Jenks comes flying into the church at top speed and comes to an abrupt halt inches from Rachel's head as she comes through the doorway. Rachel is so focused on the book in her hands that she only acknowledges his presence after he speaks, "Hey Rach, what you got there?" Still clearly distracted and even a bit pale Rachel merely glances at him before moving towards the kitchen again, her nose back in the book.
Jenks follows with a frown, "Rachel, are you okay? Rachel?" Ivy begins to speak before they even enter the kitchen "What are you on about now Jenks, I am trying to..." She stops when her eyes land on Rachel and the previous though is forgotten as all of her attention is focused on the witch who has been toying with her emotions for over a year now, but who she simply could not seem to stay away from, and who in turn seemed to have no intention of staying away from her either.
She moves so fast that she is next to Rachel before Jenks can open his mouth. "Rachel...Rachel what is it? Rachel?" It is this last outing of her name; one that contains traces of what could be something resembling panic; that brings Rachel's thoughts back from wherever they were. She looks up with a simple "Huh?", but when she focuses on the faces in front of her she immediately looks worried, "What, what is it, what happened? Ivy, are you okay?" An annoyed vampire takes up the full expanse of her vision when Ivy moves closer, even closer, placing herself firmly inside Rachel's personal space.
"That is what we have been trying to determine regarding you Rachel, you were as responsive as the book you're holding." "Oh. Sorry. I just found something that I find very fascinating." Jenks flies closer at this, "Fascinating... You found something...in a book that you are not being forced to read...that you find fascinating." "I don't like what you're implying little man, I happen to like reading." "Since when?" "Just drop it bug, what were you zooming about in the hallway for anyway?" Jenks narrows his eyes at Rachel but decides to let it go – for now.
"I just came from your mother's and..." "Wait, you were at my mother's house...what are you doing at my mom's...without me?" "We had tea and what we were discussing was and is none of your business." He continues before she can respond with what is sure to be a non-complimentary comment. "We are throwing a New Year's party – here." Ivy is inches from Jenks in the blink of an eye, and when she speaks Rachel feels a familiar shiver work its way down her spine. She tries to focus on what Ivy is saying knowing that if she does not distract herself the tingling will works its way down her arms and legs to her toes and fingertips. "You want to invite people here? You know that this is the only place Rachel is safe...I've made sure of it and now you..."
Rachel moves to take a seat at the island and places the now closed book in front of her. Jenks moves a few centimetres back before continuing. "Slow down Ivy. You're not the only one that cares about her okay. I said we want to throw a New Year's party...not a 'let's sacrifice Rachel' party. We thought that since Rachel does not have to spend any more time with that good for nothing demon after tomorrow ... besides, us being alive after this last year I think is reason enough to celebrate. Ivy's glare is unwavering but it is Rachel that breaks the tense silence. "I think we should do it."
Ivy swings around and places her right hand on the island counter. "What? I am well aware of your lust for danger, but..." Rachel's instantly defensive, "I don't..." Jenks rolls his eyes and decides that if he does not want to be caught in the crossfire of another one of their famous 'Rachel and Ivy can't seem to get it together and get together so they work out the tension by turning everything into the end of the world' arguments he needs to get out now. "Okay ladies, I'm gonna let the two of you discuss it and then you can get back to me. Just don't take too long, we need to get the invites out." Ivy curls the fingers of her hand on the counter into a fist but Jenks is out the window before she can say anything.
Rachel just looks at Ivy until she uncurls her fingers again. "Jenks is right. We've been through a lot, all of us...I'm not under anyone's control, Jenks is not dead and the church is still in one piece." She hesitates and when she continues her voice is softer and she doesn't quite meet Ivy's gaze "Ivy, your heart is still beating and...I want to celebrate that." For a moment the only sound is her heartbeat, then she hears the air rushing from Ivy's lungs – she'd been holding her breath. "Rachel...we have to be very careful about who we invite." She smiles before realising it and when Ivy looks up she responds with one of her own – it is the most civilised conversation they have had in a while and they both know it.
"We will be, besides having to hide in here the whole time hasn't exactly caused my contact list to grow. What about you, is there like a family code of something that means you have to invite them...not that I would mind if you want to invite them...I just want to know if you have to invite them so I can know how to act towards them." Ivy just looks at her, "I really did try to follow..." This causes the red haired witch to roll her eyes. "If you have to invite them I can treat them like the unwanted guests they are but if you want them here then I can be my naturally charming self." Ivy can only smirk and nod. "I would like if Erica could be here and my father, but he won't leave my mother's side and I don't... don't want to have to deal with everything that comes with her presence."
Rachel puts her hand on Ivy's without thinking "It's our party; we can invite whoever we want." She suddenly tenses and slowly removes her hand. "I'm sorry." Ivy's perfectly squared shoulders slumps a bit and she simply says "It's fine" while getting up and moving to pour herself a cup of coffee. She takes a moment then reaches for another mug and after filling it turns and places it in front of Rachel. "Thanks."
A few moments pass, not being one to let silence last long Rachel swallows a mouthful of the hot liquid that she has found herself only truly enjoying when made by Ivy and picks up the discarded conversation. "So I was thinking of inviting my mother and I might even try and get a hold of my brother... and I think last I heard he had a girlfriend so obviously we should expect another head and I don't know if mom might want to bring someone but I can just call and ask and maybe we should..." "Rachel, you're rambling. Its fine you can invite anyone you want." Rachel hesitates only a moment. "Last year for New Year's you went to..." "I don't have to go. I have no ties or obligations there anymore. I have received an invitation...but I would rather spend the evening here." Rachel finds what can only be described as a goofy smile on her face for the second time that afternoon and does her best to compose herself before Ivy looks up.
"Good, then the real planning can begin." "Rachel, before, when Jenks first got back you looked really… what is in this book?" Ivy reaches her hand across the counter but the book is snatched away before she can even touch it. "Nothing, like I said just something I never really thought of." "Something fascinating?" "Yeah, something fascinating that I never really thought of." Rachel turns and throws "Jenks!" over her shoulder as she hurries from the kitchen. Ivy can do nothing but watch her go, then something catches her eye and she turns her head more to the right to see Rachel's still half full mug sitting on the counter. The last time Rachel left coffee Ivy made for her unfinished was when she 'flew' out the church to go save her mother. Ivy stares at the last spot Rachel occupied and can think only one thing: "That witch is up to something."
Rachel runs her hands down the front of the dress again, it feels so strange to want to look beautiful for someone else like this. With men, and everyone else, it was to get them to be like putty in her hands and to insure that she would be the one in control… it was still the one thing that she could not give. But this was different, for her, Rachel wanted to look a certain way on the outside so that she could have an idea what she makes Rachel feel like on the inside – beautiful… safe…comfortable…nervous. Nervous mostly due to what she found in the book...a book that she had moved from the attic to the kitchen and back countless times. It had been there the whole time... the possibility had been there but her confidence not, nor the honesty to admit to herself what she wanted, nor the desperation to never lose it...to never lose her. She had come too close the last time.
"Rachel! The kids want to know when we're eating." Jenks's voice is followed by a crowed of younger ones. "Is not..." "Dad, you're the one that wants to know." "His lying aunt Rachel." She can't help smiling and runs the brush through her hair one last time. She had decided to not leave her unruly red curls naturally but also to not go straight, settling instead for soft waves that bounced as she moved. She takes a deep breath and releases it slowly when realizing that it is the first of a few compromises she is hoping will be successful tonight.
Moving from her room to the kitchen Ivy suddenly changes course and opens the front door to reveal Rachel's mother carrying an enormous bright green bowl. "Mrs Morgan. Good evening." "Hallo dear, it is a good thing I know of vampire hearing otherwise I would have been...what is the phrase...oh yes...'freaked out'. And please call me Alice." "Very well, allow me...Alice." Ivy takes the bowl from her and holds it in one hand while taking her coat with the other and when they start moving down the hall Alice smiles at Ivy whose footsteps, while being much softer than a human's, is purposefully loud enough so Rachel will hear then approach.
She also starts speaking before going through the door. "Rachel your mother's..." She pauses mid-stride and mid-sentence upon seeing Rachel, who had just turned from the fridge with a bottle of wine in each hand. Her eyes find Ivy's first and its only seconds later that Ivy is able to complete her sentence with a much softer "...here." Rachel smiles when she looks to the woman standing next to her roommate. "Hi mom you're early, and you remembered the salad...great. Come on I want to show you the new part of the garden before the guests start arriving." She moves next to her mother and they are on their way to the backdoor when Jenks comes through.
"Alice, welcome. What I tell you, and they needed far less convincing than we thought...well Rachel anyway." Alice smiles. "You were right Jenks and the place looks lovely, I presume the children had a little something to do with the decorating." "Yeah, you see what we did was..." Rachel looks at Ivy as she puts the salad in the fridge and pulls out the orange juice. She interrupts without taking her eyes from Ivy. "Jenks I was on my way to show my mother the garden, would you show her around...I'll be right there." Jenks is so excited about the decorations that he simply picks up where he left off and does not notice that Alice is the one who steers them out the door after glancing at Rachel as she makes her way to Ivy.
Rachel moves next to Ivy who has both hands flat on the countertop on either side of the unopened carton of orange juice and her head slightly bent over it. It is clear that she is aware of Rachel's presence and even more so that she is keeping her eyes from her. Rachel turns and leans back against the counter. When she speaks her voice is gentle, "You're not vamping out Ivy, you're just worried or confused...pissed off is easy but I still have a hard time distinguishing..."
She pauses when Ivy makes a sarcastic sound. "Hey, you keep going on about knowing me, but what you seem to forget is that I've been living with you for just as long as you have been living with me, so guess what: I know you too." When Ivy does not respond Rachel turns sideways, takes a class from the cupboard and places it next to the carton, "So which is it, worried or confused?" Ivy fills the class, raises it to her mouth and says, "Both." before draining half of the liquid. She stops, perhaps wanting Rachel to leave it at that, but when she just keeps looking at her Ivy continues, still staring at the same spot on the countertop.
"I'm confused as to why I still..." again she stops and takes a moment before deciding on a different thought. "I want to do something but I do not want to upset you or ruin what is meant to be a pleasant evening." She drinks the rest of the juice and is reaching for the carton a second time when Rachel responds, "Okay." The look that Ivy gives her causes Rachel to smile before she can stop herself. "Don't look so surprised Ivy, we all grow up eventually...just don't tell my mother." Ivy continues to look sceptical but asks hesitantly. "So now what?"
"Now you tell me what it is that you want to do and then we deal with it." "I want to say something to you." When she remains silent Ivy straightens and looks her in the eye. "Rachel...you look very beautiful." Her instinct is to make a sarcastic remark but the sincerity is so pure that she finds her cheeks warming and herself unable to meet Ivy's eyes. A soft, "Thank you." is all that she can manage before turning and starting to prepare a dip with great haste. Ivy seems to sense Rachel's discomfort and turns to leave when Rachel clears her throat. "Ivy, you should wear the silver wristband with the sapphires...it looks really good with that shirt." She had stopped when Rachel spoke her name, but it was only when she realises that it was not just another suggestive comment about how it is perfectly normal for platonic friends to complement each other that she looks back over her shoulder and gives Rachel a smile that makes the redhead blush and quickly look away again.
People start arriving and an hour later the church is filled with the sound of light conversation and laughter. Rachel is showing her mothers' oldest and dearest friend and her husband were the drinks and snacks are when she sees Ivy for the first time since the guests started arriving. Ivy walks to her and when she reaches her Rachel does not hesitate to reach out and touch the wristband she suggested Ivy wear, giving her an appreciative smile. It is so strange to see Ivy's reaction that Rachel has to make a conscious decision to not ask Ivy if she would be blushing if she could, she decides to introduce her instead. "Aunt Silvia, Uncle Rob this is my roommate, friend and partner Ivy Tamwood." The gentleman accepts and shakes Ivy's outstretched hand and is about speak when Rachel suddenly says, "Business partner, Ivy and I have a business together...Vampiric Charms... that is what it's called." Ivy steps in at this point. "It is a pleasure to meet you both, if you will excuse me." She gives Rachel a small smile before moving away. Silvia glances at her husband before turning her attention back to Ivy and nodding in an approving manner.
Another two hours later the party is in full swing, the younger pixies have been put to bed and a guy who touched Rachel inappropriately is nursing a good beer against his swollen cheek while keeping a very close eye on a certain vampire. Meanwhile said vampire is talking to her younger sister as Rachel comes up next to her and hears Erica say something about the snacks and Ivy responding, "She is very good in the kitchen, her muffins are fantastic, much better than the ones cook use to make." Rachel can't believe the pride she still feels every time Ivy talks about her muffins. She starts talking before she can spend too much time thinking about how strange that thought would sound out loud. "And she can have the whole batch in one go and still look like this, is life unfair or what." Erica looks like she is about to respond when Ivy says, "Erica is a teenager Rachel, she eats about twice as much as I do." Again Erica is about to say something but is this time interrupted by a dismal looking Rachel. "Don't say anything." Erica finally sees a gap and takes it. "I was going to agree with you." Rachel finds she is dumbstruck and has no response as she watches Erica move to a young man who has been watching her with a dreamy expression. She glances at Ivy. "So what is the boyfriend's name?"
Throughout the evening Rachel finds Ivy by her side from time to time; each time they share a friendly smile before going their separate ways. This only becomes significant when Rachel overhears the older woman she just greeted comment that she and her late husband - of 38 years - also use to gradually drift to each other when they attended functions and social events. This is when Rachel is forced to admit to herself that she has done some of the drifting too. This is again the case when someone announces that there only a minute left. Rachel feels a tap on her shoulder and turns to find her brother huge grin on his face and arms open wide. "Little early, I know but I got somewhere else I need to be when the clock strikes." He tilts his head in the direction of his fiancé." She laughs and they grab each other in an overly dramatic show – poking fun at the age old tradition of kissing the person next to you at midnight – he dips her and kisses the daylights out of the back of his hand that is clamped over her mouth. He pulls her upright and laughing she turns back to her right. "30 seconds!"
Ivy smells Rachel before she sees her so she is the less surprised of the two; Rachel's expression goes from ecstatic to blank instantly. Their eyes lock and once again Rachel cannot but see the thing that terrifies her most in the brown orbs staring back at her, knowing the fear she's feeling is written across her face. She swallows and parts her lips but before a sound can cross them she sees the corner of Ivy's mouth twitch – what she has come to know as the only reaction Ivy cannot prevent when emotionally or verbally hurt – those eyes also lose some of their sparkle. Ivy lowers her eyes from Rachel's and while Rachel is still struggling to get her vocal cords to function, leans forward to brush her lips against Rachel's cheek. It is barely a touch, yet Rachel finds herself taking a sharp intake of oxygen at the contact. She then feels Ivy's eyelash brush a few inches higher knowing she is squeezing her eyes shut, not knowing that it is to prevent the pain from shining out to the rest of the world. It only lasts for a few seconds, Ivy moves away and Rachel hears the whispered 'sorry' just in time to know what Ivy is going to do next. Vampire speed results in Ivy's turn away from Rachel to be a mere blur for the majority of the guests and for this reason it is a great surprise to them both when Ivy feels Rachel's right hand close around her left wrist.
Ivy only glances down her arm before her head snaps up to find Rachel's eyes focused where hers were a moment ago. When her head finally tilts up after what feels like a short eternity, Ivy finds her initial surprise mirrored there. Then one corner of Rachel's mouth lifts to create that signature 'what do you know' cocky grin, "He did say I am like no one else." Ivy is not confused by much and not understanding a situation is something that she is not use to, the result of this is that Rachel finds herself looking at Ivy and truly seeing what the vampire is feeling for the first time. "I've been saying that for months." Rachel does not want to but at that moment she has to break eye contact. "I know." It is so strange to see a definite expression of emotion on Ivy's face that Rachel has to look back almost immediately and does not realise she's staring until she feels Ivy trying to remove her wrist from her grip, which she instinctively tightens to prevent Ivy from going anywhere. "15 seconds!"
"I've realised something. What I have been waiting for...needed all this time?" Ivy felt like Rachel was about to share one of the seven secrets of the new world with her and found her answer to be nothing but a whisper "An excuse..." She says this while moving forward and as the last syllable leaves her mouth her lips makes contact with... Ivy's cheek, she had turned her head at the last possible moment. She can't help the sting is a little surprised when Ivy remains frozen, but only a little so she moves away only far enough to touch her forehead against Ivy's. "...to do what I've been wanting to do for a really long time." Ivy pulls away far enough to look into Rachel's eyes, tilting her head up just enough so that light catches her face and Rachel can clearly see that her eyes are almost completely black. The room fills with the happy cheers "Ten!". "You are in control Ivy, the only reason you ever lost it was because I didn't follow the rules." "Nine!" "I got scared... I don't want to be scared anymore." "Eight!" There's a lot I need to tell you and it's not going to be conventional by any means..." "Seven!" "... but if you agree then I'm in – you said all or nothing and I choose all, but like everything with me it will not be simple...and..." "Six!" "Rachel." "There are some things that I won't accept and you are going to have to accept that..." "Five!" "Rachel." "I have to get this off my chest."
She waits for a moment before continuing. "Four!" "Because I have reasons for the way I feel, the concerns and requests I have are not unreasonable and..." "Three!" "Dear heart." She could not ignore the term of endearment. "What?" "Ask me." Rachel just looks at her. "Two!" Ivy glances to the side before settling back on Rachel. "You needed an excuse, after everything I need you to ask." "Kiss me." Ivy just looks at her. "One!" "Ivy, I'm asking you to..." At that moment Ivy surges forward, but an inch from her she comes to a complete standstill and Rachel feels like the next second is stretched to last at least a minute because she is so aware of Ivy's left hand coming to rest on her hip, the right cradling her neck and back of her head, the breath against her face as Ivy whispers, "A real chance is all I have ever asked for Rachel" and everything else dissolving when Ivy's lips land on hers in without a doubt the gentlest kiss they have ever shared, and it takes her breath away. "Happy New Year!" Lucky for them lack of oxygen is not nearly enough to stop Rachel from kissing back.
As traditional songs begin to fill the air and everyone stars hugging everyone, Ivy feels her hand being taken and allows herself to be pulled out of the backdoor. "Okay I'm going to just tell you everything, just know that I will understand if you are upset, I will even understand if you feel the need to leave, but I will not understand if you do not come back because even though this may sound like a huge thing at first it really doesn't have to be." She sucks in a breath and notices that Ivy's whole body has gone rigid. "I'm not changing my mind Ivy, I want to be more than friends... but if we are thinking long term, and I think we've danced around it long enough to know it's forever or never, then there are some things we have to sort out first. That is why I need you to give me your word that you will listen to everything I have to say and then if you need time and space to think or to cool off that you will come back and that we will try to go back to the weird that we had. Because I would rather have more but I will also rather keep the weird than loose you completely...okay?"
Ivy looks completely stunned before slowly nodding and moving to sit on the bench. "Yeah, sitting is a good idea." Ivy just glances at her, watching her take a deep breath and letting it out slowly as she lowers herself next to Ivy. "I have no idea how I would even begin to word the next part so I tried to make it easy." Looking rather nervous Rachel hands over a piece of paper, the looks of which indicate that it has been folded and refolded many times. Looking from it to Rachel Ivy manages a weak smirk, getting 'shut up' expression in return, before unfolding the paper:
1) I have known that I have feelings for you that go beyond friendship for a while.
2) I did have reasons for not wanting to admit it:
* I have never been with a woman.
* I have control issues - I cannot be with someone who could control me.
Ivy gives Rachel a hard look but it seems that is what she is expecting because she immediately points at the letter and gives Ivy a pleading look. Clenching her jaw to stop herself from speaking Ivy looks back to the letter.
* Even if I trust that person completely, it does not matter who or what that person is.
* If you die your first death I will willingly do what your father is doing for your mother.
Ivy suddenly looks up. "I would never expect you to do what my father is doing - I would not want you to. You know that I would do almost anything to not exist without my soul, I love my mother but what she is now...Rachel, I never want to be like that." Rachel just looks at her. "Just keep reading." Ivy keeps staring for a while, when she says nothing more she frowns in frustration but does as requested.
3) Solution – I have been looking for a way to save your soul for almost 2 years, a spell everyone told me does not exist. Then two days ago I found something that could be the answer to everything...
Having read the last sentence Ivy looks up at Rachel. "There is no spell for this Ivy, and nothing like it has ever even been attempted..." She pauses and Ivy can only last a few moments before giving in. "But?" "But I think I found something, more like two very different spells, that I think I can use as a basis for crafting a spell..." "Crafting, Rachel crafting can only be done by highly educated witches." "That is the general opinion, but when I was stuck in the everafter and those creatures were attacking me, I conjured a protection spell from nothing. I never told anyone because I did not want to spend a minute longer there than I had to." Ivy folded the piece of paper, opened it again and then folded it a second time before looking back up. "Tell me everything." Rachel looks like a mountain had just been lifted from her shoulders, she had been over thinking Ivy's response so much that the last thing she thought of was the cool, calm and collected response she just got, it causes her nervousness to transform into excitement. "It is pretty complicated but I've had some of the smartest people I know have a look at my theory and they are very impressed." "Like your mother?" "Yes, I tried to pretend that it was for something else but I could see she didn't believe me." "So what it comes down to is that I will give a piece of my soul and in turn you get to live for only as long as you have yours – meaning you're first death will become your only death. You will also give a piece of your soul and this will mean that we will be connected on such an intense level that I believe we will be able to take energy from one another, summon one another and also we'll be able to read each other's thoughts – but only when and what the other permits to be read."
"And the summoning thing?" "It'll be more like a call, you control whether it happens or not. Also once we are infused or whatever no other vampires' pheromones will affect me, but again you will not be able to control me against my will. And even if you were to become someone's scion they will not be able to control me through you." Ivy gives Rachel a very strange look, which causes her to blush and break the intense eye contact they were sharing. "Like I said I've known about my feelings for a while, why do you think you were getting mixed signals all over the place? I knew what was causing me to not want to admit my feelings for you, so I've been looking for a spell that will solve all the big issues. Now instead of finding it I'm gonna craft it." She hesitates for a moment before continuing. "Ivy about blood..." Resting her hand on the one Rachel had placed on her knee, Ivy has to smile at how natural the contact happened and felt before responding. "I can wait Rachel, for blood and physical intimacy. If I know that you are in it with me, that we are together then I can wait...we are going to go as slow as you need." "Thanks." The word is spoken so softly that Ivy knows it was meant especially for her vampire hearing, she follows Rachel's gaze to their hands to watch as Rachel slowly turns her hand over and pushes her fingers between Ivy's who immediately reacts by closing her fingers around Rachel's palm. After a moment of comfortable silence Rachel looks up and finds a smile mirroring her own on Ivy's face. "I just have one question, if this spell is meant to solve all the big issues - does that mean it's going to turn me into a man?" "No, of course not Ivy..." Just as she is about to go on an explanation spree Rachel notices that the smile is still firmly in place and there is a mischievous glint in Ivy's eyes. She glares at Ivy and plants a firm punch on her shoulder which only causes Ivy laugh as she stands and uses their joined hand to pull Rachel up and against her.
"So you're pretty confident you can craft and perform this spell." "Yes, I've never felt more confident about doing something, and it's not even about it being what I want, it feels like it is what I'm supposed to do...it just feels right, you know?" "I think I do because what I'm about to do has just felt right to me for a long time." It is Ivy's turn to look as nervous as she's ever going to. "Rachel, will you be my girlfriend, with the medium term plan of performing the spell and the long term plan of spending the rest of our lives together?" "Yes." That is all she gets out before Ivy surprises her with a kiss that makes Rachel instantly believe in fairytales again, because there is no doubt that it would wake her from an poison induced sleep, a curse and possibly even death. The moment Rachel regains her senses she pushes her hands into Ivy's hair finding it to be even softer than she imagined. Ivy is the first to pull back, when Rachel follows her she smiles and allows another, much gentler kiss before placing her hands on Rachel's hips and stepping back. "We should go back inside." Nodding Rachel turns in the direction of the house, smiling when she feels Ivy's hand on the small of her back.
Upon entering the house they find Rachel's mom placing dirty glasses on the table. "There you are, people have been asking for you two." "Oh okay." Rachel sees her mother glance from Ivy to the hand still resting on her back, but when she says nothing it is clear that it is not going to be an issue, but that there will be a thorough discussion in the near future. Ivy nods and gives Alice a small smile as they pass her. Getting back Rachel and Ivy are immediately approached by guests thanking them for a great evening, wishing them a happy new year and saying their goodbyes. As Rachel gets ready for the next set of handshakes, hugs and kisses on the cheek she is suddenly presented with a sight she has not seen in years. "Hallo little one." Without thinking Rachel throws her arms around the woman's neck. "Aunty O'Neill why are you here? I mean when did you come back? Have you been here the whole time, I didn't see you. How are you?" Pulling away Rachel puts her hands on the woman's shoulders. "I am here because I received an invitation, I arrived early this morning and I am doing very well according to the flock of doctors my son is paying to keep me alive." Rachel laughs. "Aaron loves you; he just wants to take care of you, besides you look amazing." "Then your eyesight is not what it used to be." This gets a sound of amusement from Ivy, who Rachel turns to while keeping her hands on the woman's shoulders. "Yes it is very funny. Aunty O'Neill this is Ivy my partner Ivy Tamwood." "Yes, your business partner, I've been informed dear." Glancing at her Rachel moves her left hand to take Ivy's right. "She is my business partner, but she is also my girlfriend." Ivy smiles and her eyes shine in a way Rachel has never seen before and from across the room Jenks's voice rings out clearly above the music "Erica, you owe me $20."