DISCLAIMER: CSI New York and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement is intended. Eden Ashley is an original character. All mine.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk
Eden Ashley Chronicles
The morning after the night before, part two. Stella is asleep. Feeling extremely content, reminiscing in her dreams about the amazing night she had shared with Eden, just a few hours before. After they had made love the first time, they had ordered Chinese food, they were famished, and they talked not about anything really, just comfortable happy chatter. After that they had gone back to bed, only actually falling into an exhausted slumber about an hour or so ago. Stella, despite her confidence at the beginning of the evening, had been worried about a physical relationship with Eden, having never been with a woman before. She needn't have, it was amazing, the way Eden made her feel, the way Eden reacted to her touch, it was mind blowing, she can't believe she hadn't tried it earlier.
Stella is disturbed from her thoughts by a shrill sound, loud enough to wake her, she fights against the tiredness, her brain desperately trying to wake up to decipher what the noise is. As she starts to wake up the first thing she realises is that she is in Eden's arms, she could get used to this. The next thing she realises is that the shrill noise is her mobile phone ringing. This wakes her up fully, if someone is ringing at this time, it must be important.
She quickly releases herself from Eden's arms careful not to wake her, and starts to hunt through the discarded clothes on the floor, she quickly finds it, looking at the caller ID it's Mac, this must be important. She quickly answers. "Bonasera" She whispers, as somehow the phone its self hasn't woken up Eden, so she doesn't want to.
"Stella, its Mac, I need you at the lab ASAP, Marjorie Tiven has been kidnapped."
It took Stella a few minutes to digest the information. "Marjorie Tiven?" The penny dropped. "The Mayor's sister?"
"I'm on my way."
"Stella why are you whispering?"
"Mac it's the middle of the night." Stella quickly hangs up before Mac can question her further.
A few minutes later she has redressed back into her clothes from last night, she is in a hurry, as she has to go home and change, she can't turn up for work in the same clothes as yesterday. When she has gathered together everything she needs, she looks over at Eden, who is unbelievably still asleep, she looks so beautiful asleep like this. Stella bends down and kisses her on the forehead. Just seeing her like this affects Stella to the point she can feel her heart swell to bursting point. This woman was making her unbelievably happy, she still can't quite believe it. A woman, she would never have guessed, so God knows how the team will react.
She would have left a note for Eden, but she couldn't find anything to write it on, and really didn't have time to go hunting for paper. She figures she will just call her at a more reasonable hour.
Ashley is awoken by her alarm. Its 6am, she has slept extremely well, she opens her eyes and smiles as she remembers the night before. It was perfect, even better than she had ever imagined, and she'd imagined it a lot! She reaches out to touch focus of her thoughts, only to find her bed empty. No sign of Stella. She jumps up and out of bed, pulling on her dressing gown. On further inspection of her apartment, she realises Stella is nowhere to be found, nor is any of her stuff. If it hadn't been for the empty Chinese carton's Ashley would have wondered if Stella had ever been there. She tries not to panic too much, she just heads for the shower, she is meeting Adam before work for basketball.
It's around an hour later Ashley is on court with Adam. He knows there something wrong with her, the fact that he's winning is his first clue. She seems very distracted.
"Come on princess, this is too easy."
"Sorry Adam, I guess I'm not really in the mood." All she can think about is Stella, and how she must have had a change of heart, and bolted from her apartment this morning, she can't think of any other reason Stella would have left with so much as a good bye.
"Okay, I know there's something wrong with you, when you don't smack me for calling you 'princess'. You wanna talk about it?"
Ashley stops with the ball, she really wants to talk to someone, she knows she can trust Adam, she would trust him with her life. "If I tell you, you can't tell anyone."
"Scouts honour." He beams at her whilst trying to do the scout signal with his fingers.
Ashley smiles. "I'm serious Adam, this can't go any further."
"Hey. This is me."
The smile disappeared from Adam's face, he was serious, and Ashley knew he wouldn't say a word. "I slept with Stella."
The look of disbelief on Adam's face is classic, if Ashley wasn't feeling so down about it, she would have laughed.
"Well there's my naughty dreams taken care of for the rest of my life."
"Come on Adam, this is serious."
Adam composes himself and drags his mind from the gutter. "Well that's great Ashley; I thought that's what you wanted?"
"It is. But she bolted, just upped and left in the middle of the night, no goodbye, no message no nothing." Ashley heart sinks just remembering her apartment this morning, it felt so cold, so empty, especially after what it had been host to the night before.
"Come on, Stella wouldn't do that, there must be an explanation."
"Like what?" Cos Ashley sure as hell couldn't think of one.
Adam racks his brains. "I dunno Ashley, but I think you should at least wait until you talk to her, before you jump to any conclusions."
"I been with straight women before, I know how they can be. They convince themselves they have feelings, but in reality it's all just a big experiment. I guess the results of Stella's experiment are that it's not for her. Which is fine y'know, I just wish she had the bottle to tell me."
Ashley sighed she's on the verge of tears now, she's convinced herself Stella has decided last night was a horrible mistake, which is strange as she seemed to be enjoying at the time.
Adam puts his arms round Ashley and pulls her into a bear hug. "I really think you need to talk to her. I don't think anything between you two is fake, or experimental, I've seen you guys together remember.
Ashley just nods still not really convinced. "We should head, need to hit the showers before shift, don't wanna be late."
They grab their stuff and head to work. Adam is really worried about Ashley; he can tell how hard she's fallen for Stella, if any of what she said turns out to be true, she's gunna be crushed. He can let that happen.
Stella is wiped, she's been at work since 5am, and has been none stop and on an hours sleep, not the best. It's 3pm and she's just arrived back at the lab. The Mayor's sister had been kidnapped in a blackmail ploy. They had found her alive and well and arrested the suspects. Now she just had the evidence to process. She cannot wait to see Eden, she just wants a hug, she knows when she gets it, it will energise her and help her make sure she gets through the rest of the shift. A smile plays on her lips at the thought.
She's on route to the lab she assumes Ashley will be in, silently praying she's not out in the field. She stopped in her tracks by Adam, popping his head out of the computer lab.
"Stella, can I have a word?"
Stella reluctantly steps into the lab. "Sure but make it quick Adam, I'm just on my way to somewhere really important."
Adam takes a deep breath he can't actually believe he's about to instigate this conversation, here goes nothing.
"So, I've been talking to Ashley this morning." This got Stella's attention, surely Eden hadn't been bragging about last night. Adam continued.
"She told me about last night." Wow Stella couldn't believe it, maybe she has been bragging. Stella can feel the anger rising, but decides to hear what Adam has to say before losing her temper completely. She prompts him to continue.
"Look it's really none of my business. But if last night was some sort of awful experiment, to satisfy your curiosity, then you're out of order. You also need to tell Ashley before you hurt her anymore than you already have." Adam didn't take a breath whilst he was getting that out. He is acutely aware that he's telling off his boss.
"You're right Adam; it is none of your business." Stella was fuming he could think that, but then something stops her in her tracks, he's been talking to Eden, what if she thinks that too. She starts to panic.
"Why would you say that Adam?"
"Well the way you took off without a word this morning, no call or anything all day. Ashley is pretty bummed."
Of course she is. Stella didn't have a chance to think about how it looked, not that she has to explain herself to Adam, but she feels she should, he and Eden are obviously very close.
"I got called into work at 4am; I haven't had a chance to speak to her. I've gotta find her."
"Well she's out in the field with Danny right now. They shouldn't be too long."
"Thanks Adam. I want you to know, I would never hurt her on purpose."
"That's what I told her."
They exchange smiles, and Stella heads to the lab to process her evidence. Anxious.
Ashley has just got back to the lab with Danny; she still feels awful, still no word from Stella. She heads straight for the lab with the evidence with Danny close behind. She's not prepared for Stella being in there. She stops in her tracks. Stella looks up and see's Eden, she does not look happy. Danny obviously hasn't noticed the tension in the room.
"Hey Stella, not seen you all day."
Stella never breaks eye contact with Eden. "Yeah I got called onto the Mayor's case."
"Oh yeah I saw that on the news, how's it going?"
Stella doesn't have time for small talk with Danny. "Yeah we've pretty much nailed it. Eden can I see you in my office?"
Ashley is mentally preparing herself for the worst. "Yeah sure, Danny will you file everything away?"
"No problems kiddo, seeya tomorrow." Ashley had reached the end of her shift, something she was grateful for, at least she could go straight home and cry herself to sleep after Stella has dumped her.
Once they reach Stella's office, Stella quickly closes the door behind them, and quickly draws the blinds.
"I am so sorry."
Okay that wasn't the start Ashley was expecting. The confused look on Eden's face spurs Stella on.
"I got called in by Mac at 4am, massive high profile case, I didn't wanna wake you, you'd only been asleep about an hour." This makes Ashley smirk as she remembers last night's antics again.
"I couldn't find anything to leave a note with, so I just thought I'd call you this morning. But of course my phone died, cos I didn't charge it last night, and I just didn't have a chance to call you, I've been out in the field all day."
Ashley feels so stupid, but also relieved, probably in equal measure at the moment. Stella doesn't give Eden a chance to have any more doubts; she grabs her face in her hands.
"Last night was amazing, better than my wildest expectations, it certainly wasn't an experiment." Ashley flinched she knew by her choice of words that Adam had definitely been talking to Stella. She wasn't sure if she should be mad or not, Stella was obviously rattled by whatever he had said.
"I am so sorry if I ever made you feel like that." Stella can't stress enough that this is where she wants to be.
"It's my fault; I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. I guess I'm just a little insecure. I wanted you so much; I don't usually get what I want."
Stella's heart broke, she couldn't blame her for not feeling secure, and she hadn't really done a lot to make Eden feel safe. She was sure as hell going to try to put that right now though.
"Listen to me. I know it's taken me a long time to realise this. But I want to be absolutely clear, that I know exactly what I want now. I want to be here with you, and I don't wanna freak you out, and I don't know if this is too soon. . ." Stella takes a deep breath. ". . . But I'm completely in love with you Eden Ashley."
Ashley was overwhelmed. "I'm glad I'm not the only one." Stella smiles ecstatic that Eden feels the same.
Ashley needs to verbalise it, she's just a little choked with emotion right now. "I love you too. I mean like in love with you, like head over heels."
Stella laughs, at Eden stumbling over her words, she was the cutest thing.
Eden laughs too, relief soaring though her body. Stella takes the opportunity to get a chaste kiss.
"Listen, I loved waking up in your arms this morning, I think you should experience that." They both laughed again, Ashley mostly at her own stupidity.
"Your shift is done now right?" Ashley nods. "Here take my keys and go to my place, I should only be another hour or so. I want you to be there when I get home."
Ashley was taken aback. "You sure? I know how private you are about your place."
"Not with you Honey. I told you I'm in this for the long haul. I want you around."
Ashley made a deal with herself; she was never going to jump to conclusions again when it comes to this wonderful woman. She takes the key from Stella. "Okay."
Stella turns playful, so with a glint in her eye she says, "Oh and make sure my dinner is on the table, when I get in."
Ashley bursts out laughing. "Oh it's like that is it?" She grabs Stella and starts to tickle her, Stella laughs uncontrollably.
"Yeah it's like that princess."
"Oh no don't you start with Adam's pet names for me!" Another bout of tickling for Stella.
"Okay, okay I promise." Ashley stops her assault. And heads to leave.
"Oh and I will make your dinner, but only because I love you, not because I'm whipped."
Stella smiles. "I love you too sweetie."
Ashley leaves with a huge smile on her face, which is mirrored by the one on Stella's face. Stella rushes back to the lab, she cannot wait to get home tonight.
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