Chapter 46


Janine jerked awake. Sitting up abruptly, she searched the room for the presence that had been chasing her. There was only the noon sunlight gleaming through the windows and the tic-toc of the cuckoo clock. Still, her heart threatened to beat out of her chest, and her breasts heaved as she tried to recapture her breath. The nurse whimpered and laid back down.

She had not meant to fall asleep, but the nights without it were starting to catch up with the brunette. With July coming to a close, Janine's life had become chaos. Her insides were constantly tied up in perpetual knots. Horrible dreams kept the nights sleepless and her days torturous. The nurse looked down at her crumpled uniform. I can't let it stay like this. I can't be like this. I can't even look her in the eye.

She reached for the half full bottle of antacid on the nightstand and took a long swig, hoping to alleviate the cramps that had taken over her stomach. Nothing worked. Guilt ate at her from the inside out. Janine capped the bottle and threw it across the room. She watched with disinterested eyes as it hit the wall with a thud. I refuse to believe that all of this I'm feelin' is because of a stupid phone call! It was no big deal. I just wanted her to feel. . .a fraction of the pain. How is that wrong?

Slowly, Janine got out of bed. She headed for the bathroom but stopped when she saw her reflection in the mirror. She was appalled at what she saw. Her usually rosy cheeks were gaunt and sunken, and her eyes were red rimmed and lined with excess baggage. Her skin was sallow and pasty, and she had lost enough weight to finally notice. "Oh my God. What's happened to me?" She reached out to touch the woman in the mirror. "This is not me! It's not!" Some voice in the back of her mind screamed at her, "It's who you choose to be."

Janine reached out again. "I just need. . .somethin'. I just need." The mirror afforded her a view of the entire room. The nurse spotted the phone, sitting there quiet and listless. The urge was strong, and she didn't deny it. Janine picked up the receiver and dialed familiar numbers. It rang once, twice, three times before it was picked up.

"Hello?" The woman answered.

"Mother?" Janine countered.

There was a gasp at the other end followed by, "No."

Then, there was only dial tone.

"Mother?!" Janine cried. "No mama, please," she continued to beg, but it was to no avail. "I just needed to talk that's all. Just to talk. I don't know what to do."

With a shaky hand, she hung up the phone. The nurse could feel the tears prickle the backs of her eyes and throat. "No, I'm not gonna cry." She held that thought as she entered the bathroom. Janine leaned forward and stared into the mirror above the sink. Her hands gripped the cold tile. "Not gonna cry."

The tears came anyway.


Michelle lay sprawled on the couch, for sleep had claimed her some time ago. The sun peeked through the semi closed blinds, causing a criss cross of rays to illuminate the living room, but it touched her lightly as if it were afraid to wake the sleeping beauty.

Most of the morning had disappeared in front of the computer, where sensual words left her in a pleasant haze. Once in the living room, she watched the clock, waiting for the digital numbers on the cable box to signify Noon, but the vision of her son napping on a thick blanket with Taz close by doing the same was contagious. Michelle acquiesced even though her body hummed with excitement.

However, the written whispers and cries of pleasure from imaginary mouths made a lasting impression that bled over into the blonde's subconscious, making them as real as the woman she longed for. Still, the words on the web page fell short to the blatant eroticism of her dreams. Michelle moaned and slipped in further into the sandman's grasp.

There her body was on fire.

Large hands caressed her, owned her, and made her burn from the inside out. She groaned and arched into the scorching touch as it moved torurously slow up her naked torso. Her breasts heaved, and the feel of skin on skin caused a gurgle of arousal so fierce she could not breath. She peered down at her chest, watching the traveling hands as they moved upward. The blonde groaned at the site. Dark hands seemed to swallow her flesh whole. Michelle glanced up further, meeting azure eyes that held a hunger, a need, and a love--all centered on her.

It made her chest ache. It made everything ache, causing an explosion of feeling that left her helpless in its wake.

Unable to look away, Michelle continued to observe as the large hands stopped under her breasts, lifting them to their gazes. They were both mesmerized as nipples seem to grow and harden before their very eyes. The peaks stood up like ripened berries, and eager fingertips began to pluck them. Michelle cried out at the pulling sensation. Needing more but unsure how to ask, she simply called out a name, "Bobbi!"

There was a growl but before long the pressure increased. With each twist of the turgid peaks, the blonde's hips lurched upward, creating a slide of naked flesh. Legs tangled and hips began to undulate, seeking the heat and the pleasure that lay just beyond. Michelle whimpered with each movement. The feel of her own arousal intrigued her, but the wet press of Bobbi's against her hip made her soar. With urgency, her hands grasped at the doctor's hips pulling and pushing in hopes of increasing the delicious friction.

They both groaned as the grinding increased in savagery and tempo.

Michelle murmured in surprise when the fingers at her breasts were replaced by the hot, wet cavern of the brunette's mouth. The sound and feel of the sucking made her head spin. She felt devoured, lusciously so. The blonde arched her back even more, crying out as pleasure flashed through her body like a dangerous streak of lightning.

A light sheen of sweat allowed their bodies to glide against each other effortlessly. Finally, lips met and tongues tangled. They fed from each other--moan to moan and whimper to whimper.

There was no fear, and no Max. This time, her dreams were her own, and for once, Michelle embraced them with open arms.


Coming out of the kitchen, Bobbi bit into the sweet skin of a green apple and smiled at the taste of it. As she made her way down the short hall, the doctor noticed the quiet. There was no murmur coming from the television; no laughter; and no Husky to greet her. Nothing. She raised a brow and crunched into the apple again. The juice dribbled down her chin onto the bright yellow Nike t-shirt. The doctor wiped it away absently and continued her trek. Now in the living room, the sound of a moan stopped her mid-stride. What the hell? Bobbi glanced around the room, finally spotting the sleeping infant and Husky.

Taz held his head up and licked his chops groggily. Seeing who it was, the dog made himself comfortable again.

Bobbi moved closer to the couch and peered over to see the blonde's sleeping form. She grinned and studied the woman's face. Fair lashes fluttered against flushed cheeks, and moist lips were slightly parted. The brunette was totally charmed by the display. She's so damned beautiful. Bobbi took another bite of the apple as she made her way around the couch, hoping to get a better look. She canted her head to the side. Part of me wants to wake her just to see that look she gets when she sees me. It makes me feel like I could take on anything, but she looks so at peace right now.

Michelle moaned, and it was immediately followed by a whimper. Her body arced sensuously as if seeking some mysterious contact, and for the first time, Bobbi noticed the blonde's nipples standing proud, erect, and straining against the fabric of her t-shirt.

Speechless, Bobbi blinked. Her mouth twitched. She raised the apple to take another bite only to see the unappetizing core. She let it drop to the table. "Uhmm-" Should I wake her? I wonder if she's dreaming about me? I wonder what I'm doing?

"Umm, Bobbi," Michelle whimpered breathlessly.

Bobbi's eyes widened to the size of saucers and her breath whooshed out in one loud burst. Well, I guess that answers that question. Her body stirred to life. For weeks now, she had been keeping her own raging arousal in check and pulling back before things got too intense between them. It allowed an ache to build. It was one she was happy to feel, but controlling it was getting harder with each kiss. Her patience was strong but her flesh was getting increasingly weak. As the blonde grew as a woman so did the doctor's attraction, and as Michelle grew bolder, wiser, smarter so did Bobbi's need for her. She was falling--falling slowly and hard. "I won't push her," had become one of her mantras. "I'm not a saint," had become the other. She whispered it now. It was indeed a contradiction. "I should definitely wake her."

Bending over, Bobbi reached out to grasp a shoulder, but before she could jade eyes opened and zeroed in on blue. Bobbi sucked in a breath but maintained the gaze.

Green eyes were dark and pupils dilated. Michelle's face was covered in a bright red flush, and her breathing came in short, audible bursts.

Bobbi was mesmerized. She could not look away. "I-I. . .you were sleeping--" Ohhh, don't look at me like that, Chelle.

Michelle was still a prisoner of her dream. The unbelievable sensuality of it shook her. She opened herself to it, letting it engulf her. Every nerve ending tingled with awareness---awareness centered on one woman, Bobbi. Her body ached to feel what she had been missing. The inevitable pull between them was slow to mature, but it was starting to reach its peak. It began with the first touch; the first kiss; and the first instance of arousal. It had grown over the months to something bigger than her alone--to something fever pitch almost wild in existence. There's more. There has to be. I need to find out. Max took this away from me--the possibility to feel this. I want it back, and I know she can give it to me.

Needing space from the heat, Bobbi tried to pull away--only to have Michelle's body rise up to meet her. She whimpered at the contact and tried once more to escape. Strong arms wrapped around her torso, and the blonde's mouth opened over her neck, scraping against sensitive skin. It was Bobbi's undoing.

"God, Chelle--" The doctor groaned. Her breathing turned ragged. She was able to pull back enough to peer into her companion's unfocused eyes. I'm not gonna survive this. "Wh-what's gotten into you?"

Michelle tried to free herself from the trance, but she was unsuccessful. "I just. . .need--" Her voice was thick, husky. Her gaze fell from blue eyes to the doctor's full lips. She moaned and lunged, capturing the brunette's mouth.

Bobbi shuddered into the blonde's body. She tried to fight, but when Michelle's mouth opened under hers, the doctor was lost. Small hands tangled in her hair, cementing the connection. Torso's met, and Bobbi shivered as the aroused peaks of their breasts brushed. Sensations shimmied down her spine. Still on her knees lounging over the blonde, the doctor felt her limbs weaken and quiver. Unable to help herself, she covered Michelle's body completely. The petite woman's legs parted wide to make room before they wrapped around her, bringing them into heated contact.

Bobbi felt arousal thick, rich and sweet pool into her stomach, causing it to clench almost painfully before its potency intensified and seeped between her legs. Heat infused her, making it impossible to breath and think. Their lips met again and again. Tongues battled moistly for space. The doctor dug blunt nails into the material of the couch, but the need to touch was too compelling. Fingertips began to trace the sides of Michelle's torso. The blonde trembled and arched her back. Bobbi's hands slid underneath, pulling Michelle into her body and crushing them together.

Michelle was dying and being remade with each kiss, each caress. The intensity of it left her floating, soaring as if she were rising to a now attainable goal. She reached for it whole-heartedly. Her insides were liquid. Her core was molten and throbbing with a moist heat that was almost unbearable. Her hips began to gyrate in a slow, deep rhythm in hopes of relieving the all encompassing ache. Michelle cried out as the delightful friction that rubbed between her legs.

Bobbi captured the sound and moaned hoarsely as the blonde's hips ground against her stomach. She burned to feel the wet heat instead of the cloth barrier. The need for more made her alter their positions slightly. Michelle tore her mouth away and called out, "Bobbi," as the doctor's upper thigh flexed against her groin. Her hips began to buck in an uncontrollable fashion, and she whimpered with each thrust. The blonde wrapped herself around the appendage. The shift sent the doctor in a frenzy as Michelle's leg grazed her crotch repeatedly.

"Ohhh!" She lowered her head, burying her flushed face in Michelle's neck. Her mouth opened wide, sucking and biting at the flesh there. It had been so long, but it had never been like this. It was the woman--this woman. The speed of her hips increased. As if flesh were seeking flesh, lips met in a searing kiss. Their mouths clung to each other as they exchanged heated breath and moans.

Somehow, small hands found their way under the doctor's Nike t-shirt. Michelle caressed and dug into Bobbi's muscled back. The brunette shuddered hard, reveling in the touch. Sometime during the exchange, their eyes met and held. Hunger, need, passion, and a plethora of other emotions were communicated--some they were not ready to name. Their bodies moved together hurriedly, erotically, reaching for a goal that seemed just out of reach, but they were both willing to work diligently for it. The living room was alive with the symphony of pleasure--small gasps, breathless moans, and broken whimpers.

Near their heads on a small table near the couch, the phone rung, insistently.

Bobbi yelped in surprise as the noise reverberated through her head. "Jesus!"

Michelle stiffened and glanced up at the doctor. Realization struck her with unbelievable force. It was like a splash of cold water. She swallowed--hard and tried to regulate her breathing. I wanted this, but would she want me when she saw. . .what Max did? She thinks I'm beautiful, but. . . Green eyes clouded.

Refusing to make eye contact, Bobbi scrambled off the blonde. She scooted to the other end of the couch. Her body was teeming with electricity, and it refused to stop shaking. The doctor sucked in breath, but she couldn't seem to catch it. She pushed a hand through her hair and whimpered. What did I just do? You idiot! She was caught up in some dream, and I took advantage of it. God, I'm so turned on right now.

The phone was forgotten.

Michelle's head hung. What was I thinking? Look how scared she is. I need to do something. The blonde reached out, wanting to connect with the doctor. "Bobbi, I--"

Moving out of the way, Bobbi avoided the touch. "Oh God, Chelle don't touch me right now."

The petite blonde shrank back. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean--" I was right. She doesn't want. . . Her thoughts and speech were interrupted.

Bobbi groaned. "No, don't take this on yourself. Don't you understand?" She took a deep breath. "If you touch me now, I don't think I'll be able to stop." She linked her hands together to keep them busy.

Michelle did a mental double take. What did she say? "What?"

The doctor was on a roll. "It's just that I've been holding back, and it's getting so hard. It's not your fault. I'm trying to control it, but obviously. . ." Her words jumbled together, coming out quickly. Nervously, her legs began to move up and down in rapid succession. "I'm not doin' a good job. It's been a long time, and I want to do right by you. I want this to work It's never been so important before."

Relief shot through the blonde. She's nervous about this too.

Bobbi continued to look down at her hands and droned on,. "I'm new at this too, and I never cared so much. I won't push you. We both need to be totally ready for this."

Michelle chose not to voice her now growing jealousies regarding the nurse. They lurked, waiting for another time to strike. This probably wouldn't be an issue with her. Ugh, I just don't want to add to this. "Okay," she whispered.

The brunette opened her mouth to speak again. Her jaw snapped shut, and she turned toward the blonde. Their eyes met. "Huh?"

Michelle held the doctor's gaze. "Um, I said okay, but is it all right that I liked what we just did? I really liked it." So, that's what comes after kissing. Words on a page can't capture that feeling.

A goofy grin began to tug at Bobbi's lips. Wooo hooo! "Uhm, you did?" Her voice squeaked.

The blonde grinned back. "Uh huh. It's just that I felt there was more. . .behind the kisses. I just wanted more. I just didn't know it would feel so good." I guess that I got so used to the pain. I wasn't expecting this. Even after the kisses, I just didn't expect to feel like this.

"Neither did I."

Michelle looked confused. "But. . . you've done this before."

"Not with you," Bobbi countered. Her expression turned thoughtful as her body began to cool. The nervous fluttering stopped as confidence returned.

Michelle blushed. "I. . . uh. Oh."

The brunette smirked. "By the way, that must have been some dream you were having."

"Uhm, yeah." Michelle fidgeted. "I think I'm gonna have to cut down on reading the fan fiction, especially combined with what you do to me. It was a tad bit overwhelming, but a . . .good overwhelming."

The doctor chuckled, "You say that like it's a bad thing."

The blonde looked heavenward but could not keep the smile off her face. "I'm not gonna comment on that."

"Hmm, your loss. So, what are you gonna do for the rest of your day off?"

"Don't know. Catch up on sleep I guess. Still, haven't gotten used to getting up extra early. I need to keep an eye on Toby. He was feeling a little warm this morning. I'm guessing it's the teething thing, and I'm gonna watch some television too," Michelle uttered.

"Mmm, poor Peanut. You know where the teething ring and meds are if they're needed?" Bobbi added.

Michelle nodded.

"Good, um, because I have something to tell you. I, uh, should have said something when I made the appointment, but I really wanted to surprise you."

Michelle gave the doctor her full attention.

"This is gonna sound a little mushy, but I'm gonna say it anyway. You really inspired me when you went out and got that volunteer position. I was left feeling sorta stagnant or complacent rather with where I was concerning my past. There are still things that I need to deal with." Bobbi paused and gazed at the blonde.

Michelle smiled patiently, "Go on. I'm listening."

"I, uh, called and made an appointment to see some old colleagues at the hospital I used to work for. It's not far from here. There were some people I treated terribly, especially the ones who seemed to care. I have to say that I'm a little ashamed, and I want to try to make things right. I could have when I was there with Mrs. Farmer, but I didn't have it in me then. I do now though."

The blonde beamed. "We've both come a long way haven't we?"

"I know. Damn near seven months, getting close to eight, and it still feels like it was just yesterday."

Michelle's eyes bulged, "I hadn't realized. I think at first I was counting the days I was away from them. Now, I've stopped counting to start living."

"Good policy," Bobbi commented.

Michelle scooted toward the doctor. When their hips brushed, she turned to look deep into azure. "I just want you to know something. I'm proud of you too."

The doctor's eyes widened, and she flushed scarlet. Me? She's proud of me? Bobbi smiled shyly. "Thanks. I think that's the second time I've heard that from you. It still sounds nice."

"Well, it's nice to have the chance to say it to somebody." Michelle pillowed her head against a broad shoulder. "So, I guess you'll be home late?"

"Yeah, probably won't be more than a couple of hours."

"Okay, I'll start dinner late, so it'll be hot when you get home."

Bobbi wrapped an arm around her companion. "It's so great to have something to come home to." It sorta feels like we're married with all this domesticity. The brunette chuckled internally and glanced down at her watch. "Ugh, I have to get back. I'll have to grab a sandwich on my way out the door."

"Wuff!" Taz spoke and sat up on his haunches.

They both looked to see a very awake Husky.

The doctor blushed hotly, "Uhm, you don't think he was awake the whole time do you?"

Michelle blinked in confusion. "What do you. . .ohhhh."

"Uh huh, ohhh. I wonder what he saw?"

The blonde nudged the doctor's shoulders. "Bobbi. . .he's just a dog, you know."

"Ohh, no he's not! Look, he's staring at us funny!"

Taz whimpered.

They both leaned forward to look into the Husky's eyes.

Taz shrank back, whined again, and turned away from their scrutiny.

Bobbi pointed accusingly. "See! He saw plenty. He's embarassed!" The brunette waved her finger with vehemence.

Michelle leaned forward even more. She whistled. The Husky would not even look her way. "Ohhh, my." She covered her mouth to hold back a chuckle.

"Aww jeez! I'm glad it didn't go any further I wouldn't be able to look him in the face at all." Bobbi turned to the blonde. Blue eyes narrowed. "Are you laughing?"

Michelle used her whole hand to hide her smile. "Um, no," she muffled.

The doctor's expression turned incredulous. "You are!"

"Shh, you'll wake Toby."

"You are!" Bobbi whispered harshly.

"Well. . .you don't find it even a little amusing? Poor thing probably didn't know what was going on. I'm glad he knows and trusts you. No telling what he would have done with you all over me like that."

Bobbi's mouth dropped open. "Hey! My lips and hips weren't the only ones busy."

Michelle ducked her head to hide the blush. "Yeah, well."

"Uh huh. Thought so. Next time. . .we'll blindfold him," Bobbi whispered as she leaned toward the petite woman.

The blonde let out a bark of laughter then covered her mouth the muffle it. "Okay, you'd better get going."

"Yeah, let me check on Peanut before I go."

Bobbi eased down onto the floor. Taz scurried out of the way, causing her to snort in amusement. Astute blue eyes studied the sleeping infant, noting his overly flushed features. You're really not feeling good are you Peanut? She leaned down and pressed her lips against his forehead. She sighed and turned to Michelle. "Yeah, you'd better give him some Tylenol when he wakes. I'll check on you guys before I go to the hospital just to be safe." Bobbi rose to her full height. Her gaze inched toward the phone before going back to the blonde. I wonder who was on the phone? Eh, I'll check the voice mail later. If it was important they would have called back.

Michelle stood, meeting the doctor half way. "Okay, maybe seeing you later will help with his crankiness."

Bobbi smirked as she wrapped her arms around the blonde. "Well, seeing you helps with mine."

"You are awful."

"You know it." The brunette leaned in for a kiss. Their lips brushed and clung. "Mmm, I'll see you later."

Michelle smiled into the kiss that led into another one. Finally, they parted, and the blonde watched the doctor go. She turned to the Husky, who was caught staring.

Taz whimpered and glanced away.

"Aww poor Taz. I think we broke him."

Michelle made her way back to the couch. She grabbed the remote off the table as she sat down. God, how does she do that? One minute I can't even breathe I'm so on fire, but the next she has me laughing. She searched the channels absently. I didn't know I had it in me to touch her like that, but I did. I wasn't scared. I wasn't worried about my past with Max. . .so much. Michelle frowned. Who am I kidding? It nags at me. What is she gonna think when she sees me? I don't want pity, and please don't let me see disgust. And, what if. . .what if I have no idea what to do? I bet Janine would. She rubbed her face with her hands. "Okay, I have to stop this. I just can't deal with it right now," her voice was muffled. A nudge against her knee pulled her from the reverie. She looked down to see two bright blue eyes staring back.

Taz wuffed softly and laid his head on her thigh.

"Oh, thanks, boy. I needed that." She leaned down to kiss him on the muzzle. Taz returned the gesture with a lick of his own. "I have come a long way. I have to believe that, and working with the kids has pushed me a little further." I know that, and Bobbi does too. I could see it on her face that day. I'll never be that woman caught in the snowstorm again. Michelle leaned back as she began to reminece about days before.

All eyes were trained on her, but instead of feeling lost or bereft like she had so many months ago, the many eyes left Michelle warm and tingling. After reading each paragraph, the blonde made sure to meet the gaze of each of the children. It was her own little way of letting them know they were special. Children needed that. Michelle knew because she did not get it.

There was a certain freedom to this that the blonde knew many would not understand or have long taken for granted. It was the freedom to do and to say. It was the freedom to simply be, and Michelle relished it. She breathed it in like crisp, cool mountain air. She could feel the flush in her cheeks; hear the lilt in her voice; and feel the thump of her heart. So, Michelle read on--aware of her freedom and of herself in ways she hadn't been before. She whispered to herself, 'There is no turning back. This is me.'

Michelle smiled into the eyes of the various aged children, but it was the feel of one presence that made her falter. She scanned the area to see the tall, lanky doctor leaning casually against a bookshelf, watching and waiting. Azure eyes twinkled with pride and affection, but there was something deeper. Michelle got lost trying to decipher it. Then, she saw it. Bobbi knew. She knew that the little girl she aided so long ago had become a woman in her own right.

"Hey! Ms. Jo, you stopped reading." One of the children cried.

Michelle reluctantly tore herself away to finish the last few pages of the book, but with each word she uttered the blonde could feel the doctor's gaze.

Finally, story time was over, and one by one the children dispersed. Michelle pushed the chairs back under the tables and smiled at the parents as they came and went. As if on cue, Bobbi appeared.


"Hey. I didn't expect you here," Michelle countered.

"I know. I wanted to surprise you, and see what you do here. So, I revved up the Caddy." Bobbi grinned.

Their eyes met, and their surroundings disappeared. Michelle felt her insides tingle as if she was being laid bare before the doctor's eyes. She stepped forward to immerse herself in it. Bobbi stepped away, leaving the blonde confused. Momentarily, green eyes cleared as Michelle remembered where they were.

"Chelle? Where's Toby?" Bobbi's voice was strained.

"Um, he's with Annie."

The brunette grasped the blonde's hand. "Good. Come with me for a minute."

Wide eyed, Michelle had no choice but to follow. They entered the bathroom, and the door swished closed behind them. The petite woman waited patiently as the brunette checked under the stalls.

Finally, Bobbi turned to her. Eyes met once more and smoldered as if they could breathe fire. In two steps, Michelle found herself engulfed in the flames. They held onto each other tightly.

Michelle wrapped her arms around the doctor and pressed her ear against Bobbi's chest to listen to her rapidly beating heart. The brunette's chest rumbled as she spoke. "Sometimes when I look at you, you make me feel things that I have no name for. It's sorta scary and exciting at the same time. Seeing you out there. . . God, I like the woman you were, but the woman you've become is wonderful."

Michelle squeezed tighter. All the while thinking, 'it's like she can see inside me.'

"You know it too. Don't you?" Bobbi asked.

The blonde lifted her head to meet the blue gaze. "I know when I came to you that I felt like a child who had to learn how to do. . .everything from walking to talking. I'm doing that now and much more on my own. That's what I know."

"That's who you are."

At that moment, Michelle knew there was nowhere to go but up. The transition she had been teetering toward had taken place, gracefully.

Michelle beamed as she recalled the lunch the three of them, including Toby, shared. "I couldn't stop looking at her." She glanced down at Taz, who looked back in confusion. "I'm serious, boy. I couldn't tear my eyes away, and I couldn't get close enough. I didn't care about the people at the restaurant. All those bad feelings don't belong. I can't let them get in the way of this. I won't let them." Determination crossed her features, making her expression one of resolve. I just have to figure out how.


Bobbi tried to ignore the stony silence that cluttered the room. The patient on the examination table glared at her curiously, then spared the nurse behind the doctor the same glance. Dammit, even the patents can feel it. I never knew a room with this many people in it could be so cold. It crept up her back making her muscles clench. It's been two weeks. She has to get over this. I never gave her any indication that I was interested in her. Now, this is gonna be awkward as hell. She did her best to ignore it.

The raven haired doctor warmed the stethoscope in her hands before putting it to the man's burly, barrel like chest. "Take a deep breath for me."

He complied.

"Another one." She moved it to his back. "Now cough."

He did as he was told, but continued to eye them both warily.

Bobbi looked at the man thoughtfully. "Are you coughing up anything?"

The man nodded. "Yeah, but it doesn't look too good."

"Well, there's a lot of rattling around in there. You're very congested." Bobbi took a deep breath. I don't know if I can work like this. "Janine, could you call in a script for erythromycin, 500mg?"

Janine held the chart to her chest as if it were a lifeline. Why am I here? I don't want to be around anybody today. She snorted inwardly. Or should that be the other way around? It hurts to be in the same room with her. The nurse kept her eyes to the floor, refusing to acknowledge the patient or the doctor. So this is guilt. Well, it's all pain to me.

"Janine, did you hear me?"

The nurse's head jerked upward. Their gazes met fleetingly before Janine looked away. "Uh, sorry. What?"

"Erythromycin, 500mg. Call it in please."

"Oh yeah, okay. Right away."

Bobbi took a deep breath, and for a moment compassion took hold. "Hey, you okay?" She stepped forward.

Janine scurried away as if she had been shot. What are you tryin' to do to me?! She moved as close to the door as possible. "Yeah, I'll go call. . .it in." After another flutter of movement, she was gone.

Bobbi turned back to the patient and sighed. "You can put your shirt back on. Put the gown in that bin." She pointed toward a receptacle.

"Mmm, kay Doc, but you got yourself a skittish one there."

"Yeah. Call me if you aren't better in a few days." She looked toward the door. She looks more like she's embarrassed and hurt. Yeah, she'll have to get over this, but should I give her a little leeway here? Ugh, isn't that what got me into trouble in the first place?


Janine sat at the receptionist desk ultra aware of other people in the room. She felt as if every eye was on her, leaving her uncomfortable enough to squirm in her seat. She didn't dare look up. In the crowd of faces, she was utterly alone, but it left her feeling trapped, suffocated in that loneliness. It's like they all know what I did and how pathetic I am.

A chill went down her spine, and her stomach clenched painfully. I could just leave and forget about this, but I need this job. There isn't anythin' else available right now. I look like shit. I feel like shit, and she's paradin' around like the happiest woman in the world. Anger shot through her, making her stomach hurt even more. Janine grasped the area and took long, measured breaths. Why can't that be me? That makes how many times I've asked myself that question? The nurse gritted her teeth and pretended to smile at the patient that suddenly appeared in front of the desk.


As she walked through the halls of Harris Hospital, Bobbi blew out a nervous breath that disturbed her bangs. She ignored the curious and strange looks the passersby shot her way. Okay, you've had time to prepare for this, so don't get all ditzy, B. You know these people. They may not like you, but you at least know them. Piece of cake. The doctor snorted at her attempt at a pep talk. "Moldiest piece of cake that I've ever had to tackle, but let's do this." She stopped at the end of the corridor to adjust her appearance. Bobbi cringed as she looked down at her casual wear of Levi's and t-shirt. But I think this will go a long way in showing I'm a hell of a lot more laid back now.

Bobbi started back down the pristine hall. The smell of antiseptic assaulted her nose, and the extra coolness made gooseflesh rise on her arms. Offices lined both sides of the hallway. She gave some of the open doors a quick glance as she made her way to one office in particular. Dr. Joshua Redman's name was printed on his door with big, black, block letters. It was plain, unassuming, and deceptive just like the man inside. Bobbi peeked inside to see the diminutive, African American man's attention focused on the file. Deceptive was definitely the right word. His head was bald and shiny. His features were narrow almost hawk like and hidden behind wire rimmed glasses, but those same features were set off by thick white eyebrows and salt-pepper beard. Deep brown eyes could twinkle with gentleness or authority. His appearance was studious, but his presence was commanding and brilliant. The middle aged man was a power house of energy, knowledge, and compassion when needed. Just like I remember him. He tried so hard to take me under his wing, and I fought like hell to stop him. Pity that. Bobbi observed for a few more seconds before knocking softly on the half-open door.

Joshua looked up immediately. A smile spread over his face. "Well, as I live and breath. I was surprised when you called, and I'm even more surprised that you're here." His voice was strong and deep.

As she made her way into the small office, Bobbi returned his smile with a grin of her own.

That act alone caught the man unawares. He pushed his chair away from the desk and stood up. Dark, astute eyes examined her as he stroked his beard in contemplation.

You ain't seen nothing yet, Josh. "Still in the same cramped office, huh? And no assistant, you should demand more."

Joshua shrugged and moved closer. "These aren't the things that count. You know that." Now standing in front of the brunette, Joshua removed his glasses and studied her with untainted eyes. "Something's happened to you."

Bobbi beamed. "You could say that." Her thoughts went to the petite blonde waiting at home. Okay, here goes nothing. Her smile faltered. "I-I'm here to make amends for the way I treated you and the rest of my colleagues---the ones still here anyway."

White eyebrows shot up in consternation. "You don't say? Who are you and what have you done with the hard ass I used to know?"

Bobbi chuckled.

It completely threw the older man off. "My goodness. You're serious aren't you?" He put his glasses back on, making sure what he saw was not wrong. "What's happened to you?"

"I'm happy, Josh. That's what happened."

Joshua let out a loud belly laugh and wrapped the taller woman in a hug. Without even the slightest hesitation, Bobbi returned the embrace. After a moment, she stepped away. A smirk covered her face. "Well, I'm glad you approve."

"I knew there was something under all that hardness." He made his way back to his desk. "Have a seat. Talk to me."

Bobbi folded her lanky form in the cushy chair in front of the desk. She leaned forward. "First, let me say even though I didn't show it, it meant a lot to me to have you in my corner when I was here. I knew I could count on you and come to you even though I never did. I'm sorry I didn't open up to you more. I just didn't know how. You were the closest thing to a father. . ." Her voice wavered with emotion. The words come so easy now. "After what happened to my mom and brother--"

Joshua held up a hand. "You don't have to say anymore. You are a brilliant doctor who devotes herself to her patients, but you are human too. I'm glad you realized that. It's something I wish your father could have learned before the cancer struck him." He paused. Brown eyes became haunted. "I was the one who found it, you know. When I told him, his veneer didn't crack one bit. I considered myself a friend to him, but I only got to see a little bit of the man underneath. He showed glimpses, but that's all."

Bobbi's smile was tremulous. "I wish he hadn't waited either. He tried to show me a lot of himself when he was sick, but it was so little compared to the thirty years that I didn't know him at all."

Joshua shook his head in remembrance. "God, you two cut a swath through this hospital. The patients loved you, but--"

"Yeah, I know what's behind that but, I can't believe the way I treated people. I should have been fired for the amount of nurses I left in tears."

Joshua nodded solemnly. "That's all in the past now, but there's something about the past I think you should know. I don't know for sure how the relationship was between you and your father, but I want to tell you about those glimpses I saw."

Curiosity stirred behind Bobbi's eyes. Her hands fidgeted nervously. What does he mean by that? "Uhm, okay go ahead."

Brown eyes shined with secret knowledge. "He was extremely proud of you, and sometimes you were all he talked about. I think you were a giant in his eyes."

Bobbi's eyes bulged, and she felt the room go topsy turvy. The blood drained from her face to go to her fiercely beating heart. "Wh-what?" Her voice was strained, unbelieving, and her hands dropped limply to her lap. "But he never--" Was I wrong about you Dad? What made you close yourself off from us? "I don't understand."

"Neither do I, but maybe this will help. It's just a theory that I've formed on him over the years of watching him. He cared too much, and it burned him out until there was nothing left. People die, Bobbi. You know that, and he did too. But, that didn't stop him from getting close with a patient. Each time it happened a piece of him died too. He worked here a lot of years. A lot. Maybe it got to the point where he didn't have anything left to give back to you."

Bobbi swallowed and closed her eyes. Her stomach clenched painfully. Why didn't you ever tell me, Dad? We have so much in common. I know what that feels like to lose a bit of yourself. I know. "If that was the case, he could have come to me. I know about that more than anyone."

"Do you now?" Joshua inquired.

"Yeah, it took someone very special to get out of that ditch I was in. I guess he wasn't able to find that, even in my mother." Did you know, Mom? Is that another reason why you left? There was nothing left in him. Bobbi expelled a long breath. "This is. . .enlightening to say the least. I figured he just didn't love us, and that medicine was more important. I'd made peace with that. I'll have to make peace with this too."

Joshua stroked his beard. "Maybe this special someone can help. She must be some woman."

Bobbi's eyes widened in shock. I did not hear that! "H-how did you know?"

He smiled crookedly. "Discretion is good, Bobbi, but the rumor mill is better."

The brunette laughed nervously. "Um, okay. How long have you known?"

"Oh, since the first year you worked here."

Bobbi gripped the arms of the chair. "Did dad know?"

Joshua nodded. "Yes, I do believe he did, but it didn't matter to him one bit. It didn't matter to me either."

Bobbi reached up to rub the wrinkles in her forehead. "Wow, this is a lot to process. I wasn't expecting all this."

"Well, it's been a long time. I wanted to tell you all of this when you worked here. I'm glad to see you're open to it now."

The dark-haired doctor stared, warily at her colleague. "Is there anything else you want to tell me?"

Joshua chuckled. "No, I think that's about it. Do you want me to take you around to your old stomping grounds?" He paused. "Oh, there is one more thing. A lot of the nurses and all of the doctor's you worked with moved on. There's only a couple nurses left. This seems to be a transition place for the younger folk."

"Thanks for the info, but I think I can find my way around. It's been a few years, but this place hasn't changed that much."

Silence fell between them.

The dark-skinned doctor was the first to break it. "It's nice to get to see this side of you. I know there's no chance of you coming back to work here, but we should at least stay in touch. Maybe have a standing lunch once a month."

Bobbi smiled inwardly. I don' t think lunches with you can compare to the ones I get at home, Josh. "I think that's doable."

"Good, good. I hate to cut this short, but I have rounds to make." Joshua pushed back from the desk and rose. He started to reach out his hand but thought better of it. He eased around to the front of the desk.

Bobbi stood. "You've given me a lot to think about, Josh, but I'm glad that I finally came to see you."

He wrapped an arm around her as they slowly moved toward the door. "I'm glad you did too."


Now alone, Bobbi leaned back against the wall. Her head was reeling. A combination of elation and sorrow assailed her. Long wisps of midnight that escaped her ponytail wavered forward to kiss her face. God, Dad. We were both tortured weren't we? I found my absolution in an unbelievable woman. You found yours in death. If this is true, I understand you a lot more now. All those years are still hard to swallow, but I can understand. I just wish--- Her thoughts flashed to Stevie. You could have opened up to him. He really needed you. With a long sigh, she glanced down at the slim Timex on her wrists. "Time to cover some more ground."

Even though every nurses station looked the same, Bobbi stopped by each one until she saw someone familiar. She stood in front of the blonde and redhead and waited for them to finish their conversation.

After a couple of minutes, two sets of eyes looked up and shined in recognition before their gazes turned hard. "Well, if it isn't enigmatic Doc B. Did you stop to speak this time? You were here over a month ago, and you didn't stop then," the blonde nurse huffed.

Bobbi shrugged and dazzled them with a full smile. "I wasn't ready then."

The two nurses glanced at each other. "What's that s'pose to mean?" The redhead asked.

Taking a quick look at their name tags, but without skipping a beat, Bobbi uttered, "I'm sorry Fran and Chelsea."

Their mouths dropped open in surprise. "What?" They asked almost simultaneously.

"I'm sorry for the way I treated you when I worked here. You were outstanding nurses, and I treated you like errand girls most of the time and bitched at you other times. I won't offer excuses just my apology, and I won't hold it to you if you don't except it." Bobbi reached out a hand in peace. It hung in the air.

The two women stared at the offered appendage then each other. The redhead, Fran, offered her hand first.

"I, uh. . .okay. I guess," Fran muttered. Her expression remained startled and confused. As their hands disengaged she looked down at it then back up at the doctor before turning her gaze on her companion.

Chelsea smirked. Then, the smirk turned into a sneer as she appraised the doctor. "No thank you. I generally don't forgive people who treat me like shit."

Bobbi smiled anyway and let her hand fall away. Well, I tried two out of three ain't bad. "That's understandable. I just wanted to let you know how I felt. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have someone to get home to."

She turned to go, but not before hearing, "Chelsea, if you don't forgive people that treat you like shit, you must really hate the patient's that throw it at you."

Bobbi covered her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.


Once inside the Jeep Cherokee, Bobbi flipped on the radio as she searched for a CD. Finding the one she was looking for, the doctor exclaimed, "Ah ha!" She reached to change the radio over to CD, but the news report stopped her.

"Ivanhoe's famous Polska Kielbasa Festival is next week. It's usually a big turn out. Folks join them and you can eat, drink, play ball, and sing all you want."

Bobbi grinned. "I know what I want to do next weekend." She slipped the Lenny Kravitz CD in and started to hum along. I needed to do this. I know I did. It wouldn't feel so good otherwise. I have to admit though it was a shock hearing that about dad. I guess I am my father's daughter. I'm glad I learned from your mistakes, Dad. Thank God Michelle taught me how. She really is the best thing in my life. "I can't wait to get home to her. In fact. . ." She fished out her cell phone.


Michelle closed the refrigerator with her foot and pilled the veggies on top the counter. The ringing phone startled her, and she reached for it immediately. "Hello?" She answered breathlessly.

"Whatcha doin'?"

The blonde smiled at the sound of the doctor's voice. "Kitchen stuff and waiting for you. What are you doing? Turn the music down. Can't hear you."

"Okay, hold on." She pressed the volume control. "Now, what was I saying? Oh hmm, what am I doing? I think I'm talking to this beautiful blonde." Bobbi muttered as she pulled onto the highway.

Michelle blushed. "Uhm, okay."

"You're blushing right now aren't you?" Bobbi smirked.

"No!" Michelle brought her free hand to her red face.

"Uh huh. I'll let you get away with that one. How's Peanut?" The doctor's voice was concerned.

"He was up for a little while after lunch and after you left this afternoon and played a little. He and Taz are in the living room sleeping right now. I gave him the Tylenol, and I'm pretty sure his fever broke. Can't be sure though. I don't have a thermometer."

"Okay, I'll stop by my office on the way in. I'm sure I have some rectal thermometers somewhere. I'll see you in about fifteen to twenty minutes."

"Kay, see you then."


As Bobbi walked down the office hall, leading to the kitchen door, she took the thermometer out of the box to test it. "Oh Peanut, you're not gonna like this."

Upon entering the kitchen, the doctor was surrounded by an array of smells. "Ohh, it smells good in here." She walked over the stove and sniffed then decided to lift a lid.

Michelle smacked her hand.

"Ouch! What was that for?"

The blonde's smile was dazzling. "And good afternoon to you too."

A dark brow rose. "My goodness. Aren't we becoming demanding?"

Michelle's nose crinkled as the smile seemed to expand even further. "I'm gonna take that as a compliment. So, how did it go?"

Bobbi sobered suddenly. "Well, it was enlightening to say the least. Enlightening enough to rattle me for a while."

The petite woman shook off the over mitts and laid them on the counter. Something big happened. Without another thought, she moved toward the brunette until they were inches apart. "Hey, you okay?" Michelle's voice was soft, caring, and she lifted a hand to caress the other woman's cheek.

The doctor sucked in a deep breath and leaned into the touch. "Yeah, I'm okay. I was just like. . .whoa there for a little while."

"You wanna tell me about it?"

"Yeah, I would. I found out something about my father today. We're more alike than I ever knew. He was majorily burned out just like I was, but he kept on. It got worse and worse until there was nothing left for his family. Joshua, a former colleague of mine and friend of my father's, told me that Dad said a lot--" Sudden tears prickled her eyes and clogged her throat. Oh God, where did this come from? I was fine earlier. ". . .of things about me that he was never able to say to me directly." Her voice quivered. "He loved me Chelle, and he was proud of me." Bobbi swallowed. "It's all I ever wanted from him." The tears began to fall.

Michelle wrapped her arms around the brunette's torso and peered up into watery blue eyes. "Are you crying because you're happy or sad?"

Bobbi sniffled and returned the embrace, wallowing in the electric warmth between them. "Both actually. Happy that I know, but sad that he's gone now. I just wish for Stevie's sake--"

"And for yours Bobbi." Michelle interrupted.

"Yeah, me too. I just wish there was something we could have done. I can't beat myself up about it though. I've done enough of that."

"Then, you'll make peace with this too?" The blonde asked.

"Yes, I will, especially with you here to urge me on. Maybe you could go with me to see him?"

"Anytime." Michelle tucked her head in under the doctor's chin.

"Good to know. I still feel good about today. A lot of people that I alienated back then don't work there anymore, but I did what I could to apologize for years of bitchiness," Bobbi added.

"That's what counts. Isn't it?"

"Yeah, I guess so, and get this. They knew I was gay, according to Josh the rumor ran rampant around the hospital. Dad even knew, and it didn't matter to him." Bobbi's voice lifted a little from its sullen tone.

"Well, that's good news too. Maybe people around here are more accepting than you think."

"Mmm, could be. My practice hasn't staggered one bit since the Fourth of July." The doctor kissed the top of the blonde's head. "Hey, I'm feeling kinda grubby. Let me go take a shower, and we'll finish this discussion over dinner. I'll check on Peanut on my way to the bedroom."

"Okay," Michelle whispered as she watched the doctor go. You're the incredible woman Bobbi.


Long minutes later, Michelle set the table as she waited for the brunette to return. A sharp bark from the living room got her attention. She was there in a few seconds. Green eyes widened as she viewed the sight before her. "Bobbi! Come in here!"

Taz continued to bark excitedly.

Hearing the blonde's cries, Bobbi hastily pulled on her shorts and moved klumps of wet hair out of her face. Oh jeez, what the hell happened? She ran toward the hallway.

Michelle glanced to the right to see the doctor standing in the hallway staring at the same thing she was.

"Gaaa!" Toby exclaimed. He wobbled on all fours but moved slowly, persistently across the huge blanket toward a familiar face.

"Oh my God, he's crawling! I'll get the camera!" The doctor disappeared but reappeared barely a minute later.

"Are you getting this?" Michelle asked as she walked toward her child. Her eyes shined with pride.

"Wuff!" In animated fashion, Taz danced around the infant.

"Yes, I am. Way to go Peanut!" That's my boy! I guess it's time to Peanut proof the house. Bobbi did a mental double take. I do feel like he's mine. I love him like he is.

"Gooo!" Toby screamed.

Toby's dark blonde hair stood up in huge cow licks, and his diapered butt swished as he eased further across the carpet, moving steadily toward his mother. Michelle dropped to her knees and waited. Her heart beat hard and fast against her chest as she watched her son wobble even more. I can't believe I'm seeing this! For that moment, nothing else mattered-- petty jealousies and insecurities were swept aside. Michelle reveled in the moment and the woman she shared it with.

Toby teetered precariously to the left. His blue-green eyes widened as he toppled over. Taz was there in an instant nudging him in an attempt to help, but Toby didn't need it. With a coo, he rolled over and sat up. The blue t-shirt he was wearing had rolled up to reveal his pudgy stomach.

Michelle yelped in fear, but it turned into a yelp of excitement. She stood up and jumped in the air. "That was amazing!"

Bobbi swerved the camera around to the blonde, getting her reaction on film. You're a great mother, Chelle, and this is just the result.

The level of excitement extended through dinner. They sat in the living room munching on sautéed chicken breasts but kept one eye on the roving child.

The day was full of a gamut of emotions, but what the two women felt for each other and the family they created surpassed it all, for now. The night held them, but until the wee hours of the morning they enjoyed each other, the changes, and life.


It was the darkest part of the night. Janine stared at the murmuring television without really hearing or seeing it. Somehow over the past couple of weeks, the little voice that kept her from destroying the petite blonde in the bathroom that fateful day had become a scream. With the screaming came the guilt.

The nurse sat up in the bed with her back to the headboard. The light cotton gown covered her body, for she had pushed the blankets down toward the edge of the bed long ago. She reached for the cool bottle that sat between her legs and took a long swig. Her face screwed up in disgust, and her stomach protested as fire licked it. Tonight, she had acquired a taste for vodka. She'd found out earlier in the evening that it was the only thing that stopped the screaming in her head. Old memories crashed through her alcohol muddled brain. Janine knew what it was to be ignored; to be ridiculed; to be insulted; and to be considered nothing. I went through that all my life with my mother and with people who had no idea who I was or didn't care. I won't do it again. Not for you, Bobbi. " Damn you. Damn you to hell!"


Chapter 47

Beatrice stood at the sink and wrung her hands. Activity bustled behind her as Max and Max Jr. made themselves comfortable at the kitchen table to wait for breakfast. She could hear them murmuring and strained her ears to listen, but it was only man talk. Her attention returned to the bright morning sun that shined in through the window over the sink. It felt so good to be out there, but that doesn't matter. I went out for a reason, for Michelle. I hope she got my message. I don't know when I'll be able to call again. She let out a nervous breath. I hate that I had to throw the phone bill away, but I couldn't find the checkbook. I've never been allowed near it. I couldn't let him see the phone numbers on there. He's not a stupid man. I'm must glad none of them were on the previous phone bill. Just please, God, let her get that message in time.

She went over the message in her mind. She remembered it verbatim. I know you didn't expect to hear from me. Um, this is Beatrice by the way, Max Sr.'s wife. I'm the only one that knows where you are, and don't worry I would never tell them. I want you and my grandson safe. I want you to live and be happy. I wanted to let you know that you have a friend here, and as a friend, I'm telling you that Max sent men to look for you, Michelle--men that will do anything for him. They're combing the state, so please, please be careful. I don't want anything to happen to you and that sweet boy. I couldn't take it. They mean business, Michelle. They mean business--- Her thoughts were rudely interrupted.

"Damn fool woman! Do you hear me?!"

The disgruntled words of Max Sr. came from right behind her. The blow to her kidneys caught her completely off guard. Beatrice screamed and fell to her knees as she clutched futilely at her back.

Max Sr. glared dispassionately down at his wife. "That'll teach you to pay attention." Without another word, he returned to the table and resumed his conversation with his son.

Beatrice bit her lip hard to keep the tears at bay. She stood up slowly and moved toward the stove where the bacon continued to sizzle. Her face was red with pain. I don't matter. You'll never get to them. I don't care what I have to do anymore. You won't get to them.


Marsha walked through every room of her small house. She was oblivious to the filth that had built up. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. Dishes were piled up high as were clothes. Spots on the floors where tea had been spilled were dried and crusty, and the smell of garbage flowed through the house as if it were customary perfume.

She stood in the middle of the living room in her tattered, unwashed flower housecoat. Her hair was limp, oily an unwashed as was her face. Still, with a shaking hand, she lifted the cup to her mouth and took a sip of the cooling peppermint tea. Maybe after all this time, they'll just want the baby. Michelle can be with me. They got what they wanted from her after all. She owes me. I raised her. I taught her. I need somebody here. I need. . .somebody.

In bare feet, she shuffled toward the window to sit in the little chair and watch. That's all she did these days--watch and wait. You knew didn't you momma? That's why you had all the boyfriends. That's why you treated me like shit. No matter how hard you try people always leave, and you always end up alone. But, it's gonna be different with me. I'm not gonna die in some nasty nursing home. I'm gonna get her back, and she's gonna do what ever I damn well please.


Christopher bedded down in the Super Eight Motel just outside of Minneapolis. Tiredness set deep in his bones, but he would keep going. He had found nothing before dropping his load in Wisconsin, but the burly man had all the time in the world now. So far, he covered many counties in the southeast. Next, he was headed west as far west as he could get.

Chris was not a stupid man. If the woman was still in Minnesota, he would find her. Somebody knew something. He would cover as many hospitals, motels, hotels, and local places as he could, and he knew what game to play and questions to ask. This was Minnesota. Somebody was always willing to help. Chris just couldn't figure out if Michelle was going to be his missing daughter or his long lost niece. Either one would do.

Bobbi yawned and scratched her belly as she slowly traipsed across the living room. The shades were drawn plunging the room into a deep gray, so she took each step carefully. It was early yet, and she had only gotten a few hours sleep. More than likely, there would be no morning session with Billy today. They were up until the wee hours of the morning, but it was time to prepare for the day. She had lunches to fix for Michelle, bottles to make for Toby as well baby food to pack in the diaper bag. The doctor smiled as she thought of the infant. He's gonna be walking in no time, and then we'll really be in trouble. I can't wait.

A flash of red light from the caller ID illuminated the dark room. Bobbi frowned and looked down at it as she got closer. Oh, I forgot to check the messages. Guess I got caught up last night.

She picked up the phone and yawned again. Punching in the appropriate numbers, she waited for the voice mail cues. Bobbi listened attentively then rolled her eyes as she erased a hang up. I wonder when that one was. She waited impatiently for the next message to play. Her brow scrunched in confusion at the unfamiliar voice. Then, horror crossed her face. Her breath stopped in her chest and her heart plopped to her stomach. The taste of bile soured her mouth. Oh God no. Please not now. Not now.

Hope you enjoyed the update. Let me know if you did or if you didn't at Minerva