Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org) & CJ Ames (email@example.com)
** ** ** Meanwhile @ Book Lovers, early morning
"JUDY?" Marissa screamed from the front door as she and Joey came in.
"What did she want when she called?" Joey asked as she joined Marissa by the counter.
"Beats me," Marissa said as Henry and Judy emerged from the alley behind the store with work clothes, covered in dust. "Hey boss lady."
"What did you need?" Joey asked. "Me and Marissa were headed out of town when you called."
"Out of town?" Henry asked.
"Joey," Marissa said.
"Chill, Judy was gonna find out sooner or later," Joey said. "You're like family now, so deal with it."
"Yeh and I'm nosey, what's up?"
"My Mom is buried near this town in Indiana called West Lafayette," Marissa said. "I've never been to see her and Joey's going with me."
"That's where Karen lives now," Henry commented.
"Sucks huh Henry? Now you're stuck with Judy," Joey said as Marissa started to laugh.
"You're fired," Henry said as Joey fell into Marissa laughing. "I am not stuck with Judy, I feel very good about where I'm at."
"Duh, big softy," Joey said as she hugged him.
"Suck up," Henry said as everyone laughed.
"So what's up with you needing us on Saturday?"
"Henry scheduled a private party for tonight," Judy said. "And if you can work, it pays double."
"We can do that," Joey said as she rejoined Marissa. "Right?"
"Sure," Marissa said as her smile disappeared.
"No, I mean we can be back in time, right?" Joey asked. "Indiana first?"
"Back by 7 you think?" Henry asked.
"We can do that," Marissa said as Joey took her hand as they said they're goodbyes and headed to the car. A hundred miles or so trip ahead of them. Joey noticed Marissa hardly spoke a word as she concentrated on the rood, while Joey found herself thinking about all the things that had had happened in the last few weeks, with her break-up with Cori and this new thing with Marissa. And she seemed so totally different than anyone had ever gotten to find out. Marissa pulled off of the main highway and turned down a street that she seemed to know very well as she began to point out people's houses that she once lived by. "Ms. Miller lived there."
"This is a nice neighborhood, why did you move for?"
"Daddy said it was best for us to leave this place behind," Marissa said as she slowed and stopped in front of a small family cemetery. "That's it."
"Then let's go," Joey said as she got out and watched Marissa not moving. Joey taking a deep breath and circling around the car and opening the passengers side door as she touched Marissa's hand. "Come on..."
"Get off me!" Marissa snapped as Joey backed away. Marissa slamming her fists against the stirring wheel in frustration. "Don't push me please?"
"No one is pushing you," Joey said gently. Touching Marissa's hand again and feeling her tense up but offer no resistance as she got out and closed the door. "Your Mom is waiting to see the beautiful young woman you've turned into, with her own car and a job."
"And my own Joey," Marissa said with a smirk as Joey kissed her cheek.
"Who says I'm only your Joey?" Joey asked as Marissa gave her a dirty look. "I got other hoochies."
"Joey, that is not funny," Marissa said with a finger point. "You better not have."
"Of course I don't, you're by far the most fun," Joey said as Marissa blushed.
"That shit in front of my dad," Marissa said, "That was mean."
"And so was the shit in front of my mom," Joey said as both laughed. "You ready to do this?"
"Hold my hand?" Marissa asked as Joey grinned and replied, "You must think I like you."
"This is serious Joey, please?" Marissa asked as Joey smiled and took her hand, lacing their fingers together. Marissa took one last deep breath as she walked inside of the fence and past a couple of rows of graves to one with a small picture. Joey sat down on the bench opposite it and noticed the picture looked a lot like Marissa. "That's her. She's pretty huh?"
"She was beautiful," Joey said as Marissa sat down by her. "Just like her daughter."
"Stop hitting on me in front of my mother," Marissa said with a playful smile.
"Why I'm pretty sure she's not gonna say anything," Joey said as Marissa's mouth dropped open before she began to laugh. "Talk to her?"
"I don't know what to say," Marissa said softly. "We should just go."
"Miss Turner, my name is Joey, Joey Larue and I am crazy about your daughter; I hope that's ok," Joey said before looking back at Marissa. "Now talk to her."
"Hey Mom," Marissa said as she squeezed Joey's hand. "I miss you so much, Daddy's been good to me and Logan is ok."
"Why didn't Logan come?" Joey asked.
"He's annoying," Marissa said as Joey leaned in and kissed her.
"So are you," Joey said as Marissa giggled and kissed her back. Then turning back to her mother's headstone and saying, "Oh yeah, I got a job with Joey's friend Judy and she likes me. She's so nice you'd like her. I'm not sure what else to say, but I miss you. A lot."
"I'm proud of you," Joey said with a smile.
"No one's ever proud of me," Marissa said.
"I am," Joey said. "What do you say we go and visit Joanna now?"
"Will you stand in front of me when she tries to kill me?" Marissa asked nervously.
"I don't know your history," Joey said. "But she hits you and she's got me to deal with now."
"You make me wanna love you Joey Larue," Marissa said as she slipped into Joey's arms and smiled as they kissed softly. "Is that ok?"
"I'm not scared of those words," Joey said as they touched foreheads and both smiled. "As long as you're not."
"Let's get this Joanna thing out of the way and then we can talk about that," Marissa said with a teasing smile. "You do know where she lives right?"
"Nope," Joey said as Marissa stopped with hands on hips and asked, "Excuse me?"
"Of course I do, I called her last night to make sure she was gonna be home," Joey said and followed it with a soft kiss as Marissa blushed. Marissa pulled away from the curb a few moments later as her and Joey headed towards downtown West Lafayette. Joey pointed out the turns they needed to make and they passed a few buildings that looked less than suitable for living in it seemed. "You know I'm not sure why anyone would wanna move down here."
"We must be in the ghetto part of town," Joey giggled as Marissa laughed. "Either that or they never cleaned up after the last hurricane."
"Hurricane?" Marissa asked as Joey laughed. Pulling up to an intersection as Joey looked straight ahead and thought she recognized someone coming down the street on the other side. Opening the passenger side door and getting out she screamed, "ELI!"
"What?" he asked and looked around for a moment as Joey waved and motioned for him to come over. Marissa pulled off the road into a parking spot and watched as Joey hugged Eli and both seemed to be happy to see each other. Feeling a bit jealous in that moment, she decided to stay in the car.
"Long time no see handsome."
"You too, beautiful," Eli said as Joey grinned knowingly. "What are you doing in the my part of the world? You and Cori with Lily or something?"
"No, me and Cori broke up," Joey said with a shrug of the shoulders. Eli hugged her again as Marissa watched closely. Marissa jerked the keys out of the ignition and opened the driver's side door and got out as she came around the car in a march. Determined to say something until she saw Joey look back and smile at her. "Eli, someone I want you to meet."
"There is?" Marissa asked as Joey met her at the front of the car.
"Yes, you duh," Joey said as Marissa blushed and wanted to faint as Eli joined them. "Marissa Turner, Eli Sammler."
"That would be me," Eli said. "You guys together?"
"Something like that," Joey said, "We're figuring it out, right?"
"No we are not," Marissa said with a devious smile as she looked at Joey. Turning back to Eli she went on, "We're lovers. We just got done knocking the boots."
"Ooooook," Eli said.
"Ohmigod, no we are not," Joey said as she gave Marissa a dropped lip expression. "Eli she is messing with you."
"I'm so good she dumped Cori for me, right Jo Jo?" Marissa asked as she touched Joey's cheek and fought back a case of the giggles as Joey glared at her. "Come on baby tell him."
"Certainly would explain a lot," Eli said as he blushed.
"She is lying," Joey said as Marissa began to laugh. "And she thinks she's funny when she's not."
"I'm freakin... hilarious," Marissa said as she down on the front of the car and laughed out loud now. "Payback is so sweet."
"Payback?" Eli asked as Joey blushed and said, "You got me."
"She made this show in front of my dad yesterday and almost made my heart stop and this is payback," Marissa said. "You not really mad at me right?"
"No cause you're gonna pay for that," Joey said as she kissed her cheek. Marissa smiled and shrugged as she did so.
"So why are you two doing in my neck of the woods?" Eli asked.
"Me," Marissa said, "I'm looking for someone. Personal reason."
"Joanna Christianson, an old friend of mine, Jessie's ex," Joey said.
"I know who you mean, she lives downstairs in my building," Eli said as Marissa's bottom lip dropped open in shock. "Is she expecting you?"
"Unlikely," Joey said.
"She hates me," Marissa said.
"Joanna? I didn't think she could hate anybody," Eli said. "To goofy."
"That is so true," Joey said as her and Eli laughed. "She can make anything into a retarded joke."
"Yep," Eli said and looking down the street, he spotted Brittany and Joanna just coming back from the store with an arm full of shopping bags. "Speaking of..."
"What?" Marissa asked as she turned as Eli pointed. "Oh boy..."
"Calm down, this won't be bad," Joey said softly to Marissa. "I got your back on this."
"Even after what I did?" Marissa asked with a scared look in her eyes.
"Just games," Joey said as she kissed her softly and both smiled. Being shaken out of their moment by Joanna's voice as she said, "What in the hell?"
"Hi," Marissa said with a brief wave before jerking her hand down.
"Marissa? Right?" Brittany asked as she looked to Joanna, who had a death stare in her eyes. "Baby calm down, chill."
"You better leave Barbie, cause now I will hurt you," Joanna said. "Call me Boy Dyke now..."
"I'm sorry," Marissa blurted out.
"Fuck you whore," Joanna said.
"Whoa," Eli said as he stepped in between them. "No fight."
"If she doesn't leave there will be," Joanna said.
"SHUT UP!" Joey screamed, Joanna seemingly just noticing that Joey was there and to her shock Marissa hugged Joey from behind. Joanna's mind reeling at the images in front of her. "She is sorry; please, Joanna, for me listen?"
"Eli will you take the groceries in, I can handle Joanna?" Brittany asked as Eli shrugged and took the bags from both Joanna and Brittany and reluctantly walked off a moment later.
"What's going on with you two?" Joanna asked. "Don't tell me the princess is..."
"We're friends," Joey said. "Maybe more, well we are more..."
"Yeh we are," Marissa said as her and Joey smiled at each other. "And Joanna I'm sorry for all the crap I put you through."
"Right," Joanna said sarcastically. "Understand this you blond whore, go to hell."
"Ok," Marissa said softly as Joey turned and could see the hurt in her eyes.
"Now get back in that clunker and get the fuck out of my face," Joanna said.
"Wait, Joanna Marie," Brittany said. "She came to apologize..."
"You wanna a fight about this Britt?" Joanna asked her girlfriend. "Cause that skank has made my life a living hell for years and I am not gonna forgive her..."
"SHE WAS RAPED!" Joey growled as all action stopped. "She was. Alex Parks."
"And at the pep rally when Jessie did what she did it made me realize a lot of stuff," Marissa said.
"So you being raped is supposed to make me forgive you?" Joanna asked pointedly.
"Tread lightly," Brittany said with a warning stare.
"I don't know," Marissa said as she stepped out from behind Joey and moved in front of Joanna. "I'm making peace or trying to with all the people I wronged."
"Consider me the one who chooses not to forgive you," Joanna said. "Now I got more important things to do. And oh yeah, Joey, what the fuck happened to you and Cori?"
"We broke up..."
"More like slut here broke you two up," Joanna said as Marissa fought back tears. "Go on skank cry, I wanna see it, you know how many times I cried because of you, I HATE YOU."
"Shut up, that is so cruel," Brittany demanded. "Why do you have to say that?"
"You don't know what she put me through," Joanna said. "I'm done."
"Joanna come on," Joey said as Joanna stormed off with a frustrated Brittany giving chase. "You ok?"
"That went well huh?" Marissa asked with a tear stained smirk. Joey smiled and hugged her as both laughed despite the moment.
** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sammler-Manning Manor (upstairs hallway)
"Quit going to the fucking bathroom so much," Katie grumbled as ZoŽ once again rolled out of bed and left the room for a bathroom break. Coming out a moment later and seeing the lights on downstairs and hearing a light beat of a song playing on the stereo or TV. Making her way to the top of the stairs and sneaking down a few of them and seeing that Jessie and Stephanie were slow dancing in the living room. Jessie with her back to her girlfriend and wrapped in Stephanie's arms as they swayed in perfect time to the music. The smile on their faces told the story of how much this moment meant to both as the song wound down and Jessie looked back and mouth a simple, "I love you."
ZoŽ heard a pair of soft steps as she looked back and saw to her relief that it was Katie. The girl looked like she had just woken up, cause she just had ZoŽ reasoned, making herself giggle as Katie sat down by her. ZoŽ quieted her when Katie started to ask something and simply pointed down the steps and into the living room as Jessie and Stephanie continued to dance with a new song playing.
"They look so much in love and when did Jessie learn to dance?" Katie asked in a hushed voice.
"Steph taught her how," ZoŽ said. "And they do look like they are in love. Cause they are."
"I don't think we were ever that way," Katie said as ZoŽ gave her a confused look. "We weren't, at first it had to be this big secret because... well it just did. And then by the time everyone knew things were just different. Never like that."
"Maybe you didn't try hard enough?"
"Maybe," Katie said softly. "Maybe she didn't either?"
"No way it was all your fault," ZoŽ said as Katie giggled and smiled brightly and linked her arm with ZoŽ's. "But now everything is right with the universe and if anyone does anything to screw that up I'll kill them."
"Ohhh I'm so afraid," Katie said as her and ZoŽ both tried to stifle a giggle. Katie looked back to the living room and saw Steph and Jessie kissing as they continued to slow dance. A moment later feeling a twinge of sadness floating into her as she watched and relived some of the good times between her and Jessie and coming to a not so shocking realization, "I miss her."
"Huh?" ZoŽ asked in confusion.
"Jessie," Katie said. "I miss her and me. The way we were."
"You need to go back to bed you're seriously delirious from lack of sleep," ZoŽ said as Katie laughed and felt ZoŽ pull her up and drag her back down the hall and into ZoŽ's bedroom before she could even explain the complex emotions that came over her in the last few moments.
"ZoŽ stop... let go," Katie said as her and ZoŽ stood on opposite sides of the bed and Katie finally pulled her hand free from ZoŽ's. "It's not what you think."
"I think you're nuts for even thinking about going down that road again..."
"I'm not," Katie demanded, ZoŽ giving her a disbelieving look. "ZoŽ Manning I am not. I'm only saying that I miss the good times with her..."
"What the hiding out so no one knew you loved each other?" ZoŽ asked, both taking seats on the bed.
"It was new and we both wanted that... I think," Katie said.
"Or how about her neglecting you? You miss that?" ZoŽ asked pointedly.
"No, I hated that," Katie said. "Why are you trying to ruin the few good memories I have of her?"
"I'm reminding you of why you love Shady, remember her? Pretty girl with the red hair who would kill to protect you?" ZoŽ asked as Katie smiled brightly. "You're first in her heart always."
"First in mine too..."
"Doesn't sound like it," ZoŽ said.
"Shut up," Katie snapped angrily. "All I wanted was a moment to remember the good times with Jessie. It still hurts."
"What still hurts?"
"The way we ended."
"But you love Shady now."
"Doesn't mean that healed all of the wounds from the past," Katie admitted as a few tears trickled down her cheeks. "Some never heal."
"Maybe I should just shut up and stop pretending to be 18," ZoŽ said before Katie nodded her head to agree. "Ok, I get the picture."
"I doubt it," Katie giggled as ZoŽ groaned and flung herself on the bed.
** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sammler-Manning Manor (downstairs)
"I gotta get some sleep," Jessie said as her and Stephanie turned the stereo off and walked to the bottom of the steps hand and hand. Kissing softly one last time. "Wanna come with?"
"Teabo?" Stephanie asked as both giggled and nodded in agreement. "But if we get caught..."
"Yeh I know," Jessie said. "I better get started on my homework for Monday."
"You haven't even started?" Stephanie asked.
"Jess I am not gonna be the reason your grades slip," Stephanie said. "Didn't you get a C on your last test?"
"It was a Chemistry test, I've got a B average," Jessie said. "Stop worrying."
"No I won't," Stephanie said before kissing her girlfriend. "I love you Jessie Sammler and if it takes fighting with you to keep your grades up then so be it."
"Simple, you get bad grades and I get the blame for distracting you," Stephanie said. "Then they make me go home."
"Excellent point," Jessie said with a yawn. "I'll get going on that in the morning?"
"GRRRRRRRR," Stephanie growled as Jessie giggled and took off running up the steps. Disappearing inside her bedroom a moment later. Stephanie got a case of the cotton mouth as she detoured to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of Apple Juice. Sitting down at the table and noticing one of ZoŽ's fashion magazines laying open, she began flipping through it as she sipped her drink and came upon an ad for potential models, "Do you want to be a model?"
"No but my girlfriend should," Stephanie commented to herself as she read the ad. Thinking about the pictures she'd taken of Jessie back at the Cove behind August's house in West Lafayette. "I wonder what she'd do if I sent in her pictures?"
"HELP!" Came the familar voice from behind the door leading to the basement. Two small fists pounding on the door from the other side. All thoughts of modeling being swept from her mind as she hurried to the door and opened it. Marley looking as happy as she had ever been as she ran to Stephanie and hugged her legs tightly. "I had a bad dream."
"Here, here, come up here," Stephanie said as she lifted Marley into her arms and hugged her. "What happened?"
"I had a dream about monsters and Cori and Pashy won't protect me," Marley said as she pointed downstairs. "They closed their doors."
"Oh ok," Stephanie said as she hugged her again. "It's ok, no monsters can get you now."
"I ok now," Marley said as Stephanie smiled at her. "Why you up Stephy?"
"Me and Jessie were hanging out and just doing some stuff," Stephanie said as she sat Marley down on the corner of the counter near the table. "You want me to lay down for a while with you?"
"I not sleepy now," Marley said as she shook her head. "You out of luck."
"I'm out of luck huh?" Stephanie asked as she tickled the little girl for a moment as Marley laughed. "You hungry?"
"I peckish uhn huh," Marley said.
"My belly empty," Marley said as she pointed at her tummy. Stephanie grinned as she got some pizza out of the fridge and her and Marley settled in at the table for a late night snack. Marley finishing a second piece and rubbing her now filled belly. "Not peckish no more."
"Me either Mar bear," Stephanie said as her and Marley shared a smile. Hearing a loud cracking as someone came down the steps Marley crawled over Stephanie's magazine and into her lap as she looked back nervously. "It's ok, I think I know that monster."
"Dat not a monster, it ZoŽ girl," Marley announced as ZoŽ came into the kitchen and wondered what was going on as she saw Stephanie and Marley and a half eaten plate of pizza. "G'day mate."
"Hi Mar bear, hey Steph, what are you two doing up?" ZoŽ asked as she fished a glass of Apple juice out of the fridge, Marley following Stephanie's eyes and noticing her looking intently at ZoŽ.
"Ohhh, me and Jessie were spending some time together and she went to bed a little while ago so I was just reading some when Marley came running up the steps scared," Stephanie said as ZoŽ now stood by the counter and sipping her juice. Marley remained quiet as she listened intently. "Thought you and the new girlfriend went to bed hours ago."
"Stop with that girlfriend stuff, me and Katie are friends," ZoŽ said. "You ok with her being here and all?"
"Even if I wasn't what am I gonna say?" Stephanie asked.
"True," ZoŽ said. "Jessie loves you now."
"I know it's just like... weird" Stephanie said.
"They've both moved on, trust me I know this," ZoŽ said. "Nothing is gonna happen."
"Yeh I know I'm just being stupid," Stephanie said as she looked away and snuck a peak at ZoŽ's butt as the girl turned to sit down opposite them.
"I miss Amanda," ZoŽ said after a moments silence hung in the air. Pooching her lip out for effect. "I'm gonna go crazy."
"Yeh it sucks being away from the one you love," Stephanie commented. "But she'll be back and you'll completely forget she was even gone."
"I wish she was here now," ZoŽ said as she laid her head on the table. "This is torture."
"Something like that," Stephanie commented as ZoŽ pointed to Marley who was now fast sleep wrapped in Stephanie's arms. "WOW, never happened before."
"Wanna take her down and put her back in bed?" ZoŽ asked.
"I better go wake Lily up and see what she wants me to do," Stephanie said as she rose and Marley awoke as she turned in Stephanie's arms and hugged her around the neck and quickly went back to sleep. "She's already been scared once tonight, Lily might wanna keep her in her room tonight."
"Gimme a few minutes and let me get a snack and I'll walk up with you!" ZoŽ said.
** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sammler-Manning Manor (upstairs hallway)
"Where did she go now?" Katie asked as she yawned and stopped at ZoŽ's bedroom door, having gone to the bathroom and come back to find ZoŽ missing. She was about to lay back down without her when the cracking of Jessie's bedroom door drew her attention into the hallway and she suddenly came face to face with Jessie. A huge bolt of worry surged through her body at what she didn't wanna feel and was afraid she might feel if she let herself. "Hey!"
"What are you doing up?" Jessie asked as she came down the hall to meet her.
"ZoŽ's missing and I just couldn't sleep," Katie said. "You?"
"Stephanie's making me study," Jessie said. "My grades dipped a bit and she's panicking."
"She should," Katie said. "Jess you're way to smart to let your grades dip like that. I know."
"Yeh it's just I've been so into..." Jessie said and trailing off as Katie's fears eased off with seemingly every passing moment as she grew more comfortable spending time with Jessie alone. Realizing that her feelings had changed. Picking up where Jessie trailed off and saying, "...lost in Stephanie?"
"Yeh," Jessie said nervously. Not sure herself how to feel at that moment. "I guess I just gotta get my head back on straight."
"You still in therapy?" Katie asked.
"No Dr. Singer I'm not," Jessie said teasingly. "I go once in a while but not regular."
"Good, Shady still goes weekly," Katie said as Jessie listened and had the weirdest feeling that her and Katie had now crossed from being ex-lovers to friends and that in this pre-dawn moment she was feeling something change inside her that she couldn't quite put her finger on. "She's so much better now than she was when we first met. You know we have entire nights at the palace now that involve no fighting or screaming. So peaceful. Presence of a man I tell you."
"Shady's Dad?" Jessie asked as she leaned against the wall and listened.
"Yeh kinda but you remember my brother Kevin?" Katie asked as Jessie nodded. "He's staying with us now and he breaks up so many piss fights. Course me and Zo run interference more than anything."
"You and Zo?" Jessie asked. "You really like her don't you?"
"Kinda my best friend now," Katie commented. "Since Joanna left town and I never see you guys anymore, she's kinda my connection to my old life. We've spent so many days watching movies on Donald's big screen. It's crazy really."
"I miss Joanna too," Jessie said as Katie smiled. "She's so goofy and fun, you don't realize till she's gone how much you...love her."
"Yeh, she's special," Jessie said. "She's just never gotten a fair deal out of life."
"Till now, she's a best selling author," Katie said as her and Jessie shared a smile. A cracking sound in front of and behind the girls drawing their attention. Stephanie emerging at the top of the steps with Marley in her arms and ZoŽ behind her and Lily coming out of her and Rick's bedroom and coming to meet the rest of the crowd. Stephanie nervously eyeing Jessie and Katie and wondering how long they'd been standing in the hallway.
"What is going on out here?" Lily asked impatiently. "Some people are sleeping and Stephanie sweetie what is Marley doing with you?"
"She had a nightmare and I was getting something to eat and she came upstairs scared," Stephanie said. "Me and ZoŽ were talking and she fell asleep in my lap. Thought you might wanna keep her with you the rest of the night."
"Excellent head on your shoulders," Lily commented as she gently woke Marley and took the little girl in her arms. Marley happily hugging Lily's neck and laying her head down on her shoulder.
"I got scared," Marley said as she closed her eyes.
"Wanna sleep with me and Daddy tonight?"
"I feel safe with you Mommy," Marley said as she drifted back to sleep.
"What did she call you?" ZoŽ asked. Lily smiled as she hugged the little girl tightly.
"She said Mom," Stephanie said as she kissed Jessie's cheek. One smiled at the other as Katie watched and had to giggle at the display.
"I'm sorry we woke you Lily," Katie said.
"I was up anyway, not easy to sleep when you're as big as a house," Lily commented. "I sure hope this baby comes soon."
"It will," Jessie said. "Night Mom."
"Night girls, please go to bed?" Lily asked as everyone agreed and watched her disappear back inside her and Rick's room a few moments later.
"You ready for bed?" ZoŽ asked Katie. Stephanie and Jessie giggled and threw in a chorus of "awww". "Shut up."
"I'll be on in I'm dead tired," Katie said. "Just gotta use the bathroom."
"K, night Steph," ZoŽ said as they smiled at each other. One that was not lost on Jessie. ZoŽ disappeared back inside her bedroom and closed the door behind her.
"Can I use the bathroom before you do?" Jessie asked as Katie shrugged. A long moment of silence looming in the hallway after Jessie had closed the bathroom door down the hall a bit.
"You and Jessie have a good conversation?" Stephanie asked coldly, not intending it to be that way.
"We talked like old friends for the first time in months," Katie said. "It was nice."
"OK," Stephanie said. Another silence looming as the two didn't know what to say after that. Katie finally saying something that she was sure would come out wrong but going for it anyway.
"You don't have anything to be jealous of," Katie said bluntly. "She's yours now!"
"And how do I know that?" Stephanie asked pointedly. Being taken for a loop at the boldness of Katie's comments.
"Because I love Shady McCree and that girl in the bathroom loves you," Katie said. "No one can change the past no matter how much they want and no one can change the future."
"We just gotta live in the here and now." Stephanie said as she felt her stomach calm considerably. "You sure?"
"You just better be good to her," Katie said with a finger point. "Cause I won't be happy if you hurt her."
"I know and Shady will blow up my car," Stephanie said as Katie laughed out loud. Jessie came out of the bathroom just as Katie got her giggles under control.
"No she won't," Katie said. "Shady's harmless unless you hurt the people she loves."
"Everything ok?" Jessie asked.
"Yeh we traded punches," Stephanie said as she rushed Jessie and kissed her softly. Katie simply smiled and shook her head as she turned to head back into ZoŽ's room and leaving the two in the hallway. Jessie smiling as her and Stephanie parted, "I love you Jessie Elizabeth Sammler."
"I know that," Jessie said and kissed her back. "What was that about in front of Katie? Where did she go?"
"To bed, and she said you were mine now," Stephanie said with a huge grin. One that Jessie matched. "True?"
"Keep talking..." Jessie said before kissing her girlfriend softly and getting lost in her for a few long moments. "MMMMMM such a good kisser for a straight girl."
"I'm good at other things for a straight girl too, eh?"
"MMMMMMM never met one who liked it that much," Jessie said as her and Stephanie kissed once more. Stephanie taking hold of both of Jessie's hands and backing up as she guided the girl she loved into the garage apartment and closing the door with her foot before they again began to kiss. While down the hall Katie had settled back in beside of ZoŽ and was about to drift off when her phone began buzzing on the nightstand. Picking it up she smiled as she saw Shady's picture and felt her heart beat fast.
"Hey my girl," Shady said as Katie smiled brightly and felt goose bumps forming all over her body. She knew then that she was truly in love with Shady and it was over with Jessie forever... maybe.