the smile off of her face as Dana enters her office. “Ms. Patton,” she says motioning to the chair in front of her desk.
Dana looks around the office obviously impressed. “I don't mean to interrupt,” she says eyeing the charts on Jada's desk.
Jada shakes her head and signs off the last chart, setting it aside. “You didn't. So how can I help you, Ms. Patton?”
Dana runs her hand over very short sandy-blonde hair then looks at her hands. “I just…I just wanna know how she is…how they both are…”
The sandy blonde looks up at her then. “Did you tell her that I wanna see her? Did she ask about when you came to get her stuff?”
The brunette sighs. “She told me in the hospital that she didn't want to see you. As far as when I got her stuff, she's never asked.”
“But I need to see her. I love her,” the blonde declares as her tears start to fall. Jada's jaw clenches unconsciously hearing those words from another about Carrigan. “Please help me. I would never hurt her the way Bobby did. Her or that baby.”
Jada narrows her eyes then. “Jadyn.”
Dana frowns confusedly. “What? I don't…”
“The baby…her name is Jadyn,” she says watching Dana's face for any sign of recognition of the significance of the name. She doesn't have to wait long.
“Jadyn? She…named her baby…for you?” Dana asks frowning as her tears continue to fall. Jada nods, watching her. Dana shakes her head and closes her eyes. “Are…Are you two together?” she asks quietly.
Jada clears her throat and shifts in her seat. That's none of your business, butchy. “Carrigan just gave birth no more than a month ago. She's concentration on healing and taking care of her daughter. I assure you that Carrigan and Jadyn are both healthy…and happy.”
Dana nods, wiping her tears away as she stands. “Please just tell her that I asked about her…and that the number is the same if she ever wants to talk to me.”
The brunette nods. “I'll do that.”
The blonde smiles, sadly. “Thank you...for being there for her when I couldn't be.”
“Your brother most likely would've killed Carrie and Jadyn if I hadn't been,” she says coldly.
The familiarity of the nickname isn't lost on Dana. “Bobby is where he belongs. He was out of control.”
“Out of control against a defenseless pregnant woman perhaps, but definitely controllable.”
Dana flicks her brows. “As I said, he's where he belongs. Give Carrigan my love,” she says starting away.
“Just Carrigan, eh?” the doctor calls after her.
Dana turns to her at the door. “And the baby…”
“Her name…is Jadyn,” Jada says steadily holding her gaze.
The blonde narrows hazel eyes. “Give my love to Carrigan and her daughter Jadyn,” she says and leaves out of the door.
Jada stares at the closed door, menacingly. “Carrigan and Jadyn will receive love…just not yours, butchy,” she whispers to herself.
Jada enters her home later that evening and is assaulted by the smell of dinner cooking. She sits her briefcase down by the entrance, kicks off her shoes and steps into her home. She looks around noticing that the place is spotless. She sees the bassinet in the sunken living room and goes to it. She looks in at Jadyn peacefully sleeping. She kneels down next to it. “Hi, princess. I missed you so much today. I'm gonna go say hi to your Mommy then take a shower so I can hold you, ok?” She leans in and kisses baby on her forehead then heads to the kitchen. She watches from the entrance to the kitchen as Carrigan tends to supper. She takes notice of the bare feet, oversized gray sweatpants to a white tank top and smiles. She's finally making herself at home. She steps into the kitchen. “Hey.”
Carrigan jumps a little and turns to her smiling. “Hey! I thought I heard you come in but I wasn't sure.”
The brunette goes to stand behind her. She puts her hands on both bare shoulders and tiptoes to peer into the pots. “Didn't mean to scare you. What's cookin?” she asks sniffing the air.
The blonde giggles. “Just stuff. I wanted to have you supper ready when you got home. It's just about ready.”
“Well, it smells delicious. Do I have time to shower?”
“Yeah, sure. Go ahead. I'm gonna turn this down low and check on Jadyn,” she says moving to adjust the heat.
“She was still sleeping when I came in but if she wakes up, let me know. I need my fix today,” Jada says squeezing the shoulders beneath her hands and starting out of the kitchen.
“I think she missed you, too,” Carrigan calls after her. Jada smiles back at her then disappears around the corner. “I know I did,” she says softly to the empty kitchen.
“Dinner was delicious, Carrie. Thank you for thinking of me,” Jada says as they settle in the living room; Jada with Jadyn in her arms and Carrigan curled up with a cup of hot chocolate.
Carrigan smiles at her. “Well, you work hard all day. The least I can do is make sure you don't have to worry about food or a clean house.”
The brunette shakes her head. “But Carrie, you don't have to…”
“Yes, I do, Jada. Don't you see? There's no other way I can pay you back right now for what you're doing for us. We would be on the street if not for you.”
Jada pulls the blanket more snug around Jadyn. “I don't think you would've been on the street. I'm sure Dana would've taken you two in.”
“What do you mean?” the blonde asks frowning.
Jada sighs. “She came to see me today. She asked about you and Jadyn.”
“Yeah. She's in love with you, Carrie. I really don't think she's like her brother at all.”
Carrigan looks at her hands. “So…what? She said she wants us to come live with her?”
The doctor shakes her head. “No, she just wanted to know if you two were ok. I just don't think that she would hesitate to take you in if you asked.”
The blonde looks at her then. “You didn't hesitate. You didn't have to let me come too.”
Jada tilts her head looking in Carrigan's eyes. “Yes, I did. No newborn should have to be away from its mother…and definitely vice versa. But Carrie, I want you to know that I would've let you come if you didn't have Jadyn. If you hadn't been pregnant, I still would've.”
“Yeah?” she asks softly with tears in her eyes.
“Yeah,” the brunette says reaching over to grab her hand. Carrigan laces their fingers. “Please know that, ok?”
The blonde glances up at her then looks back at their hands. “Ok, Jada.”
Jada squeezes her hand to get her attention. Carrigan meets her gaze. “Don't think that you have to clean my house or cook my dinner as payment either. You just had a baby. Relax, ok? Just take care of Jadyn for me.”
“I like cooking for you, Jada…and cleaning isn't a problem. I don't even hurt anymore,” she says softly.
“Honest?” Jada asks softly. Carrigan nods looking at her. Jada nods. “Ok. Just take it easy though, ok? Promise?”
Carrigan smiles at her. “I promise, Jada. But I will have your dinner ready. You work too hard to have to worry about that.”
Jada smiles and leans in to kiss her on the cheek. “Thank you.” She chuckles a little when she sees the blush travel over Carrigan's skin. At that moment, Jadyn starts to fuss. “Oh what's wrong, princess? You're not hungry again, huh? Are the grown-ups making too much noise?” she whispers to baby.
The blonde giggles and stands. “You two work it out. I'm gonna do the dishes.”
“Carrie wait. You cooked. The least I can do is the dishes,” the doctor says standing with the baby.
Carrigan shakes her head and points to the baby on Jada's shoulder. “Do you think she's gonna let you put her down after you've spoiled her all evening?” Jada looks at the baby on her shoulder then back to Carrigan, shrugging. Carrigan laughs. “She likes it when you talk to her. She falls asleep faster.”
Jada smiles as she pats the baby's back. “Ok. But next time…”
“Next time,” the blonde says and tiptoes to kiss baby's forehead. She rubs Jada's back tenderly and moves past her to go to the kitchen.
Jada watches her walk away then starts to walk the baby around. “Your mommy thinks I'm spoiling you. Is that true, princess?” she asks as she pats the baby's back. Baby coos and snuggles in a ball on Jada's shoulder. Jada chuckles and cradles the baby in her arms. “You're such a beautiful baby, Jadyn. Who wouldn't wanna spoil you, huh?” She yawns. “Long day at the ER, princess. Some people and power tools just shouldn't mix,” she says sitting then reclining sideways on the sofa. She positions Jadyn on her chest and spreads the blanket over her. “How someone manages to shoot themselves in the foot with a nail gun is beyond me,” she says yawning again.
Carrigan finishes up the dishes and goes back to the living room to check on Jada and Jadyn. What she sees brings tears to her eyes: her baby snuggled up and sleeping peacefully on the chest of the woman of her dreams. She loves my baby so much. Jadyn is impossibly attached to her already. What am I gonna do if she ever asks us to leave? She kneels next to them. “Jada?”
Jada blinks awake and focuses on Carrigan. “Hey. Guess I fell asleep.”
Carrigan nods, smiling. “I see that. You ok?”
Jada nods. “Oh yeah. I'm fine. Just tired and a full belly,” she says smiling.
Carrie chuckles. “Let me put Jadyn in her crib, ok?” Jada nods again as Carrie scoops Jadyn up. “I'll be back to tuck you in later,” she teases walking away.
Jada laughs. “If you say so.” How I wish you weren't kidding.
3 MONTHS LATER
Jada's coming off of another 72. She's bone tired. All she wants is to see Carrigan, grab Jadyn and curl up on the couch to nap. She knew that she had fallen deeply in love with the shy, soft-spoken blonde and just as much in love with her raven-haired baby. As much as she loved Carrigan, she didn't feel in her heart that Carrigan loved her back. Sure she was thankful and grateful, but not in love. And as Jada grew more and more attached to the two, the more frightened she became of the day that Carrigan would take Jadyn away.
She pulls up to her driveway to see an unfamiliar car parked in her spot. Who the hell is that? She parks at the curb and gets out, frowning. She grabs her briefcase and goes inside. She enters quietly and stops when she hears two familiar voices.
“You don't have to stay here. I can take care of you both now. I got a promotion…a new car…”
“That's very generous of you, Dana. Really. But Jadyn and I are happy here.”
“I know she helped you out when you needed it but you don't need to stay here now. If she's making you feel obligated…”
“She's not. She's been nothing but wonderful to me and Jadyn.”
“But she doesn't love you, Carrie. I do. I love you so much. You know that. I know that she makes way more money than me but she'll never love you like I do. Let me love you, Carrie. Let me help you raise your daughter.”
“Dana…I…I don't know…”
Jada narrows her eyes at that. She doesn't know. Guess that day has come then. I knew it would… She takes a deep breath and walks into living area. She stops and looks at the scene in front of her; Dana holding Jadyn in one arm and Carrigan's hand in the other hand. She looks at Jadyn again and all she wants to do is snatch her out of Dana's arms. “Ms. Patton,” she says, noticing Carrigan take her hand away. “Don't mind me. Please continue,” she says and heads straight to her bedroom.
Carrigan stands, watching her walk away. Even though she and Jada weren't together, she felt extremely guilty at that moment. “I…I think you should go, Dana. I'm sorry,” she says taking Jadyn back.
Dana frowns and stands. “Cause she's home? You don't have to be afraid of her.”
“I'm not, Dana. Geez! Jada would never hurt me or my baby. Don't you get that?”
At that moment, Jada reemerges in sweats and sneakers. She spies Jadyn in Carrigan's arms wide awake. She goes to her and kisses her forehead. “Hey, princess. You being a good girl?” she asks softly. Baby smiles and reaches for her. Jada grabs one of the little hands and kisses it. “Not now, princess. Stay with Mommy. I'll be back later,” she says kissing her forehead again, looking at Carrigan who is looking down. She looks at Dana who's watching her with narrowed eyes. She smirks at her. “Be out of my driveway by the time I get back,” she says then leaves out to Jadyn fussing behind her.
Dana sneers at her back and turns back to Carrigan who is staring after Jada. “Come home with me. I'll help you pack.”
Carrigan sighs. I'm not leaving until she puts me out. “I can't, Dana. I'm sorry.”
“Why? I can take care of you now. What other reason is there to stay?”
Carrigan pats a fussy Jadyn's back. “Because I love her. I'm here because I want to be…because I need to be.”
Tears come to Dana's eyes. “But she doesn't love you. I do.”
“Not now she doesn't but she loves my daughter to death…and I have to believe that she has some left to give to me someday,” she says patting Jadyn's back as she quiets down.
Dana shakes her head and looks away as a tear falls. “I won't give up, Carrie.”
Carrigan looks back to where Jada disappeared. “You need to. I'm asking you not to come here or call here again, ok? I promise I'll keep in touch but please don't disrespect her that way.”
“But you two aren't even together!”
“This is crazy. Carrigan…”
“Dana, please! Please just go before she gets back, ok?” Carrie pleads with her. Dana shakes her head, stubbornly. “I'm already scared enough! Whatever chance I had with her before today is gone. You saw how she looked at us. Oh, god! She heard what you said! Please just go okay? Please?” she begs.
Dana shakes her head and leaves out slamming the door and startling baby Jadyn. She jumps and starts to wail.
“Shh. Shh. It's ok, baby. Mommy's here. It's ok,” Carrigan says soothingly. It has to be.
Jada comes back into the house later after a mile and a half run. She had stopped in the park to catch her breath from the all-out sprint she did trying to get a handle on her anger. Now she was dead tired and just wanted a shower and her bed. She sees that the living room is empty. She passes Carrigan's closed door and heads to the nursery to find Jadyn asleep. She kneels next to the crib. “Hey, princess. I'm sorry for running out on you earlier. I didn't mean to hurt you. Forgive me, ok?” she asks placing her pinky in the baby's open hand. Jadyn's tiny fingers curl around it and Jada smiles as tears come to her eyes. “I'm gonna miss you so much, little girl. So very much…” She kneels next to the crib for a long while trying to memorize Jadyn's features. She stands and leans over the crib edge to kiss the baby's cheek. “I love you, princess. I always will,” she says then goes to her room to shower. She didn't want to be there when Carrigan took her away.
Jacqueline Reimer is instantly alarmed to hear her doorbell ringing in the wee hours of the morning. She and her husband, David Reimer, Sr. cautiously make their way to their door. She tiptoes to peek out her peephole and sight that greets her makes her immediately open the door. “Jada? Baby, what's wrong?” she asks taking in the red puffy eyes and the slouched countenance of her only daughter. Jada just steps into her mother's embrace and dissolves into tears. Jacqueline looks back at her husband as she consoles her daughter.
David, Sr. frowns in concern. “I'll start some coffee,” he says taking a long look at his baby to make sure she was physically ok. And from the looks of it, she needed Jackie more than him at the moment, so he headed into the kitchen to do his part.
Jacqueline manages to maneuver her daughter into the living room onto the couch. She grabs a box of Kleenex and resumes her vigil at her daughter's side. “What happened, honey?”
As Jada recounts the tale of what she saw and heard after returning home exhausted from her latest 72, Carrigan is making her way into the kitchen to warm a bottle for Jadyn.
“There. There. Almost done,” the blonde says patting a fussy Jadyn's back. She takes the bottle and sits with Jadyn at the kitchen island to feed her. “You missing her too, huh? I'm sure she'll get you and won't let you go tomorrow.” Just as she said that, she notices a white envelope at the far end of the island. She frowns, slightly but dismisses it as mail that Jada must have left out. She finishes feeding Jadyn and puts her back to bed. She then goes into the kitchen for her own dose of chocolate milk. Standing there drinking her milk, she sees the envelope again at the island. She moves to put it back with the other mail when she notices her name in Jada's handwriting across the front. She sits the milk down and sits with the note, dread filling her very soul. With shaky hands, she opens it and begins to read:
We both knew this day would come. I just didn't think it would be so soon. First, I want to thank you for allowing me to love your daughter. I never knew that something so tiny could be so addictive but she stole my heart. This is why I have set up a trust fund for her. She'll get access to it when she's 18. I never want her to want for anything. My lawyer will be drawing up papers to make you the executor of her trust. I'll have him send them to Dana's address. I love that little girl so very much and if she needs anything at all, please let me know. If I can't be there myself, I expect you to call me. I'll always be around if she needs me. If she gets sick or gets hurt, I'll be there…for you, too. I'm confident that Dana can take care of you both but just know that I'll be here as well. You can take all of the nursery stuff if Dana has room for it. It belongs to Jadyn. I will miss you both so very much. Promise me that you'll take good care of her and yourself. Good luck.
Carrigan lays the note down, tears pouring from her eyes. She wants us to leave? She stands and goes to Jada's room. She knocks softly before opening the door to what she already knew would be an empty room. That knowledge still didn't stop her descent to the floor nor the sobs that tore from her chest.
Jacqueline strokes her daughter's hair as her head rests in her lap the next morning. She had processed and reprocessed the information that Jada had given her and always came to the same conclusion. Jada was deeply in love with this Carrigan woman and her baby, and had possibly and unfortunately jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Jada sniffles and hugs her Mom's legs. “I'm gonna miss her so much, Ma.”
“Carrigan or Jadyn?” Mom asks softly.
Jada squeezes her eyes shut as tears threaten to overflow again. “Both of them.” She sighs and shakes her head. “I should've known…”
“Known what, baby?”
“That this was too good to be true. That I'd ever be that lucky,” she says sadly. A picture of Carrigan holding Jadyn flashes in her mind's eye. Jada opens her eyes. “She never knew… I never got to tell her how much I love her…how much I love her daughter.”
Mom sighs and runs her fingers through Jada's hair. “Did she ever say she wanted to go with Dana?” I mean, from what you told me, she's only said the opposite.”
“But you didn't see them when I walked in. Dana was holding Jadyn like she was hers…holding Carrie's hand like she was hers.”
“Jada…honey, look at me,” Jacqueline says patting Jada's arm. Jada sits up, looking at her. “Let's say you're right and she does want to go with Dana. How was she supposed to know she wasn't supposed to go if you never asked her to stay with you?” she asks softly. Jada frowns and looks down. “You never told her you love her. How was she supposed to know she was anything more than a charity case to you?”
Jada looks at her with tears in her eyes. “I don't know…”
Mom reaches over and grabs her hand. “Why did you leave last night, Jada?”
The doctor's tears overflow. “I didn't…I didn't wanna be there when she took Jadyn away…when she left me…for her.”
Jacqueline sighs. “Oh, Jada. Honey, I'm gonna tell you what I think and I need you to listen, ok?” Jada nods, silently. “I don't think Carrigan had any intentions of ever taking Jadyn and leaving…especially to be with Dana. I do think, however, that she had every intention of staying right there with you until you told her you didn't want them there anymore. I mean, she named her only child for you, Jada. Doesn't that mean anything to you?”
Jada shakes her head in disbelief. Could I have been wrong? Did I just send her right into Dana's arms? Did I just give up my baby? “Oh, god… Oh my god,” Jada says standing. She searches for her keys. “I gotta go, Ma. Thank you. I'm sorry. I love you,” she says rushing out of her parents' house.
Carrigan had stayed up all night hoping and praying that Jada would come home so that they could talk, but to no avail. She goes to the phone and called the only other person she could. “Dana? It's Carrie.”
“Carrie? What's going on?”
She sighs and holds her baby close. “Is that invitation still open? Can Jadyn and I crash with you for a while?”
Dana's face lights up. “Absolutely. I'll be right over to get you.”
Twenty minutes later, Carrigan is securing Jadyn in her car seat in the back seat of Dana's Jeep while Dana puts the bags she packed for her and Jadyn in the back.
An hour after they pull away, Jada pulls up. She runs into the house but as soon as she enters the kitchen, she knows they're gone. She goes to the nursery and is immediately struck with the lifelessness. She grabs one of Jadyn's teddy bears and sits in the rocking chair, holding it close. She left just like I told her to. She sighs and shakes her head. I miss them so much already. It's only gonna get worse. I just know it. She stands and looks around. I gotta get my family back.
Dana watches from the hallway as Carrigan tries to settle Jadyn down for a nap. The baby had been extremely fussy since they left.
Carrigan sighs and takes Jadyn back into her arms. She wipes the tears from her red face. “What's the matter, sweet baby? Huh?” she asks rocking her and patting her back like Jada does. Jadyn starts to calm a little. “I miss her too, baby,” she whispers holding her close.
Dana looks down, not missing that quiet admission. She shakes her head. She'll learn to love me. “Hey, Carrie?” Carrigan looks up as she continues to rock Jadyn. “Want me to try?”
Carrigan smiles sadly. “No, that's ok. I know what's wrong with her…and I can't fix it. She'll tire herself out soon.”
Dana nods and sits next to them. “Are you hungry? You haven't eaten all day.”
Carrigan sighs and stands with the still fussy baby. “I'll get something soon, Dana. I just need to get her calmed down first, ok?”
Dana was about to suggest trying her hand with Jadyn again when there's a knock at her door. Who is that? I'm not expecting… Shit. She shakes her head as she looks out the front window to see the silver BMW in her driveway. “It's Jada.” Carrigan's eyes light up and she unconsciously takes a step towards the door. Dana narrows her eyes. “I'm gonna get rid of her.”
Knocking continues. “Ms. Patton? Dana, it's Jada.”
Dana goes and opens the door, leaving the chain lock in place. “How can I help you?” she asks coolly.
Jada sighs. “I came to see Carrie and Jadyn.”
“And you think she's here?”
“I know she's here. I can hear Jadyn fussing from where I stand,” the doctor answers annoyed.
“Maybe she doesn't want to see you.”
Jada closes her eyes to calm herself. I can't deal with this woman. “Carrie? Please, if you can hear me…Will you please talk to me? Can I please see Jadyn?”
Dana looks back at Carrigan who nods. She sighs and undoes the lock. She opens the door and steps back, watching Jada wearily enter the house.
Jada immediately goes to Jadyn, noticing her puffy eyes and wet face. “What's the matter, princess?” she asks softly. Jadyn looks up at her voice and her bottom lip quivers as she reaches out for Jada. Jada looks at Carrigan. “Please?” she asks in a whisper. Carrigan nods and hands over the baby who gets a death grip on Jada's shirt and immediately quiets. “It's ok, princess. I'm right here. Everything's ok,” she says softly and directly into baby's ear. Jada holds her close as she continues to pat her back and Jadyn eventually falls asleep. Carrigan rubs baby's head tenderly and sighs with tears in her eyes. She looks up and meets Jada's teary gaze. “I need to talk to you…in private,” she says cutting her eyes at Dana.
Dana folds her arms. “I'm not leaving her alone with you. Who knows what you came here for?”
The brunette narrows her eyes. “You must have me confused with your brother,” she says coldly.
Carrigan puts her hand on Jada's arm to calm her. She looks back at Dana. “Jada would never hurt me, Dana. Please just let me talk with her, ok?”
Dana sighs, frowning at Jada who is watching her. “Fine. I'll just take Jadyn and lay her down in my bed.”
“The hell you will,” Jada says clenching her jaw I anger and holding Jadyn protectively. Carrigan looks back and forth between them. Dana takes a step toward her for Jadyn. “You really wanna try me, butchy? I suggest you go talk with your brother first.”
Carrigan sighs and stops Jada from going at her. She turns to Dana. “Dana, would you please just give us a minute?” she pleads. Dana backs away eyeing Jada the whole time until she disappears down the hall. Carrigan sits on the couch, looking at her hands. “I'm sorry, Jada.”
Jada frowns and sits next to her holding Jadyn close. “Why are you apologizing? For her?”
The blonde nods still not looking at her. “I don't know where she got the idea that you'd hurt me.”
The brunette shakes her head. “She doesn't think that. She just wants to get under my skin.” Carrigan nods again. Jada watches her profile. “Is Jadyn ok? She doesn't usually get that fussy.”
Carrigan shrugs and shakes her head. “She always gets a little fussy when you do your 72s. She was just missing you, Jada. She always does.”
Jada nods and kisses Jadyn on the top of her head. The baby takes a shuddering breath in her sleep that brings tears to Jada's eyes. “I'm sorry that I left. I'm so sorry, Carrie. I didn't know she'd miss me so much. You know I'd never hurt her, don't you?”
Carrie smiles softly and nods. “I know, Jada. I know how much you love her,” she says looking back at her hands.
Jada stares at her for a moment. She smiles softly. She needs to know. She lays Jadyn down on her blanket on the couch then kneels in front of Carrigan. Teary blue-green eyes meet hers for a long moment. Jada looks down and swallows nervously. “I do love her, Carrie.” Carrigan nods, smiling softly. Jada looks up and into her eyes. “But did you know that I love you, too?” she asks with tears in her eyes.
“What?” Carrigan asks in a whisper. Dana inches back towards the living room so that she can hear better.
Jada raises one of Carrie's hands and kisses the inside of her wrist. “I love you, Carrigan. I am so in love with you. And I…I will do anything …if you'll just come home,” she says softly as her tears overflow.
Carrigan's tears match those of Jada's. “You love me?” she whispers in disbelief.
“I do. I was so scared, Carrie…scared that you wanted to be here instead of with me and I pushed you away…and I'm so sorry,” she whispers earnestly.
The blonde moves wavy strands of raven hair out of Jada's face. “I never wanted to go.”
“I miss you. I miss Jadyn. I love you both so much. Please…Will you please come home?”
Carrigan smiles at her and leans in to kiss her softly. Jada closes her eyes, thinking that it was the sweetest kiss she had ever received. She pulls back to look into grey eyes filled with love. “We'll come home.” Jada smiles brightly. Carrigan caresses her cheek. “I love you, too, Jada. I always have.”
“Yeah?” Jada asks softly. Carrigan nods, smiling. Jada leans in to kiss her again, slowly and tenderly. She lowers her forehead to hers. “I'm never gonna let you go again.” Dana looks down and goes to her room with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Carrigan hugs Jada close. “We won't let you go either. I didn't know, Jada or else I would've stayed and tried my best to get you to talk to me.”
Jada squeezes her tight and nuzzles her face in her neck. “I'm sorry,” she whispers.
“I'm sorry too,” the blonde whispers as they hear a door close down the hall. Carrigan pulls away and looks down the hall. She sighs and turns back to Jada. “I have to talk to her.”
Jada nods. “Ok,” she says standing and helping her up.
Carrigan looks up at her. “Will you wait for me?”
Jada moves her hair out of her face and caresses her cheek. “I'm not leaving here without you,” she whispers. Carrigan slides her arms around Jada's waist and hugs her. Jada holds her close. “Go on. Jadyn and I will wait right here for you.”
“'kay,” she says pulling away holding her hands. She looks up into Jada's smiling eyes and smiles back. She backs away until their fingertips are the last to touch. Jada winks at her and she bites her lip, smiling then finally turns away to talk with Dana.
Over the next several months, Jada and Carrigan grow steadily closer, slowly advancing their relationship. Jada becomes impossibly attached to Carrigan and Jadyn. After Jada's encouragement, Carrigan enlisted in college courses over the internet. She tested out of all of her pre-requisites and decided to pursue a career in computer science.
One afternoon in late spring, Carrigan has put an 8-month old Jadyn down for a nap and is looking over the trust fund papers that Jada had her lawyer send over. I don't know the first thing about managing this…but Jada does. What if something happened to me like it happened to my folks? Who would legally have rights over Jadyn? I'd want Jada to have her. She smiles brightly as the answer to her dilemma pops into her head. She grabs the business card for the lawyer and then the phone. She dials the number, chewing her bottom lip nervously.
“ Whitwood , Kent and Faulkner. How can I help you? “
“Um…hi. My name is Carrigan Anderson. I'm a close friend of Dr. Jada Reimer. Mr. Faulkner said I could call if I ever needed to discuss anything…”
“Of course, Ms. Anderson. Dr. Reimer left specific instructions. Would you like me to connect you?”
“Yes, please. Thank you.”
“No problem. One moment…”
Carrigan leans down to kiss Jadyn's head. “I'm sorry I didn't do this sooner, pumpkin,” she whispers.
“Nathan Faulkner,” a deep voice says on the other end.
“Hi, Mr. Faulkner? It's Carrigan Anderson.”
“Yes, Ms. Anderson . How are you? Did you receive the trust fund papers ok?”
“Yes, sir, I did. That's the reason I'm calling. I don't want to be executor of the trust fund. I want Jada to stay in control of it. It's her money after all.”
“Ok…Have you discussed it with her?”
“I haven't…only because of the second reason I called.”
Carrigan takes a deep breath. “I'd like it if you could draw up a petition for adoption for Jada and my daughter, Jadyn.”
“Really?” Nathan asks with a smile in his voice. “Do you realize how happy this will make her?”
Carrigan smiles nodding. “I hope so. I just hate I didn't do it sooner. You see, my parents died when I was only 10. I had to grow up with strangers. I don't want that to happen to Jadyn. If something ever happened to me, I'd like for her to stay with Jada…her other mother.”
“As your lawyer, I'll advise you that this decision is a very sound one since you have no other family. As Jada's friend, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being everything you are to her. You and Jadyn are everything to her, Carrigan.”
Carrie smiles brightly. “Yeah? You think so?”
Nathan chuckles. “Absolutely. This is gonna make her so happy. She adores that child.”
“Yes she does. So, how soon…?”
“By the end of business today. I'll have them over there before Jada even gets home.”
“Thank you so much, Mr. Faulkner.”
“Please call me Nathan.”
“Thank you, Nathan.” She hangs up and goes into her room. She opens her mother's jewelry box, taking out her mother's engagement ring and wedding band that she recently had repaired due to them having to be cut off her fingers after the accident. She looks closely at the engagement ring. She goes to Jada's room and takes out one of her rings from her jewelry box to compare. She looks through them and sees that they're very nearly the same size. “At least I won't have to get them sized…”she says putting Jada's ring back. She goes back to Jadyn and sits next to her. She rubs her daughter's back. “I'm gonna ask her to adopt you, Jadyn… then I'm gonna ask her to make our family complete by marrying me. I know she wants a life with me…with us. I know she loves me even though she hasn't said it since that day. She loves us, baby. I know she does,” she whispers. I hope she does…
Jada turns and smiles at the nurse coming up to her at the nurses' station. “Nurse Trudy. How are you?” she asks looking over a chart.
Trudy smiles. “I'm well. Thank you. Are you just now finishing up your 72?”
Jada nods and hands the chart back to the nurse behind the desk. “I am. Is there something I can help you with?” she asks giving the nurse her full attention.
“Yes, ma'am. I just wanted to ask how Ms. Anderson and the baby are these days.”
The doctor tilts her head, smiling. “It's very kind of you to ask. They are well. Jadyn is growing like a weed. She's such a beautiful and happy baby. She's crawling and into everything now,” she says chuckling.
Nurse joins her in laughter. “Aren't they always at that age?”
“Yes, they are.”
Trudy steps closer to Jada and lowers her voice. “I was so happy to hear that you took them in. She was so scared in here but you didn't let her down. You were a godsend to them.”
Jada looks down, blushing. They've been a godsend to me. “You know, they should be here any minute now. We're going to my folks' for the weekend,” she says still blushing.
“What do your parents think of the baby?”
“Actually, they haven't met her or Carrigan yet. Carrie wouldn't agree before. She didn't want to intrude on family time but I made her get on the phone with my Mom herself to decline. And let's just say nobody can refuse my Mom,” she says laughing.
“Is the baby talking yet?”
Jada nods. “She says a few words. She says Moma and something that sounds a lot like Pepe,” she says shrugging.
“And you would be Pepe?”
Jada chuckles, nodding and is about to answer when she hears a familiar giggle. She turns to see Carrigan and Jadyn making their way towards them.
Jadyn squeals and immediately reaches out for her. “Pepe!”
Jada laughs and meets them halfway. She takes Jadyn in her arms and holds her in the air. “Hiya, princess!” Baby giggles reaching for her. Jada pulls her in and hugs her. She then bends down and kisses Carrigan's cheek right next to her mouth. “Hey, you,” she says softly.
Carrigan smiles, blushing. “Hey,” she says softly. Jada had become much more affectionate lately and Carrigan had decided that she'd use the weekend to push things to the next level. “Ready to go?”
“Almost. Oh, do you remember Nurse Trudy?” she asks waiving the nurse over.
Carrigan looks at the nurse and smiles. “Yes, I do. She called you for me when I was having Jadyn.”
“Hi, Ms. Anderson. It's great to see you and your daughter doing so well.”
The blonde looks at Jada then back at the nurse. “I've been very lucky. You know, I never did get to thank you for calling Jada for me.”
“No thanks is necessary. I would happily do it again. I'm happy things are working out for you.”
Carrigan smiles her thanks. “My baby and I are very blessed to have Jada,” she says softly. Jada nods, smiling and looks down, blushing.
The nurse smiles at them. “Blessings all around, I'd say,” she says watching Jadyn cling to Jada's scrub top.
Carrigan looks down the hall and her smile fades. She moves a step closer to Jada. “Uh oh.”
Jada looks down at her questioningly then follows her gaze down the hall. “Don't worry,” she whispers in her ear. The blonde looks up at her. Jada raises her brows. Carrigan nods, smiling slightly as Allison makes her way over.
“The patient in 306 needs your assistance, Trudy.”
Trudy sighs. “Ok. Looks like I've gotta run. Be happy, little one,” she says tugging Jadyn's food playfully.
“Thanks again, Trudy,” Carrigan says to her. Trudy nods to her and Jada, smiling then leaves.
Ally turns to watch her leave then turns back to them. “Hi, Jada.”
“Dr. Lloyd,” Jada responds neutrally.
“How have you been?” she asks, completely ignoring Carrigan but eyeing Jadyn in Jada's arms.
Jada shifts Jadyn in her arms and she shyly ducks her face into Jada's neck. She glances at Carrigan who is cooing at Jadyn. “I've been well. Thank you. My two favorite girls are happy and healthy. Life is good,” Jada says smiling at Carrigan who looks up at her in surprise. The brunette winks at her.
Ally frowns at the display. She's wormed herself in there pretty good. Let's see if I can't put a stop to this. “That's great. I'm happy to see you and your daughter doing so well, Ms. Anderson.”
Carrigan raises a skeptical brow. “Thank you. We're doing great thanks to Jada.”
Ally nods and smiles, albeit forced. “Nice to know. Listen, Jada, I was wondering if we could get together sometime. I haven't been able to see you much since coming back from my sabbatical.”
Don't you mean suspension? And not seeing me wasn't by accident either. “Um…sure. I guess that would be ok,” Jada responds hesitantly. I can't just be rude when she's trying to be nice. She looks at Carrigan who's looking at her hands now. Aw, man…
Ally smiles brightly. “Great! How about dinner tonight? I'll cook.”
Jada shifts and puts her arm around Carrigan's shoulders. The blonde looks up again in surprise. “I can't tonight. We're going to my parents' for the weekend. Maybe lunch or something next week.” Carrigan smiles to herself and leans into Jada's embrace, sliding her arm around Jada's waist.
“Sure. Next week. I'll call you. Give your parents my love,” Ally says and walks off.
Carrigan watches her walk away from her place against Jada's chest. “Thank you,” she whispers.
“You didn't have to tell her we were going with you…or call us your favorite girls.”
“But you are my favorite girls and you are going with me. I won't lie to spare her feelings. She certainly never considered yours.”
“Yeah, but she went out of her way to be halfway decent towards me. I know it was a big effort.”
Jada shrugs. “I wasn't gonna let her intimidate you. Your feelings matter so much more to me.”
The blonde looks up at her and is taken aback by the love and tenderness in her grey eyes. Maybe she does still love me. “Yeah?”
The doctor has to use all of her will power not to give in to the need to kiss the blonde right there at the nurses' station. She alleviates the temptation by kissing her forehead. “Absolutely,” she says hugging her close. Carrigan returns the hug, sighing contently. “Ready?”
Carrigan nods against her chest. “Yeah, but I'm driving. You're dead on your feet.”
Jada chuckles. “That obvious?”
Carrigan shrugs. “That hug wasn't as tight as usual. I can tell you're tired. So, give me that sack of potatoes and let's get you in the car to rest,” she says reaching for Jadyn.
“Can I please carry her? I haven't seen her for 3 whole days. You know how clingy I get,” Jada says holding Jadyn close.
Carrigan observes Jadyn's death grip around Jada's neck. “Both of you.” Jada shrugs, smiling. The blonde sighs, shaking her head. “Alright. Alright. Come on you two,” she says starting off.
Jada grabs her hand before she can get away. “I may need somebody to lean on,” she says sheepishly.
Carrigan puts her arm back around Jada's waist as Jada slides her arm back around her shoulders. “You can lean on me all you want, Jada,” she says softly as they make their way out of the hospital.
“Jada! Carrigan! So nice to see you,” Jacqueline Reimer exclaims hugging her daughter then Carrigan. Carrigan looks at Jada with raised eyebrows over Jacqueline's shoulder.
Jada shrugs, smiling. “That's how she says hello,” she says bending down to take Jadyn out of her car seat.
Carrigan giggles. “Hi, Mrs. Reimer. It's nice to finally meet you.”
“You, too, sweetheart. And who is this precious angel right here?” she asks as Jada stands with the baby.
“This is Carrigan's daughter, Jadyn. Can you wave hello to my Mom, princess?” Jada asks Jadyn who is curled into her neck again. Jadyn waves shyly then locks her arms back around Jada's neck. Jada chuckles.
“Hello to you too, sweetheart. Well you all come in. I know you must be tired and hungry, Jada.”
“More tired than hungry, ma.”
“Then come on. I'll let you all get settled and rested before dinner,” Jackie says leading them to Jada's old room. Carrigan looks around, smiling. “I'll have your Dad bring in the crib from the storage.”
Jada's eyes widen. “Oh, but mom…” she says eyeing the single queen size bed in the room.
“Thank you, Mrs. Reimer. Jadyn sleeps in her own bed at home. She'll be just fine.” Jackie smiles at her then looks curiously at her daughter as she leaves the room. Jada stands holding Jadyn as she shifts her weight from foot to foot nervously. “What's wrong with you?” Carrigan asks amusedly.
“Huh? Oh, nothing. Uh…you won't be uncomfortable sharing a bed with me all weekend?” she asks quietly I'm not sure I can control myself alone in bed with you.
“No…Will you?” the blonde asks sweetly.
“Naw. No. Of course not,” Jada stammers as she blushes.
The blonde shakes her head, giggling. “Relax, Jada. If it bothers you that much, I'll ask for another room,” she says patting her arm and starting to the door.
“Wait!” she says taking a step towards the blonde. Carrigan turns to her with raised brows. “It'll be fine. I promise.”
Carrigan smiles. “Good.” She eyes her daughter asleep on Jada's shoulder. “You two can nap together,” she says rubbing Jadyn's back.
Jada looks at Jadyn then at Carrigan. “How about us 3?” she asks with raised brows.
“Sounds good to me.”
Jada smiles and lays Jadyn in the center of the bed on her belly. She then crawls in to be on her right side as Carrigan crawls in to be on her left. They lay on their sides facing each other over Jadyn. “I hate to go to sleep on you. Especially since you haven't been here before. I'm just so tired,” she says yawning.
Carrigan smiles and moves her hair out of her face. “I know, Jada. It's ok. Sleep now,” she says as Jada closes her eyes. She waits until she's sure that both brunettes are asleep and goes in search of Jada's mom. She finds her in the kitchen preparing dinner. “Mrs. Reimer?”
Jacqueline turns to her and smiles. “Hi there. Everything ok?”
“Yes, ma'am. Everything's fine. Jada and Jadyn are fast asleep,” she says still standing in the doorway.
Jackie smiles, nodding. “That 72 really takes it out of her,” she says sitting at the table and gesturing for Carrigan to join her.
“Yes, ma'am it does. She works too hard,” she says sitting.
Jada's mom cocks her head to the side. “But you take good care of her, huh?”
The blonde smiles and looks at her hands. “I do my best.”
Jackie smiles. “I thank you for that. Jada sometimes doesn't know when to stop.”
Carrie chuckles. “She's met her match in Jadyn though. You should see those two when they go at it then they both pass out on the living room floor.”
The older brunette chuckles. “I bet it's a sight to see. She absolutely adores that little girl. She's always been great with kids.”
Carrie nods, smiling wistfully. “She's great with Jadyn.” Jackie nods. Carrie swallows nervously. “I was wondering if I could talk with you about that…about how you think Jada will react to what I want to…what I need to ask her.”
Jackie frowns confusedly. “Ok…I'll help all I can.”
The blonde takes a deep breath and lets it out. “I want to ask Jada to adopt Jadyn.”
The older brunette gasps happily. “Really?”
Carrie smiles brightly in return. “Yes, ma'am. She's just as much Jadyn's mother as I am. She's been there since the day she was born. Do you think she will?”
“Absolutely. A grand-daughter! Finally!” Jackie exclaims happily. Carrie laughs, thrilled at the reaction. Jackie sobers with a smile on her face. “She's gonna be so happy, Carrigan.”
The blonde looks at her hands. “I hope so. Nathan said the same thing when I asked him to draw up the papers for me,” she says quietly.
Jackie tilts her head, studying this shy, soft-spoken woman who had managed to give her daughter the family she always wanted. “There's more?”
Carrigan glances up at her then back at her hands, nodding. Jackie waits patiently for her to continue. Carrie sighs and glances up into a grey gaze so reminiscent of the one she fell in love with before looking at her hands again. “I…I love Jada so much. She and Jadyn are my whole life,” she says as tears come to her eyes. She looks up when she feels her hand being held. Her tears spill over at the acceptance she sees in Jackie's eyes. “I want to ask her to marry me, too. I want us to be a family.”
Jackie smiles with tears in her eyes. “You already are a family, sweetie.”
Carrie smiles teary-eyed. “She's only ever told me she loves me once but that was enough for me. Just to know that she did. I love her with everything in me.”
“And if she doesn't want to marry? Will you still let her adopt Jadyn?”
“Of course! Of course. It'll hurt me…the rejection…but as long as Jadyn has a family, I'll be happy.”
Jackie pats her hand. “That's the right answer but just so you know, you and Jadyn will always be a part of this family. No matter.”
Carrie smiles tremulously. “Thank you,” she whispers.
Carrigan enters Jada's room quietly, mindful of the two sleeping brunettes on the bed. She smiles when she sees Jada asleep on her side facing Jadyn with her hand on her back protectively. Instead of going to lie on the other side of Jadyn, she puts 2 pillows in that spot then snuggles up behind Jada. She really smiles when Jada unconsciously grabs the hand on her hip and pulls it around her waist, holding it secure with her own hand and lacing their fingers. Carrigan snuggles impossibly closer and nuzzles her face comfortably in Jada's hair. And there they sleep.
Jada awakes a couple of hours later. She blinks her eyes trying to get her bearings. She smiles softly when her eyes focus on the little brunette asleep in front of her. She feels a hand inside her own and smiles brighter when she realizes Carrigan is cuddled up behind her. She looks down to see their fingers still intertwined. I love this woman so much. I've been taking this excruciatingly slow and she's hung in there with me. It's time to make her mine. She gently turns in Carrie's arms, careful not to wake either of them. She studies Carrigan's face in slumber. God, she's gorgeous. Even black and blue, she was still beautiful. She traces the tiny scar over Carrigan's left brow as a result of that fateful night. She watches her fingertips as they trail down Carrigan's jaw, across her lips and down her chin to her neck. So soft. Her fingers trail down past the hollow of the blonde's neck to the dip in her v-neck blouse. Only then does she notice the rapid rise and fall of Carrigan's chest. Grey eyes lock onto emerald green ones. Carrigan bites her lip as those same fingertips retrace the trail they burned right back up. Jada leans in close until they're sharing the same air. “We need to talk,” she whispers.
“O-Okay,” the blonde whispers back.
Jada nods and traces the blonde's lips with those same fingertips. Carrigan closes her eyes at the barrage of sensation sweeping through her body. “I want to thank you for being so patient with me. I know I've been going really slow,” she says softly as she continues to trail her fingertips over all exposed skin.
“I understand, Jada,” she whispers, eyes still closed.
Jada lets out a breath she didn't realize she was holding. “I just had to be sure that this was what you really wanted…that I was what you really wanted.”
Carrigan opens her eyes then to look into Jada's. “You are what I really want. I want you in my life forever, Jada,” she says softly.
The brunette smiles with tears in her eyes and hugs her close. “I'm sorry if I made you feel like I didn't want you. I know you may have been confused.”
“I was,” the blonde confesses, burying her face in Jada's neck.
Jada hugs her tighter. “I'm sorry. I only wanted to be sure that you'd be mine,” she says softly.
Carrigan pulls away to look into sparkling grey eyes. She touches her cheek tenderly. “I've always been yours, Jada. From the first day I saw you,” she whispers.
Jada closes her eyes and lowers her forehead to hers. “No more holding back. I'll be good to you, Carrie. I promise,” she whispers.
Carrigan smiles and kisses her once, very tenderly. Jada looks into her eyes. “You already are, Jada. You're everything I ever wanted,” she says kissing her again, this time more deliberately and slowly. Jada deepens the kiss holding her so tight she could hardly breathe. Carrigan breaks the kiss, gasping for air. Whether it was from the tight grip Jada had on her or the intensity of the kiss, she wasn't sure.
Jada gently rolls her to her back. She scoots closer to her, leaning over her with one leg between hers. She braces her weight on her left elbow and traces over Carrigan's brows. “We'll go at your speed this time. I wouldn't dare rush you…but please forgive me…I can't stop kissing you,” she whispers just before taking Carrigan's lips one again.
I don't want you to ever stop, Jada. Carrigan moans softly as Jada slips her tongue inside her mouth. She grabs a hold of Jada's hips and pulls her weight down as she raises her straddled thigh up to meet the apex of Jada's thighs. She's rewarded with a deep groan and renewed vigor in her kissing. She runs her hands over Jada's jean clad ass then grips it as she rocks her forward.
Jada gasps audibly and pulls away to look down into dark green eyes. They hold each others' gaze as Carrigan continues to rock Jada against her thigh. Jada bites her lip, moaning softly. “You're gonna make me cum, Carrie. I swear,” she pants inches from her face.
Carrigan grips her tighter and rocks her harder against her thigh. Jada whimpers softly. “That's exactly what I want, Jada,” she whispers.
Jada leans down and claims her lips again as she continues to rock. She reaches down and grabs the back of Carrigan's left leg as she presses her own thigh into the blonde's center. Carrigan moans against her mouth. Jada kisses from her mouth down her neck. “I want you to cum too,” she whispers gripping the blonde's ass, helping her rock into her thigh as well.
Carrigan closes her eyes and just feels Jada moving against her. She runs one of her hands up Jada's back under her shirt, feeling the smooth skin underneath. Her eyes fly open when she feels Jada raise her shirt then her bra to release her breasts. Her back arches sharply when she feels Jada's mouth close over her nipple and start to suck deeply. “Oh god, Jada…”
Jada pulls away, looking down into Carrigan's flushed face. “I need to feel you. Please, can I touch you?” she asks softly.
The blonde nods as Jada reaches for the tie on her sweats. She grabs her hands and Jada looks up. “Only if I can touch you, too.”
The brunette nods after a quick glance to where Jadyn still slept and guides Carrigan's hands to the button of her jeans. She then continues to untie Carrigan's sweats. Jada takes Carrigan's hand and guides it inside her panties. She closes her eyes, moaning softly as Carrigan's fingers dip into her wetness. “Oh, Carrie,” she whispers as the blonde's fingers find the sensitive bundle of nerves between her nether lips. She slides her fingers into Carrigan's wetness as she latches back onto her breasts.
Carrigan's free hand tangles in Jada's raven locks and she cries out softly when Jada slides 2 fingers inside her. She reciprocates by rubbing Jada's clit more vigorously, her progress further impeded by the fit of her jeans. She feels Jada start to pant against her breasts.
Jada presses her thumb into Carrigan's clit as she continues thrust into her, feeling her own climax begin. “Oh baby…oh, god…” she whimpers, burying her face in Carrigan's neck as her orgasm explodes.
The blonde's fingers tighten almost painfully in Jada's hair when the brunette devours her breasts and when Jada climaxes against her, she follows her, whimpering as she bites her lip to keep from screaming out. Jada collapses on top of her and she wraps her arms around her tightly. She feels Jada start to tremble and strokes her back tenderly. Carrigan kisses her temple then raises Jada's head to kiss both tear-streaked cheeks. She kisses her lips tenderly. “What's wrong, baby?”
Jada shakes her head. “I love you so much, Carrie.”
Tears come to Carrigan's eyes. “I love you too, Jada.”
“I'm sorry it was like this…our first time…I should've…I wasn't…”she stammers unable to meet Carrigan's gaze.
“Jada look at me,” she says softly. Jada grimaces ashamed, still avoiding her eyes. “Please, Jada. Please look at me?” she asks softly. Jada looks at embarrassedly into her eyes. “You didn't do anything that I didn't want you to do. We've been holding back these feelings for so long that it kind of exploded on us. But I'll tell you that I don't regret a single moment of it.”
Jada stares into her eyes. “You promise?” she asks softly.
“I promise. I love you.”
The brunette smiles and leans down to kiss her. “I love you, too. I'll be sure to take my time next time.”
Carrigan runs her hand up her arm over her shoulder then down over her chest. “When will that be?” she asks suggestively. Jada narrows her eyes and starts to lean down to start round two when they hear a tiny voice.
Jada chuckles and turns to see Jadyn on her knees looking at them. “Hey, princess!” Jadyn falls down giggling. Jada raises up and Carrigan quickly zips and buttons her jeans. Jada smiles at her and kisses her softly. She then distracts Jadyn while Carrigan adjust her own clothes. Jada kisses Jadyn's forehead and gives her a raspberry on her cheek that has her dissolving in giggles. “I'm gonna freshen up. I'll be right back, ok? Dinner's probably ready.”
Carrigan smiles at her as she grabs Jadyn to check her diaper. “We'll be ready.”
Jada winks at her and leaves out the room.
Jacqueline watches discreetly throughout dinner the interaction between her daughter and Carrigan and Jadyn. Jadyn wouldn't be moved from Jada's lap. Jada and Carrigan both took turns feeding her baby food. While Jada fed Jadyn, Carrigan would feed Jada and vice versa. She chuckles to herself. They act like newlyweds already. She watches as Jadyn falls asleep in Jada's arms. “Jada?”
Jada looks up from cooing to baby. “Yes, Moma?”
Jackie glances at Carrigan then back to her daughter. “Why don't you show Carrigan around? We can watch Jadyn for tonight.”
Jada looks at Carrigan who is smiling at her mother. “You wanna?” she asks smiling.
Carrigan looks at her, smiling. “I'd love to. Let me go and get Jadyn some stuff. I'll be right back, ok?” she asks standing.
Jada nods, watching her. “Ok. I'll settle her in with Mom and Dad.” She watches Carrigan leave the room then turns back to her mother. “You sure you wanna watch Jadyn? We can take her with us.”
Jackie shakes her head, smiling. “I think you two need some alone time.” Jada looks down, blushing. “You two are together, right?”
“Yeah, we are.”
The older brunette stands and beckons the younger to follow with the baby. “You love her?”
“So much, Moma.”
“And I know you love that baby.”
Jada hugs Jadyn close. “Yeah, she's my princess.”
Jackie smiles and leads Jada into their bedroom. “You can lay her right in the middle so your father can stare at her.”
Jada laughs and lays Jadyn down. “Dad really is a big teddy bear, huh?”
The older brunette laughs. “Of course. Your brother has only boys. He'd love to have a grand-daughter to spoil,” she says watching for Jada's reaction to that statement.
The younger brunette sits on the bed next to Jadyn and rubs her back. “I would love more than anything for this little girl to be my daughter, Moma. I feel like she is already. I love her like she's mine, anyway,” she says softly.
Jackie looks back and sees Carrigan in the doorway. She smiles at her then moves to Jada and kisses her on the top of her head. “Maybe you'll get your wish one day soon.” Jada nods, smiling wistfully.
Carrigan clears her throat and enters room. Well, that answers that question. “Hey. I brought her favorite blanket, her nightie and some diapers. She has bottles in the fridge.”
Jada stands and takes the blanket from Carrigan. She covers Jadyn with it. “She may wake up fussy in the middle of the night. If she gets to be too much, just come and get Carrie or me,
Jackie puts her hands on her hips. “You two act if I didn't raise two kids already.”
Carrigan blushes. “I'm sorry, Mrs. Reimer.”
Jada chuckles. “With all due respect, Ma, you're batting .500. You did ok with me but I don't know what happened with David,” she says laughing.
“I dropped him on his head as a baby. If you don't wanna make it 2 for 2, I suggest you get your behind out of here and take your woman on a tour,” Jackie says with a mock scowl. Carrigan giggles uncontrollably.
“Alright. Alright,” Jada says holding up her hands. She bends down and kisses Jadyn's head. “G'night, princess. You holler if you need rescuing from my Mom the meanie, ok?” Jackie smacks her on the butt. “Ma!” she screeches rubbing her butt.
Carrie laughs and bends down to kiss Jadyn's head, too. “Be good, pumpkin.” She looks at Jada who is still rubbing her butt, glaring at her mother who has a satisfied smirk on her face.
“I haven't been spanked since I was 12.”
Jackie raises a brow. “You sure about that?” Carrie cracks up as Jada blushes deeply.
“Mother!” Jada exclaims in shock. Jackie shrugs, chuckling. Jada shakes her head and grabs Carrie's hand. “Come on, Carrie before I'm abused some more.”
Carrie laughs. “You just don't wanna be spanked again.”
Jada flicks her brows. “Not by her,” she says pulling the blushing blonde out of the room.
Carrigan looks over the grounds of Jada's parents' ranch from the confines of the gazebo near the lake. “It's so beautiful out here, Jada.”
Jada comes up behind her and puts her arms around her waist. “Not as beautiful as you.”
The blonde looks down, blushing. “You're being fresh.”
Jada chuckles and holds her tighter. “I'm being honest.”
Carrigan smiles and places her hands over Jada's around her waist. “I…I have something I need to talk to you about, Jada.” She feels Jada tense up and she turns to look up into worried grey eyes. “It's nothing bad.”
Jada nods, looking in her eyes. “Ok. So, what is it?”
The blonde looks down as she draws circles on Jada's forearms. “I talked to Nathan earlier.”
“About the trust?” Carrie nods. “Did he explain everything to you? Did you sign the papers?”
“No, Jada. I didn't. I don't want to be the executor of Jadyn's trust. I think you should continue to be it.”
Jada frowns confusedly. “I thought we discussed it though. This way it won't be a problem if it's needed before she's 18.”
Carrigan looks up at Jada and tilts her head. “There was another avenue that I didn't think to pursue and that's what I want to discuss with you now.”
Jada shakes her head as Carrigan moves away from her. “I don't understand.”
The blonde reaches into her jacket pocket and hands the envelope to Jada. Jada takes the envelope, frowning slightly. “I'd really prefer we do it this way instead of making me the executor,” she says as Jada pulls out the papers Nathan sent over.
Jada stares at the Petition for Adoption papers for her and Jadyn and tears fill her eyes. She looks up at Carrigan with tears rolling down her cheeks. “Oh, god…” She puts her hand to her mouth. She moves to take Carrigan in her arms, too emotional to say anything. Carrigan hugs her back. Jada squeezes her tight as soft sobs overcome her. “You don't know how much this means to me,” she says shakily as she continues to cry into her neck.
Carrigan rubs her back, soothingly as tears come to her own eyes. “I think I do, Jada,” she says softly. She kisses her temple. “I want you to adopt her so that if something ever happens to me, she'll be with you. She won't have to suffer like I did.”
Jada pulls back to look at her. “Are you sure, Carrie?”
The blonde nods. “Absolutely. Nobody else could love her more than we do, Jada.”
Jada smiles brightly, looking at the papers. She bites her lip. “I'll be her mother, too?”
“Yeah…Her Pepe,” Carrie says, smiling.
The brunette laughs, nodding. “Her Pepe.” Carrie wipes her tears away tenderly. Jada catches her hand and kisses the inside of her wrist then her lips. She hugs her tight. “Thank you for giving me such and amazing gift. I love her so much, Carrie.”
“I know, Jada. She's crazy in love with you, too. We both are,” she says softly.
Jada pulls her back to look into the teary blue-green eyes that snagged her from the very beginning. “I love you, too, Carrie. You and Jadyn are my whole life.”
“Yeah?” Carrigan asks softly. Jada nods and lowers her forehead to hers. Carrie looks into soft grey eyes full of love and finally finds her courage. “Prove it.” Jada pulls back and cocks her head curiously. “Marry me, Jada.” Grey eyes widen slightly and a gasp escapes her lips. Carrie grabs her hands and pours her heart out. “I know that I don't have much. I'm not rich. I don't have a fancy car or big nice house. I can't offer you that. But what I can offer you is all of my love…for the rest of my life if you'll let me, Jada,” she says, her throat threatening to close as tears stream down her cheeks. Jada is speechless as her tears match Carrigan's. “I love you so much, Jada. I love you with everything in me. When I thought I had lost everything, you gave it back to me plus so much more. You were there for me when I had no one. And if you'll let me, I want to be the same for you. I want to be the one that you never doubt is in your corner. You're my angel, Jada...my champion…my everything,” she says earnestly looking into teary grey eyes. She reaches in her pocket and pulls out her mother's engagement ring. She kisses it and kneels on one knee in front of Jada. She takes her hand and kisses it reverently. “I've been alone so long, Jada. I never knew such happiness was meant for me. I never knew that my life could revolve so completely around two people but it does. I live to see you smile at me…to touch me…to hold me…to watch our daughter fall asleep safe and secure in your arms. My life is complete with you two. I finally know where I belong. Please, Jada… Will you please be my family, too? Will you marry me?” she pleads softly, unable to stop her tears from falling as she holds up her mother's ring.
Jada kneels in front of the woman who just offered her everything she had ever wanted in this world: a wife and a child to love, her own family. She slips her finger into one of her love's most cherished possessions and hugs her tight. “I will, Carrie. I'll marry you.”
Carrie pulls back to look into her eyes. A soft sob, escaping her lips. “You promise?” she asks softly.
Jada nods, smiling and touches her cheek, recognizing the request for security that bonded them in the first place. “I promise,” she whispers earnestly and seals it with a kiss.
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