Standard Disclaimer: I really don't need a disclaimer because these gals belong to me. This is an Uber story so the physical appearance of the main characters will probably be very familiar to the reader. The main setting is Laguna Beach, California, with a few trips to other localities. It is a present time love story.
Kudos: To my lover (who spent/spends many hours by herself while this was/is being written). Thanks to my friends Jeanne and Maureen for catching little mistakes I, otherwise, would have let slip onto the pages you will be reading, thus keeping me from embarrassing myself, and to my daughter, Nicole, for constant encouragement. Thanks to you for reading it and for liking Alex and Samantha enough to want to read a sequel!
Sleeping late had started to become a luxury Alex was beginning to enjoy, but a knock on the door brought her to the realization that vacation time was over.
"Alex," Kelley called. "Dont tell me youre still sleeping?"
"Just a minute," the brunette yelled from the bed, after covering Samanthas exposed ear with her hand.
"No sense trying to sneak out of bed, gimper," Samantha snickered as she opened her eyes and looked at Alex who was attempting to carefully unwind her body from the smaller womans. "And . . . you dont get away without a morning kiss." Sam rose up and planted a kiss firmly on her lovers lips.
"Honey, Kelley is waiting," Alex objected.
"Im not going to seduce you, Alex; it was just a kiss." She quickly rolled off the other side of the bed and proceeded into the living room to open the door for Kelley.
"Hi, Samantha," I didnt expect you to answer the door.
"Ah," the younger woman smiled. "Did you expect me to sleep through the banging and yelling?"
"Actually, I thought Alex said you could sleep through an earthquake and not be phased." Kelley kissed the blonde on the cheek as they walked into the dining area.
"Was a time," Samantha acknowledged. "But with the walking wounded in bed with me, I tend to wake up every time she groans or moves."
They both laughed as Alex arrived, hobbling into the room to sit down next to Kelley.
"So, whats so funny?" the brunette asked.
"Nothing, Alex. We were just talking about you," her mother answered.
"Oh, that is funny," Alex commented sarcastically. "You teaching Samantha bad habits?"
"I wouldnt think of it, Alex." Kelley patted her daughter on the arm. "How are you feeling this morning?"
"Aside from still limping on this stupid ankle Im feeling fine."
"Want some tea, Alex?" Samantha asked as she got up from the table.
"Yes, please, that would be nice."
"Kelley, how about you?" the blonde asked.
"Sure, I think I could drum some up around here. Let me get this tea out of the pot and Ill make coffee."
"Thanks. I know Aurora and Al will be no good to anyone until they get their first cup."
The women heard the door open and close and Als friendly voice preceding him into the room. "Did I hear someone mention my name? I just let myself in because I could hear you people out in the hall."
"Good morning, Uncle Al," Samanthas happy voice trailed in from the kitchen. "Im making you guys a pot of coffee as you speak."
"Thats my girl, Sam." He turned to Alex and smiled. "You got yourself a winner this time munchkin."
"We all seem to agree on that," Kelley agreed with her brother.
"Okay, okay, Im blushing. You know I can hear you over here."
"Yeah, but that way you continue to display your good side while we keep showing our butts," Al laughed as he decided to see if Sam needed any help. "What have you girls decided to do for breakfast?"
"We really havent had a chance to discuss anything, Al. I just got here myself. I had to practically bang the door down to get the sleepyheads up."
"No! Not my Alex, she always awakes with the dawn." Al protested.
"Not lately. I guess some of Samanthas habits are rubbing off on me." Alex confessed.
"See. Im not completely faultless," Samantha chimed in.
"Its a little fault we can all live with, Im sure." Al hugged the newest member of his family.
"Where are you off to this afternoon, Uncle Al."
"Well, Alex, theres a new play opening on Broadway tomorrow night that I have tickets for and then some friends and I are traveling up to Vermont to witness a holy union. I tell you, that state is going to weigh down the East Coast with gays if things keep going like they are. Its becoming more popular than California."
"I dont think I would go quite that far, Al," Kelley said, laughing. "I do believe it would have to acquire more land to accomplish that feat."
"Yeah, but it certainly is popular," Al concluded. "You gonna let Aurora sleep the day away, Sis?"
"No!" Kelley answered, getting up and walking toward the door. "Since the coffees brewing, Ill go get her. Are you girls going to get dressed, or are you going to stay in your nightshirts all day?"
"You did get us out of bed, remember?" Alex responded, a bit on the defensive.
"We planned on dressing while you were off waking Mom up," Samantha interjected with a smile. "Uncle Al, can get your own coffee as soon as it stops dripping?"
"No problem," Al affirmed. "Weve got it covered out here."
"In that case, Ill go start the shower." Samantha picked up her mug of tea and headed for the bathroom.
When father and daughter were alone, Alex filled Al in on the conversation she had with Samantha the evening before. He hugged his daughter and apologized for making her life so difficult to which she smiled and said it was all very worth while, after all she ended up with three loving parents and an outrageous inheritance.
"Honestly, Alex, Samantha seems like a wonderful person, and after the episode in the canyon, I would conclude that you really have found your soulmate. Do you know how lucky you are to have found her?"
"Yes, Uncle Al, I know. My attitude toward life has taken a 360-degree turn since meeting Samantha. The experience we went through the other day also solidified my beliefs. "
"Well, Im happy for you, Honey. And Im happy for Samantha. Youre not the only lucky lady, you know. Samantha is pretty fortunate to have found you, Alex."
"Im not so sure Id agree with you on that, but . . . "
"No buts, Little Lady, there are some things I wont be contradicted on and that happens to be one of them." He sat down next to her with the coffee he had just poured and kissed her tenderly on the forehead. "I know we dont see each other often, but you are my favorite girl, you know?"
"Seeing how there arent all that many girls in your life, I will still take that as a compliment and say that you are one of my favorite boys. Now, maybe I should go join Samantha in getting dressed before Mom arrives and I get teased for being the only one left in my night clothes."
"I imagine I can amuse myself until someone arrives to talk to me. Go on." He made a shooing movement with his hands, which reminded Alex of her friend, Sonny, and she started to giggle to herself as she made her way back into the bedroom.
Kelley and Aurora arrived before the younger women had finished dressing, and Al informed them of the situation with Samantha. The three of them had discussed the topic before Kelley spoke to Alex last night. They were all in agreement that telling Samantha was the right thing to do. Each of them had a bit of a guilt complex when it came to the restrictions they had placed on their daughter early on in her life. Personal constraints that had caused her to remain an enigma to her friends could certainly have been instrumental in her becoming a loner. It was good everything it was out in the open with Sam, and they all hoped that the cheerful blonde was in Alex's life to stay.
The remainder of the morning went quickly. Samantha was made to feel at ease with her new knowledge of the Dorian clan, and the topic was switched to food and shopping. Al had to leave for New York before dusk, so that limited where they could go.
Kelley still insisted that they keep the walking to a minimum to avoid Alex damaging the healing ankle. The trading post was open, but no one was around to help with the categorizing or naming of the plants Sam had used to help Alex in the canyon. Al never tired of talking, and Samantha fed his ego by asking tons of questions about his travels and escapades the world over.
There was so much for Sam to learn about her new family and she knew she couldnt fit it all into the course of a few days. Occasionally, she would find herself drifting off in thought about the family that had basically disowned her. Thats not fair Samantha. Mom didnt disown you and neither did Sally. The only culprit is Dad and you knew how he would react. Nevertheless, it doesnt make not seeing them any easier.
"Hey, Half-pint, you okay," Kelleys voice broke Samanthas reverie.
"Yeah, just daydreaming," the blonde smiled.
Time for farewells came far too soon, but Uncle Al had his flight scheduled and plans were already made. Unbidden tears welled in emerald green eyes as the gentle man bent down and engulfed the small woman. "It was marvelous meeting you, Samantha. You take good care of Little Al for me," Al whispered.
"I will, I promise," Samantha answered with a lump in her throat. "It was great meeting you, too, Uncle Al. I hope you dont remain a stranger."
"Ill try to get back to sunny California soon, Little One." He released his hold on the blonde and said goodbye to his sister and sister-in-law, leaving his daughter for last. He rarely visited but when he did it was always a special occasion.
"You really need to come see us at Alternative Paradise, Uncle Al." Alex whispered, as she hugged the tall mans neck, "Ive missed your face."
"Ive missed you, too, Alexis. I told Samantha that California would be high on my priority list of places to visit soon. You take care of her; shes a find."
"I know," Alex smiled. "I will; you can count on it." Tears streamed involuntarily from sapphire eyes as she watched Al disappear into the cockpit of the small jet.
She hugged Samantha close and sobbed, "Hes really special, Samantha."
"I know, Sweetheart. It was a nice surprise for you to see him, though."
Listening in on the conversation, Aurora interjected, "It certainly was. Kelley thought since he was back in the country he could spare a few hours for his family. He gave her no fight at all. He had just flown into Miami when she called him." She took out a hanky and wiped the faces of the two younger women. Alex smiled and caught her mothers hand.
"Just be careful, Samantha, as long as she doesnt go wetting this damn thing with spit to wipe the dirt off our faces, were okay," Alex laughed and Samantha joined right in.
"Very funny, Alex," Aurora commented, "but there was many a time that kept you from having a smudge on your face for a picture."
"Okay, Mom . . . "
"Hey, I used to get the same treatment, Alex. Its a mother thing." Samantha giggled. "Well just have to try to remember not to do it to our kid."
Receiving a look of disbelief from Aurora, Samantha quickly added, shaking her head fiercely and waving her hands, "No, not now . . . I was talking about in the future."
The look on Samanthas face had everyone in stitches, which was a nice relief from the tears of the goodbye. With a final glance at the jet as it left the tarmac, the four women proceeded on their way back to the Center.
The rest of the evening was nothing more than an extended gossip session; they discussed anything and everything, focusing quite often on Al and his eccentricities. Morning would bring packing and farewells. The women had invited Gary to dinner and lavished him with gratitude, which he quickly announced would be repaid tenfold when he visited California in the not too distant future.
The emotional roller coaster they had all been on during the day left them unusually tired, and all four of the women found themselves in bed before the stroke of midnight.
"Sedona has been a life-changing experience in more ways than one," Samantha murmured into her lovers chest as they lay in bed.
"Yes, we both got a glimpse of our spiritual connection, and you became indoctrinated into the family by my final parent and the last of the Dorian secrets. Tomorrow we start back to civilization and the real world.
"I happen to like my world with you, Alex, and Im getting secure enough to allow the real world to rear its ugly head and intrude occasionally," the blonde smiled and hugged her lover. "As beautiful as it is here, though, I miss home," Samantha confessed.
"Me, too," Alex concurred. "Its good to know we agree on that. Sweet dreams, my Destiny."
"Sweet dreams, Alex."
Curled in the warmth and security of loving arms, the small blonde almost immediately began to breathe the slow rhythmic cadence of sleep. Alex could feel Sams mouth curl up in a smile as it rested against the taller womans chest.
The brunette smiled, also, and once again, as had become a habit, she thanked the Goddess for the gift she held so delicately in her arms. It wasnt long before the two lovers were breathing in unison as the world of dreams captured them both.
Sunlight streaked lazily through the room, dotting the walls with patches of gold. Alex opened her eyes, not wanting Kelley to wake her up like she did yesterday. Carefully she slipped from the bed, trying her best not to disturb the sleeping form that just seconds before had been clinging to her, but to no avail.
Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Samantha squinted, unaccustomed to the light of the room. "Youre up early this morning."
"I dont want a repeat of yesterday; Ill probably never live it down as it is," Alex answered, a smile on her face. "You dont have to get up just yet. Im sure Mom isnt awake. Im going to go shower and dress after I put the tea on."
"No, why dont I go put the tea on, and you start the shower. Ill join you and well both be up and dressed by the time Kelley comes a calling."
"Are you sure, Samantha? Its terribly early."
"I got a good nights sleep," the blonde informed her lover. "Besides, showering with you is incentive enough to get my butt out of bed."
"Maybe here it is, but I have to drag you out of bed kicking and screaming at home."
"Ah, but thats the difference, we arent at home." Samantha rolled off the bed and headed for the living room. "Go start the shower; Ill just be a sec."
If they had talked about it, the truth would have come out that both of the women were anxious to get home now that the time had been decided. In actuality, they wouldnt be home for another day or so, but at least they would be back in California.
The warm liquid, streaming from the dual showerheads, felt good as it flowed from both directions and cascaded into the middle of the oversized stall. About the time Alex had the water the perfect temperature, a naked body joined her, pressing close against her body and planting a morning kiss on eagerly awaiting lips.
"I love the way you look when youre wet," the blonde professed, running her fingers through the ebony locks in front of her.
"I love the way you look when youre naked," Alex countered. "Wet or dry, it doesnt matter. " She pulled the smaller woman close and nibbled on her ear. "The reason I was going to dress before you woke up was to avoid having to tell you that we dont have time for this."
"Time for what?" Sam teased, caressing the brunettes buttocks in a massaging motion.
"Samantha, the purpose of getting up was to be dressed by the time Kelley came knocking on the door. Do you intend for us to be in the bathroom when she comes calling this morning? That would be worse than yesterday."
"Sometimes you can be an unimaginative party pooper; do you realize that Alex?"
"Yes. I suppose you have a valid point there, but I would rather be considered a party pooper this morning than to have Kelley teasing me the rest of the way home." Once again she bent down to kiss the full lips she loved. "Now, we really need to get washed and dressed."
"Okay," Samantha pouted. "I guess we cant have you losing face two days in a row."
Both women were showered, dressed, sitting, and drinking tea, with coffee brewing for the others, when Kelley knocked gingerly on the door.
Voices in unison answered the knocking with a verbal, "Its open; come on in." Then they looked at each other and smiled.
Surprised to see both the younger women up and dressed, Kelleys expression was one to be caught on camera, which only made the culprits smile even more.
"Ah, ha! Thought youd catch us sleeping again, didnt you?" Alex gleefully accused.
"To tell the truth, yes," Kelley confessed. "But this is a very nice surprise, and I do believe I even smell coffee."
"Absolutely," Samantha replied, "Ill get you a cup, go ahead and sit down."
As morning tends to do on the final day of a vacation, it disappeared into afternoon before anyone realized it. The Jeep was loaded, and the hour to leave was at hand.
"I hope it doesnt take me forever to get you people back here to visit again. Seems like I have to make a major purchase before I get any attention." Gary glanced sarcastically at Alex.
"My life has been going through some major alterations the past few months," the dark-haired beauty answered, motioning with her head to the back of the car.
"Great!" Samantha interjected. "Now Im an alteration." She giggled and tapped both Gary and Alex on their heads.
"Oh, but such an exquisite modification you are," Gary insisted.
"No good kissing up now, the damage has been done; Ive been spoken of as an object."
"Okay, kids," Aurora joined in the conversation. "If you cant play nicely together, Im going to separate you all."
"Actually, they are getting separated in a few minutes," Kelley added as the airport came into sight.
Pulling into the parking lot, Samantha listed all the good things that had come out of their visit to Sedona, including her getting to meet Gary.
Kelley went to check on their takeoff schedule and to see if the plane had been readied for them to board.
Finally, with goodbye hugs and kisses and more promises to keep in touch, the women were ready to leave Sedona. With conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow, the Californians boarded the plane headed back toward the Pacific Ocean and familiar territory.
Aurora made a good case for having the girls stay at the villa for the weekend and Samantha helped talk Alex into postponing their leaving for Laguna until Sunday.
When they arrived in San Diego, Kelley insisted on driving the Porsche and told Alex and Sam to ride with Aurora.
"Im quite capable of driving, Kelley," Alex had tried to argue, only to receive disagreement from everyone present.
"Alex, let Kelley drive your car home, no sense in taxing that ankle any more than necessary. You have the weekend to relax and then no one will have any problem with letting you drive." Aurora smiled sweetly as she tried to smooth over her daughters ruffled feathers.
"You know, if I didnt know better, I would think that none of you have any confidence in my ability as a physical therapist. Dont you think I know when its safe for me to drive?"
In unison she received three definitive no responses.
"Alex, no one has good judgement when it comes to doctoring themselves," Samantha tried to reason.
"Whatever," was the only comment the dark-haired beauty made before tossing Kelley the car keys and turning to walk toward her mothers vehicle.
"On second thought, why dont you ride with Kelley so she doesnt have to ride alone." Aurora smiled sweetly at her daughter. "Besides, this way Samantha and I get to gossip a little more without being interrupted."
Alex smiled back and her mother and shook her head. "You are a manipulator; you know that Mom."
"Why, Alex, what a lovely compliment," the older woman chided.
The brunette gave Samantha a kiss on the forehead, before letting her other parent know she would have company on the way home. "Dont believe everything she says about me," she warned her lover as she got into the Boxster.
"What makes you think all the talk is going to be about you?" Samantha questioned, smiling.
"Are we going to stop somewhere to eat?" Aurora yelled over to her mate.
"That probably would be a good idea." Why dont you two just follow us and be surprised.
"Okay," Aurora agreed.
Three hours later they were all sitting on the balcony drinking wine and discussing what they would be doing the next few days; it was finally determined that they would spend most of the weekend simply relaxing.
Samantha was beginning to get excited that the Ellen DeGeneres concert was only a weekend away.
Aurora and Kelley decided to call it a day and said their goodnights, leaving the two younger women sitting by the pool.
"Its good to hear the ocean again," Samantha mumbled, almost to herself.
"Yes, it does become a bit addicting after a while, doesnt it? I can remember missing the sound when I would go on business trips. I finally purchased one of those sound machines so I could get a decent nights sleep."
"You seemed to sleep alright in Sedona."
"I wasnt alone in a strange hotel room. Garys place is familiar, and I had you with me, Samantha. Hey, are you ready to go to bed?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I am," the smaller woman answered.
With a final look at the ocean, they got up and went inside. After getting into their nightshirts, they curled up together on the large bed in Alexs old room.
"Sedona was definitely an experience of a lifetime, Alex, thanks for taking me there."
"It was even more of an experience than I had anticipated, Sweetheart," the brunette confessed, hugging Samantha tightly. "I guess we found out that you really are my destiny." The dark-haired beauty nuzzled her face in Samanthas hair and kissed her lover tenderly on the top of the head.
After mumbled goodnights, the two women snuggled closer together and lost themselves in each others arms. Alex fell asleep with the sweet scent of Samantha in her nostrils, and Sam entered dreamland with her head cushioned on the chest of her beloved.
As weekends and vacations have a habit of doing, the next three days seemed to evaporate into thin air. Rest and relaxation were of the highest priority, according to the moms, and both the younger women would have to admit that the attention fawned upon them was not difficult to get used to. They mostly stayed in the villa, talked, and played board games. Alex hooked up Samanthas PlayStation to the largest of the television screens, and all four of the women had marvelous time acting like children. They were all novices, but Alex and Sam became fairly proficient gamers by the end of the weekend, especially after spending the majority of Saturday afternoon sitting in front of the television, competing with each other. Alex turned out to be champion of the action games while Samantha preferred and could better manipulate the weird looking creature who jumped from one brilliantly hued cube to another in constant fear of color changing varmints.
Aurora made a large bowl of popcorn, and Kelley made a pitcher of what she called frozen rainbows, which consisted of peach brandy, rainbow curacao, light rum, black raspberry liqueur, raspberry sherbet, frozen peaches, and ice. Sam had requested that they watch a pay-per-view movie and the game room turned into a theatre for the evening.
Nestled together in bed at evenings end, Alex and Samantha discussed how much fun it had been to do absolutely nothing, something they rarely seemed to accomplish anymore when at home. They decided that doing nothing would become a priority in their lives and they would spend at least one day a week doing just that. Then they laughed at the aspect of becoming more like the moms, which gave Alex goose bumps.
"Damn, Samantha, dont tell me Im becoming my mother!"
"Yeah, youre becoming Kelley and Im becoming Aurora."
Once more they found themselves giggling like schoolgirls until finally they both let out a deep sigh and went back to cuddling.
Sleep was not long in the offing and both of them were contented to know that tomorrow night at this time they would be in their own bed, looking out at their own stretch of beach in the place they called home.
Aurora was in the kitchen when Alex came stumbling in still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
"I heard you clanking around in here when I was coming down the hall; I assumed it was Kelley. What are you doing up at this hour, Mom?"
"Actually, I was up about three hours ago. Inspiration, you know; it has total disregard for the human condition and our need for rest. I guess it was all the conversations with Samantha these past few days. My creative juices were flowing, and the longer I stayed in bed the more restless I became.
"Yeah, I can remember the odd hours you would keep when you were doing research or writing."
"I cant wait until shes ready to formulate her thoughts and put them down on paper. Its going to be fun helping a new writer get her feet wet in the business, especially one Im so fond of."
"Ill bet," Alex kissed her mother good morning and then continued into the kitchen to prepare the teapot.
"Seriously, Alex, Samantha will have a best seller on her hands when she gets it down on paper."
"I know. I was pulling your chain, Mom. Samantha is lucky to have you to help her with her first book. Its not an easy business to get started in, and with your connections her book will get to all the right people. I appreciate your helping her."
"Its no chore. I love the subject matter, and I love Samantha. It will be good to see her accomplish something on her own . . . "
"Her own," Alex questioned with a crooked grin and raised eyebrow.
"It will be her book; Im just here to help."
Again the younger woman smiled broadly and kissed her mother on the cheek.
"Well be back as soon as we get dressed, Mom. Are you staying up or going back to bed now that you exhausted your Muse for the time being?"
"What time do you girls plan on leaving today?"
"Were going to pack after we eat and then leave."
"In that case, Ill start breakfast and stay up; I can always nap later on in the day."
"Great; well see you in a few minutes."
"Is Samantha up already?"
"No, but she will be when I get back to the room."
"Alex, why dont you sit down and have a cup of tea and let her wake up naturally?"
"Mom, if I waited for Samantha to wake up naturally, wed be leaving after dinner," the brunette chuckled but stopped walking toward the hall.
"Let her rest, Alex," Kelley agreed as she walked into the room, hearing the end of the conversation between her lover and her daughter.
"Goddess, she really has the two of you wrapped around her little finger, doesnt she?"
"Not any more than she has you," Kelley grinned at the younger woman.
"Touché," Alex acknowledged as she sat down at the kitchen table and waited for the tea to brew. "Whats a few more hours?"
"Precisely," Aurora smiled, as she sat down to join her daughter and mate. "So, what do you want for breakfast?"
"Id be willing to help Kelley with waffles, if she wants to take the time to make them," Alex volunteered.
"Well, why dont you ask her?" Kelley replied.
"I thought I just did."
"In a very round about way, but waffles it is as long as youre prepared to be the helper."
"Okay," Aurora interjected. "Now I know that breakfast is at least an hour in the making. By the time you add the hash browns, the eggs and the meat, Ill have plenty of time to take a nap. Wake me up the same time you do Samantha, okay."
"Sure, Mom, go get some beauty rest."
Aurora chuckled and gave her two favorite people in the entire world a shake of her head and a wave as she exited the room.
"All right," Kelley turned to her daughter and smiled. "Are you ready to help prepare a breakfast feast?"
Had the cooks presumed that the fragrant aroma of the meal being prepared would waft through the corridors and tickle the senses of the sleeping beauties, they would have been waiting until everything was cold before eating. Instead of letting nature take its course, Alex got to be the chosen one to go wake her mom and Samantha.
The hours between breakfast and leaving disappeared almost as quickly as the rest of the weekend had. Alex and Sam were anxious to get on their way, and the two older women, even though they hated to say goodbye, knew the feeling of wanting to get home that the younger women were experiencing. It was always nice to visit, but after a while, thoughts of home would always seep through. As much as Aurora wanted the villa to always be Alexs home, she knew that their daughter had finally found a home to call her own. It was a bittersweet realization, but Aurora was happy with it because Samantha was like a second daughter to her and the best partner she and Kelley could have ever imagined for their daughter.
After a short discussion as to which one of them should be the one to drive home, Alex climbed in behind the wheel, and Samantha settled herself on the passenger side.
"You have a very stubborn daughter, Mom; do you realize that?" Sparkling green eyes stared up into Auroras face.
"Yes, and I lived with her for seventeen years. Your ordeal is just beginning." The older woman bent down and kissed Samantha on the cheek. "Make sure she stays somewhere near the speed limit; theres nothing wrong with her accelerator foot." She stood and smiled at her daughter. "When will we see the two of you again?"
"Mom, we havent even left yet and already you want a date for the next visit?"
"If I dont ask now . . . "
"Probably not until after Halloween, unless the two of you have decided to join us up in San Francisco?"
"I dont think so," Kelley informed Alex. "I have something else planned for that date." She looked at her lover and smiled. "And I guess now youll just have to experience the sensation of anticipation, because Im not going to tell you right now."
Alex beamed at the exasperated look that came over her mothers face. "Hey, you know the wait will be worth the experience."
Aurora broke down and smiled, nodding her head in agreement.
"Okay then, can I plan on you two being here for Thanksgiving?"
"Do you need your answer immediately?" Alex asked.
A small hand reached over and patted the brunette on the knee. "We can give her an affirmative answer on Thanksgiving, Alex. It should be spent with family." Her green eyes twinkled as she smiled at her lover and then looked up at Aurora. "Well be here Thanksgiving, Mom; thanks for asking us."
"Its a standing invitation, Sweetie. Now, you two had best get going before I try to talk you into staying for dinner."
"No way," Alex replied with a chuckle as she turned the key and started the engine. "I want to be rested for the onslaught of unanswered messages tomorrow morning."
"Be sure to remember to call us when you arrive home." Kelley reiterated the statement that Alex had heard from her mom as a farewell for years.
The last words spoken as the two younger women exited the driveway were, "We will; Im sure Samantha will remember. We love you both."
A smile and a tear shared Auroras face as Kelley walked over to her and placed an arm around her shoulder. "We wanted to see her settled and happy, Honey. She is; we have to be thankful for that. Besides, now that shes with Samantha, well probably see more of her."
"I know; its just that I miss her the moment she leaves the driveway."
"We should be glad that Sam is so family oriented. Who knows, Aurora, you might even get that grandchild youve been bellyaching about for years."
That definitely brought a smile to the smaller womans face as she turned and hugged her lifemate. "Even after all these years, you still know exactly what to say to cheer me up."
"Its because of all the years that I know what to say, my darling." Kelley drew her lover close and kissed her on the crown of her head, taking in the sweet smell of Auroras perfume. "Shall we go inside? The children are gone and we have the house to ourselves." Her smile increased when she heard Aurora giggle, and the two turned and walked slowly back into villa.
Nothing looks better to travelers than the familiar surroundings of home.
"I feel like weve been away for months," Samantha sighed as they pulled into the garage.
"It does feel good to be home. Kim said she would probably be gone by the time we got back. She had some personal errands to run this weekend."
"So, we have the place to ourselves."
"Yep, just us and Rainbow."
"Gods, I cant wait to see that little fur ball; Ill bet shes grown while weve been gone."
"Im sure she has. Dont worry about the luggage, Ill get it in the morning."
Samantha found Rainbow curled up in a ball sound asleep on the couch. She picked the kitten up and noticed that she had, indeed, grown some. Holding the soft fur baby in her arms, she walked to the window and looked out at the ocean. It is definitely good to be home. I dont think I appreciate any view as much as the one Im looking at right this very minute.
Strong fingers gently kneaded Samanthas shoulders as Alex massaged the muscles that were tight from sitting in the car. The taller woman leaned down and kissed the nape of Samantha neck. "One of the best things about being home is having you here with me and all to myself." She ruffled the kittens fur as a greeting, "Well, almost all to myself."
Samantha giggled and put the kitten down on the floor before turning around and facing her partner. "I love the way I feel when Im in this room with you; its as though nothing and no one else matters. My world is complete when Im here by your side." She threw her arms around Alexs waist and held her tight.
"I dont know about you, but Im kind of tired after that drive." Eyes matching the color of the afternoon sky stared down into green pools of desire.
"You know, I could use an afternoon nap myself."
Even though it was definitely not their intention, the two lovers found themselves fast asleep before they could put into action the real reason they had headed for the bedroom in the first place. In actuality, the drive up from La Jolla and the comfort of being home had relaxed them more than either of them had realized.
Alex had to blink twice to remember where she was and when her eyes finally focused, the darkness of the room was quite a surprise. This was not at all what I had in mind when I suggested a nap. I didnt really want a nap!
"Samantha." She nudged the sleeping beauty in her arms. "If you sleep much longer now, you wont be able to get to sleep when it really is bedtime.
"Sleep? I didnt want to go to sleep."
"I guess your body did."
"Im sorry, Alex."
"For what? I fell asleep, too. I just woke up sooner." She squeezed the smaller woman and kissed her on the crown of her head. "You hungry?"
"Yeah, but I dont really feel like going out to eat."
"We could order in," Alex suggested.
"Sure, why not?"
"Okay, pizza it is. Hey, everyone would be happy with the way we are recuperating. Were staying at home like two old married people, napping in the afternoon, and ordering dinner from the nearest pizzeria."
"Thats scary," Samantha giggled and pushed Alex out of bed. "Better order that pizza before were too old to eat it."
They allowed the remainder of the evening to unfold slowly and uneventfully. Tomorrow would begin a new week and with it came the realization that it was back to a schedule and work.
Alex vowed to begin looking for a full-time therapist who could take over most of her duties, and she talked to Samantha about hiring an assistant that she could train to take her place when they were either away or when being an author took up more of her time.
Alex had proved to herself that she could make her dream clinic come to fruition. But, now that she had Samantha to share her life, she didnt want to be tied down to a business that required her undivided attention. She planned on them starting with long weekends and then she wanted to unhurriedly show her lover the world. Past trips were called to mind when she thought of the places she most wanted to share with Sam, including many of the romantic, out-of-the-way cities in Europe and, of course, Samanthas dream voyage to Greece.
Kelley had talked of permanent retirement within the next year, and Alex thought it might be nice for the four of them to take a cruise together. She put the thought on the back burner as she watched her lover sitting by the window writing into a journal. It was quiet and serene, and the woman who had thought she would never find peace in the world was surrounded by it.
"What are you writing?"
"Just a poem."
"Is it finished?"
The blonde sighed and turned from the window. "Its finished, Alex, but its rather long. Its one of those form poems people who dont like to write poetry hated in school. Its called a Sestina and it may seem a little redundant at times, but that is the nature of the beast, so to speak." She looked up into adoring blue eyes and continued, "It is kind of the story of how I felt before I met you and how I feel now. I really had no control over the form; the words have to be used over and over again . . ."
"Stop making excuses for it, Samantha," Alex grinned and reached for the journal. "Are you going to read it to me or should I read it for myself?"
Cheeks that were moments ago pale began to take on a hint of rose. "Im not that good at reading my own words out loud, but I will if you want to hear it."
"Of course I want to hear it."
"Okay, sit here beside me. Its entitled . . .
A Sestina for Alex Before I met you my world was flat, dismal, and empty. It was a one-dimensional landscape where I simply existed. The main element that should abound in life was sorely missing, But you have opened my mind to endless possibilities and filled my heart. Because of you, my world is now a miraculous place, my heart complete. You have filled my existence with the one thing it was lacking - love. I remember back to that day not long ago when I knew not love When I would walk along the beautiful beach and feel empty. My life held only the shadow of a smile, because I was not complete. And even sadder yet was the fact that I didn't know you even existed. I thank the gods that you came along and slipped into my heart, Instantly filling that hole in my soul where your love was missing Since falling in love with you, I realize that other things, also, were missing. I had been blind to their existence, because they cannot thrive without love. Things like the way your walking into a room can speed up the beat of my heart, Or the way you can look into my eyes and make a full room seem empty. When you are around it is as if no one else in the entire world ever existed. You are my universe, the other half of my soul, and you make me complete. I can only hope that in doing that for me you, also, feel complete. I no longer walk through life searching for something that is missing. In having found you, I sometimes feel as though the Me before never existed. But I am full of life now, as we continue to discover each other through our love. No longer must either of us walk through life alone and be made to feel empty. My days are filled with sunshine and gladness, because I carry you in my heart. It's a funny thing that small organ we carry around with us, the one, we call a heart. On a daily basis it keeps us alive, beating constantly, but we never feel complete Until another heart is beating in unison. Until then we continue to feel empty. Before you, I never realized why I always felt as though something was missing. But missing it is, until we find that intangible magical illusion humans call love. Once we find it, it's difficult to believe that before love we ever really existed. I know cynics would scoff and argue that of course before you, I existed. And the intelligent part of my being would agree with them, but not my heart. For that part of my being knows better, it knows I was unfinished until I found love. And that once you and I found each other we both were made complete. For you, my soulmate, are the inexplicable magic that in my life was missing. Now that you are here and our souls are joined, neither of us need ever feel empty. We merely existed before we met. There was a part of each of us that remained empty. We searched for our common heart, the one that fit, so we could meld into one total love. We are now complete and need not stumble through life with part of our soul missing.
Tear-misted sapphire eyes continued to look at her lover in awe. "Such a gift you have, Samantha. Im so glad you decided to share that with me . . . write it about us. I feel the same way; I just dont have the ability to take the words and turn them into a concert for the heart like you do. That is beautiful, thank you." She reached over and drew Samantha into her arms.
"I was afraid you would think it was silly, old fashioned, or just plain boring," Samantha confided in her lover.
"You have another think coming, if thats how you feel. I love to hear your poetry or anything else that you decide to pen. Remember, I grew up listening to the first draft of many a book and poem, too."
Early evening had finally turned late; the sky was peppered with pinpoints of white light, and a soft haze surrounded the moon.
After they arrived home, the day had taken on an almost mesmerizing disposition of relaxation, like no day they had ever spent together. Now, it was once again time to sleep, and ironically, they were both ready for the experience. Cuddled in their own bed for the first time in weeks, the two lovers felt safe and secure in each others arms.
"I guess this is the official end of your birthday celebration, Samantha."
The blonde chuckled into her mates chest. "Gods, Alex, I guess youre right. Ive never had a birthday celebration last two weeks before."
"Well see if we can make it last even longer next year," Alex stated.
"Longer than two weeks?"
"Okay," Samantha answered with a broad grin. "But, do you think we could leave out the part where we fall through the floor of a cave?"
"Most definitely, my Destiny, most definitely."
"In that case, I will be looking forward to getting another year older. Of course before we come back around to my birthday, I do believe there is a very special birthday occurring in February."
"Right you are, a very special day it will be, indeed. So . . . why dont you close those pretty little eyes of yours and dream of ways to spend all that money."
"Alex, what am I going to do with you?" the small blonde shook her head and laughed.
"You are going to help me make it to my rocking chair, so you had better get used to having me around."
"I wouldnt have it any other way. Goodnight, Sweetheart."
"Goodnight, Samantha, weve got a busy day tomorrow; Ill see you in my dreams."
The End of Chapter 14
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