DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By sinjenkai


Part 30

Calleigh's internal clock woke her at a quarter to six and she opened her eyes to a room that was barely bathed in light. Carefully she slid from the bed, making sure that she didn't wake her still gently snoring wife. Going into the bathroom, she quickly took care of her needs and then make her way out to the living room.

Turning off the alarm, she slid open the glass door and joined her brother Chance as he was putting the finishing touches on the archery target.

"Morning baby brother."

Turning to flash a smile, Chance shot back. "Morning little sister."

Hugging him after he fasted the last bolt, she rubbed his back as he stretched it out.

"So where is tu coeur this morning?"

Smiling brightly, Calleigh chuckled. "My heart is still asleep. I wanted to make sure that this was finished before I woke her. I really appreciate you doing this Chance."

Sitting down in a nearby chair, Chance wiped his hands on a towel while looking at his sister. "Not a problem, besides it gives me a chance to talk with you alone. I just wanted to tell you how happy that I am that you finally found someone that truly loves you. And she does, we can all see it." He leans forward with his elbows on his knees, still wiping away the no longer existent grease. "Hey Cal... You know I'd never second guess what you tell us all and show... but are you sure this is what you want? Now Cal, don't go thinking I've gone crazy like Pop... but I do worry about you, and you've hidden a lot from us for a long time. Don't do that anymore. Loving Natalia is nothing to hide and neither is you all bein' in distress."

Frowning a bit, Calleigh took a moment to reply. "I know that it was wrong to keep everything from you, but part of me wanted to keep her for myself for awhile and then things just began to get crazy and it was just easier. I know that isn't an excuse, but it's the truth. And to answer your first question, yes. I have never been more sure about anything in my life."

"Then I have no choice, but say thank god. She seems to try and take care of you.."

Getting a slight lustful glint in her eyes before she could stop it, Calleigh murmured. "You have no idea how good she is at it." And then she clamped her hands over her mouth when she realized what she had said. "Oh please, please…. Don't tell her I said that…. It came out without me even thinking about it."

"Whoa there Calleigh." He merely smirked. "Don't worry, I know it's been a long time since you had sex. Honestly, I must say I'm jealous."

"Chance, I'm not talking about sex, which is mind blowing, the 'I'm still trying to find the top of my head' kind, I'm talking about being in love. You know the kind of love that when you look at her across a crowded room and all that you can see is her. Or if you see something in a store and you imagine her reaction if she saw you in it. Or just the simple act of waking up in the same bed and she's the first thing that you see and no matter what else is going on, just that one fact, makes everything else fade away. That's what she does for me and that's all I have every wanted. Ever since Grams told me to find someone whose heart keeps beat with mine, I've been looking for them, and I found Natalia. She's the one."

Standing, Chance chuckled. "Mind blowing, I'll have to ask her about that."

Slapping his arm, Calleigh almost pleaded. "Please Chance, don't say anything."

Ruffling her hair like a little kid, he headed for the side gate to leave. "Hmm, what's it worth to ya? See ya later sis."

"See ya." Shaking her head, Calleigh headed back inside and went into the garage, opening up the trunk of her car and taking out a pair of long boxes. Carefully she carried them back out to the patio next to the pool and quickly filled a quiver full of arrows, took out a bracer and a tab, and then finally opened the box that held the bow. It had taken her what seemed like forever to find the right one and then finally ordered it from England. Hanging everything on the bow stand that Chance had set up, she took a step back and smiled.

Rubbing her hands together in anticipation, she went back inside to start breakfast. Soon the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, scrambled eggs, and the all-important bacon filled the air and drifted into the bedroom, enticing Natalia from her slumber. Well, it was a combination of all of that plus a little gentle prodding from Calleigh.

"Talia… darlin'… It's time to get up. I've got breakfast ready and I thought that we could eat it outside as it is a beautiful morning. Almost as beautiful as you." Nibbling on Natalia's neck, Calleigh could barely keep from yanking her out of bed to show her her gift. "I'll meet you out there."

"Aw babe, don't tease if you're not gonna please." Natalia turned and looked at Calleigh as she stated to leave the room.

Turning back to smile saucily at her wife. "Now darlin', you know that I can please you very well. It's just that I left something cooking and I don't want it to burn ." And she strolled out.

Natalia got out of bed muttering. "Well, you got me cooking and now I'll be on a slow burn all day."

After going to the bathroom, Natalia walked out of the bedroom, stretching, following the aroma outside. The low pulled blinds only allowed her to see Calleigh's feet and the outline of her body. She opened the door and she jumped back a little covering her mouth with her hand as the other one closed over her chest. "Calleigh... you can't be serious." Her gorgeous brown eyes glistened upon seeing the setup Calleigh's brother had created. She walked over seeing the handiwork of the steel running her fingertips along the frame. "Calleigh, this is incredible. These are so hard to come by!" She turned to look at her wife and something red caught the corner of her eyes. She moved over to it carefully picking it up, her eyes studying every inch, her fingertips running along the bright red curves. She was studying it like she would Calleigh in a bright red dress. She looked back at her wife with a 'Are you serious?!' look on her face.

"You always said that you'd rather tote one of those instead of a gun, so… I thought that you'd might like to have one." Calleigh's face was serious, but her lips betrayed her curling into a smirky smile. "Go ahead…. Try it."

Putting on the bright red bracer that matched the bow onto her left forearm, Natalia picked up the bow and marveled at its lightness. Pulling an arrow out of the quiver, she notched it and adjusted the sight to the correct distance. Natalia settled into her stance, so concentrated, taking two deep breathes, gauging her movement as she took a breath. Dark brown eyes focused on the tip of the arrow, then the bull's-eye of the target. Her face was elegant, so intensely focused. Her lips parted as her breath left her and she released the string. Time slowed for Natalia, watching the arrow snake through the air, time flashed as it hit the target. Her stance still perfect, finally lowering the bow, relaxing from the rigid stance.

'Pfftt….twap' The arrow hit the edge of the red circle, very close to the gold. The look on Natalia's face was so breathtaking that Calleigh almost came, but when Natalia turned to look at her, she did.

Carefully, Natalia replaced the bow on the stand, pulled off the bracer and walked over to where Calleigh was sitting, snagging a cushion from one of the chairs as she passed and dropped in on the ground in front of Calleigh's chair. Dropping to her knees in front of her wife, she reached forward and grasped Calleigh's hips, pulling her hard against her, gasping at the contact. Calleigh wrapped her legs around Natalia's waist and moaned against the onslaught. Threading her fingers through silky golden hair, Natalia crushed her lips against Calleigh's, sliding her tongue over her teeth. Moving her hands to the bottom of Calleigh's shirt and moving away from her wife just enough, she whipped the shirt off and placed her hands over Calleigh's breasts, thumbing the already aroused nipples.

"Ahh…darlin'… We shouldn't do…. Aw hell… Forget it."

Natalia put her lips against the base of Calleigh's throat, feeling the pulse that was thundering on and suckled, drawing a groan from Calleigh. Natalia pulled away from Calleigh's neck, wanting to watch her face.

"Cal… leigh… look at me…. Concentrate on me."

Whimpering at the loss of contact to her neck, she forced her eyes open, slipping fingers into Natalia's honey colored hair.

Taking one of her hands, Natalia slid it between their bodies, past Calleigh's waistband and stopped short of damp curls. She ran her fingertips along the border of the course hair along the softest skin. She loved the purring noise that Calleigh made when she did that, she sounded like a golden tigress who was very happy.

Calleigh bit her lip in anticipation, her deep jade eyes pleading. Tightening the grip in Natalia's hair, she pulled her face closer, breathing against her lips.

Natalia's tongue peeked out to run along Calleigh's bottom lip, eliciting a groan. Slowly her fingers travelled downward, gliding through the dampness until she met warm slickness. Pausing at the tiny nub, she rubbed around it, just barely touching it, then bypassing it to slide three fingers in deep, loving the way that Calleigh pressed against her.

The faintest moan escaped, feeling her fingers move. Calleigh's fingers move to Natalia's neck pulling her in for a passionate kiss, arching into her body.

Her hand never stopped stroking, never stop reaching for the spot that drove her wife wild. Curling her fingers slightly, Natalia swallowed the moan that erupted from her wife and started moving her hips in time with her hand. Breaking off the kiss, she panted as she watched Calleigh's eyes rolled back and she dropped her head back, exposing her throat. Without hesitating, Natalia leaned forward to suckle the spot between the shoulder and the neck. Then abruptly changing her mind, Natalia leaned back and growled. "Look at me… Don't look away… Don't close your eyes… Don't make a sound… I want to see you cum… I want to see it in your face."

Her entire body eased before tightening against her wife. Biting her lip since she couldn't close her eyes, the look she gave Natalia was primal desire. Releasing her own lip, she clenched her jaw moaning, her eyes never left Natalia's, her body pushing into her wife's hand.

"Cum for me baby… let me see you…yes…"

Letting her thumb rest on the little bundle of nerves, Natalia twitched it ever so slightly. Her own eyes widening as Calleigh's got darker, so dark that it reminded her of grass after a rainstorm.

She ground harder into her hand, her fingers took a grip of Natalia's hair with one arm on her shoulder, her look hardened before breaking into hard uncontrollable thrusting grinds. She did her best to suppress a whimper, her body so tense she felt like she was about to explode. She pulled Natalia closer, who remained exactly where she was, resisting the urge to cradle her wife.

Pulling her back slightly so she could continue to watch Calleigh's face, Natalia clinched her own jar to control her own urge to scream out Calleigh's name. Just watching her face was bringing her so close to the edge, that Natalia was barely balancing on the brink of release. Watching, she saw Calleigh bite her bottom lip so hard, she almost broke the skin as Natalia's thumb moved against her clit and fingers moved against the tiny ridges.

Calleigh's body rakes through another orgasm, this time it's so intense she threw herself, against her wife, unable to help it. Crying out her Natalia's name, she trembled against her, riding out the wave of her orgasm. She covered Natalia's face and neck with small light kisses, her hands kept pulling her in, trying to stay grounded.

Finally Natalia allowed her head to fall forward against Calleigh's shoulder, crying out her name as she shuddered her own release. Closing her eyes, she trembled along with Calleigh, drawing in deep breaths.

Calleigh dared not leave her like that, despite the fact she was still trembling, she slid her fingers under her Natalia's clothing, and filled her center with three fingers, wanting to give her even more reasons to scream.

As soon she felt Calleigh fill her, Natalia moaned and thrusts her hips forward hr, gasping as they rubbed against her g-spot.

Calleigh didn't draw it out for long, rubbing her thumb against her clit, keeping her fingers against that secret spot. Her fingers in Natalia's hair, gripping it tight enough to keep her looking in Calleigh's eyes.

Now it was go hard to not break her gaze with the dark green eyes, so hard not to lean forward to crush her lips against Calleigh's. Natalia growled and withdrew from the warmth, pushed Calleigh back, almost tore off Calleigh's shorts and leaned down to lav the tiny bundle of nerves with her tongue. With her free hand, she placed one of Calleigh's legs over her shoulder and groaned as was given deeper access.

Placing her other leg over the arm of the chair, Calleigh thrust her hips in time with Natalia's tongue, keening with every touch, with every suckle against the little bundle, each nerve shattered and exploded.

Feeling Calleigh's slick muscles constrict around her fingers, Natalia slowed her thrusts and finally removed her fingers, kissing the thigh that was next to her head and reluctantly removed her leg from her shoulder. Kissing her way up the sweaty body, until she had to pull Calleigh towards her to kiss on the lips.

Panting slightly, Natalia murmured. "Thank you."

"No darlin', thank you. That was... incredible."

Leaning forward, Calleigh captured Natalia's lips in a soft kiss, holding her face gently between her hands.

"I can't believe that you remember that I said that. It was so long ago." Natalia whispered. "I had forgotten about it until you just mentioned it."

Her green eyes shining brightly, Calleigh replied. "That was an easy thing to remember. You have no idea how sexy you looked when you drew back that bow in ballistics. I almost took you right there."

Laughing, Natalia rose from her knees and held out her hand to bring her to her feet. "Why don't you go inside and clean up and I'll warm up the breakfast?"

"I have a better plan, why don't I go clean up, I'll warm up breakfast while you enjoy yourself for a while. I know that you want to shoot it some more."

Natalia readily agreed to that, so Calleigh picked up her discarded clothes and went to take a quick shower, then warmed up the food. Bringing the plates back out to the table on the patio, Calleigh

thoroughly enjoyed watching her wife concentrate on her new toy. She cleaned her plate and was about to take her plate back into the kitchen when her phone rang.

"Hello.... Hey Court... Just watching Talia have fun with her bow... What...? Let me ask."

"Hey babe."

Releasing the arrow, Natalia smiled as she hit the bull's eye, then turned to her wife. "What love?"

"Court wants to know if we want to go to the shooting range and have a mini competition. You wanna go?"

Natalia could see the excitement in Calleigh's eyes as it had been almost a month since she had even shot a gun and there was no way that she was going to deny her that.

"That sounds like fun. Tell him that the loser has to buy lunch. And Cal, we better not lose."

"No worries on that darlin'." "She said the loser buys lunch Court... Ok, see you in about forty-five minutes... Yeah... Ok bye."

Springing up from her chair, Calleigh went over to help Natalia remove the arrows from the target. "Babe, I should let you know that the boys are almost as good as I am so you might want to rethink that bet."

Kissing the blonde quickly, Natalia smirked. "Cal, they have nothing on you. And besides, I may shock and amaze you."

Watching Natalia walk away, Calleigh couldn't help but admire the gentle sway of her hips and muttered. "Darlin', you amaze me all the time, like fifteen minutes ago."

"I heard that."

Laughing Calleigh retorted. "Meant for you to."

After quickly eating her lukewarm food, Natalia changed clothes and they were soon on their way to the shooting range. As they drove up, they saw that both Court and Chance were leaning against their rental car. Pulling up, Natalia jumped out first.

"Ok, which one to I have to thank for putting together my archery set."

Both men raised the hands. Chance slapped at Court's shoulder. "Liar."

"Hey, I just wanted the hug that I know that you're going to get."

Going up to Chance, Natalia gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you so very much for getting up so early to do that for me. I love it."

"Mon cher', it was my pleasure."

Then going over to Court, she also gave him a hug.

"Hey! He didn't do anything." Chance teased.

Laughing, Natalia walked back to the Avalanche to get their gun cases. "He gets one for being smart enough to let you be the one to get up early."

Calleigh laughed at her response while Court preened a bit and they all went onto the range. Soon they were all standing down at the far end and opening their cases.

Natalia handed Calleigh's to her and watched her open it.

Frowning, Calleigh looked at her wife. "Darlin', this isn't my gun. It must be yours."

Shaking her head as her eyes sparkled. "Nope, that's your gun babe."

"Uh, but this is the new Smith & Wesson."

"Yes it is."


Chance couldn't stand it anymore. "Geez Cal. She bought it for you, now let's break it in."

Calleigh turned and walked over to her wife, stopping bare inches away. They both started at each other, neither saying a word, eyes were sparkling, and smiles were silly.

Finally after a few seconds, Chance went and stood beside them, looking back and forth at each one of them. Suddenly he twisted so that one shoulder touched Calleigh's and he was facing Natalia. In a falsetto voice, he said. "Oh, thank you Natalia. I had been wanting this one." Then he turned, just the opposite, with his shoulder touching Natalia's and facing Calleigh, and in a different voice, he replied. "You're welcome babe."

Then he took a step back, slapped Calleigh on the back, and commanded. "Now kiss the girl and let's get shooting."

Smiling, Calleigh gave her wife a gentle kiss and turned to walk away, but Natalia took her by the arm and turned her back. Threading her fingers in golden hair, she leaned down and gently ran her tongue along Calleigh's bottom lip, then kissed her hard. Calleigh's hands went to her hips, pulling her closer, moaning at the contact. Finally when they had to breathe, Natalia pulled away and whispered. "That's just a preview for later."

Grinning, Calleigh turned back to her brothers to find them both slack jawed. Walking up to them, she bumped them each on the hip to get them out of their stupor.

"Come on boys. We're gonna wipe the floor with you."

Shaking his head, Court muttered. "Why can't my wife kiss me like that?"

Snorting, Chance replied. "Look in the mirror and you'll see the answer."

"Ha ha."

Calleigh took a half hour to get used to the gun, but after that she was all business. The next few hours the competition was hot and heavy, with Natalia holding her own and Calleigh was certainly enjoying watching her shoot. She couldn't figured out why, but seeing her wife in a shooting stance, whether with a bow or a gun, certainly turned her on.

Soon it was down to the last round with Calleigh up against Chance.

"Ok folks... the winner will be whomever can in the fastest time with ten shots do two eyes, a nose and a smile like Mel Gibson did in 'Lethal Weapon' at hundred feet. Don't forget the losing team buys lunch. On your mark, get set, go."

Shots rang out in quick succession, then Calleigh placed her gun down a split second before Chance did. Telling them to step back, Court hit the target switch and they traveled up the alley until they were at the booths. There they saw that both of them had had completed the smiles, but Chance's eyes were lopsided.

"Sorry little brother, but your guy has a tilted eye and you lose." Calleigh teased.

"Aww, that's not fair. " Chance pretended to pout. "And I'm not your little brother," He said automatically.

Holding up a finger, Natalia got their attention. "If I may, there is another reason that Calleigh and I won."

"Why darlin'?"

"Yeah what?" Court asked.

Pointing to Chance's target, Natalia quipped. "It's a good thing that he's not a math professor because he can't count. There are eleven holes, not ten."

Three blonde heads turned to the target to find that she was right. Calleigh whooped and gave her wife a quick kiss. "Ok boys, I know the perfect place for lunch where the sandwiches are thick, the drinks are cold and the music is loud. We can stay a couple of hours and then we need to go home to change before we go to the airport to pick up Talia's dad. So you guys follow us and we'll be there in fifteen minutes."

Natalia turned to Calleigh. "Babe, would you mind if I rode with Court? I wanna talk to him about something?"

"Okay, we'll meet you at Del's." Looking at her older brother, Calleigh teased. "Drive careful."

Getting into Court's rental car, Natalia gave him directions to Del's and then explained how she needed his help the next day. As she went into greater detail, Court started to grin and when she finished, he just shook his head. "My sister has finally met her match. Finally someone who can out think her when it some to surprises."

They pulled into the parking lot and Natalia started to get out, but Court stopped her. "Listen, is Eric going to be there tomorrow? Do you think that he is going to try and cause some problems?"

"Yeah, he's gonna be there, but I don't think that he'll try anything in front of everyone, or at least I hope that he doesn't. If he does, he gonna see a side of me that very few people have."

Laughing, getting out of the car, Court said. "Yup, Calleigh finally found her match."

Going inside, they met Calleigh and Chance at the entrance, then they all went and found a table. After ordering sandwiches and drinks, Natalia challenged Chance to a game of pool. He accepted and he won the break. After sinking a couple of balls, he stood back to let Natalia shoot.

Walking around the table looking at all the angles, Natalia took a few seconds to plot what she was going to do. Calleigh started to say something, but Natalia interrupted her by holding up a finger. "Give me a minute babe." Then she proceeded to run the table.

When the eight ball, dropped in the side pocket, Natalia was standing next to her wife smiling. "And you were about to say?"

"Uh, to uh, take your time." Calleigh turned to look at her incredulously. "Where did you learn to shoot like that?"

"During college, I used to hang out at a place a lot like this and made friends with the bouncer. He taught me to play and I tutored him in physics." Turning to Court, she teased. "So do you feel lucky, big boy?"

"Hell yes, I need to vindicate the Duquesne name." Court grabbed Chance's cue, chalked up, and then racked the balls. Bowing to Natalia, he offered. "Winner breaks."

Feeling rather saucy, Natalia turned to Calleigh, gave her lingering kiss and then whispered. "I'll be right back."

Breathing heavy, all Calleigh could do was watch.

Standing off the table a few feet Natalia positioned the ball off to the right, her left foot forward a little, her body crouches down. her fingers splayed out, her index wrapped around the cue. her opposite hand with a medium hold on the grip. Her back flattened causing her rear to stick out, showing it's all too perfect shape. Her head moved twice before ducking down, looking like a jaguar, prowling for the kill.

Knowing how Natalia's muscles could move, Calleigh mentally looked right through her shirt. It was like slow motion to Calleigh, watching the spring of Natalia's muscles, moving from the right side of her back and through her arm, as her body sprung up to a stand. Watching her move, it was all Calleigh could do from jumping up and taking her on the table.

Turning around, Natalia caught the look in Calleigh's eyes, and her nostrils flared. Tamping down on her desire, she prowled around the table around the table, taking her shots, after each one, looking over at the blonde. Her final shot was directly opposite of Calleigh, leaning over, she licked her upper lip, and stared directly in Calleigh's eyes as she sank the eight ball.

With a feral look like the jaguar, she stalked back over to the blonde and stood in front of her, her eyes dark. They stared at each other for a long while; the electricity between the two of them was almost palpable.

The boys looked at each other, their mouths nearly dropping as if being whipped by Natalia twice wasn't enough; the motionless and silent exchanges between their sister and Natalia surely was.

Coughing politely, Court interrupted the connection by saying. "Ladies... if you keep looking at each other like that you might overpower the circuit breakers and blow the place up. As it is... the food's here." Said with a smirk, thumbing toward the waitress.

Calleigh slowly turned her head towards their table to see the sandwiches and drinks, then nodded her head. "Yeah, I am rather hungry."

There was no way that Chance was going to pass up an opening like that so he leaned in and in a stage whisper said. "Well, why don't you eat your lunch first and then you can go home and have dessert?"

Natalia snapped out of her trance, slapping him on the shoulder while looking just a little embarrassed.

Everyone walked over to the table and started to eat. After a few bites, Chance's curiosity got the better of him and he just had to ask.

"I don't mean to be forward, but I've seen Cal in a relationship before and she's never been this... how do I put it... attentive. Can either of you explain why this relationship is different?"

Both women blushed and while Natalia took a sip of her soda, Calleigh tried to answer.

"We've actually talked about this and we've come to the conclusion that with everything that we've gone through and in our line of work, we realize how fragile life is we just want to experience everything that we can. And besides, she's very habit forming."

Natalia almost snorted her drink at the  last remark while the boys just grinned. Chance once again had to say something.

"Yeah, I can see why she's so addictive."

Calleigh looked over at her wife and agreed. "Yup, and it's a good thing darlin' that reds a good color on you because I have a feeling that my brothers are going to embarrass us both some more before they leave."

Shaking her head, all Natalia said was. "I just hope that they can take it as well as they dish it out, because paybacks can be a bitch."

The rest of the meal the conversation  was about the boys jobs and it passed quickly.

Looking at her watch, Natalia noticed the time. "Hey babe, we've got to go get changed to meet my dad." Turning to the two men. "And you've got the directions to Cristine's house right?"

"Yes ma'am. We shall see you this evening at five o'clock. Is there anything that we can bring?"

Wiping her hands on a napkin, Natalia answered. "Nope, just yourselves, the boys and Eileen, along with you appetites. Everything else is taken care of."

Kissing both men on the cheek, both Calleigh and Natalia walked out, got into Calleigh's Crossfire, and headed home. Reaching over to grasp Natalia's hand, Calleigh rubbed her thumb over the silky skin and shook her head.

"Why are you shaking your head baby?"

Quickly looking over to her wife, Calleigh replied. "That gun hasn't even been in production, but a month and you already bought it. I just can't believe it."

Natalia couldn't help from smiling. "I do have to admit that ever since we got together, I have been checking their website almost weekly to see if they have anything new. I knew that you wouldn't get anything for yourself so I got it for you."

"Well, I love it, thank you."

They soon pulled into their garage, got out and went inside. Calleigh went to the spare room to put away the gun cases while Natalia headed to the bedroom, shedding clothes as she went. "Babe, we need to hurry. We need to leave here in at least fifteen minutes so that we can find a parking spot at the airport." Natalia called out after getting into the shower.

Natalia jumped a bit when Calleigh's voice came from right behind her. "Well, that shoots my plans for a quickie."

"Jeez Cal, make some noise or something when you're behind me. You scared the heck out of me."

Running her finger down Natalia's chest, Calleigh purred. "What kind of noise would you like me to make... a moan... a sigh... a growl?"

"Any or all of the above would be fine with me. Damn, I wish that we had more time, because I am on a slow burn, watching you shoot just hits my buttons."

"Hits your buttons! Watching you shoot pool hit every button I have and then some. I was ready to throw you on the table and take you right then and there."

Kissing her wife quickly, Natalia got under the water, she quickly lathered up and got clean. "Hey babe, are your brothers always so open with their questions?"

Laughing, Calleigh took a second to answer. "Yeah, we've always been able to talk about everything, and I do mean everything. Because of the way that daddy was, we were each other's best friends. So if you are embarrassed with their questions, just let me know and I'll tell them to tone it down a bit."

"I don't mind, I was just a bit shocked. My sisters and I are open, but usually not around everyone else. I guess we've always been more private."

Natalia got out to dry off while Calleigh finished washing, then got out and dried off. They quickly changed into casual clothes and headed out to the airport in the Avalanche. Luckily, they didn't have to search too long for a parking spot and were soon waiting for Alejandro Boa Vista to come through the exit way.

As soon as she saw her father, Natalia's face broke into a wide grin. Going up to him, she threw her arms around him neck and hugged him hard. Turning to Calleigh, she introduced her to her father. "Papá, este es Calleigh Duquesne, la mujer con la cual voy a casarme." Papa, this is Calleigh Duquesne, the woman that I'm going to marry.

Taking a step forward, Calleigh reached out to shake the older man's hand. "Esto es así mucho gusto Sr. Boa Vista. Natalia me ha dicho tanto sobre usted." It is so nice to meet you Mr. Boa Vista. Natalia has told me so much about you.

Her father's smile told Natalia that everything was going to be ok. "It is nice to finally meet you too Calleigh and please, call me Alex." He reached out to draw her into a hug. "Welcome to my family."

The three of them went to the baggage claim to get his luggage and even though Calleigh offered to go get the car to meet them near the exit, Alex insisted that he would walk with them to wherever they had parked.

Calleigh drove while Natalia and her father happily chatted and they were soon pulling up to Cristine's house. Getting out and walking around to the passenger side, she held out her hand to Natalia and was rewarded with a quick kiss. Reaching in, she went to grab the suitcase, but Alex stopped her.

"No, this is mine and I shall carry it. Thank you though."

Turning they all started walking up the entranceway when the from door flew opened with Eva racing to beat Isabel to her grandfather.


Eva made it into his open arms first as Isabel came to a stop in from of Calleigh, grasped her hand and then tugged her towards her grandpa."

"Grandpa, Grandpa!"

Hugging his oldest granddaughter, Alex turns to the smaller one. "Yes, my Isabel, what is it?"

"Doesn't Tia Calleigh look like an angel?"

Smiling up at the young woman who had stolen not only his daughter's heart, but the hearts of his granddaughters, Alex had to agree. "Yes, my Isabel. She does look like an angel."

"And she can do flips of the trampoline too."

Laughing, Alex stood up and walked into the house. "And that is so very important."

The next couple of hours, Calleigh got to experience what it was like to be part of a true family, not that she didn't have a sense of family with her own. It was just that in Natalia's family, there was a fullness and it felt wonderful, then when her own family arrived, that's when Calleigh felt complete. This is the feeling that she had been searching for her entire adult life.

They all moved out onto the patio where Andre and Calleigh's brothers took over the grill and Calleigh was in the yard wrestling around with the kids. Alex and Calleigh's mother, Anna sat off to one side, getting to know each other as Cristine, Anya, Eileen, and Natalia set up the tables and brought out items from the kitchen.

Finally when everything was brought out, Cristine, Eileen, and Anya went over to the grill to talk to the men and Natalia sat down on a chair. She smiled as she watched Calleigh and the kids tumbling around the yard, doing flips and cartwheels. There was a sizzling noise from behind her as Andre turned over one of the steaks and suddenly she got tunnel vision and heard Jethro's voice coming from behind her.

"Ah, you've come back to me. You know I'm never going to leave you."

In her mind, Natalia screamed, "No!", but she couldn't move, she couldn't speak, her nails dug into the arm of the chair, trying to claw her way free.

"You thought that I would just go away. That you could talk to a shrink and I would just disappear." Natalia would swear that she felt his breath upon her neck and silent tears began to fall.

"Well, I will always be with you. I am a part of you forever."

Playing with the kids, Calleigh caught sight of Natalia in the chair and sent Lee over to get Natalia to join them. Turning back to the remaining children, she missed seeing him run up to her wife and then run full speed towards his father.

"Daddy, daddy. Tante Natalia is crying."

Court looked over at Natalia and yelled. "Calleigh!", before rushing over to the chair. The rest of the family quickly followed.

At the sound of Court's voice, Calleigh's head whipped around and she saw everyone gathering around Natalia and she was on her feet instantly and running towards them.

Natalia knew that she was surrounded by people that loved her, but she couldn't see them, she couldn't hear them. The only thing that she was aware of was Jethro standing behind her with the branding iron, ready to sear her name onto another person's body.

Reaching the crowd, Calleigh shouldered her way through to see tears falling down Natalia's face and staring straight ahead.

"Court…Chance… please get everyone inside. I'll take care of her."

Reassuring Natalia's family that their sister would take care of everything, the brothers got the kids and adults inside of the house, leaving Calleigh kneeling in front of her love.

Reaching out to touch Natalia's hand, Calleigh was shock as to how cold it was. Placing her hands on top of Natalia's, Calleigh rose up so that she could look into her eyes and got scared when she saw how empty they were.

"Talia, sweetheart. Look at me."

"No!" Natalia's mind screamed again. Calleigh couldn't be here. Jethro would love to get his brands on her pure skin.

"Ah, Ms. Duquesne… or should I call her Ms. DuVista? Either way, she's going to loathe you by the time that I finish with her."

Gently Calleigh caressed her wife's face, trying to get a spark of anything behind those eyes. "Come on baby, look at me. Let me see that you're really looking at me."

Natalia tightened her jaw and concentrated. Jethro wasn't here, he was dead. He was not standing behind her with a searing red branding iron with smoky tendrils drifting up. He was not able to get hold of her wife to carry out all of his threats.

Calleigh saw the tensing of the jaw and took that as a good sign. "That's right darlin. Come back to me. Don't you forget that you're Natalia DuVista and no one or anything is gonna stop us."

"I may not be here in the flesh, but I am here in your mind and I can do more damage here that I could ever do when I was in human form. In here, you're letting me do anything I want." Jethro's voice taunted.

In her mind, Natalia slowly raised her arms from the chair and leaned forward to find that nothing was holding her down so she rose from the chair and turned to face her demon, but all she saw was a reflection of herself. Frowning, she walked forward and her image did also until they each reached out and touched hands.

"What are you?"

"I am your doubts, your fears. I am the remaining emotions from Nick and Jethro. I am here to help you face them."

Natalia looked at herself puzzled. "Why here? Why right now?"

"Because you are now surrounded by your loved ones, by the people who would do anything for you and you don't have to go through this alone ever again. You have Calleigh now, she is yours as you are hers, but you still need to face your fears and doubts."

Pointing behind her, Natalia's twin showed her Calleigh like she was watching a movie on a huge screen and she heard her wife say. "Come on darlin'. I'm right here waiting on you. I'm not going anywhere."

The twin let her watch for a moment before changing the scene, this time it was of Natalia sitting alone in a room, staring blankly out a window.

"If you don't take control right now, this will be you very soon. If you listen to the voices and the nightmares and not to the one that is in your heart, you will lose everything that is important. So what do you want Natalia?"

Standing up straight, Natalia said without hesitation said. "I want a life with Calleigh."

"Then take it. Make a life with the one who is there with you. Leave the doubts and the fears, the tiny voices that say that you're not worth it here. Lock them away forever." She handed Natalia a key and pointed to a door with a small window.

Going over, Natalia looked through the window and saw all of the painful images of her life with Nick and with what happened with Jethro along with dark wisps of doubts and fears. Putting the key in the lock, she turned it with conviction, then took it out and broke it into.

Her twin drifted away while Calleigh's voice echoed in her ears. "That's it darlin'. Come back to me."

With a gasp, Natalia leaned forward and almost fell out of the chair, but Calleigh caught her. "I've got you, you're back"

Looking up, Natalia saw the worry on Calleigh's face and reached up to smooth it away. "I'm sorry love. I heard something that took me back to Jethro and it was like the other night with you, I just heard something and it set me off. I couldn't help myself." Standing, she turned to look at the chair, but it didn't look anything like the chair that Jethro had used.

She gasped as Calleigh stepped in front of her and sat in the chair. "This is just a chair. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not Jethro, nor is it Nick. And it's not Jake or John Hagen. They are our past. We both have to get over what was done to us. I know that there are going to be sounds or situations that are going to remind us, but together, we can get through it."

Taking Natalia's hand in hers, Calleigh stood up and stepped close. "As long as we go through things together, that one is always there for the other, we can and will get through anything." Looking deep into her wife eyes, Calleigh tried to articulate what she wanted to say. "We are the same, but yet different. We want the same things, but we go about it differently. I'm the scientist, I see it as a whole, but you see things as each part and that's what makes us good. That's what make us work the way that we do. I love you and that's all I have to say."

Reaching up to gently caress her lips against Natalia's, Calleigh breathed. "Now we get to tell your family everything that we've gone through and hope that they don't hate us for not letting them go through it with us."

Looking at the worried faces that were peering at them through the sliding glass door, Natalia took a deep breath. "Let's get them out here and just tell them everything."

Waving them out, Lee was the first one to run up to Natalia. "I'm sorry that you were crying Tanta Talia. Did you fall down and hurt yourself?"

Reaching down to pick up the little boy, Natalia placed a gentle kiss on his cheek as she looked around at the worried faces of her extended family. "No, I didn't fall down. I just remembered something that was very bad and it made me scared."

For the next half hour or so while Chance and Court finished grilling the food, both Natalia and Calleigh filled everyone in on what had happened over the past few months. Cristine and Anya were very upset that Calleigh hadn't called them when Natalia was in the hospital, but when Natalia told them that it was her call, they eased up a little.

Alex walked over to his daughter and grasped her hands within his. "You must not keep things like this from your family ever again. We can handle anything together, but we can't handle what you don't share." Looking over to Calleigh, his face was stern. "You call us and tell us from now on, yes?"

"Yes, Alex. We will, I promise."

Nodding his head, Alex considered the subject closed as he kissed his daughter on the cheek, then he rubbed his hands together. "Ok, enough of this. We have a joyous occasion to be celebrating, so let us eat."

The rest of the evening was spent joking and laughing over stories about both women and by the time that it was over, everyone were pleasantly worn out from laughing. After cleaning up, everyone started to go their own way.

Eva ran up to Natalia and grabbed her hand. "Tia, we are going to ride ponies tomorrow morning. Will you come and watch?"

Kneeling down so that she was eye to eye with her niece, Natalia grinned. "Really! This is your first time right?" The little girl nodded her head. "Well, we wouldn't want to miss that."

Standing, she looked over to Cristine. "What time will you be there?"

"Well, we've invited everyone so we were thinking around nine. That was they could ride a couple of times before we headed over to the park for the picnic."

"Ok, we'll meet you there."

After hugs and kisses all around, Natalia and Calleigh got into their SUV and headed home. The ride was silent, save some chuckles and quiet remarks about the stories. Pulling into their garage, the sliding door came down and they got out, each carrying some leftover food and headed inside. After putting the food away and making sure that Mallory was taken care of, Calleigh joined Natalia in their bedroom where she was slowly taking off her clothes.

Quietly, she said. "It was a good day all around, don't you think?"

Sliding out of her slacks, Natalia agreed. "Except for my zoning out, yeah, I think it was."

Turning to her wife, she grabbed her suddenly and pulled her onto the bed, nuzzling her neck. "Thank you again for my bow. I love it."

Reaching up to thread her fingers through caramel colored hair, Calleigh whispered back. "And thank you for my gun. It's it weird that we gave each other something that can be used for target practice on the same day?"

Looking down at her love, she had to agree. "Yeah, it's that brain cell that we share sometimes. It's rather spooky."

They stared at each other for a long while before Natalia broke the silence. "Would you mind us just showering and going to bed. I just want to wrap myself around you and sleep."

"Darlin', that sounds like a perfect ending to our day."

And that's what they did. Getting up off the bed, they disrobed, showered and crawl into bed and were soon fast asleep.

Part 31

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