Author's note: I wrote this story back in 2012. However, I am revising it again in order to write the sequel Rougher Tides. Some of the dialogue will be changed although I'm doing my best to keep it to the original story line. If you are interested in this story, you can read the full version by clicking on the following link and purchasing it. However, the story will be updated once this revision is complete.
Still in shock, Jackie's head reeled with the information. Mark David Solomon Jr. was here in New York and had to be after her. There was no other way. 'Maybe he just looks a lot like him? He did say he had a familiar face.' Jackie shook her head. It was too much a coincidence and she didn't believe in coincidences.
Jackie began reflecting on her actions. She didn't call Honey that day and she shrugged it off. Too much was on her mind for her to be a good partner so she settled on thinking through things. Almost done with her criminal justice course in the college, she smiled. Jackie put herself through school with her own money and no one could take that from her. She had already passed the police exam but she needed college credits hence, the associate's degree.
The more she thought about these things the more her parents' voices came into her head. 'Why won't you go to a real school, there's money in your college fund.' 'You disappoint me and your father.' Jackie shook the thoughts away. They weren't important right now. Unlike her parents, she was not gifted in the arts, so she wanted to make her place in the world by using another method. To be a cop, would make a difference and it gave her hope for the future.
Picking up her cell phone she dialed a number. Her friend Elena was already in the police force and although they were both from upper class families, Elena wasn't as rich as Jackie's family was. Still, the two grew up together and remained friends.
“Elena Williams speaking.”
“Hey, it's Jackie.”
“See you got a new number. How've you been?”
“Good. I started seeing someone recently.”
“Oh really. You go through women faster than I go through water. Is this one staying around for a while?”
Jackie smiled. She missed her friend. Elena drank water like it was going out of style and Jackie understood the reference quite well.
“We've been together over six months,” Jackie replied.
“World record,” Elena retorted. “When's the wedding?”
“Ha. How's Jack?” Jackie asked as she started thumbing her keys.
“Caught him cheating. Idiot's history,” Elena said. “Anyway, let's get together for lunch sometime.”
“Careful,” Jackie joked. “Sure you're not bi?”
“Always a sense of humor. Saturday work for you?”
“Hold on,” Jackie said and thumbed through her cell phone to look at her calendar. Nodding to herself, she put the phone back to hear. “Saturday is great.”
“You better have something good to tell me,” Elena said.
“It will be. It's something important.”
“Jackie, you sure you don't want me to come over now?” Elena said, worry clear in her voice, but she also knew not to pry Jackie anymore than she did.
“It can wait to Saturday.”
Jackie turned her cell phone off and sighed. Not knowing what to do in this situation made her really aggravated. Poor Elena, being cheated on by Jack. Jackie shrugged her shoulders. Elena could handle herself.
Turning her computer back on, she checked her e-mails and there was nothing substantial. She thought about scrolling through the newsfeed of her facebook account but decided against it. No need for a time waster. After she finished her homework assignments she walked to the gym quarters of the mansion. Exercise is always a great stress reliever.
After changing into a pair of sweats, she turned on her stereo and stretched. Following these stretches with a series of practice punches and kicks, she then traveled over to the weight machines. All were high impact workouts and the rush felt good to her. Jackie managed to put the thoughts of Mark and Elena out of her for a brief while.
Honey found Professor Martine in her office. Her salt and pepper hair was tied back in a bun and she was wearing reading glasses. Bracing herself, after realizing the way she acted at church was immature, she hoped the professor would be understanding. Honey rapped her knuckles softly on the door. The professor looked up.
“Come in, Ms. Elizabeth,” the professor motioned her hand for Honey to take a seat. Two green chairs sat before Professor Martine's desk. Honey placed her purse in one seat and sat down in the other.
“It has come to my attention that you and Mr. John Bradley will no longer be working together,” Professor Martine said without preamble.
“He was already here, professor?” Honey asked growing nervous.
“He came in the beginning of the week asking for an alternative assignment and claimed you weren't trustworthy with children. Anyway, in your records it states your a child study major. Is there any credence to John's claims?”
“No,” Honey said and resisted the urge to gulp.
If John was trying to ruin her career before she even started just because she wouldn't go out with him, he had another thing coming. Always having worked with children, she was a good babysitter and even tutored neighborhood kids. They had always received good marks after she tutored them, and that's one of the major reasons she decided to enter the teaching field. Why would John ruin that for her?
“I didn't think so. You once babysat for my sister's children,” Professor Martine explained.
Eyes widening, Honey wasn't sure how to take in this information. Was this professor serious?
“Who is your sister?”
“Kathy Jones. You babysat her sons, Mark and Anthony Jones at one point,” Professor Martine replied looking at her computer and scrolling through it.
Honey tapped her fingers on her thighs. Kathy Jones had been her best client and even paid well. It was how she was able to afford the down payment on the apartment she shared with Jean.
“Small world,” Honey replied. “With all due respect, Professor Martine, I asked for an alternative project. What is the alternative project I can complete?”
Smiling, the professor got up and opened a file cabinet drawer. She pulled out a baby doll and handed it to Honey. Honey looked from the professor to the doll. It briefly reminded her of a home and careers class she took back in Junior High.
“This is your alternative assignment,” Professor Martine said and sat back down in her seat behind the desk.
“Professor, I understand that this is a child psychology class, but why must I act like a parent to a newborn doll?” Honey asked.
“You will need to write a paper on what you learned from taking care of this doll,” Professor Martine answered. “Each time the doll cries you will have to turn the key that's in it's back. Here's a bag of other supplies.”
The professor handed Honey a diaper bag across the desk. Looking at in disbelief, Honey took the bag and looked up at the professor.
“You gave this assignment to John as well?” Honey asked, resisting the urge to laugh.
“Indeed,” Professor Martine explained patiently. “If you fail this project, you fail the class. Any questions?”
“No, professor,” Honey lied.
A thousand questions shot through her head but she refused to ask them. Getting up, she took her purse, diaper bag and the doll with her. How was she going to get through this semester was beyond her. She had no inclination of becoming a parent and now she had to pretend to be one with this assignment? She had no idea what this was supposed to do for her future teaching career, but she decided to just go with it. 'Just get past the course, and you never have to look back.' How was she going to explain this to Jean or Jackie? Shaking her head, she headed back home pondering on what her next step was.
Jackie called Honey later that night and Honey briefly smiled but remembering the doll, her smile faded. A night out with Jackie would involved bringing the doll with her and she groaned.
“Hey Jackie,” Honey said upon answering her cell.
“Want to go clubbing?” Jackie asked.
“Not really,” Honey answered nonchalantly.
“Yes,” Honey laughed.
A moment later the doll started crying.
“One second Jackie,” Honey said quickly and placed her phone on her dresser.
The doll turned out to be one that peed in its' diaper. 'Leave it for that professor to have a sense of humor.' Since the diaper was dry Honey placed a pacifier in the doll's mouth. The doll still cried so she a toy bottle of fluid and put that to it's mouth. Shortly after it started snoring and Honey turned the key in it's back. She placed a blanket over the doll and picked up her cell phone.
“Babysitting?” Jackie asked.
“I have to tell you something,” Honey said.
“You have a baby brother or sister? I doubt you have children and it's not my fault,” Jackie joked.
“Hush Jackie,” Honey said, annoyance in her voice. “Come over tonight so I can tell you what's going on.”
“Alright, see you tonight,” Jackie said and hung up the phone.
Not bothering to get herself ready, Honey lied in her bed. Her hands behind her head and she stared at the ceiling. Five minutes barely passed, when the doorbell rang. Groaning, Honey got up to answer the door. 'Got to give you an extra key at some point,' Honey thought.
“You look exhausted,” Jackie stated.
“That's an understatement,” Honey replied.
Jackie wrapped her arms around Honey and Honey returned the embrace. She rested her head on Jackie's shoulder briefly. Perhaps Jean was right and she did do a lot of waiting around for this woman, but she didn't care. She loved Jackie and from the way her brunette lover held her, the feelings were mutual.
“Come on in,” She said as she took off Jackie's coat.
Jackie looked at her surprised by the action. Giving Jackie a half-hearted smile, she walked to her bedroom. The brunette followed.
“What's with the doll?” Jackie asked.
“School. This is the alternative project so I don't have to work with John,” Honey explained.
“I see,” Jackie said, still confused.
“I'm an overworked babysitter,” Honey stated and Jackie laughed. “I used to babysit Professor Martine's nieces and nephews.”
“Small world,” Jackie said and smiled.
“Can't do anything fun as of late,” Honey said.
“Yes, you can,” Jackie replied. “Has to be planned around the doll.”
“Frustrating,” Honey admitted.
“What if it was a real child? Our child?” Jackie asked.
“W-what?” Honey asked and took two steps back nearly knocking into her dresser.
“What if we had a child in the future? Not now of course, but later on?” Jackie asked unperturbed.
I had no idea you wanted children,” Honey stated.
“It's not on the priority list,” Jackie said and shrugged. “It was just something I figured I would ask.”
“I'm not having kids,” Honey stated adamantly. “If I ever get married, I'll think about it, but the answer for right now is no.”
“Plenty of time for that,” Jackie said chuckling and lightly shrugged.
Blushing, Honey stayed silent as Jackie walked over to her. Placing her arm around Honey, she kissed her on the cheek.
“Want to watch a movie?” Jackie asked, still leaving her arm around Honey.
Honey picked up her laptop and sat down on her bed. Jackie got in next to her as the lovers snuggled together. After deliberating on which movie they wanted to watch, they finally decided. Honey turned the movie on. The couple held hands as they sat next to each other and watched their mutually agreed upon movie.
Waking up before Honey the next morning, she couldn't imagine being anywhere else aside from in the bed next to her blond lover. Honey was curled up to her lightly snoring. The doll started crying and Honey immediately got up to take care of it. Jackie watched as Honey changed the doll's diaper and fed him a bottle. 'If I didn't know any better I'd think that was her son,' Jackie thought. Unable to stifle an oncoming yawn, Honey looked at her.
“Did I wake you?” she asked.
Shaking her head and smiling, Jackie got up. She wrapped her arms around Honey from behind. Placing a light kiss on Honey's neck, she then rested her head on Honey's shoulder. Honey smiled.
“I've been awake for a while babe,” Jackie admitted.
“Jackie, I have something to tell you,” Honey said as she patted Jackie's arm.
Gulping, Jackie braced herself. Whenever someone used that line on her it meant she was in trouble. Jackie broke her embrace from Honey and stood up. Honey looked at her, her green eyes sparkling.
“Yes, Honey?” Jackie asked, hoping this would be over quickly.
“Jackie, we've been together for a little over nine months now and I love you,” Honey said and placed her hand on the side of Jackie's face.
Relief began to flood through Jackie. Smiling she looked at Honey.
“I love you too,” Jackie replied. “Something tells me I always will.”
Bringing her face close to Honey's she pressed her lips against hers. They embraced each other as they kissed. Honey broke their kiss and while still in Jackie's embrace she looked up at her blue eyed, brunette partner.
“Do you want to tell me what's been bothering you lately?” Honey asked.
“Um,” Jackie replied, surprised that Honey caught on. She could have sworn she had hidden it well. Was the Tom character bothering her that much?
“I met someone recently,” Jackie said, deciding she may as well get everything out in the open with Honey.
“Who?” Honey said, not realizing she was bracing herself for Jackie's answer.
“The Texan man from the tournament; I met his son the other day. He told me his name was Tom, but his real name is Mark. I think he may be here to get to me,” Jackie explained.
“That's not good,” Honey gulped and broke their embrace.
Hearing the fear in Honey's voice, Jackie was heartbroken. The last thing she wanted to do was scare her. It was a burning desire in her heart to protect Honey and she thought she was doing that by not revealing what she had learned about Tom, or rather, Mark. Still, it was better to be open and honest about things such as this than to have it blow to extremes later.
“I'm meeting with Elena on Saturday to discuss it,” Jackie said. “We've known each other since we were little, and she's also in the police force.”
“Oh,” Honey said and hugged Jackie again. “Will you let me know how goes.”
“I will,” Jackie promised.
“Jackie, I admit, I'm scared for you,” Honey confessed.
Jackie looked into Honey's eyes. Holding her close, she put on a brave face. She kissed the top of Honey's head.
“Everything will be alright baby,” Jackie said. “I have everything under control.”
Jackie looked at the wall in Honey's room as she held her lover tight. She didn't want to think about the fact that she might have to commit murder again and this time actually be aware of it. It was the last thing she wanted to do and she didn't want to die either. Hoping against hope, she wondered if Elena would truly be able to help her come Saturday.