DISCLAIMER: This is an Otalia-Uber fiction. The characters in this story portrays the physical and some personality attributes of the characters Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera from Guiding Light but they belong to me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Blue for her great beta-ing skills!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By damnation



Frances was jolted awake by her ringing mobile. She fumbled for the gadget and cracked open an eye to see who the caller was. Her head registered the time and she sat up on her bed quickly, realising she had overslept. Kristen was probably calling from outside the house. She scrambled off the bed and went to the door.

"Hey, sleepyhead," Kristen greeted, smiling indulgently at Frances' rumpled appearance.

Frances smiled blearily, pulling Kristen into her room. All the blinds were drawn so everything was painted grey. Kristen could detect the scent of sandalwood. "Sorry I overslept. We stayed out pretty late last night after Nell's gig."

"I could go, let you sleep," Kristen offered, pulling Frances into a hug. The lingering trace of sandalwood on Frances’ skin made her breathe in deeper. "You smell nice."

Frances smiled, sighing in the embrace. She could get used to having Kristen this close to her all the time. "I want you here. But do you mind if I sleep for another fifteen minutes?" Without waiting for an answer, Frances pulled Kristen onto her bed with her.

"You can do whatever you want," Kristen murmured, running a hand through Frances' hair after they settled into a comfortable position.

"Mm, true?" Frances asked in a low, lazy voice, sneaking a hand under Kristen's top to trail up a warm torso. Frances shifted closer to Kristen, placing her face in the crook of her neck and inhaling her warm, clean smell.

Kristen hummed softly at the touch and her lips curved up. "I thought you wanted to sleep."

"I do." Kristen could feel Frances smile against her neck. "But having you in bed with me makes me want to do other things as well."

"Not that I'm complaining but..." Kristen shifted and Frances opened her eyes. "Are you always like this?"

Frances trailed her finger down Kristen's face as she took in her features. She tucked a stray strand of hair behind Kristen's ear. Up close, Kristen looked even more beautiful. "Like what?" Frances' gaze stopped on Kristen's lips. She liked the way they curved up, moved and sometimes reveal the tips of Kristen's teeth when she smiled.

"So..." Kristen looked for the right word. "Amorous."

Frances bit her lower lip and narrowed her eyes as she considered her answer. "Only with certain people." She leaned forward to place a lingering kiss on Kristen's lips. "You just happen to be one of them," she said as she pulled away.

They were speaking in low, secretive tones even though there was no one else in the house. Being this close to Kristen sent faint tingles through Frances. Her room and the sheets felt cool; she snuggled closer to Kristen, twining their legs together under the doona.

Kristen looked amused. "Huh. Who are the others?"

"Oh, you know, one or two other girls I have on the side... like the one who was here last night..." Frances said playfully, yelping when Kristen poked her side. "She had claws, I tell you," Frances continued, giggling at the arched look that Kristen was giving her. "Conversation wasn't very good though. She could only mew and purr."

"You were getting amorous with a cat?" Kristen asked, touching her nose to Frances'. "Should I be worried?"

"Oh yeah," Frances breathed out. Kristen's hand was doing some wandering of its own. "I'm really starting to like sleeping with Mellow..." she trailed off, chuckling when Kristen's light touch tickled. "She doesn't snore, unlike someone..."

Kristen growled and nipped at Frances' shoulder lightly. "I do not snore."

"Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that, lady," Frances teased, catching Kristen's lips with her own. Kristen moaned and pulled away.

"I don't, do I?" she asked, feeling a little self-conscious.

Frances bit back a laugh at the look on Kristen's face. "Baby, there's nothing wrong with snoring. I snore when I'm tired. But no, you don't snore. I was just teasing. Now come back here." She pressed the length of her body into Kristen's, liking the way their bodies seemed to fit so well together. She traced Kristen's lips with a finger. "You are so beautiful."

"Thank you," Kristen whispered, her eyes falling on Frances' smiling lips.

"Even on the occasions when you do snore," Frances added wickedly before squealing and bucking from the bed when Kristen tickled her mercilessly.

"Stop, stop, please," Frances begged, trying to breathe.

Frances hated being so ticklish; it was an unfair disadvantage. She swallowed, trying to calm her racing heart, and registered the new position that they were in. The back of her head and shoulders were pressed against the bed's headboard, with Kristen's body wedged snugly between her legs.

Frances wound a hand around Kristen's neck as they shared a smile, feeling as though the world outside of her room had fallen away. Leaning forward the same time Kristen did, their lips met and their eyes fell closed. Frances felt the familiar tingle of arousal through her body as their kiss deepened and she moaned in her throat. The fabric of her t-shirt suddenly felt scratchy against her sensitised skin.

Frances broke the kiss after long moments, trying to gather her thoughts. "What did you wanna do today?" she asked in a husky tone. She stroke Kristen's cheek softly as she searched her face. "Cos' if you wanted to do something other than have sex, we have to stop right now."

Kristen's green eyes was dark with intent and her voice was low, sending sparks of desire through Frances. "Oh, we're not stopping."

Kristen and Frances had just enough time to do some grocery shopping before Kristen had to go in to Taters. Kristen snuck a peek at Frances, who was barefoot as usual, looking carefree in a red summer dress. Her damp dark hair fell past her shoulders in gentle waves.

"What are you looking at?" Frances asked, shooting Kristen a teasing look.

"My hot girlfriend," Kristen replied, her lips twitching. She enjoyed the blush that crept up Frances' face at her reply. Then she blushed herself when Frances pressed a kiss onto her cheek quite unexpectedly.


Kristen and Frances whipped their heads around at the same time at the call of Frances' name. "Izzie?" Frances said, surprised. "Hey. When did you get back?" Frances looked from Kristen to Isobel. "Kristen, this is Izzie. We worked in Vietnam together," she said to Kristen. "Izzie, Kristen."

Kristen shot Frances' friend a polite smile but the woman did not acknowledge it.

"I emailed you a coupla times," Isobel Tang said. "You never called. A mass email saying that you won't be going back to Hanoi? That's all I get?" She sounded hurt and a little angry. Frances bit her lower lip, wincing.

"Sorry, I didn't think..."

Isobel shook her head. "No, you didn't." She finally shot Kristen a look and shook her head. "Have a nice life, Frances," she said before stalking off.

Kristen cleared her throat. Frances looked torn between wanting to run after Isobel and in the opposite direction. "I think I should talk to her," Frances said finally, looking like it was the last thing in the world she wanted to do. "You should start on your shopping and I'll come look for you in a bit."

Kristen nodded. She could more or less guess what was going on. She took Frances' bag from her. It had Frances' work clothes and shoes in it.

Frances squeezed Kristen's arm softly and smiled. "I won't be long," she said before breaking into a jog after Isobel. "Izzie, wait up!"

Frances pulled her hair up into her usual ponytail when she caught up with Isobel. It felt dry enough and she hated having it down for too long a time. "Hey," she said tentatively. Isobel was standing with her arms crossed at the lights. "Izzie, I didn't realise... so many things have happened since I've been back and I haven't had the time to think about -"

"Oh, you couldn't spare five minutes to give me a call or send me a personal email?" Isobel shot back before Frances could finish her sentence.

"I..." Frances trailed off weakly, not knowing what to say to that. "Some stuff happened to my Dad and his restaurant when I decided not to go back to Hanoi and I've just been a little overwhelmed."

Isobel still looked sullen but she didn't walk away. "I thought we had something," she said in a softer tone.

Frances bit her lower lip. "I'm really sorry," she said uncomfortably. "I shouldn't have disappeared. I didn't mean to cause any grief."

"Well, you did." Isobel's anger deflated at Frances' apology and breathed out heavily. They stood awkwardly in the middle of the street for a few moments before Isobel sighed and extended an olive branch. "Do you wanna grab a coffee or something?"

Frances shook her head. "I can't. I have to go look for Kristen. But another time, for sure."

Isobel shrugged. "Well... call me. I'll be around for a bit. I'm still trying to decide what to do next."

"I will. Promise." Frances stretched out her pinkie, which Isobel took in her own. She was relieved when Isobel cracked a smile.

"All right, I have to go," Frances said with a tentative smile of her own. "It's good to see you, Izzie. Catch you soon, okay?"

Frances found Kristen at the juice section of the supermarket, trying to decide between cranberry and apple juice. "Cranberry," Frances said, and Kristen looked up.

"Huh. I was leaning more towards apple." Kristen put both juices into her trolley. "Problem solved," she said with a smirk.

Frances slid an arm around Kristen's waist and rested her head briefly on Kristen's shoulder before pulling away. "Sorry about earlier."

"That's okay. Is everything okay?"

"Yup," Frances said, not wanting to go into detail. She glanced over at Kristen and smiled. "What else are we after next?" she asked, peeking into the trolley.

"Mm..." Kristen thought for a moment. "Hommous." Frances hooked a finger through Kristen's belt loop as they walked down the aisles towards the sauces and dips section. "You know, there's all this drama unfolding around us and here we are, shopping for groceries. Do you find that a little weird?" Kristen asked.

Frances bit her lower lip as she scanned the different hommous labels, trying to decide which one to get. "So... we shouldn't be shopping for groceries?" she asked distractedly. "Ooh. Spicy hommous. Wanna try it?" She picked up the container and Kristen wrinkled her nose. Frances put it back with a smile and picked up a container of the plain variety.

"But it's weird, right? I mean, our exes popping up one after the other?"

"Izzie's not an ex."

Kristen rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine. Whatever. You still haven't told me what Jack wanted with you."

It surprised Frances that she had completely forgotten she had meant to talk to Kristen about Jack's visit--especially after the drama that it had caused. "Sorry, I completely forgot about his existence," she said with a grimace.

Kristen had to admit that she had also put Jack's appearance on the back burner ever since Frances' unexpected visit the other night. It was almost as though it didn't matter anymore after Frances told her how she felt about her.

"He... wanted me to leave you. He knew about Taters and the insurance company. He said... if I leave you, he'll get Dad out of debt," Frances said, sounding a little uncomfortable.

Kristen could not believe what she was hearing. "He what?" She was appalled and disgusted that Jack would resort to something like that. Then her eyes narrowed. "And you were considering it?" she asked, feeling a little hurt.

Frances frowned. "It was more like I needed the time to process the information and what I felt. I wasn't considering anything," she said, trying to explain herself. It was tiring her out, especially after the little episode with Isobel. "Can we not do this?" she asked finally.

"Fine," Kristen answered in a clipped tone.

Frances sighed and touched her hand to Kristen's cheek. She did not want to fight. "Baby..." Frances tipped Kristen's chin so that she could peer into her eyes. "Give us a smile?" she asked coaxingly. Kristen felt her annoyance seep away and she managed a half smile.

Frances nuzzled Kristen's neck in slight relief and felt Kristen's arm wrap around her waist. The half smile became a full one when Kristen felt a soft kiss just below her ear. It was impossible for her to remain in a foul humour when she was around Frances and she decided to let it go for the moment.

"Do you need anything?" Kristen asked when they resumed shopping.

Frances shook her head. "Between your pantry, Nell's and Dad's, I think I'm good for the moment," she said lightly.

Kristen smiled and pulled Frances close again, not caring that there were other shoppers about, some giving them discreet looks. "You're a very distracting shopping companion," Kristen murmured, her gaze falling on Frances' smiling lips. "I'm gonna be late for work if I keep getting distracted."

"Well, get on with it already, Chef!" Frances said, amused.

"In a minute," Kristen said, unable to let Frances go without a kiss. She touched their lips together, thrilling at being able to do so whenever she wanted. Frances felt soft all over; Kristen could feel the warmth of her skin through the fabric of the dress and she wished that she didn't have to go to work.

"Stop," Frances mumbled as she pulled Kristen's hand away. "You're turning me on," she murmured, feeling slightly embarrassed at having almost forgotten where they were. Kristen's lips quirked into a smile at the flustered look on Frances' face. "Okay. We have to get to the frozen food section. Now."

Kristen chuckled as she watched Frances hurry away, her ponytail bouncing behind her and her red dress hugging her in all the right places... Images of what had transpired earlier on that day on Frances' bed danced into Kristen's mind and she took a deep breath. Yup. Frozen food section is right.



No one could have predicted that Taters would be so busy on the day it reopened. Kristen was glad Russell was back in the kitchen. Even though they were all a little rusty from their time off and more than a few mistakes were made, his presence made her feel grounded and almost safe.

Kristen glanced at the dishwashing station and smiled to herself when she saw Frances wiping a forearm across her forehead.

When Frances had told Kristen what Jack had wanted with her, Kristen’s old insecurities had risen and she had immediately assumed Frances had considered trading her in. She hated that Jack had managed to rob her of her self worth because of his infidelity.

In hindsight, her reaction wasn't completely fair and she was glad that Frances had put a stop to the conversation at the supermarket. The possibility of Frances having considered Jack's proposal bothered her but if she had to be honest, they had only been going out a few weeks when Jack had shown up. Sometimes she forgot that this was only new.

"Five minutes before we go with Table Six, Kristen," Russell bellowed from the grill.

Kristen shook her head slightly to focus on her task at hand. She glanced quickly at the docket for the table. "Yes, Chef." She caught the mischievous look Frances shot her at the phrase and her lips twitched.

"I need more pans, Frances!" she called out. When Frances came over with the requested items, Kristen stole a quick kiss from her and grinned when Frances blushed, shooting a look at Russell's back.

"You don't really need the pans, do you?" Frances whispered, wrinkling her nose at Kristen.

Kristen lifted a brow. "Are you calling me a liar?" She tried but failed to look affronted.

"Sneaky is what you are," Frances replied, shooting another guilty look at her father's back. She grazed her teeth against Kristen's shoulder lightly before wandering back to the dishwasher, a smile playing on her lips.

Kristen smirked as she placed the pans on the stove, feeling rather pleased with her deviousness.

Ramsey poked his head into the kitchen then. "Damn, guys! It's a full house out there!" he exclaimed, eliciting a thunderous look from his boss. Ramsey smiled sheepishly. "I'll help run food out," he volunteered.

"And close the restaurant. No more customers!" Russell bellowed. There was still an hour to their normal closing time but he had had enough.

"Are we really closing now?" Tammy asked, poking her head into the kitchen a brief moment later.

"Have I employed idiots? Yes!" Russell roared, making Kristen snicker under her breath. It was good to have Russell back.

The crew gathered in the beer garden at the end of the night. Frances opted to have a soft drink instead of her usual choice of wine. She did not want her father to feel tempted or uncomfortable. Everyone else seemed to be on the same page; no one was drinking anything alcoholic. It warmed her to know how much everyone cared for Russell.

"I guess Jaycee isn't that much of a threat after all, huh," Ramsey said, looking around. He sounded pleased. "You guys got slammed tonight!"

Speaking of which... "I think I owe you guys an explanation about what happened the other day," Kristen said, glancing around at everyone nervously. She shot a look at Russell. "Someone from C&C came in the other day and recognised me," she explained.

"C&C is run by my brother and my ex," she said, looking around awkwardly. "I'm a minor shareholder... I left them pretty abruptly almost a year ago and... I didn't want to be found, so I changed my last name."

Ramsey and Tammy had more or less figured out her connection with C&C anyway so she was really just confirming their suspicions and letting Russell know about what had happened. "I was reluctant to take part in the cooking competition because there were people I didn't want to see but now..." Kristen shrugged.

"Now that it's all out in the open, we could go kick some ass!" Ramsey said. Kristen shot him an affectionate smile. "Man, I'd like to wipe the floor with Richardson's mug."

"Has the insurance company contacted you, Russell?" Tammy asked, looking with concern at her boss.

Russell shook his head. "Don't worry about that. I've got it covered," he said gruffly. "And if I can't, Frances here says she'll cover the rest."

Everyone turned to look at Frances, who slid down her seat. "Huh?" She looked at her father, confused. Then she realised that he was actually making a joke. "Yeah. I'll just sell my ass and everything'll be covered ten times over," she said cheekily.

"Like Kristen'll let ya," Ramsey said, chuckling. When everyone else froze, he realised what he had said. Russell probably did not know about Kristen and Frances yet. "Uh..." Open mouth, insert foot.

"What's Kristen got to do with Frances selling... whatever she wants to sell?" Russell asked, raising his bushy brows. Another awkward silence ensued.

"Just cos' I'm going out with Kristen doesn't mean she owns my ass, Ramsey," Frances said finally, wanting to save Ramsey from further discomfort. She shot her father a tentative smile.

Russell grunted as he processed the information. Ramsey looked sheepish. Kristen's lips were twitching as she looked from Ramsey to Frances. She felt ridiculously happy at Frances' words.

"If Kristen lets you sell your... she'll have to answer to me," Russell said gruffly. Kristen lifted her brow, amused.

Frances rolled her eyes skyward. "Everyone's taking this a little too seriously. Can we change the topic, please?"

Tammy took pity on Frances. "If we're going ahead with the cook off with Jaycee, then we're on in two weeks."

"They even got media coverage!" Ramsey added quickly, happy to aid the change in topic. "Their cook off with A Little Fish was in the local papers."

"Who won?" Missy asked, curious.

"It's a friendly competition so there wasn't a winner or a loser, but I think they're hoping to go in that direction. They're opening it up to public voting for their next cook off with Lush!"

Russell watched them interact, noticing their bond. He could not recall the last time he had a conversation after work with his crew; he would have been too drunk by then. It actually felt nice being part of a conversation instead of being alone in his head.

"Maybe we should go check it out. You know, see how the cook off's being run," Tammy suggested. "I'll see if I can get us all in for free because I'm so not going to give them a cent!"

"Yeah, that's a good idea, Tammy. What do you reckon, Kristen?" Ramsey asked.

Kristen thought for a quick moment and realised that whatever worry that she had previously about being found by anyone to do with C&C was gone. She didn't even care if she saw Jack now because he couldn't hurt her anymore. Her eyes found Frances' and she smiled faintly. "I'm easy," she said with a shrug.

"Great!" Tammy clapped her hands together. She was glad that things were looking up now that Russell was back. "I'll set it up and let everyone know. Oh, I've called Sandra, Frances. She's keen to come back and work with us. She just has to finish out the week with her other work."

Russell let the conversation wash over him as he thought about Taters' financial situation. He had decided to sell the house if the insurance company did not pay Taters out. Glancing around him, he took in happy faces and friendly banter. His own lips quirked in a small smile that he hid behind his glass of soda.

Selling the house would be a small price to pay for this.



Teagan and Andrea's new place was amazing. Simple yet elegant, the terrace house was tucked behind leafy foliage. It opened out into a deck that overlooked a deep pool with a fake rock waterfall. Frances was impressed. Nell was still gaping when she sat down with her second drink.

"This place is gorgeous, darl!" Nell exclaimed, punching Teagan lightly on her arm.

Teagan smiled self-deprecatingly. "It's not very big but it's pretty lush," she admitted. "We've got our own rooms, a study and a guest room. It's a sweet set up."

"Oh my God, Teagan. How much money do you make exactly?" Eleanor asked as she joined them. "This place is gorgeous!"

"Isn't it!" Nell could not let it go. Frances chuckled at her friend's wide eyed expression and reached out a hand to stroke her cheek fondly.

It was Teagan's and Andrea's housewarming and the four good friends were gathered on the deck, hiding from most of Andrea's friends who were either in the pool or taking over the kitchen. "Where's Kristen?" Teagan asked, glancing around. "I hope she didn't get swallowed up by Drea's mates."

"Your girlfriend is definitely a social butterfly," Eleanor said, brows raised appreciatively at a few women who ran across the deck to the pool. "There are some very hot women here," she commented. "You should hold more parties, Teagan. That way, I can get to meet more of Andrea's lovely friends."

"They're not all gay, Eleanor," Teagan said, then rolled her eyes. "Why am I saying it like that matters to you?" she asked no one in particular.

Eleanor smirked. "Hey, I'm not the one going out with a straight woman," she said, looking pointedly at Frances.

Nell shook her head. "If she's straight, she wouldn't be going out with Frances, would she, Eleanor? You're just jealous cos' you couldn't get Kristen."

"What are you guys saying about me?" Kristen asked, catching her name as she came up behind Frances. She was in a red bikini top and a pair of black fold down pants. Her hair was pulled away from her face with an elastic band; stray blonde locks fell haphazardly onto her shoulders. She had a few bottles of beers which she distributed between Teagan, Frances and herself.

"That Frances is lucky she got you," Eleanor said quickly. Nell smirked and Frances rolled her eyes.

"You're gonna give her a big head to go with her huge ego if you keep throwing compliments her way, guys," Frances said, squealing lightly when Kristen jabbed her side playfully.

Kristen went over to the empty seat beside Eleanor and took a sip of her beer. "That's an amazing kitchen you’ve got in there," Kristen commented.

Teagan chuckled. "Thank you. Neither of us likes to cook, though, so I think it's gonna go to waste," she said regretfully.

"No it won't," Nell piped up. "Frances will come over and cook for us, won't she?"

"I've been cooking for you almost every day since I've moved in!" Frances laughed at Nell's enthusiasm.

Nell sighed and smiled in contentment. "True that. I love you, Frances. I worship the ground you walk on. I adore your cooking..." Nell grovelled comically, leaning in close to Frances, who was chuckling at her. Frances braced herself against her friend with a hand against her shoulder.

"Hey guys, are you all having fun?" Andrea asked as she stepped out onto the deck with a few friends. Nell and Frances turned to look at her and Frances' brow lifted in surprise when she saw Isobel. "Hon, you remember Jessie from work? This is her friend, Isobel. She's just come back from teaching in Vietnam."

"These are my partner's mates. Eleanor, Nell, Frances and... Kristen, right?" Andrea said, pausing at Kristen, whom she had only met briefly that day.

Kristen leaned back in her seat as she took in Isobel's appearance from a safe distance. She looked to be of mixed Asian heritage; her mahogany hair framed her heart shaped face and full lips. Her eyes looked to be the same colour as her hair. When Isobel smiled, Kristen sighed. She was surrounded by people with pretty dimpled smiles.

"Frances also just got back from teaching in Vietnam," Teagan said, looking from Frances to Isobel.

"Yeah. We know each other," Isobel said, glancing at Frances. Then she flicked her eyes to Kristen. "Hi Kristen," she said. "Sorry about the other day."

Kristen cleared her throat and shrugged. "No worries."

When Isobel went towards the pool, Nell poked Frances. "I sense a story here," she whispered. "Who is she and why did she apologise to Kristen?"

Frances rolled her eyes. "Later," she whispered back before gulping her beer. "You are such a gossip monger," Frances murmured, chuckling when Nell screwed up her face in response. "Aw, I love that you're a gossip monger, dearest."

"Come on, let's go check out the rooms," Nell said, pulling Frances up with her. Frances grabbed her beer and allowed herself to be pulled into the house.

Kristen tried not to pay too much attention to Nell's and Frances' interaction. Even though she knew that this was just Nell's and Frances' way of being around each other, she still could not help feeling slightly jealous at their easy closeness.

"Don't worry about them," Eleanor said, noticing the look on Kristen's face.

"Huh?" Kristen said quickly.

"Nell and Frances. I saw the look on your face. Everyone who's gone out with them and seen them together gets that same look," Eleanor said and Teagan nodded.

Kristen did not know what to say. She hated that she was so obvious and she hoped that she wouldn't become a statistic.

"So what's the story with Isobel?" Teagan asked Kristen, curious.

"Yeah, why did she apologise to you?" Eleanor chipped in.

"She kinda dismissed me the first time we met," Kristen said truthfully. She did not want to elaborate why, however, because that was not her story to tell. "I don't think she was in a very good mood then."

"Okay, don't look over guys, but I think this chick in a white tank top and shorts is checking me out," Eleanor murmured. "She's by the pool, near the waterfall. Can you see her, Kristen?"

Kristen looked at the girl surreptitiously. "Brunette?" Eleanor nodded. "I see her. She's kinda cute. Ah. She's kissing the girl beside her..." Eleanor's face fell slightly. "Oh, wait, she's glancing over this way. I think she was looking to see if you were looking."

Eleanor lifted a brow. "True? Maybe I'll go over and find out," she said, getting up. "Come on, Kristen. Walk over with me. Teagan?"

"No, no, you guys go. I'm happy here in the shade. I hate getting freckles," Teagan said, sipping her beer. "I'll guard our seats with my life."

Nell and Frances found the study easily. Frances sighed when she breathed in the smell of books. Teagan and Andrea had a huge collection of books and they were displayed on a ceiling to floor bookshelf beside the desk. "This is just amazing," Frances murmured, running her fingers across the book spines.

Nell sank into a soft leather chair and pulled her legs up in contentment. "Why didn't I hook up with Teagan when she was single?" she complained playfully. "All this could have been mine."

Frances smirked. "Um... because you were with me then?" she supplied helpfully.

Nell cracked open an eye. "Oh. Yeah. Right. I ask again: why didn't I hook up with Teag -" Frances smacked Nell's arm playfully. Nell snickered. "So what's the deal with Isobel?"

"Izzie..." Frances finished her beer. "Remember I told you I hung out with someone in Vietnam?"

Nell's eyes rounded. "No shit! Darl, your life is like a movie!" Nell chuckled at the look on Frances' face. "Oh dear. We'll have to normalise it somehow. So how about... you make dinner for me tomorrow night?"

Frances chuckled. "You are incorrigible."

Nell scrunched up her face. "You love me."

Frances shook her head and smirked. "I do."

Part 42

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