Carrie Ryan & K. Darblyne


"...Everybody grab for it, Everybody move to it… You know that things fall off..."


Installment 2-3 – Going To The Head Of The Class


Sam came out of the closet clad only in a sleep-pressed shirt of Brooke’s. In either of her hands were different modes of attire. "Hon," she called out as she scrutinized the clothing carefully.

"Yes, Darlin’," came Brooke’s muffled answer from the master bathroom.

"Which one do you think I should wear," Sam held up the wooden hanger. "The business look or…" she hung the suit on the back of the closet door. Turning to the mirror on the dresser, Sam draped the T-shirt over her chest and smiled at its reflection, "The ‘I’ve been around rockers before’ look?"

"Which ever one you will be more comfortable in."

"I don’t care about comfort, Brooke." She sighed, pulling the image laden T-shirt from her chest and holding it in her hand. She begrudgingly looked back to the suit, "I just want to make a good impression my first day at work."

Brooke came into the bedroom and cringed at seeing a faded looking replica of her Loran persona staring back at her from the well-worn T-shirt. She hid her feelings about the article of clothing in Sam’s hand when the young woman looked over at her. Brooke’s heart raced as flashes of her past rocker days shot through her mind. "Business casual, Sam." Brooke regained her composure as she walked over to her wife’s closet and perused the choices. "Hmm…I’d wear the dress shirt and those new jeans, myself." She turned to see the look of disappointment on Sam’s face. "Trust me, that will be fine. We’re in the business of promoting a lot of talent, Sam. Neutral is a good thing." She watched as Sam’s chest fell with a sigh. "What, Baby?"

God, I used to practically live in this shirt and dream that your arms were wrapped around me. Sam gave a little shrug to her shoulders, then slowly let a smile come to her face. "I guess I don’t have to wear this to be near you anymore, do I?" She glanced to the T-shirt, then over to Brooke.

The tall woman drew Sam into her arms. "You never had to anyway, Darlin’. I was always yours."

"Oh?" Sam leaned back and looked up into Brooke’s face. "And exactly where were you hiding when I wore it before? You know, my parents swore that it had replaced my skin, they saw it on me so often." She looked at the tiny T-shirt. "It doesn’t look big enough for us both."

"Well…I was…" her blue eyes twinkled mischievously. "I was either at my mom’s or behind my desk." Her reply got her a nudge in the ribs.

"Well, do you think if I keep it here in my closet," Sam looked up at her wife and batted her eyes seductively. "I’ll have the real you wrapped around me instead?" She watched as Brooke wiggled her eyebrows and flashed a toothy smile. "Good answer, Lover," Sam patted her wife’s cheek. "I always knew that you were smart." She reached up and met Brooke’s lips in a kiss as strong arms embraced her. "Okay, one very worn, but loved T-shirt retired for my private viewing only. How does that sound?"

"Uhmm…" Brooke slowly came away, dropping feather-like kisses along Sam’s neck. "I love you, Sam…Gordon."

"And I love you, too, my wife." The blonde’s eyes grew bigger with the placement of the last kiss. "Now let me get dressed for work and we can resume this honeymoon when we get back home, later tonight."

Brooke grinned at the thought of their continued honeymoon. "Sounds good to me." She punctuated her words with a kiss, then watched as her wife slipped into the bathroom. Brooke stood motionless for a few seconds before letting a sigh escape her lips. "It’s going to be such a lo-o-o-o-ong day."


The ride into work seemed to be taking forever as Brooke tried to watch both the road and keep an eye on her new wife. The closer that they got to the office, the quieter Sam had become. Now, with only a few blocks to go, the only thing that could be heard coming from the young woman was the sound of rapid breathing.

Afraid that her wife would faint or God forbid do something worse, Brooke tried to intervene. "Sam?" She waited for a few seconds, then, after seeing no change in her wife’s breathing she continued in a more authoritative tone. "Take in a deep breath, Darlin’ and hold it for a second or two." Blue eyes shifted to see if her words were being put into action. "You’re going to hyperventilate before we ever get into the parking lot."

The words sunk in and Sam complied. After a few slow breaths, she looked down to her hands self-consciously. "I guess I’m a little nervous about starting a new class…er…job and all." Her embarrassment was evident but she kept talking. "I’m curious as to how you’re going to introduce me. Am I going to be your new intern, your new wife, or…" Sam looked over to the driver.

"But Baby, you already know some of the people there." Brooke returned Sam’s gaze. Seeing the look on her wife’s face, she changed her approach. "How would you like me to introduce you?"

"It’s not my company, Brooke. It’s yours." Sam looked out the side window and took in another deep breath and held it.

"I was thinking of somewhere along the lines of introducing you as my new wife and assistant." Brooke stole a look in her wife’s direction to see the beginnings of a sly smile tugging at the woman’s mouth.

"You…" Sam turned her gaze to Brooke, "have such a way with words." Sam’s eyes grew more intense as she delved deeper into the subject. "And what exactly is your assistant in charge of…or don’t I get to know?"

"Sam…" the timber of Brooke’s voice was a cautioning one as blue eyes shifted to her wife and back to the road again. "This is work, Darlin’ and you’re my new PR Manger."

"Whoa!" Green eyes grew wide in shock as she braced her hand against the dashboard. "Manager?" Sam’s gaze turned to the driver. "Maybe in the future but I’m not sure that I’m ready for that title or job right now. Heck, Brooke," she blinked in disbelief. "I haven’t even graduated from college yet." She stared into amused blue eyes. "I know that this is the only requirement that I need to work on this semester but Brooke, I don’t want you putting me in a position to jeopardize your company. I’m new to all this."

"Sam…" Brooke’s concern was evident in her eyes as they met her wife’s green orbs. "Don’t worry, Baby." She reached over and patted Sam’s denim clad leg, and then gave her a quick wink. "Besides, there’s no time to worry. We’re here." Brooke motioned toward the parking lot for Brownstone Records as she waited for the oncoming car to pass before turning into her space.

The sound of a gasp broke the silence as Brooke parked the truck. "You really think that I can do this, don’t you?"

"I know that you can, Sam." Brooke turned in her seat and gave her wife the most confidant of smiles.

"God, I love you." Sam slipped out of her seatbelt and turned to face her wife, letting her lips brush gently against Brooke’s cheek.

"Hey!" Brooke pulled back, raising an arched brow high on her forehead. "You need to slide those lips about two inches to your right, Darlin’."

Sam thought for only a second or two then a sly smile came to her mouth. "Okay…" she drew out the word as she moved even closer, sitting almost on the edge of her seat. With a quick nip first at Brooke’s neck then another leading steadily toward the woman’s full, inviting lips, she teased time and again. "I guess I’m ready to be thrown to the wolves." Two pairs of lips met in full exchange of wanton desires as they melded into a kiss.

"Mmm…" Brooke’s mind fought through the cloud of fog as she lingered a hair’s breadth away from Sam’s lips. "I love you, Sam." She consciously took in a breath and slowly let it out as their foreheads touched. "You ready?"

The silent beauty of the moment was shattered by the rough sounding knock that came from the window on Sam’s side. "Hey, you two going to sit there all day necking or are you coming in and getting some work done?" Peter grinned as he pressed his face up against the window adding yet another wet nose impression along side of Mario’s. He laughed whole-heartedly at the shocked look on Sam’s face as she turned to face the window then quickly hid behind a hand placed strategically over her face. "I’ll see you two lovebirds inside…when you get there." He laughed again and waved as he headed off to the entrance of the building.

"God, busted and I haven’t even started yet." Sam sank into the passenger’s seat, mortified.

Brooke smiled as she watched Peter enter the building and smirked as she leaned in toward Sam placing a kiss on her lips. "Please, Darlin’, Peter would probably think something was wrong if he didn’t catch us kissing."

"Well, at least it was somebody in the company that I know already," Sam mustered a chuckle. "It could have been worse. It could have been Ida." She wiggled her eyebrows playfully as the color in Brooke’s face drained.

Slow to react, Brooke took in a breath, then mumbled out her off-the-cuff remark, "You mean my second mother?" She watched the blonde head nod agreeably. "I don’t know what I was thinking when I hired her."

Sam nudged her wife, then pulled her in for another kiss. "I think you’re adorable when you’re stunned, Brooke."

The older woman cleared her throat as she tried to shake off the effects of her wife’s kiss. "Ready?" Brooke motioned toward the building.

"Yeah," Sam smiled and nodded. "Let’s go." The blonde watched as Brooke exited the truck and came waltzing around to her door. With a quick jerk and the flourishing movement of Brooke’s other arm, the door opened. "Now is this a perk that all the employees of Brownstone get on their first day or is it because I’m your wife?" Sam looked up into brilliant blue eyes as she slid off the truck seat.

"Why, Darlin’…" Brooke smiled sweetly, "only you, of course."

Sam reached out and touched the tall woman’s cheek affectionately. "Another good answer. My, you are on a roll this morning." She leaned in and brushed their lips together in a chaste kiss. "I think marriage agrees with you, Brooke." Their eyes met and like moths to a flame, their lips sought the sweetness of the other’s.

"Hey you two!" Ida’s voice came floating across the parking lot. "You’d better not let the boss see you doing that."

Brooke lost her concentration first and ended the kiss abruptly. "Now I’m the busted one," she chuckled softly into Sam’s ear before wrapping an arm around her wife and looking in Ida’s direction.

"I’m going for some coffee. What does Sam take?" Ida gave a little wave of her hand toward the coffee shop across the street.

"Me," Brooke answered quickly with a big grin on her face. "With lots of sugar."

The playful slap of Sam’s hand was directed to Brooke’s belly. "Black, Ida, with lots of sugar. Thanks."

"Uh…that too." Brooke grabbed Sam’s hand before it could recoil. "We’ll meet you upstairs, thanks."

"Gotcha, Boss." Ida winked and turned toward the street. "I’ll be back in a few."



It was amazing how easily Brooke took on the C.E.O. persona as she sat behind her desk. Sam couldn’t believe it was the same woman that she’d just spent the last several days with and intended to be next to for the rest of her life. She watched each move of the dark-haired woman as she deftly maneuvered her chair out of the way to open a drawer in her desk. The executive produced a handful of folders, offering them to her new employee.

"I’ve got everything that you’ll…" The sound of someone opening her office door drew her attention before Brooke could finish her thought.

The trusted employee stuck her head in. "Hey, Boss, I’ve got your…" Ida’s gaze moved swiftly from Brooke and settled onto Sam, "…coffee." The woman froze for a second then quickly offered her apologies. "I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…" Ida sighed and muttered under her breath. "Guess I’ll have to remember to knock now."

"Thanks," Sam crossed the room to take the offered beverages from the woman.

"Since when did you ever knock, Ida?" Brooke arched an eyebrow in the older woman’s direction.

"I just figured that since you have the wife working with us that…"

Sam chuckled. "Don’t be foolish, Ida. You just do what you normally did in the past." Suddenly Sam realized how that must have sounded to both Brooke and Ida. Here she was a new employee, going right over the head of the company. She swallowed hard as she riveted her eyes to her wife, the C.E.O. of Brownstone Records. Damn it! I sound like I’m trying to take over here. Sam’s shoulders sank, "Sorry, I didn’t mean to…"

Ida felt compelled to help Sam out of the sticky situation. "I just don’t want to…ah…disturb anything. You know…private meetings or ah…contract negotiations between you two. I mean…your being just married and all."

An amused smile came to Brooke’s face. "No, Ba…" Brooke caught herself before the word slipped out. The C.E.O. smiled shyly, "No, Sam, you’re right." She needed only a few seconds to see the relieved look on her wife’s face before she turned her attention to Ida. "We’re at the office. I think we can manage to behave for a few hours a day."

"Only a few?" Sam looked over to Brooke and chuckled. "I thought that there were eight hours in a typical work day."

Seeing the silent message conveyed as Brooke winked at her newest employee, Ida rolled her eyes. "Hmph…I can see that the job description is still being ironed out." She took the lid off of her own cup of coffee and sipped at it before turning to leave. "I’ll be outside if you need anything." Ida paused as she reached for the doorknob and addressed the blonde. "It’s nice having you onboard, Sam. Now there’ll be two of us to watch out for her." The older woman gave Brooke a contented smile. "Later, Boss." Ida was gone without another word.

The new employee watched the satisfied smile on her wife’s face and thought about the interaction of the two women. Sam sipped a time or two at her coffee then commented on the relationship she’d just seen displayed. "I take it that Ida’s your second mother."

"Oh, yeah!" Brooke nodded with a smile. "She’s been for quite a while."

"Good." Sam took a seat opposite her wife at the desk. "I always thought that you were too much for just one." She sipped from her cup and then sat it down near the edge of the desk as she leveled a gaze at Brooke. "Although, I’m sure that one wife will be all that you’ll ever need."

The executive stood up from her chair and moved to the other side of the desk until she was standing next to Sam’s chair. She cupped the blonde’s chin in her hand and stared into determined green eyes. "I’m sure that you’re right, Sam. One wife is all that I’ll ever need."

The corners of Sam’s mouth turned upward into a smile, "Me, too."

Like magnets, their bodies gravitated toward each other until their lips locked in a kiss that sealed the negotiation. Being careful not to break the contact that they had established, Brooke lowered her body to rest on one knee as her arms encircled Sam for a long lingering kiss. As their bodies melded into one, the silence was broken by the sound of Brooke’s office door opening.

"Hey, Brooke," Peter opened the door wide and stepped into the office. "I got that master of the new band for you to…" He stopped dead in his tracks. "Oops! Sorry," he giggled nervously. "I didn’t know you were…ah…" He coughed and then rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand. "Man, I’ve got some bad timing today. I’ll…I’ll come back later when you’re not busy." The man moved back toward the doorway.

"It’s okay, Peter." Brooke took in a breath and started to get up. "Come on in." She dusted off the knee of her jeans as she muttered under her breath, "Might as well, its like Grand Central Station here."

"You sure?" He looked directly at Sam.

"Yeah, Petey." Sam got up from the chair, straightening her clothing in the process. "Contrary to popular belief, I am here to work." The blonde shot a backhand to Brooke’s unprotected abdomen together with a sidelong glare.

"So…" Brooke tried to recover from the teasing slap. "You got it, eh?" She moved toward Peter, her eyes eagerly looking for the item in his hands. "Good, Sam can take that with those files that I gave her and we can see what she comes up with for the band."

Excited now at the prospect of actually working, Sam’s eyes gleamed. "Just point me to a place that I can give this a listen to," she grabbed the DAT tape from out of Peter’s hand and smiled, "and I’ll get right to work. Who knows, " she turned to look directly at Brooke. "I may even have an idea or two by the end of the day."

"Hmm…having ideas already." Brooke wiggled her eyebrows seductively then snatched the DAT tape and eyed it. "Okay, Darlin’, we’ll get you set up. Follow me."

"So, we’re off to the studio, huh?" Sam’s face lit up with anticipation.

"Nope." Brooke smiled like a Cheshire cat. "You get your own office." She turned only long enough to see the shocked look on Sam’s face.

"Office?" Sam croaked. "But I…ah…" she watched as the long-legged woman headed down the hall.

"Yep, an office." Peter nodded and grinned. "She gives one to all her favorite employees." He straightened his collar and tie as he watched Sam’s short legs lurch into action, trying to catch up to Brooke. Peter shook his head and headed toward his own office at the opposite end of the hall. "I can only imagine what perks you’re going to get." He stopped momentarily to gaze over his shoulder. "See you later, Sam," he whispered with a devilish grin as the pair disappeared into the office down the hall.



Brooke stood patiently by the door and waited for the realization to set in. She crossed her arms and smiled as the blonde floated from the large desk, to the entertainment center on the one wall, to the window that silhouetted the small woman’s figure in the warming rays of the Virginia sun. Brooke had never seen Sam so silent as she was now.

"So…" Brooke drew in a breath and cocked her head to one side. "What do you think?"

Sam spun around and took the room into view another time before answering. "All this…" she stopped facing the executive, "…is for me?" She crossed her heart with her hands. "Brooke, I…I never dreamed…" She settled her gaze on her wife. "Thanks, Brooke." The words were soft and spoken from the heart.

"You’re welcome, Sam." The love showed in Brooke’s blue eyes as she stood suspended in time. Seconds turned into nearly a full minute before the woman remembered to breath and the hint of a warming flush came to her cheeks. "Hey, uhm…have a seat and I’ll go through all this," she held up the tape, "with you."

She took the tape from out of Brooke’s hand and smiled as she walked over to the desk. "I know how to listen to music, Hon." Sam looked from one end of the desk to the other for a player of some sort.

"The DAT player is on that shelf over there." Brooke pointed toward the particular piece of equipment.

"Oops!" Sam turned red with embarrassment. "Guess I just assumed." She gave a weak smile and shrugged her shoulders. "See, I told you that I don’t know everything."

"That’s okay," Brooke reached for the tape. "Hand it here. This is where I come in as your mentor." She took the tape from Sam and crossed over to place it into the machine. Hearing the first cueing noises coming from it, she walked over and took a seat in front of Sam’s desk. "Sam…" Brooke motioned toward the high-backed chair on the other side of the desk. "You might as well sit down. This could take a while."

"Yeah…right." Sam gave the chair a little spin, then nestled down into the soft leather. "Hmm…nice choice," she winked over the desk to her wife. "Remind me to thank you properly when we get home."

The first strains of guitar licks and the pounding beat of an insistent drummer brought Brooke back to the reason that they were really here in the room together. "Okay," she cleared her throat and her mind both at the same time. "This band that you’re hearing is the band that I signed from Jersey."

"Line of Fire, right?"

"Yeah," a broad smile came to the executive’s face. "What you’re hearing is the final mix and edit of their first album. In that file," Brooke pointed to the folder in front of Sam on the desktop. "You’ll find everything you need to acquaint yourself with them." She leaned forward and shuffled through the folder full of loose pages, calling out the categories as she separated them out on the desk. "Their bios, a few promo shots, and a current song list for the album, complete with all the words for the songs."

"So, what’s their range? What audience are they shooting for?"

"You tell me." Brooke motioned to her ear with a finger and then pointed toward the new PR Manager. "That’s the biggest part of your job, Sam. Picking the right venues and audiences will either make the group or break them."

The young woman listened more intently to the lyrics as she perused the folder, pausing with each member’s individual photo. "Well, they sure aren’t the bubble gum image that I’d expect to peddle to the teenie boppers."

"Nope, definitely not bubble gum music with all those piercings and the majority of those lyrics."

"Yeah, that would definitely be a hard sell to the parents." Sam focused on the images before her.

Brooke sat back and with both elbows resting on the arms of her chair. She let the fingertips of one hand meet the other in an isometric exercise. "The original tapes have been sent for mass production and should be back in two weeks. We need to come up with a jacket design for the album by then…"

"And a campaign to get them on the radio," Sam quickly added. "They need air time to get their sound to the people." Green eyes sparkled at the challenge, "Got it, Boss." She smiled over at the woman opposite her. "I’ll get right on it."

"Now we’re getting down to business." Brooke smiled at her new employee’s enthusiasm. "Speaking of which…" Brooke hesitated for a moment. "We might as well go over the list of things that Janet gave me as the requirements for completing your internship."

"I think I know them already, Brooke." Sam looked over to her wife. "I need to have an active part in the promotion of talent or a product." The blonde held up her fingers one by one as she went down the list. "I’ve got to take an active part in dealing with the advertising portion of the campaign. I’ve got to be able to prove that the marketing campaign worked by either name recognition or gross dollar return on the items sold. I need to troubleshoot any unforeseen problems that suddenly arise." Sam enjoyed the proud look on Brooke’s face as she readied with her next needed accomplishment. "I’ve got…"

"It all memorized, don’t you?" Brooke interrupted as she marveled at her wife’s ability.

"I guess so," Sam shrugged shyly. Her nose wrinkled up as she looked over to Brooke. "I’ve…I’ve only wanted to do this all my life." Sam thought back to all those albums and CDs that she’d listened to, over and over again, as she grew up. "You know, I used to fall asleep at night trying to figure out what I’d have done to make all those groups that I listened to ride the entertainment wave longer and higher then they did." Sam wrinkled up her nose in a moment of insecurity. "I guess I’m not dreaming anymore."

"You’ll do fine, Sam." Brooke settled back in the chair. "I can see that you’ll keep me on my toes during the internship." The C.E.O. cleared her throat and mind of the wayward thought that was creeping into it. "Ah…any numbers that you could possibly need for a radio station, TV show, or any of the industry’s magazine editors are all right there in your Rolodex."

"I take it that you had Ida working on this before I got here." Sam pointed toward the nicely arranged desk with all the tools that she might need at her fingertips.

"Yeah, Ida took care of that. I have a good feeling about Line of Fire, so they’re going to be your first assignment. Okay?"

"They sound hot, Brooke." Sam tapped out the beat of the current song on her desk without realizing it. "Give me til the end of the day and I’ll show you what I come up with."

Brooke nodded in agreement, then stood up from her chair. "I’ll be in my office if you need anything, Darlin’." She watched Sam as her new assistant delved deeper into the beat of the music. "Okay, Sweetheart?"

The new PR Manager kept her eyes on the photos as she uttered out a single word, "Okay." Sam’s head continued bobbing to the beat of the music as she raised one hand to shape the word she’d just uttered.

Pleased but yet disappointed at the intensity of Sam’s concentration, Brooke slowly turned and headed for the door.

"Oh, Brooke…"

She spun around and looked back into her wife’s eyes. "Yes, Darlin’?"

Sam took in a deep breath and smiled sincerely. "I love you."

The words lingered in the air for several seconds and then both women went about their first day at work together, just a little happier than they thought they could ever be at a work site.



Sam had settled into her job with enthusiasm and by the end of the week she was even looking the part. With her sleeves rolled up and a stubby yellow pencil tucked behind her right ear, the young PR Manager breezed in through the open door of Brooke’s office. "Brooke…" she flipped a page or two over in the notebook she held in her hand. "How much did you say I have to work with for this group?"

The C.E.O. shuffled through some notes on her desk and then scribbled down a budget amount on a piece of paper, handing it to Sam. Brooke kept her eyes on the decorative but functional timepiece on her desk. "Any more questions, Sam?"

Looking down at the figure that was handed her, Sam started doing the math. "Brooke if I…" she grabbed the pencil behind her ear and jotted down some figures of her own. "No, that can’t be right." Sam flipped the pencil over and used the eraser, then reversed the tool and started over again.

"What?" Brooke glanced up at her wife. "You’ve run into a snag?" The C.E.O. teased her newest employee. "I find that hard to believe." Brooke smiled confidently. "Your ideas have been good so far, Sam."

"Thanks," Sam glanced over to her wife and smiled shyly. "I want to do my best for you and Brownstone, Brooke."

"That you are, Darlin’," Brooke nodded subtly. "You know, I was proud of you helping the artist with your impression of Line of Fire for the CD cover. That showed real insight into the group’s sound."

Sam wrinkled her nose, wincing at Brooke’s words of praise. "It was their song. I just said that it made me think of coming out of a hazy fog. How was I supposed to know that would develop into a live shoot with the guys coming out of a circle of fire?"

"Not bad for your second day on the job. The proofs that came across my desk this morning looked damn good. You just keep on doing what you’re doing, Sam. I can see that you have the makings of a good PR Manager. Of course," Brooke wet her lips as she tapped out a rhythm with her fingers on the desk, "that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn more."

"Please, Brooke." Sam sighed, "I’ve got enough right now just so that I can graduate. Let’s save the learning more for later." She turned her attention back to the paper she was writing on. "Right now, I’m trying to see how many promo gigs I can fit into this budget. I figure that the radio talks won’t cost us anything…"

"Correct," Brooke nodded in agreement glancing over to the clock on her desk.

"The mall appearances won’t be more than a few security guards on the payroll."

"So, that’s just a few hundred or so." Brooke looked up to see the puzzled look on Sam’s face as she went through the motions of figuring out the budget once again.

"I guess we could give some CD’s and shirts away…" Sam stopped writing and looked at the figure that was left. Her eyes grew bigger as she held the number in her view. "What am I supposed to do with the rest?"

The C.E.O. smiled knowingly. "Well…we’re going to need to pay for the photographer to get more promotion photos done, there’s always the touring allowance to work into that budget. And then there’s…"

"I know…" Sam took in a deep breath as another idea came to her. "We could get a journalist to cover the upstart of a new band. You know…maybe get them to write as a part of the touring group. What do you think?"

"I think…" Brooke’s eye shifted to the clock and her smile grew from ear to ear. "I think we’ll have to continue this later." She rose from her seat and stretched her back. "Wahoo! It’s quitting time."

"Quitting time?" Blonde brows furrowed deep into Sam’s forehead. "But…I just got started."

"Baby, it’s Friday and already after five now. You can pick this up again on Monday." Brooke reached for the phone and tapped in a few numbers. "Hey, Petey."

"Yo, Boss lady," the energetic voice came from the receiver loud and clear.

"You ready to call it a week?"

"Yeah, just wrapping up the desk now and putting away the tie. I’m out of here."

"Great!" Brooke winked over at Sam who was still looking puzzled. "Hey, you and Crystal are coming to the house tomorrow night, right?"

"Where else would I be? Movies…popcorn…and a date with my boss picking up the tab."

"You’ve got it. See you tomorrow, Petey."

"Righto, Bossaroonie. Ciao."

"Later, Dude." Brooke hung up the phone and turned toward her wife. "Now…back to you." She winked and sent a kiss into the air. "What do you need, Darlin’ that can’t wait until Monday?" She reached out and took the notepad from Sam’s hand, placing it down on her desk.

"Are you firing me?" Sam looked her wife straight in the eye.

"No way…" Brooke stopped and thought for a moment. "Well…maybe."

"Only for the weekend, eh?" Sam took a step closer.

"Uh-huh," reeling her wife into her lap and kissing her on her cheek.

"Ah…I get the idea." Sam returned a kiss and smiled. "It’s time to think about us and not work, right?" Her answer was a flurry of kisses that started on Brooke’s neck and ended with her ear. "Mmm…" Sam purred. "I think I like being married to the boss." She gave her wife a soft, lingering kiss on the lips and then drew back only to whisper into Brooke’s ear. "What do you say we take this together time home and put it to good use?"

"Oh, yeah!" Brooke gave a little growl. "I think that sounds like a marvelous idea. I’ll even make dinner. What do you say…a bottle of wine, some candles?"

"Sounds delicious." Sam nipped at Brooke’s earlobe. "Just like you."

"Come on then, Beautiful. Let’s go home." Brooke rose from the chair and headed for the door.

"I’m all yours, Boss lady." A coy smile came to Sam’s face as she wiggled her eyebrows then quickly followed her wife out the door.


One lazy, green eye surveyed the terrain of sheets and pillows that gave the bed a rather rumpled but well loved look. A soft purr emitted from Sam’s throat as she remembered their night of lovemaking. Feeling the need to be in her wife’s strong arms, she rolled over and sought out the long, lanky form of the woman she loved. A swift, probing hand searched through the piles of bedding to find no such form. Sam perched herself up on her elbows to look around. Not being one to lay around in bed alone, Sam rolled over to the edge of the bed and got up. Grabbing her robe as she passed by the chair, she pulled it on as she entered the hall looking for her lover.

"Hmm…" Sam gazed into the small office as she continued on down the hall. "Well, I might as well make some coffee," she shrugged and headed toward the kitchen. With every room she walked by, Sam looked in hopes of finding the other residents of the home. "Now, that’s odd." She listened for a moment then continued on. "Not even Mario’s around. I wonder if…"

Her thoughts were broken by the sound of the phone ringing and Sam moved down the hall at a quicker pace to answer it. "Oh, so there you are." She saw the dog rolled up into a comfortable looking ball just inside the doorway leading down to the studio. "Hmm…guess she didn’t use all of her energy up last night. I’m going to have to work on that." Sam grabbed the portable phone from the kitchen counter and started down the steps. "Hello, Gordon Residence."

"Well, hello there Mrs. Gordon." The voice was exuberant. "How are ya’, Toots?"

"Hey, Petey." A smile came easily to her face. "I’m doing great…and you?"

"Pretty good," he chuckled out. "Say, is that ol’ ball and chain around?"

"You mean, Brooke," Sam thought for a second. "I’m sure that she’s around." She walked down the hall and looked into the studio’s window letting her eyes fall on the hard pounding ex-rocker. "Yeah, she’s getting her exercise on those drums of hers right now. Do you need to talk to her?"

"Uhm…nah, that’s alright. I don’t want to disturb her. I keep telling her she doesn’t play those damn things enough any more." Peter hesitated for a moment then spoke. "But hey, you can help me."

"Okay," Sam waved back to the drummer as she worked the raised stick into the routine without losing a beat. "Whatcha’ need, Petey?"

"Well…I was wondering…" he cleared his throat. "Do you think you guys would mind another guest?"

"When, Petey, for the movies or dinner on Sunday or…" Sam smiled and let the giggling sound escape her lips. "God, we don’t even have kids yet and we need a calendar of events."

"Well, I guess I’m asking for tonight. I’m not sure when he’s leaving and I didn’t really expect to see him on my doorstep this morning…"

"Who is that?"

Peter chuckled, "Eddie."

"Eddie?" Sam smirked. "God, I didn’t even realize that he was in town. Sure, bring him with you."

"You guys won’t mind?"

"Nah, I think that Brooke likes the little guy. She won’t mind at all."

"Yeah, they did seem to hit it off pretty good. Thanks, Toots. Tell the ol’ lady…"

"Ol’ lady, eh?" Sam grinned hearing his soft chuckling come through the phone and shook her head. "You'd better not let her hear you calling her that name."

"Well, tell her I said ‘Hi!’ and I’ll see you both tonight."

"Will do, Petey. Bye."

"Later, kiddo."

Sam smiled as the other end of the connection went dead. She pressed the off button and turned to see Brooke more involved in her playing than anything. Opening the door, she moved into the control room of the studio, and listened to the rhythmic beat. It only took her a few seconds to recognize the sound of "Living Dead Girl" by Rob Zombie. The beat was loud but entertaining as she watched the sweat rolling off of her lover, each beat becoming a little piece of the woman that she loved. Like a moth to a flame, Sam needed to be closer to her and she found herself heading further into the studio.

"I like hearing you play the drums," Sam yelled over the thundering sound of the percussion instrument. "I agree with Peter; you should do it more often."

Brooke looked puzzled for a moment then laid the sticks down and pulled out her earplugs. "Hi, Darlin’. Now, you are the most beautiful sight I’ve seen all morning." She flashed a toothy smile as she wiped the sweat from her face. "Whew! I really worked up a sweat there."

"I see that you’re getting all of that nervous energy out."

"Nervous?" Brooke scratched her head. "Why would I be…

"You know…" Sam prodded her mentally. "The doctor’s appointment on Monday…or did you forget about it already?"

"Oh, no…I didn’t forget." Brooke picked up the sticks and struck a few beats. "I’m not exactly thrilled about it but that’s alright, look at what we’ll get from it."

"Hmm…are you talking about the bills out the wazoo or the diaper rash?" Sam looked skeptical.

Brooke eyed her wife contemplatively. "We’re really going to do this, right? I mean…you still want to, don’t you?"

"You know that I want children with you, Brooke. I’m just…" Sam bit at her lip, debating whether or not to put her thoughts into words.

"What, Sam?" Blue eyes searched green for an answer.

"Brooke, I…I really think that the first child should be yours." Sam looked rather hesitant at how her idea would be accepted. "You’re older and if we take into consideration the time element…"

"Whoa!" Brooke lifted Sam’s chin with a finger and stared deep into her eyes. "What are you saying, Sam? You don’t what to have a baby with me?"

"No, I…" Sam swallowed hard.

"Then what is it?" Brooke could feel a cold shiver run down her spine. "Sam…"

"I know it’s nothing, but I…" Sam took in a deep breath and tried to calm her fear. How do I tell you that I don’t trust my mother, Brooke? I’m afraid that she’ll do something or…find a way to take the baby from us.

"Darlin’, Brooke wrapped her arms around her wife and held on tight. "Are you having second thoughts about this? Is that what this is all about?" Brooke kissed the top of Sam’s head. "Oh, Baby." She rocked the young woman in her embrace. "Just say the word, Sam, and we’ll wait until you feel more comfortable with the idea. I wasn’t trying to rush us into anything."

The security that Brooke’s arms provided eased her trepidation and gave the young woman the courage that she was looking for. Sam took a moment to gain her composure. "I’ve been doing some research on the Internet, Brooke. I’ve found a way that we can both be the child’s mother…legally, without one of us having to go through adoption proceedings." She looked up into questioning blue eyes. "If we can have the baby via an in vitro method, then you’d be the biological mother, and I…I would be the surrogate mother for our child."

"You’d be willing to carry my child to term if the doctor agrees to the…in…invee…whatever it was you said?"

"I’m game, Brooke. You know that."

"I do. I just want to make sure you still want to do this now. I mean," Brooke looked up to the ceiling, searching for the right words to say. "Sam, carrying a child for nine months is not something that you jump into, especially when it’s not…"

"But this way, Brooke, it would be my child too." Sam directed her wife’s gaze to her own eyes. "I want this just as much as I want you."

There was a long moment of silence as they gazed deep into each other’s souls.

"You’d do that for me, Sam?" Brooke knew the answer before she’d even asked the question.

"Yes, Brooke." Sam nodded in affirmation. "I’d be honored to have your baby."

A slow but deliberate smile grew on both of their faces. Before they knew it, their lips were touching, gently at first but as the seconds grew, so did the fervor and passion that swept over them.

Relieved that she did not have to explain her reasons any further, Sam embraced the loving mood that was sweeping over her. Milking the kiss for all that it was worth, she slowly pulled her lips away from Brooke’s and whispered into the other woman’s ear. "Say big girl…care to work off a little more of that energy with me?"

"Hmm…is that an indication that you’re going to get behind this kit with me and get all hot, sweaty, and…" Sam’s fingers silenced Brooke’s words as they gently pressed against her mouth.

Sam waited until she had her wife’s full attention, then casually looked over behind the drum kit. "Hmm…not too comfortable looking but if that’s what turns you on…"

Brooke pulled the fingers away from her mouth and gave a fast rebuttal. "You turn me on." Her blue eyes drove the meaning of those few words home.

The intensity of the moment caught Sam by surprise. She stepped back and took in the whole picture that was Brooke. Green eyes carefully drifted down the tall woman’s frame, taking in the effect that the sleeveless shirt had as it revealed a well-muscled set of abs. The woman had the body of a god and the long legs protruding from the bottom of her shorts proved it.

"Why, what did you have in mind, my wife?" Brooke moved over to the small refrigerator in the studio, turning her back to her wife as she pulled out a bottle of water. With slow, deliberate movements, she twisted off the cap and chugged down a quick mouthful.

The sight of the Loran trademark tattoo of flaming drums on Brooke’s back was more than Sam could have ever bargained for. It still made her heart skip a beat as her thoughts grew bolder. "You, me, and some water…hmm…" Sam mused. "Care for a little shower time entertainment?"

Brooke lifted her arm and sniffed. "Whew…" she made a face. "I guess that means I stink, huh?

"Hey, you better not stink. In fact," Sam pulled her wife around to face her. "I think that you’re quite good at what you do." She rubbed her hands over the tattoo on Brooke’s lower back. "You…set my heart afire."

"Well, if we’re gonna take a shower anyway…" the woman flashed a big grin as she wrapped her perspiration covered arms around the smaller woman. "We might as well get you sweaty, too."

"Baby," Sam looked up into her wife’s face as Brooke brought the bottle of water to her mouth for another drink. "You’ve already gotten me wet."

Choking on the water that she was trying to swallow, Brooke coughed as she wiped her mouth. "Darlin’, keep that up and you’re going to kill me." She thought about what she’d just said and a slow, seductive smile came to her face. "Hmm…but what a way to go."



Bringing her towel down from in front of her face, Sam’s eyes fell on long, bare legs that led to a set of shapely buns. In the next second her actions were unstoppable as she quickly twirled the wet towel and took aim.

Wha-a-a-a-a-ack! The towel hit its mark and Sam stood mesmerized by the sight of rippling butt muscles that made the flames on the woman’s lower back tattoo seem to flicker around the drum kit it was emblazoned on.

"Yeow!" Brooke looked into the mirror that she was facing to see the mischievous look on her lover’s face. "Damn, Darlin’, if you want to be getting into the more physical side of lovemaking I think we can come up with some better ways than that."

The raised eyebrow and look on Brooke’s face told Sam that she was in for a challenge. The young woman giggled nervously. "I…ah…I…" Sam’s eyes grew wider as Brooke slowly turned and smiled with an evil grin. "Oh, shit!" Sam took flight as fast as her short legs would move as she ran from the bathroom and headed for the hall.

Blue eyes sparkled with delight as Brooke silently counted to three and took off after her wife.

It was a quick chase. They never got any further than the top of the stairs before Brooke scooped Sam up into her arms and hoisted her over her shoulder as she headed back toward the master bedroom. Sam’s mocking attempts at fighting Brooke off faded to bouts of tickling. The sudden squirming on both of their parts as they returned one tickle for another were more than enough to cause laughter to come from both women. Standing before the large king-size bed, Brooke shrugged her shoulder, resulting in Sam’s tumble onto the bed. Without warning, Sam’s small body was enveloped by a mound of rippling muscle as Brooke leaped onto the mattress and hovered over her.

"Now, you’re mine." Brooke smiled evilly, wetting her lips in anticipation of what was to come.

A second later the pair was locking lips in a passionate kiss as their bodies moved in rhythm to their mood. Neither hands nor lips were content to remain in one place for longer than a few seconds as the passion each one was feeling proved too much for them to contain. One body pressed firmly against the other igniting more passion then they knew they possessed and when the time was right, Brooke rolled them over into the middle of the bed. Her intent was evident as she snaked one agile hand down the soft mid section of her wife and headed toward her silky folds.

Gasping for breath, she whispered into her wife’s ear. "God, Sam…I want to make love to you forever."

The words were short lived as the sound of a ringing phone split the air.

"Ignore it, Darlin’, we’ve already started something here."

Sam nodded in agreement. After a few more rings the house phone quieted. "MMMmmmm," she moaned. "Now, where were we?"

"I think…" Brooke took in a breath, "that we were…" she punctuated her thoughts with kisses, "…just about to…"

The ringing started again, only this time it wasn’t the house phone, but Sam’s cell phone instead. Green eyes riveted to it.

"Don’t give it a thought." Brooke looked up and snarled at the phone. "I’m not." She then went back to what she was doing, without missing a beat in the love song that her hands and heart were working on.

The phone rang only a time or two more then became quiet.

"See," another kiss gently teased a pert nipple. "I knew they would…" the tip of a tongue gracefully glided up Sam’s neck and ended with a nibble at her ear lobe, "…give up if we ignored…" Brooke’s words stopped abruptly when the noise of her cell phone vibrating on the nightstand started.

Sam couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the impeccable timing of the persistent caller.

"Hey!" Brooke’s head shot up in surprise. "I’m not that bad."

"No, Lover, you’re not." Sam controlled her laughter after sensing the degree of hurt in her wife’s voice. "But if we don’t answer that phone, we’re never going to get the concentration that we need."

"Humph…" Brooke sighed as she slowed her movements to a halt and reluctantly withdrew from Sam, giving her a chaste kiss before reaching for the phone. "Just remember where we were," she winked and rolled over, reaching for her phone.

"Hello?" Brooke inhaled several times, trying to catch her breath as she waited for the person on the other end to reply. "This better be damn important to interrupt what I was engaged in."

"Brooke, I’m so glad that I got you."

The deep sounding voice came through the speaker and immediately struck a familiar chord in Brooke’s mind. She froze for a short time and swallowed hard before speaking. "Uh…Hi." Brooke’s eyes grew bigger for a minute then darted between the phone in her hand and the naked blonde she was sitting next to. She reached for the covers and tugged at them without much success as the flushed look of embarrassment colored her face.

This level of self-consciousness surprised even Sam as she covered her mouth, trying hard not to let the sound of giggling escape her mouth.

The sound of her own hyperventilating didn’t help to calm her racing libido as Brooke’s eyes acknowledged the alluring pose that Sam had settled into.

"You sound a little out of breath. You didn’t just run for the phone, did you Brooke?"

"Ah…yeah…I mean no…" Brooke swatted away the playful advances of her wife and shot an arched brow in her direction. "I was…" she tried to think of a delicate way to convey what exactly she had been doing without blatantly lying to Sam’s father. "I was…ah…working out."

Sam looked at the serious expression on Brooke’s face and mouthed the words she’d just heard, "Working out?"

"Yeah, I was working out when the phone rang."

The laughter came easily to Sam as she began to shake her head. "We weren’t working out…we were having…" she wrote the letters in mid air with her finger, "S-E-X."

"Hmm…working out, eh? Is that what you call it nowadays?" The man teased. "In my day we would have just been having…"

The sound of Brooke’s coughing overshadowed the rest of his statement.

"What, Brooke. You don’t think that I haven’t done a little working out myself?"

The dark-haired woman flopped back onto the bed, quickly covering her head with a pillow and groaned. "No offense, sir, but it’s not an image I want running around inside of my head." A shiver went down the woman’s spine and she tried to shake the idea from her mind. "So, what can I help you with, Mr. Mole…son." She drew the name out for Sam to hear.

"Daddy?" Sam said weakly and grabbed for the covers, drawing them up under her chin. She watched as Brooke came out from under the pillow. Blue eyes intensified with the nodding of the woman’s head and Sam felt the heat of her own embarrassment rising from her chest to the top of her head.

Brooke cleared her throat. "You’re still letting Sarah spend the night with us, right?"

"Yes. In fact, I was wondering if you might be able to pick Sarah up." He let a little chuckle engulf his words. "Later, I mean, not now."

"Uh, sure…later’s fine." Brooke rolled her eyes. "You and Mrs. Moleson are still coming for dinner tomorrow, aren’t you?"

"Oh, yes. Elaine and I will be there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m seeing my daughter every chance that I get."

"That’s great." Brooke sat up and smiled for the first time since she answered the phone. "You have no idea what that means to her." She glanced over to Sam. "She’s missed her family a lot."

"So have I," Samuel softly said. "And no problems are going to stand in my way this time around."


The sound of Samuel clearing his throat came through the receiver. "It seems that Elaine committed me to something today. It’s another one of her church functions and I…I just wanted to make sure that Sarah wouldn’t be disappointed. I know how much she’s looking forward to being with her sister again. Thanks, Brooke."

"You’re welcome, sir." Brooke’s strong voice turned hesitant as she formulated her next question. "Does your wife know that you’re calling to see if we can come get Sarah? I mean…she’s okay with that?"

"It doesn’t matter, Brooke. I told her there was no way Sarah was missing out on this overnight with her sister. Elaine…" he paused for a second then continued. "Elaine is learning to be okay with it." His voice sounded more determined, "She has to."

Brooke nodded. "I’ll give you a call when we’re on our way, sir."

"Thanks, Brooke. I’ll make sure that she’s ready to go by four. I knew that I could count on you." There was a pause in the conversation, then Samuel added his afterthought. "Oh, and ah…Brooke..."

"Yes, sir?"

"You can finish what you were doing…I mean…your workout routine." Samuel chuckled. "I wouldn’t want to slight my other daughter in any way, shape or form."

Dumbfounded by Samuel’s words, Brooke went slack jawed. She blinked once, then twice and slowly turned to stare at the phone in her hand.

"Bye, Brooke and thanks again." The delight in his voice was evident because he had succumbed his daughter-in-law speechless. "Kiss my daughter for me, will you?"

"Uh…sure." She struggled to gain her senses. "Bye, Mr. Moleson."

Brooke slowly touched the button to end the phone connection then sank back into the bed, pulling the pillow over her head as she let go of a long sigh. "Well, it’s official, Baby." Brooke moved the pillow from one eye and looked over at her wife. "We are definitely married now."

"What?" The puzzled look on Sam’s face showed her confusion. "Why do you say that?"

"Because I swear only a father-in-law," Brooke shook her head as she clutched the pillow to her chest. "Your wife’s father…" she stressed the point, "has that kind of timing."



Several hours later and roughly seventy or so miles away from home, Brooke looked over to the passenger who sat where Sam usually did. The familiar blonde hair was there but on a slightly younger model of the Moleson mold. The siblings had more in common than just looks Brooke thought as she noticed Sarah’s attentiveness to the passing scenery around them.

Okay, you’re an adult, Brooke reasoned. You get along with C.C., she smiled, and Sam, so talking to someone a few years younger shouldn’t be a problem at all. Besides, you know it’s going to be a long hour or so if you don’t find some way to pass the time.

A twinge of loneliness for her wife surfaced as she looked into the rearview mirror. Damn, I wish I’d bought a van, that way we would have all been able to go get Sarah. After an image of Sam, Julie and the boys waving good-bye flickered through her mind, Brooke refocused her attention to the road. Well, Randi’s kids do love Sam. I just wish they hadn’t come over so early.

Glancing to her right, Sarah came into her view. Brooke thought for a moment about what they could have in common to talk about and the answer came to her in the form of her wife. Yeah, she looked over to her young passenger. Sam’s the common ground that we share. Okay, here goes.

"So, are you ready for the weekend with your sister, Sarah? I know that Sam’s been talking about it all week."

"Yeah," Sarah nervously admitted then quickly turned the tables teasingly on her sister-in-law. "I can’t wait to see you two old married people and watch a movie."

"Hey!" Brooke reached over and ruffled the teen’s hair. "What do ya mean old?"

Sarah pulled away, raking her hand through her bangs but never answered the question. "I guess I’ll have to take notes to tell you two what the movie was about." She shot a glance in Brooke’s direction and was rewarded with a tinge of red that came to the older woman’s cheeks. "Don’t get me wrong, Brooke. I’m glad that Sam found you and all, but…" she hesitated.

"But what?"

"I mean…can you…" Sarah paused again.

"Can I what?" Brooke looked over to her passenger, then quickly glanced back to the road.

Seeing that she had the older woman intrigued, Sarah enjoyed the teasing even more. "Could you not be so obviously in love with her?"

Brooke let a smile come to the surface. "I wouldn’t even know how to stop."

"Why does that not surprise me?" The girl looked out the window as she chuckled.

"I don’t even want to close my eyes at night because I miss her when I’m sleeping," Brooke confessed.

"You know that I’m just teasing you," Sarah looked to Brooke. "Right?"

The driver nodded her head. "And yeah, I know." She gave Sarah a quick wink, then concentrated on the road ahead.

Sarah stared at Brooke for the longest time before finally putting her thoughts into words. "I think…" she nodded slowly. "I think I kind of like having you as an older sister."

Shocked by the statement, Brooke fought back with an embarrassed smile. "Oh yeah? Well, I think I kind of like having you as a younger sister."

"Good. The feeling is mutual then." Sarah settled into the seat, more comfortable now then when they had started the trip. "So what’s up, sis?"

Brooke exchanged glances with her passenger and felt a little more at ease. Ah, what the heck. "Speaking of all this sister stuff…" she glanced over to Sarah. "What would you think about being an aunt?"

"An aunt?" The question puzzled Sarah and she turned to look over at Brooke. "What do you mean an aunt?" The teen gasped for air as a thought came to her head. "Oh my God! My sister is pregnant, isn’t she?" She twisted in her seat and looked directly at Brooke. "Is that why you had to get…"

"Sarah…" Brooke’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel as she swerved into the passing lane. "You think I got your sister pregnant?" She accelerated around the car to her left and jerked back into the slower lane.

"But I thought…" Sarah looked off into space for a moment, then coyly stole a glance in Brooke's direction. "I mean…Mother told me…" she watched Brooke’s face take on a stunned expression.

"Hold on. Slow down." Brooke tried to study the girls face for a clue. "What did your mother tell you?"

"Did she get that birds and bees thing all wrong?" Sarah stared straight ahead and mumbled. "Good God, if she did…" the girl swallowed hard. "I could have been royally screwed."

The sudden lane changing of the car ahead of her caused her to smash her hand onto the horn. "WHAT?" Brooke spoke up as she tried to keep an eye on the traffic around her.

Startled by the noise, Sarah’s eyes grew as large as saucers. "What?"

Brooke cringed at the echoing effect of her own question. "Come on, kid. What did your mother say and why are you screwed?"

Sarah looked over at Brooke. "Don’t tell me that you’re just as confused, too?" The teen sighed. "I should have listened to the talk on the streets," she mumbled under her breath, then looked straight at Brooke. "Aren’t you the one that got Sam pregnant?" The corners of Sarah’s mouth turned upward as she tried hard to keep a straight face.

"Sarah, I can not get Sam pregnant." White knuckles reflected the degree of tension in Brooke’s hands. "There’s no stem on my apple."

The girl studied Brooke for a moment then cautiously asked, "So Mother was right…it is all about apples just like she said."

"HUH?" Brooke shot a quick glance to the teen. Where in the hell is their mother coming from?

Seeing the puzzled look on the driver’s face, Sarah teased her even more. "Yep," she nodded her head. "Mother said that if it weren’t for apples, none of us would have to worry about sin."

Apples…sin…? What the hell is she talking about? "No," Brooke shook her head. She then cleared her throat as she prepared her explanation. "Forget about apples and that." Okay, regroup here and start again. "Sam and I do want to have a baby, Sarah." She looked to see how the teen was accepting it. "But I can’t get her pregnant."

Never taking her eyes off of Brooke, Sarah shifted in her seat. "Then what are you talking about my being an aunt? Are you two thinking about adoption?"

Brooke shook her head. "We really want to have our own baby."

"But you just said a minute ago…" Sarah was quick with her rebuttal.

"We’d do it with an…uh…" Brooke searched for the right word. "A donation from a father."

"Donation?" The teen put on her best act at looking puzzled. "Father?"

Hearing the trepidation in Sarah’s voice, Brooke rolled her eyes. "You’re what…sixteen?"

"Seventeen," the girl corrected her.

"Sarah, surely you know that two woman can’t get each other pregnant."

"Well heck, that singer Melissa and her partner had a kid or two." Sarah shrugged as she turned to look out the side window unable to keep a straight face. "I heard that more…ah…more…" she muffled her next word, "lesbians are doing it. You know, having kids, that is. I just figured they cloned them or something I guess."

Brooke couldn’t help but laugh. "Oh, Sarah, you are too funny. I can’t get Sam pregnant and she can’t get me pregnant. It would have to be by artificial insemination."

"Artificial?" What’s artificial about it if you get a kid? Then who…" Blonde brows furrowed deeply. "How?"

Blue eyes shot over to view the sincerity of the girl’s answer. "We…we haven’t really decided on the who yet." Damn, Brooke looked back to the road ahead of her. I’m not sure she knows what the hell I’m talking about. "Are you serious, Sarah? Hasn’t your mother explained any of this to you?"

A very audible gulp came from Sarah before she slowly answered the question that was posed to her. "Well, Mother hasn’t seen the need for me to…ah…date or anything and I guess she doesn’t think I need to know." Sarah turned her head and stared out the side window. "Maybe I should talk to my sister."

Brooke cringed but felt the need to respond to the girl’s plight. "Can I help?"

"Huh?" Sarah shifted her gaze toward the driver. "Well, I guess you are technically my sister now." The girl took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Sarah, I’ll understand if you’d be more comfortable talking to Sam." Say yes. Say yes. Oh please God, let this one prayer of mine be answered.

"How about if you just kind of give me the skinny on it." She looked at the driver until she could no longer hold the laughter inside. Nervously she let go with a giggle as she looked away. "I mean…in a nutshell."

"Skinny…on what, exactly?" Brooke was puzzled.

"Sex, you dummy. Sex." Sarah sank disgustedly back into her seat. "Geez, and I thought you knew." The teen kept a close watch on Brooke, stealing glances without being caught.

"You…" Brooke held the steering wheel a little tighter and gulped. "You want me to tell you all about sex?"

"No. Like I need another lesson in how babies come from the cabbage patch." Green eyes stared indignantly at Brooke. "Yes, sex. I’d like to know. I mean…just in case, well…you know." She rolled her eyes. "Then maybe I wouldn’t feel so dumb when Sam and I talk about this baby thing."

"Why do they always think I know it all?" Brooke mumbled under her breath as her foot pushed a little harder on the gas pedal.



Descending the spiral staircase, Sam whimsically glanced at the clock on the living room mantle. It was only four in the afternoon and already she was missing Brooke. She let a sigh escape her lips and continued on down the hall.

"Well, it’s just you, and me for the next forty-five minutes, Mario. I guess we tired the kids out with that game of doggie tag. Thank God, Julie and the boys were willing to take a nap so that they could stay up longer watching the movies." She looked down to the dog that was sitting at her side. "I know, you miss her." She leaned down and patted his head. "I do, too." Sam turned to the window around the front door and casually looked out into the driveway. "I’d give anything to see her truck pulling in right about now." She looked over to the animal and noticed a heightened level of alertness in Mario’s demeanor. "What’s up, boy?"

The animal pranced around in excited circles, whimpering as it started to swipe its paw at the front door.

"Your mommy’s not due for another…" Sam looked out the window. The empty driveway of only a minute ago was now filled with a very familiar looking truck. "Oh, she’s home." Sam looked back at the clock in the living room. "Hmm…I wonder what made her speed so much. She shouldn’t have been back this soon." A smile crossed Sam’s face as she felt her heart race with the first sight of the dark-haired woman emerging from the vehicle. "I’ll bet she missed me," Sam whispered under her breath.

Eagerly Sam undid the deadbolt and opened the door just as Brooke was about to start punching in the security code for the lock. "Hey, Sarah." She greeted the teen standing next to Brooke. "I see that she got you here in one piece. Are you ready for a night of fun with the Gordon family?"

"I’ve already started having fun," Sarah smiled at her sister.

"Hey!" Brooke arched an eyebrow at not being the center of her wife’s attention. "Hello…" she waved, "…remember me?"

"Oh, so now you can speak?" Sarah teased the older woman. "You didn’t say a word for the last thirty minutes."

Sam looked at her sister as the teen beamed back a toothy grin, then studied her wife. "What’s this…" she pointed a finger back and forth between the two, "…all about?"

"Oh, great! Now there are two of them asking questions." Brooke flashed a pained grin and walked into the house. "Hey, Mario, at least you still love me." She reached down and scratched the dog’s head. "That’s a good boy."

"Well, are you going to ask her or better yet…" Sarah turned to address her sister. "You better explain a few things to your wife, Sam."

"Huh?" Sam looked to Brooke for clarification. "What’s she talking about?"

"Darlin’," Brooke leaned close to Sam’s ear and whispered. "Me thinks you need to have a talk with your sister about some…ah…um…things." She looked into Sam’s face and saw nothing but confusion. "I think your mother has her a tad…confused about S-E-X."

"Confused about what?" Sam looked from Brooke to her sister and then back again.

"Sex, Sam." Brooke whispered it a little louder then the last time.

"And you couldn’t?" Sam watched as Brooke shrugged and smiled, making a silly face. "Yeah, I know, fake that silent routine with me." She put her hands on her hips and began tapping her right foot. "Let’s see you do that at the doctor’s office on Monday."

"Awe…Sam, did you have to remind me of that already? It’s going to make me feel like Star Trek in there." Brooke stood at attention and held her right hand up in a Vulcan greeting. "To boldly go where no man has gone before," she said and then cringed. "Literally."

"Ain’t that the truth," Sarah smirked as she rolled her eyes. She came up to her sister and gave her a hug.

Sam glared at her sister then settled her gaze on her wife. "You had to say that, didn’t you?"

"Sorry," Brooke shrugged. "I’ve been trying to explain to Sarah that I can’t impregnate you even though we are planning on having a child with the help of a quack or two."

"Doctors? Quacks?" The teen looked to her sister. "What’s it going to be, Sam…a Gordon baby or a duck?" When no answer came immediately, Sarah sighed. "See? No one will be honest with me about sex." She shook her head and moved into the house. "Come on, Mario. Maybe you can tell me about the birds and the bees."

Sam stood speechless for a long moment as she watched her sister disappear into the next room. "Honest?" She finally muttered under her breath. "I was totally honest with you when we sat down and you asked me all those questions about sex."

"You had that talk with her already?" Brooke’s eye became bigger.

"Yeah," Sam nodded. "I did that right before I left home. I wanted to make sure that Sarah didn’t get the same ideas as my mother."

"Then…why did…" blue eyes shot over to the direction that Sarah had gone. Brooke bit at her lip out of nervousness. "Maybe it didn’t sink in. I can go start dinner so it’s ready when the rest get here while you talk to her."

"No," Sam shook her head. "Come on, Brooke. Lighten up. She was yanking your chain." She looked down the hallway after her sister, shaking her head in disbelief. "You," she directed her attention back to her wife. "Go get ready to entertain. It’s what you do best." Sam slipped an arm around her wife’s waist and reached up to give her a peck on the cheek.

"That’s all I get?" Brooke demanded as her lower lip poked out into a pout.

"Oh, so you know about more?" Sam teased the woman. "OUCH!" Sam’s face showed her surprise, then reflexively she grabbed Brooke’s hand that had just squeezed her butt and held onto it. Sam leveled a gaze at the tall woman and snickered. "Don’t go giving me that angelic look. You know more…lot’s more."



"Okay, the Spaghetti-O dinner guests have all been bedded down for the night. I’m going to put away those kiddie movies until next time we have to unearth them…about 2009." Brooke shook her head. "I still don’t know what Julie’s fascination is with that purple, dancing animal of extinction." Brooke came down the last of the steps and headed toward the kitchen when the sound of the doorbell halted her. "I got it, Sam."

She headed for the door with deliberate steps as she used all of her appendages to keep the upbeat rhythm that was dancing through her being. Reaching the door she smiled as she peaked out of the side window to see the next assembly of guests at the door. "Ah, I see that we have the ‘R’ rated movie group arriving now." She stepped back and called over her shoulder as she disengaged the alarm. "Sam…Sarah…the adults are here now. You can stop playing dress up with those Barbie dolls," Brooke snickered.

She turned her attention to the door and opened it. "Hey, Petey…" Brooke greeted the man in front of the door. "What’s up, Bud?"

"Eddie," Peter beamed, "that’s what’s up." The man turned when he was poked in the back. "Sorry, Hon, I’m just so excited that he can hang with us tonight." The sheepish look on his face revealed the inner child that he kept hidden from all but his closest of friends.

"Well, everyone, come in. Dinner should be ready soon." She waited until Crystal crossed into the house and wrapped her in a hug. "Hi, Crystal. I’m glad that you’re here."

"Hey, where’s that cousin of mine?"

"Sam and Sarah are in the kitch…"

"Sam is but I’m not." Sarah’s voice cut off Brooke’s words.

"Sarah…" Crystal smiled as she saw her younger cousin. "Whoa, you’ve grown even since the wedding."

Brooke released the woman and turned to Eddie and teased him with a threat of a hug that at the last moment turned into a firm handshake. "What’s up there, Eddie? How have you been?"

"Pretty cool, Brooke." Eddie let his eyes roam around the entryway of the house. "Thanks for letting me tag along tonight." He turned his gaze toward Sarah. "It means…a lot to me."

"No problem, Kid. Come on in and I’ll show you around."

Eddie’s eyes never left the blonde in the hall. "Ah…where’s Sam?"

Brooke followed his line of sight and a lopsided smile came to her face. "She’s in the kitchen. Can I introduce you to her sister?"

"Sister?" The young man gulped. "Whoa, nobody told me that she had a sister." He elbowed Peter. "Hey, pal, why didn’t you tell me there was another hottie roaming the planet?"

Brooke cleared her throat. "Watch it there, buddy. She’s under age."

"I can wait," his softly spoken words were heard by Crystal.

"I have two words for you—Jail Bait." Crystal drove a finger into his chest. "Remember that."

"I guess I’ll have to." Eddie sighed, his eyes finding the floor very interesting. Shyly he looked over to Crystal. "I…I can at least meet her, can’t I?"

"Hmm…" Crystal folded her arms over her chest and then brought one hand to her chin as she studied the blonde man who looked more like a boy than anything. She started to tap her foot on the tile floor. "Brooke…" she never took her eyes off of Eddie. "What do you think? Do you think he can handle being in the presence of all of us Moleson women?" Crystal looked over to Brooke.

"I…ah…I…" the question took Brooke by surprise.

"Hmm…Maybe I’d better ask you how you’re holding up," she teased. "You are holding up alright, aren’t you?"

"Never been better." Brooke nodded her head. "I’m perfectly satisfied with my Moleson woman." She leaned in toward Eddie and spoke candidly to the man. "And believe me, she’s plenty for me."

"I heard that." Crystal passed by Brooke and tapped her lovingly on the cheek. "Good answer, Brooke. You just passed Marriage 101." She glanced back to Peter. "You taking notes?"

"Notes?" Peter stared off into space for a second then snarled at his long time friend. "Russafrussa…" he mumbled as he followed after his date. Turning toward Brooke when he passed by her, he mumbled only loud enough for her to hear. "Smart shit."

Brooke cupped his shoulder with her hand in a comforting motion. Tentatively she leaned into his ear, "It’s okay, Petey…you’ll live." She pulled away as he playfully shrugged her hand off of his shoulder and then turned to see Eddie still standing where he had been, just inside the door.

"And me?" Eddie stood looking shyly at Sarah as she walked away arm in arm with her cousin. "Will I live too?"

"Of course you will. Eddie. Nothing keeps us drummers from beating on."

"Good ‘cause I almost thought I died and went to heaven," he muttered under his breath.

Blue eyes studied the young man for a moment. His mood seemed different from the last time she’d seen him in New Jersey. She shrugged it off as just not knowing the man well enough to understand his moods. "Come on in man." Brooke stepped toward the hallway and yelled in the direction of the kitchen. "Sam, baby, look…Eddie’s here."

Sam entered the hallway from the opposite end. "Crystal," She finished wiping her hands on the towel and threw it over her shoulder. "Petey, my buddy." She wrapped her arms around the man and gave him a welcoming hug. "I’m so glad that you could make it."

"Hi ya’, Toots." The man’s mood lightened. "How’s my girl?"

"Very married, Petey," Sam whispered into his ear as she looked to her wife and winked. Tapping Peter on the shoulder, she waited for his attention then pointed to her cousin. "That’s your girl."

"Dang it anyhow, Peter." Crystal put her hands on her hips and looked the man straight in the eye. "I’m going to get you a damn big note book so you can write this all down." She shook her head in disbelief then turned to Sarah. "And you…" she motioned for the girl to turn slowly around. "You’re getting so big. Damn, girl, you’re even starting to blossom there." Crystal’s eyes settled on Sarah’s chest. "Sam, what do you think?" She spun Sarah around to show her off.

Sam slipped out of Peter’s arms only to see her younger sibling blushing and very embarrassed. Wanting to help her sister out, Sam tried to sway the conversation away from the girl. "How about those ‘Niner’s?" She smiled awkwardly.

Sensing the girl’s discomfort, Eddie sidled up to Sarah and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Don’t pay them any mind, Sarah. They tease me all the time just because I’m the youngest." He smiled at her and extended his other hand to her in friendship. "Hi, I’m Eddie."

"I know," Sarah giggled like a love struck school girl. "I’m glad that you’re here."

"Hey," Sam came closer to her sister and gave her a little rub on her back. "Sorry, sis," she gave a weak smile. "We all have our places in any family. The older ones comfort and take responsibility while the younger ones tease and get teased." Sam looked over to her wife and smiled. "Isn’t that right, Brooke?" She didn’t wait for an answer, instead she reached out and touched Eddie’s arm. "I’m so glad to see you again."

"Me, too." Eddie’s soft reply matched his mood as the three blondes stood eyeing one another, with smiles slowly growing on all of their faces.

"I’ll be damned." Crystal pulled her purse from her shoulder and whipped out a disposable camera from it. She quickly aimed it at the threesome and froze a moment in time. "That’s scrap book material if I ever saw it," she declared as she took the camera away from her face.

Still standing in the hallway, Brooke didn’t want to miss a photo opportunity for Sam and her sister. "Hey, Petey…grab my digital camera off the end table there. I want my own copy of that."

"Okay, boss. I can do that." He picked up the high tech toy and looked at it, puzzled as to where to begin.

"Just point and click the button on the top right, Peter. I have it on automatic." Brooke rolled her eyes. "Where’s C.C. when you need her?"

Sarah cocked her head to side. "C.C.’s not here? I thought…"

"Hot date," Brooke held up her hand in a stopping fashion. "With any luck she’ll dump him after dinner and be here in time for the second movie." She turned her attention back to the man with her camera. "Petey, take the picture, will you before we lose the moment."

Obeying his boss’s command, Peter raised the camera to his eye and pushed down on the button under his right index finger. He pulled it away from his face and smiled. "Hey, that was easy," the man declared, looking at the image displayed on the LCD. "Damn," he mumbled, "They could almost be related." He turned the camera to face himself and accidentally touched the button, setting of the flash. "What the…." Peter squinted, shaking his head. "I’m blind. Here," he tossed the camera in Brooke’s general direction. "Go blind yourself. I should have known it was a joke of some kind."

"Yeah and lightning is just another trick of God’s," Brooke caught the camera. After taking a second to check her settings, she raised it up to her eye and aimed it at the group. "Okay, everybody say ‘We love you, Brooke’. One, two, three."

Peter stared wide-eyed at Eddie as he tried to see through the blue dot that was obstructing his vision. "Eddie, are you sure that you’re from Jersey? I never saw a blue person from there before."

The blonde man turned his head to Peter, sticking out his tongue just as the brilliant white light illuminated the room.

Brooke sighed, knowing what would be immortalized on the image. "Okay, one more and let’s try to act our ages," she glared at Peter.

Sam chuckled at the good-natured teasing of her wife. "Sorry, Brooke but this is going to have to wait for later." She sniffed at the air. "My dinner is almost done."

"Baby…" Brooke whined.

"We can get a picture later…" she kissed Brooke as she passed by on her way to the kitchen. "…with all of us."

"Yeah," Sarah piped up. "When C.C. gets here. She’ll be frickin’ pissed otherwise, always being left out of photo opportunities."

Sam stopped dead in mid step. Slowly she turned and looked to Brooke. Silent communication between the two drove them to simultaneously direct their attention to Sarah.

"What…" the girl looked rather surprised at her sister, then glanced over to Brooke. "What did I say?" She thought for a moment. "Oh…ah…sorry," she said shyly. "You’re not going to tell Mother, are you Sam?"

The word was slow to form as Sam was beginning to realize that her sister was coming of age and testing the waters of adulthood. "No."

"Of course not." Brooke spoke for her wife. "She’s…I mean…we’re just a little surprised, that’s all."

Sam nodded in agreement and began to chuckle. She turned to Crystal and let a wry smile come to her face. "You were right before, Cuz. She is blossoming, in more ways than one." Sam sniffed at the air again. "Excuse me, but I’d better get that before it burns." She took off for the kitchen without looking back.

Brooke rolled her eyes. "Yeah, and since C.C. isn’t here we’re going to have to blame it on someone." She looked from one of her guests to another finally settling on Peter. "Well, Bud. I guess it’s official. You’ve got the ManBitch title tonight."

"Huh?" Peter cocked his head to the side. "Why me?" He looked around dramatically. "What about Eddie?"

"Can’t," Brooke crossed her arms over her chest and fixed her gaze on Peter. "Because Eddie’s our guest."

"Why me?" Peter pointed to his chest. "Why not you?"

The tall woman smirked. "ME? I’m always the bitch. It’s your turn now, Petey."

"Damn!" The man’s shoulders sank with resignation and he gave a little kick at the carpet. "I guess this is just another one of those things I’m supposed to remember, huh?" He looked over at Crystal and smiled.

"You’re learning, Petey." Brooke headed toward the kitchen. "We’re all just learning."


Song Lyrics from this week's installment by Steve Brown. See you in Two Weeks for Installment Four.