DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
WARNING: This story contains scenes of bloody violence. Reader discretion is advised.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The first thing that Calleigh noticed was that her pillow was very warm and smelled of lavender. The second thing was that she really didn't want to move, as she felt safe and protected.
Opening her eyes, Natalia smiled at Calleigh's head lying on her shoulder, she trailed gentle fingertips up and down her wife's back, gently waking her to reality.
Slowly pulling back her head, Calleigh looked into warm copper colored eyes that sparkled in the early morning light, and they showed such pure love and hope, that the blonde breath was almost stolen from her lips.
"Hey... Sorry about last night. I hope that I didn't disturb you too much." Natalia's voice was thick from sleep as she pushed a stray hair behind the blonde's ear.
"No, not at all. I just hope that me sleeping on you didn't upset Caden." Calleigh's voice broke just a little.
"No... Never... with you this close, Caden sleeps the best." The brunette admitted shyly as her hands smoothed her hair back and ran down the blonde's back. "Does this bother you?"
Shaking her head, Calleigh admitted. "No, it doesn't, it actually feels rather natural... And it doesn't seem strange to admit that either."
Kissing Calleigh's cheek, Natalia smiled again before climbing out from under the blonde and walked towards the bathroom to take care of her morning needs and to shower.
In the shower, Natalia bent her head, letting the water hit her shoulders and thought about the nightmare. Why did she see Grayson in the dream? She understood that she needed to show Calleigh their photo albums, but why was her cousin there. Why did she say that she was going to need Calleigh more than ever?
Getting out of the shower, she got dressed and walked out to find that Calleigh had made the bed and just pulling on an oxford shirt, which she hurriedly buttoned up.
"Hey, you don't have to be embarrassed. I've seen it all before." Then all of a sudden, Natalia realized what she said and covered her face. "I'm so sorry, that got out before my brain had actually engaged."
Feeling flustered for some reason Calleigh blushed. "It's not that... I just... I don't know." She sat down heavily on the bed, face in her hands. "How did you deal with this kind of loss?"
Sitting next to her wife, Natalia rubbed her hand on Calleigh's back. "We just take it day by day, but I thought that we could start with you looking at some photo albums. You might remember something, I don't know."
Calleigh nodded slowly pushing a piece of hair behind her ear. "Okay..." was the quiet reply.
Nodding, Natalia stood up to open the closet door, pushing aside a few shoeboxes; she pulled out their family photo albums, hesitating when she looked at the Cerano family album. Bringing out the albums, Natalia suggested that they take them to the kitchen so that Calleigh could look at them while she made breakfast.
Calleigh wanted to cook for Natalia, especially after the rough night they had, but after one look at Natalia moving around the kitchen, she doubted the feisty brunette would allow it. Sitting down at the bar, she opened the albums, slowly remembering her childhood, though she had to ask for certain names when looking through Natalia's album.
Giving Calleigh the names of her sisters and the names of her nieces really brought home, exactly how much Calleigh had lost. She had no idea that she had two nieces that adored her and were very anxious to see her. Scrambling the eggs quickly, she plated them along with the bacon and toast. Putting a full plate in front of the blonde, she sat next to her and glanced at the picture. It was one of them after the family wedding, they were underneath an arbor of white roses and baby's breath. Calleigh was looking up in Natalia's eyes and they were both smiling with their arms around each other's waist. The look of love on both faces was so evident that it made Natalia's heart break just a little, knowing Calleigh couldn't remember.
Lifting her eyes to a picture that Natalia seemed stuck on, the breath whooshed from Calleigh's lungs. The look of devotion on her own face was obvious, she and Natalia were meant to be together, amnesia or not, this wouldn't stop her. Calleigh's brow scrunched together in determination.
Reaching up, Natalia rubbed her thumb across the blonde's forehead. "Baby... I know that we want you to remember, but it's not going to happen instantly."
Frowning for a moment, but her body instantly relaxed at the simple touch. "I just want to be with you and not have all these doubts in this mess..." Taps her own head.
Without thinking, Natalia leaned forward to place a gentle kiss against that forehead. "I happen to love that mess, so don't knock it. Now eat your breakfast before it gets cold."
For the first time, Calleigh smiled happily, content in her atmosphere before she began to whittle away at her breakfast.
Natalia was startled when her cell phone went off, but as she recognized Jordan's ringtone, she couldn't help but smile. Reaching into her purse, she pulled it out, opened it, and pushed the speakerphone button. "Hey Bear..." He greeted them good morning back before informing that both he and Sonia would be over shortly to paint the baby room, Natalia thanked them before hanging up.
"Why do you call him Bear?" Calleigh asked curiously, even though she knew the answer had something to do with the fact he was as big as a bear.
Smiling over to the blonde, she bumped her with her shoulder. "Actually you came up with it. You called him Huggy Bear, because he was always hugging us, and it just stuck."
Satisfied, the blonde smiled smugly. "Have I given out any other nick names I should be aware of?"
"No... Not really... You called Grayson Slick, but I think that Jordan called her that first." Natalia speared some eggs and chewed thoughtfully. "Now Jordan calls you SS for Short Stack."
Blushing at being referred to as short, Calleigh bristled for a moment. "Jordan is Grayson's brother? Then if he's here... Where does she live?" Calleigh was confused.
Natalia looked down at her plate, breaking off a piece of bacon, not looking at the blonde. "She's... Out of town right now and we're not sure where she is. She does a lot of travelling and it's hard to pin her down sometimes."
"Oh.. what do you mean you aren't sure where she is?" Calleigh was becoming even more confused, why wouldn't Natalia look at her? "What does Grayson do?"
"She is a collector... Of many things. She is incredibly persuasive and can find almost anything for anyone." Natalia swallowed, trying to think of another way to explain it. "She's also a problem solver. If you need something done, she's the one to call to make sure that it's done correctly." She lied.
Narrowing her eyes Calleigh opened Natalia's family photo album, nowhere were there any pictures of this woman Grayson her wife spoke of. "What does she look like and why isn't she in your family album?"
"We didn't find out that we were family until about seven months ago and soon after we found out, Grayson had to leave on her business and we just didn't get the chance to have pictures made. I have some pictures of her and Jordan as children, but nothing recent." Natalia sighed, relieved to be telling the truth once again.
"Can I see them? I don't remember what she looks like.." Calleigh was naturally curious now, the way Natalia, Jordan and Sonia spoke about her, and she was a woman of great respect.
Getting up, Natalia went back into the bedroom closet to get the Cerano album and brought it back to place it in front of her wife. "There aren't any recent pictures. They only go up to the age of around sixteen."
Slowly opening the photo album, Calleigh began looking at pictures of a young Jordan with a young girl, freckles across her nose and a vivid scar under her jaw. Frowning, Calleigh looked closer, the scar was horrific, extending from the corner of her jaw where the bone rounded to half way under the other side. "Where did the scar come from?" Calleigh asked in awe. As she turned through the photos of the years, it never seemed to be faded. "I assume she still has it?" Calleigh looked down at a picture of Grayson, holding a lacrosse trophy above her head, proudly covered in mud, beautiful girl, but rather hard eyes.
"There was an accident when she was small where her parents were killed and her and Jordan escaped with their lives. That scar is from the accident." Natalia struggled to find the words to try to explain.
"Oh... Doesn't she and Jordan have money? It's quite ugly.. .wouldn't she want it removed?" Calleigh was curious, lifting up a large photo of the woman leaning against a fence railing somewhere in the wilderness. Her hands were covered in leather gloves, wearing tight jeans, cowboy boots, and hair tied back in a ponytail looking into the camera, her face hidden in reflective sunglasses. Her mind snapped back to the car ride home and the sunglasses she had found in Natalia's car.
Taking a deep breath, Natalia didn't know how she was going answer. "I think that you'll have to ask Jordan that question. I'm not sure of the reasoning myself. He should be here soon."
"I found a pair of sunglasses like that in your car." Calleigh pointed to them and she noticed in the last year of the photo album, Grayson was constantly wearing them, and when she wasn't. The look in her eyes made Calleigh's blood run cold. "I can see how you look like Jordan... but... Grayson doesn't look anything like either of you." Calleigh stated bluntly.
"Actually, our eyes are very similar, but other than that there is no comparison."
Holding up the picture, Calleigh looked into Natalia's eyes. Indeed her wife had stunning brown eyes, the color of melted chocolate, looking at the picture of Jordan he indeed had the same color. When the blonde looked at the picture of Grayson, something inside her ran cold. "She seems very... " Calleigh searched for the right word. "...intimidating and sure of herself."
Agreeing, Natalia silently prayed that Jordan would hurry up and get there. She hated lying to Calleigh even a little bit. "She's very intense and yes, you're right, she's very sure of herself. She knows what she needs to do to succeed and she'll do it, no matter what."
Hearing the tail end of the conversation as Jordan walked in from the garage, setting down the paint canisters he smiled. "Natalia must be talking about Gray.." Jordan intervened, helping Sonia set her tools down.
Closing her eyes as she leaned down to pretend to tie her shoes, Sonia prayed that she could avoid talking about her missing lover today. She had actually made it through another night, not awaking up, reaching for Grayson.
Calleigh watched him closely for a moment, then nodded, flipping back through the photo album. "Yes, Jordan... why would she not have removed that scar? It's hideous."
Jordan looked hard at Natalia for a moment, then returned to look back at Calleigh. "My sister blames herself for the accident. If she hadn't screamed in the car... maybe our father wouldn't have lost control of the wheel." It was partially true, Gray did scream the night their parents were murdered.
Calleigh frowned. "So she keeps the scar because she feels guilty? She was a child, it wasn't her fault."
Natalia picked up the dishes and headed towards the sink. This was getting harder than she ever thought that it would be. She didn't want to lie to Calleigh, but she honestly didn't know how she would handle knowing that Grayson was an assassin.
Chuckling sadly, Jordan shrugged. "When Gray comes home.. you'll change that state of mind.. she's a bit of a brooder, everything's her fault." He shrugged lifting the paint canisters and nodding to Sonia that they should start painting.
Sliding off the stool, Calleigh picked up a brush. "Where do you want me? I'm ready to get started."
Laughing, Jordan nodded towards the bedroom, showing her the paint swatches and how the room would be painted. Sonia wrapped up all the furniture to push it out of the way, including a beautifully handcrafted baby bed.
Calleigh turned towards Sonia. "Would you mind going through the house and opening the windows and the sliding doors to the back yard? I don't want the bank fumes to get to Talia."
"Of course.." Sonia agreed walking out to open all the windows in the house while Jordan pushed the two windows in the room wide open to allow for more airflow. "Good thinking Shorty." he smiled.
"Gee, thanks Bear. So, tell me about yourself. What do you do other than run a bar?" Calleigh asked as she finished taping over the woodwork.
Smiling at the fact they were having this conversation for a second time in a year, Jordan answered."When I have the time, restore old buildings and rebuild cars, but since Natalia is so far along in the pregnancy... I'm the one that goes out at three am in the morning to get her food so you don't have too.." He laughed opening up a can of paint and pouring it into a tray.
Laughing at the thought, Calleigh thanked him. "Well, I'm sure that we appreciate it very much, because I wouldn't want to leave her alone in the middle of the night. I hope that she hasn't been sending you out for stuff that was too off the wall."
Walking back into the room, Sonia caught the tail end of the conversation. "Last week it was up to Jordan to bring her pickles and sour crème at eleven thirty." She took a paintbrush, dipping in the right colors and began to do the trim work.
"Eww, was it kosher or dill pickles?" Calleigh scrunched up her face and shuddered.
When Jordan was going to answer, the doorbell rang out and he excused himself to open the door. The twin terrors themselves wrapped around his mid section gleefully jumping up and down. "Tio Jordan! Tio Jordan!"
Putting a hand on Calleigh's arm, Sonia smiled. "It's okay, It's Natalia's sister's family and the girls know you don't remember. Jordan invited them over to help Natalia feel better, she's been very down lately, very worried about you." Sonia admitted.
Sighing, Calleigh continued painting, putting off walking out to meet her family until she had to. She knew that it wasn't fair to Natalia, but she honestly didn't know how she was going to handle this.
After a long moment, Jordan returned, shooting Sonia a look, who left the room to go greet Natalia's family. Thinking for a moment, Jordan went silent, hoping to use a page from Grayson's book on how to coax Calleigh out of her shell. Eventually she would feel comfortable enough to talk.
A few moments later, two dark heads peers through the doorway and watched the adults painting silently. They whispered between themselves and Calleigh turned her head to see the two girls giggling. Putting down her brush, she walked over to kneel in front of them. "Hi, you must be... Ava and you're Isabel...right?"
Smiling Jordan put his hands on their small heads. "That is right, but Isabel would rather you call her Izzy B."
"Izzy B? Who came up with that?" Calleigh laughed.
"You did Tia. You came up with that the first day that we met." The smaller girl smiled, looking into the blonde eyes. "I braided you hair." She stated proudly.
Knitting her eyebrows together, the blonde could slightly remember she and the girls jumping on a trampoline, but the image was surrounded by fog in her mind. "What do you say to some ice cream?" Calleigh asked.
"It's too early for ice cream Tia, but daddy went outside. He says that you and him are a team when it comes to grilling. Can you fix us hamburgers Tia Calleigh?" Isabel asked firmly, ending the question with a hopeful nod of her head.
Ava agreed. "But if you want to fix hot dogs, that's good too. Can we go outside with Tia Natalia and Tia Sonia?"
Laughing again at the little girl's adult like mannerism, Calleigh agreed. "To the backyard!" She announced, creeping along the wall away from the living room.
Isabel watched Calleigh as she made her way towards the sliding door towards the back yard, with a frown on her face.
Stepping outside the doors, Calleigh found herself frozen not more than a few feet onto the patio. Why couldn't she go sit next to Natalia? What kept her from moving forward?
Making her way over to her mother and her Tia Natalia, Isabel turned back to see where Calleigh was and stopped. Tia Calleigh's eyes were wide and she look very shaky. Reversing her direction, she walked back over to the blonde. "Tia, are you ok?"
Shaking her head, Calleigh was slowly paling, sitting down in a wicker chair, she began to shake. Images of being held underwater, unable to breathe, flooding back over her mind.
Isabel put tiny hands on Calleigh's jaw, bringing the blondes focus to her. "Tia, do you know that I used to be afraid of the dark? And I used to have to have a light on in my room at night until I grew up. Do you wanna know what I did?"
Smiling shakily, Calleigh nodded, wrapping her arms around and holding on dearly to the little girl as if she was her own lifeline.
Situating herself between Calleigh's legs, the little girl leaned against Calleigh's shoulder snuggling in close. "You helped me once. You told me that we need to face our fears... to be stronger than them, so I turned off all the lights and closed the curtains and sat on the floor. I stayed there until it was really dark, then got up and turned on the lights and saw that everything was still the same. I wasn't scared anymore."
Looking at the young girl, the blonde CSI racked her brain. "I helped you?"
"Yeah, now I'm gonna help you." Taking Calleigh's hand, Isabel tugged on it, leading her back inside to their bedroom and sat her down on the bed. Closing the door, Isabel made sure that the curtains were closed before she came back to stand in front of the blonde.
"You can't go outside, so we try in here. Scoot back." Isabel turned off the lights and ran over to the bed to lie next to Calleigh. "What you were scared of outside?"
Even though it seemed silly to tell a child her fears, Calleigh couldn't help herself. "I'm afraid I won't remember anything."
Calleigh felt the little girl shake her head. "Nah uh Tia, that wasn't what you were scared of outside. That's what you're scared of now. Why you walk around the living room wall and stop outside on the patio?" The little girl pressed.
"I don't know... I can't remember... I just remember broken glass and pain." Calleigh whispered sadly.
"You don't have to worry anymore. Tia Natalia won't let anything happen to you. She loves you very much because you make her happy." Isabel snuggled closer.
Smiling, Calleigh pulled the little girl into her arms, closing her eyes yawning. "You're right Izzy B. I have nothing to be scared of."
Natalia laughed with her sister and Sonia over stories about them as children and watched as Eva played with Adonis and Echo. She didn't notice that Isabel and Calleigh were missing, but Jordan did after he stuck his head outside to see where everyone was.
After walking through the house, he had opened the master bedroom door and caught a glimpse of the two missing people on the bed, before he closed it quietly and went to get Natalia.
Motioning to her to come inside, Jordan handed her a camera and just pointed her towards her bedroom. Carefully opening the door, Natalia saw Calleigh asleep on her back at the foot of their bed with Isabel's head, tucked up on her shoulder. Quietly she brought up the camera and took a couple of pictures, before she crept inside to slowly kneel beside the bed.
"Calleigh Isabel Hey sleepy heads do you guys want to go swimming?" Natalia coaxed them out of their slumber.
Raising her head off Calleigh's shoulder, Isabel came instantly awake. "We can go swimming in your pool?"
Brushing the hair from the little girls face, Natalia laughed. "Yes Izzy, you can go swimming in the pool. Why don't you go get your suit on while I talk with Tia Calleigh."
Kissing Calleigh on the cheek, Isabel whispers. "You're ok now." Then she bounds off the bed and rushes to find her mother.
Reaching out, Natalia then brushes blonde hair away from Calleigh's face. "You alright?"
Jade green eyes searched the concerned face in front of her. "I have a question."
"You can ask me anything." Was the quiet response.
Taking a deep breath, Calleigh asked. "What happened to me out on the patio? Why do I have a fear of being held underwater?"
Knowing that she was being closely watched, Natalia sighed as she had hoped to put at least this and a few more questions off as long as she could. Taking a breath, she answered. "About nine months ago, you were involved in an investigation in regards to some home grown terrorists and had Stetler following you around, critiquing you. Anyway, he caused an explosion in which you were injured. Actually, you were temporarily blinded, and he came here to try to convince you to take the fall for him. And when you wouldn't, he pushed you into the pool and tried to drown you by holding you under with the pool net."
Calleigh sat up in disbelief. "Stetler did that! You're telling me that Rick Stetler, 'By The Book Stetler', tried to kill me? Why how do you know this?"
Slowly getting up off her knees with Calleigh's help, Natalia sat down on the bed, taking one of the blonde's hands in hers. "I know this because Horatio, Ryan and I were watching from a surveillance van down the street and we came running as soon as we saw what was going on"
Staring at the woman next to her, Calleigh could tell that she was telling the truth, but still found it so hard to believe. "So what happened then?"
"Well, Ryan tackled Stetler, Horatio jumped in the pool to save you while I found one of your guns and almost shot Stetler to get him to stop fighting." Natalia admitted.
Shaking her head, Calleigh snorted. "No you didn't You shot at Stetler?"
Scooting closer to her wife, Natalia brought their joined hands into her lap. "Calleigh I will do whatever I have to do to keep you safe Even if it's killing someone. You're my wife and I will protect you and our life that we've found with everything that I am. I know that you don't have no, you just can't remember, but you have these same feelings for me, and we have gone through more than most people do in their entire lives. I don't want to go into everything right now, because we have family and friends here, but we will soon. So why don't you put on a swimsuit, and join the girls in the pool. It will be good for you and for them."
Staring in amazement at the woman next to her, all Calleigh could do was to nod before she got up to start looking through the drawers for a suit.
Natalia got up off the bed to open a drawer of the Tall Boy. "You keep you suits in here. I'll wait for you outside."
"No, please stay. I'll change in the bathroom and will just take a moment."
Going into the bathroom, Calleigh closed the door, leaving Natalia standing there. A timid knock came at the bedroom door, and on opening it, Natalia found Jordan standing there, looking amused.
"I hope that I'm interrupting something."
Swatting at her cousin, Natalia laughed. "No, we talked for a bit about some past and she's changing into a swim suit."
Jordan chuckled. "Well, one could hope anyways, Andre and I are going to the grocery store for a few things. Is there anything that you or Short Stack needs for us to get?"
"No, we're good
Just take you phone in case we think of anything while you're gone."
He agreed and walked away as Natalia closed the door and turned around to see Calleigh coming out of the bathroom wearing a black bikini top with a pair of black boy shorts, and couldn't keep her need from appearing on her face.
Calleigh came up short at the look of want lust love appeared on Natalia's face and it hit her hard on what else she was missing. Slowly, she walked over until she was standing in front of the brunette.
Reaching up, she placed her hand over Natalia's heart, feeling the rapid heartbeat. Swallowing, Calleigh whispered. "This isn't going to come out the way that I want it, so I'm just going to say it, hoping that you know me as well as you say you do and you can read between the lines. I can be with you in the way that we both need, but I would rather wait until it means something to the both of us."
Placed a hand over Calleigh, Natalia whispered. "That's what I need more." Closing her eyes briefly, she opened them back up to tug on the hand. "Come on let's get you wet."
"I thought that we just agreed to wait." Calleigh quipped with a smirk on her face.
Natalia stopped and looked down at her wife. "Things must be getting back to normal if you can sling a one liner that fast."
Quietly, Calleigh answered. "Things are foggy, but coming around slowly."
The two women left the room hand in hand and headed towards the back patio. Calleigh hesitated at the patio, but Isabel was quickly right beside her, tugging on her free hand.
"Come on Tia. You have to help me get into the pool."
Taking a deep breath, Calleigh slowly, step by step made her way over to the pool and down into the shallow end of the pool with the young girl holding her hand. Soon she was waist deep in the water, trying to get her breathing under control and looking over to the side, Calleigh saw Natalia looking back at her with such love in her eyes, that she totally lost her fear and dove under the water and stayed down for a few moments before coming back to the surface, breathing in fresh air with a smile.
Natalia was trying hard not to stare at her wife, taking a long sip of lemonade, she tried to take deep breaths.
Calleigh, Isabel and Eva splashed around in the shallow end of the pool for a few moments before Isabel was begging to stand on the blonde's shoulders to dive into the middle of the pool. Looking over to get permission from Christine, Calleigh agreed and squatted underwater to let the little girl stand on her shoulders, taking her hands to help her keep her balance. Slowly standing up, Calleigh blew the water from her eyes and laughed.
Counting to three, Calleigh squatted once again under the water before straightening quickly up, catapulting Isabel towards deeper water, keeping a close eye out as she landed. The little girl came up laughing.
"Tia! That was fun! Let's do it again!"
Natalia was watching from the chair close to the grill, imagining Calleigh doing this with Caden and that one thought brought such a feeling of love that she had to look away for a moment or else she would have started crying.
Christine was watching her and laid a hand on her arm. "Everything will work out fine, Talia. We have faith in you two."
"Thanks sis. You don't know how much I needed to hear that." Natalia quickly wiped her eyes before turning back to watch her wife, waving her hands at the kids.
"Enough Enough. Let me take a break for a little bit and we can do it again after lunch." Calleigh swam over to the edge of the pool and pressed herself up and out, then walking over to pick up a towel next to Natalia's chair.
"They can wear you out." Calleigh laughed as she dried her hair.
Natalia was about to respond when they all heard the front doorbell. Calleigh motioned for her to stay put as she wrapped the towel around her waist and headed inside.
Running a hand through long chocolate brown hair, Spencer Hurst waited for one of the DuVista's to answer their front door. Crossing her arms across the faded University of Texas t-shirt she was wearing, her legs shifted in distressed blue jeans that had seen better days, rocking back and forth on old reef flip-flops. It was Spencer's day off and she knew that this was where her morning should start. Her behavior at the hospital was uncalled for, even though she felt passionately about her case, it didn't call for that kind of callousness. Natalia's wife had been unconscious in a hospital bed and Spencer had been trying to whittle answers out of the dark haired woman. She pushed the sunglasses further up on her nose and rang the doorbell again.
Calleigh muttered. "Hang on, I'm gettin' there," when the doorbell peeled for the second time.
Upon opening the door, she found herself looking at a young brunette wearing a University of Texas t-shirt. "Can I help you?"
Sighing and pulling off the reflective aviators, Spencer's yellow-green eyes burned into Calleigh's. "Hi Calleigh..." she began. "CSI DuVista..." she corrected herself. "Is your wife home? I want to speak privately with her."
Staring at the woman for a moment, Calleigh figured out that she should know her, but absolutely nothing was coming to mind. "Umm, and you would be?"
"Assistant District Attorney Hurst...Calleigh, don't you remember me?" Spencer was beginning to feel incredibly stupid and out of place, maybe she should just leave.
"Oh, ok. I'm sorry. No, I don't remember you. I was in an accident and have a tiny problem with my memory." Calleigh automatically stuck out her hand. "Hi, I'm Calleigh Duque... DuVista, and I'll take you to Natalia if you would follow me."
Stepping aside, Calleigh allowed Spencer to walk through the door before closing it behind her and leading the way to the patio.
Natalia looked up and swore softly as she quickly reached for her phone to text Jordan, 'ADA here. Stay away till I text.', then she looked over to Christine to quickly explain. "She's after the Cerano's so say nothing about Jordan please." And Christine agreed.
Clearing her throat at the family scene laid out before her, Spencer drew herself up to her full height, which rivaled Natalia's, if not an inch over, even in flip-flops. Tightening her jaw and taking a slow breath, she prayed for the humility she knew she lacked. "Mrs. DuVista... may I speak with you privately please?" Spencer asked politely, her piercing gaze slid over the girls, and then over the dogs, which made her stop for a moment and look closely at them before smiling and shaking her head.
Natalia sat with her arms crossed for a moment, staring up at the ADA who had come to her house on a Saturday. She had an idea what it was about and really didn't want to go into it in front of Calleigh, so she reluctantly agreed.
Slowly she pushed herself out of the chair, refusing help from the young woman, but at the same time, reassuring Calleigh that she was fine. "I need to talk to Ms. Hurst about a case. I'll be right back."
Leading the way back into the house, Natalia stopped in the kitchen, leaning against a counter. "What can I do for the District Attorney's office today... or is it the FBI, I am talking to?"
Gritting her jaw at the condensing tone in Natalia's voice, Spencer counted backwards from twenty in three seconds. "Neither... Mrs. DuVista... My behavior at the hospital the last time we spoke was inexcusable. I came to apologize." Spencer's voice was tinged with somewhat of a southern drawl.
"Really! I find it hard to believe that you are actually sorry, Ms. Hurst. I think that you're just afraid that I would file a complaint against you. Do you always go after suspects when they or their family members have just been involved in a car accident or was I just the lucky one?" Natalia growled out.
Her eyes narrowed, Spenser's good temper gone. "You are fucking with my good nature Mrs. DuVista... I could give a shit about your complaints, my record has plenty. The Cerano case is something I feel very passionately about... An entire family devoted to a life of crime, imagine the insight into the criminal mind." Spencer's voice turned pleading.
Dark eyes stared back at Spencer, measuring her up as Natalia knew that this was someone that she would be working with in the future, but still wanting to protect her family at all cost. "Tell me why this is so important to you."
Placing a calloused hand on the counter top, Spencer regarded Natalia the same way she knew she was being measured up as well. Sighing, she searched the chocolate brown eyes, caught for a moment. "The attorney that was assigned to this case before me was a close friend of mine. Carlisle Patterson... The Cerano's had him killed when they couldn't pay him off."
Natalia kept that shock off her face as her mind raced. She knew that Grayson killed, but had understood that it had never been anyone in law enforcement or the legal system. "I'm sorry that your friend was killed, but what right does that give you to do what you did?"
"If your Mentor was killed for doing the job he swore to do, wouldn't you want revenge... At any cost?" Spencer shot back. Annoyed, she threw up her hands. "You know what? I shouldn't have come. Have a nice afternoon Mrs. DuVista.." Spencer growled over her shoulder, walking towards the front door.
Pausing in the middle of the doorway; half way outside to her car parked down the street, Spencer paused, sunglasses on her face, but not turning around or saying a word.
Natalia stalked up behind her. "I'm not going to talk to your back, so just turn around and face me."
Turning around slowly, Spencer Hurst crossed her arms. "Out of respect for the fact we have to work together, and my dwindling patience and temper, please change the tone in your voice."
Natalia counted to twenty in Italian in three seconds as she crossed her arms and tried to keep from smacking the young woman. With her voice low, she warned. "Let's make one thing perfectly clear, and you can take this any way that you want. You came here... to my home... with an apology which shows that you are big enough to admit when you have made a made a mistake. I'll give you that, but... this is MY house and you have no right to demand that I change my tone of voice. I am sorry about your mentor, but I knew nothing at all about my mother's family until about seven months ago so I have no idea on what you want."
Calleigh came up to stand in the kitchen, she didn't like the vibes that she was getting from the two women and wanted to make sure that Natalia was all right.
"All I wanted was to apologize for stepping out of line. I had no right to talk to you the way that I did and I simply sought to soothe ruffled feathers." Was all Spencer would say, her eyes flicking to Calleigh's and then out to Sonia in the backyard, then back to Natalia, her green eyes almost sparkling with intensity.
Staring at the agitated young woman, Natalia shook her head. "Ms. Hurst, would you happen to be a Leo?"
Dark eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "Yes, July 23rd. Why?"
Throwing up her hands as if the answer proved her point. "Every Leo that I have ever known, hate to admit that they are wrong or apologize. Apology accepted." Natalia held out her hand, knowing that Calleigh was close by listening and she wanted to end this conversation quickly and on a good note.
"You've never dealt with an Aries then..." Spencer muttered to herself, though she smiled,, shaking Natalia's hand firmly. "Again I am very sorry for the way I acted. Next time I have questions about a case, I will do my best to be respectful of your personal lives."
"Ms. Hurst, it's not that you didn't have the right to ask the questions, but when you asked them. I hold no ill will towards you. I hope that the rest of your weekend is relaxing." Natalia stated, putting her hand on the side of the door.
Smiling as pleasantly as she could, Spencer left out of the front door, walking out to her black SL65 AMG Mercedes, opening the door, climbing inside, and driving off.
Natalia watched the infuriating woman drive away and barely restrained herself from slamming the door. Where in the hell did that woman get off demanding she watch her tone of voice in her own house.
"Se lei pensa che lei può venire qui e buttare il suo peso circa, ha avuto un'altra cosa prossimi." 'If she thinks that she can come in here and throw her weight around, she's got another thing coming.' Natalia muttered to herself, turning around and walking towards the kitchen.
Calleigh watched Natalia warily, despite the whirlwind of confusion in her head, Natalia's body language was screaming how angry she was. However, now was not the time or the place so she followed her wife silently into the kitchen, though the image of Natalia speaking Italian and the way her body was flushed was giving Calleigh serious body temperature issues. Undoing her towel, she wrapped it higher up on her chest, covering her hard nipples, trying to remember what their life together must be like.
Slapping her hands down on the counter, Natalia hung her head, trying to control her anger. She didn't need Calleigh asking questions about the conversation and she needed to text Jordan to let him know that it was safe to come back. All of this was getting harder for her to control, and now Caden was thumping his displeasure.
Closing her eyes, Natalia started to hum and rub her stomach.
Biting the inside of her lip, Calleigh slowly walked towards Natalia, a hand extended, fingertips gently sliding over the child within her wife's stomach. "Shhh Caden..." Calleigh whispered, though her eyes were locked on Natalia's creased forehead and she reached out to hold one of the clenched fists on the countertop.
Opening her eyes, Natalia locked onto Calleigh's. She wanted nothing more than to sit down and talk to her about everything, but didn't dare to as she didn't want to add anything more onto those slender shoulders than was already there. "Sorry about that. We tend to get very involved with our cases these days." Was her only explanation.
"I understand..." Calleigh smiled. "She's arrogant, even for an lawyer, darlin'."
Natalia couldn't help, but smile. "That darlin', is the understatement of the century. Are you about ready to eat? I think that Jordan and Andre should be back soon. Let me give them a call to find out where they are." Reaching for the phone, Natalia gave the blonde the impression that she didn't know what was taking the two men so long.
Narrowing her eyes, Calleigh knew something wasn't right, but she would let it go, for now. "All right, I'll be in the back yard if you need me." Without a second thought, she hugged the taller woman and gave her a kiss on the cheek, before turning around and heading outside.
Natalia held her hand to her cheek, and silent tears began to fall. Her emotions were too near the surface and everything was beginning to really get to her. Turning, she leaned against the counter and slowly slid to the floor. After placing her arms across her knees, she rested her head against them until Jordan and Andre came in through the garage door.
Even though Andre moved towards Natalia quickly, he couldn't beat Jordan, whose strides were three times the length of his. "Natty..." He knelt beside her, pulling her gently into his arms, resting his chin on her soft hair, rocking her soothingly.
"I can't do this Jordy... It's all too much. I'm afraid that I'm going to let something slip and everything will come crashing down." The brunette breathed against the young man's chest.
"No Natalia... you're right. YOU can't do this, but WE can. I swore on my life. On Grayson's, on our mother and our father's graves, for the unborn baby that was on the way, that I would be here for you." He picked her up easily, though very carefully, taking her into the master bedroom, laying her on the bed to kneel beside her.
After she was gently placed on the bed, Natalia reached up to caress her cousin's face. "Jordy, I miss my wife. I miss talking with Calleigh and I need her so badly, but I really don't know how she will take Grayson's life."
Steeling his jaw and closing his eyes, Jordan silently prayed for the strength it would take to tell Natalia what he was about to share with her. "Grayson isn't coming back Natalia." He opened his eyes, holding her in his arms lightly still.
The brunette froze, then she slowly pulled her hand away from his face. "What do you mean that she isn't coming back?"
"Stay here and I will show you." Jordan told her firmly, leaving the bedroom and returning a moment later with a large tan envelope. It was full of pictures of Grayson, some of them were of her in suits, wearing her sunglasses, her hair drawn back taunt, the scars so vivid on her face it was almost frightening. These must of been have taken months ago, since the last time Natalia had seen Grayson, her scars besides the two prominent ones on her face, were all gone. The photos showed her standing with a tall frightening looking man, who easily resembled Jordan though much older also wearing a suit and sunglasses. "This is my grandfather, Denato Salvatore Cerano the IV." Some of the other photos showed another man standing over Grayson, he was dark haired as well with cruel features. "This is Stefan." Then he pointed to the ring that was resting on Grayson's right little finger; platinum, with a blue diamond. "This is the ring my father wore.., when he worked for my grandfather full time."
Looking at the picture, Natalia's head began to shake. "No, you're wrong Jordan. You're wrong. Grayson will be back. She promised that she would and I believe her. And besides, look what else she is wearing." Pointing at the necklace that the dark haired woman still wore. "I gave her that, and it's the way that she is telling us that she will be home. And if you don't believe that Jordan, you can get out right now. I have to believe in her, I can't lose that too."
"Then don't tell me you can't do this Natalia." Jordan pushed the last photo back into the envelope. The copy of the portrait their Grandfather had taken of Grayson, that would now hang in the study next to all the other portraits of killers that came before, Cerano's of the past. "Because you just proved that you can." He smiled warmly at her, taking her hand in his large bear like paws.
Shaking her head, she leaned against his chest. "Just tell me how I am supposed to do this without Calleigh. I feel like I'm falling apart at the seams."
"Things are getting better, baby steps, Natalia, baby steps.." Jordan sat up to lay on the bed, beside her, smiling. "I can see it in the way she looks at you now. It was vacant before, now it's full of compassion and warmth, like she's starting to long for you..."
Turning so that she could see her cousin's face, Natalia admitted. "I've seen that too, and she actually admitted it this morning, but neither one of us want just the sex... even though I really need to touch her. Anyways, she said that she wanted to wait until it meant something."
"Which means she won't ever stop loving you, even if she can't remember the first time she fell in love with you." He smiled, putting a hand on her stomach, then leaning down to kiss Caden's fist that pressed out at the sound his deep voice. "She will remember the second time she fell in love with you."
Calleigh came to the doorway, "Excuse me Jordan, but isn't this your sister on the television?"
"What?" Jordan sat up suddenly, looking at Calleigh in shock, almost forgetting Natalia in his hurry out of the room. Turning back, he lifted her into his arms, carrying her into the living room and setting her back down on the couch to watch the image of Grayson, striding on stage. Sonia was staring at the TV, her face impassive.
"I thought you said that Grayson was away on family business?" Calleigh's voice turned curious as she watched the beautiful young woman.
"Umm, wow... I think that she finally decided to follow her dream." Natalia dared to steal a glance at Jordan as she had her suspicions on why Grayson was doing this.
Sonia just stood there with tears falling on her face, whispering. "She can't be with me, but she can do this."
Schooling his handsome features behind an impassive mask, Jordan just stared at the television for a moment. "This... is..." He didn't know what to say or how to explain this.
Leaning forward, Natalia stared at the screen and confirmed what she thought that she saw. Most of the scars were gone and she was still wearing the heart pendant. Leaning back, she whispered to herself. "She has a plan."
"And it's completely psychotic..." Jordan growled, his fists clenched tight, staring hard at the screen. It was true, Grayson was a natural on stage; all swagger and confidence like a true rocker, but this wasn't just about the music; this was about something darker.
"COME AND GET ME!!!" Came the violent roar of the guttural voice from the television. Grayson had pulled her muscular body up onto a high speaker box that stood above the crowd. Her arms were wide open and her head was thrown back, leaving her entire body wide open.
Calleigh cocked her head, looking at the young woman. "It seems to me that she's offering herself to someone." she offered innocently.
Tears began streaming down Jordan's face at Calleigh's words, he was unable to answer her.
Sonia sat down next to Natalia, grasping at her hand. "She's trying to end it, isn't she?"
All Natalia could do was nod her head.
Calleigh looked at the woman on screen, then Natalia, Jordan and Sonia. "Someone please tell me exactly what the hell is going on here?" Her voice was hard, she had the feeling something was being kept from her and she didn't like it one bit.
Natalia closed her eyes, she had so been hoping that this could be put off until later, but she couldn't think of anything else to say, other than... "Calleigh, Jordan and Grayson's family is very powerful and has a lot of enemies, and there has been some threats and promises made by numerous people on all sides. Grayson has been searching for a way to finish this and we think that in a way, she is offering herself up as the sacrificial lamb so to speak."
"If... If Grayson dies, things would... things would be better off." Jordan said weakly through his tears, sitting down heavily on the couch, his face in his hands.
Not being able to watch the television anymore, Sonia turned to bury her face in Natalia's chest, while the brunette stroked her hair.
Isabel ran into the room and came to a skidding halt when she saw Tio Jordy and Tia Natalia crying along with Sonia. Looking at the television, she exclaimed. "Tia, that's the lady that came by the other day and gave me something for you."
"Izzy baby, what are you talking about?" Natalia asked, her voice tense as her arms tightened around Sonia, who as well had gone quiet.
"Hang on, let me go get it." And the young girl went running off, and quickly came back with a little pink purse. Opening it up, she reached inside and brought out a white piece of paper that was folded up so that it could fit inside. Handing it to Natalia, Isabel simply said. "I was playing in the front yard the other day and she rode up on a motorcycle... It was really loud, and she told me to give that to you. She asked me to keep it a secret from mommy and I did."
Steeling her nerves, Natalia reached out to take the note in shaking, trembling fingers, afraid to read it.
It simply said. "I love you all."
Any control Natalia had was gone, dissolving into tears, she buried her face in Sonia's hair, both women clutching tightly to one another. Jordan took the note off of the floor, and held the piece of paper to his chest, his eyes closed. "Grayson..." he whispered softly. "No." Even then, he didn't want to believe it.
Isabel looked at Calleigh and shrugged her shoulders before she went over to sit next to her Tia Natalia. Patting her hand, the little girl told her. "Tia, she also said to tell you...umm..." The little girl closed her eyes, trying to remember. "Oh yeah, don't believe everything that you see. That sounds so silly Tia."
Bringing the little girl in closer, Natalia kissed the top of her head. "It does, doesn't it?" She admitted through her tears, looking up at Jordan and then at Calleigh.
Something was rotten in Denmark and Calleigh was determined to get to the bottom of it, but right that moment was not the time if the way that Natalia was rubbing her stomach was any indication on how she was feeling. Taking a deep breath, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Kneeling next to Isabel, the blonde scratched her back. "Miss Izzy, why don't you go outside and play with you sister and the dogs for a bit and after lunch, we'll practice your diving again." The little girl readily agreed and scampered off.
Turning to Sonia, Calleigh gently wiped her face and kissed her forehead. "Why don't you go wash your face in the bathroom and lie down in the spare bedroom for a bit. I'm sure that you'll feel better after you've rested a while."
Standing, she wrapped her arms around Jordan, hugging him as hard as she could. There wasn't anything that she could say to make the younger man feel better, but she could be there for him.
Sniffing, he wiped his face, Jordan took a deep breath and got his composure. Clearing his throat, he announced that he was going outside and show Andre how to grill the best steaks in Miami. Standing up, he placed a gentle kiss on Natalia's stomach, then one on her forehead before he left the room.
Looking down at Natalia, Calleigh offered her a hand. "That just leaves you and me. Would you mind joining me in the bedroom.
Taking the hand that was offered to her, Natalia gingerly stood to her feet. "Not at all.." Though Natalia did eye her curiously, knowing this was about to explode in her face.
Leading the brunette to their bedroom, Calleigh let her go in first before she followed, closing and locking the door behind them.
Motioning towards the bed, Calleigh waited until Natalia was seated before she quietly excused herself and went into the bathroom, saying that she would be right back.
Brown eyebrows knitted together over semi-confused chocolate orbs, Natalia sat on the edge of the bed, fidgeting nervously.
A few moments later, Calleigh came out with a couple of towels and a bottle. Spreading the towels out on the bed, she put the bottle on the rug, next to Natalia's feet where she knelt. Staring at the brunette, Calleigh could see that she was anxiously waiting to see what she was going to do next.
Softly, Calleigh asked. "Would you please raise your arms?"
It took a few moments for the words to register, but a delicate blush settled of Natalia's beautiful features at the request before she nodded, raising her arms.
Reaching down, Calleigh gathered the hem of Natalia's shirt in her hand and slowly drew it over her head, dropping it on the rug.
Trying to keep her eyes on Natalia's and not staring at the breasts that were straining against a while lace bra, Calleigh swallowed before asking the next question. "Would you be uncomfortable taking off your bra?"
Trying to fight back the urge to just grab the blonde and kiss her, Natalia took a deep breath nodding. "We're married Calleigh... You've seen me in some pretty compromising positions..." She blushed again, taking off her bra at her wife's request.
Calleigh just smiled before reaching into her pants pocket to pull out a hair band. "Would you mind putting up your hair off your shoulders?"
Tying her hair up in a ponytail high up on the back of her head, Natalia finally asked what the blonde was up to. "So what is going on inside that brilliant mind of yours?" Natalia reached up, cupping Calleigh's cheek in her hand before she could stop herself.
Without thinking, Calleigh leaned into the caress, closing her eyes. She might not remember their life together, but her body remembered every touch.
Giving herself a mental kick, she pulled away and asked Natalia if she could stretch out sideways on the bed on her back with her head near the edge.
Doing just as she was asked, Natalia's mind flashed back to all the times she and Calleigh had made love in the past, privately wondering if it was going to be a distant memory.
"Are you comfortable?" Calleigh whispered.
"Yes Cal, Caden is happy for the moment..."Natalia answered, one hand delicately rubbing over her swollen stomach.
Thankfully, Natalia closed her eyes for a moment, giving Calleigh a time to catch her breath; she hadn't thought this through, because when she saw how tense Natalia had been, all she cared about was relaxing her. Calleigh didn't even think that she would be staring at her half nude, bronze body.
Reaching down, she grabbed the bottle and poured some oil into her hands, rubbing them together to warm the oil. "Can you put your arms over your head, please?"
Doing as asked once again, Natalia crossed her arms over her head, keeping her eyes closed, taking deep breaths, trying to calm her racing heart.
Moving as close to Natalia's head as she could, Calleigh took a deep breath before she leaned over to carefully slide her hands underneath Natalia's hips and pull them towards her shoulders, working out the kinks as she went.
Groaning loudly, Natalia felt her body slowly relax under skillful hands. "God, that feels good."
Working slowly, but surely, Calleigh teased, cajoled and almost literally pleaded out every knot and tight muscle in Natalia's back, shoulders and neck; all the while having to stare at the most perfect breasts that she had ever seen. Now her own body was tense, and it had nothing to do with stress.
Opening large expressive chocolate brown eyes, Natalia smiled. "You are amazing Calleigh..." She admitted, her hands seeking out Calleigh's, holding them in her own.
Shaking her head, Calleigh tried to remove her hands from Natalia's grasp and quietly said. "No, I'm not. I just thought that you were too stressed out and I didn't want Caden to think that I wasn't taking care of his mom. Umm, if you want, I can rub your feet. I know that they get swollen during the day."
Allowing the blonde to retract her hands Natalia clenched her jaw wanting desperately to kiss her but refused to push Calleigh further. Sighing she bit her lips, thinking of a way to get through to the guarded woman. "Calleigh, can I tell you something?"
Moving around the bed to Natalia's feet, Calleigh nodded her head while she oiled up her hands some more.
"What you're doing right now is what makes you so amazing. It's in the little things; the way you touch my stomach to calm Caden down, especially when one or both of us is upset." Natalia's eyes never strayed from the top of the blonde head in front of her; since the woman refused to look her in the eye, she concentrated on the beautiful planes of her face, the fullness of her lips, the lushness of her cheekbones, even the way she moved, brought emotion forth in Natalia. "How you talk to me, in the tone of your voice, how it soothes my nerves, or how you play with our nieces... The way you unknowingly interact with my family. You are an amazing woman, whether you choose to believe it or not." Natalia had purposefully chosen to say our, hoping it would reassure her words to Calleigh.
Bowing her head even further, Calleigh blinked back the tears that were threatening to escape and concentrated on Natalia's feet. All she wanted to do was to crawl up between the tanned legs and find out what her body remembered.
Trembling fingertips slid up the peaches and cream jaw line, gently asking for Calleigh to raise her head, Natalia desperately wanted her look into sparkling jade eyes for her next admission.
Sighing, Calleigh slowly raised her face so she was looking into Natalia's soft chocolate eyes, afraid that she would give away her body's needs.
"Loving you isn't something that I can control, not that I want too. It's in all the little things Calleigh and the big ones too, which are nice. You are beautiful, charming, well mannered, passionate, and warm hearted, not to mention incredibly skilled with a gun, in a lab, and just in general. You are an amazing woman Calleigh, whether you chose to believe me, or all the people who have told you in the past and will tell you in our future."
Bracing her hands on either side of Natalia's body, Calleigh let the tears fall. "If I know nothing else in my life, I know that we have loved each other to the fullest and I want nothing more than to love you now..."
Silencing Calleigh with an index finger over full the lips she longed to kiss, Natalia smiled, letting her tears flow freely as well. "I'm not ready for that and neither are you. It would be cruel to put ourselves through what we both know what would be..." Biting her lip, barely containing a groan. " An amazing evening. Our family is still here and it would be not only rude to them, but painful to us Calleigh... Be patient, it will come to you." She smiled compassionately.
Staring into this woman's eyes, Calleigh searched her face, seeing promises made and decided that she really wanted a taste. Slowly, she lowered her lips to brush against Natalia's, gasping at the softness, letting her tongue graze against the brunette's bottom lip.
To her credit, Natalia stayed perfectly still, even though her entire body screamed at her to flip Calleigh onto her back and show her what their love truly was like. Hands clenched the sheets by her hips, trying to stay still even as the gasp slipped past Calleigh's lips. However, when the blonde's tongue grazed her bottom lip, Natalia gasped right along with her, it was like the first time Calleigh had kissed her the day of the shooting.
Raising her head, Calleigh's mind screamed that it knew that kiss as her body ached to know more. Breathing deeply, she fought to get herself under control. With her voice in her lowest register, she breathed. "I want more. I want what my body remembers, but what my mind has forgotten. Show me now Talia. Please. I don't want to wait."
Reaching up, Natalia cupped Calleigh's cheek, rubbing her thumb over her coral lips causing them to open slightly and then Calleigh's tongue peeked out to lav against her thumb pad.
Grinding her teeth together, Natalia slowly pulled back her hand, sighing as she looking up into Calleigh's hurt and confused eyes.
"I can't Cal, not like this, with my family in the other room. I want this first time to be as special as our first. I don't want us to have to be quiet and I don't want to rush it. I want us to be able to take our time, letting you learn all about me and our love."
Scooting back to sit on her heels, Calleigh ran a hand through her hair. "Are you telling me that we have never made love with either one of our families in the other room? They know that we love each other. And do you know how hard it was for me to ask that of you when I had just said that I didn't know if I could? Please Natalia, show me."
Tears were once again falling from Natalia's eyes. There was nothing more that she wanted to do than to make love to her wife, but in her heart, she know that it was the wrong thing to do. Shaking her head, she reached out her hand to take one of Calleigh's, but both were pulled away.
"Calleigh, please understand. I want nothing more than to make love to you, but this just isn't the time." Sighing, Natalia swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up, heading into the bathroom. "I'm going to take a shower real quick, then change and we'll go back out." Turning around, Natalia reached out to caress Calleigh's back. "Please darlin', try to see my point of view."
Nodding her head, Calleigh slid off the bed to face Natalia, smiling sadly. "I understand. I'll clean up here and see you outside." Turning away, she gathered up the towels and the bottle of oil as Natalia paused before going into the bathroom and turned on the shower.
After putting the towels in the dirty clothes hamper, Calleigh started straightening up the bed. When she heard the shower door open as Natalia got in, she quickly went to the closet and pulled out a pair of black jeans and a black button down shirt. Dressing quickly, she then pulled on a pair of boots and walked out into the living room. Seeing that everyone was out on the patio, she went into the kitchen and reached for the car keys, but another pair caught her eye instead. Grabbing then and the leather jacket that was hanging near the garage door, she went out and straddled the motorcycle that she assumed was hers with the 'Bullet Girl' seat. Pulling on the jacket and then the helmet, she turned the keys and hit the starter button. The Harley engine roared to life, and the blonde carefully put it into gear and roared out of the garage, heading down the street.
Natalia had just gotten out of the shower and dried off when she heard the engine noise and instantly knew what was happening. Quickly she pulled on a robe and ran out, meeting Jordan who was rushing inside from the back.
"Calleigh !" Was all that Natalia had to say to get Jordan racing towards the garage, but by the time he made it outside, she had disappeared from view. Closing his eyes, he let his head fall back as he put his hands on his hips. He did not want to go back inside to have to tell Natalia that Calleigh had gotten away. Turning around, he found that she already knew as she was standing in the open kitchen door, tears in her eyes and a hand on her belly, rubbing gently.
Walking over to her, Jordan looked down into her eyes. "She just needed to get away for a bit Natty. She'll be back."
Shaking her head, she leaned against his chest. "I don't know Jordan. I turned her down. She asked me to make love to her and I turned her away. I've We've never turned the other away. She said that she wanted to know what her body remembered, but her mind forgot. What if that is the way for her to get her memory back? What have I done?"
Wrapping his arms around his cousin, Jordan leaned down to pick her up to carry her back into the bedroom to gently deposit her on her bed. Kissing her head, he whispered that he would be right back before going back outside.
Quietly he told everyone what had happened and they all agreed that it would be best if they left. Christine laid a hand on her husband's arm, letting him know that she was going to talk to Natalia and went inside while he got their things together.
Walking to the bedroom door, Christine found her sister curled up on her side, softly crying. Cooing, she went over to sit next to her, brushing her fingers through her hair. "Silencio Natalia. Todo será bueno." 'Hush Natalia. Everything will be all right.'
Rising up to place her head and her sister's shoulder, Natalia sobbed. "Todo que ella hizo debía pedirme hacerle el amor y la bajé." 'All she did was to ask me to make love to her and I turned her down.'
Leaning back so that she could look her sister in her eyes, Christine could see that she was beating herself up and that she didn't have to say anything. Pulling her back into her embrace, the young woman just rubbed her sister's back.
A few minutes later, Isabel timidly stuck her head through the doorway. Looking at her mom and Tia. Scrambling over, she threw her arms around Natalia's neck. "Please don't cry Tia, Caden will get upset and that's not a good thing."
Wiping her face, Natalia sniffed and agreed. "You're right Izzy, thank you. You have been such a great help today. I don't know what I would do without you."
Rising up on her toes, Isabel kissed Natalia's cheek. "Good, I don't want to be without you either. Tell Tia Calleigh that I love her." Then the girl turned and ran out.
Kissing her sister's forehead, Christine told her that everything would be all right, and to call them is she needed anything. Then she got up to join the rest of her family and they left.
Meanwhile Sonia was pacing up and down the patio deck, muttering underneath her breath. "What happened to make Calleigh leave? She just doesn't up and leave Natalia. That's just not like her."
Stopping in front of Jordan, Sonia waited patiently with her arms crossed, looking at Jordan. "Have you two been holding things back from her?" She accused angrily.
"What are you talking about? Holding what back." Jordan barked back.
"DO NOT yell at me Jordan." Sonia shoved a finger in his chest, all these months of being tense and waiting for someone to come steal her out of the night, like her worst fears. "She wouldn't just leave for no reason.."
"The reason doesn't concern you Sonia. It's between her and Natalia, and if Natalia chooses, she will tell you. It's not my place." The young man was barely able to control his own temper. It felt like he had been walking on eggshells for so long and he wanted to scream.
She pushed him hard again, shoving him back a foot even though he was easily twice her size. "Well, you two are notorious for hiding things from people, but I guess it runs in the family." She growled at him before turning away.
Reaching out, he stopped himself before he grabbed her arm to turn her to face him. "Sonia, I'm not hiding anything. It's between Natalia and Calleigh. It has nothing to do with you or me or anyone else. They're going through a lot and it's getting to the both of them. Surely you understand that."
"More than you will ever know. I... I don't think Grayson is coming back... And even if she is... it could be a long time. I am I supposed to wait for her?" Sonia walked away from Jordan, into the house. Looking around for her purse, she turned to look back at him. "I'm going. You stay here... be with your family." She added somewhat spitefully.
Sighing, he let the young Latina leave as he really didn't what to say. Sonia was probably right, if Grayson did ever come it, it would be a long time from now... If ever. Looking around, he began to clean up the back yard before going back inside.
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