Carrie Ryan & K. Darblyne


"...When you're in the system, will you care that you are missing from the prophets that we are... I know it, cause you were once a Gone Street Poet..."

Installment 2-7 – Two Cents At A Time…It All Adds Up

A lot of thought and hard work had been put into Brownstone Recordings, right down to the woman who sat as a sentry over the entire floor of offices.  No one could make a move without it escaping Ida’s keen eyes.  Brooke, in her infinite wisdom, had set it up that way.  It was a safety device of hers and had proven itself quite useful in the earlier days of the company, when fame and rock star status still clung to the owner/C.E.O. like a wet T-shirt.  Not a day went by that first year or so without Ida quietly but firmly preventing some would-be groupie from disturbing her boss at work.  It had been so bad that Ida thought she was hired to do nothing but work security like the old days, instead of keeping the daily operational books and managing the office in her boss’ absence.  Over the last few years, Brooke’s alter ego as Loran had fallen by the wayside and so had the number of groupies.  Ida finally had settled into her real job and her extra energy now was used to act as a second mother to Brooke Gordon, her boss. 

Tight-lipped to her secret, Ida sat silently by as she watched first Sam, then a moment or two later, Brooke come out of their respective offices and duck into the executive area restroom at the far end of the hall.  The smile on her face grew in proportion to her thought of two adults in a room meant to accommodate only one.  A knowing smile came to her face as Ida’s eyes went back to her desk and the work that it contained.

The sound of the elevator next to her office prompted Ida to raise her gaze from the page of numbers before her.  She watched for a moment as a willowy, dark haired woman came into her view.  Immediately no threat registered in her head as C.C.’s familiar face came poking into her open door.

“Hey, Ida.”

“Hey yourself, C.C.” Ida looked up with a friendly smile and a little wave of her pencil.  “If you’re here to eat lunch with Brooke, I think she’s…” she shifted in her chair, “kind of busy right now.”

“Busy?”  C.C. looked down the hall at the open door of her sister’s office, then stepped into Ida’s door and leaned against the frame, crossing her arms over her chest.  “What do you mean by ‘busy’ exactly, Ida?”

The woman looked past C.C. and down the hall to the emerging forms coming from the restroom.  “Ask your sister.  I’ll let her be the one to tell you.”

C.C. gave Ida a moment of study before turning her attention back to the hallway.  “Hiya, Sam,” her eyes settled on her sister-in-law as she moved to greet her with a hug.  “What have you two been up to?”

“Hi, C.C.” Sam straightened her blouse before she exchanged the brief hug and looked at her watch.  Edging her way toward her office, Sam averted her eyes from C.C.’s gaze.  “I…ah…I got some phone calls to make, C.C.  I’ll let your sister tell you all about it.”  She looked over to her wife and smiled lovingly.  “I’ll be in my office if you need me, Brooke.”  Sam gave a little wave of her hand as she reached for the door to her office and mumbled, “And I’m sure that you will.” 

“Hmm…” C.C. slowly looked over to her sister, “Brooke.”  She embraced her sibling then stepped back.  With a hand resting on her hip, C.C. looked directly at her sister and asked, “Are you going to tell me or do I get to guess?”

“How about we just let it drop,” Brooke’s eyes narrowed on her sister then shifted to Ida and back again, “and go into my office.”  She turned to head in that direction. 

“I guess if you were a guy you could say that,” C.C. quipped with a smile as her gaze settled on Brooke’s crotch for a brief second.

An annoyed Brooke turned and started to walk away, “I can see you need another class on anatomy, C.C.  I don’t have that appendage.”

Pleased at the effect it had, C.C. followed her sister down the hallway.

“So, what are you doing here, Chase?”  Brooke gazed over her shoulder, “You never just show up without a reason.” 

“What am I doing…nothing much.  I just wanted to see if you’d have lunch with me.”  C.C. wandered around Brooke’s office picking up things that were of no interest to her.  “I just know how much you love…” her face took on a puzzled look as she played with one particular object now in her hands.  “Is this a…”

“No, it’s not my missing anatomy,” Brooke said dryly, not even bothering to look up to see what it was.  “It’s an abstract hand making a statement.”  She kept shifting the papers that covered her desk as though she was looking for something.  “Spit it out, Chase, what did you have in mind…for coming here today?”  Brooke quickly added to keep her sister’s mind in the right focus.

C.C. put the item back in its place and stuck her tongue out at it.  With a rather graceful turn, the willowy woman flicked her hair over her shoulder and shook her head so as to settle her long brown mane.  “I know how much you love pizza, Sis.  I was thinking…double cheese with four blends on a cheese stuffed crust.”  Brown eyes became intense as they looked at Brooke, “What do you say we split it like old times?”

The more that C.C. talked of cheese, the more Brooke’s eyes grew in size.  By the time she was done, Brooke’s hand was settled over her lower abdomen and a pained expression masked the woman’s face.  “Uh…C.C., stop it.  You’re killing me.” 

“You up for it or are you going to be a party pooper?”  C.C. stared at her sister.

Brooke doubled over and sat down, willing the bloated feeling of constipation to only be a passing fancy of her mind.  “I’d love to have some pizza right now but…” Brooke winced at the thought of the pain, “I’m off of dairy for a few more weeks.”  She gave her abdomen a soothing rub and then looked up to her sibling.  “Any other suggestions?”

“Hmm…I take it you’re going to be a pooper, eh?”  C.C. scratched her head as she thought.  “Well, we could always go get a salad,” she giggled, “and try to keep our girlish figures.”  C.C. picked up a paper that was on Brooke’s desk and let her eyes roam over it.  “Hey, maybe Sam would want to go with us.  I know you like her girlish figure.”  She tossed the sheet of paper back on the pile she’d gotten it from.

“Salad?”  Brooke rubbed her abdomen again, “Yeah, that will work.  Hang on a second first and let me check with Sam.”  She reached over and buzzed her wife’s office on the speakerphone.  “Sam?”

There was a long pause before Sam answered her wife’s call somewhat reluctantly.  “Yes, Brooke.  Tell me, where am I coming this time…the copy room?”

Sam’s words caught Brooke by surprise and a higher than normal “Darlin’,” turned into a cough as the blush of embarrassment registered on her face.  She shifted her eyes at the sound of a snicker to catch the raising eyebrow on her sibling’s face as C.C. crossed her arms over her chest.  “Darlin’,” Brooke tried to remain calm, “C.C. wanted to know if we’d like to join her for lunch.”  She looked over to her sister and smiled nervously as she listened for Sam’s response.

“I’d love to but I really have to get on these phone calls right now.  I’m swamped and I’ve only got a few days to finish this PR tour for Line of Fire.  Sorry, C.C.”  There was a second or two of silence before the sound of Sam clearing her throat came over the speaker.  “Brooke, I’ll take care of making that phone call while I’m at it for your first appointment.  You know the one I’m talking about.”

“Oh yeah,” the C.E.O. grumbled, using her open hand to wash over her face, “the quack.  Okay.”  She looked over to C.C. to see if the inquiring mind had heard her comments.  If she had, C.C wasn’t letting it show as she busied herself looking at another sheet of paper from the desk.   “Can I bring you back something for your lunch, Sam?”

“Hmm…I’m really craving cheese right now, Brooke.  You’d better bring me back something with lots of cheese on it while it still won’t be effecting me.”

Resigning herself to her fate, Brooke sighed out her question.  “Pizza?”

The sound of Sam’s girlish laughter came over the speaker.  “You know me so well.  Thanks, Hon.”

“Sure, any time,” Brooke sounded defeated.  “Anything to drink with that slab of goat jam?”

“A large coffee.  No, make that an espresso... a big one.  Something tells me I’ll need that caffeine boost later this afternoon.”

The loud groan coming from her sister caused C.C. to look directly at her.

“Okay, Darlin’.  I love you,”

“I love you, too.  Be careful, Brooke.”

 “Okay, Chase,” the executive laid the handset in its cradle and got up from her chair, “let’s go.”

“Alright,” C.C. rubbed her hands together as a devilish smile came to her face, “Pizza it is.”


“I’ve seen rabbits ingest fields of lettuce quicker than you’re eating that salad, Brooke.”  C.C. picked up another slice of her four cheese pizza and shoved it into her mouth.  After a couple of chomps, she swallowed it and continued on at her sister before taking another mouthful.  “You going to eat it or wait until it becomes petrified?”

“I dunno…” Brooke poked at the leaves of green and played hide-n-seek with a crouton before putting her fork down on the table.  “I guess I’m just not hungry.”

C.C. studied Brooke for a moment then took a drink.  “Brooke,” she said putting the glass back down on the table, “that quack that you referred to back at the office…are you sick or something?”

“Sick?  Ah…uhm…no.”  Brooke shrugged, “She just put me on a restrictive diet for a few weeks.”  She picked up her fork and took another stab at a green pepper while she tried to steer the conversation away from herself.  “So, how’s your internship going?”

“It’s okay,” C.C. mumbled out around the last bit of stuffed crust she was fitting into her mouth.  “Nothing to really talk about.”  She chewed and started to swallow as the words of her sister finally sunk in.  “Whoa!”  She coughed a time or two then grabbed her beverage to help wash it down.  “Wait a minute.  Sam put you on a diet?”  Her balled up hands rested on her hips in defiance, “I thought she liked your bod.”

“No…not Sam,” Brooke continued to poke at her food, “the quack did.”

“The quack?”  C.C. asked rather loudly, causing her sister to look at her menacingly.  “Would that be Donald or Daffy?”  Seeing the look that she was getting, C.C. knew that something was going on.  “Or is this a quack of another source altogether?”  
"Doctor,” Brooke mumbled, “quack, pain in my ass.”  She looked across the table and glared at her sister.  “You get it now?”

C.C. started laughing.  “What’s the matter, Sis…not enough energy to keep up with a twenty-one year old on a regular basis?”

“It’s not that,” Brooke took the napkin that was in her hand and slammed it down onto the table.  “C.C., It’s nothing like that and you know it.”

“It’s not?”

“NO, and I’d rather not discuss it right now.”  Brooke brought the glass of water to her mouth and sipped at it.  “It’s nothing bad, so don’t worry.”
"Sure, wait until you’re on your death bed to tell me you got some terminal disease or something.  Brooke, I thought we were close.”

“I swear C.C., I’m not sick and I’m not getting sick.”  Brooke picked up her fork and started back into her salad.  “I just have to be careful of what I eat and drink for a few weeks.  I’m taking some medication and I have to stay away from dairy and caffeine while I’m on it, that’s all.” 

“Does Mom know that you’re seeing a doctor?”  C.C. paused for a moment to see blue eyes averting hers at every turn.  “I bet she doesn’t,” she declared pulling out her cell phone and tapping a single button in an effort to speed dial.

Long arms reached across the table and snatched the cell phone out of C.C.’s hand.  “Don’t,” she warned, poking the end button and setting it down on the table.  “Jesus, C.C. if I tell you, will you keep it quiet?” 

Brown eyes stared in shock at her sister.  “You think I can’t keep a secret?”  C.C. feigned a crushing pain to her chest.  “Brooke, I know everything about you…about Loran…and I’ve never said a word to anyone.”  She thought for a second, then quickly amended her words, “Well, except Sam.”

“I know,” Brooke fidgeted in her seat.  “We just didn’t want anyone to know yet.  It’s all kind of involved and there’s no guarantee that it will work.”

“Involved?”  C.C. slid to the edge of her seat.  “Who?  What?  How?”  She looked around to see if anyone else was listening, then centered her gaze directly at her sister.  “Scoop, Brooke.  You’re talking to an inquiring mind now.”

“Look, I know I can trust you.”  Brooke did her own quick survey of those around them and leaned in toward C.C.  “I’m just a…a little on edge because of the medication.”  She leaned in further and whispered, “I’m taking hormone pills and my emotions are way out of whack.”

“Hormone pills?”  C.C. made a face.  “You want a sex change operation?”

“NO!” Brooke’s voice boomed out loud enough to startle those at the tables near by.  She smiled at them apologetically, then leveled her gaze back at C.C.  “Just listen to me, will you?”

“Okay,” C.C. said with her elbow resting on the table.  She propped her head on her hand, “Talk.”

“Sam and I want to have a baby.”  Brooke saw the bland look on her sister’s face and knew that she wasn’t getting the picture just yet.  “Sam wants to have my baby.  To make a long story short, C.C. I’m on hormone pills so they can harvest the eggs from me.  After they do their little lab thing with the sperm, they impregnate Sam with my baby.”  Brooke got a silly grin on her face at the thought, “I mean, our baby.”  She watched as the idea slowly sunk into C.C.
The sibling sat back in her chair as she looked her sister in the eye.  “You’re on fertilization pills?”  C.C. burst out loud with a quick guffaw, then suddenly stopped and became serious.  “Damn!  I’m going to be an aunt.”

“Yes, Chase, you’re going to be an aunt…eventually again.”  Brooke waited to see her sister’s reaction.

C.C.’s eyes sparkled with delight as the words formed in her mouth, “Well, if I’m going to be an aunt, I guess that will make you a real mother.”

“Yeah,” Brooke sighed.  “Sam too, you know.  She’ll be the one to carry the child.”

“Hey, that I can see.  But you…” C.C. chuckled. “Oh boy, this is going to be fun.”

Brooke dropped the fork that she was still holding in her hand.  “Why not me?”

“Nothing, Brooke.”  C.C. settled into her seat, fingering the last piece of her pizza.  “It’s just that I never thought of Loran as the parenting type.”  She flashed a smile at the woman across from her.  “I guess this will prove that you’re really not that person at all.”

“You should know better than anybody that I’m not Loran.  I never really was.”

“You’re right,” C.C. said, taking a small bit of her food.  “I like this one much better.”

“I’m glad that you agree because if it’s a girl…” Brooke smiled wryly at her sister, letting the suspense build.

“You’re going to name it after me?”

Brooke nodded her head, “Well, sort of.  The official name will be Chastity Loran…” she flashed a smile at C.C., “but we’ll call her Chase for short.”

It took a minute for the concept to register in C.C.’s mind.  Her thoughtful expression went from shock to ecstatic in only a few seconds.  She stuck her hand up in the air and gave a loud holler, “Wahoo!  Finally a name sake and I don’t have to do any of the work.”

“But if it’s a boy,” Brooke teased her sister, “we’ll just call it Chuckie.”

Shivers immediately went down C.C.’s back.  “Damn it, Brooke, you’re raining on my parade.  You know that name gives me the creeps.”

The older sibling looked around rather nervously at the people seated near them.  “Yeah, well, calm down C.C., it might take a while to happen.”

“I can wait.”  C.C. sat up straighter in her seat as she picked up the half eaten crust of pizza in her hand and looked over to her sister.  “Eat up, Momma,” she motioned to the salad in front of Brooke.  “You’ve got more than just yourself to be thinking of.”  


Sam stopped outside of Brooke’s office, knocking softly on the door.  When no response came, she gingerly opened the door and looked to see if her wife was there.  “Good,” she mumbled under her breath, “She’s not back yet.”  She gave the door a tug and stepped back out into the hallway, bumping into Peter as she turned to leave.  “Oh, sorry.  I didn’t mean to…”

“Hey there, Toots.”  Peter flashed a smile at her.  “Are you two,” he motioned with his head toward Brooke’s door, “doing okay?”

“Peter, I was…I was…” Sam looked at the man and sighed, letting her defenses down.  “Peter, can I be frank with you?”

“No, but you can be Sam,” he chuckled.  “I knew a Frank once…didn’t like him.”  Getting no laughter in return from the woman, he turned serious.  “Come on into my office and have a seat.”  He walked several paces down the hall and held his door open waiting for his friend and co-worker to join him.

“Peter,” Sam said as she entered his office, “I need you to do me a big favor.”  She paused, seeing him hold up a finger as he closed the door and crossed the room to his desk. 

“Ida…” he called into the office intercom, “Could you handle all my calls for a few minutes?”

“Sure, Peter.  Just let me know when you’re available again.”

“I won’t be too long.  I promise.”  Peter turned to move away from the microphone and then stopped abruptly.  “Ida…Let me know if a call comes through from Hawk Entertainment.  I need to talk to them myself.”

“No problem, Peter.”  Ida’s voice came through the speaker.  “Tell Sam that her lunch should be coming back with Brooke soon.”

Peter eyed the nervous reaction his friend was having at the sound of Brooke’s name.  Sam twisted away from him and started running her hand through her short blonde hair.  “Thanks, Ida.  I’ll do that.”  He ended his conversation with the co-worker and walked over to Sam, resting his hands on her shoulders, causing her to act startled.  “Okay, Toots, what’s up?  Why are you so jumpy?”

“Peter,” Sam sighed as she turned to look the man directly, “she’s driving me crazy.  I need a break.”

“What?”  His face twisted with his confusion.  “What are you talking about?”

“I need you to help her get some of that energy out.”  Sam watched as Peter’s face showed even more confusion.  “You don’t get it, do you?”  Sam hung her head and sighed, “I should have known better, you’re a man.”

“There’s no need to be insulting, you know,” a perplexed Peter shot back at her.  “Slow down, Sam and maybe I’ll understand what you’re asking me to do.”

“Peter, she’s…her…” Sam threw her hands up in exasperation.  “I need some time to relax,” she looked at the man, searching for some sign of his understanding.  “Regroup…you know?”

“She’s working you too hard, is that it?  You want me to tell her she’s giving you too much with Line of Fire’s virgin tour?”  Peter looked over to see Sam vigorously shaking her head.


The single word seemed to reverberate in his head causing him to be more confused than ever.  “Sam…What the hell’s going on then?”

Sam took in a deep breath, then blurted it, “Peter, her hormones are out of kilter.”  She stared into his eyes that were still full of confusion and laid it out plain and simple.  “Brooke’s turned into this sex fiend, nymphomaniac or something.”

“Nympho?” Peter’s brow wrinkled with the thought, “Brooke?”  Suddenly he shook his head to clear the images he was viewing.  “And…why are you complaining?”

“When was the last time you had sex seventeen times in a single day?”  She leveled a glare in his direction.

“Shit Sam, I can’t remember the last time I had sex period,” his eyes got bigger as he mumbled out his state of affairs.

“That’s why I need you to help me out here.  I thought that maybe you and Eddie could tire her out and give me a rest.”  She watched the man’s face turn pasty white with fear.  Sam put her hands on her hips and challenged him with her stance.   “Not that way, Peter,” she said through clenched teeth. 
”Oh,” the man quickly became tight lipped as he turned and walked over to his desk.

“I’m sorry to lay this on you Petey, but I don’t know how long I can do this that many times.”  She watched as he leaned on the desk, and looked back at her in awe.  “If you were me, you’d be asking the same thing that I am.”  She crossed the room and stood next to him, her hand coming to rest on his arm.  “Peter, as a friend, please…one evening…two hours…” Sam’s eyes grew wild with desperation, “five minutes, anything.”  She pulled out her punches and started batting her eyelashes, playing on his sympathy, “For me?”

He held out all of thirty seconds before he gave in to her plea.  “Okay, Sam, but you have to do something for me.”

“Anything…” she readily agreed.  “What do you want?”

”I know that making love that often can be tiring you out.  But Sam…” he paused to gain his courage, then continued on, “don’t let her know that it is becoming a chore for you.  I’d hate for her to pick up on it, and you know that she would.  Heck, some of the staff here already…” he wet his lips and swallowed hard, “may have.”

“They have?  I thought…I…” Sam let go of a breath in anguish.  “I guess I haven’t been thinking about anything but myself.”

“Gossip around the water cooler has it that there is trouble in paradise with the way you’ve been reacting lately.  I know that you’re exhausted Sam, but it would kill Brooke to think that you two weren’t the perfect newlywed couple.”

“I know, Petey.  I’d die without her in my life.”  Sam mustered her strength and met his gaze.  “Okay, I’ll cut you a deal.  You and Eddie occupy her for the evening and I’ll be ready for her tonight,” Sam gave him a subtle wink.  “What do you say?”

Peter opened his mouth to speak but the sound of someone knocking on his office door was heard instead.  He looked at the door wearily and called out, “Come in.”

“Excuse me, Peter.”  Brooke slowly opened the door.  “Ida said that Sam was…” she spied her wife and held up the cardboard containers holding her lunch.

“Pizza and Expresso?” Peter looked at the blonde next to him.  “Sam, you didn’t?”

“Hey, she asked and I was hungry,” Sam protested.  “Besides, I could use the extra caffeine, you know.”  She rolled her eyes in Peter’s direction.  “Call it a preconception craving.”  She turned her attention toward her spouse.  “Back so soon, Hon?  Did you have a good lunch with C.C.?”

“Yeah, it was…okay.”  Brooke’s face was painted with a shy smile.  She walked over to Sam and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek.  “Your lunch will be getting cold, Darlin’.”  She handed the containers over to Sam as she mumbled her apologies, “I’m sorry for disturbing you.”

“You’re not…” Sam started to say but didn’t get a chance to finish before Brooke silently walked out of the room and closed the door.  Shocked by her wife’s behavior she turned and looked at Peter.  “What the hell is up with her now?”

“Maybe she’s…constipated.”  Peter shrugged at the startled look he was getting.  “Hey, I might be her ex-band mate and her friend, but she’s your wife.  I don’t know all her moods.”

The sound of a soft knock came again to Peter’s door and it was met with voices joined in unison, “Come in.”  They both turned their attention to the door as it opened, revealing Ida’s form.

“I’m sorry, Sam…Peter,” she looked from one to the other.

“That’s okay, Ida.  I was just going to go eat my lunch.”  Sam held up her meal as she started for the door.

Ida stepped into the room.  “A couple of the girls in accounting were apparently gossiping in the break room.  I think they were speculating about…” Ida wrung her hands as she considered how to broach the subject, “about your relationship with Brooke right now.  I don’t know exactly what was said but Brooke’s entire demeanor changed after she overheard them.”

Hearing that, Sam froze in mid step.  “What?”  She turned to look back at Peter.  “Great, just what I need, office gossip meets the raging hormones.”  Sam took in a deep breath and walked into the hall.


Brooke turned from her voice mail at the sound of the knock on her office door to see her wife leaning reluctantly into the open doorway.  Not ready to talk, she looked away, seemingly intent on hearing the captured voice.

“If you don’t want to be disturbed, I’ll…” Sam paused, seeing the subtle shake of the C.E.O.’s head, as Brooke kept jotting something down on a piece of paper.  “Can I come in?”  A nod confirmed her wishes and Sam did so, biding her time until the last message ended.  Sam formulated her words as she watched Brooke make a few notations in her date book, then place the receiver on its cradle.  “Is there anything you might want me to be doing?  I mean…ah…this afternoon.”  Sam ventured closer to the desk, letting her fingers walk around the edge of it until she was standing next to Brooke’s chair.

“Just keep looking through those new T-shirt designs.”

“I meant,” Sam leaned down and whispered into Brooke’s ear, “I meant that to be on a more personal level.”

The C.E.O flipped her date book closed and looked up into green eyes for a quick second before looking away.  “I…I need to leave the office for a while.”  She pushed her chair back and stood up.  “I’ll be at the newspaper office looking over some copy and layouts that need my approval for an upcoming ad campaign.”

The abruptness of her wife startled Sam, “Well, yeah…you could do that.”  Thank you, God.  “Yeah, right.  I’ll…just look over those T-shirts and wait for you to come back.”

“Ida can call me if anything comes up.”  Brooke gathered a few papers from her desk and shoved them into her open brief case.  “Tell Peter to have Hawk Entertainment call my cellphone if they call in.  I’m looking at a local band to sign.”

“Local?” Sam’s interest piqued, “Is it someone that we’ve seen already?” 

“No,” came Brooke’s one word answer as it was quickly replaced by the sound of her brief case snapping shut.

“Oh,” Sam became very quiet.  “I’ll…I’ll be in my office if you need anything.”  She watched as Brooke headed for the door without even a gesture of a kiss in her passing.  “You have your cell with you, right?  I know how forgetful you are sometimes.”

Brooke reached into her jacket pocket and nodded when her fingers traced over the familiar outline of the communication device.  She withdrew her hand from her coat and reached for the doorknob, stopping when she heard her name.


“What?” Dark hair swirled off of her shoulder as she turned her head to reveal the annoyance that was etched into her face.

Sam stared at her for a moment, not sure of what to do or say. That gossip must have been some humdinger.  You seem…God, please just let it be the hormones again.  “Nothing…forget it.” 

The intensity of blue eyes softened a little as her mouth started to engage again, “I’ll see you later, Sam.”  She started walking through the doorway and into the hall.

“I love you.”  Sam held her breath as she waited for a reply.

Brooke squared her shoulders and looked back at her wife.  “Love you too, Sam.”  The words were uttered in a tight-lipped fashion before she closed the door and her booted footsteps could be heard walking down the hall.

“Damn those hormones,” Sam spun around on her heel and looked out the window with its boardwalk view.  “I never know what mood is going to strike her next.”  She stood there for a long moment, letting her own mood settle down.  She looked over at the empty chair and sighed, “Oh well, T-shirts here I come.”  Determined to get some work done, she headed back to her own office.


Brooke came out of her meeting with the Newspaper’s Advertising Representative more concerned than when she went in.  She thought about his excuse for the royal screw up and it made her wonder if he wasn’t right with his comment: that eventually the new people would know what they were doing.  Is that me?  Am I a new person to this whole concept of love and marriage…and….  Her thoughts raced to Sam and the baby-to-be.  Goddamn it.  What if that office gossip is right?  She set her jaw and pushed the thoughts from her mind. 

The long legs of the C.E.O. ate up the distance to her SUV in a few seconds time. With a click of the remote and a jerk of the handle she was seated behind the wheel, staring off into space. 

“But what if they aren’t?” She mumbled, seeing her future turning on end.  “I need help and fast.”  She slipped her hand into her jacket pocket and pulled out her phone.  Eager for answers, she hit the speed dial button and punched in the number from her memory.  “Twenty-one…there that should do it.”  She held the cellphone up to her ear and listened for the familiar greeting on the other end.

“Miranda Dedmon, Assistant D.A., how can I help you?”

“Hey Randi, didn’t anybody tell you that you don’t Miranda a dead man, Sis?”  Brooke’s teasing masked her nervousness.

“Har, har, har…funny, Brooke.  What’s up?  Did you get nabbed for speeding again?”

“Nah,” Brooke tried to steady her voice.  “I was just out running a few errands and thought I’d give you a call.”

“Yeah?”  Randi’s skepticism was more then evident.  “Listen Brooke, you never call me at work unless it’s for something.  Now what is it?”

“Damn it,” Brooke spit the words out through clenched teeth.  “Do I have to have a reason to call my older sister?  Christ, if I’m that much of a nuisance, Randi, I won’t bother.”  She pulled the cell phone away from her hand and poked her thumb down onto the end button in the first strike of a one-two punch, the steering wheel took the latter as her free hand slammed into it.  “FUCK!”  She tossed the phone onto the passenger’s seat and closed her eyes.

It wasn’t but a few seconds before the cell phone sent its reply chirping into the silence of the vehicle.  The catchy beat repeated itself over and over until finally Brooke grabbed the phone and stopped it with a barked out greeting of her own.  “Brooke Gordon, here.”

“Hmm...is that any way to answer a phone?  Better not let Mom hear you or she’ll send you back to charm school.”

“HUH?” Brooke pulled the phone from her ear and stared into it.

“It’s me, Terri.  What’s up, Sis?  You can tell the doctor.”

“Nothin’, Ter.”  Brooke grimaced, “I’m just having a shitty day.” 

“Something wrong at your office?  Did one of your bands get caught in the tabloids again?”

She took in a breath and tried to relax.  “Sorry, wrong on all accounts, Sis.  Besides, I don’t really want to talk about it.  So what’s up with you, calling me in the middle of a busy work day for us both?”

“I’m just having such a good time today…I had to call someone.  I tried Randi but her line was busy, so you were my next choice.  God, I love these hormone rushes that this pregnancy’s giving me.”

Brooke caught herself starting to growl at the mention of the word ‘hormone’.

“I figured that I’d better enjoy it while I can…the good rush that is.  Hey, is that a growl that I hear?  Sounds like someone’s being a grumpy bear today.  Did you get your period?”

“NO!” Brooke snapped at the phone.

“Come on, Brooke…I remember how much you always enjoyed that time of the month.”

“Speaking of ‘time of the month’…do you have a due date yet?” Brooke hoped Terri would take the bait and get off her case.

“Looks like it’s going to be around July for this little bundle of mine to make an appearance.  You can never be too sure with the first one though.  Don’t worry, Brooke, it’s not going to be anywhere around your birthday.  You get that all to yourself.”

“I should hope so, the beginning of June is a whole month away from July.”

“Well, you know, that’s just a little too early for the stork to drop in for a delivery.”  The sound of Terri’s laughter filled the airwaves for a short time before a very audible gasp was heard on the other end.  “Damn!  What time do you have, Brooke?”

Blue eyes searched the dashboard for her digital read out clock.  “It’s a couple of minutes past three, Ter.”

“I think I just missed my time slot at the pediatric clinic.  I’d better get going.  Later, Brooke.  Hope you’re feeling better the next time we talk.”

“Bye, Terri.”  Brooke ended the conversation feeling even worse than before.  She closed her eyes to the pain and tried to regroup her feelings.

It didn’t take but a moment longer for the cell phone to start chirping away at her again.  She touched the button and said her name, “Brooke Gordon.”

“What did you do…call Mom the moment you hung up on me?”

“No, Terri called me,” Brooke sighed.  “I’m…I’m sorry about earlier, Randi.  I just seem to be a bother to everyone lately.”

“Brooke, you’re never a bother to me.”  There was a moment of hesitation on the line before Randi’s well-toned voice came to life.  “Well, maybe when you were younger, but not now.  What’s up, kid?” 

The struggle in Brooke’s mind was nowhere won when she made a decision to tell her sister what was going on.  “Dammit, Randi.”

“Brooke, if you’re driving you’d better pull over now.  Talk to me.”

“I’m not driving, Randi,” came Brooke’s chastised reply.  “You and Brian have been married a long time.  Did anybody ever talk shit about the two of you?”

“Shit?  What do you mean by shit?”

“Just what it sounds like, shit.”  Brooke’s voice was stronger than before.

“Is this shit because of you and Sam being lesbians or is this like normal shit?  I thought that gay thing never bothered you.”

Brooke grumbled for a few seconds as she sorted out the particulars in her mind.  “Uhm, I guess normal shit.”

“Normal shit, huh?”  Randi paused to clear her throat.  “You mean like when Brian and I had to move our wedding date up by six months?  That kind of normal shit, Sis?”

“No,” Brooke sounded perturbed.  “I mean when the bitches in your office are saying that your wife is tired of having sex with you kind of normal shit.”  She listened to the slow intake of breath coming from Randi’s end.

“Hmm…office gossip,” the older sibling’s voice sounded ominous.  “That explains a few things.  Did you ever think that they do it just because there is nothing better to do in their lives than to talk about someone else?”  There was a second or two of static coming over the phone before Randi’s voice was heard again.  “Heck, if I listened to office gossip, I’d be naive enough to believe that I got my job because I gave the D.A. a blow job in his office during my interview.  Brooke, you and I both know that I didn’t.”

“Yeah,” Brooke mumbled out half-heartedly.  “But it doesn’t help when Sam kind of acts like she’s tired of me already or that being around me is a burden.”

“Whoa!  Wait a minute.  What did you say?  Are we talking about the same Sam here…the girl that worshiped you as an idol?  Rock idol that is,” Randi amended her words.

“Yeah,” the word came out in a whispered hush.


“Wrong, Sis, very possible,” Brooke snorted.  “I can call her into my office and she automatically assumes that I want to have sex right then and there.  She starts…sighing and asks me if I want her on the desk or what.”

“What makes you think she’s tired of having sex with you?  Maybe it’s her time of the month.  Did you think of that?”

“Trust me, Randi, it’s not her time of the month.  I just wished she had said something to me instead of having to hear it from every other person in the damn building.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I just had to get out of there.”

“Brooke, did you ever think that she’s afraid of disappointing you…and possibly losing you?  You know, I’m not sure that Brain and I could work in the same office together.”

There was a moment of silence, leaving each woman to her own thoughts. 

“Maybe…” Randi said hesitantly.  “Maybe they just want to start some trouble for you.  Maybe they’re trying to make your marriage more like their own,” Randi smirked.  “Or maybe one of them wants you for herself?”

“Randi, that’s not funny.”

“I know, but it is a reason.”  The sound of a sigh came from the receiver, “Brooke, marriage is a funny thing.  There are no days off from it.  You have to keep working at it to make it a success.  By working at it I mean keeping the lines of communication open between you and Sam.  Have you asked her about this or are you just going off on a tangent of your own with nothing but office gossip as your source of facts?

“NO, I haven’t asked Sam.  Didn’t you hear me?”  Brooke’s annoyance with the whole situation was beginning to show in her voice.  “I said I had to get out of there for a while.”

“Okay, so you left and you’re thinking about it.  Let the steam settle before you talk to her.  Don’t go into this with your mind set on a conjecture that she’s tired of you,” Randi smirked.  “Sis, marriages aren’t all hot sex and good times.  Brian and I have had our little dry spells too.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that if you want to stay married…you learn that compromise is one of the small things that keep it together and working.”  Randi paused to let her words settle into her sister’s head before adding more.  “You’re going down a path as a couple…with two minds, two bodies and two plans that are coming together slowly as one.  You have to work at that becoming one spirit, more than just in the bedroom.”

“I know that, Randi.”  Brooke took in a breath and let it go.  “I haven’t…” she stopped and started over again.  “I’ve been taking some…uh…vitamins lately and I guess I’m just edgy,” she mumbled out.  “I can’t have any caffeine and my favorite fast food binds me up like…like an overflowing dam with no flood gate.”  Her voice became almost a whisper, “I guess it kind of…uhm…plays with all of your hormones, too.”

“Plays with your hormones,” Randi repeated with a questioning tone.  “Brooke, what are you talking about?  No vitamin plays with your hormones.  The only thing that does that is…” 

Dead silence was all that could be heard on Brooke’s side of the receiver.  “I guess it kind of…ah…makes me feel a little…uhm…horny too.”

“BROOKE, what the hell are you taking…fertility pills?”

Randi’s voice made the grown woman cringe.  “Uhm…well…” she rubbed her temple and lowered her chin to her chest.

“That sounds just the way I was when we were trying to have Julie.  Oh God, tell me now.  Are you trying to get pregnant?”

“NO, I’m not trying to get pregnant, not really.”  Brooke tried to make out the muffled reply that her sister uttered but couldn’t.

“Sorry about that, Brooke.  One of my clerks interrupted me,” Randi let out a breath.  “Whew! Well thank God you’re not pregnant.  You hand me scared there for a minute.” 

Brooke straightened up in her seat as the hackles on her neck rose.  “Don’t you think I could have a kid if I wanted to?”

“I’m sure that you could.  I just don’t think we could handle all of your mood swings.  Have you talked to Terri lately, one minute she’s up, the next hour she’s crying her eyes out.  She called me earlier today and thought that Rick was losing interest in her.  She damn near balled her eyes out on the phone until I had to leave for a court date.”

“Really?  She called me right after I hung up with you and said that she was having a wonderful day.”

“See what I mean?  And you…Miss Intense-In-What-You’re-Doing, I could just see you being pregnant.  Your swings would be second to none and ten times as bad.”

“Thanks, a lot,” Brooke retorted defensively.

“It’s the truth.  I know you, Brooke.  I’ve lived with you, remember?

“Yeah,” Brooke muttered under her breath.

“You’re always one hundred percent into whatever you do.  I’d reconsider the source of that gossip.  For what it’s worth, Brooke…knowing this…this vitamin story of yours, I’d reconsider taking any more unless you really need to.”

“I…ah…well,” Brooke fumbled for words.

“But hey,” Randi cut her off.  “If you have too, enjoy the ah…” she cleared her throat, “horny times.  Consider it a blessing for later on.”  The sound of Randi’s laughter filtered in over the cell phone, “You know, when I got married a wise old woman told me a secret and I think she may have been right.”

“What secret?”  Brooke looked at the phone warily.

“She told me that if you put a jelly bean in a pickle jar every time that you consummate your marital union during your first year, it will take you the rest of your married life to empty it in the same manner.”

“Damn, don’t tell me that.” 

“Do you want to know who told me that?” Randi teased her sister.

“Who?”  Brooke pulled the phone away from her ear as it started to hum.

“Our great grandmother…the one on Mom’s side.”

“No kidding.  I hate to do this, Randi, but I’ve gotta go.  There’s a call I’ve been waiting on and I think that’s them trying to get through now.”

“That’s okay, kid.  That’s what big sisters are for.  I’m just glad that I could help.”

“Randi,” Brooke sighed, “I’m sorry about earlier.”

“I know.  Take care, Brooke and I’ll be here if you need me.”

“Thanks, Ran.”  Brooke waited for her line to go dead before punching the talk button on her phone. 

“Brooke Gordon,” her voice came out with an air of authority.  Her smile broadened as she listened to the voice on the other end.  “Ah…yes, I’ve been waiting for your call, Ms. Hawk.”


The sound of leather slapping against leather split through the air as Brooke’s jacket met her office furniture.  “I’ll kill the whole damn lot of them,” Brooke cursed as she slammed her briefcase onto the wood of her desktop.  She grabbed the phone on her desk from its cradle and punched in the office number that she desired. 


“Yeah, Boss Lady, what can I do for you this afternoon?”

“Get everyone from Accounting, Contracts, Ida, Sam and yourself into the conference room in three minutes.  I’ve got a few things that we need to take care of.”

“Three minutes?  You’ve got to be kidding.  It will take me five minutes just to find them all.”

“Three minutes, Peter.  Anyone who’s not there is suspended for a week without pay.”

“But Brooke, that’s…that’s…”

Brooke rolled her tongue around her teeth as she thought for a few seconds.  “Can’t handle it?  Okay, you get Contracts and Accounting, I’ll take care of the rest.  That should make it easier for you to meet my time goal.  Three minutes, Peter.  Get cracking.” 

Brooke didn’t wait for a reply.  She pushed down on the speakerphone pad and punched in the next set of numbers.


“You’re back.”

“Yep.”  Brooke kept her tone as neutral as she could.  “I need you and Ida to meet me in the conference room in three minutes.”

“Me and Ida?  Something up?”

“Yes, but I’ll explain it in there.”

“Okay, I’ll stop by Ida’s office and tell her.  We’ll be there in just a few seconds.”

“Thanks.”  Brooke let her finger hover above the disconnect button for a few seconds before letting her gut feelings take over her being.  “Sam?”


Brooke took in a breath and calmed herself.  “I love you, Darlin’.”  The shy giggle that she heard over the speakerphone told her that Sam was smiling.

“God,” Sam sighed, “I love you too.”


Every employee that filed into the conference room noticed the C.E.O. standing off to one corner.  Brooke wore the stoic mask of a poker player as she kept one eye on the clock above the door and the other on the seats that were quickly filling up.  It was funny how fast some people could move when their jobs were on the line.  With only fifteen seconds of time left to her mandated deadline, only one chair remained empty.  The din of conversation ceased as the boss’s blue eyes roamed over each face.  She saved the faceless space of the unfilled chair for last before raising her gaze to the clock one last time.  The final sweep of the dial had only five seconds left to mark when the voice inside of Brooke’s head started to count them down.  Four, three, two, one…

“First things first,” Brooke looked at her employees.  “Peter.”

“Yo, Boss,” the man came sliding in the door just as the second hand of the clock came to its mark.  He smiled sheepishly and took the only seat left, across from Sam and Ida, near the head of the conference table.

Brooke cocked her head to the side as she watched the man take his seat.  “I asked you last week to prepare a proposal for that local band.  Did you turn it into Contracts this morning?”

“Sure did,” Peter said with a nod.  “Bright and early this morning.”

“Linda,” blue eyes gazed to the young woman wearing glasses in the rear of the room, “did you receive that said proposal?”

“Yeah, we did.”  She straightened her glasses on her face, “We looked it over briefly but haven’t had the time to review it formally for…”

“BULLSHIT!”  The words thundered out of Brooke’s mouth.  “You haven’t even looked at it to see that I reviewed it myself after Peter completed it.”

“What?”  The employee fidgeted in her seat as she watched the C.E.O. turn to the dry erase board in the front of the room and write out a figure on it.

Brooke’s eyes focused on the bright red until she could see it for what it was,  $400,000.00 of her company’s money.  She turned to address the room full of employees. “Let me explain something to you.  The music business is all about timing for both the talent and record company.  They want to be stars and we want to catch them at just the right moment so that we can make a profit without investing too much capital on them.”  She looked around the room to make sure everyone was following her.  “I’ve been following the rise of a local, three piece, all girl band for some time now.  I spoke to a representative from Hawk Entertainment about 30 minutes ago.”  She saw the look of anticipation in all of their eyes.  “It seems that the proposal that I personally promised she would have in her hands by noon today didn’t make its way there.”  She turned and stared directly at the bespectacled woman at the far end of the conference table.  “Linda, would you care to explain why to me?” 

“Why?” The woman’s voices sounded strained.  “I…ah…I didn’t have time to research the band’s track record or to check for any other existing contracts under any of the other labels.”  She leaned forward in her chair and her voice took on a defensive tone.  “It takes a little time to find out that kind of information, you know.”

“Hello…” Brooke met the woman’s gaze, “are you listening to me?”  A dark eyebrow arched high on her forehead.  “It was reviewed and approved by me, the C.E.O.  All you had to do was get it typed up on the company letterhead and have a courier deliver it with the check that was already approved and waiting for you in Accounting.” 

Brooke came to the head of the conference table and leaned on it, letting her fingers spread out on the highly polished wood.  “Now, let me ask you again, why wasn’t it done?”

“I was busy.”  Linda stated trying to lessen the coldness of her boss’s icy blue stare.  “I had some other things that I was working on…digging for more information.”

Brooke’s mouth quirked into frown.  “But there were no other existing contracts.  Peter and I had already done your job for you on this one.”  She saw Linda’s mouth open in challenge.

“But I…”

“Oh right,” Brooke pointed a finger at the woman.  “You didn’t see that memo on the proposal.”  She turned to her office manager and fired off an order.  “Ida, make sure that we have all intra-departmental memos on fluorescent colored stationary from now on.  I wouldn’t want another mistake like this to send us into near ruin…” Brooke’s icy cold glare settled back on Linda, “professionally or personally.”

“What?” Peter sat up in his chair.

“Huh?” Sam looked around the room full of questioning faces and then to her wife.

The rasping whispers of speculation flew around the room for a moment until Brooke turned the focus of her employees back to her.  “I can see that you haven’t hit all of the others yet, Linda.  I guess it takes you just as long to do your work as it does to be running your mouth off about my personal life with my wife.”

“What?” Slack-jawed, Sam turned to stare at the woman.

The anger was evident in Brooke’s demeanor as her fist struck the wood table with a loud thud.  “Do you have any fucking idea how much money you just cost me because you were too busy sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong instead of doing your job?”  The C.E.O.’s nostrils flared with each breath that she took as she stared the woman down.

“Sounds like four hundred thousand to me,” Peter mumbled out without realizing it.

Brooke’s gaze snapped over to the man, “Wrong.  Four hundred thousand is what another recording company offered to Hawk Entertainment to sign the group with them after our offer of three hundred thousand.  I had to double the offer and promise to have the contract in their hands by five today.”  Brooke looked up to the clock on the wall.  “It’s now four.”

“Oh shit!” Linda squeezed her eyes shut in anguish.  “I’ll get right on that,” she started to get up from her chair.

“No.” Brooke snapped.  “Sit down.” 

The C.E.O turned her gaze to her trusted office manager.  “Ida, will you please get that folder from Linda’s desk?  See that the numbers are adjusted to reflect the new offer when you type it up on the company letterhead.  I’ll have Accounting void that first check and cut us a new one.”

Ida pushed her chair away from the table, “’I’m on it, Boss.” 

“Gerry, if you’d please,” Brooke turned to a bookish looking woman with an open denim shirt over a faded tank top.

“Gottcha, Boss.”  The woman pushed off her chair and jumped into action as if her very life depended on it.

“I’ll be ready for that check in fifteen,” Ida called over her shoulder as she headed out the conference room door.

Gerry was gaining on Ida as she neared the doorway.  “Ten, that’s all I need and I’ll arrange for the messenger.” 

“Thank you.”  The sincere smile on Brooke’s face reflected her trust in the people that she had called upon. 

As Brooke turned back to the matter at hand, the stoic mask once again slipped into place.  “Linda, your gossip about our sex life not only cost me a headache and a piss poor attitude, but it also cost this company five hundred thousand dollars more than what was already agreed upon. That's half of a million dollars your mouth has cost me today.  What do you possibly have to say for yourself?”

The woman sat there for a moment before dropping her chin and mumbling out, “Sorry.”

“Sorry, huh?”  Brooke shook her head.  “One word from you and that’s supposed to change everything?”

“Well, yeah.”  Linda saw the raised eyebrow on Brooke’s forehead and felt compelled at the challenge.  “It was too good to pass up.  I mean…we’ve never had a reason to talk about you until Sam came along.  Hey, this was concrete, not like all the speculations in the years past,” she tried to justify her actions.

“Well, I hope it was worth the extra five hundred thousand that it cost me.”  Brooke leaned back onto the table and let her gaze roam around the room.  “Now, listen up, everyone.  I don’t like hearing anyone talk about my wife.”  Her eyes narrowed, looking more like ice filled slits than anything.  “I don’t like being upset about anything dealing with my personal life or our life together as a couple.  I won’t tolerate it now or in the future.”

“Okay, so is this where you tell me I’m fired?”  Linda crossed her arms over her chest and glared at her employer.

“Do you honestly believe I should keep you after you cost me a total of over three quarters of a million dollars?”  Brooke pushed herself off of the table and looked around the room.  “Would you keep someone employed if they cost you that much money?”  Her gaze settled on Sam for a long moment before turning her gaze back to Linda.  “I suggest that you take the next week off without pay.  I’ll set up a meeting with a review board and…”

“Review board?”  Linda interrupted her boss.  “And who is going to be on it…all of your pets?  I might as well quit now and save you the trouble,” the woman stood up and started for the door.

“What I do on my time with my company is my business.  What bullshit you talk about on my time is also my business.”  Brooke’s long legs crossed the distance to the door and she turned to meet Linda face to face.  “Do you want to do this now?  They’re all assembled.  They can all have a say, your friends included,” Brooke offered.

“I guess that first amendment about free speech doesn’t apply here, huh?”  Linda straightened up to her full five foot nine height.

“It has nothing to do with free speech, Linda.  What you did was slander and the time you spent gossiping over that damn water cooler is what cost this company money.”  Brooke rose in stature to meet the challenge.  “Now, do you want to review this today or next week?”

There was a moment of charged air between them as one gaze pinned the other.  “Never.  I’m out of here.  Go find another one of your family or friends to work for you.”

Brooke filled the doorway with her presence as Linda tried to get past her.  “Oh no, you don’t get out of it that easy.  Peter,” she called out, “Get my attorney on the speaker phone.”

Linda glanced over to Peter as he punched in the numbers on the phone, then to Sam and she shook her head.  “This isn’t a debtor’s prison the last time I checked.”  She leveled her gaze back at her boss.  “You can’t keep me here.”

“Brooke,” Peter tried for his boss’s attention, “I’ve got your lawyer on the phone.”  He pressed the button and placed the call on speaker, then proceeded to hang up the receiver.

The C.E.O. spoke loud enough for her voice to carry to the phone, “Hey, it’s Brooke here and I need a quick question answered.”

“Sure, Brooke.  Let me hear it.”

“I have a woman who, while being employed by this company, was given a contract to get out this morning but, because of her need to gossip rather than work, she cost me a total of eight hundred thousand dollars in renegotiations by not doing her job.”

“Are you looking to recoup that, Brooke?”

The C.E.O. toyed with the idea for a moment.  “Something like that.”

“Hmm…did she quit?  That could give us all kinds of avenues for litigation.  We could sue and try to recoup in that venue.  Just give me the word and I could get my investigators on it right away, see what we can dig up on her.”

Brooke turned to Linda and asked her point blank, “Okay Linda, it’s your call.  What’s it going to be?”

Linda’s heart filled with panic at the sight of blue eyes staring at her again.  Out of reflex she gulped as she tried to calm her jangled nerves.  Resigning herself to her fate, she nodded a time or two before letting her chin hang down to her chest in regret.  “Forget the review board.  Just tell me what you want, Brooke.” 

“First of all…I want you to apologize to Sam for sticking your nose where it didn’t belong.”  Blue eyes shifted to green with a look of sorrow.  A second later Brooke was looking back at the employee in front of her.  “Then,” Brooke sighed, “we’ll discuss how you’re going to help me reclaim my other five hundred thousand.” 


Sam nestled into the pile of pillows on the king size bed and leisurely flipped through the pages of her book.  It felt good to finally enjoy reading for reading sake, instead of memorizing every word for fear of failure.  She closed the book and leaned over toward the nightstand, filing the novel away for another night’s reading pleasure. 

Lying back on the bed, she caught Brooke coming out of the bathroom with a terrycloth robe wrapped around her.  By the look of her lover’s wet hair, Sam figured the robe was being used more to dry the tall woman’s body than for modesty’s sake.  Sam watched patiently for her reward and wasn’t disappointed. The terrycloth robe momentarily gaped open revealing cleavage one time, a bit of thigh the next.  Each step brought her lover closer to their bed and an even better view.

Suddenly Sam knew what it felt like to have her libido thrust into gear.  Whoa! What a rush.  So this is what a sports car feels like going from zero to sixty in three point two seconds.  The coy smile on her face slowly turned into a look of concern as Sam watched the tall woman stop at the bed, falling face down on the mattress next to her.

“Would you like a back rub, Brooke?”  Sam’s hand gently ran over the cloth covered, broad shoulders.  “It might help to get all that tension from today out of you,” she offered her wife.

“No Sam, but thanks for offering,” Brooke’s words were muffled by her pillow.  “I’m too tired.”  She shifted her weight onto one hip and turned her head to face her wife.  “Besides, I’m not as tense as I was earlier today.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.”

“So was Linda’s apology,” Brooke mustered a smile.  “Thanks for being such a diplomat with her.”

Sam looked up to the ceiling and sighed.  “I didn’t really know what to say afterward, except to acknowledge it.” 

“There wasn’t much left to say, Darlin’,” Brooke yawned.  “Speaking of acknowledging things…remind me to thank Peter and Eddie.  That was a lot of fun playing with them tonight, even if I did have to let Eddie play the drums for most of the jamming session.”  Brooke ran her thumb over the calluses on her fingertips.  “I guess I’d better bone up on my guitar playing for the next time we…” She covered her mouth to hold back another escaping yawn, “Sorry.  Before we get to jamming together.”

“It was a lot of fun watching you play and sing tonight.  You take on a whole different look behind that electric guitar.”  Sam’s smile grew bigger as she replayed her wife’s image in her head.  Good thing you played the drums as Loran.  I don’t think I could have handled how sexy you look as a guitarist.  Sam felt a warm rush come over her.  “I think it…ah…even relaxed me.”

“Oh yeah?” Brooke looked over to her wife.

“Yeah,” Sam winked, then turned onto her side facing Brooke.  “Care to help me relax even more?” She whispered, brushing her cheek against her wife’s, then kissing the soft, clean skin.

“Darlin’,” Brooke purred at Sam’s touch.  “I really don’t think I can…right now.  I’m just so…” she buried a yawn into her pillow, “so tired.”

“That’s okay, Hon, you just rest.”  Sam put a piece of stray hair back into place behind Brooke’s ear. She admired the woman’s features as Brooke lay there with her eyes closed.  “Hey, did I tell you I made that appointment with Dr. Dennison for us?  We’re all set with your first ultrasound for the end of the week.  She wants to start keeping an eye on that crop of yours.” 

Sam waited for a response from her wife, but there wasn’t any.  Instead, the soft sound of the woman’s rhythmic breathing was all that she heard.  Damn, she’s asleep already.  Sam reached down and pulled the comforter up over them both, tucking it around the other side of Brooke, then snuggled in as close as she could next to her wife. 

“Thanks, Petey,” Sam mumbled out. “I know my secret is safe with you.”  She thought about that for a moment as an image of Brooke’s mother came into her mind.  Hmm…and you too, Mom, if it’s only that we’re trying to get pregnant. 

The young woman strained to half-open her eyes, allowing Brooke’s likeness to fill her head before following her wife into slumber.


Song Lyrics from this week's installment by Steve Brown.