Soul Crossing

By Web Bard (Copyright 12/00)

Part 11

Reese pulled the car into a parking space in front of the inn. She looked over at Beth and smiled. "Come meet my family."

The women walked toward the huge wooden door to the inn. Reese opened the door and was immediately pulled into the arms of a petite older woman. "Mamme…"

Reese wrapped her arms around her tiny grandmother. She looked up to see her grandfather walking toward her. She pulled him into the hugging circle. "Pappos, it's so good to see you."

The family continued to hold each other as Beth waited patiently by the door. Reese's grandmother looked over her shoulder at the young blonde woman.

"Please excuse us," said Mamme as she pulled away from Reese. She motioned for Beth to come closer.

Mamme took one step toward Beth and cupped the young woman's face in her hands. Beth smiled and looked into steel blue eyes that held her captive. Just like Reese. The two women stood in silence and continued to memorize each other's features. Beth moved her hands to Mamme's shoulders.

The older woman soon pulled Beth into an embrace. She placed her hand on the back of the young woman's head and pressed it to her shoulder. Mamme felt the tension ease from Beth's neck as she gently ran her fingers along the back of her hair. You're home, little one. Just relax. Beth just closed her eyes and drank in the affection from the older woman.

Reese stood beside her grandfather with her arm wrapped around his shoulders. The older man looked into his granddaughter's eyes and nodded. He knew, too.

Mamme slowly pulled away from Beth and reached out her hand to include Reese. "She is the one."

"Yes, Mamme," said Reese as she took her grandmother's hand. "She is the one."

Beth blushed and lowered her head. Mamme lifted her chin with the tip of her finger. "I didn't mean to embarrass you. I told my Reese many years ago that when the right person came along that she would know it. As soon as I looked into those pretty green eyes of yours, I knew. Pappos knows, too, don't you?"

"Oh, yes," said the old man. "But I knew it from looking into our Reese's eyes. She looks at Beth the same way I look at you."

Reese looked at Beth and smiled. I knew they would love you.

"Enough of this," said Mamme. "You must be hungry and thirsty after your drive. Come to the table. I have prepared a feast for you."


"Beth?" Reese reached over and placed her hand over her friend's. "Why don't you go upstairs and unpack our things? I need to talk to my grandmother for a few minutes and I'll be right up."

"After that delicious meal, I don't know if I can even move," said Beth as she smiled at Mamme. "Thank you so much."

Beth pushed herself away from the table and walked over to Mamme. She bent down and kissed her on the cheek. "You've made me feel so welcome here. I can't tell you how much that means to me."

"You belong here, little one," said Mamme. "Now, please, do as my Reese says and relax by the fire in your bedroom. I won't keep her long."

Reese waited until she heard Beth close the door upstairs before talking to her grandmother. "Mamme? I'm going to ask Beth a very important question in a few minutes and I don't really know what to say."

"You want to make a commitment to her, don't you?" Mamme's blue eyes stared directly into her granddaughter's eyes.

Reese nodded.

"Just tell her what you feel in your heart," said Mamme. "She will know what you mean to say. Do you want to have some type of ceremony to celebrate your joining of souls?"

"Mamme," said Reese softly. "She hasn't even said yes yet. What if this is not what she wants?"

"My child," said Mamme as she pulled Reese into a hug. "She loves you like you love her. I know this as sure as I know the love between your Pappos and me."

Mamme looked over at her husband and winked at him. "Wait here for a minute. I have something I want to give you."

Mamme returned with a small wooden box. She opened it and held it out for Reese to see. Inside the box were two simple gold bands. "These rings have been in the family for centuries. Each generation has passed them down to the next generation. Your Pappos and I designed our own rings and never wore these. I would be honored if you would take them."

"Mamme," said Reese as she gazed in disbelief at the rings. "I can't take them. I…I…"

The older woman took the rings out of the box and placed them in the palm of her granddaughter's hand. "I know that you are the one who will bring the truest meaning of love to these rings. Perhaps one day you'll understand the history and tradition behind them. Just trust me, please. The rings belong with you."

Reese felt a tear run down the side of her face. She took a deep breath and pulled out a velvet pouch from her pocket. "I guess I'm more like you and Pappos than you know. Before I left home, I had a jeweler design two rings for us."

Mamme looked at the intricate pattern on the two rings. "That's the Lion of Amphipolis, isn't it? What does the other pattern mean?"

On either side of the small lion's head was a geometric pattern of Celtic knots. Reese caressed the side of the ring. "Beth is part Greek and part Irish. I wanted to blend the two cultures together."

"It's beautiful," said the grandmother. "Now, give me your hand."

Reese placed her hand in her grandmother's. Mamme took the antique gold band and put it on Reese's ring finger. Then, she slid the newer ring next to it. "Look. They fit perfectly."

"Yes," said Reese. "They really do. Mamme, are you sure about giving me the rings?"

"Reese," said her grandmother in a stern voice. "Now take them. No arguments."

Her voice softened and she placed her hand on her granddaughter's face. "Now go and talk to Beth. Tomorrow, we will celebrate Christmas and will discuss the ceremony."


"She will say yes," said the older woman. "Now give your grandparents a kiss and go upstairs."


Reese took a deep breath before she opened the door to their room. She looked over at Beth, who was sound asleep on the chair in front of the fire. She had curled herself up into a ball, with her arms wrapped around her knees. The young blonde had a slight smile formed around the curve of her lips. Reese couldn't believe she could love someone as much as she loved this woman. She walked very quietly over to the chair and sat down on the floor beside it. Beth began to stir and moved to stretch her arms and legs.

Reese turned herself around and placed her hand on her partner's leg.

"Jeez! You scared me," said Beth as she jumped at the sudden touch. "Where did you come from?"

"You were sleeping so soundly, I didn't want to disturb you." Reese pulled her self up on her knees and then placed her head in Beth's lap.

Beth caressed the long black hair cascading down her lover's back. "Honey? Please talk to me. Something's been bothering you ever since we got to Greece. I want to help if you if I can."

Reese lifted her head and looked into Beth's green eyes. It's now or never. "I need to talk to you about something very important to both of us."

"I'm right here, love," said her partner. "Talk to me."

"There's so much I want to say to you." Reese lowered her head and tried to maintain her composure. She took another deep breath. "You know that I love you with all my heart, don't you?"


"I want to ask you something."

"Yes?" Beth reached for Reese's hand, which was now shaking.

"I want you to share my life. As my partner. As my lover. As my soul mate," said Reese as she solemnly looked at Beth. "You are the best thing in my life and I love you. I know that what I'm about to ask you won't be legal. Not yet. But it doesn't matter. What does matter to me is that I want to be by your side in this life and the next."

Reese dropped to one knee and took Beth's left hand. She removed the friendship ring she had given Beth in the summer and placed it on her right hand. Reese pulled the velvet pouch out of her pocket and shook out the two custom made rings. She took the smaller ring and slid it on her lover's finger.

"Beth," said Reese as a lump rose in her throat. "Will you marry me?"

Beth gasped and looked down at the intricate gold band on her finger. She looked at Reese and upon seeing the tears forming in her friend's eyes; she could no longer hold back the emotions rising to the surface. She cupped Reese's face in her hands and kissed her softly. "Yes, honey, I will marry you."

"I…I had two rings made," said Reese as she reached for the second ring still in Beth's lap. "The lion stands for my family and the Celtic knots stand for yours. I had them especially designed for us."

"No, let me," said Beth as she took the ring from her friend. She placed Reese's left hand in her own and slid the gold ring over the long slender finger of the woman she adored. "I love you more than my own life. I promise that I will love and honor and cherish you always. Will you marry me?"

"Yes," said Reese as she stood up and pulled Beth into an embrace. "I will marry you."

The two women stood wrapped in each other's arms in front of the fireplace. Beth leaned her head against her lover's chest and listened to the gentle rhythm of her friend's heartbeat as they gently rocked back and forth. Reese pressed her cheek against the top of her friend's hair and breathed a heavy sigh.

Beth turned and looked up into Reese's blue eyes. "Is this what you were worried about?"

"Yes," said Reese. "I was petrified that this wouldn't be what you wanted. I know how you feel about me, but I wasn't sure that you were ready for this kind of commitment."

"Reese," said Beth as she caressed the side of her friend's face with her hand. "I was committed to you the first night we met. I knew when I first saw you that we were connected in a way that I couldn't explain. And then, when you kissed me, that was it. I knew that we were destined to always be together."

Reese leaned down and captured Beth's lips with her own. She then pulled her friend closer and whispered in her ear. "I love you."

"I love you, too," said Beth. "Honey, do you think we could sit down for a few minutes?"

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, considering the woman I love just asked me to marry her, and I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed…"

Reese interrupted and took Beth by the hand to the bed. "Hey, it's Christmas Eve. Do you want to open up one of your gifts?"

Beth suddenly jumped up from the bed. She ran to her suitcase and pulled out an envelope. "I almost forgot. I have a surprise of my own."

She handed the envelope to Reese. "I had no idea you were going to propose to me tonight, but I've had something planned for the past few weeks. I wanted to give you something special for Christmas. But before you argue with me, I want you to know that this is something I've been saving for my whole life."

"What is it?"

"Well, open it."

Reese opened the envelope and read the legal paper in her hand. "Beth, it's the bill of sale for the house. What did you do?"

"I couldn't stand the thought of ever losing our dream house, so I bought it."

"But you can't afford this," said Reese looking at her friend. "You couldn't possibly have purchased the house on a magazine writer's salary."

"I just put a substantial down payment on it to make sure no one else could have it," said Beth. "We close on the house in two weeks. I want the house to be in both of our names and we can both make the rest of the payments together, okay?"

Reese was stunned. She couldn't believe that Beth had used all of her savings to do this. It was their house now. Amazing. "I can't believe you did this for me. For us."

Beth took Reese's hand. "You are everything I've ever dreamed of in a best friend. To top that off, you are my lover, my partner and my soul mate. We live in a beautiful home and we're now planning the rest of our lives together. The house just completes the picture. I hope you don't mind that I didn't ask you before I did it."

"Of course not," said Reese. "But I would have helped you with the money, you know that don't you?"

"I know," said Beth. "I just wanted to give you something special."

Reese pulled Beth down on the bed beside her. She ran her fingers through her lover's hair and leaned in for a kiss. "You are a special gift to me. The greatest gift I've ever known."

Beth kissed moved her head lower and began to kiss the inside of Reese's neck. Her fingers began to move slowly over her lover's body. "Um, Reese, um, can the rest of gifts wait until tomorrow? I want to make love to my fiancé."

"What gifts?" Reese smiled and began her own trail of exploration of her partner's neck and chest. The fears and tension were gone. Beth said yes. Nothing else mattered except the woman in her arms. Nothing.


to be continued

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