A Simple Love Story

By Rosie O'Brien-Cruz

Romance / Drama

Chapter 15

Erica was fighting sleep in the car. Her mind was foggy and her body was not responding to her directives. Her eyes wanted to close, but her and Callie needed to talk. She knew that. If they didn't she was afraid it would all slip away from her. They had kissed and that had gone a long way toward absolving the fears that had plagued her earlier, but she needed things to be clear to Callie. She loved her, was sure of it, and had been sure of it for awhile. She didn't want to be an experiment. She wanted, needed things to be clear, but her eyes kept wanting to close and the thoughts in her head were not exactly making their way out of her mouth.

"Callie," she managed to get out. "We have to talk."

"I know," said Callie reaching for Erica's hand and grasping it tightly. "You're tired Erica. Give yourself a break, okay. We'll deal with everything tomorrow."

Erica felt the hand holding hers. She laid her head against the seat, her eyes closing involuntarily. Callie was right. She could barely form thoughts let alone words right now, no matter how hard she tried or how bad she wanted to. So she laid her head back and thought about the kiss they had shared, that wonderfully perfect kiss, hoping it would be the first of many.


Callie pulled into Erica's driveway. She saw a blue Honda sitting in Erica's usual spot. That must be Danielle's car. Erica had been quiet for most of the ride, but she wasn't sleeping. She seemed to be fighting her body's desire to shut down. She opened her eyes just as Callie cut the engine. She looked at Callie.

"Home?" she asked.

"Yeah," said Callie smiling. "Come on. We need to put you to bed."

They stepped into the house quietly. It was dark except for a small lamp in the corner of the living room. Callie saw a petite figure with a full head of short blond hair wrapped in blankets on the couch. She stirred on hearing them enter and sat up.

"Drama over?" the figure asked in a sleepy voice.

"Yeah," whispered Callie. "This is a little awkward. I'm Callie Torres, Allie's mom. Thanks for coming out and staying with them."

"Right," said Erica, "I forgot you haven't actually met. Danielle, Callie - Callie, Danielle." Erica took off her jacket tossing it carelessly in a corner along with her bag.

Callie was smiling as she watched her. "She needs to get to bed before she hurts herself," she said to Danielle.

Danielle was yawning.

"Yeah, you two must be exhausted. It was no problem coming out to hang with the kids. I wasn't doing much. Sam had to work. They're great kids. Listen do you mind if I stay the night? It's late and..."

"Of course not," said Callie hurriedly and then backtracked. "Sorry, I guess Erica should really be the one answering that."

Erica looked like she had finally realized that something was required of her. "No, no that's fine. Do you want the bed?"

Callie looked at her. "Erica, go to sleep. I'll make sure Danielle is taken care of."

"I can't. I have to shower."

"God, she's trying to find ways to kill herself. Fine, go shower. I'll check on you in a minute," she said, hoping a minute was all it was. She didn't think Erica could drown herself in a minute, could she?

Erica headed for the stairs. "You could just join me," she said as if they shared showers everyday. Callie's eyes widened at the comment. She laughed nervously before turning back to Danielle who was smiling at her.

"Um...she's been going for awhile. I think she's a little..."

"No worries," said Danielle lying back down on the couch. "I am more than comfortable here. You look tired yourself. Maybe you should join her. I have everything I need."

Callie shook her head. "Great. Well then... Okay, good night Danielle."

"Night, Callie."

Callie took a deep breath and headed for the stairs. So many things had changed in so short a time. She didn't want to be apart from Erica tonight, but the thought of spending the night together in the same bed, which was her plan, freaked her out a little. She knew she didn't have to sleep here even with Danielle downstairs. She could sleep in her own house or even in the extra bed in Allie's room.

She made her way to Erica's bedroom and knocked. No answer. She opened the door slowly and heard the shower still going. No, as freaked out as she was about everything that had happened in the last 10 hours, she couldn't see leaving this house tonight. Besides, nothing was going to happen. Erica was delirious with exhaustion. Callie sat on the bed awkwardly. She wasn't sure how Erica would read her being here or how she would react to Callie's plan to spend the night with her. The shower noises ended, so she stood. She walked to the bathroom door and knocked lightly wanting Erica to know she was in the bedroom.

"Erica? You okay? Do you need anything?"

The door opened. Erica stood there in nothing but a towel, her hair dripping on the bathroom floor. Callie gulped and closed her eyes. Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about what's under that towel. She's exhausted. You're freaked out. She opened her eyes again as she heard Erica's concerned voice.

"Callie?"

Erica walked toward her swaying just a little. Callie woke up and reached for her, applying a steady hand on Erica's waist.

"Erica, we need to get you to bed, seriously."

"I'm fine. Are you okay?" asked Erica. She reached for Callie at the same time Callie reached for her. They were standing in the doorway, Callie's hands on Erica's waist and Erica's on her shoulder.

"I was going to ask for some clothes. I seemed to have forgotten them."

Callie led her to the bed making her sit. "Sure because you always take clothes into your bathroom?" she teased. "Tell me where to look," she said looking Erica in the eyes. Erica pointed. After some careful rummaging, she found a t-shirt and boxers and handed them to her.

Callie looked in the drawer Erica had designated as hers a month ago for a t-shirt. She couldn't remember when her own clothes started making their way over to Erica's. She remembered vaguely Erica mentioning something to her about perhaps being more comfortable in her own t-shirts. She had told Callie that she did not mind sharing her t-shirts with Callie, but that if she would be more comfortable, Erica could give her a drawer so she could keep t-shirts and shorts in case Callie wanted to change into more comfortable clothes for her morning nap.

Addison had been right. They had skipped the romance, which as far as she was concerned was the good part, and had done everything else. She had a god-damned drawer in Erica's house filled with t-shirts and shorts and panties and they had only shared their first kiss an hour ago. Unfortunately she did not find a t-shirt in her drawer.

"Hey, I'm borrowing a t-shirt of yours. I think I've almost run out of clean clothes here."

"Probably," said Erica. "I usually do laundry while you're at work on Friday nights."

Callie smiled at her. "I was wondering how those clean clothes just kept appearing in my drawer week after week. I was thinking of bringing more and more of my clothes here just so they'd get cleaned."

"Very funny, Torres."

"Alright, listen. I'm going to shower. Do you mind if I use your bathroom? I'm afraid if I use the one in the hall it will wake the kids."

"Callie, you don't have to ask."

Callie started walking towards Erica's bathroom. "Put some clothes on before you start to freeze and dry your hair. I'll be out in a minute."


Callie wanted to linger. There was something inherently sensual about showering in Erica's bathroom. She found herself thinking about Erica in very interesting ways in this shower. Erica had just been in this shower naked, in the same space where Callie now stood also naked. It was making her body shiver. She felt it, felt herself opening up to the possibility of being with Erica physically. It was something that was changing from a possibility to a need, a need that was developing quickly. The hot water hitting skin becoming sensitized didn't help her focus. She turned off the water and tried to get her breathing under control. She stepped out of the shower, dried herself quickly and donned the t-shirt she had borrowed from Erica. Thank God she still had shorts here, although that wasn't really a surprise. Her morning naps in Erica's bed were usually done in just a T-shirt or bra, so it made sense that she would run out of t-shirts first.

She walked out of the bathroom to find Erica struggling with her long hair. Callie draped the towel she used in drying her own hair over her shoulder and went to Erica standing in front of her and taking over the toweling. She dried Erica's hair, systematically toweling it off in sections and enjoying every blessed minute of it. Erica rarely let herself be pampered or taken care of like this, but this time she leaned into Callie halfway through the process, simply resting her head on Callie's chest. Finally Callie was done. The towel was wet, so Callie dropped it on the floor along with the one still draped over her shoulder and tried ordering Erica's hair with her hands.

"I'll be right back," she said as she pushed Erica back.

She went to the bathroom found a brush and returned, resuming her position. She brushed Erica's hair, being careful of tangles until she was satisfied that it would not be a total mess when Erica woke up.

"All done," she said tossing the brush on top of the towels.

Apart from the occasional, "You don't have to do this," from Erica, which Callie shushed, neither of them said much. Once she was finished, Callie placed her arms on Erica's shoulders. Somehow she had ended up standing between Erica's legs, Erica's hands at her waist.

"I think you're overdue for a nice long nap," she said.

"I think I deserve something more than a nap, don't you think?" said Erica looking up at her.

Callie smiled. "Yes, so much more."

She licked her lips not being able to resist the pull of Erica's eyes, which were tired and out of focus, but still burning with a desire Erica was no longer masking. Callie leaned in for the inevitable kiss, because it was inevitable, their whole relationship from the start had been leading up to this moment. Erica was pulling her closer and she was going. Their lips continued moving against each other, the feel and taste of Erica was messing with Callie's thought process. She wanted just that, to concentrate on Erica's lips, on her mouth, the texture of it, the taste. She felt warm hands at her waist inside her loose fitting shirt and gasped. Erica stood up and moved their bodies closer.

Callie had a vague notion that they were moving too fast. She tried slowing down their kisses, but the kisses changed without her permission. They were full open-mouth hot kisses involving lips and tongues and moans and it was impossible to even try to move away. Erica's long arms were around her keeping her close. Erica pulled away from Callie's mouth and moved to her neck kissing and sucking with the same intensity she had applied to Callie's mouth.

Free to breathe and talk, Callie was trying to focus on words, but Erica's attentions were overriding her thoughts. She was being turned and felt her legs touch the back of the bed.

"Erica," she finally got out. "We need to slow down a little."

Erica stopped completely. She took a deep breath, loosened her hold on Callie and caressed her face before stepping away.

"I know, sorry about that." She ran her hands through her hair.

Callie reached for her grasping an idle hand. "Don't be. I'm not. It's just that we're exhausted."

Callie climbed into the bed tugging at Erica's hand. Erica was looking confused, but eventually seemed to push past it and followed Callie into the bed. They settled in, both lying on their backs. After a few minutes, Callie reached over Erica and turned off the light before resuming her position on her back.

"Wait a minute," said Erica loudly. "We're not...What are you...Are you spending the night?"

"Um...yes?" said Callie wondering if Erica would ask her to leave.

"In my bed?"

"Yes"

"With me in it?"

Callie propped herself on her hand. "It seems that way. Go to sleep Erica. You're exhausted."

"Okay, but we still need to talk. You'll be here tomorrow, right?"

Callie could hear her voice fading. She rubbed Erica's stomach, felt Erica's hand settle over hers. "I'll be here," said Callie softly.

She lay back down, moving closer to Erica and closing her eyes. She didn't know what tomorrow would bring but for now she didn't want to worry about that uncertainty.


The sun really streamed into Erica's bedroom, was the sleepy thought that met Callie as she woke. She had always known how bright Erica's bedroom was in general, but had rarely been in it just as the sun rose. The change from dark to light was intense in this room. No wonder Erica was always awake so early. Today though, Erica seemed to have no trouble sleeping through the cascade of light that invaded the room. Callie however was blinking and squinting. She lifted her head from Erica's chest and looked for a clock. It was almost seven in the morning. She looked at Erica's relaxed features which nevertheless still showed the strains of the previous day. She smiled thinking about everything that had happened, the bad, the scary, and the absolutely wonderful. The sleeping next to Erica was wonderful. She and Erica just felt right. She thought Erica could sleep for a few more hours, but if she hoped to keep the kids away from her, she would need to get up soon. She kissed Erica lightly, enjoying that immensely, before leaving the bed.

She walked silently to Lucas and then Allie's rooms, making sure they were still sound asleep. She heard movement downstairs and thought Danielle must be up so she headed down the stairs. Callie found her in the kitchen making coffee.

"Hey," said Callie softly.

Danielle turned and smiled. "Hello. I hope you don't mind I was making some coffee for the road. I thought I'd get an early start unless you need me to stay."

"No, but everyone's still asleep. You'll miss saying goodbye."

Callie took a seat at the island.

"I'm sure I'll see you all again soon. Erica okay?" asked Danielle.

"Yeah, she was just exhausted," said Callie smiling.

"I'm glad she waited for you. I know in the past she would stay at the hospital if she was in that condition, but now with Lucas and Allie, I'm sure she would have tried to drive home."

Callie was surprised. It was common for her and Erica to talk about Lucas and Allie like they were a set, but no one else did that. She remembered how off it sounded to her to hear Gretchen ask Erica how Lucas was doing and not mention Allie. She had even been on the verge of saying something snotty to Gretchen about it once before she realized that Gretchen did not really know Erica. How could she possibly know Erica's life now included Callie and Allie? Gretchen wasn't a part of Erica's personal life, no matter how much she liked to pretend she was.

But now Danielle was talking about them like they were a set, like they were family.

"Well I found her outside the hospital looking for her keys, so I'm pretty sure she would have attempted to drive home."

"Glad you found her," said Danielle. "Would you mind if I stole a to-go cup?" she asked Callie.

"Danielle, I'm sure Erica wouldn't mind. She has tons. Just don't take the one with the pink flower on it."

Danielle examined the cup Callie described. She gave Callie a look. "Okay, this doesn't really seem to be Erica's style, but whatever makes her happy."

Callie grimaced a little in embarrassment. "It's actually mine. I lent it to her on our first...um...kind of unofficial date, I guess? She's never given it back, so I think she likes it."

"Ah, well that explains it." said Danielle grabbing a different cup and pouring her coffee.

She offered Callie a cup who accepted eagerly.

"This is such a beautiful house. You gals really have a nice home here," said Danielle as she stirred in cream and sugar.

"You do realize that this is Erica's house, right? Mine is across the street."

Danielle laughed. "Really? Allie must have a lot of stuff then. Her room here is packed with books and clothes and toys. How much stuff does she have across the street?"

"There's a fair amount of stuff, but..." Callie blushed thinking about the drawer full of her clothes upstairs. "I guess she and I have some things here."

"I'm just teasing you Callie. Yes, I know that technically this is Erica's house, but I don't know, being here yesterday with the kids, it felt like it was more like your home, you know the collective you, the four of you, then just Erica's house."

"I guess so. It um feels like that to me too, which is funny because I've been living in my house longer than Erica's been here. I mean I have almost 5 years in that house. It's just complicated I guess."

"It always is, but it makes sense that it would be this house that starts to feel like a home."

"How do you figure?" asked Callie.

"Because it's new to all of you. Your house is your house. You've had five years to make it your house. This house was new. There were all sorts of possibilities for this house because it was new to all of you. You're making this your home together."

"I had never thought of it like that." Callie took a sip from her coffee. "Thank you by the way."

"For what? Taking care of the kids? That's a given. I wish we weren't so far away so we could help out more, but you can tell Erica that I'm trying to convince Sam that we should move closer."

Callie shook her head. "No, I mean yes, for being here with them. Lucas doesn't really like the hospital, so we hate to have to bring them there, but no I meant thanks for seeing them like...well like we see them. Not a lot of people do. They're not related and a lot of times people feel the need to remind them of that. I think it upsets them sometimes. I think they like thinking of themselves as siblings."

"They are siblings no matter what idiotic people say. They've bonded like siblings. People will also see them like they see each other with time. Just keep doing what you're doing, because right now you and Erica are their world. No one else matters. As long as you see them as siblings, they'll be fine.The world can catch up later. I see it all the time with adoptions. The bond formed by siblings is strong even without a biological component."

Callie was listening intently. "Danielle, what do you do exactly?"

Danielle laughed. "I'm a lawyer, specializing in family law, specifically lesbian and gay adoptions and custody cases."

"Ah"

"I handled Lucas's adoption and if you let anyone else handle Allie and Lucas when you're all ready to adopt each other I'll be pissed."

"Whoa, you're getting ahead of yourself. Erica and I are barely, you know, a couple."

"I have a sense about these things. Okay Callie, I think it's time I hit the road. Say goodbye to everyone for me," said Danielle as she hugged Callie hard.

Callie was surprised by the hug, but she accepted it gladly. She saw her out, remembering Erica's car at the last minute.

"God I hate to ask you this, but can you let me throw some clothes on and drop me off at the hospital so I can pick up Erica's car? It'll save us a trip later."

"No problem."

She threw a pair of scrub pants on and one of Erica's sweatshirts and ran out the door hoping she would make it back before the kids disturbed Erica.

As it turned out she made the trip in record time and felt she had enough time to run across the street and pick up ingredients for a special breakfast. Yeah, this was a special day for all of them and special days started with a special breakfast.


Erica was struggling through a thick fog that felt inexplicably heavy. It was weighing down her shoulders and making movement slow. Her legs felt the heaviness like extra strong gravity pulling her down. She wanted to shake it off, just push everything to the side and move into the light, away from the heavy fog. Finally the light penetrated her waking consciousness and she felt her body becoming lighter. She was shaking her head, shielding her eyes from the harsh light that was piercing her vision. She tried to get a sense of her surroundings and slowly recognized her bedroom. Well that was good. She noted the blankets at her feet, halfway to the floor. She sat up trying to order her hair and recall how she had gotten home. She saw towels and a hairbrush on the floor beside the bed and had no idea how they had gotten there.

She looked at her bed and frowned. That was weird. It looked like someone had slept next to her, but that was impossible. She must have moved a lot in the night. She got up and dressed. It was late. Who was with the kids? Right, Danielle must still be here, because there was no way they would have not woken her up by now. She tried dealing with her hair while trying to recall last night. Cement boy. She remembered Cement boy and panicked. She went in search of her pager. She found it in her discarded pants on the floor and checked it. Thankfully it had not gone off. That was a surgeon's worst nightmare – to sleep through a page. It had yet to happen to her.

God yesterday had been a long day. Deciding she looked presentable enough for small children, she reached for the door and walked out into the quiet hallway. No sound was coming from either bedroom. She smelled the faint aroma of coffee brewing. It almost smelled like the kind Callie made special. The smell of the coffee woke her appetite and so she took the steps two at a time. She reached the bottom step and almost tumbled as her brain performed a data dump and she remembered everything. She remembered her conversation with Callie before Cement boy, the parking lot, her bedroom. Fuck!

"Mom!" Lucas had noticed her and come running. "You're awake!"

She picked him up. "Hey Lucas! What are you guys doing out in the kitchen?"

"Aunt Cal's making special cinnamon pancakes. We're helping."

She felt tugging at her shirt and looked down.

"Hello princess," she stooped to pick up Allie as well. They were pretty heavy, but she thought she could at least make it to the kitchen with the both of them.

According to Lucas, it was Callie's coffee that she smelled. She should have known. Callie. She wondered what kind of reaction she would get from Callie this morning. She thought Callie had been a willing participant in last night's activities, but she hadn't been all there last night and she wondered if she had pushed Callie more than she would have under normal circumstances. She walked into the kitchen. The kids were rambling, but it was one those conversations they had in which she didn't really have to say much. She set them down and Lucas immediately bolted for the chair Callie must have set for him at the island.

"Look Mom, I'm stirring. Aunt Cal says it's the most important part."

Erica looked at Callie carefully trying to read her face, trying to figure out if she had done something utterly stupid last night.

"Hey you, I thought you would sleep for a week," said Callie returning Erica's gaze with a wide smile. "I was just about to put these on the grill, but you have perfect timing. I need someone to stir this mixture and I'm out of stirrers. Al? Are you done mixing the filling?"

Allie was standing next to Erica clutching her hand. Apparently for once Erica had been the one gone long enough to warrant some extra time with Allie. Allie usually did this with Callie. At Callie's prodding, Allie went into motion pulling Erica with her. Erica helped her onto her chair which had been placed across from Lucas and spared another glance at Callie who was still smiling. Callie walked over with a bowl of what looked like lots and lots of sugar, milk and some brown liquid. She placed the bowl in front of Erica and stood behind her, hands on Erica's waist as if positioning her. Erica allowed herself to be moved slightly.

"You get to stir this," she said in a very soft and sexy voice that Erica swore she must be imagining. "I need it nice and creamy when you're done, like icing."

Erica's head was swimming like a kid thrown into the deep end of the pool for the first time. She was frantically trying to recall a conversation. Callie and she must have talked last night. Otherwise the parking lot, the bedroom, especially the bedroom would not, could not have happened.

"Erica"

Had her name always sounded that sexy when Callie said it?

Callie's hand was on hers turning it palm up and flattening it. The touch was slow and sensual and Erica could feel Callie behind her, felt the hand at her waist pulling their bodies closer.

"Here's a spoon," Callie said as the warmth of Callie's hand was replaced with the rough texture of a wooden spoon.

"Come on Hahn, put those hands of yours to good use before the stuff congeals."

Callie stepped away and walked over to check out the contents of Allie and Lucas's bowls. "Okay guys, you can go see what's on TV while I cook these pancakes you made. Go."

"Really?" asked Lucas as he jumped from his chair and raced for the living room not waiting for an answer.

Erica watched them go, a frown on her face. Callie hated Saturday morning television. She hated when Erica let them watch it claiming there weren't any good programs on.

"What's the occasion?' she asked. "Special complicated pancakes, Saturday morning cartoons. What gives Torres?"

Callie walked up to her hooking her fingers in Erica's pants and pulling her away from her task and the doorway.

"The cinnamon pancakes are because this is a special day. The cartoons are to get them out of the room."

She reached for Erica and kissed her. It took Erica by surprise, but she had pretty good reaction times, so she went with it and kissed Callie back. Her memory had not done last night's events justice because this was the most wonderful feeling she had ever experienced. She felt Callie pulling away and wasn't ready. She brought her hands to Callie's face wanting to keep her there for an eternity. Realizing she might be coming on strong, she relaxed her hold. It was hard not to come on strong. She had been thinking about kissing Callie for a long time.

Callie pulled back slightly and smiled before whispering, "God, I get so lost in you," before going in for a second kiss. This one was impossibly sweeter, but way too short.

"Likewise," said Erica after Callie pulled away. Erica went in for a third kiss, but felt Callie's hands on her chest – and not in a good way.

"Whoa there honey, the kids could walk in any minute."

Erica stepped back perplexed by the comment. "That's a problem?"

Callie gave her a friendly squeeze before turning back to the pancakes and what Erica considered the hard part of pancake making – actually making them. She returned to her own task and wondered if Callie was going to answer her question. She had gone from bliss to kind of upset in a heartbeat. She started stirring faster needing to let out some of her nervous energy. Finally Callie spoke.

"Well yeah. Don't you think so too? They wouldn't understand it if they saw us. It might upset them."

"Why would it upset them? We're not doing anything wrong."

"I know that, but they won't understand. They'll start asking questions I don't think either of us are ready to answer."

Erica continued stirring away. She had never lied about who she was, not to her family, not to Lucas, not to anyone.

"Kids understand more than people think they do. If you present something to them as normal, they'll see it that way. It's only when you start hiding things or treating it as if it's not normal that they think it's weird." She stopped stirring. "If I was guy would we be having this conversation?"

Erica wanted to stop herself, knowing this was not the time to have this conversation. They hadn't even talked yet about what was happening and they were already fighting? Somehow that didn't seem right, but this was important.

"Lucas has seen Danielle and Sam being affectionate. He's never asked questions I wasn't prepared to answer."

Callie was pouring pancake batter on the grill. "Okay, but that's a little different. It's not his Mom and he's always known them as a couple, right?"

"Yes," answered Erica still standing with her arms crossed.

"But with us, well you are his mother and neither of the kids has known us like that. It's not a part of how they've seen us interact. You don't think that's going to take some explaining?"

Erica was watching her. Callie turned as she asked the last question still smiling that smile that seemed to make everything okay. Erica could not help but return the smile.

"Okay, I guess I can see that. So no kissing in front of the kids. Anything else I shouldn't be doing?"

Callie laughed. "Erica it's not a big deal. I just don't want to involve them in something that's still so, I don't know, new? I mean we haven't even talked yet."

Erica winced. Callie was right.

"I know. You're right. Sorry. I tend to get ahead of myself when it comes to you."

Callie smiled.

"By the way, Danielle left early this morning, but she was nice enough to drop me off at the hospital, so I could pick up your car. Very interesting woman that Danielle. You never told me she handled Lucas's adoption."

"She handled Lucas's adoption," Erica deadpanned looking at the contents of her bowl which had indeed turned nice and creamy after the vigorous stirring.

"Oh you're funny, Hahn."

"Jesus how early did you get up this morn…." She stopped as she thought about what her bed had looked like this morning. How it appeared that someone had slept on the other side.

"Did we spend the night together?" she asked.

She hated asking, wanted to remember herself. She had no idea what had happened last night. She had the memory of their heated make-out session and wondered how far they had gone.

"Yep, just you and me." Callie looked over at Erica and saw a look of fear cloud her face.

"Callie did we…"

Callie frowned. "Hey what's wrong?"

"I can't or I don't remember…"

Callie laughed. "Nothing happened. We slept. Erica, seriously I know you're like superwoman and all, but both of us were way too exhausted. Plus, I would think when we do, you'll remember it."

Erica blushed. " I would certainly never want to forget that. Plus I'd hate to not be at my best."

"Right," said Callie feeling a flush of heat course through her body that had nothing to do with the stove she was standing next to.

"Anyway, how early were you up? You seemed to get a lot done this morning."

Callie gladly accepted the change in topic. "I didn't need as much sleep as you did although I'll need to get a nap in today if I expect to survive my shift tonight."

Erica set aside her bowl and just sat and watched Callie work her magic, thinking about their conversation. Callie was right. They hadn't talked yet. There was no need to let the kids see something that even they weren't sure about. Except that Erica was sure and she wanted Callie to be sure too, but that wasn't fair. She needed to put her fears to the side.

Don't be stupid Erica. She kissed you. She obviously liked it. Just go with that and enjoy the rest of the day.


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