Disclaimers: The characters of this story belong to my twisted mind and me; they might have some resemblance to characters that belong to RenPics, MCA/Universal and whoever else on the payroll of Mr. Tapert and the gang at XWP. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is an original work and cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. The characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
Love/Sex Disclaimer: This is an uber story that depicts a love/sexual relationship between two women if this subject offends you please do not read it, if it's illegal where you live for the love of Aphrodite move!!!! If you're under 18 go read something else until you're old enough to read it.
Thanks: To my lover Mitzi, who spends a hell of a lot of time by her self whilst I'm playing with these girls. To my beta reader Jen; who always seems to know what I want to say, and to my friend xenalover who encourages me to continue writing.
This is one of my first attempts Feedback welcome at: ROCshadow@xenafan.com
The airport was at full capacity with all flights delayed because of the severity of the weather, tourists were all over the place. Jo Ann Marshall was one of them. Sprawled on the floor, using her duffel bag as a pillow, she was enjoying the latest installment of her favorite Xena fan-fiction story on her electronic book. She was a beautiful woman and always drew the attention of people around her; this time it wasn't any different. But Jo was oblivious to the stares of both men and women as she had become too engrossed in her reading to care about anything else. Once she’d finished she checked her flight one more time only to find that she would have to wait another two hours before she could get on the plane that would lead her back to Melbourne.
" Home, " she thought, " And here I was thinking that I'd never need to go back there."
Jo had left her home two years ago after her cousin's wedding; she had been in love with her best friend and neighbor Francis since they were kids and thought for a while that Francis felt the same way. They had shared a couple of kisses when Francis asked her to 'practice', to a point that they were expert kissers. Jo lived for those times when they were alone but never said a thing. Those times had become sparser as they had grown up and Francis had begun dating guys. That had broken Jo's heart and she had never talked about it with Francis; she just stayed there and listened to her friend's stories. She never dated anyone and was always teased by Fran because of it. But she knew that she wasn't into guys and dating a girl was as difficult as hell in the small town she lived in, so, she’d decided to stay single. Not that her heart wasn't suffering enough from Fran's antics; she just wasn't ready to be with anyone.
" Fran, you really did a number on me, my friend; I was a fool to think that you might want me the way I have always wanted you. It's been a long time since I thought of you."
Jo was trying to keep her mind occupied so as not to think about how much it had hurt her to be the first to know about Fran's romance with Sam, Jo's womanizer cousin. She knew that he was bad news for her pesky blonde friend but who was she to say anything? She kept quiet once again. But what had driven Jo away from her family and her home was Fran's sudden pregnancy and the impromptu wedding that followed. To add to her distress, she had been the maid of honor; she just hadn’t been able to take it anymore: she needed time away from Francis to heal her heart. The pain she’d felt had been too much to bear, so she had done the only thing she could, run away from the painful vision of the happy newlyweds. The day before the wedding she’d talked to her mother and broken the news of her departure. She’d already had her plane ticket to Dallas and had arranged with Betsy and Liz, a couple that she had met at a Xena convention a year ago, to stay with them until she could find a place of her own. All hell had broken loose with the news of Jo's impending departure; her mother had been hysterical, as had her aunt, Sam's mother. They’d tried to convince her, but Jo had her mind set and wasn't going to go back now. Her aunt had brought Sam in to try to persuade Jo about her decision, but that had been the worst thing to do.
" So they say you're leaving? Why are you trying to ruin my wedding Jo?"
Sam was a very handsome man with blonde hair and blue eyes, the same eyes as Jo, only her hair was black. They had very similar features physically but were as different as day and night in the way that they viewed life: for Sam there were only two things, fast cars and women; for Jo, her family and her work always came first. That's why they had never got along well; Jo was very aware of the way Sam treated his women and they were always fighting about the way he was living his life. Sam never cared about anything else but himself. " Selfish little shit." Thought Jo as she recalled her last conversation with her cousin.
" Yes, I'm leaving after the wedding and no I don't want to ruin anything; in fact I don't want Francis to know until you two come back from your honeymoon. " She saw Sam smile, " Why do you think you're so important to her that she will get all depressed over you? You're full of yourself. 'Cuz let me tell you that she doesn't care a bit, she's with me now and she sure won't need anymore kissing classes from you, so don't sweat it, she has all she needs."
Jo had been flabbergasted by what she’d heard. Was it possible that Fran had told Sam about those times when they were younger? She’d felt the blood rush to her face and had tried to hide it from Sam.
" I don't know what you are talking about Sam." She’d had her back to Sam, but had felt him move around in the family room. Then she’d heard him chuckle.
" You sure know what this is about! Fran told me about your kissing practice when the two of you were little and I might add that you have never got over her. That's what this is about Jo, you've been lusting after her ever since then and it's killing you that I won this time. It was about time that I bested you at something, ‘Miss Perfect A's’."
Sam's words had cut her heart in two but she hadn’t been ready to give up in front of him. She’d done the next best thing; she’d got angry. Jo had turned around suddenly and grabbed Sam by his shirt until he was suspended in the air, her voice was full of anger and her eyes were dark with rage.
" Listen to me little shit, you are never to repeat those words to anyone. That was a long time ago, Fran is my best friend and that's all. And you better treat her good and make her the happiest woman on earth because if you fail I might need to come back and do the job for you, once more, just for the sake of school times."
The irate look on Jo's face had frightened Sam; he’d decided to keep his mouth shut if he was to live for is wedding. He knew his cousin very well and was sure that she wasn't joking when she threatened him about doing the job herself.
That was the last time they’d spoken; two years had passed by and she hadn’t returned home, not even when she’d heard that Francis had lost the baby during the fourth month of her pregnancy. She just couldn't get herself to go back, but she’d called Fran to give her support; it was so much easier by phone.
" Hey, little bit, how are you? " Jo wasn't sure if her voice would fail her, but she tried her best to sound cheerful.
" Hi there stud, I'm surviving. You left without a word." Fran sounded tired and without any emotion at all, it broke Jo's heart.
" C'mon don't start with your lectures, I am not one of your students. I had a good offer and I couldn't wait for you to come back; it happened really fast. Tell me about you." Jo tried to change the subject.
" I don't have nothing to say about me Jo; I'm existing that's about it. " Fran sighed.
" Are you still teaching? " Jo knew that Fran loved her job as a teacher of second grade; she tried to change the subject to something Fran like to talk about.
" No, I’m off for this semester, I need time to clear my mind, but I'll be back in August."
Fran talked about it like it was a burden instead of the job she enjoyed the most.
" Well, little bit, that's it; you need to get back to work, it'll make you feel better… you'll see."
Jo was crying by now; she felt the tears run down her face but tried to hide it in her cheerful voice.
" I miss you so much Jo. "
Francis started to sob after that last statement and Jo was crying as well; but she tried to comfort her friend.
" I miss you too pal, but let's not get emotional over this ok? Let's remember happier times."
" Are you coming back soon?" Fran asked in a childlike voice.
" Not for a while Fran, I'm still establishing myself here. It's going to be a while but you can call me anytime ok?"
" Ok" Fran didn't sound convinced at all.
" I have to go now, but I will call to check on you again ok? I know you are strong, my friend, don't let this beat you. I know it's hard but if you put your mind to it, you can get over it. Remember that it wasn't your fault, sometimes Mother Nature does things we can't understand but in the end we find the reason." Jo spoke from her heart.
" See you stud, I miss you."
"Bye, my friend."
"To think that it was nearly two years ago and it still feels like yesterday."
Jo never felt with anyone else what she’d felt when she was near Fran. She’d had lovers since then and one night stands as well, but she’d never felt so connected with someone.
Now she was about to return home, her mother was ill and needed her. She couldn't hide this time and was about to discover if her feelings towards her best friend were still hiding inside.
" OK class, remember your homework for tomorrow; try to read part of the newspaper, write down the words you don't understand and we'll look for them in the dictionary. Bring the part you've been reading, see you tomorrow."
The blonde teacher smiled at her students and watched them leave her classroom. Francis Wolf; Mrs. Alcott since she married Sam Alcott two years ago, was ready to close her classroom and go home. She stopped to look at her class plans for tomorrow; she loved her job, it was the only thing that made her feel used to capacity; the kids filled her with love and joy in a way no one had done it in a long time. "Since Jo" Francis thought, as she sighed deeply; she longed for the company of her best friend and never understood what had driven her away. She knew that the simple excuse of a ‘better job offer’ hadn’t been enough to make Jo leave her family and friends behind. But two years had passed, and she was still at a loss to find the reason why Jo had left; she’d had nearly no contact with the raven haired woman who used to be her confident and friend for the better part of her life.
" Excuse me, Mrs. Alcott? " Jane Simmons, the teenage sister of one of her students interrupted the teacher’s musings.
" Hey Jane, come in. How are you? " Fran smiled at the sight of this girl; she reminded her so much of the person she had been thinking about minutes ago. " What can I do for you? "
She noted the nervous demeanor of the girl and wondered what could've been bothering her.
" I wanted to talk to you, but now I'm not sure…I think it's better if I leave you to your work."
The girl was visibly upset and ready to turn around and leave but Fran had other ideas. " What? You wanted to talk to me about something and now you're afraid? I've never taken you for a coward Jane."
It sounded a little harsh but she knew that it was the best way to keep the girl from leaving "If she is anything at all like Jo she'd never let a dare pass." The girl stopped dead in her tracks immediately and turned around just as quickly.
" I beg your pardon? " Asked Jane.
" I said you've chickened out. " Fran kept her eyes on the girl. " Gotcha, you're as bad as Jo was, I'm the master at this girl; you just can't win. "
Jane walked back and took a seat in front of the now smiling teacher. " You were taunting me, weren’t you?" Jane smiled, understanding what the teacher was doing.
" Yes, and I nailed you fair and square, now start talking; what's inside that head of yours?"
Fran and Jane had been friends ever since they’d were paired together in several competitions at the school field day several months ago. They’d won every single challenge and by the end of the day they were an invincible team. After that day they had got together on various occasions to go to the movies and to eat ice cream. Despite the eight year age difference between them, they’d had fun together.
" I need to talk about something that is bothering me but I'm not sure how you are going to take it; it's kind of embarrassing. "
Jane was fidgeting in her chair and Fran could feel that it was a very serious matter that she had at hand.
" Listen Jane, we’re friends and I have asked you a couple of times to call me Fran instead of Mrs. Alcott. You know you can trust me, I'm not here to judge you. I'll just try to help you if I can, but I'm sure that talking about what has been bothering you will help a lot." Fran said honestly.
Jane took a deep breath and started talking, looking everywhere but at Fran. "I don't know how to begin explaining this but I'll try to do my best. Do you remember Rebecca, my friend from school? "
" The one we met at the movies?" Asked Fran.
" Yes, she’s been my best friend since we were little and I care a hell of a lot for her. But now she is dating this guy and everything’s different. I am very confused about these mixed feelings I'm having. Do you think that I'm weird? "
Jane was blushing and tried not to look at Fran. The teacher moved from her desk and reached for Jane's hand. She’d had an idea of what was happening inside the girl's mind since she’d met Rebecca at the movies and seen how Jane looked at her and the boy she was with.
" Look at me Jane, what are you trying to say?" Fran encouraged the girl to keep talking.
" I don't know for sure but I think….” She stammered “…. I think I'm having weird feelings for her and I can't stand the thought of her being with that … with that guy who always seems to be kissing her and touching her and grabbing her, it's unnerving!!!!" The girl stood up and began pacing around the classroom. Fran was at a loss for words, she felt bad for her friend but she knew that she wasn't the one to whom Jane should be talking about it. " When I felt like that, I hid it so well I almost believed it myself." Jane turned around and saw the pained expression on the teacher’s face and felt even more demoralized than before.
" Are you going to stop being my friend now?"
Jane asked in a childlike voice that brought Fran back to reality again. " Of course not!!! Why do you think that?"
" You looked so surprised, I just thought that you didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore."
" No sweetie, it really doesn't matter. I told you that I wouldn't judge you. I was thinking about finding someone who could help you with this…"
"Why can't you?" Interrupted Jane "I don't trust anyone and I don't want my mother to find out."
"Ok, Jane calm down. Are you sure about this? You know it could be that you're upset because she's not spending all her time with you and maybe you think that you're jealous."
Fran knew that she needed more information from the girl to be completely sure of what they were talking about.
" I'm sure Mrs. Alcott..I mean Fran; I always suspected that I was different. I never felt like I belonged with any group and I haven't dated a guy yet because I don't like them at all. I'm in my senior year of high school and all I can think about is Beck with that guy and the things she tells me about; how she feels when she's with him. I'm her best friend and it's killing me to listen to all that without saying how much I long to be the one who stirs those feelings in her…It hurts so much!"
Jane lost her control and began crying, Fran enveloped her in a bear hug and began crying with her.
When they sobered a while later Fran asked her. " So you haven't talked to her about this?"
" No, well….no" She said.
Fran knew that Jane was hiding something. " Tell me the truth, Jane. I can't help you if you keep things from me."
" Well, we kissed, but it was a long time ago when we were in eight grade and she was starting to meet guys. She said that she wanted to learn how to kiss so she wouldn't embarrass herself on her first date. We kissed a lot but it's been more that a year since she asked me to do that. I guess she doesn't need any more practice." Finished Jane bitterly.
Fran tried to cheer her up. It was a situation a little too close to home for Fran and she was trying to maintain her composure in front of Jane.
" Have you ever talked about those times with her? " Fran already knew the answer but asked anyway.
" No, we never talk about those kisses, but I miss them and I miss her so much."
Jane looked so sad; it broke Fran's heart. " C'mon let's have a girls night out eating ice cream and watching old movies. Let's put all this to rest for today, and tomorrow, with a clear mind, we can talk more about it. What do you think?" She flashed Jane an enchanting smile.
" How can I say no to that smile, let's go."
Jo was outside the terminal when she saw the familiar figure of her other lifetime pal Jay, she couldn't stop the big smile that reached her face.
" Hey girl !!! That smile is going to ruin you reputation as the tough as nails kicking ass chick, wipe it off!!” Jay teased, as they lost themselves in a hug.
" It's so good to see you, my friend."
Jo was visibly happy to be reunited with her longtime buddy, the only one who knew the real motives for her departure.
" Wow!!! Jo Ann Marshall in flesh and bone. You are looking better than ever my friend. I'm so glad to see you."
" So how are things around here? " Jo asked, as they approached Jay's car." Everything is just fine, I guess, I haven't had much time to be visiting friends but as far as I know everybody is ok. "
Jay knew that Jo's intention was to make him talk about their blonde friend but he wasn't going to make it that easy for her.
" Do you want to go directly to the hospital or do you want to stop at the house first? "
Jo didn't hear a word of what Jay said. Her mind was in turmoil, and she was feeling more and more anxious about seeing her long time friend and the love of her life again after all the time that had passed. But right now her only concern was her mother's health; she was also afraid of the condition she was going to find her mother in.
" Hey, earth to Marshall do you copy? " Jay teased.
Jo came out of her reverie. " Sorry what did you said?"
" Do you want to go to the hospital first or you house? " Jay repeated with a raised eyebrow.
" The hospital of course, I can't wait to see my mom."
" Do you need to pick up your luggage?"
" No this is all I brought. I just needed my laptop and some clothes."
" Not planning to stay long, honey?"
Jay sounded disappointed, Jo was his best friend; she had supported him through every step of his 'coming out of the closet drama' as he called it. His parents had turned their backs on him and thrown him out of the house when he was only twenty years old. Jo and her mom had opened their house to him until he’d finished his degree in Business Administration. With the few savings he had and a loan from the bank, he opened his video store and slowly, very slowly it had become a successful business. Now he owned two video stores and he’d bought an apartment. Life was good for him and now he only wanted his friend to be happy, although, this was not the best moment to pursue the subject because of Beth's health. But he would wait until the right moment to speak his mind about this 'Fran issue'.
" Well Jay, you know I like living in Dallas very much. I don't want to move back here anytime soon. I came back because my Mom needs me but with God's help she will recover and I want her to go back with me."
Jo was full of hope for her mother's health but deep inside she knew something was wrong, something was really wrong.
Jane and Fran were watching a movie at Fran's house when Sam came in to get ready for work.
" Hi Mr. Alcott " Jane said.
" Hi Jane, don't you have homework to do? " Came the harsh response from Sam's retreating figure.
" Don't mind him, Jane, you know how he is and he's late for work, again."
Fran looked at Jane apologetically. " Give me a minute to see if he needs help to be on his way faster.”
That last remark made Jane smile, " Ok I'll stop the movie for a while, ok? "
" I'll be back in a jiffy."
Fran went in search of her husband, she found him in the bedroom seated on their bed pulling up his boots.
Fran was angry with Sam. " Why do you have to be so callous with the people who visit me, specially Jane?”
He only shrugged his shoulders, as if he didn't care " I can't understand how you can be friends with that little girl, don't you know any people of your own age? When are you going to grow up!!!" He said angrily and left Fran with her mouth open in the middle of the room.
" You want me to grow up? Well, I'm wondering why I'm still married to you Sam. Maybe a grown up woman would divorce you, I'll show you how grown up I am just wait and see."
Fran returned to the living room to continue watching the movie with Jane.
" He's gone. " A very frightened Jane said.
" Did the two of you fight again? "
Fran took a deep breath and said. " I'm so tired of the way he is with the people around me, it makes want to start running and never look back." She admitted sadly.
" Were you happy with him at sometime? " A curious Jane asked; she couldn't understand how that man could be so hostile towards this wonderful woman.
" Would you believe me if I told you I don't know? He was the perfect gentleman at first and I liked very much the way he was, but I’ve always known that something is missing between us. If he only knew that if he was the way he was before, it could keep us together."
" Why don't you tell him?" Jane was trying to help her friend, she knew the teacher was very unhappy.
" I told him, but he doesn't care anymore." She sighed " But we are not here to talk about me tonight. You’re the one that needs to sort a thing or two out, do you want to talk about it again?"
" I'm going to apply for University of California as my first choice, that would keep me away from Beck until I can get over this." Jane was looking at the remote control and touching it nervously, it was evident how much this situation was bothering her.
" Are you going to tell Beck about this?"
"No, I don't want her to know until I'm about to leave."
"Why?" Fran couldn't help but worry, she didn't like the idea of this girl going all alone to California."
" Because it's going to be difficult to be with her, knowing that I'm not going to be near her for a long time. She's a very touchy feely person and I can't be so near her and keep from wrapping her in my arms and telling her how much I love her."
" If I were you I would tell her that you’re leaving, you don't have to give her the reason for your decision but that bit of information might make her realize that she feels the same way or at least make her want to spend more time with you. It would mean that you don't have to see her with that guy, it'll make your time here less difficult. It's very important information and I think it's only fair that she knows, what she then does with that information is up to her."
Fran was speaking from experience she always asked herself why Jo kept her departure so quiet. Jane appeared to be in deep thought
" Maybe you're right. I have to tell her at least half the truth, she really deserves it, after all these years of friendship."
They finished the movie and Fran took Jane home. It was past 9:00 pm on a Thursday night, they had to rest for the last day of the week at school.
Jo was nervous when she arrived at the hospital. She knew that her mother had been sick for a while and she kept it a secret from Jo, but now it was time for the truth and Jo felt like crying. All of a sudden the thought of losing her mom was too much to bear; Jay felt the uneasiness of his usually stoic friend and put his hand on her shoulder.
“ Hey calm down girl it’s ok, you’re not alone.”
Jay was nearly whispering but Jo heard him clearly. “Am I that transparent?” This made Jay smile. “ No, but I can say that I am one of few people who knows you so well. “
“ Have you seen her recently? “ Asked Jo, with unshed tears in her eyes.
“ Of course, honey, I come here everyday to keep her company. She is very thin Jo, and she’s always tired. But her mind is clear, she can talk to you about anything and her sense of humor is still intact, my friend. You’re going to be teased about almost anything you can imagine, I don’t know why but since she’s been in here she speaks her mind, no matter what it is or how it sounds.”
They had stopped in front of the room, Jo felt a little better. She wiped her face, took a deep breath and on the count of three she entered the room.
The sight that greeted her, broke her heart; her mom was just skin and bones. Her breathing was like she had the weight of the world bearing down on her chest. Jo approached the bed and gently passed her fingers through the few hairs that were still on her mother’s head. Beth felt the touch and opened her eyes to see the beautiful sight she’d been dreaming of, her daughter was with her.
“Hey sweet pea, I’ve missed you. “ Beth greeted her only daughter
With voice thick from emotion Jo said," Same here mo, how are you feeling? "
" Now that I have everything that matters here in this room with me, I'm just peachy. " A soft smile graced Beth's face. " How did you got here? "
" Jay brought me, he's outside you want me to ask him in?" She was looking for an excuse to go out of the room if only for a minute to regain her composure. She felt like screaming but she had to be strong for her mother, crying wasn't allowed right now.
" No it's ok, we talk everyday, I just want to be with you."
That comment made Jo smile.
"Ok then, you’ve got me until you're tired of me because I don't plan on moving from this room until you throw me out yourself."
" We have so much to talk about, sweet pea. I didn't want you to come here, but I am not allowed to fly anymore. How are things in Dallas? "
Beth was finding it hard to breath and talk, but she needed to say so much to her daughter.
" Everything is fine, mo. I have a lot of clients now and as you know I can work from almost anywhere as long as I have my laptop and a phone line. Back at the house I've finished the new cabinets for the kitchen at long last and they're great."
"And what happened to that sweet little girl you had living with you the last time I was there?" Beth smiled at the surprised look on her little girl's face.
" What are you talking about?"
" I'm talking about your girlfriend, the short girl with blonde hair and green eyes that was living with you?"
Beth was laughing inside and if her health condition had allowed it she would have laughed on the outside as well. She’d always known about her daughter's sexual orientation but she’d waited for Jo to tell her when she was ready. She couldn't wait any longer, they had to talk about everything, her time was short and she wanted to see her daughter happy. At that very moment Jay entered the room and heard what Beth said, seeing the look of astonishment on his friend’s face he started to laugh hard.
" I told you so…she is speaking her mind, it might be the food from this place. Hi mo, how are you today?"
Jay had adopted Jo's nickname for her mother and used it as well.
" I've never been better Jay."
Jo was still in shock at her mother's antics and was in autopilot. " Jay I'm going to stay here tonight, I'll take a cab in the morning. Don't you worry about me."
" Then, this is my cue to say good bye ladies. I'll see you both tomorrow."
Jay kissed both women goodbye and left the room.
" So what was her name, Sheila? " Beth continued pursuing the topic.
" Mo what are you talking about? Does aunt Lily come here often? "
Jo was trying to change the subject but Beth had other plans.
"Don't change the subject young lady. I want to know the truth and I've been waiting for a long time to hear it but you never came to me to talk, and now I'm in a hurry, so speak. "
Beth began coughing hard at that very moment. Jo reached the small cooler and retrieved a bottle of water from which Beth drank with the help of a straw.
" Don't over do it mo, I'm here now and I'm not going anywhere, there's no hurry at all."
" You're not going anywhere but I am. Let's face this together Jo. You are my only daughter and I don't have much time left, the reason I sent for you was because we have some unfinished conversations, otherwise I would’ve spared you the pain of seeing me like this."
Beth was crying now at the sight of the pained expression on Jo's face.
" Don't talk like that mo you're going to be ok, I'm here now to take care of you, you'll see." Jo said in a childlike voice that broke Beth's heart.
" Oh, sweet pea, don't be sad, this old lady has lived a good long life. It's time for me to rest and join your dad. I just wanted to clear a couple of things up with you."
" Mo don't please, we'll talk when you get better, I promise." Jo was in denial.
" Jo Ann Marshall, don't you disobey your mother, listen to me. I know about you and I don't care! I just want you to be happy, truly happy." Beth was breathing hard now. "I have to tell you that I was a bit disappointed that you never trusted me enough to come and talk about it. "
" Oh no mom it wasn't like that it's just that …… it's been hard for me. You know me better that anyone, you know that I don't like to talk about myself at all and this is a difficult subject. I didn't want you to be worried about me all the time, that's all."
Jo was trying to control her heart; it felt as if was going to burst out of her chest.
" Sweet pea, I'm your mother, it's my job to be worried about you."
Beth added with a weak smile. Jo found herself smiling as well at her mother's attempt at humor.
" I know what drove you away from us, it's hard for you to come back now but this time I couldn't help it. "
Beth looked apologetically at Jo's panicked expression.
" What do you mean by what drove me away?"
Jo wasn't ready to hear the answer but she had to ask anyway.
" Francis Wolf, her wedding with your cousin, I heard you and Sam talking the day before the wedding."
Jo closed her eyes hoping to disappear at that very moment. " Oh God."
" I should've said something back then, but they were expecting a baby and I thought that it was better to give Sam the chance to make Fran happy and you the time to heal your heart. I was secretly hoping that you would find someone else and come back here to stay."
Jo was astonished by the revelation; she’d always thought that her love for Fran was the best-kept secret in the world, she should've known better.
" Mom, that was two years ago. How could you keep the secret for so long?"
" The same way you did. When I went to visit you I always met a friend of yours and hoped it was ‘the one’, then the next time it was someone different and all of them looked like Fran." Beth was out of breath now.
" Mom stop talking, try to rest a bit I'll be here all night."
Jo gave some more water to her mother and called the nurse to check on her.
" She needs to rest, a nap would do her good. Mrs. Marshall, try to rest a little. I gave you a tranquilizer to help you sleep; when you wake up you'll be more relaxed." The nurse said, and immediately left the room.
Beth was feeling very sleepy but she managed to ask one more question. " Do you still love her? "
Jo didn't know how to answer that question; although she knew the answer, it was difficult to verbally admit to it, but her mother deserved the truth.
" Yes mo, I still love her with all my heart."
Tears were flowing from Jo's eyes at the painful admission. Beth was falling asleep but she heard her daughter's confession.
" Sweet pea, fight for her. Sam hasn't made her happy, and you deserve to be happy too."
Beth fell asleep for the rest of the night.
Jo took a long walk that night to clear her thoughts. There were too many things happening at the same time; she felt overwhelmed but she denied herself the relief of crying. She said to herself that she had to be strong for both her mother and herself, crying was overrated for now.
Friday morning found Jo working on one of her new websites, designed for a new client. She also sent a couple of e-mails to her friends to let them know that she was ok, but didn't know when she was going to be able to return. By midmorning Beth was awake and more rested.
" Hey sweet pea, did you eat breakfast already?" She asked knowing full well what her girl was going to say in reply.
" I'm not hungry and you, sleepy head, do you want your breakfast now?"
" I won't eat a bite until you eat with me."
Beth was sure that her daughter hadn't eaten anything since the day before and she wasn't going to allow her girl to starve because of her.
" So, what will it be, stretch? "
The old woman looked at the younger one with a defiant expression.
" That's blackmail, old lady, you can't do that to me, I'm your daughter!" Jo played along with her mom.
" Oh yes I can, go and find something to eat with me and I'll let them know that I'm ready for breakfast." Beth said, authoritatively.
The defeated young woman took her wallet and left the room without another word. She was playing the ‘offended’ one, but Beth knew better, it was an old game between them.
Beth's breakfast consisted of a high calorie, high vitamin shake and Jo's a pack of mini chips ahoy™ and a quart of milk. They didn't touch the subject of the night before instead, they spent the day talking about simple things and getting reacquainted with each other. Jo helped her mother clean herself in bed and changed her pajamas for the new ones she had brought from Dallas. When Beth reluctantly agreed to take a power nap, Jo took a shower and changed clothes. This made her feel more human and she decided to go for a walk. She found Jay in the nurses’ station talking with a doctor, she guessed, "That Jay never changes, who can that guy be?" She thought as she walked towards the engrossed pair.
" Hi." The guy said as he noticed Jo approaching them.
" Hi." Was the only reply from Jo.
" Hey Jo I was going to see Beth, when I found him here. Let me introduce you to my friend, Dr. Tom Garret, he is Beth's doctor.”
Jo was more alert, now that she knew who he was and wanted to ask him a couple of questions.
" I was wondering who was in charge of her case because I have some questions. " Jo said, in a serious matter.
" Well, Miss Marshall I was going to see your mother at this very moment and after you give me a minute or two alone with her, I’ll be ready to answer all the questions you have." The doctor answered truthfully.
" Ok I'll be waiting here." Jo said, and turned around to look out the window.
Fran arrived home just time in to see Sam's Corvette speeding down the street.
" Here he goes again, and he calls me immature." She thought as she entered her home. " This is the last time I come here from work, next Monday I'll be living at my place again." Fran had thought a lot that day; the events with Jane had raised a lot of deep, hidden memories and once more she found herself thinking of her dark haired friend. " Why did you leave Jo? " She made a decision that day; she went to her attorney and filed for a divorce. There wasn't any sense in continuing to live with someone she never saw. Now she was going to pack the things she wanted to take with her, and move back to her parent's home. They have given it to her when her dad retired and moved to Miami with her mom.
" I'm going to be living next to Jo's house again, it's going to be weird without her there, like it’s been weird these two years without her. That house has been closed for a while, maybe tomorrow after I'm settled I'll go there and clean a bit."
Jo was deep in thought after her talk with the doctor. Everything else was a blur, she only heard his voice saying," She’s already signed the papers for no resuscitation protocol and no more treatments, only pain pills and the multivitamin shakes. There's nothing else we can do for her now, I'm sorry."
Once again Jo restrained herself from crying " I'll have time for that later."
She thought, and headed for her mother's room. Beth was fully awake and waiting for her. She knew that the doctor was going to talk to Jo and was worried about her.
" Hey, mo." Jo kissed her mother on the forehead.
" Hey sweet pea, how are you?" Beth knew that Jo was restraining herself from showing any emotion.
" You're asking me how I am, when you're the one in bed! I'm okay, how are you feeling?" Jo tried to speak cheerfully but failed.
" I'm good, I don't fill tired at all." Beth smiled sincerely. " I told Jay to take you out for dinner tonight, you haven't had an edible dinner since you got here and if I see you eating cookies once more, I'm going to puke."
Beth knew that Jo was about to protest but she continued before Jo could say a thing. " I don't want to hear you complaining. Do what I say; change your clothes and wait for him to pick you up in front of the hospital, breath some fresh air, drink some wine and enjoy Jay's company. Do it for me. Please? "
The last word was said with such a pleading tone that it made Jo swallow her words: she couldn't say no to her mom.
" Ok mo you win, this time, but don't get used to it."
The dark haired woman turned around and began looking for clothes to wear before her mother could see the pained expression on her face.
Jay was in the parking lot thinking of the favor Beth had asked him. He wasn't sure if it was right, but who was he to deny this wonderful woman anything? She’d given him a home when he was alone and a family as well. He was hurting too; no one was prepared for this marvelous soul to depart. He sighed and picked up his cell phone, punched a key for speed dial and waited;
" Fran, it's Jay, Beth is asking for you to come see her. Soon."
His voice was thick with emotion and immediately Fran knew what was happening there was no way she could delay this visit, she'd have to go right away.
" Oh God!!! Jay what about Jo? " The stressed woman asked.
" I'm taking care of it, don't worry, just go to Beth."
Jay felt bad for lying to his friend but Beth had asked him not to tell anyone that Jo was already there.
" She might never forgive us for this." Fran sounded very upset.
" Everything is going to be Ok, Fran; let's be calm."
"Ok thanks for letting me know."
Jo was there when Jay pulled his car up in front of the hospital entrance, she hopped in rapidly and took a deep breath.
" Let's do this quickly Jay, I don't like to leave her alone."
She fastened her seatbelt and Jay drove until they reach a small restaurant where they used to hang out when they were students.
The blonde was nearly running when she arrived at the hospital, she had been putting her last box inside her car when Jay called and now she had all her things packed in her car. Nothing else mattered, she wanted to be with Beth.
" Aunt Beth, I'm here."
Fran didn't notice the small duffel bag in the corner of the room.
" Hey, little bit, you made it." Beth’s breathing was becoming more ragged.
" Of course I did, I left everything and came here as soon as Jay called me."
" I'm tired Fran, I can't fight…..anymore and I wanted to ask you something….. important to me." Her voice was lower each time she spoke.
" C'mon Aunt Beth, you can ask me anything later. Try to rest now, I'll stay with you." The small blonde said.
" There's no time….for later……..I'm leaving soon I just wanted to ask….you to take care of my sweet pea she's…..going to need you very much when I'm gone. Please, little bit don't leave her…….alone try to make her open up to you because she always tries…..to keep everything..………bottled up inside her and that's not good."
Beth was losing consciousness now and Fran couldn't hear her anymore. The petite woman was scared; she took the older woman hands in her own.
" I promise Aunt Beth that I will never leave Jo, don't be worried about her. I'll be with her every minute." Fran was crying.
Beth opened her eyes and whispered. " Thank….you Fran, I knew I could….count on……you. Please call the nurse and then….you can go home."
Beth knew she didn't need the shot because she felt no pain at all but it was an excuse so that the nurse would ask Fran to leave the room.
The teacher left the hospital reluctantly with the promise of returning the next day. She drove to her parent's house " My new house." She thought as she parked her car.
Jay made Jo drink some wine after the dinner and the tall woman felt relaxed for the first time since she’d come back home.
" It's time to go Jay, I really want to stay with mo at the hospital. "
Jo arrived at the room and Beth was fast asleep. She was tired herself so she did the same.
Saturday morning found Fran in her parent's house putting her clothes in her old room and surprised to find some of her old outfits still in there. She finished her chores and crossed the street towards Beth and Jo's house. She knew where the spare key was always hidden, so it was easy to get inside the house. She decided that the kitchen was a good place to start cleaning.
Jo was looking outside the window as the doctor approached her to deliver the bad news. Jo was devastated by her mother's passing on, but she never showed it. Once more she denied herself to cry. Everything was taken care of, Beth had already made her funeral arrangements and all the paperwork was done; Jo only needed to sign a paper or two and then left the hospital. She didn't call anyone to tell them the news. She was so distraught at the sudden turn of events that she couldn't think.
The cab left her in front of her house and she felt so sad thinking how empty the house was because her mother wasn't there anymore. She recalled her last conversation with her mother just before the crisis.
"If I were you I'll try to seduce her."
" What did you say? " A confused Jo asked.
" Give it a try sweet pea I know you can conquer her."
" Mo don’t' talk try to relax."
" She's not happy with him Jo, she told me that she’s filed for divorce already."
" She's still his wife and she doesn't like women. Let's be realistic."
Beth smiled and said "I wouldn't be so sure Jo, she really cares about you a lot, she deserves to be happy as much as you do and you are not bad looking. Do what I say you might be surprised. "
Jo tried to find the spare key; it simply wasn't there. She heard some noise inside the house and thought that maybe her aunt was there. She knocked on the door bracing herself for what she had to tell the older version of her mother.
Fran was finishing with the kitchen when she heard the knock on the door and was suddenly nervous thinking that maybe Sam was looking for her after reading the letter she left for him. She walked slowly to the door and after a deep breath she opened it to find Jo standing outside with a somber expression on her face.
" Hi." Was all she could say to the newcomer.
" Hi.” She responded.
Their eyes locked with one another’s and Jo felt the walls around her crumble. All the accumulated tension from the last two days was too much to bear, as well as the sight of the woman that held the key to her heart. With a simple look, Fran knew what had happened and opened her arms in an honest invitation to the dark haired beauty in front of her. Jo couldn't control her emotions anymore and rushed into her friends embrace.
Jo couldn't take it anymore. She was devastated and it was time to let go now, in the arms of the woman she loved. Her world crashed down around her and for the first time since she’d come back, she cried.
Jo's pain came out with a vengeance after being hidden inside the tall woman. Her sobs were like a knife tearing through Fran's heart, she wasn't prepared to see her friend in this condition. But she knew that her place was with the woman she held in her arms. Fran moved both of them inside the house and closed the door, without a word she moved them to the couch in the living room. Jo was crying hard and had a dead grip on Fran's waist whilst the shorter woman caressed her hair and cried with her. Nearly an hour later, both of them were exhausted and Jo felt more relieved. But now she had to deal with the presence of the woman she loved.
" I can't believe she's gone."
Jo's voice was so full of pain; she didn't sound at all like the woman Fran remembered. Fran looked at Jo and reached out a trembling hand to wipe away the trail of tears.
" It's ok baby, I'm here with you and I won't let you be alone again." Fran thought of the promise she’d made to the dying woman the night before.
Jo looked at Fran with such sadness, she thought of how much she loved the woman and how much it had hurt her when she had left her. She felt sorry for herself for the first time in her life. " I'm loosing my mind here, how on earth I did I end up in Fran's arms when I know this is not the way it's supposed to be. Get a grip Marshall cut this out now before you get carried away." Jo thought and tried to disentangle herself from Fran's arms. The small woman had other ideas.
" Don't even think about it stud, I'm not going to let you go." Fran smiled at the surprised look on her tall friend’s face. " I know you very well and you won't be keeping your pain all to yourself. I'm here for you let me help you. "
Jo looked at her and sighed with resignation she didn’t have the strength to fight now.
" I feel like I'm living inside a nightmare and I'm still waiting to wake up. I just realize that it's not going to happen. "
Jo rubbed her swollen eyes. Fran ran her hand through long dark tresses.
" Are you feeling better now?" She asked.
" Yeah, thank you. I'm sorry for this…display." Jo smiled weakly.
" Hey, that's what friends do, they stand by each other. We're still friends right?" Fran held her breath as she waited for Jo to answer that question.
" Of course we are, little bit." Jo's said honestly but her voice was filled with sadness and resignation; it wasn't lost on the petite blonde, but she let it pass for now.
" Knowing you I'm sure you haven't had breakfast, let me cook something for you."
Fran stood up.
" I'm not hungry, little bit. Just tired."
Jo couldn't help looking at her friend, " She is more beautiful than before, don't go there Marshall it's an impossible situation."
" We have to tell the news to the family, have you talked with someone yet?"
Fran was in the kitchen looking around trying to find something to cook.
" No, everything happened so fast last night that I didn't have the strength to call aunt Lily yet. " Jo followed Fran to the kitchen.
" Ok, you try to rest for a while. I'll make the calls from here, and after I'm finished and you freshen up, we can go over to my house for breakfast. There's no way you can say no, I'm going to be like crazy glue™ always sticking at you."
Fran knew the pain that her friend was feeling for the loss of her mother and was trying to make things easier for her. At the mention of Fran's house Jo stiffened ,she wasn't prepared to confront her cousin yet, not in the fragile state she was in.
" I'd prefer to stay here. I'm not hungry really, you go ahead before it gets late."
Fran noticed the frown on Jo's face and related it to her ex husband.
" Jo?" She asked hesitantly.
" Yes, little bit? " Jo looked directly into Fran's deep green eyes.
" My house is across the street again. I'm not living with Sam anymore and I’d love to make breakfast for us after we are done with the calls. Do you know when they are going to have her ready? "
Fran lowered her eyes from Jo's gaze, for some unknown reason she couldn't keep her gaze fixed on the blue eyes.
" This evening around 6 pm. I have to call the funeral home to be sure."
It was so difficult for the raven haired woman to acknowledge her mom's departure, every time she mentioned it, her eyes filled with tears.
Fran took a moment to look at her friend, it had been so long since the last time they’d been together and yet she felt so connected to her, as if they were never separated. She felt the urge to hug her friend and try to comfort her for her loss. The blonde haired woman walked until she was in front of her tall friend and as she stood on her toes, without second thought, she brushed her lips with those of her longtime friend and then she hugged her fiercely.
"I'm with you stud, I missed you so much. Don't worry about a thing, I'll take care of the calls, try to rest for a while."
Jo was astonished by Fran's gesture. She didn't know what to do or how to react; it had been so long since the last time she’d felt those lips on hers. But this was not the time to think about it, she needed to lie down and rest because the next few days would be hard on her. Once again Jo kept quiet and did what she was told.
" Thank you, little bit."
" Always, stud. I'll come wake you when I'm done."
After very emotional calls to her ex-mother in law, Lily, and her long time pal Jay who had promised to call the rest of the family, Fran went to her house and cooked breakfast for two. " Why did I feel so compelled to kiss her? It's not like we are little girls anymore. It felt so natural and she looked so surprised. What's going on with me?" Fran tried to stop her musings and leave them for another time; she knew that this was not the best time to explore these feelings: Jo needed her and she had to be there for her friend just as she’d promised Beth. When breakfast was ready she packed it and brought it to her friend's house.
Fran placed breakfast on a tray and went in search of her friend. The sight that greeted her was too much for her. She had to put the tray on the bedside table and then she sat on the side of the bed. Jo was fast asleep, clad only in a t-shirt and turned to the right side of the bed. Fran noticed the perfect body her friend had, her legs seemed to go on forever; she knew that Jo liked to run every morning and deduced that she had kept her routine because of the excellent physical condition her body now showed. The tall woman moved, causing her shirt to run up a little showing a small tattoo on the right side of her thigh, it was a tiny heart broken in two. The blonde teacher felt so drawn to it, that she couldn't stop herself from touching it.
Jo felt the touch and for some odd reason she thought that she was dreaming. Then she heard someone breathing and opened her eyes to find Fran tracing her finger around the shape of her tattoo. She immediately caught her hand to stop the movement that was arousing her.
" What are you doing?" Jo asked.
Fran had the look of a deer caught in headlights and tried to hide her blush.
" Breakfast is ready, let's eat."
The blonde tried not to make a big issue out of what she had done, but the dark haired woman had other ideas.
" Fran, why are you doing this? Why did you kissed me before? "
Jo felt like she needed answers at that very moment and for the first time she spoke her mind.
Fran was at a loss, she didn't know what to tell the tall woman.
" I...didn't know that you had a tattoo…it's nice. " Fran stammered trying to defuse the kiss ‘issue’.
" Yeah, well I had it done a couple of weeks after I arrived in Dallas. Fran, we’ve known each other since we were kids and that's what we aren't anymore. I'm a grown up woman now, you can't change the subject and pretend that nothing happened. You kissed me and I want to know why, I'm not your kissing dummy anymore. " Jo finished bitterly.
Fran was flabbergasted by this outburst from her friend and tried to break away from Jo's gaze but the taller woman had a death grip on her hand, she just couldn't get away. " Jo I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you, it was just on impulse, it's not like we haven't kissed before. I'm really sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable, it won't happen again, ok? " The petite teacher was practically crying.
Jo felt bad for the way she had treated her friend who had only helped her in this difficult moment of her life. She let go of Fran's hand.
" I'm sorry little bit, I was out of line; I'm not at the best moment of my life. Please, forgive me." Jo looked apologetically at Fran.
" It's ok, I know you're upset, let's forget about it and eat. I'm starving!!! "
That last comment brought the first smile to Jo's face.
" What else is new? Some things never change I see."
Fran thought how beautiful her friend looked when she smiled, it was something she could easily get used to.
After their breakfast, the friends talked about each other and reacquainted themselves with their respective lives. Fran told Jo about the reasons she’d divorced Sam, and the tall woman thought that her cousin hadn't changed a bit. She remembered what she had told him and decided that maybe it was time to keep her word, then she preferred to forget about that… for the moment.
The funeral was a very emotional ordeal for Jo, and Fran stood by her every moment, even when Sam asked her to go outside to talk she refused. But Jo knew better and picked that moment to go to the rest room and left them alone.
" So, that's why you're leaving me? To be that dyke's tail again?"
Sam was visibly drunk and his reference to Jo caught Fran by surprise.
" What are you talking about? She lost her mother for Christ sake and she is my best friend. I won't leave her alone at this moment; this has nothing to do with ‘us’, it's just a coincidence." If Fran was affected by Sam's words she didn't show it. " This is not the place to make a scene Sam; please pay your respects to your cousin and go somewhere else." Fran pleaded.
" Ok, but we need to talk about this. I won't lose you to some dyke." Sam spat in disgust.
Jo was trying to pass unnoticed by the couple but failed. " Hey 'Cuz." Sam offered his hand to the approaching Jo.
" Hey Sam."
She showed no emotion. Fran was in the middle and ready for any eventuality when someone beckoned her and she reluctantly had to go.
" I wanted to tell you that I am really sorry for aunt Beth’s passing." Sam said.
" Thanks Sam."
Jo noticed her cousin’s inebriated state.
" And one more thing, keep your dyke ‘intentions’ away from my wife."
He looked at her defiantly and Jo felt the blood boil in her veins.
" She is not your wife anymore. Are you afraid that I might keep my word in doing your job?" She answered between clenched teeth.
" I am not afraid of any dyke. You can't give her what I can; you can't seduce her the way I can." Sam spoke, very sure of himself.
" I'm sorry but you couldn't keep her with you; care to explain that? You had her and you lost her, like everything else."
Jo was so mad she didn't notice that she had grabbed Sam's shirt by the neck, Fran appeared at that very moment and talked to her.
" Hey Jo, let him go please. It's not worth it, he's drunk."
Jo let go of him and pushed him through the door.
" Just give it a try, 'Cuz, I'm going to watch your every move until I see you fail. "
With that Sam was gone leaving behind a fuming Jo and a very confused Fran.
A week had passed since the funeral and the friends spend all their time off together. Every morning before work Fran cooked breakfast whilst Jo had her morning run then they ate together and Fran went to work at the school and Jo continued her web designs in the small office she had set up in her mother’s house. Not once had they mentioned the incident at the funeral with Sam or any other subject concerning their relationship. Sam had been busy, he’d sent flowers and gifts for Fran to get her attention, but the small woman didn’t show any interest at all.
On Wednesday, Jo decided to pick up Fran for lunch break; they very much liked a small pizza restaurant that was in the same street as Fran’s school.
“ Hey little bit are you hungry? ”
Jo was standing at the door of Fran’s classroom.
“ Hey stud, what a great surprise!!! Of course I’m hungry, what do you have in mind? “ The blonde teacher was all smiles to her friend.
“ I’ve ordered a large pizza, extra cheese, no anchovies down the street; are you game?” Jo asked but she knew the answer already.
“ That’s an unnecessary question, lead the way!!”
They entered the small restaurant, it was full of students from the nearby high school and seated themselves at the only table available.
“It was good idea to order before you picked me up, because this place tends to get busy at lunch break with all the students.”
Fran looked so happy, Jo couldn’t take her eyes off her.
“ What?” The blonde asked.
“ What, ‘what’? “ Jo said, playfully.
“ You’re looking at me funny.”
The baby blues entranced Fran.
“ I’m not!!” Jo laughed.
“ You are too, tell me, what is it?”
Fran threw a paper napkin at her friend.
“ I don’t know, maybe you look cute today, with all that smiling and all.”
Jo knew that she was entering uncharted waters with her friend but she couldn’t help it. Her love for Fran had grown with every day they’d spent together and she decided to try her chances. The small teacher blushed at the compliment, all of the sudden she felt a warm and fuzzy feeling inside her chest.
“ Well thank you stud, you’re not bad yourself.”
Fran didn’t know why she said that, but she felt better after seeing the look of surprise on Jo’s face.
“ Thank you little bit, let me go check on our pizza ok?”
A blushing Jo went in search of their pizza. She wasn’t prepared for all the emotions that the words from her petite friend could stir in her; she felt like she was a teenager again. “ Oh young love” she thought and smiled.
“Hey Fran!!” A smiling Jane called.
“Hey Jane, how are you?”
Fran was happy to see her young friend, since Jo had arrived they hadn’t had the time to talk again and she wanted to know how things were going between her and Beck. “Fine thank you, are you waiting for someone or can Beck and I share your table, this place is crazy today.” Jane asked; she was smiling like the cat that ate the canary.
“ I’m with a friend but you can sit with us, there’s plenty of room here for the two of you. I see you are very happy, things going well?” Fran asked.
Jane laughed out loud. “ Oh yes, Fran everything is very good. Let me get Becky, I’ll be right back.”
As Jane left in search of her friend, Jo arrived with her hands full of Pizza.” Your lunch is ready madam.”
" Well, thank you." Fran said, cheerfully.
" Let me get our drinks, I'll be right back."
Jo was about to leave when Fran called her back.
" Don't! Let me do that, it's only fair since you brought the pizza and all."
Fran stood up and was ready to go when Jo took her hand and led her back to her seat.
" No, little bit; this is my treat. I have decided that I'll be your slave for today."Jo was in a very playful mood.
" And why is that?" Asked an equally playful Fran.
Jo shrugged her shoulders. " Just for the sake of it. You have been so good to me."
She gave Fran an enchanting smile and left in search of their drinks.
Jane and Beck were behind the teacher, watching in awe the interaction between the two women.
" What do you think about that, love? "Asked Jane, nearly whispering in Beck's ear.
" And you dare to say that we have sexual tension between us. Those two are sizzling!" Jane placed her hand on Beck's mouth just in time, the teacher turned around to find Beck biting Jane's hand.
" Hello girls, are you having fun?" Fran was oblivious to the comments that had been made by the young couple. "C'mon have a seat, we only have an hour for lunch girls hurry up. " Fran added joyfully.
" Thank you, Mrs. Alcott. " Beck said.
"Please call me Fran, I'm not Mrs. Alcott anymore."
" So I see… " Was Beck's only response.
" At long last our drinks; I think we're ready to eat now."
Jo reappeared at that moment with a pitcher of Pepsi and two glasses with ice.
" Jo, let me introduce you to my friends, Jane and Beck; this is Jo An Marshall, my longtime best friend." Fran said proudly.
" It’s nice to meet you. " Jo smiled and seated herself next to the teacher.
" So you were living in Dallas, right? "Jane asked.
" Yes, I have my apartment there but I can work from anywhere I want. I've decided to stay a while around."
Jo decided that she liked the girls and if the conversation gave her the opportunity, she would test the waters with Fran.
" How do you like Dallas? I bet there's a lot of people with different lifestyles." Beck asked.
Jo knew exactly what was coming; her ‘gaydar’ went off as soon as she met the young couple. It was the perfect timing to see how comfortable Fran was with the subject.
" Yeah, it's completely different from this small town filled with narrow minded people; I've met all kinds of people and it's really cool to live in a place so big that no one cares what you do or how you live."
Jo put emphasis in the comment and watched Fran out of the corner of her eye.
" That's nice, I can't wait for us to get out of this little town and be free as well."
Beck sounded so excited, she finished her soda and went in search of more for her and Jane.
" So I take it that you two have talked about your future plans? " Fran looked at Jane, who was smiling.
" You have no idea Fran, it was wonderful, she said she loves me too. "
Fran laughed out loud and Jo thought she wanted to hear that sound forever.
" Did you tell her about UCLA? " Asked a concerned Fran.
" That's what caused all this, it's hilarious!!! There I was, fidgeting and nervous thinking that maybe this was the end of our friendship. Then I told her that I wanted to apply to UCLA because I needed a change of scenery and to learn to live all by myself." Jane laughed again. " She went ballistic, started screaming and crying that we were meant to be together; how could I think of leaving her and then all of the sudden she told me that she loved me. It was great. "
Jane was walking on clouds.
" How cool!! I'm so happy for you girls. I told you that she might feel the same; you just have to push a little. What happened to the guy she was dating?" Fran asked curiously. " They broke up, she told him that she's moving to UCLA and long distance relationships don't work well. She's applying to UCLA with me."
Jane was bursting with happiness. Jo watched the interaction between her friend and the younger girl, and she found it interesting how at ease Fran was with this topic.
" I'm so happy for you Jane."
Beck returned at that very moment. " Why do I have the feeling that the two of you were talking about me? "
She gave Jane another soda and a wink.
" Can you blame me? I'm so happy I think I'm going to explode! I love you so much, baby."
The looked at each other and for a moment everything ceased to exist, when the older couple noticed people staring at them, they awkwardly decided to cut the connection.
" Ahem, I think it's better if you save those looks for your private moments, people might not understand what's going on here."
Jo spoke for the first time since they’d touched the subject. Fran looked at her friend and smiled broadly, Jo winked at her.
" I wanted to thank you Mrs. Alcott…I mean Fran, because you had a lot to do with us getting together finally, I don't know what I'd do if she left without telling me first." Beck said seriously.
Fran took her hand and squeezed it, then smiled at them.
“ It’s nothing Beck, I’m just happy for both of you. You see Jane? There’s nothing to be feared between friends because real friendship can endure anything. “
Fran was talking seriously and Jo paid attention to every word. “ Maybe I should do the same.” Thought Jo as she finished her pizza. Beck was looking suspiciously at the ‘deep in thought’ look on Jo’s face and decided to try her luck, maybe she could help her girlfriend’s friend the same way she had helped them.
“ And what about you Jo? Do you have someone special in your life, someone waiting for you back in Dallas?”
Jo knew exactly what Beck was doing and decided to take the risk.
“ Well, I’ve always had someone special in my life but right now, no one is waiting for me with baited breath back there.”
The tall woman watched with interest the uncomfortable look on Fran’s face.
“ Oh, c’mon surely you should have left half of Dallas crying when you came here, you’re gorgeous; I bet women make a bee line just to get a smile from you.”
Beck teased her and Jo felt her face flush at the comment, Fran didn’t show any sign of rejection; she decided to let it pass.
“ Hey stop pulling my chain!!!” Jo said and laughed nervously.
Fran watched the interaction between them and thought about what Sam had said at the funeral. “ It has to be true then,” she thought, “but why has she never told me?” Fran felt betrayed by her friend, her face turned somber. Jane noticed and searched her friend’s eyes. The banter between Beck and Jo continued oblivious to the reaction from the young teacher.
“ I don’t know why but you look so familiar, it’s like I’ve met you before.” Beck told Jo.
“ I don’t think so this is my very first visit in about two years.” Jo said.
Beck kept quiet for a minute then she said.
“ Oh my God! I now remember where I had seen you!!! Jane, baby, she’s the webmaster at Xena Lover’s, the one that has all those really cute pictures on it. I’ve seen you in a couple of pictures from last year’s convention, they talked about the tall, dark and gorgeous for about six months in the chats and e-lists, every body wanted a piece of her. Now I remember, you’re her aren’t you? “ Beck sounded so excited about her discovery.
Jo felt her face turn bright red as Beck began to describe her, Fran was sitting with her mouth hanging open and Jane was as surprised as Fran was. Fran felt so uncomfortable by this turn of events; for some strange reason the idea of a lot of women lusting after her friend didn’t appeal to her. “ What is happening to me, she is young and single she could do anything she wants with anyone she want, why do I feel so betrayed?“
“ It wasn’t like that, but yes, that’s one of my websites I have three of them but there’s no big deal, it’s just a website.”
Jo tried to make it look like she hadn’t heard the other part of Beck’s comments.
“ Yeah but you are in some cool pictures with the stars of the show. Everybody was talking about how much you look like Xena, and who was the blonde girl that was with you in other pictures? You looked so cute together. Was she your girlfriend? ” Beck asked, she knew she was pushing the subject but it was too much fun looking at Fran’s face, “ I bet she’s jealous now, open your eyes Fran, you love her.” Jo was flabbergasted she didn’t want to be outed so openly in front of Fran at least not yet.” Now for some damage control.” She thought.
“ Ahem, she was. We broke up six months ago.”
Fran couldn’t believe what her ears had just heard, she wasn’t prepared for the pang of jealousy that enveloped her like a blanket, she had to get out of there now.
“ I think our time is up, I need to go; I have class in fifteen minutes.”
Fran stood on unsteady legs. Jo noticed that and offered her hand, only to be rejected by Fran. She felt hurt but tried to hide it. The group said their goodbyes and when Beck reached Jo she whispered.
“ Don’t worry, she’s just jealous, I know I’m younger than you but I have first hand knowledge of this, trust me. “
Jo smiled at the sincerity of the girl. She said good-bye to Jane and went to catch up with her favorite blonde.
“ Hey. ”
“ Hey. “ Answered the teacher.
“ Are you mad at me? “
Jo used her best pouting face. Fran couldn't help but smile. " She's so damn cute when she does that."
" Of course not, Stud. Why you'd ask? "
" Because I know you and something is bothering you."
Jo continued, her concern growing every minute; she’d never thought that Fran could reject her for being gay.
" I'm not mad at you Jo, it's just…I don't know I feel betrayed.” At the look of hurt on Jo's face she continued. “I feel disappointed because you never trusted me enough to tell me the truth about yourself. I always thought that we never hid things from each other and now I found out that there's maybe someone who knows you better than I. It's selfish as hell but that's how I feel."
Fran looked at Jo with unshed tears, they were near the school now.
" Listen little bit, I know we can't talk much now but know this, it wasn't a matter of trust; maybe more the necessity to remain silent. I had trouble coming to terms with myself; it took me a while. You know me very well, if someone doesn't ask’ why should I have to say something?" Jo tried to reassure her friend.
" And I never asked…" Fran couldn’t finish her words she was crying now.
Jo nodded. " Neither did mom or aunt Lily or anyone else so I just kept it to myself. " Jo wiped away the tears on Fran's face. " Cheer up little bit your kids are eagerly waiting for you. If you want, we can talk a bit more when you come by after work."
The tall woman smiled and Fran nodded.
"Thank you for taking me out for lunch." Said the blonde as she looked intently into the blue orbs of her best friend.
They stared at each other for a little longer than normal, both submerged in their own thoughts until the school bell rang and broke the spell.
Back at home Jo was on her computer chatting with a friend she’d met at the airport while she had been waiting for her flight from Dallas. They’d talked a lot at the airport and it turned out that they lived about fifteen minutes from each other here in Melbourne, and they were planning on getting together at a gay bar just outside the town. Jo had told her a little about Fran and her feelings for her, and she’d suggested that Jo took the lead and tried to win the petite blonde as her lover.
Red- So I take it that the girl isn't affected at all by your sexual orientation?
Jo- No she was pretty cool about it, what upsets her is the issue that I've never told her myself.
Red- interesting indeed, maybe she feels something for you too but she doesn't know it yet. What if we bring some competition? Maybe she needs a little push.
Jo- what are you talking about?
Red- Tell her that you have a date this weekend with a girl and watch her reaction, maybe the idea of losing you will help her open her eyes.
Jo- I'll think about it.
Red- don't think, act!!!!
Jo- I'll give it a try, she's coming over any minute now. I have to log off, wish me luck.
Red- Good luck my friend, see you soon (I hope)
Jo- J Bye
Fran had been deep in thought for the remainder of the afternoon. She was feeling confused by all the events of that day. She couldn't concentrate in her class, all she wanted was go back home and talk with her friend. " Is it possible that I've never noticed or asked Jo about her love life? We always talked about everything but when it comes to sex and love we always avoided those subjects, I wonder why it felt so awkward to talk with Jo about sharing part of herself with someone else? "
Jo prepared dinner that day and waited for Fran to arrive, she was convinced that she had to tell her blonde friend about her feelings for her, but she hadn't gathered the courage yet. When the pesky blonde knocked at the door Jo felt her heart begin to jump in unsteady rhythms. " Oh God, help me. Here goes nothing." Jo stood in front of the closed door and took a deep breath before opening it.
" Hi Stud. What's for dinner? "
The petite woman was always hungry. Jo smiled at the peculiar greeting from her friend.
" It's a surprise. "
Jo smiled at her with a different glint in her eyes, Fran couldn't place it but decided that she liked it.
" More surprises!! Gee thanks." Replied Fran enthusiastically.
" Sit, dinner is almost ready."
Jo busied herself in the kitchen for a while; she needed to calm the sudden nervousness that had invaded her.
" Do you want wine? " Jo asked from the kitchen. She felt like she was on a date.
" Yes thanks.”
Fran had busied herself selecting a couple of cd's from the cd player to listen to whilst they were eating. Jo gave Fran her wine and both became entranced by one another’s eyes once again, this time nothing broke the spell, " I swear I can look at those eyes for the rest of my life." Fran felt the connection as well but was rooted to the spot; her feet wouldn’t obey her. They spent they dinner at ease with each other. Jo was wondering why her usually chatty friend was so quiet today.
" Little bit, do you want to talk about it? I know something is bothering you." Jo offered shyly.
" Jo, are you happy? " Asked Fran.
" Excuse me?" Was Jo's reply
" I asked if you're happy." Fran repeated
" Why are you asking that?” Jo was surprised.
" Because I just thought that between us, things always had been one sided. I haven't been a good friend to you Jo. It hurts because you’ve always been there for me."
" To answer your question, yes I'm happy, not as happy as I’m supposed to be, but happy." Jo shrugged her shoulders as if to dismiss the subject.
" Do you have a girlfriend? " The question left Fran's mouth before she had time to think about it.
" Not right now, but I’ve had a few." Jo said honestly.
" Do you like it?"
Fran couldn't help herself she needed to know. Jo felt more confident with every question from Fran. She sat herself very close to the teacher, their shoulders brushed a little.
"What are you talking about? " Asked a confused Jo, they were looking at each other intently.
" Being with a woman I mean." Fran lowered her gaze from Jo's eyes as she asked.
Jo smiled at the blush covering the blonde features. " Yes I like it a lot but I know I would enjoy it more if I get to do it with someone I love."
" You know, it never felt right for me, I thought it was the right thing to do but for me it wasn't good at all." Fran spoke sadly.
Jo's heart was pounding so hard in her chest she was afraid Fran could hear it.
" When the right person comes you will feel different."
Jo felt so sad for her friend, all she wanted to do was take her in her arms and love her the way she’d always dreamt about. Fran felt so near to Jo, that she instinctively placed her head on Jo's chest and sighed at the feeling of protection radiating from this wonderful woman. Fran was very confused, she didn't know what to do, but she wanted to stay in the tall woman arms; it felt so right. They stayed like that for nearly an hour. Neither spoke another word, when night came and Jo had to stand up to put the lights on, Fran decided to go home. She had a lot to think about, she also had to tell her friend about her last date with her ex-husband the next day. The lawyer had suggested that they spend some time together to have another chance at reconciliation. Fran needed to tell Jo about this. " No more secrets between us." She thought.
" Jo I think it's better if I go home now." Fran looked everywhere but at Jo.
" Ok little bit, maybe tomorrow we can rent a movie and eat popcorn what do you say?"
" Tomorrow I have to go out with Sam." Fran said in a low tone.
Jo froze up. " This can't be happening again"
" Fran, are you going back with him?"
Jo feared the answer but she needed to know.
" I don't think so, he’s been so cute these past weeks sending flowers and notes with messages, but I know he is the same; he won't change and I don't think I can be with him again."
"But you're going out with him." Jo stated.
" Only to make him sign the papers."
" Good luck then."
Jo was scared as hell but tried to hide her fears.
" Jo are you mad at me?"
Fran noticed the tense reaction the woman had at the mention of her cousin.
" No, he is still your husband; you should try to solve your problems."
The dark haired woman turned her back to the teacher. Fran walked behind her friend and put her hand on her back feeling the tense muscles there.
" Good night, Jo."
Fran dropped her hand and just before she turned around, Jo took her in her arms and locked eyes with her.
" No matter what happens tomorrow I want you to remember this."
Jo lowered her head until her lips brushed those of her best friend, she looked at her so closely and then closed her eyes and kissed her deeply. Fran was surprised beyond words, the feelings she was having at that moment were all a blur, but deep inside she knew that this is what she had been dreaming about. Jo let her tongue explore the other woman's warm cave, the kiss began slow but was growing with intensity as the small woman joined the taller one in her explorations. Their hands began roaming each other as well and Jo was in heaven. When air became crucial the kiss ended and the friends let go of each other reluctantly.
Jo was the first to talk. " I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that."
She was afraid that she might lose Fran's friendship over this desperate reaction.
" No, don't be sorry. I have to go Jo; I need to think."
Fran didn't look at her friend, she kept walking toward the door.
" Are you mad at me Fran?"
Jo needed to know. Fran turned around and smiled shyly.
" Definitively no, I just enjoyed this kiss a little too much. You're still the best kisser I know. I'm confused as hell Jo, I need to think things over."
Without another word the petite woman walked out of the house leaving behind a smiling Jo. " Maybe what I need to do is confuse you a little more before you go out with my cousin, the loser."
Jo was in a happy mood that night and after a shower she called Jay to ask him out the next day.
The next morning Jo was on Fran's doorstep first thing in the morning, she had a red rose in one hand and her baseball cap in the other.
" Good morning, little bit."
Jo smiled seductively at Fran and the petite teacher wondered if she was still asleep. "Good morning Stud, how are you today?"
Fran opened the screen door to let in the reason for her insomnia the night before.
" I'm fine thank you. How are you?"
Jo was so happy, yet at the same time she still feared that something might happen before she had the chance to prove her love for Fran.
" I'm fine thank you."
They looked briefly at each other and Jo used her most seducing smile on Fran, today she was out to drive this woman crazy with want. She knew very well how to seduce a woman and she was ready to battle for Fran's love. " No more miss nice with you Sam, I told you I'll be back to do the job right for you." Jo was so deep in her thoughts she didn't hear what Fran was saying.
" Jo are you here?"
" Yes, sorry. What did you say?"
" I asked you if we could get together and talk after I see Sam."
" Yes of course, I'll be right at home. I'm going out in the afternoon with a friend from the chat but I'll be here by seven, just call me ok?"
" You're going out with who?" Asked Fran.
"With Red, she is from the chat, we met at the airport. Why?" Asked Jo nonchalantly
" Nothing I’m just curious."
Fran tried to hide her jealously but Jo noticed right away.
" Oh ok, see you at breakfast. This is for you, have a nice day."
Jo kissed the rose and gave it to a surprised Fran, then when she was near the door she turned around and walked towards Fran again. She kissed her briefly and turned around running, leaving behind a very surprised Fran once again. Fran still felt her lips tingling from the kiss. She stood in the door looking at the retreating form of Jo who was starting her morning run.
“ How can I cook breakfast in the state this woman left me? And she’s coming back to eat with me, I have to hurry.” Fran felt the butterflies in her stomach at the thought of her tall friend eating breakfast with her. “ I’m losing my mind. “
Half an hour later Fran had breakfast ready and she was almost dressed to go to work when she heard the knock on the front door.
“ Hey little bit, what’s for breakfast.” Jo said mocking Fran’s greeting from the night before. Her hair was still wet from her shower after her run; Fran could smell the cologne Jo used during the day.
“ Hey Stud, get in here, it’s ready, I just need to win the fight I’m having with the button on this blouse and I’ll be ready to eat with you.”
Fran continued trying to close the button on the back of her blouse.
“ Let me see if I can help you, little bit.”
Jo reached for the back of Fran’s neck and moved the hair aside, at the sight of Fran’s inviting neck Jo’s mouth got suddenly dry. She loved the golden little hairs the petite woman had there and longed to touch them. Fran felt the breath of the taller woman on her neck and silently hoped for Jo to kiss her there. With trembling fingers Jo closed the button and at the last minute her resistance shattered, she showered the back of Fran’s neck with small kisses her arms encircled the petite form of the teacher. Fran felt her legs tremble at the wonderful sensations the taller woman was stirring in her.
Jo was lost in the scent that was all Fran, her arms enclosed the small woman, they couldn’t be any closer. Fran relished the moment and knew at that very moment that this was where she belonged; they belonged together. Fran turned around in Jo’s arms and looked into beautiful blue eyes darkened with desire, her body trembled and she could feel the wetness gathering in her underwear. They looked at each other; Fran started the kiss this time, more passionate than the night before. Jo tried to keep her hands still for fear of scaring the blonde teacher but they had a mind of their own and began kneading the firm globes of Fran’s behind.
The teacher let out a moan at the feel of Jo’s hands on her and became bolder in her kisses until the need for air was too much. They were breathing hard, lips swollen and with half closed lids they looked at each other.
“ You’re going to be late little bit, let’s eat before I change my mind and kidnap you for the day.”
Jo said in a husky tone, she couldn’t deny she was dying to make love to the woman in front of her. But she knew it was too much too soon, she didn't know what was going on inside the teacher's head.
Fran nodded she couldn't trust her voice. They were still in each other arms.
" I love you Fran, I always have this is something that matters a lot to me. I know you're confused about all this but I want you to know that Sam wants you back and if you let me, I won't step aside this time. I want to court you if that's ok with you."
Jo knew she was babbling but she felt so nervous. She’d never talked like that to any woman; she had bared her heart in front of Fran.
" Jo, I don't know what to think right now all I can say is that you make me feel things I've never felt before. But I need to think about all this ok? Give me some time please? " Fran was so at ease in Jo's arms and talking to her was easier too, even if it was a delicate matter like the one at hand. They were best friends above all.
" Ok little bit, you got a deal but does that mean I got permission to court you?" Jo smiled at Fran.
" You're such a goofball Jo!!! "
Fran relaxed and laughed at the goofy eyes Jo was making at her.
" Maybe I am, but you haven't answered my question yet."
Jo let go of Fran and walked her to the door. Fran looked at her seriously and said.
" Yes you can." A brief kiss." Now I have to go to work, we just missed breakfast you know? I'll see you tonight."
" Are you still going out with Sam? "
" Yes I have to, but after that I want to see you and to hear all about that Red you're meeting today."
Jo smiled when she detected a little jealously in Fran's voice.
" Deal, baby. See you tonight."
Jo left Fran in front of her car surprised at the new term of endearment she just used.
Fran was eating with Sam in a fancy restaurant, he was sweet-talking her but the teacher only could think of her dark haired friend. He noticed his wife’s daydreaming state and asked about it.
" What's on your mind Fran? "
" Oh nothing, I'm just tired. " Fran tried to dismiss the subject.
" Sam, we need to talk about the divorce…" Sam interrupted her. " I want you back with me. Fran we can make it work, I love you."
Fran knew that something inside her had changed. There was no going back.
" No Sam we can't do that, it's over. I need you to sign the papers."
" I won't sign anything if you don't want to be with me. I'm not letting you be free to be with someone else."
In the middle of the discussion a little boy arrived with a single red rose and gave it to Fran with a note that said ' I'm not going to step aside this time, I love you Baby'
Sam was pissed and Fran didn't care she just left him there arguing alone.
Back at the house Jo was pacing in the dark living room until she heard Fran's car.
" She's back, she has the rose that means points for me. Woohoo I think I'm going to win this time 'Cuz "
Fran looked at Jo's house and saw all the lights were off. She thought that the tall woman had gone to sleep, so she entered her own house disappointed for not having the chance to see Jo again that night.
After a shower Fran was ready for bed, she closed all the doors and hopped into her bed. She heard a noise, a very particular one that she hadn't heard in a long time. She ran to the window and there was Jo clinging from the roof like when they were kids and got inside Fran's bedroom late at night to talk without her parents knowing it.
" Are you crazy?? What are you doing up there! Get in here now, you're gong to get yourself killed." Fran was frantic.
Jo only smiled and said. " So you do care about me."
" Of course I care, I more than care about you…I love you Jo. Tonight I discovered that I've always loved you, I was just being blind; stupid. Please forgive my stupidity. Can you? "
Fran hugged the taller woman fiercely. Jo was speechless, she’d just heard the words she’d longed so much to hear. No verbal comment was made by the dark haired beauty; she acted on instinct instead. Jo look deeply into the dark green orbs of her soul mate, the woman she had loved all her life. They stared at each other until Jo lowered her mouth to the wanting lips of Fran who welcomed her eagerly. Their kisses began slow and soft, and then grew in intensity with each passing moment. Jo's hands lost themselves under the thin shirt that Fran used to sleep in, at the contact with fair skin Jo moaned. She wanted to feel all she could of the angel she had in her arms. Fran gave up all rational thought and surrendered to the woman who was the keeper of her heart. She wanted so much to please her both emotionally and physically; her kisses were driving her mad.
" Jo, I love you so much. Why couldn't I see it before? Kiss me, I need to feel this connection with you."
Jo took her in her arms and walked to the bed with her precious cargo, she lowered Fran onto the bed and looked at her from under half closed lids silently asking for permission to join her there. Fran responded, losing her hands in dark locks and bringing the face she loved to her own,
" I love you Jo, I need you, make love to me. I want you so much."
Jo lowered herself until she was completely over the smaller woman and moaned when Fran spread her legs to accommodate Jo better near their needs. Fran's knee brushed Jo between her legs. The teacher understood the needs in her companion and decided to take care of them. She let her hands wander over the body that lay over hers until she found Jo's t-shirt. Finding it annoying to keep it there, she pulled it out of Jo’s sweatpants and threw it in the floor. Jo was surprised but happy at the boldness of her small friend. They continued their exploration until they were both naked and grinding against each other in an ancient rhythm. The panting and the moaning was continuous now and their hands were everywhere, Jo couldn't wait anymore and reached the center of Fran's need, she heard the woman moan when skilled fingers brushed fair curls and began the search for her ultimate goal, finding it warm and wet as she spread the delicate folds that kept Fran's clit hidden/ As her fingers began stroking the bundle of nerves she felt Fran's back arch in response to the sweet torment Jo was giving her.
" Do you like this, love? Me touching you so intimately, making you feel loved and desired? Talk to me baby tell me what makes you feel good."
Fran couldn't form the words she wanted, she just laid on the bed feeling so overwhelmed by the touch of this wonderful woman. She managed to tell Jo what she needed to hear.
" Oh …Jo this is so good I've never felt anything like this before, more, I need more. Take me Jo, I'm yours."
With that Jo felt her confidence take over and decided to give this woman the ultimate pleasure. Just for a moment she stopped her movements; she kissed her way down Fran's body until her face was inches away from the beautiful sight of Fran's womanhood. She smelled the scent that was proof of her lover’s need and then lost herself between the woman's legs. Fran was in heaven, she’d never felt better than at this very moment. She could only feel the strokes Jo was giving her with her tongue, she was near the edge and let her partner know her needs.
" Oh Jo I'm so close, please don't stop It feels so good, oh Jo. Oh I'm coming, love, just for you ah!"
Fran wasn't able to speak any further words as Jo kept sucking greedily at her clit until she begged her to stop; only then did Jo stop, she went to the arms of her new lover.
" That was great. I love you so much Fran."
Jo was overwhelmed, she never thought that this moment could happen yet here she was naked and in bed with the woman she loved.
" Oh… you killed me love. That was great. I love you Jo; you are my true and only love." Tears were in the blonde's eyes and Jo smiled at her with loving eyes.
" You taste great. I think I'll keep you."
The teacher blushed at the comment and then thought of something to equal her lover's banter.
" Let's wait and see how it goes when I get to taste you, love. I think you won't be able to take me out of there ever again."
She laughed at Jo’s red face, she knew very well what she wanted to do to the woman in her arms.
" I'm going to lick all of you Jo Ann Marshall and you know I intend to keep my word."
" I love you so much baby, the only thing I can say, is that it was worth the wait. Now you're mine forever." She kissed the blonde head.