Chapter Eleven

pumps.gif (4035 bytes)The four inch pumps had succeeded in doing a number on her feet, and Jess was dying to toss them aside. Yet she had worked so hard to put together the perfect look, that she didn’t want to mar its impact just yet. Stepping over to the balcony, she gazed up at the stars, thankful that she had dressed up for her dinner with Zach.

    "Hey you," Zach said, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind, "you ain’t getting away from me that easily. Zach took advantage of the fact that Jess’s hair was up, bringing his lips to brush against the sensitive pulse point behind her ear. Jess melted, leaning her full weight against Zach, a soft moan escaping her lips.

    "You bad boy," she whispered. "You don’t play..ooh.." she said, taking in a sharp breath as Zach brushed her nipples with his thumbs, "fair.."

    "All’s fair in love and war," he answered, huskily, feeling Jess press her firm ass against him.

    Jess turned around, and looked her fiancé dead in the eyes. She traced his lips with her fingertips, brushing a hot kiss against his lips. Distracting Zach with kiss after deepening kiss, she trailed her right hand down the front of his body, dragging her long nails against his skin, until her hand came to rest on his crotch. "I see," she purred, easing down his fly, and slipping her hand inside. "So.. we’re pulling out the BIIIIGGG guns," she said, squeezing his throbbing manhood.

    Zach gave Jess a wicked smile. She knew full well that he enjoy the foreplay as much as the actual sex. "Winner takes all," Zach said, sweeping Jess into his arms, and carrying her into the bedroom.

    Slowly, ever so slowly, Zach began his seduction, laying Jess on the bed. Sliding his hands up and down her silky legs, he teased her, letting his hands slip up to skim her inner thighs, before dragging them back down to Jess’s feet. He slipped off her shoes, massaging the soles of her feet luxuriously, before snaking his hand back up, higher and higher to slip up under her dress.

    Jess looked up at Zach seductively from her reclined position on the bed, lifting her right foot to rub up against his Zach’s erection. Her legs felt electric, the combination of Zach’s long smooth strokes and the silkiness of her stockings was driving her crazy, and she felt a tightening in the pit of her belly, yearning for his attention to ascend to the throbbing center of her need. With every cell of her being, she wanted to yell, tell Zach how much she needed to feel him inside her, but she didn’t, forcing herself to let go to whatever her fiancé had in store for her.

    "No need to take," Jessie said, closing her eyes, as Zach rolled her stockings down, before tossing them aside. "I’m yours.." Jess sat up, to a kneeling position on the bed, and started to unbutton Zach’s shirt, popping off his cufflinks and studs. Yanking urgently on his shirttails, Jess discarded his shirt in one quick movement, spreading her fingers, and sliding her hands up Zach’s chest, kissing a trail in their wake. She could feel Zach kick off his shoes, and pull off his socks, as she nibbled and licked at his lips, yearning to feel his skin against her bare breasts.

    As if he read her mind, Zach reached around to unbutton her dress at the neckline, bringing his lips to kiss the newly exposed skin. "My little sex kitten," he moaned, "you drive me wild with your hot body.." Zach pulled Jessie’s dress up over her head, gasping at the sight of the red satin lingerie that had been hidden beneath her dress. Zach joined her on the bed, kneeling before her, and taking her into his arms. He eased Jess’s head back, working at the pins that held her hair in the sophisticated twist, causing her to arch her back.

    "Oooh baby," Jess moaned, her blood racing, raising her hands to thread her fingers through her long hair, causing it to tumble in wild loose waves down her shoulders. Jess felt her knees give way, as Zach suckled at her sensitive, erect nipples through her bra, and she fell back onto the bed. "Mmm.. that feels so good.." she purred. Passion at a fever pitch, Jess let her wild side start to take hold. She could see Zach, eyeing her hungrily, as she stretched out on the bed, sitting up just enough to reach around and undo her bra, shimmying her shoulders, easing her breasts free from the lace trimmed demi cups sexily, as Zach step out of his tuxedo pants.

    Jessie’s eyes went unabashedly to her fiancé’s arousal, and she licked her lips as she saw him slip his boxers to the floor, setting his erection free. It seemed like an eternity, as Zach made his way up her body, exploring every inch of her body, until she could feel him straining against her panties.

    Zach looked down at Jessie, a proud smile on his face, as he gazed at her beautiful body, his for the taking. He leaned down, the crisp curls of his chest hair brushing against Jessie’s hard nipples, and causing her to moan, and dragged a kiss against her parted lips. "I could just eat you up whole," he said, huskily, resting his weight on his left hand while his right explored her body.

    "Oooh Zach," Jess said, raising her hips off the bed, feeling Zach roll her nipple between his fingers. "I want you.."

    "I want you too," he answered, kissing her passionately, his right hand slipping down between Jess’s silky thighs. Zach snaked his fingers under the waistband of her panties, gliding them between her swollen folds. His tongue mated with Jessie’s, as he started to lose the control that he had worked so hard to keep a grip on, moaning into her mouth. Her panties were so wet, a hint of the warm wetness that would soon be his.

    "Oh Zach.. take me.. " Jessie pleaded, digging her nails into his back, biting Zach’s neck. It had been too long, her hunger was now out of control. Jessie grabbed hold of Zach, cries of pleasure escaping her lips as she felt him slide one, then two fingers inside her, flicking his thumb against her sensitized clit.

    Unable to hold back any further, his passion as frenzied as his fiancés’s, Zach ripped Jessie’s panties, and with one deft movement threw them aside. Adjusting his position above her, he poised his throbbing manhood at her opening. Threading his fingers in Jessie’s, he anchored her hands on either side of her head, his face inches away from hers. Kissing her thoroughly, Zach looked deep into Jessie’s hazel eyes. "I wanna make you mine.. forever.."

    "I love you Zach.." Jessie whispered, feeling him slide into her, to the hilt. "Love me," she said, closing her eyes, as she raised her hips, matching the rhythm of his thrusts.

    Zach built his love making higher and higher, meeting Jessie’s body’s response par for par. He could feel Jess straining to free her hands, but he wanted this night to be etched into her brain as the evening when he made her his. Keeping his eyes locked on hers, he thrust into her, taking his time, letting her feel him plunge deep inside her. "Cum for me baby.. I want all of you.. give me all of you.."

    Jessie was lost, engulfed in a whirlwind of sensation, eyes shut, breath coming in short spurts between moans, as Zach let her hands go free. But her senses were in hyper drive, and all she could do was muster the energy to thread her fingers in Zach’s hair, and hold on for dear life. "Oh Zach.." she moaned, arching her back, as he swirled his tongue around her nipple, before taking it into his mouth. Jess wrapped her legs around Zach’s waist, and was momentarily lifted off the bed as he adjusted himself into a kneeling position.

    Bending Jess’s knees, he rested his hands on her hips, lifting her tight little ass off the bed, and lifting her legs, and tilting them back. Thrusting faster and deeper now, Zach felt his own resolve slipping away, as she clenched around him. "Mine.." Zach moaned, through clenched teeth, "you’re mine.. mine.."

    "Oh Zach.." Jessie cried out, as wave after wave of orgasm washed over her, sending her tumbling out of control, and crying out in ecstasy.

    "Jesssss.." Zach yelled, her contracting muscles pushing him over the edge, and, with one last deep thrust, he spilled his seed deep inside her, collapsing in an exhausted heap.

   Jessie's eyes fluttered open. Taking a few minutes to adjust and focus, the after effects of a long, active, and champagne flavored night, even stretching seemed like an ordeal. "Damn bubbly," she groaned, flipping over on the bed, and pressing her face into her fluffy pillow. Immediately, as she started to shake away sleep's heavy cobwebs, her hand reached out, to feel the bed next to her. Nothing. Nothing but crumpled sheets and comforter.

    "Zach?" she called out, as she extended her long legs in the bed, luxuriously, not really caring what time it was. Memories of the previous night's events brought a smile to her face, and Jess sat up, giggling like a giddy school girl. Brushing her long, sleep tossed mane out of her face, she sat up, a little too quickly in fact, groaning again, as she bumped her head on the head board, as she tried to steady the merry go round in her brain.

rose2.gif (3472 bytes)Was it all a dream? she thought, half expected to find herself back at the Bahia Mar, an assortment of mini bar bottles her only company on the night stand. But it wasn't a dream, she smiled, spotting the rose and note next to her on the night table. Reaching out for it, more carefully now, as to not cause her head to reel again, she picked up the note with loving fingers, bringing the rose up to her nose in one smooth consecutive movement. The note read:

    'Didn't have the heart to wake you.. you looked too gorgeous snuggled up sleeping in bed like a kitten.. stay home baby, as long as you like, your boss just gave you the day off.. All my love, Your fiancé, Zach.'

    My fiancé.. Jessie smiled, holding her left hand, palm down, away from her face. It really was a spectacular ring, flawless in clarity, and beautifully faceted. The large, round solitaire, was flanked on either side by three smaller bagets, that sparkled just as much as the main diamond. Jess made a mental note to call her parents just as soon as she regained a little composure. She was too excited right now to do much other than relish the fact that Zach had finally made a commitment to her.

    Wait til Cassie hears, she thought, reaching for the phone. "Cassie? Hi.. are you sitting down? No.. I'm fine.. wait, maybe it's better if you come over, and I'll fill you in over some coffee.."

    Not five minutes later, her neighbor was over toting croissants, bagels, and a carafe of orange juice. Jessie met her at the door in her favorite silk robe, hands tucked into her pockets so that Cassie wouldn't see the ring.

    "Coffee's almost done brewing," she said, biting back a laugh.

    "Screw the coffee! Tell me about last night," Cassie answered, setting a the kitchen table for two.

    Jessie poured two steaming cups of coffee, breathing in the rich aroma. "Cream and sugar?"

    "I'll give you a couple of lumps of your own if you don't come over here and sit down," Cassie laughed.

    "Okay.. okay," Jessie giggled, walking over to the table, carefully balancing both coffee cups. Even in the fluorescent light of the kitchen, her engagement ring shone like the sun, casting rays of light across the room, one of those colored bursts crossing Cassie's path.

    "No!" Cassie said, looking at Jessie, then the ring, then Jessie again. "Oh my God.." she said, grabbing Jessie's hand for a closer look, "OH MY GOD!"

    Jessie giggled freely now, bending over with laughter at her friend's delight. "Took me by surprise too.."

    "What a ROCK!" Cassie answered, "gotta hand it to him. The man knows how to make up for past mistakes."

    "Cass.. I never expected this," Jessie said, taking a sip of coffee.

    "I DID!" stated Cassie. "Zach finally realized what a gem he has in you. It was bound to happen. Finally, the butthead shows some common sense."

    "Mrs. Butt..err Blair," Jessie laughed, looking at the ring again. "I still can't believe it Cassie.."

    Jessie went on to tell Cassie all the details about her dinner with Zach, in delicious detail, the retelling of their evening bringing butterflies to her stomach. "And when we got home," Jessie said, tears filling her eyes for the first time, "he picked me up and carried me into our bedroom.."

    "Oooh great," Cassie teased, "the juicy stuff.. my favorite part.."

    "I've never seen him act quite that way, Cass, his touch was so loving, as he peeled my clothes off. I just lay back and enjoyed for a change. He made me feel so beautiful.. so loved.. then he let down my hair - by this point my blood is pumping, seeing the passion rise in his own face as he looked at me, like a wolf eyeing his next meal," she giggled. "We made love slowly at first, as if we were getting to know each other once again.. Zach kissed me, stroked me everywhere, but soon it turned into something more.."

    "More?" Cassie asked, eyes peering at Jess over the edge of her coffee cup, as she listened intently.

    "It was wild.. WILD!" Jessie laughed, a rare blush highlighting her cheeks, "he made love to me like a man on a mission.. deep, urgent, hot.. I'm getting worked up again just telling you about it.."

    "Oh girl," Cassie laughed, fanning herself, "don't leave me hanging.. dish!"

    "I've never seen that look in his eyes before, Cassie. I looked up into his eyes as he made love to me, and I could see a hunger there, it was all I could do to dig my nails into his back and try to keep up with him, thrust for thrust.." Jessie said, getting lost in the memory, "it was almost like he wanted to possess me.."

    It was the truth. They had always been hot in bed, but last night had been different. Maybe it was the fact that they had been so distant for the last few months, especially with this incident with Candi Daniels. Jess had felt so hurt and rejected that she didn’t want anything to do with Zach in bed. But soon all the pent up sexual tension was starting to show its effects, in the hot interlude with Mitch, the sexy dancing and kissing with Nick. Zach could never find out about either escapade, for Jess knew he would blow his top. By the time she and Zach were making love, Jess was as passionate as the evening merited.

    "He should have proposed ages ago, Jess. Maybe then things would have gone a lot smoother between you. I'm just glad he's finally come to his senses. Any guy would be happy to snatch you up, I'm just glad he finally decided to do it himself.."

    "Needless to say, between the champagne with dinner, and the extra dessert at home afterwards, I'm exhausted!" Jessie giggled, "exhausted, and still a little stunned, but happy all the same.." Jess was about to get up and get some more coffee when the phone rang.

phone.GIF (5988 bytes)"Must be the wolf," Cassie teased.

    "Probably," Jess nodded, reaching for the cordless phone. "Hello?"

    "Hey gorgeous.."

    "I told you not to call me here anymore," Jessie teased, "my fiancé wouldn't like it."

    "Your fiancé can't get enough of you I see," Zach chuckled. "How's the future Mrs. Blair feeling this morning?"

    "Perfect," Jessie beamed, "I'm just having breakfast now, with Cassie.."

    "Oh? Tell Cassie that I wanna be in on the wedding plans, okay? I bet you guys have already picked out the color of the bridesmaid's dresses.."

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Jessie laughed, "I promise to hold off on ordering the invitations til dinner.."

    "Speaking of dinner, Jess, I'm afraid I won't be home for dinner tonight, actually for a few nights.."

    "Zach, you're such a kidder.. where are we gonna go eat tonight? Miami?"

    Zach sighed. She wasn't making this easy. "I'm being serious, baby, dad wants me to fly up to New York on business. It kills me to say this, but it looks like our planned getaway to St. Maarten's gonna have to hold off too.."

    Jess sat there silent for a moment, letting his words sink in. It was all happening so fast. She looked over at Cassie, mouthing the words New York.

    "Jess? You still there?"

    "Yeah, I'm here. I'm just a little stunned.."

    "I know, baby, and I'm sorry. There's nothing I'd like more than to stay here, and have a repeat of last night with you tonight, but duty calls.."

    "I know.."

    "I promise I'll bring you something nice back from the Big Apple to make up for my dad's lousy timing.."

    "You're not even coming back home before you leave?"

    "Not coming home?" repeated Cassie.

    "Nope.. this is a rush thing. I threw some clothes into a bag before I left." Zach smiled, leaning back in his at his desk. "I'm just as disappointed as you babe, but what can we do?"

    Jessie sighed. "When are you leaving? Maybe I can go see you off at the airport.."

    "Aww that's sweet of you, but one of the guys is dropping me off in an hour or so. You go ahead and finish your breakfast with Cassie. Besides, I don't know if I'd be able to get on that plane if I saw you just now.. especially after last night. You're such a hot babe, Jess.."

    His last words brought a smile to Jessie's face, making her feel a little better. "You're not half bad yourself, Mr. Blair. You'll call me from New York

    "You know I will.."

    "Have a safe trip.. I miss you already Zach.."

    "I miss you too Jess.."

    "I love you.."

    "I love you too.."


    "What's this about New York?" Cassie asked.

    Jessie shrugged. "His dad wants him to fly up there right away on business.."

    "And he couldn't take you? GEEZ, sometimes that man is clueless.."

    Jessie couldn't help but let the disappointment show in her face. Sitting down, dejectedly, she sighed, and ripped into a croissant. "I dunno.."

    "What do you mean, you don't know? I say fly your ass on up there.."

    It was true. Blair Publishing had a huge expense account, especially for business trips. Yet why hadn't Zach thought of taking her with him, especially now, when they had just gotten engaged?

    "His dad rides him pretty hard. I could hear the tension in his voice.."

    "Tension shmention.. he should have told you to throw some stuff in a bag and meet him at the airport.."

    "I'll talk to him about it tonight when he calls.. feel him out a bit.."

    "Pull out all the stops," Cassie said, "get him missing you on the phone.. you'll see how fast he'll have a ticket waiting for you at the airport.."

    "I guess you're right..

    "You know I am.. make sure you have a bag packed and ready, 'cuz I'm gonna send you up there with a list of stuff I want from Bloomingdales," Cassie laughed.

   Jessie took a couple of hours to herself, using the quiet time to finish up the article on the dance club Mirage from the notes she had saved on her laptop. It felt good to be able to get back into some semblance of normalcy again - she and Zach were back together again, and she was back to work. The only major difference in her life was the fact that she was engaged. Who woulda thought things woulda turned around so fast? Jessie thought, using her writing to distract her.

    Cassie's words lingered in the back of her mind. She was right. Zach could have asked her along on his spur of the moment trip to New York, after all they could have used the trip as a replacement getaway, just the two of them, to make up for the interruption in their plans to run off to St. Maarten. Can't get nit picky, Jessie said, shrugging the discouraging thoughts from her mind. Zach had made a major move towards commitment, and she should be happy with that. Besides, Cassie's other suggestion about making Zach miss her so much that he'd ask her to fly up and join him could also work. But I won't push it, Jessie reminded herself, things are so good I don't wanna ruin them.

    The sound of her pager beeping brought Jess back into reality, just as she was finishing up her story. This might just be Zach now, Jess thought, reaching to retrieve her beeper of the night table. Seeing the number on the display, Jessie couldn't help but sigh. Mitch? Why would he be paging her?

    "Angel? Hi, it's Jessie. Is Mitch there? I think he just paged me."

    "Nope, well, Mitch IS here, but he's not the one that beeped you. It was me.."

    "You?" Jessie chuckled, "what can I do ya for?"

    "Remember how you offered to help me make heads or tails of the bar's books?"


    "Well, I don't wanna bother you if you're busy, but I could really use your help."

laptop.gif (4957 bytes)"Sure, no problem," Jess answered, turning off her laptop, and popping out the diskette she just saved her work on. "Lemme just run something by the office, and go check out of the hotel, and I'll be right over."

    "Great," Angel said, deciding to hold off on his congratulations until she got to the bar, "I'll be here."

    "Okay, see ya in about an hour or so."

    Jess was still smiling when she left the Wave offices. All her coworkers had ooed and ahed when they saw her ring.

    "And our Zach gave this to you?" Lisa said, coming out from behind the reception desk to gawk at the engagement ring.

    "Yup, the one and only.." Jessie had chuckled.

    The guys had bowed their heads, in mock mourning, claiming that another one of them had fallen victim to the perils of marriage, but the reaction as a whole had been good-hearted teasing, peppered with well wishes.

    "I don't know what you did to get the boss to decide to settle down," Lisa said, putting her headset back on, "but whatever you're secret is, I wanna know! He even went as far as to order me to keep you out of the offices. No work for Jess were his exact words. I thought it was odd at the time, but it makes sense now," she chuckled.

    "Yup, he's off in New York, and I'm here with all this free time on my hands. Maybe I can just sneak back to my desk and check..."

    "Nope!" Lisa said, shooing Jess out, "he'll have my hide and my job if he hears I let you back there. Now get! Some of us have to keep our jobs.."

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Jess laughed, "okay, I'm outta here, but you have my beeper number. Gimme a call if a juicy assignment comes up."

   What was she going to do with herself now? Jess thought, pulling up to the valet parking at the hotel. With Zach gone, and having left strict orders that she couldn't work, Angel's was a blessing. Things just seemed to be falling into place. Zach probably figured she would use the time to get used to the fact that she was an engaged woman. An ENGAGED WOMAN! Jessie thought, as she handed her car keys to the valet.

    "Thank you, ma'am," the young man said, taking her keys.

    Ma'am, Jess giggled, heading into the hotel. Never in a million years had Jess seen herself getting married so young, always envisioned herself getting married later on in her twenties, closer to thirty, after she had advanced her career. She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the hotel's glass doors, wondering if she looked any different on the outside now. Would other people look at her differently now, her family, friends, Mitch..?

    She hadn't even thought of what Mitch's reaction would be to her news. So much had happened to them both in the last week, and it taught Jessie that life turned on a dime. She had gotten engaged, Mitch had Lynn come waltzing back into his life, with his daughter in tow. It was hard, Jessie thought, gathering her things from around the suite, but they would both have to make the best out of the cards life dealt them. There were some things neither of them could anticipate, or even really do much about. But one thing she did know, was that she and Mitch were friends. All she could do was try her best to be there for him, and hope he'd ask if he needed her help or advice. For they had been friends too long to let a few rocky spots ruin their friendship.

    Jessie knew that Lynn would be a handful, and she could only hope that Lynn would find it in her heart, as a mother, to find a comfortable medium, allowing for she and Mitch to get along well enough to make things better for Kelly. Kelly.. What a beautiful little girl she was. She deserved to have both her parents in her life. From the way Mitch looked at the little girl - the little girl with the same big blue eyes as Mitch - Jess could see that he loved her, and wanted very much to make up for lost time. Seeing Mitch with Kelly called to mind yet another topic that she and Zach hadn’t discussed - children.

    Jessie had always loved kids. Maybe this was due to the fact that she had both one younger and one older brother growing up. Jess had always gotten along well with kids, her recent interaction with Kelly a happy reminder of just how much she enjoyed interaction with children, so much so that Jess had even considered teaching journalism until her writing career took off. But meeting Zach, and getting offered the writing job at the Wave had waylaid the idea.

    And now you're engaged, Jess thought, stuffing the last of her clothes into her bag. It had happened sooner than she had anticipated, but now that they were getting married they would need to address a whole multitude of topics, including their feelings on raising a family. It would be an awkward discussion since she and Zach had never talked about having kids. But the sooner they discussed this the better, even if they didn't wanna start a family right away. Jess couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy realizing that she had no idea what her fiance's feelings were on having children. There were so many new things to thing about that Jess decided then and there that she would talk to Zach about all this as soon as he got home. For the first time she was glad that Zach was away, for she’d use the time to get her own head together. Her career had been first for so long that she had pushed aside any thoughts of marriage, let alone of raising a family.

    Jessie sighed, realizing that she had never really looked too far ahead that way when it came to her and Zach. Stop it, Jess berated herself, enjoy your engagement. There will be enough time later on to worry about the other stuff. First things first. Taking one last glance around the suite, Jess headed downstairs to check out.

    "Hi," she smiled, walking up to the front desk,"I'd like to check out please."

    The man behind the counter took her keycard, his smile suddenly widening. "Of course," he answered, clicking away frantically on the computer keyboard before him. His eyes widened, as the clerk noticed that Jess had stayed at one of the hotel's most expensive suites. "Tsk tsk, Ms. Reynolds," he scolded Jessie, "you should have let one of our bellmen carry your bags for you.."

    "That really wasn't necessary, I only had this one bag.."

    The clerk caught sight of Jessie's valet parking stub next to her purse, and snatched it up quickly. "Here, let me have someone pull your car around for you.."

    "Thank you, that would be fine," Jessie smiled, as she opened her wallet, and pulled out her Corporate American Express Platinum Card. Jess fidgeted a bit, not used to being fussed over. Guess I'll have to get used to it, Jessie smiled, handing the man her card. There would clearly be more of the same as Zach's wife. Mrs. Zachary Blair, Jess repeated to herself. That was another on the ever growing list of things for her to do - changing the names on all her credit cards.

    "I do hope your stay at the Bahia Mar was a pleasant one," the clerk said, entering Jess's information into the computer.

    "Very nice," Jess smiled, tapping her fingertips on her wallet nervously, at his continued fawning.

jeep3.gif (4110 bytes)Lynn was walking into the lobby just as Jessie's Jeep was being pulled up to the curb. I know that car, she thought, tension causing her to grit her teeth. Jessie..

    An efficient young bellhop almost knocked Lynn over, as he carried Jessie's bag to her car. "Pardon me," he offered quickly, before continuing past Lynn. Lynn had just started to gather herself, when she saw Jessie approaching. Jessie was slinging her purse on her shoulder, as she caught sight of Lynn.

    "Hello Lynn," Jess said, curtly but politely.

    "What are you still doing here?" Lynn mused. Could there be trouble in paradise? Lynn hoped. The light twinkled off Jessie's engagement ring, giving Lynn her answer.

    "I just finished checking out," Jessie stated, matter-of-factly. "I don't see where that is any concern of yours."

    "Oooh touchy are we?" Lynn smiled, purposely keeping her eyes averted from Jessie's ring. "No," she yawned, tossing her hair over her shoulder, "I suppose it isn't. But Mitch and our daughter ARE my concern. Stay away from them.."

    Lynn was marking her territory, just like the bitchy teenaged girls had back in high school. Jess had to fight from laughing in Lynn's face, as she stood there and watched her feathers ruffle. "So it's OUR daughter now," Jessie said, in her sweetest tone, "I really think you should make up your mind. Is she yours, or is she yours and Mitch's?" It boggled Jessie's mind to think that Mitch hadn't asked for a paternity test yet, for even though Kelly did look like Mitch, he couldn’t be sure she was his.

    "Kelly is none of your business, and I'm warning you, stay away from us, and keep your meddling low class nose out of our business," Lynn seethed.

    "I have no interest in getting my nose anywhere near any part of you," Jess said, looking down her nose at Lynn, "frankly, the less contact I have with you, the better." She took a step closer to Lynn, purpose burning deep in her eyes. "But Mitch and I have been friends for a very long time, and will continue to be friends long after you're gone. So I'd say you'd better get used to that idea, and not waste your time with sophomoric displays and named calling. It really not ladylike," Jess paused, eyeing Lynn up and down, "or appropriate to your , ahem, stature. Have a nice day," she added with a uncharacteristic wave of her left hand, making damned sure Lynn caught sight of her ring.

* * * * *

Copyright © 1998 Susana Audrain and Richard Tingle All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this novel or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law.


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