Carrie Ryan & K. Darblyne
"...Can’t I live a day without a drama plan?..."
A lull in the conversation brought a smile to Samuel’s face. It had been years since he could sit in his living room and listen to the gentle but sometimes teasing conversation of his daughters. How wonderful it felt to have them home again. He held out as long as he could, reveling in the moment before pushing himself up from the couch and stretching out the kink in his back.
“I would say I'm done for the evening.” He stretched his arms high over his head then quickly stifled the yawn that followed. “Sorry,” he cleared his throat. “Well, I'm going to bed." Samuel walked over to his oldest daughter sitting on the floor, her back against the entertainment cabinet and leaned over to kiss the top of her head. "Good night, Sweetheart. I'll see you in the morning."
"Good night, Daddy." Sam reached up and hugged her father before giving him a kiss on his cheek.
"Come on, Sarah.” Samuel straightened up, cracking his back in the process. “You too. It's getting late and your sister-in-law's not feeling well.”
“But…” the girl turned to protest. Sarah stopped, seeing the stern expression on her father’s face.
“I'm sure Sam is anxious to get back upstairs, so go on and tell her, good night." He motioned toward Sam.
The teen leaned over and settled for a hug as well. Standing up, Sarah then offered her hand to Sam. “Come on old lady, I’ll help you up.”
The angelic look on her sister’s face halted the sharp retort on the tip of Sam’s tongue but not the dirty look that was sent in Sarah’s direction. “Thanks, sis.” Sam smiled politely. “Good gods, I love being a family again.” The young woman’s attention was drawn to the older woman making her way down the stairs and into the room. “Shh!” The blonde’s finger went to her lips, green eyes directing her sibling to their approaching mother. “You better hurry before the warden calls lights out,” she whispered.
“Night.” Sarah giggled, giving her sister a childish wave of her hand, then scurried off toward the stairs. “Good night, Daddy. G’night, Mother.” She stopped only long enough to drop a passing kiss to her parents’ cheeks.
Having dismissed her youngest daughter with a quick wave of her hand, Elaine veered off to a corner of the room. Preoccupied with her thoughts, she began turning off the various lights around the room as her husband and youngest daughter made their way upstairs.
"Good night, Mother." Sam said as she made her way across the room.
The woman hesitated for only a second before heading her daughter off. "Actually, Samantha,” Elaine’s hand came to rest on her eldest daughter’s shoulder. “I was wondering if you would care to share some hot cocoa with me.”
There was a moment of silence as Sam thought about the proposition. "The same kind you used to make me when I was up late with my school work?"
A genuine smile crossed Elaine's face at the memory. "The very same."
The corners of Sam’s mouth edged upward into a smile. "Yeah,” the blonde nodded. “I think maybe I will."
One after the other, the two women walked into the kitchen. Sam staked her claim to a seat at the table. Silently Sam studied her parent as Elaine prepared the two cups of steaming liquid.
When they had been stirred to her liking, Elaine reached up into her cupboard and retrieved a bag of marshmallows. Stealing a glance at her daughter, she smiled before taking a small handful of the fluffy pillows and tossing them into each cup. After another stir or two, Elaine carried them over to where her daughter was sitting.
"Here you go, Samantha."
"Thanks." Sam took the cup and wrapped her hands around it. "I haven't had hot cocoa like this for ages." She looked down into the melting mass of white floating on brown liquid. "I’ve tried, but I can never make it taste like yours."
Elaine nodded as she sipped from her cup. "I know what you mean. Your grandmother makes one mean omelet. I've watched her a thousand times whipping those eggs into a frothing frenzy, but for the life of me..." the woman’s words trailed off into thought.
Anticipating the next words, Sam looked over to her mother's face and the contemplation in her eyes. She waited for a moment, studying her mother in great detail. It was the first time in years that she'd been this close to her without someone spouting off in anger. "Mother," Sam hesitated for a second, "is there something wrong? You stopped so abruptly, I thought, maybe..."
"Huh?" Elaine shifted in her seat, setting her cup back on the table. "I'm...uh..."
"What were you thinking about?" Sam reached out, laying her hand on her mother's arm. "It's not something with Grammie, is it? She's not sick...or something? Is that why she's coming here for a visit?"
"She's fine, Samantha." Elaine cleared her throat and stared down into her steaming cup. "I was...thinking about how funny life is."
"Funny, Mother?" Sam's brows furrowed.
"Yeah, funny.” Elaine sighed. “When you think you know all the answers, there's always something to make you see you're never truly in control of what happens." She picked up her cup and sipped from it. "If I'd only known that earlier," she mumbled, wrapping both hands around her cup as she sat it down on the table, "life would have been so different for all of us."
"I don't understand."
"You take after your father, Samantha. You roll with the punches, obviously." Elaine gave a faint smile and sighed. "You two seem to bounce back from anything and take it all in stride...at least on the outside.” She studied the dark brown liquid in her cup. “Me,” Elaine smiled wryly, “I just let it consume me with self-doubt and fear. Maybe that's why I've made such a shamble of my life.” Her gaze met with her daughter’s. “I've punished you when I should have been punishing myself."
Sam watched silently, not knowing what to make of her mother's statements. After a prolonged pause, she said the only thing that came to her mind. "Whatever it was, Mother...I'm sure you could correct it if you tried."
Sorrowful eyes rose to meet Sam's. The look of pain that was etched into Elaine's face was so grief-ridden the young woman felt tears of her own threatening to roll down her lashes and onto her cheeks. Without saying a word, her mother rose from the chair and retreated hastily from the room, her fist clenched tightly over her mouth muting her sobs.
“Mother?” Sam called out but no answer came in return. "What the hell just happened here?" She whispered, glancing toward the doorway her mother had just passed through. The young woman stared at the empty chair next to her and the steam still rising from the deserted cup before taking a sip from her own cup of cocoa. "Okay that's enough quality family time for me.” She thought better of her statement and corrected it. “Well...at least my growing up family, that is." She sipped from her cup again and a sexy smile came to her face. "Now, for my own family..." she wiggled her eyebrows and purred, "I've got the rest of my life starting right now." She took a swallow or two more from her cup then wiped her mouth with her hand. Her gaze slowly wandered over to the empty chair where her mother had been sitting and Sam sighed. “It was nice while it lasted. Lesson one in parenting, never just up and walk away from your child.” Sam took in a breath then slowly let it out. “No matter how old they are.”
Standing up, she pushed her chair under the kitchen table before taking both cups to the sink. Sam placed the second cup in the sink as the beginnings of a smile came to her face. "Okay Brooke, I'm all yours."
The next morning, Brooke felt Sam begin to stretch. She curled further into her wife’s back and began to nuzzle the soft skin behind her ear.
Sam reached her hand behind her and cupped the back of Brooke's head as feather light kisses were planted all across her neck.
"Hmm...” Sam purred, basking in the sensuality of the moment. “The whole time I was growing up, I never really thought I would have my favorite drummer in my bed. Not in a million years.” She smile whimsically. “I mean, I dreamed of you being there but could never really truly imagine it." The younger woman turned to engage her wife in a kiss of her own.
Brooke stopped Sam’s motion within an inch of her lips. "Darlin', you might not want to do that. Thanks to that medication yesterday, I have cotton mouth and morning breath worse than a dragon's ass."
"I don't care. I want my kiss," Sam said defiantly, as she pulled Brooke closer for a proper kiss. After a few leisurely moments spent exploring the other’s mouth, each woman pulled away to gaze into the other’s eyes. Slowly the grin spread across their faces. At exactly the same moment each spoke what was on their mind.
"Why don't I grab our toothbrushes?" Sam said.
"Why don't you grab our toothbrushes?" Brooke suggested.
A round of laughter erupted as Sam slipped one foot out of bed and walked over to their overnight bag to grab the items in question.
"Did you sleep alright? How do you feel this morning?" Green eyes sparkled as she watched her wife ease out of the bed and make her way into the small bathroom connected to the bedroom.
“I’m a little sore but I’m okay. I couldn't get comfortable earlier in the night but I seemed to be fine once you crawled in next to me.” Brooke went to the sink and began to splash some cold water on her face. “You wanna hear something funny?”
“What’s that?” Sam entered the doorway and reached for a towel.
Using the offered towel to dry her face, Brooke moved over to make room for Sam. “When I dozed off I must have left the bedside lamp on.”
“So what?” The words were muffled coming from around a suds-filled toothbrush. “It was off when I came to bed.” Sam shrugged, pulling the toothbrush from her mouth. “Don’t worry about it.”
“I wouldn’t, normally.” Brooke looked at her disheveled hair in the mirror and tried to tame it. “I mean, I’m not. I think I know how it got turned off. Your mother came in, tucked me in, and then turned it off.”
Sam almost choked on her toothpaste. “She what? My mother
tucked you in?” The smaller woman’s eye
grew larger. “Thank God you had pajamas
on,” she whispered.
Brooke could only nod as she brushed her teeth. “Either that,” she paused long enough to rinse her mouth out, then continued, “or I must have been having weird dreams but I'm pretty sure she did.”
“I guess she really is changing.” A look of disbelief came to Sam’s face. “I wonder what your parents said to her.”
Brooke finished rinsing out her mouth, then dried her face again before handing the towel to Sam. “Actually, I think I know why she's being so nice.” She gazed over to her wife.
“Because…you're such a wonderful person.” Sam stood on the tips of her toes to accent her reason with a kiss to the taller woman’s cheek. “Because…you're my wife.” Another kiss was placed on the woman’s chin. “Because…”
“She thinks I’m dying, Darlin’.” The words obviously interrupted the blonde’s train of thought. Brooke watched the shock register on Sam’s face.
“Dying?” Sam pushed back to see the absolute seriousness of her wife’s face. “You’re not joking are you?”
“Where in the hell did she get that idea?” A momentary flash of anger swept across the
woman’s face. “You aren’t, are you?” A surprised look came to Sam’s face. “Oh My God! Did she poison the lasagna?” Sam’s face began to pale at the thought.
Brooke placed both hands on Sam’s shoulders in an attempt to calm her down. When that didn’t work she pulled Sam into a tight hug ignoring the dull ache in her lower abdomen. Her only thought was to console her wife.
“Baby, you know I’m not dying,” she reiterated, gently kissing the top of
Sam’s head. “I think your mother is
under the impression our reason for being at a doctor in
Sam pulled back and looked into Brooke’s eyes. “You’re sure?”
“Pretty sure.” Dark hair shook in time to the musician’s nodding head.
“Cancer, huh?” Sam sighed in relief before breaking out in laughter. “That’s pretty funny now that I think about it.” The blonde covered her mouth. “She thinks you have a growth.” Green eyes twinkled with mischief. “Just wait until she finds out that I’m the one it will be growing in.”
Brooke smiled as she thought of what they were trying to achieve. “And that you got it from me.” She leaned in and kissed her wife on the nose.
“Maybe that’s why she was acting so weird?” Sam muttered under her breath.
“Last night. She invited me to sit and talk over some hot chocolate and then…” Sam shrugged, “she started talking about the past and then just stopped.” She held onto her wife a little tighter.
“And?” Brooke held her breath.
“I’m not sure what happened. Mother got up and like the wind, she was gone.”
“So...” the taller woman sighed, breaking the embrace and slipping out the door. “Should we both go tell her that I'm not sick or wait until she's grown to love me?” Dark eyebrows wiggled playfully at the thought.
Sam pondered the question for only a second before replying. “Let's wait. It will serve her right.” The blonde followed her wife into the bedroom. “Besides, maybe thinking she only has a little time to get to know you will help.” She crossed over to their suitcase and pulled out several articles of clothing, offering them to her wife.
“Darlin’, that’s almost…wicked.” Brooke said the last word with an arch to her left eyebrow and a mischievous smile.
Green eyes shot wide open. “Hey, you packed them, not me.”
“Not the clothes, Darlin’, I was referring to us allowing your mother to believe that I’m dying. Do you really think it’s wise? I mean…wouldn’t we be deceiving her?”
The blonde took in a breath and slowly let it out while she thought. “Maybe, but it might teach her a lesson.”
Brooke took the clothing and tossed it onto the bed before pinning her wife with a gaze. “And that would be…?”
Green eyes flickered around the room as Sam thought of an answer. Finally it came to her. “That you can’t choose whom it is you fall in love with. It just happens once you get to know them.” The blonde’s jaw was set with determination.
“You want your mother to fall in love with me?” Brooke cringed.
“No.” Seeing the subtle smile tugging at her wife’s lips, Sam reached out and slapped playfully at Brooke’s shoulder. “You know what I mean.”
“Yeah,” the older woman nodded, “I do.” Brooke pulled her wife back into an embrace. “Devious,” she smiled, “but I like it. The end result may justify the means.”
“Hey, I learned from the best.” Sam smiled as she snaked a finger inside the collar of Brooke’s pajama shirt and pulled the taller woman down for a kiss. “Care to dispute that?”
“Never,” Brooke whispered just before their lips touched.
No sooner had the kiss deepened when Sam’s cell phone rang. Twin groans echoed through the room as a pair of blue eyes rolled toward the sky.
“Why us.” Sam took in a deep breath. “You know…if I was a betting woman, I’d say it’s probably my father with his impeccable timing.” Sam rolled her eyes in irritation as well.
The long-armed executive grabbed the phone from the dresser and studied the caller ID. “Good thing you’re not a betting woman because you’d have lost.”
“Huh?” Blonde brows furrowed.
Brooke clarified, “It’s the doctor, Baby.” With a chuckle she corrected herself and handed the phone to her wife. “I mean, it’s the baby doctor.”
The sound of a swift knock at the door gathered their attention.
“Sam! Grammie’s here.” Sarah’s voice could be heard as she opened the door to her sister’s room. “Oops, sorry, Brooke. I didn’t interrupt your…” the girl cleared her throat rather obviously, “prayers, did I?”
Brooke held a finger to her lips. “No, Sarah, you didn’t interrupt our prayers. We’ll be right down just as soon as Sam takes this call.”
Cellphone in hand, Sam took a deep breath and
flipped open the phone. “Hello?”
“Okay,” Sarah shrugged. “I’ll just tell Grammie that you two are busy up here.” The teen winked and closed the door.
“Can you hold a second?” Sam hit the mute button with her finger. “Sarah, I’m trying to talk to someone here.” She turned to Brooke. “Are all little sisters that annoying?”
“Darlin’, that’s nothing compared to C.C.” Brooke chuckled. “Or me, in Randi’s case.”
Shaking her head, Sam took a deep breath and hit the mute button again. “Sorry, I was being distracted. Let’s start this over again. Hello?”
“Good morning, Sam. This is Dr. Dennison. How are the proud Mommies-to-be this morning?”
Sam released a long breath she didn’t even realized she had been holding. Nervously, she glanced over to Brooke. “We're doing well this morning. How's our little ones?”
“Well, everything looks good on Brooke's end. Her eggs are resting comfortably in a Petri dish. We've introduced the sperm and Mr. Hardy's swimmers are making some new friends. We'll know soon enough. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to perform your end of the procedure on Monday.”
Sam took a deep breath and looked over at an anxious Brooke. “Wow! That soon, huh?”
“What?” Brooke mouthed the word, then continued with more silent inquiries. “When? What is she saying?” The woman’s blue eyes grew in intensity. “Sa-am,” She finally vocalized her annoyance at being kept in the dark.
“Sh!” The blonde had to restrain herself from wanting to laugh. Turning her back to her lover, she attempted to concentrate on the voice coming through the phone.
“Sam, I learned a long time ago to never look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when it comes to procreation. If everything continues to go well, we should be ready to go by early Monday afternoon. That way we have time to get you in and get you prepped for the procedure.” The doctor paused for a moment. “And while I’m thinking on that line…how’s Brooke this morning. Any after effects of the harvesting?”
The blonde looked at her wife. “Well, she was in a little pain last night but the pills seemed to ease it. The only after effect it seems, is my mother.” Sam smiled at her joke.
“What is she saying?” Brooke whispered, her curiosity obviously peeked. “Is everything okay?” The drummer’s patience was running amuck.
“Brooke. Please.” A stern gaze met her lover, then immediately the blonde’s expression softened. Sam cupped her hand over the phone. “It’s alright. Everything’s fine.” She reached out and patted her wife’s shoulder before turning her attention back to the voice coming over the phone.
“Your mother?” Confusion was evident in the doctor’s voice.
“Long story. Sorry.” Sam apologized.
“Okay. We'll see the two of you Monday afternoon. Have a nice weekend Sam.”
“You too, Dr. Dennison. Thanks for the update.” Sam barely had time to disconnect the call before Brooke started firing questions at her.
“What’d she say? How are our babies? The eggs…they’re babies now, aren’t they?” Brooke gulped. “I mean, Eddie’s guys did the job, right?” Her wife’s silence brought a round of nausea to her stomach. “Sam…” the older woman took in a breath and let it out. “What did she say?”
The temptation to tease the woman lingered in the blonde’s mind. One look into Brooke’s hopeful blue eyes and Sam knew that she couldn’t. It was too serious of a matter to them both. “Not much.” Sam shrugged. “It looks like your eggs are making some new friends. Conception is under way. Next step…” the petite woman paused for effect.
“YES?” Blue eyes grew larger and more intent with anticipation.
An impish smile came to Sam’s face and her eyes twinkled. “Impregnation.”
“Really?” Brooke suppressed her excitement. “When?”
The dark haired woman was speechless. Slowly a huge grin split her face from ear to ear. “Yeah?” She asked in disbelief.
“Yeah.” Sam nodded.
Filled with emotion, Brooke kissed her wife as passionately as she could. Ending the intimate touch abruptly, she mustered her last breath of air to say what was foremost in her mind. “I love you, Samantha Gordon.”
“I love you too, Brooke.” There was a moment of silence as their gazes met and held. Reaching up on tiptoes, Sam placed a chaste kiss on her wife’s lips then stood flatfooted on the floor. “Now that we have that settled,” she smiled, “let’s head downstairs so I can introduce you to my Grammie.” Sam tugged at Brooke’s hand as she turned and headed for the door.
“Yeah?” The petite woman reached for the doorknob.
“Wouldn’t it make for a better impression if I got dressed first?” The hint of a smile toyed with Brooke’s lips.
The blonde’s head snapped around to view her lover. “Yikes!” She let go of the doorknob and quickly headed back into the room. “Good idea. Let’s get dressed.”
"Now, Brooke, be nice. Remember you're dying and there won’t be enough time for apologies." Sam emphasized her suggestion with a poke to Brooke's backside as she started down the stairs. “There’s something you need to know about my grandmother, Brooke.”
“Grammie’s not exactly a person that you’ll see eye to eye with.”
The taller woman stopped and turned toward her wife. Sam could only smile as Brooke arched her eyebrow.
"Don’t worry. I'll be nice, Darlin’.” She continued down the steps. “It’s my nature."
"Oh look, Brooke. Grammie hasn't changed a bit since I last saw her."
Brooke smiled at the enthusiasm in Sam's voice. Finally reaching the bottom of the stairs, Brooke noticed Elaine and started to make her way over towards her mother-in-law.
"What do I say?" Brooke whispered out of the corner of her mouth.
"A little hello goes a long way," Sam whispered back.
She looked down on the woman whom she assumed to be Grammie Addams. "Cute Sam, a little hello? Is that because she’s a mid…” The sharp jab into her ribs elicited a surprised response. “Oowww!"
Sam quickly nudged Brooke in the arm as she moved in front of the taller woman. "She's vertically challenged, Brooke.” The blonde said under her breath. “She hates the word midget.”
After scratching her head, a thoughtful look came to Brooke’s face. "I wasn’t going to say midget. I was about to say…ah…mi-i-i-i-ghty small…er…middle…I mean, little."
By the look of horror on Sam's face, Brooke could tell that her thoughts came out a little louder than originally intended. She couldn't hide the look of embarrassment that colored her cheeks.
"Hon, in your family, anyone under five foot nine is little and under five foot is a midget.” Sam turned to meet her relative’s gaze. “Grammie,” a smile flashed across the young woman’s face. “It's so good to see you.” Sam leaned over to hug her Grandmother. “Don't mind Brooke. She's just..."
"A giant!" The elderly woman threw her hands up and started to run around in circles. "Run for your lives. She's going to stomp on us all!"
Brooke backed away from all the commotion. Unsure of what to say or do, she looked over to Sam. "Sam, I'm sorry. I...I didn't mean for that to... er...I mean...God, I don’t know what I mean." It took her a moment to realize that both Sam and her beloved Grammie were both laughing at her.
"You didn't think my hearing was that good, did ya’?" Grammie was all smiles as she looked up at Brooke's confused face. She turned her attention towards her daughter. "Elaine...did you spring a new one out or is this some friend of Samantha's?"
Elaine cleared her throat a couple of times, unable to answer.
“Grammie,” Sam began to explain, “Mother didn't spring anything out."
The extremely short woman looked up at Brooke. "Oh, no? Then what’s this standing here in front of me?" The woman moved her head to look from a different perspective. “A skyscraper?”
"No, Mother.” Elaine began to wring her hands together. “This skyscraper, as you call her, is Samantha's....uhm..." Elaine fumbled for a moment before finally spitting out. "This is Brooke, my daughter-in-law."
Brooke looked pleasantly surprised at the woman. Feeling a bit mischievous, she glanced over to Sam and winked before walking over to Elaine. “That's right. Good morning.” She put an arm around Elaine's shoulder and kissed her on the cheek. “Mother Moleson."
Turning to see her father walking into the room, Sam started coughing at the display.
Stopping next to his daughter, Samuel began to pat her gently between her shoulder blades. "Sammie? Did something go down the wrong way? Are you okay?"
A small hand came up and covered the larger one, now on her shoulder. "I'm fine, Daddy. Thank you. I'm just a little dry." Sam looked over at Brooke who still had an arm around her mother's shoulder.
"Thank you for tucking me in last night, Mrs. Moleson. That was very thoughtful of you."
"My pleasure, Brooke." Elaine actually surprised herself at the ease in which she spoke those words. "You're like one of my children; being part of the family now and all. Please…call me mom."
Samuel’s eyes opened wide in disbelief.
"Ahh...thank you.” Brooke blinked a few times at what she believed to be sincerity coming from Elaine. Feeling a need to get the emphasis off of her, she changed the subject. “Would it be alright if I got a cup of coffee?"
"You want coffee?" Elaine grabbed Brooke's hand and walked her over to the couch. "You just sit right here with Mother... I mean your Grammie and I'll bring it in for you.” She moved away, then stopped, turning back toward her daughter-in-law. “You like that black, right Dear?"
Brooke looked over at Sam and shrugged her shoulders before turning back to Elaine. "Uhm...that would be fine but I could get it. Really."
"Now, now Brooke, I insist. You need your rest, Dear. You just sit back and have a nice visit."
"Uhm…what can I say but thank you."
The Molson matriarch smiled politely then turned to the others. "Samantha, Mother...can I get coffee for you as well?"
"Strong please, Mother," Sam requested. “Thank you.”
“I’ll take the same only add a little milk to mine.” Grammie nodded her head. “How about you, Samuel?” She came around the corner of the couch and sat down.
“None for me. I’ve already had my fill.” He shooed his wife off into the kitchen.
"Good morning, Mr. Molson.”
“Samuel,” he corrected her politely.
“Samuel,” the dark haired woman smiled nervously. “Sorry about that. How are you, Sir?" Brooke offered him the seat next to her.
Samuel shook his head and smiled as he grabbed the morning paper from the coffee table and waved it. "Fine and you, Brooke? You must have gotten enough sleep last night. I can see you're looking a bit more... refreshed this morning."
"Yes Sir, I am. Thank you." The taller woman shifted in her seat to make room for her wife. Once they were seated, Brooke placed Sam's head on her shoulder and leaned over to kiss her short blonde locks.
"That's great, Brooke. I guess I'll just...ah…go help Elaine with that coffee. Mother Addams,” Samuel excused himself and followed the steps of his wife into the kitchen.
A throat cleared from beside them and the newlyweds turned to see the look of amusement on the older woman's face. "So, Samantha, are you going to properly introduce me to this giant or do I just keep calling her that?"
Sam smiled at the ribbing. "Sorry, Grammie. This is my wife, Brooke Gordon." Sam turned to Brooke and waved her hand toward the older woman on the other end of the couch. "Brooke, this is my Grammie, Lillian Addams, the hippest Grammie I ever knew of." Sam scooted down the length of the couch and placed an arm around the older woman's shoulder. "What do you think, Grammie? Did I pick a good one or what?" She glanced over to see Brooke begin to blush under the close scrutiny of the shorter women.
"Well... Sammie, you picked a ripe one that's for sure. She looks damn good in red, too." Grammie chuckled mercilessly. “Bet she looked even better in a tux too.” The older woman grew serious. “That is what she wore at the commitment ceremony, isn’t it? Man, I would’ve liked to have seen that.” She looked over to Sam. “Too bad you didn’t wait for me to be in town before getting hitched.”
“Uh…that would be my fault.” Brooke sat up straight. “Sam didn’t know about the commitment
ceremony until I popped the question in
Lillian lightly smacked her granddaughter across her stomach then in a more serious tone she added, "And she's so polite, too."
"Ah...Sam?" Brooke asked in bewilderment. "Am I missing something, here?"
The brunette's question caused a whole new round of laughter before Grammie slapped her knee and wiped a tear from her eye.
"Brooke, honey, you're not missing anything. If Grammie's not joking with you or teasing you, then she's mad at you. Think of her as C.C. in fifty years," Sam tried to ease her wife’s confusion.
"Damn right. I like her, Sammie. I think I'll be laughing a lot with her around."
Emerald green eyes lit up as bright as any light on Broadway. "Does that mean you'll be staying for a while?"
"Well, if thirty minutes is a while then
I guess I am.” Lillian looked back and
forth between the two younger women in the room, her brown eyes warm and
sincere. “I'm sorry, Sammie. I've got a hot date with a book salesman in
Brooke wrapped an arm around her wife's shoulders. "Well, when will you be back in town? We could visit with you then."
Lillian tugged on her right ear as she thought
for a moment. "I don’t rightly
know. I have to be in
“Better than my life before I was married.” Brooke smiled.
“She treats me too well, I think.” Sam patted her wife’s hand.
“Do not!” “You do too.” The feisty blonde countered.
“Yeah, I can see it.” Lillian nodded. “Newlyweds for sure. I remember those days. Enjoy them now before the real fighting starts.” She looked at her grandchild. “You know, like what position to use tonight.” The older woman winked, chuckling uncontrollably.
“Grammie!” A tinge of red came to Sam’s cheeks.
“Sammie…Sammie.” Lillian took her grandchild’s hand in hers and patted it sympathetically. “We’re all adults here. There’s no need to be embarrassed. Sex is a necessity of life. There’s nothing that says it has to be boring.”
Seeing the blush growing deeper on her wife’s face, Brooke attempted to steer the conversation in another direction. "This is just a thought but if you'd like to stay and visit with your family..." Blue eyes flickered over to Sam. "We could always have Jonnie fly her out."
"Jonnie?" Lillian questioned. “Who’s Jonnie?”
Sam leaned over and kissed Brooke full on the
lips before turning back to her grandmother.
"You're going to love my wife.
She has loads of useful people at her disposal. Jonnie, Gram, is a corporate pilot. She can get you to
The older woman chewed on her bottom lip. "No layovers, huh?" Lillian pondered the thought. “Different carrier, huh?” The woman eyed her suspiciously. “Is it gonna cost me more?”
“Grammie…” green eyes implored first to her grandmother, then to her wife. “We didn’t ask for any money, did we?”
“Nope.” Brooke sat up straighter. “No money at all. Think of it as me giving you a lift in my car…well, plane really.”
“Jet, actually,” Sam corrected her wife. “Corporate jet. It’s part of her company’s perks for their clientele.”
“Our company,” Brooke patted her wife’s hand.
“You’re right, our company. I’m an intern there.” The blonde turned a hopeful look in her grandmother’s direction. “Will you let us do that for you?”
"Aw, hell Sammie, I think you've got a good one. I’d say she’s a keeper and not just because of the jet either. I tell you, if I was fifty years younger I’d give you a run for your money at keeping her.” Lillian looked away from her grandchild and over into shocked blue orbs. “Hey Giant, do you think you could handle two of us Addams’ women?” You don’t have anything against older women, do ya’? You know what they say,” she broke into a verse of a song. “Older women make good lovers.” Brown eyes glistened. “At least that’s what Ronnie says.”
“Ronnie?” Brooke mouthed the word again, her brow furrowing in deep thought. “Reagan?”
“No! McDowell.” Lillian’s tone was adamant. “Damn it! I thought you said she was in the music industry, Sammie.” Grammie eyed the brunette strangely. “She doesn’t look like she was born yesterday.”
Bemused, Brooke watched the two women closely, shaking her head.
“What’s the matter, Hon?” Sam asked as she placed her hand on the confused woman’s knee.
“Not a thing, Darlin’. I guess I’m just not as used to being teased by your family as you are.”
Lillian sat up straighter then leaned in towards Brooke. “So what makes you think that Sammie would be used to it? She hasn’t been married before...” the woman paused as she looked into her granddaughter’s eyes. “Have you? Tell the truth because we’ll know if you’re lying.”
Green eyes widened in shock at the question. “Of course not, Grammie.”
“Have you?” Lillian swung around without missing a beat and looked directly at Brooke.
“No ma’am. Your granddaughter is my first and only.” She cast a loving gaze in her wife’s direction. “And just so you know, Sam is quite used to my family teasing her senseless.”
“Family, huh? Big one?”
“Pretty big.” Brooke nodded. “There’s my parents, three sisters and me.” She smiled, “Not to mention my niece and two nephews.”
“Don’t forget there’s another one on the way,” Sam pointed out.
“Yeah, maybe even more.” Brooke kept a knowing smile in check.
“Hmm…and where does this giant fall in that mix? Oh, God!” A distasteful look came to Lillian’s face. “You’re not the baby are you? I can’t stand the babies of the family. They always want everything.”
Brooke couldn’t stop the laughter that burst from her lips if she tried. “No ma’am. I’m the second oldest. My older sister is an Assistant D.A.”
“Duck’s Ass?” There was a mischievous twinkle to Lillian’s eyes.
“No, Grammie. That would be District Attorney.” Sam corrected her.
“I see, one of those. Anybody in your family do any real work? You know…instead of just pushing people and papers around?” The older woman waited for an answer.
“Well, my sister, who is just a few years younger than I am, is a pediatrician.”
“Oh. A cutesie doctor. Probably has the little animals on her stethoscope too, I suppose.”
“Something like that,” Brooke chuckled. “Then there’s C.C. She’s the youngest.”
“C.C.? What in the hell kind of a name is that? What does it stand for, cute and cuddly? Oh, good gods, she’s got to be the baby.” Grammie whispered the last statement out of the corner of her mouth and into Sam’s ear.
“Cjersti Chase,” Brooke readily offered up the name. “She’s the baby alright, but she’s also my best friend. She’s a month older than Sam.”
“Like ‘em young, huh?” Lillian egged the woman on. “You’re older than they are and not just by a year or two.”
“Actually ma’am, I’ll be thirty-one in a couple of months.”
Lillian turned her attention towards Sam once again. “See Sammie, what did I tell you?” Again she broke out into song. “Older women make good lovers.” Seeing the appalled but slightly bemused look on her grandchild’s face, the woman sighed. “Aw, hell. She is keeping you happy, isn’t she Sammie?”
Startled at the question, Sam fumbled with her answer. “Y-Y-Yes. Without a doubt.” Realizing what she’d just admitted to, the blonde began to blush. “Tell me I didn’t just say that,” she murmured, covering her face with her hands.
“You did. And ah…thanks for the testimony to my ability to…(cough, cough) please you.” Brooke buffed her nails on her shirt, a look of mock boredom settling on her face as a yawn worked its way up and out of her mouth. “Oh, excuse me. I guess I’m still pretty tired from the drive up yesterday. We had quite a long day.”
“Yeah, I’m sure you did. What did you do, Giant…push the car?”
The dark haired woman looked to Sam. “Would you like to handle this one, Darlin’?” A loving smile came to Brooke’s face.
Sam stood up and checked the hall to make sure her parents were still in the kitchen. She sat back down next to Lillian and grabbed her hand.
“Oh good gods…” Lillian rolled her eyes, “secrets already.”
“We were at the doctor’s yesterday.”
“You’re not sick are you?” Brown eyes shifted back and forth from green to blue and then back again. “Either of you?”
The blonde smiled over at Brooke before turning back to her grandmother. “No. We’re in the preliminary stages of trying for a baby.”
Brooke smiled and kissed Sam on top of her head. “Our baby.”
“Well, I’ll be damned.” Lillian looked shocked for the first time all day. “Do your parents know about this?”
“We haven’t told them yet Grammie.” Sam shook her head. “Only that Brooke was having some testing done.”
“Good! That damn daughter of mine will have a conniption.”
“In all actuality, I believe Sam’s mother thinks I’m dying.” Brooke interjected. “I’m just afraid that when she finds out I’m not, she’s going to kill me.”
“It’ll serve her right.” Lillian looked over to Brooke. “My daughter, not you.”
“Thanks.” Brooke said, not knowing if it was appropriate.
“Woohoo!” The tiny woman let out a big yell. “Just wait until Elaine finds out. She’ll see what being a Grammie is all about. You know, when a little one comes along, it’s a bit of yourself heading off into the future.” Lillian stared off into space. “A future you may never get to see but you’re damn glad you’ll still be a part of it in some way.”
Sam reached over and hugged the older woman. “Grammie, you will always be a part of my life.” She reached out to Brooke, grasping her wife’s hand. “Of our family’s life.”
Small arms hugged her back and kissed her on her cheek. “Well, that’s a good thing, Sammie. I don’t think any of us have much of a choice when it’s our time to go.”
Brooke chose that moment to stand up. “Tell you what, Sweetheart. I’ll go call Jonnie and make arrangements for the flight tomorrow.” She looked to Lillian. “Mrs. Addams, what time would you like to leave?”
“Do not call me Mrs. Addams. I couldn’t stand that old biddy. You can call me, Grams, Grammie, Old Bitch…anything but that.” She shook her head, then looked up to eye the standing woman. “What are my choices?”
“It’s a private jet. It can leave whenever you’d like.”
“Do you think you could have that plane leave at eight in the morning?”
“I sure can. I’ll arrange for the limo to pick you up here at seven-thirty.” With the arrangements negotiated, Brooke left the room to make the phone call.
Lillian watched her leave then turned back to her granddaughter. “Is she like that with you all the time, Sammie?”
“Pretty much.” The young woman’s voice was soft, almost taking on a shy undertone.
“Good, ‘cause I like her.” The woman nodded emphatically. “Hey Sammie,” she turned her attention back to her granddaughter, “I’m not riding on no jumbo jet am I? I hate those planes. Too damn many people and not enough bathrooms.” Lillian sighed. “Speaking of input and output…what is taking that daughter of mine so long with the coffee. I could’ve jogged down to the corner store, drank an entire cup and jogged back by now.”
Brooke re-entered the room to the sound of laughter. She placed an arm over her wife’s shoulder as she sat down. “Did I miss something? What’s so funny?”
“Grammie was just talking crazy.” Sam shook her head. “And to answer your question, it’s not a jumbo jet.” She looked over to see her grandmother ready to start another round of questions. “Before you ask, it’s not a Piper Cub either.”
“Wow! Limmos. Jets. I guess you must be used to giant modes of transportation. I’m hard to impress, but you’re getting there.”
“I’m not trying to impress you.” Brooke spoke up. “I’m just trying to make sure my wife has everything her heart desires.” She turned to face Sam. “And that includes one little Chase Loran.”
Lillian moved over into the corner of the couch to get a better view of the young couple before her. She watched as they gazed lovingly into the other’s eyes. Seeing them kiss brought a smile to the older woman’s face. Grammie waited until they were done [KD1]before speaking. “Chase Loran, huh? It sounds like the two of you have been planning this for a while.”
“Long enough to know that it feels right.” Brooke could have cared less at that moment who was in the room. All she could do was lean over and press her lips against Sam’s.
Lillian smacked her hand against her knee before standing up. “I would have to agree.” She began making her way into the kitchen, calling out in a rather loud voice. “Elaine, where in the hell are you with that coffee? Better get it together, girl. Momma is spending the night.”
The sound of a dish shattering in the kitchen, was barely noticed by the two lovers locked in their tender embrace.
“Oh no you don’t.” Sam’s stern warning stopped her wife dead in her tracks. “The driver can take Grammie’s luggage. It’s part of his job, Brooke.”
“I know, that’s why I’ve got ours.” The tall woman smiled cheekily.
“Michael,” Sam got the driver’s attention. “When you’re done with those, these will be going into our car, please.” The blonde smiled sweetly at her wife.
“Yes, Ma’am.” The driver held the door open for them as they readied to depart.
“Thank you.” She turned her attention toward her wife. “Here, you can have this one.” Sam picked up the smallest bag and handed it to Brooke.
“Thanks.” Brooke walked out the front door of the house mumbling under her breath. “It’s not like the bags were heavy. I’ve carried heavier things than that just getting Mario’s food into the house.” A quick pinch to her backside quieted her grumbling. “Hey!” She slapped at the offending hand.
“Stop your complaining, Brooke.” Sam moved around the woman and kept on walking. “And don’t even try to pretend that you’re not still sore from the other day. I know you are.”
Long legs came to a halt halfway down the walkway. “Oh yeah?” Brooke bent at her waist to place their smaller overnight bag on the walkway. After standing back up, she bent at the knees to retrieve it. “All better now. See?” She grabbed the bag and started to straighten up. “OWWW!” The pull on her tender abdominal muscles caught the woman by surprise. “Damn!”
Sam’s steps quickened as she hurried back to her wife. Resting her hand on Brooke’s shoulder, she attempted to prevent the woman from picking up the bag. Sure that her message was noted, the small hand slipped from its place.
The sore woman took her free hand and rubbed the spot on her shoulder were Sam’s hand had been. “You brute. Take it easy.” Blue eyes flashed teasingly. “I’m supposed to be dying,” she whispered, giving a nod of her head toward the house. “Remember?”
“Serves you right for doing something so stupid.” Sam patted her lover’s cheek, then placed a kiss on the woman’s nose.
“You can definitely tell who the newlyweds are.” Lillian walked by them with Michael on her heels. “You couldn’t get a piece of tissue paper between them without wrinkling it.”
“Damn right!” Brooke said without giving it a second thought as she watched the blush creep up Sam’s neck and over her checks.
Once at the car, the limo driver stood at attention as he held the rear door open. Brooke placed a hand on his shoulder and gently pulled him away from the door.
“Thank you, Michael. I have everything from here.”
The driver nodded in understanding as he walked around to the opposite side of the limo.
Sam leaned in and hugged Lillian. “It was great to see you, Grammie. I’m so glad we had this time together.”
Lillian pulled Sam’s ear closer to her mouth. “You keep that one, Samantha. Brooke’s a good girl and she loves you. Give Grammie a call and let me know how everything goes.” The woman pulled away and gave a subtle nod toward Sam’s abdomen. “All of you.”
“I will, Grammie.”
“And you, Giant.” She waved a pointed finger at the tall woman. “Don’t even think about bending over to hug me or I’ll sic Sammie here on you.”
Brooke looked between Lillian and Sam before letting a grin break out across her face.
“Hey! Wipe that smirk off your face. You’d like that wouldn’t you?” She watched as the brunette’s eyebrows wavered with impetuous delight before reaching up and grabbing the woman by her shirt. Without a second thought, she pulled Brooke down until she was able to stare directly into her eyes. “You take care of my granddaughter, Brooke. Ya’ here?”
“Yes, Ma’am. I will.” The older woman released her hold allowing her captive its freedom. “Hey! Why am I Brooke all of a sudden and not Giant? I thought you liked me."
“I do.” Lillian turned and looked at her granddaughter. “But I can’t always be calling you Giant when the little ones start poppin’ out.” She winked at Sammie. “They might get confused as to what side of the family they really take after.”
Brooke looked away and smiled. “Yeah, I could see that might be a problem.” She turned back to Lillian and took the woman’s small hand into her much larger one. “It was a pleasure to meet you.” Brooke brought the back of the woman’s hand to her mouth and kissed it.
“Stop that, you’ll be having your wife thinking I’m on the make.” She winked bashfully at her in-law. “The pleasure is all mine. I’m the one riding in the fancy limo and the cushy jet today.” Lillian stepped into the passenger compartment of the limo. “Ha! Look at this. I don’t have to duck to get in.”
Everyone laughed as Brooke shut the door. A second later the tinted window was lowered. The older woman waved at her family before turning in the direction of the driver. “To the airport, James…er…Michael.” She shot a quick smile out the window. “I’ve always wanted to say something like that,” Lillian chuckled. “See ya’ and thanks.”
“Any time, Grammie.”
“Bye.” Brooke waved as the limo started to pull away.
Sam snaked an arm gently around the taller woman’s waist. They watched the limo until it turned off the street.
“Brooke. Samantha.” Elaine came bounding out the door with a small bag in her hand. “I’m so glad I caught you.”
“Ot oh!” Brooke gulped hard as her gaze met Sam’s. “What now?”
“I have no idea,” Sam whispered. “You could kill her with kindness.”
The taller woman turned first, flashing a radiant smile. “Mother, how nice of you to see us off.”
Hearing the smoothness of her wife’s words, Sam stifled a cough before turning.
“Nonsense. It’s the least I could do.” She held up the bag. “Brooke, I know you didn’t feel much like eating last night…what with your…well,” Elaine’s eyes glanced away then back again. “I thought you might like to take this last piece of lasagna home with you.” She offered the bag to her daughter-in-law. “You can eat it whenever you’re feeling a little more…up to it.”
Hesitantly, Brooke took the bag. “Thanks. I…ah…that was so thoughtful of you.”
“Thanks, Mother.” Blonde brows furrowed on Sam’s forehead. “I think” she muttered.
“Next time you’re in the area, perhaps we could all…” Elaine searched for something to say, “have lunch?”
“Um…yeah…lunch.” Brooke feigned a smile. “I can’t wait.”
“Speaking of not waiting,” Sam cleared her throat, “we had better get going before the traffic gets too bad.” The sound of the screen door opening caught her attention, causing her to look just past her mother. “Daddy.”
“Ah, there’s my daughter and her wife.” Samuel came down the walk with a smile on his face. “I know we did this once already this morning but how about another hug for your old man?” He held out is arms. “You know, I don’t get these as often as I’d like any more.”
The young woman stepped up to her father. “Daddy, I had a wonderful time. Thanks.” Sam kissed his cheek and reveled in his warm embrace.
Not wanting to be left out of the affectionate display, Elaine reached out and pulled Brooke into an awkward hug. “You drive careful now, you hear? I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.”
Brooke rolled her eyes. “Right,” she said a little sarcastically under her breath. “Thanks for putting us up. I know it wasn’t easy for you.”
“It was nothing compared to what you’re going through.” Elaine sniffed, then hurried to camouflage her emotions. “You rest. Keep your strength up for as long as you can, dear.” The woman disengaged herself, holding Brooke at arm’s length. “Remember, for as long as you live, you’ll always be welcome here. We’re family.”
The dark-haired woman smiled. “You mean that?”
“Well…” Elaine’s gaze shifted from Brooke to Samuel, then back again. “Of course I do. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”
“Good!” Brooke flashed a broad smile in her wife’s direction. “I can die a happy woman.” Brooke wrapped an arm around Sam’s shoulder and turned her in the direction of their SUV. “Come on Sam, it’s time for us to leave.” Brooke leaned into her wife’s ear. “Before someone changes their mind.”
“Hey,” green eyes quickly found the executive at her desk as Sam leaned into the open doorway. “Care to have some company?” The blonde waited to be invited in to the CEO’s office.
“Who’s the company?” A dark eyebrow arched high on the woman’s forehead but her eyes remained glued to the monitor in front of her.
The guarded question took Sam by surprise. “No one special, just me.”
Brooke looked up from her computer screen flashing the biggest smile she could muster. “Oh Darlin’, by all means then come on in. You’re always special to me.”
“Mmm…” Sam moved into the office, making sure to close the door. “That was absolutely the answer I was looking for.” She crossed the room to where the executive sat and kissed her cheek. “Love you.” She lingered long enough to get a kiss on the lips in return.
“Love you, too.” Brooke cupped her wife’s cheek and winked. “That’s a great mid-morning pick me up, especially on a Monday. Remind me to put that into every new employee’s contract.”
“Excuse me?” An indignant look came over the blonde’s face and small balled up fists came to rest on the woman’s hips. “I think not.”
“Me, either.” Dark eyebrows wiggled teasingly. “Somehow I can’t see me getting this excited over a kiss from the likes of Peter.” Brooke shuddered. “Have a seat.” She motioned to the leather chairs across the desk from her before turning back to gaze at the monitor on her desk. “So, how’s your morning going?”
“Not bad at all.” The blonde eased into the chair, enjoying the feel of the soft material enveloping her body. “I’ve got the party all planned out for Line of Fire’s CD release next week.”
“Good.” Brooke kept her gaze on the monitor. “What do you have going?”
“T-shirt give-a-ways, teaser CD’s of their new
video coming out on the fourteenth of next month, guitar picks for the rocker
wannabes, and autographs galore accompanied by food and a cash bar after the
show. I’ve lined up an interview with
two of the TV stations, a weekend update show, and a live feed interview at the
end of the concert with a hot new radio station out of
The executive’s interested gaze settled on Sam. “Good thought with the cash bar. It will keep us out of the legal mix should any of those,” she cleared her throat, “devoted fans or band members make a drunken ass of themselves.”
“Thanks,” a shy but accomplished smile lit up Sam’s face. “I just figured it would help keep us within our budget for PR.”
“That, too.” A chuckle escaped Brooke’s lips before she turned serious again. “Bottom line?”
“All in all, it boils down to a three hour party in the heart of Line of Fire’s hometown with an offering of reaching a billion plus potential consumers around the world for a total cost of…fifteen thousand.” Sam held her breath, awaiting her boss’s reaction.
Brooke pondered the facts for a long moment. “Only fifteen thousand with internet advertising?”
“I negotiated a flat rate fee for the service rather than the usual click for pay.” Seeing the interest in Brooke’s face, Sam explained further. “I offered them the promise of more advertising to come if it showed a major increase in our sales stats for the first week after the CD’s release.”
“Nice move. I wished I’d thought of it.” Brooke watched as the blush of embarrassment rose over Sam’s face. “I’m impressed. You took my suggestions and really expanded on them. Remind me to give you a raise.”
“You always do,” Sam whispered, meeting her wife’s gaze.
A soft smile settled on their faces. No words were spoken, but each knew what the other’s heart held for them. Slowly, Brooke turned her attention back to the monitor.
Silence reigned supreme as Sam bided her time studying the woman before her. Much to her surprise, a soothing warmth began to fill her soul. The blonde’s right hand shifted to her belly and she thought of what the upcoming afternoon held in respect to her future. Out of nowhere her mind slammed on the brakes. No, that wasn’t quite right. Sam reconsidered and corrected her thought. It was their future together. Feeling the nervous spark of anticipation grow within her being, Sam took the pen out from behind her ear and twirled it between her fingers. She smiled thinking how much it reminded her of a certain drummer she knew and loved. Images of the previous night floated across her brain reliving moments of passion they had shared only a few hours ago. God, how I’d love to spend the rest of my life raising a family with this woman.
“…lost shipment in
The sound of the familiar voice snapped the blonde back to the present. Green eyes drifted over the room until they settled on concerned blue ones staring back at her. “Huh?” Sam shifted in the chair, self-consciously. “Sorry Hon, what did you say?”
The tinge of blush coming to Sam’s cheeks was all that Brooke needed to see in order to guess what her wife had been thinking about. “Were you daydreaming or just reliving our escapades last night?” She arched a dark eyebrow in question as she watched a coy smile slowly come to the other woman’s face. The sound of Sam’s sexy purr brought a pleased smile to Brooke’s face. “I thought so.” She glanced to the monitor, then back to the woman sitting across from her. “I…I have a confession to make, Darlin’.”
“A confession?” Blonde brows furrowed.
“You weren’t the only one thinking about last night. I was, too. In fact, I was day dreaming about it right before you came into my office. I think I read the same email three times. So don’t feel bad.” She watched as a satisfied smile brightened the younger woman’s face.
“I’d say this is the perfect day for our child to be implanted. Wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah,” Brooke nodded, “I would.”
“So…” Sam tried to contain the intense
emotions that threatened to overcome her.
“Are you about done, Hon? We’ll
need to leave soon so we don’t get stuck in traffic once we hit
“Just about.” Brooke sighed. “I’ve returned all my calls and I only have two more emails to reply to.” Blue eyes looked down to the watch on her wrist. “What in the hell is taking so long with that contract? I told Peter we were leaving early today.”
Brooke punched a button on the phone and buzzed Peter’s office. “Peter?” She paused for a moment. “Peter?” When no answer came, she pondered his whereabouts. Making a quick decision, she pushed the intercom button connecting her to Ida’s desk. “Peter?”
A few seconds passed before Peter’s tentative sounding voice filled the room. “Yeah, Boss?”
Brooke shook her head, then pressed down on the button again. “I always know where to find you if you’re not in your office. Should I just go ahead and stick the two of you in one office with matching desks and bunk beds with a couch?”
“Only if I get the bottom bunk, Brooke. But then again,” the sound of a deep chuckle came through the intercom, “we’d never get any work done.”
“Peter and Ida?” Sam whispered. Green eyes met blue and both women snickered.
“The eyes and ears of the company,” Brooke quipped.
“I should have known.”
Peter’s voice came back over the speaker. “So, what can I help you with, Boss.”
“I requested some contracts and an expense check over an hour ago. Call Linda and ask what her major malfunction is. I need to have those items downtown by one this afternoon.”
“Sure thing, Brooke.” Peter sounded eager.
“Thanks.” Brooke lifted her finger from the button, then slammed it back down. “Oh! I almost forgot, can either you or Ida please set up a courier for their delivery? Sam and I aren’t going to be here much longer.”
“Sure thing, Brooke.”
Ida’s voice added to the mix. “I got it.”
“I’ll go down and get them while you do that.” Peter could be heard offering. “Linda’s not here.”
Brooke looked from her monitor to the intercom as she sat straight up in her chair. “What do you mean she’s not here? Where is she? She cost this company a lot of money. The least she could do is her damn job.”
Sam got up and made her way around the desk and behind Brooke. Laying her hands on her wife, she began rubbing the tense shoulders. “Easy, Brooke,” she whispered.
“I don’t know where she is, Brooke. All I know is she called in to her department and said she had some personal issues to attend to.”
“Her department?” Brooke’s voice rose an octave. “I could have sworn I told her to call into this office. She was to call off only to me as part of the agreement to continue working here.” Small fingers dug into the base of Brooke’s neck as the dark head rolled from side to side. “Peter, do me a favor. From now on, keep an eye on her. Let me know if anything looks funny.”
“Looks funny?” Peter could be heard thinking aloud. “You mean ha ha funny or…”
“Not right, you ninny.” Ida’s stage whisper was easily heard over the intercom.
“I knew that.” Peter tried to recover his composure.
Brooke tried hard not to laugh at Ida’s sarcastic remark. “Peter…the contracts,” she drew his attention back to the original topic of their conversation.
“Sure thing, Boss. I’ll go get those contracts for you right now.”
“Thank you.” Brooke turned off the speakerphone before spinning her chair around and pulling Sam down into her lap. The executive took her time kissing the lips before her.
“What was that for?” Sam breathed gently against Brooke’s lips.
“Just because I wanted to.” White teeth peeked out through a broadening smile. “As soon as I sign those contracts we can get out of here.”
Sam got up from Brooke’s lap. “And what about your emails?” She looked over to the monitor on her wife’s desk before starting for the door.
Brooke waved it off with her hand. She stood up and reached for her jacket. “They’ve been waiting since Friday. They can wait until tomorrow.”
Her wife’s words took Sam by surprise. Not believing her ears, the blonde turned and watched as a leather jacket wrapped around broad shoulders.
“Hmm…” Sam snickered quietly as she watched the executive clearing off her desk. “I think our long weekend off together spoiled you, hon.”
“Any time off with you spoils me, Darlin’.” Brooke emphasized her southern drawl. “You know how much I’m into being with family.”
“Good!” Sam smiled. “If we leave now, we might be able to catch up with Mother for lunch.”
Brooke’s hand hovered over the button to turn off the CPU of her computer. She hesitated for a moment before reaching for the mouse. “Then again, I wouldn’t really want to keep anyone waiting for a reply.” She sank down into her chair, blue eyes fixed intently to the screen in front of her. “I don’t like to be kept waiting, you know?” She glanced over to where her wife was standing, her hand lingering on the doorknob. “Hey, I’ve got to wait for those contracts here, don’t I?”
All Sam could do was smile. “Yeah, I guess you do.”
Brooke rhythmically tapped her fingers on the arm of the chair. One by one she worked her way through bits and pieces of every song she’d ever had in her musical bag of tricks. She looked over to the woman seated next to her. Cool as a cucumber the blonde sat paging through a magazine in her hands.
Brooke leaned into her lover. “You nervous?”
“Nope.” Sam turned another page. “More like anxious.” She glanced over to her wife and smiled.
The sound of a door opening drew the attention of everyone in the waiting room. Dr. Dennison’s nurse poked into the room. “Mr. and Mrs. Sable.”
“Soon, Brooke.” Sam patted her disappointed wife’s hand. “Our turn will be soon.”
“Yeah, I know.” The woman wiggled down into her chair. Brooke hadn’t even worked her lower lip into a full pout when the door opened once more and the familiar face jutted out of the open doorway. “Hmmph! Go ahead, call someone else.” Brooke muttered. “I know you will.”
“Sh!” Sam attempted to silence the grumbling woman next to her.
“Mrs. Gordon.” The nurse called out the name.
“Come on, Baby. It’s our turn.” The blonde nudged her wife.
“What?” Brooke’s head snapped upward.
Sam stood up and held a hand out to her wife. “I’m ready and waiting. You’re coming, right?” Hopeful green eyes looked into blue.
“Hell yeah I’m coming. I think it’s only right to be present when my wife officially becomes pregnant, don’t you?” Brooke stood up and held Sam’s smaller hand in her own as they followed the nurse into the back.
A slight shade of red began to creep across Sam’s fair features. “That would be the plan, yes.”
The blonde stopped short when the nurse led them to the same room where the eggs had been harvested. “Ah…excuse me.” Green eyes flittered from the room, to her wife, then back again to the nurse. “We are getting impregnated, right? I mean, that’s what we’re here for.” Sam watched as the nurse continued about her business, placing a fresh gown on the table.
“Please, come in and have a seat.” The nurse smiled and flipped through Sam’s chart.
The two women stepped into the room, Brooke quickly taking a seat in the chair, leaving the examination table for Sam.
“That’s right. It says implantation here in your chart.” She pointed to the scrolled word in the chart. Seeing the hesitant look on the blonde’s face, the nurse placed a comforting hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. Any fool can do it.” She smirked. “Maybe that’s why they gave the sperm to men.” She walked out, quietly closing the door behind her and leaving the two women to their privacy.
The drummer clapped her hands together and began to rub them briskly. “Come on, Sweetheart. You know the drill. Time to get naked!”
Petite hands stopped the removal of her shirt as Sam arched a golden eyebrow in the brunette’s direction.
“I mean…” Brooke cleared her throat. “You can get changed into your paper gown.” The woman smiled sweetly until Sam continued to undress. Once out of her wife’s scrutiny, the tall woman rocked back and forth in her chair, drumming her fingers against the surgical stand next to her while biting the fingernails on her other hand.
Seeing her wife’s nervous habits magnified to the max, Sam interceded. “Brooke, calm down. I’m the one who’s getting ready to kiss my figure goodbye and I’m calmer than you.”
“Sorry.” Brooke got out of her chair and helped cover up her wife with the sheet at the end of the table. She tucked the edges in around Sam, then spoke quietly. “We’re almost there, Sweetheart. Do you realize that?”
“Yes. All I’ve got to do now is lay back and wait for it to happen.” She reached up and ran a hand down Brooke’s cheek. “Just like I waited for you.” Sam smiled as she felt warm lips caress her palm.
“I can’t believe you’re almost pregnant with my baby.” A lone tear fell from blue eyes before being wiped away by a petite thumb.
“Almost? I’m banking on being pregnant and soon.”
A dark head lowered until their lips met. “I love you, Sam and our little Petri dish baby.” Brooke whispered.
Sam giggled as she kissed Brooke again. “I know. I love you, too.”
Not a moment later Dr. Dennison opened the door on the tender display. “Well, good afternoon, ladies. What do you say we introduce your baby to its mommy now?
Lyrics from this week's installment by Steve Brown.