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Lenora's Fiction Archive

Kayla

The familar tingle faded and they found themselves on the beach, looking up at a familiar beachouse.

*Aggie... what do I look like? See my aura, not who I really am -- Am I myself this leap?*

Agnes looked at Al, shutting one eye so she could see just the aura . . . *Looks like!* she giggled.

He looked at her and smiled. *You're you, too... and why are you blushing?*

*Why do you think, teen idol boy?*

*DON'T start! I can't help what I look like... Hey, isn't that the Monkees' Pad?*

She looked and let out an excited squeal. "It is! Oh, I can't wait to see the guys again!"

Al suddenly frowned. "Hang on, beautiful... it looks.. larger. Like there's at least four or five new rooms... These may not be the Monkees we know."

Agnes looked again. "You're right . . . looks like they've got a new addition up there."

They suddenly heard a rhythmic tapping and their attention was drawn to the boardwalk next to the beachouse.

A man was approaching them, using a white cane to show himself the way. He was obviously blind. It was too far away for them to see his face... but as he neared the Leapers got a huge shock!

"Peter?" Agnes whispered.

He stopped in his tracks, tilting his head toward the sound of her voice. "Yes," he said clearly. "Who's there?"

Agnes gulped and for once, couldn't think of a single thing to say.

Peter reached a hand toward them. "I heard someone speak... please, who's there?"

Agnes could only manage to mumble, "o-o-o-o-o boy . . . "

"My name's Al.. this is my best friend Agnes. and you are..."

"Peter Tork," he said, reaching to shake their hands.

As Agnes took it, the imprint of the wedding ring he wore pushed into her palm. *Peter . . . married . . . and BLIND!! We're not in Kansas anymore . . . * Agnes thought as she tried to stop from trembling.

*Tell me about it...*

Peter frowned. "You're shaking, Agnes... are you cold? My house is right here... if you'd like to come in and warm up."

*Warming is furthest from my mind . . . but . . . well, we oughta find out just what we've landed in.* she told Al.

Al smiled. "We'd love to. Lead the way."

Peter smiled and turned, using the cane to guide himself inerrantly over the sand to the stairs leading to the verandah.

*Al . . . did you notice his EYES? He has no pupils . . . *

*I wonder what happened? It's not a birth defect... there are small scars at the corner of each eye...*

*An accident maybe?*

*Must have been SOME accident...*

By now they had reached the doorway into the Pad. The living room looked just the same as always -- if you ignored the playpen in the corner...

"Valerie?" Peter called. "Are you here?"

*Valerie! From . . . One Man Shy!* Agnes suddenly recalled the one episode where Peter actually got the girl . . . and kept her.

Sure enough, it was Valerie Cartwright who came around the corner... carrying twin babies in her arms! "Over here... and your son needs his father!"

Agnes had to work hard to keep her jaw from falling all the way to China. Twins!

Peter smiled. He reached out and she lay one of the babies in his arms. "Hey, Robert..." he cooed to the child.

Peter looked up. "Valerie, this is Agnes and Al. They were beachcombing and I told them they could come in and warm up."

"Welcome," Valerie said. She bounced the other baby. "Wish I could stay, but Amy here has apparently decided to give Mommy a little present. See you in a bit."

She turned and walked into the downstairs bedroom.

Peter lay the baby he held in the playpen and stood, feeling for the furniture as he moved past the pair. "Please sit down... the others will want to meet you."

*Oh . . . boy . . . I dunno if I can take any more shocks like this!* Agnes couldn't keep her eyes off of those deep, sightless chocolate brown eyes . . . it freaked her out but those eyes had some eerie inner beauty she couldn't ignore.

"MICKY!" Peter called. "DAVY! WE'VE GOT COMPANY!"

Agnes put a hand to her ear *Oh, what a mouth!*

Two doors opened up stairs. Micky and Davy emerged -- to all intents and purposes, they seemed normal!

"Yeah, Pete?" Micky called.

"Company!" Peter said, jerking his head toward the couch.

Micky came down the stairs. He smiled the familiar Micky-grin at Agnes and held out his left hand. "Nice to meet you... eh..."

She took his hand, "Agnes," and she felt a wedding ring on his hand too. *Both of them . . . man . . . *

Al was grinning at Davy. *No wedding ring on the shrimp, but wait'll you see what he's READING!*

*Something more advanced than Dr Ruth's Guide to Love?*

And he was next to her, holding out his hand, cradling the open book to his chest so he wouldn't lose his place. "Cha'med, I'm sure."

She grinned, shaking his hand, and then raised an eyebrow as she noticed the book's title, "Anatomy of the Bovine."

"You're in school?" Al asked nonchalantly.

"Sophomore at UCLA," Davy beamed. "Major in veterinary medicine."

"And I see you're up to cows in the curriculuum. That's gotta be interesting!" Agnes giggled as she remembered the one anatomy class she'd taken . . . at least, until they got to cows and she had to drop, before she lost her lunch one too many times. She still couldn't stand even the sight of milk.

"Yeah, we are. And it's interesting..." Davy's eyes were glittering with happiness.

"Then you've got a stronger stomach than me! One anatomy class and I can't even look at milk without getting nausious." She grinned and winked at him.

Davy laughed. Hhe checked his watch. "Ey Micky... should't Kay be ome by now?"

"Yeah... wonder what's keeping them?"

"Kay?" Al asked.

Micky smiled. "My wife. She and my daughter went shopping and --"

The front door burst open and a two-year-old girl came barreling in. "DADDY!!!!!!" she screamed, launching hersel at Micky.

*Certainly inherited Micky's energy, eh Al?*

Al grinned. *And his curls... look at that raven mop!*

Then his eyes widened. *Raven... hey his wife's got black hair.*

*So she's got Mom's hair color and Dad's frizzy fuzzy fro . . . so?*

Then she saw Kay . . .

Five foot ten, struggling under the bags of groceries, thick raven waves parted on the right side and spilling past her shoulders...

"Hey, ain't nobody gonna gimme a hand here?" the soft soprano was filled with fury.

Agnes, somewhat unnerved by the whole situation, instinctively reached for the grocery bags . . . forgetting that she was about three feet away from Kay . . .

*SSST! Beautiful, no!*

But it was too late. Elastic arms stretched out and grabbed a pair of grocery bags . . . and then four jaws dropped.

"How'd you DO that?" Kay gasped, huge chocolate eyes staring at Agnes, rosebud mouth open in astonishment.

"Uh, oh . . . um . . . well, that's kinda hard to explain . . . " *HELP!*

But Al was staring open mouthed at Kayla. *Beautiful... do you know who that IS?* he gasped.

*Al . . . not now . . . I gotta explain away what I just did!*

*NO you've gotta pay ATTENTION! LOOK AT HER!*

Agnes forced herself to look . . . and then she realized. They'd met Micky, Davy and Peter . . . but not Mike . . . Michael . . .

Agnes tried to change the subject. She walked over to the kitchen table and set down the groceries, then offered her hand to Kay. "Um, I'm Agnes . . . and you are?"

"Kayla... Well, Michaela, really.."

Al closed his eyes and swallowed VERY hard.

*Michaela!?!?!? Oh boy . . . I'm gonna faint . . . *

*Don't you DARE!*

Agnes sent him a mental wedgie. *I'll dare if I want to!*

And he turned four shades of red....

Kayla looked at Agnes, cocking a delicate black eyebrow. "Whyare you staring at me?"

She shook her head to clear it. "Oh . . . just noticing what a terrific hair-style you have! If my hair were a little longer, I'd try wearing my hair that way." *Did that sound totally dumb?* Agnes worried.

*Totally.*

Kayla grinned the familiar Nesmith grin. "Yours fits your face."

*Darn, I'm sounding like an idiot now* She grinned at Kayla. "Thanks . . . "

"You know... you react like I'm someone you know."

Agnes' eyes widened. "Really?"

"Really. You react to me like I should be a dear friend of yours... but like I'm ... different."

Al and Agnes exchanged stunned looks, then Davy said, "Kay's very perceptive."

*Seems like . . . I wonder if she knows me in this dimension?*

*Ask her and see.* Al smiled at her... and that was her undoing.

Her jaw dropped and she couldn't take her eyes off of Al . . . and she didn't notice the weird looks everyone was giving her.

"Agnes?" Kayla leaned forward and lay a gentle hand on Agnes' arm... and Anges turned to look at her... then at the hand that held her arm. The RIGHT hand...

And the ring finger that didn't bend all the way...

She suppressed a gasp. *Al . . . LOOK at her finger!*

*Omi***.... that IS Mike!* Al gasped aloud.

"Agnes?" Kayla repeated, the soft soprano filled with concern.

She snapped out of it and looked up into Kayla's eyes, "Sorry. I kinda . . . got lost in thought for a sec there."

"Care to share them?"

"Nothing special . . . kinda forgot already." she giggled nervously, "I have bad short-term memory!"

Kayla's eyes flicked to Micky. Then she whispered, "Agnes... you... you knew Mike, didn't you?

Agnes' jaw dropped. "Yeah . . . well, sorta . . . "

Kayla hung her head. The soprano grew even softer. "Then... you need to know..."

"Kayla, are you sure?" Micky asked.

Kayla looked up, eyes swimming with tears. "She looks familiar, Michael. She deserves to know if she knew him."

*Seems like she DID know me here!*

Kayla met Agnes's eyes. "Were you and Mike... friends?"

"Um . . . you could say that . . . but it wasn't here . . I don't know how to describe it . . . "

"Agnes... Mike is no longer..." Kayla paused, searching for the words.

"What happened?" Agnes whispered.

"What... EXACTLY... do you want to know?" Kayla asked.

"I dunno. . . I'm so confused . . . I feel like a fish outta water right now."

Kayla drew Agnes into a hug, stroking the curls. "Take a deep breath.. calm down... and talk to me. I can't tell you what you need to know unless you tell me what you want to know."

Agnes did as she said. They sat side-by-side on the couch. "What happened to Mike?"

"Mike... is here, Agnes. But he's... also... dead."

"How?" she breathed.

Kayla licked her lips. "Mike... was.... well..." she grinned lopsidedly. "He had a date that went bad."

"How bad?" Agnes asked.

"BAD," Kayla repeated.

"What happened on that date??" Agnes whispered.

"Well, she turned out to be a scientist with a real hatred for men," Micky said.

"Uh, oh." Agnes moaned.

Kayla nodded. "So she ... well, she... killed Mike."

"Oh, boy!" Agnes closed her eyes. *Why can't we have calm, quiet leaps? My heart can't take all these shocks!*

"You okay?" Micky asked. "You want to hear the rest of the story or wait a little bit?"

Agnes looked up at Micky and gave him a tiny, wavering smile, "Might as well hear it all. Then I can faint and get my rest all at once."

Kayla took a deep breath. "Agnes, she killed Mike -- by turning him into ME. I used to BE Mike Nesmith."

Agnes, true to her words, toppled over in a dead faint.

Micky hmphed. "And we didn't even GET to the part about Peter...."

Kayla sat there, rubbing Agnes's cheek. "Come on..." Then her fingers sank INTO the cheek as Agnes lost cohesion. "What the h***..."

Al stepped forward, distracting her. "What ABOUT Peter?"

Just then Agnes moaned . . . and Kayla's finger bounced off her cheek as she regained cohesion.

"Oh, my head. Where am I? What happened?"

*You ready for more shocks, beautiful?*

*No but bring them on anyway. Get all the heart-stoppers over with*

"Tell us about Peter." Al said.

Peter came around to face them. "I was caught in a collapsing building in a tornado," he said. "My pupils were completely destroyed by glass and shrapnel. I'll never see again."

Agnes gasped, but thankfully didn't faint again.

"But that's okay..." Peter said quickly. "I see so much more now than I could with my sight."

She managed a wan grin. *I'm still conscious - good sign huh?*

*So far...*

*This dimension is definitly different from the one we were in before . . . or else a lot has happened since the point in time where we were before. And I guess they don't have powers, but the way they reacted to mine.*

*Guess not, beautiful...*

"So..." Peter asked suddnely, "Where are you staying?"

"Uh, nowhere . . . " Agnes figured that if they'd landed right by the beachhouse, maybe they were meant to stay there.

"We've got plenty of room," Kayla said suddenly, looking at Peter as if HE were the leader.

"Yeah, and they're more than welcome..." Davy put in.

Peter nodded. "It's settled. You'll stay here till you can get on your feet."

Agnes grinned, "Thanks so much. We won't stay any longer than we have to." *I hope! We gotta get away and alone for a minute to check the handlink.*

Al suddenly cleared his throat. "Let's discuss it on the beach, okay, beau --- Aggie?"

"Sure, Al."

He held out his hand and she took it, rising from beside him and following him out the door. Quite without thinking about it, he released her hand and draped an arm around her shoulders.

*Hey... why'd you stiffen up?*

*Oh . . . sorry. I guess I'm still not used to your . . . new looks*

He looked askance at her. *Are we gonna start THAT again? Come on, beautiful... you act like you're fallin' for me or somethin'! It's still ME here...*

*You looking just so . . . * She tried to stop the one word that really came to mind from coming out but failed, *yummy.*

He stopped dead in his tracks. He dropped his arm and whirled to face her. *WHAT????*

*I can't help it! I'm a young, single woman! I can't help my hormones! You're causing them to go ga-ga, and there's nothing I can do to stop them!!*

His green eyes widened and his jaw unhinged slightly. He moved to the edge of the ocean and knelt, looking at his reflection.

His eyes slid closed and his head drooped, shaking from side to side.*Agnes... you're my best friend... I hate that something I can't help is doing this to you.*

*It's not that it's bad . . . it's just hard . . . hard resisting . . . * she knelt beside him in the sand, feeling the cool grains losing their daytime heat . . . and digging up a smooth shell as she fidgeted.

He turned to face her, curious. *Resisting... what?*

She started to reply, but just gave in and planted a quick kiss on his cheek.

He sat there, a hand moving to the spot automatically. His eyes widened. *Beautiful.... why did you do that?*

*Couldn't resist!* she gave him a tiny smile and sat back, leaning on her hands and basking in the twilight coolness.

*Couldn't....* Al stared at her, incredulous.

*Hey -- you're a man. You don't know how insistent Estrogen can be! Worse than a mother-in-law!* She giggled.

He shook his head. *I've been MARRIED four times. I think I KNOW how insistent it can be! It's just...* and his mental voice suddenly soudned very small. *You're my best friend, for pete's sake...*

*And you're still my friend . . . just . . . well, it's hard fighting hormones!* She sighed and dug around for shells to keep from looking directly at him.

He sighed too, pulling the handlink from the pocket of his shorts and punching in instructions. *Well... according to this, Tina ... CHRIStina that is... will be ...* His eyes widened and filled with horror.

Agnes looked up and saw the terror in his eyes. "What?" she whispered.

Green eyes met her blue ones, and the voice was softer still. *Tina's gonna be killed in the next three days...*

*Good thing we're staying then . . . oh, boy . . . does Ziggy know how?*

Al looked, shook the handlink and struck it making it yell in protest. *Her adopted grandfather gives her a music box... and there's a robbery... I don't see the connection.... but anyhow in the robbery Tina is shot and killed.*

*Oh no! Well, then we're gonna be Tina's shadows for a few days! Oh, boy. Get a good night's sleep tonite!* Aggie giggled, remembering how energetic the kid had been when she ran in -- she certainly had Micky's energy.

*So...* Al asked, sliding the handlink back into his pocket and standing up, brushing sand from his bare knees and calves, *you ready to go accept their offer of a place to crash?*

*Ready if you are!* Agnes stood up and held up a perfect pink shell. *I think I'll see if they have a drill -- I'd like to make this into a tiny necklace for Tina -- it would be perfect for her.*

The lethal smile appeared. *She'd love it.* He held out a hand in silent invitation.

She took the hand and they walked back up to the beachhouse.

The announcement that they were staying made the Monkees and Valerie and kid cheer. "Follow me," Davy said. He led the way upstairs and opened a door.

"This will be your room," he said.

The bedroom was fully furnished... with one queen sized bed.

Agnes' jaw dropped. *Oh no!*

Al swallowed hard. "Uhm... is there a couch or something..."

Micky giggled his distinctive giggle and shook his head, curls flying. "Nope."

Al looked at Aggie. *How are we gonna do THIS?*

Aggie fidgited with the shell she still held. *Um . . . it's a big bed . . . we don't have to cuddle ya know . . . we can sleep at opposite ends . . . I hope.*

Outwardly she sighed. "Okay . . . um . . . you guys have a small hand-drill and some hemp or string? I think this would make a lovely necklace for Tina -- the colouring suits her well." Aggie held up the shell and Micky grinned.

"Sure thing Aggie. Come on downstairs -- I'll show you my shop!"

Al walked into the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed. He sighed. This was rich, this was... the two of them... being forced to share a room... a BED....

He looked at his reflection and groaned. And THAT didn't help matters at ALL!

Meanwhile Micky was showing Aggie his small shop in the basement of the pad. He had everything there!

"Here's the hand drill . . .what size bit do you think?" he opened a cabinet full of hand tools.

Before she could answer, a flood of emotion from Al hit her. He had forgotten they were linked.

*Woah, Al! You okay pal?*

The emotional tide cut off abruptly as his shields raised. *Fine.*

*Didn't feel like it.* She looked over the drill bits Micky held out and chose a fairly small one. "This should work."

*Sorry, beautiful...just realised something.*

He grinned, "And Peter's got plenty of string. He's always making necklaces."

*Oh?* she thought as Micky held the shell and she started drilling.

*This ... attraction... may prove to be a problem.* And the link disengaged abruptly.

*Oh boy.* she thought, then forced her mind back on her work -- if she wasn't careful the drill bit could slip and hurt her!

After the hole was drilled, she heard a rhythmic tapping and down the stairs came Peter with several long pieces of string in his hands. "Thought you might need some." he said and handed her the strings. "I don't know what colour you needed but here's a few to choose from."

Agnes looked over the strings. "You know, the coral, the pink, and the grey all go . . . I think I'll make a braided necklace from them . . . thanks Peter!"

He smiled. "No problem." Then he turned toward Micky and said something Agnes didn't catch. She was too struck by the realisation that he'd been blind a VERY long time --- he no longer MOVED like a blind man!

*Oh . . . BOY*

She handed back the strings. *What?* came the alarmed cry. *Are you all right, beautiful?*

*Oh . . . I'm okay . . . just realizing just how long Peter's been blind . . . *

*Nearly three years, from what Kay just told me... this is 1970 again.*

*Wow . . . unbelievable. I'm gonna have to get used to shocks like this if that's what we're gonna run into every leap!*

She walked upstairs and sat in the bay window, sliding the shell on the coral string and then slowly braiding the three together. Peter found her there as she finished braiding.

"How's it going, Agnes?" he asked.

She smiled, "Good. I just need findings . . . um, end caps and a clasp. I can't believe how perfect this shell is!"

He held out a hand. "Let me see."

She handed the necklace to him. "Be careful - the ends are kinda loose."

He found them and held them tight with one hand, resting the shell on his wrist. Fingers made sensitive from years of blindness slid over the shell, and his face lit up. "Oh, Tina will love this."

"I think so. I wish you could see the colour . . . it's like a pink and coral marble . . . with little hints of grey . . . oh, it's so beautiful!"

Peter nodded. "Yes... it is. Thank you, Agnes... I CAN see it now."

And her jaw dropped as she realized . . . she'd given him a picturesque description without thinking.

He handed her the necklace and said, "I think I have some spare end caps and a clasp in my beadwork box."

"Oh, that would be terrific. Thanks Peter."

"No problem," he smiled, walking effortlessly through the living room and pulling a large wooden box from under the TV set. He moved to the couch and sat down, balancing the box on his lap and opening it.

Beads of every colour and size were neatly arranged in compartments. String and bits of metal were in two others. Peter slid his hand inside and moved to touch the metal bits. He felt for a second, then his face lit up with a grin as he reached two matching end caps and a clasp from the box. "Here... this one I think will work best."

Agnes took the end caps, which had celtic designs engraved on them. "Perfect." She fitted the endcaps on and Peter handed her his plyers, which she used to secure the clasps with. She handed back the plyers. "You certainly have quite a bead collection there."

He chuckled. "It's something to keep my hands occupied while they watch TV."

She giggled, then sadness filled her eyes as she remembered her growing collection of elaboratly designed beaded pins she'd left back at the Project who knew how long ago. "Yeah, I love beading myself. Of course, I usually sew large beaded pins, one bead at a time on felt."

Peter smiled. "I make love beads." He held up a rainbow strand, each colour repeating in a beautiful arrangement. "For you."

"Oh, Peter . . . thank you!" She pulled him to her in a hug.

He smiled. "Just tell me one thing... is that the rainbow one or the green one?"

"The rainbow one . . . and what a rainbow it is!"

The smile widened. "It took me five nights to get that arrangement right. Hope you like it." He closed the box and replaced it under the TV set.

"Oh, Peter -- I love it!" She decided she was going to find a shell for him in the morning as a thank you as she slid the beads over her head.

"Good." He rose to his feet. "I need to get started -- my turn to cook supper."

Agnes remembered how poor a cook the Peter she'd known in one dimension was and worried that it held true for this dimension. "Oh? What's on the menu for tonight?"

"Hot dogs and poato chips... Tina's favourite. Why?"

Agnes grinned. "Oh, just curious."

After supper, the leapers got to watch Peter's beading firsthand. Micky and Kayla watched TV after putting Tina and the twins to bed. Valerie tackled her typing for the night, and Davy retreated to his room to study.

Al giggled. *Never thought I'd see the Friday night HE wasn't out with a lady friend!*

*Me neither! I still can't believe he's studying! It just doesn't seem right . . . I guess I'm too used to the way he is in one dimension . . . and I can't get used to the differences in others*

*I know the feeling,* Al sent... eyes straying to Peter and then to Kayla.

Al excused himself and went up the stairs to the room he and Agnes would share while they were here.

Agnes looked over at Peter, whose nimble fingers were stringing a new intricate rainbow pattern. He felt the growing strand and looked up, somehow managing to look straight at her. "Agnes . . . what do you think of this pattern? It looks fine in my mind but I'm not sure if the beads I'm picking are going to look right."

Agnes looked at the pattern, one using all colours of pearlescent beads in a seemingly random pattern but one that looked absolutely wonderful. "Well, I don't know what's in your head but what's on that string looks perfect." She fingered the rainbow strand she wore and wondered if she'd be able to keep it with her as she lept.

Peter grinned and went back to his beading.

The phone rang. Peter lay aside the box and moved to answer it. "Hello?... yes, this is Mr. Tork... Saturday.. you mean tomorrow?... all right, tomorrow it is then. See you then... OH! Two hundred EACH. Right. See you then." He hung up and grinned. "Guys, the Dance a Go Go... tomorrow night at eight. $200 apiece."

Agnes grinned. Seemed these Monkees were a little bit more successful than in some other dimensions.

Valerie whistled. "Hey... you've not played the Gogo since the twins were born! This should be good."

Agnes excused herself and climbed the stairs, dreading what she may find up there.

Al was already in bed, wearing borrowed pj's from Micky, reading. He looked up as she walked in. *Hi, beautiful.*

"Hello . . . whatcha readin?"

He sighed. *Stranger in a strange land. It's got notes in it in Peter's handwriting... and the notes stop abruptly. I think he was reading this when he lost his sight.*

*I guess so.* She walked over and looked over his shoulder. Sure enough, there were penciled in notes in the margins in Peter's distinctive handwriting.

Al flipped to the next chapter over and showed her where they ended.

*I think you're right. Enjoying the book so far?* She grinned.

He shrugged. *Michael is an enigma wrapped up in a riddle inside a puzzle.* He looked up at her. *You need to get ready for bed if we're gonna get a good night's sleep.*

*Dig. I'm gonna go ask Valerie if I can borrow a nightgown from her.*

*Micky brought one already. It's in the bathroom. These guys must be loaded --- there's a private half-bath in this bathroom!*

*On the show, Valerie was loaded . . . very rich family. I guess here she is too -- and she shares with the whole gang.* Agnes walked into the bathroom, washed up and changed into the powder blue nightgown. She laughed as she walked back into the bedroom. *What's so funny?*

*Oh, just thinking how somehow Micky chose one in my favorite colour -- powder blue.* She crawled into bed . . . staying as close to the opposite side from Al as possible.

Al's nose and cheeks became tinged with a slight shade of pink. *I told him.*

*Oh . . . . *

Al sighed and lay down on the edge of his side. *Good night, beautiful.*

*Nite.* Al turned off the lamp.

It was some time before either of them got any sleep.

When Al stirred the next morning, his first thought was that he wasn't teetering anymore. Then he felt the warmth of something in his arms.

His green eyes widened in shock. Somehow during the night, they both had rolled into the center. He now had one arm around her waist, holding her close.

He swallowed. How could he extricate himself without waking her....

He moved his arm... and the loss of body heat woke her instantly.

Aggie moaned as she slowly woke. A morning person she was not! "Oh . . .what time is it?" Then she noticed the position she was sleeping in . . . and sat upright.

"Al! Oh . . . oh, no . . . "

"Relax, beautiful... we just rolled into the middle, that's all. Nothing happened."

"I know that . . . but .. . let's just hope Micky hasn't seen us yet -- you know what an incorrigible tease he is." She got up and started gathering her clothes together.

*Agnes?* THAT was rare. Her full first name.

She turned, "Yeah?"

*I'm sorry.* And he looked it.

* I... I feel like... like somehow this makes things worse.*

She took a deep breath before answering. *No . . . it's okay . . . we'll work it out . . . somehow.*

And he smiled the lethal smile at her. *Thanks, beautiful.*

She grinned back. *No problem!* and then went into the bathroom to get dressed. It was still early and she wanted to sneak out and get a shell to make into a necklace or something for Peter.

She returned to find Al half-dressed, reaching for his shirt, compeltely unaware she was there.

And she nearly swooned at the sight of him shirtless.

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Created by Lenora McCoy

Last updated 03 DEC 98

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