~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 2

Saturday morning found Sonny sitting behind her desk at the coffeehouse, as she looked at the thirteen-inch television sitting on it. As she munched on a granola bar, she stared at the television with a frown. That was all she had seemed to be able to do in the last week was frown at one thing or another. There was one person to blame for all of this and that person was none other than Jack Foster. During the past few weeks, that woman had become a major thorn in her side.

Finishing her granola bar, Sonny tossed the empty wrapper in the wastebasket before propping her feet up on the desk, crossing one ankle over the other as she looked at the news. They of course were speaking of how wonderful and snazzy Jack Foster’s "Brew n’ Paradise" was. It was the new up and coming coffeehouse in Orlando and was taking everyone by storm. Sonny rolled her eyes. It wasn’t that she was jealous…well much. It irritated her that such a contemptible and cold-hearted person like Jack should get this great of publicity and praise. Where was the justice in this world?

Sonny ran a hand through her short hair as she let out a soft sigh. Jack was making good on her promise, which was to kick "Bean There, Done That’s" rear end. Their sales were going down because they were loosing customers, some of which had been coming there for as long as the coffeehouse has been open. Just about everyone wanted a taste of "Brew n’ Paradise" with its cheaper prices, computers, and entertainment. Sonny narrowed her eyes. The only reason they had cheaper prices was because Jack made everything on her menu five cents cheaper then what it was on Sonny’s…and that was if Sonny had it since "Brew n’ Paradise" had so many more tasty beverages and pastries to choose from.

Reaching for the remote, Sonny switched off the television, not wanting to see anymore. After all, she was only torturing herself by watching it. Glancing at the calendar on the wall, Sonny smiled for the first time that morning. It was now the twenty-third of September, which meant that less than a week she would meet Blue in person. Sonny looked forward to the break from her current predicament. During the whole day, she would not give one thought to Jack Foster, business, and possible strategies. She would just relax and have fun with Blue.

Looking at the desk, green eyes caught sight of a gold-plated picture frame with a photograph in it. It was a photograph of she and Laura at the beach taken back in early June. Sadness washed over Sonny as she observed the picture. She and Laura were dressed in their swimsuits as they stood near the surf, posing for the camera with broad bright smiles on their faces. A faint smile briefly appeared on her lips, as she thought back to what happened right after their picture was taken. Sonny had been quickly swooped up into Laura’s arms and tossed into the ocean as she heard her girlfriend chuckle in glee, soon to join in after the initial surprise. She softly sighed. The two of them had been so happy that day.

What had gone wrong during these last few months? It seemed as though she and Laura were drifting apart with every day that passed. During the past few weeks, Laura had taken to spending more time at her home then at Sonny’s, which was unusual. Usually, she would sleep over so much at Sonny’s that the blonde would often forget that she had a place of her own. Their relationship had really started to change about the time when Sonny put Laura out because of the money she withdrew from Jack’s bank account. They had made up a few days later, but that occurring had forever altered their relationship.

Looking at the phone, Sonny wondered if she should call her girlfriend. Perhaps she could ask her out on a date tonight. After all, it was Saturday. They should spend the night out together on the town. Maybe take in a movie, go to dinner, and then take a long romantic stroll on the beach. A smile started to brighten up Sonny’s face as she mentally made their plans. Yes, this was just what she and Laura needed. They needed to have some quality time with one another.

Reaching over for the phone, Sonny picked it up and started to dial Laura’s cell phone number. Bringing the receiver to her ear, she listened as the phone rang three times before being answered. Detecting faint noises in the background, Sonny deduced that her girlfriend was most likely in her car.

"Hey Laura," Sonny began. "How are you doing? You must be having quite a busy week." Considering that you haven’t bothered to answer any of the messages that I left on your recorder.

"I’m doing pretty good. Yes, it’s been a hectic week. One thing after another happening. I’m sorry that I haven’t returned your calls honey. I’ve just been so preoccupied with work."

Picking up a pen laying on the desk, Sonny began to twirl it between her fingers. "It’s not a problem. I understand. I've been sort of preoccupied myself. Anyway, I won’t keep you long. Just wanted to ask you a question."

"What’s that?"

"What would you say to us going on out tonight? I know that it’s short notice but I really want to see you. I miss you," she finished in a quiet voice.

"Oh honey, I miss you too but I’m afraid that I can’t make it tonight. I have a very important interview slash dinner tonight and there is no possible way that I can reschedule. I’ve been attempting to get this interview for weeks and if I don’t do it this evening then I can just kiss my story goodbye."

Sonny felt her hopes dissipate as she stopped twirling the pen, tossing it on the desk. Oh, well. She could now kiss their romantic evening goodbye. "No problem," she lied. "Then perhaps some other night we could get together." Sonny hoped that Laura did not detect the disappointment in her voice.

"I’ll make it up to you. Without looking at my appointment book, I already know that this coming week is going to be another hectic one, but we can go out on that date Friday night. How about that?"

Sonny found that she was beginning to frown again. Why did she get the feeling that their possible date was like an appointment to Laura? Not only that, she could not even fit Sonny in until six days later. What was going here? Sonny could literally feel the gap expanding between them.

"I already told you last week that I have plans next Friday," Sonny replied in as pleasant a voice as she could muster now.

"Can’t you delay them?"

Closing her eyes, Sonny mentally counted to ten…twice. She would not allow herself to show that she was upset. She reasoned that that would not solve anything. "Laura," Sonny calmly started, "my plans are just as important to me as yours are to you."

"I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make yours sound any less significant than my own."

At that moment, the door to the office opened and in walked Sarah. Noticing that Sonny was on the phone, she started to back out and leave, but the blonde waved for her to stay. Closing the door behind her, Sarah walked over to her desk and took a seat. Finding a stack of papers there, she began to shuffle through them as though she was looking of something.

"I know you didn’t," Sonny said into the phone. "Listen, Sarah just came in and I have something important to discuss with her so I better go."

"Okay. I’ll talk with you later this week and we’ll make plans all right?"

"Sure thing. You have a good one."

"You too. I love you honey."

Sonny was beginning to find that last statement difficult to believe. "Me too." Moments later, she ended the conversation. Swiveling around in her chair, Sonny looked across to Sarah who appeared to be extremely engrossed in what she was reading. However, Sonny estimated that she was merely pretending. When Sarah felt Sonny’s eyes upon her, she looked up, wearing a sympathetic expression.

"Didn’t go well?" she asked.

"How did you know?"

Sarah replied, "You’ve been my best friend for many years and I know most of your expressions and the one that you are wearing now is not one of happiness. I can also tell when you’re lying and when you told Laura that you had something important to discuss with me, I knew that wasn’t true, which tells me that you only wanted to get off the phone with her. And if you wanted to stop talking with the supposed love of your life, then something is wrong."

Looking at her friend with amazement, Sonny nodded. "You’re absolutely right, Sarah. Something has changed for the worse between Laura and I, and I just don’t know how to fix it." She sighed. "Well, I just made an attempt at it, but she doesn’t seem to willing to help. I asked her out on a date for tonight, but she won’t be able to make it. Says that she’ll make it up to me."

Standing up, Sarah pulled her chair over to Sonny’s desk and took a seat next to her. Reaching over, she captured her friend’s hand in her own gently. She began to rub her thumb back and forth across Sonny’s hand. "Sweetie, all couples go through a rough spot at some point or another. It’ll get better. You just have to give it some time and try your best to be patient."

"I know," Sonny replied in a soft voice as she looked down at their joined hands, while unshed tears threatened to fall. "I just feel like everything is falling apart at the same time. Our business…my relationship…nothing seems to be going correctly and I half want to climb onto the roof of this coffeehouse and just scream my head off because of all the frustration." Two tears then fell down her cheeks. Lifting the hand, which was still partially covered with a cast, Sonny wiped them away. "I feel as though I could crumble at any moment and I am trying awfully hard not to lose it," she finished in a whisper.

Wordlessly wrapping her arms around Sonny, Sarah pulled the woman into a tender embrace as she stroked up and down her back. Sonny’s shoulders started to shake as the tears fell freely. Starting to rock her gently back and forth, Sarah offered her silent support as her friend cried on her shoulder while holding onto her tightly. After several minutes, the tears ceased and Sonny let go of Sarah, sitting back in her chair. She quietly thanked the woman as she was handed a tissue. Dabbing at her eyes and then delicately blowing her nose, Sonny looked at her friend and softly smiled, noting the concern plainly written on Sarah’s face.

"You needed to do that," Sarah stated. "Feeling any better now?"

The blonde nodded as she tossed the used tissue into the wastebasket. "Yes, I’m feeling much better." She smiled again at her friend. "Thank you for being here for me."

Sarah returned the smile as she gave Sonny’s hand a brief gentle squeeze. "Hey, I’ll always be here for you. I know that things seem dim now, but I believe that it all will improve with time," she paused thoughtfully. "I have an idea."

"I’m all ears."

"Why don’t you talk to Laura about the two of you getting away for a weekend? That might do wonders for your relationship. Just go to a resort or somewhere and kick back…spend time with each other."

"You mean like you and Darryl did?"

Sarah nodded. "Exactly. You remember we went to Mexico for a few days. We were so much closer by the end of that trip."

"Uh huh. And I also remember you breaking up with him two months later. If it brought you closer, then why did that happen, hmm?" Sonny asked with a look of interest as she cocked her head to the side.

The other woman smirked. "Never you mind that. We’re talking about you and Laura. Now, since you spend so much time on the Internet," at this Sonny smirked as Sarah merely grinned in return, "do something useful. Look for a resort that you two can go to for a couple days. Don’t worry about the coffeehouse. As you know, I’m fully capable of handling things all by my lonesome."

Sonny smiled. "Yes, I do. Thanks for the idea. I just hope that I can get Laura to agree to it. She might say that she’s too busy to go away…even for just the weekend."

"Too busy to save your relationship?"

The blonde sighed. She had to admit that she did not truly know the answer to that question. Was Laura interested in saving their relationship? Did she not care anymore whether she and Sonny stayed together? Looking down at her lap, Sonny felt fingertips touch her chin and gently push up until green eyes met with brown ones.

"Hey, everything is gonna work out for the best," Sarah softly said. "You’ll see."

Sonny smiled at her. "I love you Sarah."

"And I love you too Sonny." The two women shared a heartfelt look before Sarah spoke, "I have another idea."

"What’s this one?"

"When Hawke and Peter get here let’s take off for a bit. I think you and I should go to the gym. You need to work off some of that stress."

~~~~~~~~~~

Shaking the hands of the newscasters, Jack nearly sighed in relief that this latest interview was finished. Though she did like the publicity, sometimes the cameras and all the questions got to be a bit much. Seeing the newscasters out the door, Jack turned around to see her sister examining her with a look that she could not discern. Looking back curiously, Jack walked over to the young woman standing behind the counter.

Before she could say anything, Chloe spoke first, "I need to speak with you Jack. In private."

The other woman nodded. "Okay. Let’s go to my office." Looking around, Jack apprehended the attention of a young man wiping down tables. Indicating for him to take over the cash register in Chloe’s absence, she led the young woman to her office, which was located on the second floor. After closing the door, Jack joined her sister on the couch, looking at her questioningly. "Is something bothering you kid?"

Chloe nodded, as she reached up to tuck a few strands of dark hair behind her ear, which she often did when she was nervous about something. "I don’t like this and I can’t take it anymore."

"What don’t you like and what can’t you take?"

Chloe looked into blue eyes that matched her own. "I don’t like what you’re doing to Sarah Watkins and Sonny Campbell." She shrugged. "It feels wrong and I can’t deal with it any longer. The guilt is starting to eat me up because I feel as though I’m helping to ruin their business."

Jack sighed, figuring that Chloe’s apparent distress had something to do with them. "Chloe, this is just business. You shouldn’t feel guilty."

"Shouldn’t I? And for that matter shouldn’t you? You’re taking all of their customers Jack."

"That’s the point."

Chloe blew out an exasperated breath. "I’m not trying to be funny."

"Do I look amused?" Jack returned with a slight frown. She sensed that this was about to turn into an argument and the last thing she wanted to do was argue with her sister. They hardly ever fought.

"Don’t you feel in the least bit responsible for what’s happening?"

Jack slowly shook her head in a negative fashion. "No, I don’t. Like I said it’s just business. I’m not trying to be vindictive. Just doing my job." Why didn’t anyone seem to comprehend that?

Her sister nodded. "Oh, I see. So, the point of your job is to screw with people’s lives and futures? You must be really proud of yourself for exceeding so very well Jack." Chloe felt her temper rising. It was quite rare that she became upset with her guardian, but currently she was almost livid.

Jack’s frown became more noticeable. She had to end this ‘conversation’ now before it got extremely out of hand. "Okay, kid I can see that you’re getting upset and I don’t particularly want to get into this with you right now, so we’ll speak later when you’ve had a chance to cool off." Rising from the couch, Jack started to head for the door when a hand grasped her arm, stopping her. Turning around, she looked at her sister who appeared even more ticked off than she did a moment ago.

"This conversation as you call it is not over," Chloe tightly said. "Don’t you dare walk out on me Jack. I refuse to be treated like a child. I may be your kid sister but I am also an adult, and you will treat me with some respect and listen to what I have to say."

The taller woman’s eyebrow arched. She was surprised yet proud of Chloe for standing up for herself. Nodding, Jack crossed her arms over her chest after Chloe let go of her arm. "All right. I’ll listen. What do you want to say Chloe?"

The younger woman reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear again, but stopped when she noticed it was already there. "I think you should close down."

Jack looked at her sister as though she had suddenly grown another head…maybe two. "I’m sorry. I must not have heard you correctly. It sounded like you suggested that I close down my coffeehouse. I misheard you, right?"

Chloe slowly shook her head. "Um…no. That’s exactly what I said."

Cocking her head to the side, Jack asked, "Have you been smoking something kid?"

A frustrated expression appeared on Chloe’s face. Jack was not taking her seriously and she found that highly irritating. "No, I have not been smoking anything and will you please listen to me Jack?"

"I am listening to you, I just don’t believe what I’m hearing. Why in the world would I close down my business? I haven’t even made a profit yet. Now soon I’m confident that I will, but that might not be for another month or two down the road. I’ve put a lot of hard work into making Brew n’ Paradise and I’m not about to give it up now. That’s not gonna happen. And if you think that there is even a slim chance of that happening, then you’re dreaming."

"You hit Sonny Campbell with your car and you could have killed her! Now you’re intentionally going after her. It’s like you’re behind the wheel of that car all over again, except there is one difference. This time you’re trying to run her over!"

"Must you be so dramatic?"

"Must you be so cold-blooded?" Chloe asked in a soft voice. What would it take to get through to her sister? Jack was like a brick wall sometimes.

Jack nearly visibly winced. From anyone else she could take it, but those words coming from her sister hurt deeply. Trying to ignore the pain she felt, Jack replied, "I didn’t get where I am today by being a sweetheart."

Leaning against the desk, Chloe mimicked her sister by folding her arms over her chest. "And where exactly are you Jack? You’re thirty-two years old living in a grand house by the beach with your little sister. You are very good at making lots and lots of money but you lack the ability to hold down a decent relationship with any woman. You don’t even have any friends, except for PerkyGrrl and you’ve never met her. Though you would probably lose her as a friend if she knew the real you because as we both know, Blue is pretty much just a façade. Too bad you don’t know how to act like that more often. Maybe people would like you better…or actually just plain like you. If you keep this up, you’ll end up a lonely spinster. Oh, wait," Chloe gave a slight pause while ignoring the hurt look that her sister was so desperately trying to conceal, "I guess you won’t be totally alone Jack. You’ll always have your millions." She shrugged. "Who knows? Maybe by another thirty years or so you’ll upgrade to a billionaire because after all, you are so very talented at getting what you want no matter how many people get trampled in the process. Just as long as Jack is happy that is all that matters."

Noticing the door out of the corner of her eye, Jack debated with herself on whether to just leave the room before she ended up possibly saying something that she would not be able to take back. If this had been anyone else, she would have explained to him or her just what they could do with themselves. Desperately attempting to be patient, because this was her sister, the woman took several deep calming breaths before she finally spoke. "Is that what you really think? That I only care about myself? That my happiness is my number one priority?"

Chloe nodded. "Basically, yes. That’s what I think now. Can’t believe I didn’t notice it years ago."

Silence descended between the two women before Jack finally responded, "I’ve been busting my butt for years not only for myself but mainly for you. You are my number one priority Chloe. From the moment I decided to take care of you, to raise you in the best way I knew how, I vowed that you would want for nothing. So, if you choose to be upset with me because of the way I do my business then fine. So be it. I can rest assured that I did my damnedest to make sure you had a pleasant childhood, even after what happened to our parents. It was my cold-bloodedness as you put it, that put food on the table, that put a roof over your head, and clothes on your back. It was my cold-bloodedness that made sure you went to the finest schools so that you could be guaranteed a good education. My cold-bloodedness secured your tuition for any college you wanted to attend had you not chosen to stop after obtaining your high school diploma. And because you graduated…with honors if I may add, it was my cold-bloodedness that bought that cherry red Viper you have parked outside. I also can be rest assured that after I die, I know that you will be okay because everything that I have you will inherit. I don’t want you to ever have to suffer if it can be helped," momentarily stopping, Jack looked down at the floor as she blinked away the tears that were starting to form in her eyes. She swallowed with some difficulty as she looked back up at her sister. "Don’t you see Chloe, just as long as you’re happy, that is all that matters to me. I love you more than anything on this earth."

Chloe merely stared at her sister for a few moments before she raised her hands and began to clap as she saw the curious look appear on Jack’s face. "Bravo Jack," the younger woman started as she stopped clapping, "you deserve to win an Academy Award after that performance. Perhaps your true calling is to be an actress instead of a businesswoman. Or maybe you could do both." Chloe shook her head as though she were bewildered. "Gosh Jack, you are so multi-talented."

"That wasn’t an act," Jack quietly replied. "I meant every word."

"You know what? I think that you’re telling me the truth. I believe that you believe you mean what you say. I really don’t know which is worse. You lying to me or you lying to the both of us."

"What are you talking about?"

"I’m talking about the fact that you seem to want to believe that everything that you have done has been solely for my benefit, when in all actuality you like your job. I obviously know you better than you think I do Jack. You like the thrill of competing with other businesses and you like to conqueror them, hence your nickname. This isn’t all for me. It’s like a hobby…a sport to you. Just admit it. You kind of like being known as the Conqueror. And the icing on the cake is that you get paid millions for being just that."

"I hope you enjoy what you’re doing."

"What am I doing?" Chloe asked.

"Hurting me."

"What’s wrong Jack? You can dish it out but you can’t take it? Do you have any idea how many people you’ve hurt over the years? You know what they say about paybacks."

The other woman nodded. "Yeah, I know. Is that all?"

Chloe shook her head. "No, that’s not all. Prove to me that you can be a better person than the one you are now. Do the right thing for a change. Close Brew n’ Paradise down before you totally destroy the other coffeehouse. You don’t have to do this. It’s not like you need the money. You could retire right now and live an extremely comfortable life."

"No."

"No?" Chloe stared at her. By the expression on Jack’s face, she was resolute. Brew n’ Paradise wasn’t going out of business any time soon. "So you still intend on getting rid of Bean There, Done That." It was a statement, not a question.

Jack nodded. "That’s right."

"Okay. You do realize that if you continue to go through with this that I’m leaving."

Jack looked at her sister closely. "You mean you’re leaving this coffeehouse?"

Chloe nodded as she removed the apron she was wearing and tossed it over on the couch. "Yes, but that’s not all. I’ll move out, because I really don’t think that I want to live under the same roof with someone like you."

The taller woman chuckled humorlessly. "Funny, you claim to know me so well yet you’re just now figuring out who I am? Or who you deem me to be." Jack’s heart was beating a million miles an hour as she felt the nervousness start. Chloe was drifting away from her, which was causing her to feel utterly horrible.

"I take it that your answer is still a no?"

"You betcha," Jack tried to say in as casual a voice as possible. "If you think I’m gonna let you give me an ultimatum, you’ve got another thing coming Chloe."

The other woman nodded. "Fine. I’ll be on my way then. Enjoy your solitude Jack." Brushing past her sister, Chloe opened the door and left without another word. Turning around, Jack started to go after her, but changed her mind. It would most likely do more harm than good. Walking over to the door, Jack closed it before going to the couch and taking a seat, hardly being able to believe what had just happened. Had she lost her sister forever? No, that could not happen. Chloe would come around. She had to.

Putting a hand in her pocket, Jack pulled out her keys. Looking at the key to her Mercedes, she glanced at her watch. It should be open now. Coming to a decision to get out of here for a while, the woman stood up and headed for the door. She needed to work off the tension she felt.

~~~~~~~~~~

After they did some light stretches, Sarah led Sonny over to where the punching bags were located. Grabbing a pair of gloves that would fit her friend, she started to put one on the blonde’s right hand. As she tied up the strings on Sonny’s glove, the other woman reminded her of the cast she was wearing, which partially covered her left hand.

"No problem," Sarah said as she finished. "You can just hit the bag with your right hand." Moving to the punching bag, Sarah placed a hand on either side of it as she instructed her friend to take a jab at it. Sarah grinned as a thought came to mind. "Pretend that this bag is Jack Foster."

Sonny laughed as she took a stance much like a boxer. "Hey, that might not be such a bad idea." Focusing on the punching bag, the blonde visualized her competitor’s face. Since she had a broad imagination, it wasn’t difficult to do. Drawing her arm back, Sonny slammed her gloved hand into the punching bag, causing it to move a bit. A bit surprised at the force in Sonny’s punch, Sarah held on tighter to the bag as the other woman took another jab at it, this one a tad harder than the last. Putting her left arm into it, Sonny took mock jabs at the bag with it before making contact with the right.

Sonny thought of Jack, beads of sweat beginning to form on her body as she struck the punching bag faster and harder. She even began to put some fancy leg work into it, bouncing around a little as the song "Eye of the Tiger" started to play over the loudspeaker. Sonny grinned as fat beads of sweat rolled down her slightly flushed face. The song was fitting.

Jack Foster. She was the proverbial pain in Sonny’s backside. Could the woman’s head swell any bigger? If being cocky were a crime, Jack would surely be serving two life sentences back to back. Just about every time that Sonny laid eyes on the woman, she felt the urge to slap her silly. Especially when Jack put on that "I’m superior to you" smile of hers. Good Lord, that woman was aggravating! Given the opportunity, within minutes she could probably make a priest want to commit homicide towards her.

As sweat began to soak through the sports bra she was wearing, Sonny started to deliver a round of uppercuts to the punching bag, pretending that she was making contact with Jack’s chin. Tiring of the uppercuts, Sonny started a succession of quick jabs to Jack’s middle. This was very therapeutic. She would have to come here more often. Better yet, maybe she should just purchase a punching bag and put it up in her bedroom. Yes, that would work. Sonny had a feeling that she would be using it just about everyday.

~~~~~~~~~~

Done with her program on the treadmill, Jack hopped off before grabbing her towel from one of the handlebars. Bringing it to her face, she began to dab at the sweat before rolling the towel and placing it around her neck. Having given it much thought, she still had no idea what she was going to do about Chloe. Somehow, she was going to make it up to her. Everything would be all right between them. They had had arguments before. None this large, but they would heal from it sooner or later.

Deciding to spend some time working on a punching bag, Jack headed in the direction of them. Moments later she stopped dead in her tracks as she noticed Sonny and Sarah. Sarah was seemingly holding on to the punching bag for dear life while Sonny beat the crap out of it. Jack arched an eyebrow. Seemed she wasn’t the only one who was experiencing tension. She had a feeling that Sonny’s had something to do with her. Jack was having quite an effect on women these days.

Blue eyes moving up and down the blonde’s body, Jack could not help but to notice how adorable Sonny looked in her little loose-fitting gray shorts with matching sports bra. Great abs, Jack thought as she studied them from afar. In fact, everything about Sonny’s body was pretty great. The cute tight little butt, the nice round full breasts that slightly jiggled whenever Sonny bounced around like she was actually in the boxing ring…Blinking, Jack shook her head. What was she doing checking out Sonny Campbell? She was in love with the most incredible woman on this earth. Jack smiled as she thought of PerkyGrrl. There was simply no one like her. How long was it until Disneyworld? Oh, yes, less than a week now. The smile grew wider.

Focusing on Sonny and Sarah again, Jack made up her mind to say hello. Beginning to walk again, she headed towards the two women. Soon she was standing on Sonny’s right. Opening her mouth to say something, the glove that suddenly struck her cheek, quickly stole the words away from her. Her head snapping to the right, pain shot through Jack’s face as she began to see stars twinkling in front of her eyes. Well now, Sonny and her possible girlfriend Laura had hit her. Jack decided that this hurt worse than the black eye she received a few weeks back. Though not too much worse.

Green eyes opening wide, Sonny stared at her gloved fist as though it had a mind of its very own. What had happened here? She knew exactly what happened. Sonny had been so into delivering punches to the bag and pretending that her target was Jack that when the woman actually approached her, for a split second she thought it was just her imagination. Before Sonny fully knew what she was doing, she had aimed her fist at Jack and hit the woman in the face.

Watching as Jack cradled her cheek with her hand, Sonny gave the woman an apologetic look before glancing at Sarah who merely looked amused by what had just occurred. In fact, she appeared as though she could just burst into laughter at any given moment. Looking back at Jack, who was staring at her questioningly, Sonny shrugged.

"Oops. That was an accident. I’m sorry," she said.

Both of Jack’s eyebrows raised. "Oops? That was an accident? How could it be an accident? You looked right at me and then hit me." The tall woman rubbed her sore cheek while briefly wondering if there would be a bruise. "That sounds premeditated to me."

"It wasn’t. I swear. It was more like a reflex."

Jack shrugged. "Whatever. If I were you I’d want to hit me too considering that I’m about to put you and your friend/partner here out of business."

Green eyes narrowed slightly. Ah, there was the cockiness that she had come to know and despise. "Did you want something Jack?"

"I just wanted to say hello and see how you ladies were doing."

"Do you really care how we’re doing?" Sarah spoke up.

Jack nodded as she flashed Sarah a charming smile that the woman was not buying. "Why of course I do. So?" Blue eyes darted from one woman to the other as Jack placed her hands on her hips.

"We’re fine," Sonny replied, wishing that she would just go away. Jack was sometimes peskier than a plethora of flies at a picnic on a sizzling summer day. Sonny inwardly grinned as an image popped into her mind. Too bad there was no such thing as a Jack swatter. Or Jack repellent…

Jack’s eyes moved up and down Sonny and Sarah’s bodies. "Yep. You two look very fine to me," she said, grinning as the other two rolled their eyes.

Sonny attempted to smile, but she doubted it looked right. "Jack, now don’t take this the wrong way, but I think it’s about time you go somewhere else. Sarah and I are busy." Shoo shoo!

The dark-haired woman nodded. "Ah, I see. What are you busy doing, hmm? Trying to come up with a strategy on how to save your coffeehouse? You do know that that would be pointless. Please don’t waste your time trying to prevent the inevitable. Life is much too short."

"Did anyone ever tell you that you put the ‘b’ in front of itch?" Sarah asked hotly as she gave Jack a look that could melt an ice cube. Was there anyone on this planet that was more infuriating than this woman standing before her?

Jack gave a short chuckle. "Um, no Sarah. I do believe that you have the honors of being the very first one."

Sonny took a deep calming breath. She could not fathom why, but it appeared as though Jack enjoyed getting people angry. Well in that case she was going to try to remain as composed as was possible. She would not play right into this woman’s hands. Sonny looked into Jack’s bright blue eyes. Sadistic jerk. "Why are you doing this?"

"Doing what? I was merely trying to help by giving you a tip and your friend here got upset with me because of it." Jack shrugged. "I just want you to be prepared for what is going to happen. Well what is already happening actually, which is I’m climbing up the ladder of success while you are desperately clinging to it, trying not to fall off. I almost feel sorry for you," she finished in an earnest tone of voice.

Sonny shook her head slowly. This woman was unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. "Tell me, does being arrogant come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?" Sonny made a mental note to herself to stop by a sporting goods store when she left here. Right now, she felt like she could punch the stuffing out of a bag.

Jack cocked her head to the side as though she was really giving thought to that question. "Hmm, guess I would have to say that I just have natural arrogance."

"Why don’t you and your natural arrogance take a flying leap?" Sarah suggested.

"You mean like Bean There, Done That is going to do?" Jack winked at her.

That was it. She could not take it one more minute. Sonny felt all of the anger and resentment that had built up during the past few weeks rush through her body. Forget playing into Jack’s hands. She didn’t give a flying leap anymore. Besides, the woman was asking for it. Looking at the cocky expression on the taller woman’s face, Sonny’s right arm came up. Drawing back to gain more force, she then executed a blow to Jack’s stomach with her gloved hand, causing the woman to double over in pain as she felt the wind get knocked out of her. Those nearby that had seen what just happened looked at the trio curiously. A couple winced in sympathy for Jack.

As she watched Jack attempt not to fall to her knees, Sarah found that she had been rendered speechless. During all of the years that she had been friends with Sonny, never had she known the woman to strike someone. Well now she knew that when push came to shove, the blonde was skilled in how to do it. Glancing at her best friend, Sarah noticed the somewhat shocked expression on her face. She must be just as surprised as I am, she thought.

Still doubled over, Jack closed her eyes tight as she felt the pain shooting through her stomach. She had not seen that one coming. Out of the black eye and the strike to the cheek, this was now the worse one of all. It hurt. It hurt very much. Taking in a deep breath and wiping the expression of pain from her face, Jack slowly stood up to her full height. Looking at Sonny as nonchalantly as she could manage, she said, "Wow. That was a good hit. You should become a boxer after your coffeehouse closes down." When Sonny put her hand up as though to strike again, Jack took a quick step back, and raised her own hands. "Okay, okay. I apologize. That was uncalled-for." Lightly clearing her throat, she went on, "I should go now before this gets totally out of hand. Have a nice day." Walking away, ignoring the looks thrown her way, Jack shook her head. Have a nice day? Well that was lame.

~~~~~~~~~~

Not five minutes later, Sonny and Sarah entered the women’s locker room and headed over to where their lockers were located. Sitting on the bench, Sonny was quiet as she began to remove her tennis shoes. What had she just done? In twenty-seven-years she had never resulted to violence and now she had hit someone. Sure Jack Foster probably deserved it, but the blonde felt extremely guilty for her actions.

Grabbing her toiletries, Sarah informed her friend that she was heading to the showers. Announcing that she would be following right behind her, Sonny watched for a moment as Sarah left before turning to remove her socks. As she did so, two women wearing only towels approached the bench adjacent to her own. Sonny overheard their conversation, not really meaning to eavesdrop.

"Did you see that body?" one of the women asked her friend in a voice filled with awe. "She was absolutely gorgeous!"

The other woman chuckled as she began to open her locker. "Are you kidding? I couldn’t help but to see it! I’m telling you Mary, if it wasn’t for Andrew I might convert!"

Both women laughed at that. "I think what really drew me in were those blue eyes," Mary replied. "They were…hypnotic."

Her friend nodded in agreement. "Definitely. Wish I could have stayed in the sauna longer, but it was getting hot in there."

"For more than one reason!"

They both laughed again as a thought came to Sonny’s mind. She had a strong feeling that they were discussing Jack. Reaching a decision, the blonde stood up and closed her locker, before she headed in the direction of the sauna. Coming to the door, she peeped into a small square window on it. Her thoughts were confirmed when she saw Jack reclining on a bench with her head resting against the wall. Having shucked her workout clothing, Jack was solely wearing a towel that covered her breasts down to her thighs. Sonny could not be sure, but it appeared as though the woman had her eyes closed.

Taking a deep breath, Sonny opened the door to be greeted by a wave of steam. Walking into the sauna room, she quietly closed the door behind her before looking around. She was pleased to find that they were currently the only inhabitants. Turning to Jack, Sonny watched as her eyes slowly opened. The woman stared at her inquisitively for a moment before saying anything.

"Well, well, well. If it isn’t Sonny Balboa. If you have come to hit me again, I must tell you that I’m getting tired of people’s fists flying at my various body parts…it kinda hurts you know. So, I must warn you that I will defend myself this time."

"I didn’t come here to hurt you. I just wanted to apologize for what I did. No matter how you behave that is no excuse for me resulting to violence. I promise you from this day forward to keep my hands to myself. I really am sorry Jack." Sonny found that she was holding her breath as she waited for the other woman’s reply. There was no telling what Jack might say.

There was silence in the room for a few moments before Jack finally replied, "Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to apologize to me Sonny." She shrugged. "It’s no big deal."

The blonde raised a curious brow. Was that it? No sarcasm, no jibes? Did this woman have multiple personalities? Sonny started to grow just a tad bit suspicious. "Okay," she slowly said. "I guess I’ll leave now." Turning around, she started to open the door when she heard Jack calling her name. Sonny nearly groaned as she turned back to face the woman. "Yes?"

"Get naked."

"What?!" The old Jack must have been back.

Extending her hand towards a small pile of towels, Jack grabbed one and tossed it over to Sonny, who caught it. "You heard me. I said get naked," the blue eyed woman said in a serious tone of voice. "You can put the towel on, but wrap it around you loosely so you’ll sweat better. I recommend that you stay in here for about ten minutes or so. It might do you a world of good to sit in this sauna for a bit. It can relax you and cleanse the toxins from your body."

A confused look flashed across Sonny’s face. She just could not for the life of her figure out Jack. The woman was very complex. "You want me to take my clothes off with you sitting there?"

"Oh, are you shy Sonny? I was intending to turn away. I don’t feel the least bit compelled to look at your naked body," Jack explained matter-of-factly.

Sonny quickly glanced down at herself. Was there something wrong with her body? She did not know whether to be insulted, infuriated, or grateful. Looking at Jack, who was wearing an unreadable expression she said, "I didn’t know you were such a gentlewoman Jack."

A smile appeared on the other woman’s lips. "I’m full of surprises." Standing up, Jack began to walk towards Sonny. As she did so, she reached up to remove the towel that she was wearing. Taking it off, she bit the inside of her lower lip to keep from grinning when she noticed the look on Sonny’s face. The smaller woman’s mouth was open as her green eyes took in nearly six feet of naked beauty. Reaching Sonny, Jack whispered close to her ear, "See? I told you. Full of ‘em." The blonde looked at her speechlessly, her mouth still hanging open. Winking at her, Jack exited the sauna, a huge grin appearing on her face as she closed the door.

~~~~~~~~~~

Climbing the stairs and heading towards her bedroom, Jack looked towards Chloe door as she heard music emanating from inside. Walking down to the room, she knocked on the door. When no one answered, she knocked again, louder this time. A moment later, the door was opened. Sparing her sister a look, Chloe returned to what she was doing, which was packing a suitcase.

"You’re really leaving?" Jack asked, shock evident in her voice. She had never truly thought that her sister was serious about leaving their home. Obviously, her thoughts were erroneous.

While she removed clothes from hangers, Chloe glanced at Jack as she nodded. "You doubted me?" She chuckled humorlessly as she tossed two pairs of pants into the suitcase. "I shouldn’t be surprised."

Finding the music a distraction, Jack walked over to her sister’s stereo and turned it off before settling her attention back on Chloe. "What do you mean by that? I just figured that you would have calmed down by now so that we could talk about this rationally."

"What I mean is that you see me as some child who is fully dependent on you. You think that I could not possibly make it out in the world on my own, because I need my big strong sister to take care of me," her voice rising, Chloe paused while trying to calm down. "I don’t need your protection. I am old enough to take care of myself."

"I know you are an adult Chloe and I know that you are capable of taking care of yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to leave in order to prove it."

Done packing, Chloe closed the suitcase before looking at her sister. "I’m not trying to prove anything to you. I’m merely moving out because I no longer wish to live with you anymore." There were tears in her eyes as she said, "You’ve changed into someone that I don’t want to know."

Jack felt like someone had just pierced her heart with a knife and twisted it for good measure. "I don’t want you to go," she admitted softly.

The expression on her sister’s face appeared slightly compassionate. "And I don’t want you to continue ruining people’s lives on purpose."

"I’m not doing it on purpose. This is just—"

"I know," Chloe quickly interrupted. "I know. It’s just business." Turning to her suitcase, she zipped it up before grabbing the handle. "Well you do what you feel is necessary and I’ll do what I feel is necessary." Lifting the suitcase, Chloe headed in the direction of the door.

Taking a few steps back, Jack leaned against the door, successfully blocking it. When Chloe politely asked her to move, the woman shook her head negatively. "No, I can’t just let you walk out of this house. You are not a child, but you’re still my sister and I’m concerned about you. Where are you gonna go? Do you have any sort of plan?"

"I have money saved up in my bank account, but this afternoon I sold my car so that I’d have even more. Now I don’t have to worry about finding employment right away, though I plan on starting to look tomorrow."

"You sold the Viper?"

Chloe nodded. "Yes, it was very easy. Of course, the buyer was suspicious at first because the price was so low. He couldn’t believe it. I soon convinced him that there was nothing wrong with the car. Even let him take a test spin."

Jack’s eyebrow raised just a smidgen. "How low was it?"

"The price?" At the other woman’s nod, she went on, "Thirty-five thousand dollars."

If she had just taken a drink of water, she would have choked on it. Or she would have spit it out, causing water droplets to land all over her sister’s face… "What?! You sold an eighty thousand dollar car for less than have its original price?"

Chloe’s blue eyes narrowed slightly. "Is that all you care about is money?"

"No, but what I do care about is my sister selling a Dodge Viper that I just bought for her two years ago. It was the best present that I ever gave you and I was so thrilled to see your face light up when you noticed it in the driveway."

"Funny, I always thought that the best present you ever gave me was your love," Chloe uttered in a faint voice. "It’s all I ever really wanted from you."

Jack felt a lump growing in her throat, as her eyes became glassy. "I do love you Chloe."

For a split second, Chloe appeared as though she was about to burst into tears before her expression became passive. "Please move out of the way."

"Chloe…"

The younger woman whispered, "Just let me go."

Slowly moving away from the door, Jack silently watched as her sister left their home and her. She stood rooted to one spot as Chloe walked down the staircase with her luggage in hand. It was probably the hardest thing Jack ever had to do. She waited a few minutes before walking out of her sister’s bedroom, closing the door behind her. Moving down the steps and making her way to the bottom, she checked everywhere before coming to the difficult conclusion that Chloe truly was gone.

The house already seemed empty as Jack felt the loneliness creeping in. Holding back the tears that threatened to come, she walked back upstairs and into her bedroom. Turning on the lamp next to her bed, she kicked her shoes off before laying down on her back with her hands folded behind her head. She stared up at the ceiling as she attempted not to think about what had just taken place. She did not want to think and she didn’t want to feel.

Closing her eyes a short while later, Jack willed sleep to take her but before it could the phone placed on the night-stand next to her bed started to ring. Quickly opening her eyes, she sat up and grabbed the phone, hoping against hope that the caller was Chloe. Answering it, Jack was disappointed to find that it wasn’t. To her surprise, it was Leslie.

"Hey Jack. How are you?" Leslie asked in a way that gave the other woman the impression that she already knew how she was.

"I’ve had better days," Jack replied in a weary tone. When there wasn’t an immediate response, she called Leslie’s name, wondering if she was still on the line.

"I’m here. Was just thinking," Leslie paused while trying to gather her thoughts. "I called to tell you not to worry about Chloe. She’s going to be staying with me for a while and I’ll watch out for her."

"She’s going to be staying with you?"

"Yes. What happened was she called me earlier today and was visibly upset. She told me all about what happened between the two of you. She just needed someone to talk to. When she said that she was moving out I asked her where to and she told me that she was going to a hotel. Well then, that was when I had the idea that she just come stay with me. At first, she objected to it, but I kept persisting and she gave in."

Reaching up, Jack rubbed at her eyes, which were stinging. Suddenly she felt extremely tired. "Is she there now?"

"Yes, she just walked through the door a couple minutes ago. I wanted to wait until she arrived before I called you," Leslie gave a slight pause before continuing, "I hope that you’re not upset with me Jack. I just wanted to make sure that Chloe was all right and by her staying here I’d be able to keep you posted. You know I love her like she was my own." Leslie smiled into the phone. "When you and I started dating, I think I fell in love with your sister before I did you."

Jack softly chuckled, remembering how quickly Leslie and Chloe had bonded. They were like two peas in a pod. "I’m not upset Leslie. Thank you for being there for her." She sighed. "I wish she would let me."

"Just give her a bit of time to cool off. Chloe’s a sweetie and she’ll probably be knocking on your door before you know it to make up."

Jack stifled a yawn. "Maybe you’re right."

"I know I’m right. Now you sound tired so I’m gonna let you go," Leslie said. "Try to get some sleep all right?"

A ghost of a smile appeared on Jack’s lips. "Yes ma’am."

"Goodnight Jack. Sweet dreams."

"Goodnight Les. Same to you." Hanging up the phone, feeling a little better, Jack stood up. Turning towards it, she pulled back the covers on the bed before stripping down to her boxers and walking over to the dresser to obtain a T-shirt. Slipping it on, she moved back to the bed and climbed in. Stretching a long arm towards it, she switched off the lamp, casting the room into darkness. Jack was nearly asleep by the time she settled her head on the pillow.

~~~~~~~~~~

Putting down the latest copy of Climax magazine, Sonny reached over for the phone, which was lying on the coffee table. Glancing at the clock on the wall, she saw that it was almost ten o’clock. Figuring that Laura should be home by now, she punched in her girlfriend’s phone number. The phone rang four times before Laura’s answering machine picked up. Sonny let out a soft sigh as she waited for Laura to get through her message before there was a beep.

"Hello Laura, this is Sonny. It’s 9:48. I was hoping that I would catch you at home by now, but obviously, you aren’t there. I was talking with Sarah today and she gave me an idea. If you aren’t busy…I hope you’re not busy what do you say to us going away for the weekend of October sixth? I found this resort in Panama City and it looks heavenly. So, just give me a buzz ASAP okay? Take care. I love you."

Hitting the ‘end’ button, Sonny tossed the phone on the couch before getting up and stretching. Walking over to her computer, she took a seat. Moving the mouse, she watched as her screensaver vanished before clicking on the AOL icon. A couple minutes later she was greeted to the Internet and soon had a fresh email box up, which was addressed to none other than Blueyez. Flexing her fingers, Sonny placed them on the home row of her keyboard and started to type.

To A True Blue,

How are you doing? Hope that this email finds you in good spirits. I’m doing okay. My day was kind of hectic, but I’ll most certainly survive (smile). I find myself counting down the days until we meet. Less than a week away now. I’m so delighted. I feel like Christmas is coming up! ;-) Anyway, I’m on my way to bed but I wanted to write you before I turned in. Yesterday morning, while I was eating breakfast I wrote you a poem. Now I’m no poet but I felt compelled to dedicate a poem to you so I’m going to give it to you now. Please don’t laugh. It’s taken all of my courage to get up the nerve to actually let you read it ;-) So here goes:

Your Eyes

Your eyes remind me of the ocean

Tranquil…peaceful…serene

Enveloping me like a wave crashing against the shore.

Your eyes remind me of the stars

Their radiance astounds me.

When your eyes blaze into mine

My knees become weak

And I can barely breathe.

Your eyes…

They see into my soul

Like no others have ever been able to do.

Okay…so I have an idea of what you might be thinking. How could I possibly write that when I have never really seen your eyes (smile)? Well…I do believe that I have seen them in my dreams. Ah, I think I have caught another case of "sappitus" (wink). I do hope that you like the poem Blue. Guess I better be getting to bed now. If you happen to read this tonight…sweet dreams.

~PG~

Quickly clicking on the send button before she had the chance to change her mind, Sonny sat back in her chair as she watched the email disappear swiftly as the blink of an eye. Well unless she decided to click on the ‘unsend’ button, it was too late now. Taking a deep breath, Sonny logged off of the Internet before sitting back in her chair again as she wondered what exactly it was she was doing. Ten minutes ago she had left a message on her girlfriend’s answering machine, pitching the idea of them going away for the weekend and then she logged on to AOL and sent another woman an intimate poem.

The blonde shook her head. She thought back to when she asked Laura if she had cheated on her, the night the woman came there with that duffel bag full of money. However, wasn’t it she that was cheating? If Sonny were truthful with herself, she would have to say that the answer to that question was yes. The only person on this earth that should have received that poem was Laura, yet it belonged to Blue. The words were one hundred percent true because Sonny truly did feel that Blue had the ability to see into her soul at times.

Shutting down the computer, Sonny stood and began to walk towards her bedroom as she continued to mentally debate with herself. Upon entering her room, the blonde changed into her pajamas before slipping into bed and turning off the light. She was in love with Laura and Blue was just a friend…a very good dear friend who could see into her soul. Laura was the person that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. If the laws were to change, Laura would be the woman that she would want to marry. During this trip, Sonny and Laura would be able to mend their relationship and make it burn brighter than it ever had before. Meanwhile, after Disneyworld, Sonny and Blue would just remain good friends. Yes, things would be perfect if they turned out just like that. At least that’s what Sonny informed herself.

~~~~~~~~~~

It was so dark and so cold as she kept running and running. It appeared as though she was in a tunnel. A tunnel that would never end because no matter how fast she ran…how long she ran, she never seemed to get any closer to her destination. She saw the door…it was the only object detectable because of a bright light hanging above it. The door was like a welcome beacon that guided one through a horrendous storm in the ocean.

She had to reach it. She had to get there in time before it was too late. Faster and faster, she ran as beads of sweat appeared on her forehead and puffs of cold air rushed out of her lungs only to vanish into the darkness. She could not be late this time. This could not happen again…oh God not again. Adrenaline pumping through her veins, her heart racing at an incredible speed, she finally began to feel as though she was making some leeway, the distance between her and the door seeming to decrease. She was almost there…remarkably close to her goal. Don’t let it be too late…not this time. Not again, never again. The course of all of their lives depended on whether or not she would succeed.

Reaching the door, she placed her hand on the ice-cold knob. She took a deep relaxing breath. It could not be too late. This time she would make it there before it happened. Turning the knob, she opened the door. It was then that she saw it, like this was déjà vu. Oh, not again. Not again! A scream rose from deep within her and echoed against the close walls of the tunnel. Running into the bathroom, she hurriedly lifted and removed the small lifeless body hanging from the shower stall.

Hot tears ran down her cheeks as she lovingly placed the body on the floor. Having learned it in school, she began to perform CPR although she knew within her heart that it was too late…much too late. Finally giving up, she cradled the body in her arms as she cried more and more. Throwing her head back, she let out a blood-curdling scream as she wondered…why?

"Mama!!" Sitting up in the bed, Jack swallowed gulps of air as she attempted to bring the beating of her heart back down to a normal speed. Rivulets of sweat clung to her body as she began to shake violently. Throwing the covers back, the tall woman jumped out of the bed and raced into her bathroom, where she quickly lost the contents of her stomach in the toilet. After enduring a few dry heaves, her nausea thankfully subsided. Standing, Jack moved over to the sink. Turning on the cold water, she began to splash some on her face before picking up her toothbrush and beginning to brush her teeth.

Her knees feeling quite weak, Jack purposely collapsed onto the cold hard bathroom tile. Lying down in the fetal position, she wrapped her arms around her body while waiting for the shaking to recede. The tears that she had managed to hold in all day finally came. Not bothering to stop them, Jack continued to hold herself as the sobs shook her body.

Minutes later, Jack stopped crying. Sitting up, no longer shaking, she wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand. Getting to her knees, she rose from the floor and left the bathroom, making sure to turn out the light before closing the door. Carefully traveling down the stairs, Jack headed towards the mini bar in her den. Finding a bottle of red wine, she poured some of the liquid into a glass before taking a huge swallow before refilling it. Jack hoped that if she drank enough of it, that the alcohol would put her into a deep sleep sans the nightmares.

After polishing off a glass of wine and then refilling it again, Jack moved to her computer and took a seat. Taking another sip from the glass, she placed it on her desk before starting the process of logging onto the Internet. Perhaps she would find something to do in order to distract her from the memories now coursing through her mind. The last thing Jack wanted to think about was that horrid day.

Successfully logging on, Jack checked her e-mail after being informed that she had some. A faint smile made its way to her lips as the dark-haired woman zoned in on the email from PerkyGrrl. Clicking on it, she began to read after noticing that this latest email had been sent not two hours ago. Her heart rate started to increase when she was told that PG had written her a poem. No one had ever done anything like that for Jack. The faint smile she had been wearing had grown into a full-fledged one by the end of the poem. Sitting back in her chair, Jack reread the poem a few times while completely speechless. This was the most beautiful thing anyone had ever told her. If she would have had PG’s phone number, she would have called the woman right then and professed how much she loved her.

Your eyes…

They see into my soul

Like no others have ever been able to do.

Jack decided that that was her favorite part, as she reread the last three lines repeatedly, committing them to memory. Did PerkyGrrl really mean that? Did she mean every word that she wrote? Jack smiled to herself. Yes, she honestly believed that the woman did. Maybe…just maybe PG felt the same way that Jack did. Or at the very least, perhaps she was starting to. Now, more than ever Jack could not wait until next Friday to arrive.

Placing her hand on the mouse, she clicked the ‘reply’ button before starting to type a response to PerkyGrrl’s email.

To the Lovely PG,

Wow. You have rendered me speechless. Absolutely speechless. I don’t think that anyone has ever written anything so beautiful as that was for me. Thank you so much for thinking of me and for being my friend. I will cherish this poem and you always *smile* You have a true talent for writing. You should do it more often. I have pretty much had the day from you know where, but you have instantly made it so much better. Again, I thank you. Well, I best get to bed now. I will see you next week sweetie… and hopefully in my dreams tonight.

Yours always & forever,

Blue

~~~~~~~~~~

Today was turning out to be a good day so far. She had managed to find a parking space relatively close to the amusement park. Shutting off the ignition, Sonny placed both of her hands on the wheel as she took in a deep breath and then slowly let it out. Today was the day. Today she would for the first time meet Blueyez and she was both thrilled and nervous about that happening. What if they did not click in person like they had online? She had heard of that occurring before.

Sonny shook her head. No, she would not think like that. She had to be positive. Everything would be fine between them. She just had to have some faith. Nodding, feeling a little bit calmer, Sonny looked in her rearview mirror to check her hair. Though it appeared to be neat, she reached anyway and lightly patted it on the top and sides. Glancing down at her outfit, Sonny wondered for the fiftieth time if she looked all right in it. This morning she had changed clothes at least a dozen times before deciding on this one.

The blonde had finally chosen to wear a pair of khaki shorts that ended just above her knees along with a navy blue sleeveless cotton shirt. On her feet were blue tennis shoes that she decided at the last minute would be more comfortable then the sandals she had started to slip into. Looking down at her neatly tucked in shirt, Sonny shook her head as she pulled it out. The other way looked much too formal. Now pleased, Sonny reached over in the passenger seat for the full pink rose lying there. As she examined herself in the rearview mirror, she carefully tucked the flower behind her right ear before nodding in satisfaction.

Glancing at her watch, Sonny noted the time. She had roughly twenty minutes before the park opened. Deciding that Blue was most likely already here, Sonny opened the car door and stepped out, making sure to close and lock it behind her. Running her hands over her shirt and shorts, though both were completely free of wrinkles, the blonde began to walk towards the park as she took in deep breaths in the hopes of relaxing. She suddenly felt like a rubber-band that could snap at any moment. Everything would be okay. Sonny just had to keep reminding herself of that. She and Blue were going to have a lovely day together.

~~~~~~~~~~

Waiting until the last song on her CD player finished playing, Jack turned off the ignition and placed her keys in one of the pockets located on her blue jean shorts. Reapplying cherry flavored lip balm, she glanced in the rearview mirror to make sure that her french braid was still neat. After noticing that it was, she looked at her watch to note that she almost fifteen minutes left until the park opened.

Opening the car door, she stepped out, putting on a pair of dark shades in the process. Stretching out her long limbs, Jack took a deep breath of air. It was hard to believe that she was about to meet the love of her life. PerkyGrrl was probably waiting for her right now, wearing a pink rose in her hair. Jack looked down at her perfectly pressed Mickey Mouse T-shirt as she briefly wondered which of them would notice the other first. Deciding to find out, she headed towards the park, taking long quick steps.

Minutes later, Jack reached the front entrance and started to look around at various women for the one wearing a flower. Excusing herself as she moved between throngs of people, Jack removed her shades so that she could see better and hooked them onto the collar of her shirt. Blue eyes perusing around, Jack thought, PG, come out, come out wherever you are. She smiled in delight. Your Blue has arrived to sweep you off of your feet. At least, Jack hoped that she would able to accomplish that.

Jack sighed as the crowd grew and grew, making it that more difficult for her locate PerkyGrrl. This was turning out to be harder than she had originally thought it would be. While wishing that they had decided to meet somewhere else such as the parking lot, Jack continued to study each woman that she laid eyes upon, searching for that telltale flower. Moments later, blue eyes caught sight of a big pink flower behind a woman’s ear. Oh, it’s only Sonny, Jack thought as she started to turn away to elsewhere before quickly looking back and blinking. Sonny?! What was she doing at Disneyworld today of all days with a pink rose in her hair?

No, it could not possibly be her. PerkyGrrl was not Sonny. Just because she had chosen to come to Disneyworld on the exact same day of Jack and PG’s meeting there, did not make her PerkyGrrl. And just because she was wearing a pink rose in her hair that did not mean she was PerkyGrrl either. And although she seemed to be searching the crowd of people, that did not mean she was looking for Jack a.k.a. Blue. No, none of that meant a single thing.

Jack’s thoughts settled on the handle PerkyGrrl as she quickly moved so that Sonny could not see her. Perky. What does one associate the word perky with? The blue-eyed woman sighed as the answer came to her. Coffee can make one perky and since Sonny owned a coffeehouse, she might have chosen PerkyGrrl to be her handle on AOL. Jack let out a long sigh as she concluded that it all made perfect sense. There really was no reason why Sonny could not be PerkyGrrl. After all, PG was sweet and though Sonny usually did not act that towards Jack, the woman knew that she was too. Jack just had the knack to bring out the worst in her.

Peering from behind a rather large man, Jack studied Sonny as the woman continued to look around with a slightly anxious expression on her face. So, what did this latest information mean? Jack was supposedly in love with PerkyGrrl, but since Sonny turned out to be her, had those feelings faded away or did Jack still feel the same? The woman mentally asked herself that question, deciding that the feelings had changed a great deal, yet they were still there. She could not say in all honesty that she was in love, since she had not taken the time to get to know Sonny, but Jack admitted that she felt something for her. Maybe that was why she took delight in making Sonny lose her temper because she liked her. Wasn’t that the way young children behaved when they had liked someone? Having a ten-year-old boy push you down in the mud when you had on your favorite dress meant he had a big crush on you.

Deciding that she did not feel like exploring those feelings right now, Jack turned and headed towards the parking lot at a quick pace. A part of her felt as though the love of her life had died. Sure, PerkyGrrl did indeed exist, but she was a woman that disliked Jack. The woman sighed again as it occurred to her that she probably did not deserve PerkyGrrl or Sonny anyway. Even if she attempted to behave in a more pleasant manner, there was no way that Sonny would be interested anyway. Look at what Jack had done thus far. First, she had almost killed the woman and now she was in the process of stealing her customers and ruining her business. Jack could only imagine how Sonny would react if she were to find out that Blueyez, the woman she had come to know and trust over the passed year was none other than her business rival. No, it was best to just make Blueyez disappear now.

Nearing the parking lot, Jack stopped dead in her tracks as she shook her head. Looking back over her shoulder, she felt the guilt rising. This was wrong. She could not just leave Sonny all alone. The younger woman had looked so fragile and innocent standing there as her green eyes desperately searched for her online friend. Coming to a decision, Jack removed her shades from the collar of her shirt and put them back over her eyes before she crossed her arms against her body and lifted the shirt, pulling it over her head. Glancing at her peach-colored tank top, Jack started to fold her Mickey Mouse shirt, glad that she had chosen to wear a tank top under it, thinking that it might heat up later in the day.

Jogging towards the parking lot, Jack made her way to her Mercedes. Opening the trunk, she tossed her T-shirt inside before allowing the trunk to fall shut. She then began the walk back to the park entrance as she gathered her thoughts. Finding Sonny, Jack plastered a smile on her face as she strolled up to the woman as though they were old friends…which in a way they were she supposed. Calling out the other woman’s name in greeting, Jack watched as Sonny’s eyes moved towards her, her expression now one of part curiosity mixed with a healthy dose of annoyance.

"Jack. What are you doing here? Are you following me now?"

The dark-haired woman grinned at her. "Yeah, I thought I would try out stalking as a possible hobby to take up." Jack’s grin broadened as she saw a smirk appear on Sonny’s lips. "What brings you here? Come to have some good old-fashion fun?"

Sonny nodded. "That’s usually what people do when they venture to Disneyworld," she paused as she looked at Jack introspectively. "Though I can’t for the life of me figure out why you’re here. This doesn’t seem like your type of place."

"And what does?"

The blonde woman shrugged. "Maybe the forest. I can picture you with a rifle in your hand crouching behind a bush as you anxiously wait for some unsuspecting innocent creatures to come into your line of vision so that you can shoot them down just for the sport of it."

Jack let out a short chuckle as she clutched at her chest. "Ouch. That hurt." She chuckled again, as she examined Sonny from head to toe. Someone sure did look cute today. "Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Sonny?"

"No I did not, but you’re getting on my wrong side now."

The taller woman cocked her head to the side. "Oh?"

The other woman nodded. "Oh. Now there really is no pleasant way for me to say this Jack. Go away. Please."

Jack glanced around before refocusing her attention on Sonny. "Why? You’re alone aren’t you? Or are you waiting for someone? Your girlfriend perhaps? What was her name…Lola…Lulu?"

Sonny smirked at her. "Laura. You know what her name is."

"Ah, yes. Laura. How could I forget?" Jack’s expression was one of mock innocence. "Laura Scott, one of the best darn journalists in Orlando! Also one of the best right-hookers my face has ever encountered."

A smug look briefly appeared on Sonny’s face. "That would be her. Now please go elsewhere and bug someone else."

"Whatsamatter Sonny? Am I cramping your style? I promise to tell Laura that absolutely nothing is going on between us when she shows up. That you and I were just having a civil conversation while you waited in excitement for her to arrive."

Sonny’s eyebrows raised. "Civil? You wouldn’t know civil if it walked up and bit you on the butt, Jack."

The other woman laughed heartily at that. "Oh, Sonny not even attempting to be nice to me today? Tired of my BS already are ya?"

Sonny softly sighed, as she reached up and rubbed her head as though she was starting to get a headache. "Yeah, that’s about the gist of it. Can you go now please?"

Not moving from the spot she was vacating, Jack glanced at her watch before looking at a clearly agitated Sonny. "It’s getting late. The park is about to open in a few minutes and I’d bet my money on the fact that Laura is not going to come." Sonny was about to say something, but Jack went on, "And ya know what Sonny? I don’t even think that you’re meeting Laura here. No, I get the sneaking suspicion that you are meeting," taking a couple steps towards the blonde, she whispered in her ear, "your mistress." Leaning back, Jack winked at her conspiratorially. "Am I right or am I right?"

Green eyes narrowed. "Number one, no I’m not meeting Laura here but a friend. And two, I do not have a mistress. I am completely faithful."

A dark eyebrow rose into Jack’s bangs. "Oh, is that right? You’re completely faithful?"

Sonny started to look the least bit uncomfortable at this line of questioning. "Yes, I am. What business is it of yours anyway? None," she ended, answering her own question.

Jack nodded. "You’ve got me there. It really is none of my business," she paused as she looked around again at the growing crowd. "So what’s your friends name?"

"None of your business."

"Well that is an odd name." Sonny gave her a dirty look to which Jack smiled sweetly at. "Sorry, couldn’t resist."

"Are you here alone?"

Jack nodded. "Yes, I am now. I was supposed to meet…well…" she grinned. "I had a hot date, but she just called me," reaching behind her, Jack removed a small cell phone that was clipped to the waistband of her shorts and showed it to Sonny, "and said that she couldn’t make it. Something came up. So, I was about to go home when I suddenly saw you standing here all by your lonesome. I figured that if you are alone like I am, then we could have fun together." Putting the phone back in its place, Jack hooked her thumbs on her side pockets.

"Guess you figured wrong because I’m waiting for someone. And she will show up."

"Ah, so the mystery person is definitely a woman." Jack watched as Sonny’s eyes moved over the crowd. "You wouldn’t be this nervous about just meeting a friend," Jack said, as her expression grew thoughtful. "You know what I think?"

Sonny looked at her. "You know what Jack? This may come as a real shock to you, but I couldn’t care less about what you think." She started to walk away but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.

"Listen to my theory before you trot off," Jack said as she removed her hand, pleased to find that Sonny was choosing to stay. "I think that you are meeting someone that you have never met before." She almost grinned when the blonde attempted to hide her surprise. "Yeah, because why would you be nervous about meeting up with one of your friends such as…Sarah. Let me guess…it’s an online friend right? And the two of you are meeting for the very first time. That is why you have that rose sitting behind your ear so that your friend can recognize you. Correct, aren’t I?"

Sonny looked at her suspiciously, wondering how Jack knew all of this. "Have you really been stalking me?"

Jack laughed. "I’ll take that as a yes. So, since you never told me her name I’m guessing that you don’t even know." Jack shook her head as she clucked her tongue loudly. "Here you are meeting someone for the first time and you don’t even know her name. Well at least you chose a public place. I have to give you credit for not being totally reckless."

Sonny let out a frustrated breath. "Goodbye Jack!"

The other woman glanced around. "Do you see her?"

"No, and I don’t want to see you."

"All right, all right. I know when I’m not wanted so I’ll just take my leave. Have a fantastic day." Winking at Sonny, Jack walked away as she noticed the crowd forming lines to purchase tickets. Choosing a line, she stood there as she looked towards where Sonny still was. She wondered how long the young woman was intending to wait for Blueyez to show up. Would she be willing to stay rooted to that same spot all day? Well, Jack was not going to let her do that. Somehow, some way she would get Sonny to spend the day with her at Disneyworld. Jack found that she wanted to do just that. Perhaps Sonny turning out to be PerkyGrrl was not such a bad thing after all.

Ten minutes later, Jack had two tickets in her hand as she strolled back over to Sonny, who was starting to look just a tad bit disillusioned. Jack figured that she must have been coming to the realization that Blueyez was not going to make an appearance. Tapping the woman on the shoulder, Jack watched, as Sonny looked up at her with sadness in her usually bright green eyes that tore at the older woman’s heart. Holding up the tickets, Jack smiled at her tenderly.

"C’mon Sonny. I don’t think your friend is going to make it. Maybe something important happened that required her immediate attention. I’m sure she’ll email you later with an explanation. Meanwhile, I have two ultimate park hopper tickets here in my hand, which means that we can go to any of the theme parks located in Disneyworld, and I’d really consider it an honor if you would join me in a day of fun and exploration. Maybe it’s too late for me to try to be your friend but I’m gonna make the effort anyway." Jack cocked her head to the side in the hopes of looking endearing. "So will you please come play with me in the happiest place on earth?"

Sonny observed her for a moment, realizing that Jack was being earnest. Thinking that she must have lost her mind, Sonny softly chuckled as she replied, "Now with a sweet little speech like that how could I resist?"

Jack winked at her. "Shall we go then?" She offered an arm to the other woman.

Sonny nodded as she slipped the arm that still bore the cast on it, through Jack’s. "Let’s go hang with Mickey and the rest of the gang."

~~~~~~~~~~

This was turning out to be quite a fantastic day. Sonny did not think that she could be more surprised. During the entire day, Jack had been nothing short of charming and sweet as they explored the Magic Kingdom. They had done and ridden so much that she could not remember everything. In fact, there was so much to do and see in the Magic Kingdom that they had yet to venture into any of the other parks.

The first ride they went on after entering the park was "Pirates of the Caribbean" located in Adventureland. Sonny had enjoyed some good old-fashioned teasing at Jack’s expense after the ride was over. Jack spent most of the time screaming like a banshee as the cart they shared with a few other people went up and down. Her screaming reached a new pitch as the cart made a sudden long drop that caused her stomach to perform several flip-flops. The first one to get out when the ride was over, Jack gave Sonny a dirty look as the blonde doubled over in hearty laughter. Starting to smirk, Jack informed her not to hold anything back, which only caused Sonny to start laughing that much harder.

Sonny was half shocked that Jack did not have laryngitis after riding "Space Mountain" and "Splash Mountain" and that she herself was not deaf. Surely, Jack must have been the loudest person on both of those rides as she screamed her head off. During "Space Mountain" Sonny slipped her hand into Jack’s, which was something that she soon regretted doing as the woman held onto her hand so tight, that the blonde had a feeling that her arm was not the only part of her body that was about to be broken. Afterwards, Jack apologized for her death grip before she raised Sonny’s hand to lips and tenderly kissed the back of it. Grinning at the blush that quickly appeared on the shorter woman’s cheeks, Jack wrapped an arm around her shoulders as they headed towards the much tamer "Jungle Cruise" ride, where Jack snapped a few pictures with the instant camera she bought back on Main Street. She took even more pictures as she endured "It’s a Small World," the ride that Sonny insisted that they just had to go on because it was a "classic". It took Jack nearly an hour after the ride was over to get that song out of her head. Sonny grinned every time that she heard the woman humming it.

Now, the two women were in the midst of a cruise on the "Liberty Bell Riverboat". There were three levels to the riverboat and they had managed to obtain a place on the uppermost tier. Standing next to the railing, the women looked out over the water, both feeling happy at how well things were going between them. Blue eyes traveling to Sonny, Jack took in the woman as she smiled. Yes, it had turned out to be a very good thing that PerkyGrrl was this cute petite blonde. She was everything that Jack could want in a woman and so much more than that. She now admitted that she had a crush…a rather large crush on Sonny. Though, she was not about to tell her that, because Jack figured that Sonny would not react to them in the way that she would prefer her to. One, because despite how well this day had gone, that did not automatically erase everything that Jack had caused and done. Two, Sonny was currently already involved with someone, though Jack had a feeling that it was not going well, since the blonde sent an intimate poem to Blueyez just last week. Three, even if there was not a Laura Scott in the picture, there was still Blue.

Jack could have laughed at that. She was standing in her own way. The woman shook her head slightly as she glanced towards the setting sun, deep in thought. What was she going to do about Blue? Somehow, she had to either get rid of her or cause Sonny to end whatever it was that the two of them shared. Jack looked back to Sonny as she softly smiled, though the other woman did not notice it because she was looking elsewhere. Truthfully, Jack knew without a shadow of a doubt that she did not deserve this sweet and gentle person, but she wanted her. In fact, she wanted to take Sonny in her arms right now and kiss her until the younger woman was breathless. Somehow, Jack had to acquire Sonny’s affections. She would not allow Blueyez or anyone else to stand in her way. What the two of them could share would be so very special. Oh, Sonny you have definitely gotten under my skin, Jack thought, not in the least bit upset by that fact.

Feeling eyes upon her, Sonny looked over her shoulder to Jack and smiled as she caught the one on the other woman’s lips. Turning away from the railing, the young woman leaned against it as she crossed her arms over her chest, green eyes keeping contact with blue ones. "Take a picture. It’ll last longer," she said, wearing a playful expression.

Jack grinned at her as she reached into her pocket and took out her Kodak camera. "Hey, that’s not such a bad idea. Pose for me, will ya?" Raising the camera until it was eye-level, Jack closed one eye as she looked through the lens.

Smiling brightly, Sonny hopped up onto the railing and sat there as she placed her hands on it to keep steady. Looking towards the camera, she kept smiling as she carefully crossed one leg over the other. Sonny faintly blushed as Jack let out a long appreciative whistle before snapping the woman’s picture. When Jack announced that she wanted to take one more picture, Sonny carefully let go of her hold on the railing and stretched her arms out as she gave the camera a goofy smile. Chuckling, Jack pressed the button on her camera, successfully taking the picture just before the smile on Sonny’s face slipped as she began to lose her balance. Before Jack could reach out a helping hand to her, the blonde fell backwards and headed towards the water as she emitted a high-pitched scream. Moments later she crashed into the water, creating a great splash.

"Sonny!" Jack yelled as she dropped her camera and ran towards the railing, vaulting over it with ease. The tall woman tucked in her body as she moved towards the water at the speed of a cannonball. She managed to take in a deep breath of air and hold it just before she made impact. Surfacing, Jack quickly looked around not seeing any sign of Sonny. With the beat of her heart beginning to rapidly increase, she inhaled deeply and held her breath as she slipped underneath the water. Opening her eyes, she began to look for the other woman as she tried not to panic. Not a minute later, Jack located the blonde floating about fifteen feet away. Surfacing again, she quickly swam towards her, gliding through the water with the ease of an Olympic swimmer.

Reaching Sonny, Jack wrapped her arms around the unconscious woman and brought her to the surface. Turning the blonde around so that she was facing away, Jack wrapped an arm around her chest and started to swim towards the riverboat, which had stopped moving. As Jack arrived, two strong looking men reached over the railing and as gently as they could manage, pulled Sonny onto the boat, placing her on the floor before turning back to the railing and helping Jack up. Thanking the men, the now soaked Jack kneeled next to Sonny, placing two fingers on the pulse point located on her neck. Relieved to find one, she checked for signs of breathing but could not find any.

Putting panic aside, Jack started to perform CPR, thankful that she had taken that first-aid class with Chloe a few years back. Gently tilting Sonny’s head back, Jack pinched her nostrils between thumb and forefinger before lowering her own head and placing her mouth over the woman’s, giving Sonny two long full breaths. Raising her head slightly, Jack examined Sonny’s chest for signs of movement but was discontented to find that there weren’t any. Lowering her head again, Jack gave the other woman two more breaths before watching her still chest. Her heart began to beat so fast that she was sure those standing around watching could hear it.

"Come on Sonny," Jack said in a panicked voice, "damn it, breathe! Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. You can’t," her voice cracked. Taking in a deep breath, Jack lowered her head and covered Sonny’s mouth again, emitting the air into her lungs. She was about to give the unconscious woman another breath when Sonny’s chest suddenly heaved and water sputtered out of her mouth, some finding its way into Jack’s. The dark-haired woman rolled Sonny over on her side as she continued to spit out water, her whole body shaking as she coughed. Some of the onlookers began to clap as Jack placed a hand on Sonny’s back, gently patting her. Tears of joy sprang to Jack’s eyes as she lifted the small woman in her arms after the coughing and sputtering ceased.

"Are you okay?" she asked in a quiet voice, placing a tender kiss on Sonny’s cheek.

Nodding, Sonny looked at her. "You saved my life," she whispered hoarsely.

Jack gave her a lopsided grin. "Well I hit you with my car and could have ended your life and now I’ve saved you from drowning, so I guess that balances it out. I owed you one."

The blonde softly chuckled. "Yeah, I guess so."

~~~~~~~~~~

As they exited the riverboat, Jack looked at her companion with concern evident on her face. She asked the other woman for what must have been the thirtieth time if she was sure that she was all right. Announcing that she was, Sonny reached out and gave Jack’s hand a reassuring squeeze. Not letting go, the taller woman gently pulled her over and wrapped an arm around her shoulders as Sonny in turn wrapped her arm around Jack’s waist.

"I still think that you should see a doctor," Jack said.

Sonny shook her head. "No, I don’t need to do that. I’m fine, really." She looked up at the other woman. "But there is something that I need…"

Blue eyes stared into her green ones as Jack’s heart skipped a beat at the words. By any chance, was what Sonny needed what she herself wanted? Swallowing with a bit of difficult, Jack asked, "And what is it that you need?"

"Food." Sonny grinned. "I don’t know about you but I’m famished! The cheeseburgers we ate for lunch have been gone."

Jack chuckled. That was something that she had discovered about Sonny today. The woman had the combined appetite of a team of professional football players. During lunch, she managed to scarf down two cheeseburgers, a large order of fries, and two large cups of lemonade that had her running to the restroom every fifteen minutes. "Then we should get you something to eat. But first, we should get out of these wet clothes and I have an idea."

"What’s that?"

"How about we get some dry clothes, check into one of the Disney resorts and take a shower before ordering some room service? And we can relax there for a bit before we leave."

One of Sonny’s eyebrows arched. She and Jack alone in a hotel room? No, that did not sound like a good idea and she had a feeling that her girlfriend would agree. "That’s not necessary, Jack. We can just go home. It’s not like either of us live too far from here. I can get something to eat when I reach my apartment."

Jack shook her head as she reached up and pushed a wet lock of hair out of her face. "No, I insist we go to the resort. If you won’t allow me to escort you to the doctor, then at least concede on this. I think it would be a good idea for you to rest. Plus, I want to buy you dinner. I’m not sending you to your car on an empty stomach. The room service at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is fantastic and I can guarantee that you’ll love it. And, I don’t think you should drive all the way home in those wet clothes. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like catching a case of pneumonia."

"Jack, you don’t have—"

Turning towards Sonny, Jack stopped walking as she placed her hands on the smaller woman’s shoulders, halting Sonny’s steps as well. Looking into her eyes, Jack said, "Okay, no more excuses. I just don’t want this wonderful day with you to come to an end yet. I’m not ready for that. Are you?"

Silently staring into Jack’s eyes for a moment, Sonny shook her head. "No, I’m not," she admitted in a faint whisper.

The other woman smiled at her, pleased beyond words with her answer. "Very well then. It’s settled. We’ll check into the resort, stay for a couple hours and then head on home."

~~~~~~~~~~

After making a stop on Main Street to purchase clothes in one of the souvenir shops, Jack and Sonny headed over to the Monorail, which was their choice of transportation to get to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Sitting next to a window on the Monorail, Sonny gazed out of it with a thoughtful look upon her face, as she remembered what happened not an hour ago on the riverboat.

She thought back to the look on Jack’s face after the woman successfully revived her. There had been a mix of concern, relief, and something akin to affection in her eyes. And then Jack had kissed her cheek so sweetly and tenderly. Though the situation could have quickly turned into a tragedy, it seemed as though somehow the two of them had connected on that boat. Turning her head in the opposite direction, Sonny observed Jack, who was occupying the seat next to her own.

Noticing that the woman’s eyes were closed as she relaxed against the headrest, Sonny took her time looking at her. Jack indeed was quite a beautiful woman with her high cheekbones, full sensuous lips, and those alluring blue eyes that were now shielded. Sonny softly sighed as she resisted the urge to reach up and push back the damp bangs plastered to Jack’s forehead. Oh, Jack. After today, I am certain that you have a good heart. Question is why do you insist on keeping it locked up.

"Take a picture," Jack started in a low voice as she kept her eyes closed, "it’ll last longer." She grinned, pleased that she was able to return Sonny’s earlier comment to her. "At least, that’s what a certain blonde informed me earlier." Not hearing so much as a sound coming from Sonny, Jack opened one eye, looking at the stunned woman. She started to chuckle as she asked, "Cat got your tongue?"

"I…you…how did you know I was looking at you?" Sonny finally got out. "I thought you were asleep."

Jack shook her head. "Nah, just resting my eyes. I could feel your eyes upon me." She faintly grinned. "Do you like what you see?"

Sonny smirked. "You look like a drowned rat."

The other woman burst out in laughter. Finding it contagious, Sonny started to chuckle a bit. "Ah, you sure do know how to say the right thing to a woman, Sonny." Jack winked at her. "Oh, and dear you ain’t lookin’ too spiffy yourself." As she closed her eyes, a small grin appeared on her lips. "But I must admit that that doesn’t matter to me, because I like it when you’re wet."

Blushing red hot, the stunned expression appeared on Sonny’s face as she turned back to the window. She and Jack Foster alone in a hotel room. This was definitely turning out to be a bad…very bad idea.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ignoring the looks thrown their way, Jack and Sonny walked up to the check in desk while their shoes made squishing noises due to the water that was saturated in them. As they waited for the people ahead of them to finish, Jack fished in her back pocket and removed her now soggy wallet. When Sonny insisted that she pay for their room, Jack shook her head negatively as she explained that since this was her idea, it was her treat as well.

"But you bought our clothes!" Sonny returned as she glanced at the two sets of clothing in the plastic bag she held. "You should at least let me pay for the room. You’ve been paying for everything all day. Our lunch, snacks, the tickets to get in…"

Jack granted her with a saucy grin. "Just consider me your Sugar Mama." Before Sonny could offer any reply, Jack walked up to the desk after the other people left. Smiling charmingly at the young woman behind the desk, whose nametag said "Kiki," she said, "Hello. We’d like a room please. Preferably one with a nice view." Jack allowed her eyes to trail down to Kiki’s bountiful bosom before she looked back up at the woman’s face. Jack barely contained a grin as she noticed out of the corner of her eye, the almost jealous look on Sonny’s face as the woman stood next to her.

Blushing brightly, the clerk turned to her computer and began to type as clicking sounds filled the air. Looking up at Jack, Kiki said, "How about a garden view?"

The tall woman nodded. "Perfect. We’d like a regular room. Just staying tonight."

Nodding, Kiki produced more clicking as her fingers flew over the keyboard. Still looking at the computer screen, she asked Jack if she would like a king size bed or two queens. Starting to grin, Jack glanced at Sonny as a lascivious thought entered her mind that probably would have gotten her slapped had she voiced it. The thought of she and this beautiful blonde rolling around in a king sized bed almost caused Jack to outwardly moan. Turning back to Kiki, she replied that they would prefer two queen beds.

"Smoking or non?"

"Non smoking please." Reaching into her wallet, Jack pulled out a gold colored credit card and slid it across the desk to the clerk.

Announcing Jack’s total, the clerk picked up the credit card and swiped it through a machine. As she did so, the blue-eyed woman once again glanced at Sonny, who was observing the lobby, seemingly not paying them any attention. Wondering if she could obtain a full jealous look from the woman, Jack turned back to the clerk as that charming smile appeared on her lips again.

"Kiki, I was just wondering…do you come with the room by any chance?" Looking out of the corner of her eye, Jack noticed green eyes rolling as Sonny turned around to regard them both. She rolled her eyes again as she caught the blush creeping up Kiki’s cheeks. What was Jack up to now? Sonny had a feeling that this was all for her benefit.

Sliding a paper over along with a pen for Jack to sign, Kiki coyly smiled at her. "Do you want me to?"

As the grin on Jack’s face grew, Sonny inwardly sighed, watching as the woman leaned on the desk, signing her name while Kiki continued smiling at her. She could not take this anymore. Enough was enough. Before Jack could reply to the clerk’s question, Sonny sidled closer to her, wrapping an arm around the woman’s waist. Ignoring the surprised expression on Jack’s face, she stared at Kiki. "Listen, I don’t mean to be rude but this is my woman you’re flirting with and I really don’t appreciate it considering that I’m standing right here. So just watch yourself, Mimi."

Swallowing with a bit of difficulty, Kiki nodded. "My…my name is Kiki, not Mimi," she pointed to her nametag. "And sorry, I didn’t know you two were together. I mean you’re getting two beds and all…"

"We had a fight…a physical one earlier on the riverboat ride and ended up falling over the railing into the water. And it’s her fault it happened, so that is why we’re sleeping in separate beds tonight, though I don’t see where that is any of your business."

A small grin graced Jack’s lips as she thought of a way to use this situation to her advantage. Slipping an arm around Sonny’s slim waist, she leaned down, whispering in the woman’s ear loud enough for the clerk to hear, "Oh, baby let’s sleep in the same bed. You know you can’t get a restful night’s sleep without first having my tongue inside you…pleasing you."

Sonny became speechless as she felt a stinging sensation in her cheeks. Glancing up at a satisfied Jack, she blew out a frustrated breath before muttering something about waiting over by the elevators. With that said, the blonde marched towards the elevators, instinctively knowing that Jack was watching as she went.

Peeling her eyes away from Sonny’s firm rear as she walked, Jack looked back at Kiki, shrugging. "She’s a little shy."

~~~~~~~~~~

As the elevator climbed, Jack observed Sonny as she leaned back against the wall with her arms folded over chest. The blonde had not uttered one word to her and by the expression on her face, it was apparent that Sonny was royally ticked off.

"Are you intending not to speak to me for the duration of the evening?" Jack asked. When she did not receive a response, she went on saying, "I’m sorry if I embarrassed you in anyway, but you did start it."

Her mouth formed in the shape of an O, Sonny turned around so that she was facing Jack as she put her hands on her hips, one of them still carrying the bag of clothes. "Pardon me? Did you just say that I started it, because in my opinion you did."

Jack arched an eyebrow. "Oh, I did? Let’s recount what just happened. I was flirting with the desk clerk, which was an A and B conversation before you decided to C your way into it." She grinned a bit as Sonny smirked. "You were the one who exclaimed that I was your woman and I just merely played along with it. In a way, I helped to make your story plausible. Now how…please explain to me how I started anything?"

"You only flirted with her to get to me and you know it Jack," Sonny replied. "That little show you put on was solely for my benefit."

Walking over to the elevator panel, Jack pushed the red stop button before she turned around to face the other woman as the elevator ceased to move. "Let me get this straight…you think that I flirted with Kiki to what…make you jealous?"

Sonny shrugged while thankful she was not claustrophobic. "If the shoe fits…"

Jack laughed. "Now why would I do that? It doesn’t make any sense because it’s not like you’re interested in pursuing a relationship with me. You’re very much in love with your girlfriend Laura right? She’s the only woman for you, so it shouldn’t matter what I do."

The blonde nodded. "Right. I do love her, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to get to me." She pointed towards the panel that Jack was almost fully blocking. "Now can you get us to move? Other people are waiting to use the elevators."

"Just a moment." Jack cocked her head to the side with a thoughtful look on her face. "Were you jealous Sonny?"

"No, I wasn’t." She hoped she sounded convincing.

"Then why call me your woman? You must have felt threatened."

Sonny let out a sigh. "I just wanted that fiasco to end and I didn’t feel threatened because the fact of the matter is that I don’t want you. Like you just said, I’m not interested. Not in the least bit. How could I be? You’re like a chameleon. I never know how you’re gonna behave from one moment to the next," she paused as a small frown appeared on her face. "Do you know how disturbing that can be?"

Not giving a quick reply, Jack gazed down at her shoes as she gathered her thoughts. Finally raising her head, she looked at Sonny. "I apologize," she softly admitted as she shrugged. "I dunno. I think sometimes my mouth overpowers my brain and takes charge. I…I was just playing with you down in the lobby when I was flirting with that clerk. I didn’t know you’d get this upset about it. I really am sorry."

Walking over to her, Sonny briefly took Jack’s hand in her own and gave it a small squeeze. "That’s okay."

The taller woman smiled at her, wishing that Sonny wouldn’t have let go of her hand so quickly. "So we’re cool now?"

The blonde returned the smile as she nodded. "Yeah, we’re cool. Can we move now?"

Jack nodded. "Yes, but I have one more question. Honestly, it didn’t irk you in the least bit that I was flirting with Mi—oops, I mean Kiki." She grinned.

Sonny shook her head. "Nope. You could flirt with every woman between here and California and wouldn’t bother me one bit."

"Uh huh." Reaching behind her, Jack released the stop button so that they would continue going up.

"You don’t believe me?"

Waiting a few moments, Jack nodded while biting on her lower lip to conceal a knowing grin. "Yeah, I believe you Sonny." About as much as I believe that Adolf Hitler was really a kind and gentle soul.

~~~~~~~~~~

Slipping her key card into the slot on the door, Jack opened after the green light blinked. Moving out of the way, she waited for Sonny to enter the room before following behind her and locking the door. Locating a light switch on the wall, Sonny turned it on before she walked more into the room, passing the bathroom on her way to where the beds were. Laying the bag she was carrying on the nearest bed, she looked around, marveling at the spacious room.

"This is nice Jack," Sonny stated as she glanced up at the ceiling fan. Walking towards it, she stood on her tiptoes to turn it on before she headed towards the balcony with Jack following close behind her.

"Yeah, it’s not a suite but it is charming," Jack replied as she walked through the sliding glass doors to stand next to Sonny on the balcony. Leaning over, she placed her arms on the railing as she admired the expansive garden along with her companion.

"It’s beautiful," Sonny said in a breathless voice.

Looking straight at her, Jack replied in a near whisper. "Yes, it is."

Noticing where Jack’s attention was located, the blonde started to faintly blush as she lightly cleared her throat. Facing the other woman, she said, "Maybe we should take a shower now."

Jack arched an eyebrow as she grinned. "I do believe that that is the best idea you’ve had all day."

Sonny rolled her eyes as she gave Jack a "what am I going to do with you" look. "I mean separately."

The other woman snapped her fingers. "Aw, shucks. And here I thought you meant we could get all soapy and wetter together." Grinning, Jack went on to say as she pointed towards the bathroom, "You go on and take yours first. I’ll look and see what they have on the room service menu."

Nodding, Sonny exclaimed that she would not be long before she headed back into the room. Getting her clothes out of the plastic bag on the bed, she walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind her while Jack watched from the balcony. Turning around to look out across the garden for a few more minutes, Jack then walked back into the room and closed the sliding glass doors behind her.

Pulling a chair out from a small round table, she dragged it over to where the television was and took a seat in it before reaching out and grabbing the remote. Turning the television on, Jack started to channel surf as she attempted not to think about the beautiful blonde that was undoubtedly now naked in the bathroom. A moment later when the water from the shower started to run, Jack winced as she imagined Sonny getting in the shower and allowing the hot water to cascade over her skin, making sure to turn around so that it could touch every inch of her body. She would then pick up the bar of soap and slowly beginning to caress her skin with it, going up and down…side to side…

Shaking her head and blinking her eyes rapidly, Jack let out a long ragged breath, as she suddenly felt extremely overheated. Concluding that nothing on the television could distract her, the woman pointed the remote towards it and clicked it off. Standing, she placed the remote on top of the television before moving around the room, searching for the room service menu. Finding it in the top drawer of the nightstand sitting between the beds, Jack flipped it open, starting to read as she paced back and forth across the room.

As she decided what she wanted, Jack heard the shower being cut off. Placing the menu on the nightstand, she walked over to the bed where her clothes were. Taking them out of the bag, Jack went back to her seat in front of the television and waited for Sonny to come out of the bathroom. Minutes later, steam poured into the room as the bathroom door was opened. As Sonny walked out of the bathroom while wiping at her still damp hair with a plush towel, Jack thought of how adorable and sexy she looked.

Sonny was wearing a pair of dangerously short plaid shorts with different shades of blue in it along with a tight blue T-shirt that had a picture of Goofy on the front. The T-shirt was short enough so that Sonny’s bellybutton was clearly visible and tight enough that her full breasts were very defined. Putting her hands on her hips as she looked down at her outfit, the blonde asked, "Jack, I thought I told you that I’m a size eight." Looking across at Jack, she arched a golden eyebrow.

The dark-haired woman grinned broadly. "You did, but I thought you’d look real fine in a size six. Are they uncomfortable?" Because if they are, I personally don’t mind if you take them off…

Sonny shook her head as she tossed her towel on the bed she was standing next to. "No, just a little…small." Plopping down on the bed, she shook her head as she gazed at Jack, her expression full of mirth.

"What?"

Sonny chuckled. "You know what." She indicated the bathroom with a nod of her head in its direction. "Hurry and go take your shower now. I’m famished."

"Oh, I see. You like your food clean before you eat it, eh?"

Smirking, Sonny moved onto her knees on the bed and crawled up towards the headboard as Jack closely watched her firm little derriere shaking from side to side. Biting down hard on her lower lip, she groaned a little as she briefly wondered if the blonde knew what she was doing to her. Grabbing a pillow from underneath the blanket, Sonny tossed it across the room towards Jack. Before the woman could even think of ducking, it hit her square in the face. Starting to laugh, Jack arose from the chair and headed towards the bathroom.

"All right, all right. I’m going. Look at the menu and decide what you want while I’m taking my shower. We can order when I get out." She winked at Sonny, who was reclining back on the bed with a very pleased look on her face. "Oh, and please feel free to join me if you like."

~~~~~~~~~~

After drying her hair with the blow dryer that she found in the bathroom, Jack began to comb through it using her fingers to get the tangles out. Looking down at her outfit that matched Sonny’s except for the fact that it was red, much bigger, and there was a picture of Winnie the Pooh on the front of her T-shirt, Jack decided that she was presentable. Opening the bathroom door, she walked out to notice Sonny tucked into the fetal position while lying on top of the bed fast asleep.

Cocking her head to the side as she watched, a warm and tender smile appeared on Jack’s face. This had to be the most precious sight in the world. Disappearing back into the bathroom, Jack grabbed her camera from the sink. Luckily, she had dropped it safely on the riverboat before she jumped over the railing to rescue Sonny, so it still worked. Unfortunately, Jack had lost her cell phone in the water, but she considered it a small price to pay since Sonny was all right.

Walking out of the bathroom, Jack stood at the foot of the bed Sonny was sleeping in. Bringing the camera eye level, she snapped a picture of the woman as she wore a smile. Putting the camera over on the dresser, Jack strolled to the other bed and pulled the covers down before moving over to Sonny. Gently picking up the sleeping woman in her arms, careful not to disturb her, Jack placed the blonde in the other bed before pulling the covers up to her shoulders. She watched as Sonny curled onto her side again and snuggled underneath the covers.

Ignoring her stomach that chose that moment to start growling in protest of not having any food, Jack walked over to the light switch near the front door and turned it off before she headed for the vacant bed, guided by the moonlight shining through the curtains on the sliding glass doors. Pulling back the covers, she slipped into the bed and fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hearing sounds, Sonny turned around in the bed, finding herself tangled in the covers. Hearing more sounds, she raised her head and looked in the direction of the other bed where Jack was moving around a bit, though it was obvious she was still asleep. Sonny could detect that she was muttering something about her mother as the woman continued to toss and turn. Making up her mind, the blonde found her way out of the tangle of cover and arose from the bed.

Shuffling over to the other bed, she quietly pulled back the covers before slipping in next to the other woman. Wrapping an arm around Jack’s middle, Sonny held on tightly as she whispered shushing sounds in Jack’s ear in the attempt to calm her down. Almost instantly, the bigger woman began to calm down as she ceased to move. Rubbing up and down Jack’s side, Sonny waited until she was sure that the woman was peacefully asleep before she went back to sleep herself.

~~~~~~~~~~

Squinting from the bit of sun peeking through a crack in the curtains, Jack opened her eyes to find that her cheek was resting against a rather plump breast that she found to be much more comfortable then any pillow. Raising her head, she noticed that the breast belonged to Sonny, who was still asleep, if her slightly parted lips and deep even breathing were any indication. Jack arched an eyebrow in curiosity. How did Sonny get in her bed when she had placed the younger woman in the other bed last night? The dark-haired woman started to smile. The answer was simple enough. Sometime during the night, Sonny must have quietly slipped into her bed. The only question left was why she did so.

Propping her chin in her hand as she laid on her right side next to Sonny, Jack observed the woman as she slept. Sonny’s hair was slightly disheveled now, yet it only proved to make her look all the more beautiful. Jack’s eyes traveled down to Sonny’s lips…lips that she ached to touch with her own. Is that why the young woman had slipped into her bed, hoping that she would make a move? It did not seem plausible, but what other explanation could there be? Was Sonny afraid of the dark and needed to sleep with someone, anyone? Had she seen shadows jumping across the walls last night and hurried into Jack’s bed? The dark-haired woman suddenly grinned. Did she have nightmares about those little people from the "It’s a Small World" ride chasing her while singing that addicting yet annoying song? That could scare the pants off of anyone!

Jack’s eyes slowly moved down Sonny’s body until they stopped at the end of her T-shirt, where smooth creamy skin was visible. Acting before she could thoroughly think about it, Jack reached out a hand and lightly ran her fingertips across the part of Sonny’s stomach that was visible. She bit on her lower lip as the blonde’s muscles rippled slightly at her touch. As commonsense begged her to stop, Jack ignored it as she slipped her hand under Sonny’s T-shirt, feeling more of her taut stomach. As Jack’s hand inched higher, she heard a soft moan escape Sonny’s lips. Quickly looking up, she noticed that the younger woman appeared to still be sleeping yet she must have been enjoying this touching.

Figuring that she must have misplaced her mind somewhere between going to sleep and waking up, Jack leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Sonny’s stomach, which made the woman moan again as she whispered something that was indecipherable. Sticking out the tip of her tongue, Jack slowly rolled it around Sonny’s bellybutton causing the smaller woman to squirm in her sleep as she emitted a sound of pleasure. Feeling encouraged, Jack dipped her tongue into the woman’s navel, moving in and out, occasionally swirling around it.

"Ooh, Blue," Sonny softly said in a voice laced with desire.

Glancing up at her, Jack saw that the younger woman was still fast asleep, though there was a slight smile on her lips. Arching an eyebrow, Jack thought about what she just said. Ooh, Blue? Well that was highly interesting. Not "Ooh Laura" but "Ooh Blue." Well, well Sonny, Jack thought with a small grin on her lips. Do you have erotic fantasies and dreams about me? I just bet you do. Wonder how you’d take it if I were to make those fantasies come true.

Deciding to find out the answer to her inquiry, Jack slipped one long leg between Sonny’s underneath the cover before she slowly moved to her stomach, resting some of her weight on the smaller woman as she observed her from above. And she thought Chloe could sleep deeply. Sonny had her beat by a mile.

Pressing her thigh against the crotch of Sonny’s shorts, Jack started to move it up and down while the blonde moaned because of the pleasurable contact. Almost moaning herself at the heat she felt through Sonny’s shorts, Jack pressed her thigh harder as she leaned down, her lips bare centimeters from the other woman’s.

Sonny groaned loudly as she wrapped her arms around Jack in her sleep. "Ooh, Blue…that feels so fantastic," she whispered, unconsciously starting to move her hips. "Make love to me…I need you."

Closing her eyes tightly, Jack buried her face in Sonny’s neck as a tortuous moan escaped her lips. She attempted to ignore the guilt but she couldn’t shake the feeling that what she was doing was immoral. Sure, Sonny appeared to be thoroughly enjoying herself, but she was asleep! Jack shook her head in self-disgust. Had she grown so desperate that she would resort to taking advantage of this woman while she slept? Evidently, the answer to that was yes.

Deciding to stop before she did something even more foolish, Jack raised her head and started to move off of Sonny when she caught hostile green eyes staring right at her. Before she could say or do anything, the blonde swiftly moved the position of their legs underneath the cover and kneed Jack in her crotch. Howling in pain, the bigger woman ended up on her back, as Sonny showed a considerable amount of strength by pushing her off before she leapt out of the bed.

Hands placed on her hips, Sonny accusingly looked at Jack, whom by now had rolled onto her side and drew her legs up as she cupped her private area protectively while wearing an expression of sheer pain. "What did you think you were just doing?" Sonny asked in a tight voice. She waited for the other woman to reply, but Jack just continued to lie on the bed, looking as if she could burst into tears at any moment. "Answer me!"

"I…I’m sorry," Jack finally croaked out.

"You’re sorry?" Sonny nodded slowly. "Yeah, you’re one sorry jackass Jack! Now I know what your first name really stands for."

The pain starting to subside a bit, Jack carefully sat up in the bed as she looked up at Sonny. "If I wasn’t hurting and if you weren’t staring at me like you wanted to hurt me more, I would laugh at how amusing that sounds. Very witty of you." It could have been her imagination, but Jack could have sworn she heard the other woman softly growl then.

"Tell me right now why I shouldn’t pick up one of these pillows and smother you!"

"Umm…because then I would be dead?"

Sonny tossed her hands up in the air. "That would be the point of doing it!"

Jack sighed while wishing that Sonny would not insist on yelling, though she understood why she was doing so. "I apologize for that. I was about to stop when you woke up." She shrugged as she scooted over to the edge of the bed so that her feet touched the floor. "I thought you wanted it to happen though."

The blonde arched an eyebrow as she folded her arms across her chest. "Really? And how could you figure that I want something that I didn’t say I wanted because I was incapable of doing so, due to the fact I was asleep!"

"You told me to make love to you and you were moaning. I felt encouraged."

Angry green eyes opened wide. "I did not and I was not!"

"Yes you did and you would to," Jack calmly replied. "Obviously, you just don’t remember or are trying not to."

"Whether I responded or not to your touches, doesn’t change the fact that you took advantage of me. What…who do you think I am?" The look in Sonny’s eyes changed from one of anger to hurt.

"Wait a minute." Though the look in Sonny’s eyes nearly shattered her heart, Jack felt the need to defend herself. "What was I supposed to think, huh? I carried you to the other bed last night after you fell asleep and this morning when I wake up you’re snuggled next to me. I was thinking…hey, maybe that was your way of telling me that you wanted me…to be with me so I started to make that happen. And then I felt all the more encouraged when you began to moan and then you called out, oooh Blue." Jack shrugged. "I figured you must have been referring to me since if I recall correctly from that one time I met her, your girlfriend has gray eyes and mine are blue. So I thought you were calling me blue as a nickname because I have blue eyes." Jack could have grinned at the look that appeared on Sonny’s face after that last comment. I’m so very naughty. It’s a wonder she doesn’t catch on to the fact that I’m Blueyez. Jack shook her head a little. No, it’s not. Most of time I don’t act anything like I do online with her.

"Are you okay?" Jack inquired, when she was greeted with nothing but silence.

The blonde nodded. "Um…yes," she replied, not sounding all that convincing. Had she really uttered Blue’s name while Jack…well pleasured her? Any guilt that she had felt during the past year over her online relationship/friendship with Blue could not compare to what she was enduring now.

"So?"

"So what?" Sonny asked blankly, deep in thought.

"Why were you in my bed?" Jack inquired.

"Oh," Sonny said, attempting to bring her concentration back to the issue at hand. "I called myself comforting you because you seemed to be having a bad dream. When I slipped into bed with you, you calmed down almost instantly."

Jack tried not to look disappointed at the explanation. She should have known it wasn’t what she hoped. There had to be another reason, because Sonny was not the type of woman to just jump into bed with someone. "I apologize for assuming that you had feelings for me and wanted to be with me," Jack quietly stated as she looked down at her hands, which were folded in her lap. "What I did was stupid and I understand if you can never forgive me."

Sighing, Sonny took the few steps towards the bed and sat next to Jack. Gently pulling one of the woman’s hands into her lap, she sandwiched it between her warm soft palms. "Jack, anyone would be lucky to have you." Sonny ceased to talk as the other woman gave her a disbelieving look. "Well they would. You just have to brush up on your people skills." Sonny softly smiled as she squeezed Jack’s hand. "I’m not the one for you though because my heart belongs to another. You’ll find that special someone and she’ll brighten up your life like no one else has ever been able to do."

Jack smiled almost sadly while thinking that she had already found that special someone. They were sitting right next to her and she wanted to reach out so badly and take them into her arms. "Thanks Sonny," she paused. "So you and I…are we okay? From this moment on I promise not to behave like a jackass. Well…I’ll try anyway." She grinned as Sonny rolled her eyes, a faint smile on her lips.

"Yeah, we’re just fine Jack."

~~~~~~~~~~

"So, are you sure I can’t entice you to have breakfast with me?" Jack asked as she and Sonny arrived at the blonde’s car. Despite the quarrel they had this morning, she had thoroughly enjoyed the last twenty odd hours spent with Sonny and could not bear to see it end now.

Sonny nodded, though a part of her did not want this to end. "Can I have a raincheck? I need to get to the coffeehouse as soon as possible."

Jack smiled as she nodded. "Yes, you can." Shoving her hands into her pockets, she looked around the parking lot that cars were rapidly pouring into. Turning back to Sonny, she watched as the younger woman opened the door before looking back at her, wearing a smile.

"I had a nice time with you Jack. Maybe we can do it again sometime."

"I would like that," Jack replied as she took a step towards the smaller woman, placing a hand on the top of the door. "May I have a little kiss before you go?" She crookedly grinned, which Sonny found endearing. "I think it would be the perfect ending to this Disney experience."

Sonny smirked. "You don’t think you’ve gotten enough kisses from me already?"

Jack grinned. "Nah, ‘cause I only kissed you once and that was your cute little flat belly." Sonny began to blush at that, which only caused Jack’s grin to widen. "C’mon. Just one little itsy bitsy kiss."

The blonde smiled as she conceded. One kiss wouldn’t hurt. Placing her hands on either side of Jack’s face, she leaned up and softly kissed her lips, intending it to be brief. However, Jack obviously had other plans as she wrapped her arms around Sonny’s waist, gently pulling the smaller woman against her body. The kiss quickly became heated as Jack gently pushed the tip of her tongue against Sonny’s lips, silently asking for entrance. Opening her mouth, the blonde could not help but to moan as Jack’s tongue invaded it. Their tongues did a little dance before Sonny came to her senses and gently pushed away as she blushed furiously.

"You call that little???"

Jack grinned at her as she shrugged. "Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself."

Sonny softly chuckled as she shook her head in bewilderment. "I best be on my way now Jack. Hope you have a great Saturday."

"I intend to." Jack smiled, her blue eyes twinkling. "You do the same Sonny."

~~~~~~~~~~

Opening the door to her apartment, Sonny walked in, closing it behind her. Tossing the bag containing the clothes she was wearing yesterday on the couch, she headed towards the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee before taking a shower and going over to the coffeehouse. Walking into the kitchen, Sonny headed over to her percolator, noticing that her coffeepot was missing.

"Looking for this?"

Feeling her heart jump into her throat, the blonde swiftly turned around as a small yelp escaped her. Noticing Laura calmly sitting at the kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee, Sonny groaned. "You nearly scared me to death!"

Pouring steaming hot coffee into a mug that she had sitting on the table, Laura held it out to Sonny as she said, "Sorry. Didn’t mean to almost do that."

Walking over, Sonny accepted the cup of coffee before she took a seat in the chair across from Laura’s. Bringing the cup to her lips, she took a couple of sips from the rich brew before placing it on the table. "How long have you been here?" she asked, looking at her girlfriend while not being able to shake the feeling that she was quite upset.

After taking a sip of her coffee, Laura replied, "Since around three o’clock."

Sonny’s eyes opened wide. "You’ve been here for nearly six hours?"

Laura nodded. "Yes, I have. After I kept calling and you didn’t answer the phone, I became concerned so I drove on over. I was intending to give you a couple more hours to arrive home

before I called the police."

"I’m sorry you were worried Laura. If I had known you would have been trying to contact me, I would have called you to let you know where I was."

"Speaking of which, where were you anyway? I know you mentioned that you had plans, but they took all night to finish?"

Picking up her cup, Sonny took a swallow from it, while she gathered her thoughts, before answering, "I was at Disneyworld." She then pointed to her Disney shirt as evidence.

Laura slowly nodded as she glanced at the shirt, noticing it for the first time. "I see. Well unless things have drastically changed, last I knew it, Disneyworld didn’t stay open all night."

"It doesn’t. I was tired by the time it was evening, so I checked into one of Disney’s resort and slept there."

"So you went to Disneyworld all by your lonesome?"

The blonde shook her head, as she automatically replied, "No, I went with Sarah." Sonny almost winced at her response, hoping that Laura had not called Sarah to see if she knew of her whereabouts.

"Ah, I see." Laura nodded again, wearing an unreadable expression. "So you and she just hung out and had fun, hmm?"

Sonny let out a relieved breath. "Yes, we did. And I would have invited you along but Sarah and I hardly get to spend any quality together anymore because we’re so busy with trying to save our coffeehouse so I came up with the idea for us to go spend a day at Disney. By the end of the day, we were both so wiped out from exploring and riding so much, that she and I both checked into the Contemporary Resort."

Laura smiled at her. "I understand. She’s your best friend and I know how much she means to you. I’m glad you two had fun."

"That we did." Glancing at the clock on the wall, Sonny took another sip of her coffee before standing and pushing her chair in. "Honey, I have to get my shower and head over to the coffeehouse. Would you like to have dinner with me later?"

"That would be lovely."

Sonny offered Laura a smile as she walked towards her. Leaning down, she touched her lips to her girlfriend’s, only to have the kiss end much sooner than she planned as Laura quickly broke away. Sonny’s brow furrowed in concern. "Laura, are you okay?"

The other woman as she smiled. "Yes, I’m fine. You go take your shower. I’m just going to sit here and finish my coffee and then I’ll see myself out. I have some errands to run."

Sonny briefly squeezed her shoulder. "Okay. I’ll call you about dinner later today then. See you later honey." Laura waved at her as she walked out of the kitchen. Glancing at her computer, Sonny bypassed it, deciding that she would check her email later to see if there was anything from Blue about why she did not make it to Disneyworld yesterday.

On entering her bedroom, Sonny closed the door behind her before she walked over to her phone. Picking it up, she speed dialed a number as she kicked off her shoes and headed into the bathroom, turning on the light.

"Hello?"

"Hey Sarah, this is Sonny," the blonde replied as she picked up her toothbrush and grabbed the toothpaste out of the drawer. "Listen, I have a really big favor to ask of you."

"Well hey girlfriend," Sarah said warmly. "How was Disneyworld?"

"It was great. I’ll give you the details when I get to the coffeehouse." Putting mint flavored toothpaste on her toothbrush, Sonny placed both on the cabinet.

"Cool. So what’s this favor?"

"Well when I came home…and I didn’t get here until this morning because I stayed over night at one of the Disneyworld resorts, Laura was here waiting for me. She had been wondering where I was so I told her--pretty much without thinking that I went to Disney with you and that we stayed at the Contemporary Resort. So if she asks or comments about it to you, would you be willing to play along like you really did go with me?"

Sarah emitted a low whistle. "You spent the night with Blue?"

"No, no. It wasn’t like that," Sonny quickly replied as she walked over and turned on the shower so that the water could heat up. "Nothing illicit happened. I just don’t want to get into all this with Laura. I don’t know how she would take it."

"I get you. It’s no problem. As far as I’m concerned you and I went to Disney yesterday and I just walked in the door about fifteen minutes ago."

"You’re a lifesaver."

Sarah smiled into the phone. "Hey, there have been times you’ve covered for me. Like the times in high school when you told my mother that I was sleeping over at your house when I was really out with Kevin."

Sonny laughed. "I recall you also covering for me when I sneaked out of my house to meet Cindy."

Her friend laughed as well. "Oh, yes I remember her. Cindy Noble, the head cheerleader and your very first girlfriend."

"And I remember you were jealous of the time she and I spent together."

Sarah scoffed. "I was not. I just plain didn’t like her." She chuckled, as did Sonny. "I knew she wasn’t good enough for my best friend. Now Blue…I’m getting vibes here that she’s the one."

"Oh, is that so?"

"Mmhmm. I know you’re with Laura and I think she’s great, but Blue is your soulmate," Sarah replied in a serious tone of voice. "I can’t explain it, but I feel it."

"Well if we go out of business maybe you should become a psychic."

Sarah smirked. "Ha ha. You make fun but I know. Now, I’m gonna let you go because your shower is running and you’re wasting water."

"Wow," Sonny replied in mock amazement. "You really are a psychic!"

"Shut up girl."

The blonde heartily laughed. "I love you too Sarah."

~~~~~~~~~~

Dear PG,

I’m sorry that I was unable to make it to Disneyworld yesterday. I can explain. You see, I was on my way there when there was suddenly an accident on the freeway between a big rig and an SUV. I was stuck in traffic for nearly two hours before I was able to get off, deciding to take the street the rest of the way when as luck would have it my front tires blew out! Yes, tire(S)!! Both of them! You see there were sharp pieces of broken glass in the road that I was unable to avoid. So I had to wait for AAA to arrive and while I was waiting someone tried to mug me!

Highlighting the message, Jack pushed the delete button as she shook her head at how idiotic it sounded. Who in their right mind would believe that? Certainly not Sonny. She was much too intelligent. Letting out a long breath, Jack placed her fingers over the home row keys as she thought of what to say. Finally coming up with something, she began to type.

Dear PG,

I’m sorry that I was unable to make it to Disneyworld yesterday. I could sit here and come up with a million reasons why I wasn’t there, and I almost started to do that, but I changed my mind. I’m going to be completely honest with you. The reason that I didn’t show up was because I was scared. I do want to meet you, but at the last moment, I just couldn’t bring myself to drive there. My heart started to beat a million miles per hour and I was perspiring…in short I was a nervous wreck and I couldn’t bear for you to see me in that condition. I know that this all most likely makes me sound like a coward and I apologize for that PG…I really do. If I hurt you, know that I’m sorry. That is the last thing in the world that I wanted to do, because as you should know, you mean a lot to me.

I started having all of these thoughts, wondering if I was good enough for you. What if you met me and then didn’t like me? I didn’t want to take the chance of that happening so I copped out and now I wish that I hadn’t. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have shown up. I would have been there for you…for us and I just hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me someday for behaving in such a foolish manner. If you can’t, I understand, but know that this has been the best year and you’ll always be in my heart. I’ll cherish our friendship for the rest of my life.

Yours truly,

Blue

Reading over the email a couple of times, Jack nodded, pleased with it. Clicking on send, she sent the mail before logging off. Grabbing the wrapped gift laying on her desk, the tall woman arose from her chair and headed for the front door, on her way to a certain blonde’s coffeehouse.

~~~~~~~~~~

After securing her new bicycle outside, Sonny walked into Bean There, Done That. She barely made it through the door as Hawke, who now had lavender colored hair, hurried over, wrapping an arm around her shoulders in greeting.

"Hey boss," the younger woman said cheerily, with a smile on her lips. "How was your big day with the mysterious Blueyez?"

Since there currently weren’t any customers, both Peter and Sarah came over as well. Pulling her over to a table, Peter indicated for Sonny to have a seat before he took one next to her. Sarah and Hawke took their seats in the other two chairs at the table as they gave Sonny their full attention.

"Yes," Peter stared as he reached up to adjust his glasses. "Tell us everything that happened. Was she cute?"

"Did you two uh…do anything naughty?" Hawke asked as she wiggled her brows suggestively.

Sonny laughed as she sat back in her chair while crossing one ankle over the other underneath the table. "Whoa guys. One question at a time," she paused in thought. "I don’t know if Blue is cute because I didn’t meet her. She neglected to show up. Or if she did, I didn’t see her."

"I thought you said on the phone that you would give me the details when you got here?" Sarah asked.

Sonny nodded. "I did. I didn’t want to tell you over the phone."

"She stood you up?" Hawke asked, looking angry. "How could she do that? I’m gonna email and give her a piece of my mind."

The blonde quickly shook her head. "No, don’t do that. I’m sure there was a reasonable explanation for Blue not showing up."

"She probably took one look at you and thought you were too beautiful. She was intimidated," Peter offered as he smiled at Sonny tenderly.

Leaning towards him, she kissed the man on his cheek. "Thank you Peter. That’s a sweet thing to say."

"I don’t get it." Sarah shook her head with a look of confusion on her face. "If Blue didn’t show up, then why tell Laura that you were at Disneyworld with me and that we spent the night? You were there alone, right?"

"Not…really." As Sonny thought about what to divulge, her friends looked at her with a mix of curiosity and interest. By the time she opened her mouth to speak, Hawke was able to do so first, as she looked behind Sonny, wearing a distasteful expression.

"What is she doing here?" Hawke asked to no one in particular.

"Who?" Sonny asked as she looked over her shoulder, spying Jack standing in front of the door with a present in her hand. Winking at her, Jack strolled over to the table and nodded at everyone.

"Hello ladies," glancing at Peter she added, "and gentleman."

Hawke looked at her co-worker as she said, "You had it right the first time." She grinned at Peter as he stuck his tongue out at her in reply.

"Hello Jack," Sarah said, sounding pleasant. "How are you?"

The woman smiled at her. "I’m doing very well and thank you for asking. How are you?"

"Doing pretty good. To what do we owe this visit?"

Jack glanced down at Sonny who was staring at the table as though she had discovered something interesting on it. "Well actually I came to see Sonny here." Reaching out, she tapped the blonde on her shoulder. When Sonny looked up at her, Jack winked again as she held out the present. "Hello Sonny one. I come bearing a gift that is for you." As Sonny accepted the gift with a quiet thanks, Jack went on to say, "I had it done this morning. I hope you like it."

Sonny smiled at her. "I’m sure I will."

Jack returned the smile as she stuck a hand in her pocket and took out a folded piece of blue paper, which she handed to Hawke. "I don’t know if you heard about it," she started, addressing the woman, "but there is going to be a karaoke competition tonight at my coffeehouse and the grand prize is five-thousand dollars. Second place gets twenty-five hundred and third one thousand dollars. The audience will judge who wins, and I thought you might be interested in participating. I know you don’t like me and with good reason, but the prizes are very good, plus there are supposed to be talent scouts there, so maybe you can be discovered."

"How did you know that I sing?" Hawke asked, as she opened the piece of paper, looking at.

"A friend of mine heard you a few weeks back. At the same time you were dancing for Sonny." Jack attempted to keep a grin off of her lips, but failed to do so.

"Oh, that. Well, thanks for suggesting this but I don’t think—"

"She’d love to participate," Peter said, interrupting Hawke as he smiled up at Jack. "She’s just shy. We’ll work on her though. What time is the competition?" he asked, ignoring the less than pleasant look Hawke was giving him.

"It’s at seven o’clock," Jack replied. "But she should be there by six-thirty so that she can register and choose what song she’s going to sing. By the way, there will be a live band playing the music instead of using a karaoke machine. You all can feel free to come," Jack finished, directing her last comment to Sonny.

Peter nodded. "You bet. We’ll be there to give little Hawke here our support." He gave the woman a sweet smile, but Hawke’s eyes continued to shoot daggers at him.

"Great," Jack replied. "Well I best be on my way. You guys have a wonderful day." Looking at Sonny she warmly smiled. "Especially you." Turning around, Jack headed towards the door and walked out. Looking through the windows, the small group watched as she jogged across the street and disappeared into Brew n’ Paradise.

Arching an eyebrow, Sarah looked at her friend. "Especially you? What just happened here between you two? Was it just my imagination or did anyone else sense the electricity?" Both Peter and Hawke nodded in agreement.

"What? There’s nothing," Sonny said a bit too defensively.

"So your rival just gave you a present for no reason at all?" Hawke inquired as she looked at the neatly wrapped gift that sported a large gold-colored bow.

Sonny shrugged. "We’re getting along better."

"Since when?" Sarah asked.

"Since she and I spent the day at Disneyworld together," Sonny quietly replied.

Sarah’s mouth gaped as both Peter and Hawke’s eyebrows rose. "Wait a second. Blueyez didn’t show up and you ended up spending the day with Jack Foster? How did that happen?"

"Well, while I was waiting for Blue, all the sudden I saw Jack heading my way. At first, she was quite annoying and kept asking me questions about who I was waiting for. Finally, she took the hint that I wanted her to go away so she did, but not too long later she came back with seemingly a new attitude and two tickets to get into the park. Noticing that the person I was waiting for most likely was not going to show, Jack came up with the idea that she and I spend the day together, so after thinking it over I agreed, so we did."

"And the night too?" Sarah went on.

"You slept with Jack?" Hawke asked loud enough to gain the attention of several customers. She yelped as Peter lightly kicked her leg.

"A little louder next time Hawke," he said. "Don’t think they heard you in Japan!"

She frowned at him as she reached down to massage her calf. Looking at a mortified Sonny, she apologized for her outburst.

"That’s all right Hawke." Sonny smiled at her before she looked at Sarah, who was waiting for an answer. "Yes, the night too, but not as you might think. Nothing happened. We slept in separate beds. We would have went home last night, but I fell asleep while she was in the shower."

"Is there a particular reason why she couldn’t bathe at home?" Peter inquired.

Settling back in her seat, Sonny began to tell her friends what happened on the riverboat and the events that followed it. Sarah, Hawke, and Peter listened avidly, Peter having to get up once when a customer came in. Sonny waited until he came back to the table before she continued her story. When she was done, Sarah scooted her chair over and hugged the woman tightly as a few tears arose in her eyes.

"Hey, what’s wrong?" Sonny softly asked her as she stroked her friend’s back.

Letting go of Sonny, Sarah leaned back as she accepted a napkin that Hawke held out to her. Dabbing at her eyes, she said, "I almost lost my best friend yesterday and I didn’t even know it until now. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Thank goodness Jack was able to get to you in time."

Gently taking one of Sarah’s hands in her own, Sonny gave it a light squeeze. "I’m just fine now, sweetie."

Sarah smiled at her. "I know."

Peter smiled at them both. "Aaw, now this is a Kodak moment," he said, causing them all to chuckle. A few moments later, he asked Hawke what she was going to sing that night for the karaoke competition.

"What makes you think I’m going? I’d be walking right into the enemy’s camp."

"Enemy’s camp?" Peter started. "Girl what do you think this is? Vietnam?" He pointed across the street. "That is not the enemy’s camp. It’s a coffeehouse. And Jack Foster is not the enemy. Sure, she can be infuriating with wanting to put Sarah and Sonny out of business and all, but we just found out that she can be a decent and kind person. So I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and I think it would be a good idea if you did as well. Plus, it was very nice of her to mention that competition thing to you and I think you stand a good chance of winning because from hearing it on numerous occasions, I know that you have a beautiful voice."

Hawke was almost speechless. "Peter, I do think that is the kindest thing you’ve ever said to me. Thank you," she finished softly.

He smiled. "So you’ll do it?"

Taking a deep breath and then letting it out slowly, Hawke nodded. "What the heck? Yeah, I’ll do it."

~~~~~~~~~~

Closing the door to the office behind her, Sonny walked over to her desk and took a seat, placing the present from Jack on the table. Booting up her computer, she waited until it finished before she started the process of logging onto the Internet so that she could check her email. Hopefully, there would be something from Blue that would explain yesterday. Moments later, Sonny breathed a sigh of relief as she noticed an email from the woman with the heading "Apology." Opening the email, she began to read the message.

After reading over Blue’s email twice, Sonny felt the tears in her eyes as she clicked the reply button. Sitting back in her chair, she thought of what to say for a few minutes before she started to type her response.

Dearest Blue,

Though, I admit that I was hurt by your absence yesterday, I understand what you were going through, and there is no need for you to apologize. We all have fears and doubts, but you must know that there is no chance that I would ever reject you. I know without a doubt, that I would like you…I already do very much (smile). You mean a lot to me as well, and nothing could ever change the way I feel about you.

So, our meeting can just be postponed until you are truly ready, okay? You just let me know the place and time and I will be there (smile). If you would like to talk on the phone first we can do that. My home phone number is 555-4342. Feel free to give me a ring any ole’ time ;) Well I’m writing this at work, so I better get going now. I’ll talk with you soon. Take care, Blue.

~PG~

After hitting the send button and then logging off, Sonny observed her present, wondering what was inside. Well, there is only one way to find out, the young woman thought as she picked it up. Gently removing the golden bow, she started to take off the gift-wrap as neatly as she could. Quickly growing impatient, Sonny ripped the paper off, anxious to discover what awaited her inside. She started to smile as the last piece of paper fell to the floor and she saw what it was. This was a spectacular gift.

In her hands, Sonny held a beautifully crafted 8X10 Mikasa frame with a photograph of she and Jack at Disneyworld. They had taken this picture in front of Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom, right after Jack purchased her camera. In the photograph, Jack was standing behind Sonny with her arms loosely wrapped around the smaller woman’s shoulders. Their cheeks were pressed together as they smiled brightly for the camera.

Smiling more, Sonny placed the picture on her desk before sitting back in her chair, crossing one leg over the other as she observed it. Without fully knowing why it was so important to her to do so, the blonde knew that she would cherish this picture of she and Jack forever. After looking at the photograph for a few minutes while deep in thought, Sonny sat upright in her chair, turning to her computer. Since she was at work, she might as well do some.

~~~~~~~~~~

Walking into the crowded coffeehouse, Laura and Sonny searched around for a place to sit, when they suddenly noticed Peter and Sarah waving them over to a table that was near the stage where the live band was currently setting up their equipment. Smiling in some relief, the two women made their way to the table, exchanging hugs with Peter and Sarah before all four took their seats. Looking around, Sonny asked her friends if Hawke had yet to arrive. Glancing at her watch, she noted that it was a quarter to seven o’clock.

Peter shook his head as he replied, "Not unless we missed her. The contest will be starting pretty soon. I hope she didn’t get cold feet." He looked towards the door expectantly.

Sarah chuckled. "Hawke nervous? No, never. If she doesn’t make it, it’s because she’s too stubborn to come in here because she deems Jack the ‘enemy’," she paused. "But I think she’ll come. I’ve never known Hawke to break a promise and she said she would come, so she will."

Just as the other three nodded in agreement, Hawke walked through the front entrance wearing an attractive looking mid-thigh length cornflower blue dress with spaghetti straps. Finding her friends sitting at a table near the front conversing, Hawke took in a deep breath as she began to walk towards them in a pair of one-inch high heels that matched her dress perfectly. As she neared the table, Peter looked up noticing her for the first time as a look of surprise appeared on his face. Standing, the man moved towards Hawke, starting to brilliantly smile, as he looked her up and down appreciatively, a low whistle escaping his lips.

"Well hello sexy girl," he said, kissing both of her cheeks softly, careful not to disturb the light dusting of make-up he noticed there. "Don’t you clean up nice." Peter winked at her, wearing a wide grin. Hawke rolled her eyes playfully in return.

"From you I’ll take that as a compliment," she said, her voice filled with amusement. Looking behind Peter, she waved at the trio sitting at the table. All of them looked just as surprised as Peter had. "Gee guys. A girl puts on a dress, adds a little make-up, and reverts back to her natural blonde hair color and ya’ll act like she walked in with a complete face-lift and boob job."

"You look beautiful," Sarah said, being the first of them to speak up. "Wow…we’ve just never seen you so…" She looked at Laura and Sonny for help.

"So dressed up before," Sonny added as she smiled up at Hawke. "I should have brought my camera so I could take a picture."

Nodding, Hawke grinned at her. "Yeah, you should have, ‘cause I don’t plan on playing dress up very often." She glanced around at the growing crowd. "There sure are a lot of people here…"

"Nervous?" Peter asked her.

Looking at him, Hawke shook her head. "Nah." She smiled brightly. "You know I thrive on having an audience. The more the merrier. Do ya’ll know where I sign up?"

"Over there," Peter replied as he pointed towards a small table set up by the stage. "What are you going to sing?"

"You’ll soon find out." Winking at him, Hawke headed towards the table to register.

Meanwhile, as she casually leaned against the bar, Jack observed Sonny as she tried to ignore the jealousy she felt over Laura being there. At that moment, Jack wished that she could trade places with Laura so that she could have the opportunity to be close to Sonny. Raising a cup to her lips, Jack took a sip of strongly brewed coffee as she kept her eyes on the blonde near the stage. A smile curved her lips, as she saw Sonny laugh at something one of her friend’s must have said. She had a wonderful laugh. Heck, everything about Sonny was wonderful.

So involved was she at admiring Sonny, that Jack never noticed when Leslie sneaked up behind her and lightly squeezed her firm rear-end. Swiftly turning around so that she could deck the creep who surely must have had a death wish, Jack grinned when she saw Leslie standing there, wearing a satisfied expression.

"Oh, it’s you," Jack said as she put her cup down before sharing a brief yet tender embrace with the other woman. "I was about to punch your lights out." She grinned again.

Leslie chuckled. "Yes, I saw the anger in those baby blues. For a moment there I thought you were gonna go through with it. I was prepared to duck."

Jack laughed. "Nah, you’re too purty to hit." She winked at Leslie before glancing behind her as though expecting so see someone in particular there. "I’m glad you could make it tonight. Chloe didn’t come with you, did she?" Jack had been hoping that she would. She had not spoken with her sister since the night she moved out of their home. Every time that she called Leslie’s house, Chloe either was not there, or she did not care to speak to her.

Leslie shook her head, hating to see the disappointed expression on Jack’s face. "No, she said that she had other plans." Slowly nodding, Jack picked up her cup and took a sip, her eyes filled with sadness that she was attempting to conceal. Reaching out, Leslie squeezed her shoulder gently. "Hey, she’ll come around. I know that she misses you terribly though I’ll be damned if I can get her to admit that. It’s obvious to me that she does."

Looking at her friend, Jack gave her a faint smile. "Yeah, we Fosters can be quite stubborn." She glanced at her watch. "Almost show time," she remarked, looking at Leslie playfully. "You going to participate?"

"Have you ever known me to sing?" Leslie laughed richly. "I can do a lot of things, but none of them include singing," she paused thoughtfully as she glanced in the direction of the stage. "So, are you going to tell me who you were looking at all googily-eyed before I interrupted you?" Jack stared at her blankly. "You know what I’m talking about Jack. I know that look you were wearing quite well. You used to give it to me." She grinned. "’fess up."

Jack shrugged. "You obviously misread my expression. I was merely observing the crowd. I’m pleased with the turnout."

"No, no." Leslie wagged a finger at her. "Your eyes were fixated on one person near the stage." She looked towards the stage again, for the first time noticing the people from the coffeehouse across the street. "Well, well, well…" Leslie looked back at Jack, one eyebrow arched in interest. "Could it be that you have the hots for one of the Bean There, Done That clan?"

Jack snorted as if that was the silliest thing she had ever heard. "I don’t have the hots for anyone."

"I thought you were in love?"

"I am," Jack admitted. "But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with Sarah or Sonny."

"Doesn’t mean that you’re not either. So…which is it?" Leslie asked.

Jack arched in eyebrow. "What business is it of yours anyway?"

"It’s not any of my business," Leslie quickly replied. "But I’m still interested in knowing. I won’t tell anyone. You can confide in me."

Sighing, Jack glanced over her shoulder towards Sonny before she looked back at the woman standing before her waiting for an answer. "Sonny."

"Does she know?"

Jack shook her head. "She knows that I like her, but not that I…well that I love her." It was the first time that she had admitted it to anyone and it felt awesome to do so. "I would tell her, but she has a girl—" Ceasing to speak, a thought came to Jack as she glanced over to Sonny again before looking at Leslie while trying to keep a smile that would make the average person suspicious, off of her face. "Hey Leslie, how would you like to meet your idol?"

Leslie frowned slightly in confusion, wondering why Jack changed the subject so quickly. "My idol?"

Nodding, Jack said, "Yes. Don’t you adore Laura Scott?" Without waiting for a reply, Jack turned around and pointed towards the table where Laura was. "She’s right there. You should introduce yourself." She faintly grinned, noticing Leslie’s now delighted expression. "I’d be more than happy to introduce you to her, if you want me to."

Another frown creasing her brow, Leslie began to smirk as she turned to Jack, placing her hands on her hips.

"What?"

"You know what Jack. I can see exactly what you are up to. Well I refuse to be apart of it. If you’re planning on trying to break them up, then fine, but I will not participate in making that happen. I am not nor have I ever been a home-wrecker."

"Whoa, I just wanted to introduce you because I know you like Laura Scott and her columns so much. You may not ever get this opportunity again," Jack replied, trying to look as innocent as she could. However, by the expression on Leslie’s face, she wasn’t buying it. "I’m not trying to break them up."

"I don’t believe you."

Jack shrugged indifferently. "Okay, then. Don’t go over and meet her then. Doesn’t make me any difference whether you do or don’t. It was just an idea." She glanced at her watch, noting that it was a couple minutes passed seven. "I’ve got to get going. You wanna talk after the competition?"

Leslie nodded. "Sure. We can share a cup of coffee. Before you go on stage, will you escort me over to their table?"

A small grin crossed Jack’s lips. "Thought you didn’t want to go over?"

"Never said I didn’t, just said I refused to be a home-wrecker. I still want to meet her though." Reaching up, Leslie quickly ran her fingertips through her dark hair, though every strand was already in its correct place. "Will you take me?"

Jack nodded, smiling as she slipped an arm through Leslie’s. "I’d be delighted to. Let’s go."

Moving through the throng of people, Jack and Leslie made it to their destination where Sonny, Sarah, Laura, Hawke, and Peter were seated chatting. Smiling at them all, Jack informed the small group that she was delighted they came. Looking at Laura, she said, "Hello Ms. Scott. Long time no see. My friend here has been dying to meet you. She’s a huge fan of your columns in Climax magazine."

Before Jack could go on, Laura stood up and outstretched a hand to Leslie. "Hello. It is so good to finally meet you," she said warmly as the two of them shook hands. "You’re Leslie Antigone, correct?"

Wearing a surprised expression, Leslie nodded. "Why yes I am. How did you know that?"

"I know a couple of businessmen who have required your assistance in the past and they’ve remarked on how great a consultant you are. Ever since finding that out, I’ve sort of kept track of some of your work and I’ve seen pictures of you from time to time. Been meaning to give you call. I would love to do an article on you if you’re interested."

Leslie had an almost shy look on her face now as she desperately tried not to blush. "Oh, what I do is nothing special," she modestly replied.

"Are you kidding?" Jack spoke up as she wrapped an arm around the woman’s shoulders. "You’re a miracle worker. You played a major role in making Brew n’ Paradise what it is today." Smiling at Leslie, who returned it with quiet thanks, Jack gave her a light squeeze before letting go. "Now you two get better acquainted. I need to get on stage." Looking around the table at everyone, her gaze lingering on Sonny a few seconds longer than anyone else, Jack said, "I hope you guys enjoy the show. Hawke, good luck to you."

"Thank you Jack," Hawke replied, making an effort to be pleasant. Perhaps the Conqueror wasn’t so bad after all.

The other woman winked at her, smiling. "You’re welcome."

~~~~~~~~~~

Nearly an hour later, the karaoke contest was almost over as Jack went up on the stage in order to introduce the next singer, which was to be Hawke. After she performed, there would be two more people and then it was time for the audience to cast their votes by applauding. The three performers that received the loudest applause would be the winners.

Standing next to the stage, Hawke took deep relaxing breaths as she waited for Jack to call her. Just before she was about to address the audience, Jack glanced down at Hawke and gave her an encouraging smile, which did help to calm the younger woman’s nerves though she would not admit that to anyone in a million years.

Glancing down at a small card in her hand where notes were written, Jack spoke into the microphone, "Our next performer is an aspiring singer who loves to listen to mostly an type of music, dance, and hang out with her friends. Let’s hear it for Nicole Sanders singing "Here With Me."

As the crowd began to clap enthusiastically, Hawke walked up the few steps leading to the stage and strolled over to the microphone. Fixing the microphone so that it was at the correct height for Hawke, Jack briefly patted the young woman on her back before she left the stage. Looking out over the now silenced crowd, Hawke took a deep breath before she glanced behind her to the waiting band. Giving them a signal that she was ready, the band started playing the music as the lights in the coffeehouse dimmed and there was a soft blue light emanating the stage. Wrapping a hand around the microphone, Hawke closed her eyes as she let the music and words carry her away.

I didn't hear you leave,
I wonder how am I still here
And I don't want to move a thing,
It might change my memory

Oh I am what I am,
I'll do what I want, but I can't hide
And I won't go, I won't sleep,
I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me
And I won't leave, and I can't hide,
I cannot be, until you're resting here with me

I don't wanna call my friends,
They might wake me from this dream
And I can't leave this bed,
Risk forgetting all that's been

Oh I am what I am,
I'll do what I want, but I can't hide
And I won't go, I won't sleep,
And I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me
And I won't leave, and I can't hide,
I cannot be, until you're resting here

And I won’t go, and I won’t sleep

And I can’t breathe, until you’re resting here with me

And I won’t leave, and I can’t hide

I cannot be, until you’re resting here with me

Oh I am what I am

I’ll do what I want, but I can’t hide

And I won’t go, I won’t sleep

And I can’t breathe, until you’re resting here with me

And I won’t leave, and I can’t hide

I cannot be, until you’re resting here

And I won’t go, and I won’t sleep

And I can’t breathe, until you’re resting here with me

And I won’t leave, and I can’t hide

I cannot be, until you’re resting here with me…

Opening her eyes, Hawke smiled as the crowd cheered some even giving her a standing ovation. Taking a small bow, she started to leave the stage, smiling at Jack who gave her a wink as they passed one another. Making her way to the table where her friends were, Hawke endured hugs from Sonny, Sarah, Peter, Laura, and even Leslie. All of them congratulated her, as she took a seat between Peter and Sarah.

"You did wonderfully," Peter said, smiling much like a proud father would.

Hawke smiled at him. "Thank you very much." Gratefully accepting a tall glass of raspberry iced tea given to her by Sonny, Hawke took a large gulp from it, finding that she was thirsty.

All six turned their attention towards the stage as the next performer came on the stage after being introduced. Not ten minutes later, Jack was back on the stage after the last two singers were through. She was about to ask all of the karaoke contestants to come on stage so that the audience could vote when Leslie chose that moment to stand up and loudly announce that Jack should sing before the voting proceeded.

Arching an eyebrow in her direction, Jack motioned Leslie to sit down, but the woman remained standing with a broad mischievous smile on her lips. "Come on Jack," Leslie started. "Why don’t you sing for us? I know you have a beautiful voice."

"I can’t take part in the contest," Jack replied, trying to come up with an excuse. There was no way that she was going to sing in front of this large crowd of people.

Leslie continued wearing that smile. "I didn’t expect you to. Just sing for the entertainment value." When Jack shook her head negatively, she ran up on the stage and plucked the microphone out of her hand. Turning towards the audience, Leslie spoke into it, "Ladies and gentleman, I don’t think that this evening would be complete if Jack here didn’t grace us with her lovely vocal abilities." Glancing at the perturbed woman, Leslie winked at her before continuing, "So please give it up for Jack Foster!" The crowd began to cheer and clap as Leslie started repeating Jack’s name like it was her mantra. Moments later, the audience caught on and soon just about everyone one in the coffeehouse was cheering her name. Even the small group from Bean There, Done That was participating.

Looking around the large room, Jack felt her defenses crumbling. Never having heard her name being shouted repeatedly, she had to admit that it gave her a small thrill. Sighing in defeat, Jack put out her hand for the microphone, which Leslie gladly gave her before kissing her cheek and exiting the stage. Walking towards the band, Jack inquired if they knew the song that she wanted to sing. After finding that they did, she pulled a vacant stool to the front of the stage and took a seat as silence fell over the audience. Indicating for the band to start, Jack tapped her foot the beat of the music as she lifted the microphone to her lips. Glancing in Sonny’s direction, she waited until the correct moment and then started singing.

That old dog has chained you up all right

Give you everything you need

To live inside a twisted cage
Sleep beside an empty rage
I had a dream I was your hero

Damn, I wish I was your lover
I'd rock you till the daylight comes
Make sure you are smiling and warm
I am everything
Tonight I'll be your mother
I’ll do such things to ease your pain
Free your mind and you won't feel ashamed

This monkey can't stand to see you black and blue
I give you something sweet each time you
Come inside my jungle book
What is it just too good
Don't say you'll stay
'Cause then you’ll go away

Damn, I wish I was your lover
I'd rock you till the daylight comes
Make sure you are smiling and warm
I am everything
Tonight I'll be your mother
I will do such things to ease your pain
Free your mind and you won't feel ashamed

Shucks, for me there is no other
You're the only shoe that fits
I can't imagine I'll grow out of it
Damn, I wish I was your lover

If I was your girl believe me
I'd turn on the Rolling Stones
We could groove along and feel much better

Let me in...mmmm
I could do it forever and ever and ever and ever
Give me an hour to kiss you
Walk through heaven's door, I'm sure
We don't need no doctor to feel much better
Let me in
Forever and ever and ever and ever…

I sat on the mountainside with peace of mind
And I lay by the ocean making love to her
With visions clear
Walked for days with no one near
And I return as chained and bound to you

Damn, I wish I was your lover
I'd rock you till the daylight comes
Make sure you are smiling and warm
I am everything
Tonight I'll be your mother

I'll do such things to ease your pain
Free your mind and you won't feel ashamed

Shucks, for me there is no other
You're the only shoe that fits
I can't imagine I'll grow out of it
Damn, I wish I was your lover

Open up

I’m gonna come inside

I’m gonna fill you up

I wanna make you cry

Damn, wish I was your lover

I’m on the subway and I’m comin’ up town

Damn, I wish I was your lover

Standing on the street corner

Waiting for my life to change

Damn, I wish I was your lover

And I’m feelin’ like a schoolboy

Too shy and too young

Damn, I wish I was your lover…

As the crowd loudly applauded Jack’s performance, Sonny sat completely stunned with a crimson shade covering her cheeks. She had the distinct feeling that Jack had been singing directly to her, since the majority of the time she sang the line "damn, I wish I was your lover" she glanced at Sonny with a small smile on her lips. Closing her eyes for a moment, Sonny shook her head. Jack, what in the world was that all about?

When she opened her eyes, Sonny was greeted with curious looks from Sarah and Peter, which caused her blush to grow even deeper. "What?" she quietly asked.

"Could have just been my imagination," Peter started, "but it appeared that Jack was serenading yo— Ouch!" Peter frowned as he looked over to Hawke, who had just kicked him in the leg.

Hawke appeared to be quite pleased with herself as she gave the man a saccharinely sweet smile. "Got you back," she mouthed before getting up and walking towards the stage after Jack announced for all of the performers to come there so that the voting could start.

Turning to her girlfriend, Sonny apologized as she took one of Laura’s hands in her own.

"What for? It’s no big deal. I’m sure there are a million women who would want to be your lover, but you’re mine." Laura smiled at her tenderly. "Right?"

Sonny smiled back as she pushed the thoughts of Jack singing to her and the kiss they shared earlier that day out of her mind. "Always and forever."

~~~~~~~~~~

"So Hawke, now that you’ve won the grand prize of five-thousand dollars, what are you gonna do now?" Peter asked as he pretended he held a microphone in his hand.

Hawke smiled at him broadly as she stated, "I’m gonna pay bills!" She laughed as did her friends. Hawke felt the adrenaline coursing through her veins as she gazed at her trophy for what must have been the thousandth time since Jack presented it and a check to her ten minutes ago. Never in her life had she won anything. Hearing someone call her real name, Hawke turned around to notice a man in his mid-thirties briskly walking towards her. After warmly shaking her hand and congratulating her, he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a business card, which he handed to the young woman.

"Nicole, I’m not sure if you’re interested in pursuing a career in music, but if you ask me you have the voice to do so. I’m Dell Holiday from Olympus Records, and we would love to strike a deal with you."

"Olympus Records?" Hawke repeated as Dell nodded. The name was most definitely familiar. As far as she knew, Olympus was a relatively new music company, but they were steadily growing. Hawke smiled as she observed the business card. This night was just getting better and better. She had dreamed of being a music artist and now it seemed like her dream would become a reality. "Mr. Holiday—"

He smiled at her. "Dell please hon."

Hawke returned the smile. "Dell, I am very much interested." She chuckled. "Guess I might need an agent."

Hurrying over to Hawke, Leslie wrapped an arm around the younger woman’s shoulders as she winked at her. "You’ve got one." Looking at Dell, she smiled at him as she reached out a hand to shake his. "Hello Dell. I’m Leslie Antigone, Nicole’s agent."

"It’s a pleasure to meet you Leslie," Dell replied.

"You’re an agent?" Hawke asked.

Leslie smiled at her. "Well no not really. I’m just a business consultant, but the way I see it that’s not much different from being an agent. I feel compelled to offer my services and I believe that I can do a great job. My fee is cheap. I’ll work for free."

Hawke grinned. "You’re hired."

~~~~~~~~~~

As Laura and Sonny stood up to leave, the blonde glanced in Jack’s direction. The other woman was sitting at the bar sipping some type of beverage from a cup. Coming to a decision, Sonny asked Laura to wait for her in the car. Without inquiring why, Laura merely nodded before she headed out of the coffeehouse alone. After Laura exited the door, Sonny walked over to Jack and took the vacant seat next to hers. Looking up, Jack gave her a welcoming smile that almost proved to calm any anger that Sonny felt. Almost was the key word here.

"Jack, you want to tell me what that was all about?" the blonde asked as she lightly drummed her fingers on the bar top.

The smile slipped from Jack’s face as she suddenly noticed that Sonny was upset. "What what was all about?"

"Damn, I wish I was your lover."

Jack grinned. "Tell me something I don’t know."

Sonny rolled her eyes. "You’re not funny," she said, though she was trying to hold back a chuckle. How could someone be infuriating and amusing at the same time? "Please be serious," Sonny said pleadingly.

Looking at her silently for a few moments, Jack raised her cup and took a sip before setting it back down on the bar. "You didn’t like my singing?"

"Yes, I did. You sing beautifully, Jack. I just wish that you wouldn’t have sung to me. I mean my girlfriend was sitting right there…"

One dark eyebrow rose. "You think I was singing to you?"

"It was obvious that you were. Everyone sitting at the table I was at knew it." Sonny looked Jack straight in her eyes. "Do you deny it?"

"No."

Sonny slowly nodded as she ignored the butterflies in her stomach. "Could you please not do that again? It was very uncomfortable considering that Laura was sitting there watching you as you did it."

Jack nodded. "Sure. I didn’t mean any harm." She smiled crookedly at the other woman. "I guess I have a tiny crush on you and I just felt like singing you a song and that seemed like the perfect one to express myself. I promise I won’t do it again though. It was rude and disrespectful to Laura." She glanced around the coffeehouse. "Where is she? I’ll apologize."

Sonny shook her head as she laid a hand on Jack’s knee before realizing what she was doing and quickly removing it. "It’s okay. You don’t have to apologize to her."

Glancing down at her knee, Jack wished that petite hand were still there. "Are you sure?"

"I’m sure." Getting to her feet, Sonny said, "I must be on my way now, Jack," she paused as a thought came to mind. "Oh, and thank you for the wonderful gift" She smiled. "It’s on my desk now."

Jack smiled at her. "I’m glad you liked it."

"And thank you for what you did for Hawke."

A thoughtful expression appeared on the other woman’s face. "Are you talking about getting her involved in the karaoke competition?"

Sonny gave her a knowing look. "No, I’m referring to Dell Holiday."

"Oh, that. Well that had nothing to do with me. He witnessed her performance and saw talent."

"Yes," Sonny replied, "but I’m sure you had something to do with him coming here tonight. Now no matter what happens with Bean There, Done That Sarah and I don’t have to worry about Hawke. She seems to be in good hands because of you." When Jack just looked at her blankly, Sonny tenderly kissed her cheek. "Pretending like you don’t know what I’m talking about makes what you did that much sweeter."

Jack gave her a terrific smile. "I’m glad I got to see you tonight."

"Likewise." The blonde then fell silent as a thought came to mind. Outwardly wincing, she leaned towards Jack whispering in her ear, "How is your crotch?"

Grinning at her, Jack replied, "Sweetheart after that sweet little kiss you just gave me, how do you think it is?" She wiggled her eyebrows up and down in a comical fashion, causing Sonny to both blush and chuckle in the same moment. Shaking her head, Sonny informed Jack that she was very bad. Grinning yet again, the taller woman asked, "But you wouldn’t have me any other way now would you?"

A faint grin appeared on Sonny’s lips. "I guess not, because then you wouldn’t be you," she paused in thought. "And I basically like you."

Jack laughed richly. "You basically like me?" Sonny nodded, fully grinning now. "Okay. I can accept basically," Jack said, laughing again. "For now anyway." Somewhat sobering, she went on saying, "As for my crotch…well…" Looking up at Sonny, she whispered, "let’s just say I shouldn’t go out and ride a horse."

"Oh, Jack I’m sorry I did that," Sonny replied with an apologetic look.

Jack waved a hand in dismissal. "Aw, it’s okay. I deserved it." She grinned up at Sonny. "I’ve learned my lesson about trying to have my way with a sleeping woman."

Green eyes rolled playfully. "Okay, I’ve kept Laura waiting long enough. I must be on my way. You have a great evening, Jack. Goodnight."

Jack smiled at her warmly. "You too Sonny. Goodnight." Turning around, Sonny headed towards the exit as Jack watched her go until she disappeared into the night.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

As she returned to the suite, Laura quietly closed and locked the door behind her. She moved in the direction of the bedroom with a small bag in her hand that contained the tube of cherry lip balm that Sonny had sent her to purchase from the gift shop in the lobby. Opening the door, Laura was greeted by a multitude of lit candles strategically placed around the bedroom. Soft music played from the stereo as a bottle of champagne chilled in a bucket. So this was why Sonny had been so desperate to have that lip balm. She wanted Laura out of the way while she put all of this together.

Starting to slowly smile, Laura closed the door just as the door leading to the bathroom opened and Sonny came out. Her girlfriend’s jaw nearly dropped to the floor as she took in the blonde. Sonny looked absolutely delicious to say the least as she stood with hands on her hips about six feet away from Laura, wearing a sexy little grin on her face.

Desire filled eyes traveled up and down Sonny’s body, taking in the thigh high stockings, lace garter belts, thong panties, and a one size too small lacy bra that left little to the imagination. Well…the whole ensemble left little to the imagination. Since everything she had on was white, Sonny resembled a wanton angel. Laura grinned as her libido increased by the second. She watched as Sonny wordlessly walked over to the champagne bucket and took out an ice cube. Raising an eyebrow in curiosity, Laura wondered what she was intending to do with it, as the blonde headed towards her, still wearing that sexy grin.

"Like what you see, Laura?" Sonny inquired in a seductive voice, as she stood close enough to her girlfriend, that Laura could detect a vanilla scent emanating from her body. She smelled heavenly.

The other woman nodded dumbly, finding that her voice was gone. Half expecting that she might

be drooling, Laura reached up and quickly wiped the back of her hand across her mouth.

Sonny’s grin widened as she took a step closer, her body brushing against Laura’s. "Does the cat have your tongue, Love?" Putting her lips against her girlfriend’s ear, she heatedly whispered, "May I have it?" Before Laura could give any type of response, Sonny captured her lips in a passionate kiss. Both women softly moaned in pleasure as the blonde’s tongue slipped between Laura’s lips to playfully duel with her own. As she slid her tongue along her girlfriend’s, Sonny’s hands moved down to cup her cheeks, giving them a gentle squeeze, which caused Laura to moan loudly.

Ending the kiss, Sonny looked up into Laura’s eyes as she softly said, "It’s been so long since we’ve made love. Let me make love to you tonight." Kissing Laura tenderly on the lips, Sonny brought around the hand that held the ice cube. Lightly tracing the ice cube along Laura’s parted lips, she then slid it down the woman’s neck as Laura softly panted. Causing more moans to escape her girlfriend, Sonny followed the wet trail that the ice cube left with her warm tongue, making tiny swirls on her way down Laura’s neck. Just as Sonny began to gently nibble and suck on her neck, Laura took a couple of steps back as she ran a hand through her hair in frustration.

"I’m sorry…Sonny I can’t do this." Wearing an expression of confusion, the blonde allowed herself to be led over to the king-sized bed by Laura. As both women took their seats on the end of the bed, Laura turned so that she was facing Sonny. "I know that we came here to Panama City for the weekend so that we could rekindle what we once had, but it’s over," she slightly paused. "We’re over."

The confused expression on Sonny’s face grew deeper. "What do you mean we’re over? I thought everything was going well…"

Laura quickly nodded in agreement. "It has. Ever since we arrived yesterday, I’ve been having fun with you, but in the back of my mind has been this doubt that I can’t get rid of no matter how hard I try to."

"What doubt?"

Laura stared into saddened green eyes a few moments before she offered a reply. "The doubt that you and I aren’t meant to be." As Sonny opened her mouth to say something, Laura quickly pressed two fingers to her lips. When the blonde closed her mouth, Laura removed them before softly saying, "I know." By the look on her face, she must have expected Sonny to understand what she knew, but the younger woman hadn’t the faintest idea.

"I don’t understand." Sonny shook her head. "What do you know?"

Laura’s eyes were now full of sadness. "I know that your heart belongs to another. Deep down I’ve known for weeks, I just couldn’t…didn’t want to admit it. I love you so much Sonny, and I don’t want to lose you, but I don’t want to be with you knowing that you are thinking of and loving someone else. That’s not fair to either of us. Don’t you agree?"

"No, I don’t agree," Sonny replied while shaking her head. "I don’t know where you’re getting this all from. You’re the only one for me. I love you and only you."

Tears brimming in her eyes, Laura wiped them away. "I do believe you want to love me, but I don’t want it to be something that you are trying to do. Loving someone should not take a lot of effort. You just do."

Dropping the ice cube that was numbing her fingertips, Sonny placed a hand on either side of Laura’s face as she looked deeply into her eyes. "Listen to me Laura. I do love you and that will never change. My heart couldn’t possibly belong to anyone else because you have it."

"Why are you trying so hard to make this work?" Laura quietly asked as she reached up and gently removed Sonny’s hands from her face.

"Because I love you!" Sonny shouted, quite sure that if anyone was in the suite next to theirs, that they heard the admission loud and clear. "I don’t understand what is going on here. One minute we’re about to make love and in the next, you’re accusing me of loving someone else. You’re the one who has been distant lately. I feel like I’ve been trying to get close to you only to be constantly pushed away. If anyone should be saying that someone’s heart belongs to another, that person should be me."

"Oh, Sonny," Laura said in a sad tone of voice, "there is no one else on this earth that I rather be with. But I’ve come to realize that there is someone else for you and I wish you nothing but happiness. I really do."

Sonny briefly covered her face with her hands as she shook her head, thinking that this had to be a nightmare that she would soon awaken from. Lowering her hands, she looked at Laura. "Where is all this coming from? I’m so confused."

"A few weeks ago, I did something that I’m still ashamed of, though in a way I’m glad that I went through with it."

"What’s that?"

"Well," Laura started as she took a deep breath, "I was starting to notice that you seemed to be changing. I don’t know…" She shook her head. "You seemed distracted, Sonny. Even when you were with me, it felt as though I was alone. Like you had other things…other people on your mind, so I grew suspicious of your time on your computer. I just had this feeling that your change in behavior stemmed from the computer, so one day when you were getting ready to log on, I made sure to watch what keys you pressed so that I would know your password," pausing, Laura noticed that the expression on Sonny’s face hadn’t changed. "A couple days later I was at home and decided to log on under your screen name. Doing so, I checked your old emails and found quite a few you had written and received from a woman named Blueyez. I read a few of them and found that you and she were supposed to meet for the first time at Disneyworld on the last Friday in September. I tried to tell myself that you and she were just friends, although some of the things said in your emails were a little too friendly for my taste, but it wasn’t until last Friday when you went to meet her that I knew the whole truth. She’s more than just your friend," Laura finished in a near whisper.

"No," Sonny shook her head, a thousand thoughts racing through her mind. "That’s not true. Blue and I have always been just friends. Maybe some of the things said made us appear closer than we are, but a friend is all she ever was and all she’ll ever be."

"I gave you a chance to tell me the truth, but you didn’t do it," Laura went on as though she had not heard what Sonny just said. "Remember when you called me the Saturday before last, asking me out for a date?"

Nodding mutely, the blonde waited for her to continue.

"I said I was busy, but then I asked you if you wanted to go out Friday, knowing that you were supposed to meet Blueyez then. I just wanted to see what you’d say and you merely replied that you had plans. If she’s just your friend, then why didn’t you tell me? I wouldn’t have minded you meeting someone that you chat with online. I just would have cautioned you to do it in a public place. Why did you feel the need to hide it from me?"

Sonny bit on her lower lip nervously. "I didn’t know how you’d feel about that."

"Only one way to find out," Laura quietly replied. "Tell me."

"I know and I’m so sorry. I’ll never keep anything from you again. I promise. Blue is just a friend. I swear Laura."

"Just a friend…" Laura faintly chuckled humorlessly. "Just a friend that you spent the night with, Sonny?" she asked, looking straight into the other woman’s eyes. "I called you Friday night a few times to see if you were home and you never answered the phone. I then came over, hoping that I’d find you asleep and that you just hadn’t heard it ringing but you weren’t there. I tried not to panic as I waited for the front door to open and finally you came waltzing in the next morning. I’m not sure if you even realized it, but when you walked into the kitchen, you had a slight smile on your face, so I figured that you must have had a really good time with Blue." When Sonny opened her mouth to speak, Laura quickly held up a hand, stopping her. "I asked you where you had been and you looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me, telling me that you had been with Sarah at Disneyworld and that you two were tired and spent the night at a resort. You might have spent the night there, but you were not with Sarah," Laura said in a slightly less than calm voice.

Opening her mouth to speak, Sonny found that she was speechless, so she quickly shut it. She felt like the villain that had just been unmasked in one of those Scooby Doo cartoons. Laura had definitely done her homework, and Sonny could not blame her for the way she was thinking. If the shoe were on the other foot, she would have been thinking the same, except she would not have waited this long to confront Laura.

"I know it looks bad, but nothing happened," Sonny started, speaking slowly. "Not that it really matters, because I still lied to you, but I wasn’t even with Blue. She didn’t show up. Later I got an email from her, apologizing for not doing so."

"Then you were alone? Or did you really end up going with Sarah?"

Sonny shook her head negatively. "Neither. While waiting for Blue, I ran into Jack so after waiting for Blue a little while longer and then concluding that she most likely wasn’t coming, I spent the day with Jack." Noticing the surprised look on Laura’s face, Sonny continued, speaking rather quickly, "We did end up in a resort that evening, but the reason we did was because while on the riverboat ride I fell into the water and Jack jumped in to rescue me. Since the both of us was drenched, she came up with the idea that we check in to a hotel, take showers before putting on some dry clothing, and then order some room service before heading home. That’s why I was wearing that Disney outfit you saw me in Saturday morning, because Jack bought it for me. Anyway, while she was taking her shower, I fell asleep so we ended up staying overnight. The next morning she walked me to my car, I did give her a little kiss and then I got in my car and drove home. That’s all."

Laura stared at her silently for a few moments, leaving Sonny to wonder just what was going through that mind of hers. "I believe you," the brunette finally stated. "Though that is a rather…involved story, I believe every word that you just said."

Sonny breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you. I do promise that I’ll never hide things from you again. You’re my partner and I should share everything with you."

"I was your partner," Laura replied so softly, that it was almost incoherent. "Sonny, whether you’ve been faithful to me or not…and now I do believe that you have, you and I are not meant to be together. It all makes perfect sense now and I was wrong about Blue. She isn’t the one for you because Jack is."

Sonny’s eyes opened wide at the statement. "Jack? While you were in the lobby getting my lip-gloss, did you grab yourself a little nip? Smoke something other than tobacco?"

Laura momentarily closed her eyes as she breathed deeply. "I’m not kidding Sonny."

"Neither am I Laura." Rising from the bed, the blonde quickly walked into the bathroom and grabbed her robe, putting it on. Returning to the bedroom, she retook her seat on the bed, as she faced the other woman. "I can’t believe what you just said. What makes you think Jack is the one for me?"

"The looks I saw between you two that night of the karaoke competition when she was on the stage performing…singing to you. She started out as just your business rival but…maybe you don’t even realize it consciously, but you want more and it’s quite obvious that she does."

"I want Jack like I want a root canal," Sonny argued, though she had a feeling that it was feeble. Laura had made up her mind to go through with this.

Giving her a smile filled with sorrow, Laura cupped the blonde’s chin in her hand as she gazed into her eyes. "I’ll always love you Sonny, but it’s about time that I let you go. In my heart, I know that this is the right thing to do. Though I don’t want to, I must. I don’t expect you to now, but you’ll thank me for it later." Removing her hand, Laura blinked back tears as she attempted to remain strong. What she was doing was the right thing. She just had to keep reminding herself of that fact.

As a few tears escaped her, Sonny slowly nodded in defeat. "Okay Laura. I’ll always love you too," she said, her voice breaking. Without another word, Laura wrapped the smaller woman in her arms as they both shed silent tears for the ending of something that they once thought would last for eternity.

~~~~~~~~~~

The next day found the two women in Laura’s car on their way to Sonny’s apartment. The ride there as well as the airplane back to Orlando was quiet, neither woman saying much. Finding the silence slightly tense, Sonny reached over to turn on the radio. Switching the stations, she searched for a good song to listen to. Not finding one, Sonny settled for a station that broadcasted the news. Turning the volume up a notch, she sat back in her seat as she prepared to listen to what was going on in the world. Sonny’s ears perked up as she heard Jack’s name.

"Just over an hour ago, business tycoon Jack Foster’s younger sister was involved in a car accident. Though we do not yet know for sure, it is suspected that twenty-year-old Chloe Foster was driving on the freeway while under the influence when her car toppled over a railing and overturned several times down a hill. The young woman was taken to Florida Hospital and is now in emergency surgery…"

"Laura…" Sonny looked at her now ex-girlfriend.

The other woman took her eyes off of the road long enough to glance at her, noting the look on her face. "Want me to drop you off at the hospital?"

Sonny nodded.

Switching lanes in order to head back in the opposite direction, Laura increased her speed some. "I’m on my way there."

~~~~~~~~~~

After running through the hospital much like a mad woman, Sonny finally found out where Chloe had been taken. Nearly out of the breath, her steps faltered as she noticed a nervous Jack pacing back and forth in front of the waiting room. Sonny watched as the other woman stopped a surgeon and asked him a question, however he must not have had any information for her if the agitated expression on her face was any indication. As the surgeon walked on, Sonny continued forward. It was when she was nearly upon Jack that she finally noticed her. Worried blue eyes quietly stared into green for what seemed like forever before Jack hurried towards Sonny and wrapped her arms around her, burying her face in the smaller woman’s neck. The blonde felt hot tears slide onto her neck as she wound her arms around Jack’s waist tightly. Turning her head, Sonny placed a soft kiss on the other woman’s head.

"Oh, Jack. I’m so sorry," she said in a near whisper. "Is there anything that I can do?"

"Hold me," Jack replied in a heartbreaking voice, her words muffled and shoulders shaking as she continued to sob. "Just hold me."

To be continued…

"Here With Me" performed by Dido

"Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" written and performed by Sophie B. Hawkins

 

Taiko's Scrolls of the Xenaverse