DISCLAIMER: The characters in this story are mine. Any resemblance to any fictional characters is purely coincidental. This is an uber story and so the two lead characters may be familiar. Some locations contained within the story are real and some are fictional.
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This story depicts loving consensual sexual relationships between women. If you are under 18 years of age or if the themes of these relationships are illegal in your country then I suggest you skip this story.
SONG/MUSIC DISCLAIMER: The Songs mentioned in this piece are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to my Beta reader Rio. Your help has been fantastic. Thanks to my American interpreter Amy, who tried to teach me my oatmeal from my porridge and my pants from my trousers! :) For my partner Lou. Your help, love and encouragement are my inspiration.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jennyframe91[at]yahoo.com
The Dylan Morgan Show
By Jenny Frame
It was Sunday morning and Dylan was trying to get Molly ready to go out.
"Dyl, make sure Molly wears her warmer jacket, its cold," called Emily from the kitchen.
Dylan, who was in Molly's bedroom getting her ready for their day out, rolled her eyes at her daughter.
"Mama thinks we can't cope without her, Smurflet." Molly giggled.
Dylan pulled on Molly's gloves and whispered, "I'll tell you a secret. I couldn't live without your Mama or you. Let's get to the park."
When Molly was ready, Dylan grabbed her jacket and they made their way to the kitchen.
Emily turned and smiled when she saw them. Molly looked like a little marshmallow, ready to brave the cold with scarf, gloves, hat and a thick jacket. Dylan had her usual jeans, black padded jacket and beanie hat with sunglasses sitting on her head, ready to try and protect her identity.
"You two all ready?"
"Yeah. Were gonna head over to the park, play with the ball, get something extremely unhealthy for lunch and play some more."
Emily shook her head. "I know you want to have fun but try not to stuff her so much that she's sick."
Dylan picked Molly up in her arms and pouted. "Hey, I'm not that irresponsible."
Emily gave her partner a kiss on the cheek. "Aw. I know that, goofy. Molly you make sure your Mom behaves at the park, okay?"
"I will, Mama." Molly shook her little finger at Dylan, "Ou promise to ehave, Mom?"
Emily burst out laughing and Dylan growled, pretending to bite the little finger offered to her, making Molly join her mother in laughter.
"I promise, Smurf. And as for you, Mama Smurf?" Dylan quirked her eyebrow.
"You will be punished for laughing."
"Oh sure! I'm quaking in my shoes!"
Dylan leaned over and whispered in her fiancé ear, "Oh, you will be."
Emily felt a shiver run down her spine. Oh honey, I'll look forward to that.
The blonde cleared her throat and smiled. "Changing the subject completely. Jackson says there are only about five paparazzi downstairs. So our plan should work."
They had come up with a plan to offer the paparazzi that followed them one picture in return for leaving them alone for the rest of the day, or Dylan would publish a picture of them out and about on twitter and facebook, making the paparazzi pictures less valuable.
"I hope so. It's a bit late to keep Molly's face out of the public domain but if we can control it, then that's half the battle."
They had both found that since the initial media frenzy, the large throng of paparazzi had thinned down to a core group of about four or five, and they were much easier to negotiate with.
"What time is Rosie coming?"
"She should be here any minute."
"Okay, well remember what we discussed. If you're happy, just go with her and get what you want but if you do go out shopping with her for stuff, Jackson goes everywhere with you."
Emily sighed. "Yes, dear! I'm going to put some of Molly's things into the guest room. She can sleep there until we've finished her own room."
"Okay, but if you need anything heavy moved, please ask Jackson. I filled her in this morning when we were sparring. Where is Jackson, anyway?"
"Just checking her cameras, I think. And don't worry, I have Rosie to help as well."
"Okay. Well have a nice day to yourself. I love you."
Emily kissed them both goodbye. "I love you both, too. Stay safe."
"Love ou, Mama. Bye!"
She walked to the door to see them out. "Have fun!"
"I don't think she realizes how difficult going to the park with a 3 year old is!" Emily chuckled to herself.
Jackson watched from the living room as Emily and Rosie laughed together. Emily had insisted on sharing a cup of coffee and some chat before they got down to business.
Emily had told Jackson just to relax and to use the TVs or computers while Rosie was there but Jackson wanted to keep an eye on Emily's new friend. So she tried to look busy with some paperwork in the living room, all the while keeping an eye on the kitchen table she could see through the door.
"So the cop was like," Rosie lowered her voice in an imitation of the cop. 'Hey, little lady. If you don't move from this vicinity I will be forced to remove you forcibly.' I say, 'well I'd like to see you try!' I knock the guy's hat off and his face goes purple with rage, and I think, 'oh well, I guess I'm not going to make my shift at the bar tonight.'' But just then the crowd surges from behind me, some guy fighting with another cop, I get pushed off to the side and the cop can't find me. So I take that as a sign that it's time to call it a day ahead to work."
The two women laughed. "Rosie. You really are committed to the cause!"
"Well someone has to stand up to the government and big business."
While they were talking, Jackson had entered the kitchen. Rosie saw Jackson tut and shake her head in disgust.
"Sorry to interrupt, Emily, but do you mind if I get a cup of coffee?"
"Of course not, I'll get it for you." Emily jumped up to get the coffee.
Rosie could feel angry eyes boring into the back of her head. She turned quickly and found herself staring into Jackson's stormy eyes.
"Something bothering you, soldier boy?"
"Oh? Do tell me why?" Rosie replied sarcastically.
Here they go again! This is going to be fun with Rosie working here most days, thought Emily.
"It bothers me that while hard working people are trying to get to their jobs, they get held up by the likes of you. It bothers me that brave public servants have to deal with you and your hipster friends, while they should be out helping and protecting law abiding citizens."
Rosie's face was turning slightly red with anger. Of all the ... low down ...
She stood, facing Jackson head on. "It's the likes of me that will save this country from people like you who will give us a future of war and global warming, with the rich getting richer on the backs of the poor!"
Jackson smirked. "What? Did your yogi teach you that?"
"Argh!" Rosie squealed in frustration.
Emily thought this was the right time to intervene. "Okay, why don't we agree to disagree? Rosie? Shall we go to Molly's room and discuss the plans?"As she steered Rosie out of the kitchen, she patted Jackson on the shoulder and said with a smile, "Why don't you have some cookies with your coffee, Jackson, and relax."
When they left the kitchen, Jackson slapped her hand down on the counter.
That was so unprofessional, Hunter! What are you doing? Why are you letting that hippy get to you?
For the moment, she had no answers.
"I'm so sorry about that, Emily. What must you think of me? Listen, I'll just go. You don't want someone who shouts her mouth off like that to work for you."
Emily looked at her with a smirk. "Don't be ridiculous. I found it quite amusing," said Emily.
"I don't know why she annoys me so much. I hardly know her and she just makes me angry."
"I know she appears kind of buttoned up and moody, but she's really very nice."
"I'll take your word for it, Emily. Thanks for giving me this chance. Can I show you my plans and test out the paint samples?"
"Sure, I've been looking forward to it."
"Mom! Mom! Higher!" Molly shouted. Dylan was pushing her on the swings.
"Any higher, Smurf, and you'll be flying." She let the swing come gently back down to earth.
They had been playing for about an hour and Dylan didn't think she'd ever had as much fun.
Dylan swung her little girl up in her arms. How about we get some lunch, Molls? Then we can play with your ball."
"Yeah! Me hungry. We get pizza and fries, Mom?"
"Sure, kid, and ice cream for dessert. You can get whatever you want today, but don't be surprised if Mama makes us eat healthy stuff tomorrow to make up for it!"
Molly screwed up her face. "Ew! No like ealthy."
Dylan smiled. "Me neither. Let's go get pizza, Smurf."
Across the park, someone watched the mother and daughter walk away.
"That girl is your double, Morgan. She has nothing of my precious Emily running through her veins. You can keep your brat. My Emily and I will make our own family. Soon. You may have imprisoned her with your so-called security, Morgan, but I'm too clever for you. I will rescue my woman. No one takes what is mine!" the figure thought feverishly, and slipped away.
The sound of the new friends' laughter brought Emily and Rosie into the apartment. Jackson followed with a scowl on her face, laden down with all their purchases.
"Hey, it was an accident!" Rosie said defensively.
"Yeah. Of course it was!"
Emily and Rosie had spent the afternoon shopping for furniture and paint samples. In Home Depot there had been an incident with a sample can of paint, that Rosie was holding, and Jackson's shirt.
"Listen, soldier boy. If I had wanted to get paint on you, you'd be covered from head to foot!"
Emily thought she should intervene before this escalated any further.
"Jackson, I'll get you one of Dylan's t shirts to put on. Why don't you two stop arguing and dump the stuff in Molly's room, okay?"
Jackson sighed and padded off with the bags. As soon as Jackson's back was turned, Rosie stuck her tongue out at the tall woman, smirked at Emily and followed her nemesis to Molly's room.
Emily shook her head and went to get the t-shirt for Jackson. "What am I going to do with those two?"
Dylan and Molly came crashing through the door. The TV star had her daughter slung over her shoulder. They'd had a wonderful day together, bonding and making up for the time they had missed together.
"Now where did I put that Smurf of mine? I must have left her at the park? Oh well, I'm sure Mama will understand."
Molly giggled and kicked her legs trying to get Dylan's attention.
"Ou no forget me, Mom! I up ere!"
Dylan made a big show of twirling round, looking for where the voice had come from.
"That sounded like Molls? Where'd that come from?"
"Ere, Mom! Up ere!" The excited girl shouted.
Dylan looked up and faked a shocked expression. "Molls? There you are! I knew I put you somewhere."
"Ha! Ha! Put me down, Mom."
"Okay, kid. Let's go and see what your Mama and Rosie have done to your room."
They found a tense looking Jackson and Rosie, trying very hard to ignore each other. Molly ran over to get one of her toys still left in the room.
"Hi guys. Hey Jackson, did you have an argument with a can of paint?" Dylan joked.
"Very funny. It was an accident, apparently." Jackson looked pointedly at Rosie, who gave her a disgusted look in return.
"O kay. Can you tell me where my fiancé is?"
"She went to your room to get me a t-shirt to change into, but that was about twenty minutes ago. Must have got caught up in something.
T-shirt? My t-shirt drawer? The letters! Shit! Fear gripped Dylan's heart. The fear that she kept hidden deep inside, that life with Emily and Molly was too perfect and she would somehow mess it up. Either that or the stalker would steal her away.
"Um ... could you guys watch Molly for me?"
"Sure," replied Rosie. Jackson was immediately on alert. "Is everything okay, Dylan?"
"Yeah ... just ... um, I'll be back in a bit, okay?"
Dylan rushed to their bedroom. The door was shut. She took a deep breath. Come on, Morgan. You can do this! She opened the door to find an empty room. Dylan's drawer was turned upside down, the t-shirts strewn all over the floor. Dylan's heart began to beat faster as her eyes lifted towards the bed where the letters were set out. The originals of the more recent letters that Dylan had not turned in to the police yet and photocopies of the rest. They were all there, but Emily was not.
Dylan checked their bathroom and, when she found nothing, she frantically checked through the rest of the apartment.
"Emmie? Emily? Are you here?" Jackson and Rosie appeared, reacting to Dylan's shouts.
"She's not here! She found the letters and she's not here. She's left me, Jackson!"
"What's wrong? Is Emily okay?" asked Rosie, totally confused at what was happening.
Dylan grabbed her jacket and keys. "Will you please watch Molly for me?"
Jackson stood in front of her employer, blocking her path. She knew Dylan was so distressed and panicked that she shouldn't be out there alone.
"I'll come with you. Rosie can watch Molly; you can trust her. Just let me do my job."
"No. I'm going alone. Emily's out there upset and angry and without protection. I need to find her, quickly. I trust Rosie but the stalker could take this opportunity to take Molly, to hurt us, to use her as leverage to get to Emily. I need you to protect her. Rosie? Jackson? Please take care of our daughter."
"Of course we will." Rosie lifted Molly, who had wandered into the hallway after hearing her mom's shouts.
She looked worried. "Mom? Where Mama?"
Dylan stroked her little cheek."I'm just going to pick Mama up. We'll be back soon."
As she turned to leave, Jackson grabbed her arm. "Dylan, she'll be close by. There's no way she would leave cute stuff here for long. Call me, okay? Let me know she's safe. If he has gotten close to her, come back and let me do my job, alright?"
Dylan nodded and left the apartment. Out in the hall, she braced herself against the door, taking a few deep breaths to help with the wave of nausea that came over her.
Fuck! Get yourself under control, Morgan! Emily needs you.
The wave passed and she headed to the elevator.
Dylan found her herself standing on the sidewalk, with no idea where to go.
Her heart thudded and her hands shook in panic. She nervously ran a big hand through her dark hair.
Think! Where would she go? She doesn't know anyone! What If he's got her? No. Stop it! You can't think like that.
"Where are the paparazzi when you need them? They follow her around for months and then I choose today to manage to get them off her tail."
As Dylan looked up, she noticed a man with a camera leaning against a building across the street.
She rushed across the road, narrowly missing a taxi cab on the way to the lone paparazzo.
The photographer looked a little shocked at the sight of the big, angry, muscled, TV star bearing down on him.
"You! Did you see my fiancé leaving my building?"
"Uh ... I ..." The young man thought she was angry about him harassing them.
"I don't have time for this!" Dylan grabbed his camera and flicked through the shots he had taken and spotted a few showing Emily walking down the road.
Dylan grabbed the photographer by the shirt. "Where did she go after this?"
He couldn't believe his luck when he saw Emily Taylor come out of the apartment building alone. She was usually surrounded by a pack of photographers, each vying for a shot, but today he was the only one. Morgan had offered a shot to the assembled pack earlier in exchange for leaving them alone for a day out. The rest had, but his editor wanted him to hang around and try to get a shot of a new arty looking woman who had been seen coming and going. So when he had seen Emily leave, he took a few shots before turning his attention back to the apartment.
"Tell me now!"
"Sh ... she walked down to the end of the street and I think went into that bar."
With a sigh of relief, he watched the TV star run off down the street.
Dylan stood outside the bar door catching her breath. It was one of the many gay bars in the village. She had passed a few times but never went in for a drink.
Plucking up her courage, Dylan walked through the door.
The place was quiet. A few people sat at the bar and tables up front, or in the booths in the back.
"Hey Dylan! Nice to see you. Get you a drink?" The barkeep had spotted her already; she had forgotten to put on her usual dark glasses and hat.
Dylan walked up to the bar.
"No, that's okay. I was looking for my fiancé." She took out her wallet to show her Emily's picture.
"Has she been in here?"
"Hey, I don't need the picture, everyone knows what your honey looks like. She's been in the magazines for I don't know how long. By the way, you lucked out getting that girl; she's one fine looking woman!"
Dylan was getting exasperated. "Yeah. I know. Listen buddy, this is kind of urgent, could you tell me if she's been in here?"
"Sure! Could you sign this for my girlfriend?" She held out a napkin and pen.
Dylan grabbed it and scrawled out her autograph. "There, now Emily?"
"Thanks. Oh, she's in the last booth down there. Some dyke's been hitting on her for the last twenty minutes."
Dylan's head snapped around towards the back booth. She couldn't see Emily, but saw a short looking butch woman in a business suit hanging over the side of the booth. Dylan growled and shot off towards them.
Emily had no success in getting rid of this woman who couldn't seem to take a hint. She had just wanted to have a quiet drink somewhere she could think and process what she had discovered.
"Listen baby, why don't we go get some dinner somewhere. I just got a big promotion today at my law firm. I'm a partner now."
The woman looked rather smug, as if being a lawyer usually impressed women she decided she liked.
Emily sighed. "Listen, I told you, I just want to be on my own. Besides that, I'm engaged, see?" She lifted her hand.
That's some sparkler! thought the lawyer. Still, she's fair game.
"She's not here, though, is she? A woman as pretty as you shouldn't be without company." Emily was feeling suffocated as the lawyer blocked off her exit and stroked her shoulder.
The lawyer felt herself yanked backwards by the collar. "Get your hands off what doesn't belong to you and beat it!"
"Hey! Who do you think you ... oh." The overconfident lawyer turned around and had to look up to see the face of a huge, obviously angry, girlfriend who happened to be a famous TV star with a gold medal in taekwondo.
"Sh ... she's your ..."
"Yeah, she's mine. So I'd advise you to get out of here before I throw you onto the sidewalk on your ass!"
The lawyer moved away from the booth as quick as she could, tripping over tables and chairs on the way.
"Uh ... sure thing. Listen, if I knew she was with you ... I'll just ... just go. Sorry."
With that she was gone.
Dylan sat across from Emily, who was staring into her glass.
"Um ... hey, baby."
Emily looked up from her drink with a scowl. "Don't "baby" me. I'm not interested."
Shit! You knew you would fuck this up!
"Listen. I know your upset ..."
"Upset?" Emily barked. "You think I'm just upset? Do you know what it felt like to find those letters? To know that I've been happily going around day-to-day thinking you and Jackson were just being over the top, only to find out the threat is real and very dangerous. What gave you the right to keep that from me like I was some little child who needs to be taken care of? When I read those letters, it took me right back to finding those messages on Toni's phone. "
Dylan slammed her hands down on the table.
"You're comparing me to your lying cheating ex? I don't believe this! I was trying to protect you. It's my job! You should never have left the apartment; it's not safe for you out here."
Emily was shocked at Dylan's outburst of anger. It was supposed to be her that was angry.
"Don't you shout at me like that. Just leave me alone to think!" Tears were beginning to roll down her cheeks.
Dylan's heart was breaking watching Emily cry, knowing that she was crying because of her actions.
Great, Morgan. You come here to beg for forgiveness and you end up yelling at the woman you love!
"I'm so sorry for shouting. I'm just panicking. When I got home and you weren't there ... I've never been more frightened in my life. Please just give me fifteen minutes to explain. Come home with me and let me talk. If you still want to go, I'll have Jackson take you wherever you want. I promise."
Emily silently stared into her drink. "Please! Just fifteen minutes. Look, Molly was really worried when you weren't home; I told her I was just going to pick you up. If I don't come back with you ..."
Emily stood up. "You have fifteen minutes but if I'm not satisfied, Jackson can take Molly and me somewhere, a hotel or something."
I could lose them over this. Lose everything, thought Dylan dejectedly.
"Thank you, Emmie." Dylan stood to follow her partner when Emily stopped and looked her right in the eye.
"Don't ever use our daughter to get what you want again."
She walked on with a chastised Dylan close behind.
The couple's walk home had been in silence. When they entered the apartment they found Jackson, Rosie and Molly playing in the living room. Rosie and Jackson felt the tension immediately take over the room. Molly ran straight up to Emily, who lifted her up and cuddled her tight.
"Mama, ou back! I din't know where ou were," Molly pouted.
Emily kissed her daughter. "I just popped out for a bit, sweetie."
While Emily talked to Molly, Dylan spoke to Jackson.
"Jackson would you mind taking Molly to McDonalds for some dinner?"
Jackson patted her on the back. "Sure."
"Uh Emily? How about Jackson takes Molly to McDonald's?" Dylan asked gently.
Emily sighed, "Yes. That's probably a good idea. Molly you want to go out with Jackson?"
"Yeah! Wosie come, too?" Jackson looked nervously at her nemesis, wondering what the young woman's reaction would be.
"I'd love to, sweetie!" Then turning to Jackson said, "Come on, soldier boy!" Rosie grabbed Molly's jacket and they walked hand in hand towards the door. Jackson followed behind, hands in pockets, muttering, "God help me!"
Emily and Dylan found themselves alone in the living room.
Emily sat down and said, "Well, I'm waiting."
Dylan paced and ran her fingers through her hair.
"After the break in and the message scrawled on the mirror, you and Molly were so scared, so upset. When I went to work the next day there was a letter waiting for me. I told Patrick and Mark right away. I asked them not to tell you. You and Molly were happy and settled and beginning to relax. If I told you about the letter, you would have been upset again and you would have been watching your every step and looking over your shoulder all the time, waiting for the next letter or for the stalker to pounce; instead of doing what you did do, which was relaxing into family life here, with me. When I didn't tell about you the first letter and more kept coming, I was committed to that path, I got in deeper and deeper. Jackson said I should tell you, but I knew you'd be angry and I didn't want to spoil everything we've built."
Emily shook her head. "That was not your decision to make, Dylan. I swore after Toni that I would never be kept in the dark or have a partner make decisions for me again."
Dylan was shaking. I'm going to lose everything. The big woman fell on her knees in front of Emily, tears welling up in her eyes.
"Please. I'm sorry. I made the wrong decision. I thought I was doing the right thing to protect you both. I love the two of you more than anything in the world. I'll never keep anything from you again."
Emily's resolve was crumbling as she saw Dylan cry, terrified of losing them both.
When I see her upset like this, all I want to do is put my arms around her and make it all better. This is her first serious relationship. She finds out she has a daughter and gets engaged; her life is changed beyond recognition in a few months and all the time a stalker has been hanging over her head, threatening to take her family away. Think about the pressure she's had to bear, alone, thought Emily.
She took Dylan's tear stained face in her hands. "I don't agree with what you did but I can understand why you did it. I love you with all my heart. Molly and I are so lucky to have you to keep us safe, but don't ever keep things from me again!"
Dylan's emotions overflowed in sheer relief. She threw her arms round the blonde's waist, head in her lap. "Oh god, thank you! I love you so much, baby girl, I promise you there will never be any secrets between us again. Shit! I thought you'd take Molly and leave me."
Emily stroked her partner dark head. "Oh, goofy. I was mad and hurt but please know I would never leave you, I might be angry for a while, maybe a few days but we'll always work it out, I promise. I will never leave you. You're the love of my life."
Jackson smirked. She looked over at Rosie as she unloaded their meals from the tray.
The tall woman had annoyed Rosie when they reached McDonald's by insisting on paying for dinner. She was sure she heard the words chauvinist pig being uttered.
Jackson got her way and now Rosie was sorting Molly's food for her, while trying her best to ignore Jackson.
"There you go, Molly. You want ketchup?"
Rosie started on her fries and apple pie. She could almost feel Jackson's smirking face without looking up.
"You got a problem, soldier boy?"
Jackson picked up her huge double cheeseburger with bacon and took a big bite. "Let's just say it wasn't a huge surprise that all you got was fries and an apple pie."
"Meaning?" asked Rosie, her annoyance growing.
"Let's just say if there was a checklist for being a lesbian, you would have every box checked off."
"Come on? You're in the art business, anti-war, anti-government, anti-authority, anti-big business, professional protestor, vegetarian and I'm quite sure you have some rainbow flag stickers or jewelry somewhere around you or your apartment."
Rosie was enraged. "Excuse me, soldier boy! But if you were to ask everyone in the restaurant who was the lesbian here, every single one would point to you, sitting in your men's suit with your extremely short men's hairstyle, and your 'Oh I'll pay the bill, little lady,' attitude. Ms. Butch of the Year, 1955!"
Jackson smiled. She mentions my being butch all the time. Hmm. Interesting.
"Well, perhaps Molly doesn't need to hear us bicker? Truce?"
Rosie took a deep breath and nodded. Oh! That woman infuriates me!
"How are you doing, kiddo?"
"Otay Dackson, ou build my toy from my appy meal?"
"Of course. Give it here." Jackson began to build the toy car from a Disney movie.
Rosie decided to change the subject. "So what was that all about? Dylan said Emily found some letters?"
"I don't think we should talk about it with little ears listening." Jackson indicated her head towards Molly.
"Oh...yeah. Sorry," Rosie replied quietly.
"It's not something I could talk about to outsiders anyway. For security."
"Oh yeah, because I'm really a threat to security, aren't I?!"
Jackson leaned across the table and said in a quiet but firm voice. "You're an unknown quantity, to an extent. I don't know as much about you as I would like to, and I don't take chances with my work."
"What do you mean? Have you been checking up on me?"
Jackson leaned back in her seat, looking smug."I ran a few background checks, its normal practice."
Rosie's face was a picture of rage. "Normal practice? How dare you! I have a right to privacy! That's a breach of my human rights!"
"Grow up, hippy girl! That's the way the real world works."
Molly who had been watching her friends get angry said, "Wosie otay, Dackson?"
Jackson smirked. "She's fine, munchkin. Just a bit excited, that's all."
Rosie directed a fiery look towards her dinner companion.
You are the most infuriating person I have ever met!
Dylan and Emily were cuddled up on the couch when Jackson and Rosie returned with Molly.
Dylan refused to let go of her fiancé. She had come so close to messing things up and vowed to do anything to keep her family together.
Emily stood to take Molly in her arms.
"Thanks for taking her, guys. I appreciate it," Emily told Jackson and Rosie.
"Anytime. Why don't I leave you guys to it? I'll come back tomorrow," said the young decorator.
Emily nodded. She felt Dylan join her and snake an arm round her side.
"Yeah, thanks you two. Jackson, you can pull out if you like. We're in for the night now. If you want to come over early tomorrow and spar, I'd like that. It will give us a chance to talk about our plans, as well," Dylan told Jackson.
"Will do." Then turning to Rosie said, "Can I give you a ride anywhere?"
Rosie just scowled back at her. "I don't think so. Emily I'll just go and collect my things from Molly's room."
Ungrateful hippy freak! "Fine. That's the last time I try to be nice!" Jackson said as Rosie walked away.
Emily saw the look of hurt on Jackson's face. "She's young, Jackson. You two just seem to clash. Don't worry about it."
"I'm not worried. I couldn't care less what she thinks of me. I'll see you two tomorrow."
Emily could tell that the tough looking woman was bothered but said nothing.
"Bye Jackson. Thanks for today."
"Yeah thanks, buddy," added Dylan.
Later when they had put Molly to bed, they shared a glass of wine on the couch, Dylan still holding onto Emily at every opportunity.
"So what will we do next, honey? About the stalker situation."
"I thought maybe I could invite Mark and Patrick over to talk about it. Now that everything's out in the open, when can see where they are with it and you can ask them any questions you may have."
"Sounds like a plan. Let's go to bed. We've a lot to do tomorrow. We have to visit the preschools, remember? And Lynn wants us to meet with the wedding planner. I thought we could just leave Rosie to her work here. Is that okay?"
"Yeah, sure. I called Mark earlier and told him I wouldn't make training, I'll just spar with Jackson in the morning. I can't wait to marry you, baby girl."
Emily kissed Dylan on the cheek. "Me neither, goofy. Let's go to bed and snuggle."
Dylan lifted her fiancé from the couch. "After today, that sounds like heaven, Emmie."
It was Monday morning and the new family had a lot to pack in. Dylan was in the office talking with Jackson, while Emily got Molly ready for their day.
"So is everything sorted now?" Asked Jackson.
Dylan let out a long breath. "Yes, thank god. She was so angry. Her ex kept things from her before so this hit a raw nerve. I made a bad choice but she's forgiven me, and I won't make that mistake again."
"It's better in the long run if she knows. We can now secure the apartment and any outings properly, with her full cooperation."
"Yeah. I called Mark and asked him to come over with Patrick and have a talk with her about it." Dylan explained.
"Great idea. So what's on the agenda today?" Jackson asked.
"Were heading over to visit a couple of preschools, then meeting with the wedding planner Lynn recommended," Dylan scowled.
"I thought you couldn't wait to be tied down? I mean the very thought of marriage makes my stomach queasy, but you're Dylan Morgan, responsible family woman."
"You're right, I can't wait. I wish it were tomorrow, but I wish Emily would just tell me where to show up and when. It'll be all 'What do you think of this fabric?' and 'Green or blue?'"
Jackson laughed. "I hear you, my friend!"
Dylan heard someone clear their throat at the office door. Her head darted around to find Emily glaring at her.
"I heard that, goofy!" Dylan jumped up.
"You know I don't mean anything, baby. I just ..." Dylan was silenced by a kiss.
"Shh! I know, honey. Relax, okay?" Emily said with a smile. She knew Dylan was a little sensitive after last night.
"Okay, um ... you two ready to go?"
"Sure, and as a special treat, you and Jackson can pick the table decorations!" She turned on her heel, and left the two women rolling their eyes.
"And so here at Greenfield School, we pride ourselves on diversity and a dedication to teaching young people the responsibility that they have in their communities."
Dylan and Emily were meeting the principal of the second school of the day. Lynn had said that this school was favored by a lot of gay couples, due to their progressive policies.
The first school had been a little traditional and Emily felt the staff were uncomfortable with Molly having two mommies.
As soon as they arrived at Greenfield, they felt a completely different atmosphere. The principal was warm and friendly, and quite eager for the famous couple to choose the school. They had been escorted to a large playroom where Molly could play, so Dylan and Emily could talk with Mrs. Whitmore, the school principal. Jackson stood guard at the door.
"That sounds great. What do you think, Emily," asked Dylan.
While driving over, Emily had looked through the school brochure and balked at the cost, $20,000 a year, but Dylan managed to bring Emily around by talking up the security benefits.
"Are there any entrance requirements?"
"Yes. We have an entrance exam, but I'm sure Molly will have no problem. We usually require children to be four years old on, or before, September 1st, but in your circumstances, with Molly just moving into the area, I think I can bend that rule for you."
"You understand our need for security? Jackson Hunter, our security consultant, would need to escort Molly, with either Emily or myself, to and from school. Jackson would need full access to the school, and we need your assurance of Molly's security during the day," added Dylan.
"We will have no problem accommodating your needs, and I can assure you that we have a number of families, here at Greenfield, who have similar needs. As you saw when you entered the school, no one gets in or out without going through our security. For any field trips we will, of course, be flexible on any extra security you think is necessary."
"Well that answers all my questions. Could we have a few minutes to discuss our options, Mrs. Whitmore?"
"Of course, just call me when you're ready."
When she left the room, Dylan called her daughter over and lifted her onto her lap.
"Hey Molls. Remember we said this could be your preschool?" Molly nodded.
"Well, what do you think? Do you like it here?" When Mrs. Whitmore had shown them around, Molly seemed excited by the brightly colored and friendly environment.
"Yeah, Mom. They ave tool toys! And loads of puters!"
"Well that's good. What do you think, Emmie?"
Emily let out a breath. "Well it certainly is an impressive set up, but then it should be at those prices!"
"Emmie, come on, we talked about this," Dylan chastised.
"I know. It will give Molly an incredible start in life. I like the principal and her staff, and it seems like a warm and friendly environment, compared to the place this morning."
Dylan turned and took Emily's hand; Molly had darted off to play with the toys again.
"That's what I want for our daughter, the best start in life. We both had normal working class families and educations, and there's nothing wrong with that, but if we give Molly the best education we can, then her life has so many more options. I want Molly to be able to do everything she wants to with her life. That's not so bad is it?"
Emily smiled and kissed Dylan lightly.
"No, it's not. You know you are just the sweetest TV star in the world!"
Dylan flashed a smug smile and said, "Well, I do try."
"You know what this means, don't you?"
"Shopping! Molly's going to need lots of new clothes for preschool. You wanted me to be more comfortable with spending our money; well you're going to end up being sorry you ever encouraged me!"
"Never! I love to see you two getting nice things. I'm sure Jackson will be delighted about more shopping trips."
Dylan looked over to the door and caught Jackson giving her a disgusted look. Dylan simply smiled back.
"Well, let's go tell Mrs. Whitmore the good news."
Dylan stood and went in search of her.
After setting an appointment for the entrance test, Dylan, Emily and Molly stopped for lunch before heading off to meet the wedding planner. They tried to make the first meeting as quick as possible as Molly was getting tired and restless.
They decided the wedding would take place at the Metropolitan Community Church, followed by a reception at the Four Seasons Hotel, where they would stay overnight. Emily promised Justin, their wedding planner, that she would return soon for a more in-depth appointment, without Molly, to discuss dresses, food and all the other details.
They arrived home with a tired and grumpy Molly. Dylan and Jackson promised they would play video games with her until dinner, which cheered her up immensely.
Emily went to check on Rosie's progress.
"How's it coming?" Emily asked.
The room was now completely empty. Dylan and Jackson had cleared out the furniture for her.
"Oh hi, really good. I've given the walls a base coat of paint. Tomorrow, I'll start sketching out the jungle designs in pencil, before they're painted."
"Great, I should be able to help tomorrow. I've got no plans. I do want to go clothes shopping for Molly, but I think it would be unfair to trail her around the stores after today. Especially since Dylan's working, so I can't leave her here."
Rosie nodded. "How did everything go today?"
"Great. We got Molly signed up for preschool, then made some very brief arrangements with the wedding planner. Molly had had enough by that point so we couldn't plan too much. I'm going back to have an appointment on my own."
Rosie observed that Emily looked a little sad.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, it's nothing. It's just that, at times like these, I miss having a mother to share this with, to help make decisions. My family and I are estranged and I don't really have any girlfriends, it's just been Molly and me for so long, and Dylan will be no use at choosing things."
Rosie felt sorry for Emily. She knew how it felt to miss a mother. "Listen, if you ever want a second opinion or someone to go with you, feel free to ask me. There's nothing I like better than choosing dresses and fabrics."
Emily beamed in relief. "Really? Oh that would be wonderful! This whole celebrity wedding thing is really overwhelming."
"No problem. It'll be fun, and I get to annoy Jackson, even more fun!"
The women laughed. Poor Jackson! thought Emily.
In the evening, once Molly was safely put to bed and Rosie had left for the day, Mark and Patrick came over to talk with Emily, Jackson and Dylan.
After serving coffee and cookies, Emily sat close to Dylan, gripping her hand for reassurance.
"Anything new?" asked Dylan.
"Not really. We checked out the waiter Toni had mentioned was overly interested in Emily. His name is Drew Simpson. He seems like a quiet guy. Lives with his elderly mother. He did have a few magazines lying around that had you both on them, but he struck me more as a fan than anything." Mark said.
Dylan turned to her fiancé. "Do you remember him, Emmie?"
"Yeah. He was harmless, it was just a crush. If I met Toni at the restaurant, he would make me feel uncomfortable by looking and 'accidentally' brushing past me. Just your typical guy who's not very successful with women."
"Well they're the type to watch out for, so we'll keep an eye on him but until we get anymore leads, there's not really a whole lot we can do," Patrick added.
Dylan sat forward in her seat, obviously agitated.
"What about Toni? Are you sure about her? She has a history of violence."
"Dylan! I don't like to talk about that. Toni wouldn't do something like this. She was a cheater yes, but she liked women, lots of women. She wouldn't get fixated on me like this." Dylan was annoyed by being chastised in front of everyone and Emily defending Toni. She got up and poured herself some scotch, a scowl on her face.
Jackson, feeling a need to change the subject and break the tension, said, "What about the wedding, guys? We're going to need extra protection for the day."
Mark agreed. "You're right. The wedding may be a catalyst for whoever this is to act, so we have to take extra care. We'll coordinate with you on security."
Dylan still stood with her back to the group. Emily could feel the anger coming from her.
She needed to talk to her alone.
"Thanks for coming over and talking with me," Emily said, standing and brining the meeting to an end.
"No problem, Emily. We'll be in touch. Goodnight. Night, Dylan."
Dylan turned briefly and said goodbye.
After she and Emily saw them out, Jackson said. "I'll head off, too. Go talk to her. She's just stressed."
Emily nodded. "Thanks, Jackson. Goodnight."
When they were alone, she walked over to her partner, who had her back to Emily.
"Well, that was rude!" Dylan just snorted in reply.
"And drinking isn't going to help! Why are you so angry?"
Emily reached and touched her partners shoulder, only to have it pulled away.
Dylan turned. "Why am I angry? Are you serious? You defend your lying, cheating, and abusive ex right in front of my friends! You talk to me like I'm some child! And you ask why I'm angry?" Dylan stomped over to the couch and sat down with her drink.
What is wrong with her? This isn't like my Dylan? thought Emily.
"Oh and I'll drink where and when I like!"
Emily was hurt but tried to remain calm. "I don't know what's really bothering you, but I only said that Toni wouldn't want to harm and frighten me like this. I know she was violent but this is a whole different ball game. I think you're frightened and a little jealous of my past with Toni, and that's why you're acting like this. So I'm going to let you sort it out in your head yourself. I'm going to bed." Emily knew Dylan could be emotionally fragile and was struggling to cope with a threat coming from a faceless person. She knew, given some time to calm down, she would come seeking love and reassurance.
Dylan was left in the living room by herself. She drank the rest of her whiskey and got up for another.
She felt foolish. How could she say that in front of Mark and Patrick! Made me look like some jealous idiot. How can no one else see it's probably Toni?! Someone who's violent like that! Of course it could be her!
Hmm. Maybe Emily felt embarrassed having her past talked about like that. Shit! That's why she busted your balls, you idiot! Fuck! Dylan sat wondering how to get back into Emily's good graces.
Dylan crept into their bedroom. Emily was asleep but had laid out Dylan's sleepwear of white sleeveless t-shirt and boxers. Always thinking of me, baby girl. You don't deserve her, Morgan!
Dylan got ready for bed in the bathroom, so as not to wake Emily. She got into bed and lay on her back. She desperately wanted to reach out to Emily but thought she would be rebuffed.
A few minutes later, unable to wait any longer, she caved.
Emily, who was only half asleep, opened her eyes.
"What is it, honey?"
"Em ... I'm ... I'm sorry, okay. I was out of line. I just get really scared and Toni is an easy target because she hurt you before. I hate to think of you with her."
"It's okay, goofy. I know you're scared. Come here." Emily opened her arms to her partner and Dylan latched onto her fiancé like a limpet.
"I'm sorry, I'm an idiot." Dylan mumbled into Emily's breasts.
"You're not an idiot. You've been through a lot, honey. From bachelor to just about to be married with a child in the space of 3 months. It's a lot of responsibility. You're just scared."
"I just want to protect you. I want you and Molly to have a happy calm life."
"We will. We'll get this sorted out somehow."
"You always make things better, Emmie. How do you do that?"
"Because I know you, Dylan Morgan. You're in my soul and I love you."
Dylan climbed up and kissed Emily tenderly.
"I love you with all that I am."
"Can I talk to you about something?"
"You know you can." Dylan lay down and pulled Emily into her arms. "You know how we said if I got along well with Rosie that we'd ask her to do the decorating on the new house?"
"Well how would you feel about her doing our bedroom here? I mean it's going to be well into January before we move to the beach, and we're still going to be staying here every so often."
"Of course, I told you before this place is yours to do with what you want. I know it's bland, I want you to make both places homey, do the whole place if you'd like."
"Great. Gives me something to do. I'm used to being out at work every day. Oh, and Rosie offered to come with me to see the wedding planner, and to take a look at some dresses. I really appreciated it. I don't have friends and a girl usually has her mother," she said sadly.
"I'm sorry, baby girl. I'm sorry you don't have her to share it with."
"I can only guess what she's making of us from the newspapers and magazines. Disgusted, no doubt. She's probably asking Father Peters to pray for me."
"We don't have the best luck with families do we?" Dylan said sadly.
"We have the family we're creating together and that's what counts."
Dylan kissed Emily. "Your right again, baby. I'm glad you're making a friend in Rosie. She seems like a nice girl."
"She is. Let's get some sleep, goofy. Night."
"Sweet dreams, baby girl. I love you."
Dylan closed her eyes and silently prayed that no harm would come to her beloved little family.
"What are you doing on the show this week?" Emily asked Dylan the next morning.
"It's really cool! You'll like this, Molls. It's a basketball challenge, the contestant to get the most baskets wins. Boring you might say, but not when you put a trampoline in front of the basket. We run up, jump on the trampoline, which sends us high in the air, well above the basket, then you get a really cool slam dunk before you come crashing down to the mats." Dylan enthused.
"Dats so tool, Mom!"
"Isn't it dangerous, Dyl?"
"Well, of course, a little bit. That's what my show is all about. But I'll be fine."
Emily looked unconvinced.
"Mom, me come see you do it?"
Dylan smiled eagerly. "Yeah! What do you think, Emmie? Will you two come on Friday?"
"Yes, that's fine. But don't blame me, TV star, when we're at the emergency room because Molls has been copying your stunts!"
"Nah! You'll love it won't you, Smurf! So what's on the agenda for my girls today?"
Emily walked around to clean Molly's face of breakfast.
"We goin to paint manimals, Mom!"
"We're going to help Rosie with the room." Emily explained to Dylan.
"Ah, okay. Well have fun! I better get going. Where's Jackson?"
"Oh, playing with her security cameras, I think."
Standing, Dylan said, "Okay Molls, where's my kisses before I go?" Molly stood up on her chair to be lifted by her Mom for a hug and a kiss.
"Now you be a good girl for your Mama, all right?" Molly nodded.
"Love you, Molls."
"Love ou, Mom."
"Go on to your room, Molls, and I'll come and get you dressed in a minute."
Molly ran off happily and Dylan pulled Emily into her arms.
"You be good as well, baby girl."
Emily smiled, her hand teasing down Dylan's chest. "I'm always good, TV star. Now go and do some work, and stop distracting me with your good looks!"
Dylan laughed and kissed her fiancé thoroughly. "I'll take my good looks to work then. I love you."
"I love you too, honey. Be careful doing that trampoline stuff."
"I will. I'll call at lunchtime."
As Emily saw Dylan off to work, she welcomed Rosie in, and promised to join her as soon as she had Molly dressed.
Dylan walked into the studio building and was met by Lynn. They talked as they walked to Dylan's office.
"Morning Lynn. What do we have planned today?"
"Meetings with the writers at one, Christian Donald the actor will be in at 11 to meet you. Oh, and we need to make a decision about the interview with you and Emily before the wedding."
Dylan laughed and joked. "So not a lot, then?"
"Funny!" Lynn said sarcastically.
"Okay, okay. I've been thinking about the interview thing. Emily's willing to do it and get all the attention out of the way, but I don't want her going on a show with an audience. That's too much pressure for someone who's not used to it. I think the interviewer should come to the show when Emily and Molly are there watching. They can get an interview with us before I do the show, and get some good footage of Emily and Molly watching. The main thing being, it's on my territory and I can control what footage is taken."
"That's a great idea Dylan, I agree. Should I contact the short list of interviewers and feel them out?" asked Lynn.
"Yeah. If they are free to do it Friday, Emily and Molly are coming in anyway. But make it clear that I want final say on what goes out. My first choice would be Mattie Edwards of the Today Show. She's done this sort of thing before and wouldn't be very aggressive. I'll okay it with Emily when I call her at lunch."
"No problem. I'll get right on it. I'll be back with your protein shake in a minute, okay?"
"Sure. Thanks, Lynn."
Jackson had heard laughter coming from Molly's bedroom all morning. She had to reluctantly admit that Rosie seemed to cheer Emily up.
Jackson was doing some research into both Drew Simpson and Toni Bianchi.
Her contacts in the FBI had forwarded all the information on file with police and government databases. They had assured her that there was nothing in them but Jackson wanted to go over them with a fine-tooth comb, as they had nothing else to go on. She didn't really think there was any evidence that it would be Toni but since Dylan was so wary, Jackson felt she had to look into her background.
She started with Drew. He had no police record whatsoever; his employment record looked okay, although he did seem to move from job to job a lot.
'Hmm. Looks like he's in a job for six months or so then let go. I think I need to talk to some of his past employers.'
Her thoughts were interrupted by Molly running into the office.
"Dackson! Dackson! Come see dhe manimals I drawed. Molly said jumping up and down.
Jackson smiled. "Sure, munchkin. Lead the way."
Molly ran ahead of her into the bedroom. Jackson found Emily and Rosie sitting on the floor, laughing at Emily's attempt to draw the outline of a giraffe.
"I think I should leave the outlining to you Rosie, and I'll help color them in. Hey Jackson! You come to see our handy work?"
"Yeah, Molly wanted me to look at the drawings." Molly pulled her over to the little corner she was responsible for.
"Ook, Dackson! Dis a ion and dis a hippo." Molly said proudly.
"Hey that's great, kid. It's going to look cool."
"Yeah you're a great help, Molly." Rosie added.
Emily stood and said, "Can you two keep an eye on Molls while I make us some sandwiches for lunch?
"Sure," replied Rosie. "Okay Molly, let's see if we can get Jackson to draw a monkey for us." Molly ran to get her pencils. "Can you actually do something artistic with those hands or can they just shoot guns?"
Jackson shot Rosie an angry look then walked up and whispered in her ear, "You have no idea what I can do with my hands, and you'll never have the pleasure of finding out."
Rosie gulped hard and shivered at Jackson's deep voice. She quickly shook off the feeling and watched Jackson sit and draw with Molly.
Why do you do that to me, Hunter!
Emily was nearly finished making lunch when the phone rang.
"Hey, I like the sound of that."
"Hi honey! How's your day?"
"Oh busy, you know. I bet you and Molls are having more fun."
"Yes. I've laughed so much this morning. Rosie is really funny and Molly is taking decorating so seriously."
"I'm glad you're both having fun. Listen, I wanted to talk to you about something. You know we discussed doing one big interview before the wedding?"
"Yes. Do you have something in mind?"
"Yeah, I would like it done at my studios, so I can control it. I thought of asking them to do a piece when you're at the show Friday. You know, a kind off behind-the-scenes type of thing, with an interview first. What do you think?"
"Hmm. I suppose that sounds less scary than going to some other show with people I don't know. I'll still be really nervous though, I won't know what to say."
"Don't worry, you'll be fine. I'll look after you. I'll set it up, then?"
"Sure, if you think that's best." Inwardly Emily was terrified at the thought of talking to a camera.
"Okay, baby, I'll set it up. I better go, I won't be late tonight. I love you and tell Molls I love her."
"I will. We love you, too. Take care, honey. Bye."
"See you later."
Oh Dylan. I hope I don't disappoint you!
The day of the interview arrived and Emily had been a nervous wreck all day and was currently pacing up and down Dylan's dressing room.
"Baby, you look sick with nerves. I'm sorry we have to do this because of me." They had come into the studio earlier than usual to do the interview and were waiting for the TV crew to get there. Molly was totally absorbed in playing her Nintendo 3DS in front of the TV, and Jackson was off doing a security sweep with Pauley around the studio.
Emily stopped pacing and turned to look at Dylan. "I'm sorry, honey. I don't want you to ever feel bad. We agreed that this was the best way to handle the public interest in us."
"Come sit here, Emmie." Dylan patted her lap.
Emily sat and cuddled into Dylan's strong neck. "I just don't want to let you down."
"You never could. Just remember, follow my lead and if you're unsure about anything or don't want to answer a certain question, just tell me and we'll stop. It'll be edited afterwards, anyway."
"Okay I will, and you're sure they won't ask Molly anything? I don't think that would be appropriate."
"That was my first stipulation, don't worry. They can only take shots of her playing while we talk and when they follow you while I'm doing the show, but that's all."
"Mom? Ou elp me? Me can't get by dis bad monster." Molly padded over with her Nintendo in hand.
"Sure Smurflet, up you come." Emily moved onto the couch and Molly took her place.
"What have we got here? Woah, that's a big monster!"
"Get him, Mom! Kill him dead!" Molly bounced up and down on her lap.
"What kind of games are you buying your daughter, TV star?" Emily asked wryly.
"Hey, they're just kid games. Nothing wrong with killing monsters."
Emily watched Dylan's fingers whizz over the buttons, while Molly looked on engrossed. Emily's heart melted. They are so alike. I'm so glad I found you, Dylan.
"You killed him dead! Yeah! Tanks, Mom." Molly jumped off her lap and toddled back to her space in front of the TV.
"She seems happy."
"She's happy since she met her Mom." Emily told her partner.
Dylan smiled. "So did you have a good time shopping today for Molly's new clothes?"
Emily had taken Molly to Greenfield School for her entrance test on Wednesday and she had passed with flying colors, so she had asked Rosie if she would like to go shopping with her to buy Molly new clothes and school supplies.
"It was fun. It was really good going with someone who enjoys shopping as much as I do. I think she's going to be a good friend." Dylan saw a strange look cross Emily's face. She gently stroked her fiancé's face.
"What is it?"
"Well I was just thinking how nice it was to get Molly exactly what she needed, and really nice things at that, without worrying or sacrificing something else. Molly missed out on a lot before we found you and I just want you to know that we appreciate what you provide for us."
Dylan's chest puffed out a little at the compliment. "Thank you, baby, but that's my job. Don't feel sad about the past, you did a great job bringing up Molly on your own. She's a happy, bright kid and she loves you. I'm just glad I can take care of you both now."
Dylan kissed Emily lightly then, as her kiss was getting deeper, Lynn knocked and came in.
"Sorry to interrupt you both but Mattie Edwards and her crew are set up in the conference room."
Dylan turned to Emily and said, "You ready for your first trial by television?"
Emily gulped. "As I'll ever be!"
"Let's go then. The camera is going to love you. Just like me!"
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