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Thanksgivings
Dannie Marsden

Chapter1 Exercpt 

 

Soft humming was coming from the shower, the smell of coffee drifting from the kitchen. Stacy Morgan was most definitely not ready to get up for the morning. Lauren McCall her partner however, didn’t see it the same way Stacy did. Stacy saw it as a perfect day to lounge around in bed, reading the Sunday paper or making love. It made Stacy smile that the shower was still going. That meant no morning run, Stacy could live with.

Deciding to get up, she made her way to the bathroom, thinking to join Lauren in the shower. The thought put a smile on Stacy’s face. Slipping into the bathroom, she was disappointed when the water turned off and Lauren stepped out.

“Hey, don’t do that I was just about to join you,” she said with a hint of disappointment.

“Well, sweetheart, maybe next time you won’t feel the need to sleep the day away.”

“First off, babe, it’s Sunday. The day is meant to be slept away. Secondly, if you wouldn’t keep me up all night, I would have been up in time,” Stacy said with a tiny hint of laughter.

“Me, keep you up all night?” came the response Stacy was waiting for, “I in no way kept you up. It was your idea to go to that stupid party. I didn’t want to. Remember I wanted to stay home and cuddle with my love. But no, we couldn’t do that could we?”

“Got you, angel. Can’t you tell when I’m joking with you?” Stacy asked with a smile.

She walked toward Lauren with the towel in her hands, intent on helping to dry her off. Lauren looked at Stacy with a tinge of red in her face, and smiled, before answering “Well honestly not all the time.” I guess its time I learned.

“Relax, baby. I’m just teasing you. You know I love you right?” Stacy asked as she pulled Lauren to her in a loving embrace.

In all honesty, Stacy was surprised that things were going as well as they were. After the number Lauren’s ex did on her, she was surprised that Lauren was willing to be in any relationship.  She was honestly surprised when Lauren agreed to move in six months ago. This year, as far as she was concerned, the holidays would be the best ones yet. They were the first holidays spent together as a true couple and she was thrilled.

Stacy thought back to their first meeting. It was a year and a half ago. Lauren, had just broken up with her girlfriend of two years and was in a lot of pain, and Stacy was just ‘going with the flow’ as her friends would say. What was wrong with not having found the right person to settle down with? Sure her friends were all in happy relationships and of course, Stacy, at times was jealous of the fact that everyone seemed to have someone but her. Not that she was ready to settle down mind you, she was having fun playing the footloose and fancy-free member of the group.

That was until the day, Val McCormick, her best friend, decided that enough was enough and that it was time for Stacy to see what she was missing. Val and her girlfriend Renee threw a small dinner party, very small, just the four of them, Stacy and Lauren, Val and Renee. She remembered how mad she was when she realized they were setting her up...

“You did what? You set me up with...with someone that probably doesn’t what to be setup any more than I do. How could you do that?” Stacy all but shouted at her friends.

“Look Stacy, can’t you understand that we just want you to be as happy as we are? We didn’t mean any harm by this, we just think that you and Lauren would make a good couple and we want you both happy. If nothing else at least meet her and get to know her, make a new friend maybe,” Renee answered with a sheepish smile.

“Yeah right, and what happens if she doesn’t like me, or I don’t like her, what then? Or God forbid we do hit it off and then it doesn’t work and one of us or both is totally hurt? God, why did you have to go and do this?” Stacy whined.

Before either Val or Renee could answer the door bell rang, and it was too late for Stacy to make any sort of get away. Val answered the door while Renee took her best friend into the kitchen to calm her down. Once Stacy realized that there was no way she was getting out of the evening, she put on her best smile, told Renee that she would indeed pay for this little stunt and joined Val and Lauren in the living room.

What she didn’t count on the sight that awaited her.

When Stacy walked into the living room, what she saw was a 5' 6” woman, with medium length strawberry blonde hair, and as far as she was concerned, curves in all the right places. That was just the view from the backside. When Lauren turned, Stacy was struck with Lauren’s beauty, and her gorgeous green eyes.

The minute Lauren looked at Stacy, she knew she was lost. She saw a 5’ 9”, confident looking woman with jet black hair, and the bluest eyes she had ever seen.

Val made the introductions, and the evening was on the way.

For the first time, Stacy was grateful that her friends interfered in her life.

It took longer for Lauren to admit to her feelings. She was just coming away from a relationship, in which she was the only one that had her heart invested.

It took Stacy three weeks to convince Lauren to meet her for lunch after that night, and another two weeks of calls to get her to agree to dinner with her, Val, and Renee. For Stacy, that was saying a lot, since she was not one to try again after someone said ‘no’…

“Babe? Are you listening to me?” Lauren asked.

“I’m sorry, baby, I was just thinking. What were you saying my love?”

“I was asking if you wanted to take a drive in the country today. Maybe stop off at a nice little restaurant or have a nice picnic. What do you think?” Lauren asked in a soft voice, as her arms wrapped around Stacy.

Stacy was lost, and Lauren knew it.

“Anything you want to do today, we do, sweetheart.” came Stacy’s answer. “Just let me hop in the shower, and I’ll be out to help you with a picnic lunch—that sounds really nice.

“Okay, but don’t take too long its already going on 10:30.” Lauren kissed Stacy softly before she left the bathroom.

As Lauren got a picnic together, Stacy rushed her shower so she could spend the day with Lauren. Having dressed, she went and helped Lauren finish getting things ready and together they walked to the car.

 

 

Stacy carried the basket that contained the picnic items and a bottle of wine while Lauren held a blanket in her arm. Soon they were driving out of the city headed to a nice quiet spot that Stacy knew of. The sun was bright, and warm, the grassy spot soft. With the blanket spread on the ground, the two stretched out, with a glass of wine, enjoying each other’s company, the beautiful scenery, the fresh scent of nature, and the wild flowers. They shared gentle, tender touches and soft slow kisses. They ate, they laughed, and both thanked whatever power brought them together. Overall, it was a great day for them. As it got later, they gathered their things and walked to the car hand in hand, both content and comfortable with just being around the other and the love that they shared.

The afternoon was perfect, and the drive relaxing. How could it not be with the sun shining, and just the right amount of breeze blowing. The fall colors on the trees were beautiful. They were happy and very much in love and the day felt like it was meant for them.

 

 

The two walked into their home both relaxed and eager to spend the rest of the evening cuddling and watching a movie on TV. Stacy headed for the kitchen to get the popcorn, and Lauren took care of setting up the TV and checking the answering machine for messages.

Stacy heard the machine go on, but wasn’t able to hear any of the messages, so when she walked into the living room she asked who they were from.

Lauren answered trying to disguise the concern she knew was in her voice, “Hmm? Oh, it was just a wrong number.”

“Babe, are you okay?” Stacy asked as she came up behind Lauren.

“Yes, why shouldn’t I be, hon?”

“I don’t know, you just sound...I’m just making sure baby that’s all,” Stacy said.

“I’m fine. Now come on and let’s watch the movie, did you get the popcorn?” Lauren asked trying to lighten the mood.

“Sure did. Come on, my love.” Stacy couldn’t think of anything else to say as her mind was still working on Lauren’s mood. Something was wrong, she could see that but she had no idea what it was. From the looks of it, Lauren wasn’t ready to talk about what was bothering her.

Cuddling on the couch they watched the movie, or rather Lauren watched the movie.

Stacey was still trying to figure out what was bothering her lover. Well whatever it was, there wasn’t anything she could do until Lauren told her what was going on. As the movie was rolling final credits, Stacy hit the off button on the remote and the two headed for bed. Setting the alarm for the morning, they shared a goodnight kiss and both fell asleep.

 

 

The week started with both rushing off to work, since both nearly overslept.

That set the tone for the day. Stacy had meetings most of the day and felt rushed, which she hated. Especially since the meetings were so important. Today she was meeting with potential ad clients. Though her job at Master’s Ad Agency, as an account executive, was high pressure, she loved it. The thrill, of landing a client was exhilarating. Today landing one of the clients would be a major coup. She wasn’t worried about the campaign, that was perfect as far as she was concerned, but she felt she wouldn’t be doing her best presentation and that bothered her. As the day wore on, Stacey barely had time to think. Her meetings took place and much to her surprise, she did the presentations well and even landed the important client. There would be reason to celebrate tonight if Lauren didn’t have plans already or didn’t have to work late. Given five minutes, Stacy decided to chance a call to her lady and find out the plans for the night.

“Hey, babe, how’s your day going?” Lauren asked as soon as she picked up her phone.

“Well, let’s see I managed to land the Morrison account, and I didn’t mess up the Spencer presentation. So all in all, I’d say it’s been a good day. What are your plans for the evening?” Stacy asked.

“Oh, honey, I’m so happy for you! I knew you would do great with Morrison. As for plans, well let me look. Damn…it looks like I have a 4:30 meeting that promises to run late. God, baby, I’m sorry. I wish I could cancel but...”

Trying hard to keep the disappointment out of her voice Stacy said “Oh, hey it’s okay, I was just thinking that a celebration would be nice. But, hey, meetings I understand. Guess I’ll see you when you get home.”

“That you will. If it gets too late don’t wait up okay, baby,” Lauren said.

“Okay, be careful, babe. I love you,” was Stacy’s response.

“You bet. Love you too,” Lauren said.

‘Well that’s just great, nothing like a celebration for one.’ Stacy hung up the phone. ‘Damn I don’t want to go home to an empty apartment, hell there’s always the Jacobs account I can work on.’ With that she got out the file and started going over preliminary thoughts and what not. After a couple of hours of trying to concentrate and not being able to, she decided to give up and head home. Glancing at the clock as she went out the door of her office, she saw that it was already 6:30. “Damn time flies when you’re having fun,” she said to herself sarcastically. “Oh well better than sitting home alone.” The drive home didn’t take long, and as Stacy walked to her door the thought of a meal alone only depressed her that much more. As she walked in, she heard noise coming from the kitchen, and what sounded like talking. “Hello who’s in there?” She slowly walked toward the kitchen. When she hit the door way the voice she heard got louder, and she was able to recognize it. As she walked in, she saw, Lauren as well as Stevie, Lauren’s ex. It was all Stacy could do to keep from going ballistic.

“Well, hi you two.” Stacey said as she tried to keep the anger from her voice. Yeah couldn’t get away because of a meeting. Looks like the meeting came here.

“Stacey,” Lauren said as she turned to face her girlfriend. “I didn’t hear you come in.”

“Yeah, Thought you were working late tonight?”

“I thought I was going to too, but as it turned out Sam cancelled the meeting.” Lauren answered.

“I see, so you decided to call Stevie over for drinks?” Stacy asked.

“No actually, I was just in the neighborhood and thought I would stop by.” Stevie answered. “And now that the lady is no longer alone, I shall be on my way.”

“Oh, hey don’t let me rush you off,” Stacy shot back sarcastically.

“Stevie, thanks for stopping by, and helping with the groceries,” Lauren said hoping to get Stevie out the door before Stacy could be any ruder. At the door, Lauren said, “I’m sorry for the way Stacey is behaving. I’m not sure what her problem is.”

“Hey, no problem. Not so sure I would deal well with coming home and finding my girlfriend with her ex either,” Stevie answered.

“Well...I suppose, but still…” Lauren shrugged as Stevie walked out the door. Once she closed the door she glared at Stacy. “What the hell was that all about?” she fumed.

“I’m sorry I guess I just lost it when I saw her standing there with you. After all she did to you...it just...I’m sorry, babe.” Stacy looked down.

“What...you think I’m going to just forget how you just acted? Look, she isn’t high on my list of friends either but I won’t be rude and…God you acted like we were doing something. Don’t you trust me?” Lauren asked with a combination of hurt and anger in her voice.

Yes, babe, I do trust you. It’s her that I have my doubts about.” Stacy moved closer to Lauren, took her in her arms, and held tight. “I’m sorry, I love you, and God knows I trust you.”

“So this is where I’m supposed to kiss and make up with you?” Lauren asked quietly.

“Well, yeah that would be good.” Stacy had a hint of a smile in her voice.

“By thinking that way it would make it too easy for you to make a fool of yourself again where Stevie is concerned,” Lauren remarked.

“Again? That makes it sound like your planning on seeing her again.” Stacy set her jaw and narrowed her eyes.

“No, I’m not planning on it. I didn’t plan on seeing her at all tonight for that matter. All I’m saying is that you never know what’s going to happen. For all I know you’ve run into tons of your ex’s and I’ll bet not once have you ever thought how I would feel about it.” She shook her head. “I’m not a fool. I know that you’re friends with a couple of them. Do you think I like that?” Lauren shook her head again and walked away.

What the hell just happened? One minute she is nice and calm and the next she is becoming pissed off. “Christ...” Stacy muttered as she made her way to the kitchen.

Fixing herself a small salad, Stacy thought about what Lauren had said. First off, okay yeah she was still friends with some of her ex’s...one or two at the most. Lauren made it sound like she had millions of them. She didn’t make it a habit of meeting the them somewhere without Lauren knowing about it.

Be fair, do you honestly believe that she likes the idea of you meeting them at all?

“It’s not like I meet them alone.”

Ah, but you do meet them, and how do you think she feels when you meet them and she is with you? That little voice taunted her.

“What? She is with me…she should! Damn it I’m with her not them. That should make her feel happy.”

Yeah like you were just a bit ago when Stevie was here with her. She’s with you not Stevie.

“Oh shut up already,” Stacy said.

With her salad and her thoughts Stacy made her way to the den. She was upset and didn’t want to talk, and she really wasn’t in the mood to watch TV. Might as well do some work. With that, she pulled out some papers and soon was lost in her work.

Lauren was pacing back and forth in their bedroom still steaming.

How could Stacy not trust her? What had she done to give her reason to believe that she would go running to anyone but her?

“God, she makes me so mad at times.” Lauren flipped on the TV. She spent the rest of the evening half-heartedly watching some movie that was on Lifetime while wondering where Stacey was. Eventually she fell asleep.

Stacy finally made her way to bed sometime after midnight. As she walked into the bedroom, she heard the TV. She quietly turned the TV off, changed into her pjs, and slipped into bed making sure the alarm was set for the morning.

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