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Requiem by JM Dragon and Erin O'Reilly

Chapter One

 

A subdued light surrounded the reception area of the When Hell Meets Heaven building, shafts of which cascaded on prominent structures like a welcoming beacon. One shaft in particular caught the watcher’s eye—a spangle of color tripping from one glass surface to the next, creating an artificial rainbow of sorts from the glass panel across the reception bench onto the coffee table, and then the iridescent floor tiles.

 

Then unexpectedly the room filled with glaring lights. 

 

“I wasn’t expecting you.”

 

Silence was the initial response and then a low murmur of a reply, a virtual whisper. “Are you disappointed?”

 

“No, merely surprised.”

 

“I can disappear again.”

 

A cool draft slipped down Amelia West’s neck as she reacted to the chilling response. She shook her head. “Don’t be ridiculous, Olivia.” Amelia watched as Olivia flexed broad shoulders, and the action caused her to suck in a silent breath in excitement. 

 

“Why are you here?”

 

“I have work to catch up on. I was in Dallas for a seminar this past week,” Amelia explained. 

 

“You never said you would be out of town.” 

 

Amelia pursed her lips then scowled. “Would you have cared? Oh, forget that, I’m tired of the polite rhetoric.” She turned her face away to prevent Olivia from capturing her eyes. If she did there would be no more conversation, just sex. It was Olivia’s answer to everything when she wasn’t getting her own way. Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad thing. Sex with the woman I love is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned except...  “Are you home for more than an hour to change clothes?” 

 

Olivia moved closer. 

 

The sharp musky scent she wore wafted under Amelia’s nose and her heart raced. She balled her hands to prevent herself from reaching out and pulling Olivia into her arms. 

 

“There’s a case that needs my special kind of talents. I only came to the office to leave you a note that I wouldn’t be home until Sunday. It’s a job at the wharf. I guess since you are here, and I’ve told you, there isn’t any need for me to stick around.” 

 

Amelia bit down on her lip and scrunched up her eyes. 

 

“What if I asked you to stay? We’ve barely seen each other these past three months. Anyone would think we were strangers not lovers.” Amelia sighed and caught Olivia’s gaze. 

 

Olivia narrowed her eyes then shrugged. “Life changes, we change. Maybe it’s time to move on.” 

 

The monotone comment sent a shaft of dread down Amelia’s spine. “So you do think we have a problem and it isn’t in my head, as you have so often expounded when I’ve mentioned it in the past.”

 

“Can you categorically say you still love me, Amelia? Really deep within your soul can you do that with the things I’ve done and might do in the future?” Olivia moved a fraction so they were within an inch of each other. 

 

Can I? Amelia frowned. 

 

“I thought not...”

 

“Don’t you dare say that! I do love you. I’m still in love with you. What I hesitate over is do you still love me and will I be able to hear the answer,” Amelia cried. 

 

Olivia gave her a withering glance then turned away. “Get back to your precious work, Dr. West. I will see you Sunday.”

 

Amelia didn’t move or speak, watching as the tall frame of her partner slid out of the door and into the inky depths of the night. The roar of a motorcycle breaking her out of the statue-like mode she had become. 

 

I will see you Sunday, Olivia. I will see you every Sunday for the rest of our lives if you let me. Her phone rang and she answered it automatically.

 

“Hello, this is Amelia West.”

 

“Dr. West, this is Remington Wolf. I believe you sent me a letter requesting some help.”

 

Amelia didn’t answer immediately. Not wanting to be overheard she exited the building. 

 

“Ms. Wolf, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from you. I sent my letter to you quite a while ago,” Amelia said.

 

“I just received your mail two weeks ago, and, to be frank, I question the wisdom of being here. It’s caused an upheaval with my family. Marital relationships are up your alley, Doctor, not mine. I resent you dragging me into a problem that you can solve yourself. Nevertheless, I am here so tell me exactly what you expect to get from me.”

 

“As you know from my letter, Ms. Wolf, Olivia and I—” 

 

“Dr. West, I am not interested in rehashing what was in your letter. Obviously, you and Olivia are at loggerheads and you think I can perform some sort of miracle that will bring you back together. I assure you that I cannot do that. I can, as you asked, find Olivia and find out what is going on with her. Other than that, I cannot promise a happy outcome for you.”

 

“I don’t want reassurance from anyone about happiness. Only one person can do that, and she isn’t listening to me.” Amelia blew out a breath. “I know people who have had the same experiences— can see things others can’t. I just need you to talk with her and let me know what you think, please.” 

 

Amelia heard a click of impatience in Ms. Wolf’s tone. 

 

“I am staying at the Weston. Meet me in the dining room at noon tomorrow and we can discuss this further.” 

 

The line went dead. She replaced her phone in her pocket and looked at the door to their business, shutting her eyes.  

 

“Tomorrow. I’ll work longer tomorrow. After all, I have no one to go home for until Sunday.” Amelia drew in a deep breath and gulped back the tears she was holding. Crying wasn’t the answer to her problems. Nope the only answer to my problems is a woman called Olivia.

 

Her mind drifted to the last time she could honestly remember that they were happy together—eight months ago...

 

 

“Olivia, we can’t do that. What about the children?” Amelia squealed as nimble fingers gently dug into her ribcage and tickled.

 

“Selma is taking them to the Grayson kid’s party, on her way to see her folks. We have,” Olivia tickled Amelia more and she squirmed in the gentle yet firm hold, “the whole afternoon to ourselves,” She wriggled her eyebrows.

 

“I know what that means and we promised...” Lips locked with hers and she drowned in the sensation. Coming up for air some time later, she sighed. “I guess we can be late this once.” 

 

Olivia laughed. “A lot later.” She seared Amelia with another kiss. “Now, my dear Dr. West, I think playing doctors and nurses is on my agenda. Want to show me your skills?” 

 

Amelia giggled and kissed Olivia’s neck then bit down on it gently. “Of course. I love it when you let me be in charge.” 

 

Olivia growled and then turned as twin feet were heard outside the parlor door. “Little pitchers are here.” 

 

The door swung open and two eight-year-old girls entered, dressed in matching outfits of different colors—a delicious cotton candy pink and the other a deep blue. 

 

“Party time, Oli, are you going to pick us up later?”

 

Amelia smiled as Daniella ran to Olivia and hugged her leather-clad legs. With a squeal of delight, Olivia hoisted her into her arms and Daniella hugged Olivia, wrapping her arms close around her guardian’s neck as she was lofted high.

 

“Might, if you are good.”

 

“Does that mean we can have shakes on the way home, OliRS?” Florentina quietly asked. 

 

Amelia gave Florry a gentle smile. She was the shy one of the two girls, and it had taken a long time of gentle love and encouragement for her to settle in with them. 

 

Olivia glanced at Florentina and grinned. “Sure thing, squirt. Now come on. Selma is waiting and so is that party. You two are going to be the belles of the ball.”

 

Both girls frowned at Olivia. 

 

Amelia laughed. “She means the most popular there, darlings.” She gave Olivia a mock grave look and was given raised eyebrows and a grin in return.

 

Olivia placed Daniella next to her sister. 

 

Five minutes later, they were alone. 

 

Amelia was wrapped into muscled arms as Olivia lifted her much like she had Daniella earlier, before kissing her thoroughly as they headed for the bedroom.  

 

“I love you, Olivia Santos,” Amelia whispered as they entered the bedroom.

 

“Ditto, Amelia West.” The bedroom door closed behind them. 

 

The tears she had held now fell profusely. She brushed them away and headed for her car and the lonely night ahead. 

 

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