The Dylan Morgan Show – Season 2 by Jenny Frame

Episode 5

The following weeks brought more normality back to Dylan and Emily’s life, even though Emily still had her days where things didn’t seem so bright, and her anxiousness would creep back, she now had the tools to fight it, and she had a great boost in confidence when she finally got her arm cast off.

It was the day of the wedding and Dylan and Emily lay in bed enjoying the quiet, early morning before the madness of the day set in. Emily already cuddled tight into Dylan’s chest tried to snuggle in even further.

“Hmm. I love this with you.” Emily said in contentment.

Dylan kissed her brow and smiled broadly. They had still to become fully intimate again, but they were taking the time to touch and kiss as much as possible, in order to build their bond and trust back to what it was. Emily’s therapist, Rain, said it was the best way for Emily to become comfortable with the physical side of their relationship. Just to see Emily smiling again and being close to her made Dylan more than happy. The rest would come in time.

“I wish you didn’t have to go.” Dylan was going over to Jackson’s apartment to get ready for the ceremony, while Emily got ready at home.

“I know baby girl, but it’s just for a few hours then you’ll have to go to a lawyer to get rid of me.” Dylan received a soft slap on the stomach for that. “Ah! Don’t beat me up; I’ll set Molly on you.”

Emily leaned up on her elbow and looked down towards her fiancé. Her face set with a look of mock annoyance. “Well don’t say anything about lawyers or divorce on your wedding day TV star.”

“Hey Emmie, I’m only kidding. If that ever happened I’d tell you not to be so silly and come on home with me and Molly.”

“Awful sure of yourself Morgan.” Emily said.

Dylan rolled Emily over gently, so as not to spook her fiancée or make her feel trapped.

“I’m sure of the fact that you are meant for me and nothing on this earth could break us apart. We have been through everything in the short time we have been together.” Dylan joined their two hands together and said. “Our love is unbreakable. We are unbreakable.”

Emily pulled her partner’s head down into a long deep kiss. Dylan was right, after all they had been through, Emily knew there was nothing that could tear them apart.

When their kiss ended Emily said, “I can’t wait to grow old and grey with you goofy.”

“Mom! Mama! Its edding day” Molly came rushing into the room and jumped on the bed beside them.

“What did I tell you about knocking Molly?” Emily said as they both sat up.

“Sowrry Mama but I cited!”

“Come here Molls.” Dylan lifted her up onto her lap.

“Ask me mom!” She shouted excitedly.

Dylan and Emily smiled at each other. This was Molly’s new favorite thing to do, and it had been going on nonstop since Dylan’s lawyers had informed them, they were now legally a family.

Playing along Dylan said, “What’s your name little girl?”

“My name tis Molly T . . .tonner” Molly struggled with her middle name, that was given to remember her paternal Grandmother.

“It’s Conner Sweetie.”

“Molly Tonner Morgan! Me Molly Morgan!”

Dylan ticked Molly’s tummy. “That’s right smurf. We’re all Morgan’s now.”

Molly giggled. “Mom! stop!”

“Okay. Now sit up nice. I wanted to have an important talk with you before I go over to Jackson’s.”

“What Mom? I listen.”

“You have a very important job to do today. You’re going to give your mama away with Grandpa to help.”

Although it was going to be a very small quiet affair, the couple still wanted some traditions. Molly would give Emily away with Tommy’s help, and Rosie would be Emily’s bridesmaid, with Jackson standing for Dylan. There was also a little surprise for Emily that Dylan thought her new wife would like.

“I know Mom, I pwactice lots and lots with mama.”

“Good girl. I know you’ll do great. I want you to be very good today and very good when you stay with Grandma and Grandpa okay?” The newly married couple weren’t having a honeymoon as such, Dylan promising that they would all go a family vacation in the summer, but they were having three nights on their own at The Four Seasons. Molly would be staying at home with her grandparents.

“I will mom. I miff ou though.” Molly crawled over to her Mama for a hug.

“We’ll miss you too Molly and we’ll call every day. Mom and I just need some grown up time together after the wedding. But listen, you have so much to look forward to. Your grandpa is going to take you to see his dojang, so you’ll get to see where your mom learned taekwondo, and grandma told me that he was bringing a special video and surprise to show you.”

“What vidyo?”

“The one of your mom winning her gold medal, and maybe the medal too.”

Molly bounced up and down. She was a little young to understand the significance of the Olympics, but she did understand that her mom won a medal for being best in the world at her sport, and to Molly was a superhero. When Dylan had returned home she had given the medal to her dad as thanks for getting her there, so since they had become estranged, she didn’t have an opportunity to show Emily and Molly her prize. Dylan realized what a great thing it was bringing her family back together. They had so many shared memories, and now her mom and dad could pass them on to the next generation.

“I wear it mom! I be like you.”

How did I ever get this lucky? Dylan thought proudly.

Emily saw that Molly had made Dylan feel as proud as can be and gave her a quick wink.

“Yes you will, then next weekend Santa will come with toys for you, and after Christmas we move into our new house at the beach, so don’t be sad and miss us because you have so much to look forward to.”

Molly jumped off the bed and said, “I go watch my Santa message.”

After shooting and e-mailing a video letter list to Santa, a few days later Dylan came into the kitchen with Molly’s Ipad announcing that Santa had sent a video back to her.

Emily had looked her partner and said, “Hmm. Santa is really good with all this new technology then? I wonder how he managed that?”

Dylan started the video for Molly and said quietly, but with the goofiest smile. “There’s an app for everything remember Emmie.”

Emily smiled warmly and came to join her daughter. The Santa on the screen said, “Hello young Molly. Thank you so much for your letter. My elves and I are working hard to get all the toys ready for Christmas. I understand you’ve been a very good girl this year . . .”

Molly beamed with happiness. “Santa say my name Mama!”

Emily gave Dylan a kiss on the cheek. “You are the sweetest TV star ever!”

Since then the video had been played hundreds of times, and had made their little girl very happy.

“Okay on you go, I’ll get you some breakfast soon.” Emily said as Molly dashed out their room.

“I better get going too. Jackson’s getting us a special breakfast from her favorite deli.”

Emily cuddled back into Dylan’s side. “Yes I know. You’re parents and Rosie will be here soon too. Just ten more minutes of cuddling though. Please?” Emily pleaded.

“You don’t have to ask me twice. Come here.”

****

After a few moments of silence Emily said, “So was Jackson annoyed you didn’t want a bachelor party?”

Jackson had wanted to organize a night out for Dylan to a big boxing event that was happening at Madison square garden, then have some drinks after. Nothing big, just Dylan, Jackson and her Dad, but Dylan wanted to keep a low profile in the run up to the wedding, so as not to cause any press speculation about when it might be. As it turned out, the three of them watched the fight on the big screen in Dylan’s game room, with just a few beers. That suited Dylan down to the ground. She had no interest in going out and leaving her family for a last night out as a single woman. They made a night of it and Rosie and Pattie came over to have a girl’s night with Emily. Pattie had brought along a book of Dylan’s baby photos and they laughed through each page at the fashions of the time, and the many pictures of Dylan in a state of undress. Apparently Dylan didn’t think clothes were necessary when she was a child, and one particular picture of a butt naked Dylan, dressed only, in a pair of rubber boots had them in stitches.

Tommy, Jackson and Dylan ended up in her gym, trying to impress each other with fighting techniques, which, after a few beers caused a couple of bruises.

“Nah. I think she was happy to stay in. Rosie accused her of wanting to organize a stripper and how that objectified women.”

Emily laughed softly. “Those two are some funny together.”

“Yeah, when you walk into a room, you don’t know if they’re gonna be fighting or making out!”

Emily hugged Dylan tighter and said.” It’s sweet though. Jackson is totally gone on her.”

“Yeah she follows her around like a little puppy. Pathetic!”

Dylan received another soft slap to the stomach. “Hey you’re just as puppyish and pathetic as Jackson!”

Dylan thought about all the times, she had been reprimanded for getting in her fiancée’s way in the kitchen, because she just wanted to be near her, or if Emily had been sick and gone to lie down, Dylan had lasted all of ten minutes watching TV in the family room, before she came into the bedroom and planted herself next to her on the bed.

“Hmm, yeah and just think after today, I can get under your feet forever!”

With a little smile Emily said, “I can’t wait goofy.”

****

The Morgan house was officially chaos. Tommy, Pattie and Rosie had arrived, and Molly was running around screaming excitedly, dressed only in her underwear. Dylan had just left for Jackson’s, and Emily’s hair and makeup people were due shortly.

“Molly! Would you come here, sit down, and eat your breakfast!”

Pattie sensing the growing tension said. “Tom, go and pick up Molly and bring her to the breakfast table. Emily, go and enjoy your bath before the hair stylist gets here.”

Rosie stood and pulled her by the hand. “Yeah come on Em, let’s get you destressed, looking good and ready to become Mrs. Morgan.”

Emily nodded and sighed. She followed Rosie to the huge main bathroom. “Wow, I love this bath.”

Emily watched her friend fill the luxurious spa bath and add some relaxing oils. “It’s one of my favorite things about this apartment.”

“Are you going to miss this place when you move to the Long Island house?”

“Yes and no. This place has happy memories and bad ones, but I’ve always felt safe here, like a cocoon against the outside world. The Long Island house is a dream but it’s big and open, I might not feel as safe.”

Unbeknownst to Emily, Rosie knew about Dylan’s surprise Christmas gift for Molly and Emily, since Jackson had been asked to keep the gift until Christmas Day. She just gave a smile and said, “I’m sure everything will work out okay. Hey, I’ll put some relaxing music on for you.”

Rosie took out her iPhone, and hooked up with Bluetooth to the bathroom speaker.

“I think you’ll like this, I use it for meditating.”

Emily closed her eyes and took in the mystical twangs of the flowing music “Hmm. I like it.”

Satisfied that she had helped her friend, Rosie said, “I’ll leave you to it then.”

****

“Would you come away from the window and eat something? They’re not going anywhere.”

Someone had leaked the fact that the Morgan wedding was today, and when Dylan left the apartment, they’re was press camped outside. Some had followed her to Jackson’s, and she fully expected there to be a presence at city hall.

“Yeah I’m coming.” Dylan sat down at Jackson’s small table, which had bags of sandwiches, bagels, coffee and juice, from Jackson’s local deli.

“Thanks, this was really nice of you.”

“Hey the condemned woman has to have a last meal right?” They both laughed and Dylan tucked into one of the sandwiches.

“You know not to worry. I’ve got a couple of guards with Emily, someone with us and a small team for city hall and the restaurant. Just relax.”

Dylan nodded. “I know. It just feels like I can never relax and my family are constantly in magazines and gossip columns. Sometimes I think maybe I should give it all up. Just live out of the public eye, be with my family.”

Jackson sat her coffee down. She was shocked, she knew Dylan’s career was everything to her, and she had worked so hard to get there.

“You would do that? I mean, really?

“Yeah, I mean no matter how popular the show is now, it won’t be forever. I’ve made enough money, and my production company can still continue to make TV shows and small films, without me fronting a show. I could take a back seat, and enjoy my family. I’m a happy woman Jackson. I don’t need fame and recognition, for what I do anymore.”

“Have you said any of this to Emily?”

Dylan took a gulp of juice and said, “No, I will talk to her about it though. After the wedding maybe. It’s just an idea.”

“You really are getting married and middle aged Morgan.” Jackson ribbed her friend.

Dylan sat back and raised eyebrow at her friend. “So when is your big day?”

Jackson gave a hallow laugh. “Are you kidding? The other day Rosie was reading this pamphlet she got from a feminist bookstore called, ‘Marriage and its place in supporting a patriarchal society. Do we really want equality?’ ”

Dylan started to choke on her Sandwich, she was laughing so much. Jackson jumped up and smacked her hard on the back. “Hey don’t go dying on me. I’ve got to deliver you to city hall in one piece or I’m dead!”

****

Pattie and Rosie watched Emily look at herself in the long mirror. Her hair had been put and held in place with a tiara, some ringlets of blonde allowed fall loosely around her face. The dress was a simple white strapless dress with a very light grey sash round the middle, and which hung low down the back of the dress, and coordinated with Dylan’s suit.

What a lucky woman my Dylan is. “You look stunning Emily.” Pattie told Emily.

“Yeah, you look amazing Em. Dylan’s heads gonna totally like explode when she sees you. I think she might skip the restaurant and go straight to the hotel!”

Emily laughed and turned towards them.

“I hope so.” Emily placed her hand on her stomach and said, “I’m so nervous, the butterflies are dancing around in here.”

Pattie wanted a moment along with Emily and said to her young friend. “Rosie? Do you think you could check on Molly? I think she may be running Tommy ragged out there.”

Sensing Pattie wanted some time alone with her daughter in law, Rosie said immediately said, “Sure, I’ll let you know when the car arrives.”

When they were alone, Emily said, “Do you think Dylan’s this nervous?”

Pattie moved forward took Emily’s hand. “I’m sure a little, but not about marrying you. I’m sure she can’t wait. I wanted a few minutes to talk to you on your own, before you go out there and everything gets crazy.”

“Of course.”

Pattie took a moment to collect her thoughts before saying. “Tommy and I haven’t been there for our daughter for the last few years, and you have no idea how much that hurts me still.”

“Dylan doesn’t hold any grudges for that.”

“I know that, but it still hurts. You’re a mother; you know you never stop worrying about doing the right thing for your kids.”

“You’re not wrong there.” Emily agreed.

“I want to thank you for being there for Dylan when we weren’t. You’ve taken care of her and her heart and that means so much. Apart from being gay, Dylan is a very traditional kind of person. Ever since she was young, I knew all Dylan wanted in life was to work hard and have a family. You’ve given her that, you’ve given her love, a child and Tommy and I a grandchild, and for that I thank you. It’s been a difficult time for you both recently, but the love you have for each other got you through, and now you both know you can tackle anything. I know you haven’t had the best of relationships with your Mother, but I want you to know you are marrying into a family that loves you and Molly, and Tommy and I will be there for you, you are our new daughter.”

Emily wiped away a tear and hugged her mother in law. “Meeting Dylan has given me everything I ever wanted. A Family.”

“Don’t mess up that beautiful make up.”

“I won’t. Thank you so much. Since we’re all family, do you think I could call you Mom?”

Patties’ heart leaped for joy. “I would be honored.”

They heard a knock at the bedroom door and Rosie shouted. “Paulie’s here with the car Em.”

Pattie kissed Emily and said, “It’s time to marry that daughter of mine.”

“I’m ready.”

****

Dylan and Jackson had been shown to an ornate private room in city hall. She had used her influence to have the city’s current mayor, Nancy Coleman, officiate their ceremony. The liberal mayor was a favorite of Emily’s and so Dylan thought she would get a kick out of it.

“How are you doing?” Jackson asked as she watched her friend nervously adjust her highly starched collar.

Dylan and Jackson wore matching grey suits, vests, white shirts and white ties, with white handkerchiefs just visible in their top pockets.

“I’m just anxious about Emmie getting through that press pack at the front door.” The throng of photographers had built up so much that a police cordon had to be set up. A large crowd of well-wishers and Dylan’s fans had also found out about the wedding on the internet, and had flocked to city hall.

“She’ll be fine. She has the team I put together and Pauley.”

The door opened and in walked the charismatic Mayor Coleman with a few of her aides. The woman was small in stature but she packed a punch, being famous for her no nonsense attitude and straight talking.

“Dylan, good to see you!”

Nancy gave Dylan a firm handshake, and before letting pulled her closer and said, “You feel like high tailing it out of here yet?”

Dylan laughed, “Never Mayor Coleman. I can’t wait for it. Thank you for taking the time for this Mayor.”

“No problem. Now I expect an endorsement when its campaign time Morgan.” The mayor joked.

“You got it Mayor!”

They were interrupted by Lynn, who was coordinating the small event, came in and announced, “Not long now Dylan. Your Mom and Rosie’s car is here, Emily’s will be here in minutes. I’ll bring everyone in now.”

“Thanks Lynn.”

The Mayor went to the large ornate desk in the room with her aide, to sort out the paperwork and Dylan turned to Jackson and said. “My legs feel like jello. I’ve never felt this nervous. I just want everything to be right from Emmie.”

Jackson put and arm round her shoulder. “Everything is perfect. Emily is going to be one happy woman.”

“I hope so.”

Although they were having very few guests, a small number of chairs had been set out for the wedding party, Lynn and her husband, and Rosie’s father Walt. Emily had thought it only right to let Walt see his daughter be a bridesmaid for the first time, and Dylan’s good friends, Mark, Patrick and their partners.

They filed in except for Rosie, who waited for Emily.

Dylan gazed toward the door and thought. Hurry up baby girl. I can’t wait!

****

Emily saw the large crowd gathered in front of city hall, and felt panic start to set in. Tommy noticed and asked, “Are you okay Emily?”

“Yes, Just a bit anxious. Give me minute?”

“Sure.” Tommy said his Granddaughter. “Molly sit quiet for your Mama.”

Emily closed her eyes and took the time to breathe slowly as Rain had taught her. Molly stopped squiggling and sat still. The little girl knew by now what it meant, when her Mama needed quiet.

Emily counted her breaths in and out, going to that calm place inside where she could centre herself.

After a minute she opened her eyes, her anxious panic banished. Nothing is going to spoil my special day. She thought. Emily looked over at her own miniature version of Dylan and her heart melted.

Molly had made such a fuss and thrown several tantrums about wearing a dress. So they had agreed to have a special outfit made at Dylan’s suit designer. Molly insisted she wanted to dress like her Mom. They had come up with a little white suit that consisted of pants, white blouse and jacket, and she looked adorable. “Molly we’re here. Remember and keep hold of Grandpa’s hand at all times okay.”

Molly nodded quietly, having looked out the window and seen all the people outside. She was very unsure still by all the attention her parents got from the public. “It’s too noisy Mama.”

“You’ll be okay sport, I’ll lift you up.” Tommy tried to reassure the little girl. The limo door was opened and he got out and reached in for Molly. She buried her head into her Grandpa’s neck, not liking the shouting and camera flashes going off around them.

The cameras really went wild when Emily took Tommy’s hand and stepped out of the car. The barriers around the front of city hall groaned and the crowd pushed forward. There were shouts from fans that held cell phones above their heads, hoping to get footage for their respective Facebook or twitter pages.

Photographers shouted from every angle hoping she would turn to give them a better shot. Emily gave the fans a smile and a wave but ignored the photographers. Tommy held her hand, while holding Molly tight in the other. They were flanked by a small team of bodyguards that Jackson had organized. She then noticed to her left that there was a group that were not there to wish them well. They held up placards stating ‘ God hates Fags!’ ‘Homosexuals are possessed by demons!’ ‘You will burn in hell!’ ‘You condemn your child to hell!”

As the hate group shouted and screamed one jumped the barrier and tried to grab Molly, he was tackled to the ground by the police, and the bodyguards made a tight ring around them. Emily shouted to Tommy. “Get Molly inside quickly. I’ll be behind you.”

Emily got inside and found Molly crying. “Mama! Me want Mom, those people scare me!”

Not caring about her dress, she picked Molly up and hugged her. “Thank god you had her Tommy.”

“If he’d laid one hand on this girl, he’d be drinking though a straw for a month!” Tommy was furious.

“Are you aright Ma’am?” one of the bodyguards asked.

“Yes thank you.”

Molly wasn’t calming down and still crying for her Mom. “Tommy could you go and get Dylan, I think Molly just needs to see her, to know everything’s okay.”

“Sure.”

A minute later, Dylan came storming out like a raging bull. “Are you guys okay?”

Molly held her arms out to be lifted. “Mom! Mom! People scare me!”

Dylan held her tight, rubbing her daughters back in an effort to calm her. “We’re okay Dyl, just got a fright. The police tackled the guy. It’s some gay hate group, and this one guy made a grab for Molly, but your Dad had her up in his arms thank God.”

Dylan put an arm around Emily. “And you’re okay?”

“Yes I’m fine.”

They shouldn’t have to put up with this shit. Dylan thought.

Molly’s tears had slowed down a small sniffle. “Okay smurf, no one can get you now okay. I know it was really scary, but I’m here, grandpa’s here and Jackson’s through there too, so how about you be a big brave girl?”

Molly nodded. “I brave like ou Mom.” Dylan smiled at Emily and gave her daughter a kiss. “Good girl. How about we go and become a family?”

“Yeah let’s go Mom!”

Dylan finally had a chance to look at her fiancée. “Wow! You look absolutely beautiful Emmie. I can’t wait to marry you.”

Emily looked up and down Dylan’s solid, suited body and felt a hunger for her partner, which had been slowly coming back to her as her recovery progressed. “How about you get back in there then and we do this properly?” Emily said.

Dylan smiled. “Yeah the Mayors waiting.”

“The mayor! Mayor Coleman?” Dylan was delighted to see Emily so surprised.

She winked at her partner and said, “I have connections. Let’s get married!”

****

Dylan and Jackson stood waiting at the mayor’s desk. The door opened and Tommy led Emily in on his arm. At the other side, a very serious looking Molly held her Mother’s hand and helped escort her up to her Mom.

Dylan’s eyes were glued to Emily and her heart beat faster with each step closer she got.

Jackson on the other hand couldn’t keep her eyes off of Rosie who followed behind. Rosie wore a knee length silver taffeta dress, which was made to coordinate with the rest of the wedding party.

Jackson found herself wishing it was her own wedding that day. She gave Rosie a smile and mouthed, “You’re beautiful.”

Nancy shook Emily’s hand and said. “Pleased to meet you Emily. I would like to welcome you all to the marriage of Dylan and Emily. First of all we have a few documents to be signed and then we’ll get to the ceremony.

After the marriage license was signed by the couple and they’re witnesses, Rosie and Jackson, Nancy began.

“I want to thank you all for coming here today to witness the marriage of Dylan and Emily. They have some vows they would like to exchange, but first who gives Emily Taylor to be married to Dylan Morgan?”

After a small silence, Tommy nudged Molly. “Me! I dive Mama to my Mom!”

The adults all gave a little chuckle. “Very well then, Emily if you’d like to start.”

Emily took both Dylan’s hands and said. “I never knew my life could be filled with such joy and happiness. That is what you give Molly and I. I know we’ve been through our difficult times as well, but I would face anything as long as I’m with you. I can’t wait for the rest of our lives.”

Dylan couldn’t help but give one of Emily’s hands a kiss for her heartfelt declaration.

The sound of sniffing could be heard in the background as Pattie, Lynn and Rosie felt the emotion of the event.

Dylan looked deeply into Emily’s eyes and spoke from the heart. “Emily, the day I walked into that diner, you changed my life. You’ve given me love, a family, and a new meaning to my life. You are the love of my life, the mother of my child, and I pledge to you, I will care and protect Molly and you until my last breath.”

Tears fell down Emily’s cheeks and she found it difficult to speak her next part. Rosie stepped forward and gave her the broad wedding band, made for Dylan. Emily pushed it onto her partner’s finger and said. “With this ring I thee wed, and pledge my eternal love.”

Next Jackson gave Dylan a smaller version of her wedding band, and Dylan repeated, “With this ring I thee wed, and pledge my eternal love.”

The couple clasped they’re ringed hands together and smiled happily as the Mayor said, “Now, by the powers vested in me by the state of New York I declare you married for life. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Dylan and Emily Morgan. You may now seal your vows with a kiss.”

Dylan didn’t need to be told twice, and kissed Emily thoroughly, while they’re guests clapped and cheered. Dylan then lifted Molly, and they both hugged her tightly.

“We are a family now Mom?”

“We sure are Molls!”

After receiving hugs and kisses from family and friends the new family posed for photographs, before heading off to the restaurant.

****

The restaurant was packed out with Dylan’s studio staff and they’re guests. Molly had been having great fun chasing in and out of the tables and talking to all the people she knew from the studio.

At the main table, Dylan stood and tapped on her glass for quiet. “Hi everyone. I’d just like to say a few words. My wife and I, “the room whopped and clapped at that statement, Emily smiled up at her partner.

“As I was saying, my wife and I would like to thank you all for coming. First of all, thank you to my family, and to Lynn, Jackson and Rosie for you help and support through some difficult times. To my staff, thank you for helping me and being more like a family to me over the years. The success I’ve enjoyed, I couldn’t have done it without you. So thank you so much. Now I’d like to ask you to raise a glass to my beautiful wife, Emily Morgan.” Dylan got a rush every time she said Emily’s new name and that along with having Emily close to her in that dress was fuelling Dylan’s libido. It had been a long time since they had made love last and Dylan would wait as long as it took for Emily to feel comfortable, but today she was feeling it particularly badly.

The restaurant had a small dance floor and so they were able to enjoy a first dance. Jackson and Rosie joined them, Jackson seemingly sharing the same problem as Dylan in that she couldn’t keep her hands off Rosie.

“Hey soldier boy, calm down, my daddy is here!” Rosie said as Jackson’s hands wandered from her waist down to her butt.

“He’s not even looking.”

Rosie looked at her dad and smiled. He had been talking to Tommy all evening. He seemed to have made a friend there. Molly sat on her Grandma’s knee eating some cake, the day was beginning to take its toll on her as she yawned and was happy to sit quietly with her grandma.

Sometime later, Jackson took Emily to dance while Dylan danced with Rosie. “It was a wonderful day Emily.” Jackson told her friend.

“It was wonderful. We’ve come through a lot but we got here in the end. I want to thank you for looking after us Jackson. You are such a good friend.”

“It was my pleasure Emily.”

“So what job are you going to next? Now you’ve officially finished with me?”

****

When Jackson returned to her girlfriend, Rosie asked, “What were you talking so seriously to Emily about?”

Jackson handed Rosie a glass of champagne. “Oh she was asking what job I’m going on to next.”

“And . . .”

Oh yeah, I told her that I was offered a year’s post working with a politician in Australia. She’s had some threats . . .”

Jackson’s explanation was cut short by a strong slap to her jaw. “What the hell was that for?”

“You are a low down freaking snake Hunter! I knew you would do this to me!” Rosie stomped off toward the ladies room.

“Woah! Are you alright buddy?” Dylan asked as she walked by with some drinks.

“I told her I’d been offered work in Australia, but she didn’t give me a chance to explain. I don’t want to leave her.”

“Go find her quickly, don’t let her stay mad. Explain and everything will be fine.” Dylan knew what Jackson had in mind, as they had discussed it a few days ago.

Jackson nodded and headed off to the ladies bathrooms. When she went in, she heard Rosie crying in one of the stalls. She knocked on the door. “Hey hippy girl, let me in to talk. You didn’t give me a chance to explain. It’s not bad honestly. The door opened and she let herself in. Rosie looked up at her with a tear stained face. “I trusted you. I’ve never trusted anyone. I let myself love you and let you make love to me, and now you’re just going to take off for a year!”

Jackson pulled Rosie to her feet to face her. “If you’d let me finish I would have told you, I was offered the post but politely declined because I have commitments here.”

“Wh . . .what you said no? What commitments?”

Jackson put her hands on Rosie’s hips. “Commitments to you darlin’. It’s time to settle down. I’m expanding my business, taking people on to send out on jobs, I want to become more of a manager. I’ve spoken to Dylan about it, she’s going to be a silent partner in the business, and Pauley is going to be my first hire. It’s time to build something for the future.”

Rosie was stunned. “The future?”

“Our future darlin’, and one day I hope I’ll persuade you to enter that patriarchal institution called marriage, but don’t worry, I’ll let you out of the kitchen sometimes, if you’re a good girl.”

Jackson received a smack on the arm for that one. “You would do that? For me?” Rosie said in wonder.

“I would do anything for you hippy girl. I love you.”

Rosie attacked her lips with a fervor that surprised Jackson. She was pushed against the wall of the toilet stall. I don’t think so hippy girl! Thought Jackson, as she reversed their positions and lifted Rosie up against the wall. Her legs went round Jackson waist. “I love you Jack. I was so scared you were leaving.”

“Never darlin’. Now I’ve got you, you’re not getting rid of me.”

Jackson slipped her hand under Rosie’s dress and found the warm wetness she sought soaking through Rosie’s undergarments. “Oh God Jack, what if someone comes in?”

“They won’t, and you can be quiet anyway.”

“Yes!” Rosie panted.

Just as Jackson was about to slip her fingers into her girlfriend, they heard a door open and Dylan’s voice shout. “Hunter put that girl down; we’re leaving for the hotel now.”

They rested their foreheads together a laughed. “We drop daddy home and then go to your place for some unfinished business.”

“Sure thing darlin’.”

****

“Thank you Ms Morgan. Anything you need, just press the buzzer. You’re clothes have been pressed and hung up. Can I get you anything before I go?”

Dylan had managed to surprise Emily yet again. She knew they would be staying at an expensive hotel suite, as Dylan always liked to give her the best, but this was the famous Four Seasons TY Warner suite. At $35,000 a night, it was one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. For that price, along with the expensive furnishings and amenities, a twenty four hour butler was at their disposal, with whom Dylan was talking to now.

“Is there a bottle of champagne as I asked for?”

The tall stiff looking man said, “It is waiting for by the bar Ms Morgan.”

“Thank you.” Dylan tipped him and he left them alone at last.

Emily was reading aloud in wonder from the suite brochure. “Wow! This place has four balconies, a Zen room, spa room, infinity soak tub and steam rain shower!”

“I’m glad you like it.” Emily looked over at Dylan who was undoing her tie and looking unsure of herself.”

She’s frightened of making a wrong move and scaring me off. Thought Emily. She walked and held on to the Dylan’s loose tie.

“I know. Don’t worry, we’ll just relax and take it as it comes.” Emily leaned up and kissed Dylan softly on the lips.

“How do you do that? How do you know what I’m thinking?”

“I’m your wife.” Emily said gleefully. “God! Do you know how good that sounds to say Dyl?”

“Almost as good as it feels to hear baby girl. How about we get some champagne and look around this big crazy place.”

They got their drinks and found themselves out on the balcony. “Do you think Molly’s missing us?” Emily asked.

“I doubt it. She couldn’t wait to kiss us goodbye and go to her Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house. Mom and dad are going to have a ball looking after her. As much as we argued the past few years, they were great parents when I was growing up. Mom just loves to have family to take care of.”

Emily tucked a stray lock of Dylan’s hair behind her ear and said. “And your dad has a miniature version of you to pass on his skills to. Between you and your dad, she hasn’t got a chance but to be a little Tom boy.”

Dylan laughed. “Maybe.”

Emily took Dylan’s hand. Remember the first time we had champagne together?”

“Oh yes. I recall every time we have made love and in every way.” Dylan replied.

Then as an afterthought said. “You know you don’t have to do anything like that, we can just be together. ..”

“Dyl, I appreciate you saying that, but remember let’s just see how things go. We should keep doing as Rain said, and just rediscover each other’s bodies. I want to be able to make love. Do you know how much I’ve missed it?”

Emily walked to the barrier and looked out over the New York skyline. Dylan joined Emily and put her arms round her wife from behind.

“Sex isn’t everything Emmie. I love you no matter what.” Dylan pulled Emily tight into her and kissed her neck.

“No sex isn’t everything, but making love is. I miss than closeness you get, the bond that tethers you together closer than anything. I want that feeling and this is my wedding night, I don’t want what happened to ruin my dream day. I’m not saying I might not get scared or anxious, but I think we can get through it together.”

Emily lifted up their clasped hands and kissed both their wedding bands. “Unbreakable remember?”

“Unbreakable.” Dylan agreed.

****

After relaxing for a while the newly married couple brought their drinks through to the bedroom. Dylan suggested they showered together to relax into their evening some more.

She watched as her wife unpinned her hair and then presented her back to her partner. “Unzip me.”

“With pleasure.”

The wedding dress slipped off to reveal beautiful ivory lingerie, stockings and a garter.

“Good God Mrs. Morgan! Are you trying to drive me insane?” Dylan had this insane need to pull the garter off with her teeth.

“Let me do the rest? Please?” As Dylan walked forward towards her, Emily put a finger to Dylan’s chest, to push her back.

“Nu uh! I have to hang this dress up carefully first. It’s expensive you know.”

Dylan growled. “I don’t care. I’ll buy you another.” Seeing Emily like this was making her pledge to go slowly become really hard. The very sight of her new wife was driving her crazy. Before Toni took Emily, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, and now knowing that Emily was her wife, hers and hers alone, made Dylan insane with need for her.

Emily hung up her dress and came back to Dylan. “Let me undress you first. I want to see that hard body Dyl.”

Dylan groaned in frustration. “Okay, but you’re making this difficult.”

Emily gave her a smile. “No matter what happens we’ll have fun okay?”

She took off her partner’s jacket and vest and started to undo Dylan’s shirt, button by button.

Emily knew in this moment that that they would make love, it would be slow and she would take it step by step, but they would make love. She had missed this feeling, the feeling of bringing pleasure to her partner, seeing the passion she evoked in Dylan’s eyes and being so utterly wanted and desired.

She pushed the shirt off her shoulders, and took in the sight of her partners, well muscled shoulders, chest and stomach.

“Take off your pants.” Dylan smirked at her partner. Normally they both liked Dylan to be in control of their lovemaking, but she sensed Emily’s need to set the pace between them this time.

“Your wish is my command baby girl.” She quickly took off her pants and tossed them aside.

“Oh really?” Emily walked slowly round Dylan, who was now only dressed in her Calvin Klein jockey shorts, stroking Dylan’s body with the back of her hand as she went.

Dylan shivered at Emily’s touch. “I love being your wife honey, I get all this to play with.”

“It’s all yours baby.” Dylan groaned.

Emily stood in front of her and said. “Good answer. Now you can take off everything for me.”

Dylan immediately dropped to her knees and set to work on the silky garter with her teeth. It was soon off, and she then spent some time kissing the top of Emily’s thighs, while taking her wife’s stockings off.

“Oh Dyl, take us to the shower now before we can’t.”

Dylan picked her wife up and carried her through to the bathroom. The whole room was decorated in Chinese onyx, and the sinks were carved from blocks of rock crystal, the floor to ceiling window looked out over the Manhattan skyline.

“Dyl, this place is simply stunning.”

“You are the one that’s stunning. Come on baby, I want to wash and kiss every inch of you, to show you how much you’re loved.”

They stepped into the hot jets and lost themselves in each other’s touches and deep kisses.

****

The two bodies on the bed rocked gently together. After the touching and kissing in the shower, Dylan had carried her wife to the bed where they continued the slow rediscovery of their bodies. They made love so slowly and passionately, that Emily felt completely safe and secure, and without any words, they began to rock together, Dylan’s long slow thrusts, bringing them gently toward the place that would meld them together forever.

Emily broke their kiss and said in a breathy voice, “I’ve missed you so much Dyl. Don’t ever stop.”

“I never will. You’re my wife and I love you.” Dylan saw small tears escape from Emily’s eyes.

She knew not to worry when Emily pulled her head down for a deep kiss. When she pulled away she said, “It’s just too much, I can’t keep it inside. Dylan’s thrusts began to quicken as Emily wrapped her legs around her partners hips, pulling her deeper inside. “Emmie take my hand, oh fuck.” Emily took Dylan’s hand quickly, and they both gazed at their wedding bands so close together as they came, feeling as if their souls were now truly one. Neither one wanted anything more, than to fall asleep in each other’s arms.

****

The next morning, breakfast was delivered early and they allowed themselves the luxury of eating in bed.

Dylan delighted in feeding her wife every morsel of the delicious breakfast. After her last bite Emily said, “Hmm. This suite is just pure decadence. I love it, and the bed was so comfortable to sleep in.”

Dylan stared back at her smiling. “What are you staring at TV star?”

“Just looking at my amazingly beautiful wife.”

Emily turned round to face her partner. “Oh you have a wife? Do you?”

Dylan took Emily’s hand and kissed both her wife’s engagement and wedding ring. “Yup, sure do! And I’ve got the piece of paper to prove it so she can’t get away!”

Emily giggled and snuggled into her partner’s side. “You’re such a goof. You always make me laugh.

“Glad to be of service ma’am!”

Emily sat up and looked at down at Dylan seriously. “Apart from Molly being born, yesterday was the best day of my life, and last night was just . . .I can’t describe it. It felt like the last piece of the puzzle was slotted into place. I feel so much lighter, happier, and I’m so glad we’ve been able to get over my . . .eh . . .physical problems.”

“We will always get over any problems that come up. You’re my soul mate baby girl, we’re like ham and eggs, cookies and milk, eh . . .well you get the idea.”

“Ha ha! You are such a goof.”

Dylan rolled Emily over so she was underneath her again. “So, what would you like to do today my little wife?”

Smack! Dylan yelped when Emily smacked her on the butt. “Hey! Why are you beating me up?”

“You always make fun of my height. I think you’ll find it’s you who’s obscenely big TV star!”

“That’s what you always tell me baby.” Dylan said in a suggestive manner.

Another slap was delivered to Dylan’s butt. “We’ve only been married a day and you’ve already started beating on me! Anyway, I’m not making fun of you. I like you being small, means you need me to reach things for you. If you could reach stuff, what would you need me for?”

Emily gave her a sexy smile and said. “Oh Honey, I would find lots of uses for you. How about I kiss that muscled butt of yours better and show you?”

“I think you’ll lead me astray Mrs. Morgan.”

“I hope so Ms Morgan.” Emily then kissed her partner all better, all over.

****

After enjoying their short few days of honeymoon, Dylan and Emily couldn’t have been closer. They returned to find that Molly had a wonderful time with her Grandparents and now wanted to take up taekwondo, after visiting her Grandpa’s Dojang, and watching the video of her Mom win gold at the Olympics.

Added to the excitement of the wedding, knowing that Christmas was coming, made Molly crazy with excitement. Today was Christmas Eve, and Emily sat in meditation in Dylan’s gym room. She thought it best to regain some calm in her mind before the coming day got out of control.

At times like these, Emily felt like she was living with two children instead of one. Instead of enjoying an early morning snuggle with her wife, Dylan jumped up at five for her work out, then woke Molly up at six shouting. “It’s Christmas Eve Molls! Santa is coming!” When Emily heard that and the resulting shrieks and excited screams, coming from her daughter’s bedroom, she put the pillow over her head and tried to hide. She recalled that within minutes her little kid and big kid were jumping all over the bed.

“Get up mama! We got ots to do!” Molly pulled back the comforter and pulled off the pillow to get to her mama.

“It’s Mismas eve mama!”

Dylan came crashing down beside them. “Yeah mama smurf, get up! It’s nearly Santa time.”

“Morgan, I have the feeling by the time this day is through I’m going to want to kill you.”

Dylan laughed and bent down to give her wife a kiss. “Nah, you love us too much. Come on Scrooge Mcduck, get up!”

That made Molly giggle and laugh. “You funny Mom!”

Emily sat up and looked at her pair of dark haired troublemakers and smiled. She understood Dylan’s excitement, it was her first Christmas with Molly, and she was having a ball. Emily gave up trying to tell her partner to ease up on buying Molly gifts. It was a hopeless task, as she had watched Dylan return from the toy stores with bags and bags of gifts, and deliveries were made to the house. Dylan had tried to reason that Molly needed lots of things for the new house.

“Okay I’m up. What are all these lots of things we have do? I know I have things to do. The food delivery is coming at lunchtime; I have to clean the house. What exactly do you two have to do?”

Dylan looked Emily as if it should be obvious. “We have to watch Christmas films, with lots of candy and popcorn, and then we have to track Santa on the North Pole website. We can see him going from country to country before he gets to America, then we’re going to Mom and dads for dinner, when we get back we have to put out the magic reindeer food . . .”

Emily stopped Dylan in her tracks. “Wait! backup . . .reindeer food?”

“Yeah . . .” Dylan said as if Emily was dim-witted. “Remember I ordered it from the North Pole online store? It’s the sparkly food that makes the reindeer fly. Don’t you know anything Mama Smurf?”

Emily gave her partner a sharp look. “Clearly not Dyl, but since you’re so informed on these matters I’ll leave it to you.”

“That’s probably a good idea Emmie.” Dylan gave her wife a wink.

“Mom reindeers need carrots too and Santa needs milk and cookies.”

“He sure does. We’ll do all that once we come back from Grandmas tonight.” The Morgan’s were hosting Christmas dinner at the apartment. As well as Dylan’s parents, they had also invited Jackson, Rosie and her dad. Not having a big family, Rosie and Walt were delighted to be asked to a big family Christmas. Tonight they were meeting Tommy and Pattie at Holy Cross chapel, to lay a wreath at Joey’s grave, and then having dinner with them.

“Well first things first you two. I’ll get you some breakfast, then how about you watch one of your Christmas films with Molly, and give me a chance to meditate before I have get started on other things?”

“Sure, that’s a great idea. We’ll be quiet as little mice for you!”

Molly started to bounce on the bed. “Mom! Mom! Elf first pease?”

“You read my mind smurf! Elf is the best, let’s go!”

Emily could only laugh as she watched them walk out the room, Dylan launching into an impersonation of Buddy the Elf. “I love smiling, sailing’s my favorite.”

That had been very early this morning, and despite Dylan’s promise for quiet, all she could hear as she tried to relax into her meditation was the pounding of feet, up and down the hall, and shrieks and shouts as Dylan and Molly chased each other. I love the fact that my family is so happy again, but can they not be happy and quiet? Thought Emily wistfully.

The final straw came when she heard a loud crashing noise then her poor innocent vase smashing. That’ll be my flowers destroyed then. She couldn’t hold her anger any longer and shouted at the top of her voice, “Dylan Morgan, if I have to come out there Christmas is cancelled!”

There was a long silence, then the sounds of brush and shovel being used to clear up.

Emily smiled, took a breath and began her practice. “Ohm.”

****

Later that afternoon, the Morgan’s were driving over to Brooklyn to meet Dylan’s parents at Holy Cross church.

The Christmas music was playing creating a jolly festive atmosphere. Emily looked into the rear view mirror to see Molly playing games on the ipad, and stole a glance to her partner who was happily singing along to the music. This is happiness. She thought.

A short time later they pulled into the church car park and spotted Tommy and Pattie waiting for them.

Dylan took off her belt and turned round in the seat. “Okay Molls, Do you remember why we’ve come here?”

Molly put her ipad down and said, “Yeah, we here to see my Uncle Doey, with Grandma and Grandpa.”

“That’s right. Will you be good?” Asked her Mama.

“Yef Mama. Is Uncle Doey in eaven?”

“He is, but he can see us and he will be really happy we’ve come to visit him. Let’s go Smurf.”

Dylan got out and first opened Emily’s door, helped her out and then lifted Molly out of her car seat.

Molly took Emily’s hand while Dylan carried the wreath. When she spotted her Grandpa she broke free and ran into his arms. “Hi sport! How are you?”

“Me cited for Santa coming!” Then her little brain remembered why they were there and said, “Grandma, we bring fouers for uncle Doey.”

Pattie gave her Granddaughter a kiss as Dylan and Emily joined them. “That’s wonderful sweetie.”

Tommy put Molly down and held his hand out to Dylan. This was the first time they had visited Joey’s grave since the funeral, and he wanted to make sure there was no tension or bad feeling.

“Great to have you here champ.” Dylan took his hand and pulled him into a hug. This was their first since they began speaking again, and Tommy held on tight to his daughter. “I’m happy to be here with you dad. I love you.”

“Love you too champ.” Emily and Pattie smiled at each other, realizing the significance of what had happened.

“Okay you two. Let’s go visit Joey.” Pattie said to her family.

They arrived at the graveside and stood in silence for a minute. Molly looked around nervously at the adults faces. Even though she had been told her uncle was gone, she somehow expected to see him somehow.

“Mom, I can’t see him.” Dylan knelt down beside her and said, “We can’t see him Molls, but he can see us.”

“Want to see Uncle Doey.”

Dylan looked at up Emily for some support. “Show her his picture Dyl.” Molly often sat looking at his picture at home. Dylan had told her lots of stories about what she and Uncle Joey got up to as kids, and Emily knew she just needed something to focus on, rather than just the stone.

“Oh yeah, just a minute. Dylan rifled through her wallet, and found his picture next to the ones she kept of Molly and Emily. “Here you go Molls.”

Molly studied the picture and said. “Hi Uncle Doey! It’s Mismas eve and we bring ou flouers.”

Pattie and Tommy smiled at the little girl’s innocence. “She’s just adorable isn’t she?” Said Pattie.

“She sure is. Hey Dylan, how about we get his picture put on the stone? That way Molly could talk to him, when she comes to see him.”

“That’s a great idea Tommy, what do you think Dyl?” Asked Emily.

“Yeah. Sounds perfect. Let’s sort it out after Christmas dad.”

“Sure thing champ.”

They noticed Molly search though her jacket pockets. She pulled out Dylan’s Olympic gold medal. “Look what I bring to show ou Uncle Doey? My Mom won dis medal, couse she dis the best, the tampion. “All the adults’ hearts melted at the kind gesture by the little girl. “Molls, didn’t we agree that you’re not to bring mom’s medal out of the house?” Emily said gently.

Ever since her grandpa had shown Molly the medal and the video of Dylan winning it, the medal had been a permanent fixture around her neck.

“But Uncle Doey like to see it.”

“It’s okay Emmie. It’s a special day. Now how about we put this wreath down?”

After Dylan helped Molly lay the Christmas wreath, she kissed his stone and whispered. “Thank you so much little bro. You have given me everything, and I’ll never forget that. I love you.”

****

The family returned from Dylan’s Mom and dad’s house later that night. Dylan spent some time with Molly putting out a little bag of sparkly reindeer food, carrots, milk, and cookies for Santa. Just before bed they checked where Santa had last been spotted last, and then it was time for Molly to go to settle down. It had taken a lot longer than usual, but after a second story, the little girl lost her fight to sleep.

Emily and Dylan worked together to set all the gifts under tree. Then there were the toys that needed putting together. It was now getting close to midnight and Emily sat with a drink and watched Dylan all her tools around her, putting together Molly’s new bike.

“Fuck!” Said Dylan, as one of the bolts refused to go where it was supposed to.

“Dyl, do you really have to curse on Christmas Eve?”

“It the stupid toy company’s fault! If they put the right things in the box, I wouldn’t need to.” Dylan said moodily.

Emily sighed knowing it was probably best not to say anymore. Then she noticed a piece of paper scrunched into a ball on the floor. She opened it up and found the instructions for the bike.

“Dylan, why are the instructions crushed into a ball and thrown to the side?”

“Because they’re stupid.”

“They’re stupid? How can instructions be stupid? If you read them, you might already be finished.”

Dylan looked at Emily as if she was insane. “I do not need instructions to put my daughter’s bike together. It’s the parts that have been made the wrong size.”

Emily stood up furiously. It had been a long day and tiredness was making her patience wear thin.

“Oh of course, because a huge multinational toy company are going to put all the wrong things in the box and in the wrong size! It couldn’t possibly be because your ego can’t take looking at a little instruction sheet!” And she then stormed off to the kitchen leaving Dylan somewhat lost for words.

“Woah! Ego? I don’t have an ego!”

****

About fifteen minutes later Dylan came into the kitchen to find Emily checking her dinner preparations for tomorrow. She was unsure of her reception and said nervously. “I . . .I’ve fixed the bike Emmie. There was a little bag of bolts I hadn’t seen in the box. It was easy once I found them. Sorry I made you angry.” Dylan walked up behind her and tentatively put her hands around her wife’s middle.

“Did you finally check the instructions?”

Dylan leaned into the crook of Emily’s neck. “No way. I threw the box when I was angry, and this little bag of bolts fell out.”

Emily couldn’t help but laugh and turned round in Dylan’s arms. “You really a goofy aren’t you?”

“I guess so.” Dylan glanced over at the clock on the stove and noticed what time it was.

“Hey, it’s after midnight, its Christmas. Our first Christmas morning together. Merry Christmas Mrs. Morgan.” Dylan said as she brought her lips closer to her wife’s.

“Hmm. Merry Christmas TV star.” She melted into Dylan’s kiss and allowed herself to be lifted on to the kitchen counter.

Dylan’s hand came up to Emily’s breast and squeezed. “Mmm. Can I unwrap you baby?”

Emily sniggered softly. I think now is the time Emily. I hope this is the right thing to do. She had gotten a special gift for Dylan, and just hoped she would appreciate it.

“Before you do honey. I have a Christmas present I want you to open while we are on our own.”

Dylan quirked her eyebrow. “Oh? Is it something sexy for you to wear?”

“No, is that really all you think about? I’ll be back in a second.” Emily raced off to their bedroom.

What’s wrong with thinking about sex all the time? As long as I’m thinking about it with my wife, that’s a good thing. Isn’t it?

Emily came back holding a red envelope, tied with a bow. “I had no idea what to get you. I mean you have everything. Every gadget you can think of and you even get them before they come out.”

“You don’t need to get me anything Emmie. I’m just happy to spoil you and Molly.”

Emily still held the envelope with a tight grip. “You still have some things to open in the morning, but this one is just for you and me. Open it.”

Dylan was mystified and when she opened it and pulled out a white card with a time and date on it, she was still mystified.

“Look at the address at the top.” Emily found Dylan’s confusion very amusing.

“Manhattan Fertility Centre. Dr Heart – 11 am January 5th. What? What does this mean?”

“I thought you might like to try for number two, since we’ve got this new big house to fill up.”

Suddenly the penny dropped and Dylan scooped Emily up in her arms. “We’re gonna try for a baby? This is the best gift ever! I can’t wait!”

Emily was showered with kisses. “I love you so much Emmie. We are going to be such a happy family.”

“I know. I’m glad you like your gift. You are such a good parent you know. The things you did earlier with Molly? The reindeer food, the milk, the cookies. You bring such magic into Molly’s life. Thank you goofy.”

“I love doing it, and it’ll be great when we have lots of kids around to do this kind of stuff with.”

Emily pulled Dylan down for a kiss. “Lots of kids? Let’s try for our second and see how we go okay?”

“Whatever you want. Oh I nearly forgot! Stay there.” Dylan picked up her motor cycle boots from the front door and asked Emily. “Have we got flour?

“Flour? Of course we do. What do you need flour for?” Emily got it from the cupboard and handed it to her partner, then followed Dylan as she walked a path from the front door to the Christmas tree, every few steps sprinkling flour over her boots, so it appeared as if a snowy boot print was left.

“Aww Dyl! That is so sweet! How did you think of that?”

They walked back to the kitchen to clean off the boots. “Dad reminded me he used to do that for Joey and me. I thought Molls would like it.”

Emily ran her fingers down Dylan’s bicep. “Oh honey, you are so perfect, you need a reward.” She hooked a finger in the collar of her partner’s t-shirt, and pulled her along, heading for the bedroom.

“Come unwrap me now TV star.”

I love Christmas! Thought Dylan.
Episode 6
“Hey, it’s after midnight, its Christmas. Our first Christmas morning together. Merry Christmas Mrs. Morgan.” Dylan said as she brought her lips closer to her wife’s.

“Hmm. Merry Christmas TV star.” She melted into Dylan’s kiss and allowed herself to be lifted on to the kitchen counter.

Dylan’s hand came up to Emily’s breast and squeezed. “Mmm. Can I unwrap you baby?”

Emily sniggered softly. I think now is the time Emily. I hope this is the right thing to do. She had gotten a special gift for Dylan, and just hoped she would appreciate it.

“Before you do honey. I have a Christmas present I want you to open while we are on our own.”

Dylan quirked her eyebrow. “Oh? Is it something sexy for you to wear?”

“No, is that really all you think about? I’ll be back in a second.” Emily raced off to their bedroom.

What’s wrong with thinking about sex all the time? As long as I’m thinking about it with my wife, that’s a good thing. Isn’t it?

Emily came back holding a red envelope, tied with a bow. “I had no idea what to get you. I mean you have everything. Every gadget you can think of and you even get them before they come out.”

“You don’t need to get me anything Emmie. I’m just happy to spoil you and Molly.”

Emily still held the envelope with a tight grip. “You still have some things to open in the morning, but this one is just for you and me. Open it.”

Dylan was mystified and when she opened it and pulled out a white card with a time and date on it, she was still mystified.

“Look at the address at the top.” Emily found Dylan’s confusion very amusing.

“Manhattan Fertility Centre. Dr Heart – 11 am January 5th. What? What does this mean?”

“I thought you might like to try for number two, since we’ve got this new big house to fill up.”

Suddenly the penny dropped and Dylan scooped Emily up in her arms. “We’re gonna try for a baby? This is the best gift ever! I can’t wait!”

Emily was showered with kisses. “I love you so much Emmie. We are going to be such a happy family.”

“I know. I’m glad you like your gift. You are such a good parent you know. The things you did earlier with Molly? The reindeer food, the milk, the cookies. You bring such magic into Molly’s life. Thank you goofy.”

“I love doing it, and it’ll be great when we have lots of kids around to do this kind of stuff with.”

Emily pulled Dylan down for a kiss. “Lots of kids? Let’s try for our second and see how we go okay?”

“Whatever you want. Oh I nearly forgot! Stay there.” Dylan picked up her motor cycle boots from the front door and asked Emily. “Have we got flour?

“Flour? Of course we do. What do you need flour for?” Emily got it from the cupboard and handed it to her partner, then followed Dylan as she walked a path from the front door to the Christmas tree, every few steps sprinkling flour over her boots, so it appeared as if a snowy boot print was left.

“Aww Dyl! That is so sweet! How did you think of that?”

They walked back to the kitchen to clean off the boots. “Dad reminded me he used to do that for Joey and me. I thought Molls would like it.”

Emily ran her fingers down Dylan’s bicep. “Oh honey, you are so perfect, you need a reward.” She hooked a finger in the collar of her partner’s t-shirt, and pulled her along, heading for the bedroom.

“Come unwrap me now TV star.”

I love Christmas! Thought Dylan.

****

Christmas morning came only too early for Dylan and Emily. After a late night of preparing the gifts, they had an even later night making love and sharing a shower together. The last thing they needed was a four year old bouncing into their room at five o’clock in the morning.

“Mom! Mama! Santa’s been! Mom! Wake up!”

Dylan groaned and tried to open her eyes. She was lying on her front with Emily cuddled into her side. When her parents didn’t respond quickly enough, Molly decided to hasten things by jumping on her Mom ‘ s back.

“Ugh! Molls you going to kill your old Mom.”

Molly lay flat and spoke to her Mom nose to nose. “But Mom, I see Santa’s footprints.”

“You didn’t look in the living room yet did you?”

“No Mom, I member ou say not too.”

Emily began to waken slowly “Hmm. Did Santa come?”

“Yeah Mama. Get up pease!”

Dylan stood up and stretched the kinks out of her muscles. “Okay then, smurf. We’re up. Go and get your slippers, Molls.” When her daughter ran off, Emily moaned.

“I need coffee Dyl.” Emily moaned.

“Okay, I’ll go get Molly some juice, switch on the coffee pot then get the video camera ready.” She walked round the bed and leaned over for a kiss. “Merry Christmas baby girl. I love you, and last night was great. I just can’t get enough of this married sex thing.”

“Hmm, me too. I love you and I especially love your Christmas boxer shorts!” Emily ran her hand up a muscular thigh and under the leg of Dylan’s loose boxer shorts. Dylan had a love of interesting and exciting underwear, and so Emily had come home from one shopping trip with some boxers with Santa’s and reindeers on them. She had even bought some more adult ones that were wrapped up under the tree.

Dylan grabbed her hand before it wandered any higher. “Hey Mrs. Morgan, don’t be a bad girl, we have presents to open.”

“Oh, and what if I want to be a bad girl, Dyl? Emily said with a sexy smirk.

“We’ll in that case” Dylan picked Emily up and threw her over her shoulder, and gave her butt a sound thwack.

“Dylan Morgan, put me down this minute.” Molly came into the bedroom to see what all the hilarity was about.

“Mama, Mom got you! Ha ha.”

“Let’s go Molly! Lead on to the tree!” Molly giggled and laughed watching her mama being carried through like a rag doll.

****

Dylan could not have been happier as she looked round the living room that was now strewn with Christmas paper. While she tried to tidy the paper into a trash bag, Molly sat on the floor in the middle of a huge pile of toys and Emily was in the kitchen starting on breakfast and getting the turkey in the oven.

When they had come through to open presents, Dylan had gone in first and set up the video camera so as to catch the look of excitement on Molly’s face when she entered the room.

The little girl’s face had lit up with joy when she had seen her bike sitting with a big bow on it. Dylan had promised they would take it out later. She had also gotten the new Nintendo U games system, a Furby, action figures and games amongst other things. Her Grandparents had given a large trampoline to use at the Long Island house and a miniature Taekwondo uniform. Although she couldn’t start official training till she was older, she had asked for it in her letter to Santa and was delighted with it. Jackson and Rosie had also given her a scooter, so she had lots of outdoor toys that would be great for the new house. Emily also seemed delighted with her gifts of designer shoes, clothes, which Rosie had helped Dylan pick out, and some new jewelry. She remembered with a smile Molly’s gift to her. Emily prompted her daughter to hand her little gift over to her Mom.

“Mom? I pick this for you for Missmass.”

Dylan took the gift and squeezed it. “You got me something? Molls? Aww, thank you.”

“She chose it all herself” Added Emily with a smile.

“Open Mom!” Molly bounced up and down on her toes.

Dylan ripped open the Christmas paper and felt tears coming to her eyes. She is just the sweetest kid in the world! Inside was a pyjama set of loose boxers and t – shirt, emblazoned with a picture of Papa Smurf and the phrase underneath, ‘ Who’s your Papa?’

She scooped Molly up and hugged her tight. “Ou ike it Mom?”

“It’s the most amazing thing ever! I love it.”

“When we saw it in the store, she insisted we had to get for you.”

Molly pointed to herself and said, “I Smurf, Mama is Mama Smurf and ou Papa Smurf, Mom!”

Dylan’s thoughts were interrupted when Emily came in smiling “Hey sweetie, time to get dressed. Then you can play with your toys.”

“Me wear my twando tothes mama?”

Dylan spoke before Emily got the chance to answer “Sure Smurf, Whatever you want.”

Molly jumped up and down. “Yeah!” Then ran with her new suit to her bedroom.

Emily gave Dylan annoyed look and said, “Dylan! It’s Christmas Day. She can’t just run around in that. I bought her a lovely little outfit for today. You can’t just give in and let her do what she wants all the time. She’ll grow up to be a spoiled brat.”

Uh oh! I’m in trouble again!

Dylan walked toward her wife, and took her hands in her own. “But baby, kids should be able to be relaxed and do what they want on Christmas, not feel uncomfortable all dressed up and stuff.”

Emily sighed sadly, “The outfit I got is adorable and it wouldn’t make her uncomfortable. It’s not a dress or anything.”

Dylan realized Emily had been looking forward to dressing their little girl up and she had just stomped through her ideas with her big feet.

“I’m sorry, Emmie. I shouldn’t have just said that without talking to you. I just get excited and my mouth starts talking before I think.”

Emily leaned into her partner’s chest. “No, it’s fine, she’s your daughter too. I guess I was just a bit disappointed. The little outfit I had planned was beautiful.”

Dylan rubbed her hand over Emily’s stomach and said “Maybe if our next one’s a girl, she’ll like dresses and girl stuff. I know Molly is like me in that way. I remember one Christmas I got a ninja turtle costume. I don’t think I took it off for a month!” Emily laughed think of the young Dylan running about just like Molly.

“Hey, I think Molly and you are perfect the way you are. I love you both, and I need to relax and let her be comfortable like you say, it’s Christmas after all.”

Emily received a kiss from her partner. “Good girl, now why don’t I get myself and Molly dressed for our guests huh? Oh, and if you’re very lucky, I might give you a treat and wear my new jockey shorts; the ones with the mistletoe?

Emily blushed, remembering one of the novelty pairs of underwear she had purchased for her partner which had a piece of mistletoe printed over the button fly.

“That would be a treat indeed, goofy. I’ll need to try and contain my lust till tonight thinking about them.” she joked.

“I bet you will, baby.”

Emily watched Dylan walk off towards the bedroom still only dressed in sleeveless t -shirt and boxers. Her muscular form accentuated with every step she took while Emily thought, She thinks I’m joking? Dylan you have no idea how good looking you are.

Since Emily’s emotional recovery and their short honeymoon, her libido had returned with a vengeance and she couldn’t seem to get enough of Dylan.

Just you wait till bedtime TV star!

****

Jackson arrived to pick up Rosie and Walt to go over to the Morgan’s for the day. Due to Dylan’s surprise for Molly and Emily, there wasn’t much time to hang around. So she gave Rosie her gifts on Christmas Eve, and a gift for Walt. It was hard not being with Rosie on Christmas morning, but she hoped next year they would be, if she could persuade her girlfriend to live with her. Walt had invited her to stay over and share the morning with them, but the surprise package she had in the car made that impossible, You owe me big time Morgan!

As she approached the Henderson front door, it suddenly opened and Rosie virtually threw herself on top of Jackson, placing kisses all over her face.

“Happy Christmas Hippy girl! Well you seem happy.”

Rosie stopped her barrage of kisses and held Jackson ‘ s face in her hands. “You are the sweetest, kindest and most thoughtful person I have ever met!”

I must have done something right for a change.

“What did I do to deserve that?”

Rosie pulled a gold locket from the neckline of her mini dress, this had been one of a few gifts Jackson had given her, but obviously the one that meant the most. “This.”

Jackson smiled broadly. “You like it then? I wasn’t sure . . .”

Rosie silenced her with a kiss. “I love it. I loved it when I unwrapped it, but when I opened it and saw the pictures of my Mom and me? I . . .well, I cried. Dad told me you asked him for a picture.”

“Yes, I hoped he wouldn’t mind. I know how much your Mom meant to you, and now you can keep her close to your heart.”

“I’ll keep you close to my heart as well. I love you. Did you like your gifts?” Rosie asked with a smirk.

She had given Jackson some designer shirts, a jacket and a joke present of a pink flowery apron.

“Oh yes, I think I might take you to bed wearing my frilly apron. I bet you’d like that kinky girl?”

“Maybe, Oh and you are a big suck up Jackson Hunter! Daddy thinks you’re even more perfect for me.”

Jackson smiled. “I’m not a suck up; I simply thought he would enjoy ‘The History of the American Military’ on DVD.”

Rosie smacked her on the arm, “Yeah he does and I have to watch the freaking thing with him, but you ‘ re not getting away with it. You’re going to come over for a few nights and watch it too.”

Jackson just gave her girlfriend a warm smile and said “I’d be happy to hippy girl, now let’s get your dad and head over to the Morgan’s. Dylan’s little surprise isn’t going to wait much longer.”

****

Tommy and Pattie had long since arrived at their daughters’. Tommy was engaged in keeping Molly occupied with her new toys, while Pattie helped Emily in the kitchen. Dylan had helped by setting the table in the formal dining room, and she was pleased as how it had turned. Living alone for so long, it had never been used before, but it looked great all set out for their huge meal.

As Dylan was admiring her handy work, her iphone began to ring.

“Morgan.”

“It’s Jackson. We’re on our way up.”

“Understood. Did you leave my package with Maurice at the front desk?”

“Sure did.”

“Right. See you in a few minutes.”

Dylan hung up the call and smacked her hands together. “Okay, here we go. I’m gonna get major kisses and cuddles for this one!”

Dylan went to let her guests in, and Tommy, Pattie and Emily all came to exchange good wishes, handshakes and kisses with their friends.

Tommy and Walt moved to the living to enjoy a chat and a drink, while Jackson and Dylan made their way down to the front desk to bring the package and it’s accessories up to the apartment.

****

Rosie handed Emily a glass of wine she had poured her and said, “Em? Here take a breather. You and Pattie look rushed off your feet.”

Emily looked up from the stove and gratefully accepted the glass of cool white wine from her friend.

“Thanks. We’re not far off now. What do you think mom?” Emily asked her Mother-in-law.

Pattie lifted her own glass and replied, “Not long, about forty five minutes I should say.”

Rosie admired Emily so much. She was a beautiful and elegant, even when making a full Christmas dinner for her family and guests. Emily Morgan fitted the role of wife of a rich TV star perfectly but certainly did not act like it.

“You know, I doubt there are many wives of famous celebrities that are cooking their own Christmas dinner today.”

“I couldn’t imagine having some stranger cook for us. I was taught by my grandmother that cooking and taking care of your family shows how much you love them. I watched my grandmother take joy in feeding my grandpa and her family. They adored each other, and they gave me my ideals for a relationship. I know it must sound old fashioned to you Rosie, but that’s all I’ve ever wanted, to take care of my family.”

Rosie thought carefully before she answered. Her world had turned upside down since falling in love with Jackson, as had some of her beliefs. Rosie realized now that there were many ways of being a lesbian, as well as being a woman. Her career would always be important and she couldn’t stay home like the way Emily did, but she now understood that need that love gives you to take care of your partner.

“No, I understand Em. Feminism is about giving women choices, and you’ve exercised your right to what you want. I get that.”

They heard Jackson shout from the hallway “Hey everyone, come out here for a bit.”

“What are they up to now?” Rosie said.

Emily turned down the heat on the stove, and the three women made their way out of the kitchen.

Molly ran to her mother and said, Mama! Dackson say Mom got us a surpise!”

“What’s going on Jackson?”

“Just wait.” Jackson knocked on the door to signal Dylan and she popped her head round the door.”Now, my little family. You may have thought you had both had all your gifts, but there is one more to go.”

“What mom? What you get us? Molly shouted.

The TV star just loved to see the look of excitement on her daughter’s face.

“Dyl, what have you done? Molly has had plenty of gifts and I certainly have too.”

“Just wait, you’ll love it!”

Dylan disappeared for a second, and then the door opened fully to reveal Dylan holding a cage in her arms with a bow on it.

“Meet the newest member of our family. I hope you like him.”

Emily’s mouth hung open as she saw a little grey and white puppy inside the cage. Molly darted toward the cage.

“Mom! You buy us a puppy! Me want to cuddle him!”

“Okay smurf. Let’s take him into the other room and calm down a bit. He’s going to be a bit scared in a new home. What do you think Emmie?”

“A dog is a lot of work, Dylan.”

Dylan walked up to Emily and took her hand. “Emmie, he’s 4 months old and fully trained by the breeder, he won’t be any trouble. I think a kid should have a dog to grow up with, and I thought he would make you feel safe at the new house, when I’m not there.”

Emily had worried about that. The Long Island house was a great big piece of land, and it would be a lonely place when Dylan was in the city or away overnight for work.

She smiled and gave Dylan a hug. “That was really thoughtful, honey. Thank you. Let’s get him out and you can tell us all about him. Is it a boy?”

Dylan looked really pleased with herself for bringing home this gift. “Yeah, come on and meet him.”

****

After everyone had settled in the living room, Dylan had followed the breeder’s instructions and opened the cage door, but let the dog come out in his own time. After an initial nervous period, the playful puppy soon realized it was safe and had found a new playmate in Molly. The pair were playing on the floor as the adults watched on.

“That’s a fine looking dog, Dylan.” Walt said.

“Is it a husky, Champ? Asked her dad.

“Yeah, and he’s fully trained to respond to commands. Lynn found me a really good breeder.”

Emily walked over to Dylan and sat on her lap, and giving her a kiss “He’s so handsome honey. You are just the sweetest.”

Dylan smiled smugly to herself. I knew I’d get hugs and kisses for this one! I am awesome!

“Mama, he got blue eyes like me!”

All he the adults chuckled. “He sure does Molls. What would you like to call him?

The little girl looked at her new friend and thought hard. The puppy looked back at her excitedly, his big tongue hanging out one side of his mouth.

“He look like a wolf, so I call him Wolfie!”

“That’s perfect smurf!”

“Aww, that is just the cutest, Molly!” Rosie told her.

And with that Wolfie was welcomed into the Morgan household. Later, as Dylan sat at the head of the dining table, she took a moment to think about how far she had come. Last year she had nothing, and now as she looked at the faces of family and friends round the table. She felt a happiness and contentment that filled her with joy. They had faced bad times and come out of it stronger, they’re family was growing and due to grow larger.

Who would’ve thought I could have it all. Life is good, and nothing can take it away from me.

****

Jimmy Daniels gingerly opened one eye and groan. He had a hangover from hell and it was only about to get worse. Turning over he looked in the eyes of another faceless blonde he had picked up the night before. Oh god! Why do they have to be here in the morning!

“Jimmy I . . .”

“Get out now.”

“What?”

Jimmy forced himself up and staggered out the room. He made his way toward the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and some painkillers from the cupboard.

The blonde from the bedroom followed Jimmy to the kitchen and said, “Hey, honey listen . . .”

“Are you still here? Didn’t I tell you to get out. Now just fuck off bitch!”

The blonde woman looked at the greasy, middle aged man and shuddered. Tell me I didn’t sleep with that stinking, sweaty guy for nothing! ‘

“But Jimmy, you promised you’d help me out with some money.”

That comment put Jimmy over the edge. He stormed back to the bedroom and gathered her clothes, then grabbed her by the hair.”

“Money! That’s all you bitches ever think about!” She was dragged to his front door and thrown out into the hallway with her clothes. “You were a shit fuck! All you deserve for it is this.” He spat on the floor in front of her and slammed the door.

Jimmy was shaking with rage and only knew one cure for that. He went back to the kitchen and poured himself a whiskey. He downed the first one quickly and poured the second immediately. Feeling the warm liquid start to do its job, he switched on the kitchen TV. On his screen appeared the woman he hated. The woman he thought about every second of everyday.

“It seems the Morgan family has swelled this Christmas; as the young family were spotted out together with a new puppy at the local dog park. After facing so much hardship, things seem to be going perfectly for the young family.”

Jimmy lifted his glass and threw it straight at the TV. “I hate you!”

****

Half a bottle of whiskey later, Jimmy heard a knock at the door. “Leave me the fuck alone will you!” He shouted.

“Jimmy? It’s me, Sam.” Sam was Jimmy’s photographer of many years, and as near as he got to a friend. He had also helped him a lot on the big Morgan story.

Jimmy willed himself off the sofa and stumbled towards the door. He opened the door to find his young accomplice, Sam.

“Jimmy, you look like shit!” Said the young man.

“Yeah? I love you too Sam. Goodbye.” Jimmy went to slam the door but it was held in place by his visitor.

“Hey wait up, Jimmy. I haven’t seen you in forever, let me in.”

“Fine, don’t expect coffee and cookies though.”

He walked back to sit down and poured another drink. “So what’s up? Did you use up your share of the money I got? Cause you’re not getting anymore.”

Sam sat on the seat opposite and said “No. I actually used it wisely. I work for myself now.”

What the hell is wrong with you Jimmy? You look like a drunk. Sam thought .

“What have you been doing with yourself, Jimmy? I thought you’d be living it up on a beach somewhere, fighting off the women.”

Jimmy snorted then drank the last of his drink, “I tried that. It’s not as great as it looks.”

“What’s really wrong?”

“I thought being rich would make everything great. I could do what I want, go where I want, get the women I want, but it’s not as great as you might think. Women only want what’s in your wallet and friends are only friends as long as you pay the tab. Then there’s Morgan.”

He picked up the bottle and swallowed some more of the amber fluid. “I got her good I thought. I would be rich and she would be humiliated. But now, it turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to her, and she’s playing happy family with that blonde bitch and the bastard kid! Even that fucking stalker couldn’t break her. If I had her wife all alone in the woods, I wouldn’t have failed to leave my mark on the bitch, and that would have destroyed Morgan!”

Wow! He is obsessed. I can use that to make something bigger and better for myself. thought the ambitious young photographer.

“How would you like another shot at Morgan?”

Jimmy’s head shot up. “You got something on her?”

Gotcha!

“I might, but it’s just a lead. There’s still work to do on it. It needs a man with your contacts on it.”

“Tell me!”

Sam knew he had Jimmy where he wanted him. He had always done Jimmy’s grunt work and got little recognition and a fraction of the pay out. Now it was time to even up the play.

He sat back and crossed his legs, looking extremely relaxed.

“Not so fast Jimmy. We’re going to play it a bit differently this time. I want a fifty-fifty cut on anything we make on this story. I want your word on that.”

You think you’ve got me where you want me kid? I don’t even care about the money. I just want to take Morgan down!

“Okay, you have my word. Fifty-fifty all the way; now the information?”

“I got a tip that one of the local officers that investigated the Emily Morgan kidnapping and Bianchi death, wasn’t satisfied with Dylan’s statement.”

“What do you mean? What is there to question? I mean Morgan’s bitch is taken to the cabin, Morgan and that bodyguard Jackson find them; and Hunter shoots her as she was attacking her with a knife.”

“Well, the whispers I’ve heard say this police officer thinks Morgan’s story doesn’t tally up, and Morgan and Hunter are hiding something. He’s been pushing for the case to be looked at again, but of course Morgan’s buddies, Mark Lawson and Patrick Kenny are protecting her, and it seems those higher up don’t want to hear anything questioning Morgan. They attend all the same charity dinners, and society events. He has no evidence, but is sure something went on that they are not saying.”

Jimmy’s heart sped up as he thought about getting another chance at getting his revenge on Dylan.

“I think a visit to the Catskills is in order. I’ll try and speak to this cop, and see what his story is. Then I’ll make sure I find evidence to back it up.

I’m coming for you Morgan!

****

“Mrs. Morgan, where would you like these boxes? This is the last of it.”

Today was the Morgan’s big moving day. They had been at the Long Island house for a few hours, and Emily was exhausted. She held a hand to her head and sighed “If you could just put them in the family room, I’ll deal with it later.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

Emily watched the movers negotiate their way up the impressive wooden staircase and thought, I can’t believe I’m here.

The size of the house and estate seemed larger than when they had visited the last time. Molly was having a ball running freely and exploring around the extensive gardens and tennis court with Wolfie.

She had been warned not to go near the swimming pool on her own, nor was she allowed to go down to their private beach alone, but there was a lot of space left to explore.

As Emily took in the size of the place, she realized Dylan was right about getting some help in, but she insisted it should only be for cleaning and gardening as she would never give up the task of cooking and taking care of her family. God! Even the entrance hall is huge.

The marble flooring and white walls gave the large entrance hall a light cool look, and the wooden staircase led up to a landing, over which hung a big crystal chandelier.

She looked at the boxes strewn about her and felt the stress start to build, How are we ever going to get this done? We don’t even have all the furniture we need.

The couple were going to buy all new furniture when they redecorated; with Rosie’s guidance; but for the time being they were making do with some of the apartment furniture.

She made her way to the kitchen where Pattie and Rosie were emptying boxes of crockery

“We’re nearly done here Emily.” Said Pattie.

“Thank you, you’ve both been working so hard. I don’t know when we’ll get this place in order. This place is so big, there are so many rooms, and we need some new furniture to fill them.”

Rosie put her arm around her friend, “Hey, we’ll get it sorted out. You want to redecorate some of the rooms anyway, so this way we have a totally blank canvas to work on. Oh, and don’t worry I’ll help you spend your money, Em!”

The three women laughed. “I suppose so. It just seems quite daunting today. Have you seen Dylan? She’s supposed to be ordering pizza for us all.”

“Oh, she’s out in the garden with Jackson and Tommy. Something about planning out changes in the garden?”

“What is she doing that for? We’ve been moved in two hours! There are boxes everywhere and she planning changes to the garden?”

“I’m sure she’ll be in shortly, dear.” Her mother in law said.

“She will be now!”

Emily took out her cell phone and began typing out the text message.

Dylan Morgan! Stop playing at being a contractor, and get your butt back in here within the next two minutes, or there will be trouble!!!

“That should do it.” Dylan always knew there was trouble brewing if Emily didn’t put any kisses after the end of the text. It was their code of sorts.

Sure enough, within a few minutes voices and feet and the clatter of paws could be heard coming in the back door into the laundry room. Molly came running in first into the kitchen, Wolfie followed panting, and headed straight for his water bowel.

“Mama! Mom’s going to build me a twee ouse and make a play ground for me and Wolfie!”

Emily looked up into the eyes of her partner, who followed closely behind her daughter.

“Oh, is she really?”

Dylan knew something was wrong when she got Emily’s text. And now the tone of her voice and look she gave confirmed it.

“Everything okay, Emmie? I was just showing dad and Jackson where I wanted to remodel and put the basketball court and play park stuff for Molls.”

“Well that’s great Dylan. There are boxes everywhere waiting to be emptied, no end of things to do and you’re out playing in the garden. Weren’t you supposed to be ordering pizza for everyone? And you still have to feed the dog.”

Jackson smirked at her friend’s predicament until Rosie came and pulled Jackson away from the couple.

“Um . . .come here a minute would you?”

Dylan took her wife’s hand and pulled her outside the kitchen door. “I’m sorry Emmie, I wasn’t abandoning you. I was just excited to show dad the land, he’s going to help plan and make the changes. I promise we’ll get this indoor stuff all done before I go back to work. We’ve got lots of time. It’s going to be a great week, we’ll get this place sorted and then in a couple of days we go and see about filling up another one of those bedrooms upstairs.”

Being reminded of their appointment at the fertility centre brought a smile to Emily’s face.

“See, there’s the smile that been hiding. Now give me a hug and I’ll go and order the food and sort out Wolfie okay?”

“Okay.” When Emily leant into the hug she felt Dylan’s cold arms. “You’re freezing! You didn’t wear a jacket out there? You’ve only got a t-shirt on honey. You’ll get sick.”

Dylan smiled warmly at her wife’s concern for her; “I’m fine baby girl. Warm bloodied remember?”

“Hmm. Just get us some pizza TV star.”

“Your wish is my command!”

****

It had taken a lot of work, but Dylan stuck to her word and had helped Emily get the house in a reasonable order, at least until the decorating was done. Today was the next part of their journey, and as Dylan sat beside Emily in the Doctor’s room, she thought, This is the last piece of the puzzle. Life is gonna be so good from now on. What if it doesn’t work? No, don’t think that. Be positive, you don’t want Emmie to worry.

Emily was already undressed and in her gown. She sat on the edge of the examination table and watched Dylan, who seemed to be thinking very hard, and she had been quiet on the ride over to the city as well.

“Are you alright, honey? No second thoughts, is it?”

“What? No never!” Dylan took Emily’s hand.

“I’m just having a hard time believing how lucky I am. I mean I’m just getting everything I ever dreamed of, I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it.”

Emily stroked her partners head tenderly; “You deserve it for being you honey. Molly and I love you more than anything.”

“Um . . .is it okay if I admit I’m a little scared?”

“Of course. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that the only thing that scares big tough Dylan Morgan is a little baby!” Emily joked.

“Hey, Mama Smurf can scare me too you know.”

They were both still laughing when the doctor knocked and came in. “Ms. Morgan, Mrs. Morgan, nice to see you again.”

When they had come for their initial appointment at the clinic, they had been very impressed with Dr. Heart and her staff. When the clinic that Emily had used with Molly, had leaked her personal information, they had decided to change clinics.

Dr. Heart’s small upscale Manhattan clinic was recommended by many LBGT organizations, and Emily felt comfortable straight away with graying middle aged woman. Dr. Heart rubbed her hands together and smiled. “So? Are we ready to make some babies?”

“Yes, but can we try for one at a time please, Doctor?”

Dr. Heart smiled. “I’ll see what I can do.”

The doctor set everything up then allowed the couple time alone for Dylan to push the plunger and insert the sperm into her wife.

After they left the clinic, Dylan drove them home. “Do you think our baby number one is okay?”

“Of course, she’s being spoiled rotten with her grandparents.”

“They haven’t had to deal with Wolfie as well though.”

Dylan chuckled; “Yeah, that puppy sure does have some energy. Dad will enjoy having him there though. We had a dog when Joey and me were little, and he loved that dog.”

“I miss Molly when she’s not with us, but it is nice to have you to myself sometimes.”

“I know, she’ll be back first thing in the morning though, and we’ll spend a family day together. Just you, me, Molly and Wolfie. But just now, I’m going to make love to you and try to make our baby number two.”

Emily leant over and kissed her partner on the cheek, “That sounds perfect.”

The rest of the ride Emily rested her head against Dylan’s shoulder and sighed in contentment.

****

Dylan drove through the high security gates into the large gravel driveway and pulled up in front of the house.

“I’ll need to go car shopping next week sometime. Your driver will be starting soon.”

“Has Pauley got any good candidates?”

“Yeah, some guys he has worked with, who have some security experience, so that will be even better.”

They had both agreed that a driver was needed for Emily. It was becoming increasingly clear that with the press attention she got whenever she went out that she would need someone with her. Being out of the way on their secluded estate was going to be a very different life to their one in New York City. She would be out and about more, into town and the stores and Dylan didn’t want to take any chances when they were trying for a baby.

“We’ll I’m sure you’ll have fun choosing a car.”

Dylan gave her a smile and said. “Make that cars plural, baby. I’ve got four garages now, and it would be a crying shame not to fill them. This is a nice big island for driving, maybe a nice little sporty one, something with a little power. But don’t worry, I’ll get a nice family car too.”

“As long as you’re careful and don’t drive too fast.”

“Yes Mama Smurf. Let me get you out.”

She walked round the car and helped Emily out, then further surprised her wife by lifting her into her arms.

“Dyl! What are you doing? I can walk you know!”

“Not today you can’t. I’m going carry you to our bed and make love to beautiful wife, and hope we can make a baby with that love.”

Emily pulled Dylan into a kiss “I love you honey. You make me feel treasured.”

Dylan smiled but said nothing as she continued to carry her wife into the house and up stairs, and into their bedroom. This was Emily’s favorite room. It was a long room, and the new four poster wooden bed sat on the back wall, affording them a simply stunning view out of the floor to ceiling windows on the other side of the room. Emily loved to lie in bed and watch the waves churn and crash against the shore. And this room, unlike every other in their new home which was geared toward family life, was just for them. It felt like the couples sanctuary against the pressures of life.

Dylan sat her down on the bed and taking her hand knelt down in front of her wife.

“I just want you to know that I feel honored that you want to share this with me. What you said out there about feeling treasured? I always want you to feel like that.” Dylan placed Emily’s hand on her heart. “I treasure you, our daughter, and our life together. You have given me the world, and I will spend every day of my life trying to give you back the love and happiness you have given me. You’re in my heart and my blood, in fact I’m sure somewhere on my body there is a stamp that says ‘Property of Emily Morgan, if found please return to the address below.’

“Yes, I think it’s probably on your butt!” Emily said laughingly. “Seriously honey, I think that is the most loving and caring thing anyone has ever said to me. You know I feel the same; I want to give you all these things too. So what do you say TV star? Are you up to making a baby with me?”

Dylan gave her a sly smile and took off her wife’s high heel shoe, kissing her ankle as she went.

With ever piece of clothing Dylan removed she placed a loving kiss in its place. She wanted this to be unhurried, slow and passionate, making her wife feel utterly loved and adored. Once Emily was naked, Dylan gently laid her on their bed, and quickly riding herself of her own clothes, lay down by her side. When Emily went to speak, Dylan placed a finger across her lips. “Shh. Don’t talk, just relax and feel.” She smiled down at wife and trailed her fingers tenderly over Emily’s face. “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” While her lips placed gentle kisses over Emily’s face, her fingers continued to trail down Emily’s neck and shoulders. “I love your little nose.”

Emily giggled, when Dylan took it between her teeth and gave it a little bite. She repeated the loving act on her chin and neck and shoulders.

“And you know I love these.” Emily’s little giggles turned to gasps when her partner’s fingers trailed over her breasts.

“Do you know why I know you were made for me?”

Emily shook her head. Dylan held up her large hands and smiled in that cheeky way that made her partner smile;. “Your breasts fit perfectly in these big hands of mine.”

They laughed softly until Dylan couldn’t resist wrapping lips around the nipples that she so adored. Emily held on to her partner’s head, loving the attention she was getting.

Dylan imagined the sheer power of the love she was sharing with her wife would bring about the life they so desperately wanted to create.

Her lips moved down to her wife’s stomach and concentrated her kisses and licks on the stretch marks she had gotten when pregnant with Molly. Dylan had always paid attention to this area when they made love and Emily always wondered why, as she always worried that Dylan would be turned off by them. As if her partner could hear her silent question said; “These I love more than anything.”

Emily couldn’t help but break her silence, “Why?”

Dylan worked her way back up to her wife’s face and looked in her eyes, “Because, they represent the beautiful daughter you gave me, gave us. I will worship them for the rest of our lives.”

Dylan had slipped between Emily’s legs and started to grind against her slowly.

“You’ve already given us a wonderful gift, and I want you to feel how I am grateful that you are doing this for us. Creating a life with you is the greatest thing I have ever done.”

Her hips were speeding up as their passion built up. Emily pulled her partners lips toward her and said, “You are the love of my life. It’s you . . .”

“It’s you.” Dylan repeated before letting her lips and herself get lost in her wife.

****

Why did I even agree to this? ‘ Nick Shaw thought as he walked in the dark bar. Outside it was a bright crisp February afternoon, but inside this windowless seedy bar, you would think it was nearer midnight.

When a Jimmy Daniels had contacted him a couple of weeks ago wanting to discuss the Bianchi case, he had thought long and hard about this meeting. But he finally decided to come as he could never quite been able to get the case out of his head.

The detective looked around the sparsely populated establishment, and a heavy set man at a table the far end of the room, lifted his hand to wave at him.

Nick looked about himself nervously, hoping none of the other patrons would recognize him.

Jimmy stood as Nick approached; “Detective Shaw, glad you could come.”

Nick sat down quickly. “Just call me Nick, please. I shouldn’t even be here.”

“Okay Nick. I got you a drink.” Jimmy indicated to a glass of whiskey in front of him.

“It’s a bit early for me.” Nick replied.

Pussy. Thought Jimmy.

“I’ll get you something else then. What would you like?”

“Just a mineral water.”

Jimmy ordered it from the server and she returned quickly with his drink.

“So Mr. Daniels, let’s get this over with. You said you might have information for me.”

The reporter put a big friendly smile on his face; “I might be able to put my hands on some new evidence, but first I want you to tell me why you have suspicions about this case.”

Nick looked deep into Jimmy’s eyes, Do you really have anything, Jimmy? Or are you just fishing? It might be worth playing along for now.

“I think what happened in that cabin was very different to what Dylan Morgan and Jackson Hunter stated. The victim had a lot of damage done to her body before death. My instincts tell me, Morgan, with Hunters help killed Toni Bianchi in revenge when they found Emily. I can understand Morgan was angry, but we have laws for a reason, you just go around killing prisoners.”

“Hmm. What happened once you guys arrived?”

“That’s another thing that bothers me. Procedures weren’t followed as they should have been. Morgan’s buddies, Mark Lawson and Patrick Kenny were tailing the pair as they drove from Dylan’s apartment to the cabin. Apparently their car was spotted by a patrol car and they sped off after them.

“When I arrived Lawson and Kenny were already in charge of the scene. None of the usual checks were done. We knew that both sets of prints would be found on the gun, because they both admitted to holding it at one time or another, but both their hands should have been checked for powder marks. I just feel in my gut that Morgan fired that shot, and if so why have they lied about it. If it was in self defense then fine, but why lie?”

“So what happened when you took these concerns to your superiors?” Asked Jimmy.

“They don’t want to know. First of all, who really cares about someone who kidnapped and assaulted a young woman? What does it matter how she met her end? I think it does, we have rules for a reason and everyone, no matter how guilty they appear, deserves their day in court.”

Jimmy kept his sincerest look on his face but thought internally, Fucking liberal.

“You’re right there, Nick.”

“Secondly, she’s a powerful individual. Does a lot of charity work, and is involved in campaigns that the mayor and governor are involved with. When I went higher up the chain of command, trying to get the case reopened, I had the doors slammed in my face. I need more evidence or a new lead before I’ll get anywhere.”

Jimmy leaned forward and said. “If you give me some time, I will get that case opened for you. It won’t happen overnight but I will get it opened.”

“How are you going to do that?”

“Have you ever heard the phrase ‘There’s no smoke with fire?’ Well I’m going to put so much smoke into the public domain, your bosses with have no choice but re-open it.”

****

Jimmy was driving back from the Catskills when his cell phone rang, he saw it was Sam and pulled over.

“Daniels?”

“How did it go Jimmy?”

“He told me the background and the basic problem is he can’t get the case opened back up to question Morgan and Hunter. We need to get it reopened for him.”

“And how do that and make money out of it?”

Yeah, that’s all you’re worried about Sammy.

“We get a picture of Morgan standing over the body with the gun.”

“You’ve got to know the police will spot a fake photo in a few hours in the lab.”

“Yes they probably will, but that doesn’t concern us. We are going to build up some smoke using Twitter and Facebook, the home of rumor and innuendo. We plant the idea there is a picture out there and incriminate Morgan, we watch the rumors grow arms and legs and the public and media will demand answers from the cops. They will be forced to look at it again, and Morgan will be in the shit.”

“But we’ll still make money on this right?”

“Of course. Do I never come out of these things without money?”

“No, Jimmy.”

“That’s right. And do you know the best thing about it kid?”

“What?”

“Social media made Dylan Morgan and gave her everything she has, and social media is going to destroy her!”

****

“Oh Jesus!” Jackson cried as her orgasm sapped every ounce of strength from her body, and she collapsed onto Rosie’s back. “I . . .I love you darlin’.” She panted into her girlfriend’s ear, trying to regain her breath.

“Uh . . .love you too.” Rosie panted. “I don’t think I can even open my eyes! What brought that on, lover?”

Jackson ran her hand down Rosie’s back and gave her buttock a smack.

“Hey!” Rosie struggled and Jackson allowed herself to be rolled over.

“Are you trying to dominate me?”

Jackson smiled and replied, “Well, It’s not really something I want to do, but you seem to love it. Admit it.”

Rosie giggled and kissed Jackson quickly on the lips. “Maybe soldier boy, but if you ever breathe a word of it, I’ll tell everyone you wear a slave collar and I lead you around on a chain.”

“Okay, okay darlin’. Truce!”

Rosie smiled and laid her head on Jackson’s chest. “You never did tell me what turned you into an animal?”

“Hmm. I walked in here, and you were standing in front of the mirror, comparing dresses.”

Tonight the new couple were going to a special event at O’Reillys bar. After Dylan promised to help Rosie’s charity, In the Pink, she had been organizing a special night at the bar which her friends, the bar staff, were going to combine with her leaving party. There would be a pool tournament, contests, and an auction for some great prizes which some local business’s had donated knowing Dylan Morgan was involved. It was an all ticket event, so they had to have some sort of crowd control. Dylan would also be doing a charity dare on her show, in the run up to the summer break, but the event hadn’t been decided yet

Rosie lifted her head to look at her partner, “And that made you turn into a wild animal, throw me on the bed and fuck me from behind?”

“Not just that. You were standing in a bra, thong, panty hose and high heels. I knew I just had to have you and especially that backside in that thong.”

“So heels, panty hose and thongs make you love me like a wild woman? I’ll need to remember that. You do realize we’ll need to get showered again? I’ve got to be at the bar early remember.”

“I know. It was worth it though. Wasn’t it?”

Rosie kissed Jackson and bit her lip with passion; “Oh yes, Jack. It was so worth it. Come on. Race you to the shower!”

****

Emily was putting the finishing touches to her makeup, while being watched by her daughter and her playful puppy

“Molls, what have I told you about having Wolfie on the bed?

“Olfie down!” The obedient puppy jumped down and lay at his human buddy’s feet.

Emily saw in the mirror Molly watching her carefully as she applied her lipstick, “Are you okay sweetie?”

“I miff ou and Mom. Why can’t me come to Wosie’s party? I be good.”

“Come here Molls.” She trotted over and Emily lifted her on to her knee.

The little girl immediately began playing with her mom’s necklace as she always did; loving the way the light shone and sparkled on the diamond.

“Sweetie, remember I told you it was a big persons party? There’ll be no kids there and you’d be really bored. You’ll have great fun with grandma and grandpa.”

Pattie and Tommy had come out the house to stay over with their granddaughter, while Dylan and Emily were to stay in the city apartment over night.

“Granma says we going to watch a movie with popcorn and candy after dinner, and tomowow we go on the beach and play with Olfie’s ball.”

“Well there you go, you’ll have great fun, but tell me again where you don’t go without a grown up?”

Molly sighed at the question that she was asked by her parents all the time, “De beach and de pool mama. I member.”

Emily kissed her little head and smiled. Every time she looked at Molly she prayed they would be blessed with another one just like her. It had been about two and a half weeks since the insemination, and Dylan had been asking her to take a test from the second week, when she came home with digital testing kits that said they worked from two weeks. Emily had insisted they wait to at least three weeks for an accurate result. She secretly prayed they wouldn’t have any problems as Dylan was so excited about the impending pregnancy.

“Mama, I go see Grandpa now. Ou and Mom say byes before ou go?”

“Of course sweetie. Now you’re in charge of Wolfie. That means you have to make sure he behaves okay.”

Molly jumped down and ruffled the husky’s fur. “He be good mama. Come Olfie.”

The pair then trotted off quite happily. “Emmie?”

Emily turned round to see her partner standing the bathroom doorway and she stopped breathing for a second before a jolt hit her lower and started pounding.

Dylan was dressed only in designer her jeans, which hung open at the fly, her belt undone and hanging loose, and the waistband of her Calvin Kleins clearly visible over the top of her jeans. On top she was completely naked, her well defined muscles and broad shoulders looking pumped after an earlier workout.

Emily was constantly amazed at the effect her partners body had on her. Dylan’s body exuded sex and raw power. No wonder your fans love you. Thought Emily.

But what made it wonderful was knowing that only she got to play with that body.

“Emmie? Are you listening?” Dylan walked towards her dressing table.

“Lock the door Dylan.”

“What? Why?” Dylan looked into her wife’s eyes and the look of lust being directed towards her.

She did as she was asked and returned to Emily who hadn’t moved from her seat.

Emily knew it would mean getting ready again but she didn’t care on bit. She had to do this.

She pulled Dylan towards her by her opened fly. Her vanity table stool had her exactly at eye level with Dylan crotch and she intended to make the most of it.

“Emmie what are you doing? We don’t have time . . ..oh, fuck!”

Her wife had quickly pulled Dylan’s jeans and jockey shorts down enough to snake her tongue in to lick and suck her.

Dylan was totally caught off guard and could think of nothing but her wife’s mouth on her. Her hands held on to Emily’s head, encouraging the rhythm that she wanted. Emily sucked Dylan into her mouth and swirled her tongue making her partner groan.

“Oh yeah baby, suck me.” Dylan moaned.

Emily knew this would be a quick one and felt the signs of her partners impending orgasm.

Dylan looked down at her wife’s blonde head moving back and forth, sucking her like she couldn’t get enough, and Dylan couldn’t hold back any longer. She closed her eyes to savor the quick orgasm, grinding herself into Emily’s mouth. It took everything she had to keep the noise she made to a minimum as she came.

When Dylan finally opened her eyes, she looked down to see a smirking Emily looking up at her.

“Mrs. Morgan, you are one naughty woman.” Dylan pulled her wife up and kissed her thoroughly, tasting herself on Emily’s lips.

When they broke apart Emily said, “I’m only naughty for you. I just can’t resist that half dressed look.”

“You make me so happy.”

Dylan went to reciprocate but Emily stilled her hand. “We really don’t have the time now honey, but don’t worry, I will expect you to make love to me long into the night, when we get back to the apartment later.”

“You got it, baby girl.”

Emily brushed her fingers over Dylan’s bare chest and said. “So what was it you wanted when you came in?”

Dylan looked confused, and then remembered what she had wanted to ask. “What? Oh yeah. Do you know where my T-shirt is? I couldn’t find it.”

“That’s because I took it out to make sure it was pressed properly. It’s on the hanger in your dressing room.”

They each had a dressing room at either end of their bedroom. Emily having started off with a small wardrobe a few months ago and now had the room packed with dresses, shoes, and purses. She now didn’t need any encouragement to spend money on nice things, and it made Dylan happy that this woman who had struggled so much could now relax and enjoy herself.

Dylan’s dressing room on the other hand, took up far less space, consisting mainly of jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.

“Thanks baby.”

They then heard a voice at their bedroom door. “Dylan, Jamie has brought the car round for you. Will you be ready soon?”

Jamie was a young man who they had picked to be Emily’s driver from the candidates Pauley had given them. He had been working at the studio for a few years and Pauley trusted him. Molly had taken to him very quickly, and Emily appreciated the extra pair of hands when she was out at the shopping.

Emily giggled at the red blush that came to Dylan’s cheeks, having her mom at the door just after an intimate moment.

“Um . . .can you ask him to give us another twenty minutes mom? We are kinda behind schedule.”

The couple heard Dylan’s mom laugh softly, obviously knowing what they had been caught up doing, and said. “Of course, dear. Take your time.”

“You get me into so much trouble baby girl.”

And after a quick shower and change they were on their way.

****

Emily’s driver Jamie drove their new Porsche SUV round to the back entrance of O’Reilly’s bar.

“Give us a minute will you, Jamie?

“Sure thing.”

He got out and left them alone for a few moments. “Hey, are you ready for this? I know you don’t enjoy being out in the public eye.”

“I’ll be fine. It’s with our friends, I’m sure it will be fun.”

Dylan lifter her wife’s hand and kissed it. “You look beautiful by the way. Did I tell you?”

“Once or twice, Goofy. You look utterly gorgeous as ever. I’ll be the envy of ever lesbian in there.” Emily ran her hand ran her hand up and down Dylan’s muscular thigh.

“I won’t be the one they are looking at baby. Rosie said there would be a cordoned off VIP area, so it won’t be so hectic, but just stay close to me, and if I’m not there, stay with Jackson or Rosie.”

“Okay, let’s do this thing.”

Dylan got out and helped Emily. A couple of the bars security team met them and escorted them in.

Anyone who saw the couple walk in had to admit the pair made a beautiful looking couple. Emily wearing a red mid length dress, and Dylan in her slouchy designer jeans, grey T-shirt and a Calvin Klein black, bomber style leather hooded jacket.

They were ushered into the bar and met by Rosie and Jackson at the VIP section. The crowd cheered and shouted their name when they saw the couple

“Hey, glad you could come.” Rosie shouted above the noise as the couples exchanged kisses.

“No problem, the place looks great.” The bar had been done up with pink banners, balloons and decorations.

“Thanks, sit down please.” The raised platform on which they were sitting afforded them a good view of the floor area, the bar, the pool table area and the small stage area when the raffle would take place.

Emily felt scanned the rest of VIP area, and noticed they weren’t alone. “Rosie? Who are those other women?”

“Oh some other celesbians I got to come along. A couple of the them are really nice, and one of my friends, who is a comedian is hosting everything, but mostly they’re z list variety. It’ll get some good publicity for the charity though.”

Not wanting to appear stupid she turned to her partner.

“Dyl, what’s a celesbian?”

Dylan smiled indulgently at her wife. She sometimes forgot how naive her wife was about gay culture. She hadn’t even known who Dylan was when she met her.

“They’re lesbian’s who are famous for being lesbians, they go round the circuit of lesbian events, being at the right parties, like tonight. They use social media, like I did, when I started out, to keep themselves in the limelight.”

“They don’t have any talent or anything?”

“No, maybe that’s being a little unkind. There are actors, comedians who are out and visible, doing good work, but some have had their fifteen minutes of fame and are stretching it as far as it will go. Oh, here come the drinks.”

O’Reilly’s bar manager came over with a try of drinks. “Hi Dylan, It’s great to have you here. Anything you need, you just let me know. ”

“Thanks Buddy. Here you go Emmie. So what will we drink to?” She asked her friends.

“How about to making lots of money and friendship?” Jackson lifted her drink to her friends.

“Lots of money and friendship.” The others joined in.

****

“Look at her. She’s so fucking smug.” Bry Edwards sat with some of her friends, at a table across from Dylan in the VIP section.

Bry Edwards had achieved some notoriety, while appearing on a reality TV show. Since then she had lived off that success, keeping herself in the public eye by appearing at the right parties, and events, and was a regular at Dinah Shore. Bry relied on her good looks and play girl image to maneuver her way through life.

“She has a lot to be smug about Bry.” Her friend said.

She watched with envy as Dylan sat with her arm draped round the shoulders of her beautiful wife, and smiled as she waved a few of her adoring public forward to get autographs.

You’d look good on my arm beautiful. Maybe you’ll be needing a shoulder to cry on soon, if the rumors I’ve heard are true.

Bry wanted what Dylan had, and would trample over whomever she could to get it.

“Hey? Bry quit staring at her wife, or you’ll get us kicked out.”

“It’s a free country; I’m just as entitled to be in the VIP area as she is. I’m a celebrity too.” Bry snapped.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that. You are headed for trouble Bry, six foot of trouble. Thought her friend.

Episode 7

Jackson had left with Rosie to help her set up the auctions, and so Dylan and Emily were left alone to enjoy the atmosphere and each other. The way the couple were feeling it was hard to keep their hands to themselves this evening, but with a hundred or so smart phones pointing their way, they were careful as to how far they went. Dylan held Emily close and placed her hand over her wife’s stomach. “What do you think? Do you feel pregnant yet?”

“It’s hard to say but I tell you what, how about we take a test tomorrow morning? I brought one of the kits in my overnight bag.” After a couple of dizzy spell over the last couple of days, she thought it might be time for a test.

“Really? We can try tomorrow?” Dylan asked excitedly.

Emily kissed her partner on the lips “Yes goofy we can, but don’t get your hopes up okay? You know it can take a few tries?”

“I just can’t help getting excited. I’ve never wanted anything more, than to see you pregnant.”

They were interrupted by one of the bar staff. “Excuse me Dylan, Rosie asked if you could come down and sign some of the auction prizes?”

Dylan looked torn. “I can’t leave you here.”

“Honey, I’ll be fine. Look at all the security surrounding this area. Go, I’ll be fine.”

Dylan stood and kissed Emily’s cheek. “If you’re sure; I won’t be long.”

Emily watched as Dylan was swamped with fans as she left the VIP area. She hadn’t done that many public events like these but she had quickly realized she needed to share her partner with the public at these appearances.

Something caught Emily’s eye and she turned her head to see a young woman walking towards her.

She was thin, had a boyish figure and was wearing jeans with a t-shirt and a thin black tie hanging around her neck. Topping it off with a straw fedora on top of her blonde messy styled hair.

Well, you look like you like yourself a little too much. Thought Emily.

“Hi, I’m Bry. Haven’t we met at The Dinah?”

That was one thing she had heard of in her limited experience of gay events. “Eh? No. It’s not really Dylan or my type of scene.” Without asking, Bry sat down a bit closer than Emily was comfortable with. Emily moved away a few inches but her new admirer followed her.

“Really? Hundreds of uninhabited women together for whole weekend, there’s even a pool party.” Bry let her fingers trail over Emily’s hand. “I bet everyone would pay money to see you in your bikini, and I’d be at the head of the line.”

Emily pulled her hand away and looked around for Dylan; but she had her back to her and couldn’t see what was going on.

“I’d be grateful if you didn’t make comments like that, I know Dylan wouldn’t like it.”

“Morgan? She’s just the celesbian that got lucky, but she will be knocked off her perch. Her time will come.” Bry leaned into Emily and put a hand on her bare knee.

“If you ever find yourself on your own, give me a call. With your profile, and mine combined we could be big and I would be glad to take care of you.”

Emily froze. Bry was probably all talk, but she didn’t handle situations like this so well since Toni.

“Please don’t, Dylan . . .”

“Morgan doesn’t scare me Emily.”

Then a deep booming voice behind her said, “I should.” Bry turned to look up to her opponent.

“Dylan, good to see you.”

“Keep your hands off my wife!”

Bry stood and give Dylan a sly smile “Nice talking to you Emily. Keep what I said in mind. Oh and Dylan? See you at the pool table.”

Dylan growled as Bry walked back to her friends.

Bry took out her cell phone and opened up the email she had been sent anonymously this morning. Time to help this along. Bry copied the information to her blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. This is about to become the hottest news story of the year, and I’m gonna be a part of it’.

“Are you okay baby?

Emily pulled her partner down beside her and latched onto her. “Yes, she was just a silly young woman trying to come on to me, but I don’t feel very comfortable at handling it, you know after . . .”

Dylan didn’t need Emily finish the sentence; she knew how vulnerable her wife was after Toni. She gave Emily a kiss on the head and said, “I won’t leave you alone again, okay? But I’m just going to talk to the security guard here.” Emily nodded and saw Dylan whisper something to one of the large figures surrounding the VIP area. Dylan returned to her and they watched a couple of the security guys move Bry from the VIP section. As she left, she smiled and blew a kiss to Emily.

“Fucking son of a bitch!” Emily placed a hand on Dylan’s leg. “Honey calm down. She’s gone, just be with me okay?”

Her partner sighed and sat back down on the couch. “What did she mean, remember what I said?”

“Oh she was saying that I would be lonely soon and you would be knocked off your perch. I don’t see that happening. She’s delusional.”

“Hmm, maybe.” Something doesn’t feel right.

****

The pool competition was going well, and the competitors were now at the semi final stage. Both Dylan and Bry were still in the competition and hoping to meet in the final. The bar customers gathered round the two pool tables. Emily, Jackson and Rosie were standing at the front cheering Dylan on. She was lining up for the last shot on the black while the crowd chanted, “Dylan! Dylan!” She smoothly potted the ball. Her opponent was still smiling, just delighted to have been playing against the famous woman. The host for the evening started to interview her and the gallant loser, while Bry finished her match on the other table.

Jackson was standing behind Rosie with her arms around her girlfriend. She tried to make herself be heard over the noise of the bar. “Hey? Will I go get us some more drinks before the final?

“Yes please, Jackson. It’s so hot in here.” replied Emily.

Rosie turned in Jackson’s arms and inclined her head towards Emily. “I think I should go Jack; after what happened earlier.”

“Are you sure you’ll manage the drinks?” That comment earned Jackson a poke in the ribs.

“Hey, I worked here remember?”

“Okay! Okay! Here take this for the drinks.” Jackson handed her some money from her wallet.

Rosie looked at the money as if Jackson was handing her a snake.

“Are you even serious soldier boy? How do even start to retrain you? I haven’t bought any drinks since we got here.”

Jackson looked confused, “Well, of course not. It’s your special night and you’re my girlfriend. Why shouldn’t I buy the drinks?”

Rosie sighed. “You’re doing your ‘I’ll pay the bill little lady,’ thing again.”

“I’m just being me; I wouldn’t have my girlfriend buying her own drinks. Dylan buys Emily’s drinks.”

“Yeah, well they’re married.”

Emily looked on amused at the couples playful bickering.

I’ve had enough of this. Jackson thought.

She pulled Rosie to her and kissed her girlfriend’s lips until she moaned. Gotcha Hippy girl.

When she pulled away, Rosie’s eyes opened slowly to see her partner smirking at her. The next thing she knew, the money was thrust in her hand, Jackson smacked her on the butt and said, “Now little lady, get going and get us some drinks!”

Rosie could only smile. No one had ever been able to make her feel giggly and girly before, but Jackson did that, and when she looked at her all she could feel was the warmth of love radiating from her heart. Jackson made her forget her stubbornness with a glance.

“Okay Jack, I love you.”

“Love you too, darlin’.” Emily saw Rosie skip off happily toward the bar, “Jackson Hunter? I never knew you had it in you.”

“What can I say? She loves me, and I very rarely get my own way with her.”

“Very true.” Emily laughed.

Jackson pointed to the other pool table where Bry was playing her semi final. “Look, it seems our little celesbian friend has gotten her wish.” Bry’s friends whooped and clapped after she potted the last ball.

Emily would swear she could feel the annoyance radiating out of Dylan from here. I think I better go and calm her down.

****

Rosie stood at the bar waiting to be served her drinks. “Hey Rosie, I haven’t seen you all night.” Jess, one of Rosie’s friends, stood beside her at the bar. They had been on two dates before Jess made it clear she wanted more and Rosie had made it clear they would only ever be friends.

“Oh, Hi Jess. I’ve been really busy setting things up and making sure the night goes well. I’m glad you could come.”

“I wouldn’t miss anything you had organized, Rosie.” It had not gone unnoticed to Jess that Jackson Hunter had been all over Rosie and it infuriated her. “So are you dating the soldier now? How could you even go with a bull duke like that? I mean she’s so butch, she’s practically a man. If you wanted a man . . .” Jess said with contempt.

“Don’t even finish that sentence, Jess! No, I’m not dating Jackson. We’re together, as in partners. And please don’t say soldier or butch as if it is a dirty word.”

“It is, and it used to be to you. What has she done to change you so much Rosie? You’re so different. Is she putting some sort of pressure on you? Are you frightened of her?”

“No, she is not. You don’t really know me Jess if you think someone could exert that sort of control over my personality. If anything, I frighten her and I’ll tell you what she’s done to me. She loves me. Just loves me, despite all our differences.”

The bartender gave Rosie her tray of drinks and as Rosie went to move away Jess reached out to grab her arm “I’m sorry. Rosie, please.”

“Jess, Please don’t touch me. And maybe you shouldn’t drink anymore. I think you’ve have had enough.”

Rosie walked away leaving Jess at the bar scowling, I love you Rosie. “Hey! Some service here?” she shouted at the bartender.

****

“And you’ll be calm? Emily asked Dylan, as they waited by the side of the pool table.

Dylan gave her hug and said “Of course, baby. She’s nothing but an annoyance. It’ll be fine. Come on.” Dylan walked Emily back to where their friends were sitting. They had gotten a table near the pool table as Emily was feeling tired.

“Good luck, Dyl. I love you.”

After Dylan headed off, Emily felt a wave of dizziness hit her and she grabbed out for Jackson’s arm.

“Are you okay, Em?” Jackson asked as she sat and took a few deep breaths.

“I think I’m okay, Jackson. Just the heat in here.”

Rosie took her friend’s hand “Are you sure? Do you want me to get Dylan?”

“No, I’ll be fine. She would just worry, and it’s nothing.”

****

The match was in full swing. The final was a best of three and after Dylan winning the first game, Bry had just tied, winning the second. As the balls were set up again, Bry came up to Dylan’s side and said quietly “Getting nervous Morgan?” Not taking the bait Dylan replied,. “It’s a very even match.”

“Even? I thought Dylan Morgan was the best at everything? Best career, best show, best wife?”

After initially pissing the TV star off, Dylan was now finding Bry’s jealousy amusing.

“Oh, I’m quite sure I’m not the best at everything.”

It was Dylan’s break and she began trying to clear the table. As she took each shot, Bry continued her digs at her.

“You think you’re invincible but your time will come, Morgan. You’re getting old, and your show will start to fail. They all do. I can’t wait to see the day you get cancelled. It’s time for a younger generation.” Bry’s jibes were meant to put her off, but Dylan now only had three balls left to pot. She took a moment to chalk her cue and said to Bry “I’ll tell you something about me Bry, I’m not good at everything, but what I am good at is working hard. That’s what it takes to get success, and when it’s all over, by my own making or of the TV networks making, I’ll still be left richer than you could ever imagine and with a beautiful wife and family that love me. That is worth more than any TV show. Meanwhile, you’ll be fucking your way through all the women in every gay club, from here to Dinah Shore, with a camera following you.”

Dylan sank the second last ball, leaving just the black. Bry was furious, she was about to lose and she wasn’t even getting to Dylan. Bry looked around as the crowd noticing even her friends chanted for Dylan to pot the black. A sly smile formed on her face, and she leant over seemingly patting her foe on the back.

“You are right, Dylan. You’re not the best at everything. You couldn’t even protect Emily from being taken and fucked by her ex.”

Dylan whipped round and almost grabbed Bry, but remembered she was being watched by a whole bar full of people.

“Go on, Morgan. Hit me, and ruin that squeaky clean image!”

Dylan gulped her anger down hard. She turned and lined up the black, but her hand was shaking with rage. The crowd watched in astonishment as Dylan Morgan missed a simple pot.

I knew I could get to you Thought Bry.

****

“How did she miss that?” Jackson asked. The three friends had watched Dylan destroy Bry, and after the young woman whispered something to her, she fell to pieces.

Emily was a bit concerned “Jackson can you go over and make sure she’s okay? She looks really angry.”

“Sure thing.”

Dylan stood watching Bry clear the table easily. You’re a fucking talentless bitch! Just two minutes I’d need with you to break those pretty boy looks of yours.

Bry potted the black and won the match. She turned and smiled when she saw Dylan’s fingers were white with holding her cue so tight. Now to be the good sport.

The host announced her as the winner and she held her hand out to Dylan, who reluctantly took it.

“Hey Morgan? I’ll be glad to keep your wife warm when you’re taken away. It’ll be my pleasure.”

Dylan was only stopped from launching at her by Jackson holding her back. “Hey, let her go. She’s not worth it.”

While Bry got her prize, Jackson took Dylan off to the side “What the hell was that about?”

Dylan ran her hands nervously through her hair. “She was taunting me about stuff. Something she said, it was as if she knew something was coming. I’m not sure . . .”

“Ignore her. She’s a young, jealous idiot with a chip on her shoulder.”

Dylan let out a long breath, releasing the anger that she held, but inside there was a small knot of worry that made her feel uneasy.

“Come on, when I left the girls, Rosie was preaching to Emily about the evils of meat eating and she’s a persuasive girl. So if you ever want to eat a juicy steak again, you better get over there.”

That broke the tension and made Dylan laugh. “Thanks for stopping me make an idiot of myself buddy.”

“Anytime.”

Things had settled down after that and Dylan started to relax again. The evening was a great success and Rosie was delighted to announce at the end of the evening that they had raised just over fifty thousand dollars. Dylan was asked to give a speech to end the evening; and she surprised the room by announcing that she would personally double anything made that evening.

Bry watched Dylan receive the adulation of her public, but smiled when she saw her message be retweeted over and over again.

Your time is coming Morgan.

****

The next morning Dylan had woken up full of excitement, wanting Emily to take her pregnancy test. She had grown even more expectant when she had discovered Emily in the bathroom retching.

Dylan dropped to her knees beside Emily, held her hair and rubbed her back gently. “You’re sick Baby!”

“Ugh, you don’t have to sound so happy about it TV star!” Emily moaned.

“I’m sorry baby, I’m just really excited.”

Emily leaned her head on her partner’s chest “You sound like Molly on Christmas morning.”

“I feel like it. Let me take you back to bed and I’ll get you some water.” Dylan lifted her wife and carried her to bed. Emily lay on her side and groaned. “Oh God, is it too late to change my mind?”

Dylan came back with a glass of water. “Here you go, Emmie. Take little sips. Can you take the test now?”

“Dylan! Could you wait till I can stand without wanting to puke?”

“I’m sorry baby.” Dylan came to lie behind her wife and hold her tight.

“Don’t get excited, Dyl. It could be a stomach bug or something.”

“I know! I’ll look up the baby website and see what will help you.” Dylan jumped up quickly, causing the room to spin in Emily’s head.

“I swear to god Dylan, if you don’t stop jumping about, I’m going to kill you as soon as I can stand!”

“I’m sorry Emmie, I just want to help.”

Maybe if I give her something to do, preferably away from this bed, I can get some peace and quiet.

“Okay listen; If this is morning sickness and I’m not saying it is, some dry crackers will help settle my stomach. It always did with Molly.”

“We hardly have anything in the kitchen here at the apartment. I don’t think we have any.”

Emily crooked her finger to beckon her partner toward her and spoke very slowly as if Dylan was extremely dim-witted, “Dyl, I was hoping you might go out to the store and buy me some, if that isn’t too much trouble for you?”

“Oh yeah! Of course baby. I’m on it.”

When Emily heard the front door close, she breathed a sigh of relief and snuggled down into the comforter. “Thank God for that.”

****

Sometime later, when Dylan had returned and Emily’s stomach settled, they were finally able to take the pregnancy test.

Dylan paced up and down constantly looking at her watch “Dylan, you are making me nervous.”

“Well, how long does two minutes actually take?”

“Two minutes usually.”

“Very funny.” When the timer they had set on Emily’s iphone went off, Dylan made a grab for the stick on the bedside table, but Emily got there before her.

“Aw Emmie! Let me?”

Emily held the stick to her chest. “Oh no you don’t, goofy. You’re libel to break something in your excitement.”

“Well, would you look then? I’m dying here!”

Dylan watched her wife look at the stick with a very serious face. “Well? What’s it say?”

Emily met her partner’s eyes and said “You’re going to be a Mom again!”

“Woohoo!” Dylan scooped up her wife and spun her around, kissing her all over her face.

“No! No spinning!”

“I’m sorry.” Dylan put her down, dropped to her knees and kissed her wife’s stomach. “We love you little baby.” She then stood up and said, “We did it baby girl!”

“We sure did honey.”

“I can’t wait to tell Molly. Do you think she’ll be happy?”

“I think she’ll be delighted to have someone to play with. You can put me down now goofy.”

Dylan sat on the bed, sitting her wife on her knee. “Nuh uh! I need you close.” The couple kissed tenderly, coming together in the joy of the moment. Dylan slipped her hand under Emily’s sleep top and placed it her stomach, willing herself to feel the new life they had created within.

“I love you my little baby Morgan, and I love you Emily Morgan. Thank you for giving us this. I’m going to treasure you all, every day of my life.”

****

Jimmy Daniels and Sammy sat in his office staring at the same computer screen. Sammy clicked from page to page and said “We’re making an impact Jimmy. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, it won’t be long before the mainstream press get hold of this.”

A few days before, Sammy had helped Jimmy set up an anonymous email account in order to spread some rumors about the Toni Bianchi case around the net. Sammy had a list of bloggers who were regularly critical of the TV star, and mailed them the false information they had come up with.

Among them were far right Christian groups, as well as some individuals who had particular axes to grind.

“I wish I could see the look on her face when she reads these!” Jimmy rubbed his hands together with glee.

“When the press pick up on it, we’ll then move to stage two; the photo.”

“Did you get someone to make it?” asked Sammy.

“Sure did. The best in the business. It’ll keep the cops interested long enough for our purposes.”

Sammy was worried Jimmy would lose sight of his goal to make some money out of this.

“And we’ll sell it to the magazines?”

Kid, you are pathetic.

“Why don’t you just leave it to me, eh? I’ll make sure ever thing is done right. Just keep getting this stuff out there and I’ll handle the money.”

You’ll get what you deserve kid.

****

Dylan was on top of the world as she walked into the work. Staff looked at her and smiled as she whistled her way down the corridor. She couldn’t wait to see Lynn. Both Emily and herself were bursting to tell their close friends the good news, although they wouldn’t make a public announcement for a few months yet, they had told Dylan’s parents and Jackson and Rosie. Dylan remembered the joy of delivering the news over Sunday lunch.

After finishing eating, Dylan went to get a bottle of champagne and some sparkling apple juice from the wine cooler. She made sure everyone had a drink, and then stood beside a seated Emily, an arm draped round her shoulder.

“What’s all this about champ?” asked her Dad.

“Well dad, we asked you all to come here today for a reason.”

“And we thought you enjoyed our company.” Jackson received a gentle kick to the shin from her girlfriend.

Dylan looked down at Emily and smiled, “You do the honors Emmie.”

“After Christmas, Dylan and I decided we would like try for another baby.”

Molly’s ears pricked up all of a sudden, as she had been feeding Wolfie tidbits from the table.

“I know we should have really waited till we were sure it was safe, but we just can’t keep it in. I’m pregnant!”

The couple were immediately engulfed in hugs and kisses of congratulations.

After a few minutes, Molly trotted up to her Mothers and looked confused. “Mama? Ou have baby?”

“That’s right sweetie. You’re going to have a brother or sister.”

“Me and Olfie want a brother!”

The adults laughed and Dylan’s hands swooped down to bring her little girl up into her arms, “Oh yeah? Well you know no matter whether we have a boy baby or a girl baby, you’ll be the big sister. You know what that means?”

“Big Sista Mom?”

The adults around the table smiled as they watched Dylan explain to her adorable daughter what the new baby meant to her.

“Yeah, you won’t be the baby anymore. It’s the big sisters job to take care of their baby sister or brother. Like the way Mom did with Uncle Joey. Do you think you can do that?”

Dylan saw Molly thinking hard. The little girl had heard countless tales of the Morgan siblings, and the scrapes they had gotten into, but at the end of every story Dylan would explain how she had saved Joey or taken the blame so he wouldn’t get into trouble with their parents.

Molly’s face shone with happiness and pride, “I dook after de baby Mom. Olfie and I no let him get hurt.”

As Dylan remembered that day, she sent up a silent prayer of thanks to her own baby brother.

Now it was time to tell Lynn. Dylan saw her approach as she neared her office.

“Morning Dylan, your protein shake is waiting in your office; we have a busy day ahead.”

“Morning Lynn.” Dylan said with a huge smile plastered all over her face.

“You look happy today”

Dylan put her briefcase down and sat on the corner of the desk, “I am happy, really happy and I’ll need to put out a press release soon, but it’s too early yet, maybe in a month . . .”

“Emily’s pregnant isn’t she!?” Lynn said excitedly.

“Yes.”

Lynn threw her arms around her younger friend. “I’m so happy for you both!”

“Only three weeks, so it’s still early days, but we just couldn’t help but tell our friends and family. Dylan couldn’t help but grin ear to ear, despite her intended caution.

“Don’t worry, I won’t breathe a word but when it comes time to announce it to the world, it’ll be my pleasure.”

Dylan gave her longtime friend a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you Lynn. Now how’s my day looking?”

Lynn lifted her large trusty diary to scan the appointments. All Dylan’s other staff used tablets around the office, but Lynn always insisted on doing things the old fashioned way. The appointment diary was called her bible, and no one but her was allowed to touch it.

“This morning you have a meeting with your writers then at eleven you meet Olympic athlete Sandy Williams, before heading over to the Wollman rink at Central Park.”

“I’m looking forward to this dare. It’s going to be one of the hardest I’ve done.” This week’s challenge was ice hockey, more specifically a penalty shoot out between herself and one hundred meters gold medalist Sandy Williams. In goals they would face the New York Rangers Goalie and be instructed by the teams coach.

“You always master these things Dylan.”

“Lynn I only went skating once when I was younger. I never stayed on my feet for more than two minutes. I came home battered and bruised and dad forbade me ever to go again, in case I got an injury that would hamper my taekwondo training. Trust me, it’ll be a challenge.”

“I’m sure you’ll manage, now I got that information you requested for the summer charity dare, I sent a copy to the network.”

Dylan picked up the glossy brochure on her desk and flipped through the pages. When trying to think of something different to do for the charity dare which would help Rosie’s cause, ‘In the Pink’, Jackson had suggested the Marathon des Sables. The marathon was known as the hardest in the world. It was a six day grueling race through the Sahara desert. A normal person would be appalled at the thought, but Dylan felt the familiar excited tingle she got when being faced with a challenge.

“Wow, this looks so cool.” Maybe Jackson would like to do this with me?

Lynn shook her head “Only you could think that looks fun, Dylan Morgan.”

Dylan gave Lynn a toothy grin “It’s amazing, Lynn. You have to carry your own food and equipment, oh and you get to sleep out in a tent every night!”

Lynn chuckled at Dylan’s childlike enthusiasm. “You sound like my grandchildren, when they are desperate to try a new ride at the fairground.”

“So what does the network think?”

“That haven’t said anything about the race yet Dylan, but they are quite happy to make the Rosie’s charity the main beneficiary.”

“Great. I’ll take this home and have a think. In the meantime, could you contact the race organizers and ask if they would be open to doing the course in May sometime instead of March? ”

“Okay. I would like to see Emily’s face when you tell her this one!”

“Nah! She’ll think it’s a great idea.” Dylan thought for a moment and thought, She will, won’t she?

****

Dylan’s predictions that she would have difficulty skating proved correct. She had spent more time on her butt than on the skates. Her opponent was only marginally better, so it was all to play for. She hadn’t met Sandy Williams before, but the two had immediately both struck up a good rapport. They were both Olympians and therefore had a lot to talk about. Sandy seemed just delighted to be asked on the show. After her latest fall, Dylan sat on the ice taking a breather. She watched Sandy maneuver herself over to where she was. Sandy would be a good match for her. Not only was she taking to the ice with a little more ease than herself, the African American woman was just a few inches shorter than herself and had a powerful muscular build. Dylan had found her a breath of fresh air; compared to the usual prima donnas she had on the show.

“Hey Dylan, need a hand?” Sandy extended her hand down to her; Dylan took it and pulled herself up.

“Thanks buddy. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I think I’m going to have bruises for weeks!”

“You’re not wrong. Coach says we can take a break.”

“Great.” The pair stumbled their way to the side, where Dylan’s crew had hot drinks and food for them.

They sat on the edge of the rink and warmed themselves with hot coffee. “So things are going pretty good for you since London then?”

“Yeah, I’ve gotten quite a few sponsorship deals, been on talk shows and stuff. It’s been fun.”

“That’s great. You deserve to enjoy it; all those years of training have paid off.”

Sandy nodded, remembering all those early mornings on the track and missing out on nights out with her friends.

“Yeah, I have sacrificed a normal life for that gold medal. I want to build a life now though, a future. Any advice you can give me?”

Dylan thought for a minute and said, “Make as much as you can while the TV shows and sponsors are still interested in your story. Look after your money, and put it towards your dream. I was able to go through acting school and have my own apartment because of the money I had made when I came back from the Olympics. Whatever you do, don’t waste it, because before you know it, the public interest will have died down. Are you going to compete at the next games in Rio?”

“I’d like to, but I’m not going unless I know I can win. I’ll see how well I perform at events until selection.”

“Sounds like a plan. What would be your dream, outside of racing?”

“I’d love to open a state of the art gym. In the future maybe open more. That would give me something to fall back on.”

Dylan gave a soft punch to the runners shoulder. “Then do it. Don’t waste this opportunity.”

“Hey thanks for the advice. You know I’ve been such a big fan of yours for years. All that you’ve achieved, being openly gay in the public eye . . .”

Dylan had thought the young woman was gay when she met her, but hadn’t wanted to say anything and make assumptions.

“Yeah I get it. It’s scary when your income is dependent on sponsors; Things are a lot better now than when I came back from the games. I never hid it, but then no one really asked. I wasn’t the type to be out at gay bars and clubs. You got a girlfriend buddy?”

Sandy looked down, suddenly finding her skated feet very interesting. “Umm . . .no. I haven’t had the time. My life has just been all about training, you know?”

“Yeah I do. Just be careful okay? A lot of people will want to be with you because of who you are. The trick is find the one that sees past what you do and who you are.”

Sandy ran a hand over her collar length braided hair “How do you do that?”

Dylan laughed softly. “That’s the million dollar question. You have to listen to your gut in the end and trust that it will guide you. I was lucky; Emily didn’t know who I was at the start.”

“You have a lovely family, Dylan.”

“Thanks, hey do you want to see a picture?”

“Sure.”

Dylan beamed like a little kid as she flicked through some of her favorite photos of her family on her cell phone.

“They are wonderful pictures, Dylan. I hope I’m half as lucky one day. ”

Dylan felt like this young woman could do with a friend and she had been exactly where she was, having reached the pinnacle of her sporting career at such a young age.

“Listen, I’ll give you my numbers and my email, if you ever need someone to talk to, or some advice, just call. If I don’t know the answer, I’m sure I’ll know someone in the industry who does. Give me your number and I’ll send them to your cell.”

Sandy watched Dylan get her contact details and text them to her. “Wow! Thanks that’s really great Dylan. So, I haven’t seen you on Twitter and Facebook much recently.”

“No, I felt weird about being so public with my private life, after what happened you know? Emmie says I need to get back to normal though. Hey, maybe I’ll tweet a picture of us training?”

The pair stood and Dylan held her iPhone out in front of them. “That’s great, I’ll tweet it now.”

“Okay, I’m just going to grab a bottle of water before we go back on the ice.” Sandy left her and Dylan opened up the twitter app on her phone. She let her timeline refresh before she would upload the picture.

She noticed straight away that her timeline was full of tweets asking questions like, ‘Did you do it?’

‘God will judge you!’ even some saying, ‘Go Dylan! I would have done the same!’

What the fuck is this?

Her cell phone then came to life and announced Lynn calling.

****

Jackson and Paulie were viewing some properties for Jackson’s expanding business.

“This room would make a great command centre. What do you think, Paulie?”

The only experience Jackson had in relation to handling a larger group of staff was a military one, and she planned to run this business like a military unit. With herself at the top, with Paulie as her second in command. There would be a command centre, where they could coordinate and brief each member of staff on their assignments, a locker room, equipment room and private offices for herself and Paulie. With the capital she already had and the support Dylan was giving her, she was able to kit out the office’s with the most up a to date computers and equipment for the staff she was taking on, and leave herself debt free.

“I like it Jackson. I think this place will be great.”

Jackson turned to the building manager who was showing them around and said, “So the lease . . .” The ringing of Jackson’s cell phone interrupted her question. “Excuse me a minute will you?”

Jackson walked outside the room and answered. “Hunter.”

“It’s Dylan. Jackson they know, everyone knows.” Dylan said with real fear in her voice.

“Know what?”

“About Toni! It’s all over the net. I just noticed it on Twitter and then Lynn called me to tell me she as inundated with calls from the media about it!”

“How can they know? It’s impossible.”

“It’s an anonymous email that’s being going around, it says a Detective involved in the investigation in the Catskills, wasn’t happy with my story, but his superiors refused to listen. It says evidence wasn’t gathered properly and that he believes I shot her while she was unarmed.”

“It’s all hearsay. There can be absolutely no evidence Dylan.”

“The email hints there may be evidence. Do you think we were followed up to the cabin?”

“No, I don’t. Listen there’s no need to panic. Let me make a few calls and I’ll get back to you okay?”

“Okay. I knew life was too perfect. This is going to destroy me isn’t it? I can’t leave Emmie and Molly now with the baby coming.”

Jackson pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed, “No, it’s not. Try and keep calm and let me look into this. I’ll call you soon.”

Jackson ended the call and immediately began making some calls.

****

“This is better than sex!” Jimmy shouted towards the TV.

He and Sammy had been watching as their story hit the major news channels that day.

Jimmy drained his bottle of beer, enjoying the buzz that the alcohol added to the excitement of his plan coming together.

Sammy had been calling his contacts in the police department. He hung up the phone and joined Jimmy in front of the TV.

“What’s the good word kid?”

“Pressure is building from above, for the DA to look again at it, but she has powerful backers too. My contacts instinct is that she’ll at least be brought in for questioning.”

“Excellent and good old Detective Shaw has the photo.” Jimmy said gleefully.

It had taken most of the money he had left to arrange that image. It had been intricately planned and staged by the best digital photography guys working on the wrong side of the law.

Sammy sat beside Jimmy and cracked open one of the beers “It won’t fool them long.”

“It doesn’t need to kid. I know in my gut that Morgan shot that bitch, but all we need is to get Morgan taken down to the station for questioning, and her network will get jumpy. They’ll ditch her in a second, and I’ll destroy her in the media. She’ll not be able to get a commercial for used car dealership by the time I’m through!”

****

Mark and Patrick were summoned to a meeting with their captain. When they walked into his office they saw a smug looking Detective Shaw standing by his side, clutching a file.

“Captain?”

“Sit down both of you.” Captain Murphy was a man short in stature and graying around the edges, but could still strike fear into the heart of his detectives.

After Mark and Patrick sat, he took the file Shaw’s was holding and slid it across the desk.

“Detective Shaw has put together some interesting information on the Toni Bianchi case. A whole catalogue of procedural protocols that were not followed and there’s a very interesting photo towards the back of the file. What makes it even more interesting to me is that the Attorney General finds it interesting. So could you explain these deviations from procedure?”

Mark watched his friend Sergeant Patrick, flick through the thick folder. When Patrick got to the picture, his friend saw tension suddenly take hold of his body. After a few seconds he handed it to Mark, who looked on astonished at the image, apparently taken through the cabin bedroom window. It showed Dylan holding the gun and Toni’s head lolled to the side. It hit Mark right in the gut.’ Did you lie to me Dylan? Wait, we never asked her point blank.’

“Can this picture be authenticated?” asked Patrick.

“It’s being sent to the lab now, but apart from the photo, tell me how you explain these points that detective Shaw has catalogued?”

“Captain, when we entered the crime scene, Jackson Hunter was holding the gun; Dylan was nowhere near the body. Hunter’s testimony fitted what we saw.”

Shaw, who had been surprisingly quiet until now, added, “We have procedure for a reason Detectives, you saw what you wanted to see because Morgan is your friend. Some simple tests could have settled this one way or another. Those tests will never be able to be taken now. Even a criminal deserves the right to be taken into custody and tried by a court, if they are subdued. I believe Toni Bianchi was unarmed when she was shot.”

“Be careful who you try and lecture Detective!” Patrick said, emphasizing his superior rank.

Captain Murphy intervened, “Shaw, could you give us a minute?”

Once the detective left, Captain Murphy walked round and sat on the edge of his desk.

“Who does this fucking guy think he is Captain? Going over, not only my head, but yours. Skulking around the Attorney General’s office? That’s not how it’s done.” Patrick was furious, but at the same time worried about what Dylan hadn’t told them.

“I know Kenny, and between you and me, I understand why you did what you did. You took the testimony of a respected army officer and trusted your eyes. You were also distressed about your friends and to be honest, after seeing the pictures of what Bianchi did to that young woman? I wouldn’t have blamed Morgan for putting a bullet in her head. Frankly I don’t care if she has, but Shaw has gone above all our heads and now we have to deal with it. I’m sorry but we have to bring Morgan in.”

Mark and Patrick looked at each in recognition. How could they take their friend away?

****

“Dyl, you’re going to wear a hole in the floor.”

“I can’t help it. I’m going out of my mind here!”

After her day of training, Dylan’s studio driver had brought her home, through the throng of the press encamped at the gates of their estate, and she had hobbled into the house. Emily had been alarmed at the state Dylan had come home in. Not only lots of bumps and bruises from the ice that she spent most of the day on, but the stress of the unfolding media storm.

They were now waiting on Jackson’s call. She had used her contacts at the FBI to dig into the undisclosed email address that these rumors had originated from, and now she could only wait on the information coming back to her.

“Honey, pacing is not going to make things better.” Dylan walked over and took Emily in her arms.

“Emmie, I could go to jail. I could miss out on you, Molly, our new baby.” She placed her hand over wife’s middle.

Emily placed her hand on her partner’s cheek. “It won’t come to that Dyl, even if they find out its true. They will understand.”

“What? Understand that I shot an unarmed prisoner?” Dylan said angrily. She broke away from Emily and stomped out of the kitchen toward the living room. She watched Molly play with her dog outside the French windows.

I won’t get to watch her grow up. I won’t see my new baby being born. What have I done?

She felt Emily’s arms snake round her waist and her wife’s head rest on her back.

“I know your scared honey, but we’ll face whatever comes. You’ve got a great lawyer.”

Dylan turned and held Emily, “I’m sorry I shouted baby. I am scared, you’re right.”

“Come back to the kitchen, I want you to put some ice on that bruised hip.”

“Okay.”

Emily went to get an ice pack from the freezer and told Dylan to sit on the kitchen stool and ice her hip. “You think I’m getting too old for this?”

“No, it’s just something you’re not good at. You can’t be good at everything.” Emily began to massage her partner’s rock hard shoulders.

“I thought I was.” Dylan grumbled. “Lynn called me on my way back; she says the network is on her back for answers. She’s trying to hold them at bay till we know more.”

Emily rested her chin on Dylan’s shoulder, “What did your lawyer say when he called?”

“He wanted to draft some kind of statement. I told him to wait on Jackson calling back, that she was working on wherever this rumor came from.”

Dylan’s iPhone rang and she grabbed it from the kitchen counter “Morgan?”

“It’s Hunter. I have something. Can you get your lawyer to meet me at the police station?”

“What? Tell me what you’ve found.”

“I can’t talk Dylan. I need to run, I don’t have much time. Please, just trust me. Call your lawyer okay?”

“Okay. Let me know as soon as you can. This is tearing us both up.”

Dylan ended the call and looked at Emily, concern etched across her face. “What did Jackson say?”

“She’s got something, wants to meet my lawyer at the police station. Emmie?” Dylan took her wife’s hand and held it against her heart.

“Emmie? If they come for me, don’t let Molly see them taking me away. Please?”

Emily’s eyes filled with tears as she clung to Dylan tightly. “I won’t honey. I won’t.”

Toni, I hope you rot in hell for the pain you’ve caused my family!

****

Jackson grabbed her suit jacket and briefcase and hurried towards her apartment door. She had been against the clock, ever since she received the information she needed from her friends at the FBI. She forwarded all the information onto Dylan’s lawyer and was now on her way to meet him. They didn’t have long as she heard that Dylan would be brought in for questioning anytime now.

Jackson opened her front door and found her girlfriend standing there looking highly unamused. “What the hell is going on Jack?” Rosie pushed by her partner into the living room.

“Rosie, I can’t stop. I’m in a hurry.”

“Oh no you don’t. I’ve been calling you all day and could never get hold of you.” Rosie prodded her in the chest. “I’ve been watching the news since this first thing this morning, and I’ve been sent things like this on Twitter. Care to explain?”

Rosie held up the photo of Dylan holding the gun at the cabin on her cell. Jackson didn’t know what to say. “Have you been lying to me? You were there; you told me you shot Toni!”

Not knowing how to answer the question without either to lying to her girlfriend or breaking her oath with Dylan, Jackson resorted to her former dismissive attitude towards Rosie.

“Look, I don’t have time for this. I’m supposed to be meeting Dylan’s lawyer in fifteen minutes. I do not need to account for my whereabouts to you twenty four hours a day!”

Rosie felt like she had been slapped. Silent tears began to tumble from her eyes. She turned on her heel and ran from the apartment.

“Fuck!” Jackson smashed her fist against the wall. How am I ever going to fix this!

She had no choice but to grab her things and get going.

****

Detective’s Kenny and Lawson approached the door of the person they did not expect to be visiting today. Patrick turned to Mark and said, “Are you ready for this?”

Mark’s simply nodded, his face set in grim determination.

Patrick rang the bell and when the door was opened, they looked on the rather unkempt figure of Jimmy Daniel’s, standing in his boxers and dressing gown.

“Mr. Daniels? Detective’s Lawson and Kenny.” The pair held up their badges.

“Yeah? What’s this about?”

“We would like you to come down to the station and explain why these defamatory emails and photograph came from an IP address registered to you.”

“What? What the fuck is an IP address?”

Patrick gave him a smug smile, “I think you should have found that out before starting a campaign to blacken the name of a much loved celebrity; and friend of ours.”

“But it wasn’t me; it was Sammy who sent them, a kid who did some work for me in the past. I don’t even know anything about computers!”

“I’m sorry Mr. Daniels, they were sent from your IP, so it’s your responsibility. I suggest you get dressed.”

Fucking kid! He knew this would fall on me!

****

A nervous Emily opened the front door to find a Jackson and Dylan’s lawyer, Cosmo Russo.

“Come in please, Dylan is in her office.” Emily led the pair through the entrance hall and into Dylan’s state of the art office. Soon after they moved in she had the production companies IT company, kit out her office, so she could virtually run the company from home.

When Emily opened the door, Dylan stood looking out of the office window. She had picked this large room because of the great views it afforded of the garden.

Even though Dylan’s back was to her, Emily could read the tension and strain in her partner.

“Dylan? Jackson and Cosmo are here.”

“Thanks, Emmie.”

Not being able to leave Molly alone, she had no choice but to leave the three to things in private.

Dylan sat behind her desk, and indicated to her guests to sit, “So? Should I expect the cops any minute or what?”

Cosmo looked at Jackson who gave him the nod to explain the position.

“This is the information Jackson got hold of.” The tall, sharp suited man handed over a file to Dylan.

As she looked through the pages, he went onto explain “As you can see, Jackson’s informants were able to trace back the defamatory emails, and subsequent photograph back to one Jimmy Daniel’s, and also hack into the email account.”

Dylan’s head shot up at the mention of that man’s name. “We believe he had someone helping him, as he doesn’t seem the most technological of people, but whoever it was made sure to only implicate Jimmy. They started small, sending the information out to one or two people in the gay community, some gay hate groups, and people who were known to be critical of you online in blogs, and Facebook articles. You can see the list in the file.”

Dylan scanned some of the names, a few well known in the industry, but the one that stuck out to her most was Bry Edwards. Fucking bitch! She knew about this that night at the charity event!

“As you can see the information was disseminated from there.”

At this point Jackson joined in, “If you look down the list there you’ll also see another name you’ll be familiar with, Detective Shaw. We believe Shaw knew something of this, and was working with Daniels.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me.” said Dylan, “He just wouldn’t let it go, that night at the hospital.”

Cosmo stroked his goatee beard, “Hmm, we’ll he’ll have some serious questions to answer now.”

“So what happens now?” Dylan asked.

“Jackson and I took this information to the police. We spoke to your friend Detectives Kenny and Lawson, and their captain.”

“We caught them just in time Dylan, they were about to leave to haul you in for questioning. I know it was hurting them, given your friendship.” Dylan nodded in understanding to Jackson.

“Once we explained the evidence we had, and I had spoken to the DA with the Captain, and ensured they understood the gravity of the evidence and the possible police collusion, it was decided to bring Daniel’s in for questioning. His computer and the photograph are being analyzed at the lab as we speak. We expect them to find the photo is an elaborate hoax, going by the emails going back and forth, to some shady counterfeit people in the underworld.” Cosmo said proudly.

Dylan was shocked. She had been gearing herself up for what was to come all day, and now, thanks to Jackson’s determination and connections, she might yet she her kids grow up.

“Um . . .thank you so much both of you, I don’t . . .”

Jackson saw her friend needed some space. “Cosmo is there anything else Dylan needs to do? I think she could use some time alone.”

“Oh sure; no problem.” The lawyer stood and closed his briefcase; “I’ll draft a press statement for you Dylan, and email it to you for your approval.”

Dylan stood and shook Cosmo’s hand. “Thank you so much. You’ve done a great job.”

“That’s what you pay me the big bucks for, Dylan. I’ll be in touch.”

After he left the office, Dylan collapsed down to her chair and held her face in her hands “Jackson, I can’t believe this. Is it really over?”

Jackson stood and poured them both a drink; “Yes it’s over Dylan. You can go on with your life now; you’ve been given a second chance. Just be happy okay?”

Dylan stood and held her hand to Jackson, when she took it; she pulled her friend into her for a hug. “You didn’t have to do all this. You’ve saved me twice.”

“It’s my job. You all mean a lot to me, and you shouldn’t be punished for what happened. I would have done the same. Like I said, I’ll take it to my grave, no matter what that means.” Jackson sighed.

“What is it buddy, has it caused you problems already?”

“It’s Rosie. She thinks I lied to her. She came over today when I was rushing to meet Cosmo at the station. She questioned me about what it was all about, and why I wouldn’t tell her what I was doing. I couldn’t tell her, so I said I didn’t need to account for my whereabouts to her twenty four hours a day. I spoke to her like she was some casual date. I could kick myself. She stormed off crying. I feel like a complete jack ass.”

“Why didn’t you explain to her?” They both sat back down at the desk.

“I gave you my word. I would tell no one as long as I lived.”

Dylan gave her an astonished look “You would jeopardize the relationship with the woman you love, because of this?”

Jackson stared into her drink, “I gave you my word; I swore to you I would say nothing. My word of honor means everything to me.”

“Jackson, you can’t do this. You have to tell her.”

“I can’t. Your liberty is at stake. You know how Rosie is? She might not understand why you did it.”

Dylan stood and walked round to the front of the desk. “Jackson, I can’t have this on my conscience. Your happiness is just as important as mine. Tell her, and help her understand. Rosie is our friend and I hope she will understand, but if she doesn’t then I’m prepared to live with the consequences.”

“Dylan, I don’t think it’s a good idea, we’ve worked hard to clear your name . . .”

“Do you love her?”

Jackson gave a small smile, thinking of her feisty girlfriend “She is the love of my life. I know in my heart that she will be the only woman I will ever love. I wanted to marry her one day.”

“Then no, Jackson, I can’t have you do that. Go tell her and I’ll go and tell Emily this new information.”

Jackson stood and followed Dylan to the door. “You’re sure?”

Dylan nodded, “I’m sure, and take flowers. They always make things a bit easier.”

Jackson nodded. “I’ll call you okay?”

Dylan slapped Jackson on the shoulder. “Sure. Whatever happens, happens, okay buddy? I couldn’t live my life as a free woman, knowing I’d fucked this up for you. Go.”

As Dylan watched her go, Emily joined her at her side. “Tell me everything honey? Are we going to be okay?”

Dylan put her arm round her wife and guided her toward the giggles and barks of Molly and Wolfie.

“Let’s go keep an eye of Molly and I’ll tell you.”

****

It was now early evening, and Jackson had stopped off at Rosie’s apartment only to be told by Walt, that she had headed down to O’Reilly’s, ‘acting like a bear with a sore head’, as he put it.

Clutching her flowers, Jackson entered the busy night spot and made her way up to the bar. She asked one of the servers she recognized if Rosie was in. “Hey Jackson, she’s just out back in the manager’s office. He had some more money that was handed in for the charity night.”

“Okay thanks, I’ll just wait then.”

Jackson put her flowers down on the bar, and her attention was then brought to a woman walking towards her. Although she didn’t remember her name, she recognized her as the woman she had seen dancing with Rosie, the first time Jackson had come to O’Reilly’s.

“Jackson Hunter! Haven’t you done enough damage?”

“What are you talking about?”

Jess, was a good bit shorter than Jackson, but still tried to appear intimidating by coming to stand inches from her opponent. “You’ve hurt her, and flowers aren’t going to fix it. She’s been crying on my shoulder ever since.”

Jackson noted the propriety tone in Jess’s voice, and didn’t like it one bit.

She glared down at Jess. “You know nothing about us. Just stay away from my girlfriend. ”

“No, I won’t. You don’t scare me. You’re no good for Rosie. She needs someone her own age, someone who believes in the same things she does.”

“And I suppose you think that’s you?”

“I’ll make sure it is. Before you came along and filled her head with all your butch crap, we were getting along just fine.”

“Listen, whatever goes on between my girlfriend and I is none of your business. We have only had a misunderstanding, and it will be fixed, so I better not see you continue to make a play for her, because she is mine is that clear to you?”

“She’s yours? What is she a chair? Just another part of your household furniture? You really are from a different time.”

“I don’t mean it like that. Rosie knows what I mean.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’ve convinced her of what you mean. You’ve manipulated her into someone her friends don’t even recognize, not for long though, you’ve already shown your true colors.”

Jackson’s face was red with rage; it was all she could do to stop herself punching this woman.

“Rosie being mine means I look after her and love her. I’m just as much hers.”

“Oh yeah? I’ve checked you out on the internet Hunter. You gonna look after her like you did your sister?”

****

Rosie excited the back office to see Jess being held in an arm lock and pushed down over the bar shouting, “Let me go you butch freak!”

Jackson shouted into her ear. “You stay away! Do you hear me?”

Rosie ran over as quickly as possible, “Jackson! What the hell are you doing? Let her go!”

Jess cried out in pain as Jackson pushed her arm further up her back, “Now, Jackson! Let her go now!”

Rosie’s words finally got through to her partner and she released her tight grip on Jess.

Jackson came up panting, still raging with anger. “What was this about? Well? Tell me?”

To make it look even worse, Jess had burst her lip open, when she was smashed onto the bar.

“I told her to leave you alone Rosie, but she said you were hers and attacked me!” Jess accused.

Rosie lifted an eyebrow toward Jackson. “Is this true Jack?”

Jackson straightened her suit jacket and tie. “You believe what you want, and you can let your little friend console you. Oh, I brought these for you.” Jackson lifted up the bouquet of roses and then let them fall back down. Then added. “They look a bit pointless now.”

Rosie watched her love walk away from her and out of the bar.

“Jess what happened?”

“Just like I told you; I’m going to get this cleaned up in the bathroom. Maybe you’ll believe you’re better off without her now.”

Jess left to clean up and Rosie went to the bar to pick up her flowers. There was a card attached that read. Rose’s for my Rosie. I love you with everything I am. Give me the chance to explain about today?

Rosie felt tears come to her eyes. She looked up at her former work friend behind the bar. “Jess was being a jealous idiot. She’s determined she wants you Rosie. Jackson seemed to hold it together until Jess mentioned something about her sister, and then she snapped.”

Jess mentioned Sarah? No wonder Jack was about to beat the shit out her!’

Rosie grabbed her purse and flowers and set off to find Jackson.

****

“Do you think I did the right thing Emmie?” Dylan and Emily were talking in the living room while Molly watched a movie.

Dylan stroked the soft head of Wolfie, who after realizing Molly would no longer be playing lay beside his master, seeking her attention.

“Yes. Jackson can’t ruin her chance at love for our sake. We just have to hope she sees it the way we do.”

“What do you think baby, you’re her best friend.”

Emily thought for a minute then said. “Maybe when we first met, she might have had a different opinion, but she’s changed a lot since then and had her horizons expanded. Rosie knows us from the inside, she knows what Toni did in graphic detail, I can only pray she will keep it to herself.”

“Am I evil, Emmie? Shooting someone like that? I don’t feel any guilt you see. I know I’m supposed to, but I don’t.”

Emily looked in Dylan’s eyes and saw the uncertainty there. “No, honey. You could never be evil. Right up until the end, you were prepared to let the police take her, after all she’d done, but there’s only so much hurt one person can see come to their family. Toni was a monster, and I’m glad she’s gone.”

Dylan wrapped out her arm around Emily, and hugged her to her side. “Let’s hope Rosie understands that.”

Episode 8

Jackson sat on her couch looking at the picture of Sarah and her in uniform. “Being in love is hard munchkin. It’s just my luck isn’t it? I get this great girl and I have to go and fuck it up because I can’t tell her the truth. I know I won’t love another woman again, this it for me. If I can’t have Rosie, then I don’t want anyone.”

“If that’s true, then you need to trust me with the truth.”

Jackson jumped and reached for the gun in her arm holster, “Hey don’t shoot soldier boy! It’s just me!”

Jackson let out a breath as she lowered her weapon, “Don’t ever sneak up on me. How did you get in any way without me noticing?”

Rosie shook a key chain in front of her, “You gave me keys, remember? And I wasn’t sneaking in any way. I just walked in normally.”

Jackson had given her the keys only the week before, hoping to encourage her girlfriend to spend more and more time there.

“I’m sorry. It’s just my training kicking in. You really have to give me some warning that you’re there.”

“Well, if that’s the reception I get then I’ll be sure and knock next time. I want to talk.”

Jackson sat back down and said grumpily, “Oh? I thought you were being comforted by your bestest, good friend Jess?”

Rosie rolled her eyes at that comment and came to sit beside her partner, putting the flowers she brought down on the coffee table.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Why would you listen to anything Jess tells you? She has always had a thing for me and she’s been jealous since I got together with you. I have nothing to hide, I was upset after today and I didn’t want my daddy to see it, so after checking in with him, I went down to the bar to think. Jess saw me crying and tried to comfort me, but when she started talking about you, I warned her I wasn’t interested and headed out back to speak to the manager. You really hurt me today, Jack.”

Jackson nodded and looked down at her shoes “I’m so sorry I spoke to you like that, it was just a defense mechanism because I couldn’t tell you what was happening. I don’t ever want to lie to you darlin’.”

“So, can you tell me now?”

Jackson reached out and took Rosie’s hand Where do I start?

“The reason I couldn’t tell you earlier is because I gave Dylan my word that I would take what happened in that cabin to my grave.”

Rosie looked worried. “Why? Is it that bad? Can you tell me?”

“I can now. Dylan told me that my trust and relationship with you were worth more than keeping my silence. I am going to tell you what happened, everything. Then, it’s up to you whether you can live keeping this knowledge a secret or if you feel you have to tell someone.”

Jackson then proceeded to tell her everything. The journey to the cabin, the state they found Emily in, and finally Toni’s sick taunts to Dylan. Rosie was silent and stoney faced through it all.

“She just wouldn’t stop goading her, telling Dylan she had assaulted Emily when she was pregnant with Molly, and making Dylan feel guilty for not being there. She told Dylan how she had relived that there at the cabin. Toni boasted that we didn’t get there in time, and that she had raped Emily three times before we got there. I kept trying to get Dylan to put down the gun, but Toni wouldn’t stop, going over in intimate detail how she violated Emily. Even after all that, I got Dylan to lower the gun, she still would have let the police handle it, but Toni pushed her over the edge.”

Jackson described the last vile gesture Toni had made to try and get inside Dylan’s head.

“The next thing I knew the gun had gone off, Toni was dead and I knew the cops were going to pile into the room any minute. I took the decision to take the blame and protect Dylan and Emily, to protect my friends.”

There was complete silence in the apartment, as Jackson finished her tale.

“Well, that’s it . . .say something.”

“I need a drink.”

“Um . . .okay.” Jackson went to the kitchen and came back with two glasses and a bottle of wine. She poured them both a large glass, and Rosie gulped it down quickly.

“Another?”

Rosie nodded.

This time she took a couple of sips and then simply held the glass, as if it was somehow a comfort, as she thought on what she’d been told.

“Say something darlin’, please?”

Rosie turned and looked at her partner seriously “Do you love me Jackson? I mean really love me? Like you said to Sarah when I came in?”

Jackson moved closer to her girlfriend and clasped her hand, “That, and more. You’re the air that I breathe, hippy girl. I love you more than I thought it was possible to love someone. You bring light to my formerly black and grey world. I would die for you.”

Jackson saw tears start to fall from her girlfriend’s eyes “Would you kill for me? What would you have done if you had found me like that?”

The tension between the two lovers was crackling and Jackson was genuinely scared as to what Rosie’s verdict would be, “You want the truth? The honest to God truth?”

The young woman nodded her head.

“When I burst into the room, and had seen what condition you were in, I would have shot her in the arm to pacify her and get the knife away from you. Then when I knew you were safe, I would have immediately shot a second bullet to her head. No one would get to walk away from doing that to you.”

After a few seconds, Rosie brought her lips inches from her partner’s and whispered, “I’ll help you to keep your promise to Dylan. Kiss me.”

Their lips were ravenous for each other. The stress and tension of dealing with Dylan’s situation, coupled with her argument with Rosie and fighting with Jess, made Jackson hungry for her girlfriend. They bickered nearly every day, that was nothing unusual, but this time Jackson had real fear that she had lost Rosie.

The sound of popping buttons could be heard as Jackson roughly ripped open her girlfriend’s blouse, then she pushed Rosie’s bra over her breasts, in order to get to them more quickly.

Jackson latched onto her girlfriend’s breasts, sucking and biting her sensitive nipples.

“Oh Jack! Yes!”

Encouraged that Rosie was enjoying her passion, Jackson pulled open her girlfriends jeans unceremoniously and found the wetness she sought.

“I thought I’d lost you darlin’. I love you.”

“You won’t ever lose me. I love you Jack.” Rosie pulled Jackson’s lips to hers, and moaned through her kiss, “Please, go inside. I need you.”

Jackson looked down in wonder at her beautiful girlfriend who had her eyes closed; lips parted and gave her all she desired.

****

They pair of lovers lay spooned together on the couch, each wanting to be as close as they could to the other.

“Are you sure you understand the situation with Dylan?”

“If you had asked me before I fell in love with you, I wouldn’t have understood. I wouldn’t have understood the drive to take care of your partner, and the lengths you could be driven to for that love. I love our friends, and what Toni did to Em was . . .well, there are no words are there? If I didn’t know Dylan was such a good person, then I might feel different, but she is and wouldn’t do something like that except under exceptional circumstances.”

Jackson kissed the back of Rosie’s head, and squeezed her tighter. “Thank you for understanding darlin’; you are an extraordinary young woman.”

Rosie turned in Jackson’s arms so they were nose to nose. “I love you Jack. I’m sorry if Jess upset you. She’s always had a crush on me, we only went on a dates a couple of times but I didn’t realize how interested she was in me. I haven’t encouraged her, honestly.”

“I know you wouldn’t encourage her, she was just set on getting rid of me, and then she had to mention Sarah . . .I just lost it. It’s been a really stressful day.”

“I know lover, why don’t I call Daddy and let him know I’m staying here tonight? You can tell me how you got on with Paulie, checking out the office spaces.”

They both sat up and Rosie began to gather up her clothes. “Okay darlin’, I better call Dylan and Emily and let her know that everything’s okay. They were both really tense about what your reaction would be.”

Jackson picked up her cell phone.

“Sure. Tell Dylan we love her and are always here to support them both.”

Jackson looked at her as if she was insane. “I’m not calling Dylan and telling her I love her. That would just be weird. Support yes, love . . .well she’ll just know that without me saying it.”

Rosie sighed and took the phone from her partner, “I’ll do it. You know sometimes I think you’ve got far too much testosterone running through those veins of yours! It is not weird to tell your friend you love them.”

Jackson stretched out her muscular frame and yawned, “It is if it’s a buddy type of friend.”

Rosie shook her head in resignation.

****

For the next couple of days, the Morgan family tried to keep as low a profile as possible. Cosmo had released an excellent statement directing the press toward Jimmy Daniels continued obsession and hatred against Dylan. The media were now hounding Jimmy and digging all sorts of shady dealings he had been a part of in the past. After being hauled in for questioning, a furious Jimmy was let go pending a decision by the DA on whether a prosecution would be appropriate. In the end the DA advised Dylan’s lawyer they would get a better result, pursuing Daniels through the civil court. Dylan instructed Cosmo to start proceedings against Daniel’s and take him for every penny he had.

Dylan was back at work and starting to feel as if she might finally be able to relax into life.

At the moment, the show’s guest for the week, Sandy Williams and Dylan were rehearsing for Friday’s show.

“Okay guys. Let’s try it from the top. Sandy, that was great. Next time . . .”

Lynn walked over the set and interrupted Dylan. “Dylan, I’m sorry to bother you, but the network wants a decision on the interview.”

The network had been pushing Dylan to do a tell-all TV interview about the Jimmy Daniels saga; they thought Dylan needed to show that she had nothing to hide. Dylan had been reluctant obviously not wanting to be asked pointed questions on what happened at the cabin, but she understood the networks feeling on the matter.

“Can you give me a minute Sandy?”

“Sure, I’ll grab a drink.”

When she was alone with Lynn, Dylan said. “I’ve thought about it, and I will do it. The network can release a statement that I will do the interview, but I’ll do it to coincide with the announcement about the baby. That way the interview will be more focused on my life now rather than what happened when Emily was kidnapped. I will answer questions about Daniels and his twisted relationship with me, but I will not talk about Emily’s kidnapping. What happened to her is too personal.”

Lynn nodded and wrote down the instructions. “Okay, that sounds good. So pencil it in for when Emily is two months?”

“Yeah. I’m sure the news network will be delighted with that exclusive.”

“I’m sure, oh and your lawyer called. Jimmy Daniels has been served.” Lynn said with a satisfied smile.

“Excellent. Things are looking brighter then. I better get back Lynn.”

****

When Dylan got home that afternoon, the house was unusually quiet. She left her briefcase in the entrance hall, and called out as she walked through to the kitchen. “Emmie? Molls? Where are you?”

The kitchen was filled with the aroma of whatever delicious dinner Emily had cooking in the oven.

“Mmm. Gotta have a sneaky taste of that!” She took a spoon from the drawer, and made her way to the stove. As she bent down, she saw a post- it note stuck to the oven door.

Don’t even think about it TV star! I’ll know if there’s some missing!

“But I’m hungry!” Dylan answered back, as if Emily could hear her.

She stomped off to the cupboard where they kept the chips, candy, popcorn and everything tasty and unhealthy. When she opened it up, she was faced with another note. Uh uh TV star! No snacks before dinner! Go open the fridge . . .

“What the hell? That’s not fair! Can’t even eat anything in my own house.” Dylan grumbled.

Her moody face was soon smiling when she opened the large refrigerator door, and saw a beer bottle with a note saying, For Papa Smurf – Meet us down on the beach walkway . . .

Dylan chuckled. She should have realized where her girls would be. Since moving to the new house, they had found it nearly impossible to keep Molly from playing on the beach. The little girl was thrilled to have her own piece of beach in her back yard, and even though it was cold, she wanted to play there with Wolfie as much as she could. Because of the water, she was not allowed to go down by herself, so more often than not Dylan took her down, so that Emily didn’t need to get cold. Today was a bright sunny day, and although still cold, Emily must have been happy to go down to the beach with Molly.

Dylan grabbed her beer and made her way out of the back door and down the long wooden walkway that connected the house to the beach. At the end of the walkway she spotted Emily sitting watching their daughter play.

“Hey baby girl.” Dylan sat down on the end of the walkway beside her wife.

“Dyl, your home!” Emily accepted a kiss from her partner. “You got my notes then?”

“Uh huh; I’m really hungry you know.” She said grumpily.

“Aww, poor goofy!” Emily leant into Dylan and snuggled into her partner’s side.

“It’s too cold for you and the baby out here. You go in and I’ll play with Molls for a bit.”

“In a few minutes. I just want a hug first.”

They watched Molly throw a ball for Wolfie, who ran back and forth having the time of his life.

“Next time tell Molly to wait until I’m back from work, you need to be careful.”

“Don’t fuss TV star. I knew you would be back soon.”

Dylan took a long drink from her beer bottle and placed it down. “How is the baby today?”

“Baby’s doing good. It’s Mama that’s not doing so good with the sickness.”

Dylan placed a hand on her wife’s stomach, trying to connect with the baby growing inside.

“I can’t wait to feel baby move. Did Molly move a lot?”

Emily laughed. “Oh yes. Just look at her now.” Dylan looked to her daughter, who was a little further away. Molly hadn’t spotted her Mom yet, as she was so engrossed in chasing her dog.

“She was just as active when I was pregnant. I thought at some points, I had a jumping bean in there, and not a baby.”

Dylan laughed and kissed her wife’s head. “We’ll, when that happens with this one, I’m going to be permanently attached to your stomach.”

Suddenly Wolfie spotted its master and came bounding up to her for attention, Molly following close behind. “Wolfie down.” The dog sat and waited patiently for attention from its alpha.

“Good boy, Wolfie.” The dog lapped up the attention when Dylan scratched behind its ear.

“Mom! Mom! You home!” Molly gave her Mom a big hug. “You come play pease?”

“Just give me a few minutes to speak to your Mama. You and Wolfie get started and I’ll catch you up okay?”

“Otay Mom.”

After they both toddled off, Emily let out a huge contented sigh. “It’s just beautiful here isn’t it, Dyl? I could have never imagined having this on my doorstep. Molly thinks she’s in heaven having all this as her back yard and her play equipment hasn’t even been put up yet.”

Dylan looked up and down the private beach, and amazing view they had to wake up to every morning and had to agree. “Hmm. Life is good mama smurf.”

“It sure is goofy. I just love to meditate here in this spot, listening to the wave’s crash, and the birds sing. Hmm. I can’t wait till the summer; it’ll be even more fun.”

Emily saw a strange look come across her partners face as she seemed to get lost in her thoughts.

Dylan came to the end of the beach walkway and shouted, “Emmie? Are you down here I’m home early baby girl.”

“Over here TV star!” Dylan gulped hard when she spotted her wife lying on a towel sunbathing, wearing the tiniest of bikinis. Emily looked radiant, well into her pregnancy she seemed to have a healthy, vibrant glow surrounding her. Dylan was struck dumb by her beauty and found her legs moving automatically when Emily beckoned her over by crooking her finger.

As Dylan got closer she saw Emily lifting up a bottle of Suntan lotion. “Molly’s staying with your Mom and dad tonight, so I suggest you get rubbing Morgan!”

Emily heard Dylan mumble, “Yeah baby, that’s what I’m talking about.”

“Dylan? Dylan? Are you listening to me?”

“Wh . . .what? Did you say something Emmie?”

“Really? Is that seriously the only thing that springs to mind when I mention summer?”

Dylan gave her wife an incredulous look, “How do you even know what I was thinking that?”

“I know. It’s written all over your face. Don’t you know by now that your wife knows all and sees all?”

“So I’m finding out.” Dylan mumbled.

Emily gave her partner a quick kiss on the cheek. “Why don’t you play with Molls for half an hour, while I finish up dinner?”

“Yeah, go get my food woman! I’m starving!” Dylan was up and running towards her daughter, before Emily could get her for that comment.

“Dylan Morgan! Just remember, a woman never forgets anything. It’s logged up here.” Emily pointed to her head. “And I’ll punish you when you least expect it.”

Dylan laughed as she lifted up her daughter and shouted. “Less talk, more cooking woman. Me and Molls are hungry!”

Never missing a beat Emily shouted back. “You know Rosie’s been telling me a lot about this vegetarian thing. It’s sounding like a great idea right about now!”

Dylan gulped and watched Emily walk away with a smug smile on her face. “Uh oh!”

“Ou in twuble mom?” Molly asked.

“I’m always in trouble smurf. Come on. Let’s play while we can!”

****

Emily watched with amusement as Dylan stripped every last piece of meat from the chicken drumstick she was devouring.

“Did you like that or something goofy?”

Emily had made roast chicken, mashed potatoes; green beans, corn and coleslaw, and Dylan had practically inhaled her food.

She dropped what was left of the drumstick and licked her fingers. “Oh man! That was amazing. Is there anymore?” Dylan eyed the chicken left on Emily’s plate.

Molly and Emily giggled. “Ou a geedy guts Mom!”

“Yes, you’ve already had two helpings Dyl.”

“Hey. I use a lot of calories you know.” Dylan flexed her arm and pointed at her bicep. “You don’t get these by eating salads you know!”

Dylan had been in rare form tonight, as they enjoyed a quiet family dinner at the kitchen table. The tension of the police and Jimmy Daniels was starting to leave her and she seemed to be relaxing a whole lot more.

“Are you going to eat your food?” Dylan asked in a hopeful voice.

“What do you think Molls? Should I share my food?”

Dylan mouthed to her daughter, Say yes Smurf! Molly giggled and nodded her head.

“Okay here you go, save room for cherry pie though.”

“Oh wow. You spoil me Emmie. I don’t know how you make the chicken taste this good.”

“Mama’s secret recipe. I can make lots of things taste good TV star.” Emily gave her a wink.

Dylan started to choke on her mouthful of chicken. “Emmie! Don’t do that to me.”

Molly quite oblivious to the adult undertones to the conversation lifted her plate and said. “Look Mom! I finish all my ticken. I get big muscles like ou!” The little girl flexed her arm copying her Mom.

“Good girl, smurf!” Dylan gave her daughter a high five.

When Dylan was finally finished with her food, Emily cleared their plates and started to serve up the pie.

“Look Molly, a ship!” Dylan pointed out of the kitchen window and toward the horizon.

“Tool! Mama? Mom say we get a boat to play in.”

Emily put cherry pie and ice cream in front of her family. “Oh she did, did she?”

“Yeah, she say I can take the new baby out to see the fishes!”

Emily gave Dylan a look, “We’ll, not until it’s a bit older, but I thought it would be really fun for the kids when their growing up.”

Emily licked the ice cream from her spoon. “Hmm. Why do I sometimes feel like I’ll have three kids when this one is born?”

“Funny girl! So what did you get done in the house today?”

“Molly, don’t feed Wolfie from the table. Um, we picked some fabric for the drapes and looked at some new furniture. Rosie brought over these fabulous design catalogues. Do you want to check, see if you like what I’ve picked out?”

Dylan looked up at her as if she was crazy. She couldn’t think of anything worse than picking out furniture and fabric.

“Un . . .no. I told you. You can do what you want to the house, except leave the game room and my gym to me.”

“Don’t worry Dyl, I wouldn’t dare to try and make your precious game room look nice.”

“It won’t look ‘nice’ it’ll look cool!”

“Yeah tool mama!” Molly added.

Emily smiled and shook her head “So? How was work?”

“Great. I really like working with Sandy. She reminds me of myself when I was starting out. I gave her my numbers and told her to call anytime if she needs advice or anything.”

“Mama, I go and play pease?”

“Wait till I clean you up sweetie.” Emily got some baby wipes and began to clean up a messy Molly.

“I don’t know how you manage to get so much on your face Molls! Okay on you go, and don’t let Wolfie up on the couch.”

“Yes Mama.”

Emily sat down to continue eating her pie. “Maybe we could ask her to the barbecue you want to have when the weather gets warmer?”

“That’s a great idea baby!” Dylan had been talking about having a beach party with their friends, ever since they moved in. She had been looking at all kinds of barbecue equipment on the Internet.

“It’ll be great. Great food, the sun, the beach . . .oh we could play beach volleyball!”

Emily loved Dylan’s enthusiasm. When Dylan got an idea in her head she went at it full throttle, with the excitement of a big kid.

“Sounds good, goofy.”

Dylan jumped up to grab another beer. “Of course you won’t be able to play; you and the baby can just sit in the sun with your feet up. We’ll need to make sure there are enough people to make up the teams. I’m having Sandy on my team for sure, I’m going to smash Jackson’s team, and . . .”

Emily put her hand up and said, “Dylan why don’t we wait till nearer the time to worry about the teams okay?”

“I’m getting over excited again aren’t I?”

Emily got up and walked round the table to sit on Dylan’s knee. “Aww! It’s okay goofy. Your enthusiasm is one of the things I love about you.”

Dylan quirked her eyebrow up, “One of the things? What else do you love about me?”

‘Yeah! Here come my kisses!’ Thought Dylan.

“We’ll you know I love these.” Emily kissed her partner’s biceps, “And these . . .” Emily placed a kiss on each of Dylan’s broad shoulders.

“These beautiful blue eyes and . . .” Emily brought her lips inches from Dylan’s and whispered. “these lips, because when you kiss me, I feel like I am utterly adored.”

“That’s because you are. I adore and worship you baby girl.” Dylan kissed her wife passionately, while her hand sneaked under Emily’s top and caressed her stomach. She couldn’t wait till she could feel the bump of her baby growing inside her wife.

Dylan felt Emily entwine her fingers in her dark hair and pull her deeper into the kiss. As they’re passions grew, Dylan couldn’t stop her hand traveling upwards toward one of her own favorite parts of her wife’s anatomy, although she had to fight her usual urge to squeeze her breasts and pinch the nipple. She had learned a hard lesson when they had made love a few nights before, and had received a soft smack to the head for being too rough, on Emily’s newly sensitive breasts. Instead Dylan simply let her hand feel the heft of Emily’s heavy breast.

Emily moaned, “Oh God Dyl, we need to calm down.”

Dylan moved her kisses to Emily’s neck and sucked on one of her wife’s most sensitive spots.

This made Emily gasp but instead of encouraging her partner on, she yanked her hair pulling her away. “Don’t you dare leave a mark goofy! I’ve got my appointment with Rain tomorrow; she’s already made a remark about my growling one having sharp teeth, at my last appointment!”

Dylan laughed and then growled into the nape of Emily’s neck. “Dyl, don’t do that! You know I can’t resist you when you do that. Look!”

Emily held out her arm for her partner to see all the love bumps that had popped up all down her arm.

“I can’t help being irresistible baby girl. If we were on our own, I’d spread you over this kitchen table and . ..”

Emily put a hand over Dylan’s mouth. “Yes, well we’re not. So stop before your daughter comes running through with a hyperactive husky running behind her.”

“Okay! Okay! Just watch out at bedtime though Mrs. Morgan. I’m going to growl and I may bite!” Dylan snapped her teeth a few times.

“We’ll see my growling one!”

****

“Your drivers here honey.”

“I’m coming! I’m coming!” Emily watched Dylan come running down the stairs.

“I can’t believe this. I’m never late.” Dylan been up at five as usual for her run, but when she had returned home had found Emily being very sick in their bathroom. After rubbing her back and holding her wife’s hair, she had lain on the bed just to help comfort Emily. The next thing she knew Emily as waking her up saying she had fifteen minutes before her studio driver arrived.

“I’m sorry honey. It was my fault for being sick.”

Dylan put down her briefcase and took Emily in hers arms. “Don’t be ridiculous baby girl. I think it’s more to do with the fact that I only got a few hours sleep last night, proving to you how loud I can growl.”

Emily rubbed some red marks on her neck. “Yes and bite, naughty TV star!”

“Yeah well, I didn’t hear any complaints? Listen I want you to rest today if you can. Take a nap okay? I don’t want you overtired. It’s not good for you or the baby.”

“I will. Rain couldn’t fit me in till half past five tonight, so I’ll have plenty of time to nap before I go.”

Emily walked toward the table in the entrance hall. She had Dylan’s breakfast ready for her to take with her in the car. “Here’s your protein shake and a muffin. That’s the best I could do at short notice. Make sure you get something healthy sent in for lunch.”

“Yes Mama Smurf.” Dylan took her breakfast and kissed her wife.

“Are you sure Rosie knows the rules?”

Emily had asked Rosie to baby sit Molly while she was at her appointment with Rain. They were expecting a furniture delivery the next morning, and so she had decided to stay over and get an early start on the decorating.

“Yes, she knows Molly isn’t allowed down to the beach by herself or the pool. Stop worrying and get to work. ”

“Okay, okay. Molls I’m going!” Dylan shouted.

The sound of little feet came running out from the kitchen “Wait Mom! I comin‘.”

Dylan scooped her daughter into her arms. “Moms in a big rush this morning, so I can’t have breakfast with you like normal. I need to go and make the show. I want you to be very good and take care of your Mama okay? She gets really tired with the new baby in her tummy.”

“I take care of Mama. I pwomise.”

“Give me a big hug and a kiss then.”

Molly held onto her Mom tight and gave her a kiss. “You wave to me on TV tonight Mom?”

Dylan put Molly down and stroked her dark hair so much like her own. “Sure will smurf. I’ll call you in the afternoon sometime Emmie.”

With one last kiss for her wife, Dylan was off on her long commute to the city.

****

“Emmie sit down and I’ll get you some juice.” Rosie noticed Emily sway and grab the kitchen counter, as she brought a basket of washing from the laundry room.

“Here, give me that.” Rosie took the basket of washing from her friend and put it on the floor.

“Ou otay Mama?” Molly was always worried her Mom would get sick and sad again, since Toni had taken her.

Emily took a seat at the kitchen table and took a few deep breaths. “I’m fine Molls. Just the baby making me feel sick. What are you drawing?” Emily asked, trying to change the subject.

“I draw a picture for the baby. It’s a picture of Olfie.”

“The baby will love that sweetie.”

Rosie brought over a glass of orange juice over for her. “Here you go, Em.”

“Thanks. I forgot how sick I got the first time around. I think that’s Mother Nature’s way of making sure you have more than one!”

“Are you going to be okay to go to your appointment?”

“I’ll be fine. I just need a sit down for a bit.”

Wofie jumped up ran to the window, and began to bark.

“Wow, he’s really fierce when he gets going isn’t he?”

“Yes. He makes me feel really safe when Dylan’s not here. I wonder what’s got him spooked? Wolfie what’s wrong?” Emily asked the dog.

He was looking back and forth between them and outside, giving a low warning growl. He then ran to the kitchen door and scraped at the door wanting out.

“Could you let him out Rosie. Must be an animal or something.

Rosie opened the door and Wolfie ran straight out barking very aggressively.

“I wouldn’t like to break into this house!”

Emily laughed and said. “Yes I know, and he’s still got a lot of growing to do. He was a really thoughtful gift from Dyl, even though he does make a mess. So where’s Jackson off to?”

“Oh some stupid security exhibition, conference thing. She says she needs to buy new equipment for the office. I’m not talking to her anyway.”

Emily sighed, “Why are not talking to her this time?”

Rosie suddenly found the table very interesting. “Um . . .she was interviewing secretaries for the new office, and I looked at the job applications that were sitting on her coffee table. There wasn’t one guy. You would think at least one would be a guy. So I asked if there were no male applicants.”

“And what did she say?”

“She said yes, but none got through to the interview stage. I accused her of wanting another woman to look at all day, not to mention how sexist it is not to have male candidates. She said I was just being jealous.”

“At the risk of making you annoyed with me too, it sounds like you were being a little jealous.”

Rosie gave Emily an exasperated look; “Well, can you really blame me Em? You should have seen the women on the applications. They were like ten foot tall with breasts out to here!”

Emily laughed at Rosie’s exaggerated mime.

“And most of them spoke about six languages! Would you not be jealous if Dylan was around that all day?”

Emily thought back to the only time she had felt jealous, and that had been because of her difficulties after Toni. Apart from that, she hadn’t doubted Dylan’s loyalty and love. She knew in her heart that her partner would die before betraying her, but Rosie was young, and in her first serious relationship. There had to be a lot of insecurities.

It was at this point that Molly looked up from her drawing and copying Rosie’s earlier mine asked, “Mama what’s bests out here?”

“It’s not important sweetie. You keep drawing. Rosie, you’ve got to know Jackson adores you. She wouldn’t ever look at anyone else. She loves you.”

“I know she does, but then she had to leave for this stupid conference thing straight away and it’s just festered in my brain.”

Emily took a sip of her juice. Rosie’s woes were successfully taking her mind off the queasy feeling in her stomach.

“Has she called?”

“Yeah constantly, I wouldn’t answer though, well until last night. She said I was being jealous and unreasonable. I was starting to realize maybe I had over reacted, but then she was like, ‘I suppose I should expect this kind of thing, having a girlfriend so much younger than me.’

Well I just exploded, as you can imagine.”

“Yes I can.” Jackson you are clueless when talking to women. That’s the worst thing you could have said.

“So I shouted, ‘How would you like it if I got a big muscle bound hunk of a lesbian working with me? Do you know what she said?”

Emily shook her head.

“‘Good luck finding a big ole butch who’s an interior designer!’ I was like argh! So angry. I hung up on her and she hasn’t called since.”

“Oh Rosie, I know she shouldn’t have said those things but you have to believe Jackson wouldn’t choose her secretary by the size of . . .” Emily looked down toward her daughter, who was happily engaged in her drawing.

“Um . . .the size of her assets.”

Rosie’s bravado and indignation left her, “I hope so, I just worry she’ll get sick of me and want someone who doesn’t argue so much, and someone her own age.”

“Rosie, she loves you because you are feisty and challenge her. She loves how different you are, and I know she is loyal, not just because she is a good person. But because she’s got that military honor thing going on.”

“I love her so much Em, its scary loving someone so much and trusting them not to hurt you.”

Emily took her young friends hand, “I know, but I’m certain you can trust Jackson. Why don’t you go and call her?”

“She’s busy with other things. I think I’ll just go and carry on with my painting in the dining room, as long as you feel okay now?”

“I’ll be fine Rosie, go ahead.” Once the young woman had left the kitchen, Emily picked up her cell phone and said to Molly. “I think it’s time to do a little meddling sweetie.”

“What’s medding mama?”

****

An hour and a half later, Emily watched with satisfaction as Rosie positively gushed with happiness over the cell phone to Jackson.

A quick call from Emily and Jackson understood her girlfriend’s insecurities. Then about ten minutes ago, a florist van turned up to the gated entrance to the house, carrying a dozen red roses for Rosie.

“I love you Jack. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.”

After she hung up Emily said with a smile, “Well? Everything okay now?”

“She’s just so sweet! I’ll go and put them in water.” Rosie went off clutching her flowers, happy and

Emily shook her head and said to herself, “I don’t know. Those two are adorable and infuriating at the same time.”

Molly came running through from the kitchen. “Mama! Olfie won’t come in. He just barking at the twee’s in the garden!”

Emily took Molly’s hand and walked back to the kitchen. “It’s okay sweetie. It’ll probably be an animal or something he can smell. Wolfie thinks he’s protecting us, he’ll come in soon. Now you be good for Rosie, Mama has to go and get ready for her appointment.”

When Molly went to run outside Emily said, “Stay inside just now Molls. Why don’t you go and watch some TV?”

She didn’t know why, but Wolfie’s behavior was making her uneasy.

****

Rain and Emily sat cross legged on the floor, deep in mediation, the sounds of the beach echoing from the speakers on the wall.

“Now my sweet one. I am now going to count down from ten. When I reach one, I want you to slowly open those pretty eyes.”

Once Rain reached one, Emily opened her eyes with a smile on her face.

“That was wonderful Rain. Thank you.”

The older woman stood and walked over to help Emily up. “On the contrary my sweet one, it is a pleasure to spend this special time with you. If you keep up this practice every day, you will soon see it will change your life.”

“It already is. I feel more content now, than I ever have in my life.”

Rain put her arm round Emily’s shoulder. “I think your growling one may have something to do with that. Married life seems to agree with you. No?”

Emily blushed. “Yes. I am a very happy woman.”

Rain dropped her hand to Emily’s stomach. “I think you have another reason for happiness?”

Emily’s mouth hung open in shock. “How could you know? We’ve only told our family.”

Rain smiled warmly and said, “My sweet one. You cannot hide the truth from Rain. Your aura is glowing!”

“It . . .is?”

“Of course, and do not worry. You and the little one are a picture of health. I know you have been very sick, but this will settle soon.”

Emily shook her head in disbelief. “You could tell all that from my aura? You are extraordinary Rain!”

The therapist took Emily’s hand and kissed it gently, “No, just an old woman who has experienced many things in this world. Your lion must be very pleased with herself?”

“Oh yes, Dylan is over the moon.”

They walked over to the side and Rain helped Emily on with her track jacket.

“I suspect your lion is growling and prowling around you even more than usual, yes?”

Emily giggled at the picture Rain had now put into her head. “Yes, you could say that. She is being very careful with me, but that’s nice. When I was having Molly I didn’t have any support. It was lonely.” And scary. Emily thought.

“Everything happens for a reason my sweet one, and now you appreciate having the support of a partner who is devoted to you. Come, it is getting late and you have a long drive home.”

“Thank you again Rain.” Emily gave the older woman a hug before going out to reception to organize another appointment.

When she approached the desk, Rain’s secretary said, “Mrs. Morgan? Your driver called to say he would pick you up round the back of the building, there are photographers and journalists at the front.”

Emily handed over her credit card and said, “Oh okay. Where do I go?”

“I’ll show you out after I fix up your new appointment Mrs. Morgan.”

Hmm. I wonder why they’ve turned up now? They weren’t there when I came in . . .

****

Dylan had just finished a dress rehearsal with Sandy and was now headed back to her dressing room, to get something to eat and relax for few hours before the show.

When Dylan entered her dressing room, she found Lynn setting out her pre show meal of chicken, brown rice, veg and a large salad, on the table.

“Looks good, Lynn.”

“Yes well, if you like these muscle building meals. Now do you need anything else?”

“Nah. I’m gonna have a nap after I eat and call Emmie, I didn’t sleep too well last night.”

Lynn just rolled her eyes. “Married life going well for you is it? Emily must be a happy woman.”

Dylan gave her a toothy grin, “Of course! I mean who wouldn’t love being married to me?”

Lynn shook her head. “I wonder Dylan. I think you would drive me crazy, and I’d divorce you within two months. I take my hat off to Emily; she must have the patience of a saint!”

Dylan leant over and gave Lynn a big kiss on the cheek, “You love me and you know it woman!”

“For my sins!” Lynn grumbled as she left the dressing room.

Dylan sat and began eating. “Now, my baby girl. What are you up to?” She lifted her iPhone and was a bit disappointed when she saw no text waiting for her.

Emmie always leaves me a message. She’s probably late getting out of her appointment with that freaky old gal.

As much as Dylan was delighted at how Rain helped Emily. There was still something that irked her about the woman. She knew now though from experience, not to vocalize her thoughts about Rain to her wife.

Dylan recalled the day she walked into the kitchen to find Rain’s voice coming from Emily’s iphone. Emily was happily baking muffins while repeating, what Dylan thought, were random sentences. Dylan watched in confusion.

‘I am worthy.’ Rain’s voice echoed around the kitchen, and Emily replied,

“I am worthy.”

‘I feel fulfilled and joyful.’

“I feel fulfilled and joyful!”

‘I am becoming better every day.’

“I am becoming better every day!”

‘I am strong and secure.’

“I am strong and secure!”

‘I have a solid sense of self identity.’

“I have a solid sense of self identity!”

Dylan could not keep it in any longer, and inside she knew she’d be in trouble, but she burst out laughing.

Emily turned round and gave her an ice cold stare that would have stopped even the most hardened criminal in their tracks.

Uh oh! Dylan thought.

“What would be so funny?”

Later Dylan realized she should have seen huge warning signs in front of her eyes. Even Molly, who was eating a snack at the table, looked at her Mom with worried eyes, but somehow Dylan’s brain did not engage before her mouth said, “Oh come on Emmie. You aren’t buying this new age crap are you? I mean what does that even mean? I have a solid sense of self identity.” Then to make matters worse she continued to laugh.

Emily said nothing. She very quietly and calmly stopped the affirmation playlist on her phone, switched off the oven, and walked upstairs to their bedroom and slammed, then locked the door.

“Mama mad at ou mom.”

Dylan looked at her daughter and nodded. “Yeah, cause I am an idiot.”

Why the hell did I say that? Emmie’s doing so well and I have to go and make fun of her. Argh!

“Come on Smurf. Let’s get your jacket on. I think we need to make a trip to the flower store.”

Dylan remembered she had returned with the biggest bunch of flowers she could buy and a box of Emily’s favorite candies. It had taken pleading and then listening to an hour long lecture from her wife, during which she kept her mouth shut and nodded in agreement, to make things right again.

That was a lesson well learned!

Dylan decided to call and leave a message on Emmie’s voicemail, knowing her wife put her cell on silent when she was in with Rain. She was surprised when it went straight to voicemail instead of ringing first.

“Strange, Emmie never turns off her cell.”

****

Dylan called home, knowing Rosie was taking care of Molly.

“Hello?”

“Hey Rosie. It’s Dylan, did Emmie changed her appointment time with Rain? She should be out by now, but I can’t get hold of her.”

“Eh no, not as far as I know. She left when she was supposed to Dylan. Her appointment probably ran on, when you get into meditation, you can lose track of time.”

“Yeah I guess. Can I have a quick word with Molly?”

“Sure. Here you go. ”

Dylan heard shuffling on the other end of the line, then Molly’s little voice. “Hi Mom!”

“Hey little smurf. How’s your day going?”

“Great Mom! Me helping Rosie paint de walls, but Olfie got his his tail in de paint!”

“Uh oh. Well you make sure you get it cleaned up before Mama gets back, or Mama will blame me.”

“Why Mom?”

“Cause everything’s my fault smurflet, especially when it’s to do with Wolfie.”

“Otay Mom. I watch ou tonite. Ou win for me?”

“I’ll do my best, but I’m not too good at the skating Smurf. Remember what Grandpa says about challenges?”

“If ou do best . . .uh.”

Dylan chuckled inwardly as Molly stumbled over the phrase. “As long as you do your best, that’s all anyone can ever ask of you.”

“Yeah, that it Mom. Ou do your best.”

“I will Molls. Can I talk to Rosie again?”

“Yeah. Bye Mom, I luv ou.”

“Love you too Molls.”

Rosie couldn’t help but find the conversation between Mom and daughter adorable. I wonder if Jackson wants any kids . . .

“Hey Rosie, can you ask Emmie to call me if she calls home?”

“Sure will. Good luck for tonight.”

“Thanks, I’ll need it. Bye.”

Dylan ended the call and pushed her food away, her appetite leaving her. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but Dylan felt there was something wrong. She felt it in her gut.

On impulse she picked up her cell and called Emily’s driver.

“Hey Jamie, it’s Dylan.”

“Hi Dylan.”

“Jamie, is Emily out from her appointment yet?”

“No, Mrs. Morgan’s an hour late now. I was just going to go in and ask at the reception. She always runs over her appointment time a bit, but not by an hour.”

The gnawing in Dylan’s gut suddenly got a whole lot worse. “Has everything been quiet?”

“Yes. There was one photographer waiting when we pulled out past the house gates, but that’s it. Everything was quiet at the clinic when we arrived.”

“Just stay there for the moment Jamie, incase Emily comes out. I’ll call reception and find out what’s happening.”

Dylan’s heart started to thud as she rang Rain’s clinic. “Mind Balance clinic. How can I help you?”

“Eh . . .hi, this is Dylan Morgan. My wife, Emily had an appointment with Rain. I just wondered when she would be finished.”

“Oh, Mrs. Morgan left about forty minutes ago Ms. Morgan.”

Dylan’s heart started to hammer out of her chest. “Sh . . .she did? Was she okay when she left?”

“Oh yes. Her driver called me while Mrs. Morgan was in with Rain; he said the press was camped outside the front of the building, so he would pick her up at the back. I took her to the back exit and she left.”

The receptionist heard a bang as the phone was dropped at Dylan’s end, and then only silence.

“Ms. Morgan? Is everything all right? Hello? Ms. Morgan?

Episode 9

Dylan dropped the phone and grabbed onto the table. A wave nausea hit her as she broke out in a cold sweat.

Again. It’s happening again! Oh God no!

She stood and stumbled over to the wall, sheer panic was consuming her. She rested her head against the wall and tried to breathe.

This can’t be happening again. It can’t be! Toni’s dead. The walls in the room seemed to be closing in on her, suffocating her, and all she could see was Toni’s face taunting her. “She’s mine!”

You need to get under control Morgan! Emmie needs you. The baby needs you. Breathe. Just breathe.

After a minute or so of deep breathing, she began to feel the panic attack ease up. She walked over to table and lifted her bottle of water. Her hand shook as she took some calming sips.

Dylan’s control was returning, and just as she was planning what to do next, her cell phone rang. She picked it up knowing it was to do with Emily when the display read ‘unknown number.’

“Morgan here.”

“Dylan old buddy!” Dylan collapsed down onto the chair at the sound of the voice on the other end.

“Jimmy.”

“You recognize my voice, well I am honored. Are you missing anything Morgan?”

Dylan’s panic was now replaced with anger, “I swear to God Jimmy, if you hurt a hair on Emily’s head, I swear I will kill you!”

Jimmy laughed, “Oh yes. You’re good at that aren’t you?”

Dylan squeezed the water bottle she was holding until it was crushed. Come on stay calm. Keep him talking and get as much information as possible.

“What do you want?”

Another chuckle came across the line, “What do I want? Hmm. What do I want? That’s an interesting question, Morgan.”

He sounds insane; like he’s lost it. At least he doesn’t know Emmie is pregnant.

“How much is your wife worth to you?”

“Everything and anything! Just tell me, and you’ll get it.”

“You didn’t let me finish, Morgan. How much is your wife worth to you, your pregnant wife at that.”

Oh God! He knows!

Dylan smashed her hand down on the table in fury, “How did you know?”

“Your precious wife told me.” Jimmy then imitated Emily’s voice. ” ‘Oh please, don’t hurt me, I’m pregnant! Don’t hurt my baby!’ It’s amazing what women will tell you when you grab them and bundle them in a car.”

“When I get hold of you Jimmy, I will repay you for every scratch I find on Emily.”

“Now, now, Morgan. I don’t think threats are a good idea when I have your wife tied to a chair and you have no idea where she is.”

Dylan let out a long breath, realizing what Jimmy said was true. “Okay. I’m listening. What do you want?”

“First thing, Morgan. No police. If you tell the police about this and track me, Emily will be dead before they break down the door.”

“Yes okay, what else?”

“Let me make this clear to you; in case you’re thinking of trying anything. You are not dealing with Toni Bianchi. I don’t care whether Emily lives or dies, I’m not interested in her and I have nothing to lose. I’m broke, I can’t get a job anywhere in the media again, you’ve seen to that.”

“I can give you money. I can see to it that you never have to work again. You’ll be a very rich man.”

There was a brief silence and Dylan thought she might actually have a chance.

“I’ve been rich, I was a millionaire after I sold the story about the father of your brat, and do you know what I discovered? It’s true what they say money doesn’t make you happy.”

“Well, what will make you happy, Jimmy? What will it take to get my wife back safely to me?”

“Your destruction and utter humiliation. I want you to go out and do your stupid show tonight and I want you to look down the camera and tell the American public that you are a murderer and a liar. I want you to tell them how you shot Bianchi and how you covered it up. You will be destroyed Morgan, and I can watch it live on TV.”

Dylan said nothing, but sat with her head in her hand, utterly defeated, He’s got me . . .

“You’ve gone awful quiet, Morgan. Is your wife and your unborn child not worth your career, your liberty?”

“Of course they are. You know I’ll do it.”

“Very good. When I see your confession on TV, I’ll let her go.”

“I want to talk to her Jimmy. I need to know she’s okay before I do this, or no deal!”

Jimmy weighed up the possibilities but eventually he said, “Alright, but don’t try anything. I’ll have a gun pointed at her head and remember; I don’t care if she lives or dies.”

“I understand.”

Dylan heard a chair scraping along the floor, then the sound of tape being ripped off skin.

“Dyl?”

“Baby girl are you okay?”

“Don’t do it Dylan. You’ll go to jail!”

Dylan heard the sound of a slap and Emily cry out. “Don’t touch her Jimmy! I’m doing what you say. Stop!”

“Dyl . . .I’m okay.”

“You hang tight, Emmie. I’ll do this and get you out. I love you.”

“Whatever happens Dyl, look after Molly, remember the first time you called her smurf . . .”

Dylan heard Emily cry out again, and then Jimmy came back on the line. “That’s enough. You know she’s alive.”

“I told you, I’m doing what you say! You don’t need to hurt her.” Dylan shouted.

“Just remember what I told you, you tell the police or anyone about this, your pretty wife and baby will be dead before they find me. I’ll be monitoring the police scanner. Have I made myself clear?”

“Crystal.”

The phone line went dead, and Dylan was left utterly alone.

****

Emily watched Jimmy hang up the phone and laugh. When he had first snatched her and thrown her in the back of his vehicle, she had been transported back in her mind to being restrained by Toni in the cabin, but she wasn’t that person anymore. Emily Morgan was a stronger person for the experiences she had been through, and was determined to not be the same frightened woman Toni had hurt. On the journey to wherever Jimmy was taking her, she had practiced some of the calming techniques Rain had taught her. By the time Jimmy had bound and tied her to the chair in this room, she had reached a calm place inside. She would face whatever was to come with dignity and none of the terror that she showed Toni.

“You are an evil nasty man, Jimmy Daniels.”

Jimmy turned around slowly, giving Emily a chilling look. “I’m evil? I never killed anyone Mrs. Morgan. That was your . . .what do you call her? Your husband?” He gave a cruel laugh. “It’s funny isn’t it? For all Morgan plays at being a man, for all her money and success, her strength and toughness, there’s one thing she can never have.” Jimmy grabbed his crotch suggestively.

That’s what this is all about. Emily thought. “Dylan makes you feel inadequate, doesn’t she? She is everything you want to be, that’s why you hate her so much, isn’t it?”

Jimmy flew over and grabbed her by the hair. “Shut up you fucking bitch! Unless you want to feel what a real man can do to you! Do you?” Jimmy screamed.

Emily stared back at him with calm impassive eyes that totally unnerved the reporter.

He released her hair and pushed her head away roughly. “That dyke does not make me feel inadequate, she is just a woman. I’ll tell you why I hate her. I hate her because she is arrogant and smug, and no matter what happens to her, she comes up smelling of roses. Well not this time I’ve seen to that.”

Jimmy was raving now, Emily had obviously hit a nerve and his hate and anger were pouring out of him.

“Do you know how long I’ve been in the media business? Thirty years. Thirty years of grubbing around looking for gossip on lucky talentless bastards like Morgan, and do you know when I first got my break in TV? After I broke the story about your brat; I thought…finally some recognition, finally someone will see what talent I have, but then the fucking clueless brain dead American public, fall in love with the golden lesbian couple. You make me sick!”

Emily strained against her bindings, there was a little give in them, and it gave her a little hope.

Maybe if I keep working at them. Got to keep him talking.

“Why couldn’t you be content with your job as it was. Why target Dylan?”

“Were you happy working in a greasy diner? Or are you happy now in your designer clothes and your credits cards to pay for anything you want?”

Emily answered honestly. “I was unhappy because I was alone, but if Dylan had come along and had been a regular hard working person, and I had to keep working there, I would have been happy. As long as I had the love of my life, I would be happy.”

“Love of your life?” Jimmy laughed manically. “Is that what she tells you? That’s hysterical, women are so easy.”

He crouched down so he was eye level with his captive. “Let me let you in on a secret baby girl, isn’t that what she calls you?”

Emily flinched at hearing the term of endearment come from Jimmy’s mouth.

“There is no such thing as a love of your life. We are born alone and we die alone. Men, and dykes like Dylan are only interested in one thing. Sex and using this beautiful body of yours. To do that, we spout meaningless words of love.”

Emily shook her head in disgust. “I pity you Jimmy, you will never know the contentment and joy of loving someone and them wanting nothing else but to love you back and make you happy. You are a sad, sad man Jimmy.”

As the first blow hit Emily’s face, she felt that at least she had stood up to her captor this time. This time she would face whatever was to come with a calm inner strength, and not give her captor the satisfaction of her fear.

****

From the distance my choice is simple

From the distance I can entertain

So you can see me I put makeup on my face

But there’s no way you can feel it, from so far away
I’ll be your clown, behind the glass

Go head and laugh, cause it’s funny

I would too, If I saw me

I’ll be your clown, on your favorite channel

My life’s a circus, circus, round in circles, I’m selling out tonight

Emeli Sande ~ Clown
Dylan stood staring into the long mirror in front on her, her show clothes hanging and waiting to be put on. Since ending the call with Jimmy, she had called Jamie and told him to head back home. She hated lying to her employee but had no other choice, so she told him that one of the studio staff was picking Emily up and brining her to the show to watch Dylan that evening. The young man reluctantly headed back to Long Island.

As she stared blankly into the mirror, all she could think of was her failure. Every time her family needed her she failed.

“You don’t deserve their love Morgan.” Dylan lifted her eyes and saw the image of Toni standing reflected back at her.

“Toni?” Dylan gasped.

“Yeah. Didn’t I tell you I’d always be here?”

“You’re dead. You can’t harm us, and you’re just a figment of my imagination.” Dylan spat back at her.

“I’m as real as you make me Morgan. I represent all your fears and failings, and believe me they are sure stacking up.”

“I know I’ve failed. You don’t need to remind me.”

Toni laughed. “Poor, poor Dylan. You just can’t keep a hold of your woman can you? That’s one thing I never failed at; no one got near Emily when she was my woman. Once I could understand, but twice starts to look like carelessness.”

“I will get her back!”

“Oh yeah, by sacrificing your career and your liberty. What a grand gesture!”

Toni tapped her own head and said “You know, I have won in the end, even though I’m dead.”

“How do you work that one out?” Dylan Snarled.

“Well, you are going to be locked up in jail, and you won’t see your kids grow up. You won’t hold Emily for a very long time. Maybe she’ll find someone else to keep her warm!”

Dylan held her hands to ears and shouted, “Shut up! Shut up!”

When she opened her eyes, the vision of Toni was gone. Dylan braced herself against the wall, and tried to catch her breath.

There was a knock at the door and Lynn popped her head round the door.

“Is everything okay Dylan? I thought I heard shouting.”

Dylan pulled herself together very quickly and put on her best smile.

“Everything is fine Lynn. I just had some music on, it was probably that.”

Lynn didn’t look entirely convinced, but let it go. “You better get ready. It’s an hour and a half till your due on set, two hours till show time.”

Dylan nodded and said, “I’ll get changed now and then head to make up.”

After Lynn left, her mind immediately went to the item locked in her office safe. After Emily’s kidnapping, Dylan felt she needed to buy a weapon just in-case she ever had to protect her family again. On impulse she bought a gun, but she knew her wife would not want it kept at home, so it had been locked in her office safe ever since. ‘What does it matter? You don’t even know where to look for her anyway.

Feeling resigned to her fate, Dylan got her show clothes on. She was just buttoning her shirt when a text came through on her iPhone. It read . . . Just a little reminder of what’s at stake. Don’t try anything stupid. I’ll be watching.

Attached was a picture of Emily tied to a chair, her face covered with new injuries.

Oh baby girl. I promise I’ll get you out of there. I just hope you can have a good life without me.

Dylan lifted her hand and gazed at her wedding ring that she hoped would never leave her finger. She kissed it and whispered, “I love you, Emmie.”

Accepting there was no way out she walked over to the mirrored dressing area. She slipped on her suit jacket, and checked herself in the mirror one last time before she had to head down to make up.

This is it Morgan. The end of this circus. At least Emmie and the kids will be secure, with the money I’ve made they won’t want for anything. I hope Molls doesn’t hate me for what I’ve done; she always thought I was this superhero or something. Now she’ll find out I’m a murderer. I love you little Smurf . . .smurf . . . ’

As she said these words in her mind, she remembered something Emmie had said on the phone.

“Whatever happens, look after Molly. Remember the first time you called her Smurf . . .”

It was at that point that Jimmy snatched the phone away from Emily. It hadn’t struck her as odd at the time, but now thinking about it over again; it seemed a strange thing to say.

If she’d said, “Whatever happens look after Molly. Tell her I love her.” That would have been normal but why, “Remember the first time you called her Smurf?”

Dylan smacked her hand to her head and said, “What an idiot! Of course.”

****

Lynn marched down the corridor toward Dylan’s dressing room. She had just come from the make-up room, where the girls had told her that Dylan hadn’t turned up yet.

She opened the dressing room door saying, “Dylan, you are running so late! It’s an hour to show time . . .”

The room was empty. She checked the bathroom, again it was empty.

“Where are you Dylan?” Something on the table caught Lynn’s eye. She picked it up and read:

I had to leave. I can’t explain why, but just know that it is important. Carry on with the show preparations. I will try and make it back in time. If not, get the director to play the ‘Best Of’ show. I know you will be angry and the network will go crazy, but when you find out why I had to do this, you will understand why.

Dylan.

I knew something was wrong earlier. I should have trusted my instincts. Oh Dylan what have you done?

****

Emily had very nearly worked herself out of her hand restraints. Luckily for her, Jimmy had resorted to the bottle to calm his nerves, so he was becoming less and less observant, but he still had a tight grip of the gun. That was a problem she had been wrestling with; how get him to put down the gun. Emily looked around the small apartment that she used to call home for inspiration. As her blindfold had been removed, she had been astonished to find herself at her old apartment. When Emily had moved in with Dylan, after the break in, she had insisted on keeping her apartment up. She felt it was too early in their relationship to saddle Dylan with such a big commitment. Dylan took over the rent hoping that it would never be needed again, but also understanding it would make Emily feel more independent knowing she had someplace to fall back on. It was never needed again, but Dylan had obviously forgotten to cancel the lease agreement.

Jimmy seemed to think it funny that once all this was over, Dylan would find out Emily was kept in touching distance from her.
She had tried to give Dylan a clue over the phone, but she thought Jimmy had cut her off too quickly. If I could just find a distraction, maybe I could run for the door. Thought Emily.

“Ha, ha! Lookie here Mrs. Morgan!”

Jimmy had a small portable TV set up, so he could watch Dylan’s live confession. A half hour before The Dylan Morgan show was due on the air; the network ran an advert for tonight’s show.

‘Coming up tonight on The Dylan Morgan Show, Dylan steps onto the ice to challenge one hundred metre Gold medalist Sandy Williams! Don’t miss it!’

Jimmy held his whiskey bottle up to the TV and said, “Oh we won’t miss it, will we Mrs. Morgan?”

The smarmy reporter’s smile turned to shock, when the apartment door burst open and there in the doorway stood Dylan brandishing a gun.

Before the slightly drunk Jimmy had a chance to react he felt intense pain in his bicep. “Ugh! You shot me!”

When he collapsed to the floor, Emily, who had gotten free from her bonds jumped and kicked the gun away from him.

Dylan was standing over him in a second, pointing her gun at his head.

“Emmie, are you alright?”

“I’m fine Dyl, just a few cuts and bruises.”

Dylan handed over her cell phone to her wife, “Call the police Emmie!”

Emily did as she was asked. Her hands shaking as she dialed the number.

“You son of a bitch, Morgan. How did you know?” Jimmy held onto his wound, trying to stem the blood flow.

“Emily told me. This is the first place I met my daughter. That’s all I needed to hear.”

“I hate you Morgan and one day you are going to get what you deserve!”

“Perhaps, but it won’t be from you Jimmy. You’ll be behind bars for a very long time.”

Dylan looked over and saw Emily still talking over the cell phone; she crouched down in front of Jimmy and gave him a smile, “Jimmy old buddy, you’re a loser. You were born a loser and will always be a loser. It’ll warm my heart to sit on my deck overlooking the beach, drink in hand, beautiful wife at my side, and think of you holed up in some disgusting prison cell.”

She raised an eyebrow and in a cocky voice said, “You should know by now, no one beats Dylan Morgan!”

“Argh!” Jimmy snapped and launched himself at Dylan. She easily dodged his attack, getting him into a head lock and the gun pointing at his head.

“At least I got to touch your precious Emily and smack her around. She kept screaming, begging me not to hurt your bastard kid inside her.” Jimmy knew all he had left was to try and hurt Dylan with his words.

The police assured Emily they were on their way, and she hung up to see Dylan gaze at Jimmy with a far away murderous look. She was back in the cabin with Toni taunting her.

“No one touches my wife! No one!” Dylan pushed the end of the gun, right into his forehead.

Emily knew she had to get Dylan under control. “Dylan? We’re okay now. The police are on their way.”

The look in Dylan’s eyes remained distant. Emily took the chance of moving closer, knelt beside her partner and placed a hand on her head.

“Honey, I’m okay. The police are on their way. Calm down, we don’t need to hurt Jimmy anymore, it’s not Toni.”

This seemed to get through to Dylan. She shook her head and looked at her wife. “Emmie? You’re okay? The baby too?”

“I’m fine. We are both safe now you’re here. Let’s just wait for the police, okay?”

Dylan nodded, and after a few minutes the cops burst into the room.

“Drop the gun! Now!”

Dylan quickly put it down, knowing they had Jimmy covered. Once the scene was secure, Jimmy was dragged away kicking and scream toward the waiting EMT van.

“Morgan is a murderer! You have to believe me! I’ll get you Dylan, I promise you!”

Dylan held Emily tightly in her arms, as he was taken from the room.

“Thank you for bringing me back. I was back there in the cabin, and all I could see was Toni.”

“I know honey; I knew you would come back if you heard my voice.”

Dylan kissed her forehead, and placed a hand over their child. “You were so brave, Emmie. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“I wasn’t going to be a victim anymore Dylan. I had to keep going and keep calm for you and Molly, and the baby. Thank God you didn’t do what Jimmy asked.”

Emily placed her head on Dylan’s chest, seeking the warm feeling of protection she always got from her partner.

“I would have done it in a second to protect you. If you hadn’t given me that clue, I would have been going to jail instead of Jimmy.”

“I don’t even want to think about that. Dylan, what about the show?”

“Don’t worry I’ve taken care of it. Lynn may kill me though.”

This raised a small smile from Emily. They were interrupted by Mark and Patrick coming into the apartment.

“Are you two okay? We were on another job when your call came on the radio.”

“We’re okay guys. Daniels was determined to get back at me through Emily, but I worked out where he was holding her.”

Mark looked around the apartment. “Weird that he brought you back here. This is where it all started.”

“Let’s hope it ends here. My family has had enough drama for one lifetime.”

Her two friends nodded and Mark put a comforting hand on Emily’s shoulder. “The EMTs want to give you a quick check over Emily, and then we’ll get you down to the station for a statement.”

Emily only needed a few sterile strips on her cut lip and eye, but come the morning she was sure to be sporting quite a few bruises.

Mark and Patrick led the famous couple down to the waiting police car, and into a barrage of camera flashes and noise as reporters shouted questions toward them.

Dylan held Emily to her protectively as the waiting police tried to usher them into the car.

When they were safely inside Dylan said, “I think it might be time to step away from this circus.”

Emily looked up at her sharply, “What do you mean? Give up the show?”

“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. I meant to bring it up before, but this just reminded why I wanted to. I don’t want you and the kids to be followed by cameras all the time and being put in these kinds of situations.”

“Dylan, you are born to entertain. You would get bored in a matter of months.”

“Maybe. I just want to make things better and enjoy being with you, Molly and the new baby.”

Dylan pulled her wife to close. “Let’s not worry about it just now. We can talk about it some other time. I just hope the network will want me to do the show tomorrow night, and haven’t fired me already!”

****

As it turned out, Dylan was not fired for running out on the show. After initial fury at the star messing up their prime time schedule, they started to become delighted by the headlines pouring in about the hero TV star, who faced down a gunman and saved her wife from a merciless attacker.

The networks PR machine stepped in and put an even more positive spin on events, resulting in a media frenzy.

Saturday show time came, and Dylan stood backstage; nervously waiting to see the audience’s reaction to last night’s events.

It was finally time and Dylan heard the ten second countdown in her ear piece. She lifted her hand and kissed her wedding ring, “I love you baby girl.”

And now, live from New York, it’s The Dylan Morgan Show, and here is your host Dylan Morgan!

As the announcer finished, the large black back drop in front of her opened revealing the audience, who stood, cheered and chanted her name.

As they had rehearsed, instead of her trademark wink to the camera and summersault out onto the stage, she casually walked out in an understated way.

The audience refused to calm down, as they continued to clap and cheer a lot longer they usually did. Dylan smiled and felt such warmth from her fans, who were giving her support. Eventually she used her hands to ask the audience to quiet down.

When she was finally able to talk, she said, “Wow, what a welcome! Just amazing, thank you.”

Dylan stood casually, hands in pockets, ready to deliver the speech that had been carefully crafted by the writers and the network to both explain last night’s events and to capitalize on the public sympathy for Dylan and her family.

“Thank you, thank you so much. First of all, I want to apologize to you guys and everyone at home and my guests for not being able to be here for the show last night. I hope everyone understands that I had to be where my family needed me.”

The audience clapped enthusiastically, showing their support for the TV star.

“Thank you.”

Dylan fixed a cheeky smirk to her face and said, “It has been suggested that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax to get me out of the dare this week, because I truly suck at skating!”

The audience laughed along with the star. “Seriously, thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support via email, Facebook, Twitter and phone calls to the network. Emily and I really appreciate your support. I’m happy to say, my wife is doing fine, apart from a few cuts and bruises. She’s watching tonight.”

Dylan walked right up to the camera and spoke directly down the lens. “Hi Emmie, I hope you’ve got your feet up? I know watching me try to skate is gonna put a smile on your face, and Molly don’t laugh too much at your old Mom!”

The audience loved this little glimpse into the Morgan family life. The opening of the show seemed to strike the right note between acknowledging what happened the previous night, and keeping the subject matter light and entertaining.

The show turned out to have the highest audience figures they had ever had, due to the tremendous interest in Dylan’s situation. The shows audience also enjoyed seeing a more humble Dylan, as she lost the ice hockey dare, going out in the first round against this week’s contestant and track star, Sandy Williams. She took it in extremely good humour admitting to the audience, that she couldn’t be awesome at everything, and making jokes about herself. The show had been a roaring success, and after the credits rolled, Lynn declared “Well Dylan, I think that was the best show you have ever done. The network execs are very excited. I don’t think you’re going to be wanting for TV work for a very long time.”

Dylan rubbed her bruised hip and replied “And I thought it was a good time to retire!”

****

Three months later . . .
It was a bright warm day, near the end of May, and the Morgan beach front house was alive was noise and laughter.

Over the past months Dylan and Jackson had been in training for the summer special charity dare, in aid of Rosie’s charity ‘In the Pink’.

They had been promoting and raising money on the show until last season went off the air in April, for the Marathon de Sables event, which was taking place in the Sahara desert.

The friends were leaving in four day’s time, and Dylan and Emily thought it would be a wonderful idea to have a going away party with their family and friends. Tommy and Walt had taken charge of the barbecue, while Patricia and Emily had been fixing the coleslaw, potato salad and other side dishes. When they were nearly done, Pattie sent Emily to sit down, thinking she looked a little tired.

Emily didn’t argue and went to sit at her favorite spot on the walkway looking out onto the beach. From here she could watch Dylan, Jackson and Rosie, and their new friend Sandy Williams, playing beach volleyball, while Molly and Wolfie watched on from the side lines.

Emily was mesmerized by Dylan’s muscular form as she jumped and leaped around after the volleyball, wearing a pair of bright blue Hawaiian beach shorts, and a tight muscle shirt. The low neckline of the shirt also made Dylan’s new tattoo visible. As a surprise, Dylan came home one Friday last month, having been tattooed underneath her collarbone. It read Familia in aeternum – meaning Family forever, with both Emily’s name and Molly’s at either end, with room for the new baby in the middle. Dylan had been nervous as to what Emily would think of it, but when she had told her wife it was because she wanted her family close to her heart, she had been engulfed with hugs and kisses. Not to mention the fact that Emily thought it looked as sexy as hell on her partner.

She didn’t think it was possible for Dylan to be any fitter than she already was but she and Jackson were both in the shape of their lives, with all the intensive training they had been doing. Dylan had asked Sandy to get involved with helping them train; she hoped to give the younger woman a helping hand in the business by giving her some exposure on the show. Emily smirked as she remembered that as Dylan’s training became more and more intense, so did her passion for her wife. The combination of pushing herself physically, and Emily’s pregnancy starting to show, seemed to make Dylan extremely virile, and Emily loved being the centre of that passion. Emily rubbed her little growing baby bump, and remembered there had been one low point in the last few months, the day they had a huge fight. She had not been thrilled at all by the prospect of the upcoming charity event. When she had read that it was, in effect a six day marathon in grueling temperatures exceeding one hundred degrees, camping out at night, without any assistance or help, she had a fit. It started when Dylan had shown her the booklet on the event one morning alone in their bedroom.

“Well? What do you think?” Dylan grinned like an excited kid, as she stood looking down at her seated wife.

Emily stayed silent as she closed up the information booklet. As she had read through all that the competitors had to go through, the dangers and the warnings the booklet gave, she felt panic grip her and anger start to boil inside.

“Emmie? You’re not saying anything.”

Emily gave her partner a sharp look “You are not doing this.”

“What? What do you mean? Of course I’m doing it. It’s already fixed up with the organizers.”

“You went ahead and agreed to this without consulting me? What am I? Your wife or just some woman you keep around to cook for you?”

Dylan looked perplexed. “What? Why . . . Why wouldn’t I? Do I normally ask you before I do a dare?”

“This is not a dare Dylan, this is willfully and recklessly risking your life, when you have a family to take care of.”

“It’s not dangerous baby, it’s very carefully structured and managed.”

“It says here that people have gone missing when doing this stupid race.” Emily threw the booklet at her partner’s feet. Dylan was astonished; she didn’t think she’d seen Emily so angry, since after Toni took her, But then she had noticed that the pregnancy mood swings were starting to appear recently.

“Yeah and they were all found, Emmie. That’s the main thing.”

“It says one man was found a week later and hours from death!”

Dylan watched tears start to fall from Emily’s eyes, and she began to rub her stomach as if soothing the baby. She noticed that her wife had started to do this when she was a little stressed.

Dylan walked toward her and reached out to take Emily’s hand. “Come on Emmie, you know they put that in there to discourage unfit amateurs. I’m super fit, and I’ll be training even harder before I go, and I’ll have Jackson with me. This is who I am. I have to challenge myself, you knew that when you met me.”

Emily yanked her hand away. “You weren’t married with a baby on the way when we met. Or have you forgotten that your wife is pregnant?”

Dylan was really starting to get angry now. “Of course I haven’t forgotten! I mean that’s why you are acting like this; you’re totally over reacting because you’re over emotional and hormonal!”

Dylan had a whole day of silence to contemplate the folly of those words, and Emily’s reply of “Do what you want Dylan Morgan!”

Emily smiled as she remembered Dylan moping around with a sad look on her face, and bringing her drinks and treats, trying to make conversation. Eventually she started to weaken. She talked to Rosie who assured her that Jackson, with all her training, would not let Dylan do anything stupid, and Dylan also promised to be sensible and listen to Jackson’s advice while they were out there. She reluctantly agreed and Dylan was delighted to be let back into the bedroom and her wife’s arms.

Emily was shaken from her thoughts by Dylan shouting,

“In your face Hunter!”

“That was outside the line!” Jackson shouted back.

“It so was not! My team wins!”

Rosie planted herself down on the walkway beside her. “Whew! I’ve had enough. That’s exhausting! I’m just going to leave them to argue it out.”

“Did you have fun?”

“Yes, but those two are so competitive! You wouldn’t know they were best friends. You should have seen them fight over poor Sandy. Dylan’s like, ‘Sandy’s on my team, I met her first!’ and Jack’s all like, ‘You can’t have two Olympic athletes on the same team. She’s on my team. It’s only fair!’ I was like guys? We’re not in kindergarten here!'”

“So who won?”

Rosie gave her a skeptical look, “You really have to ask? Dylan said it was her beach, so she got to choose the teams. Jackson said, her ego was the size of this beach and she would beat her anyway!”

“Poor Sandy being stuck in the middle of those two. She’s really nice isn’t she? Quiet, but nice.”

“Yeah, she’s cool. Wow! I like this angle much better.”

Emily looked down to the beach to see their two partners had decided a sparring match in the sand would settle their disagreement. Molly held onto Sandy’s hand as they both laughed at Dylan and Jackson fight and roll around in the sand.

Rosie was captivated by Jackson’s body as it glistened in the sun.

“Yes, I was admiring the view myself. They are both in great shape aren’t they?” Emily said.

“You are not kidding! Jackson’s like pumped all the time. I don’t know how I keep up!”

“It’s fun though!” Emily said to her young friend.

Rosie looked at Emily and said, “I think I need to break this up. You sit tight Emmie, I’ll pull them apart by their ears!”

Emily heard Tommy shout down from the deck, “The foods ready, Emily.”

“Okay, we’ll be up in a minute.” When she turned back toward the beach she was faced with the imposing sight of her slightly out of breath, perspiring partner.

“Hey baby girl? I won. You got a kiss for your conquering hero?”

At that moment Jackson marched past with her arm round Rosie’s shoulder. “Yeah, if you like winning by cheating!”

“I did not! Everyone agreed it was a fair point.” Dylan shouted after her.

Emily shook her head at Dylan. “Molly, Sandy! The foods ready.”

Molly came running with her new friend. “Mama! Andy gonna teach me to run fast!”

“That’s great sweetie. Sandy, go on up. The foods ready.”

“Thanks Emily! Molly, I’ll race you.” Molly took off laughing and Sandy chased after her.

“Molly really likes my new buddy.” Dylan pulled Emily to her feet and kissed her softly, while placing a hand over her wife’s stomach.

“How’s my little baby smurflet? It’s not too hot is it?

“No baby’s fine. I think baby’s enjoying being with all our family and friends.”

The couple started to walk up to the deck. “Great isn’t it? Come on I’m starved.”

****

Everyone was gathered round the deck in small groups enjoying their food.

“Everyone got enough? Sandy would you like some more?” Walt shouted over from the grill.

“Uh, sure that would great. It tastes fantastic Mr. Henderson.”

“Please call me Walt.”

When Sandy stood to take over her plate to the grill, Molly came running over and said. “I take it andy. Me elping uncle alt, and Grandpa.”

“Oh, thanks Molly.” She ran off happily toward the grill. “She’s an adorable kid Emily.”

“Yes, most of the time, other times she runs me ragged. She’s a bit too much like her other Mom!”

“Hey! I take that as a compliment Emmie.” Dylan pouted.

“Aww, of course it is Goofy.” Emily then turned to Rosie and said, “Your Dad seems to be getting on great with Molly.”

Rosie looked over to the grill where Walt had Molly up in his arms telling her about the finer points of grilling a good steak, while Tommy worked the grill.

She realized it had not only changed her life meeting the Morgan’s, it also had enriched her daddy’s life. It had just been Walt and herself for all of her life, and apart from a few poker buddies at his local bar, he was quite isolated. Now through Rosie’s relationship with the Morgans he was included in a family life again, and he couldn’t have been happier with Jackson if he had chosen her himself.

“Yeah, he looks like he’d like a Grandchild of his own. You guys should have one!” Dylan mumbled through a mouthful of food.

Rosie looked at Jackson and was surprised by the broad smile on her face.

Woah! Why is she smiling? We haven’t even talked about kids before. It’s obviously something Jack wants.

“Hey! Don’t get any ideas soldier boy! I’ve just finished my first big project here, and I have jobs coming in all the time now. I’m just getting my business off the ground, and I’d like to live a little first.”

“I didn’t say anything, did I? It was just Dylan being annoying as usual.”

Despite her protests, Rosie couldn’t help but notice the look of disappointment on Jackson’s face.

An uncomfortable silence settled on the friends, which apparently Dylan did not pick up.

“Oh man, this is fantastic! Dad? Can I get some more steak?”

“Sure champ. You want some more chicken?”

“Yeah, pile it on Dad!”

A sullen looking Jackson stood and took Dylan’s plate, “I’ll go and get it for you.”

“Jack listen . . .ugh, fine then! I’ll go and get some drinks, Em.” Rosie stood and marched off into the kitchen.

Emily just shook her head at Dylan. “Dylan Morgan, you don’t have a sensitive bone in your body!”

“What are you talking about? I just wanted more food.”

“Of which you’ve already had two huge plates full.”

Pattie tapped her daughter on the shoulder and said, “You could have been a bit more sensitive. It’s obviously something Rosie and Jackson haven’t talked about yet.”

“What have Jackson and Rosie got to do with me getting more food?”

Pattie and Emily looked at each other and shook their heads.

“You see what I have to put up Sandy? Sometimes I think they speak in a different language!”

“I’m going to help Jackson.” Dylan grumbled then stomped off to get her food.

“Andy! We bring ou food.” Molly came over with Sandy’s plate, with a little help from Walt.

“Hey thanks, Molly.”

“Molly you have sauce all over your face, I’ll get you cleaned up.” Pattie told her Granddaughter.

Emily smiled as her daughter trotted off happily with her Grandma. Hmm . . .I hope I have another little troublemaker just like her.

Emily looked at Sandy happily enjoying her food. She hadn’t said much to her, but seemed talkative enough around the others.

I think I need to get you to relax.

“So Sandy? How are things going for you? Dylan said you were looking to open a gym?” Emily asked.

Sandy ran her hand over her collar length braided hair; she was still pretty shy around Dylan’s beautiful wife.

“Uh yeah, I’m trying to get it off the ground. My . . .my dream is for it to be a state of the art facility, where both professionals and regular people can train, using the very latest in training equipment. I want it to be a real place though. Not one of these places people go to wear the latest sneakers and don’t break a sweat. Um . . .I’d like to have track athletes, boxing, martial arts, all well as community groups, and kids programs all under the one roof.”

Emily was intrigued by the way Sandy’s face lit up with enthusiasm when talking about her project.

“That sounds fantastic! How far have you got with it?”

“I’m about to start looking for premises. Nike has gotten involved with the project, they really like the exposure I’ve had on Dylan’s show.”

“Dylan is happy to help you. I think you remind her of herself at your age.”

Sandy smiled bashfully.

“She’s given me some great contacts in the martial arts world, but also been a great mentor to me. I’m used to the athletics world, but this being famous thing is kinda weird. Sometimes when people speak to me, I don’t know what they want from me. Dylan’s really helped me with the celebrity stuff. I’m not in Dylan’s league though. I don’t know how you guys do it. How did you handle being famous all of a sudden?”

“I wouldn’t have handled it without Dylan, I don’t envy you. It’s a really scary thing to suddenly be the focus of so much media attention.”

“Yeah it is.” And very lonely. Sandy thought to herself.

****

“Just go and talk to her.”

Dylan and Jackson stood at the corner of the deck, Dylan trying to console her moody friend.

“Why should I? You saw her when she walked by with the drinks. She totally blanked me! I didn’t even do anything. It’s your entire fault. I’ve got to tread carefully with Rosie. She’s touchy about these kind of things.”

“Hey! It’s not my fault. I just wanted to see you both happy. I’ve seen you with Molly; I thought it would be something you would want.”

“It is, but Rosie’s a lot younger than me. She may not want the things I do at this point in her life.”

Dylan devoured a chicken drumstick she was holding and mumbled. “Sounds to me, like you need to talk about things.”

Jackson looked at Dylan in disgust. “Do you ever stop eating?”

“Stop changing the subject. Go! You don’t want to be leaving on our trip and not talking to your girl.”

Jackson sighed. “No, I guess not.”

She marched over to where Rosie was sitting, grabbed her hand. “Come on.”

“Jack, what?”

“We are going to talk.” Jackson pulled her hand to get her to follow.

“Whatever.” Rosie gave in and allowed herself to be guided to the kitchen.

Walt chuckled and said to Tommy. “My stubborn little girl has met her match in that one!”

****

“Watch it! You’re going to yank my arm out its socket!”

Rosie sat against the kitchen table and folded her arms in a defensive posture.

“So? what? Get on with it.”

“Listen. I haven’t done anything wrong here. Dylan just made a stupid throw away comment.”

“I saw your face Jack. When she said it, your face was like all happy!”

“Of course I would look happy! Who wouldn’t look happy at the thought of having a baby with you? You’re beautiful, kind, warm. It would be amazing to have a little kid like you running around. It doesn’t mean I want to get you pregnant this second.”

Rosie’s stance softened at Jackson’s heartfelt words. “You would? I didn’t mean it isn’t something I might want with you Jack, but when I heard that and saw your face, I just felt like you had my future all planned out for me. I like to be in control of my life.”

“Oh, I know that.” Jackson said. She moved closer to Rosie and took her hands. “Darlin’, I know you’re a lot younger than me. You have some living to do, and your business has just taken off; but just know I’ll be here through it all. Whenever you’re ready for something more, I’ll be ready too. I love you.”

“Oh Jack I love you too!” Rosie pulled Jackson into a kiss. “Mmm . . .I’m sorry we fight all the time.”

“We don’t.” Jackson managed to say through her kisses. “We bicker. There a difference.”

“Like an old married couple.” Rosie mumbled back.

“Oh yeah!” Their kiss turned more passionate as Jackson lifted Rosie onto the table and came to stand between her open legs.

“Mmm. Hippy girl, I want you so much!”

They were slowly losing themselves to passion when Molly ran in, then seeing them ran back out and announced to everyone.

“Dackson kissing Wosie on da kitchen table Mom!”

It felt like a bucket of cold water had been thrown over them. They pulled away from each other, panting.

“Later?”

“Oh yes, Soldier boy!”

****

As the afternoon turned into night the family and friends moved down to sit on the beach.

Tommy, Pattie and Walt sat in some comfortable beach chairs chatting. Sandy, Jackson and Rosie were playing Frisbee with Molly and Wolfie.

Emily sat on the sand, leaning back against her partner. Dylan was enjoying the closeness, her arms round Emily’s waist and her hands caressing the baby her wife was carrying.

“This couldn’t be any more perfect.” Dylan said.

Emily snuggled in closer, pulling Dylan’s arms tighter around her. “It is perfect. I don’t want you to leave TV star. ”

“I don’t want to leave either, but I’ll be back before you know it. It’s for a great cause.” Dylan reminded her wife.

“I know. It’s the only thing that’s stopping me from asking you not to go. I hate being apart from you. Promise me again you’ll be careful, honey?”

Dylan grasped Emily’s chin lightly, and turned her head so she could look her wife in the eye. “I give you word mama smurf.”

“When I come back, we’ll go on a wonderful family vacation. Just us and no TV, newspapers, magazines, reporters. Nothing.”

“Sounds like heaven.”

“Have you thought anymore about the show?” Emily asked.

Dylan had been thinking about making some changes in her professional life since the kidnapping, she hated having her family in the public eye as much as it was, but Emily didn’t want her partner to give up something she loved doing.

“I’m going to talk to the network about it after we get back from vacation. I’m still under contract, but I have some ideas.”

“I don’t think we would be any less in the public eye, even if you retired honey. People love you, and love reading about you. That’s not going to change.”

“I just want to spend more time with my family, Emmie. That’s all that matters to me now. You, Molly and the baby.”

“You are all that matters to us Goofy, so make sure you come back in one piece from this marathon. If you get hurt, I’ll kick your butt myself!”

“Yes ma’am!”

As Emily watched their friends laugh and play on the beach, she realized just what it meant to be utterly content. She not only had a family, but an extended family and fantastic friends that enriched both their lives.

“I’m so happy Dylan. You have given Molly and me a perfect life. No matter what struggles we’ve faced and we’ve had more than our fair share, we’ve become stronger.”

“It’s you and Molly that have given me everything. Before you two came into my life, work was all I had. Now I live to make you two happy and enjoy the love you give me. I’m sorry you had to go through what you did with Toni and Jimmy, but you’re right, we are stronger for it.”

Dylan kissed their entwined wedding rings. “Unbreakable, baby girl.”

“Unbreakable.” Emily repeated.

Molly came running over to them shouting. “Mom! Come play wiv us! Dakson say she beat ou at Frisbee!”

“Oh did she? That sounds like a dare smurf. Let’s go beat her!”

“Yeah, Mom!”

Dylan made sure Emily was comfortably seated and then hoisted Molly onto her shoulders.

“Right, let’s go show her what the Morgan’s are made of!”

“Yeah, diddy up Mom!”

Emily laughed as she watched her big kid and little kid trot away. She rubbed her growing baby bump. Oh, Little one! You might not have a quiet life like a regular kid but you are going to have such a fun life with those two, and so am I.

 

 

The End.

Read The Dylan Morgan Show – Morgan’s Summer Special 

Well, that’s it for season 2, and no cliffhanger this time! I hope you all enjoyed it. 🙂

I would be delighted to hear your comments about this story at jennyframe91@yahoo.com

Also please take a look at my website where you can listen to the soundtrack to ‘The Dylan Morgan Show’, and find information on my future stories. http://www.jennys-storybook.com

You can also find me on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/jenny.frame.7

or on twitter @jennyframe91

@dylanmorganshow

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