~An Affair to Remember~

By: Ambrosia

Disclaimers: The characters in this story are figments of my imagination. They are solely the property of me, myself, and I J

Sexual Content: There are intimate/sexual/loving relationships between women occurring in this tale.

Violence: None. Nada. Zip. Just peace, love, and harmony. (Chuckle)

Language: Nothing that can’t be aired on a network station.

Special Thanks: Thank you Hawke and Antigone for helping me by giving the names for the establishments mentioned in this story. I had no idea what to call them until you both offered your assistance. So thank you very much. I really appreciate it J

Inspiration: I would like to thank the creators of the movie "You’ve Got Mail" for inspiring me to write this piece. I’ve watched that movie so many times I just had to write a story loosely based on it. J

Feedback: All comments (please be gentle with me—for I’m a sensitive bard J ) can be emailed to SumrBrezze@aol.com.

Part 1

Looking over her shoulder to make sure that the woman lying next to her was asleep, the blonde-haired twenty-seven-year old quietly slipped out of the bed. She tiptoed towards the door and slowly but surely eased it open before slipping out and closing it behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief, as she was able to successfully leave the room.

Feeling along the wall for the light switch, Sonny found it and flipped it on so that she would not stub her toe as she had clumsily done so many times before. Ambling over to the desk, she took a seat, wincing as the computer chair creaked a few times with the weight. A mental note to myself. Need to purchase some WD-40. Pressing a key on the keyboard, Sonny began to smile as she was greeted with her desktop picture showing a litter of puppies sleeping in a big basket.

Positioning a hand over her mouse, she moved the tiny arrow on the screen to the AOL icon and clicked it. When the sign on screen appeared, Sonny typed in her password to log onto her screen name "PerkyGrrl" before clicking the enter button. Sitting back in the chair, she impatiently waited as she listened to the modem dial. Another smile appeared on her face, as she was welcomed online. Sonny’s heart skipped a beat as she heard the male voice inform her that she had mail.

Moving the arrow to the mail icon, she clicked it. There were four new pieces of mail since the last time she checked it nearly six hours ago. One was from her best friend Sarah, two were pieces of spam that Sonny annoyingly deleted and the last one was from her. The woman happily sighed as she first clicked on Sarah’s, beginning to read.

Hey girlfriend!

I just got in from my fiftieth (yes I know that I’m exaggerating) blind date that you set me up on. I know that I say this every time, but remind me to never let you set me up again. That guy was boring with a capital B! (laugh) He spent the whole night talking about stocks and bonds. Blah blah blah. Anyway, thanks for trying to help, but I’ll take charge of my "love life" from here on out. (chuckle)

Anyway, the main reason I wrote you was to tell you this. Remember that building that they’ve been constructing across the street? Well I found out what it is. Please don’t faint. It’s going to be a coffeehouse just like us when it opens and that’s supposed to happen within a week or two. Seems like we have some real competition now. But the way I figure it, with you and I working side by side no one can defeat us Babe. (smiling) Well I’ll see you tomorrow. Go get some sleep. You’re on this computer way too much. (wink) Love ya.

Sarah

Sonny richly chuckled as she closed her friend’s email. She should have known that Sarah and Dwayne would not be compatible. Oh well. At least she gave it a try. Meanwhile, Sonny would not worry about the impending arrival of the new coffeehouse. She felt fully capable of handling a little competition. It was no big deal. Sonny compared this to a baseball game. Anything they could throw, she could hit and make a home run for her team.

Smiling brightly, Sonny clicked and opened the remaining email from Blueyez. Not being able to wipe the silly smile off of her face, the young woman began to read after glancing at the bedroom door to make sure that it was still closed.

To My Special Friend,

Hello P.G. I hope this email finds you doing well. You know what my little sister said this morning? She told me that you and I should meet for our one-year anniversary. That we should celebrate by choosing a place to meet in real time. I laughed at the time but I have to admit that I’ve been thinking about the prospect of us doing so all day long. I know we’ve never really talked about doing this before but what do you think? We live in the same city…it wouldn’t be that hard to do so…Well you let me know your thoughts on the idea. Rather we meet in real time or celebrate online doesn’t really matter to me. As long as I’m with my favorite girl in the whole wide world *smiling*. Well I should be going now. Need to get some sleep because I have a busy day ahead of me. I’ll talk with you later P.G. Sweet dreams.

Yours always,

Blue

Sonny sat back in her chair deep in thought. Should she and Blue meet? Sarah would probably cheer her on, but Sonny had a feeling that her girlfriend would not care for the idea. Still thinking about it, the young woman clicked a button on the screen so that a fresh email was before her. Positioning her fingers on the keyboard, Sonny began to construct her reply to Blue. After nearly half an hour of deleting and rewriting, Sonny had the email done just the way she wanted it. Putting the tiny arrow on the send key, she clicked and watched as the email vanished from sight.

Logging off, the blonde arose to her feet and stretched before heading back to the bedroom, turning off the light in the process. Opening the door quietly, she stepped inside before closing it behind her. Tiptoeing to the bed, Sonny got into it just when her girlfriend rolled over, throwing an arm across her stomach. Although it was dark, Sonny could tell that the woman was still asleep. Placing a hand on Laura’s cheek, Sonny started to softly caress it as she attempted to focus her thoughts on this woman laying next to her, but her mind kept drifting to Blue.

Sonny once again felt the guilt creeping up. It was a constant companion of hers now. In the beginning things between her and Blue had been wholesome and innocent enough, but during the past few months they had become more intimate emotionally wise. Sure they called themselves friends, but there was much more to it in the way that they spoke to one another. If that was not bad enough, Sonny had admitted to herself months ago that she had feelings for Blue. The type of feelings that she knew should only be for Laura. In a way, Sonny felt as though she was cheating on her girlfriend, or at least cheating her, but she could not bring herself to end this relationship with Blue. That was not an option. She was in too deep.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sitting at the kitchen table drinking her second cup of coffee while reading the newspaper, Jacqueline Foster looked up as a younger woman who looked a lot like her except for her short height of five feet five, entered. They greeted one another as the younger woman walked over to the coffeepot and poured herself a cup, adding both cream and sugar before taking a seat at the small round table. She stared at the woman who was busy reading the newspaper again until she was noticed.

"What do you want Chloe?" Jacqueline asked in a pleasant tone of voice as she neatly folded the newspaper before placing it on the table.

The other woman cocked her head to the side. "Whatever makes you think that I want something?"

Jacqueline smirked. "Don’t try to play innocent. I know all of your looks and the one you’re currently wearing plainly says that you want something. So what is it?"

The younger woman grinned. "All right. You got me. Can I go to Hawaii with a few friends Jack?"

"That depends. Who are these friends? Do I know them?"

Chloe sighed. "Jack, I’m twenty years old."

Jack nodded as she picked up her coffee and took a sip. "Yes, I’m well aware of your age. And if that is your way of letting me know that you are an adult then why did you ask me in the first place if you could go Chloe?" She sat back in her chair while crossing one ankle over the other underneath the table. "Seems to me a grownup would just say I’m going to Hawaii with a few friends Jack."

"Okay. I’m going to Hawaii with a few friends Jack."

"Over my dead body you are."

"Jack!"

Jacqueline successfully hid her amusement. Her little sister was so adorable. She had the urge to reach out and pinch the girl’s cheek. "What?"

"Come on. Just let me go," Chloe pleaded. "I’ll be very responsible." She smiled charmingly at her sister, hoping that it and her words would do the trick. "You raised me to be that way."

Jack chuckled richly. "Flattery will get you absolutely nowhere," she paused. "Who is going on this trip and how long is it supposed to last? You know the coffeehouse is opening for business next week and I thought you wanted to be there for its grand opening." Jack took another sip of coffee. "It’s never good to miss your first day of work."

"Justine, Mary, and Antonia. You’ve known all three of them since we became friends in the eighth grade. We’ll be gone for five days, which means I’ll be back a couple days before the grand opening. Oh, please Jack let me go on this trip. I promise I’ll be responsible and I’ll call you every day if you want me to." Chloe gave her sister the look she often used when she really wanted to do something.

"Don’t give me those big blue eyes." Jack shook her head, not buying the act for one minute. "I have the same ones." She fell into thought for a few minutes as she felt Chloe’s eyes upon her. Looking at the twenty-year-old she said, "All right. You can go to Hawaii but you better make good on your promises. Call me every evening. I’ll give you a phone card and some spending money."

Chloe screamed in glee as she scooted her chair closer to her sister’s and wrapped her arms around the woman’s neck, hugging her tight. Jack smiled as she hugged Chloe back. "Thank you Jack! You won’t regret this. I’m gonna go pack now. We leave tomorrow." Standing up, Chloe almost began to skip out of the kitchen before she remembered something. Turning back to her sister, she walked over to the woman as she removed a folded sheet of paper from the pocket of her shorts. She gave the piece of paper to Jack, who asked what it was. Chloe grinned. "It’s an email from Perky. I found it this morning and took the liberty of printing a copy out so you wouldn’t have to bother with logging on to get it."

"That’s so very sweet of you." Jack frowned. "I thought I told you not to open my email anymore brat."

Chloe shrugged. "Sorry. This is the last time. I just wanted to see what Perky had to say to your last email."

Jack arched an eyebrow. "And how did you know what I wrote last night?"

"Simple. I was reading over your shoulder." Chloe grinned. "Your senses must be dulling in your old age Jack. You had no clue I was there."

Jack smirked. "Thirty-two is not old. Now go away before I change my mind about Hawaii." She began to unfold the paper, anxious to read what her Internet friend had to say. Grinning, Chloe leaned down and kissed her sister on the cheek before walking out of the kitchen, leaving a smiling Jack. Smoothing out the paper, the woman began to silently read.

Dearest Blue,

Wow. I can’t believe that a whole year is nearly upon us. Where does the time go? Actually, I feel like I’ve known you all of my life instead of nearly three hundred and sixty five days. I’m so overjoyed that we met. Blue, I really don’t know how I managed before having you in my life. I don’t know how to fully explain it, but you make my heart soar. If no one else can, you have this ability…this gift to lift my spirits when they are down. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you are a blessing to me Blue. Thanks for you (smile).

Anyway, enough of my jabbering. You mentioned the idea of us meeting when our anniversary comes in three weeks. I’ve given it some thought and I think that’s a great idea. I would love us to meet. I’m feeling nervous already, but I know this is what I truly want. More than anything else. So, our anniversary is on the last Friday of this month. Where would you like to meet? Let me know. I’ll see you later Blue. Take care.

~PG~

Folding the sheet of paper, Jack tucked it into her pants pocket with a goofy smile on her lips. She made PerkyGrrl’s heart soar. It was probably the best compliment she had ever received. What a wonderful way to start the day. Arising from the chair, Jack strolled over to the kitchen window. Opening it, she stuck her head out, feeling the heat from the sun on her bronzed face. Gazing at the clear blue September sky Jack thought that it was a most glorious day. This was one of those days that should be spent at the beach. Jack would be amongst the many people that were probably going to flock there, but she had work to do. Her coffeehouse was opening next week and she wanted to make sure that everything was in order.

Heading back to the kitchen table, Jack picked up her cup and drank the remaining contents before she walked into the living room, taking a seat at the computer. She was going to head out, but there was something that she wanted to do before leaving. Quickly logging onto her screen name, Jack began writing her reply to PerkyGrrl. As she did so, she occasionally looked up to make sure that Chloe was not somewhere peeping.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Honey, you spend far too much time on that thing."

Sonny glanced up as Laura walked into the living room dressed and ready to go to work. Logging off, after having just read an email she received twenty minutes ago from Blueyez, Sonny arose from her computer chair, following Laura into the kitchen. She poured her girlfriend a cup of espresso and handed her a blueberry bagel. Thanking her, Laura took a bite of the bagel before washing it down with the hot liquid.

"It’s not a thing. It’s a computer," Sonny replied. "Say it with me. Com-pu-ter."

Laura smirked. "Very cute." Reaching out, she ruffled the blonde’s short hair. "Seriously, computers are very addicting." Ignoring Sonny’s "you don’t say" look, she went on, "I’m writing my next column on it." Walking closer to Sonny, Laura tenderly kissed her lips. "I’ve been thinking about interviewing you for it." She grinned as she took another bite of the bagel.

Sonny arched an eyebrow as she smacked her lips once. Yummy. Laura tasted like blueberry. "Oh? And what shall I say in this interview?" Sonny hopped up onto the kitchen counter as she put a mock serious look on her face. "Hello. My name is Madison Campbell and I’m addicted to the Internet." As Laura playfully slapped her on the arm, Sonny laughed.

"You make fun, but this article is going to rock." Laura took another bite of the bagel before putting down on the plate. It did not stay there long because Sonny picked it up and began to finish her girlfriend’s breakfast.

"I’m sure it will my love." Sonny gave her a warm smile, which Laura returned as she slipped between the blonde’s thighs, standing there. Wrapping her arms around Laura’s neck, Sonny’s lips descended upon the woman’s. They kissed for nearly a minute before Laura broke away, not really wanting to.

"I have to go," Laura said while glancing at her watch. "You should be on your way too. It’s almost eight. I love you." Leaning forward, she kissed Sonny once more.

"Me too," Sonny replied as she watched Laura pick up her briefcase. She smiled when the woman winked at her before she headed towards the front door. Jumping down from the counter, Sonny met Laura at the door and opened it for her. "Have a good day sweetheart. Try not to work too hard."

"You too." Smiling, and feeling like the luckiest person on the planet, Laura walked out of the apartment to start her day. Closing the door, Sonny went to look for her Nikes before she got a start on hers as well.

Five minutes later, Sonny was leaving her apartment with her bike at her side. Rolling the bike out onto the pavement, she reached for the blue-tinted shades hooked onto her sky blue blouse and put them on. Straddling the bicycle, Sonny put her helmet on as she smiled at a neighbor getting into their car. Sitting down, Sonny placed her feet on the pedals and began the ride to work. She had a car, but Sonny enjoyed riding her bicycle to work since it was in such close proximity to her apartment.

While riding down the street, Sonny looked around her with a slight smile on her face. This was the beginning of another gorgeous day. She absolutely loved Florida and planned on living here for the rest of her life. Blue eyes…err blue skies, hot sun…Sunny glanced across the street where two blondes wearing short shorts were jogging together in the opposite direction…hot girls…Yes, there was no place like Florida. The best thing about it was that Blueyez lived here and they would meet soon. In less than a month, Sonny would see her. The woman smiled again as she stopped at a stop sign before cautiously proceeding. How very lucky she was.

Picking up her pace on the bike, Sonny easily glided along the street feeling the gentle warm breeze flowing past her. Glancing both ways, she continued across the street when a car suddenly came barreling around the corner. Sonny tried to get out of the automobile’s way but it was too fast. As the car slammed into her bicycle, the blonde went flying into it. Knocking her head on the windshield, Sonny’s vision went black as she slipped into unconsciousness.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sonny softly moaned as she heard someone call her name. Slowly opening her eyes, she blinked a few times before she could focus on the concerned looking woman standing over her. It was then that she noticed the woman’s eyes. They were a crystal blue.

"Blue," Sonny said in a faint voice.

The woman leaned down so that she could hear Sonny better. "Hmm? I didn’t hear you clearly hon. What did you say?"

The blonde shook her head to clear her thoughts. Glancing around, she noticed that she was in what appeared to be a hospital room. Feeling a throbbing pain in her left arm, she looked down at it to see that she was wearing a white cast on her forearm. She must have broken it in the accident. The accident. A car had hit her. Looking up at the woman…the gorgeously breathtaking woman standing next to her bed, Sonny wondered if she was the one responsible for the collision.

Deciding to ask the question that most people who wake up in a hospital after an accident inquire, Sonny said, "What happened?"

Letting out a long sigh, the blue-eyed woman ran a hand through her shoulder length jet-black hair. "You were in an accident," she started. "I hit you with my car. I’m so sorry. To tell you the truth, I was talking on my cell phone and wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. By the time I noticed you, I attempted to swerve but it was just too late." Reaching down, she briefly patted Sonny on the shoulder. "But you’re going to be just fine. The doctor said that you have a slight concussion and your left arm was fractured in the impact, but other than those things just a few minor bruises. How do you feel?"

"I feel like I was hit by a car," Sonny replied as she softly chuckled.

The woman looked at her in surprise. "You seem to be taking this well."

Sonny smiled at her. "Guess you could call me a good sport. I was very lucky. Things like that teach you not to ever take life for granted, you know?"

The woman nodded, speechless. If the situation had been reversed, she knew that she would have been going off at the person responsible for nearly taking her life, no matter if it was an accident or not.

"How are you?" Sonny suddenly inquired.

The blue-eyed woman arched a brow. "How am I?"

"Yes. Were you hurt?"

The woman shook her head in bewilderment. Sonny must have been one in a million. "Let me get this straight. I hit you with my car because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. You’re the one in the hospital bed and you’re asking me how I’m doing?"

The blonde nodded, suddenly realizing that she had a wicked headache. "Is that so strange?" Feeling a slight pressure on her forehead, Sonny reached up and touched the area to notice that there was a band wrapped around her head. She winced at a particularly tender spot.

"I guess it isn’t. Just very noble of you. I’m just fine. Not a scratch on me." Noticing as Sonny winced, she added, "The doctor had to give you a few stitches in your forehead, but he said that there probably wouldn’t be much of a scar if any."

"Oh, I don’t mind having a scar. It’ll be a cool visual when I tell my grandchildren the story of how you and I met." Sonny smiled again. The other woman decided that she liked the way the blonde did that. Sonny had the kind of smile that could light up a room.

A hint of a smile appeared on the blue-eyed woman’s lips. "The story of you and I?"

Sonny nodded. "Yes. And if I’m going to tell them the story, then I should know your name." She extended her hand towards the other woman. "My name is Madison Campbell, though you probably already know that. Everyone just calls me Sonny." She smiled fondly. "Well except for my mother."

The woman gave Sonny’s hand a shake, liking the warmth that she felt from the blonde’s palm. She found that she did not want to let go, but she did so anyway. "Nice to meet you Sonny. I just wish it were under better circumstances. My name is Jack. Jack Foster."

"Nice to meet you too Jack, Jack Foster." Sonny winked at her and Jack found herself blushing. She never blushed. The blonde started to grin as she caught sight of the reddening in Jack’s cheeks. "So Jack, do you know when I can break out of this joint?"

"Well I’ll go look for a doctor, but first there is a little matter that I would like to discuss with you." Reaching into a briefcase, Jack removed a checkbook from it and a pen. Opening the checkbook, she clicked the tip of the pen down and began to write as she said, "I think that we can keep this out of court and just between us." As she stopped writing, Jack turned her eyes to Sonny. "So how does twenty thousand sound?"

"You want to pay me off?"

"Is that not enough?" Jack nodded, thinking. "Okay. How about thirty thousand then? You think that might cover it?"

A small sigh escaped Sonny. "I think it’s time for you to go," she quietly said. "Thank you for staying to make sure that I was all right. Rest assured that I won’t attempt to sue you. I don’t want so much as a penny from you Ms. Foster."

What happened here? "Sonny, I didn’t mean anything by it. Please don’t be upset."

"I’m not upset. I’m just disappointed. I thought that you and I could be friends but I guess that I was wrong," she paused, taking a deep breath. "Now please go."

Jack found that the last thing she wanted to do was leave. Though she did not know this woman from Eve, the thought that Sonny was disappointed in her upset Jack greatly. "We can be friends Sonny. I’m sorry. That was terribly crass of me."

Turning her head to the right, Sonny gazed out of the window not saying another word. Jack stood by her bed for a couple of minutes, hoping that she would say something. Softly sighing, Jack tore the check out of her checkbook and placed it on Sonny’s lap. "Since I already signed it, no use throwing away a perfectly good check," Jack started, as she turned to her briefcase, closing it before picking it up. "If you ever change your mind, it’s blank so you can write in any amount that you see fit," she paused, waiting for Sonny to reply, but there was no answer. "Okay then. I guess I’ll go. Goodbye Sonny."

~~~~~~~~~~

After having just got out of the bathtub, Sonny put on a terry cloth robe before strolling into the living room. She had just arrived home about two hours ago after having spent a night at the hospital for observation. While she took a bath, Laura went to get the two of them some lunch. Since she was not back yet Sonny hurried to her computer and logged on so that she could write Blue back. Before she did so, the young woman reread her cyber-companion’s last email.

Hey you,

Do you know that every time I receive an email from you that I start smiling like a big dope? *laugh * Well it’s true. And I’m usually not the type to wear dopey smiles, but you have this knack for causing me to do so. Thanks to my little sister who was snooping in my email again, I have a copy of your latest email on paper (the snoop printed it so that I could read it). Anyway, I have folded that piece of paper and slipped it into my pocket. I will carry it around with me all day and that way I’ll know that a part of you is with me.

Oh, god. Can’t believe I just wrote that. That was sappy. I’m usually not sappy. Look what you’ve done to me PG *grin *

Well since I’ve gone this far, I might as well get even sappier. How would you like us to meet for the first time at Disneyworld, the ‘happiest’ place on earth? Though our anniversary is on a Friday (a work day for most) I can make it there. Can you? If you can, I was thinking that we could meet there in the morning and then spend the whole day and evening together. What do you think about that?

Yours truly,

Blue

Smiling, Sonny hit the reply button before positioning her fingers over the keyboard. She thought for a few moments before she began to write her reply.

Dearest Blue,

I know that I’m sappy. So if I’m sappy and you’re sappy then there is nothing wrong with that. Let’s just be sappy together (smiling). You’ve mentioned having a sister before. How old is she? What’s she like?

I think us meeting at Disneyworld is a wonderful idea! I’m so excited I’m nearly jumping up and down in my seat!! Since I have my own business, I know that I can have the time off (wink). We can meet at the front entrance when the park opens. I’ll be wearing…a pink rose in my hair so that you can recognize me (smile). Oh, I’m so excited. I can’t wait for September 29th to arrive so that I can see my Blue. I’ll get going now. See you soon.

~PG~

A few minutes after she sent the email, Sonny logged off of the Internet. She was about to arise from her chair when she heard a key turning in the front door. Swiveling around in the chair, Sonny smiled as Laura entered her apartment, carrying a white plastic bag. Lightly sniffing the air, the blonde smiled as she detected what was in the bag. Laura had brought Mexican food, which happened to be Sonny’s favorite. Oh, what a great gal I have Sonny thought just as another pang of guilt hit her because of this online relationship with Blue.

She attempted to shake memories of Blue out of her mind, as she arose to meet Laura. Kissing her girlfriend on the lips, Sonny took the bag from the woman. Both headed towards the kitchen, where Sonny put the bag on a small table as Laura got them something to drink. Taking a seat at the table, Sonny began to rifle through the bag as her girlfriend asked how she was feeling.

"Oh, I’m doing all right for a woman who was recently hit with a Mercedes." Glancing over her shoulder at Laura, Sonny gave her a bright smile.

Walking over to the table, Laura placed two glasses of lemonade on it before she got down to the floor on her knees and wrapped her arms around Sonny’s waist. Looking up at the woman she said, "Please don’t joke about it like that." She hugged the blonde to her tightly while whispering, "I could have lost you. And that would have killed me."

Closing her eyes, Sonny hugged Laura back just as tightly. "I’m sorry sweetie." Pulling back, she looked into Laura’s eyes. Laura had tears in her light brown eyes. She hardly ever cried. "But I’m okay, see?"

The other woman nodded as she blinked the tears away. "Yes, I see Honey. You’re more than okay." Reaching up, she tenderly kissed Sonny. "You’re terrific. I love you."

Softly smiling, Sonny whispered, "I love you too."

The two women shared another hug before Laura arose to her feet and took a seat. Wiping at her eyes, Laura suddenly thought of something. Looking at Sonny who was busy opening a white box containing an enchilada meal, she asked, "Honey, how did you know it was a Mercedes? Didn’t the accident happen kind of fast?"

Nodding, Sonny found a plastic fork in the bag. Shoveling spanish rice onto the fork, she raised it to her lips while replying, "Yes, it did, but I had just enough time to notice the Mercedes-Benz emblem standing proudly on that shiny black hood."

Shaking her head, Laura took a sip of her drink. "She must be loaded. You’re going to use that check aren’t you?"

"We already discussed this Laura. I don’t want her money."

"But she owes it to you. The woman hit you with her car because she wasn’t paying attention to her driving. You could have been killed Sonny."

The blonde took a deep breath as she reached over and covered Laura’s hand with her own. "I know, but as you can see I’m intact."

"You’re not intact. Look at your arm!"

Sonny glanced at the cast on her left arm before looking at her girlfriend as she shrugged a little. "Okay, so I have one broken bone. It’ll heal."

"That’s good. Let it heal with fifty thousand dollars or more in your bank account…"

"Laura…let’s drop this conversation. I’m not going to use that check. In fact…" Getting up, Sonny walked out of the kitchen with Laura following close behind her. Reaching the bedroom, Sonny walked to her nightstand. Opening the top drawer, she took out the check. Turning to face Laura, the blonde held up the blank check for her to see. "This is going in the trash." She balled up the piece of paper as her girlfriend slightly winced, and then tossed it in the wastebasket. Smiling now, Sonny said, "Let’s go eat." Kissing her girlfriend on the cheek, the young woman headed out of the bedroom.

Starting to follow her, Laura stopped and turned towards the wastebasket. Sonny was throwing away the opportunity of a lifetime. How often does a person receive a blank check from someone who obviously has a lot of money? That check could do wonders for the coffeeshop. Sonny and her partner Sarah could really use the money.

Glancing behind her, Laura quickly leaned down and grabbed the check, which was now wrinkled from having been balled up. Smoothing it out as best she could, Laura folded the check in half and tucked it into her pocket. With a little persistence from her girlfriend, Sonny would soon realize that this check was a valuable gift.

~~~~~~~~~~

As he noticed Laura’s car pulling up outside, the man hurried away from the window and turned towards two women. "She’s here!" he shouted as all three rushed to hide behind the counter. A bell chimed as the door was opened a minute later and Sonny walked inside. She was barely able to close the door behind her before the three people behind the counter popped up, simultaneously yelling, "Welcome back Sonny!!!"

The blonde woman smiled as she noticed they were all wearing party hats and one of the women had a small round cake in her hands with lit candles on top. "Aaw, you guys are so sweet," Sonny stated as she walked over towards them. Being instructed to blow out the candles, she did so before everyone clapped.

Giving her friends and co-workers a warm smile, Sonny thought of how thrilled she was to be back at work. Laura had insisted that she stay home and rest for a few days before returning, and being locked up all that time had nearly driven Sonny up the wall. Being made to stay home and rest was not the only thing that had nearly driven Sonny mad. After they ate the Mexican food the day Sonny arrived home from the hospital, Laura disconnected the keyboard from the computer and locked it in the trunk of her car. Sonny just about had a fit when she did it.

"What are you doing?"

Winding the cord around the keyboard, Laura replied as she looked at her perturbed girlfriend, "While you’re taking a few days off, I know you’ll probably just spend most of that time on your computer, so I’m confiscating your keyboard." Noticing that Sonny was getting ready to argue, Laura held up a hand. "You are not home to surf and chat, you are home to get some rest. You don’t need to be typing with your arm in a cast. I think you can survive a few days without AOL."

Well obviously, she had indeed survived, but if Sonny did not get to log on soon…very soon she would explode! During the last few days, Sonny’s thoughts had often been of Blue and how worried the woman probably was to not have heard from her. Glancing towards the door leading to her and Sarah’s office, Sonny felt anxious to get to the computer that she had in there. She then looked back at her co-workers, who were cutting pieces of cake and putting them on paper plates. Sonny chuckled.

"Isn’t it a bit early to be eating chocolate cake?"

"Nonsense," Nicole Sanders, whom everyone called Hawke said as she thrust a paper plate holding a nice sized piece of cake into Sonny’s hand, "it’s never too early for chocolate." The twenty-three year old winked at her boss as she picked up her own plate and began to eat.

Sonny chuckled again as she reached out a hand and lightly ruffled Hawke’s short spiky hair. "I like that color. What do you call it?"

"Thanks," Hawke replied after swallowing. "I got tired of green, so I dyed it this color the night before last. It’s called Flamingo Pink."

"I’ve been trying to get her to do a rainbow thing but she won’t," Peter interjected as he grinned at Sonny.

"Excuse me if I rather not go around looking like a pack of Skittles," Hawke swiftly replied as she looked at Peter. Over the past couple of years, Sonny and Sarah had grown used to their constant bickering. It was amusing because Peter and Hawke often resembled an old married couple.

Peter continued grinning as he looked back at her. "Oh, but you don’t have a problem looking like cotton candy? Every time I see you, I have an urge to go to a carnival." He laughed as the young woman gave him a light slap on the back of the head, which only proved to make him laugh more.

Sarah chuckled as she walked towards the window and turned the "open" sign over. "Now, now children. This is Sonny’s first day back therefore please try to get along."

"He started it," Hawke whined, though she was wearing a broad smile.

Sonny laughed as she polished off half her slice. She had missed these guys. Half the reason she loved coming to work was because she got to spend time with her closest friends. This was more like playtime rather than a job. She, Sarah, Hawke, and Peter always had fun with one another.

Nearly five years ago, Sonny and Sarah, her best friend since they were freshmen in high school, opened their coffeehouse "Bean There, Done That". At first, business had been slow, but it was not too long before they started to have a parade of customers and became one of the most popular coffeehouses in Orlando.

A little over a year later, Peter joined the team and not long after him so did Hawke. Sonny and Sarah hired Peter on the spot after he showed how skilled he was when it came to coffee. The man knew how to make every drink from an amaretto coffee to a vanilla cloud. In fact, over the years Peter had taught them a great deal of what they knew. Hawke on the other hand, when she first applied for a job at the coffeehouse, had a lot to learn. On her very first day at "Bean There, Done That", Peter took the then nineteen-year-old under his wing. Through patience and many coffee beans, Peter taught Hawke the art of coffee making. Both Sonny and Sarah swore to this very day that the first time Hawke made a cappuccino on her own, they saw a proud tear in Peter’s eye though he denied it.

Walking over to her friend, Sarah put an arm around Sonny’s shoulders as she smiled at her. "So how are you feeling Babe?"

Sonny wrapped her good arm around her friend’s waist as she returned the smile. "I’m doing pretty good." She glanced out of the window across the street. That building appeared as though it was done. She briefly wondered how it looked inside. "Have you heard anymore news on our rival?"

"Well apparently they’re opening for business later this week. That’s about all I know. It’s been kept pretty hush hush." Sarah looked at her friend. "But hey, don’t worry about it Babe. We can take ‘em."

Sonny nodded, smiling. "Yeah. They don’t stand a chance."

~~~~~~~~~~

Sitting at a table in her soon to open coffeehouse, Jack opened her laptop. Quickly logging onto her AOL screen name, she sighed as she checked her email. There was one new email since the last time she checked, which was twenty minutes ago, but it was not from PerkyGrrl. Jack wondered for the billionth time why it was taking her friend so long to write back. An expression of worry appeared on Jack’s face as she tried not to think negatively. There had to be a perfectly good reason why PerkyGrrl had not given her a reply in the past few days.

So what was it?

Opening a fresh email, Jack began to write to her Internet companion. It was times like these when she wished that she at least had PerkyGrrl’s phone number, but both of them had agreed in the beginning not to get too personal. Jack’s own cell phone started to ring as she typed, but the woman ignored it. Whatever…whomever it was could wait.

PG,

If you have been busy the past few days I understand, I would just appreciate it if you would send me an email to let me know that you are all right. I’m very worried about you hon. Just let me know how you’re doing.

Blue

Positioning the tiny arrow over the send button, Jack pressed the enter key and watched as her email vanished. Maybe now she would hear something from PG by this evening. She most certainly hoped so. Logging off, Jack closed her laptop as she noticed Leslie Antigone, her consultant heading her way. She offered the woman a smile as Leslie took a seat in the chair opposite her own.

"Hey, what’s up?" Jack started.

Sitting back in the chair, Leslie studied Jack as she crossed one leg over the other, causing her skirt to raise higher. Almost in reflex, Jack’s blue eyes strayed to her consultant’s long gorgeous legs, remembering those times long ago when they used to be wrapped around her waist. Blinking, Jack shook her head in an attempt to rid her mind of those thoughts. It’s been far too long since I’ve had any good lovin’. Hell, it’s been too long since I’ve had any lovin’ at all.

Leslie faintly grinned as she noticed where Jack’s eyes had momentarily been. She had a good idea what the other woman might have been thinking. Poor thing. All work and no play, I bet. Well if Leslie had her way, it would not remain that way for much longer. Over the past six months they had started working together to create this coffeehouse, the fire that Leslie deemed had died out years ago when she and Jack were at item, was burning red hot again.

"Funny, I could ask you the same thing Jack," Leslie started. "You’ve sort of been in your own little world all day. Is something bothering you?" she asked in a voice laced with concern. Leslie fought the urge to reach over and sandwich one of Jack’s hands between both of her own.

Jack shook her head. "I don’t know what you’re talking about Leslie. Nothing is bothering me," she gave a momentary pause. "But thanks for asking." She offered her ex a smile.

"Are you worried about Chloe being in Hawaii? She’s a big girl now Jack. You’ve raised her right and I know she’s just fine. She and her friends are probably having a ball right at this moment." Leslie gave the other woman a reassuring smile. "Besides, knowing you, you probably have her calling you three times a day to let you know how things are going, so you should realize she’s okay."

Jack suddenly laughed, as did Leslie. "Hey, that’s not true." She grinned at the consultant. "Chloe’s only supposed to call me once every evening."

Leslie chuckled. "I figured you had her on some type of schedule." She smiled fondly, remembering how she used to observe Jack with Chloe. There was always a warmth and softness in Jack when she was with her sister, talking to her, teaching her that she rarely showed to anyone else. "You’re a very good big sister Jack."

Jack felt a blush creeping up her cheeks. "Thanks Leslie," she almost mumbled, feeling a bit uncomfortable with the compliment. She was not the kind of person that received them often.

"Is there anything that I can do for you?"

Glancing across the street at the much smaller coffeehouse, Jack formed an idea before looking across the table at Leslie. "Actually, I think that there is…"

~~~~~~~~~~

Handing the latest customer his cup of coffee, Hawke smiled as she told him to have a good day. After he left the counter, she turned to the small radio that she always kept by the cash register. Reaching into a pocket of her jeans, she took out a tape. Opening the tape cassette deck, she slipped the tape in. As she did so, Peter came up behind her asking Hawke what she was about to play.

"Aretha Franklin," Hawke replied. "Sorry Petey, I don’t have any Beach Boys for ya." She shrugged while grinning.

Peter smirked at her. "One, how many times do I have to tell you not to call me Petey? Please don’t. And two, I like modern music unlike someone I know. You seem to be trapped back in the sixties and seventies."

Not standing too far away from them, Sarah shook her head as she observed Hawke and Peter. There they go again.

"Pe…ter…it was in the sixties and seventies that they knew how to make good quality music about life and love. Today it’s difficult to find that kind of music. All these boy groups around cannot begin to compare with those such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Donna Summers. Not to say that there aren’t any good musicians today, but it’s not like it was thirty years ago." Hawke sadly shook her pink head.

Behind gold-rimmed glasses, Peter regarded the young woman quietly for a moment. "Hawke, thirty years ago you weren’t even thought of."

She nodded. "I know. That’s why I wish I had been born around 1955. That way I could have truly experienced the Disco Era. Going to nightclubs…dancing until dawn under that big shiny silver ball…"

Peter suddenly chuckled. Looking up at him curiously, Hawke asked what he found amusing. "Oh, I was just trying to imagine you in bell bottoms and platform shoes." He chuckled again as he dodged Hawke’s hand, which was heading directly for his head.

Sarah laughed as she watched Hawke and Peter in amusement. Sure they bickered a lot, but the pair could be quite entertaining at times. Sarah was about to say something in the hopes of changing the subject before Peter ended up with a concussion when the door to she and Sonny’s office suddenly slammed. Quickly looking over, she saw her best friend standing in front of it, wearing an irritated expression. Sarah asked what was wrong. Last she knew, Sonny had went in there fifteen minutes ago to check her email.

"I couldn’t get online. I tried and tried, but it wouldn’t let me. I kept receiving the same message. Please try again later."

Sarah walked over to stand next to Sonny. "Don’t worry," she started in a quiet voice, "you’ll be able to get online soon so you can get your latest email from Blue." A few months back, Sonny had confided in Sarah, Hawke, and Peter about Blue. She simply had to tell someone and she knew that she could trust them not to breathe a word to anyone else.

Not seeing any other customers, Hawke and Peter hurried over to the pair. "What’s wrong?" Hawke asked. "Bad news from Blue? If she hurt you in anyway, I’ll find out where she lives and I’ll kick her butt."

That caused Sonny to laugh as she reached out and briefly hugged Hawke. "Thanks sweetie, but no, I didn’t get any bad news from her. In fact, I didn’t get any news at all. I can’t get online. It’s like fate is trying to keep us apart." She sighed. "Maybe fate is trying to tell me that my correspondence with Blue is wrong."

"Honey, if that’s what fate is trying to tell you, it’s a moron," Peter said as he squeezed Sonny’s shoulder. "What you and Blue have is special. Call me a big romantic but I think she’s the one for you. Carpe Blue, Sonny." Winking at her, Peter gave the blonde a brilliant smile, showing a deep set of dimples. He was a very handsome and good-hearted man, and Sonny always thought that if she and he were straight that he would be perfect for her.

Sonny smiled at her three friends. "Thanks. You guys are the best."

"You just now figuring this out Sonny?" Sarah smiled as the other two chuckled.

"Hey, I have an idea to cheer Sonny up," Hawke stated as she pointed to a vacant table close to the counter. "Sonny, will you please go set there?" Nodding, the blonde walked over to the table, wondering what Hawke had up her sleeve. She watched as the other three moved over to the counter and spoke among themselves.

Hawke removed a tape from another of her pants and pockets and held it up so that Sarah and Peter could see it. "Okay, she’s sort of down right now so let’s lift her up. How familiar are the both of you with Barry White songs? Do ya’ll even know who Barry White is?"

Sarah lightly cleared her throat to get the other woman’s attention. "You’re asking me if I know of Barry White?"

"Now you see Sarah that would be wrong if I just assumed you knew Barry White because you are an African-American." She looked at Peter. "Just like it would be wrong if I assumed you listened to the Village People." She tried to keep a grin off of her face, but she couldn’t. Peter merely smirked.

Sarah chuckled. "You’re right Hawke. You probably know more about black musicians than I do."

Peter nodded. "Considering you listen to country music."

"I don’t listen to country," Sarah retorted. "You saw me listening to Garth Brooks one day a couple weeks ago and it was only one song. Just one song. I like R&B and soft rock."

Hawke softly gasped. "Garth Brooks, Sarah?" If there was one type of music that you would never catch Hawke listening to, it would be country. She did like a couple of LeAnn Rimes songs, but that was it.

"Just one song!" Sarah nearly whined. "And so what if I did like country music? What’s wrong with that?" She crossed her arms over her chest as she regarded Hawke and Peter.

Hawke shook her head. "Absolutely nothing is wrong with it Sarah. If you like Garth Brooks it’s not a problem." She grinned. "Whatever floats your boat, toots." Hawke grinned again as Sarah stuck her tongue out at her. Turning to her radio, Hawke ejected her Aretha Franklin tape before replacing it with her Barry White tape. Looking back at her two friends she said, "Now what have we learned kids?" Both Peter and Sarah shrugged.

"I haven’t the faintest clue. What have we learned?" Peter asked.

"You can’t judge a book by its cover."

Both of them nodded as Peter said, "Right Ms. Sanders. Now what are we singing?"

"Ya’ll familiar with "Can’t Get Enough of Your Love?" They both nodded as Hawke sighed in relief. "Good. You guys can sing backup while I’ll do Barry’s part."

"Waitaminute," Sarah said. "Why do you get to be Barry?" She indicated Peter. "Shouldn’t Peter be him since he’s a man?"

"That remains to be seen." Hawke winked at Peter as he gave her another smirk.

"Ha ha. I’m so very amused by your antics," the man said. "Push play Pinky."

Hawke put a finger on the play button as she asked Peter and Sarah if they were ready. When they both nodded, she pressed down before all three turned to face Sonny, who was patiently waiting for them to start. As music started to play, the various customers in the coffeehouse gave their attention to the three behind the counter.

"I’ve heard people say that too much of anything is not good for you, baby," Hawke spoke the words in as deep a voice as she could manage, while some in the coffeehouse smiled and chuckled. "Oh, no. But I don’t know about that. There’s many times that we’ve loved…we’ve shared love and made love. It doesn’t seem to me like it’s enough." She shrugged a little. "It’s just not enough, baby. It’s just not enough…"

As if they had planned this performance, Sarah, Hawke, and Peter started to lightly swing their hips from left to right as they sang in unison. While she sat and watched, Sonny began to slowly grin, a slight blush stinging her cheeks.

My darling, I can't get enough of your love baby

Girl, I don't know, I don't know why

Can't get enough of your love baby

Lord, some things I can't get used to

No matter how I try

It’s like the more you give, the more I want

And baby, that's no lie

Oh no, babe

Grabbing a pink rose from a vase sitting on the counter, Hawke jumped onto the counter before sliding across it on the other side. Easily jumping down from it to land lightly on her feet, the young woman strolled over to Sonny as she and her "back up" continued to sing.

Tell me, what can I say?

What am I gonna do?

How should I feel when everything is you?

What kind of love is this that you're givin' me?

Is it in your kiss or just because you're sweet?

The slight blush that Sonny had been wearing just a minute ago grew to the point where she figured that her over-heated cheeks were going to burst into flame as Hawke straddled her lap, facing the older woman. Rowdy hoorays and hollers were heard from customers sitting in the coffeehouse, making Sonny feel like she was in a topless bar as Hawke proceeded to dance in her lap. Hawke, did you have one too many coffees this morning or what?

Girl, all I know is every time you're here

I feel the change

Somethin' moves

I scream your name

Look what ya got me doin’

Darling, I can't get enough of your love baby

Girl, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know why

I can't get enough of your love baby

Oh no, baby

Girl, if I could only make you see

And make you understand

Girl, your love for me is all I need

And more than I can stand

Oh well, baby

With a catlike grin on her face, Hawke raised the rose and gently caressed her boss’ reddened cheek with it. Sonny was caught somewhere between mortification, intrigue, and amusement as the dancing singer continued trailing the soft rose down her throat. Glancing over towards Sarah and Peter still behind the counter, Sonny smirked at them, catching the grins they were so desperately trying to hide. Sarah looked as if she could burst into laughter at any given moment. Oh, you two think this is so funny, eh?

How can I explain all the things I feel?

You've given me so much

Girl, you're so unreal

Still I keep loving you

More and more each time

Girl, what am I gonna do

‘Cause you’re blowin’ my mind

I get the same old feelin' every time you're here

I feel the change

Somethin' moves

I scream your name

Look what ya got me doin’

Darling, I can't get enough of your love baby

Oh no, baby

Winking at Sonny, Hawke stood up and turned around before she slowly gyrated her hips before taking residence in the other woman’s lap again as the cheers rose in the coffeehouse. Sonny could not be sure, but she could have sworn that she heard someone instruct Hawke to take it all off. Leaning back, so that her back was pressed against Sonny’s chest, Hawke began to speak in her Barry White imitation again. "Baby, it took all of my life to find you. But you can believe it's gonna take the rest of my life to keep you."

At that moment, Hawke placed the stem of the rose in her mouth as she looked over her shoulder at Sonny while wiggling her eyebrows. As she started to grind her bottom into Sonny’s lap, the blonde loosened the tight grasp her hands had on the arms of the chair she was sitting in. Oh, well, Sonny thought to herself in resignation. If you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em. She then placed her hands on Hawke’s slim waist as she matched the woman’s grinding. Seeing this, the customer’s cheers became even louder. The customers were so boisterous that people walking passed the coffeehouse started to wander inside to check out what was going on.

Leaning forward, Sonny deftly plucked the rose from Hawke’s mouth with her own, holding the stem of it between her teeth as she grinned at the slightly surprised younger woman. Starting to grin back, Hawke resumed her singing along with Sarah and Peter who were now sitting on top of the counter.

Oh no, babe

My darling, I can't get enough of your love baby

Yeah, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know why

Can't get enough of your love baby

Oh my darling, I can't get enough of your love baby

Oh baby I don't know, I don't know, I don't know why

I can't get enough of your love baby

Oh baby…

As the song ended, Hawke placed a tender kiss on Sonny’s cheek before she bounced up from the woman’s lap. The customer’s clapped and whistled, some even giving standing ovations. Walking over to stand next to Sarah and Peter who had jumped down from the counter, Hawke and her backup singers gave bows. Hawke chuckled as Sonny removed the rose from her mouth and tossed it at her before she started clapping along with everyone else.

Rising from the chair, Sonny turned towards the audience. "Thank you all for coming," she said in a loud voice. "Please do visit us again this afternoon for another performance from "Hawke and the Hawkettes." At this, the customers chuckled.

"Wouldn’t miss it for the world Sonny!" A regular customer of the coffeehouse shouted, causing a few people to laugh.

Walking over to her co-workers as she shook her head, Sonny said, "Ya’ll are crazy!" She grinned. "But I love you anyway."

A group hug ensued, before a small gasp was heard from Hawke as she looked towards the entrance to the coffeehouse over Sonny’s head. The other three followed where her gaze was, to see a stunning dark-haired woman moving towards the counter, almost seeming to glide so graceful were her steps. She wore a skirt suit that clung to every curve of her body perfectly. She appeared to be the type of woman that always got what she wanted at the exact moment she wanted it. Smiling at the quartet, the woman patiently waited for one of them to take her order.

"I’ve got her," both Hawke and Peter exclaimed at the same moment. They then both looked at Sarah and Sonny, as if waiting for them to make the final decision.

"Ladies first," Sarah spoke up.

Hawke stomped her foot on the floor as she glanced at Peter with a mock irritated expression. "I wanted her to be my customer, but if you say ladies first Sarah then…" She shrugged as she attempted to hold in a grin while Peter smirked. "Go get her Petey." Raising her balled fist, Hawke lightly socked the man in his arm. Feigning pain, Peter strolled behind the counter as he pasted on a brilliant smile for the gorgeous customer. Meanwhile, Sarah, Sonny, and Hawke watched the exchange in interest.

"Hello," Peter said cheerily as he reached up, adjusting his glasses. "Welcome to "Bean There, Done That". What can I get for you today?"

Looking up at the menu, the woman scanned it before returning her gaze to Peter, a little flirtatious smile on her lips. "I think I’ll have a double caffe’ mocha and do you have danish?"

Peter nodded. "Indeed, we do."

"Cheese?"

Peter cocked his head to the side. "You want me to take your picture?" He laughed as the woman before him chuckled in a way that made it obvious she was not very amused. "No seriously, we do have cheese danish. Freshly made this morning," Peter stated proudly while highly embarrassed over his little "joke". Now he knew why he hardly ever told them.

Unzipping her purse, the woman took out her wallet as she replied, "Then please give me a cheese danish as well. That’ll be all."

Peter pressed in a few buttons on the electronic cash register before giving the woman her total. Handing him a ten-dollar-bill, she told him to keep the change before stepping out of the way of another customer waiting behind her. Walking over, Hawke took the next customer’s order while Peter busied himself making the caffe’ mocha.

Not three minutes later, the breath-taking customer strolled out of the coffeehouse with her drink and pastry in hand. As he leaned on the counter, Peter turned to look at Hawke who was standing next to him. "My oh my. I wonder if that beautiful specimen has a brother?"

Hawke chuckled. "For a moment there I thought you had uh…converted." She grinned up at the tall man.

Peter laughed as he shook his head. "Now don’t get me wrong…she was gorgeous…but she still lacks one thing that I need."

His co-worker glanced down at the crotch of his chinos. "Yeah," Hawke nodded, wearing a suddenly serious expression, "you do seem to be underdeveloped in that department." If looks could kill, Hawke would have dropped dead in the very spot she stood. Laughing, the young woman swiftly moved out of the way as Peter attempted to slap her on the rear with the small towel he held.

"Hey, did that woman look familiar to any of you?" Sarah suddenly asked with a pensive look on her face. "I think I’ve seen her before…" Sonny, Hawke, and Peter shook their heads negatively. Sarah shook her head as she thought more. "I know I’ve seen…ah!" She snapped her fingers, as the other three looked her way inquiringly. "I’ve seen her walking in and out of that coffeehouse across the street."

Hawke slightly frowned as she glanced out of the window towards the other coffeehouse. "Why did she come over here?"

"Easy," Sonny replied as she began to march towards the exit looking quite perturbed. "She was spying on us."

"Where are you going?" Sarah asked as she watched her friend in some surprise. It was not very often that she witnessed Sonny being angry.

Reaching the door, Sonny pushed it open before glancing over her shoulder. "I need to go have a chat with our new neighbors. Be right back." With that said, she left.

~~~~~~~~~~

Minutes later, Sonny marched into the brand new coffeehouse. Her steps faltered as she took in the sight around her. She had to be honest. This place was absolutely incredible and not to mention huge! It was a two-story establishment with tables and booths located on both floors. It seemed that half of the tables and booths had a black laptop computer on them. How could they afford laptops for fifty percent of the tables, Sonny wondered in astonishment.

To her left was a rather large stage located against a wall. On it were two microphones and some equipment that Sonny could not make out due to the distance. In front of her was a long bar with at least a dozen black barstools surrounding it. Sonny shook her head as she had a sinking feeling that competing with this coffeehouse was going to be quite difficult. Taking a deep calming breath, Sonny tried to tell herself that everything would work out all right. All she had to do was keep thinking positive. Sonny looked towards the winding stairs leading to the second level and sighed. That was easier said than done.

Taking a few more steps into the coffeehouse, the blonde looked up as she heard the voice of a female. Coming down the stairs was the woman who had been in "Bean There, Done That" not too long ago. She was talking on a cell phone as she made her way down. Hooking her thumbs into the side pockets of her pants, Sonny waited to be noticed.

As the woman reached the end of the staircase, she and Sonny made eye contact. Quickly ending the call, the dark-haired woman slipped her phone into her purse before walking towards Sonny, asking if she could help her in some way.

Nodding, Sonny said, "You can tell me why you were just spying."

The other woman cocked her head to the side. "Spying?" she asked as if she had no clue what Sonny was referring to.

"Yes, spying. In my coffeehouse. Trying to see how we measure up to yours?"

The woman quickly looked around the establishment. "First of all I wasn’t spying. I wanted a drink and something to eat, so I spotted your charming little place." Sonny narrowed her eyes at this, but the other woman merely kept talking, "Second, this doesn’t belong to me, though I did play an important role in making "Brew n’ Paradise" what it is today."

"That you did," Jack said as she walked around the corner, coming towards the women. She took in the shorter woman standing in front of Leslie, thinking that she sounded familiar. "I’m the owner. Do you have a problem with Ms. Antigone here?"

Turning around, Sonny’s mouth opened wide as she saw the person standing ten feet away from her. "Ja—Ms. Foster," she said in a soft tone of voice. Jack Foster, the woman that she literally ran into a few days before owned the new coffeehouse across the street from her own? Talk about a small world.

Quickly recovering from her surprise, Jack replied, "You can call me Jack, Sonny." Sonny owned "Bean There, Done That"? Jack inwardly sighed. This was going to make what she was planning to do a tad more difficult.

"I rather not. I believe it’s too informal."

Jack shrugged as if it made no difference to her. "Have it your way then." Turning blue eyes on Leslie, she asked, "Les, will you give us a moment?"

Nodding, Leslie glanced at her watch. "No problem. I need to get going anyway." Walking over to Jack, she placed a brief kiss on the woman’s cheek. "If I don’t see you before the grand opening the day after tomorrow, good luck okay?" Leslie smiled.

Jack returned the smile. "Thanks Leslie. I really appreciate all of your help."

The other woman winked at her. "Anytime." Looking back at Sonny, she said, "Nice meeting you Sonny." Leslie waited a moment for the blonde to give a reply but she offered nothing. Smiling at her anyway, Leslie headed towards the entrance, the clicking of her heels on the shiny checkered floor the only sound in the coffeehouse before she exited.

The tension between Jack and Sonny was so thick that it could have been cut with a knife. Reaching up, Jack ran a hand through her straight jet-black hair. She glanced at the cast on the other woman’s arm, feeling the guilt rise again. Opening her mouth, she asked Sonny how she was doing.

Sonny nodded. "I’m doing just fine," there was a slight pause before she continued, "I just don’t like being spied upon. If she wanted to check out the competition, then that’s fine, but she should have been up front about it." She shrugged as she let out a ragged breath. "Maybe I’m overreacting…I dunno. But there is a way to go about doing things, you know?" Sonny looked into Jack’s eyes, finding them mesmerizing. Blinking, she looked away. Good Lord, she’s beautiful. Slightly shaking her head, Sonny took a deep breath while mentally chastising herself. She had to stay focused.

"I know," Jack softly replied as she stared into those green eyes. She could not shake the feeling that she knew Sonny. She had experienced the same feeling the other day at the hospital. Huh, maybe I knew her in another life," Jack thought sardonically. "Um…why don’t we have a seat?" Indicating a comfortable looking booth located by the window, Jack watched Sonny walking towards it before following her.

"Listen, I’m sorry if sending Leslie over there, upset you in anyway," Jack stated as she sat across from the blonde. "That wasn’t my intention."

Nodding, Sonny folded her hands on her lap as she looked across at Jack. She found that her mind was a complete blank and scuffled for something to say. Glancing around the coffeehouse, Sonny finally said, "This is quite a fabulous place you have here."

"Thank you. Leslie, the woman who just left, did most of the designing."

Sonny nodded while wondering just who this Leslie was and then wondering why she was so curious to know. They seemed rather close, considering that Leslie gave Jack a peck on the cheek. Sonny inwardly sighed. She was getting off track again. What and who Jack did was none of her business whatsoever. Sonny should have been inquiring why of all places in Orlando did Jack Foster have to open up her coffeehouse here? Looking back at the other woman who was staring at her intently, Sonny voiced the question.

Choosing her words carefully, Jack replied, "I wanted to compete with "Bean There, Done That."

"Why?"

"Because I did some research and your coffeehouse does pretty good business," she paused, "and I want that business."

Sonny’s brow furrowed. What did Jack mean by stating that she wanted her business? "Excuse me?"

Jack sighed as she sat back in the booth. She had a feeling that this meeting was not going to finish on a good note. "Sonny, I’m going to be totally honest with you, all right? No beating around the bush because that isn’t my style. I’m just going to tell it like it is."

The blonde nodded. "I would appreciate that."

"You’ve never heard of me before us meeting at the hospital, correct?" At the other woman’s nod, she went on, "Well I’m known for doing this type of thing. Starting a business that is the same type of business as another in close proximity. Over the course of time I manage to put the other place out of business because mine is always better. Proof of that is that I have a nine figure amount in my back account. I then sell my business to the highest bidder and move on to something else. This is why some have seen it fit to nickname me "The Conqueror." Looking across at Sonny she finished softly, "It’s what I do. Conquer and destroy."

Sonny sat there, speechless. Indeed, she had heard of the Conqueror before but never paid it much attention. Now she was very much alert since said Conqueror had just moved on to her. Looking across at the other woman, Sonny wondered how the woman could be so callous about what she did. Did Jack simply not care that she was most likely destroying others lives as well as their businesses?

Locating her voice, Sonny inquired, "How do you sleep at night?"

"Truthfully? Quite well. Guilt is an emotion that would hinder my success. I have no time for it, therefore over time I have learned to quell it."

Sonny suddenly had an urge to slap this woman. Jack was much like a block of ice. Hard and cold. "Speaking of your success, your parents must be awfully proud of how you achieved it," Sonny replied, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

Jack’s blue eyes darkened as her teeth clenched together. "I think that you should leave now," she stated tightly.

"You’re plainly telling me that you plan on destroying my business and you have an attitude? I’m the one who should be upset. My partner and I worked our butts off to get that coffeehouse up and running. We didn’t do it just so that a few years later the Conqueror, " she sneered the name, "could trounce all over it like some wild beast that hasn’t had a bite to eat in weeks."

Jack arched an eyebrow. "C’est le vie, baby," she said coolly.

Standing up, Sonny narrowed her eyes at Jack. "I am not your baby."

The other woman gave her a relieved smile. "Thank goodness for that."

Sonny bit down on her lower lip quite hard as she mentally counted to ten. Jack was really starting to rub her the wrong way. Glancing back at the entrance, Sonny said, "You know I think I’ll take your advice and bid you farewell Ms. Foster." Quickly turning around, she headed towards the glass door.

"Have a good day Sonny," Jack called, still sitting at the booth. "Hey, maybe later you can send your pink-haired friend over to give me a lap dance like she did you." She grinned. "It can be kind of like a welcome to the neighborhood gift."

Sonny’s face flushed. Leslie saw that? Momentarily closing her eyes, the blonde took a deep breath before pushing the door open and walking out without comment as she heard a low chuckle behind her.

This was turning out to be a very lousy day.

~~~~~~~~~~

Reclining back on the couch, Laura looked at her lover. Sonny’s eyes were glued to the television set, but Laura had a feeling that she was not paying attention to what was on the screen. Putting her hands on one of Sonny’s feet, both of which were resting in her lap, she began to massage up and down, not getting any response from her girlfriend. Softly, Laura called Sonny’s name. When the blonde kept looking at the television, Laura tried again, a little louder now. Still no response.

"Sonny!"

Her body jumping up slightly as though she was just startled, green eyes turned in Laura’s direction. "Yes? What is it?" she said in a slightly alarmed voice.

Cocking her head to the side, Laura asked if she was all right. Nodding, Sonny turned back to the television. Something was definitely wrong if Sonny did not want to talk. "What happened Love? You’ve been quiet ever since I picked you up this evening."

For a moment Laura thought that Sonny was going to ignore her, until the woman looked at her again. "Have you ever heard of the Conqueror?"

Laura’s expression grew thoughtful. "You remember that mini mall you used to love to shop at?"

Sonny nodded. "Yeah. It was torn down last year."

Her lover nodded. "That’s due to the Conqueror, whomever he is. Put them out of business because he created a bigger better mini mall about two blocks down." Laura shook her head. "Just annihilated the place. And quickly too."

Sonny sighed. "The Conqueror is a she. I saw her today. Jack Foster."

Her eyes opening wide, Laura repeated, "Jack Foster?" To Sonny’s nod, she went on, "You mean the same woman who hit you with her car?" Sonny nodded again. "Did she come in for a cup of coffee?" The blonde shook her head negatively. "She didn’t almost hit you again, did she?"

Noticing the look on Laura’s face and hearing her question, Sonny almost could have laughed. "No. No she didn’t. You know the soon to be opening coffeehouse I told you about across the street? It’s hers. And she informed me in no uncertain terms that she plans on destroying "Bean There, Done That." Sarah and my business is just another conquest for her."

Laura shook her head in bewilderment. "I cannot believe the nerve of that woman. First she almost takes your life and now she wants to ruin your business?" Laura felt the anger rising as she gently pushed Sonny’s feet off of her lap before standing up. Picking up her keys and purse from the coffee-table, Laura headed for the front door.

Twisting around on the couch so that she could see her, Sonny asked, "Where are you going?"

"I need some fresh air. Be back soon." Opening the door, Laura walked out, shutting it behind her.

Minutes later, Laura was driving down the street. Her knuckles were almost white as she kept a tight grasp on the steering wheel. Glancing at the built in clock on her dashboard, she noticed the time and nodded to herself. She had time to make a stop by the bank before heading towards her final destination. As she came to a stop at a red light, Laura grabbed her purse from the passenger seat. Opening it, she extracted a folded check from her wallet. Opening it, she memorized the address. Jacqueline Foster, you, and I are going to have a little chit chat.

~~~~~~~~~~

Opening the door to her beach house, Jack switched on a light before closing and locking the door behind her. Stifling a yawn, she kicked off her shoes before making her way into the den where the mini bar was set up. Turning on the light in the den, she walked over to the stereo. Selecting a CD, she slipped it into the CD player before pressing play. A jazz song began to play as Jack made her way behind the bar. Grabbing a lowball glass, she picked up a bottle of one of the finest cognac’s she owned.

Twisting off the cap, Jack poured some of the amber colored liquid into the short glass before replacing the top and resting the bottle on the polished bar top. Bringing the glass to her lips, Jack took a small sip of the cognac while closing her blue eyes in the process to savor it. A small pleasurable smile briefly appeared on her lips as the fruity liquid made its way down her throat. This was her idea of the perfect way to spend an evening. A glass of refined cognac and the captivating voice of Ella Fitzgerald.

Tonight, Jack planned to just take it easy. She was in desperate need of some rest and relaxation. Looking at her desk and the black computer sitting on it, she wondered if there was an email from PerkyGrrl waiting for her. Well there was only one way to find out. With glass in hand, Jack strolled over to her desk and took a seat in her comfortable black leather chair. Placing the glass of cognac on the desk, she booted her computer and then went through the process of logging online. While she waited for the dialing to complete, Jack picked up her glass and took another small sip, this time rolling the liquid over her tongue a bit before swallowing.

When she heard the words "you’ve got mail", Jack’s blue eyes lit up in anticipation. She crossed the two fingers closest to her thumb on her left hand while moving the mouse to the mailbox icon with her right. Clicking on it, she sighed, noticing that out of the five new pieces of email, none of them were from PerkyGrrl. Not feeling up to opening any of them at the moment, Jack logged off before retrieving her glass and standing.

Deciding to stretch out on the couch while she listened to Ella, Jack headed in that direction when the doorbell suddenly rang. Sighing and frowning because she was not in the mood for company, Jack glanced towards the front door, speculating if she should ignore the caller. No, I better get it. Might be important. With her glass in hand, Jack hurried towards the front door, passing through the living room on her way. The doorbell rang again just as she arrived. Looking through the peephole, she saw a woman standing there that she did not recognize. Opening the door, Jack regarded the visitor with a questioning look.

"May I help you?" she asked.

"I’m looking for Jacqueline Foster."

Jack raised an eyebrow, wondering what this was all about. Pointing at herself, she said, "You found her. And whom may I ask are you?"

"My name is Laura Scott. I’m here on behalf of Sonny Campbell. You and I need to talk Ms. Foster."

A few questions ran through Jack’s mind at this point. Namely, how did Laura Scott find out where she lived. Another was, did Sonny intend to accomplish anything by sending her over? "Well then please come in." Stepping aside, Jack waited for the other woman to walk inside before closing the door. Leading Laura into the den, Jack indicated for her to have a seat on the couch. Glancing at the bar, she asked Laura if she would care for a beverage.

Laura shook her head as she took a seat. "No thank you Ms. Foster."

Jack inwardly winced. She hated it when people referred to her by her last name. It made her feel years beyond her age and quite uncomfortable. Whether someone was a good companion or her worst enemy, Jack preferred to be called Jack. She told Laura as much.

"I much rather call you Ms. Foster," Laura replied evenly. "I’m not your friend."

Jack nodded as she took a seat on the couch as well. "I know you’re not my friend…Ms. Scott, because I don’t have any," she stated matter-of-factly. Taking a sip of her cognac, she placed the glass on the plush carpet before turning towards Laura. "So…what did Sonny send you over here for?"

"That’s a big surprise," Laura said dryly.

Jack faintly smirked, having an image of herself tossing Laura Scott out of the front door. "Answer my question please."

"She doesn’t know that I’m here."

"Ah. So why did you feel the need to pay me a visit?"

Laura looked straight into Jack’s eyes. "I wanted to tell you just what I think of you."

Both of Jack’s eyebrows went up at that statement. Was it just her imagination, or was this turning out to be the worst week of her life? No. Thinking back to eleven years ago, she knew that the answer was no. Perhaps this was the second or third worst week of her life. "And what makes you think that I give a damn what you think about me?" Jack asked rather calmly. Reaching for the remote that was on her glass coffeetable, she pointed it towards the stereo. Soon the CD player ceased to play. There would be no kicking back and listening to jazz tonight. Ella would have to wait until another night.

Laura shrugged. "I don’t think you do. Just thought that I would share. I wanted to look into the eyes of one of the most cold-hearted, self-involved people that was put on this earth."

Jack cocked her head to the side as she regarded Laura. "Did Sonny tell you about my little plan to put her business out to pasture?"

"You really don’t care do you?"

"Why should I? I don’t know her from Eve. Starting one’s own business is very risky because you go into it not really knowing what will happen. It’s much like gambling. If you make a wager and then find that your hand isn’t as good as your opponent’s then you lose your money. Sonny and I are gamblers and it is not my problem if she has a full house, whereas I have a royal flush. We both took chances and she is going to lose. That’s just the way it is."

Laura’s hands clenched and unclenched as she attempted to keep her temper in check. Lashing out at this woman would get her absolutely nowhere. She had to be calm and rational. "What makes you so sure that Sonny is going to lose?"

Jack quickly replied, "Because I always win."

Laura’s eyes narrowed. What a pompous witch you are! "Even the best winner has to lose at some point. Otherwise they would be perfect and no one on this earth is perfect. Or do you disagree Ms. Foster? Do you think that you are perfect?"

Shaking her head, Jack said, "No. I’m far from perfect Ms. Scott. Except for when it comes to business. In that I excel incredibly well and I have the utmost faith that I will be able to make "Bean There, Done That" a distant memory. I’m not trying to be cruel. This is just the way I play the game. Now if Sonny can’t handle that…then she’s out of her league."

Laura looked at Jack as if the woman were something she had never seen before. "Do you realize that when you destroy other businesses in order to put more money in your bank account, that people are involved? That these people get hurt and are going through turmoil due to what you did?"

Jack shrugged. "It’s not like I did anything illegal. They chose to gamble and lost to me. Not my problem. I realize that I appear cold and heartless and you know what? I am. I’m probably everything that people call me…think of me. But while they are griping about how mean I am, how much of a bully I am, I’m making million dollar deposits. I know that money isn’t everything but it sure feels damn good to have an ample amount of it."

Nodding, Laura stood up and faced Jack, who was reclining back on the couch as though she was the queen of the world. "Okay Ms. Foster," Laura started, her right hand balling into a tight fist at her side. "Tell me how good it feels to have this!" Before Jack had any time to react, a fist struck her square in the right eye. Her head snapped back on the couch as she swore that starts began to twinkle in front of her eyes. As she blinked several times in the attempt to make them disappear, she heard the front door slam shut.

"Oh, crap," Jack mumbled as she leaned forward on the couch with a hand covering her eye. Pain radiated through head and eye as she closed it. Jack sat very still for a few minutes until the sharp pain receded to a dull ache. "That woman packs a hell of a punch, " she said out loud, as she carefully stood up. Gently pressing fingertips to the area around her eye, Jack winced, sure that she was going to have a pretty good shiner in the morning. And this week just keeps getting better and better.

Hearing a knock at the door, Jack sighed loudly. That must be Sonny with an uzi. Either that, or Laura has come back to finish me off. Shuffling towards the front door, the tall woman looked through the peek-hole, using her left eye. She was totally wrong. The visitor was Leslie and she did not have a weapon as far as Jack could tell. Opening the door, Jack grabbed the woman by the hand and pulled her inside before shutting and locking the door. As she turned to Leslie, she heard the woman softly gasp as she reached up and lightly touched Jack’s eye, causing the blue-eyed woman to wince again.

"Oh, Jack I’m sorry. What happened? Who did this to you?" Leslie asked in an almost panicky voice.

"Would you believe that I had a run in with a door?" Jack countered as she grinned, trying to make light of her injury. When Leslie’s expression remained serious she said, "Let’s just say that someone who is a friend of Sonny Campbell’s was a little pissed off with me due to my brutal honesty about wanting to ruin her business. So I guess she felt that her fist and my face should become better acquainted. Left not too long before you arrived. Ya’ll probably passed each other on the street." Turning around, Jack headed for the den. "Let’s go sit down." Without further comment, Leslie followed her.

Arriving in the den and at the couch, Jack took a seat before leaning down and picking up her drink. Taking a long sip from the glass, Jack found that she had nearly drained it. Glancing over to Leslie who had taken a seat next to her on the couch, she asked if the woman would care for a drink.

"Yes, please," Leslie said as she put her purse down on the coffee table. "I’ll have what you’re having."

Nodding, Jack stood up and headed over to the bar. Obtaining a glass for Leslie, she picked up the bottle of cognac sitting on the counter. Filling both hers and Leslie’s glass, she brought the drinks over to the couch, handing one to the consultant.

"Thanks Jack." Bringing the short glass to her lips, Leslie took a sip before softly moaning. "Mmm…cognac. Good cognac," she said, smiling over at Jack. "You’ve always enjoyed it."

The blue-eyed woman nodded as she winked at Leslie with her good eye. "Nothing but the best."

Both women sat in silence for a few minutes, as they sipped their drinks, lost in their own thoughts. Turning her head to look at Jack’s profile, Leslie thought of how beautiful she was. Perfect cheekbones, the most illuminating eyes…soft full lips. Fondly, she remembered how those lips used to kiss her. At times light and soft and at others hard and passionate. Leslie nearly shivered as she recalled just how very passionate a woman Jack could be.

Allowing her eyes to wander down, Leslie took in the other woman’s breasts that were easy to define due to the tightness of her tank top. If she remembered correctly, they were about the size of an average grapefruit, soft yet firm and so very pleasing to squeeze. Her eyes traveling down further, Leslie recalled those creamy thighs that she loved to place kisses on, though she could not see them because Jack was wearing a pair of jeans. Leslie bit on the inside of her lower lip. Oh, how she wanted Jack back in her arms and in her bed again.

"Take a picture. It’ll last longer." Looking over to Leslie, a small grin appeared on Jack’s face when she noticed the blush creeping up the thirty-five year olds cheeks. "Leslie Antigone blushing. Now that’s not something you see everyday."

Extremely embarrassed that she had been caught ogling, Leslie wished at that moment she were a turtle, so that she could hide in her shell. Opening her mouth, the woman attempted to come up with some sort of explanation but failed to do so. Zeroing in on Jack’s bruised eye, she decided to change the subject. "Ice."

Jack’s brow knitted in confusion. "Pardon?"

Standing up, Leslie lightly cleared her throat as she looked down at the other woman. "Ice. You need to put some ice on your eye. It might help in reducing the swelling. Follow me to the kitchen." Leslie heard footsteps behind her as she briskly walked towards the kitchen. Entering the vast room, she walked over to the refrigerator, taking out a tray of ice. Hearing Jack inform her that there were dishtowels in the drawer closet to the microwave, Leslie found them and removed one, putting a few ice cubes in it. Walking over to Jack who was leaning against the counter, Leslie folded the dishtowel before giving it to her. Taking the homemade ice pack, Jack put it against her eye, wincing a bit.

"You said a friend of Sonny’s did that to you?" Jack nodded, mutely. "You want me to have a word with her?"

Jack shook her head. "No. Apparently, Sonny didn’t even know that her friend was coming over here."

"Who is this friend?" Leslie asked as she leaned her hip against the counter.

Closing her eyes momentarily, Jack thought back to earlier that evening. "Her name was…Laura. Laura Scott," she gave a slight pause, "Though if you ask me, I get the feeling that they are more than just friends."

A look of interest crossed Leslie’s face mixed with surprise. "The Laura Scott?"

Jack shrugged. "I dunno. Didn’t realize there was a the Laura Scott. Who is she?"

"Only one of the best journalists in Florida!" Leslie replied in excitement. "I read her columns every week."

"Oh? What newspaper does she write for?"

Leslie shook her head. "No, she doesn’t write for a newspaper. It’s a magazine. Ever heard of Climax?"

Jack grinned. "Yeah, but I haven’t had one in a very long time." She chuckled, as did Leslie. "Yes, I have. Once leafed through a copy while in the waiting room at the dentist. Found a few interesting articles to read."

Leslie nodded. "It’s an awesome magazine. I’m a subscriber." She then shook her head in amazement, finding it hard to believe that Laura Scott had been in this very house not too long before she arrived. Leslie would have been able to meet the journalist, had she only been a few minutes earlier. "What was she like?"

Cocking her head to the side, Jack stared at Leslie quietly for a moment before pointing to her blackening eye. "Uh…what do you think she was like Leslie?"

With a slightly sheepish look, Leslie replied, "Oh, yes. Though, in her defense I could imagine why she would behave in a rather hostile manner. I mean look what you are trying to do to her…friend."

Jack slowly raised both eyebrows. "Leslie, let’s not go there," she said in a warning voice. "I don’t want to talk about that anymore tonight. I’m tired and I just feel like going to bed."

A small grin broke out on Leslie’s face as she took two steps towards Jack, now standing next to the taller woman. "Alone?" she inquired in a soft whisper.

Looking down at her, Jack repeated, "Alone?"

"Yes." Reaching up, Leslie placed the palm of her hand against Jack’s bronzed cheek, beginning to lightly stroke as she stared into the woman’s eyes. Leslie felt her heart start to hammer beneath her chest, as she finally got up the courage to make a move. "Do you feel like going to bed alone? Because you don’t have to."

"Leslie…"

Leslie placed her index finger against Jack’s lips to stop her from uttering anything. "Sssh. Just kiss me Jack. Please. I need you to kiss me." As she removed her finger, Jack turned so that she was facing Leslie. She leaned towards the other woman until their lips met for the first time in a long time. Leslie could not contain a moan as she wound her arms around Jack’s waist, bringing her closer. Tossing the ice pack in the sink and then wrapping her arms around Leslie, Jack picked the woman up and placed her on the counter, their lips still joined. As Leslie parted her lips, she moaned in pleasure as her mouth was swiftly invaded by Jack’s tongue. Their tongues did a slow erotic dance while the two women began to rub up and down each other’s bodies over their clothing.

Breaking the kiss, Leslie looked into Jack’s eyes, her own filled with passion and want. "Oh, Jack. How I have missed you," she admitted in a slightly ragged breath. "Please make love to me." Leaning forward, Leslie kissed Jack again before whispering close to her ear. "I need to feel you."

Eliciting another moan from Leslie as she slid her warm palms up the woman’s thighs while pushing up her skirt a bit in the process, Jack quietly replied, "Your wish is my command." Getting down to her knees, Jack gently pushed Leslie’s legs apart as she pushed the skirt up higher. Leslie started to squirm in anticipation as the other woman placed soft butterfly kisses on the insides of her thighs. Leaning back on her hands, Leslie spread her legs wider, as kisses were trailed up her thigh.

Leslie felt the wetness and heat emanating from her center as Jack’s tongue drew tiny circles on her thighs. Throwing her head back and barely missing hitting it on the cabinet next to her, Leslie let out a long moan as Jack worked her magic. She cried out as a soft kiss was placed on the crotch of her black laced panties. Fingertips trailed up and down the outside of her thighs as a skilled mouth gently began to suck at her over the underwear.

"Oh, Jack you feel so very good," Leslie breathed, her eyes closed as she felt the sensations flowing through her overheated body.

Momentarily stopping, Jack looked up at Leslie, her blue eyes darkened in lust. "Do you taste as good as I remember, Leslie?"

Opening her eyes, Leslie gave Jack a faint grin. "Only one way for you to find out." Raising her skirt so that it was pooled around her waist, Leslie hooked her thumbs into the sides of her panties before beginning to pull them down. When they reached her ankles, she kicked the panties off, causing them to fly across the kitchen. Looking into Jack’s eyes she said in a husky voice, "Devour me Jack."

A low growl starting in her throat, Jack moved in again, kissing Leslie’s thighs. Opening her mouth, she allowed her teeth to gently nip which caused Leslie to squirm on the counter and moan loudly. The closer she got to Leslie’s sweet spot, the…guiltier she felt. Jack quickly stopped, as she laid her cheek against the other woman’s thigh. Guilty? What in the world did she have to feel guilty for? So, she was about to make love to her ex-girlfriend. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that. It wasn’t as if she had someone one else and as far as she knew, neither did Leslie, so what was the problem? Where was this sudden guilt stemming from?

Trying to push it out of her mind, Jack placed another kiss on Leslie’s thigh before she stopped again. It dawned on Jack why there was this feeling of guilt. She was in love. Not with Leslie, though she still cared deeply for her. If Jack was honest with herself, she had never been in love with anyone up until now. After thirty-two years on this planet, someone had finally stolen her heart, and that someone was PerkyGrrl. I’m in love with PG, Jack thought in amazement. The exact moment it happened, she had no idea, but she knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was true. She was head over heels for a woman whom she had never laid eyes upon. She was in love with her best friend…her only friend, unless she counted Chloe.

Standing up, Jack avoided Leslie’s curious eyes as she walked over to where the woman’s panties lay. Reaching down, she picked them up before coming back to Leslie and handing them to her. Wearing an apologetic expression, Jack finally met Leslie’s eyes. "I’m sorry. I can’t do this," Jack paused while gathering her thoughts. "I’m in love with someone," she finished so softly that Leslie barely understood the words.

"In love?" Leslie felt her heart shatter into a million pieces. When had this happened? Feeling the tears stinging her eyes, she knew that she had to get out of here before she broke down.

Jack nodded, feeling all the more guilty because it was obvious that she had now caused Leslie pain. She shook her head slightly. This is just not my day where women are concerned. "I’m sorry," Jack repeated, the words sounding inadequate to her own ears. "I never wanted to hurt you. I just though that you should know." Raising a hand, Jack swiped at the tear that escaped Leslie’s eye with her thumb. "Hey, you’re a wonderful beautiful woman Leslie. It won’t be much longer until you find the woman that is the perfect one for you and she is going to make you so very happy." Leaning towards her, Jack tenderly kissed Leslie’s cheek. "You deserve that Leslie Antigone." Jack softly smiled at her. "And you’ll get it."

Leslie did not know exactly why, but Jack’s unusual sweetness made her want to cry even more. She gave the woman a faint smile in return before hopping off the counter and putting her panties back on. As she straightened her skirt, she looked at Jack. "Thank you for being honest with me and for the kind words." Leslie looked at Jack silently for a second or two. "You can be really sweet when you want to be," she teasingly remarked, trying to lighten the mood.

Jack crookedly grin. "Gee, thanks. That’s probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten."

Leslie faintly chuckled. "Well, I should go get my purse and be on my way. I have a busy day tomorrow."

Announcing that she would go retrieve it, Jack hurried out of the kitchen. After getting the purse from the den, she headed towards the kitchen when she caught sight of Leslie already standing by the front door, waiting for her. Strolling over, she handed the woman her purse, nodding when Leslie thanked her for it. Unlocking and opening the door, Leslie turned to Jack with her hand resting on the knob.

"If I don’t see you for another year or so, you take care okay Jack? And good luck with…with your beloved." She smiled, though there was pain in her eyes. She wanted Jack to be happy and if the person that caused her to be happy was someone else then so be it. "She’s very lucky."

Jack smiled, almost shyly. Shaking her head, she replied, "No. I’m the lucky one."

"Well then you both are lucky." Leslie winked as she placed the strap of her purse over her shoulder. Reaching out, she took Jack’s hand in her own and gently squeezed it before letting go. "Goodnight Jack."

"Goodnight Leslie." Watching as the woman walked to her car. Jack waited until she was safely inside and started the car before she closed the door, locking it. Letting out a long breath, Jack meandered back into the den and over to the couch. Picking up both she and Leslie’s glasses, she poured the remainder of the other woman’s cognac into her glass before taking a couple of sips from it. Jack shook her head in bewilderment as she walked over to her computer and took a seat. What a peculiar night this had turned out to be. First, she received a soon to be black eye thanks to one of "Florida’s greatest journalist", then seduced by her ex-girlfriend, then realized that she was in love with a woman whose real name she did not even know.

Jack smiled as she thought of PerkyGrrl. She wondered what her name was. Alison, Barbara, Caitlin, Dana…Jack richly chuckled. Hell, if it was Petunia, it did not matter one iota. She rested her head against the back of the chair. She, Jacqueline Foster was in love for the very first time and she had to admit that it felt pretty good. Glancing at her computer screen, a thought occurred to her. There was only one problem…okay perhaps there was more than one, but this was the main problem. How did PerkyGrrl feel about her? Jack could tell by the woman’s words that she cared, but was there love? She would have to find out. She knew when the perfect time would be. When they met at Disneyworld at the end of September she would profess her love and see what happened.

Looking at the computer, Jack scooted her chair up to it. She then started the process of logging onto the Internet. She decided that if she did not see PerkyGrrl on her buddy list then she would wait until the woman hopefully came online and then chat with her if she was up to it. The two of them had chatted before on AOL Instant Messenger, but only a handful of times in the last year. Their main means of communication was sending emails back and forth.

Logging on, Jack softly sighed when she noticed that her online friend had yet to send a reply to her emails. Thinking of something, and wondering why she had not thought to do it before, Jack checked to see if her emails had been opened. A slight frown appeared on her face as she noticed that neither of the last emails she had sent to PerkyGrrl had been read. Jack’s heart skipped several beats. She hoped that nothing was wrong. PG never stayed away from her computer this long unless she informed Jack beforehand that she would not be online because she was going out of town or something, but she had said nothing in her last email about doing that.

Reaching up, Jack ran a hand through her hair as she stared at her buddy list, willing PerkyGrrl to come online. She told herself not to worry but she was being ignored. Please be all right PG. I need you to be all right.

~~~~~~~~~~

As she flipped through the channels, Sonny kept glancing towards the front door, wondering what was keeping Laura. How much fresh air did that woman need? Stopping on HBO, Sonny tossed the remote control on the couch before starting to watch a movie that she had seen at least seven times before. As she mentally started to recite the lines, she heard a key turn in the doorknob. Looking over her shoulder, she watched as Laura entered with a black duffel bag in hand. Curiously eyeing the duffel bag, Sonny asked her girlfriend where she had been.

Standing in front of the now closed door, Laura nervously shifted her weight from one foot to the other as she studied the blonde reclining on the couch. "Promise me that you won’t get mad."

Raising an inquisitive eyebrow, Sonny slowly shook her head. "No. I can’t do that because every time you try to get someone to promise that they won’t get mad due to what you are about to tell them, the majority of the time they do anyway, so instead of making a promise that odds are I probably will not be able to keep, my answer is no. I will make no such promise to you. Plus, my mood is already unstable due to my new neighbor Jack Foster who is from down under, and I’m not referring to Australia. So that is one more reason why I should not make any promises to keep my temper in check. Just tell me what is going on. Where were you?"

Taking a deep breath, Laura looked at Sonny as she opened her mouth to speak. However, no words would come out. Quickly wetting her lips, Laura tried again. "I umm…I…"

Turning around on the couch so that she was facing Laura, Sonny tucked one leg underneath her as she cocked her head to the side. "It can’t be that bad honey," Sonny said, softening her tone of voice. "Did you cheat on me?" She asked, already knowing the answer. Laura would never do anything like that. Sonny studied the woman’s expression. Well at least she hoped not.

Laura quickly shook her head. "No," she replied with conviction. "I love you and I would never ever even think of doing such a thing. You’re the only woman for me, Sonny."

For that, she received a warm and yes relieved smile from the blonde. "All right. I didn’t think so." Sonny thought for a moment before continuing, "Did you somehow join forces with Jack Foster?" Her expression was one of mild amusement as she asked the question.

If it was not for her nervousness, Laura could have laughed at that. "God no!" She faintly grinned. "I rather find myself some buxom young thing to take to bed."

Sonny chuckled a bit. "Okay, well tell me what’s on your mind."

Laura inwardly sighed. Might as well tell her and be done with it. "I went to confront Jack Foster about the way she is treating you. I just came from her house."

"How did you find out where she lived?"

Biting down on her lower lip, Laura replied, "From that check she gave you. It had her address on it and I remembered what it was."

Sonny nodded. "I see. So you went to confront her…how did that go?"

"Not well actually." Laura glanced down at her right hand. Her knuckles were a little bruised from when she struck Jack. "She pissed me off so much that I lost my temper and ended up hitting her."

Sonny’s eyes zeroed in on the duffel bag again before she looked back up to Laura, her green eyes slightly amused. "Did you chop her up and put her in there? If you did, I wish that you wouldn’t have taken it that far, but I’ll help you to get rid of the evidence."

"You’re such an awesome girlfriend." Laura briefly chuckled as she looked at the duffel bag. "No, I didn’t do that. Besides, I don’t think she would fit in here. At least not all of her."

The blonde nodded, a small smile playing on her lips. "That’s true. She’s quite big…height wise I mean," she paused, "So is that all? You confronted Foster, hit her, and then…"

"I left."

Sonny nodded again. "Okay. Well I’m not mad. I would suggest that you not go over there anymore, but I’m not upset with you."

There was a pause before Laura admitted, "That’s not what I tried to get you to promise not to get mad over."

"So there is more. What is it?" Sonny pointed at the duffel bag, which Laura was clutching rather tightly. "Does it have anything to do with what’s in the bag?" Her girlfriend nodded. "Okay. What do you have in there?"

Instead of answering, Laura slowly walked over to the couch and quietly handed the bag to Sonny. Noting its heaviness, the blonde looked up to Laura questioningly. When she was informed to open the duffel bag, she looked at it almost as if there might be a ticking time bomb inside. Finding the zipper, Sonny slowly began to unzip the bag until it was fully open. A loud gasp escaped her as she stared at the contents. The duffel bag was filled with stacks of crisp fifty and hundred dollar bills. Finally managing to peel her eyes away, Sonny looked at Laura, her mouth hanging open.

"Where did all this come from? What did you do?"

"I um…I cashed the check."

Sonny thought for a moment before her eyes widened. "You mean the blank check I received from Jack Foster?" Laura nodded. "You went behind my back and cashed that check? How could you do such a thing, Laura? I told you that I did not want her money."

"I know Sonny, but she owed you that. She could have killed you because of her carelessness! And now she’s trying to take your business away from you. The way I see it, this is pay back."

Feeling very much angry, Sonny zipped the duffel bag before tossing it across the room and standing up to face Laura. "Well the way I see it you betrayed me!" She yelled, her face flushed with fury.

Laura swallowed hard as she nodded. "Is that what you think?" she quietly asked. "I did this for you."

"How much did you write the check for?"

"Five-hundred thousand dollars."

Green eyes opened even wider than the last time. "Half a million?! You took that much money? Have you totally lost your mind Laura?"

The other woman shrugged. "She did hit you with her car. Some people get more than when they go to court. Plus, it isn’t like she can’t afford it. You should have seen that beach house. It was huge! I don’t know how much money Jack Foster has, but I know that she’s a millionaire at least."

Sonny stared at her girlfriend for so long that Laura began to fidget. Finally turning her eyes away, the blonde walked over to her computer desk. Picking up a tablet and finding a pen she came back to Laura and handed the woman both. She then informed the woman to write down Jack’s address. Hesitating for just a moment, Laura jotted down the address before handing the paper and pen back to Sonny.

Turning around, Sonny tossed both on the couch before she mutely walked over to the front door and opened it. Looking at Laura she said, "Get out."

The nervousness returned as a look of shock passed across Laura’s face. She had expected that Sonny might be upset but she had never even considered this happening. "You…you’re dumping me, Sonny?"

The blonde shook her head. "No, I’m not dumping you. I just want you to go home because it is very difficult for me to look at you right now. So just get out of my apartment…please. Don’t call me, don’t write me, and don’t come over. I don’t want you to contact me until I decide to make the first move." When Laura opened her mouth to say something, Sonny read her thoughts and kept going, "I don’t know how long it’ll be until I get in touch with you. It might just be a couple days. I really don’t know. However, what I do know is that you need to leave at this moment."

Without saying anything else, Laura walked out of Sonny’s apartment and headed down the stairs. When she heard the woman call her name, a wave of relief went through Laura as she looked back up, thinking that Sonny had changed her mind.

"Before you leave please get my computer keyboard out of the trunk of your car. You can put it on my doormat." Having said that, Sonny shut the door leaving a dejected Laura on the stairs.

Turning back around, Laura continued down the stairs wearing a frown now. She had half a mind to toss the thing in the garbage.

~~~~~~~~~~

Jack was nearly asleep when she heard the sound of knocking. Quickly raising her head from her folded arms, which rested on her computer desk, she looked at the screen at her buddy list. She sighed, seeing that PerkyGrrl was not online yet. It was then that she heard the knocking again and let out a long loud breath. Now who could that be? Jack had had enough visitors for one evening.

Getting up, she took her time walking to the front door. Not bothering to look through the peephole, she unlocked and opened the door. She looked at the woman standing on her doorstep, as though she came over all the time.

"Well, well, well," Jack started in a tone bordering on being blasť. "If it isn’t Miss Sonny Campbell. What can I do for you, Sonny?"

Sonny took in Jack’s swollen eye and her overall tired appearance. "I’ll make this quick. I came to apologize for Laura. She shouldn’t have hit you no matter how much of a jerk you behave."

Jack smirked. "Thanks. Is that it?"

"No. I have something that belongs to you." Reaching down, Sonny picked up the duffel bag that she brought with her. She handed it to Jack.

Jack looked at the bag suspiciously. "What’s this?"

"Five-hundred thousand dollars," Sonny explained. "Laura took the initiative to fill in and cash that check you gave me, so I’m giving you your money back because I don’t want it."

The dark-haired woman whistled. "That’s a lot of dough. I must have really ticked her off."

"You should be used to it Ms. Foster. I’m sure you succeed in ticking a lot of people off on a daily basis. Goodnight." Sonny walked away before Jack could say anything else.

Looking after her, Jack softly said to herself, "Goodnight to you too Sonny."

Hearing the phone began to ring as she closed the door, Jack hurried towards the den as she rolled her eyes. She had figured it out. She must be on that hidden camera show. Reaching the phone, she picked it up, saying hello. A relieved smile appeared on her face as she noted who was on the other line. It was one of her two most favorite people in the world. Since PerkyGrrl did not have her phone number then that left her sister.

"Hey Chloe! So good to hear from you." Jack moved over to the couch and stretched out, her feet dangling over one of the arms.

On the other end, Chloe laughed. "You act like you haven’t heard from me in months, Jack. I just talked to you last night. Remember I’ve gotta call you ever evening."

Jack grinned into the phone. "Yeah, and I’m pleased that you have followed my instructions so very well," she paused, chuckling, "I have had one heck of a day kid."

"What happened? Did you hit someone else with your car?"

Smirking into the phone, Jack replied, "No, nothing that extreme. Just all kinds of sh-- um stuff. I’m glad you’re having a great time, I’ll just be even gladder when you get home ‘cause I need some stability in my life." She smiled.

"Aaw, I’ve never been called stable before." Chloe laughed. "Cute, sweet, smart…but not stable."

Jack chuckled. She missed her little sister. This house seemed empty without her presence. Stretching some, she listened in delight as Chloe began to fill her in about her latest adventures in Hawaii. Closing her eyes as she started to relax, Jack hoped that no one else would knock on her door again. Well unless by some miracle it happened to be PerkyGrrl.

~~~~~~~~~~

Arriving home, Sonny started to go straight to bed when she looked towards her computer, which she now had the keyboard to. Deciding that she would write to Blue first, the blonde walked over to the desk and proceeded to hook up her keyboard before booting up the computer. Having a seat, she waited until it was done. Clicking on the AOL icon she waited as the log on screen appeared and typed in her password before pressing the enter key.

Moments later she was welcomed to AOL. Sonny’s heartbeat began to increase as she looked at her mailbox and clicked on it. Soon she would be reading the latest words from her cyber-friend. She figured that Blue must have been worried sick these past few days. Scrolling down her mail, ignoring all others for the time being, Sonny found two emails from Blueyez. Deciding to open the latest one first, she did so, beginning to read.

PG,

If you have been busy the past few days I understand, I would just appreciate it if you would send me an email to let me know that you are all right. I’m very worried about you hon. Just let me know how you’re doing.

Blue

Oh, poor Blue. She really had been worried. What explanation was Sonny going to give her? That a car had hit her and then she had been forbidden to use her computer while she stayed home and rested? Sonny shrugged. Well it was the truth. Looking at the other email, she clicked on it and started to read that one.

To Sappy Number Two,

I’m just excited as you are about us meeting. Well maybe more so *grin * I’ll be counting the days until the last Friday in September. So you’ll be wearing a pink rose, hmm? Well I’ll wear my Mickey Mouse T-shirt just in case you see me first. Don’t think I’ll be hard to find because I’m nearly six feet tall *laugh * So be on the look out for me ;-)

So you want to know about my little sister? Sure, I’ll tell ya a bit. She’s twenty-years-old and I’ve been raising her for the past eleven years on my own. Our parents died and though we had relatives that were more experienced in raising children then I that I could have sent her to, I didn’t want to, plus she didn’t want to go. So I got custody of her and she’s been with me ever since.

What’s she like? She’s a great kid and I love her to death. She’s intelligent, witty, funny and is truly the light in my life. Frankly, I don’t know what I’d do without her. And while I’m on the subject of not being able to do without, don’t know what I’d do without you either PG *smile *. Though you and I have yet to meet, I feel closer to you than a lot of people I know in real time. So thank you for being my friend. I’ll cherish you always. Aarrrgh! There I go with the sappiness again. *chuckle * I better end this before I get truly carried away ;-) Well I’ll be anxiously waiting for your response. Have a good one.

Yours truly,

Blue

Sonny was brightly smiling as she finished the email. Her eyes were glassy because Blue had touched her so deeply with her words. She wondered what had happened to their parents. It must have been some type of accident since they died at the same time. What a strong woman Blue was to decide to raise her sister when she herself was such a young age.

Placing her hand over the mouse, Sonny moved the small arrow on the screen to the reply button and clicked. Placing her fingertips on the keyboard, she started to write when an instant message appeared on her screen. She felt her heart leap when she noticed that the instant message was from Blue. Looking over at her buddy list, Sonny saw her screen-name. So intent she had been on checking her email, that she had paid no attention to her buddy list. Closing her email, Sonny started to write a reply in the instant message box.

Blueyez: Hey PG!!!

PerkyGrrl: Wow! Funny meeting you here! (chuckle) I was just about to write you an email.

Blueyez: I’ve been online for that past couple of hours waiting…hoping that you would log on because I’ve been worried about you. I fell asleep and just woke up to see that you had popped on. What happened to you? Are you okay?

PerkyGrrl: Yeah, I’m doing okay. I’m sorry that I haven’t been on to answer your e-mails. I injured myself a few days ago and have been taking it easy.

Blueyez: {{{{cyber hugging you}}}} But you really are doing better now, right? You’ve got to be more careful.

PerkyGrrl: {{{{smiling as I hug you back}}}} Yes, I’m doing much better Blue. I promise to be more careful from now on. (smile) Especially now that I’m in contact with you again. I have missed you terribly.

Blueyez: And I’ve missed you as well PG./// So we’re still on for Disneyworld?

PerkyGrrl: You bet we are! :)))

Blueyez: Great!/// Well I hate to cut this short but I better get to bed now. I can hardly keep my eyes open *laughing * I just wanted to make sure that you were all right.

PerkyGrrl: (smile) Thank you for checking in on me. It means a lot. You g’wan and head to bed now Blue. Have sweet dreams.

Blueyez: You too PG. {{{{kissing your cheek before exiting}}}}

Sonny blushed as she looked at Blue’s last post. She swore that she could almost feel that kiss. Knowing that the smile she was wearing looked goofy, Sonny happily logged off of the Internet, deciding to open the rest of her email tomorrow. Standing, she stretched before strolling into her room while unconsciously humming a little tune. Going into the connecting bathroom, she took a quick shower before changing into her pajamas, still humming all the while.

Saying her prayers, Sonny slipped into bed and then reached over, turning out the light before snuggling in. Closing her eyes, a small smile still on her face, she began to drift off. She hoped that she had sweet dreams. Sweet dreams filled with Blue.

To be continued… Part 2

"Can’t Get Enough of Your Love" performed by Barry White.


Taiko's Scrolls of the Xenaverse