Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org) & CJ Ames (email@example.com)
"Mom can you give me a ride down to Book Lovers?" Joey asked as she came into the kitchen and saw her mother working with papers scattered all over the kitchen table.
"No," Regina said in a tone that seemed to be meant to cut off all further questions on the topic.
"Why not, Judy needs me?" Joey asked. "What's so important?"
"Shut up," Regina said. "Joey, honey I am seriously under a deadline here and this is absolutely vital that I get it finished. Can't you take the bus?"
"Yeh why not, getting used to it," Joey said as she turned and walked into the living room. Hearing a knock at the door she smiled, knowing it was Cori. "Thank god a friendly face."
"Hey!" Marissa said with a friendly smile. "What?"
"I just hoped you were Cori," Joey said as she stepped outside.
"Yeh right," Marissa said with a smirk as she glanced in the window and saw a lady looking remarkably like Joey sitting in the kitchen. "That your mom?"
"Yeh, she's being..." Joey said before Marissa gave her an evil grin and took Joey's hand and pulled her inside. "What are you doing blondie?"
"Gonna introduce your new girlfriend to your mom" Marissa said as Joey just about fainted and struggled against Marissa to stop her from going into the kitchen. Crashing against each other as both started to laugh and then slipping on the throw rugs and catching into each other again as both crashed to the floor like a ton of bricks. Prompting Regina to look up and come into the living room to see Joey now wrestling openly with a giggling Marissa.
"You tell her that I'll kill you," Joey said as Marissa fought to get lose and said in reply while laughing. "I LOVE... OH GOD... YOU... JOEY LARUE..."
"Excuse me?" Regina asked from the entrance to the kitchen as Joey stopped and looked up in shock and heard Marissa laugh harder when she realized what had happened.
"Mom this is my friend Marissa," Joey said as she tried to get up and felt Marissa grab the belt loop in her jeans and pull her back down.
"Oh come on baby.... don't leave me," Marissa said as she tried to keep a straight face. "Just tell her who you love."
"I love Cori," Joey said as Marissa laughed and shook her head and said to Regina, "Don't let her lie to you, she dumped her for me, cause I'm better in bed."
"DO WHAT?" Joey asked as Marissa started laughing so hard her sides hurt.
"What did she say Joey?" Regina asked with a stern look. "Have you got some explaining to do?"
"Mom I swear to you it's not true," Joey said as she finally escaped and was able to join her mom as she stood. "I have never done anything with her that's why she's laughing. She thinks it's funny to embarrass me."
"My sides hurt..." Marissa said as she looked up at Joey and Regina, "Help me up please?"
"Tell her the truth first," Joey said as she took Marissa's hands anyway and pulled her up. "This is not funny anymore. You're gonna get me grounded."
"You're not mad at me are you?" Marissa asked as her smile disappeared. "I'm sorry I thought it was ok to goof like that."
"No, I'm not mad, just tell her the truth?"
"Ms. Larue, everything I said was just me trying to get a rise out of Joey," Marissa said, "None of it was true and I'm sorry."
"You finally met one with as warped a sense of humor as you," Regina said as she laughed as did Marissa.
"That is not funny Mom," Joey said as she felt a hand gently caressing her cheek and for a moment stopped to enjoy the light touch until she realized who it was as she pulled away as Marissa giggled and said, "Come on baby, gimme a kiss."
"UGH," Joey said in frustration as Regina laughed along. "Marissa Turner, I promise, you will pay for this."
"Oh I'm terrified," Marissa said as Regina smiled as she returned to the kitchen.
"OH you better be," Joey said.
"Joey Larue you like me too much to hurt me," Marissa said with a suddenly sweet smile.
"I never said hurt you," Joey said, "I just said..."
"I know," Marissa said, "It's our thing, right?"
"Yeh it is I guess," Joey said as she smiled. "Was a good one too."
"I like this game," Marissa said as she stepped closer.
"You do huh?" Joey asked as Marissa boldly pushed a stray hair across Joey's forehead and made her giggle and push the hand away.
"It's a delicious dance," Marissa said, "I've never met anyone like you. You are so easy to fall... I mean to like."
"Yeh you wish I'd fall in love with you," Joey said with a challenging smile as she pressed her forehead to Marissa's. Then saying in a low, almost whisper like sultry voice, "Make you love pussy."
"Maybe I already do and you just don't know," Marissa fired back as Joey smiled.
"Then if you like it so much, let's go upstairs, I can be quiet," Joey said.
"Judy wants us at the shop" Marissa said, "Henry's framing out the semi-circle today in the wall and she sent me to get you."
"I guess I win, change of topics?" Joey asked with a knowing smile.
"Noooo, I got the limo and it's about 20 minutes to the shop," Marissa said as she took Joey's hand, "If you feeling froggie, then you have my honest permission to...jump. Me."
"Whoa," Joey said in a stunned voice and knew she'd been one upped again by her new friend as Marissa walked away laughing. "Ok, you've had it."
"HELP JOHNSON!" Marissa screamed as Joey chased her out of the house. Closing the door behind her, Joey saw Marissa jump into the limo as Johnson opened the door for her like a gentleman. Stopping before she got in and spotting Marissa sitting on the far side, Joey asked Johnson, "You doing ok today?"
"Fine as rain Miss Joey," He said with a tip of the cap as Joey smiled.
"Good," Joey said as she dove into the car and tackled a squealing Marissa to the floor as Johnson smiled and returned to the front and drove away a few moments later just as Cori came out of the house and saw the car pulling out. Seeing Joey's mom come to the door and watch the car leave, she figured Joey to be inside and it sounded like who ever she was riding with was having a fun time.
"MS. LARUE!" Cori screamed as she waved and the car zoomed out of site. "DID JOEY JUST LEAVE?"
"SORRY SHE DID HON," Regina said, "WITH HER NEW FRIEND MARISSA I THINK."
"THANKS," Cori said as she turned to walk back inside, feeling a flurry of new emotions. Jealousy over Joey's sudden friendship with Marissa, a curiosity about the girl she had met earlier and a worry about her not being in love with Joey anymore. Her deepening worry, mixed with a serious set of knots in the stomach made her wanna go lay down and take a long nap. But just as that thought sounded good, her mood was broke as Marley came charging out of the house with that ever present sweet smile on her face as she ran from Passion.
"HELP ME!" Marley screamed as Cori scooped her into her arms and away from Passion. "Ha ha, Pashy."
"I'll get you later, Mar Bear," Passion said as she poked at Marley's belly. "We going to Joey's?"
"No, she just left with Marissa," Cori said.
"I'm sorry mate, I guess she..." Passion said as she trailed off and hugged Cori, "Maybe she just had to work?"
"I dunno Pash," Cori said softly.
"Joey not home?" Marley asked as she touched Cori's face gently. "We no go swimming?"
"Not right now," Cori said.
"Honey is Marley with you?" Lily asked as she came out of the house and was relieved to see Cori holding Marley. "Had me worried, I thought she had run off somewhere."
"Nope I was chasing her," Passion said proudly. "Sorry I worried you."
"I worry anyway so if it's not you, it's something else," Lily said as Passion laughed.
"CORI!" A voice screamed as Cori looked back and saw a smiling and barely dressed Rayne waving. "COME DOWN FOR A WHILE?"
"YEH HOLD ON!" Cori said as Rayne smiled and turned back to her car as she started spraying it down with a water hose.
"Can I go too Cori, please?" Marley asked excitedly as she watched Rayne spray her car down.
"Can we Mom, just for a little while?" Cori asked as Lily watched the smile leave Passion's face.
"Cori, honey I don't know."
"Come on Mom, please it's just right down there," Cori said. "You worry about me to much."
"Please?" Marley said with her hands together as if praying.
"Cori Tyler, you are just now getting over a major accident and I will not have you getting hurt again," Lily said as she hugged her. "Besides I'm not sure I like you associating with a girl such as that."
"Mom you don't know anything about her," Cori said.
"She's nice Ms. Lily, she gimme a box of cookies," Marley said as Lily smiled.
"Look at the way she's dressed," Lily said.
"I am," Cori said with a grin as Lily blushed. "Why do you think I wanted to go visit?"
"Cori Tyler," Lily said with warning finger point.
"Mom, you know I like girls, Joey's a girl," Cori said. "And she don't wanna be with me anymore I just wanna be with someone who does."
"I'll be inside," Passion said as she walked off and disappeared inside as Rick was coming out.
"Who hurt Passion's feelings?" Rick asked.
"No one Dad, she's just in a mood," Cori said. "Can I go down the street and visit my friend? Mom's being a pain."
"Sure but just for a little while," Rick said as Cori turned and walked off down the lawn with Marley.
"Hush," Rick said gently. "You can't be her world forever."
"I worry so much about her, she just doesn't know how much I love her," Lily said as she hugged Rick.
"Yes she does," Rick said confidently. "She loves us with all her heart and no matter how much Mr. Molloy wishes it weren't true it is."
"It's gonna be hard to see Passion go when she does you know?" Lily said. "I'm getting so attached."
"You think I'm not?"
"Hey!" Passion said from the porch. "Anybody wanna play a board game or something?"
"How about a movie instead?" Rick asked as he walked back over to the porch and put his arm around Passion as she smiled.
"Can I pick?" Passion asked.
"Any one you want," Rick said as she laid her head on his shoulder.
"I'm glad I'm here."
"Me too." Rick said as they walked inside.
** ** ** Down the street...
"Hey there cutie," Rayne said as she laid down her hose.
"Hi!" Marley said as she wiggled, wanting down.
"What about me?" Cori asked.
"Don't go far, Marley," Cori told her as she set her down and watched her go charging into the yard.
"You're way more than cute," Rayne said. "As long as you don't mind me saying so."
"As long as I can say the same," Cori said as she glanced at Rayne's body.
"Like my outfit huh?" Rayne asked as Cori blushed and said, "Yeh what there is of it, my mom almost wouldn't let come down here cause of that."
"Oh shit!" Rayne said with a laugh as she spied Lily still watching from the front yard. "Maybe I should put a shirt on?"
"Don't bother," Cori said. "She'll get over it."
"Good cause I'm comfortable with my body." Rayne said with a knowing glance as she turned to watch Marley pulling out the sponge from the bucket filled with soapy water and smearing it on the car with a laugh.
"Hey!" Rayne said as Marley froze and looked at her with a grin. "Who said you could help?"
"Cori said..." Marley started to say before she squealed and ran away as she dropped the sponge and Rayne chased her around the car. Cori smiled and moved to the back and knelt down as Marley came around the back and crashed into her. "You two tricked me."
"She is so cute," Rayne said as she played with a giggling Marley's hair as Cori found herself staring into Rayne's eyes. Marley looked back and then back to Cori and noticed the same thing and said pointedly, "You two look funny at each other."
"So are you, cute I mean," Cori said to Rayne as she started tickling Marley. Wiggling and squealing in laughter as Cori set her down, letting her go running away into the yard again.
"If I'm so cute how about taking your little sister home and hanging out with me for a while?" Rayne asked. "That is if you're really interested."
"Who wouldn't would be?" Cori asked and seeing a knowing smile on Rayne's face that made a 'certain area down there' come to life.
"Got the house to myself all weekend," Rayne said. "So boring and lonely, you should come over."
"Don't want ya to be lonely," Cori said as Rayne smiled. "What would we do?"
"Maybe I can help you get better?" Rayne asked. "Know what I mean?"
"WOW!" Cori said as Rayne laughed. "Slow down."
"Yeh, way too fast huh?"
"Yeh," Cori said.
"I'm telling you it's the chemistry," Rayne said. "We've not had one second of pause in the conversation now have we?"
"This is true, it feels good to have someone who wants to pay me attention." Cori said as Rayne blushed and moved beside her.
"I'll pay attention to you," Rayne said. "Honest I will. I don't play games and I'm a one girl, girl. I don't cheat I mean."
"Yeh like screw around on my girlfriend behind her back," Rayne said. "That sucks. I don't do that."
"Me either," Cori said as she took a deep breath and finally let the truth come out. "I have a girlfriend."
"Joey Larue?" Cori said as she pointed to the Larue house. "My girlfriend."
"I should have known," Rayne said as her spirits fell. "Then if you have a girlfriend, what's up with all the compliments and bringing the cute kid down here to soften me up?"
"I did not," Cori said, "Marley wanted to come, I swear. I couldn't come up with a plan like if I wanted to."
"Ok, then why are you here?" Rayne asked with a smile.
"Because Joey and I are going through a lot and neither of us know what to do," Cori said as she leaned back against the car beside Rayne. "And when I met you I knew things had changed between us. God's honest truth."
"Well you're not gonna dump your girlfriend for me." Rayne said.
"I know that."
"Joey's one of my ex's," Rayne said as Cori's jaw dropped. "It's true we dated for a year or so until she dumped me for that psycho Crazy Red. Shady McCree, the loony bitch with all that money."
"Only met her once," Cori said. "And I wasn't saying I was gonna dump Joey for you. Just being honest about what's going on. Besides Joey's new friend needs her right now, she was raped and Joey's trying to help."
"Oh really?" Rayne asked.
"Seriously," Cori said. "Why?"
"It's over Cori," Rayne said. "This is typical Joey."
"How could you possibly know that?"
"She's addicted to saving the damsel in distress," Rayne said and could tell Cori looked more confused that ever. Deciding to go on before Cori could interrupt her with more questions, "What I mean is, take me, I was on drugs and alcohol when I met her and she fought me like a wolf to get me clean and into rehab."
"Wow, so you're clean?"
"Yep, and loving it!" Rayne said with a proud smile. "Like I was saying, then when I got clean and sober and we could enjoy each other, she lost interest and started hanging out with Crazy red, that was the next one she wanted to save."
"But Joey told me that Shady didn't start therapy until she had already met me."
"Well she failed with crazy red and gave up on her when she met you," Rayne said. "You must have stole that girls heart."
"And her mine," Cori said.
"And now this new girl she's friends with was raped?"
"What Joey told me," Cori said. "They work together at my Aunt's book store."
"Like I said, she's moving on," Rayne said. "She saved you, look at you."
"Hey it's ok don't believe me and I hope I'm wrong," Rayne said. "But remember I've known the girl a lot longer and what I just told you is her honest history."
"WOW! The things you learn when you least expect it," Cori said as an undetected Marley found a new interest in the now slowly dripping water hose as she picked it up and inspected it closely.
"Well just so you know..." Rayne said with a playful poke to Cori's flat stomach and looked down at her body, "...if you wanna look... doesn't bother me. Looking never hurt anyone. But nothin will happen beyond that until you and Joey are through."
"That's fair," Cori said, "Can I still come over and talk sometimes?"
"Yeh I could use a friend."
"What does this do?" Marley asked as she pointed the hose towards Cori and Rayne and squeezed the trigger and squealed in laughter as water started spraying all over her sister and her friend.
"Good thing cause...MARLEY!"
** ** ** Meanwhile @ O'Hare International Airport
"Now how exactly are we gonna work this?" Jessie asked as Eli pulled into an empty spot not to far from the front doors of the main terminal.
"Eli's my boyfriend, the jerk, we fight about me cheating and you followed us to the airport to get me back," Stephanie said as if she had already explained this five times, "and you take me away in front of my clueless parents."
"What about me?" RaeAnn asked as she turned in the seat. "I wanna be involved somehow."
"I don't know," Stephanie said as Eli got out, and the other three soon followed. All meeting at the back of the car as Jessie suddenly had an idea. Thinking quickly she moved behind a surprised RaeAnn and hugged her and asked, "Wanna be my girlfriend?"
"Huh?" RaeAnn asked as she looked back at Jessie.
"You can get dumped too, talk about a mother of a practical joke," Jessie said as Stephanie's eyes lit up with interest. "You like beg me not to leave you for Stephanie, it could be hilarious."
"We totally switch partners," Stephanie said.
"So I'm hers?" RaeAnn asked with a knowing smile.
"Mmmmm-hmmm," Jessie said as RaeAnn played along and said. "Maybe Jessie and I should kiss, you know in front of the parents... to really sell it?"
"I like this plan more and more," Jessie said as Eli and Stephanie shot them dual dirty looks as Jessie and RaeAnn laughed.
"Little sister you better stop before Rae starts to like that," Eli said in an attempt to get a rise out of his girlfriend and sister.
"Who says I don't already?" RaeAnn asked. "I mean let's be honest, she's got your looks, so if she wanted to pay me attention for real, I think I'd like it."
"Seriously?" Jessie asked.
"Yeh why not?" RaeAnn asked. "I mean if we were both single, who's to say what would happen."
"WOW! Something I never knew," Jessie said as RaeAnn smiled.
"What about you Jess?" Stephanie asked with an interested smile. "You interested?"
"If we were both single," Jessie said and being thrown off-guard by Stephanie's question. "Yeh I would be. Rae's beautiful and smart, I see why Eli's crazy about her."
"Thanks Jess," RaeAnn said with a sweet smile.
"Oh shit, they're do in like an half hour," Stephanie said as she grabbed Jessie's hand and pulled her along as RaeAnn and Eli trailed behind for a moment.
"You got a crush on my little sister?" Eli asked as RaeAnn hugged him.
"You know I do," RaeAnn said as Eli smiled. "Just like you've got crushes on other girls, it's just a crush."
"I know," Eli said softly as he kissed her. "I'm glad she's got a girlfriend."
"Nooo, I wouldn't do you that way," RaeAnn said, "I said, if I were single. And her."
"Yeh, yeh, yeh whatever," Eli said as RaeAnn started to laugh.
35 Minutes later...
"Ohmigod Jessie there they are," Stephanie said as she pointed them out.
"Game on," Jessie said with a kiss as she smiled at Stephanie.
"You ready Eli?" Stephanie asked as he stood and took her hand as they walked a few feet ahead to meet her parents.
"Hey again lover," RaeAnn said with a giggle as she hugged Jessie. "Wanna sneak off for a while?"
"Hush," Jessie said as she slipped away and took RaeAnn's hand and pulled her along as both giggled.
"Want me to be a total jerk like we talked about?" Eli asked as Stephanie grinned her approval.
"MOM, DAD!" Stephanie said as she jumped into their arms as they both hugged her and looked around nervously as Jessie and RaeAnn stopped a few feet behind them and hugged up, pretending to be chatting as they waited for the signal. "Someone I want you to meet, this is Eli, my boyfriend."
"Excuse me?" Steve asked.
"Eli sweetie, this is my mom Linda and my dad Steve," Stephanie said with an adoring smile up to Eli.
"Sup, Moms and Pops," Eli said as Jessie and RaeAnn almost lost it in the background, drawing Linda's attention for a moment.
"You said you were dating some girl name Jessie," Linda said. "Now what's the story Stephanie Lynn?"
"You cheatin on me again?" Eli asked as Stephanie acted shocked and said, "Noooo god no never lover."
"Yeh right, like all other those times?" Eli asked as his fake temper flared and Stephanie singnaled to Jessie and RaeAnn to break in.
"I told you already, she was lying on me," Stephanie spat back.
"Ok ok calm down it's not that important," Steve said as Stephanie sold her part perfectly and glared at Eli. Who for his part was acting completely heartbroken. "We'll sort this out."
"NO STOP!" RaeAnn said as she held on to Jessie's arm loosely. "She don't love you."
"STEPHANIE!" Jessie screamed as people began to pay attention.
"What are you doing here?" Stephanie asked as she turned away and gave Jessie a perfect face to match her expression.
"Stop, you're gonna embarrass her and she don't even love you, but I do," RaeAnn said as she 'fought back tears'.
"Shut up Rae," Jessie said as she pushed her away and turned back to Stephanie and said, "I don't give a fuck who is here, I am in love with you and only you Steph I was just to stupid to realize it before now. You're the one I wanna be with."
"NOOOOOOOOO!" RaeAnn screamed in frustration as Eli fought back a case of the giggles, as did RaeAnn as she hid her face in her hands and pretended to cry. Steve and Linda watched in a stunned to silence gawk.
"You finally said you loved me," Stephanie said in fake shock as she carefully touched Jessie's face. "Did you mean it?"
"Whoa, so this is the hoochie you been screwin behind my back?" Eli asked as he stepped beside them.
"She's not a hoochie!" Stephanie spat back. "She's the sweetest girl in the world, more than I can say for you."
"Come on, will you just leave with me and we can go somewhere and ummmm... knock boots?" Jessie asked as Stephanie gave her a shocked look for a minute, not believing Jessie had actually said that. "Come on Stephy you know you like it."
"OHMIGOD!" Eli said aloud, "I am your boyfriend and those funny lookin people are your parents!"
"What did you say about my wife?" Steve asked as Stephanie knew she had to do something to bring the attention back to her. Thinking quick she leaned forward and kissed Jessie's lips softly.
"Oh wow, yeh let's go," Stephanie said as she turned and pulled Jessie along and by her parents before she was stopped by her father who looked pale white and shocked to his core at what he had just seen.
"Stephanie Lynn Dimitri have you lost your mind?"
"Yesssss she fuckin has!" Eli said in 'anger', "What about me and all the good times we've had?"
"Oh yeah and what about me... Jessie?" RaeAnn said as Steve and Linda looked in shock again as they looked to Stephanie and the girl whose name they now knew. "What about me?"
"HMMMMMMM," Jessie said, "How about you two hook up? She's a hottie Eli, what do you think?"
"Yeh, why not?" Eli said as he and RaeAnn smiled at each other and kissed a moment later as Steve lost it.
"WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?"
"Did we walk into a another dimension?" Linda asked as Jessie and Stephanie fell to the floor in laughter, soon followed by RaeAnn and Eli.
"Dad.. you're pale... ohmigod... white..." Stephanie said in a laugh as she tried to get to her feet but was dragged back down by Jessie.
"What in the fuckin hell is so daMN FUNNY?" Steve asked as his anger rose.
"HEY DAD," Stephanie said from the floor as her and Jessie continued to laugh, "guess what old man?"
"What?" Steve asked in a furious 'I've had enough voice'.
"GOTCHA!" Stephanie said as she laughed harder. "You been had old man."
"WHAT?" Linda screamed as Stephanie got to her feet and continued to laugh.
"Come on, Jess get up," Stephanie said as she pulled a still laughing Jessie to her feet. "Oh lord, that's the funniest thing ever."
"What is going on?" Steve demanded.
"You've been punk'd dad," Stephanie said as Linda watched Jessie hug Stephanie. "The girl with her arms around me is really Jessie."
"But who?" Steve asked as he pointed to Eli and RaeAnn, still laughing themselves.
"Everything you just seen was a huge practical joke, dad," Stephanie said with a proud smile. "Did I yank your chain hard enough?"
"I think you about killed him," Jessie said with a giggle.
"I don't know what to believe anymore," Linda said.
"Believe what you're seeing now, cause this..." Stephanie said motioning to herself and Jessie, "... is very real. That was just us play actin, but this is really Jessie Sammler, the girl I told you about on the phone."
"WOW, Stephanie you sure went for the prettiest girl in the room huh?" Linda asked as Jessie felt herself go numb in shock almost.
"Yeh, Mom I did, she is beautiful and she's good to me," Stephanie said. "Unlike Kyle ever was."
"Who are these two?" Steve asked, purposely bringing the attention back to himself as he pointed to Eli and RaeAnn.
"My real brother and his beautiful girlfriend, Eli Sammler and Rae Parker," Jessie said as Eli hugged RaeAnn. Catching RaeAnn's eyes for a moment, Jessie had to giggle when RaeAnn made eyes at her for a moment, one which Jessie gladly returned as both looked away giggling.
"Nice to meet you sir. Sorry about the funny looking people comment," Eli said as he shook Steve's hand and RaeAnn laughed.
"You too, not a big deal," Steve said and putting his hand over his mouth as he looked at Jessie and Stephanie and saying, "Oh my lord."
"What is it dad?" Stephanie asked.
"I just realized..." Steve said with a dramatic pause, "...you found one as evil as you."
"I sure did," Stephanie said as her and Jessie laughed. "Your life just got a lot more interesting."
"Excuse me for breaking up good times," Linda said, "But I wanna hear what this garbage is about poor Kyle."
"Poor Kyle?" Jessie asked in shock. "Woman you're delusional."
"Jessie calm down, let me handle this," Stephanie said before turning and going on, knowing she couldn't delay any longer, "Your poor Kyle cheated on me, and more than once I might add."
"Oh Stephanie you don't have any proof of that," Linda said.
"Did he?" Steve asked gently.
"Yeh he did, he broke my heart," Stephanie said as Jessie hugged her tighter. "And I don't care if you do believe it Mom, that piece of shit did break my heart."
"I wasn't there but I did see when he came to Indiana and tried to get her back," Jessie said directly to Linda. "You don't shake with rage like that unless somebody really wronged you. She did. Kyle's a piece of shit, I agree."
"I just don't know."
"This is your daughter woman," Steve said. "Get over it they're not getting back together."
"That's the truth," Stephanie said with a smile towards Jessie. "The girl I'm in love with healed my broken heart."
"That's the truth," Jessie said as she spun Stephanie around and kissed her. "Cause I love you too."
"Well..." Linda said in shock as Jessie and Stephanie looked at her and swore she almost approved.
** ** ** Meanwhile @ Book Lovers
"Has anyone ever told you you're smart?" Joey asked as she sat back down by Marissa at the table that now sported 8 computers all online and working.
"Nope everyone thinks the blond hair is an advertisement for my stupidity." Marissa said with a shrug as she looked back at Joey.
"I don't," Joey said as she raised her hand. "You did all of this by yourself."
"You helped plenty."
"Yeh I set them up with you but you got us online and everything," Joey said and then looking up to the front of the shop and seeing Goerge come in with a package. "I thought UPS didn't run on Saturday?"
"Special delivery," Marissa said mysteriously as she grabbed Joey's hand and pulled her towards the front of the store.
"Hey George," Joey said with a flirty smile as Marissa gave her a dirty look before both started laughing as Judy and Henry came through the by now framed out half circle between 'Step by Step' & 'Book Lovers'. "What's in the box?"
"I'd like to know that too," Judy said as George lifted the apparently heavy box onto the counter and handed Marissa the signing pad.
"Beats me." George said. "Nice to see you Joey and you too Judy. This is for your new employee."
"You?" Judy asked.
"But why have it delivered here?" Joey asked as Marissa smiled as the bell rang with the sound of George leaving.
"It's for you guys," Marissa said.
"But why?" Henry asked.
"Because you guys let me be your friend and I wanted to do something nice for you," Marissa said as Joey hugged her from behind. Giving Judy pause as she watched the two smile at each other and giggle softly. Thinking this pretty much confirmed her earlier suspicions, looking back she gave Henry a look and motioned with her eyes as he shook his head.
"So what is it?" Henry asked, purposely trying to change the unspoken topic.
"Open it," Marissa said with a bright smile as Joey began tickling her, Marissa squealing and squirmed away.
"Stop that lesbo," Marissa said with a huge smile as she ran behind the counter and found herself trapped as Joey followed.
"Will you two love birds knock it off?" Judy asked with a smirk.
"We are not..." Marissa and Joey said in unison before stopping and laughing as they fell against each other.
"OK," Henry said as he pulled out his utility knife and sliced the box open and both he and Judy smiled as they saw what was inside.
"What in the hell is that?" Joey asked as she looked at it in confusion.
"Cappuccino maker," Marissa said with a playful poke to Joey's ribs as her friend squealed and jumped away. "Is Joey really a blond?"
"No, you're the only cute blond," Joey said as Marissa smiled.
"What's this for exactly?" Judy asked.
"To make cappuccino duh," Joey said, "I thought that was obvious."
"You're fired," Judy said as everyone laughed.
"It's a nice one too," Henry said, "Thank you Marissa."
"You're welcome," Marissa said proudly. "I knew you guys could use one and plus it beats paying four bucks a cup at Starbucks down the street. We can charge less and keep them coming back right?"
"I say 3.99" Joey said as Marissa giggled.
"Marissa I do appreciate this," Judy said. "But I have no idea how to work this."
"It's pretty easy really," Marissa said. "It's like three steps or so. And the stuff is to die for."
"Well I guess we should hook it up and see if it works?" Henry said as he lifted it off the counter to the new table now sitting by the half-circle. Clearing the old coffee maker off and replacing it with the cappuccino maker. Judy looked at Henry and smiled. "Doesn't look like the same old shop does it?"
"Nope, thanks to you," Judy said as she kissed Henry. "Thank you."
"Don't I get any credit?" Marissa asked with a giggle as Joey poked her in the stomach.
"You do from me," Joey said as a giggling Judy and Henry disappeared through the half-circle in pursuit of something. "You are amazing."
"Yeh right," Marissa said.
"You are, the computers, the cappuccino maker, what's next?" Joey asked.
"I don't know," Marissa said. "Just something I wanted to do."
"So are you spending the night at my place or am I coming over?" Joey asked with a knowing smile as she moved closer.
"Joey, you don't have to protect me," Marissa said softly. "I'll be ok on my own for one night."
"If you don't want to it's ok," Joey said with a shrug of the shoulders.
"I didn't say that," Marissa said as Joey's smile returned. "I was just thinking maybe your girlfriend would wanna see you. She's gonna think there's something going on."
"She already does no doubt," Joey said.
"Oh," Marissa said as she grew nervous. "I'm trying not to cause trouble, I promise and I still am."
"No..." Joey said with a hand on Marissa's flat stomach as she started to walk away. "You have not done one thing to cause trouble."
"Really?" Marissa asked as her and Joey's eyes met for a long moment.
"No," Joey said as her hand stroked ever so slowly now up Marissa's stomach. Noting that her friend never made an attempt to pull away or offer any resistance. "But you done a lot right."
"Yeh you sure seem to think so," Marissa said as she looked down at Joey's hand with a knowing smile.
"You're not resisting, blondie," Joey said with a knowing smile of her own.
"Maybe I like it," Marissa said as Joey slid closer. Marissa giggling as Joey bumped her.
"I think you want me to do something," Joey said. "Huh?"
"UGH, Joey, just friggin kiss me already..." Marissa said with a growl and a moment later covered her mouth in shock as her and Joey both looked away in shock. "I'm sorry, Joey, that was out of line."
"So was my hand on your... ummm... you know," Joey said as her mind reeled at the actions she had just taken and the comment from Marissa that sounded almost like she wanted to be kissed. "I'm gonna go and... you know... umm... do something."
"Yeh you do tha," Marissa said as she took a deep breath and watched Joey walk off. Closing her eyes she finally let herself feel what had been building since the moment she met Joey and realized that she could no longer pretend who she was. A moment of panic followed as she tried to except the fact that she was... well, gay. Running her fingers through her hair she felt the on-set of frustration and hatred at her own feelings. Ones that had consumed her to the point of being the villain of Upton-Sincliare High for the better part of her three years there, the anger she spewed was almost always built from the anger she felt towards herself. Finally admitting it to herself, she suddenly felt a huge release of pressure as she smiled and looking back at Joey she smiled even brighter. Watching Joey work now on the computers, she saw what she had been blocking or trying to. Joey was beautiful, not only psyically but emotionally. Saying under her breath as she began to get excited about something for the first time in her life, "So what? I'm gay, not the end of the world. And there are some advantages to it, and you Joey Larue, you are one of those advantages."
"You say something?" Joey asked from the back as she looked up at Marissa. Judy just walking back through the half-circle as Marissa replied with a knowing smile, "I said you're hot Joey Larue, damn baby gimme some of that."
"Just friends huh?" Judy asked as she motioned from Marissa to Joey and back as both started to laugh out loud.