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Weaving her way through the rows of parked cars and large pools of waters the heavens dropped overnight, Robin Frost prayed Mother Nature would not ruin the outing. For the past six years, the Emerald Foundation held the Amy Reid Swing for Leukemia women's only golf outing to raise money for research. When Amy lost her battle with the disease about ten months ago, the Foundation renamed the fundraiser in her honor. Amy and her partner, Tressa Brady participated in the outing and played a key role in the fund raiser. Usually Robin received a call from Tressa asking her firm sponsor the outing. Instead, Keegan Garry contacted the popular attorney regarding sponsorship. Always happy to contribute, Robin let her former client know she would be participating also. She represented Keegan and her partner, Gwen in an ugly situation a few years back.
Her clubs slung over her shoulder like her grandfather taught her long ago on the fairways of country club where she spent her summers as a caddie. Her demeanor as a teenager was more suitable for the Lacrosse field than the golf course. She didn't appreciate the game of golf until both her knees were been blown out and she found herself having a hard time running like she use to.
“Frost!” Keegan called for her from across the pavilion. Robin's smiled widened as she gazed at the small brunettes expanding belly.
“Again?” Robin teased as she placed her clubs in the rack and went to her friend's side.
“What can I say, I can't keep her off me.” Keegan poked at her partner, Gwen's ribs. “It's second nature. After the first one, it just seemed right to have a couple more.” Robin leaned in for a half hug as the protruding belly obstructed future contact.
“Congratulations. Gwen, good to see you.” Robin shook hands with the former Olympian.
“Thank you for the donation and the sponsorship. The foundation is always grateful. I think this should be our best year ever. I just wish Amy..” Gwen stopped as her spouse placed a comforting hand on her arm.
“We all do. Is….is Tressa coming?” Robin searched the participants for the small strawberry blonde. Keegan had called and asked if possible could Tressa golf with Robin's group.
“Still not certain.” Keegan looked at the tall raven haired woman with the piercing blue eyes.
“I'm on my own. Since last year's disaster, I really didn't want to bring a date.” Both women broke into laughter. “Like I said….I'm on my own. The Kathy's are in my group though.”
“I'm sure they will be happy for you to be dateless…..What was her name any ways?”
“Cindy.” The name came from the approaching tandem of the Kathy's. Otherwise know as Kathy Garrett and Kathy Whitman. “Please tell me we don't have to put up with another of your dates.” Garrett quipped.
“I'm not dating anyone.” The remark had all eyebrows raised. It was a rare occasion which there was no social engagements in Robin's life. “I'm not looking for anyone either.”
“Wow are you sick?” Whitman questioned. A mimicking Robin turned and wandered through the crowd greeting friends and associates. “Remind me why I work for her?”
“Because she's the best.”
Small hands gripped the steering wheel so tight that the knuckles were white. A banner displaying the Amy Reid golf outing hung on the split rail fence next to the clubhouse. For the hundredth time, Tressa Brady questioned her decision to come to the event. Last years event was one of the last things Amy wanted to do. Two months later, Amy contracted phenomena and was unable to fight it off. Easing the feeling back into her fingers, Tressa glanced towards the pavilion. She caught her breath as Robin Frost waved dismissively at the group behind and flashed a bright smile at the group at the table. The thing about Robin Frost was that she had brilliant smile and a quick bite as her adversaries found out in the court room. Tressa opened her door and popped the trunk of her silver BMW 550i. She looked at the looming gray clouds that billowed overhead. She lifted her golf clubs out of the trunk and turned to find Gwen Learner at her side.
“Let me get 'em.” Gwen offered as she took the sleek black bag from Tressa's shoulder. “I'll assume that you are going to golf in the scramble since you have your clubs.”
“Depends…Keegan was arranging for me to golf with a group.” Gwen chuckled. Tressa raised an eyebrow.
“The attorneys…the Kathy's and Frosty.” Gwen fought hard to suppress the smile on her face. “You're Frosty's date…I mean partner. The group will be disappointed that there will not be a repeat of last year.”
“She didn't bring a date?”
“Nope, she's solo.”
“My how the winds have changed.” Tressa caught pace with the tall blonde next to her as the headed to the clubhouse. Over the past three years, she and Gwen had developed a friendship. There were not many people who understood what it was like to have a partner who was battling for their life. Gwen had gone through the same situation years earlier with Keegan. When she needed to vent or just not feel alone, she'd reach out to Gwen.
As they neared the pavilion, she placed a shaky hand on Gwen's arm. Gwen stopped and waited for her to voice her fear.
“There are going to be a lot of questions. Especially since I've started dating.” Tressa looked at the wet pavement under her feet.
“You're getting on with your life. There is nothing wrong with that. If someone gets too close or too personnel let me or Keegan know. Or better yet let Robin know, she haul their asses in court just on principle.” Gwen leaned over and kissed Tressa on the forehead. A weak smile formed on Tressa's face, she hoped Gwen was right.
“Hey you!” Keegan squeaked as Tressa rounded the corner. Gwen greeted her partner with a kiss. “Not you…but I liked that.” Keegan eyed her partner of six years than returned her attention to Tressa. “I'm glad you could make it. I put you with Robin's group.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that.” Tressa stepped back and took in the expecting mother. “You look great. When is this one due?”
“Congratulations…..I am happy for you. Both of you.”
A murmur was running through the crowd as Robin returned from visiting the club house. With a steaming cup of coffee in one hand, a powdered doughnut in the other. “I heard she's going out with one of the Marshall twins.” A woman remarked as Robin followed her gaze to the small blonde standing between Keegan and Gwen.
“I heard she's sleeping with everyone. Surprised Frost hasn't tried to tap that yet.”
“You ladies…and I use that term loosely need to show some respect and remember it's her spouse who is being honor here today. Any questions?” Robin looked each person in the eye before she continued to the head table.
“Problems?” Keegan asked as she reached for the doughnut in Robin's hand. A simple shake of Robin's head didn't justify the smoldering look on her face.
“Hey you.” Robin greeted Tressa. “I heard that you are in search of a group to golf with? It just so happens I am looking for a fourth.”
“I'm not certain, if I can live up to last years fourth.” The crimson started to creep from beneath the collar of Robin's polo shirt and flooded her cheeks in record time. “My my Robin you are blushing.”
“It's cute.” Keegan smirked as the attorney began to shift her weight from one leg to the other. “That's even cuter.” Robin immediately gained her composure and flashed her best smile at the women.
“I'll take that as a compliment. Where are your clubs? We're golfing with the Kathy's. Let's just have fun this year.”
“Last year was pretty hilarious.” Gwen chuckled as she wrapped an arm around Keegan waist. “Watching you wade into the lake and carry that poor girl out was just too much.” Tressa politely cover her mouth to hide her laughter. Gwen held out her arms and began to pretend to trough through the mucky water. “How exactly did she end up with the golf cart in the lake?” The pavilion erupted in laughter as Robin became the focal point of outing. Robin punched Gwen's arm as she walked by taking Tressa's clubs to the cart. She heard the muffled grunt and felt satisfaction as she walked with her head held high.
“Tressa looks good.” Whitman commented as she walked over to Robin's side. “When was the last time you saw her, the coffee shop?” Robin nodded as she secured the black bag to the back of the cart. Her thoughts shifted to the cold winter day when she found Tressa sitting in the coffee shop. Robin ran into the local shop for a quick cappuccino. At first she didn't recognize Tressa. Looking aimlessly out the winter at the snow falling lightly, Tressa was obliviously to her surroundings. Robin stepped up to the counter and placed her order. With two cups in her hand, she walked over to Tressa's table and set one down. Unshed tears brimmed at the edges of large doe like brown eyes shifted from the window to meet Robin's azure gaze.
“Tea. Chia tea.” Robin pushed the cup closer to Tressa. “It's a bit cold outside. I thought it might warm you up.”
“I don't know what to do.” Tressa had dark circles under her eyes, was thinner and looked unhealthy in appearance with sunken in checks and a ghostly color. Robin felt the pain of the woman in front of her and her heart went out to her. She had heard that Tressa was trying to put her life back together. Her present state left Robin doubting that she was adapting well.
“She'd want you to be happy.” Robin tried to ease the woman's pain. Tressa turned away and looked out the window.
“Yes, she would.” She said softly. She turned back to Robin, her eyes a bit clearer and small spark in the corner. Robin smiled and nodded as she left the shop. She hoped Tressa would find her way.
“She looks good. More like herself than the last time I saw her. Kee says she is dating.”
“Really. Good for her.” Whitman looked sideways at her boss. She knew Robin well enough to know the subject made her uncomfortable. “Are you going to ask her out?”
“No.” The quick response raised hackles on the attorney's neck. “Tressa is a friend. For Christ sake, Amy was a really good friend of mine.” Robin rubbed the back of her neck. She was attracted the small blonde and was trying her best to keep her libido in check. “I'm not dating anyone.”
“Maybe you can take some of them off my plate. If I get asked out one more time this morning, I think I am going to puke.” Tressa said as she walked with Kathy Garrett towards the carts.
“They are coming out of the wood work.” Garrett remarked. “Like bees to honey.” Kathy brushed past them and to her cart.
“Please the last thing I need is anyone setting me up.” Robin waved her hand in the air as to dismiss the idea. “Ms. Brady, I'd be honored to golf with you this lovely morning.”
“Your attorney is showing.” Tressa teased as she sat in the driver's seat. “And I'm driving especially after last summer.” The group broke out into laughter.
The team settled into the carts and waited for instructions from the Course Manager. Just as they were about to be let loose, a bullhorn was brought out and all participants were asked to gather under the large white tent near the pavilion. Dressed in a dark blue rain slicker, the Course Manager pushed back his ball cap. “Good morning ladies. I want to thank you all for showing up on this beautiful day. Let's hope the rain holds off. Please keep the carts on the paths. And please do not…..” His eyes searched for the tall dark haired attorney he had seen a number of times on the television. “Use the carts as a boat.” A number of snickers erupted from the group.
Tressa tried to blend into the group by hiding behind Robin and in front of Whitman. At the course manager's comment, she slipped next to Robin's side and reached for her hand giving it a gentle squeeze. The anxiety that had surfaced in her chest quickly subsided as the small finger interlaced hers. The meeting covered additional rules and than Keegan took over the bullhorn.
“First off for those of you with comments regarding me needing a bullhorn, keep it to yourself. On behalf of the Emerald Foundation, I would like to thank you for your donations and time. Majority of you know that last September, we lost Amy Reid after a three year battle with Leukemia.” Robin felt Tressa stiffen at Keegan's words. She pulled her hand free of Tressa's and wrapped a comforting arm around her waist.
“She'd be proud of you.” Robin leaned over and whispered in her ear. Tressa raised her head and looked at Keegan. She felt Robin pull her closer as Keegan continued to speak.
“If I know Amy, she'd want us to golf rain or shine. Please take precautions if lighting strikes or the air horn sounds take cover immediately. We want everyone back safe and sound. And Ladies, have fun!” Keegan handed the bullhorn back to the Course Manager.
“Okay, ladies keep an ear out and stay on the paths.”
The day had been perfect, full of bad jokes, stupid quotes from movies like Caddie Shack and Happy Gilmore. The scramble allowed each member of the group to hit a ball from the tee than continue to use the best hit ball until it was knocked in the hole. With four more holes to go on the eighteen hole scramble, the group teed off. Whitman was the last one to hit from the tee and appeared to have the best shot. A light drizzle began to fall.
“Those clouds are looking ugly.” Robin jumped just as a bolt of lighting flashed in front of them and hit a nearby tree. It was so close that the smell of burn sulfur filled the air. Robin saw the color drain from Tressa's face. “Whit!” Robin yelled and pointed to a shelter. Whitman turned the cart towards the wooden structure. Robin looked behind them and saw a similar building closer. “Tressa behind us.” Robin swiveled in her seat to get a better look at the building. “It's closer.” The small cart provided little protection from the downpour that engulfed them. Tressa held her hand out in front of her trying to shield her face from the piercing rain pellets as she sped the cart to the shelter. Although the rain and wind scared both occupants of the cart, they were laughing like little kids by the time they reached the large wooden shed. Jumping out of the cart, Robin began to shake the rain from her hair and clothing.
“We almost made it.” Tressa said as she slipped from the cart.
“You're kidding right. We've been in that down pour for at least three minutes.”
“You're such a baby. Rain is good for you and the grass.” Tressa pulled a dry towel from her bag and wiped her face. “Besides sometimes a rain delay is good.”
“Baby. Did you just call me a baby?”
“Yes.” Tressa smiled at her and offered the somewhat dry towel. The crooked grin on her face was considered a challenge.
“I…I don't like to get wet.” Robin felt the blood rush to her face as soon as she finished her sentence.
“Really?” Tressa smiled and moved to one of the wooden seats inside the structure. Robin feeling out of sorts because of her last omission stuck her head outside the structure. She saw Whitman and Garrett with four other golfers in the other structure. She lifted a hand to wave to the other group. They waved back and the sound of laughter floated across the course. Looking towards the dark clouds over head, a large drop of water rolled off the roof and into her eye.
“Crap.” Robin pulled back immediately as a sharp pain pierced her eye. She began to rub out the irritation. She closed her eyes and blindly reached for the support of the structure. A loose particle from the roof landed in Robin's eye.
“Let me see.” Tressa was at her side and led her to a bench. Taking her face between her hands she lifted Robin's chin upward. “Open.” Robin knew her body was reacting to Tressa's touch. Her hands were sweating, her heart was racing. When Tressa moved her leg between Robin's thighs she bit down on her lip to stop a groan from escaping. She had always found Tressa attractive, not only in looks but in personality. She was intelligent and humorous. The relationship that Tressa had with Amy was solid. They were a well known and popular couple. Robin never looked at Tressa in any other way besides a friend or as Amy's partner.
“Open.” Tressa repeated as she settled her leg between Robin's. She heard the quick intake of breathe. Robin tried to push her away. “Let me see it.” After a few blinks, a sky blue iris stared up at her. “There it is. Hold still.”
Robin felt every inch of Tressa's body made contact with hers. The swell of her breast against her chest, the firm thigh between her own to the tips of her fingers gently probing her eye. Looking at the heavy concentration in Tressa's brown eyes, Robin knew she was a woman on a mission and gave a slight laugh which eased the tension.
“Got it.” Tressa announced as she raised her pinky finger to show case the small black object. “What?”
“Nice job. Mission accomplished.” Robin gently pushed her away trying not to offend but trying to keep herself from embarrassment.
“I wanted to thank you.” Robin raised her eyes to see a soft brown looking back at her. “That day in the coffee shop.”
“No..no Tressa.” Robin said softly trying not to break the rhythm of the rain hitting the roof.
“Yes, Robin. “ Tressa reached out and touched Robin's cheek. “I was at my end. I couldn't be at the house. I just wanted to disappear. To hide from the world. Each time I went out I felt like a piece of meat. Getting hit on more times than I care to count. That day, you're so nice, so concern. You didn't want anything…no games, no motive. You cared.”
“I haven't changed. I just want to make sure you're doing okay.” Robin heard the quiver in her voice. She had faced judges and murders but this woman in front of her was disrupting her demeanor.
“Amy liked you. One of our last conversations was about you. We were in the hospital and you came on the television.” Tressa went on to tell the story.
“That is one good looking woman.” Amy said as she gestured towards the television. Intravenous tubes and an oxygen mask distorted her voice. Her pale gray eyes sought her partners. Once the red rimmed brown orbs connected with her own she pointed to the television. The television was on as background noise against the persistent beeps and whooshes of the monitors.
“Robin Frost? “ Tressa looked at the screen as the attorney was speaking with a report about the violation of her clients rights. “Yes, she is.” A small upward turn of her mouth did not negate the heaviness in her chest as she watched Amy struggle for air.
“Last summer..” Her voice hitched. “was really funny.”
“I don't think the course manager would agree with you, but it was funny.” The spent the next twenty minutes reliving the misguided direction of Robin's date for the golf outing.
“I like her.” Amy said as she reached over and grabbed Tressa's hand. “Promise me something.” Tressa nodded fighting back the tears that threatened to spill. “When …when you're ready.”
“No…no..” Tressa tried to break free of the grip
“I want you to be happy. When you're ready, I want you to date and to find someone. I don't want you to be alone.”
Tressa straightened in her chair and squared her shoulders she tightened her grip on Amy's hand. “Are you planning on going anywhere?”
Amy smiled and reached out and touched her face. “No love.”
“Good because unless you are breaking up with me, this conversation is over. And no ogling over dark haired attorneys.”
“I won't. I promise.”
“Good. I promise. I will try to be happy.”
“I've been trying my hand at this dating thing. It's hard. There are a lot of crazies out there.”
“I've had my share of stellar dating experiences.” Robin chuckled thinking of her date that drove the golf cart into the lake last year.
“Would you like to go out sometime?” Tressa asked her arms folded across her chest. Her words were rushed and she began to walk away. Robin scrambled to her feet and caught Tressa by the arm. She waited ‘til the blonde looked at her.
“Are you sure?”
“I've never asked anyone out in my life. Being with Amy for six years and being on my own for the last ten months, I am ready.” She moved forward and placed her arms around Robin's shoulders. She leaned upward bringing her lips to Robin's. It was a soft gentle meeting that held much promise. Robin brought her hand to touch Tressa's face.
“I'd love too.”
“Next week Friday?”
“Sure. It's a date. By the way, its stopped raining.”“Yes, it has.”
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