Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Barney stop that, leave them alone" Joey said appearing at the gate in a towel a few seconds later. Joey was looking and trying to figure out who it was. Finally seeing her face, she almost fainted in shock, "Sarah?" Joey said.
"Hi" Sarah said with a sheepish grin on her face and blushing a deep crimson from head to toe that even she could see.
"What's going on?" Joey asked as Barney lay down beside Sarah and put his head on her stomach as if to say to Joey "Look what I caught."
"HMMMM" Sarah said thinking maybe she could joke her way of out of this mess, "I was playing catch with Barney and I guess he thought I threw myself."
"Sarah" Joey said through a giggle and letting her towel fall slightly, exposing one of her nipples, "you are so silly."
"I was really just coming over to see if you wanted to walk over to Jessie's and play some games or something" Sarah said, "no one answered the front door and I thought maybe you'd be out back by the pool."
"Oh that's so nice" Joey said looking nervous.
"And when I got back here Barney sorta caught me" Sarah said standing up finally.
"Good dog Barney" Joey said giggling and petting the large pooch as he came over to her.
"What were you up to?" Sarah asked as a terrified look came across Joey's face and she stammered for a reply.
"Tanning; I like to tan when Mom and Dad are gone" Joey said stepping outside the fence, just then thinking that she hadn't opened the fence herself so it must have been open by someone else.
"Oh cool" Sarah said before Joey went on nervously.
"And sometimes being we have this huge ass privacy fence I take my top and bottom off and do it....like" Joey said blushing yet again.
"Nude?" Sarah asked as Joey smiled weakly.
"Yeh" Joey said as Barney started sniffing at Sarah's pocket as she tried to shoo him away but he refused to go anywhere until he uncovered the source of the smell.
"Barney, leave her alone" Joey said stomping her foot. Barney barked at Sarah and insisted something was in her shorts pocket and he wanted to know what it was. "If you don't show him what's in your pocket, he'll never leave you alone."
"I've always wanted a dog" Sarah thought to herself and about how to explain about the bikini bottoms in her pocket. She pulled them out and showed them to Barney who sniffed them and trotted off through the bushes behind her happily. "But after this I might reconsider."
"Those are mine" Joey said taking them from Sarah's hand, "where did you get these? Are you stalking me or something?"
"LORD NO" Sarah said as her heart began to pound, "I found them in the front yard."
"Barney must have dragged them away while I was swimming" Joey said relaxing and then giggling at the assumption of Sarah as a stalker, "which would explain how the fence got open."
"It would" Sarah said nervously.
"Yeh Barney learned how to open it before we did" Joey said smiling. The two stood there looking at each other for a long moment.
"Anyway so you and your friend wanna come over and play some games?" Sarah asked as that terrified look on her face returned.
"What friend?" She asked as her hands looked to be shaking.
"The one you were talking to" Sarah said.
"It was just me" Joey said trying to look confident.
"OH....." Sarah said confused when Joey started to flip out.
"You know don't you?" She asked.
"Yeh I was coming in right as you guys finished I guess" Sarah said, "the fence was open and I just stuck my head in and well got an eyeful."
"Yeh I bet you did" Joey said beginning to pace and looking visibly upset.
"Look Joey I wasn't being a peeping tom or anything I just thought maybe you guys were talking and you wouldn't mind if I stuck my head in and asked." Sarah said moving close and taking her arm.
"It's ok, not your fault" Joey said, "You're not the stupid whore who wanted to do it by the pool instead of my room like always. Then run off like a fuckin' coward in the night" Joey said angrily as she pulled away and went back inside the fence. "And you're not a freak like me. Cause I know you think what you saw was disgusting."
"Joey stop" Sarah said finally catching up to her by the back door of the house. "Why are you a freak?"
"Because I don't just like guys, I like girls too" Joey said, "but you already know that."
"You're not a freak, who told you that?" Sarah asked getting a little pissed now, "what you're feeling is completely normal."
"My Mom is like so anti-gay it's not even funny" Joey said as a thought came to her head that made her heart beat faster. "Sarah you can't tell my parents. Please. I'll beg, I'll do anything you want just don't tell them. Please. I've got some money saved up and it's not much but I'll give it to you...if you will just...."
"Shut up for a second" Sarah said trying to calm her down, "I won't and I don't want your money."
"Why not?" Joey asked, "I'll give you more when I get it I promise....Sarah please."
"NO" Sarah said looking at Joey. "I swear I won't say anything to anyone. I know what you're going through."
"How? How could you possibly know?" Joey asked as a tear came down her cheek and Sarah noticed she was shaking. Sarah put her hands on either of Joey's face and trying to calm her down, she said in an urgent voice. "I know because I've been there, I'm gay Joey."
"OHHHHH" Joey said and breathed a sigh of relief as she smiled.
"I know what it's like to be scared all the time" Sarah said.
"So you're like into girls too huh?" Joey asked, biting her lip.
"Yeh obviously" Sarah said making Joey again smile.
"So you really won't tell anyone?" Joey asked still looking nervous.
"No I promise" Sarah said looking back up at her eyes. "And when I make a promise I keep it."
"Thank you so much." Joey said smiling and leaned against the back of the door. A few seconds later Joey smiled and started to lean close to Sarah, appearing to Sarah like she was gonna kiss her. Sarah moved back away from Joey and asked in a confused voice, "What are you doing?"
"I was gonna thank you" Joey said backing away and again looking hurt and turned to walk inside.
"No Joey stop" Sarah said "You don't have to thank me like that."
"But sex is the way I thought you repaid a favor" Joey said as Sarah looked confused.
"You're gonna have sex with me because I did something nice for you?" Sarah asked.
"Yeh to thank you for not saying anything" Joey said pulling at her hand again and leading to the steps.
"I'm not gonna make you sleep with me just for that" Sarah said stopping and holding Joey up on the first step.
"But that's how I always pay Shady back when she does something for me" Joey said, "Sometimes I'm not even in the mood. But she says it's what girls do for each other."
"No it's not Joey" Sarah said, "I said I wouldn't say anything because I like you and you asked me not too. Not for what you're gonna do for me. And if Shady makes you do it when you don't want too, then she is no friend either."
"Well I'm sorta new at this" Joey said stepping back into the kitchen, "I guess Shady sort of has been controlling things."
"You'll learn" Sarah said smiling. "But next time Shady tries to get you to do something, tell her no and if she insists, call me. I'm pretty sure she'll change her mind when she meets my fists of fury."
"Silly" Joey said laughing as Sarah did her best Bruce Lee impersonation.
"Don't let her take advantage of you anymore" Sarah said a minute or so later, "and if she threatens to tell, let me know."
"Seriously?" Joey asked handing Sarah a Coke.
"Yeh seriously" Sarah said.
"So are you seeing anyone right now?" Joey asked as they sat down at the table.
"Yeh I am" Sarah said as she watched a frown cross Joey's face.
"You and that Jessie girl?" Joey asked.
"No" Sarah said laughing, "we are just friends. I'm seeing someone else. It's brand new and I don't wanna tell anyone before she's ready."
"Cool" Joey said, "can we still hang out sometime?"
"Of course we can" Sarah said sipping on the coke. "I've got my own place down on Mulberry. Maybe you and Jessie can come over one night."
"You like watching movies?" Joey asked.
"Are you kidding?" Sarah said, "you should see my movie collection."
"Great" Joey said, "My mom is a distributor for Blockbuster. She like makes sure the movies get to the right place on time. So I get to see all the new movies for free."
"FREE?" Sarah said excitedly making Joey giggle.
"Yeh free....like in no cost." Joey said.
"Joey my bestest new friend in the entire whole world" Sarah said sitting down in the same chair as Joey giggled and put her arm around her neck, "this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship."
"Oh yeah" Joey said laughing out loud at Sarah.
Meanwhile back at Manning Manor....
"You guys have like 10 million channels more than we got" Katie said flipping through the channels as ZoŽ lay beside her.
"Yeh I guess" ZoŽ said, "we even got a porn channel."
"You do?" Katie asked looking at ZoŽ suddenly very interested.
"Yeh" ZoŽ said flipping the channel and punching in the supposedly secret code.
"Oh yeah fuck it harder" The redhead said on screen as Katie's eyes bugged out.
"See told ya" ZoŽ giggled.
"You are so lucky" Katie said.
"Why? Everyone thinks it'll warp me if I watch" ZoŽ said as Katie took the remote and thought a second before changing the channel. "I don't so much mind if you watch, I just wouldn't wanna do it where I'd get caught."
"Chicken" ZoŽ said as Katie pushed her down on the couch.
"I wonder what Sarah's doing?" Katie wondered aloud a few minutes later, "she's been gone a long time."
"I dunno" ZoŽ looked up from her magazine on the floor. "Think we should go and check on her?"
"Sarah's a big girl ZoŽ, she'll come home when she's ready." Katie stood up and said, "I'm gonna go and check on Jess. When she gets back tell her I'll be down in a minute, ok?"
"Ok" ZoŽ said, flipping the pages of the magazine and not bothering to look up.
Katie quietly made her way into Jessie's room up the steps and noticing she was fast asleep, took the seat by the bed where she noticed a white over stuffed envelope lying on the desk. She picked it up and read aloud "New Hit Records Nashville. Welcome."
"Oh MY GOD" Katie said squealing and quickly covered her mouth to keep from waking Jessie. She thought for a second about whether to open it or not, but the excitement was to much as she carefully pealed back the tab and emptied the contents on the desk. There was an official contract and everything, she observed.
"If you choose to sign the following you, will be bound by its contents for the period of one year or until the completition and acceptance or refusal of the agreed upon." Katie read as she grew a little confused, then realizing it meant she had to sign with them until she completed the demo record and they decided if they wanted to sign her as a solo artist or something else.
Katie read through the papers as her heart beat faster and she couldn't stop smiling for some reason. "Everything that is about to happen to Jessie is because of me" She said giggling and feeling her ego grow a little. "Hell I even picked her song" Katie laughed at her silliness and carefully put the papers back in the envelope. She began to think a little while later about what would happen to Jessie if she became a big star. "I might lose her" Katie said to herself, thinking about how a big star couldn't exactly have an openly gay relationship or could she? And what about Nashville? Will Mom let me go?
"I'll fuckin' die if she won't let me go" Katie said laying the envelope back on the desk. Getting a little paranoid now, she crawled onto the bed and lay down behind Jessie as she stirred from the movement. Katie leaned over her back and gently kissed her neck. Jessie smiled up at her for a second as neither said anything.
"Do you know I love you?" Katie asked.
"You woke me up to ask me that?" Jessie asked yawning and smiling.
"Yes" Katie said firmly and kissing her for a long moment, "because I'm gonna go crazy if I ever lose you."
"Don't be silly" Jessie said closing her eyes again, "I'm not going anywhere other than back to sleep."
"I do love you though" Katie repeated laying down next to Jessie's head and pulling her close.
"I love you too Billie" Jessie said quietly before she drifted off again as Katie smiled broadly and felt the worry fade away slowly. Katie lay there a long time and finally nodded off. She woke and it was dark outside, but Jessie was still sleeping soundly.
"I better call and check on RaeAnn" She thought, getting up and walking quietly out of the room.
"Your Mom called" Sarah said as Katie picked up the phone in the hallway and got ready to dial.
"She did?" Katie asked worriedly.
"Yeh, said she picked RaeAnn up at the hospital and something about you and Jessie not seeing each other so you could stay a while" Sarah said as Katie smiled and grabbed her excitedly and hugged her, like old times Katie thought.
"Are you freakin' sure?" Katie asked.
"Yeh RaeAnn called a while after that and said you better take care of her car" Sarah said.
"YES" Katie screamed and grabbed Sarah again and impulsively kissed her on the cheek and started celebrating as both then realized what just happened. Sarah looked shyly at the floor as did Katie, neither knowing what to say, nor knowing exactly how to say it either. Sarah froze in that moment not sure what she felt or wanted to feel for her now ex-girlfriend.
"You are such a total slut" Sarah said smiling wickedly at Katie.
"Bite me you little tease" Katie said swatting at Sarah's arms, who carefully avoided it and ran off down the hall with Katie giving chase. Katie grabbed her a few steps away from the stairs to the attic and hugged her from behind, pinning her arms to her side and holding her from going up the steps." Jessie's asleep and if you wake her up.... I'm gonna...."
"What try and really kiss me?" Sarah said giggling, "nothing could be worse than that."
"Sarah Grasser" Katie said looking shocked, "are you serious?"
"To use a line from Grace" Sarah said turning around as Katie released her hold, "are you not as smart as that pretty head looks?"
"I knew you weren't" Katie said walking away, "you never fooled me for a second. Besides, it's not like I kissed you anyway"
"Oh yeah sure" Sarah said following behind her, "you really thought I was serious. Your heart was breaking in two."
"It was not" Katie said turning around.
"I know" Sarah said smiling, "Just so you know I was kidding."
"I was pretty sure you was" Katie said, "but considering all that has happened with me and you, you got a right to hate me"
"Oh am I really allowed to hate the almighty Katie Singer?" Sarah said giggling and nudging Katie in the ribs.
"I'm surprised you don't" Katie said.
A long silence followed as both drifted to thoughts in their own. Katie sat down and leaned against the wall as Sarah watched her. Katie too was watching Sarah and wondering what was on her mind.
"You used to tell me everything you know" Katie said as Sarah joined her on the floor.
"Yeh I know" Sarah said smiling, "that seems like a lifetime ago now."
"So does that mean we can't talk now or what?" Katie asked, "cause something's on your mind now."
"This has just been a really bizarre couple of days" Sarah said as Katie looked at her with interest and sorta urged her to go on with her eyes.
"Yeh and..." Katie said smiling as Sarah got the message.
"Well first Jessie and the accident, then ZoŽ acting all weird" Sarah started, "She'd been acting weird all day around me" Sarah said, "I thought it was because of the accident, but Grace had it figured out from the start. She said ZoŽ was wondering if she was gay. She was right."
"HMMMMM" Katie said shooting Sarah a goofy look.
"She told me she thought she loved me and all that" Sarah said thinking about early that morning and what ZoŽ said. "But she seems to have figured it out. She said this morning she wasn't in love with me."
"Who could blame her" Katie said smiling. "You're everyone's fantasy girl."
"Oh shut up" Sarah said as Katie cracked a smile.
"Then when I went next door" Sarah said, blushing from Katie's comment and went on to explain what had happened with Joey and the scene with Shady and all. Then swore Katie to secrecy after remembering what she told Joey about not telling anyone. "And then this, too much too soon."
"Poor baby" Katie said touching Sarah's cheek and rubbing it as Sarah purred like a kitten and nuzzled her hand. Katie had to giggle at the muffled sounds she was making.
"I just realized something" Katie said turning to look at Sarah, moving a stray hair out of her eyes. "I miss you."
"You do?" Sarah asked with a gleam in her eye Katie could clearly see.
"Yeh" Katie said as they stared into the other's eyes for a brief eternity.
"If I'd never met Grace" Sarah said, "maybe things would be different."
"Jessie's the reason I'm not with you right now" Katie said smiling as Sarah's look turned cold.
"That is such a heartless comment" Sarah said, "you make it sound like Jessie's an obstacle or something."
"I didn't mean it that way" Katie said banging her head on the wall in frustration. "I mean if I had never met Jessie, maybe I could make things right between us."
"Things are fine between us Katie" Sarah said taking her hand, "I accepted your relationship with Jessie, finally, and moved on. Because of that I met Grace and she's amazing."
"You really love her?" Katie asked.
"Yeh I do and she loves me too" Sarah said quietly.
"I'm scared Sarah" Katie said after a long minute of silence.
"She loves you with all her heart" Sarah said seemingly reading Sarah's mind. "There's no way she's gonna break your heart unless you do something stupid and break hers first. Then I'm gonna kick your ass."
"I love her so much, and I'm scared to death" Katie said looking down at her hands, "Because you know me, I will."
"No you won't" Sarah said sounding confident and cupping Katie's chin in her hand. "So stop worrying about it"
"You always know how to make me feel better" Katie said smiling and taking Sarah's hand. "Some things never change."
"Yeh the same is true of you" Sarah said, standing up and pulling Katie to her feet.
"Yeh I better let Jessie sleep for a while longer" Katie said walking ahead of Sarah.
Lily, Rick, and Grace arrived home a few hours later and found ZoŽ asleep on the couch and Sarah and Katie playing games with a tired looking Joey. Karen and Henry had come back to the hospital to find Jessie gone and not wanting Jessie to worry, they agreed to stay with Cori.
"You know not one single member of her family has come to visit her" Lily said sitting down with Rick on the couch.
"That's her family" Sarah said joining Grace by the door and touching her hand as they smiled.
"Well I know I got to go back to work next week and all" Lily said, "but I think we could all make an effort to see that someone is with her as much as possible."
"Maybe me and Sarah can stay tomorrow night" Grace said, thinking how much she would love a night alone with Sarah even it was in the hospital.
"And how do you know I want too?" Sarah said looking at Grace as Lily took her a little too serious.
"She's right Grace, you shouldn't just make plans without asking" Lily said, "besides Sarah must be ready to get back to her own life and her place."
"Don't worry about it" Sarah said, "Grace's my best friend and I love hanging out with her. Seriously, the hospital thing is cool."
"I do miss your bed though" Grace said in a whisper to Sarah's ear. Sarah giggled and took Grace's hand in hers briefly motioning with her eyes towards Grace's room and making Grace try to stifle a giggle.
"I guess I should get home" Joey said, yawning and stretching.
"Is anyone home at your place?" Lily asked looking concerned.
"No, but it's ok, I'm sorta used to it by now" Joey said standing up.
"I don't feel comfortable about you being alone in that big ole house" Rick said, looking to Lily for her reaction.
"You're more than welcome to just sack out here in the living room with Sarah and Katie." Rick said as Katie, Sarah, and Grace began to panic.
"No, but thanks" Joey said, "I need to get home anyway and make sure the place is locked up and all."
"If you need anything call" Lily said to Joey as she took her coat and left a minute later.
"Hey sleepy head" Lily said to Jessie as she came down the stairs still yawning.
"Feel better?" Lily asked turning around and watching as Jessie walked over to Grace and Sarah by the door.
"Yeh some, I figured out I'd better get back to the hospital though" Jessie said as Sarah started telling her about what Karen said and she could go back to bed.
"Great" Jessie said leaning against Sarah and causing her to fall against Grace. Grabbing Sarah's arm and wrapping hers around it to keep her from falling, she laid her head on Sarah's shoulder and said, "Marsha you're so clumsy."
"Marsha?" Katie asked, laughing as Jessie raised her head and smiled at Katie.
"Yeh she acts like Marsha Brady" Jessie said, giggling as she sat down in front of Katie and leaned back against her as Katie put her arms around Jessie's neck. Rick gave them a strange look, which prompted Lily to try and divert his attention.
"You tell 'em Jan" Sarah said taking Grace's hand in hers and holding it behind her back, "you're still a head case."
Eli arrived home just as Rick was about to ask a question of Jessie and Katie, and ZoŽ began to stir on the couch.
"Since we got everyone here for the moment" Lily said changing the subject, "I wanna know how everyone feels about another baby possibly coming into the house."
"A baby, really?" ZoŽ said jumping up and crashing down beside Lily excitedly.
"We're thinking about it" Lily said as Rick looked at her with a look of approval.
"I figure since everything seems to be going so well that this might be the perfect time to have a baby" Rick said.
"I'm gonna have a little sister or brother" ZoŽ said as everyone laughed.
"I think you should go for it old man" Eli said plopping down beside Rick on the couch.
"Yeh I guess we could handle it" Jessie said with her head lying on Katie's shoulder.
"Nope sorry" Grace said standing behind Sarah, "I'm not putting up with another noisy crybaby that needs a diaper. I mean ZoŽ just got out of that stage."
"Bite me Grace" ZoŽ said as Grace laughed.
"She's just jealous monkey" Sarah said to ZoŽ, "cause you're more mature than her."
"Now that I will agree with" Eli said as Grace tried to fake a fit and went stomping up the stairs.
"Seriously is everyone in agreement?" Rick asked looking around as Grace came back down the stairs. With everyone in agreement now about the baby, the room fell silent and Rick's attention turned back to Jessie and Katie. Finally getting up the nerve to say something he said, "you guys sure have gotten a lot closer as of late."
"Yeh, you're right dad" Jessie said as Katie tried to get her to set-up. But she refused, and turned to give her a reassuring look. "See me and Katie are more than just friends....."
"You are?" Rick said as his heart began to pound and his mind raced with a million thoughts. Lily looked at ZoŽ and then to Grace who both had a shocked look on their faces. Sarah clutched at Grace's hand as she feared what was coming next. Katie wrapped her arms tighter around Jessie and tried to tell her she was there for her. Time seem to freeze for a brief eternity as everyone in the room waited for Jessie's response to Rick's question.
"Yes Dad, we are" Jessie said smiling and feeling very relaxed at the moment and for the life of her not able to figure out why, "I love Katie, it's that simple."
To be Continued....