It was the proverbial last straw. She was leaving. Why had she tried to explain things to them? They would never understand her anyway. Hell, most times she didn't even understand herself.
Parents. She wiped another tear from her red, swollen eyes as she looked in the mirror, and tried to remove the smudged mascara. She took notice of how grey her green eyes looked in the darkened room. Vic gave up on fixing her tear-streaked makeup, ran her fingers through her short blonde hair, and returned to her packing.
It was difficult to put almost 18 years of life into a single backpack. Made you really analyze the importance of your worldly possessions. Made you decide what was really needed in this harsh, cruel world. Things you thought you could never live without were instantly unimportant.
She checked the lock on her bedroom door. Yep, still locked inside. 'You bet dad, you've really got me now,' she thought sarcastically glancing toward her bedroom window. The Christmas lights from the house across the street made a rainbow of small colors on her cold window. The sight was far from comforting.
Vic thought back to the events earlier in the evening. What had she been thinking trying to explain things to her parents when her dad had caught her making out with Mindi? She should have known he wouldn't understand. "Not understand," she quietly laughed, "that's the understatement of the millennia." She shook her head trying to shake away her feelings, and returned to her packing.
Of course, she really didn't know why she had expected them to understand in a single night what it had taken her years to try and comprehend herself. She had tried to like boys, dated a couple over the last few years, but they just didn't "do it" for her. She slowly began realizing she was attracted to girls. Although she tried to ignore those feelings she just couldn't seem to shake them. Finally, she endeavored to accept herself for who she was. She tried to accept the feelings she had towards women, especially Mindi.
She thought back to the events earlier in the evening. It was Christmas vacation and Mindi had come over to the house so they could spend some time together. They were just hanging out, enjoying each other's company, talking, laughing, and watching TV. She had strong feelings towards Mindi and felt that Mindi reciprocated those feelings. Tonight was the first time she had ever acted on her feelings, and look what happened. It all blew up in her face. She wasn't even sure who she was or what she wanted, and suddenly her life was a disaster.
Finally after packing, then removing previously thought essential items and re-packing, her backpack was over-filled and more than ready to go. She went to the closet, moving some folded blankets, and reached for the shoebox. She placed it on the bed, opened it, and removed the money she had saved over she summer. She checked her wallet; she had her driver's license, debit card for her checking account, a credit card with an incredibly low limit, and her savings account number. She added the cash to the small amount that was already there and stowed her wallet.
Although it wasn't particularly cold outside, even for the 19th of December, Vic put on several layers of clothes and secured her favorite Ranger's baseball cap on her head. She put on her coat and gloves, and took her backpack to the window. She looked out at the neighborhood, festively decorated with Christmas lights. She loved Christmas, even though her birthday usually got lumped together with Christmas being only 2 days prior. She hated when she received combined birthday and Christmas presents. She snickered, 'like that even matters now.'
Vic then turned and took one last look around her room, wishing there could be another way. Realizing this was the only way for her she said her last good-byes. Goodbye to her parents. Goodbye to her possessions. Goodbye to her childhood.
She remembered the last conversation with her dad. 'If you can call him yelling at me a conversation' she thought.
"Victoria," he'd said.
'I really hate it when he calls me that! I'm Vic!'
"What in the hell do you think you are doing? Just knock it off right now. You are not gay! Do you understand me, you are NOT gay!" Then he stormed off, slamming and locking the door. He made it well known that it was a fact, not a statement. If she was going to remain in his house it was going to be a fact.
'Well sorry dad, it's not a fact.' She took the screwdriver from the top of her desk drawer and pried her window open, like she had many times before. She was hit by the cool night air and couldn't help but smile at the sound of Christmas music that drifted up to her window from somewhere nearby. She tossed her backpack out on the first story roof and climbed through the window, exiting the world of her teenage youth and heading toward her adult life.
Vic trudged east, hoping to get to I-35 figuring she'd take the first ride she could get. She didn't know yet if she was heading north toward Dallas or south to San Antonio. Either way she planned on heading west. 'There's got to be some place I can belong,' she hoped.
After 2 hours of unsuccessful thumbing and her legs getting very tired from walking she began to re-evaluate her decision not to steal the family car. It was getting down right cold in the early hours of the morning as she finally made it to the I-35 interstate. She knew she either had to get a ride soon or find somewhere to hide and sleep for the morning.
Technically she wasn't 18 yet, being just less than a week shy of that grand birthday, she didn't think her parents would send the cops looking for her but she didn't want to take the chance. 'Nope,' she thought, 'once I stepped out that window there was no turning back.' She knew her dad well enough to know that there was no way she could go back home. He just wouldn't accept her and she was unwilling to try to be something she wasn't.
She was pulled from her desperate musings by the sound of a car horn. Vic shook her head and sized up the vehicle stopped in front of her. Realizing that she greatly needed a ride Vic bent over and opened the passenger door of the older blue Chevy and looked in at the driver.
"Need a ride?" he asks.
The driver was middle age, balding, and had a smile that was just a little too nice. Vic didn't really like the looks of him.
"Do ya need a ride?" he repeated, "I can take you as far as Arizona, if you'd like. I'm heading there for Christmas." He smiled that dis-likable smile of his.
Vic really didn't like that smile but as she was about to dismiss his offer her dad's voice rang through her head; "you will do as I say! Do you understand that young lady?" That made the decision for her.
"Thanks" she said jumping in, "that will be great."
She didn't mean to fall asleep. She was certain she was too scared to sleep. But as the miles of desolate country continued to pass, her eyes closed and her mind no longer listened to the fear placed in her heart by the stranger. Fatigue, fueled by turmoil of emotions, took over and she slept.
She jerked awake when she felt the car hit a bump as it turned onto a dirt road. Vic sat up quickly, moving as close to the passenger door as she possibly could. She quickly looked at the road. A dirt road! Where was she?
Terrified but trying to remain calm and not alert the driver to her fears she spoke, "umm? where are we?"
"Oh, sweetheart, your awake," he replied. "I'm just taking a shortcut."
Sweetheart. Shortcut. Those words made her chest burn with panic. 'Oh shit I am in trouble,' she thought. "Oh," she said wanting to appear calm and unconcerned but fearing she failed miserably.
The driver turned his head and smiled at her. Vic forced a smile in return. She knew if he stopped the car that she was dead, or worse. She also knew she had no idea where she was and didn't want to bolt into the woods unprepared.
She sat up straighter and tried to appear casual as she attempted to gather as much information as she could about her location. The further they traveled on the dirt road the more concerned she became. Even though she had no idea where she was, she figured her best chance was to escape the car, and hopefully this man, as soon as possible and head back to the paved road. "I need to pee," she blurted out.
"It won't be long now," he answered, "just hold on."
'I'm not staying in the car with this man for one second longer,' her mind yelled. She noticed she had accidentally locked the manual door lock when she had been sleeping. 'Damn!' She should be able to pull it open again but now she needed three hands. One to pull the lock up, one to grab her backpack, and one to open the door. 'Shit!'
"Can't you just please pull over there," Vic asked leaning toward the driver, catching him off guard by her movement toward him, and pointing to an open space on his side of the dirt road. As he turned his head to see where she was pointing Vic pulled open the door lock with her left hand, grabbed the backpack between her feet with her right, then again used her left to pull on the door handle. She slammed her right shoulder into the door and tumbled out of the moving car.
Vic hit the dirt road hard but was smart enough to roll with the momentum. As she stopped rolling she quickly jumped to her feet and ran into the trees. She heard the car skid to a stop on the dirt road behind her and fear fueled her scamper to find cover.
She continued to scramble into the trees but headed in the direction they were traveling, hoping to confuse the driver. She quickly found some thick underbrush, surrounded by some fallen trees, and tried her best to conceal herself. She could still see part of the road from her hiding place and she peered with one eye towards her suspected doom.
The driver emerged from the vehicle angry and cursing. He made no pretense to coax her back to the car, instead yelling, "Get back here you slut! You can't escape from me. I'll find you and then you'll get what you deserve."
Vic hunkered down in her hiding place; extremely glad she had decided to venture escaping. She figured even if he found her at least with her martial arts skills she had a fighting chance with him outside of the car, which she wouldn't have had inside the enclosed vehicle.
The tirade continued as the driver frantically searched the woods for her. Vic felt her heart pounding in her ears with each rapid beat. The driver finally gave up his search for her and with more threatening words of revenge jumped in his car and continued down the dirt road.
Shaking Vic let out a loud sigh. She steadied herself and stood from her hiding place. She then shouldered her backpack and ventured to the road. Although she was sure the car with its distressing driver was gone she carefully looked up and down the road, a little fearful of what she might discover. She confirmed that the car was indeed gone. Vic then turned and heading down the road in the opposite direction, back to the oiled road.
She was scared and alone but worst of all she was lost. The sun had dipped below the trees and it would soon begin to get dark and cold. She knew she had to get to civilization. She had conversations with herself over and over again during her walk toward the highway her mind battling itself as well as her heart. She was not going back home but she desperately wanted civilization. She wanted somewhere public, somewhere with lots of people, somewhere safe. Vic laughed out loud; 'sure somewhere like that is going to be right out here in God only knows where'.
She finally made it to the asphalt highway. "Highway, yeah, right, more like road in the middle of nowhere." She chuckled and was a bit startled by the echo of her voice off the trees. Vic looked left and right trying to decide which direction to venture. She certainly wasn't going to wait around for a car to pass; the road didn't look like it was very well traveled. After scrutinizing her two options Vic headed away from the sunset, hoping the light from the soon rising moon would help her see her way.
The sun had long set, and it was getting dark, and cold. 'At least I'm lost somewhere other than Utah this time of year, I'd certainly freeze my ass off there on December 20th.' she thought remembering her one winter trip through that state a few years ago. The sounds from the forest that lined the road were starting to raise unrealistic, buy no less scary fears. She had only seen 1 car since reaching the road and it was full of drunken teenagers, which hadn't stopped to help her, almost to her relief.
She could almost make out a road sign up ahead and hope filled her heart. She picked up her pace and hurried along so she could read it. "Apache Junction 27" the signs' words dashed her brief feeling of hope. '27 miles! I am in the middle of nowhere.' Dejected, she thought of just moving off the road to sleep for a while but the sharp call of an owl, followed by scuttling sounds in the underbrush quickly quelled her thoughts and increased her fear.
Before she could re-analyze her judgment concerning her recent impulsive decisions her eyes demanded her mind's attention. Vic looked further down the road and thought she could see a light. She continued to walk, no longer daring to be hopeful.
A few minutes later she was certain that it was a light, and she thought she could occasionally hear voices. Wearily she continued on towards the signs of life, and hopeful safety.
As she neared the light she could see a brown brick building, just slightly back from the road. Strange, she couldn't see any windows in the structure, and this made her a little nervous. She did see a big, solid, wooden door that appeared to be the only entrance.
'It looks safe enough,' she thought as she moved off the road and into the cover of the forest, inching slowly toward the building. She finally was close enough to read the sign on the brick wall that proclaimed the building to be "The Wayword Inn." Vic just sat back to observe the building for the time being. She was being over cautions after her experience earlier in the day. It was hard to believe all that had happened just this afternoon, let alone in the last 24 hours of her life.
She could see a dirt parking lot on the left side of the building. Only 2 cars filled the large lot. One car was very old. She wasn't sure what kind it was but it reminded her of a gangster car from those old black and white movies her dad used to watch. The second car was like none she had ever seen before. The windows looked like mirrors, rather than glass. Shiny chrome lined the bottom around the car, and she couldn't see where the doors would open, it looked like solid metal. She had never seen a car like this before. 'Bitchin',' she thought as she looked longingly at the car. 'I'd love that car, not that I could ever afford it in this lifetime,' she thought admiring the sleek silver machine.
She laughed when she noticed a light tan horse tied to a hitching post on the side of the building. 'What an interesting place.' She couldn't imagine the building being close enough to a town that someone would actually ride their horse here.
She continued to watch the door and two gentlemen, dressed in old-fashioned suits complete with top hats, excited the building. She could hear joyful voices through the open door. "Goodnight Max," one man barked just before leaving. The men walked to the old car, one got in the driver's side and the younger man went to the front of the machine. She watched in wonder as the young man turned some lever at the front of the car. She heard the car sputter to life and watched as the men drove out of the parking lot. They seemed to disappear as the car moved on to the highway, and she could no longer see or hear any sign of them. "Very weird, I must be so tired I'm losing my mind." She laughed, "Course I'm loosing my mind I'm talking to myself now aren't I!"
'Come on Vic, get a grip,' she forced her nervous legs to hold her weight as she stood. Chastising herself for her unusual fear she made her way to the front door of the building. She was hopeful that her prayers had actually come true and this would be a safe place she could stay the night.
Vic pushed the wooden door inward. Her eyes were accustomed to the outside darkness so she had no problems seeing what was inside. Her first impression was that she was safe. She let go of the breath that she was holding and stepped further inside the warm building, letting the heavy door close behind her.
She looked around the inn. There was a very big man grabbing a rowdy customer by the shirt collar, and forcefully informing him that he'd better behave. Surprisingly this sight made Vic feel even safer. She was certain that she could count on this guy to protect her if she needed him to.
She continued her inspection of the room. She noticed a bar at the far end. There was a pretty, dark headed woman serving drinks at the bar. She noticed that she looked genuinely friendly. There were several customers sitting at a table. They stopped talking when a slightly overweight and very cheerful woman began to serve them some delicious smelling food. Vic's stomach growled in response to that luscious sight.
She made her eyes continue the journey, not sure where she needed to go. An enormous Christmas tree caught her eye, the blinking lights and colorful ornaments made a smile spread over her face. The tree was near a cozy fire on the far side of the room. She also saw some vacant comfortable-looking couches. They looked inviting and since she wasn't sure where to go, and was too tired to think, she let her weary body take over and she headed for them. She figured that she'd just sit down for a minute so she could finish looking around from a more inconspicuous position.
She was right the couches were comfortable. She relaxed into them as she sat her backpack on the ground near her feet. She could smell the fresh pine of the Christmas tree and her eyes again moved to admire the beautiful tree. The twinkling lights were hypnotic and before she realized it she had fallen fast asleep.
Katie, the owner of the inn, had watched the young, scared, blonde stranger enter. She had wanted to greet her but was occupied with other tasks. She was pleased to see that she had made her way to the couch to rest, she was afraid that she was going to turn and leave before she could be properly welcomed.
Katie had an empty room waiting which would be perfect for the young girl and she planned on having her stay for a few days, maybe even for Christmas. There was only one other guest currently staying at the inn, JD, and that tall, dark-headed, mysterious woman pretty much kept to her self. It would be good to have another guest staying at the inn. Christmas time was for families and to Katie guests of her inn were part of her family.
Katie smiled as she watched the girl drift off to sleep. She could see the worry lines disappear from her gentle face. Katie grabbed the key to room 6 so she could to turn down the bed for their guest. As she glanced up again looking towards her guest, her smile quickly faded. 'Oh no you don't Rosie,' she thought as she ran trying to intercept the self-proclaimed "prostitute extraordinaire" before she could claim her young prey.
Her fear wasn't necessary as JD appeared out of the shadows and stopping Rosie short of her intended destination. Katie couldn't hear the conversation but Rosie quickly stomped away very upset.
"Thanks," Katie said as she reached JD.
"Don't mention it. Is she staying the night?" JD asked gesturing with her head towards the sleeping girl.
"I hope so. I have room 6 ready, I was going to turn down the bed and find Jack to help?"
Katie was interrupted. "I'll carry her upstairs. She doesn't need any contact with strange men right now." JD replied as she moved toward the sleeping blonde.
Katie nodded her understanding and moved towards the stairs. She couldn't help thinking that JD spoke more words to her in this conversation than she had during her entire stay at the inn.
JD went over to the sleeping young girl. She quirked a slight smile at how peaceful the girl looked. For some reason she wasn't worried about scaring her. She felt comfortable in her presence and knew the girl would feel the same. JD slung the heavy backpack onto her shoulder, speculating about its contents, then reached down and picked the sleeping girl up in her arms.
Vic opened her eyes, startled at the sensation of being lifted up. She tensed and her eyes flew open, looking directly in to the stunning blue eyes of a very beautiful woman. The woman smiled. That smile and the woman's firm but gentle touch instantly calmed Vic and she relaxed into the strangers arms, allowing herself to be carried.
JD smiled at the young girl, as her bright green eyes frantically opened, searching. She was really quite pretty, but young. She felt the girl stiffen and then relax as their eyes met and the girl could tell she was safe in her arms. "Just relax, I'll carry you to your room so you can stay here tonight. Don't worry, no one will hurt you here."
The girl closed her eyes and relaxed, JD easily carried her up the stairs and to room 6, where Katie was just turning down the covers on the soft bed.
Katie smiled as the mysterious woman known only as JD carried the young girl into the room and placed her on the bed. "It's OK Kate, I'll make sure she's all right." Katie turned and exited the room, closing the door slightly behind her.
Vic heard the conversation between the two women but she didn't completely open her eyes until she heard the older woman leave and felt her shoes being carefully removed. She then smiled as she looked into the eyes of the dark-headed women with whom she felt surpassingly safe.
"Please don't leave me alone," Vic whispered, fearful again, for the first time since being at the inn.
"OK," JD responded, "for a while."
Vic then realized she didn't even know the name of her champion. "What's your name?" she queried.
"You don't talk much do you?" Vic teased.
Vic wasn't surprised when JD answered her, "nope."
"Well thanks for staying with me. I feel safe with you. Maybe I'll be able to get some sleep tonight thanks to you."
JD smiled and pulled the covers over the small blonde woman. She then turned and made her way to a pleasant chair by the foot of the bed. She made herself comfortable and then smiled noticing the young girl was still watching her.
"Well, in case you wanted to know my name's Victoria but i go by Vic. I've had a really rough day today and I'm very tired. I'm going to go to sleep now. Thanks again for staying with me." Vic took a deep breath, turned onto her side and quickly fell back to sleep.
JD just looked at the sleeping girl, wondering how she could talk so much in just one breath. She stayed for over an hour, until she was sure Vic was sleeping soundly, and then she rose to leave. She left a quick note on the table telling Vic not to worry that she was safe. She also told her she would be around tomorrow if she needed anything. Looking at her long note JD silently wondered if that talkative girl was rubbing off on her. Surprisingly drawn to her JD took one last look at the sleeping blond, locked the door, and left the room.
Vic awoke the next morning and was briefly fearful. Promptly her surroundings brought back memories of her location and that she was safe. She smiled at the memory of JD and quickly looked toward the chair, then around the room, her smile fading when the woman's absence became apparent.
She rose from the bed and noticed the note JD had left. Relief that she was safe and hopefulness at seeing JD again quickly filled her as she read the words. Vic headed to the bathroom and was thrilled when she spotted the oversized, freestanding claw-foot bathtub. She knew a hot bath would feel great on her aching muscles and may even help her waning spirit so she began filling the tub "Bubbles," she cheerfully exclaim at her pleasant find, adding the strawberry scented liquid to her bath.
Vic stripped the soiled and slightly torn clothes from her body, washed them in the sink, and hung them up to dry. She then enjoyed a nice, long, relaxing bath. As she bathed her thoughts drifted back to earlier that year.
What a confusing year it had been. Vic was smart and a good student. It was her senior year in high school. She had enough credits to graduate after only the first quarter of school but she stayed on another quarter to participate in athletics. She played volleyball and basketball and loved them both. Of course that has not been easy either, thanks to her "best friend," but it had been worth enduring.
Her sophomore year was when she realized that she was "different." That she liked girls. It hit her rather unexpectedly; she was involved in an intense conversation with Emma, her best friend of 12 years. They were in the school library sitting close to each other so they could talk without being overheard. It was in the middle of this conversation that Vic suddenly realized that she was in love with Emma, and not just the love of friendship. She was physically drawn to her. She was leaning in close to Emma, to whisper in her ear, when it hit her. Instead of answering Emma's question she professed in a passion-filled voice, "I love you Emma."
It had turned out that Emma wasn't such a good friend after all. Emma was repulsed with Vic and her confession. In the middle of the library Emma jumped to her feet and away from Vic yelling "you dyke, get away from me" for all to hear. Then she turned and ran away, never to speak to Vic again.
Vic shook her head at the painful memories and returned her mind to the task at hand, removing the visible dirt from her body. If only she could remove the non-visible dirt she felt as easily.
A short time later Vic dressed in clean clothes and decided to see if she could round up some food and settle her bill. She was also hoping to find JD and talk to her. Vic laughed at the thought of talking to JD, which was sure to be a very one sided, but pleasant conversation.
Vic made her way down the stairs to the main floor of the inn. She looked around but couldn't see JD. What she did see was the kind blond headed woman from last night waving her over. Vic hesitated for a second, again looking for JD, but resigned herself that JD was not in sight but this cheerful woman at the inn's front desk obviously wanted her for something.
"Did you sleep OK dear?" Katie asked.
"Umm? yeah, thanks!"
Katie continued the conversation introducing herself and telling Vic a little about the Wayword Inn. "Would you like to stay a few days with us? We'd be more than happy to have you. You also seem to have a way with our mysterious guest JD. None of us here know much about her."
"Well I don't have much money so?"
Katie cut her off, "Oh don't worry dear, we do things a little different here. I'll just set you up a tab, you keep your money."
Vic was very excited about the prospect of staying a few days. Besides her birthday was day after tomorrow and she looked forward to having a place to stay for that day. Noticing the cheery Christmas decorations she even thought of spending Christmas at the inviting inn. Vic opened up a little to Katie, surprisingly comfortable with the woman. She more properly introduced herself and explained her plans of heading to California to try and make a life for herself. She didn't explain about her devilish appearance last night and thankfully Katie didn't ask.
Katie ushered Vic to a table and arranged for Millie to get her some breakfast. Vic tried to relax but frequently glanced at the front door. She watched as a plate of food was carried toward her, her stomach growling hungrily in response to the sight and smell of wonderful homemade food. She noticed that the tray seemed to be heaped with food for more than one person, even a person with as ravenous an appetite as hers. "That looks and smells great. I'm starving. Thank you. It's Millie right?" Vic stammered her stomach seeming to take control over her mouth.
"Yes, it's Millie, and you are very welcome. Hope you enjoy it." Millie smiled, "Oh and JD said she'd join you soon but to go ahead and start without her."
That comment brought a big smile to Vic's face. "Thanks again Millie. You're the best." Vic dug into the food hungrily, dishing up a heaping plateful of food.
Vic was halfway though her food when JD arrived and silently sat down to join her. She smiled, at JD's arrival and the fact that she was certainly not more communicative today than yesterday. "Hi there. I'm sure glad you could join me. I was hoping I'd see you this morning. I really appreciate you taking care of me last night?." Vic realized she was rambling so she stuffed another bite in her mouth to give her brain time to catch up.
JD just smiled slightly at Vic and then silently began dishing up her food.
Vic felt a little bit calmer and looked at JD continuing. "Sorry for rambling. I do that a lot. I was just trying to say thank you for taking care of me last night. I'd had quite the harrowing day but I was able to sleep because I knew you would protect me." She averted her eyes to her food and resumed eating.
JD couldn't believe she was drawn to this kid, rambling dialog and all. JD wasn't a people person; she generally kept to herself. She considered herself a loner and people considered her a mystery. She liked things that way. JD had no intention of changing but for some reason she felt comfortable around Vic. She finally responded. "It's OK Vic. I'm glad I could help."
Vic explained that Katie said she could stay for as long as she liked and that she was planning on staying for at least few days, until she could find a safe way to get to California. Vic then fell into a comfortable, albeit unusual, silence.
They continued to eat in their companionable silence. As they were finishing their food JD broke the quiet. "Umm, if you don't have any plans there are a few things I'd like to show you around the Inn. The Wayword Inn is rather a unique place."
Vic smiled, pushed her plate away from her very full stomach, and leaned back in her chair waiting for JD to finish eating. "That would be great. I'd love to have you show me around." As she waited she briefly tried to analyze her feelings for JD. She was sure they were more than just admiration but what they were or how much more she wasn't exactly sure.
They spent the afternoon together, touring the inn, meeting the staff and the inn regulars. Vic had to introduce herself to everyone though because JD just didn't talk much and the people she met really didn't seem to know anything about JD. Apparently JD didn't talk much about herself and remained a big mystery to the Inn staff as well as to Vic.
Evening finally arrived and they decided it was time for dinner. It was Vic's growling stomach that actually cast the deciding vote. JD went to see Baily at the bar for a much-needed corona and Vic went to find Millie to arrange for some dinner.
Dinner was very enjoyable, the food was excellent, and the conversation, although limited was very pleasant. Vic was quite animated in her conversation and JD actually participated somewhat, which pleased Vic. She was starting to feel more open around JD and briefly thought about sharing some of her personal life with the woman. She really wanted to be able to talk to someone about her fears and self-doubt. She was hoping JD might be that someone. However her fear over-rode her desire to share and she remained silent about that subject.
JD enjoyed dinner. She actually found Vic's company very pleasant. These were strange feelings for the loner she considered herself to be. As dinner neared completion JD asked "How about I grab another beer and we go sit by the fire for a while?"
Vic smiled. The thought of spending more time with JD was appealing. "Sounds great to me," she beamed as she replied, "I'll meet you there in a few minutes. Vic went to the bathroom to clean up from dinner. She looked in the mirror at her reflection, noticing her childlike smile at the thoughts of spending more time with JD. 'Not bad.' she thought, 'wish I looked a little more mature but overall? not too bad.' She tucked a stray lock of blond hair behind her right ear and went to join JD.
JD was lounging on the couch by the pleasant fire, taking a long drink of her cold beer. She smiled as Vic walked up and sat down alongside her, causally placing her left hand on JD's thigh. JD struggled not to choke on her drink, so affected by this simple contact from the pretty blonde. "You need a drink?" JD coughed out.
"No. I'm fine thanks." Vic didn't notice the effect she was having on JD.
JD had to move. She was certain Vic was clue-less about the affect she was having on her and JD was becoming uncomfortably aroused by this fascinating blonde girl. JD quickly finished her beer and stood to get another. "I'll be right back. I need another beer. Are you sure you don't want anything?"
"Well since you're going, I'd really love a beer."
JD raised her eyebrows at Vic's comment looking her in the eye. "Yeah right, old lady, I'll bring you a soda."
Vic watched JD walk toward Bailey at the far end of the bar. 'Nice ass,' she thought, 'hell, nice everything.' Vic shook her head, and removed her gaze from JD's sexy body forcing herself to analyze the Christmas tree. 'Knock it off Vic,' she chastised herself, 'that's what got you into this mess in the first place.' Unwanted thoughts returned to her recent escape from her former situation.
Vic was looking at her hands still musing over her problems, her desires, and her choices when JD returned with their drinks and sat down beside Vic. "Penny for your thoughts?"
Vic looked up, a cheerless smile on her face. She took the offered drink from JD. "Oh? well? I was just thinking, that's all."
"You want to talk about it?" JD asked. "I'm a good listener," she smiled.
"I've just been thinking about the choices I've made in my life... wondering if they were the right ones... wondering if I made poor choices, or if I really had any say in them at all?" Vic quietly speculated, more to herself than to JD. She realized she was vocalizing her fears and quickly tried to retract her declarations. Her voice returned to her normal tone and volume as she forced a somewhat sincere smile, "Oh, it's nothing JD. I'm OK."
JD stood and extended her hand to Vic. "Come on, let's go to your room where we can talk privately."
Vic eyed the extended hand for several seconds before resigning herself to the fact that she just couldn't resist JD, nor was she sure she wanted to. She thought JD might actually understand her, and that thought brought her hope. Without a word she reached out and accepted JDs hand and was pulled to her feet. They grabbed their drinks and headed upstairs.
Vic settled herself in the comfortable chair by the fireplace. She watched as JD began building a nice fire. Once the fire was going Vic watched as JD gracefully seated herself on the floor. She couldn't believe how effortlessly JD moved considering her height. She continued to watch the beautiful woman until she noticed she had been caught doing so and quickly averted her gaze to the fire.
JD was hoping Vic would start the conversation. She wasn't very good at communicating, especially regarding serious things. She could listen well enough but participating in serious discussions was not her forte. Unfortunately, after several minutes it became evident that she would have to initiate the conversation.
"So... umm... Vic," she paused, "how did you end up alone at the Inn late last night?"
'Sure start with an easy question why don't you?' Vic thought as she looked at JD. She paused for a moment, wondering what to say. She sighed, "Well for you to understand I need to start at the beginning."
As Vic started the conversation she was extremely nervous. She was relieved that JD was a good listener and seemed to really care about what she was telling her, and about her. She started by telling JD about the fight her and her father had the night she left home. She then hurriedly worked her way through the situation in the forest and of her unexpected arrival at the inn.
JD listened, occasionally asking for more explanation. She asked Vic more about her past, her interests, and tried to gain some more insight into this young girl that she was quickly starting to care about.
From their conversation JD sensed that there was more to Vic leaving home than she professed. She sensed that she was running from something more than just her father. She sensed Vic was very insecure about herself and had significant self-doubt about who she really was.
The night was very enjoyable. JD learned much abut Vic, but revealed little about herself and still remained a big, enjoyable mystery to Vic. Finally both women were exhausted and fell into a comfortable silence.
JD broke the silence, "Did Katie tell you about the special capabilities of some rooms in the Wayword Inn?"
"No." Vic answered wondering.
"Well, I have some commitments tomorrow but I'd love if you'd join me. It will be hard work but if you're up to it I think you'll learn a lot. Plus you can see something special about this inn."
"That would be great!" Vic enthusiastically exclaimed, excited to spend as much time as possible with JD. "I'm not scared of hard work, and I'd love to spend the day with you."
JD smiled and moved to leave. "Great. I'll knock on your door in the morning, we can grab some breakfast and then go."
Vic was sad JD was departing to her own room but pleased at the thoughts of spending tomorrow together. She walked her to the door, "goodnight then."
Vic was tired but decided she needed a quick bath so it wouldn't take her so long to get ready in the morning. She loved to sleep in and was definitely not a morning person. Vic drew a warm bath and enjoyed a nice soak in the tub. Her thoughts were of the tall, dark-headed mysterious JD. She couldn't dismiss the fact that she was very attracted to her. Vic's mind kept exploring desirous possibilities with the intriguing woman.
Vic finally fought off her relaxation enough to get out of the bath. She toweled herself off and fell onto the bed naked. She was too tired from the events of the last two days to even move so she pulled the covers over her now chilling body and fell fast asleep.
JD entered her room and immediately began to get ready for bed. She knew tomorrow was going to be a busy day and she wanted to get some rest. She took a quick shower to help relax her aching muscles. Her thoughts were filled with Vic. She couldn't deny that she was attracted to Vic but she kept stumbling over her young age. She turned the shower colder and made her well adept mind push the thoughts aside. After exiting a very cold shower JD dressed in a tank top and boxers and went to bed, trying not to think of the young blond.
Vic was sleeping soundly, very soundly. She was having a wonderful dream, which included a very sexy, tall, dark-headed; blue-eyed woman, but a pounding kept trying to interrupt it. She refused to leave the dream and simply ignored the incessant pounding.
JD was pounding on the door, trying to wake Vic so they could get an early start on the day. She kept pounding but couldn't get the young woman to respond. She began to worry that something was wrong. She took her Swiss army knife from her pocked and jimmied the lock, gaining access to Vic's room. She found Vic's naked body sprawled sideways across the bed. JD immediately saw that her concern was unfounded as she noticed Vic's chest rise and fall with each deep breath. 'Well now what?' she thought, 'going to be a little hard to explain why I'm standing here staring at her beautiful naked body.' JD made herself move her eyes being the last to obey her commands. She backed out of the room and into the hallway, She then pounded on the door as she opened it inward, loudly yelling "Hey Vic, time to wake up."
Vic finally became aware that the pounding she had been ignoring was now accompanied by a pleasing female voice calling her name. She forced herself to awaken from her pleasant dream realizing that JD was entering her room, and that she was lying naked on top of the bed. Startled, she pulled the sheet up and around her as she sat up. Morning came way too quickly for the young blond, 'Damn I hate mornings' she thought and she tried to focus her thoughts away from her dreams and on the reality of the beautiful woman now standing in front of her.
"Hey there sleepy head. You going to join me in the waking world today?" JD chuckled at Vic, noticing her tousled hair and only half-opened eyes.
"Sorry JD. I didn't mean to sleep so late, I was having the greatest dream? umm? well... I didn't realize you were knocking." she smiled, stood, and brushed past JD, taking the sheet with her to the bathroom. She called back over her shoulder "let me just get dressed and I'll meet you for breakfast in 5 minutes."
A short time later Vic found JD seated downstairs at a table waiting for Millie to bring them breakfast.
"Hey JD," Vic smiled as she pulled out a chair and sat down joining the beautifully captivating woman.
"Well look who decided to join me in the land of the living," JD teased.
The two women enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of eggs, bacon, hot cakes, and fresh orange juice. Vic found Millie to thank her for the excellent breakfast and then followed JD upstairs. She wasn't sure what to expect. JD had tried to explain to her about the uniqueness of the Wayword Inn and how some of its rooms allowed the occupant to experience different times but this just didn't seem plausible to her. JD wouldn't explain much about where they were going; she simply said that she had promised to help out an old friend, who was a nurse.
They entered JD's room and closed the door behind them. "Are you ready?" JD asked looking toward an already nodding blond head. They crossed the room and paused before a large wooden door. JD closed her eyes and thought of their intended destination. She pushed the door inward and stepped 150 years into the past, directly into a military hospital overcrowded with patients.
"Where's Florence?" JD asked the first nurse she saw.
Vic covered her mouth with her hand to suppress a gasp at their unexpected location. She caught up to JD in time to hear the nurse answer with a quick gesture down the hall in front of them.
They headed in the indicated direction searching for JD's friend Florence. "Where are we?" Vic asked. "No, I take that back, when are we?"
JD couldn't help but smile, she figured Vic would be quite startled with the situation but she also knew she could handle it. JD also hoped Vic would also be able to spend some time talking with Florence, which should help Vic accept herself for who she was. If anyone could convince Vic that being herself, being gay, was okay it would be Florence Nightingale.
As they continued their search for Florence Nightingale, JD explained their current circumstances to Vic. It was December 23, 1854 and JD had promised to help Florence care for the ill and injured patients in the British Military Hospital. JD explained how Florence was fighting to educate doctors and nurses on proper hospital conditions and appropriate medical care for victims of the Crimean War. "She is an outstanding nurse and an extraordinary woman." JD explained of her close friend.
As they continued down the corridor Vic noticed a thin, dark headed woman gently caring for a wounded pregnant patient. The woman's obvious compassion and skill in caring for the injured woman struck her. Vic knew from watching her that they had finally found the woman they were searching for.
JD strode up and placed her hand on the nurse's shoulder. "I'm here to help Florence, where do you need me? I've also brought a friend I was hoping could spend some time with you today. I know you can always use an extra pair of hands to help out."
In Vic's mind it all suddenly clicked into place, 'I can't believe I'm actually here with Florence Nightingale' she thought as she watched the majestic woman rise and turn toward them. Florence smiled and firmly hugged JD. Vic couldn't help being somewhat jealous, wishing she had an excuse to hug JD.
JD introduced the two women before taking leave of them to carry out her requested services. Vic spent the entire day with Florence and saw JD only occasionally. Florence noticed how Vic's eyes lit up each time JD entered her vision and it didn't take long to notice Vic's attraction to JD. Florence also sensed hesitation and unspoken discomfort by Vic toward herself and her attraction to JD
Florence instructed Vic how to change an injured patient's bandages, then departed to ask JD a few questions about Vic. Florence thought she understood why JD had brought Vic along with her to the hospital but she wanted to be certain. If she was correct she thought she should be able to share with Vic some insight into the really important things in life, hopefully helping Vic accept herself.
Vic was just finishing the dressing change when Florence returned. She said goodbye to the patient and turned to Florence. "Is everything alright with JD?" Vic asked. After she was assured JD was capably helping with surgery, she questioned Florence about JD. Unfortunately, like most people who knew JD, she didn't really know much about the mysterious woman either. Florence was able to give Vic a little insight, informing her that JD was a very skilled healer and a very caring and compassionate person. She seemed to care little of herself; instead content to ignore her own needs to meet the needs of others.
Vic immensely enjoyed her day assisting Florence with caring for many sick and injured patients. She was amazed by Florence's great skill and thus her amazing impact on the lives of those she helped. She saw the great compassion Florence had for her patients, especially women. She seemed to have a caring bond for women that shown brightly through the gloom of war and disease, sickness and suffering, and made life bearable. Her unique gift allowed her to really care for her patients and help heal them with her spirit as well as her medical skills.
Vic pressed Florence about her observations regarding Florence's extraordinary compassionate in caring for women. Florence explained to Vic her love for women, "Women have no sympathy and my experience of women is almost as large as Europe. I attribute my success to this --
I never gave or took any excuse. So never lose an opportunity of
urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself. I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into
actions which bring results."
"Wow," Vic responded, wondering if she really understood exactly what Florence had said but most certainly understanding the feelings behind the words.
JD finally caught up with Florence and Vic, informing them that they needed to get going. Florence thanked them both for their help and JD said she would try to come back soon to lend more assistance.
They arrived back at the inn tired and hungry. Vic looked at JD, her clothes were blood stained, her hair tousled, and her face worn and tired. Vic offered to go and get them some food while JD showered and cleaned up.
Vic returned shortly carrying a tray of food. JD was stepping out of the bathroom her hair dripping wet, a towel wrapped around her. Vic stopped and stared. JD was so beautiful. She couldn't take her eyes from the gorgeous woman.
Noticing Vic's actions JD stopped her movement across the room and looked at the young woman. "Close your mouth Vic." She said smiling as she continued to the dresser to locate some clean clothes.
Vic was suddenly embarrassed by her actions. Stammering she said, "Oh... sorry..." she then gained some courage and continued, "it's just that you are so beautiful I can't help it."
JD chuckled, "I don't mind you staring it's just that you are spilling the soup." She then turned her back, let the towel drop to the floor, and dressed in a tank top and boxer shorts.
Vic finally moved and sat the food tray on top of the table. She turned towards JD's voice just as JD let the towel drop to the floor. Vic quietly gasped then watched the entire display with interest, a heat building deep inside her. She kept her eyes fixed on JD as the woman turned around to face her. "Wow, you definitely are beautiful!" She softly professed.
JD just smiled, her blue eyes looking intently into Vic's green ones. "Umm, that smells good. Why don't you just shower here after we eat, I have some extra clothes you can borrow. I'd really like to hear about your day.
Vic took a quick shower then dressed in JD's oversized scrubs. They both enjoyed the evening together. Their conversation centered on the busy day helping at the hospital. Vic expressed gratitude to JD for taking her to help Florence. She told her of her conversations with Florence and how Florence seemed to help Vic begin to come to terms with who she is and her current situation. JD was obviously exhausted but didn't want Vic to leave. "Vic, I'm really tired. I'm going to lie down on the bed why don't you join me. It's late and there is no sense going to your room tonight." She paused gauging Vic's reaction before continuing, "Besides tomorrow is your birthday and I'd like to spend it with you, if you'll let me? I've got a great day planned, with a few surprises for you." JD had moved to the bed during her conversation and now lay flat on her back staring at the ceiling hoping that Vic would be receptive of her idea and join her.
Vic smiled as she listened to JD offer the lengthiest dialogue she had ever heard from the woman. Her smile widened as she heard JD's invitation to stay. Vic made her way to the bed and lay on her left side facing JD as she continued their conversation. She told JD that after her experiences today she was interested in going to school to study medicine.
JD lay on the bed with her eyes closed; she smiled frequently as she listened to Vic's animated conversation. Occasionally she would provide input but when she heard Vic's interest to go to medical school she perked up, opened her eyes, rose up on her elbows, and looked intently at Vic. "That's great Vic," JD encouraged, "you are smart enough you can do what ever you want to in life."
Vic smiled, "Well thanks, but I don't have any idea where to start or what to do."
"I'll help you, if you'd like," JD offered.
Vic leaped on JD, knocking her back onto the bed, giving her a big hug.
"Ooof," JD gasped as she was hit with the compact blonde woman. Initially she was astonished by the embrace but then noticed her body was responding favorably to the young woman. The firm embrace of friendship softened into a tender caring embrace as the two women held each other.
Vic pulled away; somewhat uncomfortable with the intense feelings she was experiencing after her embrace with JD. Worried about what she would see Vic gazed into JD's blue eyes and was pleased when she saw acceptance.
JD eyes were filled with passion as she looked at Vic. Reacting to her excitement she leaned up and captured Vic's lips with her own. The kiss was passionate and intense, both women's bodies responding to the contact. JD's mind finally registered her body's actions and she forced herself to withdraw from the kiss, although her body vigorously protested the loss of contact with Vic's lips.
Vic was pleasantly surprised by the fervent kiss, which ended much too soon for her liking. She longed to continue her intimate contact with JD.
JD pulled away and smiled at Vic. She wanted to continue exploring her feelings but knew Vic was uncertain of her own identity. She felt Vic needed to find herself before she could explore her feelings any further. JD broke the silence, "Thanks for the great day."
Vic returned the smile, "No. Thank you for the great day JD. And for the wonderful kiss."
"Sure. Why don't you just sleep here tonight?" She paused trying to downplay her invitation, "That way I'll be certain I can wake you in the morning, rather than waking up the whole inn by pounding on your door."
Vic continued their one sided conversation, telling JD more highlights about her day as well as stories from her school days. When JD's mumbled "Uhh hugh's" and "OK's" stopped Vic realized that JD had drifted off to sleep. She turned off the overhead light, climbed back in bed next to JD, kissed her gently on the cheek, and went to sleep.
Morning, as always, came way too early for Vic's liking. She struggled to force her eyes to remain open long enough to allow her brain to process what she was seeing. It was her nose that finally persuaded her eyes to cooperate. The wonderful smell of warm bread and cooked ham caused her to sit up and look around.
"You really aren't a morning person are you?" JD asked jokingly from the comfortable chair across the room.
"Nope." Vic replied groggily, still trying to attain consciousness.
"Happy Birthday. Do you want some breakfast? Millie made it especially for you."
Vic sat up in bed. She realized that she was staring at JD and forced herself to look instead at the delicious smelling breakfast. 'It's not nearly as delicious as you are JD,' Vic thought before shaking from her reverie.
Vic stood and walked to the table sitting down to enjoy breakfast. She noticed a small wrapped package next to the plate. Smiling she looked at JD. "What's this?" she asked hopeful as to the answer.
"Your birthday present. It's nothing much but I hope you like it."
Gleefully Vic tore at the wrapping wanting to see her surprise. She squealed when she saw the silver chain inside and jumped up, nearly spilling her orange juice, lunging into JDs arms for a hug. The two women embraced and Vic kissed JD quickly on the neck.
A low moan unexpectedly escaped JD as she felt Vic's lips on her neck. Her arms tightened around Vic.
She heard JD moan at her kiss which fueled her passion, spurring her to continue, her lips moving lower on JDs neck, her mouth tasting the slightly salty taste of JD's skin. Vic sucked on JDs neck eliciting another moan from the woman.
JD turned her head toward Vic's lips, which caused Vic to release her neck. JD then claimed the beautiful woman's soft lips with hers, passionately kissing them. The kiss continued until both women were out of breath. Only necessity caused Vic to pull away.
"Wow!" was all Vic could inflect after catching her breath.
JD nodded her head and smiled, catching her breath while trying to process her feelings for the cute blonde woman sitting on her lap, her head leaning on JD's chest.
JD chuckled, her fingers tickling Vic's side as she finally responded. "Well I finally found out how to get you to quit talking."
"Hey now," Vic retorted in a mockingly hurt voice, sitting up in JD's lap. "Are you saying that I talk to much? I can't believe that you would ever think that of me. I mean really JD?"
JD cut her off, effectively proving her point. "Go on finish your breakfast birthday girl, we've got a busy day today."
Once breakfast was finished and was Vic dressed and ready, the two women went to the passageway door in JD's room. JD grabbed the knob with her right hand and Vic saw her lips move slightly before she pushed the door inward. They stepped through 12 years into the past into the back room of a small bookstore.
JD took Vic's hand and led her out into the bustling bookstore. Vic looked around wondering what all the commotion was about. She noticed the sign on the front window proclaiming the place to be "Barnes and Noble Bookstore - Richmond Virginia."
"Come on," JD pulled Vic onward, "there is someone I want you to meet." JD wove them through a maze of patrons towards a table at the back.
Vic took in the bustling sights, she could tell there was some famous author signing books but she wasn't sure who. Vic was being drawn forward so quickly that all she could see was some woman's picture on the back of a book dust-jacket. 'I guess I'll know soon enough,' she thought.
JD eventually arrived near the author. She found a spot close enough for them to observe the middle age woman pleasantly conversing with the patrons while signing her book. JD softly performed a distinctive whistle and the woman stopped mid signature and looked around the bookstore. JD suddenly met her gaze and the author smiled and waved at her. JD tossed her head indicating they would wait for the author in the coffee shop.
Vic followed JD to the coffee shop and sat down at a table while JD went and bought them both sodas. They talked for a while and were shortly joined by the author.
JD jumped up and hugged the dark headed, middle-aged woman. Vic's curiosity was now getting more than the better of her; she was dying to know who this woman was, and where exactly they were.
"Do you have a minute to sit down and join us?" JD asked the author while pulling out a chair from the table.
"Of course, I needed a break and I'll always make time for you," the author smiled and sat down to join them.
JD turned to Vic. "Victoria Williams I'd like you to meet my good friend and a wonderful author, Patricia Cornwell.
Vic's eyes widened at the announcement of the identity of the author and she tried to hide the complete awe she felt at actually sitting at a table talking to the writer of one of her favorite books of all time "Postmortem." She tried to calm her racing heart and still her trembling hand as she reached out to shake hands with Patricia Cornwell. "Wow," she stammered then realizing how stupid she sounded; she tried to continue, "umm.. I mean it's a great honor to meet you. I love your books."
Patricia raised her eyebrows questioningly and turned her gaze to JD.
"She means book," JD clarified, glancing at Vic and smiling.
Vic sheepishly grinned realizing that this must be the book signing for Patricia Cornwell's first book, "Postmortem." 'I'm going to kill JD,' she thought, 'next time she better learn to talk and give me some more information!' She turned to the author, "Yeah, sorry. I just love 'Postmortem!' That is such an awesome story."
The women spent the next half-hour talking. JD maneuvered the conversation trying to help Patricia show Vic that although Pat was gay she was very successful and comfortable with her life. Vic examined her feelings and was able to discuss her concerns openly with someone she admired and respected. Before the author returned to her book signing she presented Vic with an autographed copy of "Postmortem" for her birthday.
Vic and JD returned to the inn. Vic was so excited by the experience she was incessantly talking JD's ear off. Finally JD got her to calm down a little so she could talk to her. "I'm glad you enjoyed meeting my friend. How about I introduce you to another friend of mine? Do you like to fly?"
"Hold on a minute," Vic responded, "I am not going into another situation unprepared. I was so embarrassed by the 'books' comment. So if you want me to go you will have to tell me what's going on."
JD debated how to respond, but since it was Vic's birthday she decided to just give in and answer her. "Well if you would like to fly," JD paused and watched Vic adamantly shaking her head in affirmation, "then I want you to come with me to meet Amelia Earhart.
"Awesome," Vic said as she leaped into JD's arms giving her a huge hug. "I would love to meet Amelia Earhart." JD was enjoying the contact but Vic suddenly pulled away, concern filling her eyes. "I won't disappear over the ocean will I?"
JD laughed. "No! I'll make sure you don't disappear, we'll go back to 1932, just after Amelia completed her flight over the Pacific Ocean."
Vic sighed, relief evident in her voice, "Good."
JD shook her head chuckling, "Well now that we've settled that, are you ready to go?"
They stepped through the door and were in the small dark office in the back of a smelly airplane hanger. Vic could hear a deep woman's voice hollering instructions on how to fix something to an individual named Sam. They stepped out of the office moving in the direction of the woman's voice.
They walked past a small metal propeller plane. Vic couldn't believe how old fashioned and scary the plane looked. She wasn't sure now if she really wanted to fly up into the sky in an airplane that primitive. She laughed to herself, 'well I won't mind flying in that but I sure as hell don't want to crash in it.'
They finally found the source of the voice, a young woman with light brown curly hair. JD hollered, "Aww Ami give her a break would ya."
The woman stood and looked at JD, a stern expression set on her face that she couldn't hold for long before smiling and rushing to JD giving her a firm hug. "JD what the hell are you doing here?" she stepped back and looked toward Vic nodding her head, "and who might this be?"
"Amelia Earhart this is my good friend Victoria Williams."
"Call me Vic."
A short time later the airplane had been gassed and readied. Vic was dressed in warm flight clothes, complete with a leather bomber jacket and scarf, she wondered if the clothing served a function or was just the appropriate attire for the flight. She strode with Amelia toward the plane, excited and scared at the same time about the pending flight.
JD watched her friends walk away. She leaned against the wall and fiddled with the toothpick in her mouth as she thought about Vic. She believed she had figured out her feelings toward Vic, 'well actually they figured me out,' her mind answered.
JD had strong feelings for Vic, now she was just trying to determine if acting on her feelings was really an option. JD's mind was arguing with itself and taking JD and her feelings along for the ride.
'She is a lot younger than I am.'
'True, but she is an adult today, plus she is absolutely gorgeous.
'She isn't even sure of who she is.'
'Well you don't know exactly who you are yourself.'
' I have nothing to offer her.'
' Sure you do, there is a whole world out there you could share with her.'
The argument continued as her time away from Vic passed incredibly slowly.
While JD's debate continued Vic was having an absolutely wonderful time flying with Amelia Earhart. She asked Amelia about her love of flying. Amelia explained to Vic about her first flight in an airplane, "As soon as we left the ground I knew I myself had to fly. Just being along for the ride wasn't enough, I had to actually fly the plane. Here Vic I'll show you how to fly this thing."
"That was awesome!" Vic exclaimed as they stepped back into the present and into JD's room at the inn.
"So you like flying do you?" JD teased.
"Like flying? Nope, I love flying. I can't believe Amelia Earhart actually taught me how to fly." Vic exclaimed.
"Well if I had known that you would enjoy flying that much we could have stayed longer. Now I'm not sure if your other birthday present will seem as exciting."
"Other present! You mean there's more? What's my other present? Tell me, please!" Vic's excitement raising the pitch and tempo of her lovely voice.
"Nope, sorry, I can't tell you." JD teased.
"What! Come on JD tell me. Don't make me torture you to get it out of you." Vic wiggled her fingers and stepped toward JD, intent on tickling her to extract the withheld information if necessary.
JD laughed at the audacity of the small blonde, who was no match for her, then decided to play along. "Nope, I'm not telling," she teased as she shook her head and backed away from Vic, moving toward the bed, "and there is no way you can get the information out of me."
Vic pounced, launching her compact frame at JD. The impact knocked JD flat on her back on the bed with Vic landing on top. Vic's fingers were already searching out JD's ticklish areas, finding many successful targets.
JD was a little surprised by the power Vic possessed in her small frame as she was rather easily knocked back onto the bed, Vic landing on top of her. JD was very ticklish, and although she tried to prevent it Vic was successfully tickling her, causing her to squirm, trying to escape the assault.
"Tell me!" Vic demanded, her fingers continuing the attack as she sat up straddling JDs hips in order to continue the attack.
"Nope," JD squealed, squirming and trying to get away.
"Tell me what my present is!"
"Nope," JD tried to be defiant as she squealed. "It won't work, I'll never tell."
Vic doubled her efforts, again demanding. "Tell me!"
Although JD was very exasperated by the tickling she was determined not to lose this battle. She knew she could easily flip Vic off her but was enjoying the pleasure-some torture. JD's self-discipline easily allowed her to submit to Vic's assault.
Vic could sense JD's stubbornness and knew she would not win with this tactic. She also began to realize that JD's body squirming beneath her was having an impact on her own body. Quite an impact! Vic began to feel a heat building in her groin as JDs hips continued to shudder under the ticklish assault of her fingers. Vic stilled her fingers, and leaned down to capture JD's lips with her own.
Once Vic's fingers stopped molesting her ticklish sides JD was able to quit squirming. She watched Vic's expression change to one of passion and observed Vic's tongue wet her luscious lips as they descended toward her. JD rose to capture Vic's descending lips. They looked so inviting, seemingly wanting to be kissed.
The kiss was amazing! Electric! Stimulating! Neither woman was able to coherently process the impact of that one kiss on their bodies, on their soul. Time stopped. The world stopped. There was only that kiss. Lips touching lips. Tongues exploring tongues. Souls melting, joining, reforming, and becoming one. Nothing else existed. Nothing else mattered.
Several hours later Vic and JD emerged from their room in search of some food. Not surprisingly Vic was famished. "I hope Millie has a well stocked kitchen, 'cause I could eat for a week."
"A little hungry are you?" JD teased.
"Well, yes? you made me a little hungry." Vic blushed as she responded.
Vic went to round up some food and JD headed to talk to Bailey and secure herself a much needed ice cold corona while grabbing Vic a requested Dr. Pepper. Finally arrangements for supper were made and they set down at the wooden table and waited for the food to arrive.
Vic decided to try another tactic. "Will you please tell me my birthday surprise?"
"Sure. All you had to do was ask nicely," JD ribbed and smiled at the blonde.
"Sure now you tell me. JD, my love, the most wonderful kisser in the world, would you pretty please tell me what wonderfully nice surprise you have in store tonight for my birthday?" Vic hammed up the reposed question and smiling batted her eyelashes at JD.
JD laughed, unable to resist the smiling, goofy, beautiful blond any longer. "I had planned on taking you to the January1993 Melissa Etheridge and KD Lang concert in Washington DC."
"Really?!" Vic cried out with excitement while jumping to her feet and hugging JD across the table, nearly spilling their drinks in the process.
"Really, really." JD answered, returning the entheuastic hug briefly before pulling away to allow Millie to place their food on the table.
As always, food at the inn was wonderful. Millie was one hell of a cook as Vic commented. JD wondered how it was possible for such a small woman to devour so much food, but she did admit it was a quite entertaining to watch.
They decided to return to their separate rooms to clean up and get ready for the concert. They planned to meet in JDs room at 7pm. Vic enjoyed a nice, hot, bubble bath filled with thoughts of the last few days, and most prominently thoughts of JD. Vic felt as if she finally understood herself, as she had never been able to do before in her life. She recognized her feelings and desires and felt comfortable with them. She saw a promising future ahead of her, full of options and choices. Hopefully full of JD as well. For the first time in her life Vic felt truly happy.
They stepped through the door 9 years into the past, arriving back stage before the concert. Vic was no longer surprised by the famous people JD knew and was not the least bit astonished when JD lead them to Melissa Ethridge's dressing room and introduced her to the famous singer and her lover Julie Cypher. Vic was totally enthralled by the singers amazing presence but she was also amazed with how both she and Julie seemed to care about what Vic had to say.
"So what do you think?" JD asked as they left the singer's room?
"They are both totally cool! I can't believe they actually wanted my opinion concerning Melissa's new song." Vic beamed as they walked toward the stage.
"Lets find our seats. KD hates to be bothered before a concert so we'll have to find her afterward if you want to meet her too."
"Sure I want to meet her but she'll have to be pretty incredible in order to top meeting Melissa and Julie" Vic teased as they found their front row seats for the concert.
The concert was amazing. It was an interesting combination of music styles performed by the singers and Vic couldn't answer JD as to who her favorite singer or favorite song was. "They were all just so good I can't possibly choose. Okay, I'll admit Melissa's song 'The Angels' really hit home with me."
"Come on lets see if we can find KD, I'd like to at least say hi." JD said grabbing Vic's hand and leading her back stage past the security personnel.
They knocked on KD Lang's dressing room door. "Come in," yelled a fatigued deep female voice. JD turned the knob and they entered to find the singer reclining on a comfortable looking couch. "JD, how the hell are you," she asked as she jumped from the couch and embraced the dark headed woman before pulling away to look toward Vic. "Who's your girlfriend?"
Vic started to correct the singer but JD interrupted her saying, "KD Lang meet Vic Williams." The women shook hands then KD gestured toward the couch and invited them to sit down.
Vic was smiling, as she thought how JD didn't correct the singer when she had assumed they were girlfriends. Vic simply listened as the two old friends caught up with each other. She enjoyed the competitive bantering and would occasionally take sides in opposition to JD just to get an uprising from the usually stoic woman.
JD finally rose from her seat reaching out her hand and pulling Vic up from the couch. The friends said their goodbyes with promises to meet again soon.
As Vic stepped into JD's room the sight astounded her. Candles dimly lit the room and a glowing fire occupied the fireplace. The desk held a bucket filled with iced wine, two goblets and a basket full of fresh fruit. The small table by the fire overflowed with a dozen white roses and a small wrapped box.
Vic turned toward JD her face an immense smile as she leapt into her arms.
"Happy Birthday" JD gasped as her air was expelled by Vic's vigorous hug. "I hope yo?" she tried to continue but her lips were quickly covered by Vic's, her words silenced by Vic's probing tongue.
JD relaxed into the kiss, feeling the passion spreading throughout her entire body, the heat settling in her groin. JD's hands reached up and found Vic's soft cheeks, her thumbs caressing the supple skin. The intense passion was pulling the two women even closer together.
Vic moaned as she finally broke the kiss, her breathing impassionately heavy. Her eyes remained closed as she leaned into JD for support, emotions flooding her senses and impairing her physical abilities.
JD held her close for a few minutes while Vic regained control of her breathing. "You ok?"
Vic stepped back and looked into JD's striking eyes. "Ok?" Vic weakly laughed, "Oh? yeah? I'm much better than ok." Vic took a slow deep breath trying to get her heart rate under control and her brain working again. She was drawn toward the beautiful flowers. She bent and slowly inhaled the rosy fragrance while she secretly eyed the delicately wrapped present. She picked up the card and grinned at the inscription "I love you for who you are. - JD."
JD retrieved a soft blanket from the back of a chair and placed it on the floor in front of the fire. She then grabbed the bowl of fruit, bottle of wine, and wineglasses and placed them next to the blanket. JD walked over and took Vic's hand, noticing it shaking slightly she smiled inwardly as she lead her towards the waiting picnic.
JD pulled Vic down onto the blanket. The fire was warm and inviting. "This is nice," Vic said. "Thank you."
JD simply smiled in response.
"I love the white roses, they're beautiful."
"Oh," JD exclaimed as she jumped to her feet and retrieved the present. "This is for you. It's not much but? well? umm? happy birthday." JD stumbled over her words as she reclaimed her place on the blanket next to Vic.
Vic accepted the small, neatly wrapped package, she turned it over in her hands inspecting it with her eyes she then raised it to her ear and shook it slightly, trying to guess the contents.
JD smiled and chuckled, "If you just open it you'll know what's inside."
"Well what's the fun in that?" Vic asked as she took JD's advice and hardily tore the paper and opened the box to expose the contents. She stared at the item and a smile broke out on her face.
"Do you like it?" JD asked tentatively.
Vic removed the silver anklet from the small box. She held it up with her left hand, fingering the polished charm with her right. The firelight reflected off the old-fashioned propeller airplane charm, which dangled from the wrapped band.
"Let me put it on for you," JD volunteered. After seeing Vic nod her head she proceeded to remove both of Vic's shoes and socks. She then gently grasped Vic's legs, one at a time, and rolled up her pants legs to nearly the knee. "Which ankle?" JD asked, viewing Vic's muscled and tan calves.
"This one," Vic lifted her right leg, placing her foot on JD's thigh and within easy reach. She watched as JD fashioned the jewelry around her ankle then lifted her head and smiled at JD. Looking at JDs moist lips Vic couldn't stand it any longer, she removed her foot from JD's thigh and leaned in to kiss JD. Her tongue lightly brushed JD's bottom lip as her lips at last made contact. Vic's top lip pressed more firmly against JD's as her bottom pulled away slightly, allowing her sensitive tongue to delicately lick JD's lower lip. The taste and feel of JD's lips beneath her own lips and tongue was marvelous. The connection between the two women was intense, more than just their lips merging together. Vic wanted this kiss to continue on forever.
JD was amazed by Vic's kisses. The feelings they induced touched more than her physical body, reaching her soul. She felt Vic's tongue on her lower lip and could no longer control her escalating passion. She reached her hand behind Vic's head pulling her firmly closer; intensifying the pressure and the passion of the kiss. Her tongue pierced Vic's lips, deeply entering her mouth, wanting to fill Vic completely with her love and passion.
The kiss continued as JD vehemently pressed Vic backwards, settling her back against the blanket, her body positioned firmly against Vic's. The wood from the fire nearly consumed the firelight dimmed, casting intimate shadows across the room, although the fire within the two women continued to burn.
Christmas eve was an amazing experience at the Wayword Inn. There was an indescribable feel of love, friendship, and giving? the feel of Christmas. The inn was nearly empty; Vic and JD were the only guests and were still sleeping upstairs. The inn staff was involved in final preparations for the big day tomorrow. Millie was preparing the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Chinese food, for later that evening. Katie had Jack were hanging some fresh tree boughs above the front door, adding the marvelous smell of pine to the air. Max was placing some bows on the presents he had just finished wrapping, while the cat was trying his best to help Max fail at his task. Bailey was mixing an assortment of liquors and liquids, preparing her contribution for the Christmas Eve activities. Mable was sitting at the bar thumbing through a Christmas book, looking for a story to read to everyone later in the evening while she enjoyed watching Bailey work. Rosie sat on the next stool, flawlessly performing her job as Bailey's official taste tester, her speech becoming more slurred with each necessary taste.
It was well past noon when JD finally made her way down the stairs, and into the Christmas Eve preparations. "You're getting lazy JD," Katie joked as she teasingly eyed her pocket-watch.
JD ignored the bait "Does Millie have any coffee? I could sure use some."
She didn't know JD well as the woman was definitely a mystery but she did know better than to tease JD too much. Katie smiled resisting the temptation to comment on JDs swollen tired eyes and less than alert state. "I'm sure she does and she'll be more than happy to get you some food too. Did you have a late night?"
JD ignored the question and walked off in search of some much needed caffeine. She found Millie frying some egg rolls in the kitchen. Millie looked up and smiled at JD, "would you like breakfast or lunch?"
"Breakfast would be great." JD responded, very glad that Millie wasn't too busy to cook Vic and her some breakfast. While she waited JD grabbed some black coffee and seated herself at the table. She hoped the shower would soon have Vic awake enough to join her. 'Definitely not a morning person,' JD smiled to herself.
Millie served scrambled eggs, toast with fresh strawberry jam, smoked bacon, and juicy sausage to JD. As she turned to leave she was caught by a quick hug from a smiling, cheerful blonde. "Oh thank you Millie!" Vic beamed eyeing the fabulous looking and smelling food heaped on the table. "It all looks so wonderful and I'm remarkably hungry this morning." Vic finished as she looked at JD, speaking volumes with her astonishing green eyes."
Even though it was well past noon, breakfast was wonderful and as usual Vic ate an immense amount of food. "Would you like to go Christmas shopping?" JD invited.
"I'd love too. Where, or should I say when, do you have in mind?"
"How about the future? I've got a great place in mind." JD stood, reaching her hand out to Vic and helping the young woman to her feet.
They stepped onto the promenade of the space station "Deep Space 9" and Vic unconsciously gasped in awe at the sight of a very large and well-armored Klingon. "Don't worry," JD reassured her squeezing her hand, "I won't let him hurt you. Plus the security officer is a good friend of mine and very good at his job, I doubt he is a threat."
"What is he?" Vic ask, her voice still a little shaky from the shock.
JD explained to Vic a little about the various planets and races of people in the ever-expanding expanse of known universe. Vic just stood, mouth agape, looking at JD as if she was spouting great fiction. She knew she would remember some of what JD was telling her when she returned to her own time but still found it strange that she wouldn't remember a lot of the things she was experiencing. Vic shook her head thinking, 'Damn, I would really have liked to have known that the Raiders were going to choke and lose the Superbowl.'
Vic was amazed by the interesting shops on the promenade and the varieties of merchandise for sale. Vic was looking at a Klingon Batlif, although she didn't understand the weapon she thought JD would enjoy it as a Christmas gift. Vic didn't want JD to see her buy the weapon so they agreed to do some shopping alone and to meet up at Quarks bar in an hour.
JD already had Vic's Christmas present so she went to find her shape-shifting friend, security chief Odo, before it was time to meet up at Quarks. She enjoyed hanging out with Odo. Although neither of them talked much they seemed to understand each other without words. Odo would often times ask for JD's assistance with some security problem or unsolved crime. JD enjoyed the occasional challenge she would receive while on Deep Space 9.
The bar was crowded when Vic arrived carrying a large wrapped package. She finally spotted JD playing darts with two men at the rear of the bar. She wondered why the man in the blue uniform had to throw his darts from so much further away. She shook off that thought as JD spotted her and smiled, waving her over to a table.
JD said good-bye to Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashier and went to join Vic at the table. "Are you hungry?" JD started and then realizing her mistake continued, "What am I thinking of course you are. You are never NOT hungry."
Vic grinned as her stomach rumbled in response. The food replicator astonishingly made some excellent tasting food. Vic regretted that she wouldn't be able to remember this technology when she returned to her own time, 'this sure as hell beats cooking.'
They returned to the inn just as the sun was setting through the windows. The Christmas Eve festivities were well underway. Bailey had prepared some eggnog, which had a nice kick to it, and apparently while the women were away Jack had drunk more than he should have.
Christmas Eve was very enjoyable. The staff was exceptionally nice, very loving, understanding, and accepting. Friends who accepted her for who she was surrounded Vic. She felt a sense of calm and acceptance that she had never felt before. She felt genuinely happy with herself and comfortable with whom she was.
Dinner was the Inn's traditional Chinese food, which Millie had excellently prepared. It was delicious and Vic ate until she thought it impossible to feel any fuller, then surprised herself and ate some more. The few remains were cleared away and everyone made their way to the Christmas tree to exchange gifts. JD thought it unusual that gifts were exchanged on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas but was excited she didn't have to wait another day to give Vic her gift. It was a good thing she was once a respected professor or she would never have been able to pull off getting Vic her gift in the little time she had while Vic had been sleeping the morning before.
"I just love Christmas Eve," Vic said as she sat down next to JD placing a large wrapped package on the floor in front of her. "I'm just a big kid." Vic smiled placing her hand on JD's knee; "I love opening presents."
JD smiled at Vic seeing the kid-like look of wonder in her dark green eyes. "Christmas was never a big deal at my house." JD declared, "I am glad I can give you your present tonight though" JD reached into her pocket and pulled out a red envelope. "I'd like you to open this now, before everyone gets here." JD said as she handed the envelope to Vic.
Vic looked down at the envelope her mind racing trying to determine the possibilities of its contents. Her hands were shaking slightly as she tore the seal of the envelope. She pulled out a Christmas card, the smiling reindeer on the cover making her grin stupidly. As she opened the card a folded cream-colored paper fell onto her lap. She ignored the paper, reading the card, smiling wider as she read the inscription 'Love forever, JD.' Vic briefly looked up, meeting JD's eyes with her own, before turning her attention to the folded paper.
JD was nervous, a very strange sensation for her, as she watched Vic reach down and begin to unfold the paper. 'I hope she'll want to give it a try.' JD thought, her heart beating faster as she watched Vic begin to read the words.
Vic's breathing hitched and she unconsciously held her breath as she re-read the words on the certificate. Her mind picking out the main words, trying to process them, 'full-scholarship? Pre-med program? UCLA?' finding it hard to believe what she read. For one of the few times in her life Vic was at a loss for words. She looked up at JD, question showing in her eyes. "What???" she stuttered, "Does this?" she hesitated, "I can go? are you sure?"
JD laughed at Vic's fragmented thoughts. "Yes, it's a full ride scholarship to UCLA starting this spring. I hope?" her words were cut off as Vic's arms encircled her neck, embracing her vigorously.
"Thank you," Vic whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I don't know how I will ever be able to repay you."
"You don't have to" JD paused and moved her hand to gently stroke Vic's face. "Vic you are a wonderful person. You have remarkable potential to be and do anything you want to in life. Just be happy with who you are and strive to reach your full potential." JD sincerely implored.
Vic started to respond but was silenced by JD as they were handed eggnog by Jack and Bailey, and joined by the rest of the staff who gathered around the gleaming Christmas tree.
Everyone seemed to take pleasure in exchanging presents. Although most gifts were not needed, they were certainly enjoyed. Jack even put his double beer-holding, straw-sipping, hat to immediate use. JD loved the Batlif Vic gave her and Bailey gave her permission to hang it prominently over the bar.
The night could not have gone any better. Everyone hung their stockings by the fire and said their "good-nights" to the two guests. Vic and JD stayed and silently enjoyed the warm fire and the sparkling Christmas lights.
JD looked over to Vic and noticed a sad, inward look in here eyes. "What's wrong?"
Vic hesitated for some time before responding. "I can't believe I'm feeling this but?" Vic paused, staring incessantly into the fire, her mind racing with incoherent thoughts which she was trying to process into rational sentences. She finally gave up and began to cry, "I? I? miss my family, my? my home."
JD reached over and pulled Vic into her arms, comforting the young woman, whispering words of support, and caressing her hair. "It's okay to miss them Vic. I would expect nothing less from you." She waited a few moments before continuing, "I knew that once you accepted yourself and let go of your hurt you would miss your family."
Vic nodded her head, which was still buried in JD's chest, but did not speak. Her tears continued to fall, wetting JD's shirt.
"Would you like me to take you to visit them tomorrow?" JD invited.
Vic's head shot up her tear-filled eyes searching JD's for reassurance. She dried her eyes with the back of her hand and tried to regain her composure. "Would you really take me home tomorrow? Would you go with me?"
JD nodded and smiled. "Of course I will." She took Vic's chin in her hand, making eye contact with Vic. "There are a few things you need to think about though Vic. You have learned to accept yourself for who you are, accept being gay, but they may not have. Are you sure you are willing to open yourself up for the possibility that they still won't accept you? You need to decide if it's worth the risk. Only you can determine that. And only you can determine if it really matters to you what they think."
Vic started to respond but was silenced by JD. "Don't answer tonight just think about it. Let's go get some sleep and tomorrow, if you still want me to, I'll take you home."
JD rose and took Vic's hand pulling her to her feet. Vic suddenly looked very tired; she led her up the stairs and to her room. She helped Vic undress and get into her pajamas, and then she tucked her into bed. JD then took a warm shower and when she returned Vic was already sleeping. JD dressed in her silk boxers and tank top then crawled into bed beside the sleeping woman.
Vic stirred from sleep, rolling over and encircling JD with her arms. "Goodnight JD," she mumbled before returning to her pleasant dreams.
"Goodnight love" JD answered, embracing the younger woman with her arms, hoping to soon join Vic in the land of dreams.
Morning came too quickly for Vic. She was surprised to awaken and find JD still in bed with her. Vic felt JD's strong hands brushing the hair from her forehead. She opened her eyes and looked up into JD's beautiful blue eyes.
"Merry Christmas sleepyhead," JD teased.
Vic blinked her eyes trying to get her brain to work and her eyes to stay open but failing miserably. She finally settled for a semi-conscious state and croaked out "'morning," before snuggling into JD, defying the requirement of getting out of bed.
JD continued to stroke Vic's hair and forehead, trying to convince her to awaken. "Are you sure you don't want to wake up? I can smell Millie cooking bacon and I know you've got to be hungry."
The thought of food, and kissing JD, finally won out over Vic's eyes and body, and she opened her eyes and sat up. She pulled JD closer to her and fervently kissed her lips. The kiss was amazing and Vic continued kissing JD's lips, then moved to her neck, then to her left ear.
Rational thoughts slowly won out with JD and she reluctantly pulled away from Vic's ministrations. "As much as I love this wonderful Christmas present, I'm sure Millie has breakfast ready and if you want to visit your family we should get moving pretty soon."
Vic sighed, trying to reign in her passion, and agreed with JD. They dressed, packed up their belongings and headed downstairs. Katie greeted them with a smile. Before they could say their goodbyes Katie expressed her good wishes for them. "Take care Vic, you are a wonderful person and are always welcome here." She turned to JD, "I'm sure I'll see you soon. One of these days I may even figure out your name," she smiled, turned away, and yelled for Jack.
The women said their goodbyes to Max and the cat before instructing Bailey to pass on their goodbyes to the rest of the inn staff. JD pushed the heavy wood door outward and they stepped out into the fluffy falling snow.
"It's beautiful." Vic exclaimed, sticking her tongue out and catching snowflakes on the tip.
JD guided Vic to her waiting truck and opened the passenger door, throwing their stuff behind the seat and ushering Vic into the shotgun seat for the trip. She then jumped behind the wheel, started the truck, and pulled out onto the highway, heading west toward Vic's hometown.
Vic was surprised at how close to her home the inn was located, she swore that she was hours farther west than they were now. The drive was short and Vic had just started to voice her fears when JD pulled up in front of her parent's house. JD turned off the truck and turned to face a nervous looking young blonde. "Is this your house?" JD asked full well knowing the answer.
"Yep." Vic swallowed. After a long pause she laughed and then continued, "I'm nervous."
"It's okay to be nervous." JD encouraged without forcing the issue. "Do you want me to go with you?"
Vic smiled, "Would you, please?"
"Sure, but let me ask you something. Over the last few days have you come to accept yourself for who you are?"
"Yes. You helped me do that." Vic paused, hoping JD would continue but when she didn't Vic added. "You, your friends, and the Wayword Inn staff helped me realize that I am a good person. I realized that I am gay and that will never change. I also realized that I was not 'abnormal' like some people would like me to think" Vic looked towards her parents' house and continued, "I learned I have a lot of potential and that I can do anything in life that I set out to do." Vic smiled and reached out taking JDs hand before securing her eyes with her own, "and I also realized that I could love."
JD squeezed Vic's hand and looking into her eyes she asked, "If you accept yourself for who you are then does it really matter what your parents think?"
Vic slowly began to smile, the image of recognition spreading over her face. Vic released JD's hand and grabbed the door handle. Opening the truck door Vic jumped out into the soft snow, "come on" she yelled motioning for JD to follow her.
JD joined Vic in front of her parents' house. Vic seized JD's hand and led her to the front door. Without hesitation Vic rang the doorbell and stepped back. While she waited she squeezed JD's hand, "I love you JD," Vic said as the front door swung open.