DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended. Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Kerri for the beta.

Meeting the Family
By Theia L.


Sofia Curtis entered the morgue and saw three women around a table; a redhead, a white blond, and a brunette. Her eyes lingered on the brunette as a smile formed on her lips. They traveled over the length of her body from head to toe. Sofia was grateful the brunette's back was towards her and the other ladies hadn't taken notice of the entry.

"Ma belle fleur," she called in near perfect French. "Surprenez mon cher."

She heard the squeal first before the brunette lept to her feet and charged towards her. Sofia's arms were already opened and waiting for the crash of their bodies. She couldn't suppress the smile that went ear to ear, nor could she resist lifting the brunette up from the floor in a tight embrace.

"What are you doing here?" Claire asked, in French. Instantly they were communicating rapidly as the women in the room looked on, some clearly puzzled because of the hidden talent the two displayed.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Claire directed to Lindsay. Lindsay held up her hands and pointed to Sofia.

"I missed you most importantly, and a case," Sofia's French flowed through her lips. "God, you look smoking hot, momma." She twirled the woman around. "Edmund is still one lucky bastard, I must say."

Sofia still held onto Claire as she set her stable again. The woman looked absolutely gorgeous from her womanly fit figure to the warmth radiating from her eyes and smile. It was then Sofia realized her secret crush hadn't dissipated much as she hoped. She quickly kissed both of Claire's cheeks and released her but continued to hold her hand. From her right Lindsay came to join them and the three of them huddled together in a hug cherishing their reunion.

Cindy Thomas and Jill Bernhardt watched the display before them both wondering who the two women that entered the morgue were. They both grabbed their ears as Claire screeched and ran to the long-haired blond. Cindy had noticed Lindsay's arm secured around the blonde's waist fall as the blond prepared for Claire's embrace. Then suddenly she heard Claire's perfect French fill the morgue bringing it to life. She continued her assessment of the strangers as she and Jill walked over at Lindsay's command.

"Ladies, English please. You are beginning to cause a scene," Lindsay said to Claire and Sofia. Cindy's mouth dropped at the fluency of her lover's words with a hint of a Texas drawl.

"Excuse us, excuse us," Claire bubbled. For the first time she noticed the strawberry blonde standing on the other side of Sofia. An elegant beauty, Claire figured her to be a few years older than herself. A little shorter than Sofia, the strawberry blonde was nicely shaped with warm blue eyes focused on Sofia. As she broke away from Sofia and approached the woman, Claire smiled at her gently.

"You must be Catherine," Claire said, extending her hand. The woman returned Claire's smile hesitantly but warmly. "I'm Claire Washburn. I've hear so much about you."

Claire squeezed Sofia's hand in approval.

"Hi Claire," Catherine Willows said, shaking the extended hand.

Catherine was taken back by the display she witnessed. The exuberance between Sofia and Claire was not like how Sofia and Lindsay Boxer greeted each other. Sofia and Lindsay were extremely excited to see each other but the emotion between Sofia and the stunningly beautiful woman before her, hinged on once upon a time lovers meeting again. The pit of her stomach dropped.

"Let me make the introductions," Lindsay started. "Detective Sofia Curtis Las Vegas Police Department and Catherine Willows Las Vegas CSI Investigator this is Claire Washburn, Chief Medical Examiner, Jill Bernhardt Assistant Deputy District Attorney, and Cindy Thomas Crime Desk Reporter for the San Francisco Register."

Hands and hellos were exchanged with friendly smiles. Claire ushered them all into a conference room as she began talking to Catherine. Cindy watched Jill, Lindsay, and Sofia follow behind. She noticed Sofia tugged Lindsay into her side, her arm resting around her waist. Lindsay leaned over and kissed Sofia's temple. Cindy's definitely wanted to know who this woman was.

From her demeanor, she appeared to be a blonde, shorter version of Lindsay from the swagger to the commanding presence to a familiar darkness. However, their appearance was totally different. Besides the height, Sofia Curtis has the athelitc body like Lindsay but curvier. Their style of dress was different also. Lindsay in her usual tight jeans, button-down top, and leather jacket was the complete opposite of Sofia's Stella McCartney ensemble. The tailored pinstriped pant suit accentuated the woman's fit, athletic body as Cindy watched her hips sway under Lindsay's arm. She definitely wanted to know more about this woman.

Later that night the six women decided to have dinner at one of the five-stars across the bay. At the hotel were Catherine and she were staying, Sofia smoothed her dress as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. As she moved, the slit on her right displayed a taunt thigh. She smiled in anticipation of her lover's response to her dress.

Her heart warmed at seeing Claire and Lindsay again. It had been five years since they saw each other. They telephoned frequently to keep up with each others lives but it wasn't the same as being together. She vowed to not let another five years past before seeing her family.

There was a light tap on the door bringing Sofia from her thoughts. She knew who it was as butterflies filled her stomach. Looking at herself again, she smiled and headed to the door. She opened the door revealing her lover. Her heart pounded as her eyes drank in the exquisite woman in the black dinner dress. Reaching for her hand, Sofia pulled her into the room and into her arms. She kicked the door close as her lips kissed the woman's bare shoulder holding the spaghetti strap in place.

"You look nice," Catherine breathed. She barely heard Sofia's grunt of thanks.

Catherine's arms dangled at her sides, back arching into Sofia, taking all of the pleasure of the kisses traveling up her neck. Sofia backed Catherine against the door, sandwiching her tightly. Catherine's scent was intoxicating as Sofia's hands dipped beneath the hem of Catherine's dress. Sofia's breath caught as her hands smoothed up Catherine stocking legs and over the garters attached to them. Her hands traveled higher to the treasure she longed for since they touched down in San Francisco. She listened to Catherine's moan in her ear as she pushed passed the lacey undergarment. Her thumb gently graze Catherine's heated center. She felt Catherine's hips buck into her as Catherine's teeth captured her earlobe and sucked. Unable to contain her desire, Sofia captured Catherine's lips in an intense kiss.

"Honey," Catherine moaned. She tried to catch her breath and stay Sofia's adventurous hand. She was moments from release but wanted to savor it for later. "We're going to be late."

"I know," was all Sofia said as she continued her onslaught watching Catherine explode.

"So, Sofia was your roommate at college," Cindy asked, shimming her dress over her body. Lindsay's mouth curved into a smile as she watched the movement.


She walked behind Cindy running her fingers over the exposed skin on her back. The soft rose colored dress balanced well against Cindy's skin. The dress clung to Cindy's curvaceous frame. She quickly walked to the closet before she did something to make them late.

"I take it you were close at school," Cindy asked. "I mean to stay in touch after all these years."

Lindsay glanced at her from the safe distance. She knew where this was headed. She saw it in Cindy's eyes at the morgue. Her little redhead was jealous. She knew Cindy had nothing to worry about with Sofia. Claire, Sofia and she were more like sisters than anything else. Lindsay was closer to Sofia and Claire than her own sister, Cat. The bond between them only strengthened as the years went by. Running her hand over the mint colored dress with the flirty hem, Lindsay's eyes locked with Cindy's as she sauntered over to her.

"You look amazing," Cindy stammered, taking in Lindsay's long athletic legs. She wished Lindsay wore dresses or skirts more often. Suddenly she didn't want to go to dinner. She wanted her dinner now.

"So do you, Red," Lindsay whispered. She fingered a coiled red tress that cascaded down Cindy's cheek. She loved when Cindy's wore her hair up exposing her delicate neck. Lindsay fought the urge to sink her teeth in the spot where her neck and shoulder met.

"You know, Sofia and I never had a relationship other than sisterly. You'll see that we actually were separated at birth." She chuckled.

"Thank you," Cindy started. "I don't think I could handle being with an ex at the dinner table. Oh, when were you going to tell me about the French thing?"

"You like that, huh," Lindsay gloated. "Just a little something I picked up."

She watched as Cindy tucked her evening clutch under her arm, looked on final time in the mirror and headed towards the door. Lindsay loved the way her hips swayed and her legs moved. She gave a satisfied grunt.

"I didn't tell you," Cindy said, opening the door. "The effects foreign tongues have on me, huh?"

With the sly smile on her face, Cindy slipped out the door with Lindsay hurriedly following.

"So, you think our cases are linked?" Lindsay asked Sofia, sitting to her right. The evening was filled with catching up, laughter, a fantastic dinner, and so far no interruptions.

"Yes, I do. The similarities are too great to be coincidental." Sofia choked a little on her wine as she felt Catherine's hand searing her knee. Catherine's hand found its way through the slit in her dress again causing Sofia's heart to race.

"Are you alright," Lindsay asked while patting her back.

"I'm fine," Sofia smirked. She quickly looked at Catherine who was engrossed in conversation with Claire, completely ignoring Sofia's response and glare. She knew exactly what Catherine was up to. Sofia uncrossed her legs. Taking hold of Catherine's hand, she pressed further under her dress to the inside of her thigh. Satisfied, she turned her attention back to Lindsay. Lindsay was speaking but Sofia heard nothing as Catherine's hand took on the challenge and inched further inside before giving her thigh a tight squeeze. Sofia closed her eyes to control her breathing. When she opened them she saw the smirk on Lindsay's face.

"What's the problem, Sofia?" Lindsay whispered in French. She couldn't contain the grin growing wider on her mouth as a blush crept across Sofia's face.

"This woman is driving me insane," Sofia whispered, reciprocating the language and thus beginning this fluid, rapid communication between them.

"Ah, I must say Catherine is a beauty," Lindsay smiled. "It's about time you settled down and stop the woman hopping. She must be something to rein you in."

"Wow, this from the self proclaimed bachelorette Lindsay 'Never again' Boxer. Your girl Friday is gorgeous and smart enough to keep you in line, I see. I didn't know you were into redheads. Besides you being too old for her, she looks go on you."

"Ha! I got your old," Lindsay's voice raised as she pinched Sofia's arm. She saw Claire's head leaning back to her.

"English, you two," she winked. Claire turned her attention back to the intriguing CSI Investigator. "It's funny. That's how we met years ago. We were taking the same French class. I needed it for a medical conference in France. They were there to fulfill a credit."

Catherine nodded as she watched the woman's eyes travel to the memory. She imagined she was the eldest among the women at the table. In her mid forties, Catherine estimated, Lindsay, and Jill in their late thirties, along with Sofia and the cute redhead, late twenties. It was possible that Claire was older than Lindsay and Jill, given her speech and knowledge but she didn't look older than 35. Still unsure about the nature of Sofia's and Claire's relationship in the past, Catherine liked Claire. She was beginning to see what was so magnetizing about her. Claire was a great woman. She was honest, straightforward, motherly, and most of all, projected a confidence of the woman she was. This confidence she exuded was attractive.

"I can tell the closeness the three of you share," Catherine spoke with a weary smile. She met the woman's eyes as they beamed; Catherine added this to the list of attractiveness.

"Being the only girl with four brothers they are the closest thing I have to younger sisters." Claire leaned forward to look at Sofia. She was now in Lindsay's seat. She knew she was grilling Cindy by observing her body language. She pulled her attention back to Catherine.

"Which is a good segue to another topic. Your intentions," Claire said, holding her gaze. Catherine's eyes met Claire's. She flinched at the woman's intense, territorial stare.

"Well," she began, stealing a look at Sofia before continuing. She knew her intentions were honorable. She knew in the little time she had spent with Claire, she valued honesty and sincerity. Catherine dranked from her wine as she met the woman's unchanged gaze again. "I love her."

Catherine couldn't keep the light, twinkle from her voice. She did love Sofia Curtis. She had fallen in love with her over the past eighteen months they've been together. She didn't love anyone the way she loved Sofia, not even her ex-husband. She knew she never would again. She observed Claire's eyes change to warm and inviting like the smile across her lips.

"I'm in love with her. I would like to make her happy if she'll let met."

"Well, Catherine, I've known Sofia for a long time. I have never seen her happier than now." Claire leaned in to Catherine as to share information for her ears only; Catherine leaned closer. She placed her hand on Catherine's before speaking. "Let me assure you, I love Lindsay and Sofia as I love myself. I would trust them with my life and the lives of my family. With that, I'll protect them at all cause. Don't give me a reason to…"

Claire's voice trailed off replacing the remaining words with a smile but her eyes were hard. Catherine expected the warning. She received a similar one from Lindsay. Both were equally intimidating and grave. She could appreciate their protectiveness and love for Sofia, albeit unwarranted. Catherine had no desire to hurt Sofia or give up on their relationship. For her, Sofia was all she ever hoped to have in this life.

"I understand," Catherine said, meeting the challenge and squeezing Claire's hand.

"Great," Claire said, unexpectedly pulling Catherine in a tight embrace.

"Thanks to Friday," Sofia smiled wide to Cindy. "We have the link between the Kozlov, Russian mob of San Fran and the DBs in Vegas."

Cindy blushed under Sofia's charm. This is also where Sofia and Lindsay differed. Sofia actually appreciated and acknowledged Cindy's assistance. Cindy knew it was all apart of Sofia's charisma that oozed when she first met her.

"Yes, it appears Nicolae Lebedev and Dimitri Solovyov were top earners for the crime family," Jill said, snagging a piece of candy from the dish.

"The style in the execution mirrors those of others linked to Sergei Kozlov." Claire stated, looking over the medical records.

"We documented similar tribal markings from Dimitri and Nicolae as the four bodies found here," Catherine said moving next to Claire. Both were intrigued in the autopsy photos of the victims from Vegas.

"The way the bodies were cut is very ritualistic. The precision of the cuts are almost surgical," Claire pointed to the photos of Lebedev in Catherine's hand.

"Were the organs recovered in Vegas," Lindsay asked Sofia.

"No, they weren't. Which is also similar to San Fran." She paused before she continued.

Sitting on the tabletop Sofia crossed her long legs. She smoothed her pants and leaned forward deep in thought. Catherine watched the beauty. As always Sofia was dressed to the nines. Her grey trousers were crisp and nicely pressed ending at her high heeled leather boots. She wore a pink top with the three top buttons undone. When Sofia leaned forward, the top shifted revealing a glimpse of her round breasts. Catherine bit her lip stifling a moan. The chain she bought Sofia dangled from her neck over her breasts in a hypnotic swing.

"This is my theory," Sofia started, her eyes on Catherine. She could see Catherine's blue eyes darken. Shifting nervously Sofia rocked her crossed leg, looking at Lindsay. "All six of the victims were apart of the Kozlov family. Their roles were drugs, gambling, and prostitution. Based on Friday's information about Sergei losing a major heroin shipment its plausible these six men were branching out."

"I see that…" Lindsay said, pacing in front of Sofia, unintentionally blocking Catherine view and pulling her from the trance. Catherine went back to perusing the photos with Claire.

"Sergei put two and two together. He was able to kill the four here but the brains of the operation, Lebedev and Solovyov fled to Vegas. Why Vegas and why remove the organs?" Lindsay asked.

"Well, maybe I can answer the organ thing. Sergei is known for his interest, well his obsession in the ancient Egyptian mummification process. Maybe he kept them as trophies." Cindy offered.

"Ick," Jill said. "Since we can directly tie these men to Kozlov, we need to hit his place sooner than later. I'll work on the warrant. You two find the link to Vegas. Maybe we're looking for a buyer there."

"We'll be ready," Lindsay said to Jill as she called Jacobi.

As Jill shrugged on her jacket to take her leave, Sofia looked at the four San Francisco women. They each relied on each other and were intricate components to their work and personal life. She missed having that with Claire and Lindsay. It was tough to be hundreds of miles away. However, she did have Catherine who was looking approvingly at her with those bright blue eyes.

Sofia reached for her cell phone. She hopped off the desk as she began dialing Jim Brass number. Heading towards the hallway, she blew a secret kiss to Catherine. She beamed at the response from Catherine.

"I like how this little club works. One-stop shopping," Sofia tossed over her shoulder as she left the room.

"It's not a club," they yelled in unison, including Cindy.

"Shots fired. Officer down," Jacobi barked into the cell. He gave his badge number and location as he watched Lindsay. "Get a bus down here now."

Lindsay couldn't see through her tears. This was bad. They overestimated their element of surprise. They were in the warehouse but they were expected. Separated to clear the warehouse, Kozlov had shot Sofia once in the thigh and then at close range directly in the lower abdomen, cutting under her vest. Lindsay watched in horror as Sofia fell like a ton of bricks. Then started a rain of gunfire and Kozlov and his men were on the run. Her heart pounded in her chest as she maneuvered cover to get to Sofia. She cradled her best friend in her arms. The blood pooled around them on the ground.

"Hang on, Sofia," Lindsay whispered in her ear. She loosened her belt and pulled it from her jeans. She made a makeshift tourniquet on Sofia's thigh. "Go Jacobi, get that bastard."

Jacobi and four uniforms went in pursuit. Lindsay added pressure to Sofia's wound just underneath the vest.

"Hang on, honey."

Her scent, a mixture of clean skin and citrus, entered Sofia's brain. Catherine was by her side in a chair, her head laid on the bed. Sofia's left leg felt like a log and her right side ached. She pushed passed the pain to open her eyes, lifting her hand and stroking Catherine's hair. From her touch, Catherine jumped to her feet.

"Sweetness," Catherine sighed. She hovered over Sofia. Her hand brushed her cheek. "I thought I was going to lose you."

Sofia could see Catherine had been crying. Her face was clean of makeup with only the sheen of lip gloss. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was dressed in jeans and one of Sofia's college t-shirts. She looked amazing. If Sofia didn't ache so bad she would've taken her right then and there.

"I thought I was going to lose you," Sofia managed. She wanted so bad to kiss her but Catherine was keeping a moderate distance. "Kiss me."

Catherine leaned in and cradled Sofia's face. Catherine slowly lowered her lips to Sofia's. The kiss was tender but spoke of the pain and desperation Catherine felt. Catherine's lips were softer than Sofia ever remembered. They eased the pain she was feeling in her body. How could she been so stupid to let Kozlov get the jump on her? How could she have jeopardized not having these soft, sweet lips on hers again? She reached to stroke Catherine's hair to pull her closer needing Catherine to deepen the kiss. But she didn't get her wish as Catherine pecked her lips once more and pulled away. Catherine sat on the side of the bed cradling Sofia's head in the crook of her body.

"Sorry," Claire said with Lindsay, Cindy, and Jill filing in behind her. "For the interruption"

"No, no," Catherine waving them in. "She just woke."

Catherine ran her fingers over her lips staring but not really seeing. She almost lost the one person she ever loved. They had to remove the bullet from her thigh that was just shy of hitting an artery. The biggest concern was the shot to her abdomen. The bullet to the abdomen traveled up, perforating her diaphragm and nicked Sofia's lung. Catherine watched her new friends gather around the bed realizing she needed a minute to compose herself. She rose to take her leave and to let them talk. Sofia's hand on her thigh stayed her. She lifted it to her lips, trying to fight back tears, and kissed her palm. She smiled and kissed Sofia's lips before leaving the room.

"She's been here since they brought you in seven days ago," Lindsay said, smoothing Sofia's hair. "This is the first time she's left despite our urging."

Lindsay nodded to the travel bag in the corner and the chaise near the window. Sofia's heart burst to know Catherine slept by her side. She was more secure in her decision than ever about their relationship.

"She just needs a minute," Claire said. "You gave us a scare, honey."

Claire kissed her cheek as she rubbed her hand down Sofia's arm.

"I've been here seven days? What happened?" Sofia groaned. It hurt to talk.

"We were ambushed at the warehouse," Lindsay started. "Kozlov was behind you before I could get to you. He shot you."

"Did we get him?"

Lindsay nodded.

"We found the trophies at his home in a cooler. The bastard had them frozen in a false bottom section of the garage."

"The charges," Jill began, Sofia turned her head towards her. "Will be filed here and in Las Vegas, we will be seeking the death penalty for the crimes but also the attempted murders of you, Lindsay, Jacobi and the rest of the unit."

As they continued talking Claire quietly left the room. She walked down to the waiting room and found Catherine looking out the window. She walked to her and placed a hand on her back. Instantly, Catherine turned into her arms and held onto her. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably as sobs came from her throat. Claire rubbed her back and she cooed in her ear. Claire's heart ached for the woman she knew her best friend loved with all her heart. Witnessing Catherine's distraught face when they got the call, seeing her never leave the hospital at all even when they offered to stay, and now the emotional release, Claire knew Catherine loved and cared for Sofia. As the sobs subdued, Claire guided Catherine to the sofa and sat.

"She's going to be okay, Catherine."

"I don't know what I would've done if I lost her. I didn't realize I was waiting for her all my life." She nodded taking the tissue Claire offered. She dabbed at her eyes. Although, her eyes looked fatigued and slightly puffy, Catherine was still beautiful Claire thought.

"We have something to be thankful for," she sighed, rubbing Catherine's hand. She rose to her feet bringing Catherine with her. "Catherine."

"Yes," Catherine answered, trying to get herself together. Claire turned looking into her blue eyes. Catherine stared back into the hazel colored eyes and felt warmth in her heart.

"I'm really glad Sofia has you. Present day excluded, I don't have to worry about her now. I was worried she wouldn't let her guard down long enough to let love in. I'm glad I was wrong."

Tears brimmed in Catherine eyes as she pulled Claire into her arms and squeezed her tight. The woman returned the hug and Catherine kissed her cheek.

"Thank you," Catherine whispered. Arms linked around the other's waist, they walked back to the room.

"To the dynamic duo," Jill toasted to Lindsay and Sofia. They were gathered at the clubhouse in a bigger booth.

Sofia smiled big at Lindsay and Lindsay returned the smile with a wink. Sofia took a sip of the wine before returning it to Catherine, not wanting to mix it with her medications. Catherine rubbed Sofia's leg as Claire began to speak.

"When is your flight back to Vegas?"

"Ten tomorrow morning," Catherine answered, drinking from the glass. "Brass is anxious to see Sofia."

She smiled at Sofia as she shook her head.

"Yes, probably can't wait to rip me a new one," she smiled while thinking of her mentor.

"Great, we can have breakfast before you leave." Cindy suggested.

"Sure," Sofia agreed. "I do want to say to Jill and Fri—I mean Cindy, that is has been a real pleasure meeting you. And even though you say it not a club this team does great work."

"I kinda like the Friday thing, Sofia," Cindy bubbled. She resigned to Sofia's charms. She agreed with Lindsay, they were separated at birth. The women definitely were cut from the same superhero cloth.

"Friday it is," Sofia smiled. "Now ladies, I don't want to be a party pooper but I don't think I can keep my eyes open any longer. I think we're gonna head back to the hotel."

Catherine nodded, gathering her purse and handing Sofia her cane.

"Lindsay and Claire, can I have a second?" Sofia asked, heading to the door. Catherine helped Sofia with her jacket before she watched Sofia limp away with her best friends outside. Catherine sat and talked to Jill and Cindy while she waited.

"Thank you for everything," Sofia said, once alone. She looked through the window watching Catherine laughing at something Jill said. Her heart was bursting with love beyond words.

"You don't have to thank us, Sofia. Catherine is a great woman." Lindsay squeezed her arm. "Are you sure about this?"

Lindsay transferred the item from her pocket to Sofia's. Claire watched with eyes bright and a huge smile on her lips.

"She's sure; one down and one to go," Claire said, missing Lindsay roll her eyes. "Sofia, I love her. She's good for you. Take care of her because I know she'll take care of you."

Sofia nodded with a smile on her face as big as the San Francisco bay. She tapped on the window, watching Catherine hug Jill and Cindy before leaving.

"Ready, C?" Sofia said, allowing Catherine to wrap her arms around her waist and leaned into the support.


"See you in the morning," Lindsay said kissing Catherine's cheek.

Claire stepped to Catherine and gave her a big hug.

"See you tomorrow. And Catherine," she began. Catherine looked at Claire. "You're family now."

Catherine beamed with approval and mouthed thanks.

Sofia and Catherine snuggled in business class; Sofia's head nestled on Catherine's shoulder. Catherine thought Sofia was sleeping when she heard her voice.

"Catherine, I love you."

"I love you, Sofia."

Sofia couldn't wait any longer. She had to have an answer. She almost died and she didn't know what she would've done if Catherine didn't know how much she loved her. She gingerly reached into the pocket of her jacket, pulling out a box. She placed it on the little table rest before Catherine. Catherine looked at the box and then to Sofia.

"Sofia?" she whispered breathlessly.

"Open it," she whispered.

She watched Catherine's lithe fingers pull away the ribbon and blue green paper. She watched her face as Catherine stared at the box. Her hands shakily opened the box and she gasped. She looked down at the carat encased with platinum. Her eyes rested on the woman next to her.

"Catherine, lying there on the ground bleeding out, not knowing if I would see you again, only confirmed what I knew when I first saw you. I've been holding onto this for months. I kept thinking what if I died before giving it to you. I couldn't take you not knowing how much I love you and how serious my commitment is to you and Lindsay."

She watched the tears roll down Catherine's cheeks. Sofia wiped them away with the pad of her thumb.

"So, I'm asking you, Catherine Anne Willows, to be my one and only, to be my everything in the morning, at night, and everything in between. To be my friend and lover, my confidant and my family. Will you give me the honor and pleasure of being mine forever?" Sofia's breath stopped as she waited for her answer.

"Yes," Catherine said so low Sofia had to lean in closer. "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,…"

Catherine showered Sofia with kisses as Sofia pulled her into her lap. She winced a little from the pain but pushed past it and enjoyed the sweet assault. Her life was now beginning.

The End

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