Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grace was trying her best to concentrate on the book she was reading. But every little thing kept distracting her, every time she got interested in it. First it was the strange sounds coming from the attic, and before she could figure that out, Zoe started blaring her music. Finally as she adapted to all the little annoyances someone came to the door. Throwing the book down in the chair and stomping towards the door, Grace noticed a familiar face.
"Hey" Grace said opening the door, "Sarah right?"
"Yeh," The girl said smiling weakly. "I know I'm the last person you probably expected to see."
"UM....yeh just about," Grace responded, "why are you here?"
"Well I wanted to talk to Jessie, her Mom said she was here," Sarah responded, looking more uncomfortable with every passing second. "It's really important"
"Oh it is?" Grace asked, looking Sarah right in the face.
"Yeh," Sarah said realizing this was gonna be harder than she thought. After a long pause Sarah finally went on, "Look Grace I know what you probably think of me after what happened between me and Jessie over Katie. So you have a right to hate me."
"You damn right I do," Grace said growing a little pissed, "and if I had been there...."
"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry;" Sarah said cutting Grace off in mid-sentence, "that's what I wanted to say and I wanted Jessie to hear me say that. Not that it's worth anything."
"Oh..." Grace mumbled in response not sure what to say now as Sarah stood their in the doorway looking like she had just lost her best friend.
"So can you ask her to if we can talk?" Sarah asked, looking Grace in the eyes. "If she doesn't want to I'll understand."
"UMMM yeh I'll ask," Grace said, "you wanna come in?"
"Thank you Grace, thank you so much," Sarah responded,stepping through the door.
"You know what, on second thought Sarah this might be a bad idea," Grace replied after remembering Katie was over.
"Grace please I promise it won't take long," Sarah said taking Grace's hand in hers for a moment and pleading with her.
"No it's not what you think," Grace said pulling her hand away. "Katie's here, so maybe you might wanna come back tomorrow or just see her at school."
"Ohhh ok," Sarah replied, obviously surprised by that bit of information.
"So if you wanna come back later," Grace offered. "It might be better."
Sarah appeared to be deep in thought as she considered what to do, then came to a decision as she said,"No I think it's best if I do it now. I can't live with the way I acted, it's killing me." Grace could see the tears coming to her eyes as the emotion of the moment just overtook her.
"Are you ok?" Grace asked reaching for Sarah's shoulder. "Here sit down."
"It's just me being a baby," Sarah said fighting the tears and wiping her eyes as she took a seat in the chair. "I knew I would do this. I was hoping I could get through this without crying."
"Hey I do the same thing, you know get over emotional about the simplest things." Grace said smiling. Sarah seemed to brighten her outlook a little at that comment.
"Yeh but I bet you never acted like a spoiled brat when you couldn't get what you wanted," Sarah said trying to fake a laugh.
"You mean Katie?" Grace asked a little confused.
"Yeh," Sarah replied, at the same moment her eyes began to tear up again, "I hate myself for being like that. I couldn't just let her go and wish her the best, I had to pull something stupid like that." Sarah said continuing on and lowering her head to her hands. "Grace I know you don't believe me, but I truly am sorry."
"Yeh I can see that" Grace said for the first time realizing the depth of the hurt Sarah was going through and wanting to help, but not knowing exactly how.
"Here" Grace said handing her a handkercheif to dry her eyes.
"Thanks Grace," Sarah said just then noticing the book on the table. "Hey you have to read that too?"
"Yeh," Grace said picking it up and flipping to the page she was attempting to, "I was trying to, but in this house if you want quiet, you need to be deaf."
"I can hear why," Sarah said referring to the loud music coming from Zoe's room. "So you think I can see Jessie?" Sarah asked smiling at Grace and standing up.
"Sure if your sure this is what you wanna do...?" Grace asked walking by Sarah and feeling her hand being taken again.
"Thank you," Sarah said looking Grace in the eyes and trying her best to muster a smile and letting the moment linger in the air for a few seconds as both stared into the other's eyes. Until Grace replied, "No problem," and slowly turned to walk away pulling Sarah behind her, Sarah followed suddenly giggling at the moment.
"Jessie's room is in the attic," Grace said as Sarah followed her up the stairs and making a quick stop in Zoe's room to tell her to turn the music down. Sarah looked back at Grace one more time and then disappeared up the stairs as Grace came out of Zoe's room.
Meanwhile in the attic...
"Oh Jessie that is so good," Katie moaned needing her lover's attention so desperately.
"OH MY GOD!" A voice said from across the room, as both Katie and Jessie jumped apart, looking to see who it was. Jessie instinctively pulled the covers over her and Katie as her heart nearly stopped when she heard what Katie said next.
"SARAH!" Katie said with the sound of complete shock in her voice.
"OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!" Sarah kept repeating to herself. Before turning abruptly and running back down the stairs. Where she was met by a startled Grace at the bottom.
"What's going on?" Grace asked as Sarah pushed by her and ran for the stairs, "I heard the screaming."
"Who was that?" Jessie asked Katie as she slipped back into her robe.
"Sarah I think," Katie responded while putting her shirt on as quickly as humanly possibly.
"Sarah?" Jessie asked obviously confused. "What the hell was she doing here?"
"Well don't look at me," Katie said feeling like Jessie was accusing her, "how would I know?"
"JESSIE, KATIE!" Grace screamed, dashing up the stairs. Thinking by Sarah's reaction that something horrible had happened. She arrived in the attic as all three met at the stairs, "Are you guys ok?"
Grace asked, seeing now that everything was fine. "What was wrong with Sarah?" Grace asked looking at Katie and Jessie with a confused look on her face.
"What the hell was she doing here?" Jessie demanded of Grace.
"She wanted to apologize to you," Grace told Jessie.
"So you just told her to come on up?" Jessie said with her fists clenched at her side, "don't I have any rights in this house? Didn't you bother to think that just maybe we might want some privacy?"
"For what?" Grace asked. "And did you ever think to use the lock on the door?"
"I shouldn't have to," Jessie said her voice rising fast. "You never respect my privacy."
"Jessie, I better go and find her," Katie said pushing between Grace and Jessie and running down the stairs.
"Why?" Jessie asked.
"She might do something stupid and I can't let that happen," Katie tried to explain.
"What the hell is going on here?" Grace asked as Jessie followed after Katie and Grace followed both of them. "Jessie answer me."
Reaching the first floor, the door was open and Sarah was nowhere in sight. Katie grabbed her coat and before anyone could say anything, she first glanced at Grace, before she kissed Jessie and whispered, "I love you," before turning and running out the door.
"I love you too," Jessie mumbled as she watched Katie leave and wondered to herself what had just happened. For a long time neither Jessie or Grace said anything as Jessie leaned against the back of the door and Grace tried to digest everything that had just happened and tried to figure out what made Sarah scream like that. Then she came back to the moment her and Sarah had shared in the hallway and it gave her a strange feeling. Shaking the thought, she looked back at Jessie who was now staring off into space.
"What just happened here?" Jessie finally asked.
"I think your the one that needs to answer that," Grace said taking Jessie's hand and guiding her to the living room. Sitting down on the chair, Jessie again looked completely lost in thought. So Grace, fearing another screaming match, decided to let it rest for now. Going back to her book and every so often looking up to sneak a peak at Jessie. For the better part of the next hour Jessie sat and thought, not making much of a sound. Finally Grace couldn't take it any longer and decided to try again.
"Jessie," Grace said softly, trying to get her attention, "you ok?"
"Yeh," Jessie said, smiling, "just thinking."
"About what?" Grace asked, and after a momentary delay going on, "Katie?"
"Is it that obvious?" Jessie replied, her smile spreading.
"It was after that kiss," Grace said, trying to work the conversation where she wanted it to go, without upsetting Jessie. "I thought you guys where...you know. But I didn't think it was this far along."
"I love her Grace," Jessie said looking at her step-sister.
"I can see that," Grace said honestly.
Another long moment of silence followed as Grace once again let her mind drift and the image of Sarah came into her head, this time the one of her crying and how her heart must have been broken when she found out about Jessie and Katie.
"Jessie," Grace said breaking the silence again, "can you tell me something?"
"Sure," Jessie replied.
"In the attic...." Grace started tentatively.
"You think she'll be back tonight?" Jessie asked.
"Who?" Grace asked trying to remain patient. "Katie?"
"Yeh I mean she left so quick I was hoping she would call or something and let me know what happened," Jessie said. "Ahhhhh guess she had more important things to do."
"Jessie are you crazy?" Grace asked putting her book down and moving to the end of the couch. "She is so into you. There's no way she could think of anything else and you know what I mean."
"You really think so," Jessie asked springing a huge smile.
"Yes and there's no doubt in my mind after that kiss," Grace continued on. "I'd give anything for a kiss like that," Grace said thinking about her comment and hurriedly continuing on again, "not that I have anyone in mind for something like that. But still I would."
"OOOHHHH sure," Jessie said in an drawn out manner, "I'll bet your just dying to jump someone's bones. So who is it?"
"Jessie" Grace said in mock horror, "no one I swear."
"UH huh sure, let me see, who could it be?" Jessie said counting the people on her hand until she finally came to one she knew was true, "Mr. Dmitri". The look of shock and horror on Grace's face was priceless Jessie thought as she rose from the end of the couch and grabbing a pillow started coming towards Jessie.
"OK sis now your gonna get it and good" Grace said as she swung the pillow at Jessie who jumped up and tried to run before Grace caught her and pinned her down on the couch, "now take it back, take it back right now."
"NO YOU LOVE HIM, YOU WANT HIS BODY!" Jessie screamed through her giggling and fighting to get loose. "I'll bet you tried to rip his clothes off."
"Yeh at least I'm not in love with a girl," Grace said as she started tickling Jessie unmercifully, trying to make her give in.
"No your in love with a guy old enough to be your father," Jessie giggled barely able to keep her breath.
"It's not true," Grace said getting tickled herself and beginning to laugh, "I don't want his body, anymore at least"
Grace finally gave up on Jessie and rolled off as they both sat there for a minute trying to catch their breath. Until Grace looked over at Jessie and noticed something, Jessie wasn't wearing anything under her robe.
Grace found herself staring for a brief second at Jessie's body before she could regain control of her senses and look away. Jessie realized what was happening as Grace looked away and quickly moved her robe closed again. She moved back to the chair and tried to change the subject and let the moment pass. But Grace's mind was working overtime and she was putting the pieces of the Sarah screaming mystery together.
"Jessie, what exactly are you wearing under your robe?" Grace asked.
"None of your business," Jessie said giggling. "God your such a complete perv."
"Jessie will you please be serious for a second?" Grace said trying to keep a straight face. "Now what are you trying to hide?"
"Nothing why?" Jessie asked confused.
"Well your not wearing anything under that robe and Sarah screamed like she saw you naked or something else very embarrassing," Grace said standing up. "So what is the story Jessie?"
"You mean when Sarah walked in?" Jessie asked trying to delay the inevitable.
"No tell me about your first day of school," Grace said sarcastically before going on, "yes I mean the bedroom."
Just then the door flew open and Rick and Lily came in from their date trying to be quite until they noticed Grace and Jessie in the living room.
"Hey guys," Rick said.
"Hey Daddy," Jessie said jumping up from the chair and hugging Rick, while Lily closed the door and got a worried look on her face as she caught the expression on Grace's face.
"Is something wrong?" Lily asked, "you guys are up awful late."
"NO," Jessie said jumping to answer the question, "we where just talking and sorta lost track of time, right Grace?"
"Uh yeh....right," Grace said trying to force herself to smile and standing up. "Jessie was just telling me about her and Katie's game of Clue."
"Doesn't sound very exciting," Lily said.
"Oh but it was Mom" Grace said moving behind Jessie and putting her arms around Jessie's neck like a real big sister. "Jessie was just getting to the good part, weren't you?"
"It is so good to see you guys getting along for a change," Lily said playing the mother part that she does so well.
"Well you can finish your story tomorrow Jessie it's past time for you to be in bed," Rick said pulling Jessie free from Grace and walking towards the stairs with Lily, when Jessie looked back and mouthed, "Tell you later."
"Grace," Lily said from the bottom of the stairs, "get to bed soon ok."
"Sure Mom," Grace replied.
Grace watched as Jessie disappeared up the stairs to her room and looked around for the book she was reading. Thinking about all that had happened, she couldn't shake the thought of what exactly went on in the attic and what made Sarah scream. Grace thought for a long time and tried to put the pieces together, but in the end she admitted she wouldn't know anything for sure until she could talk to Jessie alone, again. Letting her mind wonder again, Sarah came back to her head and she began to worry about what might have happened to her after she left. Laying their thinking, Grace eventually drifted off to sleep.
Waking up as daylight began to break, Grace realized she had fallen asleep on the couch. Deciding to head up to bed, she made a quick detour over to double check the lock on the door.
"What the hell?" Grace asked as she looked out the glass in the front door and was shocked at what she saw...
To be Continued....