"Home is where the Heart is."
Alice stared at Tracy. Without looking, Tracy offered the popcorn to her. Alice sighed.
"What?" Tracy asked.
"We are living in a hotel."
"But a nice hotel. With room service." Tracy pointed out.
"Your family knows about us, I don't work for you now. And we've been living in a hotel for a month. " Alice said.
"So, what you are saying is you want to move back to Monica's." Tracy said, fighting a grin.
"There will no chance of me moving back in with those…."
"Vicious tigers?" Tracy suggested.
"You're being kind."
Tracy glanced at the TV, showing a true crime story she was halfway into.
"So, I'm not going to get find out who killed the doctor's wife?"
"The doctor and his nurse did it. Do you ever think about where we will be in a year or two?" Alice asked.
Tracy suspected this was the conversation she was putting off. Alice turned off the TV.
"Your birthday is coming up." Tracy started. "I know turning forty-eight shouldn't been a milestone but…."
"The fact I want to have a baby before age fifty does put a time limit on this, doesn't it?" Alice bit her lip nervously.
"Well, it just speeds things up. But perhaps for your birthday, we could go house hunting." Tracy couldn't imagine bring another baby home to another hotel suite.
Alice smiled. "You're buying me a house for my birthday."
"Oh, no, no, no. We both own the house. Our house." Tracy laughed.
Alice turned the TV. back on and settle back into her book.
"Honey….." Tracy nuzzled Alice's neck. "Do you know how real estate turns me on?"
"I thought you wanted to watch this." Alice said.
"I'd rather watch you. It has been five weeks." Tracy said. "I called Monica. She said we could resume normal relations. Actually she meant to call me last week. So…." Tracy tenderly kissed Alice, who broke the kiss.
"Alice?" Tracy questioned.
"I just want to finish this chapter, ok?" Alice said.
"Um, hi, your girlfriend wants to have sex for the first time in five weeks, her doctor cleared her and you're reading?!"
"I just want to finish this chapter." Alice said.
"O.k." Tracy waited, for a second. "Are you done?"
"Please, Alice, we moved out of the house, we're house shopping, in a month we're going to the Dominican Republic for my divorce, and right now I really, really want to have sex with you!"
"I can't! O.k.! I can't have sex with you! " Alice finally said.
"Can't or won't?" Tracy looked hurt. "Did you finally realize who I really am?"
"Oh, for God's sakes, Tracy, the last time we made love was six weeks ago." Alice said crying. "You almost died the last time we made love. How can you ask me to do the same thing?"
Tracy sighed, opening her arms. "Come here. I know. We're making life decisions and it's scary."
Alice looked at Tracy. "I'm afraid to make plans right now. If we can't even get back to our normal life, how can we move forward?"
"Well, part of normal life for me is making love with my lion. Perhaps we need to remember Rome wasn't built in a day."
"Oh?" Alice looked intrigued.
"Perhaps we can just start with baby steps. I would like a bath. Want to join me?"
Alice simply headed towards the bathroom.
Monica looked at the couple and laughed. Alan gave her a nudge.
"I know but the fact they are taking us house shopping is encouraging."
Tracy rolled her eyes. Alice sighed unhappily.
\Ned called last night. Eddie Maine is going back on tour." Tracy said.
Alice smiled. "Did you ask about tickets for us?"
"Unfortunely, he was thrilled and got us front row center seats." Tracy said.
Alan stopped at first house. Alice glanced at it. "Really? Next door to a brunch of maniacs?"
"Hey! It's next to us. You could walk to breakfast." Alan said.
Tracy stared at him. "I think the whole point of us moving was having a choice of whether or not to see you. In fact, Allie, why can't we move out of state?"
"Because I have a job, you have a company, and although we complain about them, you like being close to the maniacs." Alice glanced at the house. "Not this close."
"Well, at least it's the first house." Monica pointed out.
"I liked the fourth house. What was wrong with that one?" Alan wondered.
"Creepy attic. " Monica replied. "The second house had the evil gargoyle right?"
"No, that was the murder kitchen. The fifth house had the gargoyle."
"They are mocking us, right?" Tracy said.
"But of course this is our house, to spend our honeymoon period, and perhaps to bring home our child." Tracy leaned over and kissed Alice. Alice sighed happily.
"Dad, I really don't want go on tour." Brook Lyn pled.
"Brookie, it will be fun. The whole band is going including your mom. Your grandparents are going back to the old country. And you get to spend time with the old man."
"No." Brook Lyn set her jaw in way that made Ned winced.
"You look like your grandmother."
"You said that like a bad thing. Why can't I stay with them this summer?"
Ned sighed. "Your grandmother is recovering from a heart attack and I don't know if Alice wants company. "
"So they don't want me?"
"Your father didn't say that." Lois said. "It's just…right now; no one really knows where they stand."
"Probably including Mother and Alice."
"So that was nice." Tracy commented sarcastically. Alice sighed and threw on a robe, getting out of bed.
"It's not you."
Tracy raised an eyebrow. "Well, I was the one in the bed. If it wasn't me, then who?"
"Sometimes it doesn't happen." Alice shrugged.
"No that's me. You always…" Tracy said. "Unless you've been faking…" She trailed off.
"No, I never did. It's a different room and it's been awhile. Maybe it's just the pressure."
Tracy smiled and removed the robe. "Why don't I rub your back and we can just go to sleep and wake up? Tomorrow is another day. "
Alice woke up a couple hours later staring at Tracy. "You're so beautiful." She whispered, stroking Tracy's face. Tracy woke up and smiled.
"It's after midnight."
"Yeah. So?" Alice asked sleepily.
Tracy simply kissed her. "So happy tomorrow." Alice smiled as Tracy rolled on top on her.
"Good morning, Tiger." Alice laughed as Tracy looked at her hungrily.
"Trace, your cell phone. Tiger, honey, wake up." Alice shook the sleeping woman awake.
"Hey. Phone?" Tracy took the phone. "Ned? What do you mean she's missing? Have you checked the grounds? Yeah, we're on our way. Half-hour at the most."
"Our granddaughter is missing. We need to look for her." Tracy headed for the closet.
"What? Tracy, it's three-thirty in the morning. "Alice groaned.
"Quartermaines have lousy timing." Tracy smiled understandingly. "I'll hop in the shower and you get dress."
"Seriously?" Alice groaned.
"Sorry. I'll make it up to you." Tracy kissed Alice.
Alice groaned again and rolled over. "I need to get dress?"
Alice just finished buttoned up her shirt when a knock sounded at the door. What now? She checked the peephole.
"You're in so much trouble! "
The dark haired girl glanced up. "First of all, I'm a Quartermaine. We don't get into trouble. Second of all, I just want to visit my loving grandmother and her…. Alice."
Alice went to bathroom. "Hey Tracy, there's someone here to see her grandmother and her Alice."
"Are you kidding me?!" Tracy threw her robe on. "Burroughs, its four in morning what in world could be so important not to be asleep?" Alice smirked.
"Wow, you're grumpy." Brook grabbed bottled water from the fridge. "Besides you usually wake up at five anyway."
"We had a late night." Alice said stealing a glance.
"Why, did you get hook into a movie or something?"
"Oh, don't play naive. You need lessons." Tracy flipped on the coffee pot.
"Which you are going to give me this summer."
"This summer?" Tracy glanced at Alice. Alice looked around the hotel room. She muffled a moan.
"Well, you do want to have one of theses." Tracy said, motioning to Brook Lyn, who looked puzzled.
"I thought we would start with something small." Alice sat on the bed. "What about the tour?"
"I'll hire Alexis to get me out of it." Brook Lyn shrugged.
"We don't lead fun lives."
"I beg to differ. Brook Lyn might not get to see that but we have fun…."Tracy flashed a wicked grin at Alice.
"Your grandmother is still recovering, I just started a new job, and we lived hotel room and …." Alice trailed off when Tracy kissed her.
"You never know when to shut up." She said affectionly. "We are looking for a house, your job's going great and if you need more time off, Monica'll understand, and I'm doing fine."
"What about…." Alice looked into Tracy's eyes.
"We still need to figure that out. But I'm looking at the timeframe of 6 months to the three years for starting that project." She brushed Alice's hair behind her ear.
"Really?" Alice felt startled. "So soon?"
"We're kind of working against time here." Tracy said.
"What's the project?" Brook Lyn asked.
"Um…."Alice's mind went blank.
"Increasing ELQ holdings. Of course you'll be the next CEO after your father and me. So it would be helpful to have you around." Tracy smiled.
"But six months?! I don't know, it seems soon too increasing that."
Tracy leaned over and lightly kissed Alice. "I meant just to start the process."
"Oh. Right." Alice sighed. "But now we really do need a house."
"Let's talk to ---" Tracy started to said when someone pounded at the door. "Oh bloody hell. Ned! She's alive, chill."
Ned Ashton stumbled into the room in a blind panic. "I woke up and check on her and she was gone. I'd better call the rest of the family."
"I'm going back to bed. I have that appointment tomorrow. Night." Alice started to go to bed when Tracy stopped her.
"Hey, you ok?" She asked softly.
"Yeah, just a lot to deal with. Talk to them. About the other thing…"
"Later. Sleep, sweetheart. Love you."
Alice nodded. "I know. I love you, too."
Tracy sighed at the sound of the closing door. She turned to Ned and Brook Lyn, and said, "It's late. This whole thing would better discuss in the morning."
"Of course. Night Mother." Ned noticed Tracy looking thoughtfully. It was an expression that always unnerved him.
The alarm went off too early for Alice's liking. She hit the snooze button and snuggled down. Tracy rolled over and kissed her.
"Don't we have an appointment with Benson?" She asked.
"Babe it's seven now." Tracy said.
"Should you jump in the shower while I order breakfast?"
Alice stretched. "Can't we stay in bed just for a few more minutes?"
"Mmmmm, maybe five more." Tracy played with Alice's hands. "Are you worry?"
"Maybe. What if there's something wrong? Or I waited too long…."
"I just want you in my life. I just need you to be with me." Tracy stared into light brown eyes. "Don't worry right now. Let's just take the first step."
"Sounds good. Breakfast?"
"Yeah." Tracy got out of bed and started the day.
An hour later, they sat in the waiting room, Tracy reading over real estate ads and Alice commenting.
"Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, Gothic style…"
"Gothic? Maybe a little more modern…."
"Twelve bedrooms, six and half bath, Ranch style…."
"Seriously? A ranch?"
"Well, I do enjoy riding things….."
Alice snickered. "Better only be me."
Tracy bit back a retort when the nurse asked them to come back.
After the exam, Alice sat down nervously, fiddling with a pen. Tracy finally took the pen out of her hand. Dr. Benson finished writing.
"So, Alice, your tests all came back normal. In fact, you're more fertile than most women your age. Since I personally don't work with the procedures you would need I'll be making a referral."
"Fine." Alice glanced at Tracy, who had a small smile on her face. "We would like to start as soon as possible."
"Most people do. I'll make the referral and the thing I would do in the meanwhile is start keeping track of your cycles."
"Thank you. We'll start that." Tracy said.
"I'll see you in about six months. Good luck."
On the way out of the office Tracy snickered.
"You're more fertile. I just wondered if that accounts for your horniness." Tracy said innocently.
"My horniness? I wasn't the one who woke her girlfriend up two hours early…" Alice reminded her.
"'You didn't complain." Tracy said as her phone rang. "Hello? Hey, Burroughs, yes, I believe we can meet you for lunch?" Her eyebrow arched. "Sure. Two hours."
Alice looked at Tracy. "Is this the 'can-I-live-with-Granny-and-Alice?' lunch?":
"I believe so. " Tracy smiled. "What do you think?"
Alice sighed. "I think we need to buy a thermometer and notebook."
"Alice? You're not saying much."
"I wouldn't mind if Brook Lyn lives with us. It just means we need to really find a house since a hotel isn't the best place for a teen. It's just a lot to deal with at once. I'm still getting over not working for you and now with the house, the baby, and your granddaughter…." Alice shrugged.
Tracy nodded understandingly. "I know. Just relax. Are you okay with starting the office job?"
"I'm actually looking forward to paperwork and not serving drinks."
"And are you okay with the idea of a house?" Tracy asked as they entered the elevator.
"Yes of course. It was my idea." Alice leaned down and kissed Tracy.
"So, it's the baby and Brook Lyn…."
"It just seems to be getting real. I could be pregnant in six months. A baby in little over a year." Alice said.
Tracy smiled. "It's little scary but if we take in Brook Lyn, you'll get use to having someone else in the house. A live-in baby-sitter. "
"You really want her to live with us don't you?" Alice said.
"I want to know my granddaughter. This would give us a chance to try parenting together. Alan and Monica would probably help." Tracy said.
"Then I would say we need to buy a house with a locking bedroom door, along the thermometer and notebook." Alice said.
"A locking door and perhaps I should stop seducing you on couches." Tracy said.
"Oh, we can arrange something. I'm sure Alan needs a student worker." Alice's eyes darken.
"Not now, Lion. Later."
"Promises, promises." Alice kissed Tracy as the elevator doors open.
Alice and Tracy met with Ned, Lois and Brook Lyn for lunch. Alice stowed a bag under the table and gave Tracy a knowing look. Tracy ducked her head, hiding her smile.
"….I just don't feel comfortable with the hotel. " Lois started to explain.
"Then there's your health, Mother. And the fact you and Alice are still figuring things out."
"What things are we figuring out?" Tracy asked.
"Look, we're planning buying a house within a month. And trust me, your mother's health is getting better everyday." Alice said, looking fondly at Tracy.
"And we do want…." Tracy started to say.
"We want a fresh start." Alice said quickly, looking at Tracy.
"Well, what do you think? Should we let our darling daughter stay with the wicked witch ?" Ned asked.
"Is that what I'm know as?"
"Well, I usually call you granny."
"It's just three months. And Monica and Alan would be around." Ned pointed out.
"Oh, that's really reassuring." Lois said.
"I would being exploring new experiences." Brook Lyn said.
"We can arrange visits with you and Gloria and Carmine." Alice said. "Tracy just needs her family around right now." Alice traced Tracy's hand with her fingers.
"Where's Dillon?" Lois asked.
"In Chicago for the summer." Tracy said. "Summer film program with Quentin Tarantino."
Ned whistled. "How did you pull that off?"
"Alice and Quentin went to the same high school." Tracy shrugged.
"Nice. " Brook Lyn commented. "So can I stay with Granny?"
"I guess. I just would feel better if you would live in a house." Lois said.
"We are narrowing it down. We should be picking one soon." Alice said. "In fact Brook Lyn could come with us to check out the houses."
"There's a thought." Ned smiled.'
Alice checked her watch. " I need to get back. You'll catch me up later?"
"Of course." Tracy kissed Alice.
"Tracy?" Alice turned off the shower. Tracy stuck her head in the bathroom.
"Hi. How are you?" Tracy lightly kissed her girlfriend.
"Fine. I'm almost done. Unless you want to join me…."
Tracy immediately stripped. "Hello.".
"Mmmmm, did you missed me?" Alice started to wash Tracy's hair.
"I did." Tracy relaxed under Alice's touch. " Did you have any problem buying the supplies?"
"Nope, even manage to pick some massage oil." Alice was caught by surprise when Tracy started to kissed her breasts. "Honey, wait, I want to check something."
"Um, why? We aren't trying to conceive. We can just fool around right now." Tracy was ready to go.
"Because if we get into the habit now, it would be easier when it matters." Alice turned the shower off. "Race you into bed."
Tracy handed the thermometer to Alice. "This is so romantic. Checking your temperature."
"Hey, it's as romantic as you make it." Alice shrugged. She leaned forward and kissed Tracy. "I suspect if we want to, now would be a good time to conceive. I'm ovulating." The thermometer beeped. "Up about six degrees. And I'm horny." Alice jotted a note in the notebook.
"Should I call Alan?"
"Oh, not yet." Alice chuckled. "Perhaps after all we get Brook settle into the house."
"But you are ovulating…." Tracy said.
"Mmmmm. But there's more to timing. We need to figure out whether or not our granddaughter is living with us, buying a house…."
"You starting the new job, my recovery….."
"mmmm-mmm. But it's good to know my cycles." Alice undid Tracy's robe. "I think we should practice getting me into the mood."
"Really?" Tracy propped herself on her arm. "I could do that."
"So which house do you like Alice?" Tracy asked.
"Maybe the third. The bedrooms were great."
"Perfect for a nursery perhaps?" Tracy said
"Perhaps." Alice agreed, hoping Brook Lyn didn't hear them.
"The yard was great. I like the fact it's only six blocks from Auntie Monica's."
"Mmm-mmm. The fact it has six bedrooms and an office is nice. Just in case." Alice smiled.
"One could definitely be an cool room for boroughs. Dillon could use a room for a studio and place to crash." Tracy said. "Another for a guest room. The one for us and…"
"Just in case." Alice kissed Tracy. "Make the bid. I think we found the house. "
"Just in case?" Brook Lyn asked.
"Well, you never do know with Quartermaines…" Alice said grinning.
"Well, Mrs. Quartermaine, we have a house." Tracy hung up the phone.
"Mmmmm. Do you want to celebrate now?" Tracy asked. "I actually think we have some massage oil left."
"Ah, I'd rather practice."
"Well, practice makes perfect…." Tracy smiled as Alice begun to kissed her neck.