Disclaimers: See Part 1

New Quarters

By

K-Morgan

kmorgan.5674@yahoo.com

( Feedback is appreciated )


Part 13 -

“Oh my God!” Karen commented, as she was reading a certified mail letter received her hand in her mouth. The document communicated that the family was contesting Aunt Charlotte's will.

“What?”

“Are we ever going to be able to have a peaceful life? Here, read this. I better not talk just yet.” She handed the letter over to Addy who immediately began to read, as Karen paced up and down the room.

“Shit! It's like people can't see us happy!” She looked at Karen, who was ready to combust.

“Who the fuck do they think they are?” The ‘fucks' usually got a lot of emphasis the rare times they came from Karen's mouth. Addy knew better than to say anything now. She just stood still, watched and listened. She new exactly how the routine would play out. Karen had to get the anger out of her system.

“These people have no self respect! I am ashamed that they are in any way connected to me by blood! Ooooooh! But little do they know that the blood that runs through my veins is of a different kind than theirs! They are the sssscum of the earth and they will pay for their audacity! I will have them begging on the streets of Edinburgh from all the attorney fees they are going to have to pay for this! This sssshit they are trying to pull now! They have no idea what they've gotten themselves into! Bastards! That's just what they are, a bunch of bloody bastards! And then they pretend to be so nice, ha! I will show them, I will teach them not to mess with me ever again! I will have them pulverized, shredded, hung by their feet, and put to shame!” Karen was pacing back and forth, raising her hands in the air. She looked beyond mad, she was furious.

“Ker?”

“Don't you worry about anything, Addy. I'm going to personally take care of this one! It will be my biggest pleasure ever! To finally have them crushed!” She gestured hitting her left fist against the palm of her other hand.

Addy was always amused when Karen ranted like this, but this time, she was really concerned. This was ugly and would surely turn out to be nasty. “Wow….I don't even know what to say! This is major. This is a family matter. They are coming at you for your inheritance, your property.”

“Ours, baby, our property!!! I'm going to call Phillip tonight. He'll take care of it.”

“How? It looks to me like these people won't stop easily. We are going to have to go to court on this one.”

“Oh no! Not necessarily with the ammunition I'm going to give Phillip we won't need to! He will shred them to pieces in two minutes! With a single piece of paper, you'll see!” She raised her had holding one finger up in a threatening way.

Addy was surprised to see Karen so assured of the outcome of the matter.

**

They gave Phillip a call.

Phillip diligently called back two days later.

“Karen, Addy, how are you guys?”

“We are fine, Phillip. What did you find out?”

“Well they are saying that Charlotte MgGuill Gibson was not well and she bequeathed the property while suffering from mental illness. They claim she had been seeing a doctor for years, and that she was not well. Were you aware of any of this?”

“No, have you contacted this doctor?”

“No, I was going to ask you about it first. The doctor's name is Gertrude Kirkland. She is not a psychiatrist, though. She is an internist. Kind of odd, huh?”

Karen and Addy looked at each other. “Do you have an address for her?” Addy asked.

He gave them the address.

Karen spoke next. Phillip, when you researched about the town of Altee and its relationship with this property, did you get a chance to look at the ancestry records for the property and the rules of lineage and ownership of property?”

“No, it was not necessary, why?”

“I think if you look further in there you will find all the necessary information you need to put an end to my relatives' nonsense with just the right piece of paper.”

“Karen, are we talking lineage rights?”

“Yes, of the oldest kind.”

“I see. This, I take it, has never been brought up to the light of day, since you appear to not go by any ….”

“You are right in your assumption.”

Addy looked at Karen, knowing again that there was something she was missing.

“My dear Karen, it will be my pleasure to conduct such research. You do know that is my cup of tea.”

“Well, then. It looks like you are going to have a very fine one, my friend. Enjoy!”

When the conversation with Phillip was over, Addy wanted information.

“What's going on? What is all these about?”

“Come on, my Addypooh, let's go to our bedroom and talk. I have a story to tell you.”

Addy was intrigued.

Karen sat on the love seat in the bedroom and pulled Addy next her. “Do you remember the brouhaha with the townspeople and how I told you that the town was on the property of this estate?”

“Yes.”

“Please don't make a big deal of this, please!

“What? Karen you are scaring me!”

“It's not scary. It's just that it's not me. Anyways, this property was a land grant, I told you that much, and also that the property is designated to go to the eldest daughter always, right?”

“Right, I never understood why?”

“Way, Way back….the King of England had a thing for one of my ancestors, and as a token of his love, he granted these lands to her and declared that the property was to pass on, to the eldest daughter. That is me now.”

Addy cut her short. “Wow! It must have been quite a thing, to give her a grant of land, but Ker, you had already told me all of these, I don't know why you are making such a big deal of it now.” Addy got up and left.

Karen said nothing feeling somewhat satisfied and at the same time unbelieving that Addy had walked out just like that. She couldn't believe that Addy had not pressured her for more information. Karen felt relieved that she didn't have to reveal her family history just yet. A time would come when she would have to, but she hated the subject and would postpone it as much as she could. She would tell her one day, when things were calmer. Fortunately it was unnecessary to tell all now. For now, there was no need to address the issue further. Karen heads to the kitchen and for the bucket of chocolate ice cream.

Addy followed Karen downstairs and once in front of the refrigerator, she rubbed Karen's arm. Karen smiled, but said nothing. Addy just looked at her but said nothing as well. Karen's eyes were beaming full of mischief wondering what was going on. Addy just kissed her on her forehead and walked away. Karen was left wondering.

She brought the two bowls of ice cream over to the sofa and handed one to Addy. She sat leaning her head against the sofa and once again looked at Addy. Addy was still looking at her and smiling. They held their mutual gaze for a long time. Finally Addy could not stand it anymore and kissed her. “I know there's more to your story, Ker, but I also know that you don't want to talk about it. I won't make you. You can tell me whenever you want to.” Oh God! How does she know these things? She is adorable and …mine! Karen couldn't hide her feeling of satisfaction and contentment. She pulled her over to her and kissed her. “Trust me on this one, baby, please trust me.”

“I do. Always.”

After they ate the ice cream, they cuddled in the sofa and watched a movie. While watching the movie Karen's mind drifted. She remembered the painful days after her mother's death and how her father withdrew from the world and began to drink. She remembered how the so called relatives barely called on them to check on them and how any encounter with them had a sort of accusatory tone. How she dreaded meeting them. Aunt Charlotte was the only one who cared enough to send for her during the summers and holidays. She remembered how her father died and how they didn't even come to the funeral. After Aunt Charlotte died she really had no one. All the others had never really cared. She had no family. Addy had fallen asleep and squirmed in her arms. Karen smiled. She only had Addy. Addy was her entire family, her life and she was going to fight the biggest battle of her life to keep this place in Aunt Charlotte's name and for Addy.

Karen, unconsciously, tightened her grip on Addy as she kissed the top of her head. Addy woke up with the hug. “I fell asleep. Are you okay, baby? Did I miss much of the movie?”

“It's all right. I think I missed some too. Let's go to bed. Come on.” Karen turned off the TV and they headed upstairs. Addy got under the covers and Karen followed.

Once in bed they embraced as usual. Two minutes later, Karen asked the usual question. “Are you warm already?” “Um huh.” Then Karen proceeded to remove Addy's t-shirt, throwing it on the chair next to the bed. Every night they went through the same moves. Karen loved it. Even if they didn't make love, Karen felt empowered when she removed Addy's t-shirt. Addy knew that Karen loved doing it and she got pleasure letting the other woman take over. It became sort of a nightly ritual. The truth was that Addy could no longer stand the feel of the t-shirt between them. She wanted it off. She loved to feel Karen's skin on her own. She loved to feel Karen's thigh on her leg and the brushing of her curls on her skin. “Are we ever not going to go through this every night?”

“No.”

Karen chuckled. Once the shirt was removed, Karen continued with her ritual. She'd run her hands gently all the way down her back to her buttocks, back and forth. Finally, Addy would fall asleep as Karen gently caressed her thigh with the palm of her hand, or the tip of her fingers. Of course, it was very easy for things to heat up in a matter of seconds, the hand more than often slid to other parts which immediately yielded the desired reaction. Bed time was always a good time.

**

The family had the audacity to show up unannounced on Sunday morning for brunch at the Inn . Karen greeted them politely, but hardly spent any time with them. They approached several times, but every time she was able to evade them.

When they were leaving, they came to say their good byes. “You've done a wonderful job here, Karen, dear. The place sure looks very nice.” This was Aunt Margaret speaking in her snobby nose-in-the-air tone. Then, the very pompous Charles dared to speak. “We'll see you in court.” Addy was standing behind Karen and noticed how Karen stiffened. Addy hurried to hold both her hands from the back. She was almost afraid that she would hit him. Addy also remembered how he came at her during the reading of the will and wanted to be nearby just in case she'd have to smack him if he would dare to put a finger on Karen. He was going to find out that he had better not tick off this Latin woman! She was not going to be afraid to make the front page of the Scotsman!

His face showed disgust when he saw Addy holding Karen's hands. He turned around and didn't say a word. Fortunately for him, because if he had said an insulting word to Addy, Karen would have smacked him for sure!

**

The day of the trial Karen was restless. Addy was worried. “I've never seen you so worked up about going to court. What is it? I thought Phillip had all of this under control.”

“I don't mind going to court to deal with someone else's problem, but I do mind when it has to do with us. Why can't we have a normal life? Why can't people just leave us alone?”

“One, because we are not normal people. We stick out, we are too…..noticeable. We are too fabulous, and we stick out.” Addy smiled. “Two, because we are too happy, and people envy happiness when they don't have it themselves. Remember, you cannot let the world bring you down, Ker. Hang on to that which makes you happy and no one will be able to take it away from you. I'm hanging on to you. No one takes us down, Ker, no one.”

Karen felt empowered by that little speech. She held Addy. “Why can't I say things like that to you? Sometimes, I would like to say things like what you just said, but when I look at you, I can't! It's as if by just looking at you I become petrified! I feel like an idiot, and I feel like sometimes you think I don't feel things!”

Addy chuckled. “Ker, don't you think your eyes speak for you? They do. They tell me everything I need to know.”

“Addy!....I”

Addy smiled. “Yes, baby. I know all I need to know!” She grabbed her arm affectionately.

“Addy?”

“What?”

“Has your heart ever skipped a beat?”

Addy chuckled. She knew Karen was a bit of a hypochondriac. “Honey, almost everyday since I've been with you. Come on, let me drive, maybe I can kill another cow on the way there and we can have it delivered in full to you relatives. That ought to scare the hell out of them! I can just see their faces.”

Karen cracked up laughing. Addy knew that would do it.

All the way to the courthouse, Karen kept pointing out cows along the road for Addy to hit. Addy just smiled and nodded. “Please, oh mighty butcher do it! I'll have it delivered with a red ribbon!”

They drove smiling the whole time. Karen could just picture the relatives' faces.

**

When they entered the court room, both women had to laugh. Aunt Margaret and Elizabeth were wearing the most ridiculous hats they had ever seen and Charles had the most ridiculous bow tie in the world. They were trying to look all pretentious and opulent.

The women went to talk to Phillip and took their seats next to him. The judge entered and the court was called to order. The barrister for the family made his opening statement and called his witnesses. It was so boring. Addy couldn't possibly imagine ever practicing law again. She now remembered how much she dreaded those days. Never again! She thought she would rather start a lawn mowing service.

Karen was trying to stay tuned the proceedings, every now and she would look at Addy understanding her look. Addy held her hand under the table and noticed that it was very cold. Addy was concerned. It was very unlike for Karen to allow a public display of affection. Of course, no one could see under the table, but still this was unusual. A couple of times when Karen looked at her she winked. She immediately felt the effect of her wink on Karen's hand. Karen tightened her grip. Addy felt like hugging her until she'd squeeze all the air out of her lungs.

A recess was called, to allow the other side to prepare their presentation. The women went to the bathroom. Addy could see how nervous Karen was. “Come here.” Addy grabbed her and pulled her into the handicapped stall with her. Once inside she hugged her. Neither spoke. Addy could feel the tension in Karen's trembling body.

She took the woman's face in her hands and spoke in a whisper-like tone, caressing her face. She didn't want to be heard. “Baby what's wrong? I don't want to do this if it's going to make you feel so nervous. What is it, baby. Why are you like this?”

“Addy, it's what Phillip might have to say now. I ran away from it all my life. I never wanted it. I always thought it was pompous and unnecessary. I need you to know about this. I'm only doing it so that we can keep the Inn . It means so much to us, to you. I couldn't bear to see your dream crushed. So, what he is about to do, is for the Inn , for us for you.”

“What Ker? I want to know. I may not agree with it. I need to know what you are about to do, if it's going to affect us.”

“It won't affect us. He is going to claim the land based on that old English law. Addy, my mother had a nobility title. It's passed on, so it's my turn. I need to claim it now to shut these idiots up once and for all and to allow me to have clear title to the land….. to all of the property. The property is not just the cottage or the Inn . It's all the acreage surrounding the town of Altee . It's practically the entire shire.”

Addy opened her eyes. “What? Your mother was nobility?”

This is what Karen was afraid of. The fact that she owned practically the entire shire didn't have an impact on the woman, but the fact that her mother was nobility did. Karen knew her Addy. “Yes. Please don't make a big deal of it!”

One thing about Addy is that she was very focused. So, as this was no time for nonsense, she rapidly came to her senses. “Let's not worry about that now. Let's go back in and see what Phillip does. We'll talk more about this later.” She held Karen's face in her hands again. “God, you are beautiful woman! I love you.” Then she kissed her pressing her against the wall of the stall almost making the wall rattle.

Karen grinned breathless. “Ever made love in a bathroom stall?”

Addy gasped “No. How about you?”

“No, but if you kiss me like that again, Phillip may need to ask for a continuance!”

Addy grinned. “Ker! Come on let's get out of here. We can have a bathroom stall rendezvous later!”

“Promise?”

Addy chuckled as she peeked out to make sure no one was in the bathroom, so that they could come out of the stall unseen.

“Promise.” She grinned as she walked out of the stall followed by Karen who was also grinning.

They were already outside the bathroom when Addy stopped. “Wait! What was your mother's nobility title?”

“Lady.”

Addy gasped! “You are a Lady?” Addy covered her mouth as she started to laugh.

Karen didn't utter a word. Addy had a laughter attack in the court room hall. She was laughing so hard she was bent over and had to hold on to one of the columns. Karen grinned, biting her own lip, as she watched her love bent over laughing. People stopped to check if she was okay.

“Are you done?” Karen asked grinning. This was not really the reaction she had expected. Karen felt very relieved to see that Addy had taken this so lightly.

“Yes, my Lady, for now.” Addy said in a mocking tone. All and all she always had the ability to make Karen laugh. Karen looked much more relaxed now. The woman going back smiling arm in arm with her was not the same worried woman who had just come out of the court room a few minutes ago. She was always amazed at how Addy always made her feel. Addy filled her in so many ways. Karen looked invigorated, ready for anything. Karen was sure that this bit of information would be used by her adorable tormentor in some unthinkable way at a later time, but for now they had to beat the crap off this people, and she was happy to do it. She had the most powerful force in the world right next to her and no one was getting near it, or any of her dreams. Karen stepped to the side and talked to Phillip privately.

The court was called to order and the proceedings began. Phillip got up and spoke.

“The defense calls Dr. Gertrude Kirkland.”

“What?” Addy exclaimed. Karen looked astonished. This was not what she was expecting. She was expecting Phillip to claim the title of the property based on her ancestry.

Phillip knew that Karen would much rather avoid that and followed another avenue, even though he had everything ready for filing should this tactic failed. He was sure it wouldn't. Dr. Kirkland was a very reputable witness.

The barrister from the plaintiffs barely paid any attention, when her name was introduced as a witness for the defense in the discovery part of the proceedings.

“Dr. Kirkland, can you please tell the court your credential as a physician?”

Dr. Kirkland did. She was an established physician with an impeccable record.

“Dr. Kirkland in what capacity did you know Ms. Charlotte MgGill Gibson?”

“She was my life time friend.”

“So yours was a personal relationship, not a professional one?”

“Yes.”

“May I address you as Ms. Gertrude then?

“Of course.”

“Well Ms. Gertrude, were you able to see her during the last years of her life?”

“Yes. The truth is that for the last two years of her life she lived with me.”

There was a big commotion in the court. Addy and Karen couldn't take their eyes from the woman. She was a very elegant lady.

“She was alone and lonely. Her family had turned her away when she fell ill with cancer.”

Karen gasped. She brought her hand to her mouth and her eyes welled with tears. Addy took her hand and caressed her back with her other hand.

“Dr. Kirkland, how would you describe her state of mind?

“She was fine, she was happy. We took the time to do some traveling.”

“Were you with her the day Mr. Kimbell drafted her last will and testament?”

“Yes, I was.”

The trial went on and it became clear to all that Aunt Charlotte knew very well what she was doing. Mr. Kimbell and the witnesses to the will were called to testify also.

A recess was called after all the witnesses had been examined and crossed examined.

Karen and Addy came over to talk to Ms. Gertrude.

“Ms. Gertrude, thanks for coming. I'm Karen, this is my partner Addy.”

Gertrude looked, and smiled at Addy.

“Karen you are just as pretty as you were in the pictures your aunt had shown me. She would be happy to know that you are happy and that you also have such a beautiful partner. She was always afraid that you'd end up alone like she did. She really wasn't alone, Karen. She had me. She always had me. All of her life.”

“How come I never met you?”

“I was her forbidden love, dear, that's why.”

“We must talk.”

“Yes, we will. Let's finish putting these people in their place.” Karen smiled.

Addy spoke. “Ms. Gertrude, I would like to officially welcome you to our very small family.”

All laughed. “Addy, you are too sweet. You must tell me all about you. I know about Karen, but not about you.”

“I would like for you to come and stay with us and we can then chat for long. We need to get to know you. I think Aunt Charlotte would have wanted it that way.”

“I will. I will be delighted.” Gertrude grabbed her by the arm as they were walking to their seats in the courtroom.

Addy winked, looking at Karen with a knowing face.

Karen rolled her eyes. She had just met this woman and already had her eating from the palm of her hand! Unbelievable!

When the trial resumed, Phillip motioned to end the proceedings.

The family's lawyer yelled. “Objection, your honor. Is this a joke?”

“Barristers, approach the bench.” The Judge ordered.

They talked briefly.

“This proceeding will continue in chambers with barristers for both parties present only.”

When they came back into the court room from the Judge's chamber, the court was called to order. The court clerk then called for Ms. Karen MgGuill Larsen to the witness stand.

Karen got up to proceed to the witness stand. Addy held her arm. Karen patted it and continued to walk. After taking her oath, the Judge asked. “Are you the daughter of Lady Catherine MgGuill Larsen?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“Proof has been entered into the record that Ms. Karen MgGuill Larsen is in fact the daughter of Ms. Catherine MgGuill Larsen. Therefore, as requested in its plea, this court adjudicates the land on the shire of Westmore, granted by Royal decree to the MgGuill family to Karen MgGuill Larsen, heir of Lady Catherine MgGuill Larsen.”

The judge looked at the relatives and their barrister. “All the costs of this proceeding fall on the plaintiffs, who knowing the possible outcome of the case filed this lawsuit thereby depleting government funding in a frivolous claim. The plaintiff will also be charged appropriate sanctions. This court will now recess.” Then the ‘bang' from the gavel was heard and that was the end of the ordeal.

Aunt Margaret fainted, while Aunt Elizabeth had a cough spell. People ran to provide assistance. There was a general uproar in the court room. The family was livid.

As it turned out, after Karen spoke to Addy during the recess about her mother's nobility title and Addy took it so well, Karen had authorized Phillip to pull the nobility card and end the trial ipso facto . He was delighted to do it.

Karen breathed a sigh of relief. Addy came, rapidly, towards her. She knew Karen would have trouble getting off the witness stand. Phillip came over also to be with Addy and Karen. Karen was holding Addy's hand so tight her knuckles were white. Addy started to gently massage her back.

“Nice job, Phillip.” Addy said.

“I didn't really have to do much. We had excellent witnesses, and the right paper at hand!” Addy smiled.

“Is she going to be alright?”

“Yes, she will. Don't know about the Lady part yet, but we'll see about that!”

“Thanks, Phillip.” Karen spoke. She made a funny face looking at Addy.

“Come on, honey. Let's go home.”

As they were leaving the court room, they passed by the relatives. Charles stood up in front of Karen and stopped her, grabbing her by the arm.

“You little bitch, who do you think you are showing your ass around here after being gone all your life only to take what's ours! You are a bloody shame, look at you….”

Karen, who was still recovering from the aftermath of the court proceedings, was so shocked she didn't know what to do or what to answer. When Addy saw Charles grab her by the arm, she stepped in between the two.

“Get your filthy hands off her!” Addy thought he was going to hit Karen. He looked angry.

“What are you going to do bitch? Hit me?” Charles replied defiantly. Oh, there was a thought!

Karen's eyes opened in pure terror knowing what was about to happen. She knew it was coming and was paralyzed, unable to lift a finger to prevent it. Oh no!

Addy narrowed her eyes and with the meanest and most determined look Karen had ever seen on her face, she held him by the shoulders, lifted her leg and with her right knee hit him right in his balls. The man shrieked and bent over in pain.

“Exactly! And you are lucky I don't hit you again.” Everyone looked on in astonishment. Surely, the folks in those tranquil latitudes had never seen this type of scene!

“Let it be known, that she…..” Addy pointed to Karen, “is a Lady by title, but I am not! And if you ever lay a hand on her, or even come within ten feet of her, I'm going to refresh your memory on how a plain woman can make a man cry!”

Ms. Gertrude covered her mouth with her hand in an attempt to hold the laughter, but failing to do so, her laughter resonated throughout the court room. Phillip, a man who had trouble barely grinning, went hysterical, almost doubling up like Charles, but from laughter rather than pain. After that happening, Addy became his idol.

Everyone in the court room who saw the exchange were either astonished, or laughing depending on which side of the family they were supporting. Karen's grin was beyond description. She had never felt so much pride in her life about anyone. Addy was a force to be reckoned with and she was her force, her very own private force! Wow! Xena look out!

“Come on, Ker, we have a life to live. Let's get out of here.” She took Karen by the arm and they walked out of the courtroom.

They all gathered outside as they continued to laugh. Then they all said their good byes. Ms. Gertrude promised to call and make arrangements to visit.

Addy got in the driver seat. Karen had not spoken a word, she just could not stop grinning and looking at Addy. She was still in awe at this ferocious creature she loved. The direct hit to Charles balls was spectacular! It was a moment she would never forget as long as she lived.

Addy asked. “You okay? I'm sorry for the scene, baby, I lost it with that man.”

“Addy, you were wonderful. No one has ever defended me like that. I don't know what to say! I….”

“So you are not mad at me? I just couldn't control myself.”

“No! How could I possibly be mad? I'm delighted! I can't believe you kicked his balls?! Oh my God! I can't believe you beat me to it! All my life, I've wanted to hit the bastard!” Karen was laughing out loud.

Addy looked at her laughing too. “Really? You know this is the first time in my life I do such a thing, right? I have never….when he grabbed you I thought, I felt like I could have taken him down with a blow!”

“You did, baby, you did!”

They were both laughing.

Let's go home, I need a drink! Just sit back and relax now. It's all over.”

When they were at home, they had their drink and went upstairs to rest in bed. “You know, I thought you would be mad at me for hitting him, after all he is your family”

Karen looked at her. “Addy, the only family I have is with me on this bed. I have no one else but you.”

Addy kissed her. “Relax, baby. It's been a long bad day. Here let me rub your back.” As always, the back rub turned into a full body massage with all the trimmings.

**

Lo and behold. A couple of weeks after the trial, on a Saturday morning Karen was in the cottage fixing some lunch for herself when she got a call from the front desk. It was JP. “Honey, I think you have trouble. There's a woman here asking for you. She says she's an old friend, and guess who is with her?”

“Who? What's her name?”

“Her name is Susan St. James and the other woman is non other than your favorite, Alana Dickerson.”

“Shit! Double shit! JP, Addy is not here. She went to town. Tell them that I'm in the middle of something.” She looked at her half eaten sandwich, it was true! “I will be there later, hopefully when Addy gets in. JP, as much as you can, please, try to keep them away from us.”

“Okay, hun, I know one you want to kill, but who is the St. James woman? If you ask me she looks like no saint to me!”

“She's the woman I was going to go to the ranch in Vegas with, the one I dumped at the last minute? And then Addy showed up at the ranch?”

“Ouuuug! Oh my God, Karen, you are going to need protection, baby! Do you think she's come for revenge? She has to know from Cruella de Ville that you and Addy are together! Oh Lord, I fear there will be blood!”

“Not mine's or Addy's JP. We are solid.”

“Oh, I know baby, you better find Addy quick and prepare her for the situation. I think those two are up to something. Watch your back, and especially Addy's. I think they are going to try to get to you through Addy. She is your Achilles tendon, you know!”

“Yes, that's what I fear. Thanks, JP, just be on guard. Tell James the situation also. Remember the more the merrier. Let's keep it crowded.”

“Oh, honey, you've just recruited the best and you know it! Those two better not mess around here!”

Okay! All the worms are out of the can! Now what? Never a dull moment for sure!

At that very moment, Addy was entering the cottage. Her hands were full of packages. Karen ran to help her. “Is there more in the car?” Could there be more?

“No, babe, this is all”

“Thank God! Looks like you are resolved to solve the economy's problems single handed!”

Addy gave her the look. “Larsen, three fourth of everything in there is for you, so hush!”

“Okay, but I have to tell you something.”

“What now? Don't tell me that the Church of England wants a piece of the Inn also?”

“Worse. The devil is out to get us! He's sent two envoys.”

“Who? What are you talking about?”

Karen told her what JP said.

“Oh, crap! It's like we always have a fanfare around us!” She came over and put her hands on Karen's shoulder. “Ker, let's just get this out of the way right now. You know I don't like this Alana at all, so you don't have to worry about anything with me. But let me ask you this, and let me make it clear that I would rather hear it from you here and now than from anyone else. The past has passed. All I care about is the present and the future. I know there were other women in your life. This Susan, what exactly happened between you and her?”

“We met at a deposition. They were suing her and we were her attorneys. During the deposition she kept looking at me and invited me to lunch. I was trying to get a life, remember?”

“Um huh? Did you get one?”

Karen grimaced. “No Addy, I was too hurt and couldn't get you off my mind.”

“Why did you go out with her?”

“Why not? She was throwing herself at me with all sorts of insinuations during lunch. I played her game. Sorry, I flirted. She wanted to go to dinner. We did. I was not going to be easy. I didn't really want to get too involved. I was still fighting thoughts of you in my mind. We went out to lunch a couple of times. The second time, I was resolved to try to forget you and I brought up the idea of the ranch retreat. It was my idea. I thought that if I left everything behind….You know what happened after that.”

“You never slept with her?”

“No, Addy. The truth is that after I met you, I went a couple of times to New York and did my thing, but I didn't enjoy it either time. I began to question what I was doing and panicked when I realized what I was becoming. That last time I was in New York , I spent the night on the phone with you. It had been a long time for me, babe. Addy, I did kiss her a couple of times.” Karen had a somber look. “I'm not very proud of all I've done. I am no saint. I've lived. I never found anyone worthwhile until I met you. I never fell in love before.” Karen looked down placed her hand on her forehead. She had a worry look on her face.

“I never slept with that woman, you have to believe me. You have to!”

Addy pursed her lips and came closer to her, and looked at her straight in the eyes. “I do, baby, I do.” Karen held her deep gaze. Addy knew that Karen wouldn't have been able to look at her in the eyes if she was lying. Addy knew her too well. Karen would have crumbled at her stare.

“Well, then, as there are no secrets between us. We stand united and we brace ourselves for their attack, with the confidence that they will not succeed. They will not succeed, Karen. They will not. I have the feeling that they are going to try to make me jealous. I will not be. Even if I see her kissing you I will not be! Let's go now. I feel like taking on the world starting with those two. Just make sure that your gun is well tucked away! I don't want to be tempted!”

Oh God, help me make it through the weekend! And let there be no blood!

When they arrived at the Inn , the first thing the saw was the duo. JP did not look happy at all.

“Oh my God, Karen, it's been such a long time, babe!” Susan came over and hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. Addy was smiling.

“How are you doing? I couldn't believe it when I met Alana and she told me about the Inn ! I had to come and see you. You look as great as always!”

Karen was unable to get two words in. She realized that Susan had an agenda and was all out to overwhelm. Addy caught the drift also. They had decided to play along. “Yes, it's been a while.”

“Susan, I'd like you to meet Addy.” They had agreed that Addy would not be introduced as her partner because that would indicate fear on Karen's part in the sense that she felt like she needed to shield herself in order to be ‘safe.' Addy was of the opinion that Karen should stand on her own two feet.

“Oh, my! Don't tell me this is the famous Addy?”

“Yes, this is her. The one and only.”

“Wow, you were able to rack up a straight woman and all, Karen, you are something else!” Karen was stunned by the comment. If looks could kill, Susan would have been dead on the spot from the look JP gave her. He was listening to the whole conversation from the front desk. Of course, that dagger was thrown at Addy. But Addy was resolved to win this match, so she took it as it came.

“You can say that again! The woman is a menace!” Addy proclaimed.

Karen looked at her trying to hold back a smile but couldn't. Wow! That's my girl!

“Oh, hi Alana, didn't expect to see you around here so soon? Couldn't stay away, could you?” Karen almost laughed out loud. Too bad you can't have what you really want here!

“Well, the Inn is very nice and Susan and I seem to have hit it off well, so we said why not? Plus we both had mutual friends here. So, here we are!”

Karen smiled, thinking where to hit her that it would hurt most. Her poker face took over upon hearing Addy's invitation to dinner.

“Sure, at what time?”

“Say 6:30? We can meet here in the lobby, is that okay?”

“Sure, will see you later.”

Addy and Karen left heading for the back room, as the other two were exiting the Inn .

JP walked right behind them. “Are you out of your minds?!!” Those two are going to rip your eyes out and eat you alive! I'm nervous just thinking about it!” He looked at Addy. “You obviously don't know who you are dealing with here, Ms. Addy! You are over your head! Those are two devils, Lucifer and company! Don't know which is worse, but it is evident that the St. James woman has come to claim her prize and the Alana woman is standing by to pick up the spoils of war!”

Karen didn't say anything to JP. She looked at Addy. “Don't you think the dinner thing was a little too much?”

“Nope. You know the saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Well, I want to keep them together and very close!”

Karen rolled her eyes. “That's smart, Addy. I just hate the way that Alana woman looks at you!”

“Ditto with the Susan woman! But remember what we talked about!”

“May I ask to be let in on this private talk, since I may lose my nails over this whole tidbit!”

Addy smiled. She came over and hugged him. “JP, trust me on this one. The blonde is mine and she knows it, and look at me, making war over a woman! JP it's really a pity you didn't see me when I hit Karen's uncle in the balls…”

“Ouch!” JP sort of covered his jewels, just in case.

“Yes, people shouldn't mess with me, when it comes to protecting my turf….the devil has met his match! And my turf happens to be the blonde!”

Karen smiled, but was worried. Could JP be right? Addy was confident but she was naïve and those two were real devils. She was just hoping that Addy was as strong as she said she was going to be. This was a very delicate matter. She was resolved to run them out at the first insinuation of anything.

Dinner went uneventful, there were lots of looks and innuendos from the two devils, but the women handled them well and they parted on friendly terms.

“See I told you. It's better to keep them together and within our sight!”

“Okay, I'll admit that you were right.”

Addy was doing her little happy dance as Karen watched smiling.

**

The next day the story took another turn. Addy was doing her usual run through the stables, when she came across Alana. Face to face. The meeting was unavoidable.

“Well, well, if it isn't my favorite cowgirl!”

Addy was a bit taken back. “Hi, didn't expect you to be an early riser?”

“I'm not. I just like the company these horses keep in the morning.” When Alana saw Addy dressed in her riding gear, she suspected a link of some sort between Addy and the horses. She went by the stables later and found out that Addy always stopped by there early in the morning. She knew Addy would show up and was expecting her.

“Oh! So, are you riding this morning? If so, Mr. Nelson can get you on a good horse.”

“I was rather hoping for a good woman.”

Oh, boy, here we go again! “Alana, I thought my message was clear the last time we met.”

“Your message was clear, but I don't give up easy.” She came closer to Addy and circled her, even dared to run her hand through her hair. Addy moved away and shook it off. “You see, I like very much what I see and I want it.”

“Well, I'm sorry. I'm not interested.”

Alana was about to grab Addy, when she felt a strong pull on her arm.

“You try that and you are going home with a black eye, and you better pray that I don't beat the crap out of you!” It appeared that JP had alerted everyone about the duo and they were to report to him the duos whereabouts. When he found out that Alana was at the stables, he immediately called Karen. Karen dropped all she was doing and headed for the stables. She was already angry when she got there. She had overheard part of the conversation.

“Karen! What a coincidence.”

“Karen, Alana was telling me that she wanted to ride, so I suggested she talk to Mr. Nelson.”

Karen was still holding Alana's arm. Her knuckles were white from the pressure she was putting into her arm. Addy came by and placed her hand on Karen's arm suggesting that she let go. Addy didn't want Karen getting into trouble, so Karen loosened her grip on the woman.

“Come on, babe, we have things to do at the Inn .” They left leaving Alana alone at the stables. Her arm was red in the area Karen had grabbed her.

“You okay?”

“When are they leaving?”

“Tomorrow.”

“I'll be okay tomorrow then. Addy, can you not hang around alone for the next 24 hours?”

“Okay, I won't. I'll stay at the Inn . JP and James are there.”

“Good.”

“You are not okay, are you?

“How can I be when I know that sleaze ball is after you! I'm not worried about you, but you saw how she is! Finding out where you are and coming after you! She is evil! She is capable of anything. Do you mind if I stick around? I won't be able to do anything else, anyway. I was supposed to go to town, but I'll send someone else, I'm not leaving here.”

Addy smiled. There was no way she was going to change Karen's mind. “Okay, wonder woman, stay with me. I need to keep an eye on you just in case the ‘no so saint' woman tries something also. You are next, you know! She's probably plotting as we speak.”

“Be prepared for the worse, she knows she's going to have to be aggressive with me.”

“Should I hit her, if I must?”

Karen looked at her. “Would you?” “You were about to send Ms. Alana home with a black eye! Why can't they go home with a matching pair? Plus, if I can hit a man, I can certainly hit a woman. I think I've already established that much.”

Karen chuckled. “Stay with me, fireball, don't want you getting in trouble either. Don't want to have to bail you out!”

They got to the Inn . By the time they arrived, Karen had already called JP to thank him and to tell him that Addy was fine and that they were coming to the Inn .

The day passed and not a word was heard from the two women. The next day, they were leaving. Addy and Karen were both in the lobby area waiting for their departure.

When they met, Susan threw the last dagger. She looked at Karen and touched her face. “Well dear, we part again, unfortunately this time I didn't have the opportunity to give you all the pleasures you liked so much.” Then she looked at Addy very coldly. “You are lucky, not everyone is so hot in the sack!”

Karen had her poker face. She was just hoping that Addy would hold up. She was hanging by a thread there until she heard what she never thought she'd hear in her life.

“Yeah, I know, but you should see what she can do in the hot tub!”

Susan was pale as a sheet of paper. Her plan hadn't worked. Alana was speechless and Karen was about ready to pass out. Alana broke the silence. “Let's go Susan.”

Susan was agitated, and unable to respond. She turned around got in the car and they drove away.

Addy and Karen stood still for a few seconds. Karen turned to Addy. “Addy, are you okay?”

“You bet, now that we ran them out of town!” She turned around and started to walk fast. She got in her car and left.

JP had been standing by and overheard the whole thing. “You go girl! You gave it to her right in her face! Oh! I'm so relieved they are gone. For sure I'm putting an APB. Those two are not booking a room here ever again! I'd better get on the phone and tell everyone to stand down now that the coast is clear.”

Karen followed Addy. When she saw her getting in the car, Karen was not sure that everything was quite okay.

Karen got in her car and went back to the cottage also. Back at the cottage, Karen had to clear the air. “Addy, you didn't believe her did you?”

“Ker, it doesn't really matter. I told you I care about the present and the future, not the past.”

“It matters to me.” Karen was agitated. She had a concerned look.

Addy was surprised.

“I need to know that you believe in me. I need to know. I don't want shadows over us. Especially, when they are not true.”

“I believe you, babe. I just got mad about how she used you and me.” Addy started to cry. She looked for Karen's shoulder to lean on. “I hate her. I'm glad you didn't end up with her. She is not a good person. She would have made you miserable. I'm so glad I went to that ranch!”

Karen closed her eyes and hugged her tightly. “You and me both, baby, you have no idea how glad I am that things turned out the way they did. It's funny how life works its way. I thank God every day for you, Addy. I do, I really do. I'm not just saying this.” Karen held her face in her hands and kissed her a million times.

“You do?”

“Yes, I do.”

“I do too.”

**

To be continued in Part 14

 

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