Chapter 52

Michelle glanced down at the piece of paper again, and the address glared back at her along with the early morning sun. She scanned the street signs, hoping that she was on the right track. Toby serenaded her from the backseat, and it eased her somewhat to hear the contented cooing. Maneuvering the Caddy, she turned left on the next street. I can't believe I'm doing this, but I feel so sorry for her. There was something in her eyes before she left the kitchen. I don't think she wanted to do what she did. Besides, I don't have it in me to crush her like that despite it all. That's just not me. The blonde blew the bangs away from her forehead and bolstered her courage. I don't want her to lose her job, and if I had told Bobbi what happened, she certainly would have. I can't believe I lied to her, but it was necessary just as it was to sneak into her office last night and find Janine's address. Michelle swerved as she passed the street that she was looking for. Backing up, she made another turn and peered out the driver side window at the numbers on the houses. She sighed. The numbers were too low. She was at the north end. At least I know where I am now.

The petite blonde reached toward the dashboard and cranked up the air conditioning. She then leaned back in the seat and blew out a long breath. It's been an unbelievable few days. I think even that is an understatement. Who knew it would turn out like this? If I hadn't figured out what was going on, would this had gone on and on? Somehow, I don't think Bobbi would have stood for that. Nobody probably would, and I don't blame her. God, the things that were going through my head, and it turns out that I was waiting for her to say those three words. It solidified everything. At that moment, I KNEW all the touches, the kisses and the things she said were real. To think that they weren't put me back at square one. What a scary place to be. It was good to have her hold me again, touch me again. I missed it so much, and it seemed like an eternity since I felt it. I really hurt her, and I could still see it as we talked. I mean, she was happy, but I could still see it in her eyes. We talked forever, but I guess there was so much to say, and afterward, I felt more connected than before. Her mind inched backward, recalling in exquisite detail.

They sat on the carpet in the living room huddled around each other as if they were trying to breath the same air. Legs were entangled as were arms. Taz lay patiently as Toby groped and tugged on him. For a long time, there was silence. As they indulged themselves with long, languid touches on exposed skin as if trying to memorize or reacquaint themselves with each other. Finally with a long sigh, Bobbi broke into the quiet.

"When we had the argument, I knew I was wrong, but I was so scared of losing you, of losing all of this." She pointed at the other occupants on the blanket. "I went to go see my dad, and we had a long talk. He's a surprisingly good listener."

Michelle groaned at the bad joke and turned around to give the doctor an odd look.

The brunette grinned. "Anyway, we worked it out, and I knew what I had to do no matter what my feelings were on the subject. I knew I had to be with you. When I came home--" Michelle could feel the doctor's breathing hitch. "And you turned me away. I didn't know anything could hurt so bad. I was so confused. I couldn't believe you'd tell me one thing and then act another way completely. I didn't know which way was up. You completely shut me out, and Toby. . ."

Michelle took a deep shaky breath. "I know. You're a big part of his life, and it was so selfish of me not to tell you that it wasn't about that. I was just so overwhelmed, and I needed something to hang onto. I picked him. There were so many thoughts going through my head, and I was unsure of how you felt, of how I felt. It scared me. I couldn't face you until I figured some things out." The blonde swallowed. 'She doesn't need to know about Janine. That would only make this a bigger mess. Maybe this is something I could take care of. Despite what I said to her, there was something about her, she didn't have that look in her eye that momma or Max had. She's different,' she thought. The decision was made.

"These doubts just crept up on me," the petite blonde continued. "And I didn't know how to get passed it. There was so much I didn't know and wanted to know. My feelings for you were so strong, stronger than they ever have been, and with everything that happened with Beatrice, it all came crashing down on me. I ran. I didn't know what else to do. I promised myself I wouldn't do that anymore, but I just didn't know." She felt arms squeeze her from behind, and she caressed the doctor's forearms as they wrapped around her torso.

"You couldn't come to me?" Bobbi's voice was husky.

Michelle shook her head. "No, I. . .I was scared to. Scared of what you would say or wouldn't say. I wanted so much to know how you felt, and if you had said that you didn't---" She paused. "I think it would have destroyed me. I think in some way I was looking to you to define what we are because I had no clue at first. All I knew is that there were all these feelings. It hit me when I saw you and Toby together." Their fingers laced together. "I just understood. I don't know how else to explain it. I understood, and it sent me running scared again. Partly because it was so overwhelming and partly because I was afraid that you didn't return it."

Bobbi cleared her throat and whispered, "But I do. The thought of losing you terrifies me, but sometimes, Chelle you scare me even more. I've grown to understand you, but I need you to understand me too. I became a patient person with you, but it has limits. I was reaching mine. You don't know how many times I wanted to tear down that door and make you talk to me. I lost you, Chelle, and you were right here under my nose the whole time. Now that we know what this is, we have to communicate with each other. You're my best friend too, and I want us to be able to talk about anything and everything no matter what it is. It hurts us both if we don't."

'I do know you, Bobbi, and I know the way you would react that's why I can't tell you about Janine. It's between me and her,' she reasoned internally. "I understand that now. I never wanted to hurt you, and I never want to shut you out. You're a part of me, a part of us. A lot of things are much clearer now."

"Yeah, I guess love does that." Bobbi groaned. "Ugh, that was decidedly corny."

Michelle couldn't help but chuckle, "But I guess it's true."

"Mmm, we make a promise to each other right now. We talk to each other about what's bothering us even if it's hard to."

"Deal," Michelle murmured. She turned in the brunette's arm until she was almost straddling her lap. Their eyes met and energy smoldered between them.

Bobbi sucked in a breath as her stomach clenched pleasurably. She cradled the blonde's small waist in her large hands. "Mmm, I certainly missed this," she husked.

The blonde rolled her hips and whimpered. "I did too." Her breathing turned ragged. Their faces were so close that they were sharing breath. Something nagged her, and suddenly, her mind cleared. "What about Max?"

It was like ice cold water. Bobbi stiffened. "Jesus, how could I forget about that. We do need to come up with some kind of plan." She took a deep breath. "We're gonna need protection. . .

Michelle shuddered as she thought about the rest of the conversation. I can't go there. Not right now. Finally, she saw the house number she had been looking for. The nearest parking space to be found was at the end of the street. The blonde unlatched her son from the car seat. "Come on little man, we've got some business to take care of." Here goes nothing. God, I hope I'm not wrong about her. Otherwise, this could turn into a mess.


With the remote in one hand, Janine flipped through the channels, and with a brush in the other, she tried to tame her hair. She glanced at her watch. Still before eight, but I can't sit in here all day. What will that accomplish? I have to get out and do somethin' with myself. It's not healthy bein' cooped up in here. Throwing the remote on the bed, she settled on CNN. With an errant hand, she brushed stray hairs from the white, sleeveless button down tee and shoved the tails into her khaki walking shorts.

What am I gonna do? It's not like I know anybody. Maybe it's time I try and rectify that. "It's worth a shot. Gotta get started somehow. God, I haven't felt this good in ages." She frowned as she put on earrings. I hope everythin' is okay over at Bobbi's. Maybe I should go over there and at least try to apologize. . . Her thoughts trailed off at the unexpected knock on the door. Dark brows drew together as she moved toward the door. She pressed an ear to the door. Her frown lengthened at the sound of a coo. Who on earth? "Uh, who is it?"

Michelle gave Toby his keys and prepared to answer. "It's, ah, Michelle. Bobbi's friend."

Janine stiffened. I never expected her to come here! What does this mean? The nurse swallowed. "I don't wanna fight with you."

The blonde let out a relieved breath. "Neither do I. I just want to talk. Please?"

The brunette yanked the door open before she could think about it any further. They stood appraising each other just as they had done a few days before, but this time no hidden malice boiled up inside the nurse. "Uh, I was thinkin' 'bout comin' over and apologizin' about the other day. It's not what I intended to happen," she babbled before her mind could start working again.

Michelle's eyes widen as she tried to decipher the nurse's hurried words. She held up a hand. "Hold on. Maybe we should do this inside?"

"Oh yeah. Of course. Sorry 'bout that." Janine stepped aside, allowing them entry. As soon as she closed the door, the babbling started again. "I didn't mean what I said. I think it was just a last ditch effort to get somethin' I had no right to, but what you said. It was true. Very true. I needed to hear it. No one really told me those things before. I don't know why after all the people I hurt. I wanna say that I'm sorry and thank you for what you said."

Michelle blinked and switched Toby over to the other hip. She held the other woman's gaze, weighing what was just said. "I meant what I told you at the time, but I've had a lot of time to think the past few days. I've seen a lot of evil people, Janine. I've seen it in their eyes, but you didn't have that look. It made me realize that you weren't as bad as you pretended to be. I remember seeing you at the picnic. You had a chance then to ruin a lot of things and you didn't take it."

Janine's head hung. "I wanted to, but I couldn't do it. Something inside wouldn't let me, but I ignored it the other day."

The blonde nodded. "I'm gonna be honest with you. What you said to me hurt me because I let it. There were so many unanswered questions and so many feelings. You were wrong about a lot of things, but you were right about one. It did bother me not knowing what Bobbi felt for me. It bothered me more than I care to say, but that's not an issue anymore."

The nurse's head jerked up as a sliver of jealousy arced through her. "It would be a lie to say that I'm not jealous. Some stupid part of me thought I had a chance with her, but I never did." She paused. "What does it feel like? Being in love?"

Yeah, I'm more than acquainted with that emotion now too. It's an ugly place to be, and I don't want to go back. Still, Michelle smiled before she could help herself. "It's. . .warm, safe." She shook her head. "There're not enough words to describe it. I mean, I love my son." She looked down at Toby affectionately. "But, this is completely different. Maybe if I'd felt it before now I could. . ." Her voice trailed off.

She didn't have to say anything. All I had to do was look at her face. "Well, maybe someday it'll happen to me too, but first I need to figure out a lot of things like who the hell I am."

The petite blonde smiled ruefully. "Been there and I'm still there." She canted her head to the side. "You know, when Bobbi first told me about what was going on, I wanted to hate you. I especially did after the other day, but that's too much energy concentrated on you when there is so much more going on. I still don't like you. You've done a lot of conniving, manipulative things. Some I bet I don't even know about. I don't know where that leaves us, and I don't know if I want there to be an 'us' in any capacity."

Janine's brows lowered in confusion. "I can understand all of that, but surely I won't be sticking around to--"

"I didn't tell her," Michelle interrupted.

Brown eyes widened. "I. . .why?"

"That thing in your eyes, and something told me you are just as lost as I was. I couldn't do that to you. Despite what you tried to do to me," Michelle answered matter of factly. "You have your job, but you don't have my trust. The things you said today are something though, and I hope to God that you mean them." She took a step closer to the nurse. "Because despite how hurt she'll be if she finds out I lied to her, I will tell her, and besides that, I will protect what I have. I'm not running anymore from anything."

"I understand, and thank you." I did severely underestimate this woman. "I know I don't deserve this."

Michelle shrugged. "I don't know--maybe or maybe not, but you have it. Go to work. I don't imagine my dog makes a very good nurse. I have to get back home. Bobbi's out on an errand."

Janine nodded. "Okay."

Without another word, Janine closed the door behind her visitor. She stood in shocked silence. "I didn't know people like that existed. God, I have a long way to go."


Michelle leaned on the wall just to the right of the nurse's door. She let out a relieved breath. "That wasn't so bad. Was it little guy?"

"Gaaa!" The infant answered.

The blonde chuckled. "Yeah, and I meant every word. It needed to be done for my sake too. Now that I really got a chance to talk to her, maybe I had nothing to be jealous of after all. I can't turn back the clock and erase what happened the past few days, but this looks good for the present and the future."

Toby grabbed at her nose and gave her a gum laden smile. She laughed outright. "You're something else. Let's get home before Bobbi and Taz comes back."


Bobbi pulled the jeep into the empty parking lot of the gun shop. She ignored the bright glare of the morning sun as well as the dry heat rolling through the jeep windows. Everything aroud her was green and teeming with life, yet she was about to procure a weapon that could bring about death. The irondy did not get past her. After sitting there for long minutes, she took a deep breath, pulled the keys from the ignition, and peered over at the dog in the passenger seat. "Well, this is something I never thought I'd be doing," she said wryly.


"Yeah, you're right. It's for the best cause in the world. Still, I think the reality of the situation crashed down on us last night." The doctor rubbed suddenly sweaty hands over the front of her Nike t-shirt. "I'll never forget the look on her face when I mentioned the word 'gun.' She's seen so much violence, and now we may have to fight violence with violence if it comes to that."

"Wuff! Wuff! Grrr!"

"I know you've been her protector all these years now she's got two of them, and we're gonna take good care of those two aren't we, boy?"

Taz whimpered and swished his tail.

"I meant what I said last night though. God, that could have turned into one of the hardest conversations we've ever had." Bobbi closed her eyes and leaned back in the seat.

"I'm getting a gun," Bobbi muttered matter of factly.

Michelle eased away from the doctor's body in order to get a better look at her face. "A gun?" Her voice was strangled and surprised. Green eyes were wide with fear and all the color had left her face.

'I knew she was going to react like this. Tread lightly here, B,' the doctor said to herself. Bobbi clutched at the blonde as she tried to move away. "Wait. Hear me out. We have to face facts, Chelle. You wanna stay and fight, and there is no gurantee that your husband is gonna make it a clean one. Going through the courts are all well and good, but we need a back up plan just in case things get dirty. They're gonna try to come on our turf, and I'm gonna protect it if I can."

The blonde shook her head vigourously. "But my dream. . .remember. He shot you. I can't let that happen!"

"Shhh," the brunette pulled the other woman into a tighter embrace. "I hope to God that it doesn't, but if he comes charging in here packing. You can just bet that I'm gonna jump in front. If he tries to take me out that bastard is going with me."

Michelle began to shake, prompting Bobbi to hang on even tighter. "I can't lose you, Bobbi. It seems like everythings just started. I love you." She buried her face in Bobbi's neck.

"I know, and I love you too." The raven haired doctor ran the flat of her hand down the blonde's back and up to her shoulder blades. "I never want to leave you." She paused and swallowed. "And maybe we should let a few people know what's going on just in case they do find you. It could help if some of the community were looking out for us. I won't go into detail about what you'be been through, but it never hurts to have other people on your side. I know a couple of people on the force. We used to play together when we were little. I haven't talked to them in years, but it's about time that I did."

"You think so?" Michelle muttered.

"Yeah, it couldn't hurt. I'm glad Toby's not walking yet. I wouldn't bring a gun in this house otherwise. A patient of mine is lending me something out of his personal collection. I'll get him to show me how to use it, and I'll teach you."

Green eyes held hesitation as she looked up at the brunette. "I don't know if I could ever fire a gun."

Bobbi made a sound in the back of her throat. "I don't know, Chelle. Think about all that's happened to you and what could happen to Toby. Think about what could happen with us. Tell me that doesn't make you feel protective as hell ? Sometimes you never know what you can or can't do until the situation arises.

"That's true. So what are we going to do? I assume we're going to have to be very carful going out from now on."

"Yeah, you're right. No more house visits for me for a while, and I hate to say it. Maybe you shouldn't go back to the library either." 'I hate taking that away from her, but something's got to give in order for this to work,' Bobbi reasoned.

Michelle sucked in a painful breath. "I knew you were going to say that. After the way I fought to get this far, he's taking it away from me isn't he?"

Bobbi shook her head. "Don't think of it that way. Think of it as protecting what you have so you'll have all the things you want and have been striving for. I wanna see you go to college, get a job, and enjoy life like you should. Don't you want that?"

"More than anything, and you're right I would fight for it." For a moment, she looked thoughtful. Then, suddenly blushing, Michelle bit her bottom lip. She saw the warning in the doctor's eyes and quickly released the flesh.

"What is it?"

"I, uh, sent away for an application for the spring semester the day before yesterday."

Despite the heaviness weighing on them both, Bobbi smiled from ear to ear. "That's great!" 'I'm so proud of her.'

Michelle smiled back, making her nose crinkle. "Yeah, I still don't know what I'm going to major in, but I imagine half the fun is finding out."

Bobbi leaned forward and brushed a kiss on the blonde's forehead. "See, we have so much that he can't touch. I won't let him."


Bobbi sucked in a breath. "I need to stop procrastinating and get in there. I'm gonna make sure she experiences everything she wants." Without any more hesitation, the doctor opened the door and jumped out. She waited for the Husky to follow before slaming the jeep door shut.

The doctor banged on the door despite the closed sign in the window.

"I'm comin'. Hold on!"

Bobbi waited none to patiently and made a bee line through the door as soon as it opened. Mr. Hartman scratched at his whiskers and waved for her to follow.

"I've been thinkin' I wanna give ya something that's easy to fire. I got a nice nine milimeter that has a safety on it to keep ya from shootin' yourself in the foot. I'll show ya how to load the clip. It's pretty simple just line 'em up in the sight and shoot. At close range yah shouldn't have any problem."

Bobbi's mind buzzed. She heard every word out of the old man's mouth. Still, her mind was elsewhere. Look at me, ma. I'm in love for the first time in my life, and I'll do anything to keep it. I know you still loved, dad, even after all that time. We do what we need to do out of love don't we? You had to leave, and I have to stay and fight. Hopefully, I won't be seeing you or Stevie anytime soon, but stick with me. I need you guys more than ever right now. The doctor was nudged out of her reverie as Mr. Hartman presented her with a shiny silver gun.


Silence permeated the living room. The two women sat quietly on the couch and stared at the weapon looming on the table. Michelle reached over and laced her fingers through the doctor's.

"I've never seen one in real life. I suppose I should be thankful for that. Something tells me Max would have used it sooner or later. Now, we may have to use it against him."

"Yeah, I know it's hard to take, but it's necassary."

Their eyes met.

"This is really happening isn't it?" Michelle asked. Part of me knew this day would come, but it seems so soon.

Bobbi nodded solemly. "It is, but we can't let it control us, Chelle. We have to change some things it's true, but let's not sit and wait for a day that may never come. That's no way for us to live."

"I know, and that's part of the reason why I couldn't run." She sighed. "Might as well get on with it. Show me so you can get to work."

The doctor disengaged their hands as she reached for the gun and its accesories. It's like something out of a movie. I wish it were. She picked up the empty magazine and the box of rounds. "I'm gonna show you how to load this first."

Michelle nodded and watched with attentive eyes as the brunette slipped one bullet after another into the clip.

"Okay. When that's done," She picked up the gun. "With the heel of you put the clip here and slam it home. This button right here insures that the safety is on. Unless you're about to fire that should always be on. When you are ready, you pull this back. . ." Bobbi indicated by pointing. "I'm not gonna do it now, but it puts a round into the chamber. Then, you're ready. Just point and squeeze the trigger." Bobbi released the clip, and it slipped quickly out of the gun. "Maybe you should hold it. Get used to it." She reached for Michelle's hand only to realize that hers were shaking.

The blonde hesitated noticing the doctor's trembling hands. They started her own to quiver. "It's scary, huh? To know all that power is in this little piece of metal?"

"Yeah it is. I guess I didn't realize how much till now." She blew out a deep breath as she watched their hands wrap around the weapon. Slowly, she took her hand away.

Michelle looked from her quarry to blue eyes and swallowed. "Okay, it's a little heavy but I think I can manage it." Her finger grazed over the trigger and she squeezed experimentally. They both jumped as the gun clicked. "Whoa!"

Bobbi watched the blonde with wide eyes. "Yeah, whoa." They shared a slight moment of mirth. It passed quickly. "We'll put it somewhere close but out of sight. It should be in here since this is where we spend the most time." She searched the living room until her eyes rested on the couch cushions against their backs. "We'll put it behind here for easy access. I stopped and bought a baby monitor too just to play it safe. I want to be able to hear him while we're in another room." She pulled the box from under the table.

Michelle gave her a muted nod and sat the unloaded gun back on the table. Their gazes held, and as she had many times before, Bobbi opened her arms in invitation. Without protest, the blonde rushed into them. She burrowed so close that she could feel the other woman heartbeat. Her mind flooded with thoughts, trying to find a way to seperate it all--the danger from the life she longed to live. How do I do this?

"Talk to me. What are you thinking?" Bobbi asked, knowing there was more to discuss on the subject.

"How do we keep on living normally with this over our heads?" Michelle inquired in a whisper.

"We do what we do everyday. We have a routine that works pretty well for the both of us. We need that normalcy to keep our heads on straight. At least we'll get more time together."

Michelle smiled despite it all. "I did miss our lunches. There didn't seem to be enough time to indulge like we used to."

The doctor made a sound of amusement. "Which lunches are you referring to?"

The blonde blushed, but didn't look away. "You know the ones."

"Mmm, you miss my touch?" Bobbi quieried softly. "I still touch you."

"Yeah, but it just leaves me wanting more. You've been so patient with me, but I want more." The petite woman's gaze fell to the brunette's lips. I don't think I realized that until I didn't feel it.

Instantly, Bobbi's breath turned ragged, and her voice lowered an octave. "Do you?" How did the conversation get to this?

Michelle shivered in reaction to the doctor's lowered tone. "Oh yes. I just don't know how much."

"Mmm," the doctor clenched her hands into fist and brushed their noses together. I don't think she has any idea how much I want her. "I'd do anything to kiss you senseless right now, but I don't want to start something we can't explore right now," she murmured huskily.

The air crackled between them, and at the mention of a kiss, the blonde's eyes were rivited on the brunette's mouth. Michelle whimpered when she tried to breath and found that she couldn't.

The sound went right to Bobbi's groin. Her thighs clenched in empathy. She licked suddenly dry lips and groaned wordlessly as jade eyes tracked her every movement.

"Isn't this part of the nomalcy you were talking about? Shouldn't you kiss me before you go to work?" It was the best argument Michelle could come up with. Her heart hammered against her chest, and she could feel the heat of the other woman's breath over her face. It was most tantalizing. Her lips seemed to ache for the caress she was seeking. They felt swollen and almost trobbed. She licked them in anticipation. "Please?" Michelle pleaded breathily. "Kiss me. Touch me like you used to. It seems like forever."

Bobbi's moan was loud and almost pained. With practiced ease, she pulled Michelle's body toward her until the blonde was straddling her. Their thighs brushed, and the doctor groaned as she arched up into the contact.

Michelle gasped. "I like it. . .when you do that."

"What. . ." Bobbi slipped her hands around the blonde's waist pulling her down into her body. The brunette undulated upward, increasing the friction of the contact. ". . .this?"

Helplessly, Michelle began grinding back. "Yess." She breathed hotly into the doctor's open mouth. "More."

"God, you're gonna drive me crazy. You know that?" Still, Bobbi did not protest as their tongues met in a wet dance. Her body exploded in arousal.

Michelle fisted her hands in the doctor's thick, glorious hair, pulling her deeper into the hungry kiss. She whimpered as their bodies' cadence increased. This feels so good, so right. How could I have been worried? She wants me. She only wants me.

Needing to breathe, Bobbi tore her mouth away. She watched the blonde's flushed face and flashing eyes. "You deserve gentleness, but I've never been so hungry for anyone before. I love you so much," Bobbi muttered hoarsely. Her hands developed a mind of their own, snaking up and inside the back of the blonde's t-shirt to score hot, smooth skin.

The doctor's words sent another spasm of pleasure through Michelle. The sensitve flesh between her legs felt unbelievably moist. The flesh there pulsated and swelled, rubbing erotically against the material of her sweat pants. The contact between their bodies was teasing, and at the same time delicious. She pressed her aching mound harder into the doctor's stomach. Her body made the decision for her, and her heart followed. "Love you too. Please, don't stop," she uttered through clenched teeth.

Bobbi sobbed as she tried to still her recalcitrant body. "You. . .deserve. . .hours. Wanna take . . .my time, and show you . . .what it can be. God baby, we have to stop!" She got at last, shouting.

Toby pierced the air with a surprised cry. Michelle stiffened and whimpered. Her body shook as if she were in pain. She sucked wind in an attempt to relieve her breathlessness. Damp foreheads touched. "I. . .oh God!" Her thighs quivered. "I want you. I want all of you. I know it's taken me forever to say it. It just suddenly felt so right. Will it be like this all the way?"

Bobbi had to swallow before she could find her voice. "Yes, and so much more. I want everything to be perfect for you not some quick gropping on the couch."

The blonde laced her fingers through the dark hair spilling around them. "But don't you see? Anytime with you is perfect. It doesn't matter where it is."

The doctor's heart did a flip flop. "You mean that don't you?"

"Yes, completely." Toby's cry got louder. Michelle winced, "But I think you're right. Now, isn't the time."

Bobbi chuckled as her arousal slowly started to dissipate. "Right."

Michelle eased off the doctor's lap and ambled toward the crib and the crying infant. Bobbi leaned back and shook out rubbery legs. She glanced around the room to see the Husky peering right at her from over the table. "Ah, jeez! He's doing it again, Chelle!" She could feel the flush creeping up her neck.

The blonde shook Toby's keys in his face as she turned around. "What are you talking about?"

"Taz! He saw the whole thing!"


"Aww man!" Bobbi groaned. "And he has the audacity to not even look embarassed this time."

Michelle threw her head back and roared with laughter. Toby looked at his mother in confusion and started giggling himself.

Grumbling, Bobbi shot them both a look. She folded her hands across her chest and fumed. "It's not funny."

"Oh yes it is!" Michelle sputtered.

"It's like having your best friend watching you," the doctor sulked. As if on cue, Taz trotted around the table and bumbed her leg. He stared up at her expectantly, making his tongue loll to the side. She looked down at him and softened. Reaching out a hand, she scractched his ears. "Yeah, yeah. I love you too."

After an eternity of seconds, Michelle's laughter fizzled out. She wiped her eyes and hiccuped as she sat back down on the couch. She leaned in kissing the brunette on the cheek. She's like a big kid. My big kid. "Stop grumbling and get yourself to work. I'll be here when you get home." Hopefully, your day will be a lot easier.

Bobbi brightened considerably. She will won't she? "Okay, I'm going." She stood up and stretched, popping a few vertebrea.

Michelle watched with appreciation. God, and she's all mine. The blonde raised her head for the almost chaste kiss and smiled when Toby got a peck on his forehead. He cooed and pulled at the doctor's hair.

Bobbi laughed as she freed herself. "I'll see you both later." She headed toward her bedroom, intending to brush her teeth again and put her hair in its usual ponytail for work . The doctor called over her shoulder. "I'm gonna take Taz with me, but you have the gun if anything happens." Nothing damn well better happen.

Michelle's eyes followed the brunette's retreat. Inevitably, her gaze fell once more to the table and its contents. She's right. Despite it all, we have to keep on living and keep things as normal as possible.


With a bounce in her step, Bobbi made her way down the hall leading to her office. She stopped and her eyes widened at the sight of Janine coming out of her own office.

Taz growled at the sight of her. "Hey, don't do that!" He whimpered and stood his ground.

Janine looked down at the dog then back to the doctor. She swallowed with an audible gulp. "Uh, hi." She inched back from the familiar form of the dog and rubbed her suddenly sweaty hands down the front of her purple scrubs. Come on! Give me a chance here. I've barely started here. She prayed to whatever deity who would listen.

The doctor moved closer. "I thought you weren't coming back till next week." Bobbi eyed the woman warily. Please tell me you're over this and we can get on with business.

The nurse glanced away quickly. She's glowing just like Michelle was. "I, um, had some things to work out. I think I have for the most part with a little help." I can do this. I won't mess this up.

A dark brow moved into darker bangs. "Really? Are you, uh, okay with us?" She asked in a whisper. "There seemed to be a lot of tension and that's no way to work."

"There was." I need to be honest with her about some things anyway. "I resented you because I felt like you lead me on at first--"

Blue eyes widened even more. "That wasn't my intention at all, " she interrupted. "I was just being friendly. It was something new to me. I guess I messed up." Bobbi took a step forward.

"I understood that finally, but it didn't make me resent you any less. You were the only one to ever listen to me, and you seemed to understand." Her head hung. "I think I latched on to that. . .like I said I had some things to work out. I still do, but I'm here to work."

Bobbi nodded. "That's good, but you didn't answer my question. Are we okay?" Hesitant sincerity shined in her eyes.

Janine glanced up. Her look was steady. She's tryin', but I know things are gonna be touch and go. What did I expect? Instant acceptance? I'm willin' to work for this chance regardless. "Yeah, we will be. I'm willing to try if you'll give me another chance?"

The doctor pursed her lips and blew out a breath, disturbing her bangs. "I think I can do that. I know a lot about second chances." Taz wuffed as if he understood. "Oh, this guy right here is Taz. Say hi, Taz."

The Husky growled as he gave the nurse the once over. Janine stood stock still, knowing the dog had seen and heard her at her worst. Her muscles began to cramp. She made a decision and kneeled down, offering an outstretched hand to the dog. The growl cut off abrubtly. Taz looked up at the doctor, who stared at him in confusion. He whimpered at took a step forward toward the other woman. He sniffed the air around her before putting his nose in her hand in supplication.

Janine let out a whoosh of air. Thank you. That could have gotten weird. I saw the question in her eyes. She pat him gently and stood up again. "Um, nice dog. I'm gonna get to work. There's some files I need to organize." The nurse moved quickly out of sight.

With suspicious eyes, Bobbi watched her go. She peered down at the Husky. "What was that about?"


"Uh huh. I really wish you could talk. Come on, let's go get situated. I have a patient soon."


Once alone, Janine let her shoulders sag. "That was close, but there's no way around the hard parts this time. I wanna do this." Feeling lighter than she ever had, she reached for the files strown across her desk.


Leaving Janine to lock up, Bobbi groaned tiredly as she made her way back down the hall toward the kitchen. It had been an eventful day. The office was packed for most of the day like she knew it would be, but the emergency appointments right before lunch had been a surprise. Some people in this town still don't trust hospitals even when they're in a lot of pain. I suppose it's a good thing that they trust me, but damn it. I missed lunch. Good thing we persuaded him to go before his appendix burst. Still, she felt like pouting, and she had wanted to crawl into the phone when she heard Michelle's voice on the other end. Hearing the dissappointment in her tone had broken the doctor's heart.

Moving Taz's empty dishes under one arm, Bobbi sighed and pulled the srunchee from her hair. Her thoughts strayed to the nurse. I guess she really meant what she said. We worked well together today. I knew all along that she was a good nurse. We make a good team. Without her, I would probably have run from the office screaming. The brunette stopped at the door and sniffed. Taz bumped her from behind, but Bobbi ignored him. The most delectable smell wafted to her nose. Her stomach growled nosily, and she seemed to yawn at the same time. Oh Boy. Maybe after I eat I'll have more energy. Smiling like a fool, she juggled the keys until she found the right one.

Hearing the door open, Michelle looked up from the stove. A grin formed on her face before she could stop it. It sifted away slowly. Aww, look at her. She's dead on her feet. The blonde turned the fire down under the spaghetti sauce and moved toward the doctor.

Bobbi yawned again, but her smile seemed to get bigger. She sat the dishes on the floor, opened her arms and engulfed the blonde into a hug. Michelle, in her customary sweat pants and t-shirt, was the most welcome sight. "Mmm, missed you, and something smells so good. Is that you?" The doctor began sniffing the other woman's hair and neck.

Michelle chuckled. "No that's dinner. You look so tired." She wrapped an arm around the doctor and escorted her toward the table and the waiting toddler, who sat proud in his high chair.

"Gaaa!" Toby cried in excitement.

"I am. Hey Peanut." She ruffled his hair. "I haven't had a day like that in a long time. It was patient after patient. It took forever to get through them all. Good thing Janine came back," she added as she sat down. The grin stayed in place.

"Oh?" Michelle tried hard to sound surprised. "Good thing then."

"Yeah, she keeps things organized, and the people seem to like her." Bobbi reached out lazily. "C'mere."

Michelle swatted her hands away, but it was a half hearted attempt. "What?" She sat sideways in the doctor's lap, wiggling until she got comforable. "And why are you smiling like that?"

Bobbi blanched. "Like what?" She nuzzled the blonde's neck. "I love you," she muffled.

"I love you too, but you look. . . I don't know. . . goofy." It feels good to be able to play with her again.

"That's because I love you. So what did you do today?" Bobbi asked brightly, loving the return of their banter.

Michelle resisted the urge to roll her eyes. The doctor was adorable. "Um, did some reading--" She gasped as a warm hand palmed her stomach.

"Fan fiction?"

She could feel Bobbi's grin against her neck, and she found that she was grinning like an idiot too. "A little bit, but mostly I did some research on that college at that website you showed me a while back. I was going to call Annie, but I just figured I'd do it tomorrow since today is technically an off day anyway."

"Mmm, that's good. It will undoubtedly help you with the essay that they more than likely have on the application. It helps to know about the school." She paused. "I'm really sorry about the library. I know how much you loved going." She pulled her closer and gasped. "Damn, speaking of phones. I didn't get a chance to make those phone calls. Things got too busy. I guess I'll be doing some dialing tomorrow too."

"It's okay. I'll do what I need to and you will too. Besides, maybe I can get Annie to visit."

"Good idea. I know you'll miss her otherwise. I don't want that."

"Yeah, I'm sure she'd be more than willing to bring me some reading material since I've gone through the books in the den."

Silence stretched between them, but it wasn't an uneasy one. "This is comfortable, hmm?" Bobbi asked as she tightened her embrace.

Michelle hummed in delight. "Yes, it is, but the sauce is going to burn. I'll be right back." She tried to get up.

"No, no you're not going anywhere until I get my hello kiss." The lips that were nestled against the blonde's neck moved up to her ear. She breathed hotly into the orifice.

Michelle groaned lightly. Her eyes closed, and when she opened them again it was to see Taz sitting right in front of her, staring.. "But Taz is watching," she whispered then chuckled.

"Mm, don't care. Too tired. Let him get his own woman." She bit into Michelle's earlobe, making her squeak and laugh simultaneously.

Taz grumbled as if he understood every word.

"Okay, okay." The blonde relented. She looked down into the brunette's exhausted face and brush tendrils of midnight behind her ears. Blue eyes stared back adoringly and intensly. Michelle bit off a gasp. "How do you look at me like that? It's like I'm the only thing. . .person that exists." Curious fingers traced the doctor's eyebrows lovingly.

Bobbi fought another yawn. This was important. "For me, you are," she whispered. Immediately, she knew that saying what was in her heart was the right thing. Michelle's face went through a dramatic change.

Totally humbled and enchanted, Michelle flushed with happiness all the way to her ears. The things she says to me. They make me tingle as much as her touch does. Without another word, the blonde lowered her head and brushed the doctor's lips with her own.

Bobbi made a sound of contentment way in the back of her throat. She returned the kiss with gentle flare, worshipping Michelle's mouth as she did the woman. She explored every crevice with teeth, tongue, and lips, mapping them as if they were the most splendid of treasures to be marked and remembered forever. Their bodies hummed with mutual pleasure.

Smoke wafted around them and the alarm blared angrily. Michelle smiled into the kiss and tore her mouth away regretebly. She sucked in a breath and swated the doctor on the shoulder. "I told you it would burn." However, her eyes told the truth. "But it was worth it."

Bobbi smiled sheepishly. "It was wasn't it?"

"Mmm hmm." She got up and headed toward the stove, switching on the fan above it. "I can still make more sauce. Let's get you fed and in bed."

The brunette couldn't stifle the yawn. "But, it's early yet." She glanced at her watch. "Well hell, it's past seven! I didn't know I was in the office that long. No wonder I'm tired."

"Like I said eat and to bed with you."

Bobbi grinned lecherously. She rose and made her way toward the blonde, wrapping her arms around her from behind. "Only if you promise to take a nap with me."

Michelle shivered, but she licked her lips in anticipation. Her body softened and swelled in remembered pleasure. I want this. "You're bad. I thought you were tired?" She couldn't keep the hopeful note out of her voice.

"I should feel better after I eat. We have something to finish from this morning." Her hips undulated against the petite blonde's buttocks. It seems like I've waited forever for this. "If you still want to?"

"Oh yess, I want to," Michelle whimpered. "I'll just have to put Toby to bed first." The arms around her contracted. "B-obbi, the sauce is gonna burn again," she murmured brokenly.

"Okay, okay sorry." The doctor snatched her hands away. "Do you want me to help with anything?" She had to order her body to move away.

"No, you've been enough of a distraction. Why don't you take Toby into the living room. I should be finished in here in about fifteen minutes.

"Good," Bobbi leaned in and kissed the back of the blonde's neck and turned away.


A little more than fifteen minutes later, Michelle looked out at the scene before her. I don't know whether to be exasperated or amused. On the blanket they had used many times before, Bobbi lay on her back with her mouth slightly parted. She was fast asleep. Toby covered her chest. Held there by and arm that kept him safe and close. He was just as oblivious as the brunette. Sprawled near the doctor's feet, Taz was the only one to acknowledge her. The Husky raised his head and licked his chops. He let out a pitiful sound and went still again. Michelle smirked and shook her head. "My family. They are a sight. I wish I had a cam--" Her face brightened. With the plates of food still in her hand, she quietly headed back toward the kitchen with a new purpose. I can wrap this up. We can eat later. I've got to get this on film.

A few minutes later, she stood over them. Through the lense, the scene looked even more prescious. Her heart contracted. This is what it's all about. For a moment, her eyes strayed to the couch. She looked at the cushions as if she could see through them, knowing what was hiding there. And I think that I would do just about anything to protect it.

Let me know what you thought. I'm still that feedback ho you remember. Drop me a line at Minerva

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