DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Time was flying by for the former Pine Valley residents. In the weeks following their impromptu conference room dinner date, Bianca being home for the evening meal was becoming rarer and rarer. Miranda would try her best to stay awake to see "Mommy", but she rarely ever made it to that increasingly late hour.
The Cambias board of directors had finally caught onto the office building debacle, and between trying to get out of the contracts and answering endless questions, it wasn't unusual for Bianca not be home before 11:00 PM any more. It was what had to be done, but it wasn't easy on any of the three women involved.
More than once Maggie had missed a class in her efforts to help Bianca with Miranda, and it was catching up with her again. Just as her grades had started to rise, they were once more crashing down due to a lack of sleep and time. She was keeping this to herself for the time being, as she knew Bianca didn't need any more stress, but at some point she was going to have to tell her.
It was astounding how one moment of day dreaming in a board meeting could cause this much chaos.
October 7th, 11:16 PM
Bianca opened the door to the penthouse as quietly as she could, not wanting to wake anyone that may be sleeping. It didn't matter though as a 3' tall girl came running at her, full speed, from the den.
"MOMMY!" Miranda squealed as she attacked Bianca's knees.
"Hey, Munchie, what are you still doing up?"
"She has that Kane stubbornness streak in her; she was up and out of bed fifty times before I finally gave in," said Maggie as she walked into the hall from the library, her arms crossed over her comfy robe's chest area, hair pulled back in a messy attempt at clipping it.
Bianca rolled her eyes, returning her gaze to the little girl who had now leaped up into her arms. "You have to stop this, Munchie. You want to grow up strong and smart don't you?"
"Yeah, like you, Mommy!"
"Well, some would debate the 'smart' part, honey," she said with a laugh. "But no matter what, you need to get your sleep."
"But I want you to tuck me in!"
"Doesn't Aunt Maggie do it right?" Bianca said with a sly wink to her companion.
"NO! She pulls the covers too high!"
Maggie rolled her eyes. "I am such a beast, I swear."
A little blush passed over Bianca's face as her mind went to a totally different place than Maggie had meant it to. "Well, why don't we go upstairs and I can show her how to do it right, and then she can do it the way you like from now on?"
Miranda dropped her chin to her chest and fidgeted with her hands. "But I 'anna you to do it every night, Mommy."
Bianca sighed and tried to maneuver herself so she could look into her little daughter's eyes. "Honey, we've talked about this, Mommy has a lot of work to do right now, but I will be home as often as I can, okay?"
Sensing the frustration rising, Maggie tried to intercede and cut off any grumpiness that may ensue. "Come on, Miranda, I really want to learn how to tuck you in correctly, okay? And I know I'm not your Mom, but I'll try my best, alright?"
"Okay," came the simple, terse reply from the little girl.
October 7th, 11:50 PM
"It's getting tougher every night, Bianca. She doesn't want to go to bed until you get home. Then she doesn't make it, and I end up carrying her to bed, so the next day she's angry with ME all day because I didn't 'let' her stay up to see you."
Bianca sighed as she walked into her bedroom via the bathroom that adjoined to her daughter's room. "I know, Maggie, but what am I supposed to do?"
"Tell the board to suck it up and they're going to have a new building on their hands."
"Maggie " Bianca let out a heavy sigh, "I'm glad you think it's so easy, but it's not." She threw her suit jacket over the back of the chaise lounge and promptly fell into the richly adorned seat herself. "The whole thing is a cluster of a mess, and I don't know how we're ever going to get completely out of it, so now I'm trying to minimize the damage."
"What about the damage being done here at home?" Maggie asked as she folded her arms again, and took a defiant posture.
Bianca looked up with an exasperated look. "Where is this coming from?"
"Where is what coming from?"
"You being pissed off at me for doing my job!"
"I'm pissed off at you doing the job at the expense of your daughter and us!"
"And everything I do at that job is for her, if you hadn't noticed. I'm her proxy until she is 18; I am trying to protect her future."
"At the cost of the present."
"Could we not do this now, seriously? I'm tired, I just want to take a shower and go to bed."
"Well when do you propose we talk then? When you come home for dinner? Oh, that's right; you're never here for that any more."
Bianca stood up and crossed to the shorter woman, a wry smile crossing her lips. "Come here," she said in a commanding whisper.
Maggie started to back away, a child-like expression of grumpiness passing over her. "No," she spluttered out, her voice matching the look on her face of a child knowing they've gone too far.
Bianca lurched across the room, pulling Maggie in to a hug that was not returned. "You're so cute when you miss me."
"Shut your mouth, I do not miss you, I'm angry with you."
"Mmhmm of course you are," Bianca cooed as she turned her head and rested her left cheek on the top of Maggie's head.
"Alright fine I miss you happy?"
Bianca pulled back a little so she could look down into Maggie's eyes. "Of course I'm not happy you miss me, I want to be here with you and Miranda more than anything, but I don't want you getting truly angry with me over something I have so little control over at the moment."
"I know I it's just " Maggie finally unfolded her arms and started playing absent-mindedly with the buttons on Bianca's pinstriped blouse, "I it took us this long to get here, ya know? And now that we're here "
"I'm never here I know."
"Yeah," Maggie responded in a hoarse whisper. "Do you realize we haven't even slept in the same bed this week?"
"I know, and I hate that. But by the time I get home, you've been asleep, and I'm worried about waking you up, so I just come up here and let you be."
"Or I find you on the couch when I get up to take care of Miranda or at the dining room table I especially liked when I found you sitting on the stairs, leaning against the railing."
Bianca blushed. "Yeah, I sat down to stare at the tower for a moment and relax, and sorta passed out."
"Yeah you did." There was an awkward pause as Maggie bit her lower lip, and her fingers continued to play with the button that was second from the collar. "I'm sorry I snapped at you."
"It's okay I love that fiery Stone-attitude of yours."
"I know, but it's still no excuse for getting angry with you for doing your job."
"You have to trust me, Maggie, there is nowhere in the world I would rather be than right here with the two of you especially like this quiet you in my arms we have been waiting so long for this, Maggie, and I promise, as soon as I can, it'll be like this all the time."
"I know, I think it just got to me, ya know?"
Bianca stared at the ashamed Maggie standing, wrapped in her arms, as she tilted her head to the right, letting her hair fall over her shoulder. "Maggie, have I have I told you how this whole thing came about?"
Maggie looked up at her. "Just that you had glossed over something in the paperwork and were caught off-guard. Why?"
The taller girl threw her head back and laughed while saying "Oh God okay," she looked down at Maggie and grabbed her hands, walking backwards towards the chaise lounge. "Sit down, I think it's time you know what exactly led to all of this."
They fell into the lounge and Bianca turned so one leg was up on the seat, the other on the floor. "Do you remember " she scrunched up her face as she thought of the exact day, "August 23rd?"
"August 23rd " the shorter girl said, screwing up her own face as she tried to recall the information. Then it flooded back to her the day after they had made love for the first time, and a girl in her class had to poke her with a pen to shake her out of her daydream. Maggie blushed. "Um yeah kinda hard to forget."
"Well I " Bianca looked up at the ceiling for some sort of guidance, "I kinda well I couldn't get it out of my head all day and so while we were having a board meeting, where Josef put the proposal in front of me I wasn't exactly thinking about business, if you know what I mean "
"Oh? All you have to say is 'oh'?"
"Well give me a minute to absorb this. So, what you're saying is you potentially lost millions of dollars thinking about me naked " Maggie sat on the lounge facing forward, her arms crossed over her chest, her right leg crossed over her left knee, her bare leg kicking back and forth absent-mindedly.
Bianca furrowed her brow. "Wow, what?"
"I am SO calling Playboy tomorrow. I figure for a couple of million they're getting a hell of a bargain!"
Bianca grabbed the pillow that was behind her and whacked Maggie up the side of her head with it, knocking the shorter, laughing girl over.
"I'm glad you find this so funny!"
"Oh come on, Bianca," Maggie said as she righted herself again, "you lost millions MILLIONS over the idea of me naked who wouldn't be flattered?"
"Well " Bianca scooted closer. She reached up with her right hand and undid the clip holding Maggie's hair up, letting it fall onto her shoulders. "I think I got a bargain if you ask me."
Maggie smiled coyly. "I thought you were tired."
"I was then I realized just how much you're worth to me."
"You're smooth Montgomery."
"I know," said the taller girl as she leaned in and nibbled on Maggie's neck. "Still mad at me?" she asked between nibbles.
"Ask me in the morning right now, I feel like taking a shower wasn't that where you were headed?"
Bianca smiled into Maggie's neck. "Worth every cent "
October 8th, 7:20 AM
Maggie stirred in the bed; she smiled without opening her eyes, and reached out with her left hand to find an empty bed next to her.
Rolling over onto her back, she sat up, wrapping the sheet around her as she did. She did a sleepy shuffle walk to the bathroom door to find light pouring out of the cracks around it. She knocked.
Bianca opened the door, her hair pulled back in a pony tail, one of her customary dark skirt-suits already on. "Hey."
"It's Saturday," Maggie said with her left eye closed, and the right one squinting against the light.
"I know," Bianca said as she gave Maggie a kiss on the cheek and moved past her to head towards her closet. "But, I have to go in for a couple of hours; I should be home by mid-afternoon."
Maggie shuffled back to the bed and plopped down at the foot of it, watching her girlfriend get ready to leave. "Fine if you have to, you have to."
Bianca stopped what she was doing, and took a deep breath. She knew that tone, it spoke volumes. She walked over and plopped down next Maggie. "I'm sorry."
"I know and I know you have to I did actually listen to what you had to say last night."
"Yeah but it still doesn't make this any easier."
"Tell me about it."
The two girls sat there silently for a moment, neither looking at the other, just looking straight ahead at the dresser until Bianca finally said something. "Maggie?"
"Move in with me."
Maggie sat there for a moment, not speaking. "Um B? I kinda already live with you."
"No, I know, I mean move in here move into this room with me."
"Okay still not getting the point."
Bianca turned to face her lover. She reached up and played with Maggie's hair, pushing it back so it didn't cover so much of her face. "Look we agreed early on you would stay in your room to give you space, but now that space is working against us. If you share this room with me, well, then we know where we'll find each other every night, won't we?"
"But you already know where to find me."
"Yeah, but it's not the same. If you move in here, then then it's more real. Then we know that no matter what, we're a couple, and no matter how rough things are, we'll always have this room together."
Maggie said nothing for a few moments, and Bianca's nervousness became more and more obvious. "Did I did I go too far in asking?"
"No, it's just " Maggie turned her head to look at Bianca. "I've only ever lived with one other lover and we know how that went."
"Oh," Bianca said as she pulled her hand back. "I got you well I hope you don't mind that I asked, and "
"No Bianca, it's not that, I'm not upset you asked, I just can I have a little time to think about it?"
"Of course! I did just kind of spring it on you."
Bianca's mobile chirped with an incoming text message. "That'll be Patrick, I need to go."
Both women stood up, gave each other a tender kiss, and stared into one another's eyes. "Really Bianca, I'm flattered, I just need to think, okay?"
Bianca smiled and cupped Maggie's left cheek with her right hand. "Of course I'll see you later, okay?"
Maggie raised her left hand and placed it over Bianca's. "Of course, now scoot, I need to get Munchkin going for the day."
Bianca gave Maggie's forehead a quick kiss and she bolted out the door, picking up her suit jacket as she went.
Maggie stood alone in the center of the immense room and looked around at the rich décor. The dark colors, the velvety fabrics, the throw pillows scattered hither-and-fro. It was a room worthy of a palace, and Bianca was its queen.
Why did it suddenly seem so small?
Maggie reached up and stroked her throat. It was feeling increasingly tight, and air didn't seem to be getting to her lungs. This normally spacious room suddenly felt like a very small, confining prison to her, and all she wanted to do was run from it.
Bianca had been right; this would solve a lot of their problems. It would put them in guaranteed contact every night, but was forced closeness a solution to this seeming problem they were having? Would spending every night in the same bed bring the closeness they were lacking at this time?
"She's not Jonathon she's Bianca, and she loves you with her entire heart " she mumbled to herself. " And she's not your mother this isn't your parents this is you and her, nothing says this will go badly just think about it Stone "
She gave the room another quick once-over, gave a little shudder and shuffled off to wake up Miranda for a day of play.
To Be Continued
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