Author: eponinesghost (EppieG)
Title: I Want You To Want Me Part 30 – Actual Chapter Update, At Long, Long Last
Rating: No clue
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the creators of Rizzoli & Isles. No infringement intended.
Notes/Summary: Nothing you confess … could make me love you less …
Some of the biggest surprises in Angela Rizzoli's recent memory had included: finding out that her husband didn't want to be married to her anymore; learning that he also wanted an annulment, basically declaring her three beautiful children bastards; losing her home; being invited to live with her daughter's best friend and colleague with the nicest possible arrangements and accommodations; finding out that her daughter was in love with that same female friend; finding out that her super intelligent landlord had rejected her amazing daughter out of fear and insecurity; discovering that her daughter's former partner and current mentor was about as big a romantic as Angela herself was, and had selflessly provided her daughter a wonderful escape from her traumatic experience; realizing that she had developed feelings for the man; and the welcome transformation that had taken place in the relationships she shared with her daughter and her "adopted" daughter after they had both confided in her.
Still, she had been totally shocked when Maura had returned from her trip to Pittsfield and promptly told her that she had walked in on Jane kissing another woman.
She had been so gob smacked by this revelation that she failed to notice most of the sentences that followed … or Maura's overall lack of gloom and despair about it.
Jane and another woman? Since when? Who was this person? How could she know nothing about this?
She had finally waved her hands in front of her frantically to get Maura to stop talking and start over … slowly, and with more information.
When she'd gotten over her initial confusion and had taken in the full impact of what had occurred, she was beside herself. Her girls were going to be together!
Love had won out.
Sure, there were talks and discussions and hurdles and real life issues that would need to be dealt with, but the biggest thing was that they both knew … they both believed … they were no longer wondering or worrying or wishing for things to be different.
And she wasn't going to have to have her own heart splintered between them. Her prayers had been answered.
She was so excited she could hardly stand it.
After making Maura a proper breakfast and getting more crucial, if momentarily troubling, details, she's sent the hopeful younger woman off to shower and get a decent amount of sleep. Not only had she been on a whirlwind business trip and a long ride home, she'd endured the emotional upheaval of all that had gone on after her ill-fated entrance at Jane's apartment. That, plus a night of being cramped and uncomfortable in her car meant that she needed to pamper herself the rest of the day.
Once she was alone again, Angela was itching to call Jane and find out more, but thought better of it. Maura had said that Jane had wanted her to know what had happened, but she'd also indicated that she'd be sleeping part of the afternoon as well. Jane would call her if she wanted to talk before the big date.
The idea of it made Angela smile wide.
She had to talk to somebody!
With barely a hesitation she picked up the phone and dialed Vince Korsak's cell number. It would only be fair that he also know that the rocky road seemed to be getting smoother. He had done so much to help.
Besides, there was a nice little place on Stuart St. that she wanted to try.
They might as well discuss things over lunch.
After much internal debate, Jane had decided to make the bed up with the sheets Maura had just "anger washed" for her.
Initially, she was just going to put the mattress pad back on and grab some other sheets from the linen closet. But when she pulled the still-warm set from the dryer, they smelled incredible. And felt so comfy.
Maura had evidently used the appropriate amount of fabric softener, something she never seemed to get right and frequently skipped.
Besides, nothing … intimate … had actually happened in them, so …
It struck her how close she had been to crossing that line.
While Maura had been sitting outside in her car, crying.
Shaking her head, she reminded herself that there was no going back. She couldn't change anything. And she'd made the right decision with Julie, regardless of this morning's startling turn.
Tonight she would get to tell Maura about that decision, and hopefully remove some of the emotional weight caused by the M.E's natural assumption.
Even without knowing the truth, in spite of believing that Jane had moved on in at least one aspect of her recovery from crushing heartbreak, Maura had fought for her.
Had fought with her, really. Had laid everything on the line to get them to this point.
It was nearly overwhelming. To have been so far down, feeling so desolate and destructive … and then to have reclaimed, no … embraced … the person she wanted to be, and on top of that victory, to have been granted another chance at making her life more complete … with the person she longed to share it with …
None of her aches or bruises registered. She'd barely felt the sting when she'd replaced her small bandages after her wonderfully hot shower.
She felt marvelous.
Setting her alarm so that she wouldn't have to rush her further preparations for the evening, she slid into bed. She'd finish making it up later.
The last thought in her drowsy mind before she dropped into dreamland was of Maura … how it felt to hold her without worrying about letting go.
And how wonderful it felt being truly held by her.
When Jane woke up … and was sure she still had plenty of time … she called her mother.
After surviving endless minutes of the third degree and placating Angela as much as possible without the full explanation about Julie, she was finally able to get her mom's reaction to the big news.
It had been the closest thing to a girlish squeal as Jane had ever heard from her.
They spent a few moments going back and forth about how great it was, finishing each other's sentences and giggling, before Jane tried to bring them back down to earth.
"There's still so much we have to iron out, Ma. I'm sure there will be more tears and hurt feelings before this part is over …"
"Of course there will be, Sweetie. It's a relationship! And the two of you need to clear the air. But, Baby … it's going to be all right. You two love each other so much. I've seen it. I know it. And neither of you will ever give up on the other. It's powerful and beautiful, and if I'm being honest … I'm almost jealous."
"Not real jealousy, Honey. You know what I mean. I'm so incredibly happy! Beside myself for both of you. This is what needed to happen, what was supposed to happen. I would have supported you no matter what, you know that. But this was what my heart wanted. For there to be a happy ending for my girls."
When Jane had been unable to speak, her mother had grown concerned.
"Janie … are you there?"
After clearing her throat, she managed to whisper.
"Yeah, Ma. Just a little emotional all of the sudden."
"Oh, Janie. It's okay. I love you, ya know."
"You're not making it any better, Ma." Laughing through her tears, Jane regained her voice. "I love you too. And thank you … so much. Really … I can't even …"
"Shush! You don't need to say any of that. It's what mothers do."
"SOMEONE really needs to learn how to accept a sincere expression of gratitude …"
"And SOMEONE really needs to stop teasing me and tell me when Maura's expected to show up over there."
Jane marveled at how natural it seemed that her mother would have a hand in making sure that the other half of this star-crossed pair would be on time.
"Six thirty would be great."
"Do you need me to send anything? Cook anything?"
"No, Ma. Thanks for the offer, but I've got this."
"Yes you do, Sweetheart. Yes you do."
After they disconnected, Jane hadn't been able to stop smiling.
Frankie had been warned. Her mother had revealed that Korsak was in the loop. She would turn the phone off as soon as Maura arrived so that there wouldn't be any interruptions. If Tommy somehow managed to show up at the worst possible moment, she would shoot him.
Jane had taken every possible precaution to ensure that tonight would be reserved for Maura. And for laying everything out on the table. Nothing should be left unsaid or unexplained … only then could they move forward.
It was that thought, about what would come after the big discussion, that made Jane nervous. Not because she was worried, really. But because she wanted it so badly. And she wanted everything to be perfect. Special.
Her choice of outfit was an outward indication of that goal.
It was the basically backless purple-ish dress/jumper/thing that she had bought at the resort gift shop. She studiously avoided thinking about it as what she had on the night of the "Ivan experiment." It was plenty warm inside the apartment for exposure not to be an issue.
She knew how she looked in it … and had seen the honest appraisal in Miguel's eyes. Eyes she could trust. She was dying to see the look on Maura's face when she saw it. When she knew it was for her.
Everything was ready.
She was more than ready. Even if she wasn't wearing shoes. She'd decided that she'd only have to take them off … before. And she was not about to leave the apartment.
The only thing missing was Maura.
Which summed up how she'd started to think about her life after she returned from her trip.
In a few minutes, she'd have everything she'd ever wanted.
And, by God, she deserved it.
The knock at her door made her heart skyrocket.
Or more accurately, sent it into hyperdrive.
Jane had to take three deep breaths and remind herself to calm the hell down before she could even move. Then, she ordered herself not to run.
Even still, she practically yanked the door open as Maura was about to knock a second time, slightly startling them both.
Before Jane had time to recover and speak, she felt like the wind had been knocked out of her.
Maura was breathtaking.
It wasn't new, this appreciation … or awareness … of her appeal. But with her senses already heighted by expectation and excitement, Jane could scarcely take it in.
Her hair, as usual, was flawless. Jane's fingers itched to sift through it, feel it glide between them. Her eyes were wide open, a reaction similar to her own mirrored there. Jane felt like she was falling, weightlessly, into their depths.
A slight glance away to break the spell cast her gaze on Maura's lips and she was totally lost again.
Gripping the doorknob for balance, she tried to focus. The deep teal green dress Maura was wearing was sleeveless, despite the temperature outside. Jane followed the perfection of her arms to where one of them cradled a bottle of wine.
Her brain briefly noted the presence of the one thing she'd requested before it practically shorted out when she realize that dress was skin tight.
Closing her eyes to steady herself, she tried not to follow the train of thought that was racing through her mind. Skin tight. Skin … she wanted more of it. Right now. What she had glimpsed of Maura's unbelievably toned legs as they were showcased by the even more unbelievably high heels …
Jesus. She had to SAY something.
Her eyelids lifted in slow motion, bringing Maura back in full affect.
Jane was painfully conscious of the way the M.E. licked her lips before replying.
"Am I late?"
Shaking her head almost violently, Jane reassured her.
"No! No … um … "
She wanted to kick herself for sounding so lame and so clumsy.
"You look amazing."
Maura smiled and rendered her comment immediately inadequate.
"So do you … I …"
Jane was fascinated as Maura faltered.
"I … should have known that the pictures couldn't do you justice."
Blushing, Jane belatedly remembered that she had longed for Maura's first impression of her get-up. She had been too distracted to care until the attention was turned in her direction.
"Jane, you're absolutely beautiful."
Maura seemed inordinately pleased that Jane had simply accepted the compliment without deflection or humor. Her smile was brilliant.
"May I come in?"
At least one of them appeared to have regained their footing.
"OH, oh my god … yeah."
Maura's eyes twinkled with amusement as she breezed past the stock-still detective.
Cursing inwardly and mentally shaking herself, Jane was feeling a little more like she was back on her game as she slowly closed the door and locked it.
But then her eyes followed Maura as she walked away … toward the kitchen … and she was speechless again.
That dress. Those legs.
Now her mouth was completely dry.
She hoped Maura would open the wine right away.
If she was going to be able to talk at all tonight, she would need to remedy that.
And to stop staring at the way the form-fitting material emphasized Maura's mind-blowing body.
As she reached in the drawer where Jane kept the corkscrew, Maura marveled at the stability of her hands.
She was as mentally prepared as possible prior to knocking on the apartment door, but nothing could have prepared her for the visceral reaction she'd had to Jane as she opened it.
It was more than just the personification of exquisiteness that struck her so forcefully, not that image before her was irrelevant. It was the combination of eagerness and vulnerability and open admiration that Jane practically radiated … added to her own anticipation and emotions …
And the fact that she'd never seen anything sexier than Jane standing in front of her wearing that clingy yet sophisticated ensemble, her hair loose and gorgeously settled across her shoulders, tan all the way to her toes. The tiny white Band-Aid just above her eyebrow only making her seem much more approachable …
And while she'd never come close to an actual swoon triggered by mere visual stimuli, she completely understood the popular use of the word as applied to how she felt when she realized that she would be allowed to unveil even more … to touch and explore …
Somehow, in the ensuing exchange, she'd managed to regain her composure. Jane was as affected as she was, if not more. And that notion was positively thrilling.
As she turned back toward the counter, the wine bottle in one hand and the corkscrew in the other, she was acutely aware that Jane had joined her. Maura was almost giddy that the taller woman was barefoot … due to the height of her own heels, they were closer to the same level.
She was about to comment on that welcome development, when Jane softly cleared her throat.
"I have a confession to make …"
Maura didn't have time to allow the trepidation those words usually caused to take hold before Jane smiled sheepishly and continued.
"I didn't actually fix anything for dinner."
Motioning toward the table where the wine glasses stood at each place setting, she ventured.
"I couldn't imagine actually eating anything before we had a chance to talk … I mean … I'm not terribly hungry … but I have some …"
Charmed, Maura interrupted.
"I think talking first is a wonderful idea."
Jane's smile was dazzling.
"At any time, you just say the word, and I'll make you as many grilled cheese sandwiches as you want."
"You've got a deal."
Jane was relieved that Maura had been the one to serve the wine. She never would have been able to keep her hands steady enough to pour. Not with the vision directly in front of her.
In fact, she had to smooth her palms down the tops of her legs several times before she could even reach for the stem of her glass without shaking.
She was proud that she was able to raise her arm and extend it for a toast with no noticeable tremors.
Looking into Maura's eyes, absorbing the full impact of her smile, the warmth that surrounded her heart turned infinitely hotter as the last of the two words fully registered.
Inclining her own glass to within centimeters of Jane's, Maura's voice was remarkably calm and unbelievably sexy as she countered.
"To many tomorrows."
Jane felt the tiny "clink" of the glass rims all the way to her bones. She barely tasted the first sip as her mind raced to find the words she needed to open the topics of discussion they had to cover and clear up so that she could finally feel free to show Maura what her version of "forever" was …
As she settled the suddenly heavy wine glass back to the table, she cleared her throat.
"Um … I feel like there should be some sort of … disclaimer … or statement given … before either of us starts talking. Similar to a Miranda."
Laughing nervously, she continued.
"Nothing you say may be used against you, and all that."
Maura's lips turned up at one corner.
Sobering, Jane nodded, but hurried to clarify.
"Only that something I say may hurt you … cause you to doubt … this, yourself …"
"Let's just say that the point of this whole thing is to tell the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. But … none of it is intended to … open wounds. To judge … just … I want there to be no more assumptions, no more questions unanswered, no more … wondering."
"I understand. And I agree. Where should we start?"
"I just … want … you, especially you … to know everything. Always."
Seeing the tears form in Maura's eyes caused her to rush a response.
"I think we should start at the beginning … or rather … when I left. But first … I have another confession to make."
Maura blinked quickly, and then raised an eyebrow.
God she was adorable.
"You said that you would come over tonight to talk under one condition, remember?"
She could see Maura running through their previous conversation and could instantly tell when she got to the point Jane was referring to.
Now her expression was somewhat bemused.
"Well, I'm only wearing half of what I promised. This thing … I can't really wear a bra with it."
Maura's eyes immediately roamed over her, verifying her statement. And momentarily making her flush.
With a sultry look and a quick sip of her wine, the M.E. practically purred a reply.
"That's okay. Between the two of us, we have a full set."
At Jane's stunned reaction, she wrinkled her nose playfully in mock disgust.
Jane thought she would pass out.
How the fuck was she supposed to be coherent and make any sense when Maura had just told her that she wasn't wearing underwear?!
Immeasurably delighted with herself, Maura prompted.
"You were saying something about starting around the time you left on your trip?"
Still struck dumb, Jane could only nod.
"You had to get away from me?"
Now Maura's tone sounded softer, almost small.
"No! I mean, after the elevator … I was shattered. But … even more confused. And desperate in a way. Desperate to figure out how I could work with you, be around you with the way things seemed to be headed … toward polite and professional, but with no personal relationship involved. Korsak somehow guessed what was going on and we talked. He suggested that to find the answer … any answer, it would be best for me to do so without the stress of … figuring it out as I went along … constantly confronted with the situation and my lack of … protection from it."
Seeing Maura's brow furrow, she pushed ahead.
"He was going to lose the money he'd invested in these tickets … to the Caribbean … if he didn't use them, so he offered me one of them. Pretty much insisted. And I jumped at the chance to get away … not from YOU specifically … as much from ME as anything. I'm not making any sense …"
"No, you are. I understand. It was all too much at that moment."
Relieved, Jane continued.
"I was miserable when I got there, despite the incredible surroundings. Ma had made me leave my phone with her … she was amazing, really, about the whole thing. But if she hadn't demanded it, I think I would have called you … begged you to forgive me for the things I had said to you …"
"You weren't the one who needed to apologize!"
Grinning ruefully, Jane waved her hand in a dismissive gesture.
"We're not going to get anywhere if we keep arguing over who's more sorry."
Matching her grin, Maura tilted her head as if to say, "touché."
"You're absolutely right. Even though, I am the one who dealt the first blow."
Jane's warning was cut off by the most marvelous chuckle from the woman she was aiming it at.
"I'll behave. Please continue."
Completely comfortable now, Jane complied.
"Gerard recognized how much I was struggling. He was … seriously, an angel. He built me up in ways that I was unaware of at the time. Gave me the space and the right kick in the pants to start accepting who and what I am … and what I wanted in my life. Miguel and Celia … they were icing on the cake."
She took a deep breath.
"Ivan on the other hand …"
Jane was aware of a subtle change in Maura's demeanor, almost as if she were slightly bracing herself. Meeting her eyes and holding them, Jane hoped hers were reassuring.
"Confession time, again. Ready?"
The somewhat anxious nod was her cue.
"I found myself attracted to Ivan in the kickboxing class he taught. He was very good at it … and he was appreciative of my ability …"
Jane tried not to react to the brief snort that interrupted her.
" … He was attentive. And he was very handsome …"
"I saw the pictures."
"And I was still wondering: Was I so attracted to you because I was in love with you? Because of our close relationship? Or was I honestly attracted to women? Had my relationships with men been so … unfulfilling … because of I was afraid of the expectations? Or held back by my 'old fashioned' morals?"
She paused to wink at her companion.
"So, I had the perfect opportunity … A perfect candidate to help me test my theory, so to speak. He was interested. He was available with no strings attached … and I would likely never see him again."
Maura swallowed hard.
"And so I danced with him … I let him kiss me … you saw the pictures."
Hesitating only briefly, Jane took the plunge.
"He asked me back to his room and I said yes. I could tell how much he wanted me … and once we were alone, well … things happened pretty fast."
Glancing up, she could see that Maura was hardly breathing. She was dying to put the smile back in those eyes, but this had to be done.
"I was responding to him … and it wasn't … unpleasant, just not … Jesus!"
Jane threw her head back and tried to find the right words.
"Suddenly, I thought about how different it would feel if it were you … instead of him … and, God, Maura … I was on fire. And I knew. I knew that I couldn't. Go through with it. Not with him … or really, with any man. I had to stop him. He wasn't very happy about it …"
The words were dry, but not bitter.
"He was also offended that I wasn't grateful … with me being such an OLDER woman and all."
Jane rolled her eyes and Maura was intrigued.
"How old was he?"
Looking down, sincerely embarrassed, Jane mumbled.
"That's nothing to be alarmed about! It's perfectly legal and acceptable for a man that age to be with women our age. In fact, some would say it's actually optimum … considering the ages at which both genders reach their sexual peaks …"
Realizing what she was saying, the M.E. shook her head.
"I'm so relieved that you realized … discovered all the information you were searching for … that you didn't …"
Maura took advantage of the pause in Jane's narrative.
"While we're on the subject, I have another confession to make as well."
"The day after you came home, when you were in the kitchen and I overheard your mother mention 'your night with Yvonne' I was so insanely jealous. Of course, the way she pronounced it, I naturally assumed it was a woman. I was nearly ill at the thought of it."
"Oh, honey …"
"I'd never been jealous like that, Jane. In my whole life."
Jane was pretty sure she shouldn't be so happy about this admission. It obviously bothered Maura that it had happened.
"It's only natural. When you care as much …"
"Anyway, I didn't mean to cut you off. About your trip."
"Yes. It was exactly what I needed, even though I would have never planned it or imagined it. Gerard told me toward the end of the first week that …"
Unexpectedly, Jane felt her throat close. She willed herself to finish.
"… that ... I should never accept or believe that anyone had 'settled' if they chose to be with me … that I was the grand prize."
It was her turn to blink rapidly.
"What a wise and wonderful man."
Sniffling, Jane agreed.
"Yeah. Grandpa Magic indeed. Anyway, the second week I was at a very serene yoga retreat. Amazingly enough, I enjoyed the hell out of it."
Maura was unable to hide her surprise.
"I know! It gave me the peace and quiet and calm that I needed to make a plan. For how I was going to be … who I was going to be … when I came back to reality. I was going to be honest, and strong, and exactly the person I was now comfortable with. And I was going to do whatever was necessary within those boundaries to repair my relationship with you. So that I could be your friend. Hence, the hug and the question as soon as I saw you."
"And here I was, thinking about grabbing you and kissing you senseless as soon as I saw you."
Jane's arms fell from the table as her jaw dropped.
"I guess I should also start at the beginning …"
"Or you could tell me more about the grabbing and kissing …"
Even as she chastised, Maura was smiling. But she turned serious as she spoke.
"I had a horrendous and agonizing night after we … after the elevator argument. On my date."
She grimaced slightly as she delivered the last word.
"It was truly just an escort–me-to-a-function arrangement, Jane. But I still could barely stand it. I didn't sleep well, if at all. And then your mother was trying to be so kind, making me breakfast, trying to get me to tell her what was wrong … and I just couldn't process how I would begin to fix any of it. How I would explain to her that I had hurt you so deeply … or why."
Jane lifted her chin encouragingly.
"So, I basically ran away. Tried to do anything that would take my mind off of you … and what you had said. The shocking truth in your statements. But it didn't work. I saw you everywhere. Missed you everywhere. I had no idea you had … gone. I resolved to try to act more like I had … before. To just let things unfold. To be YOUR friend again. I didn't know until I got to your desk that Monday morning and Sgt. Korsak delivered the news …"
Her voice trailed off as she seemed to drift back to that moment.
"Ma didn't tell you?!"
"I'm sure she would have … if I hadn't been studiously avoiding her."
Turning to face Jane once more, Maura confided.
"I panicked then. Completely. Right there in the precinct. I'm sure I scared Sgt. Korsak to death."
Jane was pretty sure she was right.
"I don't really remember how I got back to my office. I just felt like I was in free-fall. I had been having these terrible dreams … in which I lost you …"
Maura wavered and Jane had an impulse to reach out to her.
"And it was like my nightmares were coming true. Your mother found me like that. She told me that the two of you had talked. She knew what had happened. What I had done … I asked about where you were … and if I should go to you."
Stunned again, Jane was speechless.
"She said, in that way that she has, that I shouldn't go if I were just lonely or feeling guilty. That I shouldn't go after you unless I could see us ending up on the beach together kissing like in 'From Here to Eternity'."
Laughing softly, Jane whispered.
"That's one of her favorite movies. My mother the romantic."
"I didn't want to make it worse for you and I didn't know exactly what I did want. Not that I would admit to myself. Then, I felt lost."
"I fantasized that you would come after me. That somehow you'd convince Korsak to tell you where I had gone …"
"I wish I had."
"I'm glad you didn't."
Their statements overlapped. At Maura's look, Jane explained.
"I wasn't ready. As much as I would have welcomed you with open arms, and kissed YOU senseless, I wouldn't have been … sure. About too many things."
Now it was Maura who laughed softly.
"That first week was wretched. I couldn't understand why I was so afraid. Your mother ... how can I describe it? ... was relentlessly understanding. She took care of me, all the while nudging and guiding me to face myself and all the possibilities that my decisions could create … or deny."
Jane felt a surge of affection for her mother. And her legendary persistence.
"I think I posed an interesting challenge for her, actually. I'm quite unlike any of her biological children."
This time, Maura winked across the table.
"And then, I thought I had ruined everything … the camaraderie and connection we had developed. She had cooked this fabulous meal for Sgt. Korsak …"
"Yeah. About that …"
Maura knew that a dialogue regarding Angela's love life might derail, or at least delay, the progress they were making.
"Oh. Sure. Yeah."
"It was such a wonderful evening, despite the fact that you weren't there. Tommy and Frankie and Vince and Angela … couldn't have been nicer. It was an almost perfect night, until Vince and Frankie suggested we get together the next evening. And I had to tell them I had a date."
Jane's head jerked. This was news.
"Earlier in the week, I had run into Phillip, literally. He was a complete gentleman and exactly the type of man I would usually find appealing. It was while I was still wrestling with how to define my feelings for you … I wasn't looking for anything to further complicate the equation, but when he asked me out I said yes. Because … if things had been 'normal' I would have said yes. And I so desperately wanted things to be normal again."
Remaining silent, Jane turned this new information over and over in her mind.
"Angela was surprised and hurt that I hadn't told her about Phillip, or the date. I had intended to, but looking back, I think subconsciously I knew that it would disappoint her. When we finally discussed it, she encouraged me to go. She asked me if I thought that you and I would remain unattached forever, never meeting anyone with whom we could see a future. And then she told me about Katie Jane."
Jane was sitting with one of the most intelligent women in the whole world, but in that moment, she was struck by the idea that her mother was a true genius.
"All I could think about while I was with Phillip was you. Where you were. How you were doing. And I worried that if I was too timid to accept my feelings for you, if I was content to just try to be your best friend, that you would eventually go on with a life that no longer included me. And I would be devastated."
Watching the beautiful doctor as she recalled her emotions, Jane was even more transfixed.
"I couldn't get home fast enough. When Philip kissed me goodnight … it was, what did you say? …'not unpleasant' … but that's all it was."
She had felt Jane tense as she mentioned the kiss and was hoping that her next comments would erase her concern.
"He was the first person I told, oddly enough. When I tried to explain to him why I was so aloof, I said something to the effect of 'You're a very nice man if I were free, you'd be just the type of person I'd be interested in'. But I wasn't free. My heart already belonged to you. And that night, I admitted it. I welcomed it. And I cherished it."
She was rewarded with one of Jane's widest smiles.
"How did … Phillip … take the news?"
"Like I said, he was a gentleman."
Jane rolled her eyes again.
"The second week was torture. Because I knew how I felt and what I wanted, but I couldn't tell you right away. And your mother was going crazy trying to get me to acknowledge it! I just knew that I had to tell you first. And it had to be when we were alone. When I could try to make everything up to you …"
"Hey. We said no more competition with the 'I'm sorry's'."
Maura pretended to be exasperated.
"YOU said! Anyway, we were with your family, then you had so much work to catch up on … you had the stakeout, I had my trip … and somewhere in the midst of all that you met …"
Despite her best efforts, Maura couldn't help the way she pressed her lips tightly together at the mention of the name.
Okay, here we go.
Jane took a giant sip of her wine and tried not to cough as it went down.
She was going to have to hurt the person she most wanted to protect before she could hope to hold her again.
the end part 30
thanks for reading!