"Mom!  I will be fine I swear," I said for the thousandth time as we waited for her and Kayla's flight to Atlanta.  Kayla was looking glum that I was staying in California for Thanksgiving and she was going to have to go to Georgia.  Little brat was pouting the whole way to the airport.  She had gone to the bathroom, and mom was fretting again about me being here by myself.

"I just don't like the idea of you being alone for the holiday," she said.

"I'm not going to be alone," I reminded her.  "I'm going to Justin's Thursday morning and I'm going to be there all weekend.  Your parents are going to be much happier not to have me there, and I'm going to have a much better time with Justin than I am with them."  We'd been through this a thousand times already.  We always had Thanksgiving at home, but since this was our first year without dad, Irene and Charles had invited us to their place for "a change of scenery", translation, a way to try and get you to move here.  I wasn't exactly thrilled, and was whining about it to Justin when mom decided that we would go.  Mr. Carter overheard and invited me to stay with them for the holiday.  That sounded much better to me.

"If I had known you weren't going to go…"Mom began, but I cut her off.

"Mom," I said softly, "Kayla should get to know her family out there.  Trust me, it really sucks to have family out there that you want to get to know, but you can't."  She had a million cousins in Georgia that she used to know, but hadn't visited in years because of me.  Irene and Mom had gotten into an argument about me being around the cousins, so Mom said none of us would be out there then.  This was the first time she'd been back to Georgia in a very long time, and it would be much less stressful if I weren't there.

Kayla came wandering back just as the announcement came that their flight was ready to board.  She was so ticked that I didn't have to go.  I had told her I had too much to do for school, but she wanted to stay too.  I gave her a hug goodbye and whispered in her ear "Do that valley-girl thing for the boys there.  They'll all be following you like wild dogs."  She giggled and smiled for the first time that day.

"Bye Jhon!" she said, and grabbed her backpack.

Mom hugged me.  "If you need anything at all, call me day or night," she said.

I grinned.  "Like there's anything I can't handle," I replied.  She knew what I meant.  She smiled and I waited until they both boarded before I left the airport.  I was eighteen and on my own for the first time since I was nine.  I couldn't stop grinning like a loon.  Yeah, I wanted my family for Thanksgiving, but the few times Mom and Dad had been gone for a weekend, I still had Kayla to look after.  As of that moment it was all Jhondie.

Well, all Jhondie and Justin.  Justin.  Who would have guessed him and I would end up together?  He was an awesome boyfriend though.  We'd been together almost six months and he was still an awesome boyfriend.  It was so weird for me to think of anyone as long-term.  My longest relationship had lasted seven months, and the last month we were fighting so much, it shouldn't count.  Justin and I had argued a couple of times, but it wasn't anything major, and we'd made up easily.  I think a big part was that I could be honest with him.  There wasn't any other boyfriend I had ever had that I could tell who gave me my necklace with the gold rose.

The necklace was a graduation gift from Zack.  I had told him when I was graduating, but I wasn't really expecting him to show up.  The ceremony was being held in a convention hall.  I had gotten up to get my diploma, and when I glanced into the audience, I noticed a guy way in the back, standing in the shadows.  Nobody else could have seen him, but I did.  He knew it too.  He made a hand gesture that meant "all clear".  It also meant "good job".  Then he disappeared. 

There was a bunch of people coming over to the house afterwards to celebrate, so I wasn't expecting to see him there.  I went upstairs to change, and on my pillow was a necklace wrapped around a note.  The note simply said, "Congratulations baby sister.  May life be sweet and free."  The necklace was a beautiful gold chain with a wild rose made out of pink and green colored gold.  I hadn't seen him since, but I was so glad he was there that day.

I almost wished Zack were going to be here today.  Well, I did and I didn't.  It was 8:00 AM, the day before Thanksgiving, and I was looking forward to a few days of freedom.  Having Zack around, it was nice, but it was like having a parent around.  I didn't think I was ready for Justin to meet Zack anyways.  My relationship with Justin was growing, and I wasn't too sure how I was feeling towards him, but I knew for sure I didn't want Zack to try and scare him off.  I really cared about Justin.

I knew he cared about me too.  He was officially the first guy I'd dated who tried to understand me, and he was also the first guy to not let me rape him when I went into heat.  God, that was so much fun.  It had happened in August.  Justin had gotten his internship with the LA Times (according to Justin: stupid fluff, no real journalistic integrity, nobody with a set big enough to write a real story) and he ended up going to New York for a week with one of the reporters.  He came back and immediately came over.  He didn't call first.  I was so in heat.

All I can say is that I was glad Kayla wasn't there.  Mom answered the door, and Justin came in, and before mom could say I was sick, I walked into the living room.  I guess the best way to describe what happened was that the feline DNA took over and I pounced him.  One second I was across the room, the next I was attached to him, my legs wrapped around him, kissing him harder than I had ever before.  Justin later said I basically scared the hell out of him.  Luckily mom was there.

She grabbed me, yanked me back, and slapped me as hard as she could.  Basically, when I'm like that, only a good hard hit can knock some reality back into me.  "Cold shower now!" she ordered me, putting her body in between Justin and me.  Good thing.  I would have pounced again.  I went upstairs, and while I was up there, she explained to Justin what was going on.  I had told her Justin knew about me, so she explained what cat DNA does to my feminine cycle.  He was gone before I got out of the shower.

I ended up sneaking over to his place that night.  I was still in heat, and he was there.  He was still up, writing up some stuff for the boss.  He got up, and I tried to pounce him again, but he stopped me this time.  I was all over him, trying to do anything that would get him into bed.  He was responding physically and protesting at the same time.  He finally grabbed my upper arms, and jerked me back, shoving me against the wall.

"Not like this," he said, his eyes boring into mine.

"Justin, I want to," I tried to say.

"No, you don't," he whispered.  "Jhon, I want to be with you, but not like this.  Not when you're going to hate me tomorrow for letting it happen."  That was something I'd never heard from a guy before.  "Go home," he finally said.  "Please, just go home, and if you still feel like this tomorrow…but you won't."  I went home.

I didn't want to talk to him the next day.  I was so embarrassed, but he made me feel better.  He told me that if I had the flu and had a fever and coughing and was throwing up, he could deal with that.  I had just been sick the day before, and what happened was a symptom of it.  No different from sneezing on him.  It was different, but I was so lucky he was trying to be understanding.  The funny thing was that I did want to sleep with him the next day, but we didn't.  It had been six months since we started really dating, and we still hadn't slept together.  I was starting to think one of us was broken.

It was a refreshing change though.  Every other guy I dated wanted to nail me as soon as possible.  I had slept with a couple of them, but it was just a physical act.  Felt good, but it was all physical.  Now I had someone who I really cared about, but we weren't in a physical relationship.  None of my friends would have believed it.  I wasn't sure if I believed it myself.

He was such a great guy.  I was heading over to the gym where he worked out and I was going to pick him up and then we had something light to do for the boss, and then we were going back to my house.  I had promised to bring over my world-famous cherry yum-yum for dessert tomorrow.  Justin was coming over to help me make it.  More like try and figure out how I made it.  I had brought it over a couple of months before and his dad and the twins almost died over it.  Justin had made me dinner that night and I had brought over the yum-yum.  We had gone out that night, and when we came back Mr. Carter and the twins had finished the yum-yum off.  There had been a lot left, and the twins were on a sugar buzz for a week.  When it was decided I was coming over for Thanksgiving, Brittany said I wouldn't be allowed in without a bucketful of yum-yum.  I got the hint.

I was looking forward to this weekend.  EO only needed us to do one small thing, and that would be done today, my research paper was caught up, and all I had to do was relax and enjoy my time with Justin.  Sounded good to me.


I was finishing my last set of reps when a set of feminine hands grabbed the bar between my hands, and held the weights down.  Jhondie was smiling down at me.  It looked like I was holding the bar in the lowered position, but in truth, she was holding it down easily.  I was stuck until she decided to let me up.  She had learned though not to do it to me.  I knew her sides and feet were ticklish.  She was incredibly strong, but once I started tickling her, all she could do was laugh helplessly.  I had found my Supergirl's kryptonite.

I lifted the bar, and hung it back up.  "Hey there," she said, smiling as if she knew what I was thinking.  What I was thinking was how great she looked in those jeans.  They were a little tighter than she normally wore, but I didn't mind.  I did mind the other guys leering at her, but they knew she was all mine.

"Hey yourself," I replied sitting up.  She looked just as good from this angle, especially when she leaned over on the bar.  Not all of the sweat was from my workout anymore.  God, she was beautiful.

"You about done?" she asked.  Even if I had a million reps left to go, there was no way I was saying no to her.  Today started her weekend with me, and I was planning on spending every moment possible with her.  She was spending Thursday and Friday night over at my place, but I had sworn to dad that she would stay in my room, and I would sleep in the family room all night.  Dad knew I was a man of my word.  Lord, I wished I wasn't though.

"Let me take a shower and I'll be ready," I replied.  I got up and gave her a quick kiss before hitting the locker room.  It was amazing just to be able to kiss her like that.  For the first couple of weeks after we decided to start dating it was hard to get used to casual affection.  We'd been so determined before to just be friends, it felt funny to just take her hand whenever I wanted to, and it not to be yanking her out some kind of danger.  We had both gotten used to it, and now it was hard to imagine a time when I was near her, and us not touch in some way.

I headed off to the showers quickly.  Jhondie was great all the way around.  We were keeping up with an incredible relationship and we were still partners working for Eye's Only.  The stuff we were doing for him was far superior to the crap that was being turned out by the LA Times.  My internship opened my eyes to the real world of journalism, and made me respect the boss so much more.  I had Jhondie.  I had my work.  I was hitting the mid-point of my junior year in college.  Life was great.

"Damn, buddy," Carlos said when I went to my locker to get my towel and shower stuff.  "You got legs like that waiting for you at home and you working out here?  I'd be home 24/7 if I had a woman looking like that."

"I got to give her a break sometimes," I replied in the same arrogant-manly-man tone.  "Women are like cars.  You run them too hard, they break down."  There was a rumble of laughter from the other guys as I undressed and hit the showers.  I wasn't about to tell them that I had yet to really touch the girl.  We'd made out, but we'd never gone too far, and I had no idea why.  It wasn't like either of us were virgins.  I guess neither of us really wanted to push things and mess them up. 

We'd been together six months, and I was closer to her now than I was to Denise after two years together.  I was starting to see the difference between my relationship with Denise and this one with Jhondie.  I was with Denise because we were in high school when we first started to date.  Her father was a business partner with my dad so we saw each other a lot, and most importantly, she let me sleep with her.  I was with Jhondie because I liked her.  I could talk to her and most importantly, I trusted her.  Denise scared the hell out of me.  She was a nutcase, and after we broke up she did some freaky things that had me worried about the twins getting in her way.  Jhondie was a genetically engineered killing machine and I wasn't afraid of her in the slightest.

Well, there was that one time when she went into…heat is the best way to describe it.  The last thing I was expecting was for her to do one of her super-jumps and attack me in front of her mother.  I had no idea what the hell was going on when Mrs. Harris yanked her off of me, ending her check of my tonsillectomy, and decked Jhondie.  She sent Jhondie upstairs for a cold shower, and with a bright blush, explained to me what was going on.  I had never even thought about that kind of problem.  Jhondie showed up that night in my room, and I ended up sending her away.  I was glad she left when she did.  All I was thinking was about her lips and the way her body felt against mine, and her hands all over me.  If she touched me again, she was going to be in bed in about two seconds if we didn't hit the floor first.  She left instead.

I showered and got dressed and headed out, grabbing my gym bag.  Jhondie was waiting for me with a smile.  Before I could say anything, I heard someone yell my name.  "Justin!" Rick called out to me.  I looked over at him.  "You got to come to the trainer's room," he said.  "Moose is going to do a four-fifty bench!"

I glanced over at Jhondie.  "You mind?" I asked her.  She shrugged.

"Nah," she replied.  "Always amusing to see what's considered impressive," she continued in a very low voice.  I guess lifting four hundred pounds isn't great to someone who could bench press a Buick.

We went into the Trainer's Room, and Lena, Moose's girlfriend ended up beside Jhondie.  "I love seeing them life like that," Lena bubbled.  She was a true valley-girl airhead.  "Makes me feel you know all good to like have a you know, big strong man with me, you know?"

Jhondie had a tight smile plastered to her face.  "Yeah," she suddenly replied in that same valley-girl accent.  She took on the whole persona, with the dumb head bobbing and all, and Lena didn't get it.  "It's like, whoa, oh my God, I am like you know so totally protected and some junk."  Lena beamed in sisterhood and then we all turned to Moose who was lying on the bench, ready to do the press.

He took a deep breath, and put his hands on the bar, concentrating hard.  He pushed up, his spotter helping him guide it, Moose's muscles straining with the effort.  Moose lowered the bar, sweating a straining, and with a loud grunt, lifted the mass, the bar bowing under the weight.  Everyone cheered when he had the bar fully up again.  His spotter helped him get it back on the bench, and Moose sat up, triumphant.

There was a general congratulations from everyone, and the crowd headed out, Moose looking like he had been elected king of the world.  I noticed Jhondie was looking at the weights.  When everyone left she lay down on the bench.  I went over to her and grinned down over the bar. 

"Aww, is the little girl pretending she can like, you know, lift weights?" I teased.  Jhondie grinned at me wickedly, grabbed the bar, and lifted it easily.  She held it for a minute, and then did several reps. She put it back up and sat up.  She hadn't even broken a sweat.  Sometimes I can forget what she is.  Then I get reminded.

"You ready to get out of here?" she asked.  I nodded.  I was more than ready to get this weekend started.