~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.

 

~SPECIAL NOTICE FOR READERS~— I would like to apologize for the huge delay. I’m often like a turtle when it comes to writing (lil’ smile) Anyhoo, today I decided that there would be a part 4 and 5, though I’ve told quite a few people that 4 was the conclusion. However, part 4 was becoming longer than I initially thought it would be, so 5 will definitely be the conclusion. Thank you for being patient with me and I hope that you enjoy this latest installment. I’m working on getting part 5 completed and hope to have it posted soon.

 

Part 4

 

Finishing up her frozen yogurt, Chloe placed it on her tray before she turned her head to study her sister whose eyes appeared to be riveted on the television. However, Chloe figured that she wasn’t really paying attention to what was going. No, her mind was a million…make that a billion miles away. And it had been that way for the past six days. Sure, Jack attempted to act like everything was copasetic, but her little sister was perceptive enough to know otherwise. She hadn’t been able to get much out of Jack, but what she knew was that Sonny and her sister had exchanged words and were no longer on speaking terms. Chloe tried to talk to her on more than one occasion about it, but Jack made it abundantly clear that she rather not.

 

The twenty-year old shrugged. If at first… second and third you don’t succeed, then try again. And she had to try again because although this was a hospital, Jack simply had to be the most depressing thing in it. All she had done the entire week as sit in that same chair or sometimes move to the window and perch there. Thank goodness, she was being released tomorrow so she wouldn’t have to watch Jack mope around all day. When she arrived home, she could retire to her bedroom until her sister snapped out of this despondency.

 

Noticing Jack’s tiny black cell phone on the small dresser next to her bed, an idea formed in Chloe’s head. She quickly weighed the pros and cons and was delighted when the pros won. Returning her attention to Jack, she quickly thought of way that she could get rid of her. Calling her sister’s name, she waited until she had the woman’s attention before asking her if she could go get her an ice cream sundae.

 

Jack glanced at the empty cup that used to contain frozen yogurt. “But you just ate that.” She pointed at the cup sitting on the tray.

 

“I know, but they don’t believe in giving decent portions of anything in hospitals and I’m still hungry. An ice cream sundae sure does sound tasty.” Chloe gave her sister the smile she reserved for when she really wanted something a lot. “Please?”

 

Jack grinned. It never failed. That smile always seemed to get to her and the softly spoken please at the end was a nice touch. “Okay. I think I saw an ice cream parlor in this general area. What do you want on it?”

 

“Everything except sprinkles. Three cherries,” she added as an afterthought. Chloe loved those sweet juicy maraschino cherries.

 

“You’ve got it.” Standing up, Jack grabbed her cell phone and started to put it in her pocket when Chloe informed her to leave it. Looking at the younger woman curiously, Jack inquired why she should.

 

Why? Why do you have to make this so hard?! Chloe thought quickly, trying to come up with an explanation. “Um because if you take it with you, you might get a phone call, which will probably distract you and therefore you’ll forget to tell them I want three cherries instead of only one.” Watching one of Jack’s eyebrows go up, Chloe almost rolled her eyes at how moronic that sounded. “Well the truth is…I’m expecting a call and instead of giving the hospital’s number, I gave the person your cell phone.”

 

“And from whom are you expecting a call from kid?”

 

Shyly ducking her head, Chloe replied, “A boy. I met him while I was staying at Leslie’s house. He lives across the street. Well I called him yesterday when you went home to take a shower and to change and he asked if he could call me tomorrow which is now today, so I gave him your cell phone number.” She glanced at the clock noting that it was almost four o’clock. “And he’s supposed to call me at four.”

 

Jack grinned again as she reached out and gently ruffled her sister’s hair earning a grin in return. “I had a feeling you wanted me to leave. Okay, I’ll be back in a bit with your sundae.” Putting the phone back down on the dresser, Jack headed out of the hospital room.

 

Waiting a few minutes after Jack left to make sure that she was truly gone, Chloe then reached over and picked up the phone. After messing around with the phone for a little bit, she then found to her delight, that Sonny’s number was preprogrammed. Putting the cell phone to her ear, Chloe tapped a hand on her knee as she waited, hoping that Sonny was home.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Hi Sonny!” Chloe cheerfully said. “This is Chloe. How are you doing?”

 

“Hey there Chloe!” Sonny returned just as cheerfully. “I’m doing good. And how are you? Are you gonna be able to go home soon?”

 

“A few aches and pains but I’m just fine. Jack’s finally going to be able to break me out of this joint tomorrow! I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and eat some decent food.” Glancing at a bouquet of gorgeous perky flowers and at the dark brown teddy bear laying next to her, Chloe thanked Sonny for them. She had been pleasantly surprised when they were delivered early last week along with a short but sweet note from the blonde woman.

 

The blonde laughed heartily. “I bet. And you’re very welcome sweetie. It was my pleasure.”

 

Chloe laughed as well. “That’s the reason I called actually. You see, not tomorrow but the day after, Jack is going to have a little coming home dinner party for me. Just a few people are invited and you happen to be one of them.”

 

Sonny arched in eyebrow as she took in that bit of information. She hadn’t spoken with nor seen Jack since the woman stormed out of her apartment nearly a week ago and now she was being invited to a dinner party? This was very peculiar. “You mean Jack invited me?” Sonny dubiously countered.

 

“Yes, she did,” Chloe fibbed, hoping that she sounded convincing. Lying wasn’t exactly her specialty. “You see, she mentioned that the both of you had had a squabble, but she wants to put that all behind now and look to the future. She would have called you herself but she was afraid that you might not be willing to speak to her so I offered my assistance. Anyway, she wants you to know that she is deeply sorry and it would mean the world to her if you came to the party. I would love that as well because I’d like the opportunity to get to know you better.” Chloe nodded, pleased. That sounded good to her. Now she hoped that it did the trick.

 

“Jack really said all of that?”

 

“You bet she did. All she’s been doing since your argument is moping around looking so very sad. It’s obvious that she misses you dearly and I’m relieved that she’s finally come to her senses and is willing to apologize. So will you come?”

 

“I’d love to,” Sonny earnestly replied. “Can I bring anything?”

 

Chloe smiled into the phone while delighted that her plan was going so well thus far. “Just bring yourself because everything has been taken care of already.” Chloe then went into detail concerning what time the dinner party was and how the dress code was extremely casual. After they conversed for a few more minutes, Chloe ended the call. Placing the cell phone back on the dresser, she laid back in the bed, folding her arms behind her head with a broad smile spread across her lips.

 

Jack found her this way when she arrived moments later, carrying a small white paper bag that bore the title of an ice cream parlor across the front. Arching an eyebrow as she opened the bag and took out a medium-sized cup, Jack placed it on Chloe’s tray along with a plastic spoon and napkin. She then asked her sister what she was smiling about, already figuring that it had something to do with this guy she met from Leslie’s neighborhood.

 

“You’ll never guess who I just got a call from. Well you actually,” Chloe said, the smile still firmly planted on her lips as though it was permanent.

 

Her sister grinned. “You just got a call from me, eh? God help us all. There is a clone of Jack Foster running around somewhere!”

 

Chloe smirked. “No silly! You got a call on your cell phone. I’ll give you a hint. She’s someone extremely special.”

 

Jack perched on the side of Chloe’s bed as she smiled down at her. “The only she that I know who is extremely special is you.”

 

The younger woman playfully rolled her eyes, though she was touched by the words. “I don’t think so. I know there is someone else you think is special.”

 

Cocking her head to the side, Jack asked, “And who praytell could that be?”

 

“Sonny of course!”

 

Both of Jack’s eyebrows shot up high into her bangs. Had she heard her sister correctly or were her ears playing tricks. “Sonny called me?” Her sister quickly nodded. “Sonny Campbell?” Rolling her eyes, Chloe wordlessly nodded again. “Well…wh…what did she say?” Jack started to feel her heart thump harder beneath her chest and she found that she was holding her breath as she waited for her sister to reply.  Countless times during the past week, she had been tempted to give Sonny a call, yet had always ended up changing her mind due to uncertainty and sheer stubbornness.

 

“She said that she was sorry for the disagreement you two had and that she wants to make up with you because she couldn’t bear to lose you. You’re much too important to her.” While watching her sister’s face light up, Chloe fought to keep a grin from showing on her face. Though I’m doing this to help them, I’m so very bad! I must get it from Jack.

 

“She said that?” Jack asked, her voice filled with amazement.

 

Her sister nodded. “Absolutely.”

 

“And what did you say?”

 

“Well I told her that you would probably be delighted to hear that news and I took the liberty of inviting her to the dinner party. She said that she would love to come.”

 

Instead of smiling like Chloe presumed she would, a look of dread appeared on Jack’s face. Swallowing hard, the younger woman sensed there was a problem, but couldn’t possibly think of what it might be. Finding her voice, Chloe asked her sister what was wrong. Blue eyes made contact with identical ones as Jack slowly shook her head.

 

“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mind you inviting Sonny over, but remember I told you that Leslie is bringing a friend to the dinner party?” She waited for Chloe to nod before continuing, “Well that friend is Sonny’s ex-girlfriend Laura. They just broke up last weekend and I don’t know how Sonny is going to take seeing her ex showing up with Leslie, although I’m told that they are just friends.”

 

Chloe cringed. Oh dear that could be a potential problem. “Did Sonny take the break up badly?”

 

“No, I don’t think so. In fact, I believe she’s…well for lack of a better word relieved that they ended their relationship. But still…I don’t know how she’ll take that.”

 

“It should be alright then,” Chloe replied in a hopeful tone of voice. “Try not to worry Jack. I have a feeling that everything will turn out just fine. Mark my words.” Giving her sister a bright smile, Chloe started to pull the tray up close. Her stomach was starting to growl in anticipation of the sweet cool treat that was mere inches away.

 

“I sure hope you’re right kid.” Jack chuckled as she noticed her little sister’s attention was now focused elsewhere. Having an urge to, she reached out and ruffled Chloe’s hair, earning herself a mock look of irritation, which caused her to chuckle even more.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

After taking nearly an hour to choose a pair of gray cargo pants along with a black v-neck short-sleeved top to wear, Sonny hurried down to her compact car, getting in. Before starting the ignition, she patted a pocket located mid-thigh to make sure that she had remembered to bring her wallet. Pleased to feel the slight bulge there, she quickly fastened her seat belt, started the car, and pulled out of the parking lot.

 

As she stopped at a red light minutes later, Sonny reached over and turned on the radio. Turning the stations, she stopped on one that was playing the song “From This Moment On” by Shania Twain. The blonde smiled while beginning to mouth the words of the beautiful song as she proceeded to drive. Today she had a larger appreciation of country music because it caused her to think of a very special person in her life. Sonny thought back to the surprise phone call she received yesterday evening.

 

With a chocolate candy bar in her left hand, Sonny manipulated the mouse with her right, moving the playing cards on the computer screen. This was her seventh game of Solitaire in the past half-hour, and she was determined to keep playing until she won. Bringing the candy bar to her open mouth, Sonny nearly took a bite when she stopped due to the phone ringing. Putting the candy on a napkin, she reached over, picking up the phone hoping it wasn’t another journalist wanting to get the full story on her coffeehouse closing down a few days ago.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Howdy there,” said a woman sporting a husky Southern accent.

 

The blonde felt a searing heat rushing all the way to the apex of her thighs at the delicious sound of that voice. She’d always been a sucker for women with Southern accents, having once dated one a few years back. If this turned out to be a journalist, she just might be tempted to give the caller her much wanted interview. Sonny shook her head to clear it of the mischievous thoughts. Jack, Blue, Laura…Didn’t she already have enough relationships going in one form or another with women? No, no use in her being intrigued by the Southern belle currently on the phone.

 

“Hello,” Sonny repeated. “May I help you?”

 

“You have no idea who I am, do you?” the Southern woman chuckled richly. “Well I guess you wouldn’t seeing how we’ve never orally spoken to one another.”

 

Sonny arched a brow. No, it couldn’t be…could it? “B..Blue? Is this you?” The rate of her heartbeat began to dramatically increase. She had all but given up on her online friend calling at the beginning of the weekend.

 

“Bing-o! I told you I’d call within a week. Sorry it took me so long to do it though. I barely beat the clock.” She laughed again, sounding just a tad bit nervous.

 

Wiping suddenly wet palms up and down her thighs, Sonny inhaled deeply before trusting herself to speak. “Wow. I can’t believe it’s you,” she gave a slight pause before continuing, “How did you know it was me answering the phone?”

 

“Simple. My heart told me so,” the Southerner earnestly replied.

 

Speaking of hearts, Sonny felt hers melt into a puddle. “Wow,” she said, thinking it was lame, but at the moment she was having difficulty getting her brain to work properly. “H…How are you? It’s so good to finally hear your voice.” ‘You’re sweet, sexy, wonderful voice.’ That heat between Sonny’s thighs was steadily growing.

 

“I’m doing very well. And you Madison? Or would you rather I call you Sonny?”

 

‘You could call me dumbbell and I would be just fine with it,’ Sonny thought. “Either one is fine, but most people call me Sonny. What’s your name?” She chuckled. “I feel kinda silly talking with you on the phone and not knowing it.”

 

“I’m sorry. I hope that I haven’t come off as appearing secretive Sonny. My name is Dixie Monroe.” 

 

Dixie? Sonny smiled into the phone. Well that was sort of cute. She decided that the name fit Blue perfectly. “No, you haven’t come off in the least bit secretive. Mysterious is more like it, and I find that to be very intriguing,” the blonde replied in a flirty tone of voice. Her smile broadened as she heard the other woman laughing.

 

“Do you now?”

 

“Yes, indeed Dixie.” Sonny grinned as she propped her feet up on the desk, crossing one ankle over the other. “So, what can I do for you, hmm?”

 

“Well that depends,” Dixie said in a sexy whisper. “What would you be willing to do for me darlin’?”

 

Biting hard on her lower lip, Sonny was barely able to hold in a pleasurable moan. This was beginning to be sweet torture. “Just about anything you’d want me to,” she replied, mimicking the other woman’s soft whisper though Sonny didn’t think that she sounded half as sexy.

 

Dixie chuckled. “You sound like a very naughty girl Sonny. Are you?”

 

“Would you have a problem with it if I was one?”

 

“Not at all!” the Southern woman quickly replied.

 

Sonny laughed, thoroughly enjoying the easy flirtatiousness going on between them. “I had a feeling that you wouldn’t.” 

 

Noticing the broad smile plastered on the young woman’s lips as she looked out of her window, the driver in the adjacent lane returned it while wondering if he were to roll down his window, would he be lucky enough to get her phone number. By the dreamy look in her eyes, he figured he had a pretty decent chance of doing so.

 

Blinking, Sonny noticed the man in the BMW next to her was smiling quite broadly in her direction. She also noticed that he was starting to roll down his passenger window and was grateful when the light chose that moment to turn green. Giving the man an apologetic look, Sonny pressed her foot to the gas, proceeding down the street. Her thoughts returned to Blue aka Dixie as she started to smile again.

 

What a wonderful conversation the two of them had had yesterday! Sonny was relieved that they lived in the same city because she would have hated to see what Dixie’s phone bill would have been like. They must have stayed on the phone for nearly an hour and a half chatting about everything and anything, not to mention doing a lot of flirting. Sonny grinned as she thought about the flirting. After that phone call, she was in dire need of a very cold shower.

 

Ever since last night, Sonny could not get Dixie off of her mind. The woman had even invaded her dreams and what fascinating dreams they had been involving she and the blonde in a four poster bed doing naughty yet delicious things to one another. The only disturbing part of the dream was that she recalled Dixie looking precisely like someone she knew in real time. She and Jack could have been identical twins.

~~~~~~~~~~

 

On entering the den, Chloe spotted the huge array of appetizers that Jack had placed on the coffeetable earlier. Glancing behind her to see that her sister was nowhere around, the petite woman placed her hands on the wheels of her “vehicle” and began to move towards the coffeetable while she licked her lips in anticipation of testing each and everyone of the delectable looking items. Sure, she had been profusely informed to keep her hands off until the guests arrived, but what Jack didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her. Besides, would Jack really begrudge her little sister even the tiniest cracker when she was practically starving? Okay, perhaps starving was too strong of a word, but Chloe was a tad famished.

 

As she reached the table, Chloe glanced behind her once again, pleased to see no one before blue eyes turned back to the appetizers. Quickly deciding on which one to sample first, she stretched out an arm towards the basket of warm crisp tortilla chips, planning to dip one…or two in the bowl of chunky salsa sitting nearby. Fingertips came dangerously close to touching the treat when Chloe suddenly stopped as she heard a commanding voice behind her telling her to freeze.

 

Smirking, Chloe glanced over her shoulder to find her sister standing about eight feet away. “Am I under arrest?” she asked as she expertly maneuvered her wheelchair around so that she was facing her sister, taking in the long-sleeved black buttoned down shirt, crimson leather pants, and ankle length black leather boots. Chloe’s expression became one of interest. The majority of the time when Jack wore leather, she was attempting to win the affections of a woman. It always worked. Something about her being in leather just seemed to drive the ladies wild. And men too for that matter.

 

Jack grinned at her little sister who put the ‘a’ in adorable. Chloe was wearing a pair of stark white pants overalls, of which the legs were loose enough to fit over the cast covering her right leg. Underneath was a navy blue short-sleeved cotton shirt with the picture of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn stitched on the front. Chin length dark hair was smoothed back with a matching navy blue headband. Choosing to go without shoe wear, Chloe simply wore a pair of white cotton socks over her small dainty feet.

 

Strolling over to the wheelchair, Jack kneeled in front of it as she placed her hands on her sister’s thighs. “I’m gonna let you go this time with a warning missy. But next time I’m afraid I’m gonna hafta take ya in,” Jack said in a southern accent. Reaching up, she pushed on the brim of an imaginary cowboy hat.

 

Chuckling heartily, Chloe replied, “I promise there won’t be a next time ma’am. I’m gonna obey the law from here on out.” One dark eyebrow arched, perfectly mimicking those of her older sister. “Question is, will you?” At the blank expression that appeared on Jack’s face, Chloe smirked at her.

 

“What?” Jack asked. “Did I do something wrong?” She pointed at herself while sporting a look of total innocence.

 

Her sister smirked again as she folded her arms across her chest. “What do you think?”

 

Standing up, Jack walked behind the wheelchair and pushed her sister over to the couch before she took a seat on it, facing the younger woman. “Okay. Spill it because I have no idea what you’re talking about kid.”

 

“I’m talking about you being on the phone yesterday around oh say six o’clock in the evening. As I rolled by the living room, I couldn’t help but to hear you talking and I would have kept going if it hadn’t been for the way you were talking,” pausing, Chloe slightly grinned. “So inquiring minds want to know what’s up with the Southern accent Jack? You did quite well by the way. If I hadn’t known you, I would have thought you were straight outta Mississippi!”

 

Jack laughed though there was a tinge of a blush on her cheeks. “Oh, well I was…” How much should she tell? Deciding that if there were anyone on this planet that she could trust with a secret, it would be her sister, Jack said, “talking to PerkyGrrl.”

 

Chloe’s face took on a very interested look. “That’s great! But why were you pretending to be a Southerner?”

 

Softly sighing, Jack sat back on the couch while folding her arms in her lap. Looking at her sister, she replied, “Because PerkyGrrl is Sonny and Sonny doesn’t know that I’m Blue.”

 

The look on Chloe’s face turned thoughtful as she absorbed that piece of information. “So…let me get this straight. You have somehow found out that Sonny Campbell is your online friend PerkyGrrl, but she doesn’t know that you’re Blue. And yesterday you called her pretending to be Blue, which you really wouldn’t be pretending…. giving yourself a Southern accent so that she wouldn’t be able to tell that she was talking to Jack?”

 

Jack gave her a short nod. “In a nutshell yeah.”

 

Chloe’s eyebrows rose. “Jackie, you’ve got some ‘splanin’ ta do,” she said, mimicking Ricky Ricardo.

 

The brunette laughed. She then began to tell her sister the whole story, starting from the day she arrived at Disneyworld to discover that PerkyGrrl was actually her business rival Sonny Campbell. When she finished, she observed the unreadable look on Chloe’s face before asking what she was thinking.

 

The younger woman sighed. “Jack this could blow up in your face if Sonny were to find out what you’re doing. Why didn’t you just tell her the truth from the get go?”

 

“If I would have confessed at Disneyland that I was Blue she wouldn’t have given me the time of day. That would have been it. She wouldn’t have been open to giving us a chance because she sort of despised me.”

 

“So what about now? You two are closer. You’ve bonded. Just tell her that you’re Blue.” Jack shook her head, causing her sister to sigh again. “Why won’t you?”

 

“It’s hard to explain.”

 

Chloe indicated her wheelchair. “I’ve got plenty of time for you to do so because I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. You may start.”

 

Reaching up, Jack ran her fingers through her raven locks. “Well, I want her to want me not Blue.”

 

Chloe’s eyebrows arched. “Umm…aren’t you Blue though?”

 

“Yes, I am but in order for her to have Blue in a sense, she has to accept the whole package, which includes me and I know that she’s not willing to do that. At least not yet. So, what I have to do is somehow eliminate Blue, or make Sonny choose to be with me instead. I know that’s possible, because she has feelings for Blue, which means that she has feelings for me. She just doesn’t realize it yet.” Jack looked at her sister closely. “You follow me?”

 

“I think so,” Chloe slowly replied. “So in the meantime you’ll just continue to deceive her until one of these days she hopefully falls madly in love with you?”

 

Jack winced. “Deceive is such a harsh way to put it kid.”

 

“And how would you put it?”

 

The look on Jack’s face became thoughtful as she attempted to come up with an answer. However, someone must have been looking down at her and taking pity because the doorbell chose that moment to ring. Managing to give her sister an apologetic look, Jack stood up while saying that she had to answer the door. As she began to walk out of the room, she was unfortunately informed that they would continue this conversation later. She groaned.

 

Turning around, Jack asked, “You’re not going to tell Sonny any of this are you kid? Maybe this isn’t one of my smartest ideas, but I really love this girl and I just want her to feel the same way about me. Obviously you don’t agree with my methods, but I think this is the best way to go about making that happen.” Hearing the doorbell ring again, Jack looked over her shoulder and yelled for the visitor to wait a moment.

 

The look on Chloe’s face softened as she released the brake on her wheelchair and rode over to her sister. Indicating for Jack to lean down, she wrapped her arms around the woman, hugging her close. Leaning back, Chloe looked into Jack’s eyes saying, “Though you’re right that I don’t agree with how you’re going about this, I’m here for you one-hundred and ten percent. And no I won’t breathe a word to Sonny.”

 

Softly smiling, Jack kissed her sister’s cheek. “Thanks Chloe. You’re a great little sister, you know that?”

 

Chloe grinned. “Of course I know that!”

 

Laughing, Jack stood to her full height before turning around and hurrying towards the front door. Opening it, she smiled at the two women standing side by side. “Hello ladies. Glad you could make it. Sorry it took me so long to answer the door.” Stepping aside, she indicated for them to enter. “Chloe and I were finishing up a conversation.”

 

“Is everything alright?” Leslie asked as she reached for Laura’s purse, hanging both of their purses on the coat rack next to the front door. “I hope we didn’t come at an inconvenient time.”

 

“Well actually you did. Therefore, I’m gonna have to ask you to go away.” At the look that appeared on Leslie’s face, Jack burst out in laughter. “I’m just kidding!” Gently pulling the woman to her, she wrapped her arms around her, smiling as Leslie gave her a light squeeze.

 

“So how are things going?” Leslie asked as their hug ended.

 

“They’re going pretty well. Chloe is recuperating terrifically and she starts her respiratory therapy treatments next week.” Jack touched her chest. “You know, for her lungs. Everything seems to be looking up and I’m quite thankful.”

 

Leslie offered her a warm smile. “That’s great Jack. I’m happy for both you and Chloe.”

 

Reaching out, Jack gave her shoulder a brief squeeze. “Thanks Les.”

 

Glancing between Laura and Jack, noting that the two had barely looked at each other, Leslie hoped that this wasn’t going to be a tense evening. “Since you’ve already met, I suppose I don’t have to introduce you two,” she said while smiling at them both.

 

“Uh yeah we have,” Jack replied as she turned to Laura. “I could never forget a fist like yours.” She grinned and winked at the woman while holding out her hand. “Despite our past, it’s nice to see you Laura. Perhaps we could start over if you’re willing.”

 

Laura gave Jack’s hand a brief yet warm shake. “I would like that very much. And I’m glad to hear that your sister is doing well.”

 

“Thank you Laura,” Jack paused as she glanced back towards the den while wondering just where Chloe was. Usually she would have been at the front door to greet their guests by now. As a thought popped into her head, Jack arched an eyebrow. Oh, I think I know exactly what you’re up to you little minx. Turning back to her guests, Jack asked them if they would like anything to drink as she indicated for them to follow her into the den.

 

“You know how I like my martini’s Jack,” Leslie replied as she slipped an arm through Laura’s while they walked towards the den.

 

“One martini coming up.” Jack glanced over her shoulder towards Laura. “And you Laura?”

 

“Ginger ale please, if you have it.”

 

“I’ve got everything.” Jack winked at her before turning back around and heading into the den where she unsurprisingly caught her sister sitting near the coffeetable with her right cheek bulging out. The brunette chuckled while thinking that Chloe looked like a chipmunk. “It seems that someone has got caught with their hand in the hors d’oeuvres tray.” A grin spread across Jack’s lips as she looked at her sister.

 

While looking at them all sheepishly, Chloe proceeded to chew the food in her mouth before swallowing. Noting their looks of amusement, she smiled at Leslie and Laura. “Hi guys,” she cheerfully said. “What’s up?”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

As Leslie introduced her new friend to Chloe, Jack strolled over to the stereo, examining the large assortment of compact discs. Choosing a Sheryl Crow CD, Jack inserted it into the CD player and pressed play before she headed towards the bar to fix Leslie’s and Laura’s drinks. Opening the mini fridge located behind the bar, Jack took out a chilled bottle of ginger ale, pouring some of the clear liquid into a glass before dropping in a bright red cherry. While mouthing the words to the current song playing, she added both gin and dry vermouth to a shaker filled with ice. Lightly moving her hips from side to side, Jack shook the ingredients as she caught Leslie staring at her from the couch. Winking and grinning at the gorgeous brunette, Jack proceeded to strain the concoction into a martini glass. By the time she added a green olive speared on a toothpick, Leslie had arrived at the bar, taking a seat on a barstool.

 

“I couldn’t help but to notice the moving of your hips in those tight leather pants of yours,” Leslie announced as Jack set the martini in front of her. “Pardon me if I’m being much too forward, but you look very sexy tonight.” Leslie grinned as she noted the sudden red glow to the other woman’s cheeks.

 

“Thank you Les. You’re looking pretty terrific.” Picking up Laura’s drink, she informed Leslie that she would be right back. Moments later, Jack returned empty handed, as she took a seat on the barstool next to Leslie’s. “So what have you been up to?”

 

Removing the olive from her drink, Leslie held the tip of the toothpick as she brought the olive to her lips, lightly running the tip of her tongue around it as she kept her eyes in steady contact with Jack’s. “Oh, you know this and that.”

 

The other woman softly groaned as she leaned towards Leslie whispering, “Stop it. You’re being very cruel.”

 

Leslie chuckled as she took the olive away from her mouth. “What? What did I do?”

 

Jack smirked. “You know exactly what you did.” 

 

“So are you saying that I still have an affect on you?”

 

Before answering, Jack glanced at her sister and Laura, noticing that they seemed to be deep in conversation. Looking back at Leslie, she quietly replied, “No. What I’m saying is that I haven’t enjoyed the company of a woman in a long while and I’m a bit sensitive right now so I really don’t need to watch you making out with an olive.”

 

Leslie gave her a broad grin. “So basically you’re horny?” She laughed, as Jack’s face turned redder than a tomato.

 

Shaking a finger at Leslie, Jack replied, “You’re too naughty.”

 

“Nonsense Jack. You more than anyone should know there’s no such thing as being too naughty.” Picking up her glass, Leslie took a sip of her martini before asking, “So what’s stopping you?”

 

Jack’s brow knitted in confusion. “Stopping me from what?”

 

“What’s stopping you from enjoying the company of a woman as you so gallantly put it?” Leslie grinned. “I think you could have just about any woman you wanted, whether she be gay or straight.”

 

Deciding to be honest, Jack admitted, “Because there is only one woman that I want.”

 

“Oh. That’s right.” Leslie put her martini back on the bar before returning her attention to Jack. “I had momentarily forgotten about the one you’re in love with. How is that going?”

 

Jack sighed as she began to swivel from side to side on the barstool. “Let’s just say that it could be better, but I’m working on it.”

 

“I would think that it would be easier to win her heart since Laura is no longer in the picture…” Leslie trailed off as she brought the toothpick to her mouth and bit into the olive.

 

“You do, do you?”

 

Leslie chuckled. “Indeed. Just give it some time though. I’m sure that she’ll come around.” 

 

Hearing the doorbell ring, the expression on Jack’s face instantly brightened. Noticing it, Leslie looked at her friend curiously. “I think she just did,” Jack said, while beginning to smile. She was almost hopping up and down on her barstool because she was so excited. Without seeing Sonny for an entire week, Jack felt as thought she had been going through detox.

 

The other woman gave her a surprised look. “You mean Sonny was invited to the dinner party too?” She glanced across at Laura. Well this was going to be quite an interesting evening.

 

Jack nodded as she stood up. “Though it’s too late to do anything about it, you think there might be a problem with that?”

 

Leslie shook her head as she stood up as well. “Nah. It should be just fine. You better go answer the door before she decides that no one is home and leaves.” She started to chuckle as she watched Jack sprinting out of the den without uttering another word. Picking up her drink, Leslie strolled over to the two women curiously looking in the direction Jack had just gone.

 

“She’s really in a hurry to answer the door, isn’t she?” Laura asked, looking up at Leslie as she arrived.

 

Swallowing a guacamole laden tortilla chip, Chloe said, “That must be Sonny.”

 

Nearly choking on her ginger ale, Laura asked, “Sonny’s coming?” I suddenly feel like I’m in a soap opera. Right about now the dramatic music should start playing as my ex walks through the door and discovers that I’ve arrived with another woman. Laura glanced up at Leslie. Not that there is anything between us, but still…

 

Manipulating the wheels on her wheelchair, Chloe moved backwards enough so that she could have a clear view of the front door, which was now open. Managing to look around Jack, she could easily tell that the visitor was her sister’s ex-business rival. Turning back to Laura, she replied, “She’s arrived.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

She couldn’t help it. There wasn’t a thing she could do about the goofy smile on her face. Resisting the urge to pull Sonny into her arms, Jack waved at her, instantly feeling stupid after doing so. Off and on all day she had been practicing how she would behave when she opened the door to find Sonny standing there. The keyword was to act cool, so her original plan was to open the door and give the blonde a charming come hither smile as she moved to lean against the doorjamb while Sonny checked out her leather pants, noticing just how well they fit.

 

However, Jack had just blown it, but she really didn’t care. The important thing was that Sonny had decided to come and now they could make up. Thinking that one of them should take the initiative to speak, Jack considered that it might as well be her. “Hey.” Currently, it was all that she could manage to get out as her eyes roamed over Sonny. Was it just her imagination or did the blonde look even more beautiful then she remembered? Oh, Sonny. May I have your hand in marriage?

 

Sonny smiled at her. She was trying to come up with the correct word to describe how Jack looked in those tight red leather pants on legs that seemed to go on forever and the shirt that had just enough buttons undone that she could catch a glimpse of the black lacy bra underneath. Um, not that she was trying to look or anything. “Hi,” Sonny shyly replied as she hooked her thumbs into the side pockets of her cargo pants. A light bulb switched on in her head as she came up with the word that she wanted. To put it simply, Jack looked h-o-t hot! Though not that that fact meant anything to Sonny…

 

“I see you got your cast removed,” Jack stated as she glanced at the blonde’s now naked left arm. She could have smacked herself. I haven’t seen her in a week and this is how I decide to start a conversation?

 

Sonny nodded as she unconsciously rubbed the arm being discussed. “Yes, it was taken off on Saturday. I’m thrilled too because it was a nuisance! Especially when it itched under there.”

 

“For future reference, if you ever have an itch that you need scratching, I’m your woman.” Jack slowly grinned at her as she wiggled her eyebrows up and down suggestively.

 

Instead of blushing at the comment, Sonny burst out in laughter when she noticed the dancing eyebrows. “I’ll keep that in mind, Jack. Thanks a bunch.”

 

Chuckling, Jack answered, “No problem. I think I’ve kept you standing on my welcome mat long enough. Would you care to come in?”

 

Sonny glanced up towards the starlit sky. “Though it’s a lovely night, I sure would.” Breezing by Jack, she caught a whiff of the woman’s pleasant cologne. Turning around, she watched as the brunette closed the door before turning to her, wearing a smile. Caught off guard by the tenderness of it, Sonny felt a blush creeping up to her cheeks. Starting to turn away in order to hide it, she abruptly decided not to. Based on the grin on Jack’s lips, it was already too late. Jack, you can’t wait five minutes to tease me can you? She looked at the other woman, figuring that those wheels were probably turning in her head. C’mon. I know you wanna do it.

 

“Ah, there’s that blush that I’ve come to know and love. I’ve missed it.” The grin metamorphosed back into a tender smile as Jack softly added, “And I’ve missed you too. So very much Sonny girl.”  Jack’s heart hammered beneath her chest as she waited for a reply, having no idea of what it might be. What would you do if I kissed you right now?

 

Sonny blinked rapidly in surprise, barely being able to believe her ears. That wasn’t really teasing. Instead, it was rather…. sweet and heartwarming. Having a bit of difficulty finding her voice, the blonde finally managed to whisper, “I’ve missed you as well Jack.”

 

Blue and green eyes met and gazed into each other while the rest of the world seemed to melt away for a few precious seconds. Thinking that they should join the others, Jack was the first to break contact as she slowly reached out for one of Sonny’s hands, needing to touch her. The other woman watched almost in a daze as the brunette brought her hand to her lips and turned it over to place a feather light kiss in the center of Sonny’s palm. Hearing Sonny emit a soft gasp, Jack smiled at her while letting go of her hand, though not wanting to.

 

“I um…I guess we better join the others in the den before they decide to come looking for us,” Jack said, though she remained right where she was. What she really wanted to do was pick Sonny up and carry her upstairs to her bedroom where they could have some privacy. She inwardly grinned as she imagined the scenario. What would you do if I carried you to my boudoir right now?

 

The blonde wordlessly nodded as she tried to ignore the pleasantly tingling sensations left after the brief touch of Jack’s lips on her palm. She thought of Dixie, hoping that that would quell the sensations, but they only grew more apparent. Turning away from curious blue eyes, she headed towards the den while trying to get a hold on her emotions. What in the world is the matter with me? This is Jack not Blue. My heart lies with Blue. Sonny repeated that to herself a couple of times as she walked. Suddenly she stopped as a warm hand clamped down on her shoulder, proving to create a fresh wave of sensations. Turning around, Sonny stared up into blue eyes as she wondered why the woman’s touches were affecting her so much. Perhaps it had something to do with that quote that stated absence made the heart grow fonder. Well we best not spend too much time apart. Sonny gave a slight shake of her head while thinking that didn’t sound like a wise idea.

 

Forcing herself to remove her hand since she now had the shorter woman’s attention, Jack quietly said as she stared into green eyes, “There’s something I have to tell you.”

 

Swallowing so hard that it was faintly audible, Sonny looked into open blue eyes filled with warmth while wondering what Jack was about to say. She decided to ignore the fact that her heart rate had increased considerably. “Yes?” the blonde softly inquired.

 

“I probably should have called you before to tell you this but Leslie invited Laura to the dinner party and they’re in the den now.”

 

Sonny blinked. Was that it? For some strange reason she felt disappointed. “Oh. Okay.” She smiled because Jack was now looking at her peculiarly. “It’s not a problem. I’ve accepted Laura and I not being together and it’s perfectly alright for her to move on and see other people. I mean that’s what you’re supposed to do right?” Sonny laughed a little nervously because the brunette was giving her that same look. Oh, Sonny just shut up! You sound like a rambling idiot!

 

Cocking her head to the side, Jack studied the shorter woman wondering why she was talking so fast and nervously. She also wondered about the look of disappointment that had appeared on Sonny’s face only moments before. Sensing that Sonny wouldn’t want her to, Jack decided not to inquire about it. Instead she wrapped an arm around the younger woman’s shoulders and asked if she was ready to greet the others. Thankful that Jack didn’t comment on her suddenly odd behavior, Sonny quietly nodded her head while unconsciously wrapping her arm around the woman’s waist. She missed the smile that crossed Jack’s lips as they made their way into the den, their bodies brushing against one another as they walked.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

The evening was going along rather well. Everyone was talking amicably and generally having a fantastic time. All five women were outside now after having enjoyed a terrific Mexican feast that Jack had catered. Sitting around a patio table eating slices of flan, they chatted with one another. The current topic was about Hollywood and famous actors.

 

“So ladies let me ask you a question,” Leslie said as she waved her fork as though she was the conductor of a musical group. “If you could date any famous actress,” she glanced at Chloe while grinning, “or actor in your case darling. Who would you all pick?” She pointed her fork at Laura. “You first.”

 

“Gee thanks.” Laura grinned at her. “Well, there are so many beautiful actresses out there but I think my choice would have to be Andie MacDowell. I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for her.”

 

“Why Andie?” Chloe asked.

 

“One reason is I just love her southern accent.” Laura raised her eyebrow as she glanced at Jack who was glaring at her sister after she started snickering. “What’s so funny and why are you glaring at her Jack?”

 

Chloe shrugged. “Oh no reason. It’s just that I know a southern woman and the mere thought of her causes me to laugh. You reminded me of her when you mentioned the accent.” She looked at her sister who appeared to be a little tense at the moment. “Jack might have thought it rude that I laughed while you were trying to explain, right Jack?”

 

Her sister slowly nodded while turning to Laura. “Right. I don’t want you to be interrupted.”

 

Laura smiled. “Oh, that’s okay. It didn’t bother me. I was mostly curious about your reaction to her laughter. Anyway as I was saying, I also chose Andie because she seems like she would be a real sweetheart and I think we would get along well.” She looked around the small group. “Who’s next?”

 

After pointing her fork at Jack, Leslie had it swiped away from her by the woman. Jack placed the fork on her empty saucer. Noticing Leslie’s little frown, she said, “It’s not right to point your fork at people.” The frown disappearing, Leslie started to chuckle. “Okay, who would I choose.” A thoughtful look appeared on Jack’s face. “Actually there’s only one person on this earth that I want…” Her blue eyes fell on Sonny, who instantly started to blush. Successfully keeping the grin from showing on her lips, Jack returned her attention to Leslie who wasn’t so successful with hiding a grin. Glancing at the others, she noticed they weren’t either. “But if I simply had to choose someone famous, it would be Catherine Zeta-Jones because let’s admit it. That woman has got it going on!”

 

Laughing, Jack and Leslie high-fived each other while Laura and Chloe spoke up with their agreement on the fineness of the Welsh actress. Meanwhile, Sonny fought hard with the sudden jealousy she felt. What’s wrong with me? So what if she thinks Catherine is hot. Hell, so do I and a lot of other people! Shouldn’t affect me in anyway. Pasting a smile on her lips so as not to draw any questions, Sonny then noticed that the group was looking at her expectantly.

 

“Oh, is it my turn?” They nodded. “I’ve always had this thing for Michelle Pfeiffer. I’ve liked her since I saw her in Grease 2 years ago.” This earned her a few chuckles and she started to grin.

 

“Ooh, nice choice Sonny,” Leslie said as she stole her fork back from Jack’s plate because she wasn’t done with her flan yet. “In her forties and she still as Jack put it has got it going on!” This time she and Sonny high-fived each other while breaking into laughter. After it died down, Leslie looked at Chloe. “And now it’s your turn darling.”

 

Shaking her head, Chloe replied, “Nope. You go first.”

 

Leslie grinned. “Okay. Well my choice is Halle Berry because she puts the f-i-n-e in fine. Since she’s a petite little thing, I imagine that she would be wonderful to cuddle up with.” Her grin became broader. “And I could happily do that every single night. Um, along with much much more.”

 

Laura whistled. “That’s a pretty nice choice you made too.”

 

Leslie winked at her. “Why thank you.” Her eyes falling on Chloe, Leslie grinned at her. “And now it’s your turn. So who would you choose to be your boy toy, hmm?”

 

“Yeah kid,” Jack started. “Who’s your man? Brad Pitt…Tom Cruise?” A grin curved her lips.

 

Shaking her head, Chloe said, “Nope. I’ve decided to pick a woman like the rest of you.”

 

Leslie arched an eyebrow. “Ooh, am I going to have to purchase another toaster?” Jack, Sonny, and Laura burst into laughter as Chloe merely smirked at the one responsible for the joke. Somehow, Leslie managed to look innocent.

 

“Les, sorry to tell you this but I haven’t been reverted. I still like men,” Chloe said, chuckling as the woman pretended to look extremely sorrowful about this news. “I’m comfortable enough with my sexuality to admit that I do find women attractive. A lot highly attractive.” She decided not to mention the fact that she’d had a crush on her eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Arthur. There was no telling how much they would tease her for that.

 

“Well who’s your pick? Brittany Spears? Do you want to like hit her one more time baby?” Leslie tried to maintain a serious expression but failed to as she broke out in a fit of giggles along with Jack. Sonny and Laura at least had the decency to cover their mouths with their hands before they started laughing.

 

Chloe smirked while thinking that she might as well have told them about her teacher. It couldn’t have been any worse. “No, Miss Comedian not Brittany Spears.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry sweetie. I shouldn’t tease you like that.” Scooting her chair closer to Chloe’s wheelchair, she kissed the young woman’s cheek and then gave her a genuine smile that was quickly returned. “I think I had too many martini’s.” Winking at Chloe, Leslie asked, “So who would you pick to date?”

 

Chloe opened her mouth to answer but then shut it as she shook her head. “Nah, I don’t feel like divulging that information now. I’ll just keep her to myself.” Grinning, she unlocked the brakes on her wheelchair before starting to roll away from the table. “It’s been real ladies but I’m gonna head on to bed now. I’m bushed.” Declining her sister’s offer to assist her to bed, Chloe waved at the others before heading toward the sliding glass doors leading into the house.

 

“Hey, wait a minute!” Leslie called after her as she arose from her chair. Chloe however, kept rolling along with a broad grin spread across her lips. “Tell me who she is. You’ve got me curious now!” Noticing that the young woman didn’t intend to stop, Leslie added, “That’s alright. I’ll call you tomorrow. Sweet dreams kid!”

 

Chuckling, Chloe raised her hand and waved back at Leslie before continuing on her way, soon to be out of sight. Turning back to the group, Leslie noticed that Jack’s attention was focused on Sonny, who didn’t seem to notice as she chatted with Laura. Concluding that Jack might want some time alone with the gorgeous blonde, Leslie asked Laura if she would be interested in going to get a cup of coffee with her.

 

“That’d be great,” Laura replied as she stood up and looked at Jack. “Thank you for a lovely evening. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. We got off to a rocky start, but perhaps you and I can become friends.” She smiled at the woman.

 

Jack nodded as she returned the smile. “I’d like that very much Laura. I’ll see you two to the door.” She started to arise from her chair but was quickly advised by Leslie to remain seated. Watching as Laura gave Sonny a kiss on her cheek, Jack told herself that she wasn’t at all jealous.

 

Leaning down, Leslie wrapped her arms around Jack while she whispered in her ear, “Go get her tiger.” Standing up, she winked at Jack as the other woman simply shook her head while grinning.

 

Minutes later, Jack and Sonny heard the front door closing. Turning to each other they smiled, neither of them knowing what to say. This was the first time that they had been alone in a week and they were now at a loss for words.

 

“So…what have you been up to?” Jack asked as she gathered the dishes. She suddenly felt like a nervous teenager on her first date.

 

“Not too much. I closed up Bean There, Done That on Friday and now I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next. So I suppose you could say that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”

 

“Have any ideas?”

 

Sonny shook her head as she lightly chuckled. “Not a clue. But I’m working on it,” pausing, she looked at Jack. “How have things been going with you this past week?”

 

Jack shrugged. “Ah well…honestly?”

 

The blonde mutely nodded.

 

Averting her eyes to the pool, Jack quietly said, “I’ve felt kind of lost without you around. There were times that I almost called you or came over but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.” Daring to look at the other woman, Jack tried to decipher the unreadable expression she wore. “I’m glad that you decided to make the first move because I don’t think I would have lasted much longer without talking to you.” A slight smile curved the brunette’s lips as she suddenly ached to draw Sonny into her arms.

 

Though a tinge of a blush graced her cheeks, Sonny’s brow knit in confusion. “Me make the first move?” she asked as Jack nodded. “But you had Chloe call me so in a sense didn’t you?”

 

Both of Jack’s eyebrows arched. “Um…no I didn’t. You called me but since I wasn’t there, Chloe answered the phone. She told me that you apologized for what happened between us and that you wanted to make up with me because you couldn’t bear to lose me.”

 

“Well that’s funny because she told me that you were sorry for what happened and that you wanted me to come to her welcome home dinner party. She also said that you would have called me yourself but you were afraid so that’s why she did it. Am I wrong?”

 

The brunette shook her head. Why that little sneak. Chloe you’ve learned too much from me. Looking at Sonny she said, “I do believe that we have been set up by my mischievous little sister. Though I suppose that I shouldn’t be too hard on her since she was only trying to help.”

 

“So you never apologized?”

 

“Why would I apologize for wanting to help you?”

 

Oh, brother, Sonny thought. Here we go again. “Jack your idea of helping seems to always involve shoving money into someone’s face. I didn’t want to take a handout and though you referred to it as ‘business’ you and I both know different. Now when I didn’t accept it, you got pissed off at me, claiming that you were just wasting your time and stormed out. Does it sound to you like I should have apologized?”

 

It suddenly dawned on Jack that Sonny wasn’t in the wrong. It was she who should have made the first move and apologized for her behavior last week. Jack had just become so angry when Sonny refused to accept her offer. All she’d wanted to do was help but Sonny was correct. Jack relied on her money far too much. It wasn’t the answer to everything.

 

As she softly sighed, Jack scooted her chair closer to Sonny’s before gingerly placing her hand over the other woman’s. She was relieved and happy when the blonde didn’t pull her hand away. Blue eyes making contact with green ones, Jack quietly said, “I’m so sorry Sonny. I should have apologized to you days ago, but I was just too stubborn to see that this was my own fault. Sometimes I just get hotheaded and I don’t listen. I didn’t mean what I said about wasting my time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I really am sorry. I hope that you can forgive me for once again acting like a jerk.”

 

Surprising them both, Sonny arose from her chair and walked over to Jack. Taking the woman by the hand, Sonny gently pulled until the brunette was standing as well. Smiling at her, Sonny wrapped her arms around Jack and squeezed her tight, smiling even more when she felt a pair of strong arms encircling her body. Wordlessly, the two women embraced each other for a couple of minutes before they let go, neither really wanting to do so.

 

“So does that mean that you forgive me?” Jack inquired, a faint grin on her lips. She desperately wanted an encore of that hug.

 

Sonny waved a dismissive hand. “Let’s just forget about it. Doesn’t matter anymore. Perhaps we both got a little too upset. The important thing is that we’re talking now and that we’re still friends. Okay?” She smiled at Jack.

 

Smiling back, the brunette nodded. “Okay.”

 

After conversing over cups of coffee in the kitchen for nearly an hour, Sonny announced that she should be getting home. Unhappy to see her go, but knowing that it was inevitable, Jack walked the young woman to her car. After opening the car door for Sonny, Jack wrapped her arms around her, wanting to feel her at least once more before she left. I have turned into such a sap, Jack thought as they shared a brief yet tender embrace. It was on the tip of her tongue to ask Sonny to stay over, but she quickly thought better of it.

 

“So when will I see you again?” Jack asked after their hug ended.

 

Green eyes filled with amusement looked up at her. “That depends. When do you want to see me?” Sonny leaned back against the car as she waited for a response.

 

Jack arched an eyebrow. Was it just her imagination or was this woman flirting with her? She certainly hoped that it was the latter. Based on the expression written across Sonny’s face, she definitely was. “Well if it were up to me I’d see you morning, noon, and night twenty-four seven,” Jack replied in a low throaty voice. It had the desired effect because she instantly detected the red blush appearing on Sonny’s cheeks.

 

Finding her voice, the blonde swallowed before softly saying, “I’ll call you tomorrow. Goodnight Jack.” Standing on her tiptoes, she lightly kissed the woman’s cheek before disappearing inside her car.

 

Wearing a silly little grin, Jack watched while the car drove off until it was out of sight. Bubbling with excitement, she walked back into her house. She could hardly wait until the phone rang tomorrow and it was Sonny.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

After leaving her car with the valet, Jack walked into the restaurant carrying a bouquet of flowers. When she informed the maitre ‘d of whom she was supposed to be meeting, the tuxedo dressed man plucked a menu from a stack before indicating for her to follow him. While doing so, Jack attempted to calm the racing of her heart but failed to do so. She was much too excited and nervous. You would think that I’d get used to spending time with her, but every time feels like the first, Jack mentally said as she spied the blonde she had been looking. She was sitting at a small table near a window, which showed a spectacular view of the ocean.

 

Smiling as the taller woman neared, Sonny arose from the table and hugged her in greeting. As Sonny thanked Jack for the flowers, the two women sat down, their seats facing one another. After the maitre ‘d gave Jack her menu and walked away, the brunette stretched her arm across the table, covering Sonny’s hand with her own. Looking into her green eyes, Jack smiled broadly while absolutely thrilled to be in Sonny’s presence again. True, just two days ago they had spent the evening with each other, catching a movie at a theater and then playing miniature golf which Jack found that she was quite unskilled at, but she had missed this woman terribly.

 

Jack lightly shook her head at the irony. She used to be known as the Conqueror and now she had been the one conquered. She just wished that soon Sonny would be open to the idea of giving them a chance. It had nearly been a week since they mended broken fences at Chloe’s dinner party and Jack felt that she hadn’t come any closer to making Sonny her own. However, Blue seemed to be getting closer based on the emails she had received last week. Jack shook her head again. How was it that she could beat other people in business, yet she couldn’t defeat herself? Wonder how upset Sonny would be if ‘Blue’ suddenly dropped off of the face of the planet?

 

Cocking her head to the side, Sonny gave the brunette a curious look. “What are you thinking?” she asked, watching as the sudden faraway look in Jack’s eyes disappeared with a blink.

 

“Hmm?”

 

Lightly chuckling, Sonny repeated her question. “Physically you’re here yet you seem to be far away. Is something wrong? Is Chloe alright?”

 

Jack softly smiled at her while rubbing the hand beneath her own. Sonny’s great concern for others only proved to cause Jack to love her even more. “I think she’s becoming a little anxious to be free of that wheelchair but other than that she’s doing well. And everything else is fine,” she paused as she gazed into attentive green eyes. “I was just marveling over how beautiful you look tonight. Though to be honest you look beautiful every time that I see you.” Jack mentally rolled her eyes though she was speaking the truth. Sonny looked positively breathtaking in the mid-thigh length red tank dress she was wearing. Just call me Jack the Sap.

 

Her cheeks turning a color that perfectly matched her dress, Sonny softly thanked the other woman for her compliment. Before either woman could say anything more, their waiter arrived at the table carrying a chilled bottle of champagne. After he opened the bottle and poured champagne into the two flutes already sitting on the table, the waiter informed Sonny and Jack to signal him when they were ready to order.

 

The brunette smiled at her dinner companion. “Did you set this up Sonny? The champagne I mean.”

 

Nodding, Sonny replied, “Yeah. I told the waiter that I was expecting someone and when he noticed a gorgeous blue-eyed woman sitting across from me that he was to bring this champagne.”

 

A grin spread across Jack’s lips. “Gorgeous?”

 

Sonny rolled her eyes while thinking that she should have edited out the gorgeous part. She tried to shrug nonchalantly. “Yeah, well you are gorgeous.” Picking up her champagne, Sonny decided to change the subject. At least she hoped Jack would allow that to happen. “Anyway, I invited you to dinner because I have some terrific news and I was in the mood to celebrate.”

 

“And out of everyone you know you chose to celebrate with me?” How sweet and touching was that? Jack instantly felt a lump forming in her throat, which was one of the signs of an impending cry. Grabbing her flute, she took a short sip while trying to get control of her emotions. Just what have you done to me Sonny Campbell? I’m turning into an emotional cornball!

 

Perhaps it was just the lighting in the restaurant or the candlelight but Sonny could swear that Jack’s eyes looked glassy as though she was on the verge of crying. She was about to dismiss it when she noticed that the woman seemed to be swallowing an awful lot. Reaching across the table, Sonny took one of Jack’s hands in her own.

 

“Hey are you alright Jack?”

 

Not trusting herself to speak right now, the brunette merely nodded as she gave the hand holding hers a brief yet reassuring squeeze.

 

“You look as though you’re about to cry,” Sonny quietly stated. “Are you sure Chloe is doing okay? You know that you can talk to me about anything. That’s what friends are for.” Smiling, Sonny squeezed Jack’s hand back.

 

“She’s fine. Really,” Jack replied in a hoarse whisper. Quietly excusing herself, she arose and left the table as the blonde curiously watched her.

 

She didn’t have to wonder for long where the woman was headed because Jack soon arrived at the small stage where a band was playing. Raising a curious golden eyebrow, Sonny continued to watch as she noticed Jack slipping the band members bills, though she couldn’t tell which denominations. What is she up to now? Sonny wondered as she turned back around to take a sip of champagne. By the time she turned back to look at Jack, the tall woman was standing behind her chair, a soft smile on her lips.

 

“Dance with me please?” Holding out her hand, Jack said, “That is unless you have a problem with us being women, dancing together in public. I completely understand if you’d be uncomfortable.”

 

Shaking her head, Sonny placed her hand in the other woman’s as she stood up, a smile evident on her face. “I’d love to dance with you Jack. I don’t care what other people think about that. Lead the way.”

 

With the smile on her lips growing, Jack led them toward the dance floor, which happened to be empty. As Jack wrapped her arms around Sonny’s waist, a familiar song began to be played by the band, the only female singing. Instantly knowing what song it was Sonny began to smile and blush simultaneously, as slipped her arms around her companion’s neck and they started to dance close.

 

“All that’s missing is your leisure suit and my ball gown,” Sonny said, recalling Jack’s Cinderella-like dream. Her green eyes twinkled merrily as she unconsciously pressed her body closer. She found that wanting to touch Jack was beginning to become a habit she had to break. Not that she and Blue had yet to make any type of commitment to each other, but she felt guilty all the same. Blue should be the only woman that she wanted to constantly touch.

 

Barely containing a moan of pleasure as Sonny pressed closer, Jack smiled down at her. Her body temperature has rose considerably and her heart was beating quite fast as Jack wondered if them dancing together was such a bright idea. I can do this, Jack mentally coached herself. I am a grown woman and I can control my urges no matter how good she feels…no matter how good she smells…

 

“Jack?” Sonny called for the fourth time, relieved when the other woman finally blinked before focusing on her.

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Are you okay? You look a little flushed.” Sonny pressed a palm to Jack’s cheek.

 

“You know what’s one of the most spoken phrases in movies?”

 

Both of Sonny’s eyebrows rose high as she wondered where this question was leading. She shook her head. “I haven’t the slightest idea. Tell me.”

 

“It’s let’s get out of here. You wanna?”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

A little under an hour later, both women were sitting at the edge of Jack’s pool with their legs submerged in the water. Discovering that she and Chloe were the same size, Sonny wore a pair of the younger woman’s shorts along with a tank top. It proved difficult to do but she managed not to ogle Jack in the black two piece bikini she wore. Good gracious I knew she had a nice rack, but that bikini top just accentuates it! Green eyes slowly traveled down Jack’s body, completely unnoticed as the woman stared towards the empty beach. And such beautifully long legs. As Sonny looked up, her face turned as red as a tomato when she noticed amused blue eyes gazing at her. Busted!

 

“See something you like?” Jack asked in a husky voice. She’d picked this particular bikini on purpose, hoping that it would have the desired effect. Her lips curved upward into a smile. It seemed to be working perfectly.

 

It was on the tip of her tongue to flirtatiously reply that maybe she did, but Sonny quickly changed her mind. If she did there was no telling where this would lead. Instead, she decided to change the subject by informing the scantily clad woman seated next to her that she still had terrific news to tell her.

 

An apologetic look appeared on Jack’s face. “Oh, yes. I never did give you the chance to tell me what we’re supposed to be celebrating. What’s your big news?”

 

“Yeah, that’s when you got all weird on me,” Sonny replied, a playful smile on her lips. “You never did tell me what that was all about,” she added, wondering if she would get an answer now. After the bill for the champagne was taken care of, the two women got in their separate cars before Sonny followed Jack back to her mansion as the blonde referred to it. Still curiously quiet when they arrived, Jack suggested that they lounge by the pool, yet she didn’t say much else.

 

“I’m interested in hearing your good news.”

 

“And I’m interested in knowing why you suddenly became quiet back at the restaurant. What happened back there?” Sonny delicately inquired.

 

Unreadable blue eyes traveled to Sonny’s face. “You’ve been wanting to tell me and I really want to know, so go ahead,” Jack softly insisted. “Please.”

 

Knowing when she was defeated, the blonde relinquished with a nod. “Okay. As you know I’ve been looking for employment all week and I have finally found a job. I start bright and early tomorrow morning in fact.”

 

Jack brightly smiled as she congratulated Sonny while resisting the urge to use this new information as an excuse to reach over and embrace her. She figured that she might not be able to let go if she gave in to the urge. “So what will you be doing? Does it have anything to do with coffee?”

 

Sonny lightly chuckled as she shook her head. “No, I’ve decided that I’m probably going to be out of the coffee business from here on out. Have you ever heard of that women’s resort called Serenity Palace?”

 

The brunette mutely nodded. In fact, when they were seeing each other, she had been to the resort numerous times with Leslie. It was one of the their favorite spots. However, Jack decided not to mention that little tidbit.

 

“Well I’m going to be a masseuse there,” Sonny stated, a smile on her lips. “Working from eight to four, Monday through Friday. Great pay, great benefits, and I’m quite pleased with the amount of vacation time I’m allotted.”

 

“A masseuse? You’re going to be a masseuse?” Jack questioned as one lone eyebrow raised. If asked, she couldn’t have been able to tell what Sonny had said after relaying the news that she was going to be a masseuse. That one word had gained her full and complete attention. Jack didn’t like the sound of this. She didn’t like it one bit and the scowl on her face made that obvious. It was bad enough that the love of her life was going to be interacting on a daily basis with solely women upon women by working at a female only resort. But now she learned that Sonny was going to be a masseuse, which meant that she would have her hands on these women. She would have her hands all over their bodies and quite possibly see them naked. Sonny would be subjected to naked or barely dressed women all day long. Women who wanted her to squeeze and knead their bodies. The scowl on Jack’s face deepened.

 

Sonny cocked her head to the side as she observed the brunette’s expression. Did she have a problem with it? “Yes, I am. Is there something wrong with that?”

 

Jack quickly shook her head as she forced a smile onto her lips. Well, a faint smile anyway. It was the best she could do because she felt a bit nauseous. “No, there isn’t. I just umm…never knew you had those types of skills. Don’t you need a license in order to be a professional masseuse?”

 

“Oh, I have one,” Sonny quickly supplied as she glanced toward the ocean, missing the disappointed expression on Jack’s face. “Back in college I took some courses dealing in massage therapy and that was around the time I received my license to practice it. I was a masseuse at a resort for a little over a year and though I don’t mean to toot my own horn, I was pretty great at it,” pausing, she broadly smiled as she winked at her companion. “It wasn’t long after that that Sarah and I started our coffee business.”

 

“So now you get to return to it, eh?” Jack asked, trying her best to sound upbeat. Have I mentioned that I don’t like this one little bit? She couldn’t just work at McDonald’s or something?

 

Nodding, Sonny waded her feet back and forth in water. “I’m quite excited about it. I’ve always loved working with my hands.”

 

Though it was innocently stated, Jack couldn’t help but to wince while imagining just what the young blonde could do with those petite hands of hers. A rush of heat went through her when Sonny added that perhaps she could give her a massage sometime. A small smile tugged at Jack’s lips as the less than desirable images roaming through her mind were replaced with sizzling ones of Sonny’s soft palms slowly gliding over her body, bringing her pleasure that she never knew existed.

 

Starting to feel rather overheated, the brunette informed Sonny that she was going to take a dip in the pool. Without waiting for comment, Jack took a deep breath before diving headfirst into the Olympic-sized pool. Easily gliding through the lukewarm temperature water, Jack completed four laps within a matter of minutes before she heard a small splash. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed that Sonny was swimming in her direction. Being on the shallow end, Jack placed her feet on the bottom as she leaned against the side of the pool.

 

Arriving in close proximity to Jack, Sonny gained her balance, standing in the water as well. While smiling at the other woman, the blonde reached up and smoothed back the short strands of hair hanging on her forehead. Unconsciously, Sonny licked her lips causing Jack to softly mewl, as she moved to stand directly in front of her.

 

“Awesome pool you have here. The pool in my apartment complex is nice but it doesn’t begin to compare to this one,” the smaller woman stated as she looked up into blue eyes that were slightly darker than usual. She watched as Jack silently nodded her head in agreement and then grinned. “Cat got your tongue Jack?” she teasingly asked.

 

Jack felt her resolve melting away as she faintly smiled in return. “You want to know why?” she softly asked.

 

Raising an eyebrow, Sonny questioned, “Do I want to know why your pool is awesome?”

 

Bursting into laughter, the brunette shook her head. “No, do you want to know why I grew quiet at the restaurant?”

 

“Ooh, that. Yes I would.”

 

“It was what you said,” Jack briefly paused. “Well actually what I concluded that you were implying but you never really answered me so I’ll ask you again. Out of everyone you know, you chose to celebrate with me?”

 

Warmly smiling, Sonny nodded. “Yes.”

 

Jack’s heart started to beat at a faster pace. “Not Sarah?” The blonde shook her head. “Not Laura?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Not Hawke or Peter?”

 

Green eyes twinkled as they gazed up at the taller woman. “Nope and nope. Truthfully, you were the first person to enter my mind and I thought it was a grand idea to celebrate with you which is why I gave you a ring.”

 

A damp dark eyebrow quizzically raised. “You mean it wasn’t Blue?” She was on Sonny’s mind before the ‘Southern’ woman. Jack inwardly smiled, filled with glee. That had to be progress.

 

Sonny shook her head. “No,” she whispered. “Jack sometimes it frightens me how much I think about you, how much you’ve come to mean to me within such a short amount of time. It feels as though I’ve known you far longer than a mere month.”

 

Jack nodded in total agreement. “It feels that way for me too, though I’m not at all frightened by the depth of my feelings for you,” she softly replied, a touch of a smile evident on her lips. “Sonny I feel that I’ve been waiting for someone like you all of my life and I’m thrilled that you’ve finally arrived. I think about you the majority of the time and I welcome those thoughts. Before it was just Chloe, but you and she, both now mean the world to me. You two are my world.” Noticing that Sonny was about to say something, Jack briefly touched a finger to her lips. “And the reason,” taking a deep breath, the brunette started again as she stared into attentive green eyes, “the reason I became so quiet was because I truly touched that you would think of me first. You don’t know how happy that makes me. Perhaps I’m making too much out of it, but it did me a world of good. My emotions got the best of me and I was nearly rendered speechless because I was so choked up. All I wanted to do was take you in my arms and hold you forever.” Raising a hand, Jack gently cupped the younger woman’s cheek. “I don’t have a clue how you’ll react, but there is something that I want to tell you,” pausing again, Jack observed the blonde. She was so still that it didn’t appear like she was even breathing. “Sonny girl I’ve always wondered what true love felt like and now I know because of you. I love you.”

 

Her vision growing bleary, Sonny inhaled deeply before slowly letting it out. This was quite unexpected. Looking up into anxious blue eyes that were also bleary with unshed tears, she whispered, “I don’t know what to say Jack.”

 

Two tears ran down her cheeks, as the brunette softly replied, “You don’t have to say a word.” Her resolve completely gone now, Jack slowly leaned down aiming for the other woman’s lips. Moments later, their lips touched in a kiss that at first was tentative as though it was their first one. Soon, the kiss grew bolder and more passionate as Sonny and Jack wrapped their arms around one another, both softly moaning. With her arms wrapped around Sonny’s waist, the brunette turned them around in the water so that the smaller woman had her back pressed against the side. Breaking the passion filled kiss, Jack began a pleasurable assault on her companion’s neck, her mouth tenderly sucking at the warm flesh.

 

Moaning, Sonny’s body writhed against Jack’s as she wrapped her legs around the woman’s waist under the water. She was so turned on, she concluded that it should be a crime. What am I doing? She mentally asked herself. I have Blue. Well I intend to have Blue so what am I doing making out with Jack? Another moan escaped her as Jack’s tongue laved the spot she had been nibbling on. God, it feels so incredible. Sonny let out a small yelp as a pair of strong arms suddenly lifted her out of the water. Hanging on for dear life while being transported, the blonde soon found herself laying on a wide padded chaise lounge. As Jack’s hot mouth descended upon her neck again, one of the woman’s hands slipped up the front of her tank top, a warm palm coming to rest on her stomach.

 

Her hands seeming to have a mind all their own, trailed up Jack’s smooth and damp back until they touched the tied strings holding her bikini top together. Deft fingertips tugged at the strings until they were untied, each limply falling on either side of Jack’s back. Releasing the patch of skin she had been laboriously working on, Jack knelt on the chaise lounge between the blonde’s legs, her darkened blue eyes gazing into Sonny’s equally dark green ones as she removed the bikini top, tossing it over her shoulder. Swallowing with much difficulty, the blonde gazed up at the beautiful full breasts that she had only caught a glimpse of on a particular day weeks ago at the local gym. They were as marvelous as ever. Simply two works of art.

 

A sexy little grin appearing on her lips, Jack took a hold of the small hands grabbing at the padding of the chaise lounge rather tightly and placed them over her breasts. As she swallowed again, Sonny gave the breasts she was now touching a light squeeze, eliciting a deep moan from their owner. Spurred by this, she allowed the edge of her thumbs to lightly graze back and forth across Jack’s rose colored nipples, gaining more moans in the process.

 

“Oh, Sonny do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?” Jack asked in a throaty whisper,

loudly groaning as nimble fingers gently tugged at her sensitive tips, stimulating them all the more.

 

“I think I have a vague idea,” the blonde whispered thickly as she left Jack’s breasts, fingertips traveling down to the woman’s taut stomach. She was debating on whether to remove those bikini bottoms when Jack seemed to become temporarily psychic, disposing of the flimsy piece of cloth within seconds. Now Sonny had a full frontal view of Jack and she had to admit that it was quite lovely. Having lost her ability to think correctly, the blonde’s right hand continue traveling down, until the back of it came in contact with a delicious heat. A pair of tanned strong thighs slightly quivered as Sonny started to brush her fingertips against a rather damp mound. Hearing soft moans, Sonny increased the pressure of her fingertips, almost mesmerized by what she was doing.

 

“Sonny, I need you,” the brunette breathlessly stated as she gently removed the younger woman’s pleasure giving hand before moving to lay on top of her, capturing Sonny’s mouth in a scorching kiss. Straddling one of Sonny’s thighs, Jack began to press her thigh into the woman’s center through her shorts as their kiss continued, tongues dueling for space in each other’s mouths. The brunette moaned as a thigh was placed at her own center, beginning to create friction by rubbing up and down. Succeeding in not breaking the kiss, Jack started to slide her hands under the woman lying below her tank top. She craved to feel more of the blonde’s soft skin.

 

Ending the kiss, blue eyes filled with love, affection, and desire gazed into green ones. The blue eyes closed as a soft hand lifted to caress Jack’s cheek, fingertips lightly trailing over her skin. They grazed across her forehead to her eyebrows, down her nose, across to her other cheek, chin, and finally up to her lips, which were slightly parted. Opening her eyes, Jack looked at Sonny as she took the woman’s middle finger into her mouth, beginning to run her mouth back and forth over it. Shuddering in delight, Sonny kept eye contact as Jack started to suckle on her finger, her tongue rolling around it. She moaned, pressing her thigh harder against the other woman as Jack increased her own pressure.

 

Continuing to suck on the blonde’s digit, Jack pushed her dampened tank top up far enough so that her pert breasts were in view. Allowing Sonny’s middle finger to slip out of her hot mouth, Jack leaned down, starting to place butterfly kisses across the tops of the other woman’s breasts, her strong thigh still grinding into her. Sonny arched her back as a warm tongue began to circle around her right nipple and then her left. Softly moaning, she rocked her body against Jack’s, her hands sliding down to cup the woman’s rear, pushing Jack into her.

 

“Ooh, Jack. God you’re incredible,” Sonny called out in a husky voice, knowing that she was close to climaxing. Small hands squeezed Jack’s naked buttocks as a thigh slick with her natural juices moved against her mound faster and harder. Sonny arched her back more as the brunette tenderly suckled her nipples. Quickly running her tongue across dry lips, the blonde whispered, “I’m almost there…I’m coming…”

 

Hearing the bittersweet declaration, Jack left a trail of hot damp kisses starting in the valley of Sonny’s breasts up her neck, her chin, and then her lips where the brunette lingered for a few moments, her teeth gently nipping at the soft flesh. Finally leaving that sweet mouth, Jack placed tiny kisses along the blonde’s jaw, steadily making her way to the woman’s left ear whispering, “Let’s do it together. I want to come with you.”

 

A rush of delicious heat sped through Sonny at the words softly spoken in her ear. The mouth now sucking on her earlobe only proved to feed the fire that had been ignited within her. Moaning into the balmy night, the new lovers rocked their bodies in perfect rhythm, both nearing the precipice. Letting go of Sonny’s earlobe, Jack gazed into the woman’s eyes as though she was trying to see deep into her soul. Their breaths mingled as they kept eye contact, holding on to each other tightly. Only when twin orgasms arrived did Sonny and Jack break their steady eye contact, the blonde opting to close her eyes as she focused on the mind-blowing pleasure rippling through her and the brunette pressing her face into her companion’s neck.

 

“Sonny I love you,” Jack called out as she felt the last vestiges of her orgasm. “I love you so much.” Tenderly, she pressed her lips to the blonde’s neck while waiting for a response, though she was greeted with mere silence. Raising her head, Jack looked at the woman lying beneath her, noticing that she was looking toward the sky. After softly calling her name, Jack was relieved when Sonny looked at her, warmly smiling. “Are you alright darling?” the brunette quietly asked.

 

The blonde nodded. “Yes, I’m fine thank you,” she replied in an equally quiet voice as a tinge of a blush appeared on her cheeks at the endearment. “I really should head on home now though. I have to get up early in the morning and I’d hate to either be late, sleepy or both on my very first day.” Reaching between them, Sonny pulled down her tank top far enough so that her breasts were completely covered.

 

Ignoring the alarm bells trying to warn her that Sonny was pulling away both physically and emotionally, Jack replied, “You can stay here if you like. I’m sure we could find something for you to wear tomorrow.”

 

Shaking her head, the blonde tried to sit up, managing to do so when Jack helped by moving off of her. Placing her feet on the ground, Sonny glanced at the woman sitting next to her saying, “That’s really sweet of you Jack but I have a specific outfit that I have to wear for work and it’s at home so…” she trailed off, softly sighing. “I…I better go. It’s getting late.” Standing up, Sonny indicated for Jack to stay put when she started to arise as well. “No, I can see myself to the door,” she quickly explained. “You need to put something on before you catch a cold. Wouldn’t want you to get a case of the sniffles.” Sonny smile, however it looked forced.

 

Giving her a wan smile in return, Jack merely nodded. She knew that something was wrong but she didn’t know what to say in order to fix it. Half of her wished that she had never kissed Sonny back in the pool, yet the other half was glad that it had happened. If it weren’t for that kiss that had broken down what remained of their defenses, they never would have made love that night. And it was so beautiful. Didn’t you think so Sonny? Or are you repulsed by what we did? The brunette felt like crawling into her bed and weeping. How could a person be so overjoyed one moment and in the next feel such pain and desolation?

 

“Talk with you later okay?” Sonny asked, barely making eye contact with the seated woman.

 

After Jack silently nodded, Sonny began to walk toward the sliding glass doors leading into the house. Jack gave the young woman ample time to collect her belongings and leave before she grabbed her string bikini and wrapped a towel around her body before heading inside the house. She managed to hold the tears at bay as she wandered into the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. Deciding to take the tea to her room, she stopped by Chloe’s temporary bedroom located on the first floor. Looking in on her, she found her little sister to be sleeping peacefully and managed a soft smile as she closed the door before heading upstairs.

 

On reaching her bedroom, Jack walked over to her bed taking a seat on the side of it as she cautiously sipped from the cup in her hand. She tried not to think about what had just taken place. Instead, she focused on finishing the contents of her cup. Within ten minutes she was finished and placed the now empty cup on the nightstand before heading toward her private bathroom, removing the towel wrapped around her body on the way.

 

Turning on the shower, Jack walked inside, closing her eyes as the hot water fell on her body. As an unbidden image of Sonny walking away from her entered the brunette’s mind, her legs buckled, causing her to slide down to the floor of the tub. Tears fell down her cheeks as she wrapped her arms around her legs, pressing her face against her knees.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

“Have you talked to Sonny lately?” Leslie inquired as she reclined back in her king-sized bed. A delightful smile appeared on her lips as she gazed at the lovely nude woman coming toward the bed with a bag of chips that she had just found in the kitchen. The smile changed into a slight grin. Guess it was so good that she got the munchies. Actually, I’d like to have some of those chips too. And some more of the gorgeous girl carrying them. The grin widened.

 

Nodding, Laura slipped into the bed, snuggling close to the other woman as she began to open the bag she held. “I saw her Tuesday when I stopped by the women’s resort she’s now working at. I wanted to see how it was going for her. We had lunch and chatted a bit.”

 

“How did it go?” Reaching inside the now open bag, Leslie grabbed a couple of chips, popping one inside her mouth.

 

Laura shrugged as she munched on a chip. “I don’t know. She seemed like she wasn’t all there. I don’t mean crazy not all there but…like she’d lost a huge chunk of herself. The sparkle was gone from her eyes. I tried to ask what was bothering her but she kept saying that everything was just fine, though I know different. I just have no idea what it is.” Swallowing, she added, “I’ve talked with her on the phone a couple of times since then but she doesn’t sound any better. I feel helpless because I don’t know what I can do to help her.”

 

Finishing her other chip, Leslie replied, “I know what’s bothering her.”

 

“You do? What is it?”

 

Leslie looked at her lover, nodding. “Yes, it’s the same thing that’s bothering Jack. Apparently, they’re not on speaking terms.”

 

“Again? What happened this time?”

 

“Well she wouldn’t go into much detail, but basically she and Sonny spent this past Sunday evening together celebrating Sonny’s new job. As the evening worn on they got a little ‘close’ and afterwards Sonny sort of closed herself off saying that she had to go home because she had to get enough sleep for work in the morning. Jack hasn’t heard a word from her since that night. She called twice and left a message both times but Sonny didn’t return either one. So, it appears that she’s avoiding her and I’m thinking that Jack is slowly slipping into a depression because of it. If it wasn’t for Chloe who knows what shape she’d be in right now.”

 

Sitting up in the bed, Laura folded her legs beneath her. “I don’t understand this. It’s so obvious that they should be together. I knew that even before Sonny and I broke up. I just don’t know why she doesn’t realize it.”

 

Glancing at the phone, Leslie said, “I have an idea. I think I might know a way that we can get them in the same place and hopefully they’ll take the opportunity to talk.” With a curious look, Laura silently waited for her to continue. “You know how we’re going disco bowling tomorrow?” Laura nodded. “Well what if I were to ask Jack to come along and you asked Sonny? Except we don’t tell either one that the other is coming.”

 

The expression on Laura’s face was apprehensive. “I don’t know. They might not take too kindly to us tricking them like that.”

 

Leaning toward her new lover, Leslie tenderly kissed her lips and then waited for Laura to reopen her eyes before asking, “Don’t you want them to be as happy as we are now that we’ve found one another?” Looking into Laura’s eyes with a little smile planted on her lips, Leslie trailed a lone finger up and down the woman’s naked thigh. “They just need a boost. Don’t think of it as trickery. We’re helping. I just want them to be as happy as I am with you baby.”

 

Ah, damn. I can’t object to this idea now. The sweet kiss on the lips, the light stroking on the thigh and the tenderly spoken endearment had made up Laura’s mind. She hadn’t quite figured it out yet, but somehow Leslie Antigone knew how to press all the right buttons. Not that she minded, but it was just bewildering how well this woman seemed to know her in such a short amount of time. Laura inwardly smiled. Maybe it’s because she’s my soulmate. Though this all appeared to be happening fast, she instinctively knew that it was right. She and Leslie were right for each other.

 

“So?” A dark eyebrow raised as Leslie gazed at her lover, waiting for an answer.

 

Nodding, Laura said, “Let’s do it.”

 

A grin slipped onto Leslie’s lips. “Sure, I would absolutely adore doing that again with you, but first things first lover.”

 

Smirking, Laura playfully slapped her on the arm, eliciting a chuckle from the older woman. “You know what I mean. Let’s call them. Who first?”

 

Turning slightly, Leslie reached for the cordless phone. “I’ll call Jack.” Glancing at the clock, she noted that it was a few minutes after nine in the evening. “Hopefully, she’ll still be awake.” Having her ex-girlfriend on speed dial, Leslie simply punched a couple of buttons before bringing the phone to her ear. Coming to a decision, she reached over and pressed the button so that the speakerphone would be activated. Now both she and Laura could listen though she indicated for the other woman to remain silent. On the fourth ring, Jack answered the phone, her voice sounding dry as the Sahara desert.

 

“Well don’t we sound cheery,” Leslie said as she reached into the bag for another chip.

 

“Sorry to disappoint you Leslie but I don’t have much to be cheery about as of late,” Jack remarked, the tone of her voice bordering on anger.

 

The older woman sighed. This might be tougher than she had originally thought. “You haven’t spoken with Sonny yet?”

 

“No and please don’t mention that name to me. I don’t care to hear it.”

 

Leslie and Laura shared a look, both wincing at the other woman’s statement. Someone sounds royally pissed off, Leslie thought to herself. “Okay, I promise to not say the “S” word again. Jack I think you need to get out of the house and have some fun, which is why I’m calling. I want to invite you to go bowling tomorrow night with Laura and I. How about it?”

 

“No.”

 

Leslie sighed. If it were possible, she would have reached through the phone and throttled the woman. “Okay, I’m going to ask again and this time I want you to respond with yes. Now Jack would you like to go bowling tomorrow evening? Just get out of the house for at least a couple hours? You remember how much fun we used to have bowling.” It was true. During the time that they had dated, they visited one bowling alley or another at least four or five times a month. Having quite a few skills at the sport, Jack had won her fair share of trophies.

 

“Yes…I remember. But no I don’t want to go.”

 

A small frown appeared on Leslie’s face. “Jack, I think you’re in desperate need of some f-u-n and I plan on making that happen. Now, you are going disco bowling tomorrow night with us. We need a fourth so we can pair up into teams. It’ll be you, Laura, her friend, and me.”

 

“Who is her friend?” Jack’s voice sounded suspicious to both women’s ears. They both wondered if she thought Laura’s friend was the one whose name was the “S” word.

 

Leslie thought quickly. “It’s Betty.” Glancing at the crispy treat still in her hand, she added, “Chip. Betty Chip.” Catching movement out of the corner of her eye, Leslie looked up to see her lover’s shoulders shaking as she tried to stifle a laugh. Her lips curving into a smile, Leslie softly chuckled, hoping that Jack hadn’t heard it.

 

“Betty Chip?” Jack repeated in a disbelieving tone of voice. “Her friend’s name is Betty Chip?”

 

“Yes, it is,” Leslie replied. “Do you have a problem with her name?”

 

A loud sigh emanated through the speaker. “No I don’t. Listen can’t you get someone else to go? I don’t want to leave Chloe on her own.”

 

“You’re just using that as an excuse. You know that Chloe will be just fine for a couple hours. She’s capable of taking care of herself. Now please Jack don’t make me beg. Please come with us. I want you to. You might actually end up enjoying yourself. All you’ve done this week is work and take care of your sister.” In a gentle tone of voice Leslie added, “Honey you need to have your own life.”

 

There was a brief silence from the other end of the line before Jack sighed in resignation. She knew that the business consultant/agent was not going to give up until she got her way. “Alright, I’ll go. What bowling alley should I meet you guys at? And what time?” She didn’t sound the least bit thrilled.

 

Laura and Leslie smiled triumphantly at each other as they soundlessly clapped their hands together. Looking back at the speakerphone, Leslie informed Jack that she would pick her up around seven o’clock the next evening. Moments later, the call ended, and Leslie smiled as she slipped the chip into her mouth. Picking up the discarded phone, she handed it to Laura so that she could call “Betty”. As Laura punched in her ex’s phone number, she was informed to ask Sonny to pick her up.

 

“That way if they fix things between them, Jack could go with Sonny in her car and you with me,” Leslie explained, her eyes twinkling. Reaching over, she grabbed the base of the phone and placed it on the bed between them so that Laura wouldn’t have to yell toward the speakerphone.

 

Laura grinned at her as she waited for her call to be answered. “I love how your mind works,” she said while leaning toward the woman, giving her lips a quick yet sweet kiss. Her call was then unfortunately picked up by the answering machine. “Hello Sonny, if you’re there please pick up. This is Laura. I need to talk with you about something. It’s very important.” She was to end the call just as the other line was picked up. Unlike Jack, the blonde attempted to sound courteous as she greeted Laura, though there was a tinge of sadness in her voice, which both Laura and Leslie were able to easily detect.

 

“Is something wrong?” Sonny asked, sounding genuinely concerned.

 

“No everything is just fine,” Laura quickly assured her. “I was just wondering if you had any plans for tomorrow night.”

 

“No, I don’t. Why?”

 

Laura smiled toward the speakerphone. “Good. How about we go bowling?”

 

“You know I’m not any good at that game. My last bowling score total was lower than the IQ of a rock.”

 

Laura lightly chuckled at the admission. “It doesn’t matter Sonny. We’ll simply be going to have a good time, not compete. So, what do you say? Leslie, her friend, you, and I. We can even be partners.”

 

“And who is this friend of Leslie’s?” Sonny asked, sounding just as suspicious as Jack had.

 

“Her name is Wilma.” As soon as the name was out of her mouth, Laura watched as Leslie covered her face with a pillow in the vain attempt to smother her laughter. She bit hard on her lower lip to keep from joining in.

 

“Wilma? Are you serious?” Sonny asked, almost certain that she heard laughter in the background.

 

Laura nodded, though the other woman couldn’t see it. “Yes, I am. It’s not her real name though. Leslie informed me that she’s called Wilma because she’s slim, has red hair, and dated a guy named Fred, but they broke up a while back. Obviously, the nickname stuck though.” Laura smiled as Leslie gave her thumbs up for the smoothly delivered explanation.

 

“I see.” Sonny fell silent for a thoughtful moment before saying, “Okay, I suppose I can go for at least a little bit. Should I meet you guys there?”

 

“Actually, if you don’t mind could you pick me up? We’re supposed to meet Leslie and her friend at the bowling alley at seven thirty.”

 

“Sure no problem. What time do you want me to come get you?”

 

Leslie and Laura exchanged another silent high five. “Seven o’clock alright?”

 

“It’s perfect. I’ll see you then Laura.”

 

“Okay. See you tomorrow night. Bye now.” Ending the call, Laura placed the phone back on its base before delivering it into the waiting hands of her lover. “Mission accomplished,” she happily stated.

 

Winking at Laura, Leslie placed the phone back on the nightstand before she reached for the bag of chips and rolled it up tightly. After dropping the bag on the floor, she scooted closer to her new love, a grin now on her lips. “Come here Bam Bam,” she said in a low sexy voice, both the words and voice earning her a chuckle. Wrapping her arms around Leslie’s neck, Laura smiled as she was gently pushed down to the bed and lips descended upon her neck. A delightful shiver went through her as Leslie left a trail of kisses leading up to her ear where she whispered, “Let’s make this ‘bed rock’ baby.” Before their passion overtook them for the second time that evening, both women had an attack of the giggles.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

Standing in total darkness, her eyes became riveted on the door, which appeared to be quite a distance away. There was a light bulb hanging from above it, which brightly illuminated the door. Once again knowing what she had to do…what she had to at least attempt to do, she began to move toward the door, her speed increasing with every step that she took. The familiar fear and anxiousness crept upon her, driving her. Like every other time, she vowed that this time she would make it there before it was too late. This time she was going to prevent it from happening. There was no way that she was going to fail. Their lives depended on it so she couldn’t.

 

Her calves began to tighten and cramp up but she kept running just as hard and fast, ignoring the pain. She had to get there. She had to. Sweat poured down her face but she was chilled to the very bone as she ran with all her might. As puffs of frigid air wafted out of her mouth, she kept her eyes focused on the door, which appeared to be getting just a tad bit closer. She attempted to scream that she was coming, but her voice box wouldn’t work properly. ‘Please, please don’t let me be too late,’ she thought as she continued toward the light.

 

This time instead of opening the door like she regularly did by turning the knob, she simply raised a foot and kicked it in, causing the big wooden door to slam back against the wall. Her scream echoed off the walls of the tunnel as saddened eyes zeroed in on the small lifeless body hanging from the shower stall. She hurried over to the body and gently lifted it before removing the short rope tied around its neck. Tears of frustration and anguish came as she lay the body on the floor before she caught sight of the face. All movement ceased to exist as she looked at a pair of lifeless green eyes staring at her. The usually long dark hair was now short and blonde.

 

Completely horrified, she stared into the face of the woman responsible for her broken heart. Her head shook in indignation. “No.” This couldn’t be happening. Reaching out, she gave her beloved a light shake. “No, wake up.” She shook harder, though unseeing eyes merely continued to stare at her. “Nooo! You can’t go! Not you too! No, no, no.”

 

“NO!!!” Jack bolted up from the couch momentarily disoriented as she looked around the room, finding that she was completely alone. Taking in deep gulps of air, she collapsed back onto the couch as sweat poured down her reddened face. Feeling her dampened flannel shorts and T-shirt clinging to her body, the woman found that she was anxious to be out of them. Standing up, she hurriedly headed upstairs to her bedroom, glancing at the clock on her nightstand. It was a few minutes before six thirty, which meant that Leslie would be here to collect her soon. Groaning because she still didn’t want to go, Jack headed into her bathroom, shucking all of her clothing on the way there.

 

After turning on the light and the shower, the thirty-two year old looked at her reflection in the mirror, noting the dark circles around her faintly reddened eyes and her overall haggard appearance. Blue eyes traveled up and down her body. Though others might not be able to tell, it was plainly obvious to Jack that she had lost around four or five pounds over the course of the past few days. Losing weight tended to happen when one hardly ate anything and exercised like they were going to receive five hundred dollars for every calorie they burned. If I keep this up I’m going to end up either doing permanent damage or kill myself.

 

Loudly sighing, Jack turned away from the mirror not being able to stand looking at herself anymore. Walking over to the shower, she walked inside, closing the shower curtain. Closing her eyes, she allowed the hot water to lightly massage aching and tired muscles as she reflected over the nightmare she just had. Envisioning those lifeless green eyes again, Jack took deep calming breaths in order to settle the nausea that threatened to come. She’d been having similar nightmares all week, which was why she had barely been sleeping, but none of them were about Sonny. The one she had this evening made the brunette wish that she could go the rest of her without sleeping again.

 

Pushing all thoughts of the nightmare and Sonny out her mind, Jack proceeded to cleanse every inch of her body from head to toe. Less than ten minutes later, she was done and started to dry off as she moved into her bedroom and turned on the stereo, not being able to take the silence any longer. Selecting a CD, she inserted it and pressed the play button before walking into her closet to find something to wear. Choosing an outfit, Jack finished drying before putting on her underclothes along with a pair of black slacks and a long-sleeved silk black shirt. Heading toward her bathroom, she buttoned the shirt on the way, leaving the first four buttons undone.

 

Plugging in her blow dryer, Jack began to move it around her head as she brushed out the tangles. Within minutes, her raven hair was dry and brilliantly shining. Deciding to leave it down, she brushed it some more until she was satisfied with how it looked. Adding baby powder, deodorant, and some Calvin Klein cologne to various body parts, Jack then reached into her drawer, obtaining a tube of lipstick, which she proceeded to put on. Glancing up and down at her reflection, the brunette then nodded, pleased with the results though the dark circles remained under her eyes. A pair of dark shades could fix that problem although the sun had set a couple hours ago.

 

After straightening up the bathroom, Jack switched off the light and entered her bedroom. Noting that it was nearly seven o’clock, she grabbed her watch, a pair of black leather ankle boots, her black leather jacket, and of course a pair of black shades and headed out of the room. As she walked down the stairs, Jack heard the doorbell ring. Quickly making it to the bottom of the stairs, she put on her watch and then her boots before walking toward the front door. When she arrived, she slipped on the tinted shades before opening the door to see Leslie standing on her doormat. She offered the woman a smile, albeit a strained one.

 

Leslie took in the outfit Jack was wearing before looking at her, grinning. “Well hello there Zorro. Where’s your whip?” Her grinned widened as the other woman smirked.

 

“I believe I left it at your mama’s house.”

 

Leslie burst into laughter. “Ooooh. Jackie’s trying to be witty!”

 

The taller woman rolled her eyes though it was concealed behind the dark shades. “Let’s go shall we?” she asked as she put on her leather jacket. Reaching down, Jack picked up her Prada black leather bowling bag.

 

“Wait a minute. I wanted to holler at Chloe before we left.”

 

“You can holler at her but you’ll have to do it pretty loud because she’s about twenty miles away. She went to stay at a friend’s house tonight.”

 

Leslie cocked her head to the side as she watched Jack come outside, closing and locking the door behind her. She then softly called the woman’s name.

 

Turning around, the blue-eyed beauty looked at her. “Yeah?”

 

“Could you possibly make an attempt not to be so…dry? That’s liable to put a real damper on the evening.”

 

The blank expression on her face not changing, the brunette shrugged. “Yeah, ‘spose I could give it a shot.” With bowling bag in hand, Jack headed in the direction of Leslie’s car, the other woman following along behind her thoughtfully.

 

Minutes later, they were headed toward the bowling alley. The only sound in Leslie’s car was the soft rock playing on the radio. As she drove, she glanced at Jack, noting that her earlier blank expression had been replaced with one of desolation. Returning her eyes to the road, Leslie hesitantly brought up the “S” word.

 

“Told you yesterday that I didn’t want to discuss her,” Jack replied as she continued to stare out of the passenger side window through dark shades.

 

Leslie softly sighed. “Jack maybe she has a good reason for not contacting you all week. You don’t know what’s been going through her mind.” She was greeted with mere silence and started to drop the subject but changed her mind. She was determined to get Jack to talk about Sonny and what happened between them. “Jack please open up to me,” Leslie softly said in a pleading tone. “We’re friends. You can talk to me about anything. I’m here to listen. You shouldn’t keep your feelings bottled up. It’s not healthy.” There was more silence until she heard a barely audible sigh.

 

“Fine. I—“

 

“Wait a minute,” Leslie quickly interjected as she pulled into the parking lot of a grocery store. Finding a space, she pulled into it before cutting off the ignition. Reaching up, she switched on the overhead light, illuminating the car and turned in her seat in order to face Jack. “I want you to have my full attention,” she explained. “Now go on.” Leslie gave the other woman an encouraging smile and received a faint but genuine smile in return.

 

Running a hand through her hair, Jack quietly asked, “Where do I begin?”

 

Leslie shrugged. “Anywhere you want. Just talk to me. Tell me what you’re feeling right at this moment,” she paused. “But before you do please remove the glasses. The sun went to bed a while ago.” Half expecting an argument, Leslie didn’t receive one as the other woman obediently removed the shades, folding their legs before slipping them into an inside pocket on her jacket. Though she instantly noticed the dark circles around Jack’s eyes, Leslie chose to refrain from commenting. Jack, you look like you haven’t had a decent amount of sleep in days.

 

“What am I feeling right at this moment,” Jack repeated mostly to herself as she lay her head back against the headrest while looking out the windshield. “I feel a bundle of emotions. Fear, anger, pain and confusion.”

 

“Why? Explain to me why you feel each of those emotions.”

 

Jack continued to stare out of the windshield as she replied, “Fear because I don’t want to be alone. Anger because she’s the cause of my feelings of loneliness. Pain because it seemed very simple for her to leave me. And confusion because I don’t even know why she walked out.”

 

“Are you referring to Sonny?” Leslie watched as the other woman mutely nodded. “Do you really think that it was simple for her? Jack I know that Sonny cares deeply for you. She’s probably just as confused.”

 

Inhaling sharply, Jack turned her head in Leslie’s direction, her blue eyes filled with hostility and hurt. “She cares for me so much that she won’t even talk to me? You know I tried to call her twice and left messages and has she bothered to get back to me? No. She hasn’t called, hasn’t written, visited—nothing. How do you think it made me feel when after we shared such an intimate beautiful experience her leaving in a hurry?” The dark head shook as Jack attempted to keep the tears from falling. “I’ve been behaving like some love sick puppy and you know what? I’m thoroughly disgusted with myself. I mean look what I’ve allowed this woman to do to me. I used to be the Conqueror. Highly respected, sometimes feared…a force to be reckoned with. Sonny Campbell enters my life and I grow softhearted, mushy, and most of all completely blind and stupid.”

 

“Jack, “ Leslie nervously licked her lips as she attempted to prepare herself for whatever response she might receive for her next words, “Sonny brought out the best in you.” She unconsciously held her breath as she closely observed her passenger for a negative reaction due to the declaration. Surprisingly, Jack said nothing as she returned to staring out the windshield. As she released the breath she had been holding, Leslie realized that she would have preferred an outburst instead of this silence. When she uttered the woman’s name, she still received no response. Shoulders slumping, Leslie turned back around and secured her seat belt before restarting the car while feeling that this short conversation hadn’t helped in the least bit. Hopefully, when we get to the bowling alley you and Sonny can work through this mess because I no longer have a clue.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

Sitting side by side on the bench designated to Lane 12, Sonny and Laura busied themselves by putting on the bowling shoes they had just rented. While tying her shoelaces, the blonde tried not to think about how many pairs of feet had been in these particular shoes. She was informed by the woman she rented them from that the shoes were regularly cleaned, but was still apprehensive about sticking her sock covered feet into them.

 

After finishing, Sonny looked around her, noticing all of the people having fun bowling, socializing and dancing to the disco music playing over the loudspeakers. The thirty-two-lane bowling alley was crowded this Friday evening with the occupants ranging from preteens to elders. Since this was disco bowling night, the usually bright lighting had been significantly dimmed and the brightest lights stemmed from the multicolored flashing bulbs lining the lanes and the disco balls strategically placed around the large establishment. Even the bowling pins were multicolored and neon bright.

 

Laura chuckled as she followed her friend’s observing eyes. “Really groovy isn’t it?” she asked, a huge grin on her face.

 

Chuckling, Sonny crossed one leg over the other as she sat back on the bench. “Oh, yeah man. Totally outta sight!” They both burst into laughter. A couple minutes after the laughter died down, the blonde looked at the woman sitting next to her and smiled. “You know Laura I think I needed this.” Reaching out, she fondly squeezed the woman’s shoulder. “Thank you for thinking of me and inviting me along.”

 

Laura smiled in return though she couldn’t help but to feel the least bit guilty about what she and Leslie were up to. I hope this plan of ours doesn’t blow up in our faces, she thought as the butterflies started in her stomach. Glancing at her watch, she noticed that the other two were late. It was a few minutes passed seven thirty and she hadn’t heard a word from Leslie. Laura was beginning to wonder if Jack had changed her mind about coming when she suddenly caught sight of them walking through the entrance. However, Sonny had yet to see them since she was avidly watching a man trying to teach his young son how to expertly roll the bowling ball down the lane in the opposite direction of the entrance.

 

Raising her hand high in the air, Laura waved to get Leslie and Jack’s attention. Her heart beginning to hammer beneath her chest, she steadily watched as her lover along with Jack headed toward them. Just as they arrived, Sonny turned back around intending to say something to her companion when her green eyes fell on the near six foot Amazon standing close to the bench. Blue eyes stared into green for a few silent seconds before Jack blinked, breaking the steady contact.

 

Her throat suddenly feeling extremely dry, Sonny swallowed as she continued to gaze up at the woman she hadn’t seen since Sunday. Feeling compelled to break the total silence, Sonny opened her mouth simply saying, “Wilma.”

 

Jack loudly sighed as all three pairs of eyes fell on her. “Betty,” she shortly replied. She then glanced between Leslie and Laura as she shook her head in astonishment. “I don’t believe this. First Chloe and then you two. What? Does no one think I’m capable of running my own life anymore?” Leslie opened her mouth to say something but Jack succinctly told her to shut up as she glared at the matchmakers. “If I wanted your help, which I don’t I would have asked for it. I’m tired of people butting in. If Sonny and I aren’t communicating then it is not your duty to force us into doing so. You have no business getting involved, I don’t give a damn how good your intentions are. In short, what I’m trying to say is stay the hell out of my life! I’m out of here.” Turning around, Jack marched away with her heavy bowling bag in hand, all three women looking after her in varying stages of shock and sadness.

 

Glancing between Sonny and Jack, Leslie told the blonde, “You should go after her hon. She’s hurting and I think you’re the only who can truly help. In fact, I think you two can help one another. Don’t just let her walk away.” She gave Sonny a pleading look.

 

Slowly nodding, Sonny stood up and began to run toward Jack. By the time she was able to catch up with her, the tall woman was already outside. Sonny watched as Jack extracted a small cell phone from her bowling bag and began to dial a number. She stopped when she heard the blonde’s voice behind her, informing her not to. Punching one more button, which must have been the end button, Jack dropped the phone back into her bag before slowly turning around to face Sonny. The expression on her face was unreadable as she waited for the other woman to say something. Hesitantly, Sonny walked toward her until there was only about a foot of space between them. Looking up into guarded blue eyes, she offered a faint smile that she wasn’t surprised to not have returned.

 

Dropping the bag onto the ground, Jack folded her arms across her chest as she studied the smaller woman. “What do you want?” she wearily asked.

 

“I want to talk with you.”

 

The brunette humorlessly chuckled. “Oh, I see how it is Sonny. We can talk when you want to but not me. Well you know what? I don’t care to talk to you so please leave me alone.” Leaning down, Jack started to pick up her bag when a small hand managed to grab the straps before she could. Ignoring the glare she received, Sonny picked up the rather heavy bag, giving a fleeting thought to how big the bowling ball inside was. “Give that to me.”

 

The blonde shook her head as she attempted to keep from dropping the bag. What do you have in here? A hacked body?  “No. Maybe…okay, I don’t have any right to think that you should talk to me but I have something to say. Please here me out. I’m just asking for a few minutes of your time.”

 

Looking irritated Jack replied, “Fine, but we can’t talk in there. It’s too rowdy.” She pointed toward the bowling alley. Agreeing, Sonny said that they could talk in her car. Nodding, Jack indicated for her to lead the way as she gently pried the heavy bowling bag from the smaller woman’s fingers.

 

Arriving at Sonny’s car a few moments later, the blonde opened the car doors before both women slipped inside. After placing her bag on the floor, Jack turned toward Sonny and waited for the younger woman to get the conversation rolling. It appeared that she was having a difficult time doing that based on the fact that her mouth kept opening and closing as though she either didn’t know where to start or what to say. At this rate we’ll be here all night, Jack thought.

 

“I guess you might want to know why I’ve been avoiding you,” Sonny finally started as she looked at the other woman, waiting for a response. Almost imperceptibly, Jack nodded. “Well it’s because I felt guilty and confused over what we had done. I mean, I did like what we did Jack,” she quickly added. “In fact, it was absolutely incredible, but immediately afterwards I felt horrible about it and all I could think was that I had to get away. So many times I wanted to call you or come see you but I couldn’t bring myself to do either one. Jack, I really have missed you, this has torn me apart, and I’m sorry for hurting you. I honestly never meant to. You do mean a lot to me and the last thing I’d want to do is be the source of your pain. I hate myself for what I’ve probably put you through.” The apologetic look on Sonny’s face was completely sincere.

 

“I don’t understand why you’d feel guilty about us making love,” Jack said, her voice filled with emotion. For the thousandth time that week, she felt like crying. “I mean it’s not like you’re with Laura anymore.”

 

The blonde head shook. “This has nothing to do with Laura,” she gave a slight pause. “It’s Blue.”

 

I’ll be damned. There I go getting in my way again. Jack gave a slight shake of her head as she let out an exasperated sigh. She should have known all along that Sonny’s sudden withdrawal from her had something to do with Blue. She was starting to think that maybe she should have just been honest in the first place when she found out that PerkyGrrl was Sonny back on that fateful day at Disneyworld.

 

“Still how could you feel guilty?” Jack inquired. “It’s not like the two of you are an item. Or are you?” She added, knowing full well that they weren’t. And she planned on it remaining that way. Blue was never going to ask Sonny for a commitment.

 

Shaking her head negatively, Sonny explained, “Although we haven’t officially made a commitment to one another, I feel that we have without words. That makes me feel terrible about what happened between you and I this past weekend.” Seeing a flash of pain in Jack’s eyes, Sonny paused as she gathered her thoughts. “Jack I never meant to hurt you. You have to believe that. I know how you feel…or rather how you felt about me and I never should have let it go that far but I couldn’t stop. I wanted it…I wanted you. But you and I can never be. I have to give Blue and I a chance. I feel that she could be my true love and I just can’t walk away. I need to see if we are made for each other because my heart tells me that we are,” Sonny finished in a gentle tone of voice.

 

I don’t know whether to be happy or saddened by that revelation. In a way, her heart is telling her that I am her true love since I’m Blue and Blue is me. Jack inwardly sighed. Problem is she just doesn’t know it yet. Well I’ve decided not to give up hope. She and I can be together. It might just take time. I just have to be patient and careful. Glancing at the anxious expression on Sonny’s face, the brunette slowly nodded as her lips quirked into a small smile. Reaching over, she briefly squeezed the other woman’s hand before letting go.

 

“I understand,” Jack softly stated. She then was totally unprepared for what happened next. Covering her face with her hands, Sonny burst into tears. Quickly getting out of the car, Jack ran around and opened the driver side door before kneeling on the ground. Reaching in the car, she gently took the sobbing woman into her arms, rocking her back and forth, as soft palms caressed her back. Jack continued to quietly hold the smaller woman until minutes later when the crying passed. Leaning back so that she could look into Sonny’s eyes, she asked what the tears were about. Without giving it a second thought, Jack grabbed the tail end of her shirt and gently dabbed at the tear-streaked face in front of her. She earned a smile and a soft thank you for the sweet gesture.

 

Lightly sniffing, Sonny whispered, “I couldn’t stand the thought of you being angry with me and I’m just so relieved that you’re talking to me now. When I saw the look on your face back in the bowling alley I was certain that you hated me.” Taking in a sharp breath, she felt the tears threatening to intrude again. “I was beginning to think that I was going to lose a very dear friend forever. And I don’t want to lose you Jack,” pausing, Sonny adamantly shook her head as a few more tears fell down her cheeks. “I really don’t.”

 

Pulling Sonny to her again, Jack held on tightly as she fervently whispered, “Sonny I could never ever hate you. I know you might not want to hear it, but I love you too much.” Though it wasn’t likely to be returned anytime soon, Jack concluded that it felt wonderful to utter those three precious words anyway. Leaning back again, the brunette cupped Sonny’s cheeks as she looked at her tenderly. “You should have just talked to me in the first place. I didn’t know what to think these past few days. Please know that you can tell me anything. I don’t want you to ever hide anything from me no matter what it is.”

 

Cocking her head to the side, Sonny gazed at the kneeling woman before her for a few silent moments. “Jack can you honestly settle for us just being friends? You know that happened at your house can never happen again.”

 

Sure, I can do the just friend’s thing until I successfully eliminate my Internet self. Removing her hands from Sonny’s face, Jack picked up one of the smaller woman’s hands and brought it to her lips, tenderly kissing the back of it before adoring blue eyes met green ones. “Sonny I want you in my life no matter if we’re lovers or just friends. If Blue is what you want then I accept that. Now I don’t have to like it.” At this point, Jack grinned a bit. “But I accept it. I hope she knows just how lucky she is to have someone as incredible as you Sonny girl. As for what happened between us Sunday I have no regrets. I will always cherish it. Twenty…thirty years from now I’ll think back to that night and smile.” Ooh! Perhaps I should get myself an agent and go to Hollywood!

 

Squeezing the hand holding hers, Sonny leaned down and briefly touched her lips to Jack’s before straightening. Life suddenly seemed much brighter now that they were on speaking terms again. A broad smile spread across the blonde’s lips as she stood up and helped Jack to her feet. Closing the door behind her, she looked up at the other woman who was currently gazing at her with much affection and blushed. This just friend’s pact was going to be tough to deal with if Jack kept giving her those looks.

 

Lightly clearing her throat, Sonny said, “Why don’t we go play?” Noticing the lecherous grin on her companion’s lips, Sonny quickly amended her words. “I mean umm…let’s go back inside and bowl.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

When Jack and Sonny arrived back in the bowling alley, the brunette headed straight over to Leslie and Laura, who were just sitting on the bench at Lane 12 talking and apologized to both for her earlier behavior. After they assured her that an apology was not necessary, the quartet got down to having some serious fun. They stayed at the bowling alley nearly to closing time playing games, dancing and singing to the loud retro music and eating their fair share of hot dogs, french fries, and some messy yet delicious nachos.

 

Mostly all of the games they played, the women chose to have a partner, however after observing her first game, Leslie, Laura, and Sonny practically fought over whom was going to get Jack. Though she hadn’t played in months, Jack still had many skills when it came to this particular sport. Using her very own bowling ball, which beautifully sported her initials in gold script, Jack managed to roll a strike on every turn except one. One gutter ball cost her a perfect game and it was all because of Sonny who just as Jack started to roll decided to lean over and tie her shoe therefore giving the brunette a lovely view of yummy cleavage. Before she could stop it, the perfectly polished black bowling ball slipped from her long fingers and headed straight into the gutter. Jack insisted that she be allowed a do-over but the others wouldn’t hear of it.

 

Since they were seemingly the best players out of them all, Jack and Laura teamed up for the majority of the games to the chagrin of Sonny and Leslie. As other inhabitants of the bowling alley observed, Jack and Laura who nicknamed themselves “Bowler Babes” completely annihilated the other two in four out of five games. Being paranoid Sonny and Leslie kept insisting that they let them win the last game, but were repeatedly told that they won fair and square. However, when they turned away from the pair, the Bowler Babes shared a knowing smile.

 

At a quarter to eleven, the quartet decided to call it a night, promising to one another that they would get together again soon. It was quickly settled that Laura would catch a ride home with Leslie (though actually she would be going home with Leslie) while Sonny took Jack home. After hugs and a few words were exchanged in the parking lot, both pairs headed toward their destinations.

 

As Sonny drove toward Jack’s home, she and the brunette chatted about what had been happening during the week and about how well Sonny’s new job as a masseuse was going thus far.

 

“Have you gotten many clients?” Jack asked while mentally telling herself that there was no reason to be jealous or uncomfortable by her friend’s choice of employment. Sonny’s new job was just that—a job. I still don’t like the idea of her putting her hands on all those naked women. A small frown creased her brow. I bet they’ve been flirting with her all week. Grrr.

 

Nodding, Sonny turned her car into the other woman’s driveway and pulled up as close as she could get to the front door before turning off the ignition. “Yes, I have actually. They’ve been great. I haven’t received a single complaint.” A broad smile fell on lips that Jack eagerly watched. “And a lot of them tip well too.”

 

 “Well when you’re good you’re good.” Jack slowly grinned as she gazed into Sonny’s eyes. “And Sonny you are very good.” The expression on her face let the other woman know that she wasn’t referring to massage therapy.

 

Lightly clearing her throat as she felt a blush creeping up, Sonny softly replied, “Well umm…eer…thank you Jack.” She felt her cheeks growing hotter as she attempted not to think about that night.

 

The brunette’s grin widened. “You’re quite welcome.” Turning her head toward her front door, she added, “I better get inside.” Looking back at Sonny, she wished that she could lean over and kiss those soft sweet lips. She missed the feel of them. “I had fun tonight and I’m relieved that we’re talking again. Let’s not make this fighting thing a habit, eh?” Jack displayed a cute little crooked smile.

 

Softly chuckling, the blonde nodded. “It’s a deal,” she paused as she came to a decision. Leaning over, she quickly but tenderly touched her lips to Jack’s cheek before sitting back down. “And I had a lot of fun too except for the parts where you and Laura kicked Leslie’s and my butt.” She chuckled again as the other woman joined in.

 

Though not wanting to get out, Jack unbuckled her seat belt and reached out to open the car door when she felt a small hand on her arm. Looking back expectantly, Jack remained quiet as she waited for Sonny to speak.

 

“My parents,” Sonny started as she removed her hand from Jack’s arm and wrapped it around the brake, “fortieth wedding anniversary is coming up next weekend and they’re going to have this big party next Saturday in honor of it. I’m going to their house in Canova Beach next Friday—I managed to get Friday off-- and will be staying there until Sunday. Anyway, I was wondering if you’d care to join me? You’ll get to meet my family and it might be some real fun. They’re a great bunch.” She smiled fondly as she thought of her siblings and parents. “You and Chloe can come with me. I’d really love that.”

 

If the smile on Jack’s face grew in bigger her face might have been in jeopardy of shattering into a million tiny pieces. Did she want to go to Canova Beach with Sonny for the entire weekend? Do apples grow on trees? Does a cow moo? Did Jack find this woman totally irresistible? In other words, heck yeah, she wanted to go! Hmm, she’s taking me home to meet the family already. Jack bit back a potentially large grin. Eat your heart out Blue! The brunette gave herself an imaginary smack on the back of the head. Great, now I’m referring to myself in the third person.

 

“I’d really like it too,” Jack offered with a smile. “I can’t wait to meet your family.”

 

“Wonderful.” Sonny smiled as well, thoroughly delighted that Jack wanted to come. She had been thinking about inviting the woman all night and had finally built up the courage to do so. “We can get together for lunch tomorrow and discuss the details and what not if you’re not busy?”

 

“Nope, my schedule is pretty bare tomorrow,” Jack replied, winking at her. “How about you come over for lunch say around one o’clock?”

 

The blonde nodded. “That’ll be great. Then I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon Jack.”

 

The other woman smiled once more before she opened the door and got out of the car, making sure to grab her bowling bag. Turning around, she leaned down softly saying, “Goodnight Sonny girl. Drive carefully.”

 

To be continued…Part 5

 

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