By Mavis Applewater

November 2002

Disclaimers: Yes, I know who they look like and it isn’t them. The story and characters are the sole possession of the author and may not be reproduced, posted or sold, without the author’s permission. If for any reason, real or imagined, you are uncomfortable reading a harmless little ditty that contains graphic descriptions of two consenting adult women in a sexual situation, then do us all a favor and do not read this story or anything else I have ever written. If for any reason it is illegal for you to view such material then do me a favor and do not read this story until it is no longer a crime for you to do so. This is a Member’s Choice story, which means that the original story was selected by the members of my E-group as a story they would like to see more of. It also means that you should read Part One or else you won’t know what the heck is going on. Is it just me or is it just wrong to start selling Christmas decorations before Halloween?

Thanks to my beta reader Joanne.

As always, this is for Heather.


Carrie snuggled against Daryl’s naked body. As she ran her fingers along the soft inviting curves of the brunette’s body, she fully expected to wake up and find that the night before had been nothing more than a dream. It wouldn’t be the first time her overactive imagination had conjured up a passion-filled night that featured Daryl. As she felt Daryl’s skin respond to her touch, she knew that it wasn’t a dream. The other fear she faced when she awoke that morning was that Daryl would prove once again to be the same angst-ridden, issue-burdened girl she’d been twelve years earlier.

Once again Carrie was delighted to find that just wasn’t the case. Daryl bore no resemblance to the frightened teenager she’d been the first time they had been intimate. That girl was long gone and in her place was a strong confident woman, the type of woman that Carrie could easily find herself falling for. Her gentle caressing paused for a moment as the blonde quickly pushed the premature thought aside. Mission accomplished, she once again began to caress Daryl’s naked body.

Her lover moaned softly as Carrie brushed the palms of her hands lightly across the brunette’s nipples. Carrie smiled as she watched the rose-colored buds pucker in response to her touch. Carrie shifted her body so that she was now straddling her lover. She knew that her desire was painting her lover’s skin. "You’re driving me insane," Daryl groaned from beneath her.

"Good," Carrie whispered as she flashed the tall brunette a confident smirk.

"Trying for another toaster oven?" Daryl teased her as the brunette’s hands found their way to the firm flesh of Carrie’s naked bottom.

"Not this time," Carrie responded with a purr as she wiggled her body against the brunette’s squirming form. Daryl moaned as Carrie continued to press her clit against the brunette’s taut stomach. "This time I’m going for something much more pleasurable," Carrie explained as she captured Daryl’s erect nipples between her agile fingers.

"Such as?" Daryl panted in a needy tone.

"This time I want to make love to you until you forget your own name," Carrie whispered before lowering her head and tracing one of Daryl’s nipples with the tip of her tongue. The strangled whimper her lover released informed the small blonde that she was well on her way to fulfilling her promise.

"Carrie," Daryl choked out as the blonde captured her nipple in the warmth of her mouth while she continued to grind her wetness against her lover’s body. Her hands massaged Carrie’s flesh, guiding her to rock harder against Daryl’s body. Carrie suckled Daryl’s nipple eagerly as she teased its twin with her fingers. She knew that her desire was flowing along her lover’s body as she became lost in the taste and feel of the brunette’s skin.

Carrie’s mind filled with images of the first time she’d made love to Daryl. The image of two youthful bodies rolling around in the sand further fueled her desires. Carrie teased Daryl’s nipple with her teeth and her tongue before lavishing the same attention on its twin. She felt the brunette’s body arching up off the bed. Carrie’s thighs trembled as Daryl moved in a sensual rhythm beneath her.

She reluctantly freed her lover’s breasts from the warmth of her mouth and raised her body. She stared into Daryl’s lust-filled crystal blue eyes as she continued to grind her center against the brunette’s body. She smiled as her lover’s breathing became labored while Carrie cupped her own breast and began to tease her nipple. "You like?" Carrie teased as she began to perform the same act on her other breast.

"Uh huh," Daryl squeaked out as Carrie’s hands began to drift lower down her body.

Daryl’s hands moved to assist the blonde in her exploration. Carrie gently brushed them aside. Her lover’s body rocked harder against her as Carrie parted herself with two fingers and dipped into her wetness with her free hand. "Please," Daryl pleaded as Carrie began to pleasure herself. Carrie cast her lover a mischievous grin as she dipped deeper into her wetness. She felt Daryl’s wetness grinding against her hand in an urgent motion. Carrie’s eyes began to flutter shut as the sensation of her touch threatened to overwhelm her. Daryl’s body lifted as Carrie raised her passion-covered fingers to Daryl’s trembling lips.

Carrie inhaled sharply as Daryl’s tongue reached out and began to flicker across the blonde’s trembling fingertips. Her body tingled as Daryl slowly cleansed each finger, scraping her teeth along the tips before releasing them. Carrie needed to steady her pulsating body for a moment before returning her attention to her lover. Every look, every gesture she received from the brunette, only drove her nearer to the edge and she wanted this moment to last. Once again the petite blonde began to glide her fingers along Daryl’s body; this time her mouth and tongue followed each caress.

Each whimper, gasp, and stifled moan confirmed that she was driving Daryl insane. Once again Carrie was feasting upon the brunette’s breasts as she nestled her body between Daryl’s thighs. She could feel her lover’s desire growing as the brunette’s center brushed against Carrie’s body. Urged on by the feel of her lover’s body arching beneath her and her own growing desire, Carrie began to kiss her way down Daryl’s body until she was inhaling the musky scent of the brunette’s passion.

Carrie became lightheaded with the aroma and sounds of Daryl’s need as the brunette draped her long legs over the blonde’s shoulders. Carrie blew a warm breath against the damp dark curls as Daryl lifted her body slightly higher. "Soon," Carrie offered with a breathy promise as she cupped her lover’s backside and brought her closer. Carrie dipped her tongue inside of Daryl’s wetness and slowly traced the brunette’s slick folds. Carrie savored each drop of her lover’s passion as she feasted upon her slowly.

Daryl’s body bucked and pressed closer in an attempt to encourage Carrie to fill her completely. The blonde continued to slowly pleasure her lover despite Daryl’s urgent pleas. She flickered her tongue across the brunette’s throbbing clit, suckled it until Daryl was ready to explode, and then she would retreat leaving her lover wanting. Carrie continued the slow torture as she lost herself in the taste. Daryl was begging for release as Carrie kissed the inside of her trembling thighs. Once again she buried herself in her lover’s wetness, her own desire also demanding release. Carrie pressed her center against the mattress as she eagerly began to suckle her lover harder. As Daryl’s body lifted higher off the bed, Carrie pressed two fingers against the warm wet opening of her center. "Yes," Daryl cried out as she thrust her body against Carrie’s touch. The blonde could feel the walls of her lover’s center tighten the moment she entered her.

Carrie fought to hold her lover steady; the brunette rocked harder against her touch as the blonde filled her completely. Carrie wiggled her fingers inside of her lover while she teased her clit. She could feel the sweat pouring off Daryl’s body as she plunged in and out of her. Carrie’s hand and mouth began to move in perfect rhythm as the she ground her own body against the mattress. She felt Daryl’s body trembling against her own as the blonde increased her sensual rhythm. Daryl’s body tightened around Carrie’s fingers as she cried out.

The blonde continued to pleasure her lover as the brunette begged her for more. Daryl was gasping for air as Carrie’s touch withdrew. The blonde lay down beside the panting woman and leaned up on one elbow while she cleansed her fingers with her tongue. Daryl’s breathing grew heavy as she watched the blonde lick away her wetness. Then Carrie parted her own thighs and slowly began to tease her clit. Daryl released a deep gasp as Carrie painted her own nipple with her wetness.

"That’s it," Carrie whimpered as Daryl began to feast upon her nipple, urgently licking away her wetness.

Carrie pressed her body into Daryl’s and their hips began to sway together. "Harder," Carrie encouraged her lover as her back arched and she pressed the brunette’s head closer to her breast. They began to rock against one another wildly while they straddled each other’s thigh. As their bodies melted together, their movements became frenzied until Carrie pulled away from her lover. Daryl was panting heavily as she looked at the blonde with a glassy-eyed expression.

Carrie licked her lips slowly before she guided her lover onto her stomach. Then Carrie covered her lover’s body with her own, pressing her wetness against the brunette’s firm backside while she straddled her. Daryl’s body lifted in response as Carrie pressed harder against her. Daryl managed to support her body on her hands and knees while Carrie continued to thrust against her. Carrie was lost in a haze of pleasure as they moved in rhythm. She fumbled slightly as she reached between them, searching for her lover’s clit. Once she found the pulsating bundle she teased it with her fingers while they continued to rock against each other wildly.

Daryl cried out beneath her as Carrie felt her own body nearing the edge. As Daryl clutched at the bedding, Carrie entered her, drawing out her climax as she continued to ride her lover’s quivering body. Daryl exploded once again and this time Carrie followed her over the edge. They collapsed into a heap on the mattress, neither able to speak or breath.

Finally Carrie steadied her breathing and began to kiss Daryl’s shoulders. "You are amazing," the brunette murmured into her pillow as the annoying chime of the William Tell Overture filled the room.

"Damn," Carrie grumbled as she recognized the sound. "That’s my cell," she apologized, knowing that no one would be calling her if it weren’t an emergency.

Still feeling weak in the knees, the blonde stumbled as she climbed off the bed. "Let it ring," Daryl grumbled.

"Can’t," Carrie choked out, her voice still raw from screaming all night long. She searched frantically in the pile of clothing they’d strewn about the bedroom during the night. She discovered the small gray cell phone and answered it quickly. She paced to the other side of the room and spoke in a hushed tone, not wanting to explain to Daryl the complications her life consisted of. "When?" Carrie grumbled as she began to gather her clothing. "I’m on my way," she responded as she began to pull up her pants. "I love you too," she concluded before disconnecting the call.

She tossed the phone onto the bed and looked over at her lover who was casting her a very wary glance. "I have to go," she explained quickly as her heart sank.

"Apparently," Daryl responded coldly.

"It’s not what you think," Carrie tried to explain as she quickly dressed.

"Right," Daryl said in the same cold voice.

"Honestly," Carrie pleaded as she gathered up her things. "I’ll explain it to you later. Right now I don’t have the time. Can I call you when you get back to the city?"

"Don’t bother," Daryl snapped as she climbed off the bed, wrapping the bedsheet around her body.

"Daryl, wait," Carrie called out as the brunette stormed out of the bedroom.

Carrie understood; from what Daryl had heard, she’d jumped to the wrong conclusion. She just didn’t have the time to explain things to her. Carrie gathered her belongings and ran out to her car. Sensing that something like this would happen, she’d insisted that she and Lesley take her car up to the beach house. "Damn you, Phoebe," Carrie fumed as she started her car and drove away, praying that she hadn’t blown it with Daryl.

Carrie was too angry to call Lesley and explain what had happened; she simply drove, thankful that it was early morning and there wasn’t much traffic. By the time she reached the Beverly Police Station she was ready to ring Phoebe’s neck. As she stormed up the steps to the small police station, her cell phone went off once again. She didn’t bother to check the caller id; she knew who it was. "Yes, Mom," she bellowed into the phone.

"How soon can you get there?" her mother sobbed.

"I just arrived," Carrie grumbled as she entered the police station. "I was in Ipswich so it didn’t take long. Did she tell you what she did this time?"

"Well, no," her mother hedged. "I’m certain that it’s just a misunderstanding."

"Yeah, like all the other times," Carrie spat out.

"Now, Carrie," her mother began to chastise her.

"Ma, you can’t keep treating her like a child," Carrie argued as she walked up to glass wall that separated the inside of the station from the public. "I’ve got to go," Carrie said as she approached the glass and got the attention of the officer working on the other side.

Carrie snapped the cell phone shut, knowing that trying to talk to her mother about Phoebe was a lost battle. "Hello, Officer. I’m here about Phoebe Riley. I believe she was arrested last night," Carrie explained, knowing how these things worked since Phoebe had put her in this position on more occasions than the young EMT could count.

"And what is your relationship to Ms. Riley?" The officer yawned as he looked up the information on the computer.

"I’m her sister," Carrie admitted in embarrassment.

"I’m sorry," the older man grunted as what appeared to be Phoebe’s extensive rap sheet popped up on the computer screen.

"Tell me about it," Carrie responded with a deep sigh. "What did she do this time?"

"Breaking and entering, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and she was in possession of a controlled substance when she was arrested," he explained dryly.

"Oh goodie, we can add drugs to the list," Carrie said as her head throbbed. "Can I bail her out?"

"Nope," he answered. "She has to be arraigned first."

"Cool." Carrie beamed, hearing the first good news she’d received since her mother interrupted her morning with Daryl. Secretly Carrie loved it when Phoebe was held over. She always hoped that the time would give both her mother and younger sister a chance to think about Phoebe’s actions. It never did any good, but Carrie always held out hope that one of them would awaken to Phoebe’s problems. "Maybe she’ll finally get jail time," she whispered hopefully.

"You can see her if you want," he suggested in a bored tone.

"I wish I could say no," she sighed as she agreed to visit with her sister.

Carrie drummed her fingers on the cheap table as she waited in the sterile interview room. It wasn’t the first time she’d waited to visit her younger sibling in such a place, and she feared that it wouldn’t be the last time either. A burly policewoman escorted her younger but taller sibling into the room in handcuffs. Phoebe sighed as she took a seat across from the irate Carrie. "So are you going to bail me out?" Phoebe asked in a bored tone.

"Not right away," Carrie informed her as she glared at her. "Your arraignment isn’t until tomorrow morning."

"What?" Phoebe shouted. "Can’t you do something about that?"

It was typical for Phoebe to act that way. She never thanked Carrie or apologized to her; she simply demanded. And since she was the baby and had managed to give their mother a grandchild, whatever Phoebe wanted Phoebe got. Carrie on the other hand was the oldest and was expected to be the responsible one; since she was a homosexual she would never have her mother’s respect. If it weren’t for Debbie, her adorable niece, Carrie would have walked away from her family years ago. The one thing Carrie wanted as much as she wanted her sister to clean up her act was to get custody of her niece; that would keep her away from Phoebe’s bad habits and her endless stream of loser boyfriends.

It would never happen since, despite everything, Phoebe really did love her daughter and Carrie’s mother would never allow her grandchild to be raised by someone like her. The irony of the situation didn’t escape Carrie’s notice. "So you want to tell me what happened?" Carrie finally asked her sibling.

"The cops made a huge deal out of nothing," Phoebe explained in a disgusted tone.

"Don’t hand me the line of garbage you’re planning on shoveling out for Ma," Carrie snapped. "Tell me the truth." Phoebe simply shrugged in response. "Fine. I’ll see you in the morning."

"Yeah whatever." Phoebe shrugged once again. "Do you think you could spring for a lawyer this time?"

"I can’t afford it," Carrie responded honestly.

"Come on, I know you must have money stashed away," Phoebe persisted.

It was true; Carrie had her savings, which Phoebe had already cleaned out on more than one occasion. But since her last girlfriend had turned out to be just like her sister, Carrie was tapped out. The only money she had put aside was in a trust she’d set up for Debbie’s education. Carrie had been smart, setting the money up so that no one but she or Debbie could touch it. There was no way she would allow Phoebe to get her hands on the money so she could put it up her nose or give it to the new love of her life.

"What could you spend your money on?" Phoebe sneered in disbelief.

"Well, what you didn’t borrow or steal, Sara took," Carrie responded honestly. "The rest goes towards living expenses for Debbie and I," Carrie added, knowing that Phoebe and her mother seemed to forget that it was Carrie who paid for her niece’s upbringing. Carrie cringed as she realized that Phoebe’s bail was going to put yet another strain on her already tight budget. Hopefully her mother’s rent wouldn’t go up again this year and Carrie could get ahead of the game once again.

"Fine. I’ll just deal with a public defender," Phoebe grumbled as she pouted like a child.

"Anything else?" Carrie groaned, weary of spending time with her sister; her mental list of things to do grew larger with each passing moment. Phoebe just sat there, staring off into space. "I’ll see you tomorrow. Oh, and thanks for ruining the first weekend I’ve had off all year."

"Whatever," Phoebe grunted as Carrie stood and knocked on the door, alerting the guard that she was ready to go.


Carrie sat in her car and started making the calls she needed to so she could be in court tomorrow to hand over her hard earned money. She switched her shift with a friend so she wouldn’t have to go in until late afternoon. That would give her time to go to court and still be able to pick her niece up after school. Now she had to drive to her mother’s and pick Debbie up, knowing that her elderly mother wasn’t physically capable of taking care of the overactive six-year-old. Had she known that Phoebe was going to leave Debbie with her mother last night she would have taken her niece with her to Ipswich.

As she drove to Brighton she thought about how she was going to explain things to Daryl. She didn’t want to burden the brunette with her problems. Daryl also worked for Social Services; she might feel obligated to blow the whistle on Phoebe. Debby would be taken away from her sister and it would only lead to a custody battle between Carrie and her mother. "What am I going to do?" she grumbled as she found herself in the sudden influx of traffic along Rte. 128.

After arriving at her mother’s, Carrie endured a barrage of questions and an argument regarding Debbie. Carrie finally convinced her mother that her niece would be better off with her since the six-year-old had her own room at Carrie’s house. At her mother’s apartment, Debbie and Phoebe were forced to share a room. While Carrie’s mother scolded her for not getting Phoebe out on bail, Debbie eagerly packed her stuff up. Each time the little girl stayed with Carrie she brought more and more of her belongings to leave there. Even though the little girl was only six, she seemed to understand her mother’s shortcomings. She loved her mother but constantly expressed a desire to live with her aunt.

"I still think she should just stay here," Mrs. Riley protested as Debbie emerged from the tiny bedroom she shared with her mother.

"Ma, I live closer to her school," Carrie argued. "I can drop her off before I leave for court and pick her up when she’s done and bring her back here before I go to work."

"I suppose," Mrs. Riley finally agreed.

Carrie blew out a sigh of relief, knowing that Debbie’s morning routine took its toll on her aging mother. "Now, what about Phoebe? Could you possibly pay for a lawyer?" her mother said in a scolding tone.

"No," Carrie flatly refused. "Don’t worry. It will probably go just like all the other times. The D.A. will throw out the drug and resisting arrest charges and she’ll end up on probation. Think of it this way - she’ll have to get a job."

"She’s been looking," her mother argued.

Carrie let the comment slide; she looked over at her niece whom seemed eager to get going. "Ready, squirt?" Carrie offered as Debbie collected her bags and raced to the door. "Say goodbye to Grandma," Carrie scolded the little girl who came rushing back and hugged and kissed her grandmother.

"I’ll see you tomorrow," Carrie said as she stood. She lingered for a moment, waiting for her mother to say something other than goodbye. Just once a ‘thank you’ would be nice. Realizing that no gratitude was coming from her mother, Carrie left with her little niece, clutching her hand tightly.

Later that night, as she was tucking Debbie into bed, the little imp captured her in a big hug. "Thank you," the little blonde offered brightly.

"For what?" Carrie asked in confusion as she stared into Debbie’s dark brown eyes.

"For everything you do," Debbie offered innocently.

"How old are you?" Carrie asked, surprised once again by the child’s wisdom.

"Six and a half," Debbie explained proudly.

"Oh, that must be why you’re so wise," Carrie complimented her before placing a kiss on the little girl’s forehead. "Good night."

"Good night, Auntie Carrie," Debbie squealed as she snuggled up against her pillow.

"Door open or closed?" Carrie inquired as she stood.

"Open, please," Debbie requested.

Carrie sat in her living room and finally drew up the courage to dial Lesley’s cell phone number. She prayed that her college roomie was too preoccupied rekindling her romance with Jeremy to answer.

"Hello?" Lesley answered.

"Hey, it’s Carrie," she explained with a heavy sigh.

"What happened?" Lesley blurted out.

"Phoebe happened," Carrie responded wearily.

"I should have known," Lesley grumbled.

"By any chance is Daryl willing to speak to me?" she asked fearfully. Her question was greeted by an uneasy silence. "Lesley?" Carrie prodded as her heart raced.

"She left this morning," Lesley explained with a heavy sigh. "Look, I’ll call her and explain everything."

"No, she should hear it from me," Carrie grumbled as she mentally cursed her sister for once again screwing up her life. "Plus I can’t tell her everything."

"Why not?" Lesley asked in confusion.

"She’s a social worker," Carrie explained. "I don’t want to start things off with her having to choose between me and her job."

"There are worse things than you getting custody of Debbie," Lesley blurted out.

"I’d love to have her living here fulltime," Carrie responded. "But it would only lead to a legal battle with my mother and Debbie could get hurt or end up with strangers."

"Do you want her number?" Lesley offered.

"Yes," Carrie sighed with relief. "I can only imagine what she must be thinking. From what she heard when I was on the telephone with my mother, she must think I’m cheating on my lover."

"Oh brother," Lesley groaned. "I’d love to see you guys work this out. Daryl is a doll. And after what Sara put you through . . ."

"My fault, I should have known better then to date someone Phoebe introduced me to," Carrie grunted. "They were probably running the check scam together."

Lesley agreed with her conclusion; she gave her Daryl’s telephone number and a promise not to say anything to the brunette until Carrie had the chance to explain things. Once she ended the conversation with Lesley, she took a calming breath and dialed Daryl’s apartment. Not surprisingly she got the brunette’s answering machine. "Daryl, if you’re there please pick up," she said in a soft voice. She waited and received no response. "Okay, I’m sorry I had to run off this morning but I had a family emergency. I’d love to explain it to you." She waited once again and once again was greeted by silence. She ended the conversation by leaving her home phone number and her cell phone number. She sat up for another two hours, sipping tea and waiting for the telephone to ring. Finally she climbed the staircase and checked on her niece before going to her bedroom and climbing into bed.

The following morning Carrie fed, dressed, and dropped Debbie off at school before she drove up to Beverly. As she predicted, Phoebe was released on bail, which took a huge chunk out of Carrie’s savings. She drove her sister back to her mother’s, and without so much as a thank you, Phoebe hopped out her car and rushed into the apartment building. Then she drove over to Debbie’s school so she would be early and her niece wouldn’t be forced to wait around. Carrie suspected that happened to her niece quite often. She drove her niece home after praising her for the gold star she’d received in school.

By the time Carrie arrived for her shift she was exhausted. The night was insane and she was eager to get home. When she was halfway home, she realized that she’d shut her cell phone off when she went into the courthouse that morning. She flipped it on once she pulled into her driveway. She was delighted to find a message from Daryl who still sounded a bit wary. "Damn, I missed her call," she moaned as she rushed into her home.

She immediately checked her answering machine and was once again delighted to find a message from Daryl. She dialed the brunette’s number and held her breath until she heard Daryl’s voice. "Hello?" Daryl answered.

"Daryl, it’s Carrie," she said nervously.

"Hi," Daryl responded and Carrie’s heart dropped. She still heard suspicion clouding the brunette’s voice.

"I’m so sorry about yesterday," she apologized. "That was my mother who called and something happened with my kid sister."

"Is everything all right?" Daryl asked in concern.

"It will be. I hope," Carrie responded, feeling slightly relieved. "Look, I really had a great time with you. And I was wondering . . . well, I was hoping, if you wanted to . . . would you like to go out to dinner or something?" she managed to stammer out.

"Yes," Daryl responded brightly.

"Really?" Carrie blurted out.

"Yes, really," Daryl answered her with a light laugh.

They talked for several hours and Carrie felt great. Unfortunately it took another three weeks before the conflicts in their work schedule would bring about their first date. Carrie was excited and nervous, as she was getting ready for her first date with the tall brunette. She checked the short black dress she was wearing and smiled. Just as she was getting her coat and heading out the door, her telephone rang. "Hello?" Carrie answered, knowing by the displayed number that it was her mother.

"She’s gone," her mother said in a tense voice.

"Who? What’s happened?" Carrie demanded fearfully.

"Phoebe," her mother choked out.

"How long has she been gone?" Carrie asked sternly.

"Three days," her mother confessed shyly.

"She jumped bail?" Carrie fumed.

"We don’t that," her mother said.

"Her trial is next week," Carrie argued. "Of course she jumped bail."

"Could you come over?" her mother asked softly.

Carrie’s heart sank as she looked at her watch. "Maybe in the morning?" Carrie offered hopefully.

"Debbie is very upset," her mother coaxed her. "I’m sorry, Carrie; I just can’t get her to calm down."

"Fine. I’m on my way," Carrie agreed before disconnecting the telephone. "I can’t believe this is happening," she said with a heavy sigh as she dialed Daryl’s number. She tried to explain that she had another family emergency. Although Daryl accepted the explanation, Carrie detected a hint of disbelief in the brunette’s tone. Carrie felt miserable as she drove over to her mother’s apartment. Her heart broke when she saw that both her mother and Debbie were overwrought.

Once she managed to calm them both down, Carrie sat her mother down for a long overdue talk. "You look very nice," her mother commented in a slightly snide tone. "What’s her name?"

"Daryl," Carrie informed her as she cradled Debbie on her lap.

"Really?" her mother responded excitedly.

"Relax. Daryl is a woman," Carrie corrected her assumption.

"But that’s a boys name," her mother said in a perplexed tone.

"I’ll be sure to mention that to her if I ever get another date with her," Carrie grunted. "Look, Ma, we have to talk. I’ve checked with all the hospitals and the police and she wasn’t in an accident."

"That we know of," her mother interrupted.

"Ma, she took off," Carrie stated bluntly. "And it’s not the first time. But it is the first time she could go to jail for it."

"I don’t understand how she ended up this way," her mother said in bewilderment. "Both of you were such good kids."

"I still am," Carrie protested.

"I know that, sweetie," her mother agreed softly. "I do know that. And I love you. I just don’t understand how you could be . . .. you know."

"It’s not a bad thing," Carrie tried to argue. "I’m gay."

"Ssh," her mother scolded her.

"Look, I think that Debbie should stay with me," Carrie asserted.

"No," her mother disagreed vehemently.

"Ma, I have more room and I can take care of her," Carrie argued.

"No," her mother flatly refused. "Phoebe will be back."

"Fine, but maybe both of you should live at my place," Carrie offered, hoping that her mother would agree. "Just until we find Phoebe."

"I like where I’m living," her mother refused. "And I don’t want Debbie exposed to certain things."

"I can’t believe you," Carrie choked out.

"I’m sorry; it’s how I feel," her mother explained. "Take her for the rest of the weekend, but then she’s staying here."

"Fine," Carrie agreed, knowing that they would fight about this again at a later date.

Carrie rose with her niece cradled in her arms. "She already has everything she needs at my house," Carrie explained as she balanced the sleeping child in her arms.

"Carrie, the bail money?" her mother inquired tearfully.

"It’s gone unless she shows up for her court date or gets caught," Carrie explained flatly.

"How much?" her mother asked.

"Five thousand," Carrie responded.

"I’ll pay you back," her mother offered sadly.

"Don’t worry about it." Carrie waved her off, knowing that on her mother’s limited income she wouldn’t be able to keep her promise. "I need to get the squirt to bed. We’re going to talk about this again," Carrie added sternly.

"I know," her mother conceded with a slight smile. "I love you."

"I love you too," Carrie said with a smile.

"And Carrie, thank you," her mother added. Carrie blinked in surprise. "Debbie told me that I should tell you that," her mother added proudly. "I do appreciate everything you do. It’s just hard admitting that I need to ask my child for help."

Carrie blinked back the tears as she carried her niece out to her car. In the weeks that followed, Debbie was shuffled between the two households. Despite the fact that the little girl made it clear that she preferred to live with Carrie, Mrs. Riley refused to allow her daughter to become her guardian. The added responsibility added a new dimension to Carrie’s life. The change effectively eliminated any chance of having Daryl in her life. She couldn’t explain to the brunette why she was unable to get together with her. The excuses were growing more and more flimsy until the brunette simply stopped returning her calls.

Carrie didn’t have time to nurse her broken heart; she had her niece and mother to take care of. One night she was just finishing her shift when Bob, one of her co-workers, came running over. "Carrie, we just got a call. It’s your mother," he explained in a harried tone. Before he could say anything else, Carrie was in her car rushing over to her mother’s apartment. Years of being an EMT hadn’t prepared her for the sight of an ambulance with its lights flashing in front of her mother’s home. She rushed over. "I’m her daughter," she explained to the EMT who was loading her mother into the back of the ambulance.

His face turned grim when he took in her dark blue uniform, which looked exactly like the one he was wearing. "She’s had a stroke," he explained as gently as he could. "We’ve got her stabilized." Carrie nodded in understanding as her heart hammered in her chest. "We’re taking her to St. Elizabeth."

"Good, I just need to get my niece," she stammered.

"Uhm, she’s upstairs with Social Services," the man explained hesitantly. "She called 911. Bright kid, but the operator figured something was up with her mother not being around. I have to go."

"Go," Carrie said, knowing her mother’s life depended on it. She raced up to her mother’s apartment and prepared to do battle with some bureaucratic fat head.

"Auntie Carrie," Debbie squealed as Carrie entered her mother’s kitchen. She was shocked to see who was sitting at the table chatting with her niece. Carrie wrapped Debbie in her arms as she looked down at Daryl. "I heard you were a very brave girl," Carrie complimented her niece as she cradled her in her arms.

"She was," Daryl agreed with a smile. "She called 911 and told the operator all the right things. She told me her Auntie Carrie told her how to do that."

"How is Grandma?" Debbie asked fearfully.

"I don’t know yet," Carrie informed her softly. "We’ll go to the hospital just as soon as we can. First, I think Miss Temple has a few questions to ask me."

"I’m sorry, Carrie," Daryl confirmed as Carrie put Debbie down.

"Squirt, go pack one of your overnight bags while I talk to Miss Temple," Carrie said gently as her emerald eyes began to fill with tears. Debbie nodded and shuffled quickly off to her bedroom. "Don’t take her away from me."

"I won’t," Daryl promised. "I just need to clear some things up, then I’ll drive the two of you over to the hospital."

"Thank you," Carrie choked out.

"Where’s Debbie’s mother?" Daryl inquired carefully.

"I don’t know," Carrie confessed. "Phoebe jumped bail. I found out the night I was supposed to meet you."

"How about her father?" Daryl gently asked.

"I don’t know," Carrie admitted.

"You don’t know where he is?" Daryl asked softly.

"I don’t know who he is," Carrie said with a tremble. "I doubt that Phoebe is certain who he is either. What else do you need to know?" Carrie asked, hoping to finish the conversation before Debbie heard anything she shouldn’t.

"No," Daryl offered in a comforting tone as she stood. "I’ll work this out. I can’t work the case directly but I’ll find some way to make this work."

"Thank you," Carrie choked out as Daryl wrapped her arms around her.

"We’ll work this out," Daryl promised softly. "Can you drive?"

"Yes," Carrie responded in confusion.

"Why don’t you give me your address and your house key and I’ll look after Debbie," Daryl offered. Carrie tensed, fearing that she was being duped. "A hospital ER is no place for a little girl, especially at this time of night. I’ll stay with her at your place," Daryl explained as Debbie stepped into the kitchen.

Carrie quickly explained to the precocious six-year-old that Daryl was going to look after her until she got home. Debbie seemed fine with the idea, already taking a shine to the tall brunette. Carrie gave directions to Daryl on how to get to her house and gave her the key before rushing off to the hospital. It was almost dawn when Carrie returned to her home. She looked at her key ring for a long agonizing moment before she realized that Daryl had the key. It felt strange to knock on the door to her house.

Daryl opened the door quickly, wrapped her arms around Carrie, and ushered her inside. "How’s your mother?" Daryl asked quickly as she seated Carrie on the sofa.

"Stable," Carrie explained as she released an exhausted sigh. "We’ll know more in the next couple of days. But it looks good. Well, as good as it can be. How’s Debbie?"

"Okay," Daryl responded thoughtfully. "She’s sound asleep. She was a little worked up over everything that happened last night, but I had a long talk with her. That child absolutely idolizes you," she added with a chuckle.

"I wanted to bring her here," Carrie explained as Daryl guided her to rest her head on her shoulder. "Not just when Phoebe split this time, but before."

"It seems that she would be happier here," Daryl responded in understanding. "I made some calls and there’s no reason why she can’t stay with you."

"Thank you," Carrie responded softly as she snuggled closer to Daryl. "You have no idea how much everything you’ve done means to me."

"Anytime," Daryl offered as she kissed the top of Carrie’s head. "It’s nice to know that you had a good reason for standing me up. I should have believed you."

"Please," Carrie scoffed. "If someone blew me off as many times as I did you, I would have assumed that they were a worthless wench."

"Well, you’re not worthless or a wench." Daryl chuckled as she caressed Carrie’s shoulder.

"I could be a wench if you wanted me to be," Carrie responded playfully as she looked up into Daryl’s eyes.

Without knowing who moved first, Carrie found herself locked in a passionate kiss as their bodies melted together. Both women were gasping for air as the kiss came to a reluctant end. Carrie stood and held out her hand to the brunette. The look of love she saw in the brunette’s eyes reassured her that she was making the right decision. Daryl’s hand slipped into Carrie’s as she stood. "We’ll have to be quiet," Carrie cautioned to the taller woman as she led her upstairs towards her bedroom. She paused for a moment and checked on the slumbering Debbie. She rejoined the smiling Daryl in the hallway.

"You’re a natural," Daryl said with a brilliant smile. Carrie blushed in response as she reached up and kissed Daryl gently.

Carrie led the brunette into her bedroom and locked the door behind them. "Does this mean I finally get a date with you?" Daryl teased as she caressed Carrie’s face.

"Yes," Carrie sighed as she leaned into the taller woman’s touch. "But I’m afraid it will have to be somewhere less than romantic."

"I can do Chuck E Cheese," Daryl said with a soft promise before reclaiming Carrie’s soft lips.

"You don’t know what you’re getting into," Carrie cautioned her as the kiss ended.

"I think I do," Daryl reassured her as she began to slowly undress Carrie.

"Are you sure?" Carrie inquired carefully as she also began to undress her lover.

"Yes," Daryl confirmed. "We can do this."

Carrie understood that Daryl was referring to the complications in the blonde’s life. She could see it in Daryl’s eyes; she was at least going to try to make things work between them. They continued to undress one another while stealing kisses. Once they were naked, Carrie led her lover to her bed and pulled back the covers. She kissed Daryl deeply as she lowered the tall brunette down on the bed. As Carrie climbed into bed next to her and wrapped the blankets around them, she knew that they both understood that physical and emotional exhaustion weren’t going to allow them to explore the all consuming passion that they’d shared the other times they’d made love.

They melted into a gentle embrace as the kisses grew deeper and each pressed a firm thigh against the other’s wet center. They continued to kiss and caress as they rocked in a slow gentle rhythm. Carrie’s heart soared as she felt her lover’s desire greet her skin. Each began to tremble and they released a soft cry as their rhythm increased steadily. Soon they climaxed in unison. Daryl wrapped her arms around Carrie’s body as the blonde snuggled against her and drifted off to sleep.

When Carrie awoke she was thrilled to find that she was still nestled against Daryl’s body. "Still haven’t scared you off?" she asked as she looked up to find her lover casting an amused grin down at her.

"No, but you keep trying," Daryl teased her in response before kissing her gently.

"As much as I would love to stay here all day, I need to take care of Debbie and get over to the hospital," Carrie explained as Daryl caressed her back.

"We should get up then," Daryl explained softly. "I’ve already taken the day off from work so I can help you out any way that you need."

"You’re amazing," Carrie choked out.

"Finally you’ve fallen for my charms," Daryl teased as they climbed out of bed.

"Daryl, I fell for your considerable charms that first day on the beach," Carrie confessed.


The End

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