"So this is going to help?" I asked the boss late Sunday afternoon. He gave me a look that I could interpret as 'quit smirking, you know you did good work'.
"It's an excellent starting point," he replied. "Has there been much said about a break-in?"
"Not on the news," I replied. I had watched that morning and they hadn't said anything. "But since we always clean up after ourselves, they might not discover it until tomorrow anyways." I couldn't help the slight bragging there. We did a damn fine job of cleaning up considering who was there with us. Mitchell had just been regaining consciousness when we got back to him.
He staggered to his feet slightly, looking at Jhondie and me warily. Jhondie shoved Denise at him. I spoke up quickly before Jhondie said something to get him to make another go at it. He wasn't bright enough to know when he was beaten. "Just go," I said firmly. "Unless you want the world to know you got beat up by a girl, just leave and keep your mouth shut."
He opened his mouth, but Denise stopped him. "Take me home," she whimpered, her eyes wide and terrified. She shot Jhondie a look of total fear. Jhondie smiled back serenely. "I want to go back to Boston," she said in that same frightened tone that I had never heard from Denise before. I had no idea what Jhondie had said to her, but I was so glad she had.
They left, and then we did a bit of cleaning and then took off. We had to make sure the camera hadn't recorded any sound. It hadn't and then we had one more stop to make before going home. This time I had to admit Jhondie needed to do it on her own. There was no way I could follow her into the construction company's headquarters so that she could grab the security tapes from that morning and make sure they were taped over. She was back in minutes and we were gone, all evidence of what had happened that morning gone for good.
The boss looked to the left and right and then asked, "is something wrong with LAX?" He actually sounded concerned.
"She's…" I began, but was cut off.
"She's right here," Jhondie said, walking into my room. She shut the door and locked it. Dad was with Jackie and the twins were playing with some friends, but we still had to be careful. Jhondie came around so that she could see the monitor, and then perched on the edge of my bed. "I had some cleaning to do," she explained brightly. "I'd say that I was sorry for being late, but you two got started early."
"Cleaning?" he questioned. I had said everything was fine.
"Mud tends to need to be cleaned once it dries to the linoleum," Jhondie replied slowly. She had gone home to clean up before her mother came home and asked questions about a mess here and there. Jhondie wasn't supposed to be home this weekend.
EO seemed relieved. "Well, I'll let you two get back to enjoying your weekend," he said, and then glanced down at something. "I think you two should be off duty through the rest of the holidays, unless, of course, you find something of interest on your own." Like that had never happened before. I glanced over at Jhondie. I was probably going to be busy over the next few weeks anyways to be sniffing for trouble.
"We'll let you know if we find something," I replied. He gave me a curt nod and then was gone.
I spun around in my chair to face Jhondie. "Denise left yesterday evening," I informed her. "As of now, she is probably cowering under her bed somewhere in Boston."
Jhondie gave me a little smile. "I wasn't over the top about her, was I?"
"No," I replied, obviously meaning yes. I held out my arms to her, and she curled up in my lap. "You know she's ancient history, right?"
Jhondie gave me a quick kiss. "I do. I just didn't know I was the jealous type." She snuggled closer. "I love you," she said softly.
I hugged her to me. In my wildest imaginations, I couldn't have dreamt up Jhondie, and it had nothing to do with DNA. She was my soulmate. Forever would come one step at a time. For now, I had her with me, and that was what counted most. "It's scary," I said softly, making her look up at me. "I never knew I could feel like this for anyone, and I'm only at the beginning of loving you." She didn't reply. She didn't have to. The sweetness of our kiss said everything that needed to be said.
I could have sat with Justin for hours, just cuddled in his lap. I felt so…so complete when I was with him. A year ago and I didn't know he existed. Now I couldn't imagine living without him. I had never been with a person, including my own family, which accepted me so completely and without reservation. Even though I wasn't ready to tell him all the details about my past that I knew he was curious about, I did believe that someday I would find the courage to tell him, and when I did, he would accept it, and love me anyways.
I made the mistake of glancing at my watch. I was on my feet in a flash, almost knocking over the chair. Justin caught the edge of the desk, giving me a huge "what the hell?" look. "I had to leave for the airport like ten minutes ago!" I explained hurriedly. It wasn't fair that it was so easy to lose track of time when I was with Justin. I kissed him quickly and ran out the door, promising myself to get him back later for laughing at me as I fled the house.
I sped like crazy, and managed to get to the gate exactly three minutes before the plane started unloading. I managed to breathe normally and not look like I had just sprinted down the terminal as Mom and Kayla got off of the plane. Kayla ignored me and ran straight to the bathroom. Mom laughed.
"She's had to go since Texas, I think," she informed me. "She refused to try and use the plane's bathroom." I laughed like hell. That was teasing ammunition to last until after New Year. "So," she asked. "Anything exciting happen this weekend?"
There is a perk to spending your early childhood in military training. You learn not to react when someone asks you something that really hits home. "Ummm…we had a good dinner, but it was pretty ordinary overall," I replied. Her eyebrows shot up.
"Ordinary?" she questioned. "Jhondie, I'm well aware of your definition of 'ordinary'." She glared at me. "I told you to behave!"
I started laughing. I couldn't help it. Kayla walked out and gave me her patented 'you-have-lost-your-mind' look. "What are you on and why aren't you sharing?" she asked me crisply. "I'm the one that just spent a weekend with our grandparents. I need it more." Now Mom joined in my laughter. Kay just looked annoyed.
"Has anyone told you lately how strange you are?" she asked with an air of superiority.
I grinned. "Little sister, you have no idea." I put my arm around her. "So tell me everything," I ordered. She smiled and started with Irene setting off the metal detectors at the airport and almost getting arrested because she refused to admit to having a metal pin in her hip (only old people have that) and getting nasty with security when they tried to wave her down with the wand.
The three of us departed together. So much had changed in the course of just of few days. I shouldn't be surprised. Good things take time to happen. Great things happen all at once.