Carrie Ryan & K. Darblyne
"...The heroes, freaks and geeks and vampires all will be there... to act real cool, break some rules..."
can’t believe it took us this long to get home from Richmond.
I never thought it would take us four hours with you behind the wheel.”
Sam got out of the SUV and stretched.
Brooke grimaced, “I could have gotten us home a lot sooner if it hadn’t been
for that state trooper.”
you can’t drive on the median. If
he had let you, everyone in that traffic jam would have tried too.”
maybe they should have a second roadway right next to Interstate 64 for when
there are over-turned trucks blocking the road,” Brooke sneered.
“All I know is that it’s murder for someone with a lead foot to have
to sit and wait.” Brooke got out
of the vehicle and made her way around to the passenger’s side.
“Two hours and twenty-seven minutes, Sam.
Do you know what we could have done with that time?”
Sam gave it a moment of thought. “Have
dinner with a beautiful woman?” She teased her wife with a coy smile and began
walking toward their front door. “Speaking
of which, I think we still have some leftovers from the other night at your
eyes followed the blonde’s form as it climbed the steps and crossed the small
porch to the door. “Yeah,
lasagna,” she grumbled. “Just
what I need.”
was unusual for Sam to have so much room in the shower and it definitely got her
mind thinking. When was the last time that I took a shower by myself?
Blonde brows creased as she strained to remember.
The dorm room, she smirked, the
day that I moved out. That was the
last time I took a shower or bath by myself.
Well, at least that was the last time by myself except for when Brooke was out
sensation felt about as foreign to her now as staying at her parents’ house
would be. Over the course of the
last four years her life had changed. In
fact, the last six months had completely turned her life upside down.
From showing that she could be self-sufficient, to becoming an integral
part of someone else’s life was beyond belief.
Who would have ever dreamed she’d be here when the decision to live in
the dorm her last year of college had crossed her mind.
turned off the shower spray and reached out for her towel.
After running it through her short hair a time or two, she stepped out of
the shower and quickly dried her body. After
a few passes of a comb through her unruly blonde locks, Sam pulled her
nightshirt on and emerged from the steamed confines of the bathroom.
change in temperature from one room to the other should have been Sam’s first
indication of the ever-changing atmosphere around her.
The hot and spouting woman that she’d left before her shower was now
lying on their king sized bed hugging Mario and acting all sullen and pouting.
“What’s up with the glum face, Hon?”
Sam came over and sat down on the bed.
“You’re not having second thoughts, are you?”
continued petting the Husky as she shrugged her shoulders.
would think you’d be happy that your part will be over after tomorrow.”
you mean you will be happy it’ll be
over tomorrow?” Brook glanced
over to see her wife’s reaction. “And
no, I’m not having second thoughts at all.”
was caught off guard by the statement. She
stared into space and blinked several times as she tried to understand exactly
what Brooke was saying. Okay,
hormones shifting gears here, be ready for anything.
Sam cleared her throat. “If
that means having you back to your old self again, then yeah, that’s what I
old self,” Brooke mumbled under her breath as she leaned in toward Mario and
whispered in his ear. “You still
love me, don’t ya’, fellow?”
nuzzling nose under her chin and a quickly swiped tongue on her neck was
Mario’s answer to his owner’s question.
tread lightly here. Sam looked away to compose herself. “Brooke, if this doesn’t work for us…” she stopped
quickly when blue eyes shifted to her with a penetrating stare. The look on her wife’s face was a cross between hurt and
challenge. “I mean…there are
other ways for us to have a baby.”
not having second thoughts about this,” Brooke snapped.
rubbed the back of her neck and squinted as she searched for a tactful approach
to the whole situation. “No, I
told you that I’d carry the baby, Brooke.
It’s just that…”
you need a break?” Brooke snarled
her lip with the last word.
Sam shot back without thinking, her voice just short of a yell.
sound startled the dog, his head turning in her direction.
wrapped her arm around the animal trying to calm him. “I heard that comment you made to Dr. Dennison when we were
leaving her office. ‘I’ll be
glad for the break,’ you said.”
did say that, didn’t I?” Sam sighed. “Sorry,
Babe. I didn’t think you heard
may have been a rock star, Sam, but there’s nothing wrong with my hearing.”
The woman pouted even more, turning to exclude Sam from her view.
not that I don’t enjoy making love
with you, Brooke.” Sam reached
out and touched her wife’s shoulder. “It’s
just that I…ah…we’ve just been doing it a lot lately…since the
Brooke hesitated for a second. “Why
don’t we just stop this whole conversation while we’re still able to talk to
one another. Besides, I need to get
some sleep.” Brooke leaned over
to Mario and placed a kiss on his fur. “Okay
Boy, time for bed.” She gave the
dog one last pet and then nudged him from where he lay.
sighed seeing the look of disappointment on Brooke’s face.
“I…” she started to speak but stopped when she saw her wife slip
under the covers and face away from her. “Yeah,
good idea, Hon, we’ll both need our sleep for tomorrow.
It’s going to be an early one, too.
I wish we could have met with the members of 757-GIRL on another day.”
being an up and coming band means that you work a job to put food on your table
and a roof over your head while all your playing money goes to equipment and
transportation to get to the gigs each night.
Tomorrow morning is the only time this week that the girls are all
after that whopping big check you handed them?”
Brooke smirked. “That’s tour
money if they want to make it bigger. When
they’re on tour, they can’t deliver pizza or work a job like they do now.”
Brooke sighed as the old days flashed vividly through her head.
“There’s a lot more to becoming a rock star than just singing a few
songs and signing a contract, Sam.”
guess I’m still learning about what makes up a rock star.”
Sam stood up from the bed and gazed over admiringly at Brooke’s back.
And even some ex-rock stars too.
She’s nothing like the idol I had plastered all over my walls.
That leather clad woman full of bravado wasn’t what turned me on, it
was this…Sam sighed. Her gentleness, her caring…she smirked, Heck, I even have a soft spot in my heart for her moodiness.
waited for Mario to curl up into a ball at the foot of the bed before getting
under the covers and turning off the light.
She laid there for a long moment just staring up into the darkened
ceiling of the room. “Brooke?”
I…could you…” Sam wrestled with her thoughts.
“Can we sleep like we always do?”
She held her breath for a few seconds until the shifting of Brooke’s
body could be felt on her side of the bed.
on her back now, Brooke opened her arms and readily accepted Sam as she moved
into her favorite sleeping position, using Brooke’s shoulder as her pillow.
After Sam was snuggled into place, a tiny whisper came floating to
Brooke’s ear to set her world right again.
love you, Brooke.” Sam held her
breath and waited for the familiar rumble in her lover’s chest.
love you too, Sam.”
in the thought, Sam moved her hand down to Brooke’s belly.
“G’night, little one to be,” she whispered giving the taunt abdomen
under her fingers a rub.
smile came to Brooke’s face and she kissed the top of Sam’s head.
“You know, pretty soon I could be doing that to you.”
She could feel the gentle smile come to her lover’s cheeks as Sam
nuzzled into her shoulder again.
only my stomach will be getting bigger with each good night that you say.”
never answered me from earlier. Are
you having any second thoughts about the baby…or me?”
Why would I have second thoughts about you?”
Sam could feel her wife’s shoulder shift under her head.
don’t know. I guess I just
wasn’t too sure after that comment in the doctor’s office.”
Tell me it wasn’t that ‘break’
comment. I should have known that
she wouldn’t let it go. "I’m
sorry, Brooke, it’s not that making love with you every couple of hours
isn’t good…it’s just that…” Sam shrugged, “It’s tiring.”
should have told me, Sam.” Brooke’s
voice became somber sounding. “I
guess that part of what Linda said was true.”
“Brooke, I really liked it…for the first hundred or so times these last two months. I don’t know how those rabbits do it. No wonder the battery company picked a bunny for its ad campaign.” Sam tried to make light of the situation but it wasn’t working. Brooke hadn’t even smiled at her feeble attempt at humor. “Sorry, it was a bad joke. I guess I didn't say anything because I knew you needed it. I mean, the hormones kind of did that to you. We're in this together, Brooke...you, me, the whole baby idea. Whatever it takes, remember?”
“Yeah, I remember,” the words came rather
dryly out of Brooke’s mouth.
raised her head up and gazed into the darkness where she thought Brooke’s face
would be. “I love you.
I committed myself to you…to our life together.”
Sam leaned in closer until she could feel Brooke’s breath on her face.
“How could I hold the influence of the hormones against you when I know
why you’re doing it.” Sam
closed her eyes. “Why we’re doing it,” she amended her previous statement before
placing a kiss on Brooke’s lips. “Who
knows, Hon, maybe you won’t find me attractive and desirable at all when I’m
big and fat?”
Brooke defended her attraction to Sam.
that’s comforting since you are one
of the best lover’s I’ve ever had,” Sam said teasingly.
of the best?” Brooke shifted her
position to be able to stare at Sam.
you are the best. I mean…seeing
that you’re my one and only lover.”
up, huh?” Brooke pulled Sam
closer to her body, as a grin came to her face.
She could almost feel the devilish look on Sam’s face.
that my cue?” Sam said taking her hand off Brooke’s abdomen.
because if it is…” Sam began to play with Brooke’s nipple.
“I think I could muster up enough strength for a little…” her mouth
dropped over Brooke’s nipple and tugged at it gently before continuing with
her thought, “sucking up.”
no you don’t,” Brooke strained to keep the roiling emotions from her speech.
“Remember, you needed a break.”
Sam sighed. “You’re right, I
do.” She rolled a raised nipple
between her fingers. “But I never
said that you needed one.”
Sam tapped her finger on top of an ever-hardening nub.
Under her head, she could hear a gulp starting from the base of
Brooke’s throat and it made Sam giggle.
that you’ve got me there, Darlin’, what are you going to do with me?”
decisions,” Sam purred sensing the growing anticipation in her lover’s body.
looked over to Brooke as she stood next to the rear tailgate of their SUV.
If Sam didn’t know better, she’d think that the tired, slightly
haggard looking woman was on the verge of coming down with something.
The bags under those blue eyes could have held all the clothes that they
needed for an overnight stay, instead of the small suitcase that Sam was
drained look on Brooke’s face was quickly replaced by a smile and twinkling
blue eyes as Sam came into her view. She
raised the commuter mug of decaf coffee in her hand and waited for Sam to give
her the bag.
you sure you’re rested enough to drive, Brooke?” Concern filled Sam’s face.
“I could…thanks,” Sam handed the suitcase to her wife.
Baby, I’m fine.” The smile
intensified as Brooke stared into Sam’s eyes for a second or two before
putting the suitcase in and closing up the tailgate.
“It’s not that long of a drive to work this morning, besides, I got
an hour or two of sleep after that all night love fest we had,” she grinned,
“ and I’ve got my coffee.” She
looked down into the cup, “You know, once you get used to it, decaf isn’t
any worse than drinking colored, warm tap water.”
it, Hon,” Sam laughed, “nothing is a long drive with you behind the
wheel.” Sam gave Brooke the once
over, “I see you have your leaded shoes on again today.”
har,” Brooke sat her coffee cup down on the rear bumper.
“Come here, Smartass.” She
grabbed her wife by the hand and pulled her back into her arms, lifting her feet
up off the ground. A second later,
they were engaged in a kiss.
love you, Beautiful,” Brooke whispered as their lips parted.
“I love being loved into the wee hours of the morning by you.”
that compliment,” Sam closed her eyes again, “I can take every minute of the
I could…” Brooke’s face soured with the sound of her cell phone ringing.
“Damn it. Who’d be
calling me this early?” She pulled it from her pocket and looked at the caller
ID. When she recognized the number
her lips quirked into a silly grin. “Sam,
it’s your Dad.”
Brooke offered her wife the phone.
curious look of surprise came to Sam’s face as she took the phone and brought
it up to her ear. “Daddy?”
Sammi.” The man’s voice sounded
surprised, “I thought I had called Brooke’s number.”
did. We just happen to be together
a lot since we drive in to work every morning.”
Sam winked at Brooke. “She
saw the number and handed it to me. I
hope you don’t mind.”
Me?” Samuel teased his daughter. “Not
at all. I’ll gladly talk to any of my daughters, even the one that
calls herself your wife,” he laughed.
looked over to Brooke and smiled. “I’ll
make sure that I tell her that when I finish here.”
Sammi, I’ll tell her myself. I
owe that woman a lot for bringing my family together again.”
sure she’ll be glad to hear that.” Sam
giggled at the curious look her mate was giving her. “Shh! We’d
better stop talking about her or we’ll be responsible for her paranoia.”
don’t ever think anything could make her that way. Not with you around to ground her.”
Daddy.” A shy smile came to
Sam’s face as the compliment settled in.
She looked up to see a slow rising eyebrow on her wife’s forehead.
“Okay, so now that we’ve officially peaked Brooke’s interest in our
conversation,” Sam turned, placing her back to her wife, “why did you really
was a moment of hesitant silence before Samuel started to talk.
“I know how busy the two of you are, but I…we…” he took in a deep
breath, “Your mother and I would like it if both of you could come by the
house for dinner sometime.”
the words, Sam turned her head and green eyes shifted slowly toward Brooke.
“You’re inviting us for dinner?
his tone was sympathetic and nurturing, “your mother does want to have you
both here. Actually it was her idea
for me to invite you.” Samuel
paused for a beat. “She’s
trying, Sammi. Don’t shut the
door on her now.”
shut that door a long time ago, Dad. It
know that Princess, but sometimes…” he paused as if to pick his words.
“Sometimes life just makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do.”
Sam’s face tightened for a second and she closed her eyes.
“As long as Mother knows there are more feelings then just mine and
hers on the line here.”
does, Sammi. She does.”
Samuel cleared his throat. “When
do you think your schedules could permit dinner at the Moleson house?”
watched silently while her wife bit at her lower lip as she thought.
She came up behind her and rested a comforting hand on Sam’s shoulder.
When their eyes met, the pensive expression on Sam faded and the answer
was evident to them both.
a matter of fact, Daddy, we’ll both be in the Richmond area later today.
We could stop in if that’s alright with you and Mother.”
Princess, this…this is…” a muffled sound like someone sniffing came across
the connection. “I’ll tell your
mother. She’ll be just as excited
as I am to see you both tonight. Will
you be able to have dinner with us? Say
around six or so?”
looked to Brooke for confirmation. “Yeah,
Daddy, we could do that. Just
remember that we’ll still have to drive back home here, so we won’t be able
to stay all evening.”
sound of Samuel’s laughter could be heard.
“Yes, I get your drift, Sammi. I’ll
tell your Mother to make it a simple meal.”
give us a call when you’re near the house.
We’ll be waiting for you with open arms,” he chuckled. “All
four of them. You have a good day, Princess, and tell that beautiful woman
of yours hello for me.”
turned a beaming smile in Brooke’s direction as she answered him back.
“I sure will, Daddy. We’ll
see you tonight.”
closed the connection and wrapped her arm around Brooke’s waist as they walked
around the vehicle to the passenger side. “My
Dad sends his greetings and he’s right, you are a beautiful woman.”
pulled back and stared at Sam for a moment then settled back into their walk,
bumping their hips together as best she could with their height difference.
“Ahhh…you’re just biased cause you luuuuuuuuuuv me.”
The spark of carefree bliss set the woman into a rousing imitation of
Sandra Bullock’s character in Miss Congeniality.
“You think I’m gorgeous. You
wanna kiss me. You wanna date me.
You wanna luuuuuuuuuuv me.”
right,” Sam couldn’t hold back her laughter.
“You’re absofuckinglutely right.”
She stepped in front of Brooke and pulled her into a kiss.
early morning meeting with their newly signed recording artists, 757-GIRL,
turned into more of a photo opportunity than Brooke had ever expected.
The all girl band took to the cameras better than she’d hoped for.
Each woman showed a different, intriguing side of herself that pulled you
in and made you want to know more about them.
They had salability and that was obvious.
stood by the wayside and watched as upcoming celebrities met old ones.
The group’s bassist was easily in awe of Peter when they were
introduced and a flurry of rhythmic bass notes were exchanged in the form of
“ba-bah-bams” between them.
what the heck are they doing?” Sam asked as the others looked on.
C.E.O. smiled fondly, “They’re communicating.”
Brooke turned to see the questioning look on her PR Manager’s face.
“That’s how bassists greet one another.
Ba-bah-bams,” she imitated them using no particular song rhythm.
Sam’s brows furrowed, “right.” There
was silence for a moment as Sam contemplated her next question.
“And drummers do…what?” She looked over to Brooke.
slaps of three sets of hands beat out the timing of a burlesque drum roll
leading into a punch line and was immediately followed by the blending of just
as many voices, “We keep the beat.”
three musicians standing around Sam laughed easily at the unrehearsed act.
bad, Brea…Carrie,” Brooke smiled at them.
“But I thought your group didn’t have a drummer.”
really doesn’t, but Carrie and I have backgrounds on the skins.”
shot a teasing glance over at Sam. “Better
not let my wife hear that, she’s got a thing for drummers.”
one drummer…and I married her, thank you,” Sam flashed a satisfied smile.
Two more off the market and I didn’t even get a shot,” Carrie teased.
“Now who am I going to be accused of putting the make on?”
She turned her gaze loose on the room full of company employees and
flashed an inviting smile.
C.E.O. watched as 757-GIRL’s lead guitarist’s roaming gaze stopped moving
and pinpointed one employee in particular.
Brooke followed her gaze to see who it was. Damn, of all the
employees, she had to pick that one.
one in the denim shirt’s not too bad,” Carrie leaned into Sam and whispered.
“What do you think? Can
you set me up?”
looked into the group of employees and locked onto the denim shirt.
She raised her gaze to the woman’s face.
The audible gasp came about the same time that it registered in her
Green eyes averted in Brooke’s direction.
so that her lips couldn’t be read by anyone, Brooke placed her hand on the
dark headed musician’s shoulder. “She
comes with a price Carrie, and that’s more than you can afford at this point
in your career.” Brooke leaned
into the woman and whispered, “Do yourself a favor and pass on this one.”
Carrie looked first to Brooke and then to Linda. “Damn!”
I hate to break up this session of ‘matchmaker goes a-rocking’, but I got to
get to work.” Brea looked over to
Angela, “Baby, you can stop that thumping now.
We’ll let you guys talk again real soon.” She turned back to Brooke.
“It’s going to be nice working with you and the rest of your group
here. Thanks for giving us the
grand tour and welcoming us proper like.”
my pleasure, Brea.” Brooke
reached out and shook the woman’s hand. “I’m
looking forward to working with you and 757-GIRL for a long time.”
of time…” Brea looked over to the watch on Sam’s wrist, “We have got to
get the lead out or I’m going to be late for my air time.” She saw the puzzled look on the PR Manager’s face.
“I’m a DJ on the radio. You’ve
got to pay the bills somehow until you hit it big,” she smiled politely.
let’s hope that won’t be for too much longer,” Brooke interjected.
“Sam…” she turned to her wife, “If you’d be kind enough to show
our new clients out, I’ll take care of wrapping things up here at the office
before we head out to our next meeting.”
problem, Brooke.” Sam winked at
her wife. “I’ll stop by your
office when I’m done.” She
turned her attention to the women of 757-GIRL, “Ladies…if you’ll follow
called me a lady?” Carrie giggled as she took one last look around the room,
singling the denim-clad woman out and giving her a cute little wave good-bye.
the child-like antics of the guitarist, the C.E.O. shook her head.
“Kids…” she muttered under her breath as she watched them leave the
studio. She then turned her
attention to her employees. “Okay
people, you’ve all met the new talent on our label, now let’s get back to
work and make them stars. Ida,”
she called her office manager by name.
Boss?” The woman stepped aside to
let the others continue out of the room.
and I will be heading up to Richmond in a few minutes. We’ve got a personal matter to take care of.”
saw that you blocked the rest of the day off your calendar for meetings,” Ida
right,” Brooke nodded. “I can
always expect you to be on top of things around here.
Thanks, Ida. I’m sure that
I don’t say it enough.”
the older woman teased her boss, “I’ll send you a few memos every so often
to remind you.” Ida shared a
chuckle with her boss. “Don’t
worry about it,” she winked. “Anything
else on your mind?” Ida glanced
over to see Linda at the end of the line of employees filing out of the room.
“Anything…” she made eye contact with Brooke, “that I need to
take care of for you?”
took in a breath and held it, before slowly letting it out. “No…at least not now.
Just cover the office while we’re gone.
got it, Brooke.” Ida turned and
waited for the last few employees to file out of the room past her.
Ida?” Brooke tapped her lips with
a finger as she thought. “I’m
expecting a call from Eddie as soon as he gets into Richmond today.
If he calls in here, tell him that we’ve already left and our
appointment is at one. He can reach
us by cell phone if he needs us. ” Brooke
flashed her employee a lop-sided smile, “You too, if you really
saluted her boss as she filed in line behind Linda, “Copy that, Boss.
I’ll batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.”
were at Nauticus again,” Brooke rolled her eyes and sighed, “weren’t you?
I swear you’re going to own that museum by the time you retire.”
The executive followed the woman into the hall and closed the studio’s
door. “Oh, and Ida…just in case
my cell phone dies again, I left the phone number where we’ll be on your
Boss,” Peter came down the hallway. “I
got one thing that I need you to sign off on.”
in a hurry, so make it fast. What’s
the skinny?” Brooke never slowed
her pace, expecting Peter to follow her.
a release date for Line of Fire’s CD. I
know that Sam’s working on the PR for it and I wanted to give her enough time
to feel comfortable with it.” He
looked over to his friend, “I was thinking about this coming Monday but
I’m…I’m not sure that’s a good time for a…” he looked up and down
the hallway making sure that no one was listening, “for Sam.”
Peter motioned with his head and nonchalantly patted his belly.
right.” Brooke made an executive
decision on behalf of her employee and wife.
“Better make that for next Friday.
I’ll tell Sam to rent a hall if she has to for a CD release gig and
party. Thanks for thinking of us,
Peter. All of us,” Brooke halted her steps and made eye contact with her
friend. “You’re still the best
man, in my book,” she teased him.
was a moment of silence between them as each felt secure with the others
I…I got to get going, Petey, thanks.” Brooke
placed her hand on his shoulder and gave it a rub. “Rumors have it that I’m meeting an important heir this
afternoon.” She gave him a quick
wink and set her long legs in gear for her office.
breezed past Ida’s open office and down the hallway, coming to an abrupt stop
outside of the C.E.O.’s office. Her
knuckles rapped against the door causing a soft knocking sound before Sam
twisted the doorknob in her other hand and slowly opened Brooke’s door.
“Are you ready to leave yet?” She
took half a step inside the office. “I
just have to grab my coat and I’m good to go.”
hair swirled about Brooke’s shoulders as she pulled her jacket into place. “I
just have to grab something from Ida and I’ll meet you at the door, Sam.”
Sam flashed her wife a smile as she retreated back into the hallway and headed
toward her office.
Sam…” Brooke called out quickly as she sprinted to the door.
“Sam?” She watched her
wife turn around to look at her. “Peter
gave me the release date for Line of Fire’s CD.
I told him we’d plan a gig for them to celebrate it next Friday.
You might want to take anything that you need to work on the event with
Brooke. I’ll do that.”
watching Sam disappear into her office, Brooke turned back and grabbed the rest
of her things. With briefcase in
hand, she headed into the hallway.
Brooke stuck her head into the opened doorway at the end of the hall.
“Could you give me those pending contracts to look over?
I may have some free time while we wait for our…I mean before our
meeting in Richmond.”
you go,” Ida handed over several folders to her boss.
“I figured you would rather do something than just wait.”
The Office Manager looked up to see an arched brow on Brooke’s
forehead. “Hey, I know you
lady…all too well.”
Brooke’s deepening timber sounded more speculative then anything.
“So you do.”
so do I,” Sam commented coming down the hall.
“Cell phone check time, Hon.” She
stopped outside the open door and waited.
eyes rolled at the teasing. “I’ve
got it right…” Brooke reached into her jacket pocket and pulled the phone
out, brandishing it for all to see, “here.”
job, Brooke. I’ll meet you in the
parking lot.” Sam stuck her head
into the doorway and smiled at Ida. “See
you tomorrow Ida, and don’t forget it’s my turn to get the coffee.”
Sam. I’ll remember that.”
too.” Sam glanced at the clock on
Ida’s desk. “Is that the
reached for the clock and turned it toward her to read. “Yeah, it’s ten twenty-eight,” she said a matter of
better get a move on, Brooke. We’re
going to be late even with your ‘faster than the speed of light’ driving.
Our appointment is at one.”
Brooke sat her briefcase down on the desk along with the cell phone in
her other hand. She opened the
clasps simultaneously on the briefcase with ease.
With one hand opening the case, she used the other to reach for the
offered folders in Ida’s possession. “Thanks,
Ida.” She shoved them into the file section of her case, hurriedly
secured them in place and closed the lid. A
quick flick of the clasp resulted in the snapping sound of the lock as it
secured the case shut. Brooke
grabbed the handle and pulled the case from the desktop.
“Later,” Brooke called out as she left the office and took off down
sound of booted footsteps practically running down the stairs brought a smile to
Ida’s face. The woman got up from
her desk and walked the short distance over to her window that faced their
parking lot on the side of the building. Without
fail, she could see Brooke bolting toward her SUV and Sam standing next to it.
Before she knew it, the vehicle laid rubber as it pulled out into traffic
and, in another few seconds, was completely out of her view.
another one of the kids…I swear it.” Ida
pondered as she turned to face her desk. In
the sweeping of her gaze, she spotted Brooke’s cell phone and sighed.
“Yeah, you remembered that phone…right up until the time you said you
did,” she muttered under her breath. The
woman looked over her shoulder at the fast moving traffic outside and shook her
head. “What am I going to do with
with who, Ida?” Peter stuck his
head into the office.
that’s who.” She pointed to the
cell phone on her desk, “She told me that she’s expecting Eddie to call her.
Now how’s that going to happen when she left her phone on my desk?”
smirked, “He can always call Sam’s cell.”
He watched as Ida shook her head. “What…Brooke’s
rubbing off on her and she forgot her phone too?”
Ida sighed. “But if they’re
going to where I think they are, it doesn’t matter.
They won’t be allowed to have them turned on.”
joined her in a sigh, “Damn! You’re
looked around the pleasant but pristine waiting room, its décor and magazines
now vaguely familiar after four visits in the last week. Unnerving, as it would normally be for her, it was getting to
the point that she could relax and at least not disturb the others who were
waiting patiently. She looked at
the woman sitting next to her and smiled. Sam
had been there each and every time, just like she was now, cool, collected
calmer than a clam.
done this before, Brooke
silently thought. Three
times this week already, so it is nothing but a piece of cake.
She picked up a magazine and started to flip through its pages
without really looking at them. I just let Doc Dennison
make me into a sundae, she passes that probe thingy over my abdomen and then she
does her stuff. It’s over and
I’m done. Brooke contemplated
how easy it sounded. Yep, she nodded her head once.
I just walk out after a nap and
leave a little bit of me behind. My
part will be done. Her mind
focused on that little bit, and the thought started to scare her.
Hell, it’s a big bit of me…it’s my…Brooke looked over to her
wife, it’s our future that I’m going
to be leaving behind.
the pleasant room seemed to close in on Brooke.
She could feel her chest tightening, her anxiety over the procedure
beginning to build. Her blue eyes
darted around the room as Brooke tried to make sense out of her feelings.
If this is how it feels to be a
mother, I don’t think I want to be…
“Mrs. Gordon,” the nurse came to the doorway, looking directly at Brooke as a very loud gulp was heard. “You’re next,” she informed her and waited for any indication that she’d heard it. Seeing that there was no movement on Brooke’s part, the nurse averted her eyes to Sam.
“Brooke,” Sam patted her wife’s shoulder, “that’s us.” She waited until she saw Brooke blink, and then leaned in to whisper. “Are you ready for this?”
A nervous breath came out of her mouth the same time she tried to reply. “Yhh…Yeah,” she calmed her churning stomach with a swallow before looking over to Sam. “You coming?” Brooke extended her hand to her wife.
Green eyes sparkled as a warm smile came to Sam’s face. “We’re in this together, Babe. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She took Brooke’s hand and together they rose from their chairs, each step carrying them closer to their goal.
Peter came off the elevator and into the hallway. Two steps later, he was grasping onto the doorframe of Ida’s office and lunging his upper body into her space. “Any word from Eddie yet?”
The woman looked up from her task, “No.”
“Oh well, it won’t be long then.” Peter pushed off the frame and stood there for a few seconds, deep in thought. “You want me to get you something to eat or…I could watch the phone for you,” he offered.
Begrudgingly Ida looked at the phone and sighed. “I do need to run an errand or two today.” She gazed over to Peter, sizing him up. “I guess you could relay that message just as well as I could.” Seeing the smile come to Peter’s face she made her mind up. “Okay,” she rose from her chair and walked over to where her coat hung on a pole in the corner of her office. “I’ll be back in an hour. Any information that you might need is in the rolodex on my desk,” she pointed to it. “You’ll find it under Brooke’s name with today’s date on it.” Ida turned to see the puzzled look on Peter’s face. “It’s something that she does so I can keep tabs on her when she’s out of the office. I’m used to her forgetting that damn cell phone. This way at a glance, I can always track her down. I just place a call to wherever she’s scheduled to be.”
“Ah…good idea. Maybe you’ll need to do that with me one day,” he smiled at her, puffing out his chest.
“Peter, you’ll have to own this company to be that important.” Her gaze drifted off from the man to the shadow of a person in the hall. “Yes?” Ida strained to see who it was.
“Well, I guess so…” Peter mumbled as he turned to leave. His sudden action was sent to a grinding halt as he bumped into another employee. “Whoa! Sorry, Linda.” He caught her before she could fall. “Heck, I didn’t even hear you walking up behind me. I didn’t mean to run into you like that.”
“That’s alright.” She gave him a weak smile as she brushed his hands away from her arm. “I’m fine.” Linda looked over to see Ida buttoning her coat. “I guess this is a bad time to go over those new procedures for getting contracts out.”
“Right now, yes. I’ll be back in an hour.” Ida grabbed her purse and threw the strap over her shoulder. “Leave it on my desk and I’ll look it over when I get back.”
“Okay,” Linda said, stepping out of the office manager’s way. “I’ll put it right on top of your desk blotter.” She watched as Ida hurried out the door and down the hallway. “If you have any questions,” she called out, “I’ll be downstairs in my office.”
“Gottcha,” Ida yelled back as she pushed open the fire exit door at the far end of the hallway. “I’ll let you know when I get back, Peter.” She locked Peter in a gaze for a second and gave the man a quick nod before she disappeared into the stairwell.
“Come on, Hon, this will be over before you know it.” Sam tugged at the shoulder of Brooke’s paper gown and smiled as she tried to keep her wife’s gaze from the covered tray of instruments next to the ultrasound machine. “See, same machine as last time. You’re an old pro at this by now.”
“Yeah,” came Brooke’s mindless reply. “Do you think…”
“That Dr. Dennison will give us a picture of the harvest for the baby’s book?” Sam eagerly completed Brooke’s thought.
“Well, that too…” Brooke fidgeted on the examination table. “I was thinking more along the lines of do you think that needle,” she shivered at the sound of the word, “is under that towel?”
Barely making out the long cylindrical shape, Sam knew what she had to do. “Hey, look at me.” She waited until blue eyes hesitantly shifted onto her. “I’m the one that’s going to go through with having the baby, not just the fun of picking it out.”
“Yeah,” Brooke mustered a forced smile. “They are gonna knock me out for this, aren’t they? I…I…” her gazed started to drift toward the draped tray, “I can’t remember what Doc Dennison said yesterday.”
Using her hand on Brooke’s cheek, Sam turned the attention away from the tray. “Well, they did say something about a sedative. I’ll ask when the…” Sam heard the sound of the door opening and looked over to see the doctor entering. “Don’t look now, Brooke but she’s here.” Sam flashed a bright smile in the doctor’s direction, “Hi, Doc Dennison.”
”Hey, how’s the mothers in tandem today?” The doctor came into the room and greeted her patients’ with a smile. “Brooke, are you up for the big day?” She turned and grabbed a bottle of gel out of the warmer, then grinned evilly as she held it up for all to see. “Feel like being made into another sundae?” The doctor squirted some out on the exposed skin of her forearm, testing its warmth. “Mmm…feels like a hot fudge one today.”
Sam giggled at the doctor’s humor, much to her wife’s chagrin.
“You’re going to knock me out, right? I don’t have to see that…that…” Brooke’s eyes darted to the covered tray of instruments.
The doctor watched her patient’s fixated gaze and a moment later it dawned on her. “Oh, the ne…” the doctor stopped short before saying the word as Sam’s face tightened and started to shake, “knock out stuff, huh? I told you that we would sedate you. A little Valium and you won’t be nervous at all. We’ll get the job done after that.” Dennison glanced over to Sam and gave her a wink. “Sam will tell you all about it afterwards.”
“Sure, Brooke.” Sam chimed in. “I’ll be right here the whole time, just like we talked about the other day.”
“Okay,” Brooke said hesitantly, trying to look more at ease. The next second her eyes got wider and she started babbling at Sam, “You’ll talk to Eddie when he calls, right? You’ll make sure that he gets here to do his part.”
“He’ll get here, don’t worry. In fact, he should be here in just a little while.” Sam patted her wife’s hand. “If I remember the plans correctly, his part doesn’t happen until a little later, so don’t worry.”
“But first,” the doctor leaned over and spoke softly, “we have to get you a little more relaxed.”
Brooke looked first to Sam and then to the doctor, “Uh…okay.” She tried to settle down onto the table. “Can we get this over with? I think the actuality of it all is making me more than just a little nervous.”
The doctor came closer to her patient and patted her hand. “That’s it, relax. We can get this all over with just as soon as I give you this.” She held up the syringe for Brooke to see.
“Sa-a-a-a-a-a-am!” Brooke’s eyes widened until white surrounded perfect blue orbs.
“I’m right here, Brooke.” Sam grasped her wife’s hand and held onto it. “Just a little prick and you’ll hardly feel a thing.”
“Great,” Brooke grumbled. “Just what I needed. Remind me of James right before I get drugs and then expect me to re…ouch!…lax.” Brooke looked down at the needle sticking out of her arm.
“See, I told you it would hardly hurt,” the doctor said as she administered the drug. “There,” she took the syringe away from Brooke’s arm, “that shouldn’t take long before you’re feeling more relaxed.”
“Relaxed?” Intense blue eyes glared at the physician. “You poke me with a harpoon and you want me to relax?”
“Brooke, it wasn’t a harpoon. I watched her myself,” Sam tried to reassure her wife.
“Don’t worry, Brooke. You just give that a minute or two and you’ll be as calm and ready to sleep as a newborn in her momma’s arms.” Dr. Dennison moved about the room getting things ready for the procedure. “You just let the drug take affect and don’t try to fight it.”
Sam held onto Brooke’s hand while she watched the tension in her wife’s face slowly ease as the drug began to work. Gradually, drooping eyelids played hide and seek with the blue of her favorite eyes.
“Yes, Hon, I’m right here,” she gave Brooke’s hand a gentle squeeze. Sam could feel the attempt to pull her closer as she watched her mate struggle to keep her eyes open. “Shh!” Sam brushed the hair off Brooke’s face, then leaned down to kiss her wife’s cheek. “Don’t fight it, Brooke. It’s just something to make you more comfortable.”
“Sa-aam,” the word was spoken in a lazy mouthed manner.
“Yes, Brooke?” Sam whispered in her wife’s ear.
“I…l-love…y-o-u,” Brooke’s words were drawn out and barely audible.
“I love you, too.” The sentiment in the woman’s words was evident as Sam gazed into Brooke’s childlike face. She waited until she saw that adorable little grin that Brooke always seemed to have when she told Sam she loved her. “Love you,” Sam whispered back then turned to face the waiting professional. “Okay, Doc, I think you’re on now.”
Dr. Dennison nodded as she pulled the ultrasound machine closer to her patient. After draping Brooke to expose her abdomen, she carefully lifted each of her patient’s feet and placed them into the stirrups. A moment later, she stood poised with the transducer in her hand. The doctor looked over to Sam and winked before leaning in to address Brooke’s abdomen. “It won’t be long now, little ones,” she said calmly, catching the pleased look on Sam’s face.
Peter came out of his office and headed down the hall toward the water fountain, unable to get the last song that he heard out of his mind. “Damn blue grass,” he mumbled coming up from taking a drink of the cool liquid. “Why did I even listen to that demo tape?” He quickly looked around to see if anyone could have heard his ramblings. “Good,” he sighed. “If Brooke ever heard that I was…” he paused when the sound of an office door opening caught his attention. He turned, looking in the direction that the sound had come from. “Linda…” he called to the figure in the hall. “Is Ida back already?” Peter glanced down to the watch on his left arm.
“Ah…I…ah…no, she’s not.” Linda tightened her grip on the notebook in her hand. “I just…dropped off a paper that was missing from the report that she wanted.”
“Hmm…” Peter nodded. “Okay, thanks. I know she’ll appreciate the work you’re putting into that.” He watched as the denim-clad woman forced a smile back at him, then turned to the stairwell door and proceeded through it. “Hmph!” Peter shrugged and shook his head. “What a piece of work,” he smirked. “I would have fired her ass and thrown it out into the street without even a second thought.”
Out of the blue, Peter stopped moving forward and pondered a thought. “Hmm…maybe you are growing up, Petey.” A silly, satisfied grin came to the man’s face as he straightened his pants and proceeded to his office.
The garbled, fuzzy words hanging in the air lazily filtered into Brooke’s head. Sounding more like a vinyl platter of years gone by set on a totally wrong speed selection. She could barely make out Sam’s soft laughter. Half words and phrases that didn’t make sense to her soon started filling her head. Slowly, they started taking on meaning.
Eddie…? Did I just hear Eddie’s name? Sam…where…Eddie? With her eyelids still set at half-mast, blue orbs fought to see the light of day. Brooke opened her mouth to speak but her tongue felt more like it had gone for a week’s long vacation in the Sahara Desert. She labored for a long minute to gather enough saliva in her mouth to wet her parched orifice. “Sam…” she croaked out with a hint of a cough, her throat dry and raspy. “Where...”
“I’m here, Brooke.” Sam touched her lips to her wife’s cheek. “How are you feeling?”
“Wha-a-at,” came Brooke’s lazy-lipped reply as one eyelid struggled hard to open.
Sam brushed her fingers lightly over Brooke’s forehead as she held the clinic’s phone and spoke into it. “How’s she doing?” Sam repeated the question posed to her as she studied Brooke’s features. “I don’t know, it’s too early to say, she’s just starting to wake up.”
“Who up…” Brooke tried to raise her head off the pillow but couldn’t. “Can’t move,” she said, a silly smile was plastered on her face.
The statement caught Sam’s attention. “Why can’t you move, Hon?”
“Don’t wanna try…so I can’t.” Brooke’s voice could be heard throughout the room as she started to giggle like a child.
A smile came to Sam’s face. “Then just lay still and wait until you want to.” She turned her attention back to the phone. “Sorry, Eddie. She’s just too cute like this. God I hope that kid has all her adorable traits. So…” Sam took in a breath, “Everything went good on your end?”
Brooke waited to hear the man’s response but his words didn’t come, instead, she only heard Sam’s pleasant laughter.
“Yeah, Eddie. I’ll let her know you did your best work for her. It’s a damn good thing you’re a drummer otherwise you couldn’t have kept up that beat.” Sam giggled out her closure, “bye.”
Through hazy eyes Brooke watched Sam replace the receiver and turn back toward her.
“Brooke…Eddie sends you his best,” Sam chuckled. “In more ways than one.”
“Not here, Hon,” Sam held Brooke’s hand in her own. “But he is in Richmond for a few more minutes before he heads back home. His part is done.”
“Yeah?” Brooke sounded a little more awake than before. “Everything…alright?”
“Just fine. Doc Dennison even said so. Your part was a breeze. She was in and out in a couple of tries. She said that it looked like a good crop with this harvest. We’ll just have to wait to see if they fertilize.” Sam leaned over to whisper in Brooke’s ear. “We’re on our way to being mommies now. What do you think of that?”
“I think you’re gonna make a great mommy.”
“Gee, and I was just thinking the same thing about you,” Sam smiled.
“Sam…I’m too tired to be a mommy right now.”
“Just sleep, Baby. I’ll be the mommy now while you let that sedation wear off for a couple of hours, how’s that?”
Brooke stifled a yawn, “Sounds like a plan to me. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Sam placed a tender kiss on her lover’s mouth and proceeded to rest her head on the woman’s shoulder. “You sleep now. I’ll be right here,” she whispered.
Peter looked up from his desk just as a silhouetted form passed by the frosted glass of his office door. From the brisk passing and medium height, it could only be one person, Ida. He pushed his chair back and quickly rose, heading straight for his door. Pulling it open, he leaned out in time to see the office manager standing outside her office. “Ida…I’m glad that I caught you.”
“Yes?” She turned to view the ambling man coming her way. “Did that phone call come through, Peter?”
He shook his head, “No, not to my knowledge.”
“Okay,” Ida nodded, “maybe he found them without any problems.”
“Eddie’s pretty good with directions. I’ll bet he did.” Peter started to turn back toward his office, then hesitated. “Oh, by the way,” he looked back at Ida, “Linda dropped more paperwork off for you while you were gone.”
“More paperwork?” Ida cocked her head to one side. “Did she give it to you?”
“Nope…she left it on your desk. I saw your open door when I was getting a drink at the water fountain. I thought that you were back from your errands but it was her dropping something off.” Peter shrugged, “I just thought I’d tell you.”
“Thanks, Peter.” Ida watched as he moved down the hall and back into his office. “Hmm…” the woman opened her door and viewed the contents of her office with suspicion. She crossed the space to her desk and picked up the only folder on it. The same folder that she’d seen in Linda’s hands when she’d left nearly an hour ago.
Ida sat her purse down on the desk next to the rolodex file and then slowly opened the folder with one hand. Giving a reflexive swipe of her tongue to her index and middle fingers, Ida proceeded to shuffle through the papers. “Two,” she mumbled. “But I thought Peter said…”
The woman drew in a breath and let it escape as she thought. “Okay, Linda, what are you up to now? You had to be in here for another reason.” Ida’s eyes shifted around the desktop and stopped on the rolodex. “Ah, shit!”
Ida picked her purse up and slung its strap over her shoulder. “Two can play this game,” she muttered as she headed out of her office. “Mata Hari, meet Julia Child. No one knew she was a spy until now…and you won’t know what hit you until I’m ready to blow your fucking cover to hell and back. I hope it’s worth it to you Linda, whatever it is.”
“So…how are we doing?” Dr. Dennison stood in the doorway, her gaze focused on her patient. She watched as Brooke fumbled with the buttons on her shirt.
“Okay, I guess.” Brooke shrugged keeping her eyes fixed to the button she was working on.
“The nurse told me you were getting dressed. I presume that to mean that you want to leave.” The doctor flashed a smile at Sam, “Are we able to stay awake now?”
“Better than an hour ago.” Sam could see the growing frustration on Brooke’s face. “Here, let me do that. You just talk to the doctor now.”
Brooke sighed, “Yeah.” She looked over to the woman dressed in scrubs. “How’d it go? You get all the harvesting done that you needed, Doc?”
“That…and then some,” Dennison waited for her words to filter into Brooke’s drug hazed mind. Seeing the startled reaction on the woman’s face she openly chuckled. “God, you got to love the delayed reaction of a groggy patient.”
“Funny. Ha-ha.” Brooke mimicked her laugh. The next moment she turned to Sam. “She didn’t take out anything else, did she?”
“No,” Sam giggled, “or give you anything in return.”
“Good!” Brooke’s silly, satisfied smile showed her state of mind.
“Well, now that you’ve passed that test, I guess I can release you into your wife’s care,” Dennison winked at Sam. “She, along with your body will be the boss the rest of the day.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Brooke focused her attention on Sam, “Huh, Darlin’?”
“She’ll need to take it easy the rest of the day. Lots of rest, no driving, no lifting, no operating anything mechanical…not even a toothbrush,” Dennison leveled her gaze directly at Brooke. “You got it?”
“I get it,” Brooke snarled. “Anything else?”
Sam gave her wife a playful slap in the shoulder, “Be nice.” She shook her head, then looked over to the doctor. “Doc, maybe you’d better tell her what she’s allowed to do. I might have an easier time that way.” She waited as Dennison folded her arms over her chest and started to rub her chin in thought.
“Well, you can take some pain reliever if you need it. Tylenol, not aspirin.” She looked to Sam, “Sometimes they get a little sore after this procedure. Some patients even have some mild to moderate cramping for a day or so.” She focused back on Brooke. “If you want to, you could put some heat on it, maybe even gently massage your lower abdomen for a while. The one thing to remember here is…definitely no activity. You only do what you need to get by for the next day. You eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom.”
“How long?” Brooke’s voice cracked. “I thought you said today?”
“Twenty-four hours, that’s a day, Brooke.” Dennison met Brooke’s arching eyebrow with one of her own as she leaned forward to make her point. “I don’t want any problems. You might have some bleeding from this but if it’s more than a few spots on a pad over the next day, I want to know about it. Understand?” She held her gaze into blue eyes until they blinked. “Sam,” Dennison glanced over to the blonde, “I’m holding you responsible here.”
“I…I guess I can do that,” Brooke let her shoulders slump in defeat.
“You’ll be fine, Brooke. You just have to take it easy,” Sam said reassuringly.
“What’s next? When do we come back for Sam’s part?” Brooke tried moving the subject off herself.
“It’s a waiting game. I’ll be getting in touch with you as soon as we have a confirmed fertilization effort. That could take a few hours or as long as a day or so after we wash down your donor’s sperm and introduce it to the eggs. We’ll need you to come in for the implantation after that happens.”
“Our schedules are pretty flexible, Doc.” Sam grasped Brooke’s hand and held on to it. “We’ll be here, you just tell us when.”
“Great,” the smile on Dennison’s face lit up the room. “I love having a plan come into fruition.”
Brooke rolled her eyes as she let go with a sigh, “There she goes with that harvesting talk again.” She looked to her wife for sympathy but found very little.
“Sorry, Hon, it’s the price you have to pay if you want a good crop of kids.” Sam giggled.
Brooke eyed Sam and then shifted her gaze to Dennison. “I think you two are in cahoots with this harvesting talk.” She looked from one to the other for their reaction. “Okay, you got any more? It’s the last time you get to use them in my direction, you know.”
Feigning the most innocent of faces, Dr. Dennison thought for a moment. “Well, there is that one about a farmer’s daughter…” she chuckled seeing Brooke’s more than serious reaction as blue eyes stared at her intently. “But I think that’s enough for now,” the doctor winked at Sam. “Brooke will make a great mother, Sam. She’s already showing her overprotective nature.”
“I know,” Sam patted her wife’s shoulder. “Down girl. Save it for later. I’ll do the sensitive chats with the kids, you can be the one with the shotgun at the door when their dates show up.”
“Damn right,” Brooke nodded. “We’re laying down the law, no dating until they’re able to qualify for senior citizen discounts.”
“Nice thought, Hon, but very impractical. They may not be late bloomers like you,” Sam chided.
“They will be if they want to live,” Brooke growled.
“Save it for later. Let them get here first,” the doctor brought the conversation back to the present. “I think after that coherent discussion that I’ll let you leave. Go home,” she turned to face Brooke, pointing a finger at her, “rest, relax, and recuperate. It may be the last time you do so for a number of years to come.”
“Thanks, Doc.” Brooke looked over to Sam.
“Well, I’ve got other patients to see. I’ll get in touch with you to arrange the next step of your journey into parenthood.” With that said, Dr. Dennison turned and was out of the room a few seconds later.
“So, are you still up for dinner with my parents?” Sam observed her wife as she waited for the answer. “We could cancel it if you’re not up to it.”
Brooke took a deep breath in and pondered the idea. “I know you don’t get to see them that often.” She watched the concern building on Sam’s face. “I still feel a little loopy from that drug, but maybe it will help me handle your mom easier. Let’s do it.”
“Okay, but at the first sign that you’re getting tired or in pain, we’re out of there.” Sam leveled her gaze into soulful blue eyes. “Got that?”
“Got that,” she nodded. “You going to call your Dad and tell him we’re coming?”
Sam turned to head toward the door, “No, I’d rather surprise them. We seem to do that pretty well,” she looked back over her shoulder at Brooke, “don’t you think? Besides, why give my mother any more time to prepare. A block away should be enough to get us in the door.”
“Oh yeah!” Brooke rolled her eyes, “are you sure that’s a good idea?” Her only answer was Sam’s imitation of a Cheshire cat grinning. “Oh, this is going to be good.” Brooke started to whistle a tune as she hopped off the examination table and followed in step behind her wife.
“What’s that you’re whistling, Hon,” Sam slowed down until Brooke caught up to her. “A new tune running around your head or is that something from one of the new groups?”Brooke shook her head and interspersed words in place of her whistling, “Nope, Mr. Roger’s theme song.” She continued to whistle until she came to the name of the song, which she sang out in melodious tones, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”
Song Lyrics from
this week's installment by Steve Brown.