Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org) & CJ Ames (email@example.com)
"Hey" Jennifer said nervously.
"Yeh?" Zoe asked as she shut her locker and looked over. Watching Jennifer's eyes, glance briefly at the pink cowboy hat on Zoe's head.
"You still mad at me right?" Jennifer asked.
"No I could care less about you anymore, after the stuff you said to Mandy, and actually I feel really good today" Zoe said as she smiled, "I had the best time last night with Mandy."
"Good" Jennifer said as she felt the hurt from Zoe's comments and knowing her chance at being friends was probably gone. "Kinda weird, but...whatever."
"Why is it weird?" Zoe asked.
"She wants to be my friend" Zoe said, "Unlike you and Sam."
"I am your friend, more than Mandy is" Jennifer said defensively. "Why do you even care what I said to her."
"Cause it's fuckin mean to say stuff just to hurt someone" Zoe said as she glared at Jennifer. "But you advertise how stupid you are every day with that blond hair."
"What..." Jennifer asked in shock.
"Not so funny when someone makes fun of something you can't control huh?" Zoe asked as Jennifer looked like she wanted to cry.
"I'm not dumb" Jennifer said as Mandy walked up.
"Hey cutie" Mandy said as she stopped in front of Zoe and Jennifer, taking Zoe's cowboy hat and putting it on her own head. "Wanna go to the lake after school and chill?"
"Really?" Zoe asked as a smile spread across her face.
"No one I'd rather hang out with" Mandy said, "You stomping?"
"Yeh of course, gotta ask my Mom though" Zoe said as she noticed Jennifer looking particularly jealous and no doubt hurt at the moment. But suddenly with the memories of Jennifer's comments toward Mandy days before, she decided she didn't care.
"Here you go" Mandy said handing her a cell phone. "Call now, she's home right?"
"I think so" Zoe said as she looked at the phone mystified.
"Here let me" Mandy said as she laughed and dialed the number, but for some reason Zoe didn't feel as if Mandy was treating her like a kid. It was just one of those funny moments she thought.
"It's Lily and yes this is her" Lily said as Zoe gave Mandy a strange look as she heard her begin talking.
"Can Zoe go to the lake with me after school?" Mandy asked, "We won't be out to late."
"Are you sure you want her along?" Lily asked.
"No, no one else is going that I know of" Mandy said, "just me and Zoe hanging out."
"Oh OK" Lily said, a little surprised. "Keep an eye on her."
"You know it" Mandy said, "Home by 9?"
"That's the rule" Lily said, "It was nice talking to one of Zoe's..."
"Friends" Mandy said as Lily smiled. "And it was nice talking to you too. Bye."
"All set?" Zoe asked as Mandy smiled and put away her phone.
"Yep" Mandy said as she smiled. "They got this great snack bar with the best nachos, remind me and we'll hit it."
"Wait, what lake?"
"Michigan" Mandy said as Zoe rolled her eyes and blushed as Mandy laughed. "Zoe not to bright?"
"Bite me" Zoe said as her and Mandy began to laugh. "I just have a problem with lakes."
"They're these huge bodies of water" Mandy said as Zoe rolled her eyes.
"Whatever, so what's down at the lake?" Zoe asked.
"Tons of cool stuff, I go down there all the time and just walk along the beach and think" Mandy said, "It's more fun if you got someone to hang out with. And the guys are primo."
"HMMMMM really?" Zoe asked as both laughed.
"Guys in short shorts playing volleyball, need I say more?" Mandy asked as she raised her eyebrows suggestively.
"Nope" Zoe said as she returned Mandy's goofy look.
"Just act like I'm not here then" Jennifer inserted into the conversation.
"You're free to speak anytime you want" Zoe said as she looked at Jennifer.
"Well you and Mandy are pretty much ignoring me" Jennifer said, looking hurt. "How do you think I feel?"
"About the same way Zoe felt the last week when you and Sam did her that way" Mandy said as Jennifer gave her a dirty look.
"Oh please, like you really wanna hang out with her" Jennifer snapped, "You'll be gone when the first cute guy gives you the time of day."
"Like you would know anything about us" Mandy said, "I don't abandon my real friends for a piece of ass. Skank."
"I'm a real friend?" Zoe asked as Mandy slipped beside her and put her arm around Zoe's shoulder.
"Yeh you are" Mandy said, "Would I ask you to go to the lake if you weren't?"
"I guess not" Zoe said as Jennifer glared at them.
"Yeh your little friend" Jennifer said in a bitter tone.
"The only thing little around her is the number of comments you've got left before I smack the taste out of your smart mouth" Mandy said in a calm voice, "You're just jealous cause I like Zoe and you only want her whenever you get bored."
"Whatever, I don't care anyway" Jennifer said as she stormed off.
"I swear she's a princess" Mandy said as Zoe laughed. "Don't listen to her OK? She's just jealous."
"Yeh I know" Zoe said as she smiled, and Mandy took the cowboy hat off her head and placed it back on Zoe's.
"Oh sheet, I got class" Mandy said as she glanced at her watch. "Me, you and the lake after school?"
"You know it" Zoe said with a smile as Mandy disappeared down the hall. Turning Zoe crashed into Logan.
"Hi" Logan said nervously.
"What do you want?" Zoe asked, "Mandy just went that way."
"I saw" Logan said as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. "I wanna say I'm sorry about last night."
"You should apologize to her, not me" Zoe said.
"I did and it didn't go over to well" He said, "but I sorta made some stupid comments last night about you and I wanna apologize to you."
"OK" Zoe said in surprise. "I guess."
"Look, for whatever reason, Mandy's changed and now she's like if my buddy Zoe doesn't approve I don't want anything to do with you" Logan said, "So I wanna know if you can get to her to give me a second chance?"
"I knew you had a motive" Zoe said as she pushed past Logan.
"No, wait, please" Logan asked in a pleading voice. "Thing is I got a big crush on Mandy."
"Her or her money?" Zoe asked pointedly.
"Her" Logan said, "Why do you like her for?"
"She treats me like I'm somebody" Zoe said as she touched her hat, "So until she wants you around, you're out of luck."
"Zoe" Logan said, "Give me some advice on what I can do."
"How about listening to her when she tries to apologize for acting goofy with me?" Zoe asked, "And how about her suggestion last night?"
"What?" Logan asked.
"God you're dense" Zoe said as she took a deep breath. "Buy her a rose and quit being an ass."
"Thanks Zoe" Logan said with a sweet smile as he turned and stopped in his tracks as Shady stood in front of him.
"You make my sister cry again..." Shady said in what Zoe thought was a barely contained rage. "...I'll make you the greasy spot in the parking lot, little boy."
"What crawled up your ass and died?" Logan asked and looking visibly shaken by Shady's rather blunt threat.
"You did" Shady said as she poked him in the chest. "You don't fuck with Mandy like that, or her friends, he bothering you Zoe?"
"No, surprisingly" Zoe said as she tried to hide her smile.
"I'm not afraid of you" Logan said in a less than convincing voice.
"You should be" Shady said as Katie ran up from down the hall and slipped between the two.
"Shay, chill" Katie said as she backed Shady away. "Come on, calm down."
"I'm cool Katie, I promised you I only wanted to talk" Shady said.
"And threaten me" Logan pointed out and looking a little more confident as Katie stood between him and Shady.
"I don't make idle threats little boy" Shady said as Katie hugged her. "That smart mouth is gonna get you hurt."
"Yeh I'm shaking Shady" Logan said with a dirty look.
"Come on Shay just walk away" Katie said with pleading eyes as she drew Shady's eyes to hers with a touch to her cheek, "Please for me?"
"OK, OK" Shady said before looking back at Logan, "Don't believe me, Logan, I dare you to make Mandy cry again and you'll see what happens."
"OK you promised me, let's go" Katie said as she backed Shady away and Logan turned to walk off the other way.
"One more thing" Shady said from a few feet down the hall.
"Shady, please" Katie said. "Just stop."
"No, I need to ask Zoe something" Shady said.
"Me?" Zoe asked.
"Yeh, you keep an eye on Mandy for me?" Shady asked. "For some reason, she seems to listen to you after last night."
"Me keep an eye on her?" Zoe asked.
"Yeh, you do that for me?" Shady asked.
"Of course" Zoe said as Shady flashed a smile and Zoe headed off to class herself.
"OK, you need to chill" Katie said to Shady, "One of these days you gonna tell the wrong person off."
"Look I get it that I get mad to easy" Shady said. "But that little punk made her cry."
"Yeh and you think Mandy didn't have anything to do with that?" Katie asked. "She's not exactly innocent."
"Yeh OK, good point" Shady said as she touched Katie's cheek gently, "But you gotta understand something to, you don't fuck with my family or the people I care about..."
"Yeh cause then Batman will have to rescue you" Katie said as Shady gave her a warning look as Katie laughed.
"...as I was saying, my dad always taught me to stand up for my family" Shady said, "And the people in my life who are important."
"Like, Joanna?" Katie asked.
"Yeh, I worry about her all the time" Shady said, "And you."
"You worry about me?" Katie asked as Shady smiled.
"Yeh, I'm getting used to having you around" Shady said. "And what is it with you cooling me off?"
"Like just now" Shady said, "I would have ripped Logan a new one if he'd ran his mouth that way and you weren't here. Joey just threw her hands up when I got like that and usually walked off."
"I'm not Joey" Katie said as she kissed her softly. "I don't wanna see you get hurt. I been to the hospital with you once and that's enough."
"No, you're not Joey" Shady said as she slipped her arms around Katie, "I never felt this way about her."
"How can you go from scaring me to melting my heart in seconds?" Katie asked as she slipped her arms around shady's neck. "Cause you do."
"It's called the life of Shady" Shady said as Katie giggled. "You can get off anytime."
"I don't think so" Katie said as they kissed softly for a long moment.
"Sluts" Joanna said with a giggle as she walked up with Brittany.
"Go away" Shady said as she turned to look. "I'm making out with my...with Katie."
"Your what?" Joanna asked pointedly.
"Yeh your what?" Katie asked as Shady froze.
"I dunno" Shady said finally.
"Well ask her to be your girlfriend" Joanna said with a push as Shady noticed the girl she thought must be, Brittany, hugging Joanna's arm.
"Yeh ask her" Katie giggled, "I mean, ask me."
"I....don't wanna...you know" Shady said as Katie smiled and touched her lips.
"We'll talk about this later?"
"We will, thank you" Shady said with a thankful smile, and then turning to look at Joanna.
"Who's the hot blond?"
"Brittany" Joanna said proudly. "We made it official last night. We're steady."
"Yep" Brittany said as she hugged Joanna.
"That's not a bit quick you think?" Shady asked.
"No" Joanna said, "We've known each other for a long time, so this time I'm not gonna let her get away."
"I'm not going anywhere" Brittany said as she nuzzled her cheek against Joanna's. "bout killed me the last time."
"Nice to meet you in person" Katie said, "I'm Katie."
"You too" Brittany said.
"Same for me, I'm Shady" Shady said, "Nice to meet you."
"This is the girl with the house bigger than our building" Joanna said as Brittany laughed.
"That'd be the Palace" Katie said with a giggle.
"And you're the daughter of Chi-Town Don right?" Brittany asked with a giggle and Katie could swear she felt Shady flinch for a second until she realized Brittany was kidding. "Shouldn't you be in hiding?"
"You picked one just like you didn't you?" Shady asked Joanna as Katie thought she was trying purposely to change the subject. "Wants to be a comedian."
"WOW who is that with Jessie?" Katie asked in shock as they made their way down the hall.
"That gorgeous creature is Stephanie" Joanna said as she looked back. "Not sure what she's doing here."
"Oh hey guys" Jessie said as she noticed the group as they passed by. "Katie..."
"Hey...Jess" Katie said softly, "Who's your friend?"
"This is Stephanie" Jessie said with a huge smile. "Stephanie Lynn Dimitri."
"Nice to meet you" Stephanie said softly as Katie's eyes roamed over her darkly tanned body and then to a site that for some reason surprised her. Jessie and Stephanie's fingers laced together. Shaking herself back to reality she smiled.
"I'm Katie and this is Shady" Katie said with a smile. "And you already know that clown and her new toy."
"Get it right Singer, she's my girlfriend" Joanna said as everyone laughed.
"Who cares" Jessie said playfully as she pushed Joanna.
"What are you doing here anyway?" Joanna asked Stephanie.
"Principal Bird said I could take a period and give her a tour of the campus" Jessie said.
"You moving down here?" Joanna asked.
"I don't know yet" Stephanie said, "I'm just enjoying being with Jessie."
"Me too" Jessie said as she kissed the back of Stephanie's hand.
"I'm happy for you Jess" Katie said softly. "I like to see you happy."
"This your ex?" Stephanie asked.
"Yeh" Jessie said as she grew a bit nervous suddenly. "We're trying to put the past behind us and be friends."
"Lot of history huh?" Katie asked as Jessie smiled.
"Too much...Billie" Jessie said as Katie's mouth opened in surprise as she laughed.
"OK enough flirting" Shady said as she put her arms around Katie and kissed her cheek as Jessie watched Katie smile and look back at her. She could see the way Katie looked at Shady now. She felt a twinge of loneliness for the past, that faded as soon as she realized who's hand she was now holding. Looking to Stephanie, she returned her ever present smile and squeezed their fingers together as they began to giggle to each other.
"Love is beautiful" Brittany said with a smile as she looked at Joanna and everyones attention was drawn to her. "It is."
"You were gonna show me the courtyard?" Stephanie asked as Jessie glanced at the clock and said, "Yeh guys, we'll see ya, I got classes in a few."
"See ya" Brittany said as Joanna bumped fists with Shady and followed after Jessie and Stephanie as they walked off too. Katie smiled as she watched them walk away and felt the feelings and the wounds of the past were beginning to heal now. She'd now seen Jessie and survived without wanting to beg her back and the funny thing was, she found herself not wanting to be back in that situation. Looking back she saw an all too familiar look on Shady's face, a mix of hurt and anger in her eyes.
"What's wrong?" Katie asked.
"You know" Shady said.
"What? Jessie?" Katie asked as Shady pulled away and walked off coldly.
"NOOOOOOOOO" Katie said with a growl as she grabbed Shady around the waist and hugged her. "You are not gonna do this again."
"Let me go, Katie" Shady said as she tried to push her away.
"Shady, please, I'm begging please stop and tell me what I did" Katie pleaded.
"I saw the way you looked at her" Shady said.
"I was shocked" Katie said as she tightened her grip on Shady. "But I adjusted, it was just a surprise, not me wanting her back."
"Whatever" Shady said as Katie poked her in the ribs playfully and then did it again and again until Shady was wrestling with her and smiling.
"Stop it, I'm gonna whip you" Shady said as her and Katie crashed against the lockers in a fit of giggles.
"You're the only one I want" Katie said as she kissed Shady's cheek playfully.
"But..." Shady said as her smile left her face before Katie kissed her softly, "I love you, do you get that Shay?"
"Excuse me?" Shady asked in surprise.
"You heard me" Katie said, "And I mean that."
"Not Jessie, me?" Shady asked.
"You" Katie said as she touched Shady's cheek. "Please believe me."
"WOW" Shady said with a stunned look on her face, "I do...I really do."
"It's over with Jessie, Shay" Katie said as she kissed her. "And if you don't wanna believe that, then we got problems."
"But see....ummmm...me too....wait, let me say it...I...ummmm...I love you too" Shady said as Katie smiled, "Just don't leave me. I'm trying as hard as I can."
"I'm not going anywhere" Katie said, "And I know you're trying, just have faith in me."
"Will you be my girlfriend?" Shady asked with a bright smile.
"Yes I will" Katie said as she kissed her softly. A few minutes passing as they kissed and just enjoyed the feeling of being together. Shady seeing a look in Katie's eyes she had always wanted to see. Katie felt Shady pull her closer as she ran her fingers through Shady's long red hair and kissed her softly and then saying, "Yes, Shady McCree, I will be your girl."
"I am the luckiest girl in the world" Shady said as she kissed Katie once again and spotted Jessie and Stephanie coming back down the hall.
"Hey Jess" Shady said as she took Katie's hand. "It's official."
"I'm her girlfriend now" Katie said with a shy smile.
"Break my heart" Jessie said as Katie blushed and felt Shady hug her from behind.
"Why don't you guys come and hang out at the palace sometime?" Shady asked. "You and Katie can hang out and I can hit on your hot friend...I mean we can, you know just hang."
"She's mine and all mine" Jessie said as she smiled at Stephanie and then saying in a giggle to Katie and Shady, "I don't share anymore, unlike you two...hint hint."
"You're gonna get it" Katie said as she smacked at Jessie's arm.
"God she's gorgeous" Shady said in a whisper into Katie's ear, referring to Stephanie as Katie looked back and nodded her agreement.
"What's the big secret?" Jessie asked.
"Nothing" Katie said, "I'll see ya Jess."
"Yeh, see ya" Jessie said as she watched Katie and Shady walk off hand in hand.
"You over her?" Stephanie asked as Jessie looked to her and said, "She was my first love, but I've only got eyes for you now."
"It's getting worse you know" Stephanie said as she pulled Jessie out of the flow of traffic and into a quiet spot by the janitors closet.
"My need to kiss you" Stephanie said as she grinned, "It's killing me every second that I'm not able to do it."
"Oh so you like kissing girls now?" Jessie asked as she stuck out her tongue and watched Steph blush.
"No, just you" Stephanie said. "You're the only one I wanna kiss."
"Let me help you out" Jessie asked as she kissed her for a long moment and slipped her arms around Steph. "Better now?"
"MMMMMMMMMM a little" Stephanie said as she kissed her again, licking at Jessie's upper lip as they soon began to massage her tongue with Jessie's in a long soft kiss. "I thought by now this might be leveling off some, but you're like my drug, I can't get enough of your smile, and looking into your eyes."
"You are so gonna spoil me" Jessie said, "Keep talking..."
"...and I honestly don't know how much longer I can go without you" Stephanie said, "And yesss I mean what it sounds like."
"HMMMMM, if you keep talking like that I won't be able to hold back either" Jessie said as her hands went to Stephanie's waist as she pulled their bodies to each other, feeling the bare skin under her fingers she felt a certain part of her body came to live. "I just don't wanna take something away from you that's that precious."
"That's my decision" Stephanie said, "And if I want you to, and I do, then you don't have a choice."
"Just gonna make me?"
"MMMMMMMM so many good ideas" Stephanie said as she kissed Jessie softly, their tongues touching lightly as the kiss lingered. "Whatta ya say, you wanna just ditch this and head back to Sarah's and see what happens?"
"I couldn't get much done anyway" Jessie said with a smile.
"Too busy thinking about me?" Stephanie asked as Jessie bit her bottom lip and nodded her head. "Lucky me."
"Lucky me too" Jessie said as Stephanie touched her cheek gently and looked into her eyes. "And what have you been thinking about?"
"Same thing I've been thinking about every day since you came back into my life" Stephanie said, "Thinking about you Jessie, thinkin' about you."
"Yeh?" Jessie asked, being stunned at the admission.
"I honestly never thought I'd feel like this" Stephanie said with a smile as she played with Jessie's hair. "I'm loving again in your arms and it feels like...I can't even describe it."
"How do I respond to that?" Jessie asked as she kissed her softly.
"Anyway you want" Stephanie said. "I just wanna get lost in your eyes."
"I've been lost in you for I dunno how long now" Jessie said. "You know I'm still reliving that moment in my mind when you came walking up my steps."
"I remember, my heart almost stopped when you said you were crazy about me" Stephanie said. "I knew then I didn't have a chance to resist any longer."
"It was like such a complete shock" Jessie said, "I knew you said you were coming but, with Joanna and Brittany and that mess it completely slipped my mind. Then when you did show, I knew I was in love."
"Did you know how I felt?" Stephanie asked.
"No I didn't and I tried to just act like I was glad to see a friend" Jessie said, "But once you hugged me and I felt you, I said what my heart wanted to say."
"I thought you liked me, seriously I did" Stephanie said, "And I just thought all the way up here about that and fought the urge to turn back. But I had no idea what you really felt."
"You know, not to change the subject but I think your friend was checking me out" Stephanie said with a wicked grin.
"No the other one" Stephanie said, "I swear she told that Katie girl, something like, God she's gorgeous."
"That's what it sounded like" Stephanie said.
"You are" Jessie said, "I thought that when I first met you, even though I knew you were straight, and didn't have this tan yet. You were still hot as hell."
"Yeh well, your eyes and your smile aren't the only things I noticed about you" Stephanie said. "I found myself thinking about that day we laid out in the yard when Sarah and Grace did the deed out by the cove. You in that bikini..."
"..and you in those daisy dukes" Jessie said as both giggled. "So hot."
"I got to the point one night I had to get on the computer to stop myself from fantasizing about you" Stephanie said.
"Like last weekend?" Jessie asked as Stephanie smiled knowingly as Jessie feared she might not know that she had been watched.
"Oh so you did see that?" Stephanie asked as Jessie smiled nervously.
"Didn't know you were watching for sure" Stephanie said, "But I sorta had a feeling you were."
"You're not mad at me?"
"Not like you picked the lock or anything" Stephanie said, "It just happened."
"The picture though" Jessie said, "The one on the screen."
"It didn't show anything hardly, barely my butt" Jessie said and looking to see no one was listening and seeing the hall was practically empty.
"Your eyes" Stephanie said, "They're mesmerizing. That picture just killed me."
"Was it good?" Jessie asked in a whisper as she moved her mouth to Stephanie's ear.
"You saw the way I acted after, dancing around" Stephanie said, "What do you think?"
"Why don't we talk about this more back at Sarah's?" Jessie asked with a playful, sizzling kiss.
"Yeh, let's just do that" Stephanie said as she felt Jessie pull her along towards the big double doors at the end of the hallway, leading to the parking lot.
** ** ** Meanwhile, near Marco Island, Naples, Florida
"Breath Sarah" Grace said as she looked over at Sarah in the passenger's seat. "In a few minutes you're gonna meet your dad."
"I know" Sarah said nervously as she tried to breath deep and control her nerves. "If you weren't here I'd be going crazier."
"Holy shit knobs" Sarah said as she looked down at the printout she had for directions and pointed out the route to Grace. Then looking up as they crossed the bridge leading to Marco Island and both saw the houses that lined the streets. "I hope he owns one of these instead of working for them."
"If he did, he'd have to be a live in butler of some sort I'm assuming" Grace said as Sarah pointed to turn one more time and said, "This is it, that's the last of the directions. So it has to be here."
"What number is it?" Grace asked as she looked at the paper as Sarah held it up.
"Ohmigod, baby look" Sarah pointed as Grace slowed in the car and they saw a man who, if it wasn't him, would be a dead ringer for the picture on the Cd they had brought. Grace pulled up to the curb and stopped as she opened the door and Sarah got out of the passenger's side and with shaky legs walked onto the grass as the man looked up and smiled charmingly. "I guess he does yard work. I don't care what he does."
"I knew you wouldn't" Grace said with a smile.
"Can I help you?" He asked as Sarah looked at the CD again and to him and nearly fainted as she knew for certain it had to be him.
"Yes...ummmm...." Sarah stammered as the nerves overcame her and her throat went dry.
"Are you Jeffrey K. Santzler?" Grace asked.
"Yes I am" He said as Sarah handed him the CD with shaking hands and asked, "Is that you?"
"OH wow, I haven't seen one of these in 20 years I bet" He said with a broad smile. "Those were the days. Are you fans or..."
"What?" Sarah asked he stared at her intently and then put his hands over his mouth and looked to be in shock.
"You look just like your mother, you have got to be Sara Grasser's daughter" He said as his smile spread.
"I'm...your...." Sarah started before her throat went dry.
"I never thought I'd live to meet you" He said softly, "My daughter, right?"
"Yes" Sarah said as tears streamed down her face and she practically jumped into his arms as he hugged her back and began to cry himself.
"Ohmigod" Grace said as she cried herself, standing a few feet away.
"God, you look just like your mama" He said as he moved Sarah's hair out of her face and smiled down at her. "Your every bit as beautiful as she was. Thank god, you got her looks and not mine."
"Hey" Sarah said as she laughed, "I happen to think you're very handsome."
"Well thank you" He said as he looked to Grace and asked, "I assume you're my other long lost daughter?"
"Noooooo" Grace said as she laughed, "He's your dad, same bad jokes."
"Bite me my girl" Sarah said as Jeffrey gave her a weird look.
"My girl?" Jeffrey asked. "You're sisters or just really close friends."
"No..." Sarah said as she moved next to Grace and took her hand, "I hope this isn't a problem...but this is Grace Manning, my girlfriend."
"Oh OK" He said as Sarah laced her fingers with Grace's. "Well it's a bit of a surprise, well actually it's quite a big one, but if she makes you happy."
"To be honest" Sarah said as she hugged Grace from behind, "She's my everything."
"I'm just happy, you're here" He said with a smile. "Should we walk inside?"
"This is yours?" Grace as she looked at the huge house.
"Yes, what did you think I worked in the yard?" He asked with a laugh as they made their way towards the door. "They have a lawn service, but they don't do a very good job so I get out every day or so and do a little myself."
"This is place is huge" Sarah said as they walked inside and saw the entry way and then the steps leading down to the living room. "All of this yours?"
"Yeh bought and for by for the Cd you're holding" Jeffrey said as they followed him down the two or three steps into the living room.
"It sold that much?" Sarah asked in surprise.
"What that?" He asked, "Hell no, you couldn't give them away with porn."
"But you said..." Sarah started before Jeffrey went on, "I said it paid for it, but not by record sales, the few copies it did sale the record company screwed me on the royalties, so I did the American thing."
"I sued the bastards for every damn cent they had and won" He said as he sat down and motioned for Grace and Sarah to sit. "The jury felt so sorry for me they tacked on another 20 million for insurance."
"20 million dollars?" Sarah asked in shock.
"No, food stamps" He said as Sarah rolled her eyes and looked to Grace and said, "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Grace asked.
"For making you put up with jokes that bad" Sarah said as Grace smiled.
"I don't love you for your jokes" Grace said.
"Then you can love me for my money" Jeffrey said as Grace laughed and Sarah stood up and threw her arms out and said, "Dad."
"Daughter" He said as they hugged and Grace covered her face as she laughed.
"Can I borrow 20 bucks?" Sarah asked as they laughed.
"So tell me everything, I wanna know my daughter" Jeffrey said as Sarah sat back down by Grace.
"Well, you already know about the most important thing in my life, Grace, so....just ask" Sarah said.
"You're from Chicago?"
"Yeh, I own a building on Mulberry Road" Sarah said.
"Do you have any brothers or sisters?" He asked.
"Nope, that I know of" Sarah said, "Do you?"
"One brother, and one sister" He said, "Your Uncle Ronald and Aunt Sheridan."
"Never been married" He said. "And to the best of knowledge you're the only one."
"Your mom and dad?"
"Mom's...crazy" He said as Sarah laughed, "She lives some 10 minutes from here and my dad lives in Tampa-Saint Pete."
"I have a grandma again" Sarah said as she laid her head on Grace's shoulder.
"And a cranky old bastard of a Grandpa too" Jeffrey said. "Curses like a sailor, whistles at the woman and don't forget a damn you thing you ever do."
"They don't know about me?" Sarah asked.
"Actually they do" Jeffrey said softly. "Mom and me have had our wars over the subject but I signed an agreement with your father, I mean Eugene, and I intended to stick to it and let you come find me."
"I understand" Sarah said, "My Mom and Dad, Sara and Eugene, both were killed in an accident about what four years ago, I think.
"Oh Sarah I'm so sorry" Jeffrey said. "If I had known, I would have sold anything I had to get to you."
"I know" Sarah said. "You know I never thought my dad cared a lot about me, but I found this letter in the glove box of his Mustang and he said he loved me most of all and that's how I found out about you. My mom thought I belonged to another man and the DNA test proved I didn't."
"I see" Jeffrey said. "Eugene gave me a copy of the DNA test he had performed, if you'd like to see it."
"Yes please" Sarah said as he excused himself and left the room.
"Pretty kitty" Grace said as a cat strolled into the room acting as if she owned the place. Sniffing around Grace and then Sarah for a moment and then jumping up into Sarah's lap and promptly sitting down.
"Her name is Ms. Sarah" Grace said as she looked at the cats collar. "She's beautiful."
"Just like her namesake" Sarah said as Grace kissed her and said, "I totally agree, my girl."
"Here you go" Jeffrey said as Sarah looked it over and took a deep breath and said, "You're really my dad."
"Damn straight" He said as he sat back down and noticed Ms. Sarah setting proudly on Sarah's lap. "I see you met the lady of the house."
"She's beautiful" Sarah said as the cat purred and crossed over into Grace's lap and sat down. Looking up at her now.
"She's claimed both of you as her own" Jeffrey said as Grace petted her. "She acts like she pays the bills and she lets me live her so I can feed her."
"Don't let him lie on you Ms. Sarah" Grace said pointing to Jeffrey, "Tell him off."
"OK, so sleeping arrangement's..." Jeffrey said.
"We've got a reservations at a hotel" Sarah said.
"I didn't asked that" Jeffrey said. "I have 5 rooms and only one is being used, so you two will stay with me. And I won't take no for an answer."
"OK" Sarah said with a smile. "So just pick one of the rooms at the top of the stairs and get settled in if you'd like and I'll get going on dinner."
"You cook?" Grace asked.
"Yeh I'm a master chef, degrees and everything" He said proudly.
"Maybe you could teach Miss I can burn water over here some things" Grace said as Sarah tackled her on the couch and they began to wrestle.
"We'll see" Jeffrey said as he laughed and left the room as Sarah pinned Grace down on the couch, both lost in a fit of giggles.
To be Continued....