Provenance by Cruise

By Cruise

Disclaimer: This is a prequel to my Rayne/Lark story Indiscretions that I had an idea for while writing its sequel Ab Initio. If you are under the age of 18 or if lesbian romance bothers you then please find another story, this one is not for you.Language: MildSpecial Thanks: To Dango for editing the story, to Stoley for posting it and maintaining my site and to all of the fans who continually support us! 



Rayne casually strolled into the bustling room of agents inhaling deeply, in an attempt to quell the nausea that brewed deep within her. “Hey Rayne! What’s up with the glasses on inside?” Forrest enthusiastically and loudly asked, slapping her on the back. Just what she needed to go along with the pounding headache that accompanied her nausea. She grimaced and pulled her sunglasses down, staring warningly at the boisterous fellow agent before her. “Oh, let me guess. A late night with an abundant amount of whiskey and aah what day is it? Oh, yeah Friday so she must have been a brunette, right?” He teasingly asked with a knowing grin.

Rayne sheepishly grinned and pushed the sunglasses up, hiding her blood shot normally blue eyes. “Am I that predictable?” She asked with a chuckle.

“When it comes to your exploits with women, yeah. A word of advice my dear partner, you might want to consider settling down with just one of them before you party yourself to death.” He chuckled and flipped through some of the paperwork he carried.

“Yeah, already been down that painful road.” Rayne dryly admitted and felt a catch in her heart from the painful memory.

“Huh? Did she find out what a cad you are and dump you?” He sarcastically asked and laughed.

“Uhmmm, no she’s dead.” Rayne commented flatly, fighting the lump that began to form and walked away.

‘Shit! I really stuck my foot in my mouth on that one and what a way for me to finally get a glimpse into her private life’. Forrest thought regretfully and approached Rayne who was pouring a cup of coffee. “Aah, Rayne I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have made that comment.” He apologetically responded.

Rayne turned and strained a smile. “Don’t be. You couldn’t have known about that seeing as how I’ve never mentioned it to you.” She coolly answered, raising the cup to her mouth and took a sip of the hot beverage.

“Well, if you need someone to talk to I’m here.” He offered.

“Thanks, I appreciate the offer but I’m over it now.” She smiled briefly and took another sip. The look in her blues told Forrest another story. She didn’t want to discuss the subject any longer and changed the topic. “Well, I guess we should see where we are suppose to be.” Rayne commented and walked away.

Trace watched her and couldn’t help but get the feeling that she really wasn’t over it. They hadn’t been partners for very long, but he respected and liked her. She had coldness about her when it came to her personal life and hoped she would eventually warm up to him. This latest revelation from her was a huge break through between them. He approached the group of agents gathered around the Agent-in-Charge for their assignments. “Forrest and Rayne, I want you both directly behind Senator Morgan. Tom and Fred, I want you two to his left and right. We’ve had some recent threats in regards to the Congressional candidates and we don’t want to take any chances.” He explained as he glanced around the group of agents.

“If there have been threats, why would he give his speech outside where he’s a prime target?” Rayne asked, exasperated by the fact that he would put himself in such danger, not to mention all of the agents in charge of protecting him.

“He’s a tough son of a bitch and doesn’t give much credence to threats like that, agent.” The man answered with a slight smirk. “Besides, I think he likes to keep us on our toes. Let’s get to it.” He chuckled and ordered as the groups dispersed to their posts.

‘Great, another asshole who doesn’t care about himself or anyone else he puts in danger’. She thought perturbed and settled into her designated post, immediately scanning the crowd for any unusual activity. She nearly jumped out of her skin when the agent testing her earpiece shouted into it. “Thanks a lot ass face!” Rayne mumbled angrily into her microphone, gritting her teeth to maintain her composure and looked at Forrest who was laughing. She curled her lip up at him and gave him a menacing look of warning and turned back to the crowd.

“Hey, just checking to make sure you’re awake. How’s the headache?” He chuckled sarcastically into her earpiece.

“You’ll find out later when I kick your ass in the gym.” Rayne quipped with a slight chuckle.

“Ooh, I love a challenge.” He responded with a laugh as Rayne heard the agents in the background shouting their bets on the fight. All for her of course!

She grinned and scanned the crowd hearing through her earpiece, “Okay ladies and gentlemen, Senator Morgan is approaching the stage from your rear. Pay attention and stay on your toes. Its show time!”

Rayne snickered at the corny announcement and focused on the crowd. She heard the crowd erupt in a loud cheer and they all jumped up and down waving enthusiastically. ‘Wow, I guess he’s popular.’ She mused inwardly with a slight laugh and blew out the breath that she held, fighting off the latest wave of nausea. She slowly turned to her opposite side and caught sight of the loveliest vision she had seen in a long time, actually ever. Sure, the women she’d been with recently were lookers, but nothing like this one. ‘Damn!’ She whispered appreciative of the breathtakingly beautiful blonde who approached the microphone, smiling and blushing from the rousing response from the crowd. Rayne, to say the least, was captivated by the curvaceous woman in the sultry red, slim fitting dress who had just sauntered past her. ‘She’s absolutely beautiful.’ Rayne mused in a hushed whisper listening to her soft, sweet voice address the crowd. ‘Snap out of it Rayne! She could be dangerous on the heart.’ She inwardly thought as her feelings for this unknown woman scared her. She had never felt that way about anyone with just one glance until now. She couldn’t help but stare at the young woman. ‘Get her out of your mind, she’s probably not even gay!’ Her thoughts reminded her. She blinked repeatedly, hearing a voice in the distant, which was now becoming louder.

“Rayne! Do you copy?” The voice urgently asked.

“Aah yeah. Sorry.” Rayne responded and quickly looked over at Forrest who was worriedly staring at her. She motioned to her earpiece and shook her head as if she couldn’t hear. “What did you ask? I couldn’t hear it.” She discreetly questioned into her microphone, scanning the crowd.

“We need you to report on quadrant three please.” He asked as she looked directly ahead and checked the crowd.

“All clear.” She answered.

“Ten four.” The voice responded.

She watched the crowd and heard the sweet angelic voice introduce herself as Lark Morgan, then introduce her father, Senator Morgan. She smiled and asked for everyone to elect him as his or her new Congressman. The crowd erupted in a loud cheer as the popular Senator approached the microphone smiling proudly and exuberantly. He kissed his daughter on the cheek that stepped to his left as both were just off to Rayne’s right. “Isn’t she lovely?” He enthusiastically asked as the cheers grew louder when he motioned to Lark.

‘Oh, she certainly is.’ Rayne thought agreeing and appreciated the view of Lark from behind. ‘You are such a horn dog Rayne!’ She admonished herself and cleared her throat, hoping it would quell the interest. She smiled slightly when she noted the young woman blush from embarrassment in regards to her father’s comments.

“Her mother is just as lovely too.” He added with a grin and looked at his wife standing to his right as the crowd yelled out in agreement.

Rayne finally contained her senses and figured it was best to just focus on the task at hand of doing her job. As it was, she had already put them at risk by not paying attention. She faintly heard the Senator’s speech as he drew near the end. She looked off center of the Senator and saw a person reach into their coat pocket. Her instincts took over and her muscles tightened, readying for the worst. She saw a glimmer of a flash as the man pulled a gun out of his pocket. “Gun at one o’clock!” She alerted through her microphone quickly heading towards the Senator. She grabbed the Senator and heard a bang as she quickly pulled him and his daughter to the ground. She lay on top of them covering them as Forrest did the same with the Senator’s wife. She heard the frantic voices through her earpiece and shouted for them to apprehend the shooter as they lay behind the podium using it for cover.

“What the hell is going on?” Lark shouted frightened by everything and struggled to get up.

“Please miss. Stay down until it’s clear.” Rayne shouted, as the frantic screams of the crowd were deafening holding Lark down. “I promise no harm will come to you.” She reassuringly told her as fearful green’s met calming blues. She smiled slightly and looked around just as the other agents swarmed the stage.

“I’ve got the Senator, bring her.” The agents shouted and quickly escorted the Senator off the stage. Rayne helped Lark up and quickly took her to safety backstage as Forrest did the same with her mother.

“What’s going on?” The Senator frantically asked hugging his frightened wife and child, happy they were unharmed.

“A shot was fired from the crowd and…” The agent paused and pushed his earpiece in, then continued, “The perpetrator has been apprehended.” He advised with a relieved smile.

“Sir, we haven’t found the bullet yet, but we will and the suspect is in custody.” An agent alerted him rushing backstage.

“Good, find that bullet!” He ordered.

“Hold on!” Forrest alerted and moved towards Rayne. “Take off your jacket.” He ordered and helped her remove it.

“What’s up?” Rayne questioned, confused by what her partner was doing.

“I thought so from the blood seeping through your clothing. Rayne you’ve been hit.” He informed her and saw the blood soaked sleeve on her shirt.

“Really?” She asked with a chuckle. “I didn’t even realize it.” She added with a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders as she looked at her arm.

Lark released the hold on her father and caught a better glimpse of the woman who saved her life. Her heart fluttered and was taken by the attractive woman. ‘She’s gorgeous.’ She gasped inwardly.

Forrest moved the sleeve of her shirt to examine the wound. “It doesn’t look like the bullet penetrated the skin. But it looks like a deep gash it’s bleeding pretty badly. Call for a medic to clean this up.” He advised looking back at an agent with a radio then turned his attention to his boss. “The bullet can’t be far away.” He commented as the other agents headed out to the stage to investigate.

Rayne put her hand over the wound as they looked around the curtain to the stage. “Who is that woman daddy?” Lark asked, watching them leave.

“A Secret Service agent I presume, why?” He asked, stepping closer to his curious daughter.

“I want to meet her.” Lark smiled as Rayne and her partner turned back around.

“We need something to place on there to stop the bleeding.” Forrest commented. “Where in the hell are those paramedics?” He nervously asked, looking around with no medical personnel in sight.

“Forget about them. We’ll head to the hospital it’s not that bad anyway. Just use my jacket to stop the bleeding.” Rayne suggested and nodded towards it as Forrest moved to grab it.

“No, here use my scarf.” Lark eagerly offered and rushed over, holding it out.

“Oh, thanks but, that’s not necessary. My jacket will do.” Rayne graciously refused.

“No, I insist. It’s the least I could do.” Lark smiled and placed her scarf over the wound.

Rayne placed her hand on top of Lark’s and felt a wave of electricity course through her. Her heart raced and she blushed when Lark stared deep into her sensual blues with time seemingly stopping for a moment. “Well, aah thanks. I, uhmmm, appreciate it.” Rayne embarrassingly smiled. Her calm, cool and stoic demeanor was nowhere to be found. Only her shy, giddy schoolgirl demeanor was present, one that she had never experienced before.

“You saved our lives. It was the least I could do.” Lark shyly smiled and reluctantly moved her hand. She loved the feeling Rayne’s touch generated throughout her, but did so as she saw Rayne’s uncomfortable look.

Rayne’s gaze stared upon the alluring blonde with the stunning green eyes a little longer than she wanted and smiled cordially. “Thank you, again.” She turned away and headed off with Forrest.

“Let’s get that thing checked out.” Forrest smirked and patted her on the back.

”Wait!” Lark shouted out as they stopped and turned to her. She couldn’t allow this woman to exit her life so quickly.

“I think you have an admirer.” Forrest sarcastically whispered. “I’ll get the car, don’t take long or you’ll bleed to death.” Forrest snickered and exited the door.

“Ha ha.” Rayne remarked with a sly grin before he exited the door.

Lark stopped and blushed when Rayne’s piercing blue eyes met hers. “I aah wanted to know if I could repay you in some way?”

“There’s no need miss. I was only doing my job.” Rayne humbly answered.

“Yes, well I would still like to make up for you being hurt. I guess what I’m trying to do is ask you out on a date.” Lark chuckled shyly and looked away nervously. She discreetly wiped her sweaty palms on her dress.

‘I’d love to go out with this one, but I should really steer clear.’ Rayne thought and met her gaze when she looked up at her. “What makes you think I’m into chicks?” Rayne asked with a hint of sarcasm. ‘That should make her back off.’ Rayne hoped inwardly.

“Well, you’re bracelet gave it away.” Lark informed her with a knowing smile and looked at Rayne’s wrist.

Rayne sighed with a chuckle and looked at her rainbow colored bracelet with an upside down triangle. “Hmmm, a dead give away huh?” Rayne snickered.

“I suppose so. Will you accept my offer?” Lark asked hopeful.

“I’m very flattered and appreciative of your offer Ms. Morgan, but I can’t. Thanks though.” Rayne smiled graciously and opened the door.

“What is your name?” Lark queried disappointed by her rebuttal, wondering about the identity of her knight in shining armor. ‘She’ll come around and allow me to get to know her better, I’m sure of it.’ Lark confidently thought, knowing she was not going to let this woman slip out of her life that easy. She had a connection to her that she had never felt for any other and she saw it in the tall woman’s eyes as well.

Rayne turned back as she moved through the door stating, “Rayne Donovan,” and exited to the parking lot.

Rayne blew out the breath she held and quickly headed towards the waiting car. She settled in as Forrest glanced over at her as he drove off. “Well, are you going out with her?” He asked with a sly grin.

“Forrest!” Rayne warned with a stern look. She knew where he was going and she wasn’t interested.

“Come on!”

“No, I told her I couldn’t.” Rayne reluctantly admitted.

“Why? She’s hot!” He exclaimed and steered the car out of the parking lot.

“It’s more fun to play hard to get.” Rayne grinned mischievously and added, “besides, she’s the type I could lose my heart to and I’d rather just stay away from that if you don’t mind now that I think about it!”

“Maybe that’s what you need Rayne.” He commented and focused his attention to the road.

‘It’s exactly what I’d like, but I don’t need.’ Rayne thought, quietly staring out the window. The feelings she had for this woman were unusual for her and she wasn’t sure how to handle them. She decided the best thing was to stay away from her, but she still couldn’t help being so intrigued by the young woman.

Rayne returned to work despite Forrest’s pleas for her to go home and take it easy after receiving stitches in her arm from the bullet, but she was too stubborn to allow a small cut to keep her from working so she told Forrest as they entered their office. “Damn, it takes a long time to get in and out of those hospitals.” Rayne fumed as they headed towards her boss’ office that spied them and motioned them in the minute they entered the building.

“How’s the arm agent?” The gray haired impeccably dressed man asked when Rayne and Forrest entered his office.

“Oh, it’s fine. No big deal, just a few stitches.” Rayne shrugged off the injury and stood in front of his desk with Forrest standing next to her.

“Stop being so damned modest Rayne. That was a pretty deep wound.” Forrest chuckled at her reluctance to let on that the wound was worse than she mentioned.

“You could have taken the remainder of the day off you know?” He chuckled and looked up from his paperwork.

“Nah, I’ve got too much paperwork to do.”

“Well, the two of you are being assigned to Senator Morgan until the end of the elections in case anyone else wants to take another shot at him. Other agents are being assigned to all of the candidates as a safe guard.”

“Oh, you’re kidding!” Rayne incredulously responded then realized she was being disrespectful and added, “Sir. We thought we would be assigned to covert assignments as requested?” She asked, glancing at her partner who was no more pleased than she about their latest assignment then looked back to her boss.

“Your request has been duly noted and depending upon your performance with your latest assignment it will be reconsidered.” He firmly answered and handed them their paperwork. “You’ll both have this weekend off before joining his detail full time.” He advised looking up them as they approached the door.

Rayne was livid and knew her partner was too. They had hoped to be assigned to top-secret covert operations preferably overseas instead of baby-sitting Congressional candidates. “Thanks.” Rayne solemnly answered, taking the paperwork and walking towards the door.

“The Senator specifically asked for you both as his detail and his request has been granted.” He informed her as she turned back to face her boss. “I guess you made quite an impression on him.” He chuckled and looked back down at the paperwork on his desk.

“Yes, especially on his daughter.” Forrest sarcastically whispered with a snicker walking past his partner out of the office.

Rayne closed the door and fumed at their latest assignment. “You’re really asking for an ass whipping aren’t you?” She teasingly asked as they walked to their office.

“The truth hurts huh partner?” He taunted with a laugh and flopped in the chair at his desk.

“What’s this?” Rayne asked, noticing the basket on her desk. She picked up the note attached and began to open the envelope as Forrest checked it out.

“Ooh, gourmet cookies.” He fawned looking into the basket, his mouth watering at the sight of the delicious cookies before him.

“Get out of there!” She teased and slapped his hand as he reached for one.

He laughed and sat back in his chair. “Who are they from?” He queried with a knowing smile and a sneaky suspicion at just who had sent them.

Rayne gave him a sideways glance then looked back down and read the card. ‘This is a token of my appreciation. I would love to show you more. How about a date? Call me, Lark Morgan.’ Rayne chuckled and tossed the card at him. ‘She’s persistent I’ll give her that. I like it!’ She grinned, smitten by the woman and pulled out a white macadamia nut cookie, her favorite, and sat in her chair.

“Oh, man! She’s hot for you pal! Go out with her. I can’t believe that you’ve got a woman like her falling at your feet that many people would die to have!”

“Huh? Who is she?” Rayne asked confused, chomping on the last bite of her cookie and plopped her feet up on her desk relaxing back in her chair.

“Lark Morgan, the actress. Don’t you watch TV or go to the movies?” He condescendingly asked surprised that she didn’t know who she was.

“Great, and an actress! I take it she doesn’t do action flicks?” Rayne casually asked swiping the crumbs off of her hands.

“No, usually dramas or chick flicks.”

“Figures.” She replied unimpressed. “So, you’re a chick flick kind of guy huh?” She teasingly taunted.

“Yeah, well occasionally I have to watch one with Sherry. We have a deal where we see a chick flick and then I get to see my action flicks.” He grinned.

“Nice compromise.” She chuckled sarcastically and looked at the paperwork on her desk.

“Yeah, especially if you want to get lucky.” He laughed with a wiggle of his eyebrows and grabbed a cookie before leaving the office.

“Yeah, compromise.” She spoke softly and looked at the note once more. The blonde woman with the piercing green eyes who had entered her life earlier in the day intrigued her as no one else had before. She opened the drawer to her desk for a pen and grabbed the picture lying within it. She picked it up and leaned back in her chair. She lost herself in the picture as she stared at it, fondly remembering the attractive woman of Asian descent in the picture. She remembered everything she meant to her and the pain of losing someone she loved so much. She was reluctant to go through that again and tossed the note from Lark in the trash. She placed the picture on her desk and started her paperwork. Her concentration just wasn’t there and her gaze was drawn to the picture before her. She was having feelings for the blonde she met earlier, strong feelings that she hadn’t felt before. Even stronger than the one’s she had for her former lover Karen, pictured before her. She picked up the picture again and stared at the woman with the long dark tresses who stared back at her smiling so sweetly. She couldn’t figure out why she had the feelings she did for Lark. She was so conflicted that it made her head hurt and decided she didn’t want to find out why. She felt guilty, like it wasn’t fair to Karen’s memory or to her heart. ‘I just can’t take the chance of going through that pain again.’ Rayne thought, staring at the women in the picture. She slipped that brick wall she had surrounding her heart back up. She wasn’t sure why her guard was let down when she met the green-eyed actress with the smile to die for, but she knew she needed to stay away from her from the strong feelings she was having for her.

“Hey! Earth to Rayne!” Forrest shouted, snapping her out of her thoughts.

“Huh?” She muttered and looked up at him.

“What are you doing this weekend? Or should I say, who are you doing this weekend?” He teasingly laughed and grabbed another cookie as he tossed the foam basketball in the small hoop in the corner of the office.

“You should be a friggin comedian, Forrest!” She sarcastically grinned as he turned and looked at her. She watched as he turned to the basket and dunked the ball. “I’m going to take advantage of our weekend off and chill out around the house, ALONE.” She emphasized with a chuckle. “Thank goodness the Senator is taking the weekend off too and special thanks to the other team babysitting him at home!” Rayne chuckled; glad they would have the weekend off.

“Yeah, same here. With this latest assignment we won’t be getting too much time off especially with the elections coming up soon. They’ll be campaigning hot and heavy.” He added with a frown and sat in his chair.

“Just what I’m looking forward too. Standing around at those boring parties and campaigns listening to all of those blowhard’s speeches.” Rayne chuckled and shook her head thinking about it.

“Oh, man you had to remind me! But then again, you might get to see that sexy blonde seeing as how she’s the Senator’s daughter.” He teasingly drawled. He sensed she was smitten with the actress and hoped she’d realize the same thing and not blow a perfect opportunity.

“Dude, you’ve got to stop with the blonde okay? I don’t want to discuss her anymore.” Rayne warned and stared him down.

“If that’s what you want.” He casually shrugged his shoulders.

“Yeah, that’s what I want.” Rayne growled, as she didn’t want to discuss the subject or be taunted about her anymore. She was having a hard enough time dealing with her feelings for her and just wanted to forget about her. She looked back down at her paperwork as Forrest rose from the chair and stood beside her.

She didn’t look up and he leaned down saying, “Stop pining for the dead woman you once loved. Live your life in the present and don’t close it off to everyone. I haven’t known you for very long Rayne, but I’ve got a good idea of what you’re doing. It all makes sense now with what you told me about your former lover and why you go from one chick to the next. You’re ability to love again is dying within you and you don’t even realize it. Don’t discard someone who could very well be your true love.” He softly advised and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder before leaving.

‘Like he knows what my fucking life is all about? He doesn’t know jack!’ She angrily and defensively thought leaning her head in her hands that rested on the desk. She sat silently for a few minutes trying to figure out her feelings and what he said to her. ‘Is he right? Have I lost my ability to love again?’ She wondered questioningly and decided that he was full of it. ‘Do I want to love again, that’s the question?’ She asked herself and quickly rose from the chair, grabbing her jacket as she headed out of the office.

She entered her quiet beach villa after a long drive home fighting with her subconscious as to why she shouldn’t get to know Lark. ‘Why can’t I get her out of my mind and why do I feel so damn guilty for thinking about her?’ She questioned frustrated and tossed her keys on the table, then her jacket on the couch. She headed directly for the kitchen and grabbed a glass from the cupboard, filling it with her favorite whiskey. She added a smidgen of coke and some ice before heading out onto her porch overlooking the ocean. She sat in the beach chair and propped her feet up on the railing looking out over the ocean drinking her beverage and trying to forget the events of the day. She sat watching the surfers enjoying the unusually large surf wishing she were out there with them. ‘Maybe it would take my mind off of all this crazy stuff. I need another drink.’ She reasoned jumping out of her chair and entered the house.

She fixed herself another drink and headed back out onto the porch, grabbing the bottle along her way. She watched the guys surf for over an hour and tried to sort out the thoughts she kept having of Lark. She hoped the whiskey would help forget about her, but it only made her think of her more. She decided she had enough and headed into the house. She was restless and eager to do something else. She picked up the phone and dialed her brother, Shayan. “Hey Shay. What are all of you up too?” She asked and sat in the recliner, turning the TV on. She hoped talking to her brother would keep her mind off the blonde.

“Not much, just watching TV. How about you?”

“Same thing. Just chilling out.” She answered and flipped through the channels.

“Is everything alright?” He asked concerned by her demeanor.

“Oh, yeah. I’m fine. I was wondering if you could bring Brandon over tomorrow so we can hang out together and do some fishing?”

“Sure, no problem. I’ll bring him by around eight then. He’ll be very excited to come over.”

“Great, I can’t wait to see you both. Thanks and see you tomorrow.” She replied and hung up the phone.

“I’m worried about Rayne.” Shayan thoughtfully commented thinking about his sister and looked at his wife who was sitting next to him.

“Why, what’s wrong?” Holly worriedly asked.

“She just didn’t sound good. She sounds like something’s really bugging her.”

“I’m sure she’s fine honey. Just talk to her tomorrow and see what’s going on.”

“I’m going to take Brandon over tomorrow to hang out with her, maybe that will lighten her spirits.”

“Hers and ours too!” Holly chuckled and winked flirtatiously at her husband. “Maybe we can work on giving him a little brother or sister while he’s at his auntie’s house tomorrow.” She seductively suggested and cuddled closer to her husband.

“Ooh, sounds good to me, but why wait until then? How about if we get started now?” He offered and kissed his wife passionately as she giggled.

Rayne sat bored, flipping through the channels and stopped when a show caught her eye. “Ooh, ER. My favorite.” She said out loud and settled in to watch the medical drama. “No way!” She laughed and couldn’t believe her eyes. Lark happened to be on that episode. “Just my luck.” She chuckled and looked around. ‘I think I’m losing it, I’m talking out loud to no one, but myself!’ She thought and laughed, sipping her beverage as she watched the show. ‘Hmmm, not a bad actress.’ She thought as the show progressed and she enjoyed seeing the green-eyed beauty in her living room. She leaned forward and reached for a handful of M&M’s from the candy dish and caught a glimpse of Karen’s picture she had sitting on the mantle. She felt a pang of regret and guilt and turned the TV off. She paced around trying to resolve her conflicted emotions and felt as though she were doing something wrong by having them. She sighed frustrated and headed into the bedroom. She flopped on the bed exhausted by the day’s events. ‘I can’t keep going on like this, I’m going to have a breakdown.’ It was the only thing she remembered as the whiskey quickly took her into a deep sleep.

“Lark? Are you listening to me?” Elaine asked and snapped Lark back to reality with a light touch of her arm.

“I’m sorry what did you say?” Lark asked confused by what Elaine was saying.

“I said I’ve had a few offers for movies for you and this one would be a career maker if you get the part.” Elaine eluded and offered her the script.

“Oh, yeah?” Lark asked non-committal and extremely unenthused by the offer.

“Lark, what’s going on with you? Is everything alright?” Elaine asked worried about her by the far off gaze she had.

Lark stared at her and chuckled embarrassed for being so spaced out. “I’m sorry. I was just thinking about someone else.” She blushed at the thought of the woman she referred to and stood up, looking out the window.

“I guess this person made quite an impression on you?” Elaine asked, with a chuckle.

“Oh, in a way you’ll never know.” Lark admitted with a flushed smile thinking of how Rayne made her feel with just one touch of her hand as she dreamily gazed up at the star littered sky. She turned to Elaine with a whimsical look explaining, “She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen Elaine.” Lark admitted excitedly and sat next to her agent.

“Come on Lark, you’ve been around many beautiful women before.”

Elaine found her comment hard to believe considering the many gorgeous women she’s come across in Hollywood.

“No, she’s different from them and she made me feel aah, so wonderful with just one touch of her hand. She’s tall with dark features; she’s muscular and has dark, straight hair that just touches the top of her shirt collar and these beautiful hypnotizing blue eyes. Elaine, her eyes are exquisite.” She admiringly explained with a sigh biting her lip at the wonderful feeling she had inside just thinking of the woman. “I’ve never had someone make me feel this way after meeting them for the first time. I’m in love with her, Elaine.” Her smile was broad and irremovable as she fondly spoke of the woman and professed such a confession.

“Wow, Lark you really are smitten by this person huh?” Elaine commented surprised by her friends reaction to the women she described. “Well, I think before you make such declarations of love Lark, ask her out on a date.”

“I already did and she declined, but I can see in her eyes that she’s intrigued by me as well. Trust me, I won’t be giving up on her very easily.” Lark admitted with a grin and a giggle as she looked at Elaine.

“Well, I’m happy for you and I hope she sees the error of her ways and accepts your offer of a date.” Elaine teasingly commented and both women laughed.

“That’s right and I know just what I’m going to do to make that happen starting tomorrow.” Lark confidently informed her and smiled.

“You go girl! Now, come down from that cloud you are on long enough to look at this contract offer that’s going to send your career soaring.” Elaine laughed and handed Lark the contract.

“Yes, ma’am.” Lark teasingly laughed and accepted the documents from her.

The steaming hot sun peering in through her bedroom window rudely awakened her. She covered her eyes with her hand to shade the bright light and sat up trying to gain her composure. She wiped her face with her hands in an attempt to wipe away the dreams she had that night. She dreamt about Lark, which seemed to have lasted the entire night and felt ashamed for having the dream. ‘It’s just not right.’ She reasoned guiltily and sighed. She inhaled deeply then exhaled and stared at the picture of her fallen lover that she had grabbed off the nightstand thinking about what she had to do. She quickly dressed and headed out the door and down the beach on foot.

Shayan pounded on the door over and over again with no answer from Rayne. He turned the doorknob and entered the house, surprised that she didn’t lock it. “Rayne! We’re here. Where are you?” He called out and didn’t hear anything.

“Daddy, where’s Auntie Rayne?” Brandon quizzically asked.

“I’m not sure son. Sit down on the couch and watch TV while I look for her okay?” He smiled comfortingly as his son did as he was told.

He walked down the hall to the bedroom calling out Rayne’s name with no answer and checked the entire villa before heading into the garage. ‘Where in the hell is she?’ He wondered and noted she didn’t take her motorcycle, meaning she had to be on foot. He went back to the bedroom and looked around. He noticed the picture lying on the bed and figured out where Rayne had to be. He put the picture on the nightstand and headed off to get Brandon. “Come on son, I know where to find your aunt.”

He pulled the car into the parking lot and they exited the car. “I’m going to stay here dad.” Brandon nervously stated as his dad understood and ruffled his hair.

Shayan slowly approached his sister who sat on the marble bench lost in her thoughts. “Rayne? Are you okay?” He softly inquired trying not to startle her.

She slowly looked up at him confused. “Shay?” She asked and wondered what he was doing there.

“We didn’t see you at the house and we were worried.” He commented and sat beside her as she turned her attention back to the tombstone before her. “What’s going on Rayne?” He asked concerned for his sister from the disheveled and tired look she possessed. It was completely unlike her to be that way.

They sat silently for a few moments and Rayne commented, “I’m dishonoring her memory with thoughts of another Shay. I feel guilty and overwhelmed by my emotions.”

“Who? What are you talking about Rayne?” He questioned confused.

“I aah, met this woman yesterday.” She began and inhaled deeply before continuing, “She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen before Shay and I’ve been having these really strong feelings for her.” Rayne honestly admitted.

“Well, that’s great honey. Why do you feel so guilty?” He asked and rubbed her back comfortingly. He was glad you was actually having feelings for someone rather than just discarding one woman after another before a relationship could be formed.

She turned and looked at him. “Feelings that I never felt for anyone, including Karen.” She reluctantly admitted and looked down at the headstone with Karen’s name on it.

“Oh, I see.” He answered solemnly and realized how conflicted she must be. He knew how much Karen meant to her and with her death, how great a toll it took on his sister. He was happy that she was finally moving on with her life, but meeting this woman had brought up many painful memories for her.

“She was my life. I always believed we were meant to be together forever Shay. I loved her completely and thought she was my soul mate. How could I have stronger feelings than that for someone else? She’s been gone for two years now. Why would I be feeling like it was just yesterday that she died after all this time?” She questioned confused by the raw feelings of guilt and sadness that she was having.

“Maybe because Karen wasn’t the person you were meant to be with Rayne and your heart is telling you that it’s time for you to move on.” He stared at her as she snapped her head around to face him. “Look, before you get mad, listen to me. There is a reason for everything and there’s a reason for Karen dying Rayne.” He attempted to explain.

“What’s the reason Shay to make me learn how to suffer?” She asked and pounded her heart to emphasize her point.

“No and it’s pretty arrogant of us to think that her passing was for you to learn something. Maybe her duties on earth had been fulfilled and it was her time to go or maybe it was to allow you to love again Rayne so you can be with your true love. She came into your life and touched your heart, teaching you how to love someone. If we are to assume that her purpose here had something to do with you then maybe that was her reason for being here and it was time for her to go so you could be with your soul mate. Don’t you remember how you were before she entered your life?” She looked at him clueless and he smiled, “You were exactly like you are right now. Going from one woman to the next without a meaningful relationship amongst them. You settled down with her and learned that you could open your heart to love someone. She wouldn’t have wanted you feeling guilty and being unhappy or being alone, pinning for her. You know that. I don’t know about this new woman you are talking about whether she’s your true love or not Rayne. Only you will know that, your heart will let you know. So, give her a chance and yourself. You’re not dishonoring Karen’s memory and you shouldn’t feel guilty for having such feelings. They are only normal. You have to move on.” He gently encouraged and draped a comforting arm around her shoulder.

She knew what he was saying was the truth, but she still felt guilty and unsure. She wanted to get to know Lark more and spend time with her, but she just wouldn’t be able to handle falling in love with someone again and being hurt. She had a feeling that was the road she was heading down and it scared her. “You’re right. Maybe I will.” She answered and smiled looking up at him. She’d had enough of all the mushy stuff and wanted to change the subject. It took a lot for her to reveal what she had to her own brother and she didn’t feel like pursuing it any further now.

“I know I’m right. Give it a chance Rayne.” He smiled encouragingly and stood up when his sister did.

“Let’s get back so I can have some fun with Brandon.” Rayne smiled trying to change the subject. She didn’t want to harp on that painful moment any longer.

“You sure you’re alright?” Shayan questioned, looking at her.

“I’m great. Thanks for the talk I appreciate it and I’ll truly consider what you said.” She faintly smiled and picked up her pace to greet Brandon.

“Hey buddy. Ready to go fishing?” She excitedly asked and hugged him tightly, kissing the boy’s cheek.

“I’m always ready to go fishing!” He exuberantly agreed and hugged her.

“Let’s go then.” She smiled and climbed into the car with the little boy still draped around her as Shayan shook his head laughing while climbing in the car.

They made it back to the villa within no time from the cemetery that was located down the street from her villa and Rayne quickly jumped out of the car with Brandon. “Grab your bag.” She commented and held him down so he could retrieve it. “Give your old man a kiss.” She teasingly suggested.

Shayan smiled and kissed his son that Rayne held through the window. “Behave for your aunt.” He chuckled and looked up at Rayne. “Call me if you need me.”

She smiled appreciatively, “I will. Bye.” She turned and headed off.

“Don’t forget what I said!” He shouted out before backing the car out of the driveway and shook his head knowing how stubborn his sister could be as she waved off his comment without turning around.

The pair had been fishing for a while without a bite and Rayne was checking her fishing pole that was in its stand. Something didn’t seem right to her and she turned to check on her nephew.“ Brandon! What did I tell you?” Rayne sternly asked and approached the small fisherman who stood in knee-deep water as the turbulent surf made it difficult for him to maintain his balance.

“Do I have to wear this life vest? It’s bothering me.” He whined and unsnapped the latches.

“Yes, if you want to surf fish you have to wear it. The sea is rough today and can sweep you out there in no time. Keep this on like I told you okay?” She asked, kneeling before him and snapping the latches he unhooked.

“Okay.” He drawled, rolling his eyes and reluctantly relented.

“I wouldn’t want my favorite boy swept out to sea now would I?” She smiled and leaned her forehead against his. “I’d be mighty upset. Not to mention your mom and dad would kill me.” She teasingly laughed and kissed him as he giggled. “Okay, whose going to catch the biggest fish today?”

“Me of course!” He confidently replied with a grin.

“Put your money where your mouth is then mister. Let’s get fishing!” Rayne suggested with a laugh and stood up. She brushed his hair back and turned when she heard a soft, sweet voice.

“Hello, I’m not interrupting you am I?”

“Aah, no aah Lark, what are you doing here?” She nervously asked confused and surprised. Her heart fluttered at the sight of the blonde, but felt unnerved that she was there. ‘Damn, she’s forward coming here like that.’ She thought surprised by the women’s audacity.

“I’m sorry. I asked my father to find out where you lived. I’ll just go. I shouldn’t have come in the first place.” Lark replied, flustered and embarrassed that she actually had the gall in the first place to just show up at her home.

“Well, aah it’s okay. Did you need something?” Rayne asked, easily relenting and happy that she turned back around. She inwardly tried to calm her racing heart as she stared upon the beautiful woman before her that was making her senses soar.

“Thanks. I just wanted to give you this.” She smiled and held out a neatly wrapped package. ‘Whew, she’s not going to toss me off her property.’ She thought relieved and stared at the attractive woman before her that made her heart race uncontrollably.

“Brandon how about baiting the hooks for us?” She asked with a smile.

“Sure thing!” He excitedly answered and ran for the fishing poles.

They chuckled at his exuberance and looked back to one another meeting each other’s gaze. “Is that your son?” She nervously asked.

“My son?” Rayne asked confused and looked at Brandon. She turned back, flustered by the question. “Oh, no he’s my nephew. Well, godson.” She nervously chuckled. ‘What in the hell is up with you? You’re acting like an idiot!’

“He’s gorgeous. I see that good looks runs in your family.” Lark smiled and saw Rayne blush at the fairly forward comment. “This is for you.” Lark offered again and held out the package.

“I told you that you didn’t need to do that.” Rayne shyly answered, her heart racing within her chest.

‘Damn, I can’t take another rejection.’ Lark worriedly thought staring into the most beautiful, yet troubled blues eyes she had ever seen.

“But, thank you. It was very nice of you to do that and thanks for the cookies. They were delicious.” Rayne smiled and accepted the gift much to Lark’s relief. ‘What are you doing? You should be running about now!’ She admonished inwardly and opened the gift. Her head told her to run and her heart wouldn’t allow it.

“Well, I just wanted to give you something to say thanks.” Lark attempted to explain and waited anxiously for Rayne to open the present. Rayne held up the white shirt and turned it around looking at it. “I figured I owed you a shirt for the one that was damaged yesterday.” Lark attempted to explain and realized that she had no right to be there and that she was pushing way too hard. She was lying to her and she didn’t want to do that. She figured she had to be honest, as it had to have been written all over her face. She looked down, and then looked up at Rayne, “I need to be honest. That shirt was an excuse for me to come here and get to know you better, to see you again. I’m sorry, I should leave now.” Lark guiltily explained and turned towards her car feeling like a heel for intruding on her privacy. ‘I guess I read the wrong intentions in those eyes.’ She thought sadly and approached her car.

Rayne was mystified by everything and looked at the shirt, then Lark. There was a part of her that wanted Lark to leave and never enter her life again and there was a part of her that wanted her to stay. She watched as Lark moved closer to her car and she took a step, her heart racing uncontrollably as she contemplated what she should do.


Rayne was unsure of what to do or say. She took a few more steps and watched as Lark slid into the driver’s seat of her car. ‘You’re a chicken shit Rayne!’ She admonished, her heart pounding in her chest and fearful of the consequences if she asked Lark to stay. She stood frozen and watched as Lark cautiously backed her luxury vehicle out of the driveway. ‘Damn.’ She commented thinking that she might be missing out on a wonderful opportunity with Lark. ‘But, do I want to take the chance?’ She queried and turned back towards Brandon who stood staring at her. “What?” She questioned, confused by the look he was giving her.

“Why didn’t you ask Lark Morgan to stay?” He asked surprised that the celebrity was standing just a few feet from him and talking to his aunt.

“Wait, you mean you’re a fan of hers too?” Rayne chuckled, astonished that her nephew knew whom the woman was and that she was clueless about her stardom. She stood with her hands on her hips and looked down at the small dark haired boy waiting for his answer.

“Yeah, she’s been in a couple of movie’s that I’ve seen. I think you two should become better friends.” He suggested with a sly grin and casually cast his line out.

Rayne laughed and shook her head at his precocious comment. “Oh, you do huh?” She sarcastically asked and laughed, picking up her fishing pole.

“Yeah, she’s pretty!” He bashfully grinned and looked at his aunt, then back to the water.

“What’s in it for you if I become better friends with her?” She skeptically asked with a smile and gave him a sideways glance.

“Some cool tickets to movie premiere’s. Geez auntie Rayne!” He snickered exasperated by her evasiveness.

“Oh, I see how you are!” She laughed and looked at her fishing pole that bent over indicating she had a fish on the other end. “You better get your money mister, this fish is going to help me beat you!” She tauntingly laughed and feverishly reeled the fish to shore. ‘Damn, I’ve got Forrest and Shayan breathing down my neck to go out with Lark and now my nephew is giving me advice on my love life! Are they right?’ She wondered and glanced over at her nephew who was also reeling in a fish.

Rayne chuckled and shook her head in disbelief that she was actually considering take her nephew’s advice of getting to be better ‘friends’ with Lark. She snickered at the last comment and his innocent insinuation of being better friends. She pulled the fish out of the water and heard Brandon laughing hysterically at the size of the fish she reeled in. “Oh, laugh it up mister! Let’s see the little guppy you pull in!” She taunted teasingly and watched him struggle mightily with the fish on the end of the pole. She walked over and helped him steady the pole as he continued to reel the fish in.

They laughed when he pulled his line out of the water to find a smaller fish than his aunts on the other end of the line that was had a trail of seaweed attached to it. “Darn! I wanted a big one.” He stated disappointed, and removed the fish from his line, quickly returning the small critter to the ocean.

“Yeah, well the good one’s usually slip away.” Rayne commented and looked back to the empty driveway thinking how true those words might be in regards to Lark. She looked back at her disappointed nephew and smiled. “Hey, you’ll get the big one next time okay? How about if we get some movies and eat some pizza?” She excitedly suggested and squatted before Brandon.

“That sounds awesome!” He enthusiastically agreed and hugged Rayne who laughed.

“Alright, let’s get this mess gathered up and back to the house.” She commented and broke the hug.

Lark stopped her car out of sight and watched the pair on the beach. She smiled admiringly while she watched Rayne hug her small nephew. Her heart nervously fluttered at the thought of getting to know the tall, dark and very mysterious woman a lot better. ‘I just have to keep trying with her. I’ve got to have this woman in my life. We have an undeniable connection and in my heart I know this is the woman for me. She’ll give in, I know it.’ Lark confidently thought and sighed deeply before climbing back in her car, and driving off.

Rayne and Brandon spent the majority of the night eating pizza and watching movies. He was adamant about getting the movies with Lark in them even though he had seen before so Rayne could watch them. Rayne leaned forward when the movie ended and glanced at Brandon who was laying on the love seat adjacent from her and noticed he was sound asleep. She smiled and took one of her afghan’s from the back of the couch to cover the small boy. She smiled lovingly and ruffled his hair before popping another movie in the VCR. She sat on the couch and situated her slender body and clicked the button on the remote to start the movie. She kicked back and plopped her feet up on the coffee table to watch the movie. She smiled when she saw Lark’s name in the opening credits.

Her head shot up startled and she looked around trying to gather her bearings. Her heart raced and she realized she had fallen asleep. The static from the TV woke her from her dream of a certain blonde actress that has been on her mind a lot lately. She inhaled and exhaled to calm her beating heart. She stood up and clicked the TV off. She tossed the remote on the couch and gathered Brandon up in her arms, and headed down the hall to the spare bedroom. She gently placed him on the bed and caringly covered him with the blankets. Leaning down she gently kissed his forehead and whispered, “I love you” rising from the bed to turn on the nightlight. She looked back at her peacefully sleeping nephew and lovingly smiled before turning the overhead light off.

She was glad that he had made her watch the movies with Lark in them and as much as she was hesitant to admit it, she enjoyed the chick flicks. ‘Maybe it was just the good looking blonde in there!’ She surmised with a chuckle and added, ‘you need to figure out what you’re going to do about her Rayne. Either go out with her or stay away and stop thinking about her so damned much!’ She told herself and strolled down the hall to her own room. She brushed her teeth and climbed into bed with a particular blonde on her mind as she quickly drifted off to sleep.

A week had passed and they were busily preparing for yet another campaign dinner Senator Morgan would be attending. Neither agent was pleased to find out that they would be deemed the Senator’s personal aides from now on. No matter how many times Rayne went over it in her head and with Forrest she couldn’t figure out why they were classified as aides in an undercover status. For the life of her she wasn’t sure why anyone with half a brain wouldn’t realize that they were Secret Service Agents, but she wasn’t going to cross her boss on the matter, as she wanted a good report for her next assignment.

They decided to make the best of the assignment and for Rayne that meant getting a chance to see Lark more, even if she was reluctant to drop her guard by having stronger feelings for the alluring blonde. She hadn’t heard from or seen Lark in the past week and surprisingly to her, she missed the woman. She had a nervous tension coursing through her after being informed by the Senator that his daughter would be in attendance this evening. She was still conflicted with her thoughts of Lark and her feelings of betrayal towards Karen for having them, but they were becoming far and few between as the days passed.

“Man, I’m beat from all this crap! “ Forrest commented and sidled up to Rayne who scanned the room in their pre-dinner preparations.

“Well, stop partying so much!” Rayne teasingly commented and headed into another room with her partner in tow.

“What is up with you and all this energy?” He observed, frustrated by his partner’s vibrancy he just wasn’t in the mood.

“Hey, what can I say?” She slyly grinned looking at him and then turned back to the room.

Forrest skeptically stared at her and then it dawned on him, “Oh, now I know why you are so keyed up.” He sarcastically commented as they headed out of the room. “A certain blonde Senator’s daughter is going to be here this evening right?” He tauntingly asked and stared at Rayne.

She glared at him and curled her lip up, “Don’t you have a rock to go sleep under?” She jokingly asked and headed out the back door to check with the agents there.

“I knew it!” He enthusiastically laughed. “Have you seen any chick flicks lately?” He teasingly asked and laughed when his partner’s eyes widened like a deer caught in the headlights. “I am so right. You are hot for her aren’t you? Did you have a change of heart?” He enthusiastically asked, stepping in front of her as she kept turning away from him to avoid the conversation.

“Maybe.” She evasively added and slyly grinned, walking away with a laugh.

“She’ll go out with her.” He confidently chuckled under his breath.

“Alright, let’s get into place. The guests are arriving.” One agent alerted as Rayne and Forrest headed into the living room to inform the Senator who was mingling with the party host.

They stood beside Senator Morgan intently watching the guests as he and the host stood in a receiving line to greet them. She grimaced inwardly when the Senator introduced her and Forrest as his new aides. She went from being a Secret Service Agent, to being called an aide and cringed at the thought of it. She was very proud of the fact that she was an agent and it was demeaning to them being classified as personal aides to the Senator. She hoped the assignment wouldn’t last very long. She averted her eyes to the door when Forrest taped her arm to look that way. She slyly snarled at him when she noticed that Lark had just entered. She smiled at the sight of the beautiful woman and felt a tickle in her stomach. She looked back to the guests who the Senator was talking with to quell the feeling. Her heart raced and she inhaled deeply before turning back around to catch a glimpse of the woman who could elicit such a reaction out of her. Her smile turned to disappointment when she noticed Lark had a date. ‘I should’ve known.’ She inwardly commented dejected and shook her head in disbelief. She was extremely disappointed that Lark was with someone. ‘It just figures. When I let me guard down, I get hurt.’ She thought in disbelief. She stoically stood watching the guests as Lark passed by her, angry that she allowed herself to feel something for the woman.

“Hello Agent Donovan.” Lark softly greeted leaning closer to Rayne with a smile when she passed.

Rayne slightly nodded her head and said nothing as Lark passed by. She wasn’t sure why she was so disappointed or was it jealousy that she felt? ‘Whatever it is, I don’t like it!’ She thought and was angry with herself for feeling that way. She momentarily glared at the fair-haired woman that had entered with Lark and turned back to the guests. ‘I should have known this would happen. Damn it!’ She inwardly admonished.

“What was up with that?” The woman asked turning to Lark and was surprised by the chilly reaction she received.

“I think she’s jealous Elaine!” Lark snickered as the pair entered the opposite room.

“And that’s a good thing? For who? She looks like she’s ready to rip my head off!” Elaine worriedly fretted and glanced back to check where Rayne was located. She didn’t want any trouble from her.

“For me! That means she’s more interested in me than she’s willing to admit.” Lark slyly grinned and cringed briefly when she saw one of her father’s ardent supporters heading her way. She quickly placed a fake smile on her face. “Hello Mr. Roberts.” She cordially greeted and reluctantly accepted the kiss he bestowed upon her cheek.

“Lark why are you so formal with me my dear?” He asked grinning and broke the hug.

“I was raised to be polite.” She smiled with a chuckle.

“Who taught you that? It had to have been that gorgeous mother of yours because it certainly couldn’t have been your old man!” He chuckled and shared a hearty laugh with Lark and Elaine.

Lark stepped away from the man who held her a little to close for her comfort and motioned towards Elaine. “Gene,” she grinned mischievously looking back to him, then returned her look to Elaine continuing, “This is my agent Elaine. Elaine this is Gene Roberts one of my father’s most staunch supporters.” Lark smiled and watched as Elaine shook hands with the older gentleman.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you sir.” Elaine cordially greeted and pulled her hand back, which the man held a little to long for her comfort.

“Oh, the pleasure is all mine ma’am.” He drawled with smitten smile glancing between the two women. “I must say Lark, you get more beautiful everyday.” He admiringly looked her over.

“Well, thank you.” Lark smiled and turned to Elaine, lifting an arched eyebrow indicating she wanted out of there. She wished that she hadn’t of even approached the man, but knew her father would appreciate her speaking with him.

“Oh, Lark. There’s Alec!” Elaine alerted as the pair turned to the crowd in the opposite room from them. “We really need to speak with him about the part I’m trying to get you in his latest movie. I think we should go say hello.” Elaine suggested and started to move Lark away from the man.

“Oh, Gene I’m so sorry, but work calls. It was good seeing you again.” She smiled and waved goodbye with the pair hurriedly walking away. “Thanks, I appreciate it.” Lark sighed relieved that they were away from the perverted man that kept too close of an eye on the women.

“Ewww, that guy was giving me the creeps! I think I need a shower now after that pervert stared us up and down!” Elaine answered and shivered, remembering how the man stared at them like they were fresh meat.

“Try to get used to it my dear. All the old farts here do it. The best thing is to have an out so you don’t have to stay around them too long.” Lark advised with a laugh as they sidled up against the wall in an attempt to keep a low profile.

“Do I have to come to many more of these parties with these slimy men?” Elaine whiningly asked, looking at Lark hopeful that she wouldn’t have to.

Lark snickered and glanced up at her. “Hopefully I’ll have the affections of a tall and extremely sexy Secret Service Agent who will protect me from all those old farts the next time!” Lark wishfully replied with a giggle.

“I’m all for that because if you make me come to another one of these damn parties I’m going to have to demand a pay raise!” She jokingly commented and shared a laugh with Lark.

“Speak of the sexy devil. There she is standing all alone.” Lark commented happily, looking across the room at the object of her affection. “I’m going to talk to her. Make yourself scarce my dear, but give me five minutes and join us.” Lark laughed and heard a low growl from Elaine.

“Yes, boss.” Elaine snidely commented with a snicker and watched as Lark disappeared through the crowd. She chuckled and shook her head at Lark’s aggressive pursuit of the attractive agent. ‘I hope she doesn’t get her heartbroken by this woman. I’ve never seen her this aggressive with someone.’ She thought, concerned for her friend and headed towards the bar for a drink.

“Well, hello Agent Donovan.” Lark drawled and sidled up next to the tall agent who kept an eye out for the Senator.

“Hello and goodbye Miss. Morgan, I’ve got work to do.” Rayne coldly commented and quickly walked away. She was hurt by the fact that the woman was with another. ‘I know I shouldn’t be hurt and jealous, but damn it, I am! What was I thinking actually letting my guard down and allowing her to invade my thoughts? Stupid Rayne, really stupid!’ She angrily admonished and moved to the opposite side of the room. She crossed her arms over her chest and blew out the breath she held, fuming over the fact that she was so upset.

Elaine saw the exchange and disappointment in Lark’s face and headed towards her friend. “What happened?”

“Nothing really. Although, Agent Donovan is definitely intrigued by me and is very jealous.” Lark grinned knowingly and sipped the cocktail Elaine handed her.

“Oh, really and just how do you know this?” Elaine sarcastically asked and moved to Lark’s side, looking across the room and seeing Rayne standing there.

“Well, I noticed the smile she had on her face when I first walked in like she was excited to see me and then the disappointment in her eyes when she saw the two of us together. She’s jealous Elaine and that’s good news for me because it means she’s interested big time.” Lark gleefully smiled, happy with her assessment of the situation.

“What if you’re wrong Lark? What if its just arrogance thinking that she’s interested in you? Maybe her grumpiness is part of her every day demeanor.” Elaine queried and sipped her drink.

“Elaine, you know me well enough to know that I normally have a really good sense about people and their feelings. I can see it in her eyes that she is intrigued and interested in me, but she’s troubled about something and maybe that’s what’s taking her so long to come around.” Lark observed and stared at the attractive woman across the room hoping she was correct in her assessment.

“True, but you can also be impulsive and I don’t want to see you misread her actions and get hurt. Just be careful.” Elaine cautiously warned and nudged Lark with her shoulder before snickering.

Lark knew she was right and reluctantly smiled. “Thanks I appreciate your concern, but I’m right and I don’t intend to get hurt.” Lark confidently reassured her. “Well, let’s go mingle.” Lark suggested and walked away followed by Elaine.

‘Let’s hope she doesn’t hurt the angry woman across the room with her intentions.’ Elaine thought as she followed Lark through the crowd. “Do we have to talk to anymore perverts?” Elaine whiningly asked and heard Lark chuckle.

Rayne appreciatively watched the elegant beauty sashay across the room. ‘Damn she’s beautiful and oh so freaking hot!’ She admiringly thought, wishing she had that petite blonde in her arms. Her heart raced and her temperature rose as she watched how Lark’s gorgeous body moved within the slinky mauve dress she wore that clung in all the right places. ‘Whew!’ Rayne blew out the breath that she held and wiped her brow. She looked around to see if anyone was watching her stare at Lark and turned back disappointed when Lark had disappeared from her sight. ‘Stop it! You should have learned from what happened earlier. She’s with someone else.’ She reminded herself, annoyed by the fact that Lark was with another and that she was so affected by it.

“Hey, lover girl. See something you like?” Forrest teasingly asked and stood next to his startled partner who didn’t see him approach.

Rayne looked at him embarrassed and sarcastically asked, “Don’t you have someone to go and shoot or something?”

“Nah, that’s not as much fun as watching you nervously communicate with the hot blonde. Have you asked her out yet?” He asked with a snicker and gave her a sideways glance.

“You’ll be the first to know if I do agree to one!” Rayne answered perturbed by his badgering and walked away. ‘Damn, this is getting too stressful!’ Rayne thought and moved to another spot to watch the evening’s activities, alone. She really didn’t like the way she was feeling like she was somehow losing control of her normally checked feelings. She was finally warming up to the idea of going out with Lark without thinking of Karen as much, but she wasn’t going to be badgered into doing something she might regret. It didn’t seem like she would be going out on that date considering Lark was with someone else now. ‘I won’t interfere in that situation.’ Rayne thought, satisfied with her resolve or was she? Truth be known, she was kicking herself for not taking Lark up on her offer previously.

After combing the large house from one side to the other in protection mode and pretending to be his aide for what seemed like an eternity, she was happy the party was dying down and moved closer to the Senator who was conducting his goodbyes. A small grin appeared when she caught a glimpse of Lark approaching them out of the corner of her eye then a wave of jealousy swept over her knowing that Lark would be leaving with another. She inhaled deeply and blew out the breath of disappointment she held.

“Night daddy.” Lark smiled and hugged her father, leaving a kiss on his cheek before she broke the hug.

“You two be careful on your way home.” He protectively suggested with a smile and hugged Elaine. “I don’t want anything to happen to my little girl.” He smiled and broke the hug with Elaine.

“Hey Rayne!” Fred called out as he approached her. “We are having a basketball game tomorrow; are you two sissies interested in playing for the Senator’s team?” He cockily taunted and tapped her on the arm.

Rayne glared and arched an eyebrow at the fact that he touched her. That was a no-no. “Sissy huh?” Rayne took offense to the comment especially seeing as how it was coming from a beady-eyed geek like Fred who also worked for the Senator.

“Oh, yeah. What do you two say?” He tauntingly asked looking between Rayne and Forrest who looked at each other wondering if this little piss ant was serious. Lark took an interest to what was transpiring and discreetly moved towards them to hear what was being said.

“Okay, we’ll take your little team on.” Rayne defiantly agreed and suggested.

“Excellent! We will play at 1pm at the Downtown fitness center on University.” He enthusiastically informed her.

“We’ll be in the gym with the Senator’s team ready to wipe the floor with you geeks.” Rayne arrogantly informed him.

“Yeah, yeah. We’ll be there!” He cockily answered and headed off.

Lark looked back at her father pretending like she was listening to his conversation, but was listening more intently to Rayne’s. “Can you believe that little shit’s attitude?” Rayne asked surprised by his cocky demeanor.

“I guess we’ll have to show them tomorrow!” Forrest confidently stated with a laugh.

“Lark! Lark are you ready?” Elaine called out repeating her name to get her attention.

“Oh, yes. I’m sorry.” Lark brought her attention back to Elaine’s conversation and looked at her. “Bye daddy.” She smiled and patted his back when she walked past. “Good evening.” She shyly responded with a small smile and slipped her card in Rayne’s pocket when she passed by her.

Rayne stood silent. She was unable to say a word and all she could do was watch the attractive woman walk away. ‘What is up with the effect she has on me?’ She wondered confused and looked at Forrest who had a silly grin on his face. “Don’t say a word.” She warned and walked away, hearing him laugh behind her.

Upon entering her home she dropped her keys on the foyer table and shuffled through the mail on her way to the kitchen. “A bunch of junk.” She commented and threw the mail in the trash. She made a whiskey and coke before flopping her tall frame on her leather couch. “Aah, it’s nice to be home!” She sighed and clicked the button on the remote for the TV. She sipped the cold beverage and flipped through the stations. She settled on the sports channel and placed her drink on the coffee table before her. She removed her boots and then her jacket. She remembered the card that Lark had put in her pocket and pulled it out. She read the card with Lark’s name and various contact numbers on it. She smiled and lightly rubbed her thumb over the card somehow trying to connect with the young woman. She picked up her drink from the table and raised the card to her nose smelling the fragrance on the card.

She sighed disappointed at the thought of Lark being with another person and sat back on the couch. The sweet smell on the card matched the one she remembered that lingered every time Lark was present. She sipped her beverage and was confused by the fact that Lark would still continue to pursue her. “I think I need to go back to my one night stands. Having feelings for one person is way too difficult. I should have known better.” Rayne commented out loud frustrated by what transpired earlier in the evening and tossed the card on the table. She leaned her head against the couch and sipped the beverage hoping it would numb her thoughts.

“Elaine, what do you know about Basketball?” Lark inquired as they entered her house.

“I know that I don’t particularly care for it, especially now. I want to take a shower and get the hoof prints off of me from those old goats! You know, these parties will really try our friendship Lark.” Elaine teasingly commented and placed her purse on the table. She quickly kicked off her shoes relieved that her feet could finally relax from their confining captors.

“Elaine! I need to know a lot about basketball so we don’t look like fools at the game tomorrow.” Lark whined and shook her arm.

“We? Did I hear you say we?” Elaine asked and rubbed her eyes frustrated by the things that Lark gets her into.

“Yes, we are going to the basketball game tomorrow and we can’t look or sound stupid there. So, what do you know about basketball? You were a cheerleader in high school so give it up.” Lark coaxed with a chuckle.

Elaine flopped in the chair exhausted and rested her head in the palm of her hand that leaned against the table. “Lark, all I know is when the ball goes in the hoop for your team that’s good! What more do you need to know?”

“Everything! Elaine come on!” She whiningly goaded her for more information.

“Okay, let me take a shower and I’ll tell you a nice bed time story about basketball. Then I’m going to the guest bedroom and I’m sleeping until noon tomorrow. Agreed?” She firmly asked and looked at Lark who grinned.

“Agreed. You’re the best!” Lark excitedly answered. “Come on I’ll even help you to the bathroom.” Lark offered and placed Elaine’s arm over her shoulder.

“Oh, you’re so good to me Lark!” Elaine sarcastically chuckled and both laughed harder as they headed down the hall.

Rayne woke with a start when she heard her neighbor start his boat engine. ‘Damn! Why does he have to test the engine so damned early?’ She commented agitated from being woken up. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and leaned forward on the couch. She moved around and grimaced from her muscles being tight. ‘I’ve really got to sleep in my own bed.’ She commented inwardly and moved her neck around to loosen it, hearing several cracking noises when she did so. She stood up and stretched before changing the channel to check the time. She gulped hard and quickly turned the TV off noting that she was running late. “Shit!” She responded and tossed the remote on the couch before quickly heading down the hall to dress.

“Elaine! Come on we are going to be late!” Lark hurriedly rushed the partially awake woman who struggled to keep her eyes open as well as hold her bagel and coffee while Lark pulled her across the parking lot.

“Lark, you are never on time to anything since when do you need to be on time for a basketball game?” Elaine queried.

“Since now. Would you come on?” Lark coaxed and urged her ahead faster.

The two women found the appropriate court the game was to be played on and climbed the bleachers to watch the game. “I never knew that a gym could be this large.” Lark commented and sat on the bench looking around the spacious building.

“They are all pretty much like this Lark. You need to try and visit gyms a little more.” Elaine sarcastically stated and mockingly smirked as her friend laughed. Elaine placed her coffee on the bench next to her and sipped the hot beverage. She pushed her sunglasses back up on her face and munched on her bagel as they looked down at the court.

“Oh, my word!” Lark exclaimed and clutched Elaine’s arm.

“Huh? What?” She asked bewildered looking at Lark then to the court.

“Look there’s Rayne.” Lark informed her and clutched her arm a little tighter.

“Which one is she?” Elaine asked, squinting and struggling to see the people on the court.

“Well, if you would take those sunglasses off you might be able to see.” Lark sarcastically commented with a glance back at the woman.

“Hey, give me a break! My eyes are barely open! Now, which one is she?” She defensively asked.

“The hot one down on the court for cripes sake Elaine. She’s wearing the dark blue tank top with red shorts and the blue bandanna. Oh, how they all perfectly fit her too!” Lark appreciatively informed Elaine with an admiring sigh.

“Oh, okay. Now I see her.” Elaine answered and took a bite of her bagel.

“Doesn’t she look good?” Lark excitedly asked and glanced at Elaine.

“Yeah, I suppose so.” Elaine nonchalantly agreed and took another bite of her bagel.

“You don’t think that she’s hot?” Lark asked surprised by her friend’s casual demeanor.

“Yes, Lark she’s hot, but there is no reason for me to get my gander up over her seeing as how you are so interested in her.” Elaine explained and gave Lark a goofy grin.

“Aah, isn’t that sweet.” Lark grinned and looked back to the court. “Oh, my. I’m not sure if I can take it. That body of hers is exquisitely chiseled and ooh, I just love how sweaty it looks.” Lark appreciatively commented, staring at the tall woman who ran up the court. She grasped Elaine’s arm tighter and fanned her face with her hand to cool her escalating temperature.

“Lark, I’m eating! If you’re going to have an orgasm right here don’t touch my arm that’s holding my bagel! Unhand me woman!” Elaine jokingly laughed and struggled to move her arm away from Lark.

“Oh, cut it out!” Lark laughed and blushed embarrassed. “Hey, give me some of that!” Lark teasingly demanded and pulled Elaine’s arm towards her for some of the bagel.

“Get your own woman and leave mine alone!” Elaine answered and jokingly swatted Lark’s hand away as she scooted farther from Lark. They looked at each other and laughed harder. Elaine broke off a piece of her bagel and offered it to Lark.

“Oh, how sweet. Thank you. Here move back over closer.” Lark suggested with a laugh and patted the bench next to her.

“Are you going to get all hot and bothered again?” Elaine jokingly asked with a skeptical look on her face.

“Probably.” Lark admitted with a sheepish grin and a giggle as she looked at her friend.

“Let me finish eating and then I’ll move closer.” Elaine answered laughing and turned to the action on the court.

The dark haired, finely toned woman on the court mesmerized lark. She intently watched every move she made and couldn’t help but be more attracted to the woman. “Why aren’t they keeping score?” Lark asked confused and looked at Elaine.

“Because it’s only warm up Lark.” Elaine answered and expressed an exasperated look her way.

“Oh.” Lark grinned sheepishly and looked back to the court.

“How about if I play center?” Senator Morgan suggested and looked at the group standing around him. No one wanted to say anything to offend the Senator and stood silently with the exception of a few throats being cleared. “Well?” The Senator asked and looked at the group.

Everyone looked at Rayne to make a comment and she rolled her eyes that she would have to do the dirty work. “Well, aah, with all do respect sir you should probably play point guard.” She nervously suggested and looked him in the eye hoping he wouldn’t be too pissed off.

“Are you suggesting I’m short?” He defensively asked and placed his hands on his hips.

“Well, no sir.” The rest of the group nervously answered.

“With all due respect sir yes, you are too short to play center and we would be better off with you at point guard.” Rayne honestly answered and looked at him hoping he wouldn’t deck her.

“I like you Donovan! You shoot straight to the hip unlike these other candy asses! You’re a lot like your old man and you’re right! I’ll help the team better at point guard. Let’s get to playing!” He suggested with a hearty laugh at the woman’s honesty shaking his head and walked away from the group.

“Whew!” Rayne commented and chuckled after he walked away.

“Damn, I thought he was going to chew you out!” Forrest laughed and placed his hand up on Rayne’s shoulder as she fished through her bag for her towel.

“Yeah, me too. Thanks for leaving me hanging, PARTNER!” She sarcastically emphasized the latter and glanced up to him.

“Anytime buddy!” He laughed and patted her back. “Oh, well look who’s here.” He tauntingly observed when he looked up at the crowd.

Rayne glanced up and saw Lark sitting in the stands. Lark smiled and waved slightly when Rayne looked up at her. Rayne’s eyes flicked to Elaine and then back to Lark expressing her displeasure of the woman sitting next to her. Rayne slyly grinned and looked back down moving various items in her bag. She chuckled and shook her head. ‘Why is she tormenting me like this with that woman next to her?’ She wondered and looked at Forrest.

“Oh, that’s so sweet. She came to watch you play basketball.” He tauntingly replied.

“Her father is also playing. Maybe she came to watch him. Speaking of which, let’s go play candy ass!” Rayne teasingly laughed and headed out on the court with her partner in tow.

“Hey, I resemble that remark.” He laughed.

“Yeah, I know!” Rayne agreed with a hearty laugh.

‘Oh, she’s got such a beautiful smile and damn is she hot!’ Lark admiringly thought staring at the tan, muscular arms Rayne sported through her tank top as she watched Rayne play.

As predicted Rayne’s team wiped the floor with the team Fred played on. They shook the other team’s hands and exchanged some goading banter before gathering their bags. “Tom and I will cover the Senator while you take a shower.” Forrest suggested as they walked towards the locker rooms.

“Oh, gee thanks and here I thought I would have to go into the men’s locker room and see all of you naked!” Rayne sarcastically laughed.

“Keep it up and I’ll make sure you do that!” Forrest jokingly added before disappearing into the locker room.

Rayne laughed and headed into her locker room. She placed her remaining belongings in the locker and headed to the shower. She quickly showered and began to dress.

“I’m going to talk to Rayne and see if I can muster a date out of her.” Lark smiled hopeful and headed down the bleachers.

“Good luck!” Elaine offered with a smile and watched Lark head off towards the locker room. ‘You’re going to need it with that one.’ Elaine inwardly added.

Lark entered the locker room and peeked around the different lockers in search of Rayne. She stopped and stood up when she saw the tall women standing before her. She didn’t know Lark was standing there and Lark didn’t attempt to move as she watched her dress. Her heart fluttered when Rayne pulled her jeans up and began to button them. Her heart quickened and she felt flushed as she looked on. ‘Ooh, how sexy! She’s wearing men’s, tightly fitting boxer briefs. I’m in heaven.’ Lark gushed inwardly at the sight before her. She sighed disappointed when the jeans completely covered them and hid the said underwear garments. ‘Whoa baby does she look good in those tightly fitting jeans oh, and yes, of course a leather jacket.’ Lark inwardly narrated approvingly as she watched Rayne finish dressing.

She blushed when Rayne looked up at her and saw her standing there. “Oh, aah hi!” Lark sheepishly grinned and shyly looked down at the ground as she approached Rayne who was gathering her belongings.

“What happened to your date?” Rayne snidely asked stuffing her clothes into her bag without looking at Lark.

Lark was stunned by the reaction, not to mention she was still lost in the vision of the woman dressing before her. She walked closer to Rayne and collected her confused thoughts. “Oh, she’s around.” Lark casually responded with a grin, knowing that Rayne was quite perturbed by the fact that she brought someone to the party the previous evening and to the game!

“Won’t she get upset by you talking with me?” Rayne asked with a sideways glance at the shorter woman waiting for an answer.

“Nah, not really.” Lark commented and tried to conceal her smile when she saw Elaine approach from the side of the locker room.

“There you are Lark.” Elaine smiled and looked at Rayne. “Hello.” She cordially greeted looking up at the tall woman before her. Secretly hoping that she didn’t pummel her.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Rayne this is my agent Elaine and Elaine this is Agent Donovan.” Lark conducted the introductions and tried to contain her excitement when she saw the look of relief on Rayne’s face when she introduced Elaine as her agent. ‘Oh, she’s definitely interested.’ Lark devilishly thought and looked at Elaine.

“Hello Elaine. It’s nice to meet you.” Rayne greeted and was relieved that there was nothing going on between the two women. She felt extremely foolish for mistakenly thinking that they were together. She had been suckered in on that one and didn’t see it coming.

“Likewise.” Elaine responded with a smile and glanced at Lark who looked sideways with a mischievous grin, indicating she should leave. “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I completely forgot about a photo shoot scheduled for today Lark and we really need to get going. We don’t want to be late.” She nervously informed her and looked at Lark, then to Rayne. She felt uncomfortable from the tension the taller woman was sending off and kept a safe distance from her.

Lark grimaced, as she didn’t want to leave right away and relented. “Well, I guess we should be going then. Aah, I just wanted to tell you that you played a great game and it was a lot of fun watching.” Lark sheepishly grinned, hoping she wasn’t saying something stupid, as she had no idea if Rayne played a good game or not.

“Well, it was nice meeting you.” Elaine commented looking at Rayne then to Lark and turned to walk away.

“I’m sorry, but we have to rush off.” Lark excitedly apologized and stared at Rayne as she moved away bumping into Elaine. She blushed embarrassed and giggled like a foolish schoolgirl as the two women quickly disappeared.

Rayne watched as the two women disappeared from sight. “Well, that was wild.” Rayne commented with a laugh, still surprised that she had the wrong impression of Elaine. ‘Her agent huh?’ Rayne inwardly confirmed with a chuckle, and walked out of the locker room towards the gym exit. ‘I guess you shouldn’t have assumed that she was her date.’ Rayne sheepishly admitted as she headed out into the parking lot. Rayne stopped at the BMW motorcycle parked close to the door and plopped her bag on it, securing the bag on the bike. She slipped on her black, leather gloves and mounted the motorcycle still laughing at her stupidity. ‘I totally dig her persistence and how she is so full of herself. Oh, and extremely beautiful.’ Rayne thought with a snicker and placed her helmet on. ‘She is so sure that I’m going to go out with her. I can’t believe I lost my senses and thought she was with Elaine. I feel like an idiot.’ She thought defeated and revved the engine on the motorcycle. She steered the bike down the down the road and flipped the facemask down on her helmet. She sped the motorcycle around the back of the building to meet up with Forrest.

“You okay?” Elaine asked looking at Lark who watched the elusive agent disappear from sight.

“I feel so silly for bumping into you. Do you think I’m being too pushy?” Lark insecurely wondered and slipped into the car, looking at Elaine for her answer that navigated the car down the road.

“Yes, you are. Back off a little and see if she comes around.” Elaine suggested with a warm smile.

“I knew I could count on your honesty.” Lark smiled slightly and looked out the window chewing on her lip, disappointed that Rayne hadn’t taken her up on her offer.

“Well? Did you agree to a date?” Forrest eagerly asked as he approached Rayne who lifted the facemask of her helmet up and killed the engine.

“No, because I feel so stupid and humiliated! That chick with her is Lark’s agent, not her date. I was so embarrassed I just let her walk away.” Rayne regretfully admitted.

“Well, that’s good news that she’s her agent but you are one proud and stubborn son-of-a-bitch do you know that?” Forrest asked, exasperated by his partner’s reluctance.

“Why do you care whether I go out with her or not?” Rayne asked, slightly agitated by his comment.

“Because I’ve seen the positive change she’s made in your demeanor since she’s entered your life. Your personality has improved dramatically and you actually, look like you enjoy life and that you’re happy. Swallow your pride and go back to get her.” He urged and pointed down the road to emphasize his point.

Rayne looked down defeated, as she knew he was right. She had felt a difference in her life since the blonde entered it and there was no more time for fear or reluctance. If she waited too long the woman that had made a dramatic impact on her life in such a short time might slip away. She looked up at Forrest and replied, “I can’t she had to rush off to a photo shoot.”

“So, that shouldn’t stop you. Go find her!” He enthusiastically coaxed.

“Where’s the Senator?” She asked and looked around hoping he was still there so she could inquire as to contacting lark.

“He already left with his other detail. Did you forget that we have this weekend off?” Forrest chuckled at her confused state.

“Damn! Yes!” She answered disappointed and had an idea. “I’ll talk to you later.” She smiled and revved the engine of her motorcycle, quickly disappearing from sight.


Rayne rushed into the house and tossed her keys on the table near the door. She removed her helmet and hurried to the kitchen table. She scattered the papers on the table frantically searching for Lark’s card. “Where in the hell did I put it?” She questioned and looked around the house hoping it might jog her memory. “Aah, my jacket.” She thought out loud and headed down the hallway towards her room. She opened the closet door and moved her clothes in search of the said jacket. She quickly fished through the pockets for the card, which she couldn’t find but she did find Lark’s scarf that she lent her the day they first met. Rayne pulled out the scarf and held it. She smiled when she remembered how Lark eagerly offered the scarf to her that day. Her heart fluttered when she thought of how tender Lark’s touch was against her arm that day. “Coffee table.” She said when it hit her where she left the card, snapping her out of her revere.

Rayne hurried back down the hall to the living room and pushed the numerous remote controls around to find the card. “There you are.” She chuckled, happy to finally find the card. She grabbed the phone and dialed the first number on the card with no answer. She tried the next one with the same result. “Damn! Alright, I’ll try her agency… Who in the hell am I talking to?” She laughed and dialed the number into the phone, shaking her head in disbelief that she was talking out loud to an empty house.

“CU agency, how can I help you?” The pleasant voice on the other end greeted.

“Hi, aah I’m trying to contact Lark Morgan, can you tell me where I can find her?” Rayne stammered, perturbed that she couldn’t reach Lark.

“I’m sorry, I can’t give that information out, but I can take a message and pass it along to her agent.” The woman cordially informed Rayne.

“No, I don’t need you to pass along the message, I need to see Lark right away.” Rayne corrected agitated by the woman not giving out the information.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m not privileged to give out that information. The only person that can is her agent.” The woman attempted to explain.

“Look, this is Secret Service Agent Rayne Donovan. I need to know where to find Lark Morgan, do you understand?” She angrily asked and urged the woman to give her the appropriate information.

“I’m sorry Secret Service Agent Rayne Donovan, but I cannot give out that information as I have no proof of who you are. If you’d like to leave your number I can contact her agent and …” The woman stopped when she heard the dial tone of the phone. “Well, that was rude.” She replied and slammed the phone down, perturbed by the gruff woman on the other line.

“Damn it!” Rayne shouted after clicking the phone off and tossing it on the couch. She grabbed her helmet and looked at the card, noting the address on the card. “I’ll just have to prove who I am in person and make them see it my way!” She arrogantly thought and looked at the scarf. She moved to put the scarf down and pulled it back. “No, this will be a good excuse to see her. Then it won’t seem like I’m so desperate.” She thought and chuckled as she quickly exited the villa.

She sped her motorcycle through traffic and squealed her tires when she stopped in front of the agency. She entered and moved towards the counter. She reached into her coat pocket and pulled her badge out. She flipped it open and displayed it to the woman before her. “I’m Secret Service Agent Rayne Donovan and I need to know where I can find Lark Morgan.”

The woman looked at the badge and peered up sheepishly. “I tried to contact her agent, but the cell phones are off. Is Miss Morgan alright? Is she in trouble?” The woman worriedly asked.

“No, I just need to speak with her. Can you give me the information please?” Rayne asked with a smile hoping the woman would give her what she wanted. The ride over gave her a chance to calm down and realize that the woman was only doing her job.

“Yes, here is the address that you can reach her at. I’m really sorry about not giving you the information before, but it’s just that we have to protect our clients and we get so many people who contact us…” She attempted to explain.

“There’s no need to explain, I completely understand and I’m sorry for being so rude to you earlier. Thanks for the information and you’re doing a great job.” Rayne smiled and took the paper with the address on it before running out the door. She put her helmet on and jumped onto her motorcycle, quickly revving the engine. She sped out of the parking lot heading off to find Lark.

Lark sat silently, lost in her reflective thoughts as the make-up artist touched up her face. “Earth to Lark.” Elaine laughed and looked at Lark who finally made eye contact.

“Very funny.” Lark answered with a smirk and glanced over at her.

“What’s going on in that mischievous mind of yours?” Elaine inquired intrigued by the look on Lark’s face.

“Oh, I was just thinking about Rayne. Do you really think I should back off?” She asked still worried that she might be pushing too hard.

“Well, so far you’re up front, aggressive approach hasn’t worked so, try playing hard to get and see what happens.” Elaine suggested with a shrug of her shoulders.

“Maybe you’re right.” Lark agreed and smiled when the make-up artist was finished.

“Okay, Lark we’re ready for you again.” The photographer shouted and waved her over.

“Be right there!” She shouted and smiled, then looked at Elaine. “You do know that if she were to walk in here right now I wouldn’t play hard to get at all?” She asked with a laugh.

“Yes, I know!” Elaine chuckled and walked beside her. “One of these days you’re going to have to tell me how you are able to walk upright seeing as how you are so spineless Lark.” She laughed with Lark joining in. She watched as Lark approached her mark, waiting for her instructions.

Elaine walked over and sat in a chair watching the photo shoot. She looked down to check the time on her phone. ‘Shit! I forgot to turn the damn thing on.’ She turned the phone on noting she had messages waiting for her. She pushed the button to listen to them and placed the phone to her ear. She glanced at the door and was shocked to see Rayne standing there. She pushed the button to stop the messages and walked towards Rayne. “Hello.” She greeted with a smile. “How did you get past the guards?” Elaine asked, surprised that she was there.

“Hi, well, they normally allow the Secret Service in anywhere.” Rayne chuckled sheepishly. “Aah is it possible for me to speak with Lark?” Rayne asked and looked over the shorter woman to catch a glimpse of Lark.

“Uhmmm, sure but we’ll have to wait until she’s finished with the photo shoot okay? I’ll take you to her dressing room and you can wait for her there, she’s almost finished.” Elaine suggested and motioned with her hand towards the hallway.

“Can I stay and watch?” Rayne asked, surprised that Elaine was trying to make her leave.

“It would be better for Lark if you waited in the dressing room. I don’t want her being distracted and I know if you are in the studio that’s exactly what will happen.” She explained with a sly grin and winked, gently urging Rayne down the hall. “You can wait in here for her.” Elaine informed her and held the door open for her.

“Okay, thanks. Can I ask you something?” Rayne inquired and turned to look at Elaine once she entered the room.

“Sure.” She answered, moving in front of Rayne.

“Is there anything romantic going on between you and Lark?” She felt a pang of jealousy that something might be between them and hoped they had a professional relationship only.

Elaine snickered and covered her mouth at the hilarity of the question. She saw that Rayne didn’t appreciate her laughing, “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just that the question struck me as being very funny. No, there is nothing-romantic going on between Lark and I. We are very good friends and have been since childhood and that’s all we will ever be. She’s like a sister to me.” Elaine explained with a warm smile and saw the relief in Rayne’s eyes.

“Great, thanks. I aah, just wanted to clear that up. I know that Lark said you were her agent, but she wasn’t completely clear on whether you two had been together or not.” Rayne attempted to explain and stopped as the awkwardness of the situation made her feel uncomfortable.

“No, there is nothing but friendship between us. She’ll be in shortly.” She smiled and reached to close the door. She stopped and looked back at her, “Listen, I’ve never seen Lark so interested in someone like she is with you. I know she’d be really upset if she knows I told you that, but I would really hate to see her get hurt. So, please keep that in mind.” Elaine gently urged, staring her directly in the eye to emphasize her point.

“I will, I promise.” Rayne smiled warmly and looked back at the woman, letting her know of her seriousness. Elaine smiled and closed the door behind her. Rayne looked around the room and checked out her surroundings. “Hmmm, she’s very interested huh? Like I didn’t already know that, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else.” She thought with a sly grin and felt her heart quicken at the thought. She picked up Lark’s shirt and raised it to her face. She smelled the fabric and smiled when she caught the scent so familiar to her when she was near Lark. She quickly placed the shirt back on the chair when she heard Lark’s voice outside of the door and turned just as she entered the room.

Lark was stunned to find Rayne standing there, seeing as how Elaine didn’t mention it, and was speechless. They looked at each other and Rayne finally broke the silence.

“Hi, aah I just stopped by to give you your scarf back.” Rayne’s heartbeat quickened when she held the scarf out for Lark.

“Oh, aah yeah. Thanks, I had forgotten about it.” Lark stammered out of her silent state and reached for the scarf, lightly grasping Rayne’s hand as well.

Rayne’s heart fluttered and she stared into Lark’s emerald green eyes, mesmerized by the beauty and warmth she found in them. She had forgotten why she was there and what she wanted to say. She only knew that Lark’s contact felt wonderful and the attraction to her was undeniable.

Lark stared into a sea of sparkling blue and didn’t want to lose the connection. She wanted to take the woman into her arms and passionately kiss her to let her know how she felt about her. She moved closer to Rayne, hoping that would happen.

“Well, aah I’ve got to get going. Uhmmm, thanks for letting me use the scarf.” Rayne nervously retorted and walked past Lark towards the door. Her heart pounded like a thundering herd of wild mustangs and she was too nervous to ask her out. She reached for the door and stopped when she heard Lark’s angelic voice.

“Thank you for bringing it by, I really appreciate it.” Lark smiled, disappointed that she was looking at Rayne’s back and that she would be thwarted in her attempt of a date again.

Her voice had a calming affect on Rayne and her heart steadied to a normal beat. She inhaled and exhaled, finally regaining her composure as she turned to face Lark. “Lark, I aah…” she nervously stammered with her body temperature rising and looked down, “I want to take you up on the offer of a date,” she continued and slowly looked up at Lark waiting for her answer.

‘Yes, finally!’ Lark excitedly thought and smiled happily. “Fantastic! How about tonight?” She eagerly asked. She didn’t want to wait too long, as she feared Rayne would change her mind and back out of the date.

“Sure, what time?” She asked and moved closer to Lark.

“Oh, aah how about seven?” Lark suggested questioningly.

“That’s sounds fine. I need to know where you live to pick you up.” Rayne agreed and inquired.

“How about if I pick you up seeing as how I asked you out on the date?” Lark asked and smiled flirtatiously.

Rayne blushed and chuckled, “Okay sure.” She laughed and was flustered, as this was new to her. She was normally the one doing the asking. “So, what should I wear? Formal or casual?” Rayne questioned.

“Wow, aah I think casual should be fine.” Lark informed her with a smile caught off guard by the question. She was still flabbergasted by the fact that she had actually accepted her offer.

“Okay, well you know where I live. I’ll be ready and see you at seven then.” Rayne confirmed with a smile and turned towards the door.

“Great, I’m looking forward to it.” Lark grinned, her heart pounding in her chest excitedly.

Rayne looked over her shoulder and softly replied, “Me too,” with a sly grin before disappearing behind the door.

“Yes!” Lark squealed and did a happy dance that Rayne finally accepted her offer. ‘Shit, I hope she didn’t hear that!’ Lark worried and peeked out the door to see where Rayne was at and saw Elaine approach. Lark grabbed her and pulled her into the dressing room. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me she was in here!” Lark giggled and playfully punched Elaine’s arm. “Oh, She finally said yes! I can’t believe it!” Lark excitedly informed her.

“I thought you would like to be surprised. So, she said yes to what?” Elaine grinned, knowing exactly what she agreed to. She just wanted to see Lark’s excitement.

“A date! We are finally going out! I can’t believe it we are going to be together!” Lark smiled and dreamily proclaimed as she sat in the chair basking in how good she felt.

“Hold on there Lark. Don’t you think you are jumping the gun a bit? It’s only one date, not a marriage.” Elaine reminded her, worried that her friend was looking into the date too much and kneeled before Lark who sat in the chair.

Lark leaned forward and looked at Elaine. “No, I don’t think I’m jumping the gun Elaine. I truly believe she’s the woman that I’m meant to be with for the rest of my life. I’m in love with this woman and I feel like we’ve been together in another lifetime. I’ve felt that strong connection since the moment I first met her. I truly believe we are soul mates.”

“Oh, come on. I think you’ve been reading to many romance novels. It’s probably lust for the woman that you are feeling.” Elaine discarded her comments as being foolish.

“Well, sure I’m very attracted to her that’s no secret but no, it’s not lust.” Lark protested and sighed frustrated with Elaine’s disbelief in her. “Elaine, don’t you believe in love at first sight?” Lark enthusiastically asked and held her friends hands.

“Lark, I would love to believe that it does happen, but I’ve never seen it so I have a hard time believing it happens. Look, honey. I’ve never seen you this way before and it scares me that you are so into her. I don’t want to see you get hurt.” Elaine worriedly informed her and patted Lark’s hand comfortingly.

“I know and that’s why you are so dear to me, but I truly believe in my heart that she’s the person I’m meant to be with. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s just the way I feel or I wouldn’t have pursued her so arduously.” Lark wholeheartedly explained and smiled.

Elaine searched the greens before her and found truthfulness and sincerity there. “Okay, but promise me you’ll take it slowly with her. I have this feeling that she has some demons that she’s been fighting and she may not feel the same about you. Just take it slow so your aggressiveness doesn’t spook her. I don’t want to see you get your hopes up and then have them destroyed by her.”

“I know you don’t and I thank you for being so caring. I promise to take it slow and see what happens during the date. Who knows? I could be completely wrong about the way I feel for her. She might be a horrible person and not the one I think she is, but my heart will know the truth and the only way to find out is to spend more time with her.” Lark explained and smiled hopeful.

“Okay, that’s all I can ask for Lark. Now, let’s get you home to get ready for your date.” Elaine smiled and suggested as she helped Lark up from the chair.

Lark engulfed Elaine in a hug, “Thank you. I really appreciate your concern and your friendship. You are dear to me.” Lark smiled, breaking off the hug.

“I know, now stop all that mushy stuff and get dressed. We have a closet full of clothes for you to go through ten times before you find an outfit suitable to wear tonight.” Elaine sarcastically grinned and motioned for Lark to get dressed. Lark laughed and grabbed her clothes. Elaine turned away and inhaled deeply. ‘If she hurts Lark, I’ll rip her apart with my bare hands. I don’t care if she is a Secret Service agent or not.’ She angrily guaranteed and worried that Rayne was toying with her best friend.

Rayne beeped the horn and smiled when she saw her nephew Brandon excitedly jump up and down when he caught sight of her. She parked the motorcycle and removed her helmet as the enthusiastic boy rushed towards her.

“Auntie Rayne! Take me for a ride!” He eagerly shouted and practically climbed up her leg trying to mount the motorcycle.

She lifted him onto the motorcycle and placed him on the seat before her. “Another time little dude. I have to be somewhere shortly so I don’t have the time.” She chuckled and kissed his head, watching him hold onto the handlebars, pretending he was driving.

“Oh, man! Please?” He asked with a grin looking over his shoulder to his aunt.

“Nah, I’ve got to talk to your old man.” She smiled and climbed off the motorcycle taking him with her. She lifted him onto her shoulders and carried him towards the garage where her brother was working. “Duck little man!” She alerted as they entered the garage and she chuckled when her nephew dipped his head giggling just in time to move away from the garage door.

“Well, look at what my handsome son drug in!” Her brother sarcastically greeted with a sly grin looking at the pair.

“Yeah, well it could have been worse.” Rayne quipped and lowered her nephew to the ground.

“How about letting me be the judge of that.” He laughed and winked at his sister.

“Very funny. Listen, you got a minute to chat?” She asked, changing to a serious demeanor.

“If it gets me away from this stupid ‘honey do’ list I’ve got all the time in the world.” He answered with a snicker and grabbed a rag. “Here, go clean off that dirty motorcycle your aunt rides around on.” He suggested to his son and handed him the rag.

“Cool!” He enthusiastically shouted and ran towards the motorcycle.

“Hey, stay away from anything that’s hot!” Rayne shouted worriedly.

“Yes, ma’am.” He sarcastically answered with a wry grin.

“You should keep him away from Jayce, he’s really becoming a smart ass.” Rayne suggested with a laugh.

“I think it’s from being around his auntie.” Shayan added with a sly grin. “So, what’s on your mind little sis?” He asked, cleaning his hands with a rag.

“Well, I finally accepted a date with the woman I told you about before.” Rayne admitted and looked around nervously.

“The actress, Lark Morgan?” He asked with a smirk.

“Yes, do you know her?” Rayne asked surprised, turning her gaze upon him.

“Not really, I’ve heard nothing else from Brandon since he saw her over at your place.” He chuckled and glanced at his son then back to his sister who laughed.

“I didn’t realize he was that huge of a fan.”

“Well, I think it’s great that you are going out with her Rayne. Why are you worried about it?” He asked suspiciously. It wasn’t like his sister to be so affected by a date with another woman.

“What makes you think I’m worried?” Rayne asked, placing her hands on her hips.

“Because you’ve never come over to tell me you are going out on a date with another woman that’s why.” He explained with a smirk.

Rayne paused and chuckled. “Very true, yes I’m nervous.” She sheepishly admitted and walked out of the garage. She stood with her back to her brother and watched Brandon polish her motorcycle.

“Well, come on the suspense is killing me. Why are you so nervous? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this way Rayne. You are normally calm, cool and collected. Why are you all of a sudden so nervous about a date? Is it because she elicits feelings that you’ve never had before and it scares you?” He inquired and stood next to her, looking at her.

“You got it big bro.” She admitted and stuffed her hands in her pockets. She averted her eyes away from her brother who stared at her. “I have these really strong feelings for her and no matter how many times you tell me not to, I still feel guilty for having them.

“Listen, Rayne it is good that you are having these feelings for another person. It’s time you get over Karen and move on to something real. These one-night stands are getting you nowhere and I would bet my bottom dollar that you’re not happy even though you tell everyone otherwise. I told you before that Karen wouldn’t want you sulking around like you have been. Go on your date and have a great time. Besides, it’s only a date. Who knows, you may be having these feelings and they turn out to be false then you’ll feel silly for being so nervous. It’s not like you’ll be committed forever after one date.” He reasoned and smiled, patting his sister on the shoulder.

“That’s what you think. You haven’t heard how lesbian relationships work bro. Usually the U-Haul pulls up on the second date.” She chuckled, lightening the mood.

“Well, how about getting through the first date and worry about the second date and the U-Haul later.” He suggested with a laugh. “Come on sis, have fun and enjoy yourself on the date. Relax and enjoy the company of an attractive, intriguing woman.” He coaxed with a grin.

“Yeah, you’re right.” She agreed with a smile. “I’m just being stupid and worrying for nothing.” She admitted and looked around embarrassed for being so insecure, then looked back at her brother.

“They are normal feelings Rayne and just remember, you don’t have to commit to anything it’s just a first date.” He added with a warm smile. “Let’s see how good of a job you did on the bike.” He commented and moved closer to Brandon to examine the motorcycle. “Very good job son. I think you’re aunt will be very pleased.” He smiled and tussled Brandon’s hair proudly.

“Well, Auntie Rayne what do you think?” He asked, looking up at the tall woman who had moved closer to them.

“It’s beautiful. I couldn’t have done a better job myself Brandon. Thank you very much.” She encouraged and kneeled next to him. She kissed his cheek and hugged him. “Here, go out and get something at the toy store.” She suggested and handed him money.

“Oh, yes! Now that’s what I call money dad!” He exclaimed excitedly and held the ten-dollar bill up.

“Well, I see your aunt is very generous. Make sure you thank her.” He reminded his young son.

“Yes, thank you auntie.” He smiled and hugged her.

“No, thank you. My bike looks great. I’ll see you tomorrow okay?” She asked and smiled proudly looking at her godson.

“You got it. I’m going to show this to mama. Bye, I love you.” He added and kissed her before running towards the house.

Rayne laughed and shook her head at his precariousness. She stood up and grabbed her helmet then sat on the motorcycle. “Thanks for the chat Shay I really appreciate it.” She smiled and put her helmet on.

“Anytime, that’s what brothers are for. Have a great time tonight.” He encouraged and smiled watching Rayne ready her motorcycle.

“I intend to.” She grinned and flipped the facemask down. She navigated the motorcycle down the driveway as Holly approached her husband.

“Is everything okay? She didn’t stay too long.” Holly asked as the pair watched her disappear down the street.

“Yeah, she just wanted to hear what she already knew in her heart.” He explained.

“And what’s that?” She asked confused by his comment.

“That it’s time to put her feelings for Karen in the past and open them up for someone else.” He answered and headed back into the garage. Holly stood staring down the road and inwardly hoped that Rayne could do just that and move on.

“Look, Lark! You really need to choose a dress and fast. You are getting very close to the time for your date and you definitely don’t want to be late.” Elaine reminded the flustered woman.

“Elaine! I don’t know what to wear! I want to look fantastic tonight!” Lark anxiously stated and animatedly threw her hands up frustrated with her wardrobe.

“Lark, you are one hot number in anything you wear now pick out a damn dress so I can bring the bulldozer in to pick up this pile of clothing you have on the bed. That is the bed right? I can’t tell anymore there are so many clothes on there.” Elaine sarcastically commented and looked at the mountainous pile of clothing.

“Very funny. Shit, it is so late! Which one should I wear?” She frantically asked.

“This hot, black little number. The first one you pulled out.” Elaine suggested and handed it to her.

“Yes, that one does look good on me huh?” Lark agreed and held it up to her in front of the mirror checking out the look.

“Yes, it will look great. Now, get in the shower and I’ll have Hazel iron it for you. Go on, get going.” She ordered and took the dress from Lark. She shooed her towards the bathroom as Lark laughed and giggled all the way into the room.

“Well, how do I look?” Lark tentatively asked turning around to show off the look to Elaine and Hazel.

“Wow, fantastic Lark. Very hot and irresistible!” Elaine enthusiastically agreed.

“Are you sure?” Lark nervously asked, hoping she looked perfect.

“You look very beautiful and elegant Lark.” Hazel her housekeeper, jack-of-all-trades added with a warm smile.

“I agree.” Elaine smiled.

“Whew, I was so worried.” Lark sighed, relieved that they approved of her dress. “When will the limo be here?” Lark asked and checked the clock.

“It should be here in a few minutes.” Elaine informed her.

“Oh, no I didn’t even think about it. Maybe the limo will be too overwhelming for the first date? I should drive my car.” Lark nervously wondered and moved closer to Elaine.

“It will be fine Lark, don’t worry. Besides, you don’t want to scare the poor woman off with the reckless way you drive!” She added with a laugh to ease Lark’s anxiety.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I just don’t know what her background is and I would hate to make her feel uncomfortable.” Lark fretted and paced back and forth before the other two women. “Hey! I’m not that bad of a driver!” She protested when it finally registered in her mind the sarcastic comment said to her.

Elaine smirked and reasoned, “Lark, she drives a BMW motorcycle I don’t think a limo is going to scare her off. Besides, didn’t you tell me she lives down by the beach? She must have some kind of money to live there.” Elaine reasoned and smiled, watching her friend pace nervously.

“Yeah, you’re right! Oh, I’m just so nervous! I want to make a good impression.” Lark whined worriedly.

“Lark, everything’s going to be fine. You are a beautiful, personable and a very likeable person, don’t worry. Have a wonderful time and I’ll see you tomorrow.” Hazel comfortingly replied with a smile and patted Lark on the shoulder.

“Thanks, Hazel that’s so sweet. Have a good evening.” Lark smiled warmly and watched the older woman leave the house. “What? What are you laughing at?” Lark asked, looking at Elaine who was laughing and shaking her head.

“I’m laughing at the fact that I’ve never seen you so insecure and worried about a date before.” Elaine explained looking at her friend.

“Well, this is different. I want something more than just a first date. I want more than that from Rayne.” Lark whined, hoping that this would not be the first and last time she had a date with the tall, dark woman who had stolen her heart the moment she first saw her.

“I know honey, but you can’t force the issue. Relax and be yourself. Have a wonderful time and if this is meant to be then there will be more than one date. You promised me you would take this slowly now get with the program and don’t break that promise.”

“I know, you’re right, but I can’t help the way I feel about her Elaine.” Lark agreed and sighed, trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach.

“Remember, take it slow and get through this date, then take it from there okay?” Elaine asked and comfortingly rubbed her arm.

Lark looked at her and smiled. “You are so good to me. Thanks.”

“Yeah, well remember that in my bonus check.” Elaine chuckled and caused Lark to laugh. “Now, make sure you show that a lot and you won’t have a thing to worry about. You have a beautiful smile and it will melt her heart I promise. If you weren’t like a sister to me I’d date ya!” Elaine teasingly commented and laughed trying to lighten the mood.

“Oh, what should I do if we aah get hot and heavy later? Should I do the deed on the first date?” Lark nervously asked and looked at Elaine wide-eyed.

“Just go with the moment. If it feels right then do it if not back off. Besides, you shouldn’t really be going on the advice of a nymphomaniac like myself Lark. I always put out on the first date because I’m not sure when my next time will come!” Elaine laughed joined by Lark.

“Oh, you are so bad.” Lark chuckled and heard the doorbell ring. “Ooh, that’s the limo driver.” She excitedly announced and headed towards the door, followed by Elaine. “Does my make-up look okay? How is my lipstick? Do you like this color red?” Lark anxiously asked, stopping to let Elaine look her over.

“Lark, stop it! You look great! Your dress, hair and make-up all look very beautiful.” Elaine chuckled at her friend’s nervousness. “The color of your lipstick is exquisite too.” Elaine grinned wickedly and winked as she opened the door. “Now get going! Have a great time and calm down!” Elaine laughed and pushed Lark out the door towards the limo.

“Thanks, I’ll call you. Oh, don’t forget to set the alarm for me okay?” Lark giggled and looked back remembering the alarm.

“I will, don’t worry. I’ll be leaving as soon as I look over the contracts. I’ll leave them for you on the counter for you to check out when you have time. Have fun!” She shouted out and closed the door as Lark approached the limo.

Rayne paced nervously and checked her look too many times, worrying that she didn’t look quite right. ‘I should have worn the other jacket.’ She thought frustrated with her outfit and checked her watch. ‘Damn, if I change the jacket then I have to do the shirt too and I don’t have time, she’ll be here any minute. Now, should I invite her in for a drink or should I meet her at the door or just meet her outside in the driveway?’ She anxiously wondered and pushed her hair off her forehead. ‘Okay. Just calm down, you’ve been out on many dates before.’ She admonished and heard a car pull into her driveway. She blew out the breath that she subconsciously held and wiped the sweat from her brow. ‘Okay, this is it. Now, don’t blow it by saying something really stupid.’ She nervously told herself and approached the door when she heard the bell ring. She reached for the door and pulled back when she noticed her hand shaking. ‘Get a hold of yourself woman!’ She shook her hand and reached for the door, finally opening it.


“Hello Rayne.” Lark enthusiastically greeted and smiled when the door opened. She was surprised she mustered those words out she was so nervous.

Rayne was astounded by the beauty of the woman before her and stood staring at Lark, unable to say anything. ‘She’s absolutely gorgeous!’ Rayne admiringly thought, trying to calm her racing heart.

The silence worried Lark as she tentatively asked, “Rayne?” She insecurely wondered if Rayne didn’t like what she saw before her.

“Oh, aah I’m sorry. Please come in.” Rayne chuckled embarrassed by her display and motioned for Lark to enter her home, intently watching her as she elegantly sauntered past her. She was speechless and stared at the shorter woman, catching a subtle whiff of Lark’s alluring sweet scent when she passed by. Her graceful and seductive demeanor hypnotized her as she walked further into the villa. ‘Oh, man. I’m in trouble with this one.’ She thought and closed the door. She stood upright when Lark turned to face her, as she didn’t want Lark to catch her checking her out.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes. Sorry, aah you look fabulous. Wow!” Rayne nervously laughed and checked Lark over once more. “I apologize, I’m nervous.” Rayne sheepishly admitted, averting her eyes from the sensuous woman before her, then returned her gaze upon the lovely beauty.

“Whew, well that makes two of us then. I’m just as nervous and thank you for the comment.” Lark smiled appreciatively.

“Maybe a drink will calm us both down? What can I get for you?” Rayne suggested and offered, pointing towards the bar across the living room.

“How about wine?” Lark asked with a smile and walked towards the bar Rayne pointed to.

“Sure, red or white?” Rayne asked, picking up her pace to walk beside Lark who had passed by her.

“White would be perfect.” Lark answered smiling.

“Then white it shall be.” Rayne grinned with her anxiety slightly subsiding. She put a glass on the bar and attempted to poor the wine, but her hands shook too much to pour it. She looked up at Lark hoping the woman didn’t see her display. She blushed slightly and calmed when Lark covered her hand with her own; the contact had an instantaneous soothing affect upon her.

“Let me help you.” She softly offered with a smile and took the bottle from Rayne. She was just as nervous and hoped she could pour the wine without doing the same thing.

Rayne stared at her as she moved closer to pour the wine. The electricity she felt from Lark’s closeness was undeniable and she loved the feeling of being next to this woman.

“There.” Lark smiled and placed the bottle on the counter.

“Sorry.” Rayne sheepishly grinned and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. She put her glass on the counter and looked up as Lark began to move around the room. She looked down and placed a few cubes of ice in the glass, then poured her drink.

“You have a lovely home Rayne.” Lark observed and moved towards the entertainment center looking at the various pictures before her. She sipped her wine and looked back to Rayne who had approached. “I assume these are your brothers?” She asked, pointing to what appeared to be a family photo.

“Yeah, the one on the left is my older brother Shayan and the other one is my younger brother Jayce.” She explained and pointed to the picture.

“Wow, they are very handsome and you all look so much alike. If you had not told me they were your older and younger brothers I would have thought you were triplets. Good looks certainly run in your family.” Lark observed and smiled flirtatiously, before looking back to the pictures.

Rayne blushed and chuckled. “I guess so.” She answered evasively with a shrug of her shoulders.

“You had really long hair Rayne.” Lark noted looking at another picture. “How long ago was that picture?” Lark asked and looked at Rayne for the answer.

“Oh, about seven months ago.” Rayne answered, feeling uncomfortable talking about the picture before her. ‘Shit, I forgot to take that picture of Karen and I down.’ She thought angry with herself for leaving it up. ‘That must be very uncomfortable for her. Maybe she’ll just think she’s a friend.’ She hoped and felt uneasy. She wasn’t sure why, but it seemed important to her how that picture might affect Lark.

“You look fabulous with long hair.” Lark complimented and looked at Rayne. “Oh, I’m not implying that you don’t look great now with the shorter hair I was just pointing out…aah…” Lark attempted to explain, but was interrupted by Rayne.

“Don’t worry I understand what you are talking about.” Rayne grinned to put Lark at ease.

“Great!” She sighed with a giggle. “Who is the woman in the photograph?” She asked, feeling a wave of jealousy consume her from another woman being with Rayne. She knew she shouldn’t feel that way as she had no right too, but she couldn’t help it. She wanted to be that woman. She felt her heart flutter when Rayne put her hand on the small of her back and her jealousy swept away as quickly as it came.

“Oh, no one in particular. Aah, do we have reservations? Because we should be going if we do?” Rayne asked, trying to change the subject.

“Yes, I forgot!” Lark admitted and laughed, checking her watch. “We should be going.” She smiled and handed her glass to Rayne.

“I’ll be right back.” Rayne stated smiling, and took the glasses to the kitchen. She downed her drink before placing the glasses in the sink and inhaled deeply, then exhaled in an attempt to control her beating heart that raced faster in the presence of Lark. She grabbed her keys and a flower from the counter before rushing over to Lark who stood by the door. “This is for you.” Rayne offered with a smile.

“Oh, how beautiful. I love roses and this peach colored one is gorgeous. How did you know?” She asked surprised and felt a tickle in her stomach from the feeling of happiness.

“I’m a Secret Service Agent, that’s my job ma’am.” Rayne grinned mischievously and held the door open for Lark.

Lark laughed and exited the door waiting for Rayne to lock up the house. “Well, thank you, I love it!” Lark smiled as Rayne moved next to her and placed her hand on the small of her back again. She was quickly becoming accustomed to the feeling of Rayne touching her. She smiled happily as they walked towards the car and smelled the scent of the flower within her hands. Her heart skipped a beat when she thought of how romantic the gesture was to her.

“Well, I’m glad. So, where are you taking me in this fancy limo?” Rayne inquired with a chuckle and held up her hand, thwarting the driver from coming around to open the door. She opened the door for Lark and smiled when she climbed in before her. She took her seat and closed the door.

“We are going to the Melting Pot, I hope you like fondue?” Lark answered and inquired tentatively hoping she would like the choice. She smiled when Rayne glanced her way.

“I’ve never had it, but I’ll try anything once.” Rayne admitted with a laugh shared by Lark who sighed relieved.

“I promise that you’ll love it. The food is delicious and the best part is the dessert.” Lark added with a giggle.

“Sounds great.” Rayne answered and smiled. She looked out the window and wondered if she should tell her about the woman in the picture. ‘I should tell her about her, but not everything. She’s probably wondering why I changed the subject really quick and didn’t explain who she was in the picture. She probably thinks I’m an ass.’ Rayne worriedly thought and turned to Lark. “Aah, the person in the picture was my partner, but we are no longer together.” She admitted and looked at Lark.

“Okay, thanks for telling me that. Do you want to talk about it?” Lark asked and cringed inwardly. ‘What in the hell are you doing? Damn, I wish I could take that back!’

“No, not tonight on our first date. Some other time.” Rayne answered and smiled warmly.

“Okay, sure.” Lark smiled and was happy that she didn’t want to talk about her former lover. In a way she wanted to know about her, but in another way she didn’t, it made her jealous thinking of Rayne being with another woman. It certainly wasn’t a subject you discussed on a first date. ‘I’m glad that topic was quickly put to a halt. Mental note, don’t ask anything stupid like that again!’ She inwardly fought with her subconscious.

“Oh, I watched the fairy tale movie you were in where you played a princess.” Rayne mentioned and pointed at Lark, when she remembered watching the movie. She was happy for the opportunity to change the subject and jumped all over it quickly. She was kicking herself for bringing it up in the first place, but felt she needed to explain her evasiveness about the picture for some strange reason.

Lark was stunned and embarrassed that Rayne had seen her movie. “Oh, my gosh. You saw that movie?” She asked, surprised.

“Well, it seems that my nephew Brandon is a big fan of yours and he had me watch the movie a few weekends back.” Rayne admitted with a grin.

“I’m embarrassed.” Lark blushed, lowering her head and laughing.

“Why? I thought it was a pretty good movie and I thought you looked very beautiful in it.” Rayne complimented and smiled warmly.

“Well, thank you. It’s just that I get this weird feeling when people I know see my movies. I guess I have this insecurity about them liking my performance or something. It’s strange.” Lark sheepishly grinned as she stared at Rayne.

“Nah, don’t feel that way. I really enjoyed the movie and I thought you did a wonderful job.” Rayne smiled and settled her uneasiness.

There was awkwardness in the silence between them when intent blues captured green one’s. ‘Oh, kiss me please.’ Lark thought wishfully and moved towards her. Rayne looked away when she felt the car slow down and turned to look out the window as the limo stopped. ‘Damn it!’ Lark cursed inwardly, frustrated that she wouldn’t receive the kiss she desired.

“Well, we’re here.” Rayne announced looking at Lark. She opened the door and stepped out. She held her hand out to Lark to help her out of the car.

“Thank you.” Lark grinned and stood beside Rayne as she smoothed out her dress. She moved away from the door and Rayne closed it.

“You okay?” Rayne asked smiling and watching Lark fidget with her dress.

“Yes, let’s eat.” Lark grinned as Rayne offered her hand to help her ascend the curb. ‘Oh, my chivalry is not dead with this one. Be still my beating heart!’ Lark thought, flustered and impressed by Rayne’s manners. She was pleasantly surprised when Rayne held her hand all the way into the restaurant.

The restaurant exuded a romantic ambiance with the light sounds of music and dark lighting. The women were quickly ushered to a table in the back. “It’s a pleasure having you at our establishment again Miss Morgan. We’ll see to it that your privacy is respected.” The cordial host informed her with a smile and handed them their menus after they took their seats.

Rayne checked out the menu and lowered it to look at Lark. “So, what’s good here other than the desserts?” She asked with a smirk.

“Everything is good here.” She countered with a laugh.

“Okay, let’s try this one. What do you recommend?” Rayne asked laughing.

“How about if we get the special for two. It comes with the cheese fondue appetizer, salads, Filet Mignon, Teriyaki steak, which I highly recommend, Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken and vegetables and then the best part, dessert!” Lark explained with a laugh when Rayne answered dessert along with her.

“I can deal with that, but won’t it be too much? That sounds like a lot of food.” Rayne asked, reciting the choices over in her head.

“No, I’ve been known to have a voracious appetite.” Lark sheepishly grinned and sipped her water.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Rayne chuckled and closed the menu, placing it on the table. They placed their order and waited for the cheese appetizer. “So, Lark did you go to school for acting?” Rayne inquisitively asked and leaned back against the seat.

“Well, I attended Juilliard for a year majoring in Drama. When I was on summer break I got a part on a TV medical drama and didn’t go back to school.” Lark explained and sipped her cocktail.

“Wow, Juilliard huh? That’s very impressive. Do you plan to finish school?” Rayne inquired and intently waited for the answer.

“No, I’m just not into the school thing. I’m pretty happy with the way my career is going now and I can’t see where going back to school would make a huge difference in my life.” Lark explained and ate the morsels before her. She wiped her mouth and looked up at Rayne. “How about you? What school did you go to?”

“Well, I was in the military for a year and when I injured my knee I went to Harvard.” Rayne answered unassumingly.

“Very nice school. My dad wanted me to go there when he finally realized I wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps of attending West Point.” Lark smiled and chuckled.

“My father attended Harvard as well as my brother Shayan. So, he was very pleased that I decided to go there.” She explained between bites of food.

“What did you major in there?” She queried as she ate.

“Law, just like my dad and brother.” Rayne sheepishly admitted with a smirk.

“You’re a lawyer?” Lark asked with a laugh surprised by her law degree.

“Yeah, why is that so surprising?” Rayne teasingly asked with a sly grin.

“I just don’t see you as being a lawyer for some reason. You look like a woman of action and I just can’t see you in a courtroom defending someone.” Lark giggled.

“You’re right. I realized in my last year that the courtroom wasn’t for me and decided to sign on with the Service. It’s a perfect match for me.” She explained with a chuckle.

“What did you do in the military?”

“I started out in Special Ops and my commander recommended that I attend Navy SEAL training. I was hoping to become the first female Navy SEAL, but I hurt my knee. The injury required surgery and that ended my dreams. The Service accepts my knee, but the SEALS wouldn’t.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Lark answered sadly.

“Don’t be. I was for a while, but then I realized things happen for a reason and normally it’s for the best. Besides, I really love being a Secret Service Agent.”

“This is very true. If you would have become a Navy SEAL then we probably would have never met.” She reasoned with a smile.

“So true.” Rayne added with a wry grin.

“What about your younger brother? What school does he attend?” Lark answered and watched as the waiter cleared the dishes and placed the main dish on the table.

“He is a Harvard man too.” Rayne laughed and picked up the skewers to cook the food.

“Too funny. I guess it’s best to keep it in the family huh? My dad will be very pleased to find out you are a Harvard grad.” She chuckled and prepared her food to cook.

“Which batter did the waiter say to dip the chicken in? I wasn’t paying attention to him.” She asked with a chuckle.

“Dip it in this one here.” Lark answered and pointed to the said batter. “So, what does your father do for a living?” She asked, looking up to Rayne.

“He’s the Ambassador to Greece.” Rayne answered and looked up at Lark before placing her skewer into the pot to cook the steak.

“So, both of our father’s are in politics huh?” She asked with a chuckle.

“It seems so.” Rayne concurred with a laugh.

“Do you have any aspirations towards politics?”

“Yes, my aspiration towards politics is to steer clear of it and protect the one’s who love it!” Rayne sarcastically commented and laughed as did Lark from the comment.

“Me too. I would rather steer clear of it, but somehow my father seems to draw me into the mix by having me make appearances with him. I can’t wait for the damn election to over. I’m sick of going to those boring parties with all of those old farts pawing all over the women.” Lark replied with a grimace at the thought of the way they acted.

“Well, if you have any problems at the next one, find me and I’ll take care of them.” Rayne offered, smiling and winking.

“Great!” She added enthusiastically.

“I guess your father knows my father because he mentioned something to me about my dad not long ago.” Rayne commented, changing the subject.

“Was your father in the military?”

“Of course, or my grandfather would have disowned him!” She laughed heartily.

“Really?” Lark asked surprised and giggled.

“Nah, but it was hard for him to not follow in his footsteps as he was a military man too. It kind of rubs off on the children.” Rayne grinned looking at Lark.

“Well, maybe. I think I’m the exception to the rule because there was no way I was going into the military.” Lark answered with a laugh shared by Rayne.

“Somehow I can’t see you in the military.” Rayne added with a chuckle.

“Hey, should I be offended by that comment?” Lark teasingly asked, giggling.

“No, don’t be. The military just doesn’t seem like a place of occupation for someone as feminine and beautiful such as yourself.” Rayne complimented with a warm smile.

“Well, thank you.” Lark blushed and smiled appreciative of the compliment. They stared at one another lost within each other’s gaze and smiled when the waiter broke their revere. Lark wished she were in Rayne’s arms as her brain screamed ‘want me the way that I want you!’

“Is everything okay?” The waiter cordially asked.

“Yes, perfect. Thank you.” Lark answered and smiled. She looked back at Rayne when the waiter left. “So, are you Greek?” She asked and placed a piece of lobster in her mouth.

“Yes, I am.” Rayne admitted.

“Your last name doesn’t sound Greek.” Lark commented.

“Yeah, well that happens when the last name is shortened down through the years. Trust me, it’s a good thing the name was shortened. I’d hate to have to spell it all the time, I have a hard time pronouncing it!” Rayne informed her and laughed as did Lark. “What about you? What is your nationality?” Rayne asked placing food in her mouth and looked up at Lark waiting for her answer.

“Well, I’m a mixture of Irish and Swedish. My dad is Irish and my mom is Swedish. Sorry, I’m not a pure bred.” Lark answered with a chuckle.

“Not a bad mix at all and I certainly won’t hold you breed against you, but it does explain your beautiful features.” Rayne answered smiling and wondered if she really said the latter out loud.

“Thanks. You are really making me blush.” Lark bemused smile played upon her lips and she shyly looked away from Rayne, and then looked back. “Your features are absolutely beautiful as well Rayne.” ‘Oh, did I just say that?’ She wondered slightly flushed from spitting out what she was thinking.

“Now you are making me blush!” Rayne added with a chuckle and shifted in her seat uneasy with the admiration especially when it was directed towards her.

Lark saw that Rayne was uncomfortable with the conversation and changed the subject. “So, do you look like your mother or your father?”

“I guess I look like a cross between both of them. I’ve never really thought about it that much.” Rayne admitted with a chuckle. “I think you look a lot like your mother, but I think you got your father’s green eyes.” She informed Lark with a warm smile, enjoying the fact that she was staring into those beautiful green eyes.

“Maybe that explains why I’m daddy’s little girl.” Lark added with a sardonic grin.

“Hey, imagine that. So am I!” Rayne added with a hearty laugh. “I love to make my dad blush by calling him daddy! It’s pretty funny.” Rayne told her and snickered thinking back on how her father reacts in that situation.

“I know my dad does the same thing!” Lark added with a laugh. “What does your mother do for a living?” She asked, biting into the steak on her fork.

“Her job is to make sure that my father is able to function in life.” Rayne laughed as did Lark. “Nah, she is a financial consultant and handles the family’s finances. She’s quite busy with all of our portfolios.” She laughed hardily. “ How about your mom? What does she do?” Rayne quizzically asked when she stopped laughing.

“She’s the quintessential politicians wife. I don’t think I can explain her any better than that. She totally digs all the stupid parties and stuff like that. She thrives on the attention and loves being a politicians wife.” Lark informed her and rolled her eyes with a chuckle.

“Hmmm, well somebody has to do it!” Rayne added with a laugh.

“So, what are your hobbies Lark other than pursuing unsuspecting Secret Service Agents?” Rayne grinned wickedly and watched Lark shift in her seat from the playful barb.

“Well, that is my favorite hobby especially when the agent is you.” Lark admitted flirtatiously and continued, “I love shopping, shopping and more shopping.” Lark informed her laughing and wondered why she was being so bold with her compliments. She felt so at ease with Rayne that the comments just flowed off her tongue freely and without hesitation. ‘It’s a good thing that everything I’m thinking isn’t coming out or would I be embarrassed.’ She inwardly thought and felt flush from her erotic thoughts of Rayne.

“Shopping huh?” Rayne asked with a sigh. ‘I hate shopping, but I think I could get used to shopping with a beautiful woman like her.’ She inwardly thought.

“I enjoy traveling, reading, writing and I love children.” Lark added with a wondrous smile with the mention of children.

“Great, I love traveling and kids as well.” Rayne smiled, her interest peaked more so than the shopping hobby. “I really love being around my nephew. He’s such a cool little guy.” Rayne added with a proud smile.

“I love them too! I wish I had a sibling who would grant me a nephew or a niece until I can have some children.” Lark answered with a smile as a touch of regret that she had no siblings tugged at her heart.

Rayne was pleasantly surprised to find out that Lark was interested in having children. She had always wanted to settle down and have children with the woman she loved. ‘Could she be that person?’ She inwardly asked and wondered if the feelings she was having for Lark were real or just her imagination. She knew this, that she wanted to get to know her much better and enjoyed her company. The talk of children with Lark didn’t spook her like the same conversation did with other woman she had dated. Her other lover’s had always brought up the subject, but she never had an interest in having children with them. It scared her to discuss the topic with them and she always felt trapped, except now. She didn’t feel that way with Lark. She was surprised by her reaction to the discussion that she didn’t change the subject or haul ass out of the restaurant.

“Well, what are your hobbies other than traveling, children and being a daring Secret Service Agent?” Lark asked, grinning mischievously. She loved the intrigue of Rayne being a Secret Service Agent. That and Rayne’s mysterious persona fascinated her.

“I love sports and anything that is daring, scary and exhilarating. I love to ride my motorcycle as fast as it will go through heavy traffic and jump out of airplanes, hang glide, bungee jumping. All of those activities that put your life on the line and give you such a rush when you do them.” Rayne answered and smiled, loving the thrill of it.

“Do you have a death wish Rayne?” Lark asked, in a serious tone and wondered why someone would want to lay their life on the line as she does with work and in her personal life.

Rayne sat silently and stared into Lark’s eyes that were filled with love and warmth. She never really thought about how her work and leisure activities were so dangerous. Or did she? ‘Have I subconsciously been hoping for a death wish? Maybe. I never did any of those things when Karen and I were together. I didn’t have a motorcycle then either.’ She wondered and blinked when the realization hit her, that she indeed had subconsciously placed a death wish upon herself. She had been trying to fulfill that wish with her daredevil lifestyle. She looked down at the table with the realization and peered up at Lark, knowing in her heart that she no longer wanted that for herself. “Not anymore.” Rayne wholeheartedly answered and stared deep into the depths of Lark’s soul.

Lark smiled happily and saw the moment of awakening in Rayne’s deep blue eyes. “I’m glad.” She said softly, sincerely. They stared at one another without a word being said, their eyes spoke for them.

Rayne swallowed hard, knowing there was no turning back with this woman and smiled, “Me too,” answering in a whisper. She looked around the room and shifted in her seat feeling uncomfortable with her feelings. She wanted to gain her composure and not be so emotional. She hated losing control, but Lark had a way of doing that to her with the way she was able to touch the inner parts of her soul, making her face and bare her inner demons.

Lark picked up on the uneasiness Rayne felt and changed the subject, much to Rayne’s delight. “Oh, I aah am going to a pediatric AIDS benefit carnival tomorrow. Would you and Brandon like to join me? I know he’d have a blast with all of the other kids.” Lark offered, hoping she would accept the offer.

“Wow, that’s very sweet to offer. I’m sure he would love it. Now, the question is whether Shay and Holly have anything else planned for him tomorrow.” Rayne answered and thought back trying to remember if they mentioned anything to her about what they had planned for the next day.

“I take it Shay and Holly are his parents?” Lark inquired.

“Yes, oh I’m sorry. I guess I just assumed that you knew who they were. Sorry.” Rayne sheepishly grinned and apologized. The casual, easy feeling she had with Lark made it seem like they had known each other forever.

“It’s not a problem. I hope you both can go. I’m sure he will have a great time there.” Lark added with a hopeful smile.

“I’ll give them a call when I get home and see whether he can make it.”

“Great!” Lark excitedly answered.

The pair took their time with the meal and enjoyed getting to know one another better. Rayne found herself mesmerized by Lark as she told one story after another. She found herself hanging on every word that Lark spoke as she had Rayne’s complete and undivided attention. She was more intrigued by the woman than ever before and felt stupid for feeling so nervous about the date with Lark. She hated to admit it, but her brother was right. The date with Lark was exactly what she needed and wanted. She desired to get to know her better, much better. They polished off the dessert before them and Rayne sat back in the seat. “You were right, that was delicious! Who knew that marshmallows taste so good dipped in hot, white chocolate?” Rayne admitted with a grin, happy for the new experience of eating fondue and for the opportunity to share it with Lark.

“I know I love this place, but the marshmallows are better in the milk chocolate.” Lark chuckled and wiped her mouth.

“Yeah and you promised not to mix your milk chocolate in my white chocolate, but somehow all yours ended up in mine!” Rayne teased and laughed.

Lark sheepishly grinned and offered, “I know I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help myself, but I promise the next time we will get all white chocolate instead of the Ying Yang.”

“That’s sounds like an offer I can’t refuse.” Rayne chuckled and looked at the waiter who placed the bill on the table.

‘Ooh, she wants another date, this is good news for me; or is she just being polite?’ She wondered hopeful that it wasn’t the latter. “Oh, no. I’m paying for the bill.” Lark interjected and grabbed the bill away from Rayne who had picked it up.

“Come on, let me pay.” Rayne coaxed feeling odd that she wasn’t paying.

“No, I invited you out so I get to pay.” Lark smiled and placed her credit card on the tray with the bill.

“Okay, I’ll concede this time, but next time I’m paying.” Rayne adamantly stated with a smile.

“You got it.” Lark grinned happily. ‘Yes, she wants another date. I wasn’t looking into things.’ She signed the receipt and slid out of the seat. Rayne waited next to the table and held her hand out to help her up. “Thank you, that’s very sweet.” Lark graciously smiled and gladly accepted the hand offered.

“You’re welcome. Lark, I am stuffed. You made me eat too much.” Rayne jokingly laughed as the pair exited the restaurant.

“Yes, that arm of yours must hurt a lot from me twisting it to make you eat more.” Lark countered with a laugh shared by Rayne. “I’m actually feeling very satisfied. I could have eaten more.” Lark admitted as she climbed into the limo.

“You have got to be kidding me. Where would you put it? In your big toe?” Rayne teasingly asked and took her seat in the limo.

“Very funny.” Lark laughed, looking at Rayne. “So, where would you like to go now?” Lark asked, hoping the evening wouldn’t end so soon.

“How about if we go for a walk on the beach? It would settle the food that is stuffed in my tummy.” Rayne suggested and laughed as she rubbed her stomach.

“Sounds wonderful.” Lark smiled, happy that she would have the opportunity to spend more time with her. The limo pulled into the driveway of her villa and she exited the limo followed by Lark. “You are very lucky to live near the ocean Rayne.”

“I couldn’t resist the villa when I was house hunting. It’s really peaceful to sleep with the windows open and listen to the ocean.” Rayne replied and smiled as she led Lark to her private beach walkway.

“I can only imagine how peaceful that must be.” Lark smiled and closed her eyes when the brisk ocean breeze hit her face as they descended the stairs, stopping on the beach. She inhaled deeply and shivered as the cooler air met her skin. ‘I hope she invites me to stay so I can find out just how peaceful it is to sleep listening to the ocean, not to mention lying within her arms. Oh, you are so cheap Lark wanting to sleep with her on the first date. How can I resist that sultry being?’ She inwardly reasoned and questioned.

“Are you cold?” Rayne asked when she saw Lark shiver.

“A little.” Lark admitted with a small smile.

“Here, take my jacket.” Rayne offered and took her coat off.

“Thank you so much, but I don’t want you to be cold.” Lark answered and felt bad taking her jacket.

“No, I’m fine.” Rayne commented and held the jacket for Lark to slip her arms into. “Well, it’s pretty big on you, but I think it will keep you warm.” Rayne laughed, seeing how big the jacket looked on her. She rubbed her hands up and down Lark’s arms to warm her as she stood behind her. Lark closed her eyes and reveled in the feeling she had from Rayne touching her and let out a soft, satiated sigh. She hoped Rayne would engulf her in a warm embrace. “Shall we go for a walk?” Rayne suggested softly into Lark’s ear.

Rayne’s husky voice resonated through her ear, sending tingling down her spine. She nodded and answered, “yes,” as she attempted to grasp her senses. Rayne took her hand and led her down the beach.

The pair returned from their moonlit stroll on the beach, both women enjoying each other’s company immensely. Rayne escorted Lark to the limo and stood before her. “Rayne, I had a wonderful evening. The dinner, the walk on the beach and your company was marvelous. Thank you.” Lark stated sincerely and smiled as her heart raced with anticipation that Rayne would invite her to stay. She hoped.

“No, thank you. I had a great time too Lark. I’m glad you were so persistent of a date.” Rayne admitted with a sly grin. “I’ll call you to let you know what I find out when I speak to Shay and Holly about tomorrow.”

“Great, I look forward to your call.” Lark answered disappointed that she wasn’t inviting her to stay longer. She stared into Rayne’s deep blue eyes and wondered what she was thinking. She wished she were thinking the same as her that she wanted to passionately kiss her and never let her go.

Rayne took Lark’s hand within hers and stared into her sparkling green eyes and wondered what she should do. ‘Should I ask her to stay? No, that’s too presumptuous of me to insinuate that we should have sex on the first date. Maybe I should kiss her?’ She nervously questioned as her heart beat faster. Lark moved closer to her, hoping she would get the kiss she wanted and blinked when Rayne spoke in a low, sensuous tone, “Have a good evening. I’ll call you tomorrow.” Lark’s butterflies took flight when Rayne stared into her wanton green eyes as she raised Lark’s hand to her mouth and tenderly kissed it.


Lark’s knees weakened from the kiss Rayne placed on her hand. ‘It’s not where I wanted Rayne’s lips, but at least the woman kissed me. She takes my breath away.’ Lark thought dreamily as she finally steadied her frail extremities and stared into Rayne’s deep blues. “I’ll be expecting your call.” Lark softly spoke and smiled staring into the eyes that melt her heart. She was disappointed, but it was a beginning and that’s all she could ask for from Rayne right now. “Oh, here is your jacket.” She offered when she remembered she was still wearing it and reached to hand it to Rayne.

“No, it’s okay you can give it to me tomorrow and that way you won’t be cold on the ride home.” Rayne offered with a smile and opened the door for her.

“Thank you, that’s very sweet.” Lark giggled and climbed into the limo. Rayne closed the door and Lark quickly opened the window. She had to see those alluring blue eyes one last time. “Have a good evening.” Lark smiled, her green eyes sparkling in the moonlight.

“Same to you.” Rayne grinned and watched as the limo slowly pulled away. She turned her head to watch Lark and waved when she looked back at her. She sighed and lowered her head when the limo disappeared down the road. ‘Why didn’t you just ask her to stay?’ She inwardly questioned and looked down the darkened, abandoned road regretting her decision to not ask her to stay. She entered the villa and tossed her keys on the table. She picked up the phone and punched the numbers into it, holding the device to her ear. “Hey, Holly.” She flatly greeted.

“Hi Rayne. Are you okay? You don’t sound too good. Did your date not go very well?” Holly worried by the tone in her voice that the date wasn’t what she had hoped for.

Holly fired off the questions quicker than Rayne could respond, but she managed to interrupt her, “No, Holly it was absolutely wonderful. I had a great time with Lark. She’s fabulous.” Rayne admitted and smiled as she thought back on the lovely evening, and walked down the hall towards her room.

“What’s wrong then? You sound kind of down. Oh, is she there and you can’t talk about it?” Holly chuckled when it dawned on her the reason she might be so quiet and evasive.

“No, she’s not here.” Rayne laughed and sat on the edge of the bed. “I’m alright. A little disappointed with myself for not asking her to stay, but I’m fine. Thanks for being so concerned.” She answered and began to take her shoes off.

“Well, what happened? Why didn’t you ask her to stay? I thought you said the date went well.” Holly inquired intrigued and confused by what was going on.

“I’ll tell you about it tomorrow okay. It’s late and I don’t want to think about my reasons for not asking her to stay right now. I would like to just enjoy the afterglow of the date. Know what I mean?” Rayne asked and lay back on the bed.

“Sure, I understand.” Holly answered and knew it was Rayne’s polite way of telling her to back off and shut up.

“Hey, what do you have planned for Brandon tomorrow?”

“Nothing. Why?”

“Well, Lark invited us to a pediatric AIDS Benefit Carnival tomorrow and I wanted to make sure he could make it.”

“Trust me, even if we did have something planned for him do you think he’d pass up an opportunity to hang out with his aunt and his favorite actress?” Holly questioned incredulously and chuckled.

“His favorite actress?” Rayne asked with a laugh, surprised by the comment.

“Yes, he has deemed her his favorite actress since he saw her at your place. I guess she had some kind of an effect on him.” She laughed, as did Rayne.

“He’s not the only one she’s made an impact on.” Rayne added with a chuckle and smiled happily as she thought about how Lark made her feel. “I’ll come by in the morning to pick him up. I’m not sure what time the event is, but I imagine it’s in the early afternoon.”

“Sounds great. I’ll make a huge breakfast and you can tell us all about your date.” Holly invited and chuckled.

“I knew you wouldn’t let that one slip by you.” Rayne laughed and added, “I’ll see you in the morning and be sure you make some blueberry muffins.”

“You got it. Sleep well.” Holly agreed with a chuckle.

“You too. Bye.” Rayne replied and clicked off the phone. She sighed and laughed thinking about how Holly wasn’t going to let the details of her date with Lark go without explanation. She rolled onto her side and picked up Lark’s card from the nightstand to call her. She blew out the breath in an attempt to calm the butterflies in her stomach and waited for Lark to answer the phone. ‘Hmmm, she may not be home yet.’ Rayne thought discouraged as the phone rang many times.

“Hello!” Lark replied, breathless as she rushed into the house and picked up the phone.

“Hey, Lark its Rayne.” She greeted and suddenly felt too restless to lie still on the bed. The nervous tension she felt when talking to Lark coursed through her. The woman had the same effect on her when she was in Rayne’s presence. She padded across the room to the French doors that led to her patio and opened them.

“Hi Rayne. I’m sorry I just got in the house. Whew!” She exclaimed and sighed to calm her labored breathing from running into the house. She had heard the phone and hoped it was Rayne, but had a hard time opening the door in such a rush.

“Oh, sorry well take your time and catch your breath. I can call back or you can…” Rayne offered and was interrupted by Lark.

“NO! No, aah I’m fine as long as you don’t mind me breathing hard to catch my breath.” Lark giggled and quickly thwarted her attempt to hang up.

“Oh, I don’t mind listening to you breath hard Lark.” Rayne commented before she could think about what she was saying. ‘Shit! What the hell was I thinking by saying that!’ She wondered flustered by the woman on the other end of the line and slapped her forehead hoping it would knock some sense into her.

Lark was stunned and moved the phone away from her ear, staring at it. She covered the receiver and excitedly voiced, “Yes!” from the comment. She knew by the playful sexual innuendos they exchanged at dinner and during their walk that Rayne was very interested in her. She truly believed that she could make a lasting impression on the dark haired beauty if she would only agree to a date with her and finally that happened. “Well, you certainly take my breath away.” Lark casually and chuckled, tossing her purse on the couch. She kicked off her high heels and headed down the hall to her bedroom.

“Oh, aah well, I spoke with Holly and she said that it would be okay for Brandon to join us tomorrow.” Rayne changed the subject, as she didn’t know what to say in response, she was so flustered by Lark.

“That’s great!” Lark enthusiastically answered and opened the door to her bedroom. “Oh, my god!” Lark replied stunned.

“What? What’s wrong Lark? Are you okay?” Rayne worriedly asked, hearing the tone in Lark’s voice change.

“No, I’m not.” Lark answered stunned as she looked at her bed.

“Is someone there? I’ll be right there. Hang up and call the police.” Rayne anxiously informed her and rushed to put her shoes on.

“Oh, no! I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you Rayne. I was shocked to see that Elaine had cleaned off my bed.” Lark told her apologetically.

“Why would Elaine be cleaning off your bed Lark?” Rayne defensively and jealously asked. She had a sneaky suspicion that maybe Elaine lied to her about her relationship with Lark.

“Do I hear a tinge of jealous in your voice Rayne Donovan?” Lark flirtatiously asked and grinned wickedly as she sat on the edge of the bed.

Rayne was silent and smiled sheepishly admitting in a low tone, “you got me lady. I admit it, I was jealous.” Rayne laughed and walked back to the door to the patio.

“Don’t be she’s like a sister to me. She was just doing me a huge favor by cleaning off the mound of clothing I had there when I was trying to find an outfit for our date. You’re the object of my desire.” Lark informed her, feeling a tingling sensation from Rayne’s admission and was surprised that Rayne said that to her.

“Really? I didn’t know that, but it’s good to know.” Rayne teasingly answered and smiled broader, feeling warmth consume her from Lark’s admission. She grinned happily as she stared out over the darkened ocean, enjoying the feelings that Lark elicited whenever she spoke to her. She knew exactly how Lark felt about her, it was hard not too as she made her feelings very clear.

“That doesn’t scare you away?” Lark tentatively asked and hoped it wouldn’t.

“Not at all.” Rayne softly answered and blushed. She sat in the patio chair and propped her feet up on the railing, wiggling her toes in the cool ocean breeze.

“I’m happy to hear that.” Lark answered and smiled, her heart racing faster. “What kind of cologne do you wear? I love the smell of it.” Lark asked and breathed in the scent of it from Rayne’s jacket.

“It’s ‘Curve’. You like it huh?” Rayne asked and chuckled.

“Yes, very much. I don’t think I can give you your jacket back though. It smells too good.” Lark giggled and pulled the large coat around her, pretending as though it was Rayne wrapped around her.

“Oh, so that’s where you are getting a whiff of my cologne.” Rayne laughed and ran an absent hand through her dark hair.

“Yes, I still have it on. It makes me feel close to you.” Lark admitted, smiling. She didn’t want to hold anything back. Even if she wanted to it wouldn’t work as the comments just flowed from her mouth without any thought or hesitation.

“I was thinking the same thing about you Lark as I sit here looking out over the dark ocean and I hear the waves gently lap against the shore. It makes me think of our walk earlier and how much I would like for you to be here.” Rayne replied in a low sultry tone, staring off in the distance. She decided to let her heart speak for her feelings of Lark and she wanted the alluring woman to know just how interested she was in her.

“Well, someone didn’t invite me to stay.” Lark teasingly laughed.

Rayne chuckled knowingly and replied, “Yes, that’s my fault. I should have suggested it and I apologize. I’ll have to issue you a rain check.” Rayne coyly offered and smiled.

“An offer I cannot refuse and when might I cash in that rain check?” Lark flirtatiously asked.

“Soon, very soon.” Rayne voiced softly.

“I look forward to it.” Lark purred into the receiver.

Rayne blushed and chuckled, “So, where is the benefit tomorrow and what time is it at?” she asked changing the subject. If she didn’t change it quick she’d have to hang up and take a cold shower from all the bantering.

“It’s at a park down in Key Biscayne at 1pm.” Lark informed her; disappointed that she changed the subject.

“Okay, well do you want to meet us over at my place and then we can head down south? It should take us about an hour to get there from here, counting in the traffic delays that I’m sure we’ll encounter.

“That sounds like a plan. I’ll be there at noon to pick up my two dates up. I hope you don’t mind, but Elaine will be going with us too? She always goes on public appearances with me.”

“No, not at all. I’m cool with Elaine as long as she doesn’t have any romantic interest in you.” Rayne answered and didn’t feel as insecure or jealous about Elaine as before.

“None what so ever. Trust me when I tell you that, Rayne.” Lark answered adamantly and felt a tingle in her spine that Rayne was being somewhat possessive towards her in regards to Elaine.

“Your word is good enough for me.” She was happy that she heard that from Lark and believed her. “So, what should I wear?” She casually asked and stood up.

“Shorts and a T-shirt are fine. It’s a carnival outdoors so everyone will be dressed casually.” Lark informed her.

“Great, I like parties that are casual.” Rayne laughed and walked back into the bedroom. “Well, I’ll see you at high noon then.”

“I can’t wait.” Lark excitedly replied.

“Sweet dreams Lark.” Rayne commented with a sly grin.

“Oh, I’m sure I will now that I spoke to you before heading off to bed.” Lark teased and smiled wickedly, thinking of the dreams she would be having of Rayne later on.

“Same here Lark Morgan.” Rayne sexily answered and laid on the bed. She rolled onto her side and rested her head in her hand. “I had a great time this evening and I look forward to tomorrow. Good night.” Rayne softly told her.

“Me too, good night.” Lark answered smiling and sighed when she clicked off the phone. She dropped the phone on the bed and looked up at the ceiling lost in her thoughts of Rayne. “She makes me so hot!” She proclaimed and quickly headed into the bathroom for a cold shower.

Rayne clicked off the phone and her hand dropped to the bed. She smiled giddily as she thought back on their wonderful evening and the phone conversation. She looked forward to their date the next day. She noticed a magazine on the nightstand with an article of Lark in it that she had picked up a few days before. She placed the phone on the bed and reached over, grabbing the magazine. She put it on the bed before her and looked at the alluring picture of Lark. “What is it about you Lark Morgan that drives me so wild? Could it be those gorgeous green eyes, the sexy body or that fabulous personality?” She asked the picture as if it would answer her. “I think it’s a combination of all of them. I love the way I feel when I’m with you, there’s no denying that.” Rayne smiled and lay back on the bed. She closed her eyes and stared at the mental picture of the woman who had managed to capture her affections. She had warmth and a wondrous sensation course through her as she drifted off to sleep with an attractive, blonde actress heavy on her mind.

“What the hell!” Elaine stated stunned to see the sight before her when she entered the house. “Lark what are you doing up at this hour? I can’t believe it, are you really Lark Morgan?” Elaine teasingly asked as she approached the dining room table where Lark was sitting.

“Oh, stop it!” Lark blushed embarrassed and playfully slapped her friend’s arm.

“I can’t believe that you are out of bed before noon Lark. What has happened to you?” Elaine suspiciously asked and sat down.

“I have the benefit today Elaine.” Lark smirked and placed a piece of toast in her mouth.

“Yes, I know that’s why I’m here. I thought I would have to drag your sorry, sleepy ass out of bed to make it in time.”

“Well, I asked Rayne to accompany me there along with her nephew.” Lark blushed and scrunched her shoulders from the tingling sensation she had every time Rayne’s name was mentioned.

“I see that your date went well and that she’s had a positive influence on getting you out of bed!” Elaine chuckled and laughed when Lark joined in.

“I would love for her to have a positive impact on getting me into bed.” Lark added and laughed harder along with Elaine.

“Oh, let me call Elizabeth and have her prepare two other credentials before you give me the details on the date.” Elaine replied and picked up her phone, quickly punching the numbers into her phone. Lark watched place the phone call and chuckled from the excited look she had on her face.

“I’ll have to tell you on the way because the limo is here. I called and asked that they come a littler earlier than scheduled seeing as how we will be picking Rayne and Brandon up.” Lark informed her with a chuckle and stood up, grabbing her purse from the counter along with a piece of toast.

“Damn, I don’t even have time for breakfast.” Elaine added and followed Lark out the door as she struggled to hold her paperwork and the phone.

“You can have my other piece of toast.” Lark offered as they exited the house.

“Oh, you are too kind to me Lark.” Elaine sarcastically quipped with a laugh as they walked towards the limo.

“Okay, I’ll keep it then. Beggars can’t be choosers.” Lark teasingly giggled and moved the toast to her mouth.

“Give me that! Elizabeth!” Elaine exuberantly greeted when she heard the woman’s voice on the other end and snatched the toast out of Lark’s hand. Lark laughed and climbed into the limo followed by Elaine.

“Auntie Rayne! Is it true that we are going to a carnival with Lark Morgan?” Brandon jubilantly asked when he practically attacked her as she entered the house.

She laughed and picked him up. “You got it little man. She promised that you would have a blast there.” She informed him smiling and carried him towards the dining room.

“Oh, yes! This is going to be so cool.” He excitedly smiled and looked at his aunt. He placed his small hand on her cheek as she looked at him. “I am so happy that you and Lark are getting to be better friends.”

“Oh, I’m sure you are.” She chuckled and tickled his ribs, laughing harder when he squirmed in her arms.

“You’re killing me! Stop, please!” He laughingly pleaded.

“Only if you tell me that you didn’t eat all of the food your mama is making for breakfast.” Rayne teased and laughed.

“I didn’t I promise!” He swore and held up his hand as a promise of his oath.

“Okay, well I’m hungry so let’s eat!” Rayne chuckled and led him towards the table. “Hey Holly.” She smiled and kissed her on the cheek. “Old man.” She taunted her brother and smirked when she looked at him.

“Tell me again why you invited her Holly?” He sarcastically asked and looked at his wife.

“She’s your sister.” She commented sardonically and looked at him with a sly grin.

“Yeah, we’ve been trying to get rid of her for some time, but she’s like a loyal stray. She keeps coming back!” He answered laughing.

“Well, stop feeding her!” Holly added, snickering.

“Oh, you two are really funny. Did it ever occur to you that I come around because I feel sorry for the two of you?” Rayne countered jokingly with a laugh and sipped the coffee before her. “I’m sorry you have such silly parents Brandon, but you can be safe in the knowledge that you have a wonderful aunt to make sure that you grow up normal.” Rayne teased as she looked at Brandon.

“Yeah, they’re alright for parents.” He laughed glancing at them then looked back at his aunt. “I’m going to watch ‘toons’ until you finish eating. Hurry up okay, I’m ready to go.” He encouraged and climbed off her lap.

“Well, isn’t he pushy.” Rayne laughed and watched him skip over to the TV to watch the cartoons. She turned back to the table, “Did he already eat?” she asked and grabbed a muffin from the plate.

“Yes, and we’d like to thank you for getting him so riled up!” Holly sarcastically replied and buttered her muffin.

“Hey, what can I say? I have to keep this family on their toes!” Rayne jokingly commented and stuffed her mouth full of the muffin, and grinned.

“Come on, give us the scoop Rayne. We have to know how the date went last night.” Holly eagerly encouraged staring at her sister-in-law, and waited for her to answer.

“I would say it went well if you two are going out again today?” Shayan mischievously smirked and looked up from his plate towards his sister.

“Oh, it went great. I really had a fantastic time.” Rayne smiled exuberantly.

“That’s wonderful Rayne, but why did you sound so down on the phone last night then?” Holly questioned, still confused by her demeanor the previous evening.

“Well, when I spoke to you I was disappointed with myself for not asking her to stay. I wanted her to, but I didn’t want her to. Does that make any sense?” She asked with a silly grin, and hoped she was explaining herself.

“I suppose, but if you explain your reasoning a little more then maybe I can tell if you’ve completely lost it or not.” Her brother suggested with a smirk.

“Normally I would have just cut to the chase and done the deed with my other dates, but I didn’t want to be that way with Lark. I wanted our first experience to be special and not just to have sex with her for the sake of it.” Rayne explained sincerely.

“Oh, that’s so sweet!” Holly gushed and felt her eyes watering. She slapped her husband’s arm when she saw him roll his eyes. “You’d be wise to take a hint from your sister mister!” She warned and pointed at him as he and Rayne laughed.

“Besides, I was nervous as all hell!” Rayne sheepishly admitted and laughed. “When I’m with her she does something to me and I lose control of my composure.” Rayne grinned radiantly.

“It sounds like you are pretty smitten with this woman Rayne.” Shayan observed from what she told them and from the look on her face. He had never seen her so happy.

“Completely. She’s so intriguing, vibrant, sincere, stunning,” Rayne snickered and raised an eyebrow in appreciation of Lark’s beauty, “and real. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman and then some.” Rayne smiled infatuated with the woman. She stared at her plate lost in her thoughts and feelings for Lark.

“That’s fantastic Rayne.” Holly enthusiastically replied and brought Rayne out of her revere. “So, she’s not some self absorbed celebrity then?”.

“Not at all. In fact, she loves to shop, which is good news for you.” Rayne sarcastically informed her and snickered.

“Are you insinuating that I like to shop? You must be mistaking me for someone else.” Holly teasingly protested.

“Yeah, right! I have the bills to prove that she’s the one you are referring to.” Shayan jokingly commented and playfully blew his wife a kiss.

“She’s into traveling, writing, reading and she loves children.” Rayne excitedly told them and felt a tickle in her stomach when she spoke of Lark.

“Wait! You had the children talk on the first date?” Shayan asked, surprised and shocked.

“Yeah, why?” Rayne asked, defensively.

“You don’t have the children talk on the first date.” He informed her; shocked that she had discussed it with Lark.

“Oh, really mister ‘I want you to be the mother of my children’ on the first date! That is the person I’m talking about right?” Holly countered accusingly and looked at her husband questioningly.

Rayne chuckled under her breath and held her hand to her mouth to conceal her smile. She couldn’t wait to hear her brother squirm out of this one. Shayan looked at his wife and grinned. He gulped the lump in his throat and looked at his sister. “Like I said, talking about children on the first date is wonderful.” He changed his tune and laughed with the others.

“You sissy.” Rayne teased and laughed harder.

“I’m surprised you didn’t haul ass when that topic came up Rayne.” He stated, grinning.

“Yeah, I was surprised myself. It’s so strange. Every time anyone else brought up the topic, including Karen, I felt trapped and I couldn’t get out of the conversation quick enough, but not with Lark. I felt so at ease with her and the conversation was so right. I’m afraid I might be looking into all of this too much and too quickly. I mean, we only mentioned to one another that we love children, but it felt so right discussing it with her. The effect she has on me scares me. I want to be with her, but when I am I feel like a silly, little schoolgirl.” Rayne admitted with a grin and looked at her brother.

He glanced over at his wife and back to his sister. He knew what was going on with his sister and this woman. It was written all over her face, ‘She’s in love with her. I know it.’ He thought confidently and replied, “Don’t fight the feeling sis. Follow your heart and be yourself with her. I have a feeling you are holding back with her. I know how you like to conceal your true emotions Rayne.”

“I know, it’s just frightening for me to lay my heart on the line again, but it’s too late. She’s captured it and I don’t know what I would do if it were broken again but I can’t turn back now. The feelings I have for Lark are far stronger than the one’s I ever had for Karen and if I’m holding them back it’s because I’m trying to keep from being hurt again.” She explained sincerely.

“I know hun. Just take it slow and get to know her better. Hopefully, she feels the same for you, and your heart won’t be broken again. You’ve got to take a chance on love again Rayne. You know you can’t live in the past and close that wonderful heart of yours any more than it already is now.” Holly touchingly encouraged and patted her hand comfortingly.

Rayne looked at her smiling knowingly and replied, “Thanks.” She turned when Brandon tapped her shoulder.

“I think it’s time for us to go Auntie Rayne.” He excitedly suggested, looking up at his aunt.

Rayne looked at the clock then to him. “Yes, we’ve got to boogie buddy. Go get your helmet and jacket.” She instructed and smiled.

“Yes!” He excitedly shouted and ran off to retrieve the items.

Rayne, Holly and Shayan laughed as they watched him run off. “I should have him home by early evening.” Rayne informed them smiling and rose from her chair.

“Have fun!” They suggested and looked at Brandon as he ran back. “You behave mister.” Holly warned, looking down at her son.

“Oh, I will or Auntie Rayne will kick my butt!” He laughed as he put his jacket on.

The group headed out to the driveway. “You be careful with my son on that motorcycle.” Holly cautioned worriedly.

“Mom, come on! I’ll be fine. Besides, Auntie doesn’t live that far away.” Brandon responded with a grin.

“Give your mama a kiss and I won’t worry so much.” Holly suggested smiling and leaned down.

“There ya go ma!” He giggled and kissed her. “Bye dad!” He smiled and kissed his father who had knelt before him.

“Bye son. Be a good boy.” He smiled and patted his back.

“Always dad!” Brandon sardonically grinned and followed Rayne to the motorcycle. He put his helmet on and tightened his straps as his aunt did the same with hers.

Rayne placed him on the motorcycle in front of her and started it up. Brandon waved enthusiastically towards his parents as Rayne slowly steered the motorcycle down the driveway. “Hold on tight.” She firmly stated. Holly and Shayan waved goodbye and watched as they headed off down the street. Rayne took the non-busy back streets to her house and took her time, as she was more cautious than normal because of Brandon being on the motorcycle.

Rayne’s heart fluttered when she noticed the limo parked in her driveway and saw Lark standing by the door. She waved as she steered the motorcycle up the driveway past the limo, stopping in front of the garage door. She shut the engine off and helped Brandon off the motorcycle. She climbed off and chuckled as she watched Brandon rush up to Lark who had started to walk back towards them.

“Hello Lark, I’m Brandon. My aunt forgot to introduce us before.” He jubilantly greeted and held his small hand out to her.

“Well, hello Brandon. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Lark giggled and leaned over to shake his hand.

“I have seen all of your movies and I really love them. You are my favorite actress.” He enthusiastically informed her, looking up at her, as she stood upright.

“Thank you, I appreciate you being such a big fan.” Lark laughed and looked up at Rayne.

Her mouth dropped open when Rayne removed her helmet and tossed her dark hair side to side as she approached. “I’m sorry we are late.” Rayne apologized and leaned down, placing a soft kiss on Lark’s cheek. ‘I hope she doesn’t mind.’ Rayne thought inwardly of the kiss, which just came instinctively to her.

When Rayne’s lips brushed her cheek it caused a million sensations throughout her. “Aah, no I aah think I’m a little early,” she finally replied, flabbergasted by the gesture.

“I’m going to put the motorcycle in the garage and toss our jackets inside. Let me have your jacket buddy.” Rayne asked, looking down at Brandon and holding her hand out. She took the jacket from him and looked at Lark smiling, “I’ll be right back,” she commented and headed into the villa.

“Come on over Brandon and meet my agent Elaine.” Lark suggested and coaxed him towards the limo. She grinned happily and fanned herself as she approached the limo. Elaine had stepped out and stood next to the car. She looked at Lark and smiled. “Did you see that?” Lark mouthed, completely blown away by the kiss that Rayne bestowed upon her.

Elaine grinned and winked as Brandon approached the car. “Hello Brandon.” Elaine sweetly greeted.

“Hi, nice to meet you.” He smiled and reached out to shake her hand.

Elaine chuckled and shook the hand offered. “Same to you.” She giggled and stood upright as Lark stood behind him. “He’s quite the heartbreaker.” Elaine whispered to Lark.

“He gets it from his aunt.” Lark chuckled, along with Elaine.

“Are you sure he’s not her son? They look like they could be mother and child.” Elaine observed surprised by the uncanny resemblance of the two.

“I asked the same thing and thought the same thing, but he’s her nephew.” Lark giggled happy that he wasn’t her son.

They all looked over at Rayne when the garage door opened. Brandon jumped into the limo as the women intently watched her. Rayne had removed her leather jacket and smiled as everyone looked at her. She grabbed the motorcycle by the handlebars and pushed the bike into the garage. Elaine looked at Lark and reached over to close her mouth that was agape. Lark looked at Elaine and sighed, arching an eyebrow in appreciation. “Don’t make it look so obvious honey.” Elaine commented quietly through her smile.

“I can’t help it Elaine. I love the way she looks in tank tops and shorts.” Lark answered, looking at her friend. “Her muscles are so toned and sexy that I can barely stand it!”

“I know, but you are drooling all over yourself and it’s not something that a self respecting celebrity like you should be seen doing.” Elaine teasingly laughed as Lark playfully slapped her arm.

“Is everything alright?” Rayne asked oblivious to their conversation and wondered what was going on from the looks on their faces as she approached, stopping next to Lark.

“Perfect, just waiting on you.” Lark answered with a grin.

“Hi Elaine.” Rayne greeted and smiled.

“Good morning or afternoon.” Elaine chuckled unsure of the time and climbed into the car.

Rayne sent a tingling sensation straight to Lark’s core when she placed her hand on the small of Lark’s back guiding her towards the car. ‘She has no idea how much that turns me on.’ Lark thought flustered as she took her seat.

Rayne climbed in and closed the door as the car began to move. “Hold up!” She called out and felt the car stop. “Brandon, put your seat belt on. You know better than that.” She scolded and leaned over to where he was seated to help him put on his seat belt.

“I’m sorry. I was excited and forgot.” He apologized as he watched his aunt click the belt into place.

‘How sweet.’ Lark thought admiringly as she watched Rayne with Brandon.

“Apology accepted.” She grinned and leaned back to her seat. She reached for her seat belt and clicked it into place. She looked at Lark who stared at her and quickly snapped hers into place.

Lark looked at Elaine and nudged her with an elbow to make her place hers on. Elaine groaned and did as everyone else by placing her seat belt on. “Elaine, do you think that I could be in one of Lark’s movies some time?” Brandon quizzically asked.

“Brandon.” Rayne replied in a low, warning tone.

Lark giggled softly and waited to see how Elaine was getting out of this one. “Are you an actor Brandon?” She asked with a smile.

“I’m sure I could be.” He answered sincerely and confidently.

“Well, I would have to speak to your parents and see if they would allow you to do something like that okay?” She asked sweetly.

“Okay, that sounds great!” He enthusiastically answered and wiggled his small legs that hung in midair off the edge of the seat.

Rayne lowered her head and chuckled at his precariousness. “I’m sorry.” She apologized softly and glanced at Lark sideways.

“No problem. I could get him a part in one of my movie’s if he parents would allow it.” Lark offered with a smile.

“Thanks that’s sweet of you. Let’s not mention it again and he might forget about it.” Rayne answered with a grin as Lark smiled in acknowledgement of the request.

The ride down was filled with conversations about Lark’s movies mainly from Brandon’s curiosity about them. Rayne stared quietly and listened as Lark patiently answered all of his questions over and over again. She knew Lark had to be sick of the questions, but she didn’t seem phased by them at all. Rayne enjoyed watching Lark especially when she smiled. ‘Her smile will definitely be the end of me.’ She thought adoringly and looked up surprised when the car slowed down. She had lost track of time and location as she intently observed the conversation of the group.

“Is there going to be a lot of photographers here Elaine?” Lark questioned and checked out the area as the limo waited in traffic.

“More than likely.” Elaine answered and craned her neck to see how the scene looked.

“Please tell me that they won’t have a red carpet for me to walk down?” Lark asked embarrassed by the fact that she might have too.

“They didn’t mention anything about that when they sent me the material.” She informed her. “I’ll get out and grab the credentials for Rayne and Brandon before you all get up to the front of the line.” Elaine suggested and quickly climbed out of the car.

Lark lowered her head and rubbed her forehead irritated, then looked up at Rayne. “I’m sorry, but there is probably going to be a lot of people taking pictures. I had hoped we wouldn’t be bombarded by them, but it looks like I have to take the obligatory pictures.” Lark explained regretful as she looked ahead and saw the other celebrities being bombarded by the press. She had hoped it would be a small event without a lot of press coverage considering the fact that it was in Miami and not LA.

“It’s okay Lark. Don’t worry.” Rayne smiled and comfortingly patted her leg.

“Thanks.” Lark smiled appreciatively, enjoying the hand on her thigh.

“Whew!” Elaine gasped when she jumped into the car and plopped into the seat next to Rayne with Lark moving towards the door. “Here are your credentials.” She offered and held them out to Brandon and Rayne.

They took them and placed them around their necks as the limo came up to the drop off spot. “Okay, here we go.” Lark commented and climbed out of the limo when the attendant opened the door. She stepped away from the door and waved with a smile. She looked back to see Rayne climb out with Brandon. Brandon and Rayne were shocked by the amount of fans screaming and photographers taking pictures all at once. Lark saw their malaise and grasped Rayne’s hand. Brandon held onto Rayne’s hand tightly as the group walked away from the limo.

“Miss Morgan, over here!” A photographer shouted and waved to get her attention.

Lark moved closer to the photographer and posed for the picture. Brandon moved closer to Rayne. She leaned down and picked him up, when she noticed his nervousness. She stood behind Lark and waited as she posed for the pictures. She blew out the breath she subconsciously held from her uneasiness and smiled when Lark turned back to her. She held out her hand for Rayne who gladly accepted it and followed Lark into the event. “I’m sorry. Are you two alright?” She worriedly asked, looking at the both of them.

“I think he’s a little nervous.” Rayne answered and patted his back comfortingly.

“Aah, I’m sorry Brandon. The worst part is over and now we can have some fun.” Lark smiled reassuringly and took him from Rayne’s arms when she saw him grin at her last statement. She grasped Rayne’s hand and led them away, stopping once they were farther inside. “You didn’t answer me Rayne. Are you okay?” Lark asked concerned, turning to Rayne when she noticed how clammy her hand felt.

“I’m fine. I was just surprised by all the attention directed towards us. I’m used to it being directed to the person I’m protecting. Is it always that crazy when you make appearances?” Rayne inquired for future reference.

“Yes and sometimes more, especially if it’s an awards show. I’m really sorry I placed you both in that situation without explaining what to expect. It’s a lot to ask of anyone even if you do deal with similar publicity in your job Rayne. I apologize from the bottom of my heart.” Lark wholeheartedly apologized.

“Thanks but you didn’t have to apologize. I guess it bugged me because I’m used to having other agents around me and I don’t focus on that aspect very much. Don’t worry though, I’ll get used to it.” Rayne smiled reassuringly.

“So, does that mean you’ll accompany me on other public appearances?” Lark flirtatiously asked.

“Of course, but I’ll be more prepared next time.” Rayne chuckled and winked.

“I’m happy to hear that. Now, let’s have some fun!” She enthusiastically suggested and led them away.

Brandon wore the group out as they chased him from one ride and game to the other. Rayne’s arm was sore from trying to dunk the clown, the basketball shoot and from the baseball toss. As it turns out, she had to win prizes for Brandon, Lark and Elaine. They were all persistent that she win multiple prizes for them. The walk back to the limo was not as stressful for Brandon as there weren’t as many photographers and fans as earlier. They patiently waited as Lark signed autographs and took pictures with fans. She smiled and waved goodbye, joining the group as they approached the limo. Rayne grinned watching Brandon proudly lead them towards the limo, protectively carrying the stuffed animals his aunt won for him. The driver cordially smiled and watched as the weary group plopped into their seats exhausted by the day’s activities.

“Did you have a blast like I thought you would Brandon?” Lark eagerly asked and smiled looking at him as he lined his stuffed animals up in a row on the seat next to him.

“Yes, I loved it!” He grinned exuberantly.

“How about you?” Lark asked smiling and looking at Rayne.

“I had a great time.” Rayne answered with a chuckle.

“I heard they raised a lot of money.” Elaine mentioned and leaned her head back against the seat.

“That’s great and thanks for your monetary contribution Rayne. The gesture was very sweet.” Lark smiled gratefully as she looked at the object of her desire.

“No problem, it was for a worthy cause and I was pleased to help out.” Rayne casually answered and smiled.

Lark looked at Elaine and chuckled when she noticed she was asleep. Rayne glanced over at Brandon, then touched Lark on the arm and pointed at him. “Aah, he’s so sweet.” Lark commented and smiled, noticing that he was sleeping.

“That’s not a bad idea. I think we are all beat and deserve a good nap.” Rayne suggested and leaned her head against the seat.

“I’m always up for sleep.” Lark giggled softly and nestled her head against Rayne’s arm.

Rayne smiled and looked down at the blonde leaning against her. She enjoyed the woman being so close and placed her hand on Lark’s leg, resting it there. Lark’s heart skipped a beat and she placed her hand on Rayne’s as she closed her eyes. Rayne leaned her cheek against Lark’s head and reveled in the woman’s closeness. ‘This feels so right. I can’t believe I’ve fallen so quickly and hard for her.’ Rayne thought and inhaled the strawberry scent from Lark’s hair. She smiled and looked outside the window at the beautiful blue-green water as they crossed the bridge heading towards the interstate, finally feeling truly happy after so many months of heartache.

Rayne opened her eyes when she heard the window inside the limo move down. “Are we going to your home Ma’am?” The driver politely asked, looking back at her through the rearview mirror.

Lark woke up and sat up, trying to gather her bearings. Rayne looked at Brandon and saw that he was in a deep sleep. “Would you mind if we take him home? I don’t want to wake him and have to take him back home on my motorcycle.” Rayne asked, looking at Lark.

“Not at all. Just give him the address and we’ll drop you off.”

“Great, aah the address is 1313 SE 13th Terrace, which is four blocks south of my house.” Rayne advised the driver and leaned back on the seat when he nodded his head in acknowledgment of the directions.

“Thanks, I really appreciate it.” Rayne smiled gratefully.

“It’s not a problem. Besides, I’ll get to spend more time with you.” Lark answered smiling.

“Very true.” Rayne added with a snicker and looked up as they turned down the street. She watched as the driver pulled the car into the driveway and quietly moved over towards Brandon. “Here, can you carry these for me?” Rayne asked and handed Lark the stuffed animals he had situated next to him.

“Sure.” She smiled and accidentally bummed Elaine who groaned from being brought out of her state of sleep. “Sorry.” Lark giggled quietly and looked from Elaine to Rayne.

Rayne picked Brandon up and cradled him in her arms. She waited until Lark exited the limo and moved out as well. Lark cautiously guided her as Rayne carried her precious cargo away from the car. “Can you open the door please?” Rayne asked as she stopped at the front door.

“Should I knock?” Lark inquired and looked up at her.

“Nah, just open it up please.” Rayne asked and entered the house when the door opened.

“Aah, there’s my baby.” Holly sweetly greeted and looked at her sleeping son.

Rayne smiled and looked at Holly who averted her eyes to Lark then back to Rayne. “Holly, this is Lark. Lark this is my nosey sister-in-law Holly.” Rayne sarcastically introduced the women with a sly grin from the comment about Holly. “I’m going to take him to his room.” Rayne informed them and quickly headed down the hallway with her nephew.

“Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. We’ve heard so much about you.” Holly exuberantly greeted Lark with a handshake.

“Same here and I hope it was all good that you heard?” Lark jokingly asked and chuckled nervously, hoping for the best.

“Oh, absolutely.” Holly added with a grin and glanced over her shoulder when she felt her husband touch her. “Honey, this is Lark. Lark this is Rayne’s brother Shayan.”

“Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you Lark.” He cordially smiled and shook her hand.

“Same here.” Lark smiled, nervous and worried that she wouldn’t make a good impression on Rayne’s family.

“It seems that you’ve made quite an impression on my son and my sister.” Shayan commented with a smile and felt Holly jab him in the ribs with her elbow.

“Well, the feeling is mutual Shayan. They are wonderful and I really enjoy being around them.” She smiled apprehensively and looked over their shoulder when Rayne appeared. She blew out the breath that she held and felt calmer in Rayne’s presence.

“Okay, leave the lady alone you two. We’ve got to go, see you later.” Rayne hurriedly commented and quickly ushered Lark out when she saw how nervous Lark was with her family.

“Oh, well aah it was nice meeting you Lark and please come back soon. Thank you for inviting Brandon.” Holly called out as Rayne lead Lark away from the house.

“You’re welcome and it was great meeting you.” Lark replied with a smile.

“I’m sorry I didn’t think they would gang up on you like that Lark. I should have never left you alone with them. I hope they didn’t make you feel uncomfortable.” Rayne asked, nervous that she was upset.

“I was nervous, but they are lovely people and I was worried about making a good impression on them. I would love to get to know them better.” Lark admitted and smiled hopeful as she looked up at Rayne.

“You made a good impression on them by being with me and trust me you’ll get to know them better. They’ll drive both of us crazy until we do something with them.” Rayne informed her and laughed as did Lark. She held the door for Lark who climbed into the limo and Rayne followed her.

The ride was short and both women regretted having to say goodbye. Rayne exited the limo as did Lark. “Oh, I forgot! Here is your jacket.” Lark leaned in the limo and retrieved the jacket. She stood up and looked at Rayne with a grin.

“Too funny Lark. You didn’t have to give it to me right away.” Rayne blushed and accepted the jacket. They stared at each other unsure of what to say. They knew goodbye was not an option.

“Well, aah I guess I should be…” Lark tentatively began hoping Rayne would ask her to stay and was interrupted by Rayne.

“Would you like to stay? We could go out for some dinner or something?” Rayne nervously asked, hoping she would accept the offer.

Lark’s heart raced and she smiled giddily, “On one condition?” She flirtatiously asked.

“Ooh, conditions. I think I might like this. Okay, what is the condition?” Rayne playfully asked and grinned.

“That you take me for a ride on your motorcycle.” Lark asked with a wide smile.

“You got it.” Rayne agreed with a laugh.

“Fantastic!” Lark exclaimed enthusiastically and turned to Elaine. “Can you send the limo back for me later?”

“Lark, I could give you a ride home.” Rayne offered, smiling.

Lark’s heart skipped a beat and she winked at Elaine before turning to Rayne. “Thank you very much. I’ll accept the offer.” Lark grinned and turned back to Elaine, leaning closer to her. “Beat it babe,” she commented with a giggle joined by Elaine.

“You two have fun and try to be home early dear. I don’t want you traipsing all over town with some leather clad, motorcycle driving woman all night!” Elaine teasingly responded, as Lark blushed embarrassed by the comment.

“She’s safe with me, I promise.” Rayne smiled and took Lark’s hand in her own, moving her away from the door. She closed the door and both women waved as the limo pulled away. “Now, it’s my turn to show you a good time.” Rayne flirtatiously grinned and held Lark’s hand, leading her towards the villa.


Lark’s heart skipped a beat as Rayne led her towards the villa. ‘Oh, this is definitely going to be the person I spend the rest of my life with, I know it.’ Lark confidently thought and smiled as she passed Rayne who held the door open for her.

Rayne smiled and felt the butterflies in her stomach flutter when the sultry looking woman smiled her way. She shut the door and stepped past Lark who stood waiting for her. “I’m going to grab my jacket. I’ll be right back.” Rayne informed her and headed down the hallway.

Lark swung her arms back and forth as she looked around the living room. A picture caught her eye and she walked closer to it. The picture elicited the same reaction out of her as the night before, jealousy and a twinge of anger. She stared at the beautiful Asian woman in the picture who was engulfed in Rayne’s hug. ‘What’s your deal? Hmmm?’ She inwardly asked, hoping the woman would answer her question. ‘Did Rayne love you at one time?’ She queried jealously and glared at the picture. She wanted to be the one that Rayne loved. ‘I intend to find out your story.’ Lark promised and turned when she heard the bedroom door close. She moved away and smiled when she caught a glimpse of Rayne approaching.

“I grabbed one of my older leather jackets for you. I think it might be small enough.” Rayne offered and held the jacket out to Lark.

“Do I need one?” Lark asked curious and accepted the jacket.

“It might get a little chilly and it will protect you if anything happens.” Rayne smirked and zipped up her jacket.

“Wait! You aren’t going to drive like a mad woman with me on that thing are you?” Lark anxiously asked as she put on the jacket.

“Don’t worry, you are safe with me.” Rayne sardonically grinned as she moved closer and lifted Lark’s long blonde hair out of the jacket.

Lark stared into the alluring blues before her and smiled, “thanks,” she murmured, her heart racing in anticipation of Rayne kissing her.

“Let’s head out.” Rayne smiled and turned, walking away.

‘Jeez! She’s such a freaking tease!’ Lark thought frustrated by the raven-haired beauty. She sighed disappointed and followed Rayne into the garage.

Rayne flipped the switch to open the garage door and grabbed a helmet handing it to Lark. “This should fit you.” She offered and smiled. Lark placed the helmet on as Rayne pushed the motorcycle out into the driveway. Lark followed her, tightening the chinstrap and stopped when she reached the motorcycle. “I’ll be right back.” Rayne winked and jogged into the garage. She grabbed a small blanket off the dryer and hit the switch for the garage door. She bolted out of the garage before the door closed on her.

“Wow, you’re talented.” Lark teasingly complimented and laughed as she watched Rayne roll the blanket.

“You haven’t seen nothing yet little lady.” Rayne slyly grinned and gave Lark a sideways glance as she tied the blanket to the seat of the motorcycle.

Lark swallowed the lump in her throat that formed from the sexy look Rayne flashed and flirtatiously replied, “Well, I look forward to seeing all of your talents,” with a bashful grin.

Rayne slowly moved close to Lark and stared deeply into her wanton greens. “I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.” Rayne hinted provocatively and moved the visor on Lark’s helmet down with a mischievous smile as she walked past her. She grinned and placed her helmet on knowing she was teasing the poor woman. ‘I just can’t help myself.’ She chuckled.

‘She is torturing me!’ Lark quivered with lusty anticipation as Rayne teased and tempted her.

Rayne steadied the motorcycle and held her hand out for Lark. “Your chariot awaits my lady.” She slyly grinned as Lark accepted her hand and placed her foot on the pedal.

“Well thank you.” Lark smiled.

“Be careful not to put your leg against the muffler or you will get burned.” Rayne warned and held the handlebars with one hand as Lark mounted the motorcycle. She looked over the edge of the motorcycle once Lark was seated to check her foot position.

“Are you sure I’ll be safe?” Lark nervously asked looking from her leg up to Rayne.

“I promise that nothing will happen to you. Besides, weren’t you the one that wanted to go for a ride on my motorcycle?”

“Well, yeah but I’m just a little nervous.” Lark sheepishly admitted.

“Don’t be nervous Lark just hold onto me tight and nothing will happen to you.” Rayne reassuringly promised and sat on the motorcycle in front of Lark. She turned the motorcycle on and slowly drove off.

‘Oh, you can count on me holding you tight.’ Lark thought and smiled, clutching the woman before her.

Rayne chuckled when she felt the contact and navigated the motorcycle down the road. ‘I love the feeling of having Lark wrapped around me. Maybe not so tightly though as I can’t breathe, but I love having her close to me.’ Rayne thought with a laugh, happy to have the woman with her. She was pleasantly surprised by the feelings Lark was able to elicit in her.

Rayne parked the motorcycle in an available spot and turned the engine off. She removed her helmet and put the kickstand down. She got off and held her hand out for Lark to do the same. Lark removed her helmet and tussled her blonde locks smiling exuberantly. “That was incredible! I had so much fun and I wasn’t nervous at all.” She enthusiastically informed Rayne who stood stunned by Lark tussling her hair.

‘Damn, she’s beautiful and she has such a crazy affect on me!’ She thought amazed by her reaction to Lark. “Great, I’m glad you enjoyed the ride and that I didn’t scare you too much.” Rayne smiled and inhaled deeply to calm her racing heart. ‘The sight of her excites me!’ Rayne thought, smitten with the young blonde.

“Oh, it was so exhilarating! Can we go faster on the way home?” She excitedly asked with a giggle.

“Sure, if you want too!” Rayne readily agreed and laughed at her exuberance.

“Wow, the beach looks so beautiful at sunset.” Lark’s demeanor turned to awe when she noticed the beach behind Rayne.

“I know it’s gorgeous down here.” Rayne smiled and looked out over the ocean. She took their helmets and locked them to the motorcycle. She stuffed the keys in her pocket and took Lark’s hand in her own. “Come on, let’s go for a walk.” She smiled and led Lark onto the beach. “So, what would you like for dinner?” Rayne asked, looking at Lark.

‘You would be very nice.’ Lark fondly thought. “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me. I pretty much eat any and everything.” Lark chuckled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, that narrows it down then. Okay, how about some squid and seaweed then? I hear the seaweed is very good for your diet.” Rayne teasingly laughed.

“Eeewwww! No thanks!” Lark answered and scrunched up her face at the thought of eating seaweed.

“Are you sure? I can rustle some up for you right now.” Rayne laughed and grabbed a piece off the ground, holding it up to Lark.

“No! Rayne stop!” Lark giggled and moved away from her.

Rayne laughed harder and held it out to Lark. “I’m sure a little garlic would help enhance the flavor of it. Are you sure?”

“I think I’ll pass, but thanks for the offer.” Lark laughed, as Rayne joined her in laughter and tossed the seaweed in the sea.

“Yeah, it’s probably not too good for the digestion either.” Rayne added with a chuckle and moved closer to Lark. “I have a better suggestion for dinner, speaking of digestion problems. How about some burritos?” Rayne asked with a grin.

Lark laughed at the funny statement and slipped her hand in Rayne’s. “Burritos would be fine with me.”

“Great, there’s a place right over there that has some pretty good ones.” Rayne informed her and pointed out the restaurant.

They headed over to the restaurant and looked at the menu. “I think I’ll have the all beef burrito, no beans please.” Lark told Rayne with a giggle.

“Yeah, good idea.” Rayne added with a laugh. “How about if we order them and eat on the beach?” Rayne suggested, looking at Lark.

“Oh, that would be great!” Lark excitedly smiled and stood next to Rayne who had moved to the take-out window.

“What would you like to drink Lark?”

“I’ll have water please.” Lark answered and looked out over the ocean happy to be there with Rayne. She lost herself in her thoughts of how wonderful she felt being with Rayne and how she wanted her to be a major aspect of her life. She wondered if Rayne felt the same way about her.

“Lark?” Rayne touched Lark who looked at her puzzled. “Are you okay?” Rayne worriedly asked.

“Huh? Oh, I’m sorry. Did you ask me something?” She questioned and shook her head coming back to reality.

“I was just telling you that the food was ready. Are you okay?”

“Oh, sorry. I was just looking out over the beautiful ocean and was lost in my thoughts.”

“I hope they were good thoughts?” Rayne asked with a smile and handed Lark a bottle of water.

“Oh, they were wonderful.” Lark grinned adoringly. “Wow, that was quick with the burritos.” Lark commented and smiled.

“Yeah, they are pretty fast.” Rayne added and walked towards the motorcycle. “Can you hold this for me?” She asked and held out her drink to Lark.

“Certainly.” Lark grinned and watched as Rayne removed the blanket from the motorcycle.

She followed Rayne to the beach next to a palm tree and watched as she laid the blanket on the ground. “Can I offer you a waterfront table ma’am?” Rayne offered with a grin, holding her hand out towards the blanket.

“Wow, I thought I would have to call ahead for such a wonderful table. I’m very lucky that you had one available at such short notice.” Lark teasingly giggled and sat down. She took the bag from Rayne and watched as she sat before her.

“Well, how can we resist catering to the whims of such a beautiful lady?” Rayne admiringly grinned and looked from Lark to the bag. She held out a burrito to her. “Here is a no-flatulence, beef burrito for you and one for me.” Rayne chuckled and un-wrapped hers once Lark had taken her burrito.

Lark laughed and shook her head in amazement. “Rayne you are so incredibly charming!”

“Well, what can I say Lark? It just comes naturally.” Rayne coyly answered, then burst into laughter and blushed from the arrogant comment.

“Cocky too.” Lark added with a giggle.

“Sorry, I can’t help it. That trait runs in the family.” Rayne apologized, hoping she wasn’t offending Lark.

“Don’t apologize, I happen to like that about you.” Lark bashfully smiled.

“Really? That’s cool because that turns off some people. I happen to like that part of you too.” Rayne gently accused and took a bite of her burrito.

“Do you think I’m cocky?” Lark asked surprised.

“Oh, yeah.” Rayne added and chewed the rest of her food.

“No way, really?” Lark was stunned to hear that from Rayne.

“Well, not as bad as me, but if you hadn’t of been so sure of your abilities to persuade me to go out with you, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.” Rayne explained between bites of her burrito.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m cocky. It just means that I’m confident.” Lark defensively tried to explain. She didn’t want to be perceived as being a cocky, arrogant jerk.

“Well, I’d say it’s a little cocky and that’s why I waited to agree to a date. Well, that and…” Rayne’s voice trailed off when it dawned on her what she was about to say and didn’t want to go into that subject.

“Oh, really? You made me suffer by waiting huh?” Lark asked with a sardonic grin.

“I suppose so, but I’m not used to being pursued like that. I normally do the pursuing. I couldn’t go against all that I believe in and just throw myself at your mercy. What would that do for my reputation?” Rayne asked with a laugh.

“Who would have known?” Lark asked with a hardy laugh.

Rayne blushed and grinned, “no one but my silly ass self,” she sheepishly admitted and laughed.

“You are bad Rayne Donovan, making me wait like that. Shame on you.” Lark teasingly admonished with a smirk.

“I know Lark. I can’t help it. I’m rotten to the core. Are you sure you still want to be involved with me?” Rayne laughingly asked and leaned back on her elbow, stretching out her long legs. She was surprised by how relaxed and comfortable Lark made her feel.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way. The cocky, mysterious and mischievous traits of yours are incredibly sexy. I find them very appealing.” Lark flirtatiously admitted.

“Appealing huh? I like that.” Rayne grinned approvingly.

“So, what was the other reason you waited so long to accept my offer?” Lark inquired.

Rayne looked down and inhaled deeply then looked up. “Uhmmm, just some things that I needed to work out first.” She reluctantly answered.

“Is it something you would like to tell me about?” Lark asked and got the feeling it had something to do with the woman in the picture.

“Lark, look. I’ve had two great days being with you and I don’t want to ruin that by bringing up things from my past. I would rather not deal with them right now if you don’t mind.” Rayne gently said, hoping Lark wouldn’t push the issue any more.

“Okay, I can understand that, but don’t you think we should deal with your past that seems to have an effect on you being with me?” Lark asked, seeing the sadness in her eyes.

“Yes and we will, some other time. I promise. I don’t want to ruin the wonderful time I’m having with you Lark.” Rayne answered staring deeply into concerned green.

Lark returned the stare into sincere blue. “Whenever you’re ready Rayne,” she added with a warm smile.

“Thanks.” Rayne answered gratefully and smiled. They stared at one another before Rayne added in a whisper, “You are so incredibly beautiful Lark. I’m so happy being here with you,” as she leaned in to kiss her.

Rayne’s words were a verbal aphrodisiac and Lark intently watched as Rayne closed her eyes and moved towards her. She had waited so long for Rayne to kiss her and now it was time. She didn’t want to miss one thing about that moment. She thought her heart stopped until it raced in fear when she heard loud footsteps heading towards them.

“Stop!” They heard someone shout and jumped back as a man was running towards them with a police officer in hot pursuit.

“What the hell?” Rayne wondered and her demeanor changed. She turned to see the man jump over them and quickly sprang to her feet, running after the man who dared to disturb her special moment with Lark. Rayne dove at the man and tackled him. “Settle down!” She shouted and put her knee against the back of his neck, driving his face into the ground as she pulled his arm behind his back.

“Step away from him ma’am.” The police officer ordered as he approached and grabbed his other arm.

“Just give me your damn handcuffs.” Rayne barked and looked at him. “I’m a Secret Service Agent. I’d show you my badge, but I’m a little busy.” Rayne smirked. He chuckled and offered her his handcuffs as he holstered his weapon. She quickly cuffed the man and stood up allowing the officer to stand him up. She held her badge out and faintly smiled as the officer looked at it.

“Thanks for the help! I’ve been chasing this bastard for what seemed like an eternity.” He replied, out of breath.

Rayne closed her wallet and stuck it back in her pocket. “Any time.” She looked away when she heard the sirens and car tires screeching as the other officers arrived. “Looks like your ride is here. Enjoy the pen.” Rayne sarcastically quipped looking at the criminal and walking away.

“Fuck you!” He shouted angrily.

“You wish.” Rayne threw back with a grin and headed over to Lark.

“Are you okay?” Lark worriedly asked and brushed the sand off of Rayne’s clothing.

“I’m fine. How about you?” Rayne asked concerned and comfortingly stroked her arm.

“Well, he scared the hell out of me, but that’s about it.” Lark admitted and inhaled deeply trying to calm her racing heart. “Oh, Rayne your nose is bleeding.” Lark observed seeing the trickle of blood.

“Oh, yeah?” Rayne asked surprised and wiped her nose with her finger seeing the blood there.

“Sit down so we can get the bleeding to stop.” Lark suggested as Rayne sat on the blanket. Lark sat down and grabbed a napkin. “Here, lay your head in my lap so the bleeding will stop.” Lark told her and sat with her legs crossed. Rayne lay back and looked up at Lark who placed a napkin over her nose.

“I’m a fun date huh?” Rayne asked with a chuckle.

“Well, we are both going to make for fun dates huh? With you being a natural born hero and I with all the paparazzi. We should have one hell of a good time when ever we go out.” Lark added with a laugh shared by Rayne.

“What matters is that we will be together.” Rayne said with a warm smile.

Lark blushed and her heart fluttered from Rayne’s admission. She lightly stroked Rayne’s hair off her forehead as she stared at her. “This is very true,” she softly answered and smiled.

Rayne closed her eyes and enjoyed Lark playing with her hair. She loved the woman’s touch, her scent and everything about her. “Lark, I’m sorry that happened. I shouldn’t have gone after him like that.” Rayne regretfully apologized, looking up at Lark. ‘Asshole stepped on the rest of my burrito and ruined my moment with Lark. He’s lucky I didn’t shoot his ass!’ She cursed silently, still perturbed by the intrusion.

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. I’m glad you helped to get him, but it made me very nervous to think that you might get hurt.” Lark faintly smiled. She leaned down and kissed Rayne’s forehead.

“Me get hurt? Nah, it’s what I’m trained for.” Rayne jokingly answered and grinned.

“Yes miss cockiness.” Lark teasingly smirked with a scrunched face. “How is your nose?” Lark asked and pulled the napkin away.

“It still hurts, but I’m sure if you keep playing with my hair like that it will feel so much better!” Rayne answered with a mischievous grin.

Lark chuckled. “Oh, really. Well, let me make you feel better then!” She smiled and continued to run her fingers through Rayne’s dark hair.

“Yeah that feels so much better.” Rayne laughed as did Lark.

“Oh, Rayne I lied to you last night when I said my father attended West Point.” Lark regretfully confessed.

“Shame on you Lark Morgan. What am I going to do with you?” Rayne jokingly asked and glanced up at her with a devilish grin.

“Well, I was so darn nervous that I mixed up West Point with the Naval Academy. I know it’s a huge mix up, but I was not thinking clearly. I was very preoccupied with a gorgeous blue-eyed beauty in my presence. I’m sorry.” Lark sheepishly grinned.

“No problem. I knew which academy you meant to say Lark.” Rayne reassuringly chuckled.

“Oh, that’s right you were in the Navy. I feel so stupid.” Lark blushed embarrassed and pushed the errant strand of hair out of her face.

“Hey, if anyone should feel stupid it should be me. Look at me. I’m laying here with a bloody nose.” Rayne replied with a laugh to alleviate Lark’s stress.

She looked down at Rayne and laughed. “Well, I really don’t mind where you are. It would be nice if the situation where different, but hey I’m enjoying myself. How about you?” Lark giggled and smiled.

“I would love it a lot more if you would continue to play with my hair. I love it, but you keep stopping.” Rayne jokingly laughed.

“Consider it done and excuse me for stopping!” Lark chuckled and lightly ran her fingers through Rayne’s hair.

“So, Lark why is it that you live in Florida? I thought all celebrities lived in California?” Rayne curiously asked with a charming smile.

“I like it here because of the peace and quiet, plus I don’t have to put up with all of the Hollywood bullshit.” Lark explained with a chuckle.

“Do you get many roles that are filmed down here?” Rayne inquired, looking up at the petite blonde.

“No, it would be great if more of my movies were filmed down here. So, I keep a townhouse in Beverly Hills and I stay there when I’m filming, then I return as quickly as I can.”

“Hmmm, must be tiring going to all of those glamorous parties huh?”

“Yeah, it can be because a lot of people are so fake and I can’t stand how they are such kiss asses.” Lark explained and chuckled at her last comment.

“How do you deal with the fans and ‘kiss asses’ fawning all over you?” Rayne asked grinning.

“I realized when I first got into this business that my private life was not going to be solely my own. I knew I would have to make some sacrifices for the profession that I love. So, I always try to be gracious to the media, the ‘kiss asses’ and of course, the fans are the one’s who will make and break me. I have this belief that if I’m as nice and considerate as possible, that they will give me the same consideration. I’ve been very lucky so far, but then again I’m not a big name like Julia Roberts.” Lark added with a laugh.

“You will be and you’re much prettier.” Rayne commented with a flirtatious smile.

“Well I hope so and thank you very much for the comment.” Lark grinned and felt a tickle in her belly.

“Do you get treated differently in the media or with your work offers because you’re gay?” Rayne asked inquisitively.

“Not really. It’s become very chic to be a lesbian in Hollywood lately so I haven’t had any problems getting job offers. In fact, I have so many now that I’m having to turn down a lot of them because I just don’t have the time.”

“That’s great. I figured they would have plastered you all over the rag magazines because of your sexual preference.”

“Oh, well I’ve been on there before, but the thing is if you hide something like that from them then they will make it their life mission to reveal that to the public. So, I figured that if I just accepted it and allowed them to know, I wouldn’t be very big news and they’d leave me alone. Look at a lot of the celebrities who try to hide certain details of their life from the media and they are combative with the paparazzi. They hound them like there is no tomorrow and then the celebrity looks like an idiot for hiding it. I knew they would always find out one-way or another and so far my theory has worked out. It also helps to live far away from all the limelight too. That said it’s been more difficult for my father than me really.” Lark explained and shrugged her shoulders, sad that her father had to endure such negative press.

“That’s a great theory and I’m glad it has worked out. How does your father deal with it though? The public will forgive a celebrity, but when it comes to a politician it’s more difficult. I know, trust me from experience.” Rayne answered with a low tone, knowing all to well the grief her father had to take because of her sexual preference.

“My father always taught me to stand up for what you believe in and that’s what I did. I had his complete support and he basically has the attitude ‘take it or leave it’. He felt that there were far pressing issues in this country to worry more about than his daughter being gay and used that in his campaign when he was questioned about me. His support like that meant so much to me and I was so proud of him.” Lark smiled adoringly and wiped the tear that filled the corner of her eye, as she thought back to that occasion.

“That’s great. My dad was basically the same and my family has been very supportive of my lifestyle. Which is so awesome.” Rayne explained and smiled in awe of her family’s acceptance and support.

“So, when did you know you were gay?” Lark asked as a small smile etched here features.

“When I was in the womb!” Rayne answered with a hearty laugh shared by Lark.

“Well, you got an early start huh?” Lark asked, laughing harder at the comment.

“I have just always known that I was gay. I have always loved and been attracted to women too much to be interested in men. I was a huge tomboy when I was younger. Actually, I think I still am.” Rayne explained and chuckled at the last comment. “The only interest I had in boys or men was being like them. They always had the coolest toys and clothes.” Rayne laughed and looked at Lark.

“I take it you don’t like dolls and dresses?” Lark asked with a giggle.

“Oh, no way! I hate dresses and the only doll I played with was Ken or G.I. Joe when I was with my girly friends. I was more fonder of G.I. Joe though.” Rayne laughed.

“Girly friends?” Lark asked with a laugh.

“Yeah, you know the Barbie girls? The one’s who wore all the dresses and loved to play with Barbie.” Rayne sarcastically asked.

“Ah-ha, well hello G.I. Rayne I’m Barbie Lark. Nice to meet you.” Lark teasingly grinned.

“You were a Barbie kind of girl?” Rayne asked with a snicker.

“I loved Barbie!” Lark defensively admitted.

“Well, I’ll tell you a secret. I have always been attracted to the Barbie girls.” Rayne softly admitted with a wry grin and looked around as if someone other than Lark would hear the secret.

“Oh, really? How about girls who like to wear dresses and make-up?” Lark asked with a smile.

“I find them very attractive especially the way you look in a dress and make-up.” Rayne flirtatiously added, grinned and looked up at Lark.

“Well, let me confess then. I’ve always had an affection for G.I. Joe kind of gals.” Lark teasingly smiled.

“Well, it’s a good thing we met then.” Rayne laughed. “How long have you known you’ve been gay?”

“Since I was a kid and had a crush on the neighborhood tomboy.” Lark admitted and both women laughed.

“Too funny. Did you ever go out with any guys?” Rayne answered and inquired cautiously, feeling a wave of jealousy consume her. She knew she had no reason to feel that way, but still did.

“Nope, I just had no desire to date them. So, I’m still a virgin in the sense of a man and woman having sex. I’ve been saving myself for the right person.” Lark revealed with a giggle and wondered why she just told her that, feeling embarrassed.

‘Oh, I love virgins. You are such a pig Rayne Donovan!’ She happily thought and admonished with her last comment. The fact that Lark had never been with a man aroused and intrigued her. “Same here Lark.” Rayne sheepishly admitted.

“I kind of figured that when you said you had no interest in men, but thanks for sharing.” Lark warmly smiled.

“Hey, aah some of my co-workers are having a Halloween party on Tuesday would you like to go as Barbie and I could go as G.I. Joe?” Rayne excitedly asked with a chuckle.

“Well, what about Ken? Won’t he be jealous?” Lark asked with a grin.

“No, Ken is gay didn’t you know that? He only hung out with Barbie for all of her cool clothes. Besides, Barbie has always had a thing for G. I. Joe. He’s more fun.” Rayne explained and laughed as did Lark.

“I would love to go with you, but I can’t. I’m leaving in the morning for San Francisco.” Lark told Rayne, disappointed that she had to leave.

“San Francisco?” Rayne removed the napkin from her nose and checked it, noting the bleeding had stopped. She sat up and stared at Lark waiting for her answer.

“Yes, I have to go there for a press junket for one of my movies. Actually, I’ll be gone for the next week doing the circuit of talk shows and press junkets to promote my latest movie. I’ll be back in time for the elections and then I have to fly to London for the movie premiere.” Lark informed her, feeling disheartened that she had to leave.

“Wow, when will I get to see you again? I’m going to miss being with you.” Rayne asked with a disenchanted look on her face. She was floored that she wouldn’t be seeing Lark for a week.

“Any chance you could join me in San Francisco?” Lark asked with a hopeful smile.

“I wish I could, but it’s going to be crazy for the next week and a half with the elections coming up. Your father is going to have us traveling all over, I’m sure.” Rayne explained with a sly grin.

“Damn, it looks like the only time I’ll see you is the day of the election then.” Lark whined, disappointed that she wouldn’t be seeing Rayne sooner.

“Bummer, we’ll have to chat on the phone I suppose. Can you give me your hotel information and how to reach you?”

“Sure, when we get home I’ll give you my itinerary and how to contact me. Oh, I normally don’t use my real name in the hotels so I won’t be bothered. I’ll use Julia…let’s see, hmmm…” Lark paused thinking of a name to use and then smiled looking at Rayne, “I’ll use Julia Donovan. That will be easy for you to remember.”

“Great, but who’s Julia?” Rayne asked with a smile.

“That’s my mom’s name.” Lark answered with a laugh.

“It’s a very nice name.” Rayne complimented with a charming smile. “So, what’s a press junket?”

“The actors in the movie have to go and sit in interviews all freaking day! They have reporters from all over asking us questions. Usually, they are five-minute interviews, but the daunting thing is that we have to answer the same questions over and over again! Then we do a screening of the movie for them.” Lark explained and laughed.

“Why not just put all of them in one room and have them ask questions. Then you all won’t have to ask the same stupid questions multiple times.” Rayne suggested.

“Well, that would make too much sense Rayne. But, they do it because it’s better public relations and more personable for us to sit with each individual reporter. The studios want favorable press for their movie and they feel this is the best way to achieve it.” She explained simply and shrugged her shoulders.

“You poor thing and here I thought it was boring listening to all the politicians blow out hot air!” Rayne commented with a snicker.

“Well, it’s the lesser of two evils. I think I’ll stick with the press junkets, rather than listening to the politicians blow out hot air.” Lark admitted and laughed, as did Rayne.

“What time do you leave tomorrow?” Rayne asked and checked her watch, noting it was getting late.

“At 5:00 am. I could just strangle Elaine for scheduling such an early flight.” Lark informed her, not pleased with the early morning flight. “I’m not a morning person, but I think Elaine is trying to make me one. Hence, the early flight.” Lark chuckled and rolled her eyes at the thought of crawling out of bed at that time.

“Don’t you have to be on the set early every day?”

“Yeah, but I normally sleep until the last second. Thankfully, I can have the limo driver dump me off at the set still in my pajamas and then get ready there! I just really hate getting up so early.” Lark explained and laughed.

“I’m usually up and out of bed right after the alarm goes off.” Rayne replied with a chuckle, noting the difference between them with their sleeping habits.

“Alarm, what’s that?” Lark jokingly laughed.

“We should be going, it’s getting late and if you need to be up at 5:00 you’ll need to get your rest.” Rayne said and stood up, holding her hand out for Lark.

“Oh, I don’t want to go.” Lark whined and stood up.

“I know, but you need to get your rest.” Rayne grinned and winked. She leaned over to pick up the blanket and the trash. She handed the blanket to Lark who began to roll it up as Rayne walked over to the trashcan and discarded the garbage. ‘Damn, I’m going to miss her.’ Rayne thought disappointed and tossed the bag in the can. She grasped Lark’s hand and led her to the motorcycle. They donned their helmets and mounted the motorcycle.

Lark wrapped her arms around Rayne’s midsection as tight as possible. She snuggled her face against her and reveled in the feeling of being so close to her. ‘I hope my absence makes the heart grow fonder rather than making her forget me. I want so much more with this woman and I hope that she feels the same about me.’ Lark sniffled the tears that threatened to fall and kissed Rayne’s back, tightening her grip around the woman.

‘She makes me feel so happy and alive. I don’t want to be away from her and I’m not looking forward to her being gone. She’s captured my heart, that much is true.’ Rayne thought, enjoying the feeling of having Lark so close.

Rayne navigated the motorcycle through the posh neighborhood and parked in the driveway at Lark’s place and sighed, reluctant to let the night end. She didn’t want to be away from Lark. She helped Lark off the motorcycle and removed her helmet as did Lark. She placed them on the motorcycle and followed Lark. Her heart raced at the thought of not seeing Lark for a week and wished the night didn’t have to end.

“I had a great time this evening Rayne.” Lark smiled, looking at Rayne. She grasped her hand and led her into the condo.

“Me too Lark. Oh, don’t forget to give me your itinerary.” Rayne reminded her.

“Yes, let me get it right now or else I will forget to give it to you.” Lark added and sheepishly grinned. She walked over to the table and opened a folder. She grabbed the itinerary and walked back to Rayne. “Here you go. You shouldn’t have any problems finding me and don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll miss you and be looking forward to hearing from you.” Lark shyly smiled and looked down, saddened that the evening might be coming to an end. ‘Ask her to stay, don’t let her leave.’ She told herself.

Rayne folded the itinerary and placed it in her pocket. She placed her hand under Lark’s chin and lifted it, staring deep into the green that captivated her blue. “I’m going to miss you so much Lark.” Rayne softly admitted and leaned in towards Lark.

“I don’t want to be away from you Rayne.” Lark revealed, her voice cracked with emotion and her heartbeat quickened. The slumbering passion in Rayne’s eyes and voice was an irresistible force to her.

“Me either.” Rayne whispered and pressed her lips against Larks. She lightly kissed her, feeling Lark’s lips quiver nervously. Lark breathed in Rayne’s scent as lips touched and the kiss deepened. The desire she felt for Lark was undeniable and she knew with that one kiss, that Lark meant everything to her. Her heart pounded in her chest as she drew Lark into her arms, passionately kissing her. She was incredibly nervous and wondered if her thundering heart would jump out of her chest. She had never been so affected by another woman.

Rayne’s breathy voice in her ear made Lark’s head spin and her knees weak. She knew exactly how Rayne felt about her and melted into the passionate kiss. ‘I think I’m going to faint. My knees are so weak and it’s so hard to breath. I love this woman.’ Lark thought as her pulse raced and she grew weaker in the knees. She wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck and broke the kiss briefly, “stay with me tonight Rayne. Make love to me all night,” Lark breathlessly pleaded and continued the kiss.

“I thought you would never ask.” Rayne whispered through her kiss and deepened it; her senses peaked from the contact. She moved her hands from Lark’s back around to the front and gently caressed her breast.

Lark gasped from the contact and felt a deep desire consume her, replacing practical thoughts with pure sensation when Rayne whispered, “I want you so much Rayne.” Lark professed and thought, ‘I want to scream for her to need me the way that I need her.’

Rayne’s tongue explored everything about Lark. She broke the kiss breathless and leaned her head against Lark’s forehead, both panting for their breath. “I want you Lark. I don’t want to be away from you.” Rayne sincerely admitted and lightly kissed her lips.

“NO!” She sighed disappointedly and pulled away when she heard her beeper go off.

“Don’t answer it Rayne, please.” Lark pleaded, desperate for Rayne’s kiss.

She looked up and frowned. “I’m sorry I have to, it’s work.” Rayne grudgingly answered and pulled the beeper off her belt. She looked at the number and looked up at Lark. “I’m so sorry Lark.” She apologetically replied and lightly kissed the younger woman on the cheek. She moved past Lark and pulled her cell phone out. She turned the power on, then punched in the numbers and waited for a voice on the other line.

‘Damn it! This can’t be happening!’ Lark thought frustrated and leaned her head against Rayne’s arm, tightly grasping it.

Rayne turned to Lark and wrapped her in a comforting embrace. “What’s up?” Rayne asked, perturbed by the intrusion.

“Hey! I’ve been trying to call you on your cell phone.” Forrest greeted, slightly agitated.

“I know. I turned it off. I happen to be very busy. What’s going on?” Rayne asked, annoyed by his intrusive call.

“Congressman Smith’s plane went down over the Everglades and the Director wants every available agent out there.” He hurriedly informed her.

“Why does he want all of us at the crash site?” Rayne questioned confused and glanced at Lark who raised her head up with interest in what Rayne was talking about.

“They think there is foul play and our agency has been sent there to help with the investigation because we lost two agents.” He sadly added.

“Damn, which one’s?” She remorsefully asked as Lark stared worriedly, noting Rayne’s change in demeanor.

“Johnson and Thomas.” He informed her.

“Shit. That’s too bad.” She commented sadly. “What about Senator Morgan?” She wondered and rubbed her brow, trying to grasp the enormity of the situation.

Lark grasped Rayne’s arm when she heard her father’s name mentioned and moved in front of her. “What’s wrong with daddy? Is he okay?” She frantically asked, hoping nothing happened to her father.

Rayne covered the phone and comfortingly rubbed her arm with her other hand. “He’s fine. I’m just trying to find out who will stay with him while Forrest and I go out on our new assignment.” She reassuringly told her.

“Okay, whew. I was worried.” She softly answered and inhaled deeply trying to calm her frantically racing heart from the scare.

“Smith and Roberts will stay with him until we are finished at the crash scene. Listen, I’ll explain all of this when I see you. We need to hurry up. I’ll meet you rooftop where the helicopter will be waiting for us.” He informed her.

“Alright, I’m on my way.” Rayne grudgingly informed him and clicked off the phone. “I’m sorry Lark, I have to go.” She reluctantly told her and hugged the petite blonde.

“What’s going on Rayne?” Lark worriedly asked and walked with Rayne towards the door.

“There was a plane crash that our director has assigned us to. I’m sorry, I can’t give you anymore information than that.” Rayne solemnly answered and stepped outside.

“Please be careful.” Lark leaned up and tearfully whispered in her ear. She was so disappointed and fearful that something might happen to Rayne, that she couldn’t hold back the tears.

“I promise.” Rayne reassured and broke the hug. She smiled when her blues met Lark’s greens and wiped the tears that trickled down her cheek. “I’m going to miss you so much. Have a safe trip and I’ll call you.” Rayne smiled and pressed her lips against Lark’s for one last kiss.

She broke the kiss and chuckled when Lark threw her arms around her neck and kissed her passionately. “I miss you already and I’ll be waiting for your call.” Lark informed her, breaking the soul-searing kiss.

Rayne stared into her saddened green eyes. She smiled and lightly stroked Lark’s cheek with her thumb. “You’re so beautiful. I’m sorry we can share tonight together.” She sincerely and regretfully told her.

Lark smiled at the compliment and replied, “Me too. Goodbye,” and grew sadder as Rayne stepped out of the door.

“It’s never goodbye Lark. It’s always ‘I’ll see you soon’ okay?” Rayne gently corrected with a smile.

“You got it. I’ll see you soon.” Lark smiled and reluctantly released her grasp of Rayne’s hand.

Rayne smiled and winked before kissing Lark once more, and quickly headed to her motorcycle. Lark intently watched as Rayne hurriedly drove off and felt a pang of regret that she wouldn’t spend a glorious night of making love to Rayne. She didn’t want to have to wait, but knew there was nothing else she could do about it. ‘I hope she’s going to be okay. I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to her. I’ve only known her for a brief time, but it’s as if I’ve known her for all of my life and through other lifetimes. I love her so much. I’ve never fallen so hard and so quickly for anyone ever.’ She thought and closed the door, brokenhearted that Rayne had to leave. She padded down the hall to her bedroom with a deep sadness and threw herself into packing, in hopes that it would take her mind off of Rayne.

Lark finished packing and realized that didn’t do anything to help her forget Rayne. She laid on the bed staring at the ceiling, lost in her thoughts of Rayne. ‘That kiss was like nothing I’ve ever experienced by anyone before. I could feel how much she cares for me or was I looking into the kiss too much? AAAhhh’ She thought frustrated and stood up, walking towards the kitchen. She was too disappointed and anxious to sleep. She poured a glass of milk and stood, staring out the sliding glass doors at the twinkling lights on the boats pulling into the Marina before her. ‘I’m just being stupid. You don’t kiss someone like that unless they mean something to you.’ She thought and sipped her milk. She lowered the glass and turned away, walking towards the couch. She flopped down and looked into her glass, watching the milk swirl in her glass. ‘I’m nervous about leaving her. I feel like if I go I’ll lose her. I’m just being silly.’ Lark discarded her thoughts and headed into the kitchen, placing her glass in the sink. She padded down the hall to her bedroom and undressed for bed. She fell back on the bed and stretched out, wishing she had that attractive Secret Service agent with her. She settled in and closed her eyes thinking back on their date earlier in the evening, which quickly relaxed her.

Lark heard the offensive noise, but had a hard time deciphering where it was coming from. It dawned on her when she opened her eyes and lifted the phone. Her heart raced when she thought it might be Rayne calling her. “Rayne?” She enthusiastically greeted into the phone.

“No, the weatherman says there will be sunny weather today.” The voice informed her.

“Oh, it’s you Elaine.” Lark flatly said and lay back on the bed disappointed it wasn’t Rayne.

“Well, good morning to you too Lark!” Elaine sarcastically and defensively replied.

“I’m sorry Elaine. I didn’t mean it to come out that way. I was just disappointed that you weren’t Rayne.” Lark told her and wiped the sleep from her eyes. She was surprised she had fallen asleep.

“Why didn’t she stay with you?”

“She got called away for work.” She sadly informed her.

“Oh, I’m sorry honey.” She apologized, knowing how Lark felt about Rayne.

“Thanks, I’ll tell you about it when you get here. Are you on your way?”

“I’ll be there in a half hour.”

“Okay, I’ll jump in the shower. Bye.” Lark answered and clicked off the phone before Elaine could say good-bye.

“She’s got it bad for this one. I just hope she’s not dinking around with Lark’s heart.” Elaine protectively thought and headed out the door to meet the limo that had arrived.

Lark quickly showered, thinking of Rayne the entire time and somehow needing to feel connected to her. ‘I need to talk to her again and feel reassured.’ She worried and headed towards the phone. She lifted it to her ear and punched in Rayne’s phone number that she had put into memory. She anxiously waited and hoped she would answer the phone. Her heart quickened when she heard the ringing stop and a voice at the other end of the line. “Rayne?” She asked confused, not recognizing the voice as Rayne’s.

“No. She’s not here.” The person answered.

“Who is this?” Lark asked, as a wave of jealous consumed her. She wondered why Rayne would have another woman at her house this early in the morning. ‘Did she go from me to another woman that quickly? I feel like such an idiot!’ She angrily thought and couldn’t believe that she had been made to feel like such a fool. She felt disappointment sadness and betrayal consume her. ‘How could she do this to me?’ She tearfully wondered.


Lark wiped the tear that slipped past her resolve and wondered how she could have been so stupid to think that Rayne would only be for her. She moved the phone from her ear and quickly placed it back when she heard the woman curtly answer and ask, “This is her mother. Who is this?” offended by Lark’s tone of voice with her.

Lark’s heart raced excitedly that it was Rayne’s mother and not a lover. She fanned her face with her hand elatedly and suddenly felt warm from embarrassment, wondering how she was going to explain her rudeness to Rayne’s mother. She had wanted to make a good impression on Rayne’s family when she had the chance to meet him and it didn’t seem like she was with her mother. “Oh, aah I’m so sorry ma’am for my impolite comment. I’m just not a morning person and I took that out on you. Please accept my apology.” Lark sweetly kissed ass, hoping the woman on the other end would buy her line of bull. She had never felt so humiliated in her life and if she could, she’d kick herself in the ass for acting so rash. She nibbled nervously on her lip waiting for the woman’s answer.

“Well, I’ll accept your apology as long as you tell me who you are and why you are calling my daughter so early.” She answered, suspicious of Lark.

“Oh, I’m Lark Morgan. I’m aah a friend of Rayne’s and I was trying to reach her before I left town this morning. I thought she would be home by now.” Lark answered, relieved that the woman was letting her off the hook.

“We spoke with her when we arrived from Greece earlier and she asked that we wait for her here. It seems our daughter has some exciting news to tell us that she wanted to discuss over breakfast. We expect her within the next half hour, should I have her call you?” She freely explained and inquired.

“Unfortunately, I’m going to be leaving in about five minutes, so she’ll have to call me at my hotel later today. I gave her the number last night.” Lark informed her disappointed that she wouldn’t have a chance to speak with Rayne.

“Oh, it just dawned on me, are you Lark Morgan, the actress?” She asked with a twinge of excitement in her voice.

“Yes, that’s me.” Lark admitted and blushed with a grin. ‘Well, at least she doesn’t hate me and she’s quite friendly giving me all that information! I wonder what the exciting news Rayne has to tell her parents. Maybe she’s going to tell them about me?’ She wondered hopeful and felt a tickle in her stomach at the thought.

“Well, I’ve enjoyed all of your movies and I just adore your parents. Can you please tell them that Maria Donovan says hello?”

“Oh, aah thanks and yes ma’am, I’ll tell my parents you said hello.” Lark enthusiastically answered. “Oh, darn! I have to head out.” Lark informed her when she heard a knock on her door and knew it had to be Elaine. “Could you please tell Rayne that I called to say good-bye and I’ll be looking forward to her call?”

“I sure will honey and you have a safe trip. Don’t forget to tell your parents I said hello.” Maria reminded her.

“Thanks and I won’t forget. Bye!” Lark pleasantly ended her conversation and clicked the phone off happy that it ended on a positive note. She smiled uncontrollably and sighed deeply, happy that she thwarted an awkward situation with Rayne’s mother. She had an exhilarating feeling consume her and she felt a strong connection to Rayne, as if she were already a part of her family. ‘Am I just looking into this too much? I’m acting as if I’m married to Rayne already. What if she’s not interested in being in a relationship with me? I hope I’m not looking into this too much.’ She insecurely thought and jumped when she heard a loud bang on the door. ‘Shit! I forgot Elaine was at the door.’ She smiled and attempted to calm her racing heart from the freight as she approached the door. ‘No, I’m not going to think that way especially after that powerful kiss that Rayne bestowed upon me.’ She thought with a smile and opened the door. “Hi Elaine!” Lark greeted her with a smile and opened the door wider.

“Well, that’s more of a pleasant response than I got on the phone. Did you speak with that tall and good looking beauty you’ve lost your heart too since then?” Elaine teasingly asked with a sly grin and stepped aside as Lark gestured to the luggage for the driver to take to the car.

“I wish.” Lark answered with a smile and followed the two out the door. She set the alarm and locked the door. “I spoke with her mother.” Lark informed her as she turned towards her and both walked towards the limo.

“You’re kidding. How did that happen?” Elaine inquisitively asked.

“I called Rayne’s house hoping to hear her voice either live or on the answering machine and her mother picked up the phone.” Lark explained and stopped by the car as she waited for the driver who was opening the door for them.

“I take it the phone conversation went well?” Elaine asked with a grin and followed Lark into the limo once she was seated.

“It started out horribly because I thought Rayne had some other woman there and I was so rude.” Lark told her and rolled her eyes at her stupidity.

“Oh, you’re kidding!” Elaine replied surprised.

“I wish! Thankfully, she accepted my apology and bullshit line that I’m not a morning person.”

“You didn’t!” Elaine asked with a laugh and grasped Lark’s arm waiting for her answer.

Lark sheepishly grinned and looked down, then up at Elaine. “It was the only thing I could think of to say!” She explained and laughed as Elaine joined her.

“Well, I always told you that your engaging charm and your knack for bull will get you places honey!” Elaine teasingly laughed as Lark did the same. “Why were her parents there anyway?” Elaine asked, looking away briefly when she felt the limo move then returned her gaze to Lark.

“They had just come in from Greece and spoke with Rayne. She said she wanted to tell them some exciting news over breakfast. I can only hope it’s about me being in her life!” Lark excitedly giggled and shrugged her shoulders hopeful.

“Let’s hope!” Elaine agreed with a laugh. “I’m glad to hear things went well with her mother after the disastrous beginning you two had.” Elaine chuckled.

“Me too, but it helps that she’s a fan of mine!” Lark added and laughed.

“No freaking way! The Ambassador to Greece’s wife is a fan of yours? That is too funny!” Elaine commented shocked by Lark’s revelation.

“I know, I was floored but I was so relieved!” Lark admitted and snickered. “Oh, by the way, I would like for you to have an arrangement of flowers sent to her mother with an apology note from me.” Lark sheepishly grinned and thought an added touch with the flowers would help even more.

“Consider it done. Where should I send it though?” Elaine queried and wrote a note to remind her.

“Hmmm, I’m not sure. I’ll call my father once we board and ask him where we could have them sent.”

“Wow, you are one lucky woman. Speaking of lucky, what happened with Rayne last night?” Elaine asked with a sly grin and an arched brow, hoping Lark would give her some delicious details of their date.

“No, I didn’t get that lucky with Rayne. Yet!” Lark added and laughed heartily along with Elaine. “We had a wonderful date Elaine. Aaah…” Lark began to explain with a sigh and lost herself in thoughts of the evening.

“Bring yourself back to my time Lark.” Elaine commented and snapped her fingers, in an attempt to bring Lark out of her revere.

“Oh!” Lark chuckled and swatted Elaine’s hand away. “We went for a ride on her motorcycle down to the beach. We got some burritos and ate them on the beach.”

“Burritos? You mean to tell me she couldn’t spring for something more expensive? Her father is an Ambassador for cripes sake!” Elaine asked and commented, shocked by their choice of cuisine.

“Oh, stop it!” Lark warned and elbowed Elaine who giggled. “It was very romantic!” Lark defensively added. “Well, we sat on the beach getting to know each other and Rayne helped an officer catch a criminal who jumped over us.”

“What? Are you kidding me?” Elaine asked, finding it hard to believe that Lark actually had a good time on her date from what she just told her.

“No, I’m not kidding. We were getting ready to kiss and this guy jumped over us. Well, she chased him down…” Lark was explaining, but Elaine interrupted her.

“What about the kiss? I want the juicy details!” Elaine eagerly inquired.

“You are terrible Elaine!” Lark laughed.

“I know I’m hopeless. Now, give it up. Was it everything you thought it would be?” She enthusiastically asked, hoping for Lark’s sake that it was everything that she wanted from Rayne.

“We kissed later when she dropped me off. Oh, Elaine it was everything and more. I know that is such a cliché, but it’s the truth.” Lark dreamily answered and smiled wistfully, remembering the moment.

“I’m so happy for you Lark. That’s wonderful honey.” Elaine sincerely replied and squeezed her arm, smiling widely.

“I am so happy and alive when I’m with her Elaine. I don’t want to be away from her and this trip is already killing me! I know in my heart that she is my soul mate. I feel it every time she looks at me and when she kissed me I truly knew it.” Lark wholeheartedly explained with tear filled green eyes.

Elaine smiled happily for her friend and sniffled back the tears that threatened to escape. “I am so pleased to hear that Rayne makes you so happy Lark.”

“Me too. I just need to find a way to make it through this time being away from her.” Lark answered and felt disappointment consume her as she thought about being away from Rayne.

“Oh, you’ll be so busy that the time will fly.” Elaine answered and smiled. “Wow, that was fast.” She commented and looked out the window as she felt the limo stop, noting they were at the airport.

“Please tell me you arranged for some breakfast for me? I’m starving!” Lark asked with a chuckle.

“Of course my dear. I have to spoil my favorite client.” Elaine joked with a sly grin as she exited the limo.

“I’m your only client silly.” Lark added with a hearty laugh shared by Elaine as she climbed out of the limo.

“Well, you’re so damn demanding that I can’t handle anyone else.” Elaine teasingly groused as the women laughed harder, walking towards the private plane parked on the tarmac.

Rayne pushed open the door and tossed her keys on the table, quickly smiling when she heard, “Hi honey!” as her parent’s enthusiastically greeted her when they saw her enter the house.

“Hey, mom and dad!” Rayne grinned and hugged her parents who rushed over to greet her. “Welcome back, I’ve missed you.” Rayne greeted and broke the hug from her mother, then hugged her father.

“We missed our little girl too honey. It’s so good to see you.” Her father happily greeted and squeezed her tightly with his hug.

Rayne smiled happily and enjoyed being in the comforting confines of her father’s arms. She kissed his cheek and broke the hug. “What did you bring me?” She eagerly asked and flashed a coy, girlish smile at her father.

He laughed and blushed. “You know me too well my dear.” He winked and grabbed the bag on the table, handing it to her.

“Oh, yes!” She laughed and opened the bag. She pulled out the shot glass in the bag. “Daddy, you know me so well!” She laughed and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks! I needed a new one after Shay broke my other one from Greece after our last game of ‘quarters’.”

“Well, I knew how heartbroken you were and I couldn’t have my precious little girl being so sad.” He teasingly laughed and kissed the top of her head.

“I think you spoil her too much John.” Her mother added with a giggle, watching as Rayne carefully placed the gift with the other shot glasses on the counter.

“Hey, who asked you old woman!” Rayne sarcastically teased her mother and headed towards them.

“You know I spoil you far more Maria.” Rayne’s father grinned and winked at his wife who wrapped her arm around his waist for a hug.

“Yes, you do my dear.” Maria agreed and smiled up at her tall husband.

“Hey cut it out or you’ll have to get a room at the hotel down the street.” Rayne jokingly warned and stopped before them. “So, can I buy you some breakfast?” Rayne offered smiling.

Maria looked up at her husband stunned as he did the same. “Did she just ask what I think she did?” Maria queried, staring at her husband.

“Yes, dear I believe she offered to buy us breakfast.” John added with a grin.

“What has gotten into you Rayne?” Maria asked, turning towards her daughter.

“Funny, mother. Move your hump. Let’s go.” Rayne sarcastically commented and coaxed them towards the door with a gesture of her hand. “Come on, get those old bones moving. Don’t be shy. I know you’re mother wasn’t. She told me!” She snickered and scrunched her face up at her mother who passed her.

“You my dear are incorrigible and I’m going to have to talk with your grandmother about revealing family secrets to you!” Maria warned as she exited the house followed by her husband and daughter.

“Oh, there’s a catch to breakfast.” Rayne added as she locked the door and turned back to her parents who waited for her.

“I knew it! There is always a catch!” John commented with a laugh.

“We’ll have to take your ride dad. Unless of course, you both want to try and ride on my motorcycle. I think mom could fit on the handlebars if you ride on the back. It’s just up the street so it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.” She jokingly laughed.

“Now, that would be funny to see!” Her father added with a hearty laugh. “Yes, we’ll drive honey.” He added as they all walked to the car.

“Excellent.” Rayne smiled and looked around. “I see your detail is keeping close tabs on you.” Rayne grinned, spying her father’s bodyguards and climbed into the back seat when her father unlocked the car.

“Yeah, they are like a bad cold, they never go away.” He chuckled and laughed.

“That’s our job dad.” Rayne proudly commented.

“You all do a great job too. Hey, I think it’s about time you purchased a car instead of that motorcycle young lady. Don’t you think?” Her father asked as he climbed into the car.

“You know, I think you’re right dad. It might be time for me to get a car.” She added with a smile and looked out the window, lost in her thoughts of a particular blonde that invaded them.

John looked back at his daughter, surprised by her comment then looked at his wife and arched a brow. She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head, just as confused as he was by her comment, but happy just the same. He put the car in gear and backed out of the driveway. “I take it we are going to Sal’s for breakfast?” He asked, glancing towards his daughter through the rearview mirror.

“Yep.” Rayne answered, never breaking her gaze out the window. ‘I wonder if Lark is okay. I can’t believe I miss her so much already. How am I going to make it without her being here? She’s so beautiful.’ Rayne thought with a smile and snapped her head towards her father when she heard him speak.

“We’re here honey.” He alerted her when she didn’t exit the car.

“I’ll get us a table.” She replied finally exiting the car and quickly headed into the restaurant.

“What is up with her John? I’m kind of worried. Since Karen died, she would get very agitated if you insinuated that she should get a car and give up that darn motorcycle.” Maria asked and commented, surprised by her daughter’s reaction.

“Maybe she has met someone. That’s the only thing I can figure. She never had the motorcycle when Karen was alive and after she passed away she got the bike. She told me that a car held too many attachments and the motorcycle was only about her. Maybe the conversation of her getting a car means she no longer wants to be alone and she wants an attachment.” He explained to his wife optimistically as they approached the restaurant.

“Let’s hope honey because I can’t take her daredevil lifestyle anymore. I want her to find someone to love and be happy with again so she can settle down before it’s too late.” Maria admitted and was consumed by her emotions, knowing the pain Rayne felt in her heart from the loss of her partner. “Oh, maybe it’s the girl I spoke with on the phone, Lark Morgan.” She excitedly suggested, remembering their conversation earlier in the day.

“I’ve been praying that she snaps out of her death wish obsession for quite some time now. Let’s see what she has to say though. We may be way off course with our thinking.” He gently advised and placed his arm around his wife’s shoulders, and pulled her closer for comfort as they entered the restaurant.

They took their seats, checked the menu’s and placed their order with the waitress who had delivered coffee to the group. Maria sipped her coffee and swallowed before asking, “So, honey. What is the exciting news you have for us?” she didn’t want to wait any longer for the news.

Rayne blushed and chuckled looking at her mother. “I’ve met a wonderful woman.” She answered and grinned broadly.

“That’s fantastic honey. Who is it?” John eagerly asked and patted Rayne’s hand that lay on the table.

“It’s Lark Morgan. I think you know her father, Senator Morgan. He’s currently running for Congress.”

“Yes, I know Lance. He’s a fine man.” He enthusiastically informed her, pleased by the fact that Rayne was interested in his colleague’s daughter.

“Oh, I spoke with her this morning.” Maria informed her.

“You did?” Rayne eagerly asked. “What did she say?” Rayne inquisitively asked and sat upright, her interest piqued that Lark called.

“She wanted to talk to you before she left and asked that you call at her hotel when you get a chance.” Her mother relayed the message and sipped her coffee.

“Damn, I’m sorry I missed her.” Rayne answered, disappointed that she didn’t get to hear Lark’s voice again. “So, what did you think of her?” She nervously asked.

“She’s lovely honey from what I gathered on the phone in our brief conversation. I told her I was a big fan of hers.” Her mother sheepishly admitted with a laugh.

“You’ve seen her movies?” Rayne asked surprised.

“Yes and I loved them.” Maria chuckled.

“Damn, I think I’m the only one that hasn’t seen them all. Brandon made me watch a couple of the kid’s movies she’s done, but I have some catching up to do I guess.” Rayne snickered, surprised that her mother was such a fan of Lark’s.

“Well, honey. You have to broaden your movie choices and watch ones that don’t revolve around action. Drama and nice romantic comedies are very delightful.”

Rayne rolled her eyes, knowing that she wasn’t in to chick flicks and answered, “Well, I’ll only check them out if Lark is in them,” she conceded with a chuckle, as did her parents.

“So, where did you meet her?” John inquired and sipped his coffee.

“I met her when we were assigned to the convention where her father was campaigning.”

“You’re protecting Lance? Why?” Her father asked, concerned.

“Yeah, there were threats against some of the candidates and someone actually took a shot at him.” Rayne explained and started to eat her meal when it was placed before her.

“He wasn’t hurt was he?” He asked worriedly and looked up at her.

“Of course not, dad. He had me protecting him.” Rayne cockily commented and smiled wryly.

“How could I have been so cavalier with my judgment?” He laughed and ate what was on his fork.

“I was shot, but he wasn’t.” Rayne casually added with a grin.

“What? Are you okay?” Maria protectively asked worried about her daughter. “Why didn’t you call us?” She angrily asked.

“Yes, it just grazed my arm mom. It was no big deal. There was no need to call.” Rayne shrugged off the significance of it.

“Rayne, I really don’t like your casual attitude about it and I don’t like your cockiness! You’ve had a damn death wish since Karen died and it worries us.” Maria angrily admonished, frustrated by her daughter’s cavalier attitude towards danger.

“Mom, come on. I’m fine.” Rayne softly answered attempting to calm her mother down.

“No Rayne. The lifestyle you are leading is not healthy. You do every death defying activity there is and that damn motorcycle scares the hell out of me especially as fast as you drive it. I’m not going to be quiet about it anymore. You need to decide whether you want to die with Karen or get on with your life.” She agitatedly demanded and dropped the fork on the table, suddenly not hungry.

“That’s right mom and it’s the reason I wanted to talk to you both. I know I’ve been an asshole the past few months and I’m sorry I’ve worried the both of you as well as the rest of the family. Yes, when Karen died I was devastated and I didn’t want to go on living. I guess buying the motorcycle and doing the harrowing activities was my way of subconsciously looking for death. Thankfully, I’m fine. I don’t want that life anymore ever since I met Lark and when I think back on how stupid I was to feel that way, I could kick myself. If I had succeeded I never would have met Lark. She has filled me with so much life and happiness in such a short period of time that it’s incredible. At first, I was so scared to give in to my feelings for her and refused to go out with her because I was afraid to give my heart to another like I did to Karen to only have it broken again. I was foolish to think that way because I couldn’t keep her off my mind and I didn’t want to be away from her. I let go and now I can’t see my life without her in it. It’s strange because we haven’t known each other very long. I feel more for her than I ever did for Karen mom.” Rayne sincerely explained and stared at her mother, expressing her feelings within her eyes.

Maria stared into Rayne’s blues and saw the sincerity in them. Her eyes welled up with tears and she smiled happily. “Oh, honey. I’m so happy to hear that. We were so worried about you and I can see the joy in your eyes when you speak of Lark. I hope she’s everything you have ever wanted in a partner.” She replied and patted her hand comfortingly.

“Partner…” She said softly and liked the sound of Lark being her partner. Yeah, she is mom. She really is what I’ve been searching for in a partner. I’m so glad that I met her. She has truly blessed my life with her presence.” Rayne wholeheartedly admitted.

“That’s fantastic honey.” Her father commented, wiping a tear away and smiled, glad to see his daughter so happy.

Rayne stared at her parents and blushed, “Okay, enough of this mushy stuff. Where are we having Thanksgiving this year? Is it Holly’s turn to host?” Rayne questioned and looked between her parents for the answer.

“No, it’s at your grandmother’s house this year.” Maria advised her.

“Excellent. Gram will be very happy to have the family at her place.” Rayne endearingly smiled at the mention of her beloved grandmother.

“Are you going to invite Lark?” Maria asked with a hopeful grin.

“Yes, but I can’t be sure that she’ll accept my offer. She’s very busy and she might be spending it with her own family.” Rayne smirked, knowing that her mother was up to something.

“Invite her parents too then.” Her father added, looking up from his plate of food.

“Yes, that’s a fabulous idea. It would be great to see Julia and Lance again. We had so much fun with them the last time we all were together.” Maria added with a smile, remembering the fond memory.

“Okay, I’ll ask Lark and invite her parents. I’ll let you know what they say.” Rayne answered and wiped her mouth with the napkin after finishing her meal.

“I’m stuffed!” Her father commented and rubbed his stomach.

“Me too!” Maria added and chuckled.

“What do you two have planned for today?” Rayne asked, leaning back in her chair satisfied by the meal.

“We are going to spend the day with Holly, your brother and Brandon. I miss my little grandbaby.” Maria grinned proudly at the mention of her grandson.

“That will be fun. How is Jayce doing? I haven’t had a chance to talk with him lately.” Rayne inquired.

“Well…” Her father drawled and sighed exasperated by his youngest son’s antics.

“What? What’s going on?” She asked concerned and looked between her parents for an answer.

“He’s been doing too much partying and not enough studying. He’s been put on academic warning.” Her father informed her, displeased with his son’s academic woes.

“You’re kidding? What the hell is wrong with him?” Rayne asked shocked by the news of her brother.

“We aren’t sure, but we intend to have a long discussion with him over the holidays. He just can’t be trusted to do anything right these days and we’re not sure what course of action we should take with him.” Her mother added, worried about her son.

“Do you want me to talk with him?” Rayne asked, hoping that her brother might listen to her.

“That might be a good idea seeing as how he adores you. You should give him a call I’m sure he would love to hear from you.” Maria suggested and watched as Rayne paid for the bill.

“Yeah, I’ll give him a call and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to have a heart to heart conversation with him in a head lock.” Rayne informed them with a chuckle. “Are you both ready? I need to get some sleep before I have to go back to work.” Rayne added and stood up.

“Yep. We are set. Thanks for breakfast.” Her father answered and stood up, holding the chair for his wife.

Her parents said their goodbyes and dropped her off at the villa. She waved to them and disappeared into the villa. She tossed her keys on the table and headed down the hall to her bedroom. ‘I’m freaking exhausted!’ She thought with a sigh and fell back on the bed. Rayne kicked her shoes off and moved the pillow under her head. She closed her eyes and pictured a certain blonde who had frequently invaded her thoughts. She smiled happily and quickly drifted off to sleep with that green-eyed beauty on her mind.

“Lark wake up! We are getting close to the hotel.” Elaine alerted and nudged her arm, trying to wake the slumbering woman who took advantage of the limo ride from the airport.

“I want to sleep!” Lark protested and moved away from Elaine, closing her eyes.

“I know dear, but you need to freshen up before we get to the hotel. I don’t want your tired ass face plastered all over the tabloids. It won’t be very flattering and I don’t want that on my resume.” Elaine chuckled and opened her purse, looking into it.

“You can be a real nag sometimes Elaine!” Lark huffed and sat up, pushing the hair off her face.

“Here, put this on.” Elaine suggested and handed her the lipstick container.

“Yes, slave driver.” Lark quipped and held the compact mirror up that Elaine gave her. She carefully applied the lipstick and fixed her tousled hair. She inhaled deeply and exhaled, closing the compact and turned to Elaine. “Is that better?” She sarcastically asked with a sly grin.

“Oh, so much better.” Elaine teased and winked.

“I am so not into doing this Elaine.” Lark admitted and sighed, looking out the window. “I just want to be back with Rayne.” She whined pouting and turned to Elaine.

“I know you do hun, but look, you have to be here so try to make the best of it.”

“Ugh! I feel so out of it and this is the last place on earth I want to be. I miss her.” Lark replied sadly.

“Yes, dear. You stressed that point many times this morning, but you need to pull yourself together and try to get through this Lark. This means a lot to your career and the studios.”

“I know, don’t worry. I’m an actress, I can play the part.” Lark mischievously smiled and winked.

“That’s my little actress!” Elaine jokingly chuckled. “Okay, well it looks like they have a mob of people out in front. Once you are in the lobby of the hotel, there will be a brief photo session and then you will be meeting with some of the studio executives, along with your co-stars, for a brunch.” Elaine instructed.

“Bummer, I was hoping I could head up to the room for some more sleep, but brunch sounds good. I’m always ready for more food.” Lark answered with a smile.

“Okay woman! It’s show time. Get that million-dollar smile on and knock them out. Oh, keep your statements very brief. That’s what all the interview sessions are for Lark.” Elaine warningly added and smiled as Lark slid closer to the door.

“Sure thing. Don’t be far away so I know who I need to schmooze.” Lark chuckled and waited for the driver to open the car door.

“I’m right behind you.” Elaine added with a snicker.

The driver opened the door and Lark exited, with a million dollar smile plastered on her face to the delight of the press gathered close to the car. She waved and smiled, stopping to pose for pictures as Elaine exited the limo. Lark slowly made her way up the red carpet to the doors of the hotel and smiled for the cameras. She entered the hotel and noted the executives standing in the lobby with her other co-stars. “I take it those are the one’s I need to impress?” Lark softly asked Elaine, who moved closer to Lark.

“Yes, those would be the fat cats you need to be nice too. The one on the left is John Howard and to his right is Marcia Brown.” Elaine informed her and stepped back as Lark approached the group.

Elaine watched as she greeted the executives and her co-stars before they all took pictures together. She followed them down the hall as they headed off for the brunch. ‘She knows how to hide her feelings that is for sure. I’ve got to give her that.’ Elaine thought impressed, watching how Lark seemed to be completely enthralled by what the members of her group were discussing. She knew her mind was a thousand miles away, thinking of a sexy, tall Secret Service Agent.

Elaine dutifully followed Lark around to her various obligatory meetings and photo ops, making sure she was on schedule. “Okay Elaine, that’s it. I want to go to my room, take a shower and relax before I have to go to anymore meetings.” Lark informed her, tired from the morning events.

“Sure, we are in the Weston suite.” Elaine told her and held her hand out, pointing to where they needed to go.

“What time is it?” Lark asked and looked down to Elaine’s watch.

Elaine moved her arm up for Lark to see the watch, “It’s 2:00 pm.”

“No wonder I’m so tired! I should be rolling out of bed about now. Preferably in the arms of Rayne.” Lark exclaimed with a giggled and followed Elaine down the hallway towards their room. Elaine opened the door and followed Lark in the room. “Wow! Look Elaine!” She exclaimed excitedly, looking at the various vases of roses positioned throughout the room.

“They’re beautiful Lark!” Elaine exclaimed in awe and reached for a tag to find out who sent them.

Lark approached the bouquet of red roses and smelled their fragrant scent that filled the room. She smiled, enjoying the aroma they exuded. “I take it my schmoozing paid off earlier!” Lark jokingly commented and grinned, turning to Elaine.

“Try again.” Elaine slyly smiled as she approached and held out the card for her.

“Who?” She questioned and opened the card that Elaine handed her. “Aah, oh my gosh, how sweet! Rayne sent me these!” She squealed excitedly and held the card to her heart that simply said, ‘I miss you. Rayne.’ “I can’t believe it. This is so incredible!” She shrieked and felt her eyes moisten from the thoughtfulness. “I need to call her!” Lark replied and grabbed the phone, quickly punching in the numbers to call Rayne. She listened and hoped that Rayne would pick up the phone, but reached the answering machine. “Rayne, hi aah, thank you so much for my flowers. They are absolutely beautiful. That was so incredibly sweet!” Lark’s voice crackled and she moved towards the sliding glass doors, looking out over the bay before her, wishing she were with Rayne. “I miss you so much and I want to talk to you. I’m going to try and reach you on your cell. If I don’t catch you please call me as soon as you get this message. Bye!” She softly spoke into the phone and clicked off. She grabbed Rayne’s card from her purse and quickly punched in her cell phone number. “Damn! She must have it turned off. Oh, shoot that’s right. She’s at a speech with my father and probably turns off her cell phone when she’s working. I’ll beep her and see if I can get through that way.” Lark remembered and clicked the phone off, then dialed in the numbers for Rayne’s beeper.

“If she can’t get calls with her cell do you think she’ll have her beeper on?” Elaine asked, plopping down on the couch and grabbing a handful of grapes from the fruit basket on the coffee table. She leaned back and propped her feet up on the table, looking back to Lark for her answer.

“I’m hoping she’ll have it on so she knows I’m trying to contact her. Maybe she’ll have it on vibrate.” Lark reasoned and waited for the tone, then entered the hotel number she found on the phone. She clicked the phone off when she was finished and moved towards another bouquet of white flowers, smiling as she felt their delicate petals and thought of Rayne. She held the card to her lips and lightly kissed it, as if she were kissing Rayne. She felt a tickle in her stomach from how special Rayne made her feel with the gesture.

Rayne scanned the busy auditorium for anything out of the ordinary and felt her beeper vibrate. ‘I wish he’d hurry up and finish so I can see who beeped me. Hopefully, it’s Lark. I wonder if she liked the flowers?’ She smiled at the thought of Lark’s name. As each minute of the Senator’s speech passed it seemed like an eternity to Rayne. ‘Maybe it wasn’t even her calling.’ She fretted, dying to find out if it was Lark who called or not. She didn’t want to avert her attention from the crowd after the Senator had been shot at, she would just have to wait. ‘I feel like such a little schoolgirl when it comes to Lark. Wow, I just can’t get over how she makes me feel.’ Rayne thought scanning the crowd from left to right. She had a feeling it was Lark who beeped her. ‘Damn, this sucks big time. I know she’s on a tight schedule and I may not have a chance to catch her for quite some time. Come on Senator shut up!’ She inwardly coaxed hoping he would soon end his speech. He did just that, forty-five minutes later. Rayne and Forrest followed him backstage, stopping when he greeted some of the event coordinator’s. She took a quick glance down at her beeper and noted the area code as being out of Florida and surmised that it had to be Lark. She smiled happily and looked back up. ‘I knew it! Now, if he would just sit down for his dinner so I could call her…’ she thought anxiously and perturbed that she was confined to a boring speech and dinner when she could be enjoying the evening with Lark.

Forrest moved closer to her after seeing her check the beeper and sarcastically asked, “Is it anyone we know?” winking with a sly grin in reference to the call on the beeper.

“Mind your own business.” Rayne teasingly grinned and followed the Senator who headed down the hall.

“I’m sorry, but I need to stop in the little boy’s room.” Senator Morgan advised the pair with a sheepish smile, stopping before the bathroom.

“This is your department partner.” Rayne chuckled with a sly grin.

“Okay, let me check in there before you enter.” Forrest replied and disappeared behind the door.

“This is ridiculous that I need to have someone check the john for me.” The Senator commented embarrassed.

“You just never know sir. I’ve heard a lot of accidents happen in the bathroom.” Rayne jokingly smiled, trying to lighten the mood.

“Very funny Rayne.” He sarcastically quipped. “So, I hear that my little girl is very smitten with you Agent.” He slyly grinned and put his hands in his pockets.

“Well, the feeling’s mutual, sir.” Rayne bashfully admitted with a smile.

“That’s great. Just be good to my little girl and don’t break her heart or you’ll have me to deal with.” He gently warned and winked when Forrest opened the door, waving him inside.

“You can count on that not happening sir.” Rayne answered confidently and watched as he disappeared behind the door. She quickly pulled out her cell phone and turned the power on. She looked down at the beeper for the number and punched it into the phone. “Hi, aah I need Julia Donovan’s room please.” She asked when the hotel clerk answered the phone.

”Right away ma’am.” The clerk replied and directed Rayne’s call to the appropriate room.

‘Ma’am?’ Rayne questioned the formality with a chuckle as it made her feel old. ‘Come on answer Lark.’ She anxiously coaxed, hoping she would be able to speak with Lark before her father exited the bathroom. ‘Damn, I missed her!’ Rayne inwardly commented angry and clicked off the phone when the Senator exited the restroom before the voice mail turned on.

“Okay, gang let’s go eat.” The Senator enthusiastically suggested and headed down the hall with his entourage in tow.

Rayne and Lark played phone tag with one another for that evening into the next day and both women were about to go out of their minds. Rayne anxiously fretted as she waited for the Senator to finish his last speech of the early morning. She was about to crawl out of her skin from being here and not with Lark. ‘It’s beyond me why anyone would get up at seven in the morning to listen to a boring speech from a politician.’ She thought in disbelief, scanning the crowded room as Lark weighed heavily on her mind. ‘I need to talk to her, see her. I miss her so much. I can’t believe I’m feeling this way. I feel as though I’ve been functioning in a fog the past few days.’ Rayne inwardly thought and snapped out of her thoughts when the Senator approached them.

“I’ve had it for the day Jimmy. Cancel the rest of my appointments, I’m going home.” He ordered looking at his personal secretary.

“But, sir you need too…” The short man interjected, but was interrupted by the Senator.

“I don’t care what I need to do. I want to go home for the rest of the day, you got that?” He assertively asked, glaring at the nervous man before him. Rayne looked down to conceal her laugh and wondered if the geeky looking man dirtied his shorts. She looked back up when Jimmy agreed to cancel his appointments. “Rayne, it looks like you and Forrest will be able to call it an early day. You’ve got the rest of the day to enjoy yourselves. Jimmy, call Director Bailey and tell him I’ve given Rayne and Forrest the rest of the day off. I don’t want to hear that they’ve been called in to work either. Make that clear.” He assertively smiled and placed his hand on Rayne’s shoulder as they walked down the hall.

“Excellent sir, but is everything okay?” She asked worried that he might be ill.

“Everything is fine. I would just like to surprise my wife and spend some time with her for the day.” He smiled and moved his arm off her shoulder as they exited the building.

“Sounds good with me. We’ll escort you home. I’ll see to it that your home detail doesn’t disturb you.” Rayne advised and held the door open for him.

“Thanks.” He smiled and climbed into the car.

‘Yes!’ Rayne thought happily and climbed into the passenger’s seat then motioned for the driver to leave. She held the phone up and punched in the numbers. She placed the phone to her ear, “Hey dad! I need a favor.” She mischievously smiled and waited for his reply.

“Elaine, how many more of these interviews do I have left?” Lark asked, exasperated and slumped her shoulders disappointed that she was stuck there and not spending the day with Rayne.

Elaine leaned closer to Lark. “Well, considering you just started them, you have quite a few!” Her tone of voice rising with annoyance, knowing she was in for another day of listening to Lark whine about not being with Rayne.

Lark’s eyes narrowed and she puckered her lips in mocking anger; “It seems like I’ve been here forever and a day already!” then slouched back on the couch frustrated.

“Lark, it’s because all you can think about is Rayne and nothing else.”

“And your point might be?” Lark sarcastically asked, flicking her eyes up at her.

“Please, stop torturing yourself like this Lark. You’ll talk to her later I’m sure. I just need you to be up for these interviews and not let these vultures see you like this, they’ll eat you alive!” Elaine pleadingly begged.

“I can’t help it Elaine, I miss her.” Lark whined and leaned her head back against the couch. “I think I’m going to go crazy if I don’t talk to her soon.” Lark added, looking up at the ceiling.

“Yeah, me too.” Elaine sarcastically commented and grinned when Lark moved her head off the back of the couch and glared at her. “You know, you’re not the only one suffering here!” Elaine defensively replied. “It’s very stressful trying to cheer you up. All I hear is Rayne this, ooh, I miss Rayne, when will I hear from Rayne!” Elaine mockingly portrayed Lark’s comments.

Lark stared at her friend and burst into laughter, knowing she was being silly. “Elaine, I’m so sorry and I do apologize that you have to suffer by listening to me. I promise, I’ll try not to do it anymore.” Lark guaranteed with a smile and patted Elaine’s hand.

“Oh, thank you so much! I need some medication for my splitting headache.” Elaine commented with a chuckle, relieved that she wouldn’t have to hear Lark whining over Rayne. She wondered just how long that would last. ‘Probably not past lunch.’ She thought and snickered inwardly, moving to her seat as the next interviewer stepped into the room.

Elaine sat with her head propped up against the wall and looked at her watch. She yawned and was happy to see that the day would soon be ending. ‘About another hour until this is over. My ass is asleep!’ She realized surprised and moved in the chair. ‘It’s no wonder. I’ve been sitting on it all freaking day. This has to be workman’s’ comp!’ She thought with a snicker and looked up towards the door. ‘What the hell?’ She inwardly cursed, surprised by who she saw there. She quickly headed to the door and spoke with the person standing there. She finished her conversation and returned to her chair. ‘Hmmm…well this should be an interesting evening.’ She thought with a snicker and looked at Lark who had the interviewer laughing hysterically.

“Okay, that’s it, right?” Lark asked hopeful when the last interview was finished.

“Yes, dear. Head on back to the room and call that honey of yours so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.” Elaine teasingly laughed and shooed her away.

“Excellent! Oh, do I have anything later?” Lark asked turning back to Elaine.

“Nope, nothing until tomorrow morning. I’ll be up later. I have a few people to talk to before I head up.” Elaine informed her and picked up her paperwork, placing it into her briefcase.

“Behave! Bye!” Lark giggled excitedly and headed off down the hall with Security close behind. She hurried to the room and burst through the door to complete amazement.

“You’re gone for a few days and I come here to find a room filled with roses. Were they sent by anyone I know?” Rayne seductively asked, slowly walking towards Lark as she lifted a single red rose to her face, and smelled the flower.

“Rayne! I can’t believe you’re here. I missed you so much!” Lark tearfully informed her and gasped. Her heart raced uncontrollably and she wasn’t sure what to do. She was shocked to see Rayne there and stood in stunned silence as she watched her approach with an alluring smile.

Rayne stood before her and lightly traced the contours of Lark’s jaw line with the rose. She stared at Lark and leaned in. Lark closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, trying to calm her racing heart as Rayne drew near. “Show me how much.” She requested in a deep, throaty whisper and pressed her lips against Lark’s.


The contact from Rayne made Lark’s legs buckle and she wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck, deepening the passionate kiss. Rayne, at first was the aggressor, but Lark quickly assumed that role and lustfully kissed her as if it would be the last opportunity she would ever have. ‘Hmmm, I like it.’ Rayne thought pleased with the searing kiss and aggressive behavior from Lark that sent her senses soaring. She pulled Lark into a warm embrace and deeply kissed her, letting her know how much she missed her. They broke the kiss breathless and stared at one another. “I guess you did miss me.” Rayne chuckled and moved the errant lock of blonde hair from Lark’s face.

Lark held Rayne’s face in her hands, staring deep into the blue before her, “You have no idea how much Rayne,” and pulled her in for a soulful kiss.

Rayne’s heart raced excitedly as her hands moved up and down Lark’s back. She wasn’t used to being so passive during foreplay, but was completely enthralled with what Lark was doing to her. Rayne broke the kiss in dire need of a breath and stared deep into loving greens, desperately trying to calm her thundering heart. She was enchanted by Lark’s mesmerizing green eyes, which wrapped her in a warm, loving embrace. She stared at her and inhaled deeply, lost in her feelings for Lark then asked, “Is it crazy for us to miss each other this much? I mean, we haven’t known each other for very long.” Rayne nervously chuckled and lightly stroked Lark’s cheek with her thumb, hoping Lark felt the same way.

Lark moved her hands down Rayne’s arms and rested them on her forearms. “We haven’t known each other for long, but you know what? To me, it feels like we’ve known each other forever.” Lark exuberantly surmised.

“Maybe we have.” Rayne softly agreed and searched Lark’s greens as if she were trying to remember another lifetime looking into those same, beautiful eyes. She smiled and lightly kissed Lark’s lips. She broke the kiss when she felt Lark’s lips quiver and heard her gasp. “Are you okay?” She worriedly asked, looking at Lark who began to cry. “What’s wrong Lark?”

“I’m sorry, I’m just so…” she attempted to explain and shook her hands to control her emotions then continued, “I’m just so flabbergasted that you are here. You sent me all of those beautiful roses and came all the way here to see me. That is so sweet and it means so much to me. You have made me feel so special. I’ve never had anyone do something so incredibly romantic like that for me before.” She sincerely professed and held her hand to her heart, fighting back the tears that wanted to fall to no avail.

Rayne was stunned by the admission and wasn’t sure what to say. She had assumed that everyone would treat Lark that way and was surprised to hear otherwise. She lovingly smiled and gently wiped away Lark’s tears. She knew one thing; it broke her heart to see Lark cry. “Lark, I’m, aah, not sure what to say except that it came from my heart. It’s what I felt I wanted to do for you. You’ve filled me with so much happiness since you’ve entered my life that I wanted to let you know how special you are to me. I know that usually people don’t feel this way about someone else after knowing them for such a brief amount of time, but I can’t help it. I didn’t want to go another day without seeing you.” Rayne wholeheartedly admitted, still softly stroking Lark’s face with her thumb.

Lark smiled and sighed happily turning to kiss Rayne’s hand that held her face. She turned back to Rayne; “I don’t give a damn about whether we have only known each other for a short time. I know how I feel for you and that’s all that matters.” Lark tearfully confessed leaning up and kissing Rayne. “Make love to me Rayne.” Lark whispered through her kiss.

Rayne ardently kissed her and pulled away. “Lark I, aah, need to tell you that I can only stay for a couple of hours. I have to be back for work early tomorrow morning and I, aah, don’t want you to…” Rayne hesitantly explained, trying to choose her words to express them considerately and continued, “well, I don’t want you to think I just came all the way here to have sex with you and then leave. There, I said it, I know it didn’t sound very correct, but I’m not sure how to express myself any better.” Rayne nervously answered and felt the warmth of her embarrassment.

Lark giggled and found her admission to be adorable. “I understand Rayne and I would never think that of you. I want to be with you Rayne, whether its for all night or just a few hours. What ever you want to give me, I’m willing to take.” Lark answered and raised Rayne’s hand to her mouth, delicately kissing it. ‘Did I really admit that?’ She must think I’m a tramp. Oh, I can’t help it, she drives me crazy!’ Lark nervously wondered and decided she didn’t care; she desperately wanted to be with Rayne.

“Well, it’s not what ever I want to give you Lark it’s what we both want. I would like to make love to you all night and hold you into the next morning, waking up beside you to do it all over again. I must admit that I am incredibly hot for you right now, but I would rather wait until we have more time for each other.” Rayne sincerely admitted. ‘Normally it wouldn’t have mattered to me and I would have already been in bed with her, but damn she does something to my emotions. She has suddenly elicited a conscience in me that hasn’t been there since I was with Karen.’ Rayne thought staring at Lark, wondering what she was going to say.

Lark grasped Rayne’s hand and led her to the couch. They sat and turned towards one another. “Rayne, that is so incredibly sweet that you don’t want to rush our first time together and as much as I want to be with you, I understand. I want it to be very special and I won’t want to let you go either.” Lark answered, softly smiling and leaned to Rayne, kissing her.

“It will be I promise.” Rayne suggestively smiled and pulled Lark onto her lap. She happily smiled wrapping her arms around Lark and passionately kissed her feeling completely at ease with Lark. ‘How can I feel so strongly towards Lark without feeling any hesitation or fear?’ She wondered, surprised that she hadn’t run for the hills already from the way Lark made her feel.

‘Oh, my god! She drives me mad and her kiss is so sensual, erotic, loving. I think I might pass out!’ Lark thought, breathing heavily and broke the kiss breathless. She smiled, looking at Rayne and lay her head on Rayne’s shoulder. She inhaled deeply catching a whiff of Rayne’s cologne and smiled enjoying the strong scent. She lightly kissed Rayne’s neck, reveling in her closeness.

“Are you okay?” Rayne asked, glancing down at Lark who looked up at her.

“A bit breathless, but perfectly content.” Lark sheepishly admitted and chuckled.

“The feeling is mutual, sweets.” Rayne snickered and leaned her head against Lark’s, lightly rubbing her back.

‘Sweets. Oh, my gosh! I love the way she called me that.’ Lark thought euphorically. “Rayne, you’re missing your Halloween party.” Lark remembered and sat up looking at her.

“Aah, it’s no big deal besides, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but right here with you.” Rayne coyly smiled and felt her heart skip a beat when Lark smiled back. She leaned in and lightly kissed her, and then moved forward on the couch. “Are you hungry? I had room service bring up dinner for us.” Rayne offered and glanced at the table then back to Lark.

“A woman after my own heart, tempting me with food. You are ruthless Rayne Donovan in that you know one of my main weaknesses so well.” Lark giggled and looked back at Rayne.

“One of them, huh? Any others I should know about?” Rayne suggestively asked and laughed, lightly stroking Lark’s leg with her hand.

“Well, it would be no fun if I told you all of them, but I’m sure you could guess one of my other one’s. She happens to be tall, blue eyed and extremely sexy!” Lark flirtatiously answered and winked.

“Hmmm, I’m going to have to do some investigating to find out who this other person is when I get back to work. We just got a new program and I’m sure the computer can search out your weakness with the details you just gave me.” Rayne jokingly laughed and moved forward on the couch with Lark still in her arms.

“Well, let me know what you come up with my dear.” Lark grinned and asked. “Do you have any weaknesses?”

“Yes, just one, but if I tell you I’d have to kill you. You’re just too beautiful for that demise so you’ll just have to try and figure it out yourself.” Rayne playfully answered and winked with a mischievous grin knowing Lark got the hint. “So, shall I carry you to the table or would you like to walk?” Rayne teasingly asked with a sly grin.

“Oh, I think you should carry me. I’m feeling very tired from trying to guess your weakness so I think it would be better if you helped me.” Lark grinned and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck, completely content within her arms. ‘I’m her weakness!’ She confidently thought and sighed dreamily.

“As you wish, my little princess.” Rayne added with a snicker and stood up, carrying Lark to the table. “Do you think you can sit in the chair or should I call for a highchair to keep you from falling out while you eat?” Rayne teasingly asked and laughed as did Lark.

“No, I think I can manage to sit in the chair as long as you sit very close to me.” Lark grinned and wiggled her eyebrows provocatively.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Rayne coyly smiled and placed Lark in the chair, then pushed the chair in towards the table.

“Oh, how I love chivalry.” Lark chuckled and placed the napkin in her lap. “So, what will we be eating this evening?” Lark eagerly asked, watching as Rayne sat in the chair next to her.

“Well, I thought you would enjoy a nice juicy piece of liver for dinner.” Rayne answered settling in her chair.

“Please tell me you’re kidding?” Lark asked, her demeanor changing to horror at the thought of eating liver.

“Of course I’m kidding! I just wanted to tease you. That is one food I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole! No offense to the liver lovers of the world, but I just can’t go there.” Rayne laughed and removed the lids from the plates on the table. “I hope you like chicken cordon blue Madame?” Rayne asked and glanced over at Lark.

“I love it! Good choice Rayne. I think I’m going to keep you.” Lark teasingly laughed and watched as Rayne placed the food on her plate, feeling completely at ease with the woman next to her. ‘It’s as if this were us in another lifetime and we are just picking up where we left off. Like a married couple.’ Lark gleefully thought, intently watching Rayne.

Rayne laughed and placed the food on her plate, then picked up a pitcher. “Would you like some iced tea or wine?” She asked.

“I’ll have iced tea, thanks.” Lark answered and held her glass out for Rayne to fill with the beverage. “This is so perfect.” Lark giddily declared and smiled at Rayne.

“Not yet!” Rayne grinned and grabbed the remote by her. She clicked on the stereo, which played soft, love songs and leaned in for a kiss that Lark gladly granted. “Now it is.” Rayne whispered and deepened the kiss.

They broke the kiss and stared at one another. “You are so incredibly romantic Rayne. How is that?” Lark asked in wonderment. She had never been around someone as thoughtful and romantic as Rayne.

“You inspire that in me Lark.” Rayne shyly admitted and sheepishly grinned.

“Don’t stop, I love it.” Lark softly answered with an engaging smile and kissed Rayne.

“Trust me, that’s only the beginning.” Rayne provocatively insinuated and sat up grinning.

‘Oh, be still my beating heart, I can’t wait to see what follows!’ Lark giddily thought and sighed contentedly. She stared at Rayne who began to eat and wondered if she were too good to be true. She smiled when Rayne looked at her, “How did my old man let you off of work earlier today?” Lark asked and ate her food.

“He said he wanted to spend the day with your mom so he let all of us go home.” Rayne answered and shrugged simply, continuing with her meal.

Lark’s eyes narrowed wondering what her father was up to. “He never takes time off of work like that to spend the day with my mom. I wonder if everything is alright?” Lark worriedly asked.

“Oh, I’m sure everything is fine. Maybe he’s trying to be romantic and put some spice in your mom’s life.” Rayne suggested with a chuckle and wiggled her eyebrows teasingly.

Lark paused momentarily and burst into laughter. “I really can’t see my dad being romantic.” She answered and laughed harder.

“You just never know what kind of tendencies someone might have hidden deep within them Lark. You just don’t know what goes on behind their bedroom doors. He might be the most romantic man in the world for all you know.” Rayne answered, slyly grinning.

“My dad? I doubt it!” Lark added and laughed, flabbergasted by the implication. “I’ll have to ask mom about that one!” She giggled at the thought of asking her mother that question.

“Well, he had to be somewhat romantic to have produced a beautiful daughter such as yourself.” Rayne admiringly smiled and winked.

“Thank you.” Lark smiled, appreciative of the compliment and blushed, changing the subject as she felt undeserving of such admiration, but did enjoy the compliment especially coming from Rayne. “What time do you have to work in the morning?”

“8 AM.” Rayne answered and sipped the tea, glancing up from her glass to look at Lark.

“What? That early? Oh, Rayne you are going to be so tired! Oh, now I feel badly that you won’t get much sleep tonight.” Lark frowned and sat back in the chair.

Rayne placed her hand on Lark’s and comfortingly patted it. “Don’t worry Lark. I will sleep on the plane. My father had the plane customized with all the amenities for when we do long distance traveling. Besides, it is worth every minute to see you.” Rayne answered and winked with a smile.

Lark’s face grew flush from the comment and smiled. “You are quite the charmer Rayne Donovan.” Lark grinned and stared at Rayne, trying to find out if she was being truthful with her comments or if she was just a smooth talker. She found truth within the blue eyes before her.

“Oh, before I forget. I spoke to my mother earlier today before I left and she was insistent that I thank you for the flowers you sent her. She said they were beautiful. “Am I missing something here?” Rayne questioned with a confused look on her face as to why Lark would send her mother flowers. ”

“That’s great, I’m glad she liked them.” Lark happily smiled and sighed, glad that she made a mends for her behavior with Rayne’s mother. Then knew she had to be truthful with Rayne as to why she would send her mother flowers especially considering Rayne was a little confuse by her gift. “I need to explain why I sent your mom those flowers. When I spoke to your mother the other day I was a little rude. I’m sorry Rayne I just jumped to conclusions when I heard her voice on the other end of the line and I made a snap judgment so I sent her some flowers as an apology for me being so rude. I hope you’re not made at me.” Lark discursively explained.

“I’m a bit confused as to why you would have jumped to conclusions about my mother being there Lark.” Rayne queried staring at Lark for her answer.

Lark looked down, shameful of the way she acted with Rayne’s mom and glanced back up at her. When she looked deep into Rayne’s blues, she knew she couldn’t lie to her. “I was being foolish Rayne. I thought your mom was another lover and I was very jealous. I hope you’re not mad and that you’ll accept my apology for the way I acted.” Lark asked hopeful and inhaled deeply, hoping Rayne would do just that.

Rayne stared at Lark wondering why she would feel that way. “I’m a little disappointed that you would think I would have another lover there after the wonderful time we spent together Lark?”

“Please don’t be disappointed or upset. I jumped to the wrong conclusion and I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure where I stood with you Rayne.” Lark attempted to explain and saw the disappointment in her eyes. Lark looked down, sad that she hurt Rayne.

Rayne lifted Lark’s chin up and stared at her. “There is no apologies needed Lark. This is how you stand with me. There is no one else for me, but you Lark. Believe me when I tell you that.” Rayne sincerely told her and warmly smiled. ‘It sure took me long enough to figure that one out in my thick skull.’ Rayne inwardly admonished for taking so long to admit the truth of how she felt about Lark.

Lark sighed relieved and smiled, “that is such a relief to know Rayne. It means a lot that you told me. I was beginning to worry that there might be someone else and that you weren’t interested in having more than a casual relationship with me, when I wanted so much more.”

“I’m sorry if I gave you that impression Lark, I didn’t mean too.” ‘Maybe I acted that way subconsciously trying to be cautious with my feelings. Should I tell her about Karen and all the one night stands I had since her death?’ She inwardly questioned and felt unsure of what she should do. She rose from the chair and walked to the sliding glass doors, looking out over the lighted ‘Golden Gate Bridge’ across the bay from her. ‘Will she think badly of me? I don’t want to scare her away.’ She wondered and turned when she felt Lark’s hand on her back.

“Rayne, talk to me. What’s going on?” Lark softly asked concerned and watched as Rayne turned to face her.

“Oh, I’m just trying to work through a few demons of mine Lark.” She stated chewing on her lip nervously and decided to be honest with her. “I want to level with you and I don’t want you to think badly of me, but I’ve been with a lot of women in the past six months.” Rayne answered and looked away, embarrassed that she had so many other women. It mattered to her since being with Lark when it never would have before.

“Why would I look badly on you Rayne? I have no right to judge you for what you’ve done in the past.” Lark asked and lightly touched Rayne on the forearm.

Rayne turned and looked at Lark, then smiled slightly. “Thanks, but I just wanted to be honest with you Lark. After Karen died, I really didn’t cope very well and I vowed not to be hurt again.” Rayne began to explain as Lark stopped her.

“Wait, who is Karen? Is she the woman in the picture at your villa?” Lark asked, trying to clarify the situation.

“Yes, we were partners for quite some time and she was killed in an automobile accident. I loved her very much and I was devastated by her death.” Rayne explained and felt her emotions well in the pit of her stomach. Lark’s heart skipped a beat as Rayne told her how much Karen meant to her. She wanted Rayne to feel that way about her and was ashamed that she even thought of that at the same moment Rayne was pouring her heart out to her. Rayne gathered her composure and continued, “Once I began dating again I didn’t want to date a woman for more than one evening. I feared if I let someone get too intimate with me I would be hurt again and I just couldn’t go through that pain again. My family has been trying to get me to move past my feelings and be more open to long-term relationships, but I haven’t wanted a relationship with anyone in that way, until you stepped into my life Lark. I feel alive again when I’m with you and I can’t see myself anywhere but with you.” Rayne wholeheartedly professed, smiling as she stared at Lark and felt a huge weight lift from her shoulders from the admission.

Lark fought the tears that threatened to fall as she saw all the sadness and sorrow within Rayne’s tormented blue eyes when she spoke of Karen and the aftermath of her death. Her heart fluttered when Rayne said she didn’t see herself with anyone other than her and she was flabbergasted by the confession. She thought she was the only one that felt that way. “Rayne I’m so sorry for your hurt. I’m very happy to know that I make you feel alive again and that you want to be with me because I feel the same way about you. I want to replace your pain with nothing but happiness.” Lark warmly smiled and sniffled back her tears.

Rayne chuckled and smiled, “You already have, more than you know. Thanks for understanding,” she softly said and lightly kissed Lark. She needed to feel Lark’s connection, her warmth and her compassion.

Lark poured everything into that one kiss, to show Rayne how much she cared for her. She never wanted to hurt Rayne like that and only wanted to love her, completely. Lark threw her arms around Rayne when she felt her break the kiss. She held Rayne for everything that she meant to her, for the pain she felt and to comfort her, letting her know she was safe within her arms. ‘I want to tell her how much I love her, but maybe she’s not ready for that yet.’ Lark inwardly wondered and reveled in the confines of Rayne’s warm embrace.

Rayne held Lark tightly and tried to hold back the tears that edged past her resolve. ‘I love her so much. How can this be?’ She wondered completely amazed by the revelation. Her heart raced at the thought and she knew it was way too early for to tell her. She slyly wiped the tears from her eyes and broke the hug with a smile, quickly changing the subject. “I nearly forgot! I wanted to invite you to join my family and I for Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother’s house. My mother, the insistent one, asked that I extend the invitation to your parents as well. That is if you and your parents don’t have any other plans.” Rayne asked and hoped they didn’t have other plans, waiting for Lark’s answer.

‘Well, I guess she’s not one for the mushy stuff by the way she quickly changes the subject during emotional situations all the time.’ Lark thought disappointed that Rayne might still be holding something back about her dead lover. She decided not to push the issue for now and smiled, “that would be absolutely wonderful and no, we don’t have any other plans for Thanksgiving, thank you so much!” Lark gleefully accepted the invitation. ‘I would have cancelled any plans I might have had anyways, especially if it meant spending the holidays with Rayne.’ Lark inwardly thought and giggled quietly.

“Fantastic! You won’t be disappointed especially when you taste my grandma Taye’s sweet potato crunch. It’s delicious.” Rayne smiled heartily, remembering the savory taste of the dish.

“I can’t wait!” Lark enthusiastically commented. “Who else will be there? Do I get to meet your entire family?” Lark inquired eagerly as they sat at the table, keenly interested in meeting Rayne’s family.

“Well, my immediate family at least as the aunts, uncles and cousins won’t be able to make it this year. Of course, Shayan, Holly and Brandon will be there whom you’ve already met and you’ll get to meet my beloved grandmother, my younger brother Jayce who’ll be home from college for the holidays and my parents. Speaking on the phone to my mother doesn’t count as a proper introduction.” Rayne laughed joined by Lark.

“What about your grandfather?” Lark inquired confused as to why she didn’t mention him.

“Grand dad died a long time ago unfortunately.” Rayne sadly informed her.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that Rayne. I didn’t know, sorry for mentioning it.” Lark regretfully answered, feeling awkward.

“Don’t be sorry, how could you have known? The good thing is, there aren’t any other dead relatives in the immediate family for you to ask about.” Rayne mischievously smiled.

“Whew, good thing.” Lark answered with a smile and a sigh of relief that she wouldn’t be sticking her foot in her mouth again. “So, tell me about your grand dad. What was he like? I bet you were his favorite.” Lark cheerfully asked and smiled, knowingly.

“How did you know that?” Rayne asked with a surprised grin as she stared at Lark.

“I can see how fond you are of him by the gleam in your eyes when you mentioned him. I figured the feeling had to be mutual and besides, I know how my grandfather dotes on me. So, I’m sure he did the same with you.” She grinned knowingly. “What did he do for a living?” Lark asked, intently watching Rayne and waiting for her answer intrigued to know everything about her and her family.

“He was in the military and amassed a huge fortune in the shipping business once he was discharged from the service. He was so much fun and loved all of us so much as we did with him.” She smiled adoringly. She sadly remembered the day of his funeral and sighed disappointedly at the unhappy memory. She inhaled deeply and changed the subject to lighten the mood. “He was very generous to all of us by establishing trust funds for all his kids and grandkids. If my brother Jayce had his way he’d have spent it all by now. It’s a good thing we were only allotted a certain amount at a time or he would be living in the subway station in Boston.” Rayne chuckled and rolled her eyes at her younger brother’s indulgent ways in regards to money.

“I take it he’s the black sheep of the family?” Lark teasingly asked with a smile.

“Nah, not really. He’s not that bad he’s just horrible when it comes to budgeting his money and being very reliable. He’s a party boy and likes to have fun rather than getting serious about his life.” Rayne explained and lightly stroked Lark’s hand with her thumb. “You’ll like him, he’s very charming.” Rayne grinned knowingly.

“I’m sure he learned that from his sister.” Lark giggled and leaned in for a kiss.

“Yes, among other things just not the financial one.” Rayne chuckled and leaned back after breaking the kiss. “So, how was it growing up without any siblings? Sometimes I wished my brothers weren’t around.” Rayne laughed as Lark slightly snickered.

“I had a pretty good childhood and my parents gave me everything I ever wanted, except a brother or sister, but I always wanted to have a big family with plenty of other siblings. My parents had other plans and didn’t want more children. I felt kind of lonely that I didn’t have sibling, but I’ll have that big family one day though.” Lark thought sadly then smiled confidently as she thought of having children of her own.

“They probably felt like they had already created perfection so why bother with any more?” Rayne charismatically grinned, trying to make Lark feel better. She could see the sadness in her eyes and hear it in her voice. She chuckled when she saw Lark blush and look away.

“Thanks, that’s sweet to say.” Lark grinned and felt the warmth on her face from embarrassment. “So, when is your birthday?” She asked, changing the subject.

“In about eight days.” Rayne answered and laughed.

“Really? Ooh, a Scorpio.” Lark answered surprised and intrigued. “I’ll have to do some shopping for your birthday present.” Lark grinned mischievously.

“Oh, yeah?” Rayne asked and blushed. “You don’t need to get me anything, just spend the day with me.” Rayne shrugged off the suggestion of a present for her.

“I’d be delighted to spend your special day with you and I will get a present for you too.” Lark smiled and playfully poked Rayne in the chest letting her know that she shouldn’t argue with her about it.

“Great, well thanks if that’s what you want to do.” Rayne grinned blithely. “Well, when is your birthday?”

“Mine is in March.” Lark answered, smiling.

“I’ll make sure to mark my calendar for that special event. So, have you dated many people?” Rayne asked wondering if she really wanted to know the answer to that question. ‘Too late, I already threw it out there. Be prepared.’ Rayne inwardly warned.

“Well, aah, not many really. I’ve been in a couple of relationships, but nothing really serious. I suppose I’ve been waiting for Miss Right.” Lark shyly admitted and grinned at her last comment.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s very sweet. I wish I had been that way.” Rayne warmly smiled and raised Lark’s hand to her mouth, lightly kissing it as she stared deep within her sparkling greens. “You are so incredibly beautiful, Lark.” Rayne sincerely whispered and gently pulled Lark towards her. She pressed her lips against Lark’s for a passionate kiss. She reached up and held Lark’s face with her hand, deepening the burning kiss. They broke the kiss breathless and rested their foreheads against one another. Rayne smiled and kissed her briefly. She looked down at her watch and sighed disappointedly softly saying, “I have to get going Lark.”

“I don’t want you to leave Rayne.” Lark sadly admitted.

“I know, sweets, and if I could I would stay right here with you.” Rayne answered moving back from Lark and smiled. “Will you ride with me to the airport?” Rayne asked hopeful.

“Absolutely. Let me call Elaine and arrange for the car to be brought around.” Lark agreed and said as she rose from the chair. She refused to release the hold on Rayne’s hand and pulled her out of the chair. She chuckled, as did Rayne while they walked towards the phone. Lark placed the phone to her ear as Rayne moved behind her and wrapped her arms around Lark’s small waist. Lark sank into Rayne’s warm embrace and closed her eyes from the contact, reveling in the fact that Rayne held her so close.

Rayne closed her eyes losing herself in Lark, burning to memory the smell of her and the feeling of having this wonderful woman within her confines. ‘I’ve never had someone have such an affect on me.’ She thought and snapped out of her revere when Lark turned around.

“You sneak!” Lark teasingly accused and laughed.

“Huh?” Rayne asked confused and slightly smiled wondering what she had done.

“You had this evening planned with Elaine. How long did she know?” Lark asked, feeling giddy that they pulled a fast one on her.

“Not very long before you did actually. When I arrived and checked around for the two of you, I slyly caught her attention through the door when you were finishing up an interview. I tried to get in touch with her earlier, but couldn’t reach her to set my plan in action. I was hoping that you didn’t have any other engagements and she said she would make sure that you came up to the room as soon as you finished your last interview.” Rayne explained with a sly grin.

“I wondered why she didn’t come back to the room with me. Well, thanks for the surprise it’s just what I needed and wanted.” Lark smiled and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck, pressing her body against Rayne’s.

“Me too.” Rayne agreed smiling and leaned down capturing the inviting lips before her. They broke the hug startled when Elaine entered the room and turned to see her blushing.

“Sorry!” She apologized and turned away.

“It’s okay Elaine.” Lark chuckled, slipping her hand into Rayne’s as she lead her towards the door.

“The limo is just outside hallway door. There shouldn’t be any reporters out there, but I’ll run roughshod for you just in case.” Elaine explained and offered as she peeked out the door. “Okay, the hallway is clear.” Elaine informed them and waited as they passed by her.

The trio casually walked down the hall towards the door. “Thanks for your help Elaine with pulling off the ruse.” Rayne smiled, looking over at her then glanced back to Lark, winking.

Lark smiled and blushed, moving closer to Rayne. She kissed Rayne’s shoulder and tightened her grip on Rayne’s hand. “I’m glad I could help put a smile on Miss Sourpuss’ face. She did nothing but sulk non-stop since we left. I thought I was going to have to check in to the hospital for treatment if I had to hear one more time how much she missed you.” Elaine teasingly replied and knew Lark was going to kill her by the way she gritted her teeth when she stared at her.

Lark curled her lip up and gave a low growl towards Elaine, then smiled when Rayne looked at her. “Is that true?” Rayne asked with a chuckle, holding the door as Elaine checked outside.

“No, not really. She’s very dramatic sometimes and likes to over exaggerate. She should be a writer!” Lark snarled teasingly with her last comment as she passed by Elaine. Rayne waited as Lark climbed into the limo and then did so herself.

Elaine held the door and leaned down. “You kids have a good time now and call me when you pull up. I’ll meet you outside to chase off any screaming women.” Elaine jokingly said and winked as she closed the door.

“Screaming women, huh?” Rayne asked with a chuckle looking at Lark.

“Oh, she’s full of it. You can’t listen to a word she says, she’s a pathological liar you know?” Lark answered, trying to keep from laughing, but it didn’t work and the two women burst into laughter. “I’m kidding; she just loves to tease me. Besides, the women can scream all they want you’re the one I want to be with.” Lark smiled reassuringly and kissed Rayne’s cheek.

“That’s fine with me!” Rayne chuckled and kissed the top of Lark’s head as she lay against her arm, tightly clutching Rayne’s arm.

“Oh, before I forget.” Lark began and sat up looking at Rayne who turned towards her. “I’ve been asked as to what our relationship is during these interviews and I fear it’s just going to get worse if I don’t make a statement. I’ve always tried to have an open relationship with the reporters because it saves me grief in the long run, but I wasn’t sure what I should tell them about us, or about your job so I kind of left those questions hanging. So, they will be all over me to find out what the scoop is the next time I speak to them. I need for you to tell me what you’d like me to say.”

“Well, thanks for talking to me about it first. That’s sweet. Don’t mention I work for the Secret Service; just tell them I’m your father’s personal aide. My director wants people to believe that for some stupid reason. I still don’t know how anyone couldn’t figure it out, but that’s what he wants so we go with that explanation. I do as I’m told so I don’t piss off the big guy who gives out the plush assignments. Actually, I think there have been more threats to the candidates that he hasn’t told us about and wants to be safe than sorry. Don’t worry about your father, he’s safe with me around him.” Rayne arrogantly smiled and continued, “As far as we go, you can tell the press that we are one hot and steamy item if you want to.” Rayne answered and wiggled her eyebrows playfully as they laughed at her last comment.

“Ooh, I like that explanation.” Lark readily agreed and mischievously grinned. “By the way, I trust you completely with my father’s safety.” Lark confidently smiled. “I must confess to not know much of what the Secret Service does except protect the President and Vice President. I really didn’t know you protected anyone else. What other duties do you all perform?” She asked, intrigued by Rayne’s work.

“We protect foreign dignitaries, as well, and have various divisions working with counterfeiting, financial crimes, computer crimes and forensic science. So, we do a lot that people wouldn’t associate with our division.” Rayne explained. “Oh, excuse me for a minute I have to call the pilot.” She smiled apologetically and pulled out her cell phone. She punched in the numbers and held the phone to her ear.

Lark smiled and looked out the window, sad that their evening would soon be coming to an end. ‘She is so fascinating and intriguing. It amazes me that she would choose an occupation as a Secret Service agent. It’s almost embarrassing to say I’m an actress considering the importance of her job. She must be a natural born hero.’ Lark thought admiringly and turned to Rayne when she heard her end the phone conversation. “Is everything set for your flight?” Lark asked, secretly hoping that her flight would be delayed.

“Yep, they are just waiting for me to arrive.” Rayne answered, with a twinge of regret for having to leave. They stared at each other and paused awkwardly, not knowing what to say or do, only seeing the sadness in one another’s eyes from their impending separation. Rayne cleared her throat, “aah, so you’ll be back on the seventh right for the election?” Rayne asked, confirming Lark’s arrival date.

“Yes, unfortunately. I wish I could come home earlier, but I am swamped with public appearances for the next week. The good news is that I will have a five-day break before I leave for Europe. The studios changed the dates so I’ll have more time to spend with you if you don’t mind.” Lark grinned hopeful.

“That’s great! What a coincidence. I already have that time off. Thankfully, I previously asked for the week after my birthday off to do something fun.” Rayne excitedly informed Lark and instantly thought of the possibilities for the two of them to spend that time together.

“Excellent. I’ll have you for five days all to myself then? I can’t believe it!” Lark enthusiastically exclaimed and laughed, ready to begin the five-day tryst right then.

“Just be gentle.” Rayne teasingly laughed and leaned closer to Lark, giving her a sideways mischievous glance.

“Oh, I intend to be very gentle.” Lark seductively whispered in Rayne’s ear.

Lark’s hot breath resonated through Rayne’s ear sending a flush of warmth throughout her, “wow! I think this is my stop!” she stammered and blushed from the comment, trying to still her rapidly beating heart. ‘Damn, she sends my senses soaring.’ She thought, pleased, and looked out the window, hearing a low giggle from Lark. She opened the door when the car came to a stop and stepped out, blowing out the breath she subconsciously held to release her sexual tension.

“Oh, Rayne. I don’t want you to go.” Lark whined and hugged her tightly when she exited the limo.

Rayne chuckled and wrapped her arms around the shorter woman. She kissed the top of her head, “I know, I don’t want to leave either, but we’ll be together before we know it. The time will pass really quickly, I hope.” Rayne added and laughed, hoping that it would. She smiled and looked down at Lark as she lifted her head up.

“I hope so!” Lark answered with a chuckle.

“I almost forgot. I have something for you.” Rayne grinned mischievously, remembering Lark’s gift.

“You do huh?” Lark asked intrigued and grinned.

“I was so eager to see you when I arrived that I forgot it on the plane, I’ll be right back.” Rayne informed her and ran towards the steps of the plane. She quickly scaled the stairs and disappeared within the plane.

Lark’s heart skipped a beat when she thought about how special Rayne made her feel and sadness consumed her when the realization that Rayne would soon be gone hit her. She wiped the moisture from her eyes and smiled when Rayne ran down the stairs towards her.

“Okay, close your eyes.” Rayne asked, holding her arm behind her back.

“What is it?” Lark giggled wondering what Rayne was holding behind her back.

“Close your eyes silly and you’ll find out.” Rayne playfully said and smiled.

“You’re not playing a trick on me are you?” Lark asked, unsure of what Rayne was going to do.

“Come on, trust me.” Rayne charmingly grinned and watched as Lark closed her eyes. She held the gift out in front of her and smiled proudly. “Okay, open them.”

“Oh, my gosh! I love it, how sweet!” Lark excitedly shouted when she saw the gift of a stuffed ghost.

“Happy Halloween.” Rayne smiled, happy to see the look of joy on Lark’s face. She loved her beautiful smile and made a mental note to always make sure Lark smile.

“He’s so cute!” Lark giggled and hugged him to her. “I’m going to call him Booey for Halloween!” Lark told Rayne and laughed. “Thank you so much.” Lark moved in and passionately kissed Rayne, graciously thanking her for the present.

“Miss Donovan, we have clearance for take off.” The co-pilot called out from the stairs of the plane.

Rayne looked at him and nodded her head acknowledging his comment then looked back at Lark. “I’ll see you soon okay?” She softly asked and kissed Lark one last time.

Lark gasped, trying to contain the emotions that welled within her and couldn’t bear to let Rayne go, but she knew she had to. “I’ll be counting the minutes until I see you again Rayne. Have a safe trip back and thank you so much for coming to see me. You have no idea what this has meant to me. Oh and thank you for Booey, I love him. I love…aah…I love the fact that you came all the way here to see me.” Lark nervously stammered, deciding not to blurt out that she loved Rayne right there on the tarmac screaming over the roar of the plane engine. She decided to wait for a quieter and more intimate moment to profess her love to Rayne.

“I had a wonderful evening and I’ll miss you.” Rayne smiled and kissed Lark one last time before turning towards the plane. Lark reluctantly let go of Rayne’s hand and smiled when Rayne looked over her shoulder, winking at her.

Lark watched as Rayne steadily climbed the stairs of the plane and walked along trying to catch one last glimpse of Rayne who quickly appeared in the small window when she took her seat. She smiled and felt a catch in her heart as Rayne smiled at her. She waved when Rayne put her hand up against the window as if she were touching Lark’s hand and stepped back intently watching as the plane moved away from her. She stopped waving and wiped the tears from her eyes as the plane moved out of her sight. She clutched her stuffed ghost close to her as if it were Rayne and climbed into the limo, settling back against the seat. ‘Why am I acting as if it is the last time I’ll ever see her? I’m acting like a silly little schoolgirl. My emotions are going crazy. Either it’s that time of the month or I’m completely and hopelessly in love with that woman.’ Lark knew it was the later and didn’t mind it at all as she held Booey tightly.

Rayne looked back towards the lighted city hoping to catch one last glimpse of Lark, but knew that was fruitful. She leaned her head against the window and knew her life and her heart were never going to be the same since Lark had captured it completely. ‘That’s fine with me. I like the feelings I have when I’m with Lark. I know she was going to tell me that she loved me.’ She thought blissfully and closed her eyes with Lark’s face etched into her memory.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were here? I would have come out to met you Lark.” Elaine asked, surprised when Lark entered the hotel suite.

“I totally forgot. I was lost in my thoughts of Rayne.” She said in a distant voice and headed into her bedroom. She lay on the bed and cuddled into the fetal position; still tightly clutching the stuffed ghost Rayne gave her, thinking of the impact Rayne had on her emotions.

“Hey, are you okay? Did something happen with you and Rayne?” Elaine worriedly asked, entering the bedroom and sitting next to Lark on the bed.

Lark looked up at her and smiled, “Yes, she’s captured my heart and made me fall hopelessly in love with her.”

Elaine put her hand on Lark’s hip and chuckled, “Honey, that’s nothing new. I knew that after you met her. I’m glad to hear things went well.” Elaine smiled and comfortingly rubbed her hand on Lark’s leg.

“She so romantic, thoughtful and sweet, Elaine. Look at my Halloween gift, isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” Lark dreamily asked, her head still stuck in the clouds from the aftermath of Rayne.

“He’s adorable, Lark. I’m going to let you get some sleep we have an early day tomorrow.” Elaine comfortingly patted Lark’s leg and rose from the bed. She walked to the door and looked back, “I’m really happy for the two of you, Lark,” smiling sincerely.

“Thanks Elaine.” Lark smiled appreciatively.

“Night.” Elaine winked and closed the door.

Lark sighed deeply, completely satisfied and happy with her life. She clutched Booey tighter and closed her eyes, instantly picturing Rayne. She quickly fell asleep with her tall, dark Secret Service agent on her mind.

The week quickly passed by as predicted by Rayne and she had a nervous tension about her, knowing she would see Lark later that evening. She was ecstatic to see Lark and it seemed as if the day would never get going. She was up before dawn as she was too anxious to sleep and a vigorous run along the beach did nothing to help with the tension. She showered, dressed and headed off to start the rigorous day of waiting for Lark to arrive later that evening and with overseeing the security details for the crowd that would be gathered around Senator Morgan when the election results were revealed. ‘I can’t wait for this day to end so I can whisk Lark away.’ Rayne thought, eager to get it over with and spend time with Lark.

When the time drew near for Lark to arrive Rayne’s heart beat faster in anticipation of seeing her and she frequently checked the door, hoping to see Lark walk through it. She and Forrest made their way through the crowd checking for anything out of the ordinary and she turned towards the door when she heard a commotion. She moved on her toes to see over the crowd and saw the flashbulbs go off, hearing someone say Lark’s name. Her heart pounded in her chest and she looked back at Forrest with a grin. He nodded and motioned for Rayne to move to the next room. She headed into the said room as Forrest moved closer to Lark. “Excuse me Miss. Morgan, but we need to see you right away.” Forrest stated in a serious tone and held Lark’s hand guiding her through the crowd.

“Is everything okay?” Lark worriedly asked, concerned by the tone of voice he had used with her.

“It will be.” He added and opened the door, guiding her through it. She looked back at him wondering what was going on as he quickly closed the door.

“I thought you would never get here.” Rayne said and approached Lark, who turned around surprised to see her.

“Rayne! I thought something was wrong by the way I was ushered in here.” Lark excitedly greeted and sighed relieved when she realized everything was okay, quickly engulfing her in a hug.

“Oh, that’s just Forrest’s bad attempt of being smooth. I missed you so much sweets and I’m so glad to see you.” Rayne wholeheartedly greeted and bestowed a long, passionate kiss upon Lark’s sensuous lips. Lark wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck and deepened the kiss. She broke the kiss and held Rayne as tight as she could. Rayne chuckled and held her tightly, comfortingly stroking her back.

“I missed you so much too Rayne. I’m so happy to see you.” Lark whispered tearfully and kissed Rayne’s neck. “Just hold me.” She softly pleaded, perfectly content to stay right were she was for the rest of the evening.

Rayne smiled and felt the butterflies in her stomach flutter as she held Lark in her arms. She softly stroked Lark’s long, blonde hair and placed soft kisses on her cheek, happy to have her back in her arms again. Rayne looked up when she heard a knock at the door. They sighed and broke the hug as Elaine peeked her head inside. “Your father is asking for you Lark.” She smiled at Rayne and looked Lark’s way.

“Okay, thanks, I’ll be right there.” Lark answered and reluctantly relinquished her hold on Rayne.

“Go see your father. I’m not going anywhere and besides, I get you all to myself for the next five days. Did you pack all that I told you to?” Rayne asked grinning and moved the blonde hair off of Lark’s face.

“Yes, I did.” Lark blushed and giggled. “Just where are you whisking me off to Agent Donovan?” She sultrily asked smiling euphorically and looking into the blue eyes she had quickly lost her heart to the moment she first laid eyes on her.

“You’ll find out soon enough my dear.” Rayne mischievously grinned. “Now, go see your father. He’s waiting for his princess.” Rayne coaxed with a smile.

“Only if you kiss me one more time or otherwise I don’t think I’ll have the strength to make it across the room.” Lark teasingly whined with a grin.

“Well, duty calls and if I must help a damsel in distress then that’s what I shall do.” Rayne readily agreed to accept the challenge and leaned down to kiss Lark.

Lark leaned avoiding the assault on her lips and stared at Rayne saying, “Only if that damsel is me,” with a warning smile.

“Only you, sweets.” Rayne whispered and kissed Lark, deeply.

Lark broke the kiss breathless and sighed, satisfied. She straightened her dress and her hair. She flashed a smile towards Rayne as she approached the door, “You drive me crazy,” she told her and winked before exiting the room.

Rayne smiled and blushed watching Lark leave the room, thoroughly enthralled by Lark’s essence. ‘If she only knew the affect she had on me!’ Rayne inwardly thought with a chuckle, trying to still her thundering heart. ‘Wow! What a knock out!’ Rayne appreciatively thought, shaking her head and laughing as she walked towards the door.

Senator Morgan won his Congressional bid by a landslide and the last of the partiers were leaving as Rayne completed her work duties. She checked her watch and noted the early morning hour and was glad her workday was coming to an end very soon. “Listen Rayne, go ahead and get out of here. I can finish up here.” Forrest offered, knowing how eager Rayne was to leave with Lark.

“Are you sure?” Rayne excitedly asked. She felt bad leaving Forrest to finish up their report.

“I can handle it, get out of here and have a great time.” He chuckled and shooed her away.

“I intend to and thanks!” Rayne smiled and headed towards the door where Lark was standing, talking to her parents. “Congratulations sir.” She offered and held out her hand.

“Thanks Rayne.” He smiled and shook her hand. “You two have a great time.” He grinned and patted Rayne on the back, then kissed Lark.

“We will, thanks daddy. Bye mom!” Lark grinned and waved goodbye as they exited the door.

“Have fun honey and send us a postcard.” Her mother called out and waved.

Rayne looked back and smiled as she closed the door behind them. “How embarrassing!” Lark sighed as Rayne moved behind her.

“How is that embarrassing?” Rayne asked confused looking at Lark.

“She wants me to send her a postcard? I feel like she’s sending me off to camp or something.” Lark commented and laughed, as did Rayne.

“Oh, she was just trying to be polite. You know how silly mom’s can be sometimes. Don’t be embarrassed.” Rayne laughed, brushing it off.

“You’re right. Oh, happy birthday, Rayne.” Lark smiled and kissed her.

“That’s right, it is my birthday huh? I forgot about it, thanks.” Rayne coyly smiled.

“So, birthday girl, where are you whisking me off too this morning?” Lark eagerly asked, intrigued by the mysteriousness of Rayne’s instructions previously in the week for what types of clothes to bring as she cuddled close to her.

“You mean to tell me that you don’t have a clue as to where we are going based on the clothes I suggested you pack?” Rayne mischievously grinned.

“Well, I have an idea that you are going to whisk me off to a tropical paradise. Is that correct?” Lark asked, with a giggle.

“Put those cute little buns of yours in the limo and we’ll have to see if your choice is correct after the plane ride.” Rayne suggested and devilishly smiled, kissing Lark.

“Let’s go!” Lark eagerly shouted and quickly climbed into the limo.

Rayne laughed and shook her head, then climbed in the car with the driver closing the door behind her. Lark quickly grabbed the object of her affection and passionately kissed her, excited to have Rayne all to herself for the next five days.


“Rayne! I can’t believe we’re in Key West! I’ve always wanted to come down here on vacation, but I’ve never gotten around to it. It’s absolutely beautiful!” Lark excitedly told her, as she looked around the small tropical town.

“I can’t believe you live so close and you’ve never been down here Lark.” Rayne chuckled giving her a quick glance.

Lark looked away from the window of the car to Rayne with a smile, “I know. It’s so silly to think that I could have been here in an hour by plane and I’ve never made it.” Lark added with a giggle, and then looked back out the window as Rayne laughed shaking her head, smitten by the naïve woman’s sitting next to her. “Wow! Look at all of the shops! Please tell me we can do some shopping?” Lark eagerly asked, turning to Rayne hopeful that she would agree.

Rayne cringed at the thought of shopping and if Lark were anything like her mother and Holly, she’d be in deep shit. ‘Nah, she can’t be worse than those two and besides, she’s oh, so sexy. I don’t think I’ll mind.’ Rayne reasoned staring into the sweet face that captured her heart. “Sure, how about tomorrow?” Rayne asked, slipping her hand into Larks with a smile.

“Yes! That would be fabulous!” Lark exuberantly answered with a broad smile.

“We’re here.” Rayne informed her and opened the door of the cab once the car stopped. Lark quickly scampered out of the cab and looked around the marina, reveling at the beauty of the blue-green water and the warmth of the sun on her face. Rayne helped the driver room their luggage from the trunk of the cab and paid him for the ride. “Thanks man.” She briefly smiled handing him the money and tossed her bag over her shoulder, then lifted Lark’s suitcase grunting at the weight of it.

“Have a great vacation.” The cab driver said and smiled, climbing back into his car.

“Lark what did you pack in here? Your bed?” Rayne asked with a chuckle, struggling to carry the heavy suitcase.

“Just my clothes and shoes Rayne. I had to be sure that I had the right stuff packed. Do you need me to help you carry it?” Lark sheepishly offered and reached to help her, but was thwarted in her effort.

“No, no. It’s okay I’ve got it.” Rayne protested and moved away so Lark couldn’t help her. ‘How embarrassing would that be, having Lark carry the suitcase while I carry the small bag? Nope, I’ll get a hernia before I allow that to happen!’ Rayne stubbornly reasoned her ego would not allow Lark to carry the suitcase as she toted it towards the boat slip. ‘I just hope it doesn’t sink the boat!’ She thought and sighed happily when she reached the slip.

“Rayne! Hey, let me get those for you!” The young man called out as he rushed towards them.

“Hey Donnie! Thanks I appreciate it.” Rayne greeted happily and set the heavy bag down on the dock. She stood up straight and leaned around, hearing her spine crack.

“Are you okay?” Lark worriedly asked, seeing the dismay in Rayne’s face and the sweat on her brow.

“Oh, yeah just a little cramped from the plane ride. So, you ready to go for a boat ride?” Rayne asked, quickly changing the subject, as she didn’t want Lark to know she was a wimp carrying that heavy bag. ‘I want to know what’s in that freaking thing for it to be so damned heavy. Here I thought I was strong. When I get back, I’m going to have to add heavier weight to my workout program. This is embarrassing!’ Rayne promised herself and felt inadequately weak.

“Yes!” Lark squealed delighted and slipped her arm in Rayne’s.

Rayne smiled and chuckled when she heard Donnie groan from lifting Lark’s suitcase. ‘Whew, it’s not just me then.’ Rayne thought relieved that she wasn’t the only one struggling with the suitcase. Rayne climbed aboard and turned to the dock where Lark stood. “Come aboard my lady.” Rayne offered with a smile and placed her hands on Lark’s waist.

“An offer I can’t refuse.” Lark, smitten, smiled and gladly allowed Rayne to lift her onto the boat and she held Rayne’s arms for support. Rayne placed Lark before her and smiled, both staring into each other’s eyes. “So, are you a renegade of the heart?” Lark softly asked, referring to the name of the boat.

“I used to be, but you changed all of that Lark.” Rayne wholeheartedly said and smiled gratefully before kissing Lark.

They broke the kiss and smiled staring at each other. “I’m glad Rayne. I take it this is your boat and not a rental?” Lark inquired curiously.

“Yep, I had Donnie bring it down from Ft. Lauderdale for me.” Rayne answered and grasped Lark’s hand leading her out of the way as Donnie struggled to get the luggage aboard. Rayne snickered as he struggled to lift the suitcase on board and decided she should help him before he dropped it in the water. She leaned over and grabbed the bag helping him lift it.

“What does she have in here Rayne a dead body?” He teasingly asked in a whisper.

“I don’t know, I was trying to figure that out myself.” Rayne laughed, as did he, when they finally got it on board. The pair pushed the bag to the stairs and Rayne waited as Donnie descended them.

“Which room do you want this thing in?” He asked, hoping Rayne wouldn’t say the forward berth.

“Just put it on the smaller bed right there and she can unpack some stuff before I move it any farther.” Rayne suggested pointing to the smaller bed next to where he was standing and snickered at the look of relief he gave her. “Thanks,” She smiled and stood back up turning to Lark. ‘Wait! How did Lark move this thing after she packed it? If she tells me she carried it from her house I’m going to die!’ Rayne thought mortified at the insinuation. “Lark did you move this suitcase?” Rayne asked, hoping she would say no.

“Yeah, it has wheels.” Lark casually answered, not paying much attention to what Rayne was getting at as she surveyed the large boat.

“Oh, yeah.” Rayne smirked and snickered, never considering that option or seeing the wheels on it. ‘Now she tells me.’ Rayne thought with a chuckle.

“Rayne this is a huge boat. I love it!” Lark smiled excitedly. “Are we going to stay on the boat the entire time?”

“We can if you want to. I thought we could stay on board tonight and then we could head over to the Hyatt for the other nights if we didn’t want to stay here. I made reservations with them to stay on that island over there.” Rayne informed her and pointed in the direction of the said island. “Or if you want we can stay here the whole time. I hope you don’t get sea sick?” Rayne suggested and asked, unsure of how Lark reacted to boats.

“Wow, I just don’t know what to choose!” Lark laughed looking from the island to Rayne. “Yes, I do. Anywhere you want to stay is fine with me. As long as I’m with you I’ll be very happy. I took a Dramamine while on the plane so I feel fine right now. I’ll take another one later just in case and we’ll see how I react to the boat ride, but I should be alright.” Lark informed her, smiling.

“Okay, sounds good to me.” Rayne smiled and rubbed her arm. She turned when Donnie came up on deck.

“Alright Rayne, the boat is all set to go. I have everything you requested on board. I’ll see you on Monday to get the key and drive her back.” Donnie instructed and smiled.

“Great, thanks man I appreciate it. Here, take this and have a few extra drinks on me.” Rayne chuckled and handed him a hundred dollar bill, then patted him on the back.

“Excellent, thanks Rayne you didn’t have to do that though.” He smiled, slightly embarrassed by the extra money Rayne offered him as she already paid him handsomely for bringing the boat down. A job he would have done for free.

“No, you deserve it for carrying that damn bag on board!” She laughed as did he and waved to him when he climbed off the boat. “Have a good time!” She called out and moved towards the back of the boat.

“You too!” He yelled with a smile and quickly headed off.

“Lark if you want to change we put your suitcase on the first bed to your left when you go down the stairs there.” Rayne informed her and pointed to where she was referring.

“Thanks, I’m going to put on my bathing suit.” Lark smiled and headed down the stairs into the cabin.

Rayne squatted in the opening of the cabin at the top of the stairs looking at Lark. “Oh, you can change in the bedroom right behind you and the head is right there.” Rayne informed her and pointed to both places she was talking about.

“Great, thanks!” Lark smiled and winked as Rayne stood up, and walked to the radio of the boat. ‘Wow, this place is nice.’ Lark inwardly thought looking around noting the boat was equipped with two beds just under the bridge of the boat and a large galley with a dining area where she was standing. ‘What is the head?’ She wondered and looked up to see where Rayne was hoping she wouldn’t think she was snooping around, noting that she was talking to someone on the boat radio and looked into the said room that Rayne had pointed out. ‘Okay, the head is the bathroom, I’ll have to remember that so I don’t look so darn stupid.’ She giggled and headed to the bedroom that Rayne had pointed out. She opened the door and was shocked to see the large room before her with its own bathroom. ‘I had no idea this boat could have so much room in it and a bedroom like this one is spectacular!’ She approvingly thought, surprised as she looked around the room that contained a small TV in the upper corner, dresser drawers under the raised bed and a window just above the bed. She moved farther inside and changed her clothes. ‘I can’t wait to climb into that large bed with Rayne and finally make love to her.’ Lark thought and felt a catch in her heart, imaging how wonderful it was going to feel making love to Rayne. She jumped startled when she heard the door shut in the cabin and heard Rayne call out.

“Lark, are you okay?” She asked as Lark was taking a long time.

“Oh, yeah I’ll, aah, be right out.” Lark answered still flustered by her thoughts and quickly began to dress, her heart still racing from the fright.

“Listen if you use the head don’t put the paper in the bowl it will clog up the sump pump. There is a trashcan to place that into okay?” Rayne asked, through the door unsure of whether Lark knew the intricacies of the boat.

“Okay, thanks for telling me. I’ll be out in a minute.” Lark answered, glad that Rayne told her about the paper. ‘Lord knows I would have thrown the damn paper in the toilet! What is a sump pump? I’m really going to have to brush up on my boating terminology just as soon as I get home. I would have been mortified if I had clogged up the pump thingy she was talking about.’ She thought with a giggle and finished dressing.

Rayne sat at the controls of the boat with it running, waiting for Lark who climbed the stairs. “Are you ready to go?” Rayne asked, smiling and held out her hand to help Lark up the stairs.

“I’m set, is there anything I can do to help you with the boat?” Lark offered and looked around.

“Yes, sit right here next to me and enjoy the ride.” Rayne suggested and smiled. She carefully moved the boat out of the slip and slowly navigated it out of the marina.

“You changed quickly.” Lark observed and smiled fully appreciating the clothing that barely covered Rayne’s stunning body noting that she was now wearing her bathing suit top and swimming shorts.

“I guess I was excited to head out.” Rayne sheepishly smiled and shrugged her shoulders as she looked out over the ocean before her.

Lark sat next to Rayne and sighed, slightly disappointed that Rayne hid those gorgeous blues behind a pair of dark sunglasses. Her disappointment quickly subsided, as she looked Rayne’s taut body over. ‘She makes my blood pressure boil that’s for sure she’s so damn sexy!’ Lark appreciatively thought, staring at Rayne who looked ahead. Lark draped her arm around her muscular shoulder and reveled in being alone with her as she looked out over the sun lit ocean before her, thinking of all the possibilities their new relationship had to offer.

Rayne’s heart beat faster and she felt a tickle in her stomach when Lark touched and held her shoulder. She glanced over at Lark and inwardly smiled, wishing Lark would remove her tank top and shorts. ‘I can’t wait to see her body. I can only imagine how good it looks.’ Rayne thought, stealing glances of Lark unbeknownst to her. ‘She has made me so happy, that I can barely stand it. It’s so amazing.’ Rayne thought, completely enamored, by the way Lark made her feel. “So, do you like to snorkel?” Rayne asked wanting to hear Lark’s sweat voice and glanced to Lark then back to the ocean before her.

“I love to snorkel. I just don’t get the opportunity to do it that much.” Lark answered, smiling.

“Well, we’ll have to make sure you get plenty of opportunities then.” Rayne flashed a playful grin and glanced at her, then looked ahead. “How about fishing?” Rayne asked, hoping she enjoyed the hobby.

“Oh, I’ve never been fishing before, but I’m willing to learn.” Lark answered, hesitant about what she was agreeing to do. ‘I don’t want to disappoint her, but I don’t want to touch those slimy fish!’ Lark thought and shivered, horrified by the thought of having to touch them.

“Well, I’ll teach you how.” Rayne offered, smiling blithely that Lark was willing to try fishing and knew by the look on Lark’s face it wasn’t something she seemed too pleased with doing, but she appreciated the fact that she was willing to try it for her.

“Sounds like fun!” Lark grinned, hoping Rayne didn’t see her reluctance to fishing. “How much farther are we going?” Lark asked, looking at the large expanse of the ocean.

“We’re almost to the reef. It looks like we’ll be the only ones out here for awhile.” Rayne observed and pointed to where they would anchor the boat. “Listen, I’m going to need you to steer the boat when we get up here so I can grab the rope to the buoy and secure the boat.

“DRIVE? The boat?” Lark shrieked, frightened and surprised that Rayne would suggest such a thing.

“It’s either that or you’ll have to take that pole and try to grab the rope out of the water to tie the boat down.” Rayne suggested and pointed to the pole.

Lark weighed her options and figured if all she had to do was steer the boat she could handle that better than trying to grab the rope. “Okay, what do I do to drive this thing?” She asked, eager to learn her task and looked at all of the controls of the boat.

“It’s pretty simple really and it’s like driving a car. I’m going to slow the boat down so we’ll coast up to the buoy and all you need to do is steer that way okay?” Rayne instructed pointing out before her and saw the fear in Lark’s eyes. “You’ll be fine just aim gaily forward okay?” Rayne explained and grinned.

“Gaily forward?” Lark questioned confused and looked at Rayne for clarification.

Rayne snickered and told Lark, “Yeah, we say gaily forward instead of straight when going forward because I’m certainly not straight that’s for sure so, I’d rather go gaily forward.” Rayne laughed joined by Lark who finally got the joke.

‘Here I thought it was a damn boating term!’ Lark thought and smiled, trying to conceal the fact that she was embarrassed for not knowing what Rayne meant.

“Do me a favor and grab that pole for me. I’ll get you lined up and grab the pole at the last minute so it won’t be that stressful for you.” Rayne suggested with a reassuring smile and winked.

“I can do it!” Lark smiled confidently and grabbed the pole for Rayne who slowed the boat down. ‘If I’m going to come on this boat more often then I’m definitely going to have to learn more about it.’ Lark thought and inhaled deeply, trying to calm the nervous butterflies in her stomach as she waited for Rayne to tell her when to take the wheel.

Rayne stood up and moved to the side, still steering the boat. “Go ahead and sit down.” She instructed Lark who did as Rayne said by slipping behind her and sitting in the chair. “Are you ready?” Rayne asked with a smile, looking at Lark.

“I think so.” Lark nervously answered.

“Don’t worry sweets, you’ll do fine it’s not like your going to hit another boat. We are the only ones out here. If we miss it we’ll just come around again.” Rayne answered with a reassuring smile.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Lark answered, more determined and confident.

“Take the wheel and just steer it gaily forward.” Rayne instructed with a chuckle and watched as Lark took the wheel while she still held onto it. She glanced in the water to judge the distance of the buoy with the boat and released her hold of the wheel, then bolted to the front of the boat.

‘Okay, you can do this Lark. No problem, yes it’s going where I want it!’ Lark thought excitedly and inhaled deeply to calm her racing heart as she steered the boat.

Rayne quickly grabbed the rope and tied the boat to the buoy, then rushed back to help Lark. “See, I knew you could do it. We make a great team!” Rayne encouragingly laughed grabbing the wheel and hugged Lark who blew out a sigh of relief.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought Rayne! That was fun, I think you’re going to have to show me how to drive the boat on our way back!” Lark enthusiastically suggested with a giggle.

“You got it!” Rayne readily agreed with a grin.

‘I wonder if I should tell her that I’m not a very good driver?’ Lark queried and smiled looking at Rayne. ‘Nah, there’s no need to scare the hell out of her so early in our relationship. I’ll just tell her I’m nervous and that way she’ll have to sit close to me to help me drive the boat. So then she won’t see my terrible driving skills. Oh, yeah good idea.’ Lark inwardly reasoned and smiled, delighted at the thought of having Rayne so close to her.

Rayne readied the boat and turned on the stereo. She opened one of the storage lockers and stood up looking at Lark. “Okay, I’ve got the brand new fishing poles and the bait. How about if we do some fishing?” Rayne eagerly suggested holding up the fishing poles and bait, grinning excitedly.

“Sounds good to me.” Lark pensively smiled and wondered what she was getting herself into. ‘She is definitely going to have to go shopping with me for this one.’ Lark confirmed and followed Rayne to the swim platform at the back of the boat where Rayne had placed a chair for her. Lark sat in the chair and took the pole that Rayne gave her. She watched as Rayne baited her fishing pole and looked into the bucket at the slimy, small fish she had in there to use as bait. ‘Yuck!’ She thought and shuddered at the sight of them.

“What are you waiting for Lark? Just stick one of those small fish on the hook like this.” Rayne explained and showed Lark her fishing pole as an example.

“Do I really have to touch that fish to put it on my pole? Can’t I just stick the hook in the bucket and the bait will jump on it?” Lark asked hopeful, her lip curled up at the thought of touching the bait.

Rayne laughed and realized she was dealing with a major princess who has probably never gotten her hands dirty. “I’ll do it for you.” She offered and chuckled, grabbing a fish and putting it on the hook for Lark. “Okay, princess.” Rayne teasingly said and handed her the pole.

“I’m not a princess Rayne. I just don’t like touching slimy things like fish. Yuck!” Lark defensively told her.

Rayne moved closer to Lark and said with a sly grin, “You are a princess my dear, but I like that about you,” kissing her as Lark blushed from the comment. She broke the kiss smiling and placed her hands on top of Lark’s that held the pole. “Okay, you’re first fishing lesson is to hold the pole here and flip this over, then hold the line against the pole with your finger.” Rayne instructed her and did exactly what she explained. “Now, move the fishing pole back over your shoulder and then you’re going to cast it out into the water, letting go of where you’re finger is holding. Got it?” Rayne asked giving Lark a sideways glance to confirm that she understood her instructions.

Lark stared at Rayne with her mouth agape and didn’t hear much of what she had said. She was too entranced by Rayne being so close and holding her hands. “Oh, yeah I got it. I’m going to catch the biggest fish!” Lark cockily said, trying not to let Rayne know she had no idea as to what she was going to do. “Okay, here it goes.” Lark told her and did exactly what Rayne told her, by bringing the fishing pole back over her shoulder. ‘Hmmm, maybe I did listen more than I thought.’ Lark inwardly snickered and cast the pole forward, letting the pole go like Rayne instructed her.

“NO! You’re not supposed to cast the whole pole out there Lark.” Rayne called out with a pained expression and placed her pole on the seat.

“That’s what you told me to do Rayne.” Lark defensively countered and chewed on her lip realizing that she had just tossed Rayne’s brand new fishing pole in the ocean and that was a bad thing to do. “I’m sorry Rayne.” She apologized and stood up.

“Women!” Rayne huffed and dove into the water.

“Rayne!” Lark called out and looked over the edge, watching her swim down in the translucent water. ‘She’s going to be so pissed off at me! What an idiot. How could I have tossed the whole thing in there? I’m so stupid!’ She admonished and fretted that Rayne had not surfaced yet. “Rayne! Rayne!” She shouted and breathed a sigh of relief when Rayne popped her head out of the water. “Did you find it?” Lark asked, hopeful that she did with a sheepish grin. She worried that Rayne would be really angry with her.

“Yep.” Rayne answered and held the fishing pole up to Lark who grabbed it and placed it on board as Rayne swam to the ladder and climbed on board.

Lark grabbed a towel off the seat and handed it to her. “I’m really sorry Rayne. I didn’t mean to throw your fishing pole in the water.” Lark sincerely apologized.

“It’s okay, I’ll forgive you. One day.” Rayne teasingly answered and dried off with the towel.

“Rayne, do you really forgive me?” Lark asked, unsure of whether Rayne was being truthful.

“I’m trying Lark, but it’s just really hard to overcome the fact that you tossed my new fishing pole in the water. I’ll try harder to forgive you though Lark.” Rayne answered with a smirk.

‘Is she just fooling around or is she serious?’ Lark wondered and smiled, hoping it would help her cause. “Is there anyway I can make it up to you?” Lark provocatively asked, moving closer to Rayne and lightly ran her finger across her chest, much to Rayne’s enjoyment.

“Well, let’s see. We might be able to make an arrangement Lark. How about if I toss you into the cold ocean?” Rayne asked with a laugh and picked Lark up in her arms, turning towards the water.

“No Rayne don’t! Please!” Lark pleaded hoping that she wouldn’t toss her in the water.

Rayne smiled and stared into Lark’s sparkling greens, “I’ll show you mercy if you kiss me.” Rayne told her with a chuckle and melted into the kiss Lark quickly granted her. Lark was more than happy to fulfill Rayne’s request and deepened the passionate kiss, holding her tightly. Rayne broke the kiss with a sly grin staring deep into Lark’s sparkling greens, “I have something to confess Lark.”

“What’s that?” Lark asked smiling and pushed the lock of wet hair off of Rayne’s forehead, completely satisfied being in Rayne’s arms.

“I forgave you when you apologized the first time, I just wanted a kiss and a hug.” Rayne devilishly grinned and gave Lark a quick kiss.

“Anytime you want that, just feel free to ask. You don’t have to use trickery with me, agent. I’d be more than happy to grant those to you anytime.” Lark flirtatiously offered and laughed, as did Rayne.

The women spent the majority of the day fishing, snorkeling and getting to know one another better. Rayne was happy to see that Lark finally took of her tank top, but hoped she would remove her shorts so she could get a good look at her. The mysteriousness of what Lark concealed under those shorts was an aphrodisiac and she could hardly contain herself. She sighed appreciatively as she watched Lark sunbath on the front deck and wondered what it was going to be like when she made love to her. ‘Absolutely wonderful.’ She thought dreamily and needed a drink. Her mouth was parched as her mouth hung agape from her lustful thoughts of Lark. “Lark would you like something to drink?” Rayne asked and smiled when Lark looked back at her.

“Yes, I’ll have some water please.” Lark answered and stood up.

“I’ll be right back.” Rayne called out and headed towards the stairs to the cabin. She looked up and saw Lark bend over to pull her shorts down. Rayne intently stared at the enticing sight before her, unable to take her eyes off of Lark as she stepped down the first step. She stared unabashedly as Lark removed her shorts and revealed thong bikini bottoms. Rayne’s senses soared; her heart beat quickened and her mouth watered at the alluring beauty before her. She was rudely snapped out of her revere when she cracked her head on the boat, forgetting to duck as she was still descending the stairs. “Shit!” She cursed and held her head to ease the searing pain as she sat down. ‘That’s what I get for staring.’ Rayne admonished and rolled over, trying to stand still woozy from the hit on the head.

“Rayne! Are you okay?” Lark worriedly asked as she rushed to her. “What happened? I heard a sickening thud and then saw you lying there. Are you hurt?” Lark nervously asked as she tried to help Rayne up.

“I forgot to duck and hit my head on the boat when I was going down the stairs. I wasn’t watching where I was going actually.” Rayne sheepishly confessed, feeling like an idiot, as Lark helped her to the seat. “Ouch!” Rayne replied and leaned over holding her head to ease the pain.

“Let me see Rayne.” Lark told her and moved Rayne’s hand from her forehead. “Oh, babe you have a cut and it’s swelling. Let me get some ice for it. Where’s the first aid kit?” Lark asked, looking at the wound Rayne had on her forehead.

“I’ll get it.” Rayne told her not wanting Lark to make a big deal of her stupidity and attempted to stand up, but was stopped by Lark.

“No, you hit your head pretty hard you might get dizzy. Just stay there and relax I’ll get it. Now, where is it?” Lark softly told her and was adamant that Rayne stay there.

“It’s under the sink in the galley.” Rayne told her and pointed. “I’m so stupid and embarrassed.” Rayne commented and rested her head in her hand that leaned against her leg.

“No you’re not and there’s no need to be embarrassed Rayne. At least you didn’t throw a brand new fishing pole in the ocean!” Lark tried to reassure her with a giggle and kissed her head. “I’ll be right back.” Lark told her and turned, walking away.

‘Damn, she’s hot! She looks so freaking good in that thong. Nice ass.’ Rayne thought appreciating the bathing suit that revealed so much about Lark. ‘Why didn’t she take off those shorts a long time ago? You’re a pig Rayne. Get your mind out of the gutter.’ She inwardly admonished for having those thoughts of Lark and smiled as Lark approached.

‘Well, I hope my little show had enticed her sexually.’ Lark thought with a giggle. ‘You are bad Lark! The poor woman almost took her head off and all you can think about is whether you sexually aroused her.’ She inwardly reprimanded and smiled stopping in front of Rayne.

‘It’s a good thing she can’t read my mind or I’d be a lot more embarrassed than I already am right now. I wonder if my face is red?’ She wondered with a chuckle.

Lark cleaned the small cut on Rayne’s head and held an ice pack to the swollen area as she stood before Rayne. “How does that feel?” Lark asked looking down at Rayne who had looked up at her.

“So much better. Thanks.” Rayne gratefully smiled and lightly rubbed her hand up and down Lark’s taut leg.

“Just what were you looking at when you hit your head Rayne?” Lark asked, wondering why she didn’t duck in time.

“I was looking at you Lark.” She sheepishly admitted and laughed, looking down from her embarrassment. “I couldn’t help it. I was caught off guard when you took off your shorts and you looked so, aah, hot that I didn’t watch where I was going.” Rayne stammered as she tried to explain, still not sure why she admitted that.

Lark chuckled, “Well, I’m flattered by the comment, but Rayne you could have knocked yourself out.” Lark informed her worried that she could have been seriously hurt, but was excited that Rayne noticed her.

“I know. It’s just that you make me nervous when I’m around you.” Rayne shyly admitted and looked up at her.

“Why would I make you nervous Rayne?” Lark softly asked, lightly stroking her raven hair as she stared into her deep blues.

“You are an absolutely stunning woman, Lark and you make my heart race every time I look at you. You make me feel things that I’ve never felt for anyone before and it scares me.” Rayne wholeheartedly admitted.

“Wow, Rayne. That’s so coincidental because you elicit the same reaction with me except it doesn’t scare me. Why do you think I threw the fishing pole in? I was too consumed with looking at you to listen to your instructions.” Lark revealed with a giggle, feeling a bit flushed from her admission. “I still don’t know how such a strong, tough, dangerous and very sexy Secret Service agent could be nervous around me though.” Lark teasingly replied with a laugh as Rayne chuckled at the comment.

“Well, believe it Lark you bring those nervous feelings out in me. I guess it’s just my subconscious way of trying not to get hurt. I’ve wanted to make love to you since the first moment I laid eyes on you, but I was afraid because of my feelings for you.” Rayne explained and looked down.

“Why are you afraid of me hurting you if we make love Rayne?” Lark asked concerned and squatted down before her, lifting Rayne’s chin up to look at her.

“I’ve never felt this way about anyone before, Lark, and that includes Karen. I know that once we make love there will be no turning back for me Lark. My heart will completely be yours and I’m scared that…” Rayne admitted and stopped, trying to gather her thoughts.

“You’re afraid that I’m going to leave you and break your heart like what happened when Karen passed away?” Lark warmly asked, lightly stroking Rayne’s cheek with her thumb.

“Yes, Lark. I don’t ever want to feel that pain again and the thing is, if anything ever happened to you, the pain would be far worse than it ever was with Karen. I hope that doesn’t scare you away.” Rayne movingly declared and was proud that she was finally able to honestly reveal her feelings to Lark.

Lark’s breath escaped her momentarily when Rayne admitted that to her and she felt her eyes moisten. She warmly smiled and kissed Rayne on the cheek trying to swallow the lump in her throat that had formed from what Rayne told her. “Nothing you say or do will ever scare me away Rayne. I feel the same way about you and I didn’t want to admit it because I thought I would scare you away. Rest assured, I intend to live until I’m a grumpy old woman and I have no intention of checking out of this life anytime soon especially now that you’ve become a part of my life. If we were only meant to be together for a short period of time I would accept that fate happily, rather than to never spend any of my life with you Rayne. Let your heart feel what it so badly wants to, I’ve allowed mine to without hesitation. My heart and soul is yours completely.” Lark softly admitted with a warm smile.

Rayne’s heart skipped a beat and she inhaled deeply, knowing that she couldn’t and didn’t want to fight anymore what her heart wanted to feel for Lark. She knew she had to get past her fear and allow Lark to completely consume her heart even if it meant she might one day be hurt if anything ever happened to them. She knew Lark was right; that it would be better to be together for however long the fates have planned for them than to never experience life with one another. She smiled and leaned in whispering, “You are too good to be true Lark Morgan,” before passionately kissing her. Lark reciprocated the kiss deeply and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck. Rayne stood up and engulfed Lark in a hug, never breaking the kiss. “I want to make love to you Lark. I don’t want to wait any longer; I want to give you all that my heart can give.” Rayne whispered through her kiss and deepened it as she carried Lark towards the cabin of the boat.

They reluctantly broke the kiss and chuckled as they ducked walking down the stairs remembering Rayne’s earlier accident. Lark held Rayne’s hand and turned back as Rayne closed and locked the door to the cabin of the boat in case any unwanted visitors came on board. Rayne smiled as she turned to Lark and guided her to the bedroom, her heart pounding in her chest with anticipation. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous.’ Lark thought as she watched Rayne open the door to the bedroom for her and smiled when she passed through. ‘She’s so sweet, caring, romantic and adorable. Not to mention, drop dead gorgeous.’ Lark admired as Rayne turned the radio station on the stereo to lighter music then closed the door behind her.

Rayne smiled and moved closer to Lark softly pressing her lips against hers holding Lark’s face in her hands. Lark melted into the kiss and slipped her hands on Rayne’s bare waist, feeling the goose bumps form underneath her touch from the contact. Rayne’s heart stopped briefly in response to Lark’s touch and resumed with a rapid beat when Lark’s hands moved lower, slipping into the waistband of her shorts. Rayne broke the kiss and looked down, slowly moving her hands from Lark’s shoulders to the straps of her bathing suit. The soft, warm feeling of her skin sent a rush of warmth to straight to Rayne’s sex. She smiled staring into Lark’s desire filled green eyes as she moved the straps off her shoulders and pulled the top down, revealing two perky breasts. Rayne inhaled deeply at the sight of her supple breasts and covered them with her hands, softly kneading them as she deeply kissed Lark.

Rayne felt Lark’s nipples harden with her touch and heard Lark gasp at the contact. Lark’s hands moved up Rayne’s back, to the strap, and released the fabric. Lark deepened the kiss and moved her hands to the front of Rayne, slowly moving her hands up Rayne’s muscular abdomen and cupped her breasts. Her heart thundered in her chest as Rayne passionately kissed her and gently caressed her breasts. “Rayne, that feels so good. I’ve waited for so long to feel you touch me like that.” Lark murmured in a whisper through her kiss.

The sound of Lark’s voice as a breathy whisper and her touch sent Rayne’s desire for her escalating. Rayne’s breathing labored and she kissed her deeper, softly stroking Lark’s nipples with her thumbs deepening her want for Rayne. “I’ve waited too long to touch you this way Lark. I can promise you that will never happen again.” Rayne softly proclaimed with a smile, gazing at Lark. Rayne’s eyes darkened with desire and captivated Lark with her mesmerizing stare. Lark’s eyes rolled back and she closed them when Rayne slid her hands down her hips. Rayne’s tongue tenderly traced the contours of Lark’s lips and dipped deep inside her mouth as she pushed the thong past Lark’s hips, dropping it to the floor. Rayne moved her hands to Lark’s backside and gently grasped her, pulling Lark closer and kissing her deeper. Lark’s heart beat uncontrollably and she wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck to steady her weak legs that refused to support her. She moaned from the contact, prompting Rayne to slowly move her hands to Lark’s sex. Rayne rubbed her hand up and down Lark’s wet curls teasingly as her tongue danced a slow tango with Lark’s.

“Rayne, you’re driving me crazy.” Lark faintly spoke, breaking the kiss and panting heavily. Rayne stared at Lark and flashed an alluring smile. She took Lark’s hands and moved them down to her shorts, guiding Lark as she slipped them off of Rayne, both gazing deeply into each other’s eyes. Rayne’s center ached for Lark’s touch. Lark leaned in kissing Rayne deeply and passionately as she reached between Rayne’s legs, touching her hot sex. She deepened the searing kiss when she heard Rayne moan from the contact and felt Rayne grind against her fingers. Rayne moved her hands to Lark’s hips breaking the kiss and lifting her up onto the bed. Lark’s hypnotic greens were fixated on Rayne with a wanton stare as she watched Rayne climb up on the bed. Lark smiled at Rayne’s brief hesitation as she hovered above her, wondering what Rayne was thinking. Her eyes gazed down Rayne’s body, then up appreciating everything about the dark beauty. ‘She’s more beautiful than I ever imagined.’ Lark approvingly thought. “Are you ever going to make love to me?” Lark asked in a hushed, raspy voice that went straight to Rayne’s core.

Rayne smiled, trying to calm her heart that felt as though it was going to explode. She felt the arteries in her neck pulsating wildly. “I’m so nervous Lark.” Rayne shyly admitted, staring deep into Lark’s warm greens. Lark warmly smiled and gently placed her hand on Rayne’s heart, trying to sooth the rapid beating. Lark’s warm smile and touch calmed Rayne instantly. She was in awe of Lark’s beauty and the way she was able to calm her by just one look or a touch.

Rayne moved on top of Lark and tenderly kissed her as Lark wrapped her arms around Rayne, deepening the kiss. She felt Rayne’s hand moved to her hip and rest there as she moved her kiss to Lark’s neck. Lark invitingly spread her legs, hoping to entice Rayne’s touch there. She arched her head back as Rayne lightly licked and nibbled her neck, and ear. Lark gasped when she felt Rayne’s hand move to her sex. Her heart beat faster, her breathing deepened and her skin burned with desire when Rayne’s fingers rested on her clit. Rayne tantalized her clit by softly caressing it at first, and then rubbing harder and harder. “Oh, yes!” Lark moaned thoroughly enjoying the way Rayne touched and kissed her.

Rayne lightly traced the contours of Lark’s ear, whispering, “You feel incredible Lark,” her velvety voice resonating through Lark’s ear, sending a tingling sensation down her spine. Rayne delicately kissed along Lark’s jaw line and stopped pressing her lips against Lark’s, waiting for her to invite her in. Lark parted her lips anxiously waiting for Rayne to kiss her as Rayne softly licked her lips teasingly. Lark could barely stand what Rayne was doing to her and needed to feel her kiss. She leaned up and pressed her lips against Rayne’s. Rayne slipped her tongue deep inside Lark’s mouth and plunged her fingers deep within Lark. Lark felt her heart stop momentarily and gasped to catch her breath from feeling Rayne’s long slender finger inside her. She dug her fingernails into Rayne’s spine in response.

Rayne smiled through her kiss when she felt Lark’s fingernails in her back and deepened her kiss, her fingers sliding out slowly and thrusting back in. Lark responded by moving her hips to Rayne’s rhythms. Lark reared her head side to side breaking the kiss, trying to catch her breath that escaped her. Rayne moved her kiss down to Lark’s creamy breast, softly suckling the pink nipple. Rayne slowly circled her tongue around her hardened nipple and felt Lark run her fingers through her hair. ‘I’ve never had someone make me feel so incredible.’ Lark thought, leveling her breathing and looking down at Rayne who attentively nibbled on her breast. ‘She’s so beautiful and such an incredible lover.’ She inwardly admired and dropped her head back on the bed inhaling deeply as Rayne’s tongue trailed over her other breast, around her nipple and began a descent down her quivering stomach. ‘Oh, oh, she’s going down. I don’t think I can handle it. I might pass out! Damn, I wish I had taken a shower beforehand.’ Lark nervously fretted as Rayne moved farther down softly kissing along her curl line. ‘Maybe I should ask her to wait on that?’ Lark anxiously wondered and moved her head back, arching her back in response to Rayne nuzzling her mouth against her sex. ‘It’s too late.’ She thought breathless and didn’t care anymore, she wanted to be relaxed and enjoy what Rayne was doing to her.

“Lark you taste so good.” Rayne moaned moving her tongue along Lark’s pounding clitoris.

“That feels so good Rayne, please don’t stop.” Lark pleadingly requested arching her hips up and down to Rayne’s gyrations with her tongue. Lark blinked rapidly and inhaled deeply then exhaled as precious sensations swirled between her legs. Rayne’s tongue encircled her clitoris, lavishing it and loving it. Rayne savored every taste and the effect she had on Lark, whose hips bucked wildly, her own senses throbbing uncontrollably. She looked up at Lark who moved her head side to side, panting and moaning heavily. ‘She makes me quiver with lusty anticipation when I tempt and tease her.’ She thought, her heart racing, as she slowly moved her tongue in and out of Lark’s opening. She watched as Lark clutched the sheets in response, knowing Lark’s sweet release was soon to come. “Rayne! Oh, Rayne!” Lark shouted, her chest rising and falling heavily as her hips bucked up, and down slowly, her climax near. Rayne’s tongue moved faster heightening her desire to taste Lark’s sweet nectar. “Yes, oh baby, yes!” Lark shouted, giving Rayne what she had wanted from her, to be inside of her and to hear her wild, cathartic cry as her orgasm consumed her. Rayne eagerly consumed everything Lark granted her. “I love you Rayne.” Lark breathlessly admitted. Rayne grasped Lark’s hands with her own as Lark lay breathing heavily and tenderly kissed Lark’s throbbing sex. Rayne’s heart raced when Lark told her she loved her. She wondered if Lark meant for her to hear what she said as Lark clutched her hands tightly and inhaled deeply, trying to calm her labored breathing. She knew there was no one in this world for her, except Lark and she didn’t want it any other way.

She softly placed a trail of kisses up Lark’s body, stopping at her neck. Rayne lay on top of her and nuzzled her mouth against Lark’s neck. Lark tightly wrapped her arms around Rayne who slipped her arms under Lark holding her in a warm embrace. Lark couldn’t control the tears that slipped from her green eyes, as no one had ever made her feel the way Rayne did when she made love to her. ‘She’s an incredible lover.’ Lark lovingly thought, holding Rayne tighter. ‘Did I tell her I loved her out loud? Oh, my gosh! What if it scares her? Is it too soon to admit that? Haven’t we basically already said that in a round about way with giving our hearts to each other?’ She nervously wondered, holding Rayne tightly and lovingly. ‘It shouldn’t matter whether we say it now or later, I can feel how much she loves me.’ Lark reasoned and kissed Rayne’s cheek.

Lark smiled as Rayne moved up, looking down at her. Rayne frowned when she saw the tears in Larks eyes and worriedly asked, “Are you okay Lark? Did I hurt you?” as she moved to the side concerned about her young lover.

Lark reassuringly smiled and softly stroked her arm. “I’m fine and no you didn’t hurt me Rayne. The way you made love to me was so beautiful and emotional that it made me cry from happiness and joy.” She sincerely admitted. She felt her heart flutter when she saw Rayne blush and sigh relieved. She smiled happily as Rayne lightly rubbed the palm of her hand up and down Lark’s body. “I hope I can make you feel as wonderful, special and loved as you did with me Rayne when I make love to you.” Lark professed hopefully.

“You already have Lark, don’t worry.” Rayne softly reassured with an alluring smile and pulled Lark on top of her as she lay back on the bed. “You are so beautiful Lark. Make love to me without hesitation or fear.” Rayne asked in a hushed, desire filled voice and pulled Lark down, kissing her sensually, seduction thick in the air. Lark’s senses tingled as Rayne’s hand moved downward and rested on her backside. Rayne’s head moved in rhythm with Lark as she passionately kissed her and softly kneaded her flesh, feeling wet curls at her fingertips.

Lark broke the kiss breathless and stared at Rayne. “Now, I’m nervous.” She admitted with a nervous giggle and blushed.

Rayne smiled reassuringly. “Don’t be. Just show me what I mean to you. That’s what I did with you.” She softly suggested, staring deep into the warm greens that returned the gaze.

Lark’s heart skipped a beat when Rayne admitted that and leaned down, passionately kissing her. ‘Making love to someone for the first time is so stressful. I’m not sure what she likes to have done to her. What if I do something that she doesn’t like?’ Lark anxiously wondered as she kissed her.

Rayne moved her kiss down Lark’s neck to her ear and whispered, “I’ll enjoy anything that you do to me Lark,” continuing the assault on Lark’s soft flesh.

‘Damn, did she read my mind?’ She wondered surprised that Rayne said that to her. ‘Snap out of it, stop being so nervous and show her how much she means to you. She’s not going anywhere.’ Lark firmly told herself as confidence showered her. She lovingly placed her hand on Rayne’s cheek and guided Rayne’s head away from her neck. Lark smiled and leaned down, breathing in her own scent that still lingered on Rayne before lips touched and the kiss deepened. She kissed her hard and deep, allowing her tongue to explore everything about Rayne. Lark slid her hands down Rayne’s taut body then moved them up, guiding Rayne’s arms above her head erotically kissing her. Her own scent upon Rayne’s lips sent her senses soaring remembering how Rayne made love to her earlier, sensually and lovingly. She lightly moved her hands up Rayne’s arms and clasped her hands with Rayne’s, deeply kissing her. Lark moved her leg between Rayne’s gently guiding them apart. She began to slowly stroke her sex up and down Rayne’s muscular leg, her own leg rocking against Rayne’s throbbing sex.

Rayne moved her head back in response, breaking the kiss. “Oh, yes Lark that feels great!” She throatily encouraged, enjoying what the younger woman was doing to her. ‘This is wonderful. Her hair is in my face, her sweet scent is everywhere, and her mouth is on my mouth.’ Rayne delightedly thought. She stared up at Lark who flipped her long blonde hair off her shoulder that hung in Rayne’s face and gasped at her beauty. She lovingly smiled, seeing the enjoyment in Lark’s face. She moved to capture the erect nipple before her and was thwarted in her effort when Lark shook her head no, and then lay on Rayne. ‘Ooh, I like it.’ Rayne thought intrigued by Lark’s dominance. Lark sank her teeth into Rayne’s neck and thrust her leg against Rayne’s sex, tightly clutching her hands. “Yes! I love that!” Rayne called out, her pleasure evident. Lark alternated soft bites with hard along Rayne’s neck, stopping at the base to suckle the soft skin there. “Ooh, baby you didn’t tell me you were a vampire!” Rayne chuckled, completely enthralled and aroused by Lark’s sexual intentions.

Lark alternated bites followed by soft kisses down Rayne’s chest and stopped at the erect nipples before her. Rayne moved her arms from above her head when Lark relinquished her hold on them and rubbed Lark’s back up and down, watching her nibbling on her breasts. She smiled and laid her head back as Lark buried her face in her breasts. Rayne lovingly stroked Lark’s back enjoying the feeling of Lark gently biting and kissing her nipples. Her breathing labored and the moisture between her legs intensified. The throbbing of her sex escalated with each nibble and she wasn’t sure how much more she could take before Lark would have to touch her hot center. “Lark, touch me.” Rayne huskily requested.

Lark erotically flicked her eyes up at Rayne. “Why should I, Rayne?” She provocatively asked and moved her kiss down to Rayne’s taut abdomen, never breaking her stare.

“I can’t take it any longer. I need you to touch me, Lark.” Rayne pleaded desperately, thoroughly enjoying the game Lark was playing with her.

“Hmmm…I’ll be the judge of what you can and can’t take Rayne. I just don’t think you’re ready for me to touch me yet.” Lark seductively told her and nibbled along Rayne’s curl line.

“Oh, I’m definitely ready Lark, trust me!” Rayne firmly guaranteed and threw her head back, panting with desire. “Yes!” She shouted, pressing her head into the pillow when she felt Lark’s tongue move up her slick clit. Her heart raced with anticipation, then disappointment when she felt Lark’s mouth move upward. She looked up at her, fixating her stare on Lark’s wanton gaze as she slowly crawled on top of Rayne. She breathed deeply and looked at Lark wide eyed wondering what she was going to do next as Lark’s lips just barely touched her. She felt Lark’s breath against her lips, heightening her arousal for the tantalizing blonde. “You’re killing me Lark.” She admitted, hoping that Lark would fulfill her pleas.

“You’re not wet enough.” She whispered and licked Rayne’s lips as she erotically stroked her sex against Rayne’s leg.

Rayne let out a gasp when she felt Lark’s wet sex against her thigh and looked up at Lark saying in a deep, throaty voice, “I am so hot for you, Lark.”

“How hot, Rayne?” Lark tauntingly asked, slipping her tongue inside Rayne’s mouth then moving it out, tracing her lips with her tongue.

“Oh, baby. I’m going crazy here. I want you to touch me so bad that I can barely stand it. Please touch me.” Rayne pleadingly requested.

“Kiss me and show me how badly you want me to touch you.” Lark demanded as Rayne quickly captured her mouth for a soul-searing, passionate kiss.

“Hmmm, I like it. I guess you do want me to touch you huh?” Lark tauntingly asked, knowing darn well how badly Rayne wanted her to touch her.

“Yes, please.” Rayne asked, with a hopeful smile as her sex ached for Lark’s touch.

Lark smiled and moved her hand between Rayne’s legs lightly twirling the dark curls. “Like this?” She asked with a provocative smile.

“That’s close.” Rayne’s voice squeaked with approval as she raised her pelvis to meet Lark’s touch.

“Or like this?” Lark breathily asked, slipping her finger deep inside of Rayne’s warm recess.

“Oh, Lark yes! That’s the way I want you to touch me, yes!” Rayne shouted approvingly throwing her head back and arching her back in response. The pleasure of feeling Lark’s finger sliding in and out of her was almost more than she could bear.

Lark captured a hard nipple in her mouth as her finger stroked in and out of her lover, faster with each stroke. She felt Rayne widen and slipped another finger inside, hearing her moan with delight. The sensation of being inside of Rayne, pleading for her to touch her and feeling how wet Rayne was and knowing she was the cause of it, was sending her over the edge. Her sex throbbed uncontrollably as Rayne’s hips bucked up and down in rhythm with her strokes. “I think you have something for me Rayne.” Lark huskily insinuated and moved her thumb against Rayne’s clit, sending her senses soaring.

“Yes baby, I can’t hold it any longer!” Rayne shouted, her breathing labored as she moved wildly then collapsed when her orgasm over came her. “Oh, Lark!” She breathily replied and grasped her hand.

Lark clutched the hand that held hers tightly and released her own orgasm from stroking her sex against Rayne’s leg, inhaling deeply to calm her thundering heart. She gathered her senses and moved down between Rayne’s legs seeking the treasure she had worked so hard to have, burying her face in Rayne’s sex. Rayne panted and her hips bucked when she felt Lark dip her tongue inside. ‘I love feeling her inside of me, hungry for my center, my heart.’ She thought breathless, feeling overwhelmed by the way Lark had made love to her. She felt as though her lovemaking was inadequate compared to Lark’s and she had missed out on being with such a wonderful lover all of this time that Lark wasn’t in her life. She smiled happily as she felt Lark kissing her way back up on top of her. Lark moved on top of her and rested her chin on Rayne’s chest, smiling.

“What are you thinking about with that mischievous smile?” She alluringly asked with a grin.

Rayne smiled and gently moved Lark’s blonde bangs off her forehead; then held her face with her hand. “I’m smiling at how wonderful of a lover you are, Lark. That was incredible.” She sincerely admitted, her blue eyes moistening as she remembered how powerful Lark’s lovemaking was to her.

“Oh, come on Rayne.” Lark blushed at the comment unsure of whether she was being serious or just nice.

“I’m serious Lark. I’ve never had someone make love to me like that before and make me feel so wonderful.” She movingly declared, staring directly into Lark’s eyes and letting her know just how truthful she was being.

Lark smiled and felt a catch in her heart at the admission. She moved up and placed a soul-searing kiss upon Rayne’s lips to let her know how much that meant to her. “The same can be said for you Rayne. I’ve never had someone touch my soul as deeply as you.” She affectionately smiled and kissed Rayne who wrapped her in a warm embrace.

Lark broke the kiss and moved onto her side, laying her head on Rayne’s shoulder. Rayne draped her arm around Lark and softly stroked her hair silently reveling in their intimate moment. Rayne softly kissed Lark’s head and lightly stroked her arm with her fingertips, thinking back on the wonderful lovemaking they had shared. She had never felt so much passion and meaning for another person while making love than as she did for Lark, not even with Karen a woman she thought she loved completely and wholeheartedly. ‘She’s my equal, my soul mate, my love.’ She inwardly confirmed and looked down at Lark who had dozed off. She fondly smiled as she heard Lark’s light snore and gently moved Lark onto her back. She lay on her side, propping herself up on her elbow and looked down at Lark who lay peacefully sleeping. She loved watching the slumbering beauty, falling deeper in love with her by the minute as she etched to memory every sensuous curve of Lark’s body. She lovingly moved the errant blonde lock of hair off Lark’s forehead and leaned down, gently kissing her cheek. Lark smiled through her sleep at the contact and snuggled closer to Rayne. Rayne inwardly chuckled as she moved her hand down to Lark’s stomach and lightly rubbed it with her fingertips. ‘She’s so beautiful and she loves me. I don’t want to ever be without her. I’ve never loved another woman as much as I do her.’ Rayne adoringly proclaimed and leaned down, tenderly kissing Lark’s lips. She broke the kiss and whispered, “I love you, Lark.”


Rayne lay on her side, propped up by her elbow, watching Lark as she peacefully slept and was enamored with the slumbering beauty before her. She lightly stroked Lark’s blonde hair and lovingly smiled, wondering what she was dreaming about. She hoped Lark’s dreams were about her. ‘Please don’t break my heart Lark.’ She thought, wishfully as if Lark would hear her plea knowing that she had fallen quickly and hard for the young woman before her. Lark had stolen her heart and there was nothing Rayne could do but allow Lark to have it and hope for the best. She leaned down and lightly kissed Lark who moved and slowly opened her eyes, grinning.

“Hi.” She sleepily said, still groggy from her dreams.

“Hey beautiful.” Rayne complimented with a warm smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes from Lark’s infectious smile.

Lark looked around trying to gather her bearings and looked back at Rayne. “Is it late?” She asked, slightly embarrassed and leaned up on her elbows.

“No you’ve been asleep for about two hours.” Rayne informed her and lightly stroked Lark’s stomach with her fingers.

“I’m sorry I fell asleep!” Lark replied and lay back, frustrated and embarrassed that she had.

“Don’t be. I enjoyed watching you sleep.” Rayne grinned.

“How long have you been watching me? Did I drool?” Lark asked, hoping she didn’t do anything that would embarrass her.

“I’ve been watching you for quite awhile I guess and no you didn’t drool, but you did snore.” Rayne slyly smiled and leaned down, kissing her forehead.

“Oh, I’m so embarrassed!” Lark answered, upset with herself and pulled the pillow over her face. ‘I can’t believe I was snoring. How embarrassing!’ She inwardly thought, mortified that she did so.

Rayne chuckled and pulled the pillow off her face. “Come on Lark. There is no reason for you to be embarrassed around me. I thought your snoring was adorable.” Rayne reassuringly told her with an engaging smile.

“You’re so sweet, thanks.” Lark smiled and captured Rayne’s lips for a kiss, feeling less embarrassed.

“I’ve made dinner for us. Are you ready to eat?” Rayne asked, breaking the kiss and chuckled when Lark’s eyes widened with interest.

“Oh, yeah. You made me work up an appetite.” Lark grinned bashfully and gave Rayne a quick kiss.

“You did the same to me.” Rayne smiled and winked as she climbed out of the bed. She handed Lark a long box with a ribbon on it and smiled, hoping Lark would like the gift.

“What is this? You didn’t need to get me anything Rayne.” Lark shyly smiled, surprised that Rayne was giving her a present and began to open it.

“I thought you might need it while you’re here.” Rayne smiled and watched as she opened it. She held the box for Lark as she pulled out the bathrobe and looked at it. “I hope you like the robe. I figured you could keep it on the boat.” Rayne offered, shyly smiling hoping that Lark would like the present she chose for her. She took the robe from Lark and held it out for her, intently watching as Lark climbed out of the bed and into the robe.

“Thank you, I love it! It’s just like the one you have on. Do I have to keep it here on the boat or can I take it with me?” Lark asked, hopeful. She wanted to keep Rayne’s present with her.

“You can keep it wherever you like or I could buy you another one?” Rayne informed her and suggested.

“You are so good to me.” Lark smiled excitedly and wrapped her arms around Rayne, kissing her on the cheek to let her know how much she liked the present.

Rayne engulfed Lark in a hug and reveled in her closeness. “I don’t want to let you out of my sight or my arms.” Rayne softly admitted, kissing Lark on the cheek.

“Well, you don’t have to. I’m all yours!” Lark smiled looking up at Rayne and felt a tickle in her stomach from the admission. She thought she was the only one who felt that way. All she wanted was to have Rayne holding and kissing her, being a part of her life. She was madly in love with the woman and hoped that she felt the same way about her. ‘You need to tell her how you feel about her dummy! You said you would do it when you both were in a more intimate situation. I’ll wait until later!’ She inwardly coaxed and bit her lip, nervously chickening out and deciding to wait.

“Hmmm, I’m glad. Let’s watch the sunset and then have dinner.” Rayne smiled blithely and kissed Lark before leading her out of the cabin.

The pair stepped on deck and Lark looked around, with a renewed feeling. She was now Rayne’s heart, body and soul and Rayne was the same to her sealing it when they made love. She glanced out over the ocean to the sun, which was beginning its descent and smiled at the significance of the sun setting in the distance. ‘My old life is ending with the descent of the sun and my new life as Rayne’s is starting.’ She wistfully thought and looked at Rayne who shook her hand that she held to stir Lark out of her thoughts.

“Are you okay?” She asked worried from the look on Lark’s face.

“I’m absolutely perfect. I was just admiring the sun setting and the new opportunities it brings for the two of us.” Lark explained and smiled dreamily.

“That is very true Lark. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sun set before.” Rayne thought, as the significance hit her and she turned Lark towards the sun, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman before her. She leaned her cheek against Lark’s head and held her tight, reveling in the feeling she elicited within her. “It’s absolutely beautiful, just like you Lark.” Rayne softly complimented and lightly kissed Lark’s head.

Lark smiled and felt a catch in her heart, feeling a tear slip down her cheek as Rayne held her close. They stood silently watching as the bright red-orange sun dipped into the sea, signifying the end of their old lives and the beginning of their new one as lovers, soul mates. ‘It’s amazing that we’ve been dating and I’ve felt so strongly about her, but now that we have made love it’s completely clear. I see everything so differently, so happily and as if the possibilities are endless.’ Lark dreamily thought as the sun disappeared into the ocean and darkness fell upon them.

“That was gorgeous.” Rayne softly said and looked down when Lark turned within her arms. They smiled and Rayne leaned in, passionately kissing her young lover.

Lark broke the kiss breathless and leaned her head against Rayne’s chest, hugging her tall lover tightly. She smiled hearing the steady beat of Rayne’s heart and lightly kissed her chest. They stood silently holding one another and enjoying what each meant to the other. Lark heard Rayne’s heart quicken and wondered what she was thinking to cause a reaction like that. ‘Don’t be afraid, just tell her what’s deep in your heart. Do it, now!’ She inwardly coaxed. Lark felt Rayne move and looked up at her. “Lark, I love you.” Rayne softly and wholeheartedly professed staring deep within Lark’s sparkling green eyes, taking a deep breathe to calm her racing heart.

Lark smiled and gasped for her breath that momentarily escaped her. She tried mightily to control her emotions, but couldn’t and allowed her tears to fall unchecked. She desperately wanted to hear those three words from Rayne for so long. “Rayne, I love you too. I’ve loved you from the moment I first saw you and I’ve waited for so long to hear you tell me that. Oh, baby. You’ve made me the happiest person in the entire world.” She tearfully told her, smiling happily and pulled Rayne in for a soul-searing kiss.

Rayne’s heart beat faster and she deepened the passionate kiss, holding her blonde lover tighter. ‘This is so right. I love her so much. No one will ever take her place, ever.’ She thought, breaking the kiss and holding Lark closer. “I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you sexily sashay across the room to introduce your father at the convention.” Rayne admitted with a chuckle and a smile, fondly remembering the moment she saw Lark for the first time.

Lark pulled back and looked at her. “You did? Really?” She excitedly asked with a giggle.

“Yes, how could I not fall in love with you so quickly?” Rayne asked, blushing as she looked down at Lark.

“You sure did fool me Rayne Donovan. You made me work very hard for a date!” Lark replied and squinted her eyes at Rayne, mockingly acting as if she were mad at her.

“The chase was worth it right?” Rayne cockily grinned, lightly circling her fingers on Lark’s back.

“Absolutely.” Lark seductively answered with a grin and deeply kissed Rayne.

They broke the kiss breathless and held one another tightly, reveling in the declaration of their hearts. Rayne kissed Lark on the top of the head. ‘She meant what she said when we were making love then about loving me.’ Rayne thought smiling and felt a catch in her heart. ‘I never would have imagined that I would fall so completely and hopelessly in love with someone ever again and so quickly after meeting her.’ Rayne inwardly mused, holding Lark. “How about some dinner?” She asked and smiled when Lark looked up to her agreeing with an enthusiastic smile. “Come on my love.” Rayne chuckled and lead Lark to the front of the boat.

“Wow! You have everything set up out here! It looks wonderful and very romantic!” Lark exuberantly smiled looking at the plates and food Rayne had set up on the deck.

“I hope you like lobster.” Rayne asked with a smile and gestured for Lark to sit on the padded seat before her, holding her hand to steady her as she sat down. She smiled watching Lark settle into her seat and sat next to her.

“I love it.” Lark answered with a smile staring at Rayne who poured a glass of wine for her, then handed it to her. “Thank you.” Lark softly said, lost in Rayne’s deep blues. “When did you do all of this?” Lark asked, surprised that Rayne made dinner for them.

“I snuck out of the room periodically to check the food while it was cooking and to prepare the setting while you were sleeping.” Rayne explained pouring a glass of wine for herself and held the glass up as she leaned closer to Lark. “To us and our new relationship. May we be very happy?” Rayne suggested as a toast.

“Oh, I know we will Rayne. I intend to make you the happiest woman in the world. I love you so much.” Lark professed with a broad smile as both sipped their wine, then looked at each other and sealed the proclamation with a heart stopping searing kiss.

The women enjoyed their candlelight dinner and then layback on the padded portion of the deck, looking up at the stars in the clear, darkened sky. Lark snuggled closer to Rayne who instinctively pulled her closer. “Are you cold?” Rayne asked, feeling a chill in the ocean breeze.

“No, I’m fine. I just love it when you hold me tight.” Lark answered with a smile and kissed Rayne’s neck, snuggling closer.

Rayne lovingly rubbed Lark’s shoulder and smiled as she looked down at Lark allowing her eyes to scan the length of Lark’s body. Lark’s exposed breast through the opening in her robe caught Rayne’s eye and sent a tingling sensation straight to her core. ‘Hmmm, I want that.’ She mischievously thought and moved her hand inside the robe, gently caressing the small breast.

She smiled when Lark looked up at her and pressed her lips against Lark’s seeking entrance with her tongue. Lark’s heart raced and her sex moistened in response to Rayne’s touch and kiss. Rayne gently kneaded Lark’s breast more passionately as the kiss deepened. “I want you again Lark.” Rayne huskily requested through her kiss and rolled on top of Lark never breaking the kiss and began to slowly circle her fingertips around the base of Lark’s breast.

“Take me over and over again baby.” Lark seductively told her breaking the kiss as she looked up at Rayne wantonly.

“Oh, I intend to do just that for the rest of the evening baby and into the morning.” Rayne flirtatiously guaranteed, slipping her tongue past Lark’s lips and her hands moved Lark’s robe open, revealing Lark’s naked body. She deepened the sensuous kiss and lightly rubbed her hand over Lark’s body, then moved it down stopping, between Lark’s legs. Rayne slowly traced the outer portion of Lark’s sex before parting her lips and lightly rubbing her finger against Lark’s clit.

Lark gasped when she felt Rayne touch her, sending waves of pleasure throughout her. “Rayne, I love it when you touch me.” Lark breathily told her through the searing kiss. Rayne broke the kiss and moved her lips down Lark’s neck softly kissing her warm skin along the way. She stopped and nibbled on Lark’s breast, capturing the hardened nipple as she dipped her finger between Lark’s folds. “Yes!” Lark gasped in response to where Rayne was touching and kissing her.

“Hmmm, you feel so good Lark. I love the way you feel inside and wrap around my finger.” Rayne huskily whispered in Lark’s ear, sending a searing sensation straight to her core. Rayne’s tongue traced the contours of Lark’s ear and dipped inside, then moved to her mouth seeking entrance. Lark’s heart quickened from the erotic pleasure she felt as Rayne passionately kissed and touched her.

Lark gladly accepted Rayne within and arched her back, moving her hips up and down to Rayne’s slow thrusts in and out. Lark’s heart pounded in her chest and her breathing labored as Rayne picked up her pace. Sliding faster and deep within her. “Oh, baby that feels so good.” Lark drawled in a loud tone breaking the kiss, delighted by what Rayne was doing to her. She gasped when Rayne captured the nipple of her opposite breast just as she thrust a second finger deep within her. “Yes, harder Rayne, harder.” She breathlessly coaxed, moving her hips faster with Rayne’s movements.

“I love feeling how you move and watching you Lark. You’re so sexy.” Rayne softly told her in a desire-thickened voice as she looked up, then glanced downward, watching as Lark’s hips bucked wildly. Her heart quickened with excitement as she watched her fingers disappear within her young lover and reappear. “Come for me sweets.” Rayne tenderly requested, moving her kiss south. She parted Lark’s folds and delicately licked her clit as her fingers slowly moved in and out.

“Aah, Rayne! That feels incredible!” Lark shouted and grasped Rayne’s shoulder, releasing her powerful orgasm for her lover to enjoy.

“Oh, yeah. That’s it baby, don’t stop.” Rayne softly encouraged, sucking and licking Lark to her hearts content. She didn’t want to leave anything behind; she wanted all of Lark and devoured everything the woman offered. She savored Lark over and over again as one orgasm rolled into the next until Lark collapsed spent. Rayne tenderly kissed the engorged nub, trying to calm it’s pulsating and slowly moved up on Lark. She wiped her mouth and buried her face in Lark’s neck, delicately kissing the warm, sweaty skin.

Lark lay panting uncontrollably in a pleasure coma and as she wrapped her arms around Rayne said, “Baby, that was…” she managed to speak then inhaled deeply and continued, “so beautiful. You are such an incredible lover Rayne. I’ve never had anyone make me feel as special, wanted, sexually satisfied or loved as you,” Lark admitted, breathing heavily and kissing Rayne’s head.

Rayne looked up at Lark and smiled, “It’s so incredible because you do the same to me Lark. You make me feel certain things and you touch me in a way that no one has ever been able to. I love you so much Lark.” Rayne wholeheartedly professed as Lark stared deep within her blues for the truth and found that along with true love.

Lark smiled ecstatically and pressed her lips against Rayne’s kissing her. “I love you with all of my heart and soul Rayne,” she sincerely whispered through the kiss, deepening it.

Rayne’s tongue fought for dominance with Lark’s and she rolled onto her back, bringing Lark on top of her. She tightened the hold on her young lover, breaking the kiss and continuing the kiss more passionately each time. Lark broke the kiss and moved it to Rayne’s chest, lightly nibbling around the dark nipple before her. Rayne watched everything Lark did, which heightened her arousal. She lovingly smiled and tenderly moved the blonde hair off of Lark’s face as she suckled Rayne’s nipple, then moved to the other one. Rayne inhaled deeply and gasped when she felt Lark move her wet sex up and down her leg. “Oh, yes babe. That feels incredible.” Rayne breathlessly confessed. She watched as Lark moved her robe open and lightly kissed her stomach, downward. “You’re incredible Lark. I can’t wait to feel you between my legs.” Rayne told her, breathing deeply as she intently watched her lover.

Lark slowly slid between Rayne’s legs and gently urged them apart. She looked up at Rayne and smiled provocatively, teasingly as the tip of her tongue lightly moved upwards on Rayne’s clit, sending a rush of warmth throughout her. “Yes, take me baby, take me.” Rayne pleaded as she watched Lark, dip deeper with each erotic stroke of her tongue. Rayne’s back arched in response and she gasped, clutching Lark’s hands that held hers when Lark’s tongue thrust deep within her. “AAAHHH!” She elatedly shouted. Her heart pounded uncontrollably and she gasped for air, feeling her release drawing near. Lark’s strokes with her tongue matched the movements of Rayne’s hips that bucked wildly and knew her lover would soon give her what she wanted. “Lark! Yes, Lark baby oh, yes!” Rayne shouted loudly, thrusting her hips up and down releasing her sweet nectar for Lark. Lark eagerly lapped Rayne’s juices; burying her tongue deep within her and sucking everything she would give her. Lark tenderly kissed Rayne’s throbbing clit before moving up to Rayne’s bikini line then placed soft kisses along the sensitive skin. She moved her tongue up to Rayne’s navel and circled around, the taut muscles there, then kissed her looking up.

“Rayne, you have the sexiest navel I’ve ever seen. I think you should put a navel ring in here. That would look so hot!” Lark suggested with a smile and kissed the mentioned area.

“Oh, I don’t know about body piercing Lark.” Rayne chuckled through her gasps, unenthusiastic about having her body pierced.

“I’m telling you, it would look so good because you’re stomach is so thin and tight, that, wow! You would look too hot.” Lark exuberantly told her as she climbed on top of her.

“Really? Well, I’ll think about it, but I can’t guarantee anything.” Rayne noncommittally told her with a smile, enjoying the feeling of having Lark’s warm, naked body against hers as she stared into the gorgeous green eyes before as her breathing finally leveled off. “You have the most beautiful green eyes Lark. They mesmerize me every time I look into them.” Rayne sincerely told her, smiling warmly.

“Thank you. I love it when you look into my eyes Rayne.” Lark bashfully smiled and admitted, lightly tracing a circle on Rayne’s chest with her finger.

“I am so lucky to have you in my life. This is the best birthday I’ve ever had Lark. Thank you.” Rayne lovingly smiled and leaned up, kissing the inviting lips before her.

“Oh, I almost forgot your present!” Lark excitedly giggled and moved to get up.

“Wait, where are you going?” Rayne protested and held her down.

“I’m going to get your present. I’ll be back in a flash.” Lark grinned and kissed Rayne, before standing up.

Rayne smiled adoringly and watched as Lark draped the robe over her naked body and headed to the back of the boat. She rolled onto her side and watched as Lark climbed down onto the bridge then disappeared into the cabin. She smiled and felt her heart flutter from the wonderful feelings and sensations Lark was able to bring out in her. ‘I’m hopelessly in love with her. It feels as though we’ve been together forever.’ She thought happily and contentedly. She grinned wider when Lark reappeared and rushed over to her, quickly laying on her.

“I hope you like it.” Lark offered with a warm smile.

“If it’s from you I’ll love it.” Rayne sexily told her with a smile and kissed Lark. “Thanks.” Rayne grinned and opened the present, revealing a small box. She looked at Lark, wondering what it was and began to remove the tape on the box.

“Don’t worry, it’s not the keys to the u-haul.” Lark teasingly laughed, as did Rayne.

“I love it Lark!” Rayne enthusiastically commented and leaned up as Lark moved to the side of Rayne. She looked the silver, thick chain-looped bracelet over and handed it to Lark. “Will you put it on for me?” She asked with a smile.

“I sure will. I take it you like it?” Lark asked, giving Rayne a sideways glance as she placed it on Rayne’s wrist.

“I have wanted one of these for so long. It’s beautiful and I love it, sweets. Thank you so much!” Rayne excitedly told her and lovingly smiled as Lark kissed her wrist. “Damn, you are beautiful Lark. You just have no idea what you do to me.” Rayne softly replied in awe of the blonde beauty as she leaned in, delicately kissing her.

“Happy Birthday, honey.” Lark whispered through her kiss and deepened it. She broke the kiss breathing deeply and laid her head on Rayne’s chest, lightly stroking Rayne’s arm. “I’ve never been happier Rayne. Being here with you has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, well other than meeting you.” Lark sincerely explained and looked up with a grin.

“I’m glad to hear that, babe. I feel the same way and it’s only going to get better, I’m sure of it.” Rayne confidently smiled and kissed Lark on the forehead.

Lark grinned and lay her head back down, listening to the steady beat of Rayne’s heart. She lightly kissed Rayne’s chest and smiled ecstatically from the wonderful sensations she felt being with Rayne. “Oh, I wanted to get you a birthday cake Rayne!

I wasn’t sure what was going on because you were being so sneaky with our travel plans.” Lark laughed as she looked up at Rayne. “So, I’m going to do something special for you tomorrow night.” She informed her kissing her cheek.

“That’s sweet, but you don’t have to. This whole day has been the best birthday I’ve ever had Lark and it’s all because of you.” Rayne sincerely said smiling and kissing Lark.

Lark broke the kiss and smiled, staring at Rayne. “It’s been that way for me too, but I would still like to do something extra special for you tomorrow and I’m not going to take ‘you don’t have to do anything for me’ for an answer.” Lark explained mockingly imitating Rayne’s comment.

“Okay, my dear I’ll let you do something special for me then!” Rayne bashfully smiled and chuckled at Lark’s insistence.

“Hey! Look!” Lark excitedly shouted and sat up pointing at the sky.

“It’s a shooting star, quick make a wish.” Rayne observed and hurriedly told Lark as she made her own wish, while watching the shooting star disappear.

“That was awesome and I’m sure my wish is going to come true!” Lark exuberantly smiled and kissed Rayne.

Rayne broke the kiss and stared deep within Lark’s eyes, getting a sense that they made the same wish. “Oh, just don’t tell me or it won’t come true,” she advised and chuckled.

“I’ve never noticed how beautiful the stars are and they are so bright this evening. Maybe it’s because I’ve never taken the time to look at them or maybe it’s being here on the boat away from the city lights.” Lark wondered out loud, staring into the sky in awe.

“I’ve noticed that everything from the beauty of the sunset, to the stars in the sky shining so brightly and the way I feel so alive has all happened because of you Lark. It’s like if you’ve ever heard of someone who has died and come back to life, they explain what has changed and how they see things differently. That’s the way I’ve been feeling since we’ve been together. It’s as if you have brought me back to life and it feels incredible.” Rayne wholeheartedly admitted and lovingly smiled, then kissed Lark.

Breaking off the kiss Lark smiled adoringly at Rayne, “I feel the same way. I see things so clearly now that’s it’s unbelievable. Do you think if we tell anyone else they will think we are crazy?” Lark asked with a chuckle, overwhelmed by how she felt being with Rayne.

“I don’t care what the hell they think! All I know is that I feel alive again because of you and I couldn’t be happier!”

Rayne laughed and pulled Lark on top of her as she layback staring deep within Lark’s twinkling green eyes.

“I’m so happy and completely in love with you Rayne. I hope you can stand it.” Lark asked with a giggle and warmly smiled, lightly stroking Rayne’s dark hair.

“I relish it, baby, and know that I feel the same for you.” Rayne happily smiled and captured the inviting lips above her for a soul-searing kiss. They broke the kiss to catch their breath. Lark smiled and laid her head on Rayne’s chest, listening to the slow beat, which quickly put her to sleep. Rayne smiled happily as she heard Lark’s light snore and stared up at the stars thinking that there was nowhere else in this world she could ever possibly want to be than right there with Lark. She lightly stroked Lark’s hair as she thought of how lucky she was to be apart of this vibrant woman’s life. She was extremely happy and finally found the peace that had escaped her months ago with the tragic turn of events in her life. She jerked, startled out of her revere when she felt a drop of rain hit her face. ‘What the hell?’ She thought agitated by the intrusion and looked around. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t notice the rain had begun. ‘We better get down below or we are going to be soaked.’ She thought and hated to wake Lark, but knew she wouldn’t be pleased if she allowed her to be rained on. “Babe, hey wake up.” She coaxed in a low soothing tone and rubbed Lark’s shoulder.

“Huh, what’s wrong?” Lark asked, unsure of what was happening when she looked up.

“It’s starting to rain, we need to boogie on down to the cabin or we are going to get soaked.” Rayne told her with a chuckle and moved to sit up.

“Oh, okay.” Lark answered still trying to wake up and sat up, grabbing the dishes to help Rayne who had begun to clean up the mess.

They hurriedly grabbed everything and headed into the cabin. “We made it just in time!” Rayne chuckled, hearing the rain pound the deck above her.

“Thankfully. I don’t think I would have been very happy to have gotten rained on.” Lark giggled and wrapped her arm around Rayne’s waist.

“I should have let you stay out there considering what you did to my fishing pole.” Rayne teasingly smirked and lead Lark towards the bedroom.

“Rayne, come on I apologized for that. What can I say, I’m not a very good fisher aah, fisherwoman.” Lark whined in protest.

“Well, my lady we’ll have to work around your fishing inabilities somehow and make you a fisherwoman because my entire family loves to go fishing.”

“Okay, here are my demands for fishing then. I don’t put the slimy fishies on the hook and I don’t take them off. I just throw my line, not the pole,” Lark corrected with a sly grin and a wink before continuing, “out, then I look pretty, adore spending time with you and your family, then you take the fish off my hook. How does that sound?” Lark asked with a smile looking up at her tall lover who stopped before the bed.

Rayne chuckled and lifted Lark up on the bed. “It sounds like the best day I would ever have fishing.” Rayne sexily drawled and leaned in, kissing Lark.

Lark giggled and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck, deepening the kiss. “Come to bed and make love to me the rest of the night.” Lark erotically requested through her kiss.

“With pleasure my love.” Rayne softly answered and climbed up onto Lark who had lain back on the bed. She looked down at Lark and smiled, then slowly leaned down passionately kissing her.

Rayne woke before Lark and watched her lover sleep, deeply admiring the beautiful blonde who had touched every place of her heart and soul. She leaned down and lightly kissed Lark’s forehead before sliding off the bed. She wrapped the robe around her slender body and headed into the galley to make coffee. She waited for the coffee to finish brewing and pulled out bagels, cream cheese and some fruit for breakfast, placing them on a plate for when Lark woke up. She poured a cup of coffee and slipped her shoes on before going topside. She walked the entire boat checking everything out and moved to the front, stopping to watch the seagulls pass by. She smiled and inhaled deeply, thoroughly enjoying the simple pleasures that she had once taken for granted like the fresh ocean air. She scanned the horizon, noting the cloudy weather and choppy seas.

Lark stared at Rayne’s profile and was lost in her beauty. She watched as Rayne looked out of the water and wondered if she was the sole reason for the smile on Rayne’s face. ‘I hope so.’ She thought. “Hey.” Lark softly said, as she approached, not wanting to startle Rayne who looked lost in her thoughts.

“Good morning.” Rayne answered with a smile, turning to Lark who had snuggled up against her. “How long have you been up?” Rayne asked with a grin and sipped her coffee.

“Since you came up on deck. I’ve been secretly watching you.” Lark admitted with a sheepish grin.

“Oh, really? You’re not a stalker are you?” Rayne jokingly asked.

“Yes and I’m not letting you out of my sight.” Lark giggled and pulled Rayne tighter.

“Cool, sounds good to me!” Rayne answered with a laugh and kissed the top of Lark’s head. “Would you like a cup of coffee?” She offered with a smile.

“No, I just want some of yours because I don’t want you to leave and get some for me.” Lark answered with a grin and reached for Rayne’s coffee mug.

“Who said I was going to get it? I was just asking if you wanted one, not offering to go and get it.” Rayne answered and pulled her cup away.

“Really?” Lark asked with a sad look on her face.

“Of course not, I was only kidding!” Rayne retorted with a laugh and handed her coffee mug to Lark.

“I didn’t know you were such a wiseass Rayne!” Lark playfully scrunched her nose up at Rayne and took a sip of the coffee as Rayne circled in behind her.

“You haven’t seen anything yet Lark.” Rayne teasingly promised and wrapped her arms around Lark who stood before her. She kissed the top of Lark’s head and leaned her chin against her, looking out over the ocean. “It looks like a good day for shopping seeing as how the weather is looking pretty ominous along with the slightly rough seas, effectively squashing the snorkeling plans I had for us today.” Rayne observed and stood upright when Lark quickly turned around, staring at her.

“What?” Rayne asked, perplexed by the look on Lark’s face.

“Any day is a good day to shop Rayne. You will soon learn that fact my dear. Now, I heard you say shopping so let’s get moving baby!” She excitedly coaxed, grabbing Rayne’s hand and quickly leading her towards the cabin.

Rayne chuckled and wondered if she should be nervous that Lark loves to shop so much. “Lark how can you walk around on this deck barefoot?” Rayne asked, observing her choice of shoes, none.

“Why? It doesn’t really bother me.” Lark casually answered never really thinking too deeply about the subject and looked back at Rayne.

“I can’t stand walking barefoot on any surface except carpet or the beach.” Rayne answered and followed her into the bedroom.

‘Hmmm, I’ll have to remember that. That information may come in handy one day.’ Lark mischievously thought and grinned.

“Maybe we should get some help for your phobia my dear.” Lark chuckled and turned the shower on.

“Nah, my therapy is called wearing shoes!” Rayne laughed along with Lark who disrobed before stepping into the shower.

The pair showered, dressed and docked the boat in the marina for their day of shopping. “Come on honey. Let’s start at the shops here in the marina.” Lark enthusiastically urged and pulled Rayne towards them.

“Lark can you do me a favor?” Rayne asked and stopped Lark who looked back at her.

“What’s that my love?” Lark asked with a smile.

“Be gentle with me during this shopping spree.” Rayne shyly asked, worried by the glaze in Lark’s eye. The one she knew all too well from her mother and Holly when they go shopping.

“Of course, darling!” Lark giggled and kissed Rayne to reassure her before leading her into the first shop.

‘What in the hell did I agree to?’ Rayne worried following Lark inside the first shop.

The women spent the majority of the morning shopping and sightseeing. Rayne was finally able to convince Lark that they were in dire need of a cocktail break, much to the delight of her tired, aching feet. Rayne clutched Lark’s hand and glanced at her smiling as the pair climbed the stairs to the outdoor poolside Tiki bar with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. “It’s so beautiful here Rayne and I’m having a wonderful time.” Lark gleamed with excitement scanning the pool deck, and then looked at Rayne.

“It sure is and so am I babe.” Rayne grinned happily and lead Lark towards the bar. She held out a stool for Lark who climbed up on the tall bar stool and smiled at Rayne who sat next to her. “What would you like to drink my lady?” Rayne asked, looking at Lark and moved her hand onto Lark’s leg resting it there.

“I think I’ll have a Pina Colada, thanks.” Lark answered with a smile happy with the contact from Rayne, which sent a rush of warmth through her.

“Two Pina Coladas with Malibu rum please.” Rayne ordered, turning to the bartender then returned her gaze to Lark.

“I’ll be right back. I need to use the little girl’s room.” Lark informed her with a playful grin and leaned over kissing Rayne on the cheek.

Rayne bashfully smiled and lightly rubbed Lark’s back. “Hurry back,” she huskily requested with a sly grin.

“Oh, trust me. I will.” Lark added with a giggle and stepped down from the chair.

Rayne moved her sunglasses to the top of her head and turned to watch Lark. She smiled and intently stared at Lark, whose long blonde hair glistened in the sun, thoroughly enjoying Lark’s sensuous body through her clingy, light colored sundress.

The knowledge that Lark wore no lingerie underneath sent her passions soaring and she blushed when she fondly remembered watching Lark put on that dress earlier in the morning. She felt warm from her thoughts and sighed disappointed when Lark disappeared behind the door. She faintly heard a voice say, “You’re beautiful,” as she was lost in her thoughts of Lark. She was slightly confused by what she thought she heard and angered by the intrusion of breaking her revere of Lark.

“Excuse me?” She asked perturbed, turning to the woman who spoke to her who was standing by the bar near her.

“Oh, sorry. I asked, isn’t it beautiful?” The woman blushed when Rayne looked at her.

“Aah, yeah.” Rayne stammered wondering what the woman was up too as she didn’t get a good feeling from her and was pretty sure she heard her say something different.

The tall, brown haired woman looked to the bartender and pointed to her drink, then looked at Rayne. “Can I buy you one?” She flirtatiously offered.

“No thanks, I’ve got one coming.” Rayne flatly answered and glanced over her shoulder towards the bathroom, looking for Lark whom she didn’t see.

“I love this town. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here.” The woman excitedly smiled, staring deep into Rayne’s eyes.

“Yeah, it’s great.” Rayne unenthusiastically agreed as she had an idea of what the woman was doing and was offended that she was hitting on her.

“Has anyone ever told you that you have the most beautiful blue eyes?” The woman seductively asked, dreamily staring into them.

“Yeah, my girlfriend.” Rayne commented, with a sarcastic grin and turned when she felt Lark’s touch on her hand.

“Hi.” Lark tentatively replied and smiled, glancing between the stranger and Rayne, unsure of what was transpiring between the two women, but felt a rush of jealousy consume her.

“Hey, babe. I missed you.” Rayne smiled and moved her hand on Lark’s back, pulling her closer oblivious to the woman sitting next to her as her attention was focused on Lark.

“Hmmm, me too.” Lark seductively purred, moving closer to Rayne who captured her lips for a lustful, passionate kiss.

The woman arched a brow and sighed disappointed as she watched the display before her. ‘Lucky woman.’ She thought, grabbing her drink from the bar and walking away dejected.

Lark gasped and felt a searing sensation between her legs when Rayne’s hand moved to her backside. Rayne gently grasped the taut flesh, deepening the sensuous kiss. “I love that greeting Rayne.” Lark declared with a smile, sighing satisfied with the passionate kiss.

“Me too.” Rayne grinned happily and held the chair steady as Lark sat in it. “Do you have any idea as to how turned on am I by you? I was watching you walk to the bathroom and wow, did you knock me out. The thought of you wearing nothing on underneath that dress sends a tingling sensation straight to my core babe. I was tempted to come in there and make love to you.” Rayne passionately told her as she leaned closer to Lark, flashing a sexy smile.

“Really, well why don’t you act upon your impulse my love?” Lark flirtatiously asked, wiggling her eyebrows seductively before pressing her lips against Rayne’s for a deep, moist kiss.

Rayne broke the kiss with a laugh and inhaled deeply. “You are killing me Lark. With all of this teasing you are going to have to make up for it later.” Rayne suggested with a mischievous grin.

“I’d be glad to make it up to you, sexy.” Lark smiled happily and gave Rayne a quick kiss, then leaned back in her chair.

Rayne handed her the Pina Colada and winked as she held the glass up as a toast, then sipped her cold, tropical beverage.

“Who was that woman?” Lark asked, glaring over her shoulder to where the woman was sitting, then looked back at Rayne.

“I have no idea, but I think she was hitting on me.” Rayne chuckled amazed by the woman’s audacity.

“Oh, really?” Lark asked with a twinge of jealousy. “Maybe I should go and have a conversation with her.” Lark grinned treacherously.

“No need sweets, I think I scared her off when I told her I have a girlfriend.” Rayne smiled, reassuringly rubbing Lark’s arm.

“Aah, girlfriend huh?” Lark bashfully asked and blushed, kissing Rayne. She enjoyed Rayne referring to her as her girlfriend.

“Well, of course you are. Where are my manners? Shame on me!” Rayne commented and rolled her eyes back at her forgetfulness.

“What? Huh?” Lark asked confused by what Rayne was talking about.

“Lark Morgan, will you be my girlfriend?” Rayne asked with a twinge of seriousness in her voice and sat up in the chair.

Lark smiled elatedly and giggled, “Yes! I thought you would never ask!” She chuckled and threw her arms around Rayne’s neck hugging her and kissing her cheek.

“I’m very proud to be your girlfriend, Lark.” Rayne smiled and kissed Lark’s cheek. “You’ve made me so happy, Lark. Thanks for not giving up on me when I was being so stubbornly stupid.” Rayne whispered reflectively and gratefully as she thought of how persistent Lark was with her.

“Yes, you were being stubborn but I understand why considering what you have been through. I knew that we are meant to be together and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer even if it took you quite awhile to see it my way.” Lark explained with a giggle and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck, hugging her.

Rayne laughed and kissed Lark on the neck, holding her tighter. ‘She feels so good in my arms. I love how soft and delicate she feels, how her hair feels against my skin and her scent, it drives me crazy.’ Rayne adoringly thought, and then kissed Lark’s shoulder.

“I’m hot!” Lark commented and moved back fanning herself, then picked up her drink sipping it.

“You can say that again!” Rayne smirked with a mischievous grin appreciating everything about Lark as she scanned her body up and down.

Lark blushed and smiled, “You’re as bad as a man Rayne the way you are blatantly ogling me!” She commented and laughed.

“Sorry, what can I say other than yes, I think I am, but you aren’t helping any by how stunning you look?” Rayne agreed with a hearty laugh shared by Lark. “Why don’t you go for a dip in the pool if you’re hot?” Rayne suggested and glanced to the pool, then back to Lark.

“I don’t have my bathing suit on silly.” Lark laughed and wiped the sweat off her brow with the napkin.

“You don’t need one my love. Clothing is optional dear. You’re already wearing your suit, birthday suit that is.” Rayne mischievously grinned and saw Lark’s eyes widen from her last comment.

“No, really?” Lark asked and looked around noting some of the people walking around were naked. “Wow, I was so lost in you that I didn’t even notice.” Lark replied and laughed, as did Rayne.

“Well, slip that dress off and jump in honey!” Rayne suggested with a chuckle.

“Are you crazy? No way I’m going in there naked.”

“Why? I’m sure no one would mind.” Rayne teasingly told her with a sly grin and sipped her tropical drink.

“I’m sure they wouldn’t, but I would prefer not to see my bare ass plastered on the cover of the National Enquirer!” Lark answered with a laugh.

“No pictures are allowed here darling.” Rayne told her with a laugh at Lark’s comment about her behind.

“Well, just the same. I only want you seeing my naked body, no one else. That is for your eyes only.” Lark seductively told her and kissed Rayne. She broke the kiss and looked at Rayne. “Did you really want me to get naked here and go swimming?”

“Hell, no. I was just being flirtatious and joking. I don’t want anyone seeing you naked, but me!” Rayne laughed and pulled her closer, deeply kissing her. “You’re mine and mine only.” Rayne whispered through her kiss, then deepened it.

“Hmmm, you got that right.” Lark agreed and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck melting into the sensuous kiss.

They broke the kiss and turned when a clap of thunder in the distance sounded. “Well, it looks like we should haul ass babe before we get stuck in the rain. It’s not going to be much fun on the boat when it rains so how about if we check into the hotel?” Rayne suggested, looking at Lark for her answer.

“Sounds good to me honey. Lead the way.” Lark agreed smiling and clasped Rayne’s hand as she stood up. She watched as Rayne tossed some bills on the bar for a tip and looked around, noting the woman who approached Rayne was glaring at her. ‘She’s

mine bitch, back off.’ She thought, angry that the woman would dare come near Rayne, much less hit on her. She felt Rayne place her arm around her waist and looked at Rayne as she lead her away from the bar, then turned back to the woman, giving her a wink and a sly grin, then turned away heading off with her tall lover. ‘Ha ha.’ She thought mischievously and satisfied as Rayne lead her down the stairs to their cart. ‘I am so bad. I shouldn’t have done that, but I was jealous.’ She guiltily thought and climbed into the seat of the cart, as did Rayne. ‘She deserved it. She had to of seen the both of us walk up to the bar hand in hand!’ She reasoned and felt better with her actions.

The pair made the trip to the hotel and entered their room just as the storm began. “Whew! We just made it.” Rayne chuckled as she closed the door behind Lark.

“I hope it doesn’t rain the rest of our trip.” Lark commented and looked around the spacious suite. “This place is magnificent Rayne. The view of the ocean and the island is spectacular!” Lark admired as she walked around the suite in awe and disappeared into the bedroom. “Oh, yes! A nice huge bed for me to crawl around in with you!” She shouted out and heard Rayne laugh.

“Oh, I can’t wait for that!” Rayne added and threw the keys on the table, then headed towards the bedroom.

“Rayne, we have our own private pool!” Lark observed looking out the window from the bedroom.

“Nothing is too good for my princess.” Rayne jokingly replied as she entered the room and walked towards Lark who stood looking out the window.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t continue to storm so we can enjoy using the pool.” Lark answered watching as the raindrops hit the water in the pool.

“Well, I can think of something better to do when it’s storming outside.” Rayne seductively whispered in Lark’s ear as she moved in behind her and wrapped her arms around her smaller lover.

“Oh, yeah. What could that be?” Lark enticingly and teasingly asked, leaning her head to the side and glancing up at Rayne.

“Hmmm, crawling around in that big bed with you for starters.” Rayne provocatively told her and sank her teeth into Lark’s neck.

“Oh, baby. You sure know how to show a girl a good time.” Lark approvingly answered, thoroughly enjoying what Rayne was doing to her. She giggled when Rayne lifted her up into her arms and carried her to the bed, gently laying her down.

“You haven’t seen anything yet my love.” Rayne seductively promised as she lowered her body onto Lark’s, then passionately kissed her, kicking her shoes off before climbing farther up on the bed with Lark.

Lark woke and smiled, completely satisfied from their lovemaking. She listened as the rain trickled off the roof to the ground and enjoyed the sound, which was so calming and pleasant. She inhaled deeply and turned to Rayne who was sound asleep.

She smiled watching her lover sleep and enjoyed having Rayne’s hand and leg draped over her. She leaned over and tenderly kissed Rayne’s forehead, then leaned back watching her sleep. ‘She is so incredibly beautiful and such a wonderful lover. I

am so lucky to have her in my life. I am so in love with this woman that it isn’t even funny!’ Lark inwardly thought and kissed Rayne again. ‘Oh, I don’t want to get up, but I need to go potty.’ She thought disappointed and sleekly moved out from underneath Rayne’s hold not wanting to wake her. She slipped off the bed and watched Rayne, surprised that she was still sleeping. ‘I must have worn her out making love to her.’ Lark gloatingly thought with a chuckle and headed towards the bathroom.

Lark finished her business and walked out of the bathroom into the bedroom. She heard her stomach growl and rubbed it to quell the feeling. She slipped her dress on and decided to check out the kitchen to see if there was anything to nibble on there. She turned and Rayne’s shoes caught her eye. She devilishly smiled and picked the shoes up. She looked at Rayne who was still sleeping. ‘I wonder if she’s really sleeping or if she’s going to grab me as a joke?’ Lark wondered and slowly stepped away from the bed, watching Rayne who continued to sleep. She giggled once she was in the kitchen, knowing Rayne was going to have to walk on the tile floor once she got out of bed. ‘You’re bad Lark.’ She mischievously thought and saw a complimentary fruit basket on the kitchen table. ‘Oh, yes food!’ She thought with a glimmer in her eye and tore open the plastic, grabbing some grapes. She popped them in her mouth and heard Rayne yawn loudly.

“Lark, where are you?” She called out, laying on her back and rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

“I’m in the kitchen, come join me!” Lark answered and snickered knowing Rayne was going to be upset about her shoes.

“I’ll be right there!” She shouted and sat up in the bed, sliding to the end. ‘Where are my shoes?’ She wondered looking over the edge of the bed and not seeing them. She moved around the bed and didn’t see them, then scanned the room not finding them anywhere. “Lark! Where are my shoes?” She yelled out and waited for her answer.

She didn’t hear Lark respond and looked up as Lark appeared in the doorway of the bedroom. “You mean these shoes?” She asked with a mischievous grin holding them up in front of her, leaning against the door jam and tossed a grape in her mouth.

“Yes, those would be the one’s I’m referring to. Could you please bring them over here?” Rayne smirked and asked, hoping Lark would comply with her request.

“If you want them, come and get them.” Lark suggestively answered with a sly grin.

“Please don’t make me walk on this tile Lark. You will end up regretting it if I do.” Rayne guaranteed with an arched brow.

“Promises, promises.” Lark tauntingly answered, smiling.

“Okay, you will pay!” Rayne answered and jumped off the bed.

“Aah!” Lark shrieked and took off running with Rayne in hot pursuit. She giggled and ran behind the table with the shoes and grapes still in her hands looking at Rayne across the table.

“Unhand my shoes woman or face the consequences!” Rayne threatened and moved to her left with Lark countering to the right.

“No way, you need to get over that barefoot on the tile floor phobia woman. It’s not healthy for you!” Lark teasingly told her and took off running, towards the chair and hid behind it.

“I like my phobia okay? It suits me just fine! Now, this is your last chance, Lark, to give me my shoes in a civilized manner.” Rayne threatened her and jumped from one throw rug to the other, avoiding the tile floor.

“Ooh, what’s wrong the big bad and tough Secret Service agent can’t catch the little actress?” Lark whiningly taunted and laughed, then screamed giggling when Rayne lunged and grabbed her.

“I think you have something that belongs to me and it isn’t the grapes!” Rayne laughed and held the squirming woman in her arms tighter. “Drop the shoes woman!” She teasingly demanded as Lark laughed hysterically and dropped the shoes. “Aaah, finally!” Rayne replied satisfied when she slipped her feet into the shoes. “Now, it’s time for your punishment.” Rayne told her and swept Lark up in her arms.

“Rayne! What are you going to do to me?” Lark asked, slightly afraid and moved around in Rayne’s arms.

“Oh, you’re going to enjoy your punishment Lark, NOT!” She added and opened the door to the pool.

“No, not the pool Rayne!” Lark shouted in protest to what Rayne threatened.

“Oh, yes my dear.” Rayne added and tossed Lark into the pool, surprising her as she thought Rayne was only kidding. Rayne stood next to the pool laughing as Lark came up for air.

“That was low Rayne, really low!” Lark commented and narrowed her eyes, letting Rayne know she wasn’t happy.

“Now you know how I feel about my shoes!” Rayne answered with a laugh and stopped when Lark splashed the cold water on her,

soaking her. “Thanks!” She chuckled after catching her breath. “Come here woman!” She called out looking at Lark.

“No, not unless we are even.” Lark answered, unsure of whether she should trust Rayne or not.

Rayne disappeared into the room then exited with towels. “Come on, we’re even now.” Rayne coaxed with a smile and walked towards the stairs to the pool.

“Promise?” Lark confirmed and moved closer to the stairs.

“I promise.” Rayne smiled warmly and held the towel for her as she exited the pool. “You’re not mad are you?” Rayne shyly asked as she helped dry Lark off.

“No, I’ll forgive you.” Lark answered with a chuckle.

“I’m incredibly aroused by the way that dress is clinging to you and from chasing you around the room. Care to join me in bed to satisfy that desire?” Rayne seductively asked and watched as Lark turned to face her.

Lark stared into Rayne’s deep blues and removed her dress dropping it to the ground, much to Rayne’s delight. Lark put her arms around Rayne’s neck and passionately kissed her. “Take me.” She whispered through her kiss and deepened it as Rayne lifted her up, carrying her to the bed for another round of lovemaking, both women not getting enough of each other.


Rayne grudgingly headed up the elevator towards her office to start her day of work. She was in no mood to be at work; instead her mind was somewhere else. She wanted to be anywhere else, as long as she was with a particular blonde actress who consumed all of her thoughts. She sighed, disappointed, remembering how she had to watch Lark board the plane for her promotional tour in Europe late last night and wondered how she was going to make it through the next couple of weeks without her. She didn’t want to be away from her and missed her the second she was out of sight. ‘I’m such a wuss, but I can’t help it, I’m hopelessly in love.’ She reasoned with a chuckle as she swiped her badge for security purposes and waited for the door to open. Rayne headed down the hall towards her office and smiled at the secretary who was on the phone, waved her over and handed her phone messages. She grabbed the messages and opened the door to her office.

“Well, look at what the cat dragged in.” Forrest sarcastically commented after Rayne entered the office.

“Yeah, yeah, but I should say that to you. I’ve been in the gym for quite awhile working out while I’m sure your lazy ass was in bed.” She chuckled and tossed the handful of messages on her desk. She sat in her chair and placed her attaché case on the desk and opened it. She pulled out a framed picture of Lark that she had developed at the one-hour photo shop while still in the Keys and smiled as she looked at it. She placed it on her desk, next to the one’s of her family, and stared at it. She inwardly reminisced about their trip and of how she loved the picture of Lark that she snapped of her in the early morning sun.

“Sorry, but I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning. I take it you had a very happy birthday?” Forrest slyly grinned, as he placed a cup of coffee on her desk and glanced at the picture Rayne was staring at. “From the smile on your face it looks like the rain didn’t bother you. We were drenched up here and I saw the Keys had it worse through the weather reports.”

“It was the best one I’ve ever had Forrest and the rain didn’t get in our way at all.” Rayne answered with a warm smile, knowing Lark was the reason for her happy birthday and thought back on the lovemaking they did for the rest of their vacation when the rain kept them inside.

“I take it things are getting hot and heavy between you two then? You’ve got to give me the juicy details.” Forrest demanded with a sly grin and moved to his desk, sat down and looked across to Rayne for her answer.

“Sorry, dude I don’t kiss and tell.” Rayne answered looking up from the picture to him, then back down.

“Since when?” He asked with a chuckle.

“Since this one matters and she’s special. I didn’t bother me telling you of the one night stands I had before, but Lark is off limits when it comes to that Forrest.” Rayne assertively answered staring at him to express her point that her and Lark’s intimate details were not going to be discussed. Those were staying between her and Lark.

“You got it pal.” He conceded and was glad to hear that Lark was special to Rayne and not just one of her many flings since Karen’s death. “I’m really happy that things are going so well for you and Lark. You can thank me for that anytime.” Forrest answered and smiled amused with himself.

“Thank you for what?” Rayne asked, looking up from her multiple phone messages.

“For talking some sense into you about Lark.” He answered rolling his eyes exasperated by her forgetfulness.

“Oh, that yeah, well thanks bud.” Rayne casually answered and smiled. “Any news on whether we are going to get switched to a different assignment?” She asked hopeful, changing the subject.

“Aah, it’s safe to say we are stuck right where we are partner.” Forrest answered disappointed.

“Why? What’s going on?” Rayne uneasily asked looking up from her picture of Lark.

“The director caught me the second I got in here and told me there was another threat on Congressman Morgan while we were off.”

“You’re kidding? Was it a written or physical threat?” She asked, worried that something might have happened to him.

“Nah, written. He gave me this file to go over and see if we can track these jerk offs down before they succeed with their plans to off him.” He explained and handed her the file.

She perused the file and looked up at him. “Great, we need to go back and interview that asshole we got a while back. I am so not into talking to that moron again.” She mentioned loathingly.

“My thoughts exactly. We might as well get this out of the way with him though.” Forrest suggested and headed towards the door, chuckling when he heard Rayne growl her displeasure when she stood up. “Come on grumpy, I’ll buy you some more coffee and if you’re really good, a donut.” He laughed and watched as she passed by him.

“Make it a bagel and I’ll behave, somewhat.” She answered and chuckled heading towards the elevator.

He stood next to her and looked her way, laughing then looked back at the elevator. “You got it,” he agreed and stepped onto the elevator, just before the doors closed.

The pair interviewed the suspect after having breakfast and headed over to the Congressman’s office. “Well, let’s hope the Congressman can give us more insight into who might want to assassinate him.” Forrest commented, looking to Rayne, then back to the road as he steered the car through the busy streets.

“He sure as hell was a waste of time. Either he’s incredibly cunning or an absolute idiot. Something is just no fitting together and I can’t put my finger on it. We are missing something crucial and it’s bugging the shit out of me.” She answered and narrowed her eyes as she looked out the window, trying to figure out some of his comments. She was snapped out of her thoughts when her cell phone rang and frowned when she saw the message of an unknown name from her caller ID. “Agent Donovan.” She greeted into the phone.

“Ooh, how sexy.” Lark provocatively replied into the phone.

“Well, hello there.” Rayne answered, smiling happily and feeling her heart race from hearing Lark on the other end.

“What are you up to Agent Donovan?” Lark giggled flirtatiously, enjoying the sound of how formal Rayne addressed herself.

“Forrest and I are heading over to your father’s office actually.” Rayne answered and stared out the window, turning her head away for some privacy from Forrest who was craning his neck to hear her conversation with a sly grin.

“Is everything okay with daddy?” Lark worriedly asked and began pacing the floor of her hotel suite.

“He’s fine babe. Don’t worry.” Rayne soothingly answered, hearing a touch of nervousness in Lark’s voice. She didn’t want to worry her by telling Lark about the latest threat. “So, how was your flight?”

“Horrible, I missed you the entire time. I was ready to tell the pilot to take me back home to you.” Lark whined with a pouting tone into the phone and stopped, looking out the window.

“I miss you too. I probably would have made the pilot bring me home.” Rayne admitted and laughed.

“Well, Elaine wrestled me down and wouldn’t let me do it or I would be there with you right now.” Lark teasingly chuckled and stuck her tongue out at Elaine who grunted in protest to her comment.

“Don’t tell her that! I don’t want her hunting me down to kick my ass. I like it just the way it is, you better tell her you were kidding.” Elaine warned and pointed at Lark to emphasize her point.

“Do I need to have a conversation with Elaine about treating my princess a little better?” Rayne teasingly asked.

“Yes, I think you should. Could you come now and talk with her? Then I’ll be able to properly thank you.” Lark asked with a laugh, wishing Rayne could do just that.

“You know if I could, I wouldn’t of let you go there with that wretched agent of yours, sweets.” She quietly responded and laughed.

“Whaah, I miss you and need to see you.” Lark whined and flopped on the couch, disappointed that they were so far apart.

“I feel the same way, but before we know it we’ll be together.” Rayne sweetly said and smiled, thinking of that time.

“I’m sorry if I’m torturing you with my whining, but…” Lark answered and paused as Elaine commented.

“I’m sick of your whining and you’re torturing me!” Elaine looked away from the paper she was reading, smirked at Lark then looked back at her newspaper.

“Like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by that ingrate agent of mine, I have this longing to be with you and can’t seem to get over it. I guess it’s because our relationship is so new or maybe it’s because you’ve made such a resounding impact on my life, that I miss you so much and I hate that we are apart.” Lark admitted and grinned when Elaine extended her middle finger towards Lark in response to her comment about her, looking from the paper once again.

“I know and I completely agree, but we are going to have to find some kind of a happy medium or we are going to go out of our minds being away from each other.” Rayne suggested and glanced at the guard when Forrest stopped in the parking garage. She flashed her badge as did Forrest and nodded as the guard passed them through. “Hey, babe. I’m going to have to call you back later. We are heading into to see your father and the connection is going bad.” Rayne told her, reluctant to hang up with Lark.

“Okay, I look forward to hearing from you. Tell daddy I said hello and be careful. I miss you terribly honey and I love you so much.” Lark wholeheartedly admitted and felt her eyes moisten, knowing she was going to lose her connection to Rayne.

“Same here babe. Take care and I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” Rayne answered and smiled, hearing Lark’s sweet voice tell her goodbye, then clicked off the phone. She sighed disappointed that she had to end the call so soon and exited the car when Forrest parked it. Forrest looked at her with a silly grin and shook his head as the pair headed towards the elevators. “What?” Rayne defensively asked.

“Honey, sweets, babe?” He asked with a chuckle.

“Yeah, so why were you listening?” She casually answered and insinuatingly asked.

“I couldn’t help but over hear all the mushy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I totally dig it partner. I like this side of you. It suits you well.” He answered smiling happily.

“Thanks, I think you’re right.” Rayne admitted with a chuckle and looked up at the numbers on the elevator waiting for their floor to come up, smiling uncontrollably from how Lark made her feel. They stepped onto the elevator and waited for the doors to close.

“Hey, when Lark gets back in town the little lady and I would like to have you both over for dinner.” Forrest offered, smiling.

“Great, we’d love it.” Rayne answered and returned a brief smile as the doors opened, stepping off the elevator. “Alright, let’s hope the Congressman has some good information for us.” Rayne quipped and approached his office, greeting the fellow agents with a nod.

After finishing their meeting the pair was just as baffled as they were before speaking with the Congressman who gave them no new information. Not to mention fed up with feeling like they were on a wild goose chase. Rayne felt a nagging feeling that something just wasn’t adding up. “What are you thinking Rayne?” Forrest asked as he stared at his partner who was lost in her thoughts.

“Did they test for gun powder residue on the suspect? I don’t remember seeing that report.” Rayne asked, staring at Forrest and waiting for his answer.

“I’m not sure why?” Forrest asked, perplexed by her thought process and watched as she thumbed through the file for the report.

“They didn’t do one! What in the hell were they thinking? Shit!” She cursed and looked up at Forrest. “I’m thinking this guy isn’t the shooter at all and the gun residue test would have proved my theory, but the jackasses didn’t do one. I think he’s some loser who wants to make a name for himself even if it means going to prison for an extended period of time.” Rayne suggested as she looked at Forrest.

“Or he’s being forced to take the blame and thinks it’s safer in federal prison.” Forrest countered, looking at Rayne.

“Okay, we need to change our strategy with him Forrest and be very cunning to get him to give up the goods.” Rayne told him and attempted to leave, but was stopped by the other agent.

“Hey, don’t forget you two have dinner detail with him later this evening.” The agent reminded them and motioned over his shoulder towards Congressman Morgan’s office.

“No problem, you get him there safely and we’ll take over from there.” Rayne confidently replied and headed down the hall followed by Forrest.

“Can I rough him up if he doesn’t tell us what we want this time?” Forrest teasingly asked as they stepped onto the elevator.

“If you’re a good boy.” Rayne chuckled in response and hit the button, watching the doors close in front of them.

After interrogating and humiliating the man for the majority of the day he finally confessed that he was not the shooter, but he was paid a lot of money to take the fall. “What a freaking idiot!” Forrest commented angrily after exiting the room. “Why in the hell would you sit in prison for something someone else did for that amount of money?” Forrest asked incredulously.

“Well, he’s obviously someone seeking attention whether it’s negative or not. Look at the Boston Strangler, I’ve seen reports now that he wasn’t the one who committed the murders, but took the fall for it due to the infamy and money his family would receive. It’s strange, but it happens or they assured him that our case would fall through and he’d get off. Too bad he wasn’t much help with identifying anyone by name, but he gave a good description of him especially the tattoo this guy supposedly has. Contact Johnson and see if he can finger the person who paid him in the crowd the day of the convention based on his statement. Maybe we’ll get lucky and nail these people. I’m going to check the database on the computer for anything else that might ring a bell based on his description or an associate with our imposter we have in custody that might fit the bill,” Rayne ordered with a smirk and headed off to accomplish her task.

After a long day of trying to gather information about the threats and a boring dinner party protecting the Congressman Rayne was glad to get home. She parked the car in her driveway and headed up to the dark house. She sighed disappointed as thoughts of Lark popped into her head, wishing she were waiting for her there. She unlocked the door and entered, quickly tossing her keys on the table. She turned on the light and locked the door behind her. She scanned the villa and for the first time realized how lonely her place really was. ‘Wow, she has had a major effect on my life. How could I not see how lonely I really was?’ She wondered amazed by the fact that she at one time relished living there alone and how being with Lark changed all of that. She no longer wanted to be alone and wished she was coming home to Lark’s loving arms. ‘Aah, she can’t get here soon enough.’ She sighed disappointed and headed down the hall towards the bathroom to take a shower.

“Elaine, how much longer do we have to stay here?” Lark asked agitated leaning closer to her friend.

“Why? Do you have a date?” Elaine smirked teasingly, knowing full well what Lark had in mind.

“Yes and you know it. You are just torturing me for the pleasure of it aren’t you?” Lark whined and scrunched her nose up at Elaine.

“Yes, it’s payback for me having to hear you constantly whine about how much you miss Rayne.” Elaine countered with a laugh.

“Well, it’s true. Can I help it I’m hopelessly in love?” Lark asked with a dreamy smile.

“I guess not, but please try to bear with me here. Besides, you’re going to have to get used to doing these things Lark. You pay me chump change to advise you on your career and handle your affairs for you so you can be a huge celebrity.” She sarcastically needled her friend and smirked. “So, shut your mouth and flash that winning smile towards those producers so you can nail that one huge break out role that will send you into leading lady status, especially that old chubby guy, who has one strand of hair covering his entire head.” Elaine explained and glanced towards the man she was referring to as did Lark who snickered at her last comment. “Just try to get through this promotional tour and then you’ll have a break for the holidays to spend with your honey. We’ll leave here in about thirty minutes. Okay?” Elaine encouragingly asked with a toothy, Cheshire cat grin as she glanced at Lark.

“I will try to bear with you my dear and I will do my best to put forth a winning smile, even to the one strand hair guy.” Lark answered with a smile and stood up, looking back at Elaine. “Just how do you put up with my whining and keeping me on track?”

“I really don’t know other than me being a saint is all I can say. I sure hope you will remember that for when you are giving me my Christmas bonus this year.” Elaine jokingly answered as the pair giggled. “Hurry up, go knock one strand guy out so we can get leave!” Elaine laughed and shooed her away. Elaine shook her head with an inward laugh as she watched Lark greet the producer. ‘She is head over heels in love with Rayne, that’s for sure. She seems like she’s walking around in a daze and more than likely she’s thinking of her new girlfriend.’ She thought and felt a happiness consume her, knowing how smitten Lark was with Rayne.

Rayne slipped on a tank top and boxer shorts. She dried her hair with a towel as she padded down the carpeted hallway towards the kitchen. She grabbed a soda and a bag of chips before heading into the living room. She plopped on the couch and tossed her towel next to her before digging into the bag of chips. She clicked on the TV and flipped through the channels stopping at the sports channel. She kicked back watching the show as she ate the chips and drank the soda. A picture on the entertainment center caught her eye and she placed her snack food down on the coffee table. She stood up and slowly approached the picture. Rayne picked up the picture and sat on the couch as she stared at it. ‘It’s time for me to move on Karen. We had a wonderful life together and I will never forget that, but it’s time for me to start a new life with Lark.’ She thought as if the woman in the picture could hear her. Rayne stood up and headed down the hall towards her bedroom. She placed the picture in a box in her closet where she had photo albums of Karen and inhaled deeply then exhaled, feeling a calming peace about her. After Karen passed away, she packed all of her possessions except that one picture. She couldn’t bear to see reminders of her dead lover, but she could never bring herself to pack that particular picture of Karen and felt a weight lift from her shoulders when she did it. She knew the only way to move on was to put her past behind her and didn’t want that constant reminder every time she looked at the picture. ‘I’ve got to put her death behind me, and stop dwelling on it. To live my life happily and wholly as she would have wanted me too. There was a reason for Lark entering my life and for me falling in love with her so quickly and completely. Maybe Karen had something to do with sending Lark to me as she saw how much pain I endured from her death. I think she is finally at peace, knowing that I’m finally able to move on.’ She thought and smiled, hoping that was true.

Rayne pulled out the pictures of their trip and chose a shot of Lark that she enjoyed. She placed the picture in a spare frame and headed towards the living room with it. She moved the pictures around and placed Lark in the front of the others. She smiled staring at the picture and felt a rush of happiness consume her as Lark smiled back at her. She traced Lark’s features in the picture with her finger, imagining how warm and soft Lark’s skin feels. Her heart fluttered as she thought of how sensual and seductive Lark’s kisses were. She jumped out of her revere when she heard the phone ring and felt her heart quicken from the start. She quickly grabbed the phone and lifted it to her ear, “Hello,” she greeted into the phone.

“Hey babe. Are you okay? You sound out of breath.” Lark replied worried that something might be wrong.

“Oh, no I’m fine now that I hear your voice. I was startled by the phone while I was staring at a beautiful woman.” She answered with a grin that always seemed to creep onto her face when she spoke of and to Lark.

“Really? Is she anyone I might know?” Lark asked with a twinge of jealousy, hopeful that it was her that Rayne was referring too as she smiled and stared out the window of her hotel looking at the bustling city below her, wishing she was with Rayne.

“I’m not sure, but I can tell you that she is gorgeous.”

“Hmmm, well I’ve come across a gorgeous woman lately too, in particular a tall raven-haired, blue eyed Secret Service Agent with the sexiest body you will ever see. She has swept me off my feet and stolen my heart. Maybe you know her?” Lark seductively replied in the phone and felt her heart skip a beat.

“Well, with that list of attributes you must be talking about me!” Rayne teasingly and cockily answered with a chuckle. She smiled uncontrollably and padded through her bedroom towards the back deck. She opened the sliding glass door and stepped outside. She sat in the chair looking out over the darkened ocean hearing the waves lapping gently against the shore and smiled when the soft breeze caressed her face.

“Ooh, you are so arrogant, but that’s one of those personality traits I so love about you. Now, tell me about this woman you were so taken with that the phone startled you.” Lark answered and felt a tickle in her belly, waiting to hear what Rayne had to say about her.

“She’s an actress with gorgeous, long flowing blonde hair, the most incredibly alluring and provocative green eyes, a body that everyone is envious of, a kiss to die for and the most delightful personality anyone could ever hope to have.” Rayne admitted smiling dreamily and opened her eyes after picturing Lark in her mind.

Lark’s legs grew weak and she flopped on the bed with her heart racing at what Rayne had just admitted. “That is definitely me!” Lark commented with a chuckle and heard Rayne laugh.

“Oh, now who is the arrogant one?” Rayne teasingly asked as the pair shared a laugh.

“I think you rubbed off on me.” Lark countered with a hardy laugh.

“You’re probably right.” Rayne agreed and both laughed harder. “So, how was your day? Is Elaine treating my princess any better?” Rayne jokingly whined with the princess comment.

“Yeah, she’s a little better. I think she is going to behave now that I told her you would rough her up if need be.” Lark giggled playfully in the phone as Rayne laughed on the other end.

Rayne was lost in Lark’s giggle and smiled, pausing before she said anything to reflect on how much she enjoyed being in Lark’s life. “Lark, I miss you so much and I’m hopelessly in love with you.” She wholeheartedly blurted out, desperately wanting to let her know that in case the world ended the next day.

Lark gasped when she heard Rayne’s admission and her heart raced with her smile consuming all of her fine features. “Thank you baby. That is so sweet of you to say and it’s just what I needed to hear. I miss you so much to honey and I love you so much too honey. It’s just too much!” Lark added with a chuckle.

“I know it’s disgusting isn’t it?” Rayne asked with a laugh.

“Yes, what are we going to do about it?” Lark asked, sharing the laugh as she rubbed her tummy to quell the butterflies that were doing swan dives in her stomach from her excitement.

“Well, I guess we just need to love each other more!” Rayne exclaimed with a laugh.

“You got it baby. So, what are you wearing?” Lark provocatively asked, with a blushing grin. ‘Why am I blushing? She can’t see me!’ She wondered with an inward chuckle.

“I’m wearing a tank top and boxer shorts, how about you?” Rayne asked, propping her feet up on the railing and tilting the chair back on two legs waiting for Lark’s answer.

“I’m sprawled out on this big bed wearing nothing and waiting for you to come and take advantage of me.” Lark seductively purred into the phone.

Rayne pushed her chair back to far lost in the image Lark mentioned to her and felt it go out from beneath her. “Shit!” She commented when she fell out of the chair, flustered by what Lark said to her.

“Rayne are you okay? Are you there?” She nervously asked when she heard the crashing of the chair and the phone hit the ground.

Rayne quickly stood up and fumbled for the phone kicking it before finally getting a grip on it. “Sorry, I’m here.” She breathlessly said into the phone and grabbed the toppled chair from the ground. ‘Fucking chair I should throw it in the ocean.’ She angrily thought and slammed it down on the deck as if it were the chairs fault that she fell out of it. ‘It couldn’t have been me being flustered by what Lark said and being embarrassed for falling on my ass!’ She thought perturbed with herself and sat down in the chair, this time with all four legs firmly planted on the ground.

“Are you okay? What happened?” Lark worriedly asked.

“Oh, the leg on the chair broke and I fell backwards.” Rayne told her, too embarrassed to admit the truth.

“Oh, honey. Are you hurt?” Lark asked concerned and hoped she wasn’t seriously injured.

Rayne looked at her elbow and felt her face flushed with embarrassment. “I scraped my elbow on the wall.” She answered agitated with her stupidity and headed into the villa to get a tissue to wipe off the blood.

“I’m sorry babe. I’m sending you a kiss to put on it.” Lark answered with a smile, wondering if the chair really did break or if it was from her comment.

“Thanks, it feels much better.” Rayne chuckled and held the tissue on the wound.

“I think you better check out all of your chairs to make sure they are sound from now on Rayne.” Lark advised her, hoping to bate her into confessing. ‘She fell because of my comment I know it. The chair breaking is way too much of a coincidence.’ Lark gloatingly thought.

“Okay, you’ve got me. I fell out of the chair because of what you said. I can’t hide the truth from you.” Rayne admitted, her conscience killing her and laughed as did Lark.

“Aah, I’m flattered darling.” Lark answered with a giggle and smiled wider. “I’ll make up for your fall just as soon as I see you.” Lark promised and felt a tingling sensation throughout her from Rayne’s confession. ‘I feel like such a giddy little school girl.’ Lark excitedly thought and smiled uncontrollably.

“Sounds good to me. I can’t wait to see you.” Rayne answered with a laugh and wondered how much more of a sap she would become. ‘It’s no use, this woman makes me lose control over all of my senses!’ She thought with a snicker and headed back to the chair.

“I can’t get there soon enough! I wish I were there right now. This is killing me being so far away from you.” Lark admitted with a whiney tone in her voice.

“Same here babe. You will be back in time for Thanksgiving dinner right?” Rayne confirmed hoping her plans wouldn’t change.

“I’m flying in early that morning and then we will get some time to spend together before I start filming on my new project.” Lark explained and smiled excitedly at the mention of spending time with Rayne.

“Excellent, I can’t wait. Are you finished for the day or do you have more appearances to attend?” Rayne asked, hoping they would have time to chat with one another. She didn’t want to lose her connection to the sweet voice on the other end of the line. Lark had a way of sending tingling sensations throughout her whenever she spoke and Rayne wasn’t ready to let her go just yet.

“Unfortunately, I’m not finished yet. I’m sure Elaine will be yelling at me to get my butt moving to our next appearance in a few minutes. She can be such a slave driver sometimes.” She disappointedly answered, wishing she could spend the rest of the day talking with Rayne and chuckled with her last statement.

“What the…?” Rayne said as her voice trailed off when she turned away from the phone looking back into the bedroom.

“What’s wrong?” Lark worriedly asked, hearing her tone of voice change.

“Someone’s in the house.” Rayne whispered as she quietly crept into the house and headed towards her bed to retrieve her gun sitting on the nightstand.

“What? Rayne leave the house, hang up with me and call the police right now.” Lark nervously urged and stood up, beginning to pace the room. “Rayne! Did you hear me?” She shouted into the phone when she didn’t hear her answer. “Rayne!” She shouted again, her heart pounding in her chest fearful.

“I’m okay Lark, trust me I’ll be fine. Hold on.” She whispered and stealthily headed down the hall with her gun safely in hand, trying to find out that was in her house. She peeked around the corner and stood upright when she saw who was in her house, lying on the floor. She shook her head in disbelief and nudged the body on the floor with her foot. “Get up idiot.” She replied and heard Lark shouting through the phone.

“What’s going on?” Lark anxiously queried.

“Sorry, babe. I didn’t mean to scare you, but I couldn’t say too much until I knew who was in here. It’s my drunk younger brother Jayce who I had no idea was coming over here to stay and the one who is going to owe me a very expensive lamp to replace the one he just broke.” She calmly replied, hearing the distress in Lark’s voice and squatted down, to check his pulse when he didn’t move or answer her.

“Whew, you scared the hell out of me. How come you can’t just call the police like every other normal citizen?” Lark asked, agitated that she would risk her life like that and patted her chest trying to calm her racing heart from the fright. ‘I don’t know why I’m so frazzled, after all she did the same heroic stuff on our first date.’ Lark reminded herself as her heart leveled to a regular beat.

Rayne chuckled and stood up, “Well, darling I do this sort of thing for a living and no, I can’t be like any other normal citizen. That is too boring.” Rayne teasingly answered with a chuckle.

“It’s going to take me some time getting used to having a hero around the house all the time.” Lark jokingly commented and nodded towards Elaine when she motioned that they needed to get moving. “Well, hero as much as I hate to tell you this, I must go and do my celebrity thing. It has been a huge surprise to me how many interviews and appearances I’ve had to make considering I was just one of a huge cast of others.” Lark chuckled downgrading her importance to the movie and felt sadness that she had to hang up with Rayne.

“You have fun doing the celebrity thing and I’m sure you’re the most beautiful one out of that huge cast, that’s why they had you do so many appearances.” Rayne complimentarily told her with a grin as she walked towards Lark’s picture and stared at it.

“Aah, you’re so sweet and you have made my day.” Lark answered and felt her eyes water from the compliment.

“Well, I’ll be thinking about you, just about every minute of every day until I see that gorgeous smile of yours in front of me.” Rayne flatteringly replied, smiling, smitten with the woman in the picture.

“You are so adorable and I’ll be doing the same with you, but for every second.” Lark giggled and blushed when she admitted that. “I miss you and love you very much.” Lark wholeheartedly professed and blew Rayne a kiss in the phone.

“I love and miss you too, take care and I’ll talk to you tomorrow babe.” Rayne sweetly told her with a huge smile.

“Bye gorgeous.” Lark commented and reluctantly moved the phone from her ear. If it were up to her, she would be talking with Rayne the entire night.

“Talk to you later sexy.” Rayne softly replied and clicked off the phone. “Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture? The gorgeous woman I love is many miles away from me and I’m stuck with this drunken brother of mine. It just isn’t my idea of fun.” She spoke out loud and laughed, grabbing a blanket from the couch and tossing it on her brother. She checked him over and he seemed to be fine. She knew he wouldn’t feel so great in the morning though. “That’s his penance for interrupting my conversation with Lark, the hard floor!” She chuckled and headed back down the hall to her bedroom. ‘What in the hell was I thinking giving him a key to my place? I’ll have to reconsider that decision. He’s lucky I didn’t shoot his drunk ass!’ She thought with a laugh and holstered her gun. She flopped on the bed, grabbing the remote as she settled into the middle. She flipped the channels and stopped on one of the entertainment shows, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lark as they were doing reports about the various premieres. Normally she wouldn’t watch the celebrity shows, but she found herself stopping at those channels in hopes of seeing Lark on one of them quite frequently now. She smiled and sighed deeply, thinking back on her conversation with Lark and how wonderful Lark made her feel every time she heard her sweet voice. She closed her eyes, basking in the marvelous feeling that swept over her when she pictured Lark’s angelic face, before drifting off to sleep with the woman of her dreams heavy on her mind.

The days passed entirely too slowly for Rayne and Lark. They thought the day they would be reunited would never come, but it finally did. They spent the days apart lonely and constantly on the phone with one another with their conversations sometimes lasting for hours to quell the loneliness they felt. “Rayne! Stop looking out that window and come here to help your grandma.” The elderly woman called out seeing her granddaughter staring out the window for the umpteenth time in the thirty minutes she had been there.

Rayne turned and sheepishly grinned as she looked at her grandmother who smiled mischievously at her in the doorway of her kitchen. “Yes, ma’am.” Rayne answered and headed her way. “How can I help Gram?” She asked, grasping the older woman’s hand when she approached.

“You can help me by stop looking out that window. You’re going to ruin my drapes and,” she answered, pulling her tall granddaughter closer to her continuing, “it’s not going to bring her here any faster.” She commented with a smile and a wink. “Put those sweet potatoes in the oven for me please.” She ordered and pointed at the dish she was referring too.

“Sorry Gram, but I can’t help it. I haven’t seen her for so long and I’m really excited that she’ll be here soon.” Rayne smiled sheepishly and placed the casserole dish in the oven as ordered. Her grandmother stood and stared at her without saying a word. “Gram, are you okay? What’s up?” She worriedly asked and moved closer to her, as she didn’t say anything to her, she just stared.

She broke her silence, “I’m fine sweetheart. I was just admiring how beautiful you are and how happy you seem.” She adoringly smiled, grasping Rayne’s hands and stood before her.

Rayne blushed and smiled at her grandmother’s comment. “Thanks Gram and yes, I’m very happy. It’s taken a while for that to happen, but I truly am Gram.” She wholeheartedly admitted and felt her eyes moisten at her confession, thinking of how Lark has been the reason for her happiness.

“I’m very happy to hear that because you’ve been so sad for a long time. I’m glad to see that Lark has stolen your heart and soul, and that you’re very much in love with her. She’s your soul mate my dear and I’m sure I’ll love her as well.” She observed and endearingly told her, with a warm smile.

“Gram, you haven’t even met her and I didn’t tell you that about her. How did you know?” She asked, surprised by her Grandmother’s revelation.

“I can see what she means to you in your eyes, your expressions and the way you talk about her. Your face lights up and glows with happiness when you or anyone else mentions her name. I’ve never seen you like this with any other person you’ve been with and that includes Karen. I can see how special Lark is to you and if she can make my beloved granddaughter that happy then I’m sure to love her.” She lovingly admitted and hugged Rayne.

“Thanks Gram, you’re the best and you’re right, she is my soul mate. I feel that connection with her like I’ve never felt with anyone before.” Rayne answered smiling and broke the hug. “I’m sure you will love her too. She’s wonderful Gram and she fills me with so much love and happiness like I’ve never had before in a partner. The feelings I have when I’m with her are so incredible.” Rayne sincerely professed and felt her heart race as she spoke of Lark.

“I’m very happy for you. Bring her to me when she arrives, I want to speak with her.” Her grandmother ordered with a Greek accent.

Rayne smiled and chuckled, then kissed her grandmother on the cheek. “Yes, ma’am.” She answered, and leaned back, then looked up when she saw her brother enter the kitchen.

“Here is the ice you asked for Gram.” Jayce offered, holding the bag up and smiled before putting it in the freezer.

“You’re a good boy, when you want to be.” She teasingly replied and slapped his butt before approaching the stove to check on her meal.

Rayne moved her brother out of her way when she heard the doorbell ring. “I’ll get it!” She excitedly shouted and felt her heart race faster as she thought it was Lark.

“Geez! You’re like a bull in a china shop.” Jayce sarcastically commented when he righted himself after his sister tossed him into the counter.

Rayne reached for the door and took a deep breath before opening it to calm her nervousness. She smoothed out her clothes and took a quick glance at her hair in the mirror next to the door. When she was satisfied with her look she opened the door and stared silently at what she saw. “Rayne are you okay?” Congressman Morgan asked when she didn’t say anything.

“Oh, aah sorry. I was surprised that Lark wasn’t with you.” She answered disappointed and slightly embarrassed by her actions.

“I have to apologize for my sister’s rude hospitality Congressman, Mrs. Morgan. Please come in, I’m Jayce Rayne’s sister.” He cordially introduced himself with a smile and held the door open, gently pushing his disappointed sister out of the way for them to pass. “We’ve sent her to so many etiquette schools, but unfortunately she keeps failing.” Jayce joking commented as the group laughed.

“Don’t be so disappointed Rayne. Our little girl is on her way. She called me and told me she was delayed by customs and for us to head on over. I’m sure she’ll be here shortly. She said she tried to call, but there was no answer.” Mrs. Morgan informed her.

Rayne reached for her phone and realized she didn’t have it with her. “Damn, I must have left it in the car. I was in such a hurry to get here and so preoccupied with seeing Lark that I forgot to bring it in.” Rayne shyly commented and was flustered by her forgetfulness. “Uhmmm, let me introduce you to the rest of my family.” She offered and led them towards the dining room. “You’ve met my smart mouthed younger brother Jayce already.” She sarcastically replied with a smirk towards him, and then turned towards the kitchen where her grandmother was standing in the doorway. “This is my grandma Taye.” She proudly introduced as her grandmother approached the Morgan’s.

“Hello and welcome to my home.” She warmly greeted and hugged them both.

“Thank you so much for having us, we are delighted to be here.” Mrs. Morgan cordially smiled and held out a bottle of wine as a gift for the hostess.

“Oh, how lovely thank you, but you really didn’t need to go to any trouble for me.” She replied with a smile and accepted the gift.

“It was no trouble at all and we apologize for our daughter’s tardiness, but she was delayed by customs at the airport.” Congressman Morgan apologized.

“It’s no problem with me, only my granddaughter. She’s been so eager to see her that she has nearly destroyed my lovely drapes looking out the window for her.” She chuckled and laughed, as did the Morgan’s who all turned and looked at Rayne who sheepishly grinned.

“Lance, Julia! Hello!” Maria Donovan enthusiastically greeted as she entered the kitchen.

“I aah, think I’ll go see what dad is up to outside.” Rayne suggested, watching as her mother engulfed the pair in a hug still embarrassed by the way she greeted the Morgan’s at the door. She quickly headed out to the back yard where her father and brother Shayan were. “How’s the turkey?” She asked looking at the smoker grill they were standing by.

“It’s almost done. How about all the other goodies inside?” Her father asked, looking up at her.

“Well, Gram had me put the sweet potatoes in the oven a few minutes ago so I imagine it won’t be long now.” Rayne answered and inhaled the smell of the turkey cooking. “Yum, it smells delicious!”

“Oh, it will be, guaranteed.” Shayan arrogantly confirmed with a sly grin.

“It better be or Gram will have your head!” She teasingly answered and pointed at him.

“Ooh, I don’t want to piss off Gram that’s for sure!” He laughed along with his sister and father.

“Dad, Congressman and Mrs. Morgan are here if you want to go say hello. I’ll watch the turkey in case it decides to make a run for it.” Rayne informed him and offered with a laugh.

“Ooh, yeah, I better go in and say hello to Lance and Julia or your mother will be yelling at me for being rude, then mom will do the same thing as your mother. It’s scary to think of those two ganging up on me. Thanks for the heads up.” He grinned and handed her the tongs.

“I don’t think it would be scary. It would be funny actually.” Rayne added with a laugh and watched as her father headed towards the house.

“I’ll go with you dad. I think it would be scary and I don’t want either of them thinking I was rude too. Watch that turkey now!” Shayan teasingly replied and followed his father to the house.

“Yeah, you just watch where you’re going so you don’t fall on your face like always.” Rayne tauntingly laughed and turned towards the cooker. Rayne stood looking out over the green expanse of the pasture before her and watched as the horses elegantly galloped past. She smiled, but couldn’t contain her disappointment that Lark was late. She feared that Lark would end up not making it and felt lonely. ‘She’ll be here, stop worrying you idiot. She told you she would be here and her father said she was only delayed.’ She told herself and opened the door looking at the turkey. She was satisfied with the way the turkey looked and stood up.

“I hear you’ve been waiting for me.” Lark softly said as she moved behind Rayne.

Rayne spun around and felt her heart race in her chest when she heard the familiar voice. She gave a sideways glance and saw Jayce standing at the corner of the house with Elaine then turned her gaze back on the lovely sight before her. “I’ve been waiting way to long for you, but seeing your lovely face now makes it worth the wait.” She sexily said with a smile and quickly engulfed Lark in a hug, passionately kissing her.

“Oh, baby. I’ve missed you so much.” Lark breathlessly told her, breaking the kiss. She wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck tightly and captured her lips for a searing kiss to let her know just how much she missed her.

Rayne held her tighter and deepened the searing kiss, not wanting to relinquish the hold on her lover. “You feel so good in my arms sweets. I missed you terribly that’s for sure. I love you.” She whispered in her ear, enjoying the warm and comforting feeling of Lark in her arms. Her sadness, loneliness and longing for her vanished the second she saw Lark. Those feelings were replaced by elation and love.

Lark smiled and felt her heart flutter when Rayne told her she loved her. “I love you with all of my heart baby.” She softly proclaimed and kissed her cheek, then nuzzled her face in Rayne’s neck reveling in the loving and safe arms that held her.

“I can’t wait to be alone with you and hold you, kiss you and tell you how much you mean to me.” Rayne told her and smiled as she leaned back looking at Lark.

“Ooh, I can’t wait. I’ve missed having those strong arms wrapped around me along with those gorgeous blues gazing upon me. Not to mention, those voluptuous lips kissing me, everywhere.” Lark smiled lovingly and provocatively as she kissed Rayne. She broke the kiss and stared deep into Rayne’s blues. “So, are you going to introduce me to the rest of your family?” Lark asked with a smile.

“My brother didn’t introduce you to them?” Rayne asked, surprised that she didn’t meet them before she came out back.

“No, he was out front with Brandon when we pulled in and told me you were back here. You were right; your brother is quite the charmer, just like you.” She grinned and poked Rayne in the chest. “When you told me that the other night, I didn’t quite believe you, but I should have. He sure is.” She giggled, thinking of how flirtatious he was with her, just like Rayne.

“Did he try to hit on you?” Rayne asked, looking at Lark for her answer and felt a wave of jealousy.

“Yes.” Lark blushed and chuckled.

“He’s going to pay! Dearly.” Rayne grittily answered and grasped Lark’s hand leading her towards the house.

“NO! Rayne, I’m sure it was just harmless.” Lark stopped her; worried that Rayne was going to harm her brother.

“Don’t worry honey, I won’t hurt him too bad. I’ll let him live, this time.” Rayne answered with a maniacal laugh.

“There’s no need for you to be jealous my darling.” Lark smiled, blushing and wrapped her arm around Rayne’s waist.

“I know, but I can’t help it. You’re mine.” Rayne answered with a sheepish grin and kissed the top of Lark’s head, pulling her closer. “Oh, Gram is very excited about meeting you along with the rest of the family.”

“I’m so nervous about meeting her and your parents.” Lark stopped and told Rayne in a fretting tone.

“You don’t need to be Lark, besides you’ve already made a huge impact on my mom.” Rayne reassuringly told her and smiled.

“I can’t help it. I know how much your Grandmother means to you from our lengthy phone conversations and I want to make a great impression on her as well as a better impression on your mom. I still cringe thinking about how rude I was with your mom on the phone that time. It wouldn’t be very good if they didn’t like me. How does my hair look? Do I look okay?” She nervously asked, smoothing her hair with her hand.

“You look absolutely stunning and they are going to love you, I guarantee it. I spoke to Gram earlier and she’s very excited to meet you. Even if they didn’t approve of you, it wouldn’t matter to me. I love you and you’re the one I want to be with, no matter what.” Rayne sincerely told her and smiled, then kissed Lark to seal her proclamation.

“That’s so sweet, but are you sure they are excited to meet me?” Lark tentatively asked.

“Yes, trust me. They are going to love you. I promise you. Now, don’t worry.” Rayne confirmed and smiled as the pair headed towards the house.

“Okay, I’ll take your word for it.” Lark answered with a smile, seeing the sincerity in Rayne’s blues. She winked when Rayne held the door open for her and entered the house followed by Rayne.

“Dad, I want you to meet Lark.” Rayne told him as they entered the house and introduced Lark.

“Well, hello Lark. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We’ve heard so much about you.” He warmly greeted and smiled, hugging her.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too sir. I hope everything you heard was good?” She asked with a smile breaking the hug, then gave Rayne a sideways glance and looked back to Rayne’s father.

He leaned closer to her, “Of course, my daughter is quite smitten with you.” He told her and chuckled looking at his daughter who blushed.

Lark looked at Rayne with an arched brow and a mischievous smile. Rayne conceded and smiled, shrugging her shoulders. “What can I say? It’s true. By the way dad, the turkey is done.” She smirked towards him for the comment.

“Ooh, good I’m starving!” He chuckled patting Lark on the shoulder and headed towards the door.

“Hello Lark, I’m Maria, Rayne’s mother.” She greeted as she approached and hugged Lark.

“Hello. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person.” Lark smiled, hugging her. She felt a warm flush all over from her lingering embarrassment and was relieved to see how warm Rayne’s mother was to her. The nightmares she had of Rayne’s mother being nasty to her seemed pretty silly to her now considering how accepting and welcoming her mom was to her.

“The feeling is mutual and did my daughter pass along my thank you for the lovely flowers you sent me?” She asked, breaking the hug.

“Yes, she did and I’m glad you enjoyed them. Again, I apologize for my behavior that day.” Lark grimaced and shrugged her shoulders, trying to express her sorrow.

“No problem, I understand. Welcome to the family and make yourself at home.” Maria warmly told her with a smile.

“Thank you so much.” Lark smiled in return.

“Hey, sweetheart.” Her father smiled and kissed her cheek.

“Hi Daddy, Mom.” She smiled and moved to kiss her mother, not relinquishing her hold on Rayne’s hand.

“Where’s Gram?” Rayne asked looking around the house, not seeing her. She looked at Lark when she felt Lark tighten the grip on her hand and winked, to calm her fears.

“She’s in watching the Macy’s day parade.” Jayce informed her, popping an olive in his mouth.

“Let’s go say hello.” Rayne suggested and smiled, as she led Lark towards the living room. She looked back at Lark and smiled reassuringly when she felt Lark clutch her hand tighter. “Hey Gram. This is Lark, Lark this is my grandma Taye.” Rayne proudly introduced the women and smiled.

“Hello Lark.” She cordially greeted and stood up, engulfing the shorter woman in a huge.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you ma’am.” Lark replied smiling and patted the older woman’s back as she hugged her tighter. She felt in incredible warmth and comfort from the woman’s hug.

“I have heard so much about you.” She told her and broke the hug. “Come, sit down with me and let me talk with you.” She warmly invited and gently pulled Lark by the hand down as she sat on the couch followed by Lark. “Rayne honey, can you please go check on the sweet potatoes for me?” She nicely asked with a smile.

“Aah, well Gram…I uh,” Rayne wasn’t sure what to do especially when she saw the horrified look on Lark’s face.

“Lark, there’s no need to be nervous around me. I promise.” She reassuringly told her with a sincere smile.

“It’s okay Rayne I’ll be fine.” Lark answered confidently as she looked at Rayne.

“Alright, just say nice things about me Gram.” Rayne teasingly replied and winked before leaving.

“I always do my dear.” She answered with a chuckle. They watched as Rayne disappeared from the room and her grandmother turned to Lark. “I hope you are feeling a little more relaxed Lark.” She curiously asked, looking at the younger woman.

“Yes, a little. I just wanted to make a good impression as I know how much you mean to Rayne.” Lark admitted with a smile.

“There’s no need for you to make a good impression for me. You have made a wonderful difference in my granddaughter and I know how much you mean to her. I hear it in her voice and the way she speaks of you, and her eyes tell me exactly how much she loves you. I’m very happy for you both and I wanted to thank you for giving my granddaughter her life back.”

“Oh, wow. I’m flabbergasted by what you are telling me. I love your granddaughter very much and I will try to make everyday of her life very happy and to let her know just how much I care for her.” Lark sincerely assured her with a warm smile and patted her hand that she held.

“Just remember that my granddaughter can be very stubborn, arrogant and difficult at times. If she gets out of hand you let me know and I’ll take care of her.” The elderly woman advised her with a sly grin and winked, patting Lark’s hand to emphasize her point.

“I sure will, thanks.” Lark chuckled.

“Now that we have had a chance to meet let’s go eat!” Taye suggested and stood up, still holding Lark’s hand.

“Sounds wonderful to me.” Lark agreed with a laugh and walked beside Rayne’s grandmother.

“She’s fine Rayne.” Her grandmother advised with a grin, knowing that Rayne was standing just outside of the door. “Did you really think you could fool me?” She teasingly asked with a smile.

“No ma’am.” Rayne sheepishly admitted with a laugh and wrapped her arm around Lark’s waist.

“You remember what I told you about her. Now let’s eat that bird!” Her grandmother reminded Lark with a chuckle and ordered, walking away.

”I will.” Lark answered with a smile.

“What did she say about me?” Rayne asked curious to what her grandmother was referring too.

“I thought you were listening?” Lark teasingly implied looking up at her tall lover.

“I was trying to, but I couldn’t hear anything.” Rayne sheepishly admitted with a sly grin.

“I’m sorry, but that is between her and I.” Lark playfully told her with a sly grin.

“Oh, really. You can’t give me a hint?” Rayne asked, hopefully she would share what was said.

“Nope, sorry my darling, but I can tell you this. Your grandmother is a wonderful woman and she loves you very much. Actually, your entire family is great! I see where you get all of those wonderful traits of yours from.” Lark grinned, happily and leaned up kissing her. “Let’s go eat.” Lark suggested and pulled her tall lover towards the dining room.

“So, no hint huh? What if I try to sexually entice you into telling me what she said, would it work?” Rayne asked, still wondering what her grandmother said to Lark. The curiosity was killing her.

“Sure, go ahead and try. We’ll see what happens.” She teasingly answered, knowing she wasn’t going to tell Rayne, but she was going to reap the benefits of Rayne trying to sexually entice her.


After leaving the Thanksgiving festivities Rayne and Lark decided to stay at Lark’s house. Rayne steered the car into the driveway and laughed when she put the car in park and looked at Lark who had the seat stretched all the way out, rubbing her tummy. Rayne chuckled and exited the car walking around to open the door for Lark. “Rayne, I think you’re going to have to carry me. I’m too full to walk.” Lark whined when Rayne looked at her.

“Darling, I don’t think I could carry you considering everything I saw you eat earlier. I’m strong, but not that strong.” Rayne teasingly grinned and reached for Lark’s hand, to help pull her out of the car. “What were you thinking eating that much anyway?” Rayne asked, as Lark stood before her.

“I couldn’t help it. The food was absolutely delicious and I just couldn’t stop.” Lark sheepishly grinned.

“I have never seen another woman put as much food away as you.” Rayne chuckled and walked to the back of the car opening the trunk. She took Lark’s luggage out of the trunk and closed it.

“Oh, you must think I’m a pig.” Lark answered worriedly.

Rayne approached her with a sly grin. “Not too much of one.” Rayne teased and kissed Lark, then walked towards the house.

“Rayne! Do you really think that or are you teasing?” Lark whined worried that Rayne thought badly of her.

“I’m teasing sweets. I’m just wondering where you put all of that food on your incredibly hot body though.” Rayne complimented and leaned in, capturing the inviting lips for a searing kiss.

“Hmmm, whew.” Lark sighed after breaking the kiss flustered by it. “Come inside my house and I’ll show you were I put it on my naked body.” Lark suggestively offered in with a provocative grin.

“Show me the way.” Rayne answered in a low seductive tone and smiled lustfully.

Lark giggled flirtatiously and attempted to unlock the door, but was unable to concentrate as Rayne was showering her neck with feathery kisses. She leaned her head back against Rayne and closed her eyes, lost in the ecstasy she felt from Rayne kissing her. “Do you need some help?” Rayne asked in a deep throaty tone and placed her arms around Lark, taking Lark’s hands in her own, to open the door.

“Thanks.” Lark answered in barely a whisper, flustered and amazed by how wonderful Rayne made her feel. Lark turned within Rayne’s arms and pressed her lips against Rayne’s for a deep, sensual kiss.

“Hmmm, tasty.” Rayne smiled, thoroughly impressed by the kiss and moved down, picking up the luggage she left sitting on each side of her. She stood back up in front of Lark and stared into her sea of mesmerizing green. “I missed you so much my love.” She seductively told her in a soft whisper stepping closer to Lark.

Lark bumped into the door, which opened and she giggled nervously. “Wow, you take my breath away.” Lark admitted, lost in Rayne’s deep blues.

“You do the same to me.” Rayne sexily answered, dropping the bags when they entered the house and wrapped Lark in a tight embrace, pressing her lips against Lark’s. Rayne’s tongue slipped past Larks lips and moved deep within, passionately kissing her.

“Oh, baby I’ve missed you so much.” Lark whispered breathlessly through her kiss and tightened her hold on Rayne.

“Then show me how much.” Rayne suggested pleadingly and kicked the door closed. She casually reached behind her and turned the lock, then wrapped her arms around her lover.

“My pleasure.” Lark softly answered and inhaled deeply to calm her racing heart. She grasped Rayne’s hand and walked down the hallway towards her bedroom.

Lark led Rayne to the bed and turned her, then guided her down on the bed standing before her. She stared at her raven-haired lover with passion filled eyes and held Rayne’s face in her hands. She lovingly smiled and leaned down, passionately kissing her. She broke the kiss much to Rayne’s dismay and softly moved her hands down Rayne’s neck to her shirt, slowly unbuttoning it as she intently stared into the wanton blues before her. She unbuttoned Rayne’s shirt and thwarted Rayne’s attempt to remove her shirt. “No, no I’m going to do that.” Lark provocatively whispered and slipped her hands inside the shirt. She pushed the shirt off Rayne’s shoulders removing it.

Lark’s sensuous stare and touch sent searing sensations swirling between Rayne’s legs. Her heart pounded and her mind screamed, ‘take me now,’ her eyes hypnotically fixed on Lark’s dominating stare. She gasped when Lark removed her bra, brushing her hands against her breasts when she removed it. Rayne placed her hands on Lark’s hips and pulled her closer, leaning up and kissing her. “Please, don’t make me wait any longer. I need you now.” She pleaded, ending the passionate kiss.

“Soon, my love, soon.” Lark’s sweet voice resonated through her ear, instantly sending a tingling down her spine. Lark’s kiss softly caressed the warm skin along Rayne’s neck before moving down, stopping at her breast. Lark gently circled her tongue around the hardened nipple. She felt Rayne’s hand reach behind her head and gently move her closer.

Rayne looked down and gasped when Lark wrapped her lips around her breast, softly suckling her nipple. She held the back of Lark’s head with one hand and lightly stroked her back with the other. She closed her eyes at the sheer pleasure of what Lark was doing to her and opened them, looking down when Lark slowly moved to the other breast. Her center was throbbing and aching for her young lover to move between her legs, and satisfy its insatiable desire for her. She smiled happily when Lark’s tongue trailed down and over her quivering stomach, stopping at her waistband. “Oh, baby. I want you so bad.” She told Lark as her heart beat faster, her breathing deepened and the throbbing between her legs intensified.

“Soon.” Lark hinted provocatively, glancing up at Rayne and back down as she unbuttoned Rayne’s pants. Rayne fell back on the bed as Lark removed her pants, then her underwear quickly discarding the clothing onto the floor. She crawled up on the bed and straddle Rayne who placed her hands on Lark’s hips.

“You have no idea what you are doing to me Lark. I’ve never wanted someone as badly as I want you right now.” Rayne sincerely admitted, her wanton eyes telling Lark exactly what she wanted from her.

Lark smiled and leaned down, tracing Rayne’s lips with her tongue before slipping past her parted lips, gasping when she felt Rayne melt into the passionate kiss. She broke the kiss and moved back off the bed, grasping Rayne’s hands and pulling her up. She smiled and brushed Rayne’s hair back off her forehead that sat panting heavily. She had never seen anyone look at her the way Rayne does and it touched her deeply. She wanted Rayne to know and feel how much she loved her. She began to unbutton her blouse when Rayne reached up to help with Lark lovingly pushing her hands away. “You are to watch right now my love.” Lark told her in a hushed, raspy voice that went straight to Rayne’s core.

Rayne’s breathing changed suddenly when she saw Lark methodically and erotically removed her blouse, revealing her young, perky breasts. She hoped Lark would hurry and remove the bra that covered what she wanted to wrap her mouth around. Lark obliged her wish and moved the straps off her shoulders. She moved closer to Rayne asking in a soft inviting voice, “can you unhook my bra for me?” with Rayne eagerly reaching behind her back to help her. As Rayne fumbled with the hooks, Lark moved closer and Rayne gave into her temptation by wrapping her mouth around Lark’s erect nipple. Lark gasped and threw her head back at the satisfying feeling of having Rayne there. Her desire to have Rayne’s lips all over her escalated and she held her head with her hands, gently guiding Rayne to her opposite breast.

Rayne tossed her bra to the side and tenderly moved her hands down Lark’s body to her pants. Rayne’s touch sent Lark’s senses soaring and her breathing escalated when Rayne pushed her pants off, which fell to the floor in a heap. She moved her hands, cupping Rayne’s face and tilted her head back, staring into desire filled blues. She gave her a sensual, quick kiss and lustily told her, “Lay back for me,” which Rayne did without hesitation. Lark leaned over Rayne, resting her hands on each side of her and lowered her body onto Rayne’s, instantly feeling the heat from her skin. She had a wondrous tickle in her stomach and warmth swept over her when Rayne wrapped her arms around her. She kissed her lips, then moved her kiss down to each breast, over her taut abdomen and finally stopped where Rayne wanted her, between her legs. She moved onto her knees and knelt before Rayne.

“Oh, yes. I’ve been waiting for you to take me baby.” Rayne breathlessly told her, feeling Lark’s breath on her sex. She pressed her head back on the bed when Lark kissed her mound and grasped the comforter from the shear ecstasy of what Lark was doing to her.

Lark guided Rayne’s legs apart and dipped her tongue past her lips, lightly caressing her hard clit with her tongue. She moved her ministrations along with Rayne’s rhythmic movements of her hips. Her tongue stroked the clit, flicking it and loving every moment of it. Rayne’s scent was an aphrodisiac and she buried her face in her mound, breathing her in. “Rayne, you taste so wonderful.” She said in barely a whisper, then moved her tongue down and dipped deep inside of Rayne who reared her head side to side, placing her hand on the back of Lark’s head. She pushed her face harder against her and bucked wildly with every stroke of Lark’s tongue.

“Lark, Lark.” Rayne moaned sensuously, gasping for her breath and couldn’t hold it any longer, releasing her nectar for her lover. “Oh, yes!” She shouted as another orgasm consumed her. Lark held her hips that bucked with another orgasm and rode the wave with her, licking and sucking her clit until Rayne had no more to give. Rayne panted heavily and hoped her pounding heart would calm as she looked up at the ceiling, spent by what Lark had just done to her. She closed her eyes and let out a satiated sigh, smiling gloriously as she felt Lark lightly kissing her mound. She felt Lark move her kiss to her stomach and cupped Lark’s face in her hands, and then sat up looking down at her. “I have never felt something as wonderful as that Lark and I didn’t think anything could top the first time we made love, but you have. You are incredible.” She wholeheartedly professed and brushed her long blonde hair off her face, smiling adoringly. “Come here.” She softly suggested and put her hands under Lark’s arms, guiding her up to a standing position.

Lark stood before her and smiled giddily when Rayne engulfed her in a hug, tucking her head against her stomach. Lark wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck and kissed the top of her head. “I love you so much Rayne, you just have no idea.” She softly admitted and looked down when she felt Rayne move. She met loving blues when she looked at her and couldn’t help, but smile feeling her butterflies within taking flight.

Rayne smiled and leaned forward, kissing Lark’s stomach, then moved her hands to her backside. She slid her hand down to the back of Lark’s leg and guided it towards the bed as she held her with the other hand as Lark put her leg up on the bed. She sat on Rayne’s lap and moved her other leg up on the bed, straddling Rayne who wrapped her strong arms around Lark, pulling her closer. She looked up and smiled lovingly, “yes, I have an idea as to how much you love me. You tell me every time you look at me Lark. I love you completely and with all of my heart.” Lark’s heart fluttered from the profession and she gasped trying to hold back her tears of happiness. She leaned down and soundly kissed her lover.

Rayne deepened the passionate kiss, her want for Lark escalating when she felt Lark’s wet curls on her stomach. Her tongue explored everything about Lark as her hands slowly and softly moved down her back. Her hand slid down Lark’s backside, searching for her warm, wet center. Lark broke the kiss and gasped, throwing her head back when Rayne’s finger dipped deep inside her. Rayne stroked her finger in and out as she kissed Lark’s chest between her breast, slowly moving and capturing her darkened nipple in her mouth. Rayne reached up with her other hand and held Lark behind the neck to support her when Lark began to stroke her hips back and forth in rhythm with Rayne, deep inside her. Lark looked back down and cupped Rayne’s face in her hands, watching her sucking her breast. She loved how Rayne’s finger plunged deep within her, then slid out slowly and would thrust back inside of her. She slowly and erotically moved her hips to Rayne’s movements as Rayne moved to her other breast.

Rayne’s tongue circled Lark’s nipple and she buried her face in her breast, wrapping her mouth around her when she felt Lark’s wet, hard clit on her stomach. Her clit throbbed uncontrollably from the way Lark moved and felt. She plunged her finger deeper and picked up the pace as did Lark with her lips. “Rayne you feel incredibly in me. It feels so good, baby. Please don’t stop.” She pleadingly requested in a husky tone and threw her head back, gratified by what Rayne was doing to her. Lark looked back down at Rayne who met her gaze. Lark moved down to kiss her and Rayne breathed in her scent on Lark’s mouth before their lips touched. Rayne moved her head up to Lark, slipping her tongue inside her mouth unable to wait for the kiss. Lark pressed her lips against Rayne’s who deepened the kiss and stroked Lark’s center faster. Lark moved her hips faster and broke the kiss breathlessly. She gasped for her breath and moved faster, feeling her orgasm overtaking her. “Oh, Rayne! I love you so much.” She shouted completely satiated with Rayne.

“I love you.” Rayne whispered and felt Lark’s body stiffen, then relax when she released her orgasm.

“Oh, oh!” Lark shouted and wrapped her arms around Rayne’s head, holding her tightly as one wave after another of orgasms consumed her.

Rayne held her tight and reveled in the way Lark felt. She was enthralled by the beautiful and sensual lovemaking they just experienced, holding Lark tightly until she felt her relax against her. She slowly slid her finger out of her and felt Lark buck forward when another orgasm over took her. Lark breathed hard and shuttered through her sensuous spasm. Rayne lightly kissed her chest and breasts as Lark fought to calm her racing heart. She was amazed by how erotic, passionate and loving Lark was, as no one had ever been with her. She looked up when she felt Lark move back and smiled when she peered into her loving greens. Lark leaned down and pressed her lips against Rayne’s, sensually kissing her. She reached up and held Lark’s face, then broke the kiss lovingly staring at her. “You are so beautiful and absolutely incredible. You make me so happy.”

“I feel the same way about you Rayne.” Lark smiled and kissed Rayne’s forehead.

Rayne stood up with Lark still wrapped around her and turned towards the bed. She leaned forward so Lark could lie back on the bed. Lark laid on the bed and released her hold of Rayne with her legs, intently staring into the blues she loved so much. Rayne sexily grinned and leaned down, giving her a fleeting kiss before lying next to her on the bed. She moved onto her side and propped her head up with her hand as she lovingly stared at Lark. She slipped her hand on Lark’s stomach and guided her closer. She smiled when Lark moved closer to her and lovingly brushed the errant strand of blonde hair off Lark’s face. She leaned down and softly kissed Lark as her hand moved up, stopping on her breast. Lark moved her hand onto Rayne’s hip and pulled her closer as Rayne gently kneaded her breath, deepening the searing kiss.

Rayne broke the kiss and smiled at Lark, thinking about how lucky she was to have the beautiful blonde in her life. “If you keep tempting me with your sexy body like that you’ll never get to sleep this evening.” Rayne flirtatiously told her, grinning as she adoringly looked down at Lark.

“Who said anything about sleep this evening?” Lark lustfully asked and moved Rayne on her back.

Rayne chuckled at her flirtatiousness and watched as Lark climbed on top of her. She caught her breath that momentarily escaped her when Lark tossed her blonde hair to the side, lost in her beauty. “We have plenty of time to sleep.” Rayne softly said and grinned with anticipation when she felt Lark’s wet mound on her leg as she lay on top of her. She gasped and felt her heart race when Lark passionately kissed her, then reached between her legs for another round of lovemaking.

Rayne woke and smiled blissfully as she felt Lark’s warmth next to her. She brushed Lark’s hair off her face and turned her head, smiling lovingly as she gazed upon her peacefully sleeping lover who laid on her side facing her. She wiped the sleep from her eyes and caught a whiff of Lark on her mouth instantly sending warmth throughout her. She smelled her sweet scent everywhere, on her fingers, her mouth and wished she were making love to her right then. She moved closer to Lark and brought her hand to barely touch the smaller woman’s face, but decided not to as she didn’t want to wake her. She laid her head on the pillow and faced Lark who was oblivious to her admirer as she slept soundly. ‘She’s so beautiful and she has captured my heart like no one else. She makes me quiver with lusty anticipation every time she kisses me. I wonder if she would be willing to go to the wildest extremes so I could see the look of complete ecstasy in her eyes. I would for her.’ She adoringly thought and smiled, thinking that she would do anything for the beautiful blonde lying before her. ‘I love how her adoring smile radiates across her beautiful face and I wonder why anyone as charming, smart and beautiful could be remotely attracted to me especially after the hard time I gave her when we first met.’ She inwardly chuckled, remembering that time and how persistent Lark was with her. ‘I don’t ever want to hurt her and I want to give her all that my heart will give.’ She lovingly thought as a smile lifted the corner of her mouth and she leaned forward to kiss her. Her soft kiss lingered on the younger woman’s cheek and she moved back, happy that she didn’t wake her. She quietly slipped out of the bed, watching Lark and hoping she didn’t wake her. She smiled mischievously and headed out of the room to fulfill the thought that popped into her head.

She smiled uncontrollably as she padded down the carpeted hallway and stopped in her tracks when she heard someone in the kitchen. ‘Shit, Lark didn’t tell me someone would be here.’ She thought caught off guard and looked down at the attire she wore, nothing, and quickly scrambled back to the bedroom. She slipped on her shirt and pants before heading back down the hall wondering whom it could be, then it dawned on her when she smelled the coffee brewing. ‘It must be her housekeeper.’ Rayne surmised and turned the corner of the hall, entering the spacious kitchen. “Good morning Hazel.” She cheerfully greeted, hoping she didn’t scare the woman.

“The same to you Rayne. I hope you both are hungry?” She asked with a grin, knowing Lark’s voracious appetite.

“I’m famished. Lark didn’t tell me you would be here.” Rayne answered and grabbed the coffee mug sitting on the counter then poured a cup of coffee.

“Elaine asked that I come over and prepare a nice breakfast for you both.” She explained with a smile and pulled the toast out of the toaster.

‘I have to remember to thank and chastise Elaine for having her come over here. Damn, what if I would have walked in here naked!’ She thought with a snicker at her latter thought. She was slightly bummed out that she wasn’t going to be the one preparing Lark breakfast, but from the taste of the coffee, she couldn’t wait until she ate the food Hazel was preparing. ‘My coffee doesn’t taste this good.’ She thought and took another sip. “This coffee is wonderful and if those eggs taste as good as they look I’m going to have to steal you from Lark.” She grinned and chuckled, as did Hazel.

“Well, thank you for the compliment.” Hazel blushed and carefully arranged the plates on the tray.

“What kind of coffee is this? It’s wonderful” Rayne asked, sipping the last of it and turned to pour more.

“It’s ‘African Cinnamon Hazelnut’.” Hazel answered and held the tray in front of her for Rayne to take.

“Wow, it’s great! Oh, thanks.” She stammered and placed her coffee mug on the tray then took it from her. “Thanks again, we really appreciate it.” Rayne smiled gratefully and walked a few steps, but was stopped by Hazel.

“You must not forget the best part.” Hazel grinned and placed the vase with one single rose on the tray. She glanced at Rayne smiling and winked saying, “This will score you extra points with her.”

“Good thinking.” Rayne added and smiled. “Thanks again.” Rayne nodded and headed down the hall to the bedroom, closing the door behind her.

She placed the tray down beside the bed and quickly stripped off her clothes. She lay on the bed next to Lark who was still oblivious to her surroundings. “Hey, baby.” She softly whispered and lightly stroked Lark’s arm to not startle her. She couldn’t bring Lark out of her dreams and leaned down, lightly kissing her. She leaned back and smiled when Lark peered up at her.

“I thought you would never kiss me.” She softly said, trying to clear the sleepiness from her voice and smiled lovingly. She stretched and giggled from the wonderful sensations she still felt from her tryst with Rayne the previous night.

“Well, let me give you another then.” Rayne offered with a smile and leaned down, obliging the blonde with another kiss.

“Hmmm, yummy.” She smiled blissfully and lovingly gazed at Rayne.

“I have a surprise for you. So, close your eyes and sit up.” Rayne informed her and propped the pillows up against the headboard of the bed.

“Ooh, I like surprises especially from you.” Lark smiled and did as Rayne told her.

“You’re not looking are you?” Rayne asked, climbing off the bed and looked back at her.

“No, I promise I’m not.” Lark giggled, eagerly waiting for her surprise.

Rayne grinned and lifted the tray up, then placed it in front of Lark. “Okay, open your eyes.” She told her and grinned wickedly.

“Oh, how sweet! I can’t believe you made me breakfast. Come here and let me thank you properly.” She smiled and pulled Rayne closer, kissing her as Rayne leaned over the tray.

Rayne leaned back, in front of the tray, across Lark’s legs and reveled in her beautiful smile. She though of how she always wanted to make Lark smile. “As much as I would love to take credit for it, I can’t. Although, I did have good intentions of making you breakfast, but Hazel beat me to it.” Rayne sheepishly admitted.

“Hazel’s here? Wow, it’s a good thing I didn’t walk down the hall naked!” She asked surprised and commented with a laugh. Rayne looked down at the bed and scratched her forehead laughing, that she almost gave Hazel a peep show. “You didn’t?” Lark asked, in disbelief.

“Well, almost. I heard her before I got to the kitchen and hurried back to get dressed.” Rayne answered with a laugh, shared by Lark.

“What is she doing here anyway? I didn’t tell her to come in today.” Lark asked confused by why the woman was there.

“It seems that your dear agent Elaine told her to come in and make a wonderful breakfast for us.” Rayne explained and chuckled as she grabbed a slice of bacon. “By the way, remind me to thank Elaine for almost exposing myself to Hazel the next time I see her.” Rayne chuckled, looking up at Lark and biting into the piece of bacon.

“Well, that sneak! I’ll have talk to her and have her inform me the next time.” Lark giggled and ate a forkful of eggs. She chewed and swallowed, then placed the fork down. “Come here my love you are too far away.” Lark told her and smiled when Rayne moved closer to her.

“Is this better?” Rayne flirtatiously asked, sitting next to her.

“Definitely.” Lark answered and kissed Rayne soundly. Lark broke the kiss and smiled affectionately as she looked at Rayne. “Would you care to be my date for a movie premiere at the end of the week?” She asked hopeful Rayne would accept her offer.

“I would love to be your date for a movie premiere or any other day of the year.” Rayne accepted with a flirtatious smile and laughed when Lark giggled excitedly as she nibbled on her neck.

“Earth to Lark!” Elaine called out and snapped her fingers to get the absent blonde’s mind back in the real time.

“Huh?” Lark asked, after breaking free from her thoughts and turned to Elaine.

“What’s up with you spacing out like that Lark? You’ve been doing that quite frequently lately.” Elaine asked and sat in the chair next to Lark, who was waiting for the make up artist to begin.

“Oh, sorry. It’s nothing.” She evasively answered and tried to shrug it off.

“No, come on. Tell me what’s going on.” Elaine coaxed, knowing that’s exactly what Lark wanted her to do.

She sighed and looked at Elaine. “I’m nervous about mine and Rayne’s first year anniversary Elaine.” Lark admitted with a worried look on her face.

“Why? Did you two have a fight or something?”

“No, nothing like that.” Lark answered as her thoughts trailed off.

“Well, what’s going on then?” Elaine asked, touching Lark’s arm to bring her back into the conversation.

“You know that Rayne and I have been looking at houses to buy right?”

“Yeah, I thought you had decided on one down at the beach.” Elaine answered, remembering Lark telling her about it.

“Well, that’s what I thought, but now I’m getting the feeling that Rayne isn’t too thrilled about us buying a house together. I’m wondering if maybe she’s having second thoughts about our relationship and doesn’t want to move in with me. What if she’s tired of being with me?” Lark asked, feeling insecure.

“Lark, come on. There is no way Rayne is getting tired of you. I have never seen someone so in love with another as she is with you. She absolutely adores you. Why would you think that?”

“Oh, maybe I’m just being silly.” Lark answered and tried to wave it off.

“This is really painstaking getting this conversation out of you Lark. Tell me what’s going on.” Elaine demanded, frustrated by the way Lark was being so evasive.

“Okay, well I would really love to get the house on the beach and I thought Rayne wanted that one as well, but now she’s being really evasive when I talk to her about purchasing it together. She keeps brushing me off and telling me she has to speak with her brother in regards to all of the legal stuff in purchasing the house. So, I’m thinking she might be having second thoughts and then, she still hasn’t given me a ring to seal our devotion to each other.” Lark explained with a whine.

“Are you kidding me? All of this nonsense is about her not giving you a ring?” Elaine incredulously asked in disbelief of what she was hearing.

“Well, we’ve been together for almost a year now so why hasn’t she given me a ring and why is she being so evasive about purchasing the house together?”

“Lark, I really can’t believe that you need Rayne to give you a ring to show her devotion to you. Besides, she gives you gifts all the time to show you how much she cares about you. Need I point out the dressing room full of flowers she sent you on Valentine’s Day? Oh, dear don’t let me forget the beautiful diamond studded heart shaped pendant she gave you on that day as well. Oh, how about all of the other days she sent flowers to you, just to let you know she’s thinking of you or the gorgeous diamond bracelet she gave you on your six month anniversary that matches your necklace. Ooh, lest I forget that beautiful crystal dolphin statue she gave you for your birthday. With all of that said, I do need to remind you of the gift you gave her on your anniversary, a drawer. Maybe that’s the problem. She’s sick of giving you so many elaborate gifts when all you give her is a drawer.” Elaine sarcastically told her, still in disbelief of Lark’s attitude.

“Elaine! I thought the drawer was a great gift idea and it said to her that I wanted her to be a permanent person in my house. Besides, I gave her a beautiful silver necklace for Valentine’s Day as well.” Lark defensively answered.

“But a freaking drawer on your anniversary Lark? You’re filthy rich, couldn’t you have given her a dresser or an entire closet to say that?” Elaine asked with a snide remark.

“I understand how you think it would be a stupid gift, but at the time I didn’t want her to think I was rushing us to move in together. I came on so strong in the beginning that I just didn’t want to scare her away by insinuating that the u-haul was coming for her things. It was my subtle way of telling her I wanted her there without me pressuring her to move in. Besides, she loved it!” Lark explained.

“I think that is a very strange way of telling someone you want them there permanently and I really think you should be having this conversation with Rayne.” Elaine answered exasperated by her friends reasoning.

“Maybe I am just being silly, but think about it. If she really wanted to live with me, she would have asked me, right?” Lark asked, trying to validate her reasoning.

“Maybe she was waiting for you to ask, besides why are we having this conversation if the two of you have been looking for a house to buy together?” Elaine asked confused.

“At the drawer point we weren’t talking about buying the house. It came up recently and the more I thought about it, I wondered if she was just going house hunting with me to appease me because I brought it up and maybe she really doesn’t want to live with me.” Lark explained with a fretful look on her face at her last comment.

“Lark you are freaking killing me. Are you going to get your period at any minute now?” Elaine asked, narrowing one eye at Lark skeptically.

Lark chuckled and looked down, knowing she was busted. “Yep, it’s due in next week. Oh, I’ve been so silly Elaine. I’m sorry.” Lark admitted with an embarrassed blush about her when she looked up at Elaine, knowing she was being very irrational.

“Look honey, there must be a logical explanation for why Rayne is being so evasive now about the house. Maybe you think she’s being evasive and really she’s not. Do you really need a ring from her to know her devotion to you?” Elaine asked, knowing her friend wasn’t that shallow.

“No,” Lark sheepishly admitted and realized how bad that sounded. “You’re right, I’m being such a spoiled rotten bitch about this. She’s on assignment out of town with my father and she’s not going to be home for our anniversary, I miss her terribly, my period is planning my doom, I want us to live together and I’m just feeling so freaking insecure. I know I shouldn’t be that way because I know how much she loves me and now that you’ve pointed it out to me, I have really given her some shitty presents! I’m going to have to make up for it.” She rambled on in an answer, feeling guilty for the way she was acting. Tears welled in her eyes and Elaine put her arm around Lark’s shoulder to comfort her who leaned her head against Elaine’s shoulder.

“Oh, now come on. No tears, everything is going to be alright. Maybe something can be worked out that you two will be able to spend your first anniversary together. It wouldn’t hurt to ask again right?” Elaine softly asked and patted Lark’s arm, looking down at her for the answer.

Lark wiped the tears from her eyes and looked up at Elaine. “No, you’re right, it won’t hurt to ask again. Thanks for talking to me and helping me to keep things in perspective.” Lark smiled appreciatively.

“That’s my job my dear.” Elaine chuckled as did Lark. “You never know, she may give you a ring for this anniversary.” Elaine added with a giggle shared by Lark.

The two women sat silently thinking back on the conversation when Lark asked, “what was I thinking giving her a stupid drawer? She must think I’m an idiot, but she told me she liked it. I think she was just telling me that so I didn’t feel bad.” Lark rationalized, thinking back on the day she gave it to her.

“The great thing about Rayne honey is that she loves you no matter what, even if you do give her a stupid present like that drawer. I’m sure she knew what your intentions were and appreciated them for what they were.” Elaine reassuringly smiled, looking at Lark.

“Yeah, you’re right and I love her that much more for it.” Lark answered and smiled, leaning her head against Elaine’s shoulder again. “I wonder what she is doing right about now?” She asked, her mind wandering off to the raven-haired beauty.

“She’s probably bored to death sitting there in one of your father’s meetings.” Elaine answered with a laugh and shook her head feeling sorry for her.

“Yeah, more than likely.” Lark added with a smile.

“Forrest, this better not be another wild goose chase with this asshole. We’ve come too close to finding out who is behind all of these threats against Congressman Morgan, for it to be a dead end.” Rayne told him, agitated by all the dead ends they encountered as her, Forrest and two other agents slowly approached the large home through the cover of the trees.

“Our sources tell us this is where the mastermind lives.” Forrest reminded her as the team stopped. “Okay, you two head around to the back and we’ll take the front. Let us know when you are in place.” Forrest ordered as the other agents nodded in acknowledgement and headed off.

“I am ready to take this asshole down that’s for sure. We are never going to get another assignment if we don’t hurry up and close this case.” Rayne answered as the pair ducked behind the shrubbery, waiting until the other agents were in place.

“So, what do you have planned for your first anniversary?” Forrest asked with a silly grin, turning to look at his partner who intently stared at the house as they waited.

“Aah, that would be none of your business. Besides, we are leaving for Cape Cod with the Congressman later tonight and our anniversary is in two days, don’t you remember?” Rayne asked, never breaking her gaze from the front.

“Oh, yeah. Shit I have lost all track of time. Man, that sucks.” He added and pushed the earpiece in when he heard a transmission. “10-4. We’re moving in now.” He acknowledged into his mic and nodded at Rayne for them to get moving.

The pair stayed behind the cover of the shrubs and made their way towards the house. They crept onto the porch and both jumped against the wall when they saw a man pass by the window near the door. “Shit, we’ve been had.” Rayne replied when she saw a man hurry out of the house and jump into a car. “Stop him!” She shouted as they ran off the porch and aimed their guns at the car, which screeched its tires to leave.

“Elaine, my poor baby is probably ready to fall asleep listening to another one of my father’s speeches.” Lark told her with a pouting look on her face.

“I really don’t know how she stays awake at all of those functions. It must be that someone is screaming in her ear piece to keep her awake.” Elaine surmised and both laughed at the comment. “More than likely they are just hanging out with your dad, at his office doing nothing. I mean what else would they be doing?”

“I don’t know because she can’t talk about a lot of stuff she does at work as so much is top secret, but it must be the most boring job in the world standing around watching my dad all day.” Lark answered and looked in the mirror as the make up artist put the finishing touches on her face.

Rayne and Forrest fired their guns at the car and Rayne shoved Forrest to the ground when a shot whizzed by them from the house. “What the hell?” She cursed and turned toward the house, seeing a man by the windowpane of the door with a gun. “Try to find out where that car is heading!” Rayne shouted and took off running towards the house as Forrest scrambled to his feet.

Rayne saw the man in the window move towards the door, she ran faster and jumped, kicking the door in and knocking the man behind it down. She tumbled once inside and stood above the man who was knocked out just as the other two agents entered. “Nice move Rayne.” They approvingly told her with a chuckle.

“Thanks, cuff him and check the rest of the house. I need to help Forrest.” She told them out of breath and ran out of the house. She glanced up to see Forrest chasing the erratically weaving car on foot and shooting at the same time. She caught a glimpse of a motorcycle sitting inside the garage and ran towards it. “Come on, hopefully the keys are here so I don’t have to hot wire it.” She said, climbing onto the bike and found them in the ignition. “Yes! Thank you!” She chuckled and fired the engine on the motorcycle. She kicked it in gear and screeched the tires when she took off.

She quickly passed Forrest who was out of breath and pointing in the direction of where the car went. She made the turn and sped up to catch the car that was off in the distance. She leaned down towards the handlebars to reduce the wind resistance and turned the throttle wide open. She locked up the brakes and squealed the tires when the car made a sudden turn. She gunned the throttle again and quickly approached the car. “Shit!” She shouted when she heard a bullet fly past her after she swerved to miss it. She maneuvered the motorcycle to make it difficult for the assailant to fire on her and sped up, closing in on the car. She pulled her gun out and began firing at the car. The car made a quick turn and she locked the brakes up, but couldn’t stop in time to make the turn. “Oh, this is going to hurt.” She shouted and laid the motorcycle down on its side, pushing it away from her and tumbling off to the side just before a car ran the motorcycle over. “Aah!” She shouted in pain when she came to a rest along the road in a patch of gravel. “Oh, man does that hurt.” She said and lay there for a moment. “I can’t believe that asshole got away.” She shouted frustrated and lay panting, trying to catch her breath.

She reached into her pocket for the cell phone that was ringing. “Forrest?” She asked in the phone without looking at her caller ID.

“No, it’s me. Hi, honey. What are you doing? I miss you.” Lark sweetly told her in the phone.

“Lark, aah hi babe.” She stammered surprised and quickly sat up, moaning in the process. She reached over and picked up her gun that lay next to her, placing it in the holster.

“Are you okay? What’s going on?” Lark worriedly asked, by Rayne’s strange demeanor in her voice.

“Oh, I’m fine. Listen, I’m right in the middle of something here, could I call you back in a little while?” She calmly asked, hoping Lark wouldn’t catch on to what was happening with her and be worried.

“Sure, call me back soon. I love you.” She giggled and smiled, waiting for Rayne’s answer.

“I love you too babe. Bye.” Rayne answered and clicked the phone off, shaking her head and chuckling at the timing Lark had with her phone calls. She rose to her feet and limped towards the car that hit the motorcycle. “Are you okay?” She asked when she approached.

“I’m fine, but what the hell were you doing?” The man angrily asked.

“I’m a Secret Service Agent and I was chasing someone, I apologize. Our office will take care of any damages to your car.” She informed him and flashed her badge his way.

“Oh, okay. Yeah.” He stammered not expecting to run into a Secret Service Agent and turned towards the two cars that screeched to a halt next to them.

“Rayne are you okay?” Forrest shouted after exiting the car and rushing over to her.

“Oh, never better.” She sarcastically answered bent over with her arms extended on her legs, trying to catch her breath and calm her racing heart. “The bastard got away.” She angrily told him and stood up, limping towards the car. “Hey, Frank get this man’s information so we can take care of the damage to his car.” She called out and climbed in when she saw Frank approach the man. “How the hell did you find me?” She asked, curious as to how they arrived so quickly.

“I took a wild guess, but manly the noise of the car screeching gave it away. Here.” Forrest explained and offered her a handkerchief. “Your head is bleeding.” He told her and motioned towards it. She took the cloth and put it to her head, pressing down to stop the bleeding. He shut the door behind her and climbed into the driver’s seat. “We better get you to the hospital to be checked out. How did you hit your head?” He suggested and looked at his partner who looked like hell.

“Probably on the handle bars or the freaking rock I ran into when I fell or maybe my gun. Who knows, but I’ll be fine.” She sarcastically reassured and leaned her head back against the seat, casual about her injuries.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t shoot or kill yourself in that accident.” He commented, worried about his partner.

“Hey, you know we aren’t suppose to lose our guns, I had to keep a hold of it. Besides, I’m fine dude.” Rayne sarcastically added, down playing the accident.

“Not the way you look you’re not.” He added with a chuckle and started the car up. “You’re going to get checked out and that’s final.”

“Come on man. I’m more pissed off about that fucker who got away. I can’t believe it!” She fumed and shifted in her seat.

“Well, we’ve got the other guy so let’s see what we can get out of him. Hey, what the heck did you do to that door? I think Tim and Frank are going to be telling tall tales at the office for quite some time from the way they were gloating about how you got the other guy before we left the house.” He asked and told her with a chuckle.

“Aah, I just ran towards the door, jumped and kicked it in. I got lucky because I wasn’t sure it would work. I could have easily being laying flat on my back if the door wouldn’t have opened.” Rayne answered with a chuckle.

“You nailed that guy big time and you are still going to the hospital. I know you’re trying to butter me up so I won’t take you.” He added with a laugh.

“You can be such a nag some time. Now, I have to call Lark back and I don’t want you letting on that I was injured.” Rayne warned with a stern look.

“Then don’t give me any shit about taking you to the hospital or I will.” He added with a sly grin.

“Deal,” she conceded and moved the phone to her ear after dialing the number. “Hi honey.” She cheerfully greeted into the phone.

“What are you doing Rayne? Are you stuck in a boring meeting?” Lark asked, smiling giddily from hearing Rayne’s voice on the phone.

“Oh, yeah in a boring meeting. Listen, I’ll give you a call later tonight when I get home okay?” She asked, trying not to alert Lark to any problem.

“Okay, uh I’ll talk to you later then.” She answered disappointed.

“I’m sorry sweets. I’ll be able to talk more later though.” She told her and grimaced when she straightened out her knee.

“I look forward to talking to you. I love you.” Lark sweetly professed and smiled.

“Same here honey. Bye.” She smiled and ended the conversation, then placed the phone back in her pocket.

“Why didn’t you tell her you were hurt?” Forrest asked, turning to look at her.

“Because, I’m not hurt that bad and I didn’t want to worry her. She would have been nervous and stressed out, practically killing herself to get here to see me for nothing.” Rayne explained looking at him then leaned her head back against the seat.

“She should know Rayne.”

“I know, but I didn’t want her to worry. I would hate for anything to happen to her if she were to rush here to be with me. I’ve got some abrasions, I’ll be fine.” She reasoned and looked at him.

“Let’s have the doctor determine that okay, but you need to tell her later.” He added with a sly grin.

“Okay, nag.” She conceded and laughed, as did Forrest.

“Besides, you’ll get some major sympathy points.” Forrest added with a grin and chuckled, as did Rayne thinking of how many soothing kisses of Lark’s she would receive for all the bumps and bruises she had from the accident.

“Elaine, I really need to speak to my father about his boring speeches and torturing my honey so much. She didn’t sound so well when I spoke to her both times.” Lark told her worriedly and moved off the chair.

“Lark, I don’t think your father can help the fact that he gives boring speeches, but if you think it will help, talk to him.” She chuckled and followed Lark towards the set.

“Listen, I’m sorry for the way I acted earlier. I really am not that shallow and I was just feeling insecure. I know Rayne loves me very much and she’s told me many times that she wants us to be together forever. Aah, I hate these raging hormones every month. They wreak so much havoc on my emotions.” Lark sighed, feeling stupid and guilty for the way she was acting earlier.

“Yeah, well you aren’t they only woman who suffers with them hun. Try to find a solution to your anniversary problem. Maybe there is a way for the two of you to spend time together.” Elaine smiled warmly and stopped, facing Lark.

“I will, thanks.” Lark smiled appreciatively.

“Now, get to work and make us both stars!” Elaine teasingly pushed her towards the set as Lark looked back and laughed before heading off to work.

Lark entered the darkened house and turned on the light, closing and locking the door behind her. She sighed disappointed when it hit her that Rayne wouldn’t be there with her. She dropped her purse on the couch and rushed towards the phone when she heard it ring. “Rayne?” She asked, bringing the phone to her ear.

“How did you know?” Rayne asked with a chuckle.

“I have ESP don’t you know that?” Lark teasingly giggled and flopped down on the couch, happy to hear from her tall lover. “Rayne, I have something to tell you. I feel so bad.” Lark whined, feeling awful for the way she was earlier with Elaine.

“Oh, well I have something to tell you too. You go first.” Rayne suggested and worried about what Lark had to tell her from the way she sounded.

“Well, I’ve been really upset that we aren’t going to be together for our anniversary and I was feeling wicked insecure about our relationship. Rayne I’m so sorry I gave you that drawer for an anniversary present. I should have given you something nicer. Are you sure you want to move in with me?” She uncertainly rambled on.

“Whoa, Lark what’s up with all of this?” Rayne asked flabbergasted by what she just heard.

“Rayne, I told you I was feeling really insecure about us today and I was talking to Elaine about it. She talked me through it and I realized how much of a spoiled bitch I was being and…” Lark attempted to explain and was cut off by Rayne.

“Hold it right there. You aren’t a spoiled bitch, you are a spoiled princess and one that I love with all of my heart.” Rayne corrected with a chuckle and continued. “Yes, I want to move in with you and I loved the drawer you gave me on our anniversary. I thought it was a very original gift and I appreciated the meaning of it then and now.” Rayne calmly reassured.

“Are you sure? I mean, I was thinking that maybe you just told me that not to hurt my feelings about the drawer.” Lark asked, needing reassurance from her.

“Lark, I didn’t just tell you that to not hurt your feelings. I completely understood the meaning of it and I appreciated the fact that you were subtly sending me messages that it was time for us to move in together. In fact, I was going to ask you to move in with me, but then worried that I might be moving to quickly for you. So, I backed off and when I got your clever message with the gift I figured it was fine for us to take that next step. Unfortunately, we were both so busy with work that we haven’t been together enough until recently to start looking for a home. I’m telling you with all of my heart that I want us to live together.” Rayne wholeheartedly told her.

Lark wiped the tears that trickled down her cheeks and smiled, feeling her heart flutter from what Rayne just told her. “I’m sorry for being such an emotional wreck Rayne. I am so upset that we won’t be able to spend our first anniversary together that I can barely stand it.” She tearfully admitted.

“I know, me too sweets. I wish we could be there, but hey I’ll be back on the weekend and we can celebrate it then. How does that sound?” Rayne asked, hoping it would calm her down. “Lark, please don’t cry, you’re breaking my heart baby.” She softly pleaded, hearing Lark sob in the background.

“I’m sorry Rayne. I just can’t help it. You’re right, we’ll be together over the weekend and can celebrate it then.” She reasoned and wiped the tears away. She inhaled deeply and said, “So, what did you have to tell me?” trying to change the subject.

“Oh, it’s not important. What’s important is that you are okay. Are you feeling better?” She worriedly asked and leaned forward in the chair, resting her elbows on her legs.

“I’m fine, I promise. Now, it is important so tell me.” Lark reassured her and coaxed, for an answer.

“Well, aah I was in a minor accident today.” Rayne attempted to tell her as gentle as possible and looked up at Forrest who had stepped into the doorway.

He heard her tell of the accident and mouthed “minor accident?” then shook his head in disbelief at her cavalier attitude. She waved her hand at him to go away and he motioned with hand gestures that their dinner was there.

She shook her head in acknowledgement and held up one finger indicating she would be right there. She grimaced when she heard Lark shriek in a panic, “You were in an accident? Are you okay? Why didn’t you call me? What happened?”

“Lark, Lark,” Rayne attempted to calm her down and clenched her eyes closed, wondering why in the hell she bothered to tell her, knowing that she was going to react this way.

“Rayne I can’t believe it are you in the hospital? Where are you, I’m on the next plane there, I don’t give a shit about what happens with the movie.” Lark angrily and worriedly told her, springing to her feet and pacing back and forth nervously.

“Lark, just calm down. I am fine. I have a cut on my forehead, some bruises and road rash from having to lay the motorcycle down. Trust me, I’m fine baby.” Rayne soothingly explained, trying to keep Lark calm.

“Why didn’t you call me?” Lark asked, feeling left out and held her chest, hoping to calm her racing heart. She had a flash of how ghastly it would feel if something terrible happened to Rayne and she wasn’t in her life.

“I didn’t want to worry you babe. I knew I was fine honey. I’m sorry I didn’t call you, I promise I will the next time.” Rayne sweetly apologized and promised.

“You better and you better not be lying to me. I’m going to call daddy later to make sure your injuries are minor or you are in big trouble.” Lark angrily warned, her heart still racing from the fear she felt.

Rayne chuckled and leaned back in the chair, “I promise and your father will vouch for my minor injuries,” reassuring her.

“What were you doing on a motorcycle anyway?” Lark asked confused.

“Well, we were on assignment and one of the suspects was getting away so I had to chase them.” Rayne explained in a generic way to keep Lark calm. If she knew she had been stuck in something that resembled an elaborate police chase from an action movie she would flip out even more.

“But a motorcycle? Rayne you promised with the motorcycles that you would be more careful and you wouldn’t ride them like a wild woman. I couldn’t handle it if something happened to you Rayne.” Lark whined fearful for Rayne’s safety on the motorcycles.

“I know honey, but it was the only thing available to me at the time. I know I made a promise to you about the motorcycles. That’s why I bought my car and parked my motorcycle. I don’t want anything to happen either. I couldn’t imagine not seeing your sweet face.” She thoughtfully told her.

“Aah, you are so adorable and frustrating Rayne.” Lark told her with a giggle. “I can’t imagine my life without you in it honey.” Lark sincerely admitted and felt a catch in her heart from her statement.

“The same goes for me sweets. Now, trust me when I tell you that I’m physically fine, I love you with all of my heart and there is nothing more in the world I would like to do than to live with you in our new home. Shayan is still checking the paperwork, property taxes etc for the house we want on the beach okay?” She asked, hoping to reassure and calm Lark’s fears.

“I can’t wait for us to buy the house and move in together. I want to be able to wake up next to you and know that you have more than one drawer for your clothes in OUR home.” Lark told her with a laugh shared by Rayne.

“Me too babe. I look forward to us moving in together. Are you feeling better now?” Rayne asked, hoping she was.

“Yes, I felt better the second I heard your voice.” Lark admitted with a giggle.

“Same here when I heard yours.” Rayne added with a chuckle. “I will give you a call later okay. I’m going to grab something to eat and we have to make our security rounds, but we’ll talk more later, I promise.” Rayne guaranteed.

“I look forward to hearing from you baby. Have a good dinner and I love you very much.” Lark wholeheartedly professed.

“I love you sweets.” Rayne smiled happily after Lark told her how much she loved her and felt a tickle in her stomach. “Bye.”

“Bye honey.” Lark answered and blew a kiss into the phone.

Rayne chuckled and blushed from the way Lark had a way of making her feel as she clicked the phone off. She held the phone against her mouth thinking of how Lark had made such a significant impact on her life and of how happy she was to be apart of Lark’s life. She inhaled deeply to calm her racing heart and stood up, walking towards the door to join her fellow agents for dinner, feeling complete with the love of a beautiful woman in her heart.

Rayne had been trying to catch Lark by phone any chance she had throughout the day and into the early evening, but was unable to reach her. ‘Where is she, I want to tell her happy anniversary.’ She wondered frustrated by her inability to contact her and clicked the phone off. ‘Maybe she’s had additional hours at the set today that she forgot to tell me about? I can’t believe she didn’t try to call me. What if something happened to her?’ She nervously worried as thoughts ran rampant through her mind. ‘No, Elaine would have called me if something happened to her. She’s fine, just busy. She’ll call, now calm down.’ She jumped startled when the phone in her hand rang. She quickly put it to her ear. “Lark?” She asked into the phone.

“Happy anniversary honey!” Lark’s sweet voice greeted into the phone much to Rayne’s relief.

“I’ve been so worried about you Lark. Whew, I’m glad to hear your voice. I’ve been trying to get in touch with you all day and I was getting very worried that something bad happened to you.” Rayne answered in a relieved sigh and felt her racing heart calm to a steady beat.

“I’m sorry honey. I had a wicked long day on the set. I miss you and wish I could be in your arms right now.” Lark confessed longingly.

“Me too.” Rayne softly said and leaned her hand against the wall for support as she stared out the window into the darkness. “I want to hold you, smell your alluring scent, kiss you, make love to you and tell you how much I love you. I want to give you your anniversary gifts and make love to you all night, and into the weekend.” Rayne informed her, reflectively looking off into the distance wishing she were with Lark. She looked down and pulled out the present she had for Lark that was in her pocket. She smiled and couldn’t wait to give her the present as she lightly moved her thumb over the gift, then placed it back in her pocket.

“Oh, baby that sounds absolutely wonderful. I would love for you to do all of those things to me and more.” She flirtatiously answered and felt a warmth rush straight to her core.

“Rayne!” Forrest called out in a soft voice to not scare her.

She turned towards him unhappy with the intrusion and covered the phone. “What?” She agitatedly asked.

“Congressman Morgan needs to speak with you.” He informed her.

“Can’t he wait?” She asked aggravated by the fact that she was finally able to speak with Lark and had to get off the phone.

“No, he was pretty adamant about seeing you right away.” He told her and exited the room.

‘Damn.’ She thought angrily and turned, looking back out the window. “Hey, aah honey. I have to go, but I’ll call you back very soon okay?” Rayne asked, reluctant to lose her connection to Lark.

“I understand sexy. I’ll be here waiting for you.” Lark reassured her.

“Happy anniversary babe. I love you.” Rayne softly said and smiled, thinking of how much she loved Lark.

“I love you too honey. Bye.” Lark giggled and clicked the phone off.

Rayne chuckled and ended the call as she exited the room to find out what the Congressman wanted of her.

“Sir, you wanted to see me?” She asked, entering the study where he was reading.

“Yes, I need you to do me a favor.” He answered placing the book in his lap and turned towards her.

“Okay, sure.” She answered and shrugged her shoulders waiting for her instructions.

“A guest of mine has arrived and they are at the guest cottage. I would really appreciate it if you checked out the cottage for me and made sure they were settled in.” He asked with a hopeful smile.

“No problem. I’ll head down there now.” Rayne told him and turned to leave.

“Thanks a million.” He called out when she exited the room.

‘What the hell does he think we are? Does he think we are servants or something? Couldn’t he get someone else to go down there?’ She thought agitated by the request and donned her jacket before exiting the house.

Rayne gasped for her breath after opening the door when she felt a crisp chill in the air strike her face. She wrapped her jacket tighter around her body and folded her arms across her chest for additional warmth as she made the long trek to the guest cottage. ‘Shit it’s cold out here.’ She thought and saw her breath in the cold, night air. She did as she was instructed and checked the outer perimeter of the cottage, and then moved around to the front. She knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer. She stood stunned and speechless when she saw who opened the door. ‘Now, I know why he sent me.’ She thought with an appreciative chuckle, checking the figure out before her.

“Happy anniversary my love. Care to join me in this toasty cottage?” Lark flirtatiously asked with a smile.

“Absolutely.” Rayne was finally able to muster from her surprise as she stood staring at Lark who had a small blanket provocatively draped across her naked body.

Lark reached out and took her hand, pulling her into the cottage and quickly engulfed her in a tight embrace as Rayne kicked the door close. “I am so happy to see you baby.” She whispered in her ear and lightly kissed her cheek, reveling in the wondrous feeling of having Rayne’s strong arms wrapped around her.

“I can’t believe you are actually here Lark. I missed you so much sweets.” Rayne softly told her and leaned back, gazing lovingly into Lark’s warm greens. She smiled happily and leaned in, brushing her lips against Lark’s. She felt Lark’s lips quiver and pressed her lips against Lark’s for a passionate kiss.

Lark melted into the searing kiss and tightly wrapped her arms around Rayne’s neck who lifted her off the ground, deepening the kiss. They broke the kiss breathless and leaned their heads against each other, reveling in the feeling of their long awaited reunion. “I couldn’t be away from you for another minute Rayne and I was so happy that we finished filming early so I could come here.” Lark told her, smiling happily.

Rayne leaned back and smiled. “So your father was in on the ruse huh?” She asked with a sly grin.

“Yeah, I told him we needed to spend our first anniversary together and he agreed. It helps to know people in high places.” She explained with a smile.

I’m glad he agreed and it’s no wonder I couldn’t get in touch with you all day.” She answered in a low tone and kissed Lark again.

“Me too.” Lark whispered through the kiss and deepened it. Lark broke the kiss and giggled giddily as she was ecstatic to see Rayne. “I have some very special presents for you my love.”

“Oh, yeah?” Rayne flirtatiously asked intrigued by what Lark was going to give her.

“Yes, follow me.” She provocatively invited and lead Rayne towards the bedroom.

“Wow! This is great Lark.” Rayne commented when they entered the bedroom, which was filled with candles, roses, along with champagne and food on the table.

“I’m glad to hear you like it babe, but this is just the beginning.” Lark told her with a suggestive wiggle of her eyebrows. “Sit down.” Lark said and guided her down on the bed. She winked at Rayne and poured a glass of champagne for her.

“This is wonderful Lark and you look, wow so freaking incredible.” Rayne told her in awe of everything especially Lark who stood before her with the drink. She took the glass from her and sipped the champagne, then looked up at Lark. “I want to give something to you that I have wanted to and should have done a long time ago. I don’t want to wait any longer.” She explained to Lark and took her hand, guiding her to sit on the bed.

“Okay.” Lark softly answered and sat on the bed anxiously waiting to see what Rayne was going to give her. Her heart raced faster when she saw Rayne pull a small box out of her pocket.

“Lark, I love you with all of my heart and I want you to wear this as a reminder of my love for you and of my promise to always love you.” Rayne softly told her and took the ring out of the box to place on Lark’s finger.

“Oh, Rayne it’s so beautiful.” Lark tearfully exclaimed and lovingly watched as Rayne placed it on her finger. She was giddy and overwhelmed by the beautiful 1-carat diamond set on a 24 carat gold band, which sparkled in the light.

She gasped when Rayne gave her a sideways glance with her devastatingly gorgeous blue eyes. “I don’t want you to ever doubt my love for you. You are the only person I want to spend my life with.” Rayne told her with a loving smile and chuckled when Lark kissed her.

Lark broke the kiss and engulfed Rayne in a tight embrace. “You are so wonderful to me and I’m very lucky to have you in my life.” She softly whispered and leaned back, lovingly staring at Rayne. “I want to love and be with you for as long as I live. I want to make you feel loved and happy every day of your life with me.” Lark tearfully professed.

“I can’t imagine how you wouldn’t. You’ve already made my life completely happy since you entered it sweets.” Rayne admitted and smiled, then raised Lark’s hand and placed a kiss on the ring she gave her.

Lark smiled and felt her heart flutter as she watched Rayne kiss her hand, then peer up at her with those fabulous eyes. “You are so romantic.” She softly replied and smiled lovingly.

“So are you, and are you going to tempt and tease me all night by wearing that blanket or are you going to lose it and allow me to make mad passionate love to you?” Rayne suggestively asked with a flirtatious smile.

“I’ll get to that in just a moment, but first I want to give you the present I have for you.” Lark grinned and took a step towards the table and grabbed the gift. She stood before Rayne and handed her the bag. “I wanted to give you something very intimate.” She explained and watched as Rayne opened the bag, then smiled when she saw Rayne blush after seeing the present.

“This is very intimate Lark.” Rayne answered with a chuckle and looked at the sex toy Lark gave her.

“Well, that’s not the intimate part of it Rayne. I tried to think of an intimate, special and memorable present to give you. I wasn’t able to find a present that expressed all of those, until I realized there was only one thing that could and that was me giving you my virginity. I know it’s so cliché to say that I’ve been saving myself in that way for the right person to come along, but it’s the truth. I’ve been with other women, who have wanted to do that, but it didn’t feel right to me and I never allowed that to happen until now. I want to give you the most intimate thing about me baby, my virginity.” Lark wholeheartedly explained and lovingly stroked her thumb against Rayne’s cheek.

“Lark that is so the most romantic and loving gesture I’ve ever had. It means a lot to me that you want me to have that of you and you have made me so incredibly happy by the offer, which I will accept on one condition.” Rayne informed her and lovingly stared at her.

“Okay, what is that?” Lark asked, waiting for Rayne’s answer.

“That you take my virginity as well. Like you, I’ve never wanted to give that of myself to anyone until I fell in love with you.” Rayne genuinely admitted and smiled.

“Oh, baby that is so sweet and loving. You have taken my breath away.” Lark smiled and patted her chest to calm her racing heart and inhaled deeply. “I can’t wait to give myself to you Rayne. Please, don’t make me wait any longer.” She softly requested and fervently kissed Rayne.

“I won’t.” Rayne whispered through her kiss, deepening it and laying Lark on the bed. She broke the kiss, locked loving blues with warm greens and guided her up on the bed. Rayne leaned over her and passionately kissed her as her hand moved down to Lark’s chest. She reached inside the blanket and moved it off of Lark, brushing her hand against Lark’s hardened nipple. Lark gasped at the contact and waited wantonly for Rayne to make love to her. “I’ll be right back. Just close your eyes and think of how much I love you until I’m ready.” Rayne whispered and kissed Lark before climbing off the bed.

‘I can’t believe she gave me a promise ring and how stupid I was to doubt her for not giving me one before. Elaine was right about the ring. She is so incredibly romantic and is so good to me. I can’t wait to make love with her and allow her have all of me as no one has ever had me before.’ She thought and opened her eyes when she felt Rayne climb on the bed again. She smiled and lovingly kissed Rayne who moved on top of her. She felt a tingling sensation rush straight to her core when she felt Rayne’s naked body and the sex toy pressed against her body.

“I love you.” Rayne sincerely proclaimed through a whisper in her ear and smiled when she felt Lark kiss her cheek.

“Rayne, you are such an incredible lover. I am so happy that I saved myself for you. It felt so good making love to you like that. It was wonderful and so beautiful.” Lark smiled uncontrollably with a glow from what they experienced as she lay on Rayne’s chest, looking up at her.

“I know it was breathtaking. I never wanted to give myself like that to anyone before and actually, never thought I would want someone to take my virginity until I met you. I loved you from the moment I first saw you and knew you were the woman I wanted to be with no matter how much I fought going out with you. I knew I wanted to give all of me to you, in every way. My feelings for you were so strong and terrifying that I tried to stay away, but couldn’t resist your fatal charms.” She explained with a loving smile and lightly stroked Lark’s golden locks.

“Why did you fight it that much if you knew you loved me from the start?” Lark asked, with a smile from the admission.

“I was terrified by the way I felt for you that you might not feel the same about me after we went out and if something did work out for us I was afraid of losing you. They are strange reasons, but I had suffered so much pain before that I couldn’t handle that again. I’m glad I stopped fighting and agreed to go out with you. You have made me the happiest woman in the world and what we both just shared was so intimately beautiful that I’m still having a hard time expressing the feelings I’m having for you. My heart is ready to explode with happiness.” She bashfully admitted and blushed.

Lark giggled at Rayne’s reaction. “Baby, you are so adorable and I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I’m walking on cloud nine and you are a part of me and I’m a part of you now. I have never felt as special as I do when I’m with you Rayne.” Lark smiled lovingly and felt a tickle in her tummy from the feelings she was having.

“I want it to always be that way sweets.” Rayne lovingly confirmed her comment with a kiss.

“Hmmm, me too.” Lark answered, thoroughly satisfied with the kiss they just shared.

“Oh, I do have one more gift for you that I think you are really going to like.” Rayne grinned, amused and excited with the present she had for Lark.

“Another one? I think you have given me plenty Rayne.” Lark asked and said surprised that she would have something else for her.

Rayne grinned mischievously and sat up, reaching for her jacket that was draped across the chair. She reached into the inside pocket and pulled the next present out. She laughed and jumped back on the bed knowing Lark was going to be very happy with the present. Lark giggled at Rayne’s enthusiasm and sat before Rayne on the bed anxiously waiting to see what Rayne had in her hand. “Here.” Rayne exuberantly smiled and held up the present for Lark to take. She had been caring both presents with her on the trip for when she was lonely for Lark and would take them out to make her feel better.

“A key? I’m confused.” Lark asked as she took the key that had a red ribbon on it and looked at it. “Is it the key to your heart?” Lark asked with a giggle.

“You don’t need a key to my heart sweets, you already have that. The key is to our new home.” Rayne explained and mischievously smiled when she saw it register with Lark.

“Oh, my god! Rayne, you bought the house on the beach?” She excitedly shouted and smiled uncontrollably.

“Yes, I wanted it to be a surprise so that’s why I kept putting you off in regards to making an offer. I hope you don’t mind I surprised you with it?” She asked with a grimace, hoping that Lark wasn’t upset with her.

“No, absolutely not.” Lark answered and laughed. “I’m so stupid sometimes.” She replied and chuckled shaking her head.

“Why do you say that?” Rayne asked confused.

“I thought you were being evasive with the house because you didn’t want to move in with me. Boy was I wrong.” Lark explained and laughed at her stupidity.

“Nope, that was the farthest thing from my mind. I want to make a wonderful life with you Lark and show you how much I love you every day.” Rayne lovingly smiled and laughed when Lark threw her arms around her neck, tightly hugging her as she fell back on the bed with Lark on top of her.

“You are so thoughtful and wonderful. I love all my presents, but I have to insist on paying for half of the house. Okay?” Lark adamantly told her as she looked down at Rayne.

”No problem because I only put a down payment on the house so we wouldn’t lose it. We still have to fill out the paperwork and pay for the rest of it until it is officially ours.” Rayne explained and smiled.

“I can’t believe how happy I am Rayne.” Lark lovingly admitted and kissed her.

“Me too sweets, let’s stay that way forever.” Rayne suggested with an endearing smile and lightly stroked Lark’s face with her thumb.

“You got it babe.” Lark answered smiling and captured Rayne’s lips for a soul-searing kiss.


Rayne and Lark’s fifth year anniversary was quickly approaching and they were happily settled into their home after making numerous renovations throughout the years. Lark’s interview requests, movie and TV roles had doubled since her last movie was a box office smash. Her sexual preference for women didn’t seem to hinder her movies at the box office or with landing coveted roles and she was quickly moving up to the A-list for Hollywood actresses. The pair had welcomed a new nephew, Cole, into their lives and Lark was asked to be his godmother by Holly and Shayan.

Rayne had been assigned to international covert operations, which required her to investigate locations before appearances for the Secretary of State when she was out of the country and also served on her protection team. Her job required her to be out of the country quite frequently. The security measures of the Secretary of State was always a top-secret operation and they frequently were heavily armed and most of the agents were disguised during the assignments ensuring the safety of the important government official. After being commended for solving the case involving Congressman Morgan and for their exemplary work performance with their assignment during the presidential inauguration, her and Forrest had been chosen from a select group of agents for their current assignment. They were highly recommended by their supervisor and Congressman Morgan for their hard work and dedication. The pair was elated to finally obtain the jobs they coveted from the day they became Secret Service agents.

“Now Elaine, you have to make sure my schedule is cleared for our anniversary okay?” Lark asked as she removed the make up from her face after an interview she had just finished.

“Yes boss.” Elaine teasingly answered, stuffing a ham sandwich in her mouth.

“I’m serious. It’s a big anniversary for us and I want it to be perfect.” Lark told her, worried that her plans would not be followed through, as she wanted.

“Lark, I know how important they are to you. You’ve been planning this elaborate surprise party for months now and you have made sure to tell me, what? Every week? Yeah, that’s it, every week to make sure your schedule is free at that time.” Elaine sarcastically said and grinned, then ate more of the sandwich.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m getting nervous because it’s going to be here before I know it and I feel like I won’t have everything completed by that time.” Lark whined anxiously, knowing she was aggravating her friend.

“Don’t fret it my dear. You have plenty of people helping you with the party and you’ll have everything ready for the big night. Don’t worry!” Elaine reassured with a chuckle.

“You’re right, but you just never know about trying to keep a secret like this because someone might slip up and make a comment about it. There have been many times I’ve had to bite my tongue around Rayne to not reveal the big party. I’m kicking myself for telling Jayce though. I’m not sure he’s very good with keeping secrets, especially if he’s been out partying and he sure has a hard time keeping them from his sister.” Lark told her and rubbed her forehead; stressed out with the party plans despite the fact the party was still a few weeks away.

“I think he’ll be alright and I’m sure Shayan spoke with him about the secrecy of it. You need to stop worrying Lark, because you are getting wrinkles from crinkling your forehead up like that. We can’t have your forehead looking like that on the big screen.” Elaine teasingly told her to lighten the mood and ease Lark’s nerves.

“Did you ever consider being a comedian instead of an agent?” Lark sarcastically asked, with a sly grin.

“Actually, yes but I wouldn’t have gotten through my act because I would have been laughing to much, envisioning everyone naked like my speech teacher taught us all to do.” She jokingly quipped and both women laughed.

“I should remember that for when I have to present an award in front of tons of people.” Lark added with a chuckle.

“When will Rayne be home?” Elaine asked and took a sip of her water, looking at Lark.

“Who knows?” Lark answered and shrugged her shoulders looking away from Elaine.

Elaine was taken back by her comment and wondered why she was acting so smug about it. Elaine furrowed her brow and was curious as to what else was going on in Lark’s mind as she sat silently staring off in the distance. She had a feeling something else was happening between her and Rayne, considering the comment she made and the way Lark was so nervous about the party. She decided to fish the information out of her. “Is something else going on that you’re not telling me about?” Elaine queried.

“What do you mean?” Lark evasively asked and turned to Elaine then looked back at the mirror removing the remaining makeup, unable to maintain eye contact with her.

“I knew it, something is going on between you two. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, I’m just nervous about the party that’s all.” She deceptively replied and looked down into her purse as if she were looking for something to change the subject.

“Bullshit, now give it up. Tell me what’s going on Lark.” Elaine thwarted her attempt of casting aside the conversation and moved closer to Lark, touching her arm to get her attention.

Lark looked up at Elaine and slightly grinned. “You know me too well.”

“Yes, I do now tell me what’s wrong.” Elaine warmly smiled and gently demanded.

“I’m worried that something is wrong and that Rayne may be growing tired of us.” Lark answered and looked away.

“Oh, don’t start that again Lark. Remember what happened just before your first anniversary? You thought the same thing and she gave you that ring, the one that is suppose to remind you of her love for you. Have you forgotten all about that?” Elaine reminded and pointed at the ring on Lark’s finger.

Lark looked down at the ring and smiled when the diamond sparkled in the light, remembering their beautiful first anniversary. She remembered everything that Rayne told her that night and felt a catch in her heart from her admissions. “No, I haven’t forgotten about that evening and her promises.” Lark softly answered and glanced at Elaine.

“Well, why in the hell are you so worried now?” Elaine asked confused by her friend’s manner.

“We have been talking about getting married and having kids for quite awhile now, but I get the feeling that those things are no longer important for Rayne. She seems to really enjoy being out of the Country a great deal for work and maybe she doesn’t want our relationship to move in that direction. She isn’t very accommodating when it comes to work and acts as if that is the most important thing in her life.” Lark explained, with a sad look on her face.

“Have you spoke with her about it?”

“Yes and she has kind of blown it off saying that we’ll get married and have kids when both of our lives aren’t so hectic. I can easily make my life less chaotic if she would just say so, but she hasn’t and I get the feeling that she wants us to just stay status quo. If she wanted something to change she would have asked to be transferred to a different assignment so we could be together more often. It’s as if I’m supposed to jump and rush off to be with her, but she doesn’t make the same concession for me. Maybe she’s got a thing for the female agent that has been on her team for the past few months and that’s why she’s so reluctant to leave work for me.” Lark insinuated with a touch of resentment and jealousy in her voice.

“You know, you always jump to the wrong conclusion about things Lark. I think you need to discuss the marriage and children thing more. You need to let her know your feelings, that you want those things in your life and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish them. Express your feelings to her about her job and that you would like her to be home more. I wouldn’t even think twice about her being with someone else, because she is completely enamored with you, and you can see that by the way she looks at you. That would be the farthest thing from Rayne’s mind. Listen don’t sit around fretting about something that you aren’t sure of, especially if you haven’t expressed your feelings to her on the matter. She probably doesn’t know that you’re upset about her being gone for work so much.” Elaine calmly explained and rubbed Lark’s arm for comfort.

“You’re right, but she should recognize there’s a problem and I’m fed up with everything Elaine. If she doesn’t want to compromise with her work schedule, which I really feel like she won’t, then maybe I shouldn’t either. You know that I’ve turned down many job offers to be with her, but I don’t see her doing it for me.” Lark told her, adamant about her decision.

“I understand what you are telling me Lark, but you should still speak with her about your concerns or otherwise, you’ll keep them bottled up and end up resenting her.” Elaine gently advised, to not upset her.

“I think I’m at that point already Elaine, but I’ll talk with her and see what comes about this time. Hopefully, she’ll be more receptive to my feelings. What would I do without you?” Lark asked, smiling gratefully at her friend and had a sinking feeling that Rayne wasn’t going to accommodate to her.

“You would be really lost, but you’re going to have to manage to get by without me for a little while.” Elaine answered and grimaced knowing Lark wasn’t going to like her news.

“What do you mean, get along without you for a little while? Did I forget that you were going on vacation or something?” Lark asked confused.

“No, I got a call from the company and they’ve asked me to come to LA. I leave in a little while and I’ll be out there for a few days.” Elaine explained, knowing Lark relied on her a great deal with appearances and as a friend.

“Oh, no. I’m going to miss you. I hope it’s good news that they are going to give you though?” She asked, sad that Elaine would be gone.

“Yeah, let’s hope I’m not getting fired.” Elaine answered with a chuckle.

“Well, you always have a job with me if that ever happens.” Lark told her and smiled.

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Elaine grinned happily. “Speaking of jobs, don’t forget that you have to be in London in three days for the promotional tour of your new movie. I’ve left the packet with your tickets, credentials and instructions on your kitchen table. As soon as I finish everything in LA I’ll head out to see how you are doing okay?”

“It’s a good thing you reminded me that I have to leave, because I did forget!” Lark grimaced and nervously chuckled at forgetting about the promotional tour.

“Oh, dear God! We both would have been in deep shit if you had missed that tour. The producers and the studio would have had our heads on a platter for that fuck up.” Elaine explained with horror at the thought. “If this tour is as successful as I know it will be with you wowing the fans and the media at the premieres, along with the all star cast, you have a great chance of getting an award. You will definitely hit the A-list.” Elaine encouragingly told her and smiled proud that Lark’s career was taking off.

“Oh, that would be an added bonus, but you know I do this because I love to act.” Lark humbly answered, not as enthused and in awe of making the Hollywood A-list, of receiving the awards or the whole celebrity glitz that accompanies fame.

“Shush, don’t say that so loud!” Elaine chuckled and held a finger to her mouth. “I’ve got to run hun. Remember don’t give any quotes that could get you into trouble with the press. Be very evasive if they ask any controversial questions.” She reminded her and shook her finger to emphasize her point.

“I know, I know.” Lark chuckled.

“Call me if you talk with Rayne about the situation okay? I’ll give you a reminder call on Thursday so that you don’t forget to get on the plane.” Elaine smirked and laughed.

“I will and I’m sure you’re right, that I’m overreacting to something that I shouldn’t, but I’m a woman and I can’t help it. It’s my nature to be that way.” Lark answered with a laugh, as did Elaine. “Ooh, maybe that’s my sweetheart calling me.” Lark giggled when she heard the phone ring and raised it to her ear. “Hello.” She cheerfully greeted.

“Hey Lark.” Shayan solemnly greeted.

“Is everything okay?” She asked, noting the somber tone in his voice.

“No, aah I need to get in touch with Rayne and can’t reach her with the numbers I have.” He explained evasively.

“What’s going on? Is it the boys, Holly, your parents or Jayce?” She worriedly asked and sat up in her chair. Elaine’s smile turned to worry when she saw the pensive look on Lark’s face.

“No, they are all fine. It’s Gram, she’s taken a turn for the worse and I need to find Rayne.”

“Oh, my god. I just saw her the other day before surgery and your mom said everything would be alright.” She anxiously told him and put her hand to her chest, trying to calm her racing her. She knew Rayne would be devastated by the news about her beloved Grandmother.

“I know, the doctor said she would be fine with the heart surgery, but she has gotten worse.” He explained sadly.

“Okay, she’s a strong lady and I’m sure she’s going to pull through this. I’ll give Rayne a call on my way to the hospital.” Lark told him in a hurried tone, standing up and grabbing her purse.

“I sure hope so. Thanks for contacting Rayne and tell her to give my mom a call.” He answered, somewhat grateful that Lark would call his sister instead of him, knowing that she would be very upset with the news.

“Okay, I’m leaving now.” She answered with an urgent tone in her voice and exited the studio.

“I’ll see you soon then.” He answered softly.

“Hang in there honey, she’s going to be fine no matter how bad it seems. I’m sure of it.” Lark encouragingly told him.

“Thanks, bye.” He answered and clicked off the phone.

“I’ve got to run.” Lark told Elaine and swiftly walked towards her car.

“What’s going on?” Elaine asked nervously as she hurried to catch up with Lark.

“Rayne’s grandmother had heart surgery and she’s taken a turn for the worse.” Lark explained in a rush.

“I hope she’s going to be okay and I wish I could go with you, but I have to catch my flight. Call me later and let me know what’s going on. Tell the family I’ll be thinking of them.” She called out as Lark headed for the limo and opened the door.

“Thanks, bye!” She shouted before climbing inside and slammed the door, startling the driver who didn’t see her rush out of the building. “I need to get to Memorial hospital right away,” She ordered, settling in the seat and wondered how she was going to tell Rayne that her grandmother was gravely ill.

She lifted the phone to her ear after punching in the numbers and waited for an answer. “Come on, pick up, pick up.” She coaxed anxiously and fumed that the light was taking an eternity to turn green. ‘Where is she?’ She questioned surprised that she couldn’t reach her and left an urgent message for her to call her. ‘Finally.’ She said relieved that the light changed and thought hard about how she could find Rayne. “Ah-ha.” She said out loud and punched the numbers into her phone when an idea of how to reach Rayne came to mind. “Hello, this is Lark Morgan and I need to speak with Director Bailey right away, it’s an emergency.” She explained to the person who answered the phone.

“Can I ask what this emergency is in regards to?” The person asked not very eager to put her call through.

“My name is Lark Morgan and my partner is Agent Rayne Donovan. There is a family emergency and I need to speak with Director Bailey to get a message to her right away.” Lark incredulously told the woman and felt like strangling her through the phone for making her wait. ‘If she only knew how much of a hurry I am to reach Rayne she wouldn’t be moving at a snails pace. Bitch.’ She angrily thought frustrated with the woman and the entire situation.

“Please hold.” She told her and Lark heard elevator music on the other line.

‘I can’t believe how long she is taking.’ Lark fumed and waited for her to come back on the line.

“Lark, hi it’s Mark Bailey. I hear there is a family emergency and you need to speak with Rayne?” He cordially asked, after picking up the line.

“Hi, yes. I’ve tried to contact her, but I can’t reach her. She needs to call me right away, her grandmother has taken a turn for the worse after her heart surgery.” Lark explained, sounding rushed and parked the car once she arrived at the hospital.

“Okay, I’ll contact one of my agents there and he’ll get a message to her right away. I know she’s right in the middle of a detail so she may have turned her cell phone and pager off until she was finished.” He explained.

“Thank you so much.” She answered grateful as she rushed in to the hospital after the limo stopped and headed straight for the elevators.

“I hope everything turns out fine for Rayne’s grandmother and I’ll get that message to her right away.” He reassured her.

“I’m sure she’ll appreciate that. Thanks again, bye.” She appreciatively answered and clicked the phone off, impatiently waiting for the elevator door to open. ‘I hope gram is going to be okay.’ She nervously thought and stepped off the elevator when the door opened. She looked down each hallway and saw Shayan pacing in the waiting room. She quickly walked towards him. “Shayan.” She called out when she approached and hugged him when she reached him.

“Hey, Lark.” He softly replied and hugged her. He broke the hug and looked down at the shorter woman. “Did you get in touch with Rayne?” He asked, hopeful that she had.

“I left a message on her voicemail and called her director who assured me he would get a message to her. How’s gram doing?” She anxiously asked.

“I’m not sure, I’m waiting for my mom to come out here and fill me in. They only allow a certain number of people in the room and mom wouldn’t let me in there.” He explained and sighed nervously.

“Okay, well we will wait together then.” She smiled and comfortingly rubbed his arm. “Where are Holly and the boys? What about Jayce?” She asked, wondering why she didn’t see them.

“Thanks. Holly took the boys down to get something to eat and Jayce is on his way here from Boston.” He tentatively smiled and sat down as did Lark, waiting for news about his grandmother.

“Where’s Agent Donovan?” The man asked, as he approached the cars.

“Right there.” Danielle, an agent on Rayne’s team pointed out after seeing Rayne step out of the other car.

He rushed towards the tall woman and stood before her. “Agent Donovan?” He stammered nervously.

“That’s me.” She answered with a chuckle by the way the shorter man was acting.

“I have an urgent message for you.” He informed her and handed her the note.

She looked at him and glanced at Forrest who was standing next to him, unsure of what was going on by his nervous and tense demeanor. She looked down at the note and hesitated before opening it. She read the note and quickly dialed her mother’s number into her phone. “Mom, what’s going on with gram?” She hurriedly asked, without any pleasantries.

“Rayne, I’m so sorry, but mom has taken a turn for the worse.” Her mother tearfully told her.

“What? Wait, I don’t understand. Mom you said that this was just something routine and not that big of a deal. Now you’re telling me that gram has taken a turn for the worse?” Rayne asked anxiously feeling her heart pound in her chest and took a step, but had the small agent in front of her. She sighed disgusted and pushed him out of her way as she began to nervously pace, out of an audible range from the rest of the group.

“I know honey, but there were complications and she’s taken a turn for the worse. You need to come home, now.” She told her and began sobbing harder as her husband wrapped his arm around her to comfort her.

“I’m on my way.” Her voice lowered in an answer and clicked the phone off. “Forrest, I have to go back home.” She informed his and hurriedly picked up her gear not giving him a chance to answer. “Hey, little man, where’s your car?” Rayne called out to the smaller agent who gave her the note.

“Oh, aah over there.” He nervously stammered, intimidated by the taller agent and pointed towards it.

“Give me your keys. You’re staying here to take my place until another replacement can get here.” She told him and snatched the keys from his hand.

“Hey, wait aah, you can’t…” The agent attempted to tell her, but was fighting a useless cause as Rayne took off for his car.

“Rayne, what’s going on?” Forrest nervously asked as he jogged to keep up with her.

“My grandmother has taken a turn for the worse after surgery and I have to get home.” She anxiously told him and threw her gear in the back seat of the car.

“Oh, shit I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking about you and her as well as your family that she gets better. Let me know if there is anything I can do”.

She looked back at him and smiled appreciatively. “Thanks, I appreciate it and I hope she pulls through too.” She nervously told him.

“Do you need me to call the airport for a flight for you?” He asked, wondering what he could do to help.

“No, but thanks. Director Bailey told me in the note that he arranged one for me. Now all I need to do is get to the airport.” She explained and opened the driver’s side door.

“Okay, what if I drive you there then?” Forrest offered worried by how anxious Rayne was.

“No, you need to stay with the team and finish the assignment. I’ll get back here as soon as I can.”

“Okay my friend. Have a safe trip and know that our thoughts are with you.” He told her with a warm smile, hoping it would give her a moment of peace and engulfed her in a hug.

Rayne fought the tears that wanted to break out as she hugged her partner and friend. She patted him on the back, grateful for the comfort and smiled, breaking the hug. “Thanks, it means a lot and you be careful. I’ll see you soon.” She told him and smiled again, before climbing in the car.

“I will.” He smiled and closed the door behind her. He watched as she started the car and waved when she steered the car past him.

Rayne glanced up in the rear view mirror and saw Forrest standing with one hand up for a wave. She lifted her hand up and waved back before turning the corner, disappearing from his sight. She sped the car towards the airport and reached into her backpack for her cell phone. She punched in the numbers to call Lark. “Hey, did you hear about gram?” She asked, when she heard Lark’s voice.

“Yes, I’m here at the hospital Rayne. I’m so sorry.” Lark told her and began to cry when she heard Rayne’s voice.

“I’m on my way there right now.” She hurriedly told her and screeched the car to a halt at the airport terminal.

“Okay, what is your flight number and I’ll come to pick you up?” She asked and grabbed a pen and piece of paper from her purse.

“They arranged for a private plane for me and they’ll have someone pick me up at the airport. So, I’ll see you at the hospital.” She explained in a rushed tone and headed into the terminal.

“Be careful and try not to worry, I’m sure gram is going to pull through.” Lark encouragingly told her.

“I hope so. Do me a favor and tell gram I love her.” She asked in a shaky tone, trying to avoid losing it.

“I will.” Lark gently promised, then looked at Shayan and back to the ground, knowing that Rayne’s mom wasn’t going to allow anyone in the room. “I love you.” She softly told her and felt a tear streak down her face.

“Me too, bye.” She answered and ended the call, hurrying to the hangar to catch her flight.

Lark clicked off the phone and wiped the tears away. She looked over at Shayan and softly said, “She’s on her way,” then stood up, and walked towards the window. She looked out over the city, brightened by the crisp sunlight and wondered how it could be such a beautiful day with so much turmoil happening in their family. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes, saying a prayer that everything would be turn out fine.

Rayne was relieved to finally arrive at the hospital after the grueling and long flight where her thoughts were only about her grandmother. She fumed and angrily questioned why her mother down played her grandmother’s condition and not tell her to come earlier. She jumped out of the car before it came to a complete stop and headed for the entrance. Rayne rushed into the hospital and scaled the stairs to the fifth floor after the elevators took too long to reach her. She burst through the door and looked to her right, then left and saw Lark leaning against the wall. “Hey, what room is she in?” Rayne asked as she rushed towards her out of breath and placed her hand on Lark’s arm. “Lark?” She questioned and lifted her chin up to look at her.

“I’m sorry Rayne.” Lark tearfully replied and began to sob harder as she engulfed her in a hug.

“Wha…what’s going on? How is gram?” She asked confused and broke the hug, trying to get some answers.

“She’s gone Rayne. She’s gone. I’m so sorry.” Lark tearfully informed her and cried harder.

Rayne stood stunned by the news and nothing but denial hit her. She refused to hear or accept that. “No, no she’s not dead. Where is she? I want to see her?” She anxiously asked, holding Lark’s shoulders and leaning closer to her face for the answers.

“I don’t know where they have taken her. You’ll have to ask your mother.”

“Where is my mother? Take me to her.” She angrily demanded and started to walk in the direction of where Lark pointed, then looked back when she felt Lark grasp her hand. She clutched Lark’s hand and both women picked up their pace as they turned the corner.

They entered the room where the rest of the family was sitting all in stunned disbelief and Rayne headed right for her mother. “Where is she?” She angrily demanded, blaming her for not being there in time.

“She’s at the morgue.” Her mother solemnly said, staring with a blank look on her face.

“I’m going to see her.” Rayne replied and turned, but was stopped when her mother grabbed her hand.

“No, I won’t let you see your grandmother that way. She isn’t how you know her and I don’t want you to have that memory of her stuck in your mind for the rest of your life. You’re brothers didn’t see her and neither will you. I won’t allow it.” She adamantly told her, looking up at her angry daughter.

“I don’t care what you will allow, I’m going to see her!” Rayne angrily shouted and jerked her hand away from her mother.

“Rayne, honey.” Lark replied trying to calm her, but was no help as Rayne stormed towards the door and was stopped by her father.

“You heard your mother. We knew you would react this way and we’ve given strict instructions downstairs that no one is to see her.” He sternly told her.

“Why? Why can’t I see her?” She asked and began to cry. “I want to know why?”

Lark began to cry harder when she heard Rayne cry and moved towards her, desperately wanting to comfort her. She put her hand on Rayne’s back and lightly rubbed as Rayne’s father hugged her.

“She’s very bloated from the surgery honey and to be honest, you wouldn’t recognize her if you saw her. Your mother is right, you need to remember her the way she was and not this way.” He gently told her and held her tighter as she cried on his shoulder.

She regained her composure and became angry. “Why didn’t someone call me sooner and tell me she was so bad?” She asked, turning towards her mother and waiting for an answer. “I told you I would come home for the surgery, but no you told me not to that she would be okay? You lied!” She angrily shouted.

“I told you what the doctor’s told me. They felt very confident that she was strong enough to handle the surgery. They assured me that she was strong enough to handle it. It wouldn’t have made a difference if you had been here or not Rayne. She had been in a coma since coming out of surgery. Her organs shut down and she passed in her sleep.” Her mother tearfully informed her.

“Yes, it would have made a difference. Maybe she would have fought harder to come out of the coma if she knew I was there! I didn’t get to talk to her and tell her that I loved her.” Rayne angrily shouted and broke into tears with her last comment then pushed past her father, and headed down the hall.

“Rayne!” Everyone called out as she headed towards the elevators.

She repeatedly pushed the elevator button and headed for the stairwell when the elevator was delayed. “Rayne, where are you going?” Lark frantically asked when she approached; terrified for Rayne’s safety by the way she was acting.

“I’ve got to get out of here Lark”. She had a searing case of feeling helplessness and couldn’t bear to just stand around, crying. She had to release her anger anyway she could, but not there.

“I’m coming with you then.” Lark insisted and moved towards the door to follow her.

“No, I need to be alone. I’ll talk to you later. I’ve got to go.” She anxiously told her and rushed down the stairs.

“Rayne!” Lark called out and began to cry harder. She turned around when she felt someone touch her.

“Just let her go, it’s her way of dealing with death.” Shayan softly told her and remembered how she acted the same way when Karen died.

“It’s not safe. What if something happens to her?” Lark tearfully and worriedly asked.

“She’ll be fine, just give her some time. Okay? Come on I’ll get Jayce to drive you home.” He comfortingly suggested and put his arm around her shoulder, leading her back to the room.

“No, I’ll be fine. He needs to stay with you all. I’m sure he’s very upset too.”

“Are you sure?” He asked, concerned.

“Yes, but thanks for the offer. I’ll talk to you later and find out what the arrangements are going to be.” She slightly smiled, grateful for his concern.

Lark frantically paced the living room floor with worry as Rayne had still not come home. It was late into the night and she hadn’t heard from Rayne since she stormed out of the hospital. She had tried to call her but Rayne turned her cell phone off. She quickly turned when she heard the lock on the door being turned and let out a sigh of relief when she saw Rayne enter the room. “Rayne, honey I’ve been so worried.” She told her and rushed over to her, hugging her tightly.

“I’m sorry. I just needed to be alone.” Rayne softly replied, hugging Lark tighter and leaned her head on her lover’s shoulder.

Lark kissed her shoulder and lightly stroked her back to comfort her as they stood in silence. Lark kissed her and broke the silence, “Come on, and let’s go sit down.” Lark suggested and grasped Rayne’s hand when she stood up. Lark led her towards the couch and sat down, followed by Rayne who laid down with her head in Lark’s lap.

Lark lovingly stroked her dark hair and wasn’t sure what to say. It hurt her deeply knowing how much pain Rayne was feeling and all she wanted to do was take it away. “I can’t believe she’s gone Lark.” She softly said and buried her face in Lark’s stomach.

“I’m so sorry baby.” Lark sorrowfully replied and leaned down kissing her on the head. She felt Rayne clutch her and felt a deep sadness when she heard Rayne begin to sob uncontrollably. She had never heard Rayne cry so hard before and this was killing her. “It’s okay baby. It’s going to okay.” She softly tried to reassure, kissing her head repeatedly and held her tighter, trying to comfort her the best way she could. She sat lightly stroking Rayne’s face and running her fingers through her hair as her lover sobbed until she could no longer.

Rayne sat up and turned to Lark, wiping her tears. “I’m going to bed.” She flatly said shutting off any emotion she had and stood up, quickly heading towards the bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

Lark sank back into the couch and sighed, disappointed. She was confused by Rayne’s strange behavior and wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do to help her. She headed down the hall and opened the door to their bedroom, which was darkened. She saw Rayne laying on the bed still fully clothed and climbed in next to her. “Do you want to talk about it?” She softly asked, leaning her chin on Rayne’s shoulder.

“Aah, I just want to go to sleep okay?” She asked, and then moved onto her stomach, away from Lark.

Lark leaned back on the bed and stared at the ceiling, trying to deal with the rejection and pain she felt. She wanted to be there for Rayne and help her through all of this, but she was shutting her out. ‘Doesn’t she know I’m hurting too? I loved her grandmother very much. I need her and I know she needs me.’ Lark thought, hoping Rayne’s denial and anger wouldn’t consume her. She was physically and mentally exhausted. She closed her eyes and wondered why Rayne had to be so distant from her especially at a time like this. She wanted to comfort her and make everything better, but Rayne was rejecting her offer. She sighed disappointed and hoped Rayne would let her in.

Rayne lay still and thought about how much she loved her grandmother, as the tears streaked her face. The loneliness, vulnerability, anger and pain she felt were unbearable. She felt guilty for not being there at the hospital for the final moments of her grandmother’s life and blamed her mother for not telling her how gravely ill her grandmother really was. ‘Why did that wonderful woman have to be taken from us when there are so many other horrible people who are allowed to stay here on earth?’ She angrily questioned and wiped the tears that trickled down her cheeks. She rolled onto her back and inhaled deeply to calm her emotions. She turned her head and looked at Lark who lay with her eyes closed next to her. She smiled at her beauty and the way she was always able to make her feel better. She knew she would make it through this as long as Lark was there for her. She rolled onto her side and draped her arm across Lark’s stomach, then laid her head on her shoulder. She felt a warmth and calming peace when Lark put her hand on Rayne’s arm, as they laid silent. Lark opened her eyes when she felt Rayne cuddle up closer and was happy that she soon fell asleep, comfortingly stroking her dark hair.

Rayne’s grandmother had requested that she be cremated and the family had a memorial service two days after her death. Rayne and Lark arrived at the funeral home, not wanting to have to go through so much anguish. Rayne parked the car and turned off the ignition, then sighed, reluctant to go inside. “I don’t want to do this Lark.” Rayne told her and gave her a sideways glance.

“I know baby, none of us do and I wish it didn’t have to be this way.” Lark warmly replied and held Rayne’s hand. She smiled and hoped it would give Rayne some peace.

Rayne gave her a slight smile and brought her hand up, lightly kissing the back of it. “Thanks.” She appreciatively smiled and opened her door. She stood up out of the car and walked around to Lark’s side, then opened the door for her and held her hand out to help her.

Lark took Rayne’s hand and stood up out of the car. She smiled appreciative of the help and smoothed out her dress as Rayne shut the door. Rayne grasped her hand and both sighed apprehensively as they walked towards the funeral home, wishing they could be anywhere but there.

Rayne was not dealing with the service and all the mourners who stopped by to express their condolences well at all. It was all she could do to get through the memorial service without having a break down. She was happy to be home and away from all the reminders that her grandmother was gone. She needed a break and didn’t want to think about it. She tossed her keys on the table and headed down the hall, removing her coat along the way. She entered the bedroom and tossed the coat on the chair, then changed into a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. She walked out onto the balcony off their bedroom and looked out over the turbulent ocean. She stared at the rough sea and thought it was fitting as she felt the same way. She inhaled deeply, trying to regain her composure and fight of the grief she felt so deep in her heart. She quickly turned when she felt Lark’s hand on her back, startled, as she was lost in her thoughts.

“Are you okay?” She gently asked, looking up to her and rubbing her back comfortingly.

Rayne crossed her arms over her chest and looked out at the ocean. “That’s such a funny question at a time like this, but everyone seems to ask me that. I tell them yes, I’m okay, but I’m not.” She softly admitted still staring out over the sea.

“I’m sorry I asked that, I know you’re not okay. You’re devastated. I’m just not sure of what to say or do to help you.” Lark sympathetically answered as her eyes welled with tears.

“There is nothing that you can say or do that will make any of it better. She’s gone and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t bring her back. I’m just going to have to get over it somehow.” She impersonally answered looking down at Lark, then back out over the ocean.

“Okay.” Lark softly replied and got the feeling that Rayne didn’t want her there. She walked back into the house and wondered how she was going to tell Rayne that she was leaving for the promotional tour the next day. ‘From that chilly comment she made, I don’t think she will miss me being gone.’ She thought, hurt by the rejection. She walked into the closet, sighed frustrated and grabbed her suitcase. She placed it on the bed and began to pack.

“What’s going on Lark?” Rayne nervously asked when she entered the room and saw her packing.

Lark sighed, trying to gather the strength to tell her and turned around. “I have a promotional tour starting in London tomorrow.” She answered, looking up at Rayne, then back down.

“I can’t believe this. You’re leaving now?” Rayne asked in a raised tone.

“I have to Rayne. I can’t get out of this tour.” Lark explained, hoping the conversation wouldn’t turn into a shouting match.

“Why can’t you?” Rayne asked and folded her arms across her chest.

“For the same reason you can’t get out of your assignments, it’s my job!” Lark fired back and turned, starting to pack again.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rayne asked, moving towards her and sat on the bed.

“Just what I said, it’s my job. It’s unfortunate that I have to leave tomorrow, but there is no backing out of this Rayne. I’m sorry.” She explained and stood before her.

“Fine, whatever.” She angrily said and rushed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

Lark hung her head and sighed, then flopped on the bed feeling guilty. ‘I’m horrible for leaving at a time like this, but I have to go. If I don’t go I’m screwed, I have to go. She’s just going to have to understand.’ She inwardly reasoned hoping it would make her feel better and went back to her packing.

She finished packing and set her suitcases by the door. She changed into her pajamas and decided it was time to talk with Rayne again. She hoped that she had given her enough time to calm down and searched the house for her.

Lark entered the family room and saw Rayne lying on the couch, watching TV. She inhaled deeply and walked over to the couch. Rayne stared at the TV as Lark stood next to her. “Rayne, I’m sorry. Please understand.” Lark softly pleaded and sat down when Rayne moved her legs to allow her to sit next to her.

“I really don’t understand, but I can’t stand in the way of your job. Don’t worry about it I’ll be fine. How long will you be gone?” She indifferently answered and asked, looking at Lark then back to the TV set, too disappointed with her lover to look at her.

“I’ll be home in two weeks.”

“Hmmm, well at least you’ll make it for our anniversary.” Rayne sarcastically commented and flipped the channel on the TV, acting as if she weren’t bothered by everything.

“Yes, I made sure my schedule was cleared for it.” She smiled, excited about their anniversary.

Rayne turned and looked at her, wondering why she could free up her schedule for their anniversary, but not now. She decided not to ask her that question and buried it deep inside to avoid a huge fight that she had no energy for at the time. “Okay, well I’ll see you then.” Rayne coldly smirked and looked back at the TV.

Lark looked down at her hands and twiddled her thumbs unsure of what else to say or do. “Well, I’m going to bed. Would you like to join me?” She suggested, hopeful that Rayne would take her up on the offer and finally make up with her.

“No, I’m good right here for now. I’ll be in later. Night.” Rayne answered and leaned up, kissing her on the cheek then lay back down, watching the TV.

“Okay, I love you.” Lark mustered from the awkwardness of the situation and the unfeeling kiss Rayne gave her. She knew Rayne was doing her best to put a guilt trip on her so she would get her way and stay there. She decided she wasn’t going to allow that to happen and stood up, then walked out of the room. ‘If the situation was reversed, she would do the same damn thing with her job. I’m sure she thinks I’m letting her down, but she’s done the same thing to me many times. Besides, I have to go and I can’t get out of it.’ She thought and reminded herself, as if she needed reassurance that what she was doing was right thing.

Rayne waited until she closed the door and tossed the remote on the floor, frustrated with Lark’s refusal to not stay home. ‘I can’t believe it. How can she just go off like that when I need her?’ She angrily thought and sat up on the couch. ‘I need to take a walk and release my aggressions.’ She restlessly thought, looking at the remote in pieces on the ground and stood up. She opened the sliding glass door to the patio and stepped out. She headed down to the beach to clear her head.

Rayne had gone for a long walk and sat on the beach until the sun began to rise. She had forgotten all about time as she tried to make reason of her life. She had cooled down and decided that she would take Lark to the airport. She realized that no matter how mad at her she was, she still loved her and didn’t want to regret not going with her to see her off. She walked back up to the house and entered to find Lark standing in the kitchen drinking a glass of orange juice. “Morning.” Rayne softly greeted with a slight smile to ease the awkwardness of the situation.

“Why didn’t you come to bed? I was concerned when I couldn’t find you.” Lark worriedly asked placing her glass in the sink and leaned against the counter, looking at Rayne for her answer.

Rayne shut the door and walked over to Lark, standing before her. “I went for a walk on the beach and sat down there thinking and lost track of time. What time is your flight, I would like to take you to the airport.” She shyly asked, giving Lark a sideways glance and hoped she would allow her to.

“I need to leave in a half hour. Have you forgiven me?” Lark tentatively asked, hating the fact that Rayne was mad at her.

“I’m trying to.” Rayne softly replied and leaned towards Lark, giving her a lingering kiss her on the forehead. “I’m going to get dressed.” She softly said and turned, walking out of the kitchen.

Lark crossed her arms over her chest and reached up covering her mouth with her hand, still conflicted that she was doing the right thing. She wanted Rayne to hold her in her arms like she used to and tell her how much she loved her. She needed that interaction from her, desperately to make everything seem okay. She wanted them to get married and have children just like they had always dreamed about. She didn’t want Rayne working so far away and so frequently. She hated the way she was feeling and the fight that they had, but thought Rayne should understand that she had to fulfill her work obligations. She perused her itinerary for her trip as she waited for Rayne. She placed the itinerary in her purse unable to concentrate on what she was reading after the third time from constantly thinking about the tension between the two of them.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Rayne told her after walking into the kitchen.

“Oh, aah okay.” Lark stammered, startled out of her thoughts.

Rayne handed Lark her cosmetic case and picked up her luggage, carrying it towards the front door. Lark opened the door for her and locked it behind them once they exited the house. Rayne loaded the luggage into the car and they headed off to the airport.

“Which hangar?” Rayne asked, navigating the car through the parking lot.

“Number three, over there.” Lark answered and looked up, pointing at the hangar when she saw it.

Rayne pulled the car up and parked, then got out to open the door for Lark. She held her hand out and helped Lark from the car. Lark shook her head to the side when the wind whipped her long hair in her face and squinted from the bright sunlight when she looked at the plane. Rayne inhaled deeply and felt her heart skip a beat from how beautiful Lark looked when she pushed the hair off her face. Rayne wondered how such a beautiful woman could hurt her by leaving and cleared her throat, snapping back to reality and headed to the trunk. Rayne pulled her luggage form the trunk of the car and handed it to one of the workers, who put them on the plane.

She walked back to the passenger’s side of the car and leaned against it, watching Lark as she spoke with the pilot. ‘I should tell her that I’m not pleased with her leaving, but how can I tell her nicely that I think she’s being selfish?’ I can’t so I’ll bite my tongue, tuck my displeasure deep inside, and try not to hold it against her.’ She thought that it was going to be the only way to keep the peace between them. Rayne intently watched as Lark placed her paperwork and credentials in her purse before walking back over to Rayne. “Are you all set?” Rayne asked, looking down at her.

“It looks that way.” Lark replied, feeling awkward and unsure of what to do.

“Call me when you get there so I know you arrived safely.” Rayne told her and clasped Lark’s hands, pulling her closer. She stared into Lark’s mystified greens and reached up, cupping her face in her hands.

Lark nearly burst into tears when Rayne held her face and stared deep into her eyes. Her heart raced when Rayne thoughtfully brushed the errant strand of hair from her face. She leaned in and tenderly kissed her, and then held her in her arms. “I love you.” She whispered in her ear and kissed her cheek. Rayne leaned back against the car, lovingly staring at her.

Lark moved closer to her and fiddled with the button on Rayne’s shirt, and looked up at her. “Are you going to be okay alone?” She worriedly asked, having second thoughts about leaving after that beautiful admission.

Rayne inhaled deeply and released her breath. “I’ve been through this before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.” She answered, casual shrugging her shoulders as if she were casting her pain away. She looked away, and then set her sights on the warm emerald greens before her. “I won’t be okay by myself because I’ll miss you.” She admitted with a bashful smile.

Lark felt a catch in her heart and smiled back. She pushed open her jacket and placed her hands on Rayne’s hips. She leaned up and kissed her. “I’ll miss you too.” She whispered through her kiss and deepened it as Rayne held her face, passionately reciprocating the kiss. Lark reluctantly broke the kiss and stared into loving blues. “I love you.” She tenderly told her and smiled, backing away from her.

Rayne lovingly smiled as she watched Lark back pedal, then turn and walk towards the plane. She felt her heart flutter when Lark looked back at her and smile as she waved good-bye. Rayne waved and blushed when Lark blew her a kiss just before boarding the plane. Rayne stood with her hands crossed over her chest, leaning against the car and watched the plane prepare to leave.

Once on the plane, Lark took her seat and looked out the window at Rayne. She lovingly smiled as she stared at Rayne who stood intently watching and felt a catch in her heart when the blue eyes she absolutely adored met her gaze. She caught the breath that momentarily escaped her from Rayne’s beauty as the wind from the plane blew her hair about. She thought about how much she loved her and wondered if Rayne still loved her as she did before considering the disagreement they had. She moved her hand from her mouth and pressed it against the window as if she were blowing Rayne a kiss. She smiled when Rayne waved as the plane began to move and strained her neck to keep sight of her when the plane moved away from the hangar. She leaned back in her seat and rested her head after the plane moved onto the runway. She sighed closing her eyes and thinking of the woman she just left behind. ‘I hope I did the right thing.’ She worried and felt the plane lift off the ground.

Rayne pulled into the driveway and was confused as to why her director was standing at her door. She walked up and he met her half way. “What’s going on sir?” She asked and stopped, standing in front of him.

“Rayne, can I come in?” He solemnly asked and motioned towards the door.

“Okay, sure.” Rayne stammered wondering why he seemed so serious and opened the door. She entered the house and tossed the keys on the table. She turned to face him when he entered the house. “What’s going on?” Rayne worriedly asked.

“Unfortunately, I have some bad news.”

“Aah, okay what is it?” She asked growing more concerned with the way he was acting. For a moment her heart raced that something happened to Lark and knew she would have heard something before her director if it had.

“Rayne, I’m sorry to tell you this, but Forrest was killed.” He told her in a crackling tone, fighting his emotions over losing one of his agents.

“What?” She shouted in disbelief. “How? Are you sure?” She rapidly questioned still not believing what she was hearing.

“He was killed when the team was attacked by a couple of militants wanting to take out the Secretary.”

Rayne placed her hands on her hips and paced back and forth, unsure of what to do, what to say or what to feel. “Damn it! Damn!” She shouted and sat down on the couch, frustrated and without being able to contain the tears that streaked her face.

“Rayne, I’m so sorry.” He replied sorrowfully.

Rayne sat rocking back and forth with her elbows resting on her legs and her hands over her mouth. “Have you told Sandy yet?” She softly asked, thinking of Forrest’s wife and how she was going to take the news.

“Yes, I saw her just before I came over here.”

“Is someone with her?” She worriedly asked. She was shocked by the horrible news. It wasn’t bad enough that her grandmother just died, but now her partner has died too. She just knew it had to be a nightmare and was questioning why there was so much death around her.

“Yes, her mother was visiting so she’s with her now.”

“When will Forrest be back?” She asked, looking over her shoulder at him.

“He should be here by six tonight.” He informed her sadly.

“I want to be there to meet him.” She answered, staring blankly out the window.

“Are you sure you can handle that?” He asked, concerned.

“No, I’m not sure, but he was my partner and my friend and I owe it to him to be there.” She answered deeply troubled by what happened and stood up.

“Okay, I respect that and I will have an agent stop by to pick you up around 5 pm then.” He told her and turned towards the door. He turned around as Rayne walked behind him and stopped when she saw him turn. “Look Rayne, take all the time off you need. This has been a living nightmare for you and I’m sorry for your loss.”

“I appreciate that, but the best thing for me to do is to get back to work after Forrest’s funeral. It will help me forget about all of this. By the way, did they catch the people who killed him?” She asked, curious.

“They killed them.” He answered coldly .

“Well, justice was served then huh?” Rayne sarcastically remarked, satisfied that her partner’s death was vindicated and the killers would not go free.

“Oh, yeah.” He smirked and opened the door, heading outside not believing that his top agent was taking everything very well despite, how much she fought it. “Bye.” He slightly smiled unsure of what to say and decided to leave it at that and headed towards his car.

Rayne closed the door and was no longer able to contain her emotions. She lost it and burst into tears. She sat on the couch and rested her elbows on her legs, holding her pounding head as she cried. “This is all my fault. If I had been there, then he wouldn’t have been killed. I can’t take this shit. I can’t!” She shouted angrily and cried harder, rocking back and forth trying to calm down. ‘No, stop it. Control yourself Rayne!’ She inwardly demanded and stood up, shaking her arms, trying to gain control. She inhaled deeply and exhaled repeatedly, until she felt calm and in control. ‘Get dressed and do your duty as a friend.’ She reminded and headed down the hall to dress, pushing her emotions deep inside.

The steamy hot shower did nothing to get her mind off the deaths of her grandmother and partner. It angered her more and to think that Lark was so far away when she needed her, it only added to her angst. She couldn’t believe that Lark left at such a horrible point in her life and wondered if she would come back when she heard about Forrest. ‘Nah, she’ll stay.’ She thought incredulously and slammed the door behind her, in an attempt to take out her frustrations. ‘I am so mad that I can barely stand it. Where the fuck is this agent? He’s freaking late.’ She inwardly fumed, looking at her watch and noted it was 5:02 as she paced in the driveway impatiently waiting for him. ‘Finally.’ She said, when she saw him pull into the driveway. “It’s about time.” She unpleasantly stated when she got into the car and slammed the door behind her.

“I’m sorry Agent Donovan, but I was caught in traffic.” The agent apologetically answered and looked back, steering the car out of the driveway.

“You should have taken that into consideration and not been late. What if you would have been on an assignment and you being two minutes late would have left your team compromised?” She irritably asked, looking at him.

“You’re right and I apologize for being late.” He hesitantly answered intimidated by the agent next to him.

“You’ll remember that and not allow it to happen again correct?” She assertively asked.

“Definitely, it won’t happen again.” He nervously promised and put the car in gear, driving away.

‘Ass.’ Rayne cursed and looked out the window. ‘Why is there so much death around me?’ She questioned and couldn’t come up with an answer. ‘Just when I thought my life was perfect this happens and the person I love more than life itself is not here to help me through it. I still can’t believe she left. There was a time when I was able to handle something like this on my own and since I’ve been with Lark, I’ve realized that I don’t have to handle things by myself, but now it seems like I have too. Am I being selfish for wanting her to be here for me?’ She wondered, staring blankly out the window and inhaled deeply. Throughout the drive she tried to calm her emotions and anger, sitting silently and trying not to think about everything, when it hit her. ‘I’m sitting here worrying about Lark not being here for me when my grandmother and Forrest are dead. I’m sure they would rather be in my position than what they are in now. I am such an ass!’ She privately admonished and snapped out of her thoughts when the car stopped. She looked around and saw that they were at the airport. ‘Damn, I should be more observant of my surroundings.’ She thought and opened the door, stepping out. She looked around and inhaled deeply as her heart raced knowing she would soon see her partner in a casket.

“Rayne.” Director Bailey greeted when he approached. “Are you sure you want to be here?” He asked, touching her on the shoulder.

“Hell no I don’t want to be here, but I need to be. He would have been here for me if things were reversed.” She tersely answered and stared at the plane that was approaching them.

“How are you feeling? I’m worried about you.” He asked, concerned for his top agent.

“What I’m feeling, pales in comparison to what happened to Forrest. Don’t worry I’ll be fine. It’s not the first time I’ve lost someone close to me and it certainly won’t be the last.” She coldly told him, staring stoically at the plane.

“I would like for you to see one of our staff counselors Rayne.” He suggested gently.

“Don’t waste my time or their time. I’ll deal with this in my own way and if I need to speak with someone about it, I’ll let you know. Thanks for the offer.” She angrily brushed off the suggestion after looking at him and walked towards the plane that had parked. ‘I don’t need to see a damn shrink. I’m fine.’ She fumed and stood next to the ramp of the plane. She looked at the other agents on each side of the ramp, and looked away unable to maintain eye contact, trying to conceal her emotions. Her heart raced uncontrollably when she saw the casket slowly moving down the ramp. She thought back and had a visual image of when Forrest said goodbye to her for the last time. She inhaled deeply and mightily fought the tears that so desperately wanted to fall. ‘Damn it!’ She inwardly cursed and sniffed back the tears and grabbed a portion of the American flag that another agent covered the casket with. She grasped the handles and looked at the other agents who had accompanied Forrest on the plane with all nodding in unison that they were ready. The group lifted the casket at the same time and carried it to the hearse that waited nearby, cautiously placing it inside.

They all stepped back when the driver closed the door and silently watched as the hearse slowly moved away. She felt a lump in her throat and let the unchecked tears trickle down her cheeks as she watched her partner leave for the last time. She was glad that she hugged him and took one last look at him before she left to be with her grandmother. At the time, she thought it was strange for him to act like that, but she was happy that they made the connection considering what had happened. ‘I should have been there to protect him. If I had been, he wouldn’t be dead now.’ She guiltily thought.

“Are you ready Agent Donovan?” The agent who drove her softly asked to not startle her.

She looked down and tried to discreetly wipe away her tears. “Yeah.” She softly answered, keeping her head down and walked away from the agent towards the car.


Rayne sat out on the balcony in the darkness of the night and sipped the whiskey from her glass, staring blankly at the moonlit ocean. She slowly lifted the phone to her ear when she heard it ring and clicked the button. “Hey honey! I made it here fine.” Lark’s voice cheerfully greeted before Rayne could say anything.

“Forrest is dead.” Rayne grimly stated.

“What? How? Oh, my god Rayne I’m so sorry.” Lark stammered flustered by what Rayne had just told her.

“He was killed during an assassination attempt while I was gone.” She informed her and sipped her beverage, hoping it would dull the pain she felt.

“Oh, baby I am so sorry.” Lark tearfully answered. She felt a deep regret for Forrest. The way Rayne sounded on the phone worried her. “Are you okay?” She asked and before it came out, she wished she hadn’t of asked that question.

“Oh, I’m great Lark thanks for asking.” Rayne sarcastically and angrily answered.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked that. It was a stupid question.” Lark replied apologetically and felt like an idiot. “Is there anything I can do?”

“It would be great if you were here, but I know that’s not happening.” Rayne answered resentfully, and then stood up from the chair. She opened the sliding glass door and walked through the house towards the dining room.

“Rayne, I wish I could be there, but I can’t. I’m sorry you have to go through so much turmoil alone. I told you I couldn’t get out of this trip.”

Rayne poured another drink and sipped it as she heard Lark try and make reason of why she was gone. ‘Why couldn’t she have delayed the trip? I hear about celebrities doing it all the time?’ She wondered angrily and drank more of the whiskey. “Yep, I remember what you said.” Rayne condescendingly answered and padded through the house back to the balcony and sat down.

“We shouldn’t be taking this out on each other baby. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there with you.” Lark told her and hated the distance between them.

Rayne listened and tilted her head back, drinking the rest of her whiskey then looked back out over the ocean. “Yeah, you’re right we shouldn’t be doing this. I’m just really upset and it doesn’t help that you aren’t here. I shouldn’t be blaming you, but I need you.” Rayne apologized.

Lark listened to Rayne’s admission and silently cried harder, feeling guilty that Rayne was so upset and she wasn’t there for her. “I’m sorry you are so upset, that all of this has happened to you and that I’m gone. I wish I could change everything and make it better for you. Maybe I can try to get Elaine to arrange for me to come home earlier than originally scheduled or what if you joined me here?” Lark suggested and hoped she would accept the offer.

“I can’t. After Forrest’s funeral I have to go on assignment again and I won’t be back until our anniversary.” Rayne explained and closed her eyes, trying to not think of all the unpleasant thoughts.

“Okay, well aah…” Lark hesitated and fought her desire to angrily ask why Rayne couldn’t delay going back to work that soon if she was so upset over the deaths. She finally decided she didn’t want to fight with her over the phone. ‘This is just typical of her. She wants me to change my work duties to accommodate her, but she won’t change hers to meet me here.’ Lark furiously thought and inhaled deeply to calm her frustration.

“So, how was your flight?” Rayne flatly asked, changing the subject.

“Well, aah uneventful really.” Lark stammered, surprised by her question by changing the subject.

“I’m glad that you arrived safely. I’m going to bed. Give me a call when you get a break in your schedule okay?” She softly asked and headed into the house, closing the door behind her.

“Okay. Aah Rayne, call me if you need to talk no matter what time.” Lark offered.

“Thanks I will and I’ll talk to you soon.” Rayne answered and climbed into bed.

“Please give my condolences to Sandy. When will the funeral be?”

“Friday.” She mumbled softly.

“Okay, well remember. Call me at anytime and I love you very much.” Lark offered, her voice crackling with emotion and wiped the tears from her eyes.

“I will and me too. Bye.” Rayne answered, disappointed with Lark’s adamancy to stay there.

“Bye.” She signed off, but knew Rayne didn’t hear her as the dial tone sounded. “Oh, she’s so stubborn and frustrating!” Lark fumed and lay back on the bed. ‘I can’t let her stubbornness and selfishness consume me. I have work to do and I can’t be constantly feeling guilty for being here.’ She headed for the shower hoping the hot water would release some of her tension.

Rayne attended Forrest’s funeral and was quickly back at work. She was busy preparing details and with training agents that were new to her team in her ways of working, as she was the agent in charge. Initially, the work distraction did nothing to quell the fact that she was still upset with Lark and their short conversations on the phone reflected the conflict between them. Over the last week she poured everything she had into her work, hoping to forget about all the negative things that had recently happened. To her relief, it was working. She wasn’t as angry about everything that happened and her conversations with Lark were becoming warmer and longer with each call. After thinking about how wrong she had been with Lark and how much she loved her, she realized that Lark wasn’t the person she should direct her anger at and finally understood her reasons. It also helped talking her problems out with a fellow female agent. She had come to know and trust Danielle since she joined her team awhile back. Rayne felt comfortable around the woman to discuss what happened and it was a relief to talk with someone not so involved in her life about her frustrations in regards to Lark, and her inability to be there for her at such a tough time.

“Hey, Danielle. I need to go over the plans for when I’m away. I want to make sure that there are no mistakes made while I’m gone and I want to ensure that my instructions are crystal clear.” Rayne said and sat at the table, opening the file.

“Where are you going?” Danielle asked as she approached the table, pulled the chair out and sat down.

“I’m going back home for a few days.” Rayne answered, briefly looking up from the file at her then looked back down.

“Wow, how did you manage that?” She asked, jealous that she was able to get the time off.

“It’s mine and Lark’s fifth year anniversary. I asked for the time off a long time ago and I plan to surprise her.” She looked up and grinned excitedly.

“I thought you were still upset with her from the way she acted after your grandmother and Forrest passed away. Did I miss something?” Danielle asked confused.

“Yeah, well when I spoke to you about it I was hurt and upset that she wasn’t there for me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love her completely. I’ve decided to forgive her and not allow it to be an issue between us anymore. I love her with all of my heart and that’s all that matters to me. I’m going to ask her to marry me.” Rayne grinned mischievously as she thought about her plans for their anniversary.

“Wow, she’s a lucky lady to have someone like you. I don’t know if I could have been so forgiving after being hurt like that.” Danielle admitted looking at Rayne then flicked her eyes downward towards that paper when Rayne glanced over at her.

“I love her and there’s no reason not to forgive her.” Rayne simply said and shrugged her shoulders.

“That’s great and you know, I guess I sound pretty shallow if I couldn’t forgive my lover for what you are doing with Lark. I guess if they cheated on me then that would be a different story. I’m not sure if anyone can be forgiven for that.” Danielle explained and coyly looked at Rayne for her answer.

“Yeah, that would be very hard and I’m not sure if I could forgive someone for that, but I know it will never happen with Lark.” Rayne assuredly answered.

Danielle’s eyes darted up at Rayne when she heard the comment about cheating. “So, what are your secret plans for your anniversary?” Danielle inquired intrigued by her plans.

“Well, my younger brother let it slip that she’s throwing a surprise anniversary party for us. Lark told me we were having dinner at the Boca Resort, but bonehead Jayce let the cat out of the bag that she reserved a ballroom for this huge elaborate surprise party. He didn’t even realize he told me because he was so drunk at the time and that’s why I kept the secret of me knowing to myself. Well, you’re the only other person who knows and I’m sure you’re not going to tell Lark.” Rayne explained with a snicker, as she was privy to what was going on and had her own sneaky plans.

“You’re secret’s safe with me.” Danielle reassured her with an exuberant smile and mockingly crossed her heart.

“So, I’m going to call her and tell her that I won’t be there, but in reality I’m going to surprise her.” Rayne explained with a sly grin.

“She won’t leave after you tell her you won’t be able to make it will she?”

“Nah, she’ll stay at the party long enough for me to get there.” Rayne answered assuredly.

“Well, she’s going to be excited, especially when you pop the question.”

“Oh, definitely. Lately, she has been talking more about us getting married and I’ve been really evasive because I want to surprise her with the proposal.” Rayne informed her with a mischievous grin.

“She’s one lucky lady.” Danielle answered smiling.

“No, I’m the lucky one.” Rayne grinned happily, thinking about how much she loved Lark. “Hey, can you give me a ride to the airport?”

“Sure, no problem.” Danielle eagerly answered.

“Great, okay, so back to the plans.” Rayne chuckled and pulled a paper out of the folder.

“Oh, yeah. Work.” Danielle laughed, as did Rayne, looking over the plans Rayne drew up.

“So, how have things been between you and Rayne?” Elaine asked hesitantly, hoping that they had made amends.

“It’s better, but I still have this feeling that she’s having a hard time forgiving me for not being there for her after grandma Taye and Forrest passed away. On top of that, I tried to talk to her about getting married repeatedly and she has changed the subject every time!” Lark answered, upset with Rayne’s behavior in her latter statement.

“Hmmm, that’s strange. I wonder why she’s being so evasive?” Elaine asked, confused.

“I’m not sure and every time I talk to her about us having children and getting married she’s kind of casual about it. Maybe it’s not something she wants to do anymore.” Lark whined troubled and hurt by Rayne’s evasiveness.

“Have you flat out asked her if those are out of the question now? Maybe you’re reading into her actions or intentions mistakenly.” Elaine suggested, knowing Lark’s history of jumping to the wrong conclusion when it came to Rayne.

Lark gave her a menacing sideways glance. “Ask her if marriage and children are out of the question? I believe she gave me that answer with her vagueness every time I have brought it up.”

“Okay, sorry I asked.” Elaine apologized and conceded, throwing her hands up from the angry tone in Lark’s voice.

“I’m sorry I’m being such a bitch, but the way she’s acting is really bothering me and it has gotten worse since the last time we discussed this very topic. I just get frustrated by it and talk about something other than the two of us when we speak by phone.” Lark answered, sadly.

“As it would for anyone Lark. I understand completely, but I still think you need to be persistent with her and explain how you feel. Don’t let her change the subject.”

“I’ve tried and I’m tired of doing so.” Lark answered, exhausted by her efforts with Rayne. “I’m tired of the constant evasiveness from her and it translates to rejection. It’s that she doesn’t want those things with me anymore I know it. Maybe it’s that she just can’t forgive me for not being there for her.” Lark surmised and stood up, forcefully shoving the chair in towards the table to release her tension.

“I don’t think so. Rayne loves you very much and you are both made for one another. You’re just having a rough go of it and you need to talk everything out. How many times do I need to tell you that? Who knows, maybe she has something special up her sleeve for your anniversary.” Elaine added with a hopeful grin.

“I doubt it. The only thing I want is her love and affection, not her rejection. It’s what I need.” Lark softly admitted as tears welled in her eyes.

“I know that’s what you want honey, it’s what everyone in a relationship wants, but maybe the way Rayne is acting is her way of dealing with grief and she’s taking it out on you or you think she’s taking it out on you. Everyone reacts in a different way when they grieve which might be the reason she’s so evasive with you. Maybe you are feeling guilty for not being there and you’re reading into something that is just not there.” Elaine gently suggested.

“Great, so now you think I’m an ass for not being there too? I couldn’t be there.” Lark angrily and defensively shouted.

“Lark, calm down. I know better than you that there was no way of getting you out of that promotional tour and I don’t think you’re an ass. I think that you jump to the wrong conclusions and read into things that might not be there. Need I remind you that you acted similarly at your first anniversary and I was right then?”

Lark sighed and looked down at the ring on her finger that Rayne gave her then. She smiled remembering that night fondly and realized that she did have a way of over reacting. “Maybe you’re right.” Lark admitted looking at Elaine.

“I know I am. This is my suggestion and I highly recommend that you accept it.” Elaine chuckled as did Lark and moved closer to her, wiping away her tears. “After the big bash, sit down with her and tell her what you want in regards to marriage and a family. Find out if she does have some residual resentment for you for not being there and if so, work it out. You love each other very much and I’ve never seen two people more right for one another.” Elaine kindly suggested and hugged her friend.

Lark welcomed the comforting hug and reciprocated it. “Thanks.” Lark warmly smiled, grateful she had a close friend like Elaine.

Elaine broke the hug and grinned. “Don’t forget I have to go out to L.A. again for a few days. They have me going from coast to coast now that you have made me a famous agent with your smashing success and they’ve given me more people to represent.” Elaine dramatized her last sentence and chuckled as did Lark.

“You will be back for the party right?” Lark asked as she walked towards the door with Elaine.

“I’m going to damn sure try. I’ll give you a call if I can’t make it. Call me anytime if you need to talk okay?” She offered and smiled, adding a wink.

“I will, thanks and have a safe trip.”

“Thanks and remember everything will be fine between you two. I’m sure of it.” She reassuringly smiled and kissed Lark on the cheek. “Bye.” She waved after exiting the room.

“Bye.” Lark smiled and waved closing the door when Elaine was out of sight. ‘I hope you’re right Elaine. I don’t know how I will react if she tells me she no longer wants children and marriage, or me for that matter. She better not have any problems getting here for our anniversary either.’ She thought and stood upright when she heard someone knock on the door telling her they were ready for her interview.

The two weeks passed quickly and Rayne was eager to get to the airport for her ride home to surprise Lark. She was very excited about it and grew more anxious by the minute. She felt the butterflies in her stomach do swan dives at the thought of seeing her lover. She quickly jumped out of the car when it stopped and headed for the trunk to get her luggage. “Danielle, I can get those.” Rayne told her after unloading the luggage and seeing Danielle pick a bag up.

“I don’t mind.” Danielle offered with a smile and lifted one of her bags.

“Okay, suit yourself. Thanks.” Rayne conceded with a grin, happy for the help and headed towards the private jet parked on the tarmac waiting for her. She handed her luggage to the baggage handler and turned to Danielle. “Now, make sure the plans are followed as I drew out and there won’t be any problems. Call me if you have any questions.” Rayne ordered, not wanting any problems with their assignment while she was gone.

“We will. Now go and have a good time.” Danielle smiled and shooed her away with her hand, chuckling.

Rayne laughed and waved, “Bye,” grinning wickedly and quickly scaled the steps to the plane.

Danielle waved as she watched Rayne board the plane. She crossed her hands over her chest as the plane revved up the engines. She glanced towards the pilot who looked at her and gave him a slight smile. She turned her attention back to where Rayne was sitting and waved one last time with a smile. She waited until the plane was finally out of sight and headed towards the car, picking up her cell phone to make a call.

“Hey, Lark! How are you doing?” Elaine cheerfully asked when she heard Lark answer the phone.

“I’m stressed out! Where are you?” Lark fretfully answered while scanning the expensive ballroom and trying to make sure her plans for the party were followed as she instructed.

“I’m stuck in LA. I’m so sorry.” Elaine informed her apologetically and cringed, hoping Lark wasn’t going to flip out and be more stressed.

“Oh, no! I was hoping you would be here.” Lark whined disappointed.

“I know sweetie, but I can’t get there. Listen, calm down and take a deep breath. Everything will be perfect for the party. I can tell by the flustered tone in your voice, that you are ready to flip out. Let the party planners worry about making everything perfect, that’s what you paid them all that money for.”

“I guess I should but you know me. I will stop worrying once Rayne gets here and the party gets started.” Lark sighed, feeling more relaxed hearing from Elaine.

“Go have a drink or two to calm down. Then have a wonderful time and an even better time with Rayne after the party.” Elaine suggestively chuckled and laughed harder when she heard Lark giggle.

“I can’t wait for after the party.” Lark admitted and blushed from what she had planned for Rayne.

“I’m sure you are ready for it to happen now.” Elaine laughed. “Okay, go get a cocktail and shower everyone with that lovely charm of yours. Remember no compromising pictures or statements in case any of the paparazzi crashes the party.” Elaine reminded and chuckled.

“Yes boss and I’m going to take your suggestion of a drink or two to calm down.” Lark laughed and headed towards the bar. She turned when she saw someone out of the corner of her eye and smiled, then waved when she saw Jayce enter the room with his parents. “Well, Rayne’s brother and parents are here. I’ll give you a call later and let you know what happens.” The she whispered to the bartender for her to make her a drink.

“I sure will and have fun. Bye.” Elaine laughed and clicked the phone off.

Lark clicked her phone off and sipped her drink, then headed over to greet her guests.

“Hey, Lark. Everything looks wonderful. I’m sure Rayne is going to be very surprised.” Maria, Rayne’s mother, was looking with a smile at the elaborate ballroom’s decorations.

“Thanks, I hope she is surprised.” Lark grinned proudly and moved her cheek towards Jayce who leaned to her, for a kiss. “Hey, handsome.” Lark greeted with a giggle and put her arm around his back, patting him.

“You look stunning Lark.” He complimented admiring her gorgeous outfit. “Wow, you look so hot in that red cocktail dress Lark. Too bad you’re with that rotten sister of mine or I’d snap you up.” He added with a laugh.

“Thanks.” Lark bashfully grinned and leaned her head against his arm, squeezing him for a hug.

“Hey Lark.” John Rayne’s father greeted with a kiss.

“I’m so glad the both of you could make it.” She replied and wrapped her arm around his waist, pulling him closer for a hug after relinquishing her hold of Jayce.

“I hear this is the event to be at if you are a somebody.” He grinned and laughed when he saw Lark blush from the comment.

“Oh, come on where did you hear that?” Lark nervously laughed looking up to him.

“I just made it up!” He teasingly told her with a sly grin as the group laughed.

“Go get a drink, they are on me!” Lark suggested chuckling and pointed towards the bar.

“You don’t have to tell me twice.” Jayce commented with a laugh as he and his parents headed towards the bar.

Lark watched as they walked away and giggled, happy they were there. She saw another group of guests arriving and headed over to welcome them.

Rayne was growing weary of the long flight and was ready for it to land so she could see Lark. She turned the light on above her and pulled out the ring she planned to give her, staring at it, and smiled when it sparkled in the light. She thought of how excited Lark was going to be when she proposed to her and went over how she was going to ask Lark in her head. She chuckled when she felt a rush of nervousness consume her just as it did on their first date. She smiled, fondly remembering that time and every other wonderful day they spent together since that point. ‘I know it’s been rocky lately because I was being so stubborn, but I am going to make up for that as soon as I see her. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her.’ Rayne thought and sighed, wishing she were already there. She looked down at her watch, noting that they should be there very soon and fumed that the pilot was cutting it close to the time she needed to arrive. ‘Okay, it’s time to put my plan into action with Lark. Everyone should be there by now considering I should be arriving for our supposed dinner date with Lark in the next hour.’ She lifted the phone to her ear and after dialing Lark’s number, anxiously waited for her to answer.

Lark heard the phone ring and fumbled to look at the number. Realizing that it was Rayne’s number she rushed outside of the room so she wouldn’t hear the loud music playing. “Hey honey.” She cheerfully greeted into the phone after putting it to her ear.

“Hi baby. Aah, I have some bad news.” Rayne told her and tried to play it off without giving it away that she was on her way there.

“What?” Lark sighed worriedly.

“I’m not going to be able to make it tonight. I won’t be there until tomorrow. I’m really sorry honey.” Rayne explained, trying to sound apologetic.

“I don’t believe this Rayne! It’s our anniversary and you promised you would be here this evening.” Lark angrily shouted into the phone and nervously looked around, hoping no one was hearing her conversation. She saw a phone booth and stepped inside, closing the door for some privacy and sat down.

“I know sweets and I’m sorry. I’ll be there in the morning though.”

Lark rested her head in her hand that leaned against the ledge dejected and angry that Rayne would not be there. “That’s not good enough Rayne. You made a promise to me that you would be here this evening and now you won’t be able to make it.” Lark angrily shouted into the phone, feeling her heart racing from her anger.

“I know and I will be there, but it’s going to be in the morning. I’m sorry Lark.” Rayne apologized and grinned knowingly that she would be there before Lark thought she would.

“Okay, whatever Rayne. I’ll see you in the morning then.” Lark told her coldly and clicked the phone off.

“Lark? Are you there?” Rayne asked growing nervous from Lark’s tone of voice, then heard the dial tone. ‘Damn, she is really mad. Maybe I should tell her that I was going to surprise her and that I’m on my way there.’ Rayne worriedly thought not expecting that reaction from Lark and punched her cell number into her phone.

‘If her job is more important than our anniversary, she can stay there. I’ve had it. Let’s see how she likes the rejection of not speaking to me on the phone.’ Lark fretted angrily and turned the phone off.

Rayne dialed her number again and waited for Lark to pick up, but was connected to the voicemail. ‘What the hell?’ Rayne thought and dialed the number again getting the same result. She repeatedly dialed her number and got the same result each time. She left messages and grew more worried by the minute. She tried her phone one last time and was disconnected. ‘What is wrong with this damn phone?’ She inwardly questioned and looked at the phone. ‘Shit, the battery is dead. Why in the hell didn’t I charge it before I left?’ She irritably scolded and felt her heart racing fearfully from not being able to reach Lark. ‘I fucked up big time. Damn it. What was I thinking? What the hell is taking us so long to get there?’ She stood up, heading towards the cockpit to find out. ‘If we land in the next few minutes I’ll be able to make it like we planned, well just a few minutes late. I just hope that Lark doesn’t leave from being so mad at me before I get there.’ “Hey, when will we be landing?” She asked, peeking her head into the cockpit.

“I’m sorry Agent Donovan, but we received a report of bad weather and we had to alter our course so we are going to be delayed for our scheduled landing.” The pilot explained looking over his shoulder at her.

“Is there any way you can hurry it up? I should have been there by now!”

“We will try, but we can’t promise anything.”

“Just do it.” She angrily demanded and closed the door. “Damn this plan is all messed up. I thought I would tell her I wasn’t going to be there, but show up shortly after the call and sweep her off her feet. What was I thinking?” She mumbled in a panic, pacing the length of the plane to work off her frustration. She stopped at the table and lifted the dozen of red roses she had there and smelled them. She sniffed the roses and smiled, knowing how much Lark loved to receive flowers and how much she loved to see Lark’s reaction when she bestowed them on her. “I’ll be there shortly baby.” She softly said and laid the flowers back down, wondering if she made the right decision with her supposed surprise.

Lark wiped the tears from her eyes and decided she was going to have fun despite of Rayne’s absence. She stuffed her cell phone in her purse and inhaled deeply, to collect herself. She smiled entering the room as if she were the happiest person on earth and headed straight for the bar. ‘If they only knew what was going on?’ “Cosmopolitan, please.” She ordered and impatiently waited for her drink, tapping her fingers on the bar. ‘What in the hell do I tell all these people who came here for a surprise party?’ She inwardly wondered and grew angrier with Rayne that she wouldn’t be there and put her into that embarrassing position. ‘To hell with being embarrassed by her not being here she’s the one that looks like the fool, not me.’ Lark angrily reasoned and lifted the drink, downing it. She placed the glass down on the bar and turned to the bartender. “Another, please.”

“Yes ma’am.” She answered with a chuckle at how Lark drank it so quickly and began to make a new one.

“Is everything alright Lark?” Shayan asked as he approached the bar, noting the pensive expression Lark possessed.

“No, your sister won’t be here. She can’t get here until tomorrow.” Lark informed him, with an annoyed tone in her voice.

“I’m so sorry. But, I thought she said she would be here?” Shayan asked, surprised that sister wouldn’t be able make it on such a special occasion.

“Yeah, so did I.” Lark sardonically commented and motioned for another drink after quickly finishing that one. “She made a promise to be here and broke it, but that’s no reason for anyone else to not have fun.” Lark spitefully quipped and grabbed her drink, heading for the podium to make the announcement that the guest of honor would not be there.

‘Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lark that mad. My sister is in deep shit now.’ He thought, concerned by Lark’s angry demeanor and listened as Lark made the announcement that Rayne would not make it. He looked around the room when he heard a disappointed sigh and worried about why his sister wasn’t able to attend the party. He smiled slightly when Lark invited everyone to stay and enjoy the party despite Rayne’s absence. ‘I don’t know what Rayne was thinking, but she has pissed Lark off that’s for sure.’ He thought and watched as Lark motioned for the DJ to start the music, before heading to the closest bar for another drink. He walked over to his family’s table and stood next to Holly who was sitting in the chair looking up at him.

“What’s going on with Rayne?” His mother questioned, confused by what was going on with her daughter.

“She called and told Lark that she wouldn’t be able to make it here until tomorrow.”

“I can’t believe she didn’t make here. I hope everything is alright.” Maria worriedly responded. “John, give her a call.”

“I got a message that the cell phone is turned off.” He answered with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Oh, I hope she’s okay.” Maria anxiously said.

“She’s fine. If something happened we would be one of the first one’s to know.” John reassured his wife, patting her on the hand for comfort. “She’s probably delayed by work. Don’t worry.”

“I’ve never seen Lark that pissed off before. Rayne’s in major trouble.” Shayan replied staring at Lark from across the room and sipped his cocktail.

“Oh, yeah.” Jayce sarcastically added and watched as Lark leaned against the bar drinking another Cosmopolitan.

Rayne continued to nervously pace the length of the plane, chewing on the inside of her mouth and thought about flying the plane so they could get there faster. She checked her watch for the millionth time and noted two hours had passed. ‘What in the hell are they doing? Flying around the world to avoid the bad weather?’ She angrily wondered and headed back to the cockpit. “How much longer?”

“We are making our descent now.”

“It’s about frigging time.” She incredulously retorted and walked back to her seat. She sat down and latched her seat belt, in preparation for landing. She stared out the window and rubbed her hand across her face in frustration. Her stomach was in knots from her nervousness, her anger for being late and for her stupid plan. She rubbed her forehead and closed her eyes, going over how she was going to ask Lark to marry her. The bump from the plane landing brought her out of her thoughts and she looked out the window. ‘Let’s hope she’ll have me after this fuck up I’ve done.’ She inwardly worried and unbuckled her seat belt as the plane pulled up to its private hangar. She grabbed her bags and put the strap over her shoulder waiting near the door. Once the plane stopped the co-pilot exited the cockpit and she stepped back so he could open the door. She glanced inside the cockpit and smiled towards the pilot as he lifted his cell phone to his ear. “Thanks and sorry for being so impatient.” Rayne apologized for her grumpy behavior. ‘Damn, I didn’t even think to ask if they had a phone I could use.’ Rayne shook her head at her stupidity and inability to think clearly to find a solution to the problem when her plan fell through. ‘Stupid, stupid. That kind of thinking could get you killed at work. Wake up and think clearly, idiot.’ She admonishingly thought.

He smiled and waved, answering, “No problem,” as Rayne exited the plane. “Hey, we’ve just landed.” He said into his cell phone and clicked it off. He walked to the door of the plane and watched as Rayne ran towards her car that she left there before her trip. “Well, let’s get everything situated and head out.” The pilot told his co-pilot with a smile and both headed back to the cockpit.

Rayne fired the engine on the car and squealed the tires when she took off. She plugged her cell phone into the cigarette lighter to charge it and sped out of the airport. ‘I can’t believe I was so delayed. Shit! Okay, well the drive there doesn’t take that long. I just hope she’s still there.’ Rayne inwardly groused and rationalized the time for the drive after checking her watch.

“Lark, I’m heading upstairs for the evening. Why don’t you stay with me because you are in no condition to drive?” Jayce offered, trying to steady himself from swaying.

“We are both in no condition to drive Jayce. You’re just as drunk as I am! Lark sloppily answered and laughed, as did Jayce. “Hey, where are your parents?” She asked, looking around, trying to steady herself in the chair and keep from falling over.

Jayce started laughing and stumbled into the chair, catching himself before he fell. He and Lark laughed harder when he plopped in the chair. “Silly girl, they left an hour ago!”

“Damn, I totally forgot! Hey, where did everyone go? I’ve been so busy talking and dancing with my new good friend for the past couple of hours that I didn’t see everyone leave. Oh, what is my new friends name?” Lark questioned and laughed at her forgetfulness, noting there were just a few people left at the party. “Where did she go?” Lark asked looking around, as did Jayce. “Oh, there she is. She had to make a phone call.” Lark pointed out and waved when she saw her.

Jayce looked up at the tall, dark-haired woman with a stocky, muscular build who waved back to Lark while heading towards them. “Come on Lark, stay up in my room tonight.” Jayce offered looking back at her and grasped her hand, helping her to stand.

“Now Jayce, you know your sister would not be pleased if she were to find out that you were hitting on me.” Lark laughed and looped her hand around his arm as they unsteadily walked towards the door.

“I know; that’s why I’m not doing it. She would kill me. I’m concerned and I want to make sure you are safe.” Jayce grinned and stopped outside the door.

“I’m fine. I want to go home.” Lark answered, waving him off.

“You can’t drive, here let me have them call a cab for you.” Jayce offered, and pointed towards the concierge.

“I can give her a ride home.” The woman eagerly offered when she approached the pair.

“Hey, that’s my new friend. She can give me a ride home.” Lark pointed towards her and laughed.

“Are you sure?” Jayce skeptically asked, concerned for her safety. “Let me get you a cab, Lark. You don’t know this woman very well.” He told her in a whisper and started to walk away, but was stopped by Lark.

“I’ll be fine. We’ve been talking for the most of the evening about work and our partners. I’m sure she’s harmless.” Lark waved his concern off and chuckled kissing him on the cheek. “Bye handsome.” She whispered and quickly walked away following the woman.

“Call me and if I don’t hear from you in ten minutes I’m sending the police to your house!” He shouted out, watching the pair as they exited the hotel and saw her wave.

The woman held the door for Lark after the valet brought her car around and closed it behind her after she slid into the passenger’s seat. She tipped the valet and hopped into the driver’s side then started the car. “What’s your address?” She asked, turning to Lark whose eyes were barely open.

“Oh, aah 47 Seaside Drive. Take A1A north and you’ll see Seaside drive. It’s only, oh, aah about five minutes away.” Lark slurred trying to keep her eyes open, but was unsuccessful in her attempt.

“Okay.” The woman answered and hoped she was getting the correct directions. She looked at Lark and saw that she had passed out. She lifted her purse and pulled out her wallet, looking at her driver’s license. ‘Wow, she was right about the address.’ She chuckled inwardly surprised that Lark would remember her address in that condition. Then she placed Lark’s wallet back in her purse. She followed Lark’s directions and found the large house quite easily. ‘Nice place.’ She thought approvingly driving through the posh neighborhood and parked the car in the driveway. She exited the car and walked around to Lark’s door, opening it. “Lark, we’re at your house.” She told her and patted her arm. “Come on Lark.” She coaxed, trying to wake her.

“Huh? Oh, okay.” Lark mumbled and looked around, noting she was home. She moved her feet out of the car and struggled to stand. The woman helped her out of the car and closed the door behind her.

“Whoa, easy there.” The woman told her when Lark’s legs went out from underneath her and she caught Lark before she fell.

“I’m having a hard time walking.” Lark laughed, attempting to put one foot in front of the other with great difficulty staying awake.

“Here, this might help.” The woman suggested and put Lark’s arm around her neck, then put her other arm around Lark’s waist carrying the limp woman towards the door. She steadied Lark and unlocked the door after retrieving the keys from Lark’s purse. She carried Lark inside and closed the door behind them.

Lark struggled to stand and leaned against the couch as she fumbled through her purse for the phone number to the resort. She lifted the business card with the number and grabbed the phone, punching in the number to the resort. “When Jayce said he would call the police, he meant it.” Lark informed her with a laugh. “Yes, I need the room of Jayce Donovan please.” Lark cordially asked and waited for him to answer.

“Hello.” Jayce barely greeted.

“I’m home safe and sound. Bye.” Lark clicked the phone off unable to keep her balance when the couch moved from her weight leaning against it and slithered to the ground with a giggle.

“Whoa, let me help you.” The woman offered and reached down to help Lark.

Rayne screeched the tires when she came to a stop in front of the exclusive resort and hurried out of the car. “If I’m not back in five minutes park the car.” She called out to the valet who nodded in acknowledgement when she ran by and rushed through the doors. “Excuse me, what room is the party hosted by Lark Morgan in?” Rayne asked the Concierge out of breath.

“Uhmmm, the Grand ballroom just around the corner.” He told her after checking his list and pointed in the direction of where he was referring.

“Thanks.” Rayne replied and rushed towards the room. She burst through the doors to find only the DJ still there. ‘Shit!’ She inwardly cursed and headed towards the DJ who was packing up the equipment. “Excuse me, can you tell me about what time Lark Morgan left?”

The DJ checked her watch and looked at her. “She left about fifteen minutes ago.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Rayne called out after turning and heading towards the door. She ran to the car, pulling out some cash for the valet. “Here you go.” She offered and handed him the money before climbing into the car.

“Thanks!” He gratefully called out with a grin from the large tip.

She sped the car out of the parking lot towards their home and wondered how her precise plans had gone so fowl. ‘I never thought that the damn plane would be delayed so long.’ She steered the car down the street to their home. She sped into the driveway and parked the car. “Whose car is that?” Rayne mumbled wonderingly, seeing an unfamiliar car in the driveway and didn’t give it a second thought, thinking it was probably Jayce’s rental car and that he had given Lark a ride home. She grabbed the roses from the seat and quickly headed into the house. ‘Okay now calm down and take a deep breath. Apologize for the fuck up of not being there, ditch your brother and then ask her to marry you.’ She inhaled deeply to calm her racing heart. She exhaled and opened the door with her keys. The house was dark and she surmised that Lark was in bed. ‘Well, I guess Jayce is sleeping over tonight.’ She surmised unhappily considering it looked like everyone was asleep and still assumed that the car in the driveway was his. She placed her keys on the table and walked through the foyer, then headed down the hall towards the bedroom. ‘Lark, will you marry me? Lark, will you be my partner for all of eternity? Lark, will you forgive me for being such an ass and marry me anyway? I think that pretty much sums it up, you’re an ass!’ She thought with a chuckle nervously going over how she would ask Lark to marry her and inhaled deeply to settle her pounding heart, reaching for the bedroom doorknob.

Rayne exhaled and opened the door to the shock of her life. She stood in the door staring, not wanting to believe what she was seeing. She blinked repeatedly hoping it would clarify what she saw which didn’t work and felt the blood drain from her body. She lowered her arm that held the roses and dropped them to the floor, stunned by the fact that Lark was in bed naked with another woman. Lark turned her head towards the door when she heard it hit against the wall and strained to open her eyes. “Rayne!” She shouted excitedly and sat up, then looked to see a woman in bed with her. “What are you…?” She attempted to ask and wasn’t sure why that woman was there or what had happened. She turned back to Rayne and saw her walk away. “Rayne, wait!” She shouted and jumped out of the bed, stumbling then grabbed the sheet to cover her. She was snapped out of her drunken stupor in a hurry and ran down the hall towards Rayne who was reaching for her keys on the foyer table. “No! Don’t leave!” Lark tearfully shouted and ran to her, grabbing her arm to thwart her departure.

Rayne’s head snapped around and flashed a menacing look at Lark when she felt her touch her arm. She was hurt, numb, devastated, and could barely look at the woman who had just ripped her heart out. She jerked her arm from Lark’s grasp and turned her back to her, walking to the door. She violently opened the door, slamming it against the wall and stormed out of the house.

Lark tripped on the sheet and fell in a heap. She struggled to stand up and draped the sheet back around her. ‘Damn it.’ She thought frustrated and stumbled out the door. She struggled with the sheet and her balance was unsteady. “Rayne, don’t do this.” Lark tearfully pleaded and rushed towards the car seeing that Rayne was nearly inside the car. “Is this what you want?” Lark asked as Rayne looked up from the door. She stared at her briefly and sat in the car ignoring her question. “No, please!” Lark pleadingly shouted, crying. She moved towards the passenger’s side door and tripped over the long sheet falling to the ground on her knees. She Rayne started the car and hit the gas pedal, screeching the tires as she backed out of the driveway. She slammed the car in drive and smoked the tires when she hit the accelerator. Her head shot up when she heard the noise and screamed, “No! It’s not what you think.” Then held her face in her hands and cried harder when she realized Rayne was not coming back. “How could this happen? I couldn’t have.” Lark cried in disbelief of what just happened and stood up. “I have to call her.” She said and ran towards the house, bumping into the woman there.

“Lark I’m sorry for what happened, but you told me that you wanted to be with me.” She tried to explain.

“Get the fuck out of my house!” She angrily told the woman and shoved her out the door, slamming it behind her and locking it.

“No problem.” The woman casually replied with a smirk and headed towards her car, leaving in a hurry.

Lark punched in the numbers to Rayne’s cell phone and heard it ring with no answer, “Answer! Rayne, what have I done?” She asked, crying harder and was connected to her voicemail. She punched in the number again. “I’ve got to find her.” Lark shouted waiting for her to answer the phone and ran towards the bedroom to dress. ‘Where would she have gone?’ She wondered and quickly dressed as she received the voicemail again, then redialed the number desperate to contact her.

Rayne screeched the car to a halt and pulled it off the side of the road. “Fuck you Lark, fuck you! I don’t want to talk to you and won’t pick up no matter how many times you call me!” She shouted looking at the phone and seeing it was their home phone number again. “You made your decision and fucked that woman!” She angrily accused towards the phone as it rang repeatedly and as if Lark could hear her. She threw the phone against the windshield with all her mite, shattering it into pieces. She leaned her head on the steering wheel and panted heavily, trying to calm the fury that boiled deep within her. She had never felt so much pain from being betrayed in her life and wasn’t sure how to deal with it. She broke down and cried uncontrollably and pounded the steering wheel, until her hand could no longer take the abuse. “How could you?” She angrily shouted trying to make sense of what Lark had done to her. “I’ve had to deal with the deaths of the people I loved dearly in my life and the pain I felt then is nothing like this pain. I feel like my heart has been ripped out!” She said aloud, sobbing harder each time she saw the image of Lark in bed with another woman. She leaned her head on her arms that were crossed over the steering wheel mentally exhausted.

She turned her head to the side, and looked out of the window towards the ocean and had a flashback of the horror she saw at her home. She thought of the woman touching, kissing and making love to Lark and it infuriated her, sickened her. Lark was the only woman that she had ever truly loved with her heart and soul. She was the only one she had ever given her heart, body and soul to unconditionally. She had made plans to grow old with Lark and love her more each day, sharing so many beautiful times with her until they left this earth. She had believed that Lark wanted the same. ‘Well, I thought she did, that bitch!’ She angrily cursed. ‘I’m going to be sick.’ She realized and opened the door, quickly jumping out of the car. She leaned over and became sick, thinking again of the strange woman with Lark. She violently vomited with each thought. She stood up and walked around trying to calm her nausea and anger. “Why?” She furiously shouted questioningly and kicked the door of her car in with the bottom of her foot, repeatedly until she lost her balance and fell. That angered her more and she jumped up, pounding on the roof of the car repeatedly, denting it and ended her fury on the car after putting her fist through the back passengers window. The sound of the breaking glass broke her rage and she felt better about releasing her anger. “I will never love another like I did Lark, nor will I be in another relationship ever again.” She vowed aloud, disillusioned with love and commitment after the horrible incident Lark had done to her. She climbed into the car with a renewed out look on life and sped off.

Lark continued to call Rayne’s cell phone with no answer and headed towards the garage. She opened the door and turned on the light, finding no car there. “Damn!” She shouted and ran through the house to the front door. Once outside she became extremely nauseous and leaned over vomiting in the bushes. “I can’t lose her.” She sobbed harder and threw up again. She stood up when she felt better and headed down the walkway, and sighed disgusted that her car was not there. ‘My car is at the damn resort!’ She remembered dismayed and headed back in the house. She dialed Rayne’s phone once again and received a message that the cell phone was turned off. She felt exceptionally dizzy and wobbly. She held her head and staggered towards the couch, plopping down on it. ‘Oh my head, it’s killing me! I’m so dizzy and the room is spinning! I’ve never been so drunk that I’ve passed out. I’ve been so drunk before that I should have been dead and but I never passed out. What the hell was in those drinks?’ She wondered, trying to fight off the dizziness and leaned her head back against the couch, closing her eyes in hopes that the room would stop spinning. “Rayne, Rayne.” She sobbed uncontrollably and passed out again.

Rayne pulled into the driveway and screeched the tires, coming to a violent stop. She slammed the car into park and killed the engine. She didn’t know where to go or what to do anymore. ‘I feel like crawling under a rock so no one will ever find me.’ She distraughtly thought, and stepped out of the car. ‘That fucking bitch, how could she ruin our wonderful life like that? I loved her so much, more than life itself. I took a chance on her and love again. I gave her a part of me that I never wanted to give anyone else. How could she do this to me?’ She angrily and hurtfully questioned, slamming the door as hard as she could. She began to cry harder and felt her legs grow weak, remembering what she had just seen over and over again. She sat down on the ground and leaned against her car. She bent her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She leaned her head down on her arms and wept for the life and love she just lost.

“What was that noise Shay?” Holly worriedly asked, sitting up in the bed and glanced over at her husband that was looking out the window.

“It’s Rayne.” He answered seeing his sister sitting beside the car and grew concerned.

“What is she doing here? I didn’t think she was coming home until tomorrow.” Holly asked confused and sat up in the bed, growing more alarmed.

“I’m not sure, but I’m going to find out very quickly.” He answered softly, having an uneasy feeling about what was going on with his sister and quickly donned a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, then slipped on his sandals before heading out the bedroom door. He quickly padded through the house and exited, walking around the car and saw his sister sitting there crying. He looked at the damage to the car and quickly rushed to her and knelt down beside her. “Rayne, are you okay? Where you in an accident?.” He gently asked to not startle her when he placed his hands on her arms. She looked up at her brother and quickly engulfed him in a tight hug, finally seeing something that was comforting to her. He wrapped his arms around her surprised by the hug. “Hey, what’s going on?” He softly asked growing more concerned by the way Rayne was acting. “Where you in an accident?” He asked again, leaning back and looking at her. She shook her head no and moved to stand up. He helped her to her feet and pushed her dark hair off her face. “What’s going on? Tell me.” He worriedly asked and gently demanded as his heart raced with fear.

She inhaled deeply and exhaled hard, forcefully blowing out her breath. She sniffled and wiped the tears from her eyes. “Lark cheated on me.” She mustered and tried to fight the tears that trickled down her cheeks embarrassed that she was an emotional wreck in front of her brother.

“What? No, I can’t believe that. Are you sure?” He asked, flustered and bewildered by what she just told him. He moved his hands down her arms and grasped her hands.

“Oh, I saw it with my own eyes Shay.” Rayne told him, with venom in her voice.

“What in the hell happened?” He asked confused and angry. He felt something wet on Rayne’s hand and looked down, moving her hand towards him. “Oh, my god Rayne. What did you do to your hand?” He asked, seeing the swollen and bloody appearance of her hand.

“Huh?” She asked, snapped out of her daze. She was still so bewildered that everything seemed like a bad nightmare and as if she didn’t know where or who she was anymore. She looked down at her hand and moved it back down. “I guess I hurt it when I put my fist through the window.” She casually answered, not feeling the pain in her hand. It was the least of her concern at that moment.

“Come on, we need to clean this up. You may have broken your hand.” He led her towards the house.

“What’s going on? Rayne, what happened?” Holly anxiously asked, when she met them at the door.

“Oh, nothing really. Except that Lark just destroyed our life together by cheating on me.” Rayne sardonically answered when she passed by her.

“What?” Holly asked, shocked by the news and turned watching them walk towards the kitchen table. She closed the door and walked over, sitting next to Rayne as her husband grabbed a towel to clean Rayne’s hand. “I can’t believe that Rayne.”

“Believe it Holly, I caught her in bed with another woman.” Rayne reiterated, looking up at her then back down when her brother wiped the blood off of her hand.

“Just now? What did you say?” Holly asked shocked by what was happening.

“Nothing, I just walked out.” Rayne callously answered and shrugged her shoulders.

“Maybe it was a mistake Rayne. I know she was upset that you weren’t going to make it for the party, but I can’t believe that she would turn to another. What are you doing here now anyway? I’m so confused.” Holly explained and questioned, befuddled by everything that was going on.

“Well, ding bat Jayce let it slip that she was having a surprise party for us and I devised a plan to surprise her. I told her I wouldn’t be there so I could walk in and sweep her off her feet, but it looks like someone else beat me to it.” Rayne explained and grew angrier at her own comment.

“I cannot believe that Lark would turn to another. Let me try to call her and find out what happened.” Holly suggested flabbergasted by the news and attempted to stand to get the phone. Rayne stopped her when she grabbed her wrist.

“Don’t call her. I don’t want her to know where I am.” Rayne told her adamantly, staring emphatically at her sister-in-law to get her point across.

“Okay.” Holly nervously answered and sat back down, never seeing so much anger and coldness in Rayne’s eyes as she was witnessing right then.

“Rayne, we need to get your hand checked out at the hospital. You need to have the glass removed and stitches for this cut.” Shayan advised her and pressed the towel down on her hand to stop the bleeding.

“Whatever. As long as I don’t have to see that bitch again.” Rayne angrily retorted.

“Mommy, what’s going on?” Brandon sleepily called out as he padded down the hall.

“Don’t let him see me this way.” Rayne nervously pleaded with Holly when she looked at her.

“I won’t.” Holly answered reassuringly and quickly stood up, heading down the hall to attend to her son before he saw his aunt.

“Let’s go.” Shayan ordered and wrapped the towel around her hand. He reached over and grabbed his keys and wallet from the counter.

She headed towards the garage door and exited the house, waiting at the car for her brother who ran to the driver’s side. He unlocked the doors and slipped into the driver’s seat. He turned and backed the car out of the garage to the street, then sped away from the house.

The ride to the hospital was quiet and he was glad that Rayne had calmed down from earlier. Yet, he worried that she could have been holding everything in and shutting off her emotions, just as she did after Karen died. He glanced over at her and saw that she was lost in her thoughts staring out the window. ‘Damn it Lark. What the hell were you thinking?’ He wondered angrily and concerned for his sister. He was still shocked by what had happened and was having a hard time believing that Lark would do something like that to Rayne.

Rayne sat staring out the window and felt numb from what had transpired. ‘Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that Lark would cheat on me. How could she do this to us?’ She questioned, with no plausible answer coming to mind and turned to her brother who touched her on the arm.

“We’re here.” He gently told her and opened the door, stepping out.

She turned to look out the window and saw the hospital before her that she was so oblivious to when they pulled up. She opened the door and stepped out, closing the door behind her, before heading into the hospital.

Rayne received five stitches in her index finger and sported a cast that stabilized her wrist along with her ring and pinky fingers after fracturing them. The ride back to her brother’s house was pretty much the same as it was on the way there, quiet. Shayan wasn’t sure if he should say something and try to get her to talk some more or just let her talk when she was ready. He decided the latter.

‘I still can’t believe that she would cheat on me. The wonderful life we made with one another is no longer and our dreams together are gone. I need to get away from here as soon as possible. I don’t want to be constantly reminded of our life together here until I have come to terms with everything that has happened and can handle being in that environment again.’ Rayne decided what she needed to do, drop off the face of the earth as far as Lark was concerned. She didn’t want to see her, talk to her or hear about her. ‘She made her bed, now she can lie in it and face the consequences of her actions, without me being in her life. She can experience the pain of me not being there, like the pain I feel as if she has stuck a dagger through my heart.’ She spitefully thought and snapped out of her thoughts when she heard her brother say something. “Huh?” She asked puzzled by what he had said to her.

“I told you that we were home.” He answered with a slight smile.

She looked around and noted that they were at his house. “Shit, I was so lost in my thoughts that I had no clue where we were. Sorry.” Rayne answered, slightly flustered.

“It’s no problem. Do you want to talk?” He asked, hoping she would get some things off her chest.

“Actually, I have made a decision as to what I’m going to do Shay, and I need your help to accomplish that.” She stared him in the eye to let him know she was firm about what she was going to tell him.

“Okay.” He agreed and readied for what lie ahead.

“I want to fall of the face of the earth as far as Lark is concerned and that means that I don’t want to see or talk to Lark and I don’t want to hear about her from anyone else. I know the family is close with Lark and she loves the boys, as they love her to. They are going to be heart broken by our break up and I don’t want to cut them off from her. That should make the changes in our life easier for them. If you and the rest of the family don’t want to associate with her or if you want to, I don’t care. If you and Holly decide to allow her to see the boys, that’s fine with me and I won’t feel betrayed by you both if you do so. I would hate to keep Brandon and Cole from not seeing her. I know they love her very much. I ask that I not hear about her from any of you and I would appreciate you or the family not telling her anything about me, especially where I am or how to contact me.” Rayne adamantly explained.

“I respect your wishes Rayne and I’ll speak with Holly as to how we will handle the boys with Lark. Right now, I am so mad at her for hurting you the way she did, that I would rather her not see the boys or us for that matter. You’re right that the boys love her very much and their lives would be too disrupted if she were suddenly cut off from them. I will pass on your wishes to the rest of the family, but why not tell them yourself?”

“After our conversation ends in this car, I don’t want to discuss her anymore.” Rayne answered, firm about her decision.

“I take it there is no chance for a reconciliation?” He asked, hopeful that she wouldn’t go ballistic at the mention of it.

“No chance at all.” She decisively answered and added, “I would appreciate it if you passed on my wishes to the family. I know it’s a lot to ask of you and I’m sorry to lay it on you, but I would be very grateful if you could do that for me.”

“It’s not a problem. You’re my baby sister and I will do anything for you.” He smiled slightly.

“Thanks.” Rayne smiled and blushed appreciative of what he just admitted to her. “Also, seeing as how you are my attorney.” She added with a sly grin for asking so much of him and continued, “I would like for you to arrange for Lark to keep the house, everything within it and the money in our shared bank account. I don’t want any of it. I’m going to call the bank and ask that my personal checking account be closed and open a new one, as I’ve left everything at the house. I would appreciate it if you could pick up my mail tomorrow and I will contact the post office for a change of address. I guess that’s about it.” Rayne explained and shrugged her shoulders with a blasé attitude. She wanted to leave everything about her life with Lark behind her even if it meant losing money and personal possessions. She didn’t care about that, she just wanted to forget about her and what happened as soon as possible.

“You got it, but what about your clothes or any other personal items of yours at the house?”

“She can either keep them as a reminder of me, that hopefully will be a haunting memento of what she did, or she can box them up and give them to you or she can throw them out. It makes no difference to me one way or the other.” Rayne casually told him.

“Okay, I’ll get on that first thing in the morning. Well, that’s about five hours from now.” He grinned, checking his watch.

“I’m sorry to have disrupted your evening like this, but I didn’t know where else to go. I really appreciate you taking me to the hospital, for being there for me and for handling my affairs. I know it’s a lot of shit for you to handle, but I really need to distance myself from her and that means totally cutting myself off to her. I’m going to emphasize that at work so she can’t find me through them either. I know they will hold my confidence no matter who asks for information about me. I’m sure she will try hard and use any available resources to find me.”

“I’m your brother and that’s what family is for, to be there through the good and the bad times. You don’t have to apologize to me at all. I love and care for you and I’m glad that you came to me for help.” He wholeheartedly admitted and took her face in his hands, pulled her closer and kissed her forehead.

Rayne smiled and looked up at him after the kiss. “You’re the best and I love you too.”

“So, where are you going? I need to know where to find you.”

“I’ll get a new cell phone tomorrow and give you the number to reach me. I’m going back to work, which thankfully is out of the country and far away from here so I don’t have to be reminded of what happened for quite some time.”

“Fair enough and I promise to fulfill your wishes if you do one favor for me.” He asked with a sly grin.

“Okay.” Rayne agreed with a slight smile.

“You won’t shut us all out like you did when Karen died and if you need to talk about what happened you won’t hesitate.” He asked, hoping she would seek help; the help she was going to need to make it through that rough ordeal.

“I’m going to try to not do that again and I will talk to you about what happened if I need to.” Rayne reluctantly agreed, knowing she didn’t want to talk or think about Lark any time soon. She wanted to put her in the past and move on as quickly as possible, ‘after all that’s what Lark did with the other woman, she moved on.’ She angrily thought, hoping she could easily do that.

“Well, let’s get some sleep then. I’m sure you could use some.” He suggested with a warm smile.

“I’ll see what I can do. I have to call work and arrange for a flight in the morning to get back to my assignment. I need to get my luggage out of my car.” She thought out loud as they exited the car.

The pair carried her luggage to the house and settled her in the spare room. “Try to get some sleep and take care of that hand while you are gone.” Shayan suggested and ordered, pointing at her injured hand.

“I will.” She chuckled holding the cast up and hugged him. “Thanks again.” She softly said, reveling in the comfort of his hug.

“You’re welcome. Now go to sleep.” He smiled breaking the hug and walked out of the room.

Rayne spent the night making the pertinent arrangements for a flight back to work for the next day and tried to push her thoughts of Lark out of her mind every time they attempted to creep in. She laid back on the bed exhausted and sighed, wishing she did not have to go through any of this. She closed her eyes and finally drifted off to sleep.

The next morning Shayan took Rayne to purchase a cell phone and then drove her to the airport. He helped her with the luggage to the plane. After loading them, she turned to him and smiled. “Thanks bro. I’ll see you soon okay?” She confirmed and hugged him.

“You got it and take care. Call me when you get there.” He smiled breaking the hug.

“I will and thanks again for everything. Oh, I called the car dealership and arranged for them to pick up the car for repairs. Do you mind if I have it delivered to your place when it’s finished until I return and can pick it up?”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Great and don’t let Jayce drive it especially after it is fixed.” She answered grateful for his hospitality and chuckled at her last comment.

“Oh, no. He’ll have to take a cab with the way he drives.” He laughed.

“Well, I’ve got to haul ass.” She told him after hearing the plane’s engines start up. “Thanks again and I’ll talk to you soon.” She smiled and hugged him once more.

“You’re welcome and hang in there kiddo. Things will get better.” He told her and warmly smiled, breaking the hug.

“I hope so.” She added with a slight smile and headed up the stairs to the plane. She looked back and waved, smiling gratefully. ‘Good-bye, old life and hello to the new one.’ Rayne inwardly said, distancing herself from her old life.

He smiled and waved back, hoping her wounded psyche would be able to withstand its latest set back. He feared she would do as she always had in rough times, cutting herself off to the world. He watched as the plane headed out of sight and headed back to his car. ‘Now, I get the daunting task of seeing Lark.’ He thought and sighed dismayed, knowing that was not going to be easy.

Lark had spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon vomiting and desperately calling anyone who might know where Rayne would be, but no one answered her calls. She figured they were screening her calls for Rayne’s sake. She stood at the sink and leaned against the wall for support from feeling so weak while she brushed her teeth. She hated the person she saw in the mirror and looked away. She couldn’t believe she had done something that horrible to Rayne and grew angrier when she thought about how Rayne just walked out without talking to her about it. ‘We could have worked this out, but she left.’ She tearfully thought and rinsed the toothpaste from her mouth. ‘After all that we have shared and how much we love each other why would she just leave like that? She’ll forgive me and come back, I’m sure of it. We’re meant to be together and this can be worked out. I know it.’ Lark confidently thought, hoping that was true and heard a car pull up. ‘It’s her!’ She excitedly thought and ran to the front door, quickly pulling it open. “Rayne?” She enthusiastically said and sighed disappointed when she saw who was at the front door.

“Nope, it’s me.” Shayan replied and looked at her, trying to bite his tongue and not lash out at her for what she had done to Rayne.

“Where’s Rayne? Is she okay? Is she with you?” Lark anxiously fired off multiple questions before he could answer and looked past him towards his car to see if Rayne was there.

“Rayne is gone and why would you think that she would be okay after what you did to her?” He irritably asked, unable to check his anger with her at that moment.

“I’m sorry. You’re right, she can’t be okay after what happened.” Lark solemnly agreed and rubbed her pounding head, realizing how stupid the question was. “I’m sure I’m the last person you want to see right now.” Lark replied and looked up at him.

“Well, considering the circumstances, yes you are the last person I want to see right now, but my sister asked me to do her a favor and that’s what I’m going to do no matter how angry with you I am. May I come in?” He asked with great restrain, gesturing towards the inside of the house with his hand.

“Oh, yes please, I’m sorry.” She answered, flustered and sick from everything that happened. She stepped back as he walked past her and closed the door behind him.

He walked in and sat on the couch as Lark sat in the recliner next to him. He looked up at her and found it hard to, as he felt betrayed by Lark as well. He had accepted her into his family as his own sister and her recent actions infuriated and hurt him. “Listen, Lark, Rayne asked only that I pick up her mail and she wanted the house, the belongings and the money in your joint checking account to remain with you. I’ll send over some papers to have her name removed from the account. ” He explained and looked down at his hands, nervously rubbing them together from the awkwardness.

What he said hit her like a rock and she felt her eyes water uncontrollably. She looked at him, then downward as the tears fell unchecked. “That sounds so final.” She softly commented.

“Well, that’s the way she wanted it, Lark. She told me that you could either keep her personal belongings or box them up and give them to me. It was your choice.”

“Did she not want to try and work this out?” Lark asked in a sob peering up at him.

“No, she didn’t.” He grudgingly answered, knowing it would hurt her. He hated the fact that this was happening to them and was concerned for Lark despite his anger towards her.

“Wow.” Lark sighed dismayed that her wonderful life with Rayne was over and stood up, turning her back to him. She moved her hand that trembled to her mouth to conceal the sound of her sob and cried harder. She inhaled deeply to regain her composure and turned to him. “Where is she? I need to talk with her and try to explain. Maybe we can work this out. I know we can.”

“She asked that her whereabouts be kept a secret from you, Lark.” He stood up. “Listen, I would love nothing more than for the two of you to work this out, but my sister is hurt and angry and just wants to be left alone. I have to respect her wishes and so do you. Try to understand the way she feels Lark.” He explained and reluctantly rubbed her shoulders, conflicted by comforting her and hurting her.

“I understand.” Lark deceivingly answered, upset that Rayne would so easily walk out on their relationship. She knew that they could work it out if only Rayne would give her a chance. ‘She owes me that much. We are soul mates, completely in love and meant to be together. This is a horrible thing that happened, but if she loves me as much as she has always professed then we can work this out. I’m going to find her and get everything straightened out.’ She confidently thought and slightly smiled looking at Shayan. “I’m sorry for what has happened and I hope that your family can forgive me one day.”

“I’m sorry too and we will sure try to. I spoke with Holly in regards to you seeing the boys and…” he attempted to explain and was stopped by Lark’s loud gasp.

“Oh, god. Please, don’t keep me from the boys. I know I don’t deserve to be in their lives after what happened, but I love them so much.” Lark tearfully pleaded and felt her heart race at the thought of not seeing them again.

“Let me finish.” He halted her, raising his hand up and continued, “We agreed that the boys would be devastated if you were shut out of their lives and we will allow you to be a part of it on one condition.”

“Anything, just name it.” Lark excitedly agreed, waiting to hear what he had to say.

“The condition is that you don’t ask us where Rayne is or about her.”

“Okay, I’ll do it.” Lark agreed reluctantly, thankful that they were going to allow her to see the boys and still have a relationship with her.

“I have to get going. Could I please have her mail?” He asked, feeling more uncomfortable. He wanted to leave so he could deal with his own emotions towards Lark and find some way to forgive her.

“Aah, sure.” Lark agreed hesitantly and walked towards the table where she tossed the mail earlier. She shuffled through and sorted out Rayne’s mail from hers. She lifted the stack up and stared at Rayne’s name there. She lightly rubbed her finger over Rayne’s name and felt a catch in her heart that her lover was no longer there. She brushed away the tears that streaked her face and sniffed back the remaining ones as she turned to Shayan. “Here’s her mail.” She replied and handed it to him.

“Thanks. I’ll talk to you soon.” He slightly smiled, feeling awkward with their interaction and headed towards the door as Lark followed him.

He reached for the door and opened it, then looked back as Lark said, “Thank you for allowing me to see the boys.”

“Lark, we are very angry with you right now, but we still love you and that won’t change. We are trying very hard to forgive you and it will take some time. We talked about cutting you out of our lives, but didn’t want that for our sake or the boys. We hope that you and Rayne work everything out, we really do.” He wholeheartedly admitted hoping that when his sister calmed down that she would realize her relationship with Lark was worth saving no matter what the circumstances were.

“I appreciate that immensely and please, when you talk to Rayne tell her to call me. I know we can work this out.” She pleaded tearfully.

He swallowed the lump in his throat and slightly smiled, knowing well that he couldn’t do that considering the demands his sister made that Lark was not to be mentioned to her. He slightly waved and exited the house, quickly heading to his car.

Lark closed the door behind him and leaned against it. She slid down the door and put her face in her hands that now rested on her knees, crying uncontrollably. After a few minutes of sobbing hysterically she wiped her face and stopped. “Stop this, I’m going to find her and work this out! She shouldn’t have left! She should have given me, us, another chance. She will come back to me and we will be together again, I’m sure of it.” She thought assertively and stood up with renewed confidence that she would soon have her love and life back.

The End

Go to Indiscretions

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