by Carrie Ryan
I feel so light... This is all I wanna feel tonight...
I feel so light... Tonight and the rest of my life..."
Jake was the first to open her eyes. She was completely covered with various
body parts, none of them belonging to her. Mandy was lying, halfway, on top of
her, her left leg thrown across Jake's left thigh. Her head was resting on
Jake's shoulder. Raven was a mirror image of her teacher, on Jake's other side.
Gellar lay curled up in a fetal position on top of Jake.
Jake actually had to concentrate on feeling her arms. She wiggled the fingers
on either hand and, gingerly, tried to rotate each wrist. Each hand felt like a
cannonball had weighted it down.
Raven rolled over, still sleeping, away from her aunt, giving Jake's shoulder
the much-needed rest it so desperately deserved. Jake looked down the length of
her torso at the child curled up against her then to the side at her mother.
She began to rub Mandy's back. Mandy shifted in her sleep, grabbing a hold of
Jake tighter but also letting up on the pressure to Jake's shoulder enough for
her to feel the prickly sensation down her arm as the blood started to flow
freely once again. She continued to rub Mandy's back, eliciting a small sigh of
contentment from the woman in her arms.
Mandy lifted her head a bit and opened two sleepy green eyes. She smiled at
Jake and curled up tighter, still, against her.
Good morning, Blue Eyes! Mandy whispered as she placed a small kiss
on Jake's cheek.
Good morning, Green Eyes. Jake replied as she hugged Mandy against
her. Mandy lifted her head a bit and noticed her daughter sleeping on top and
Raven curled up with her back against Jake.
Looks like you got pig-piled, huh? I'm sorry.
Don't worry about it. I love it. I haven't slept this good in quite a
while. Mandy considered this for a moment. She placed her hand on Jake's
shoulder, curled into a fist and rested her chin on it.
must've been the alcohol. She met Jake's eyes with her
own and they both started to giggle.
You know, you're lucky I have your daughter sound asleep on top of me.
Otherwise, you'd be in serious trouble right now.
Oh yeah? How's that?
I'd be tickling the shi-hrmmmm
She was cut off
as Mandy placed her hand over Jake's mouth and smiled as Jake's eyes opened
wide in surprise.
Don't say it. Well, then I guess it's a good thing she's sleeping.
Because now, I've got you right where I want you. Mandy ran her foot up
the inside of Jake's leg from her calf to her knee. Jake arched her eyebrow as
Mandy removed her hand.
Do you now? Jake asked, curious to know the answer.
not quite but,
I'll take it. They smiled at each
other. Things seemed to be getting much easier between them since they admitted
their attraction to each other.
Mandy got up from out of the bed and stretched.
Where you goin'? Jake asked.
Sorry, Honey but, Nature called before you. I'll be right back.
Mandy disappeared into the bathroom. She came out a few minutes later; hair
brushed enough to where it wasn't sticking out in all directions. She looked at
Jake lying in the bed with her eyes closed. She walked over by the bed and sat
down on the edge. She ran her hand through Jake's bangs. Jake opened her eyes.
Do you have any idea how cute you are right now with two children curled
up on top of you? Mandy asked.
you're right. You're not. Jake looked up a bit
Nope. You're gorgeous! Come on, hand me the baby and I'll change her and
put her to bed. Jake got up, carefully.
That's O.K. I'll do it. Where's her room? Mandy smiled at her. This
woman had to be her dream come true. She walked over to the other side of the
bed and covered Raven up, then asked Jake to follow her out of the room. Jake
followed Mandy down the hall and into Gellar's room. She walked over and gently
placed Gellar on her changing table. Mandy grabbed a new change of clothes for
her daughter and brought them over to Jake.
As soon as Jake had the new diaper on the baby, she began to wake up. Two
sleepy little green eyes opened and looked up at her. Recognition set in and
the child smiled.
Hi, AJ! Jake realized that she liked Gellar picking up on Raven's
nickname for her.
Hi, Munchkin! Let's get some clothes on this little girl. Jake took
the clothes Mandy had picked out. Mandy walked up behind Jake and wrapped her
arms around Jake's waist before she realized what she had done. She went to
pull away until Jake's hands on her arms stopped her.
It's ok, I don't mind. Mandy looked up at Jake.
Really? Jake looked down into Mandy's eyes. Yes. I thought we
went over this last night. Don't worry about it. I really like it. Mandy
squeezed her tighter. Good, because I can't quite seem to keep my hands
to myself lately.
They smiled at each other and Mandy placed her cheek against Jake's back. Jake
helped Gellar stand up on her changing table. She picked the little girl up and
turned around to hand her to her mother.
Mommy! Mandy gladly took her daughter into her arms and kissed her
Hi, Sweetie! Did you have a good time with Raven and Grandma?
Gellar shook her head, enthusiastically.
Yes! Where Aven, Mommy?
She's still sleeping, Honey. Come on. You want some breakfast?
Mmmhmm. Yum!!! They walked out of the child's room and into the
kitchen. Mandy placed her daughter in a chair at the table. She began pulling
out everything for breakfast while Gellar busied herself with a coloring book
and crayons that Mandy kept on the table for her. Jake walked up behind Mandy,
as she prepared a pot of coffee, and placed her chin on the shorter woman's
shoulder. She could swear that she actually
It had been a long time since Jake had let
inside her heart other than Raven. The child saw a side of her no one else
until now. Things had been pretty strained between her and her
father after the death of Ryan. She could still remember every detail of the
phone call she made to let him know what had happened to Ryan.
There was no conversation.
She told him.
The phone hit the floor.
She heard him scream.
He arrived in Chicago just hours later and she met him at the airport. He never
said a word.
He had been angry when Jake first moved to Chicago and informed him that Ryan
had been married. He and his son had always been close
not quite as close
as Ryan and Jake but close nonetheless. He had trouble accepting the fact that
his son would be uncomfortable talking to him about anything. He thought Ryan
knew how much he meant to him. Now, he'd never have the chance to tell him so
Jake made all of the funeral preparations. She tried several times to talk to
her father but it never worked. He remained quiet through the wake, funeral
service and burial. He looked at his granddaughter for the first time and ran
his strong hand through her hair. The only words he said the entire time was
how much she looked like Ryan when he was a baby.
He never saw her again. Or Jake for that matter. After he returned to Mayport,
she would call and get no answer. She would write and get no response. After a
few months, she just stopped trying all together. Her father had all ready lost
two sons and his wife. If he wanted to lose his only daughter and granddaughter
as well, there wasn't much she could do about it. After a few more months he
tried to get in touch with her but she had been so angry with him after Ryan's
death, she cut off all contact with him. She would come in from work and there
would be messages on her answering machine. She wouldn't even listen to the
entire message before erasing it. She would let him know how she felt when she
needed him the most.
That's when Raven became her entire world. She closed her heart off to anyone
other than her child.
She was all Raven had. Raven was all
had. She had been both mother
father for the last six years. She knew she'd never have any children of her
own but Raven
her child. The only one allowed to see who she
She felt a soft hand caress her cheek. She looked down into concerned green
You ok? Jake grabbed Mandy's hand in her own and shook her head
lightly. She cleared her throat.
Yeah, I'm fine. Just thinking I guess. I'm sorry
what were you
saying? Mandy decided to let it go and turned back around to the counter.
I just asked what you would rather have for breakfast: eggs or
pancakes? Jake hugged the smaller woman to her.
You don't have to make me breakfast but if you're going to and it's not
too much trouble, pancakes. I
eggs. Mandy turned around in disbelief.
What? How can you hate eggs? You made them for breakfast last
I did. For you, Raven and Gellar. I never ate mine. I can't
I feel like I'm eating a liquid chicken. Mandy laughed
out loud as she walked over to her daughter and handed her her juice cup.
Dank-doo! Gellar told her mother.
You're welcome, Sweetie. Jake, tell me you're kidding. She walked
back over and began to mix the pancake batter.
Nope. I'm serious. I never eat eggs. I think they're disgusting.
Honey, you eat eggs in damn near everything. Jake shook her head.
Nope. It's not the same. Mandy stopped long enough to pour them
each a cup of coffee.
Do you eat chicken?
Yep! Jake replied as she leaned back against the counter and began
to drink from the mug placed in her hands.
"So... you eat chicken but no eggs because eggs remind you of eating a
Mandy lowered her head and shook it.
a goofball!" Mandy stated as she turned back around to finish preparing
breakfast. Jake placed her coffee mug on the counter and walked back up behind
Mandy. She wrapped her arms tight around her stomach and placed her chin on
"Yeah but, you wouldn't have me any other way."
"I wouldn't? Care to re-think that? I can think of a few ways I'd like to
have you. Oh my God... Am I really thinking this? Oh... Who in the hell am I
kidding... I've got it bad!"
Mandy thought to herself as she placed her arms over Jake's.
"O.K. I can't argue with that. You've got me there." They stood
together for a few moments, each woman lost in her thoughts of the other before
"So,... are you doing anything tonight?" Mandy removed her arms from
Jake's and began mixing the pancake batter again.
"Not that I know of. Did you have something in mind?" Jake thought
for a moment.
"Not much. Would you like to go do something tonight? Maybe a movie or
"I don't know. I'm not sure if Claudia can watch the kids or not. I think
she's going to dinner with her boyfriend, Rob."
"That's ok. We can take them with us if you want." Mandy poured some
batter into the pan then turned around in Jake's arms. She wrapped her arms,
loosely, around Jake's neck.
"Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes. I just want to spend some more time with you, Mandy. And if we can't
go alone and the kids are with us, then... Great! That's fine with me. As long
as both of us are comfortable." Mandy removed her arms from around Jake's
neck and wrapped them around her waist. She placed her head on Jake's shoulder
and hugged her.
"I am comfortable." Jake hugged her back and placed her cheek against
the top of Mandy's head.
"Aven!" Both women turned their heads in the direction of Gellar's
voice without relinquishing their hold on one another. Raven was dragging
herself into the kitchen. Her eyes were half closed as she made her way over to
her aunt. As soon as she was standing next to her, she wrapped her hands around
Jake's thighs and placed her head against her hip.
Jake kept one arm around Mandy as she placed the other one around Raven.
"Good Morning, Squirt." Jake said to her niece. She and Mandy looked
at each other and smiled. Mandy took her hand and ran it through Raven's hair.
"Are you hungry, Raven?" Mandy asked the young girl.
"Ummhmm..." Jake and Mandy looked at each other again and grinned.
Mandy helped the girl over to the kitchen table. "Here have a seat, Honey.
Would you like some juice?"
"Yes, please." Mandy started to get the juice out of the refrigerator
when Jake stopped her.
"It's ok. I've got it." Mandy smiled and handed Jake a glass for
Raven's juice. Jake took the glass over to Raven.
"So you wanna go do something with us tonight, Squirt?"
"Me and Ms. Peters. We were thinking about maybe going to a movie or
"Yeah. That sounds good. The hockey game was fun the other night."
Raven drank her juice and watched on with much interest as her aunt walked over
to her teacher and wrapped her arms back around her.
"So... are you two dating now?" Mandy turned around to look at Jake
and couldn't help the laughter that erupted from her throat at the expression
on the taller woman's face. Jake extracted herself from Mandy and backed up
against the counter. Jake took a
sip of her coffee. Mandy walked over to Raven and knelt down in front of her.
"Raven, would that bother you?
it bother you that your aunt and I are spending time together?" Raven
looked at her teacher. It didn't bother her at all. As a matter of fact, she
kind of liked the idea. She also liked the idea of teasing her aunt even more.
"No, Ms. Peters. It doesn't bother me at all. I always wanted another
The coffee came out of Jake's nose.
Jake woke up bright and early Monday morning. Her first thought was of the
young school teacher. They had spent damn near the entire weekend together.
First there was the hockey game on Friday, then the wine festival on Saturday.
After they picked up Jake's bike from Eph's on Sunday, they took the kids out
that night for pizza and to play at the Discovery Zone. They originally had
planned on going to the movies but nothing was playing that they would actually
let the kids see.
While watching the kids play at the Discovery Zone, Jake's pager went off. She
recognized the number as Jason's cell phone. Mandy offered her phone to Jake
and she made her call. Jason informed her that she needed to be at the new job
site by 6:00 the next morning. So here she was, dragging her ass out of bed at
She had been worried about how Raven would get to school. At least until Mandy
called Claudia . Claudia told her to have Jake drop Raven off at her house and
she could leave with Mandy when Gellar was dropped off for the day.
Jake put on her running shorts and a sleeveless sweatshirt, checked on Raven,
locked up the house and went for her morning run.
Jake pulled the 4Runner into the parking lot of one of their new construction
sites. She was more than a little surprised to see Jason sitting in his truck,
talking on his phone. She got out of her truck and made her way over to her
boss. As soon as he disconnected his call, he turned off the engine and got out.
"Hey, Jake, what's up?" He asked as he stretched his arms over the
top of his head.
"Not much, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be in
Richmond." She watched as he twisted at the waist to crack his back.
"Yeah, I know... We're having to work nights there. I left the site at
3:30 this morning and practically flew down I-64 to get here. We're meeting up
with the sub-contractors. I need to give them their prints and a scope of work.
I wanted you here because you'll be the one they see on site."
"Jason, I could've taken care of that. You didn't have to drive all the
way back here." He grinned, sheepishly, at her.
"I did when I forgot to leave everything with you and kept it all in my
"O.K., I can't argue with you there."
"Yeah. That's o.k. I needed to come home and get my bass anyway. We're
playing at H.C.'s again a week from Friday. I need to practice." Jason
looked down at his watch. They still had a few more minutes before everyone was
expected to be there.
"So, any trouble getting Raven to school? "
"Nope. None at all. I dropped her off at your mother's this morning. She's
going to ride in with Mandy when she drops Gellar off." He just looked at
her and smiled. Jake was so lost in thoughts of her favorite blonde that she
didn't notice right away. She looked into his eyes, twinkling with mischief.
"What?" She asked, defensively, causing Jason to lose all control and
break out in laughter.
"Nothing, Jake. Honestly... I just love watching your face when you
mention her name. So how was your weekend? You guys have fun?"
"Yeah... the wine festival was fun and the hockey game was great, you
little shit! You didn't tell me she would be there." Jake smacked Jason in
his arm as she said this. Jason rubbed his arm and shrugged his shoulders.
"You didn't ask and who are you calling little?" Jake stood back away
from him and crossed her arms over her chest. She arched an eyebrow and looked
down toward his crotch.
He looked at her then down below his waist in disbelief. He opened his eyes
wide as he looked back at her.
to be kidding me...' Jake grinned at him.
"Gotcha!" She told him. He looked out of the corner of his eye at her.
"Uh-huh... little? Please! I have
had any complaints."
"I'm sure you haven't." She said, trying to soothe the bruise she had
placed on his ego.
"Just ask Mandy." Jake threw her head back and shook it. She closed
her eyes and distorted her face as if in pain.
"Ugh... Jason! I did
need to hear that."
"Yeah? She makes these little noises, like..."
"JASON!" She cut him off.
"Heheheh... gotcha back." She rolled her eyes at him and he winked.
"So what did you guys do last night?" Ha asked as he took a swallow
of his coffee.
"Yeah... don't think I didn't hear Mandy's voice when you called me last
night. Besides... my cell phone has caller-id on it. I noticed Mandy's cell
"Oh... we took Raven and Gellar to the Discovery Zone." Jason noticed
how Jake didn't seem to want to meet his gaze when discussing his ex-wife.
"I really appreciate you looking after them while I'm gone."
me... the pleasure has been all mine." Jason thought about this for a
"Jake? You've got a thing for her don't you?" He asked her, already
knowing the answer. Jake looked up into his eyes and paused, briefly, before
"Who am I kidding? Of course I do!"
"Yes, Jason, I do. I'm absolutely crazy about her.
Gellar." She waited for him to get angry. His reaction was the absolute
last thing she would have ever expected. He placed a hand on her shoulder and
"Good. Because, I think she has a thing for you, too. And Gellar
absolutely loves you. Mandy and I may not be married anymore but, she's my best
friend and I love her. And I don't
have to tell you how Gellar is my entire world. I just want them to be happy.
Now... did you happen to get tickets for the Shania concert next week?"
Jake was extremely grateful to Jason for the change in subject. Regardless of
the fact that they were friends, there was something just a little too strange
about talking to your boss about having a thing for his ex-wife. Maybe if they
weren't at work...
"Nah... that would still be too weird."
"No... I went to go buy the tickets after we first moved here and it had
all ready sold out. There was nothing I could do about it." Jake said.
Jason scratched his chin in thought.
"Well, you know... Mandy's birthday is the same night. I bought two
tickets as a surprise for her. She's a pretty big Shania fan. You should've
seen her when she heard it sold out. She was pretty pissed to say the least.
Anyway, with us working nights in Richmond, I won't be able to take her."
Jake cocked her head to the side at her boss.
"What are you saying, Jason?"
"I'm saying, I'm trying to make you understand that I think she'd rather
go with you."
"Well, if you'd like to go... I all ready have the tickets. I'd like for
Mandy to still be able to go on her birthday."
"But... you're going to be here on Friday night when the band plays. Why
can't you take her Saturday, too?" He rolled his eyes at her.
"Because... it's bad enough that I'm having to take off Friday. I can't
take off two nights in a row. Hell, they probably won't get a damn thing done
while I'm gone anyway. I can't risk that happening all weekend. I hate to miss
her birthday but, I guess if you don't want to go with her..." She cut him
"Yes. I want to go with her. Don't
go there. Thanks."
"No problem. The tickets are in my file cabinet. You know where the key
is. besides... didn't you know? When I gave you that raise, it meant that you
are now required to take out my ex-wife, make her happy and spoil my
daughter." She placed a hand on his shoulder.
I can definitely do. Thanks, Jase." He patted her hand against his
"No problem." She thought for a moment and got an idea.
"Jase, can I borrow your phone for a moment?" He shrugged his
shoulders and handed her his cell phone off his hip.
"Sure." Jake walked away from the truck long enough to make her call.
Once she was done, she walked back over just as some other cars pulled onto the
"Here you go. Thanks."
"No problem. Well, lets do this so I can go take a nap." They shared
a laugh as they met up with everyone and began their day.
Mandy unlocked her classroom door with Raven right next to her. She dropped her
keys and Raven picked them up for her.
"You're welcome." They walked into the classroom. The blinds were
still pulled down so it was still fairly dark inside.
"Raven, Honey, can you raise those blinds for me?" Mandy asked of her
student as she turned on the lights to her room. Her breath caught in her
throat as she saw what was on her desk.
There, in the middle, lay a dozen roses. Eleven were peach in color while the
remaining one in the center was white. Raven turned around to see what had
caught her teacher's attention. Mandy placed her briefcase on the floor and
carefully picked up the bouquet to take a deep breath. She noticed a card in
between the roses and baby's breath.
I just wanted to say "Thanks" for such a great weekend. I can't
remember the last time I felt so at ease. If I'm not being too forward, I hope
we can have many more just like it. I'm not quite sure what it is about you,
Ms. Amanda Peters but, I can't seem to get you out of my head. To be quite
honest with you, I don't really want to. I'll see you this afternoon when I
pick up Raven.
Mandy couldn't believe it. She sat in her chair and re-read the card. She
couldn't believe how happy such a small gesture made her feel.
"I hope so too, Jake." She whispered to herself. She hadn't noticed
when Raven walk up next to her. Raven stood behind her teacher.
She really likes you, Ms. Peters. Raven told her, all though she
was sure this little fact was already known. It made the young teacher smile
just the same.
Thank you, Raven. I really like her, too. Are you sure you're o.k. with
this? Raven walked over till she was standing in front of the desk. She
waited for her teacher to look into her eyes.
Yes, Ma'am. I think it's cool. I've had a lot of fun since we've moved
here. Mandy smiled at the young girl.
Well, I'm glad because I've had a lot of fun since you moved here as
just because of your aunt. I've enjoyed you being around as well. They
smiled at each other as an understanding passed between them. Mandy broke the
silence after a few more moments. She got up and walked over to a cabinet to
retrieve a vase she had inside. She handed it to Raven.
Tell you what, Kiddo
How about you go get me some water for these,
Mandy's day was getting off to an amazing start.
The rest of the week, and the next, flew by quickly. Jake and Mandy had spent
another weekend together, driving the kids to the Baltimore National Aquarium.
The two women were becoming more comfortable with each other as each day
passed. Hardly a day went by when they weren't doing something together. Jake
was having to work a bit later in the day so Mandy had started taking Raven
home with her of an afternoon.
It was now Friday, the day before Mandy's birthday. Mandy had just gotten out
of the shower and was making dinner while waiting on Jake to get there. Once
Jake arrived, they would have dinner with the kids then take them to Claudia's
since Corduroy was playing that night.
Jake left the new jobsite and went home long enough to take a shower, change
and pack a bag for Raven. She still had not told Mandy about the concert on
Saturday. As far as Mandy knew, Jake had no idea about her birthday. They were
just going to spend another Saturday together as they had every weekend since
they first met.
Jake checked her appearance in the mirror before walking out the door. She had
decided to wear her leather pants and take the bike to the bar. The black
leather fit like a second skin and went very well with the tank top she wore
with them. She grabbed her leather jacket out of the hallway closet before
grabbing Raven's bag and heading to Mandy's.
Mandy could hear the Harley pull up out front. She got a huge grin on her face
as she replaced the lid on the spaghetti sauce she was preparing. She looked
out the kitchen window to check on Raven who was playing with a friend,
outside. She wiped off her hands and went to meet her friend at the door.
She looked out the peephole and placed her hand against her chest, as if in
shock, at the sight awaiting her on the doorstep.
Oh my God! How am I ever going to keep my hands to myself tonight with
her looking like that? She whispered to herself. Jake rang the doorbell,
even though she knew Mandy was right on the other side. Mandy waited just a
heartbeat before opening the door for her friend.
Jake was cut off as Mandy grabbed the front of her
jacket and yanked her into the house. Before Jake knew what was happening,
Mandy had her backed against the door, her arms wrapped around her and her
hands sliding up Jake's back underneath the leather jacket. Jake found that she
liked this a little bit too much. She wrapped her arms around Mandy and pulled
her tight against her.
Hi, Blue eyes. Mandy said as she reached up and kissed Jake on her
chin. She placed her head against Jake's shoulder.
Hi, Gorgeous. She answered back.
Me? Gorgeous? Honey,
are the gorgeous one. Mandy said as she pulled back long enough to look
into crystal blue.
Well, then we must make one hell of a pair.
I think we do. You hungry? Mandy asked as she rubbed Jake's stomach
through the tank top.
A.J., A.J. Jake's attention was drawn to the entrance to the living
room. Mandy got out of the way just in time as her daughter launched herself at
Jake. Jake picked up the smiling child and spun her around over her head.
There's my girl. Hey Munchkin! Gellar threw her arms around Jake's
neck and hugged her. Jake laughed and hugged the child back before placing her
back on her little feet. She looked up and met Mandy's eyes.
She's outside playing with her friend, Amy. Her family lives just down
A.J., come pway wif me! Gellar began pulling on Jake's hand. Jake
looked to Mandy, who nodded her head.
Dinner will be a few minutes. Jake nodded in understanding. Gellar
began tugging on her hand again.
A.J.? She practically whined. Jake looked down at the little girl.
I'm coming. She allowed Gellar to pull her into
the living room. Mandy walked back into the kitchen to check on dinner after
Jake had disappeared from her view. She shook her head to herself.
what an ass that woman has!
Mandy walked back over to the stove. She lifted the lid off the pasta sauce
simmering on the stove. She picked up the spoon to stir it and glanced out the
window to make sure Raven was still in the yard. She watched the child playing
with her friend on the swing set.
Once everything was ready, she set the table and went to the back door to call
Raven. She opened the door and walked into the back yard.
Raven, dinner will be ready in a few minutes. She said as she
approached the two girls.
O.K., Thank you. The two girls watched as Mandy walked back into
Wow! You get to eat dinner here, too? Amy asked Raven as they
continued to play on the swing.
Yeah. Ms. Peters is really nice. Amy thought about this for a
So, how come you get to come home with her everyday? Raven answered
this question, carefully. She thought her aunt's relationship with her teacher
was a good thing but she knew some other people might not think so. She didn't
want anything bad to happen. She wondered what A.J. would think if she told her
she wanted them to be with Gellar and Ms. Peters
She's a friend of my aunt's. Since my aunt has to work late, Ms. Peters
said she'd watched me till I could go home.
Cool! So does that mean you'll be here everyday? Raven shrugged her
I guess so. At least until A.J. doesn't work late.
Hey, maybe you can come over to my house next week then!
Maybe. I'm sorry, Amy. I better go eat. I'll see you at school next
week. Raven said good-bye to her friend and walked her out into the front
yard. She noticed the Harley parked in the driveway.
A.J.'s here! She said, excitedly.
Wow! You're aunt drives that thing? Amy asked.
Yep. She's the coolest person in the world. I'll see you later,
Amy. Raven ran into the backyard and saw Gellar running towards her.
Aven, dinner's weady!
O.K. let's go, short-stuff! The two girls ran into the house.
Mandy walked back into the house after telling Raven about dinner. She walked
into the living room and found Gellar running after Jake, who was on her knees
trying to give the toddler a fair chance at catching her. Jake was laughing at
the little girl's earnest attempts and decided to let her win. She pretended to
lose her balance and fall on her back. As soon as she did, Gellar was all over
her. Jake laughed as the child began to tickle her.
Mandy couldn't stand it anymore and decided to join in on the fun. She snuck up
behind Gellar, who by now was straddling Jake's stomach. Jake saw her coming
and whispered to Gellar to turn around and tickle Mommy. Just as Mandy was
ready to attack, she found herself on her back with Gellar tickling her. This
may not have worked on Jake but Mandy was extremely ticklish. So even the
bumbling attempts made by her daughter made her laugh, as she closed her eyes.
The fact that the child was being helped by six feet of Jake didn't help
either. Jake leaned over and whispered to Gellar to go get Raven for dinner.
Mandy felt Gellar jump off of her. She opened her eyes to see Jake mere inches
from her face. She reached up and pulled the taller woman down till Jake had to
prop herself up on her hands. Mandy looked at either of Jake's arms. She
brought her own arms up and spread them so Jake's full body weight was on top
of hers. She reached up and ran her hand down Jake's cheek and smiled when she
leaned into her touch. Jake turned her head and kissed Mandy's palm. Mandy ran
her fingers down Jake's cheek to her neck. She could feel her heart beat faster
along with Jake's.
She wrapped her arms around Jake and ran her hands down Jake's back. She
decided to be brave and went further, grabbing Jake's rear in each hand and
pulling the taller woman into her. Jake's eyes widened in surprise as she
involuntarily let a small moan escape her lips.
I'm sorry. I've wanted to do that for weeks now. I have to tell you
you have the sexiest ass I've ever seen on a body before. Jake smiled at
the woman beneath her.
Thank you. And don't apologize. It's o.k. You may grab a handful whenever
you'd like. Mandy squeezed harder.
I'll hold you to that. I couldn't resist any longer after you
walked through my door in these pants. She tugged on the pants in
Anything else you've wanted to do for weeks? Mandy considered this
for a brief moment.
As a matter of fact, yes. Jake brought her face down closer to
Mandy's. Mandy could feel her breath tickling her cheek.
And what would that be? Jake asked as she rubbed her cheek against
Mandy's and placed a soft kiss there. She could feel Mandy's breath quicken.
She opened her eyes to look down into the most beautiful shade of green she'd
ever seen. She lowered her head again as Mandy raised up to meet her half-way.
A.J.!!! Mandy threw her head back in frustration.
She groaned. Jake let her head drop onto Mandy's
shoulder. She lifted her body off of Mandy's and stood up. She held a hand out
to help Mandy off the floor. She pulled her up, easily, and brushed her lips
across Mandy's cheek.
Soon. She whispered into Mandy's ear.
I'll hold you to that, too. Mandy said seriously. Jake cupped
Mandy's cheek in her palm.
Darlin' you can hold me to anything you'd like.
A.J.! Raven ran into the room and threw her arms around Jake's
waist and hugged her. Jake got down on one knee and hugged the girl back.
Hey, Baby. Did you have a good day, today?
Yes, Ma'am. I got a B on my science test.
Good. What happened to an A?
I got the cloud types mixed up. Ms. Peters said she'd help me. Jake
brushed a stray lock of hair out of Raven's eye.
You need a haircut, Squirt. That was very nice of Ms. Peters. Did you
thank her for taking such good care of you? Raven rolled her eyes at her
I'm not rude, you know
of course I did. Did you? She smiled,
trying, unsuccessfully, to look innocent. Mandy broke out in laughter and Jake
looked up in her direction. She placed her hand over mouth, trying her best to
stifle her laughter. Jake got up and leaned over to kiss her niece on her head.
Come on, I'm hungry.
They drove Mandy's car to Claudia's to drop off the kids, then went back to the
house to get the bike. The bar was all ready pretty full when they got there.
Mandy walked through the door and actually had to wait in line before she could
make her way through the bar to the stage area.
After a few moments she saw the doorman/bouncer, Vinnie. Mandy walked over and
hugged him, catching him off guard. He pulled back to see who had the nerve to
touch him. He got a large smile on his face.
Hey, Amanda! Good to see you, girl. How the hell have you been? He
stood up and picked her up in a bear hug.
Great, Vinnie. Ahh
could you put me down, please?
let me think
How's the weather down there, Shorty?
Mandy looked at him, confusion clearly written on her face.
Huh? He laughed at her.
Well, you said to put you down. She smacked him on his arm, and
then pulled back her hand as it stung.
You've been working out. New jersey? She asked as she tugged on his
New York Rangers jersey.
No. New York. He laughed as she rolled her eyes at him.
Actually, it's one I've had for a while. Never wear it too much. Mark
Messier. Mandy grabbed Jake's arm and pulled her up to meet her friend.
Vinnie, this is my friend, Jake. Jake, this shit-head is Vinnie.
Vinnie offered his hand and Jake shook it, firmly.
Wow, good grip. Nice to meet you, Jake. I am the watchdog of this fine
Yeah, you got the dog part right. Mandy teased him.
you just watch yourself there, girlie! Jake placed
an arm around Mandy's shoulder.
Everybody else here? Mandy asked him as she snuggled in closer to
Jake, wrapping her arms around her stomach. Vinnie took all this in with much
Yeah. Annie's setting up her drums. Stevo and Jase just finished with the
P.A. He answered as he carded a couple of new customers who looked a bit
too young to be in there. Mandy and Jake stepped out of the way so Vinnie could
do his job.
Who else is working, tonight?
Well, KF is here. Ang and Bert are behind the bar and Dana's up in the DJ
Great. I'll have to go say hi. I'll see you later, Vinnie. Mandy
started to walk off when he called after her.
you're not so secret admirer is here. And Bama should be here
O.K., thanks, Vinnie.
They made their way to the bar and waited in line to get a drink.
Bama? Jake asked.
Yeah. Remember me telling you that KF owned the Corral half? Well,
Bama owns the Hershe's half of the bar.
Oh. Well, what about this not so secret admirer? Mandy started
laughing as they moved up to the bar.
She's ok. She's just a fan of the band.
is more like it. Mandy looked up to see her friend, Angie. Angie was an
attractive blond at about five foot seven with short hair and brown eyes.
went out with her!
Yes, I did
here! Mandy laughed at her friend.
Can I get two Coronas please with extra lime? Angie smiled.
My kind of woman. Sure thing. Angie got their order together.
Here you go.
Thanks. Can you run a tab for me, please?
Yeah, right. Angie replied sarcastically. Mandy rolled her eyes at
how stubborn everyone in this bar could be.
this is my friend, Jake. Angie nodded her head in the
taller woman's direction. Nice to meet ya.
Jake, if you ever need to find Angie, just look for the Pittsburgh
Penguins cap. Angie looked up as if offended.
Are you insinuating something, Mandy? Jagr is the MAN!. Mandy
laughed at her friend, as she talked about her favorite player, Jaromir Jagr.
just stating the facts. She grinned as she grabbed
Jake's hand and made her way up to the stage. On the way, she met two more of
Mandy's friends, the DJ, Dana, and another bartender, Bert.
I swear, every time I see Bert, she has a different shirt with lights on
the front. I wonder if they run off batteries? Jake laughed at Mandy.
Honey, are you having a blonde moment? Mandy backhanded Jake in her
Hey! Mandy noticed her admirer walking up to them. She
reached up and wrapped her arms around Jake's neck, making sure her little
Hi, Mandy. Mandy looked at Jake and winked before removing her arms
from around Jake's neck.
Hi, Carrie. Nice to see you. Glad you could make it. Carrie was
about Mandy's height with short brown hair and gray eyes.
I wouldn't miss it. Good luck!
Thanks. Mandy called after the girl. Jason walked up and mimicked
in Mandy's ear, I wouldn't miss it! sounding more like Cartman from
Southpark than anything else. Mandy laughed at her ex husband.
Jason, be nice. She's harmless. Jason turned to Jake, trying to
Jake, that girl is here
we play. She gets here about two hours before anybody else so she can sit in
the same spot in front of Mandy.
, she's the last one to leave. Mandy rolled her eyes at her ex's
behave. She's harmless. I think it's cute. Leave her
cute. Little stalker. He said as he took a pull on his
She's not a stalker, Jason. Be nice. Jake wrapped her arms around
the smaller woman at her side.
She better not be. She'd have to go through
first. Mandy looked, surprised at Jake.
, are sweet. She said as she placed a kiss on the taller woman's cheek,
causing her ex to chuckle.
Just don't say that too loud. People might begin to think that I'm nice
or something. This caused Jason to laugh harder until Mandy pointed a
finger at him.
Don't you start, Jason! He held up his hands in mock surrender.
O.K., o.k., you ready? We're about ready to start.
Yeah. I'm on my way. He nodded then made his way to the stage.
Mandy turned back to Jake.
You won't go anywhere, right? Jake kissed her on the top of her
Not unless you do. See you in a bit. Mandy smiled one last time at
Jake before she made her way up onto the stage.
The first two sets went great. The band was on a break before they finished up
for the night. Eph and Pony had showed up right before the first set started.
Terry and Jay were not far behind with their friend Karen. The five were
standing by the bar talking to KF and Angie. They were making fun of the girl
in front of the stage waiting, patiently, to catch a glimpse of Mandy.
Can you believe it? You'd think Mandy was someone famous. Pony
stated as she ordered another beer. I mean, come on
it's not like
she'd ever have a chance anyway.
Especially with Mandy's new girl here. KF added.
girl? How about the
girl. What's the deal with those two anyway? Angie asked as she handed
the group a new round of drinks. Eph decided to answer this one.
Jake works for Jason and her niece is in Mandy's class. They've got a
thing for each other and are both starting to relax and just go with it. You
should've seen them a couple of weeks ago. It's almost like they were scared of
each other the way they just kind of danced around the whole thing.
KF clapped her friend on the shoulder while Angie went to the other side of the
bar to wait on the customers there.
You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd think our little friend is
close to storming out of the proverbial closet. Because believe me, when she
does, it won't be a simple little coming out. I don't think I want
to be within ten miles when that happens. Everyone shared a laugh and
noticed Bert walk out of the DJ booth with Dana. They stopped and spoke with
Mandy for a moment then all three headed for the bar. Mandy grabbed Jake's hand
and pulled her along with them. Angie walked back up to everybody and looked to
see what held their attention.
Here comes trouble. Angie commented as Mandy stopped in
front of her friends. Dana and Bert continued on behind the bar with a twinkle
in their eyes. Bert was about five foot ten with long curly dark brown hair and
light brown eyes. If there was a Bad Ass in the bar, she was it.
Especially when she dressed as she was tonight- in a pair of black vinyl pants
and a black tank top with the word Bitch in red lights across her
chest. Dana was a bit shorter with long blond hair and light brown eyes. She
had a petite figure that made her seem taller. Most women came into the bar
when she was working just to see her. She was wearing a pair of faded jeans
with a hole in one knee and one in the back at her rear. She was wearing a
black sports bra with a white, transparent blouse over the top.
The two walked behind the bar and Bama put a hand up to stop them. Bama had
shown up at the bar during the second set. Bama was the other owner. She had
shoulder length blond hair and blue eyes.
Dana, aren't you supposed to be in the DJ booth? Bama
asked as Bert continued on behind the bar and began to clear all the glasses
and bottles off the surface. Everybody knew what was coming and moved their
Don't worry about it, Bama. Everything is all set. Bobbi's filling in for
a few minutes. Bama's eyes grew large. She knew what was coming as well.
Don't worry your blonde little head off. Everything's under
control. Dana patted her on her shoulder and continued behind the bar.
Bama shook her head and grinned. She backed out of the way as Dana and Bert
Before too much longer, Unbelievable by EMF came through the P.A.
system. Bert looked at Dana and said Showtime! Both women jumped up
onto the bar, followed soon after by KF. All three women looked down at Mandy
and began to motion her up onto the bar with their fingers. Mandy blushed and
put her head in her hands. After a moment she jumped up onto the bar with them.
All four women began dancing in sync with each other ala Coyote
Ugly. Bert got an almost evil grin on her face as each woman started
dancing on her own side of the bar. Bert reached down and grabbed a bottle of
She noticed Bama's look of alarm and smiled back. Bert began to strut down her
side of the bar, pouring alcohol down it's length. She jumped up and grabbed a
hold of one of the ceiling rafters and dropped a match onto the bar. Bert's
side of the bar went up in flames as everyone began cheering. She jumped down
and her boots landed in the middle where Angie had begun putting out the flames
with the spray nozzle from behind the bar.
I hope that was the cheap stuff! Bama screamed up to Bert. Bert
winked as the other three made their way back around to her side.
Jake leaned in towards Eph and practically had to scream to be heard.
What in the hell is this? Eph laughed as she answered.
All of us went to go see Coyote Ugly when it opened in the
theatres. Each of the four you see up there decided that they would imitate
someone from the movie. Every time all four are in the bar at the same time,
they do this. Let me see
how did it go? Oh yeah
Lil since she owns the bar. Mandy is the aspiring songwriter from
New Jersey, Violet. Or Jersey as they called her in the movie.
Especially after the school teacher comment Lil made
when she hired her. Dana is Cammy since she's the tease of the
four. And obviously Bert is Rachel since she looks like her and she
the Bad Ass. Jake nodded her head in understanding.
Raven had wanted to see the movie so they had gone when they still lived in
The song ended but the women remained on the bar as You Must Be Crazy For
Me by Melissa Etheridge played. Jake smiled up at Mandy when she made her
way over in front of her. Mandy winked as she made her way around the bar top.
She noticed Steve and Jason trying to get her attention from the stage. She
knew what the next song would be to be played by the DJ. She had requested it.
It was a song the band played only, Annie normally sang it. When she saw Bobbi
walk out of the DJ booth and Steve motion to her to stay where she was she knew
what the plan was.
The band would play the Joan Jett tune and Mandy would sing it from the bar.
She couldn't believe she was actually going to have the nerve to sing this.
Angie handed the cordless microphone from behind the bar. Her vocals for this
song would be coming out of the house P.A.
The drums started and everyone's attention was torn between the display on the
bar and the stage where the band began to play. Everyone, that is, except Jake.
Jason and Steve began playing. Mandy danced her way back over in front of Jake.
Her voice filled the entire bar as she began to sing.
We've been here too long trying to get along, pretending that you're, oh,
so shy. I'm a natural Ma'am, doing all I can, my temperature is running
Jake's heartbeat sped up. She knew this song. It had been one of Ryan's
High at night, no one in sight and we've got so much to share
Mandy leaned down and ran her fingers down Jake's cheek as KF, Bert and Dana
kept the other patrons occupied.
Talking's fine if we've got the time. But I ain't got the time to spare,
Do you wanna touch?
Mandy held the microphone out over the crowd as they responded with the
Yeah! Do you wanna touch? Yeah! Do you
wanna touch me there? Where? Do you wanna touch? Yeah!
Do you wanna touch? Yeah!
Mandy ran her hand through her own hair and straight down to her stomach as she
looked in Jake's eyes and sang the last line of the chorus.
Do you wanna touch me there? Where? There? Yeah!
The entire bar was on their feet as Mandy continued the song.
Every girl and boy needs a little joy, all you do is sit and stare.
Mandy got down on her knees in front of Jake. Jake was ready to swear that she
was having a heart attack. When Mandy reached over and ran her finger down her
cheek again, Jake ran her hands up Mandy's legs, a little surprised at the
muscle she could feel, up her thighs and around her hips.
Begging on my knees, Baby, won't you please run your fingers through my
Mandy stood back up and began dancing in sync with Bert and Dana. KF had gotten
down off the bar to help Vinnie keep everyone from grabbing the girls.
My, my, my whiskey and rye. Don't it make you feel so fine? Pride all
gone, don't it turn you on? Can't you see we're wasting time? Yeah!
The band went through the chorus again with Mandy asking and the crowd
answering the lyrics to the song. Once the song was over, Mandy handed the mic
back to Angie. If anyone, other than Jake and her friends, got within three
feet of Mandy while she was getting down, they got a splash of water in the
face from Angie, armed with the spray nozzle once again. She had gone with the
others to see that movie.
Mandy looked down at Jake, who opened her arms up to Mandy. She jumped off the
bar to be caught by Jake, who gave her a big hug. Mandy winked and made her way
up to the stage to finish the last set.
After all the equipment was loaded, everyone sat in a booth in a far corner of
the bar. Eph had her head leaning on Pony's shoulder. Jay was already asleep in
a booth behind them. Karen was sitting on Eph's other side, poking her friend
and disturbing her rest. Steve and Jason sat at a table next to the booth. Jake
was sitting on the edge of the booth. Mandy was sitting on her left leg. Jake
had her left arm wrapped around Mandy's waist. Mandy had her right arm wrapped
around Jake's neck.
Karen kept poking at Eph. Eph got tired of smacking her hand away.
Will you, please, stop? I have to get my rest. You're a doctor, for the
love of God. You should know these things! Karen chuckled at her agitated
kind of doctor.
Yeah well, other than that
Karen was fairly tall with short
black hair and brown eyes. She had a figure about as small as Dana's but that
could be deceiving. Her arms and legs were long enough to give her quite an
advantage over most people in a fight. A few years earlier, she spent most of
her free time keeping Angie, KF, Terry and Eph out of fights even when they
deserved to get their asses kicked. You definitely didn't want to piss off this
So what's happening tomorrow that's so important? Karen asked. Eph
We are going to see Shania Twain, tomorrow night. Pony won tickets for
the show before they ever went on sale.
Bitch!. Mandy said as she balled up a napkin and threw it at her
friend. Eph sat up to defend herself.
Mandy, I'm sorry. How were we supposed to know that Jason couldn't get
the tickets? Eph wanted to laugh at the disappointed expression on
Mandy's face. Mandy lowered her head and Jake winked at Eph. They had discussed
the concert earlier while the band played.
I know. I've just never seen her and I've always wanted to. Mandy
said as she ordered another drink.
Bert's voice came over the P.A. as the lights came on and they began to rush
people out of the bar.
People, if you are not in the band or sleeping with someone in the band,
please leave. Angie grabbed the microphone from Bert and added,
Carrie, this means you. Everyone around the table laughed.
You guys are so mean to that girl. I wish you'd behave. Mandy said,
even though she found herself giggling as well.
Angie looked over to the table in the corner and motioned that everyone could
stay. Once the doors locked, Angie brought Mandy's drink over to her.
Angie, why don't you sit down and have a drink with us? Jason asked.
No thanks. None for me tonight. I'd rather experience life in all its
agonizing glory. Don't want to dull the sensation.
Since when? Karen asked. Angie glared at her and called her a
Why, thank you!. Angie walked away as Karen got up to leave.
Well guys, I'm out of here. I'm on call all weekend so, I better get my
sleep while I can. She offered a hand to Jake.
It was nice meeting you. Are you coming to the party Sunday night?
Jake wasn't going to bother until she saw the hopeful look in Mandy's eyes.
That sounds great, thanks. I'll just have to get a costume, I
guess. Mandy turned Jake's face towards her.
I have an idea for one. I'll tell you about it later.
Great, then I'll see you guys on Sunday. Everyone said goodnight to
Karen and got up to leave. As they were walking out, Jason walked up and spoke
to Jake while Mandy said goodbye to everyone else.
She's going to be so surprised, tomorrow. You two have fun.
Thanks, Jason. I really owe you one for this. He waved her off.
you don't owe me shit. You're making her happy. That's good
enough. Now, I'm going to head back to Richmond. I'll call you next week to see
how everything went.
O.K. I'll talk to you then. Jake started to walk over to Mandy with
By the way, nice pants! Jake rolled her eyes at her boss. She
walked up behind Mandy. Mandy could sense Jake behind her. She reached back to
grab Jake's hands and pulled them around her waist. Jason walked over in front
of her and kissed her on her cheek.
Happy Birthday, Beautiful. Your present is at Mom's. I love you.
Mandy reached up to hug him back and kiss him on his cheek.
Thank you. I love you, too. See you soon?
You bet. I'm going to stop by Mom's and see the princess before I head
back to Richmond, so I'll see you soon.
Everyone left the bar and Jake started the bike. As Mandy got on behind her,
she turned around and asked, Did you have a good night? Mandy
hugged her tight as she settled in against Jake's back.
I had a
Feedback can be directed to .
Copyright © 2000
Interactive Fiction, Inc. All rights reserved.
fiction and poetry are the property of the authors and are subject to copyright
laws, as well as other laws, including, but not limited to, other applicable
state, federal, territorial and international laws and treaties. You are
granted permission to print these pages or save to a file on your computer for
personal use only. No other use is permissible, except where otherwise
specified in writing or where the author's prior express written consent has
been obtained. Any other use of the materials, including, but not limited
to, distribution, modification, reproduction, publication, transmission,
participation in the transfer of or sale of, performance, creation of derivative
works, or in any other way, the use of which results in the exploitation of any
of the materials, in whole or in part, for uses other than those expressly
permitted herein, is strictly forbidden. The characters of Xena: Warrior
Princess are the property of Renaissance Pictures, Universal MCA, and who knows
who else. Any use by an author herein is not intended to infringe on the
copyright holders of the characters.
September 1, 2000