The story pickes up one month after the end of Part One. It is better to read Part One first to understand what will take place in Part Two.

Chapter 1 Stepping Up The Pace

Kami got off the 'A' Train at the subway station at the corner of Nostrand Ave and Fulton Street, Brooklyn. She liked walking through the streets of this part of Brooklyn where people of so many cultural backgrounds lived. The voices, the accents, the friendliness of the residents of this area always made her feel welcomed. As she walked up Nostrand Avenue she began to reflect on the last month of her life and the changes that took place.

Hildy had become an integral part of her life. They worked together and they spent as much time as they could socializing outside of the office. As Kami walked towards her friend Ellen's home she had a smile on her face that came from her heart. Men she passed along the way mistakenly thought she was smiling at them, and in turn smile back at her.

In many cases these men added a verbal comment as she walked by like; 'Hello beautiful' or 'where are you off to lovely lady?', or 'you should be tired baby because you have been running through my mind all morning'. One exceptionally confident man decided to walk along side Kami as she neared her friend's home. It was at this point that Kami refocused on her surroundings and realized that her smile may have given wrong signals to the men she passed on the street.

The man who walked at her side meant her no harm as he tried to engage her in conversation. Kami stopped and looked at him. The stranger said "Your smile is so warm that autumn winds run and hide". Kami could not help but laugh at the corny pick up line the man used on her. Encouraged by her laughter the stranger continued. "There is a concert this afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum, and you would make my heart feel honoured if you would accompany me". Kami looked at the hopeful expression on the stranger's face and told him in a gentle but firm voice "No, thank you", as she turned and walked away.

The man watched her walk away, and being the gentleman he was did not make a nuisance of himself by trying to continue the conversation. Instead he turned back to the men he was chatting with before he began walking along side Kami.

A few minutes later Kami entered Ellen's home on Dean Street and the friends who had not seen each other in several weeks hugged tightly. "What took you so long Kami?" Ellen asked.

"The train ran a little late and then some guys tried chatting me up on the street". Kami laughed as she explained to Ellen.

Ellen smiled and shook her head "You still really do not get it do you?"Ellen asked.

"Get what?" Kami replied with a slight frown.

"Kami you have a natural beauty that attracts men like a deer to water on a hot day" Ellen chuckled as Kami threw a decorative pillow at her as joined Ellen's laughter.

Ellen met Kami when she visited her uncle in England many years ago. Ellen at twenty was two years older than Kami at that time. Their friendship deepened as they had many things in common as well as several similar interests. Ellen was the big sister Kami never had and she valued her opinion because it was always honest and insightful.

Kami remember when her friend warned her that Joyce would unfurl trouble in her life but she was too infatuated at the time to see what Ellen saw. Needless to say Kami lived to see the day when all Ellen's warnings proved to be founded.

As they sat on the couch catching up on the happenings of the last few weeks Kami cheeks looked rosier and rosier as she shared her feelings about Hildy with her dear friend. Ellen listened intently to Kami's words as she read her body language. "This time Kami's heart is truly in love", Ellen thought.

"So tell me, when will I get to meet the love of your life?" Ellen asked because she had to see for herself who this former cop was even though she was getting a good feeling about the woman she had yet to meet.

Ellen smiled at the friend whom she loved like a sister. "When would you like to meet her?" Kami volleyed back the question.

"Well how about today?" Ellen double volleyed with a smirk because she knew Kami did not expect her to be available so soon. "There is no time like the present", she continued as she chuckled. "Andrew took the children to visit his brother in The Bronx and they won't be back until tomorrow morning so I am child free for the rest of the day". Ellen said with a provoking smile on her face.

As Kami looked at her friend she knew the time had come to step up the pace of her relationship with Hildy. It was time to begin meeting the important people in each other's lives. Kami reached for her phone and placed a call to Hildy. When she got her she told her about Ellen being free that afternoon and asked if she would have the time for them to have a late lunch together. Hildy wanted to meet the lady who was Kami's long time friend so she agreed to meet them in a couple hours for lunch at Patrick Restaurant on West 45th Street Manhattan.

After coming off the phone Ellen looked at her friend for a long time as asked "KamKam what aren't you telling me?" Kami leaned back on the couch and tucked her legs under her as she sighed.

"Nothing is wrong" Kami began. "I just want Hills and I to move forward at a pace that we are both comfortable with". When she did not say anything else Ellen prompted her to continue. "El, when Hildy kisses me my body gets weak and hot all at the same and I end up wanting more. But we are moving at a slow pace where intimacies are concerned. We have never gone beyond kisses and I do not know how much more my body can take". Kami finished her confession and covered her face with her hands as she blushed.

Ellen smiled at her friend and just shook her head. "My little sister really has it bad for the Investigator." she teased Kami as she laughed. After a few moments Ellen pulled Kami into a hug on the couch as she softly chuckled some more. "Sweetheart, tell me what do you want from Hildy?" Kami stayed leaning back on her friend as she considered the question.

"I want … I want…. I want her to step up the pace in our relationship. I do not want to rush her or make her feel like she has to do anything according to my time line. But mind you, I am not complaining El, I love all the time we spend together, I love the walks, the movies, the Broadway shows, the restaurants, the holding hands, the hugs, and I absolutely love the kisses. It's just at the end of the day or after a lovely evening together I still go to bed alone. I don't like that".

Ellen listened to the longing in her friend's voice as she wondered what to say. After a minute or two of silence she said "KamKam, do you remember years ago we promised ourselves that we would always be open and honest in all our communication with our family and friends?" Kami nodded her head as she leaned on Ellen. "That promise has served me well when Andrew and I look at things differently. It helps to lessen the chance of misunderstandings". Ellen paused again then continued "Kam, have you considered just telling Hildy that you want more?"

Kami turned and looked at Ellen as she responded. "Yes I have but I get the impression there is a reason she is holding back even though she told me a month ago that she wants to wake up spooning me in bed". Ellen listened thoughtfully before asking "What do you think is the reason?" Kami was quiet while she considered her answer. "I think it is fear. It is like she does not want to risk anything going wrong so she is moving really slowly."

"Hmm, how does that make you feel Kam?" Ellen asked. Kami sighed and answered "It makes me feel anxious". Ellen looked at her with a raised eyebrow as she asked."Anxious….why anxious?"

Kami sighed again and said "El, no one knows if they will be alive from one day to the next. Heavenly Father has not promised us tomorrow. And I feel every day we stay on one level in our relationship is a day taken away for the future that we have. A future that we do not know how long will last".

Ellen listened, nodded her head and smiled as she said "Well it seems to me like you know what you need to do my sister, and with those thoughts in your mind we need to get up and make movements if we want to get from Brooklyn to the restaurant in Manhattan on time". Ellen pulled Kami up as she stood, and they then began to gather their things to leave. As they were about to walk through the door Kami pulled her friend into a hug and told her thank you for listening. Ellen laughed and belted out a few lines of Dionne Warwick song 'That's What Friends Are For' as they left her apartment.

Meanwhile at the firm, Hildy just got off the phone after chatting with Terry's wife Emma who was her closest friend. Emma met Kami a few weeks prior when Terry invited the team over to their home for Sunday lunch. Emma hit it off with Kami immediately. In chatting with each other they discovered they had similar taste in music and art. Hildy felt really happy that her closest friend and her partner made a genuine connection. She was pleased they struck up an easy rapport over the good food and fun afternoon.

Over the last month the team closed all the cases they had when Kami joined the firm. They also opened several more cases as one satisfied client told a friend or two, and so word spread quickly that their private investigation business was one of the best in the city. Today, the team was given the day off as they earned it. Hildy on the other hand came into the office to do a bit of research on a cold case that an old friend from the police service asked her to look into.

Hildy could not help but smile as she thought of how her life had changed for the better over the last month. She was the happiest she had ever been in her life and for that she was eternally grateful to Heavenly Father. Who would have thought when she and Terry decided to take early retirement and move to New York City that she would be in a loving relationship with the woman she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.

Hildy quickly gathered her things as she did not want to be late for lunch with Kami and her long time friend. She was pleased she was finally getting to meet the woman whom Kami so often spoke about. If it wasn't for the fact that Ellen was happily married with two young children, Hildy knew she would feel jealous.

Truth be told sometimes she felt a little jealous of the man Kami was engaged to so long ago because he was the first person to touch her intimately. That was not an honour that Hildy would never be able to claim. But as long as she had her way, she would be the last person who made love to her woman.

Made love to her woman. Just the thought of touching Kami made her feel hot at the very centre of her womanhood. As she exited the building she decided to walk the blocks to the restaurant in order to burn of the sexual tension that was building in her. Hildy did not know how much more of the self imposed sexual restriction she could take.

She wanted to make love to Kami so badly but she held herself back from going beyond kissing because her heart totally and completely belonged to Kami. She wanted everything as she told her a month ago. When they made love for the first time, she did not want one of them to need to 'go home' the next morning. She wanted to go to sleep and wake up together. Not be shuttling from one apartment to the other.

She wanted to ask Kami to move in with her. Hildy knew that some persons would think her old fashioned but she wanted to set up house with her lady before they crossed the final intimate line. She wanted to tell Kami how she felt about the entire living together before making love thing but she was not sure how to broach the subject.

Her hand and arm began to give her a gentle reminder that they were injured because of the gunshot wound. As she walked along Eight Avenue her hand and arm began to ache her as they sometimes did when the weather was cold or when she felt worried about something. Right now she felt a bit cold as the temperature in November began dropping. And she was not worried exactly but she was concerned about how to broach the subject of living together with Kami.

She knew Kami placed a lot of emphasis on open and honest communication, so she decided there and then to explain why she was not going further than kisses when they spent intimate time together. Just then Hildy reached the restaurant and requested a table towards the back but at an angle that she could see the door. She did this unconsciously, as a trained officer she always tried to sit in a room in such a way as to observe the entrances and or exits.

After about five minutes Hildy saw the love of her life arrive with a woman whom she assumed was Ellen. Hildy noted that Ellen was a pretty woman. She was bi-racial like Kami but with skin that was a little darker, and hair that was much shorter than her lover's hair. The two women walked into the restaurant and began looking around before the maître D could show them where Hildy sat.

Ellen looked around the restaurant and recognized Hildy immediately from the photographs Kami shared with her. The first thing she noticed about Hildy was she looked more beautiful in person than in her pictures. The she saw the look in her eyes when she looked at Kami and that sealed Ellen's opinion of her. In that moment Ellen knew that her friend and sister was loved.

Kami walked straight towards Hildy as if there was no one else in the restaurant and stopped mere inches from her. Hildy smiled at her lady and closed the distance between them as she claimed her love's lips in a kiss that made them both weak. After a few moments Ellen cleared her throat and said with a chuckle in her voice "Ladies, I think we should sit and eat or the maître D will ask you to take a room upstairs in the hotel".

Kami reluctantly pulled away as she blushed. Hildy looked intently at her before pulling out the chair for her to sit. She then extended her hand to Ellen and introduced herself with a smile. Ellen returned the smile and thought, "I like this lady already. I have a feeling lunch is going to be very interesting as we get to know each other".

Author's Note : Patrick Restaurant is a real restaurant. If you are ever in Manhattan, I can recommend it. The prices are reasonable and the food is good.

I want to thank Manhattanite and Accrossthepond for being my sounding boards. Without them these chapters would not be posted.