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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

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It had been three long months since I had last seen Gail with only a few hints of progress and two precious brief notes scrawled out haste and passed back through Traci. The last one said simply, “Can’t wait to see you again!” that had been a month ago on bar napkin.

I placed my glasses on the desk, rubbed my eyes, and tried to concentrate on the DNA report in front of me. It was no use. It all came back like it was yesterday. Gail walking into the lab, placing coffee on my desk and kissing the top of my head, “I have good news and bad news…” She began.

The “good” news was that Gail and Dov had been chosen for a highly coveted undercover assignment. The “bad” news was that Gail had three hours to finish any personal business before disappearing with no contact for God knows how long. She had pulled me into her arms and begged me to wait for her. How could I say anything but “Yes, of course?”

Chris and I cemented a close friendship during the time of their absence. He liked to joke that having a lesbian wingman was better than being a police officer when it came to picking up women. We went to hockey games, arcades, and nightclubs together, to pass the time. I even got him to come dancing with me at a gay bar or two – and he always ended up going home with the only straight girls there, go figure. Going to the Penny was harder, as I always expected to see her swaggering through the door or sitting on her favorite bar stool. Although we never spoke of it, I think he knew just how much I missed her, and I knew how much he missed Dov, and her too. Three days after they left, he had invited me over to their place for pizza and video gaming, claiming the apartment was just too quiet without them. When it got to be late, he suggested I stay over in Gail’s room, if I didn’t think that was too creepy. I gratefully took comfort in her bed, falling asleep my face buried in her scent on her pillow. We'd been doing that now, off and on, ever since. On the night I beat him at Mortal Kombat he told me Gail was going to kill him for teaching me how to play, whenever she returned.

Damn! This report is not going to write its self!

I picked up my glasses, and looked up to find Detective Callahan entering my office.

“Excuse me Dr. Stewart,” He began with an earnest expression,

"Holly..." I interrupted.

"Ok then, Holly." He continued with a tiny quirk of his lips into a shy smile, that made him seem younger, earnest, almost apologetic, "This is about Gail. I need you to come with me.”

My heart threatened to stop right then and there.

“But I need to finish this report by tomorrow.” I protested weakly, all the while panicking.

“Don’t worry, I spoke with your supervisor, we have you covered. Now please follow me.” He turned and left the room.

"Of course." I stood up, praying my shaky legs would support me.

An unmarked black SUV was waiting, parked in the Cheif Medical Examiner's reserved spot. He grinned as he opened the door for me, and I was beginning to see why Gail liked him. Climbing into the passenger seat I turned to him “What’s happened?” I asked in as even a voice as I could manage.

“She’s ok, it looks worse than it is.” He shrugged noncommittally. “You look tired. Why don’t try to get some rest, we won’t be there for at least three hours. You can tip back your seat to make yourself comfortable, if you would like."

“Where are we going?” I asked, too much on edge to sleep.

“I can’t tell you that.” He replied, “I can only tell you that you are here because you have security clearance with the department and you are a doctor.”

“Great, just great!” I sighed, “Is there anything else I need to know?”

“We are temporarily joining this undercover op. I understand you've done this before in your previous position in Vancouver. The chief of detectives there speaks highly of you." He glanced sideways at me. I mearly nodded slightly, and didn't answer. “I will brief you when we get closer. As you know, try to keep anything you say as short and real as possible.”

The rest of the ride was quiet and I found myself dozing off in spite of my state of agitation. I awoke to the bumpiness of a dirt road and a million stars peaking through the tops of tall pines.

“Good, you’re awake.” He said, “When we get there, my name is Johnny Callahan, you are Dr. Susan Johnson. The real Dr.Johnson is in witness protection. You are doctor and my sometime girlfriend. You own, and run a clinic, off of Bloor, and I use you to take care of medical emergencies without attracting attention from the authorities. You will tell whoever is there that you will need to bring Gail to your clinic for further treatment. Her name is Candy, do not address her as Gail until we get her into the car. There is a medical bag in the back. Ok?”

“Ok.” I repeated

“Good!” Here we go!” Callahan pulled into the driveway of a trailer home behind a big blue pickup truck and an older mustang.

He got the bag out of the back, and strode up the walk with me trailing behind. The door opened, and Dov stepped out into the brisk spring night.

“Hey Johnny! You brought your lady doc?” He said shaking Luke’s hand.

“Yeah Dave, here she is.” He wrapped an arm around my waist. “Dave this is Dr. Susan Johnson, Suzie, this is Dave.”

“Um, hi!” I manage a smile, “What can I do for you?”

Dov stepped aside and motioned us into the trailer. Another man rose from the kitchen table to greet us. He was large and broad, with a salt and pepper crew cut and scars under his eyes, and on his hands like he had been a fighter. He made me think of a bear as he shambled forward to greet us. "Hey Johnny! Is your girl really a doc? Cuz she’s too pretty to be a doc!” He winked at me.

“Hey Sal, what’s up?” they shook hands and did that half hug tough guys do.

"You guys have a good ride?" Sal tilted his head, looking me up and down, "Can I get you anything? Fruit?" He reached for a bowl of peaches on the table behind him, "I think we got some of them fancy beers Dave here drinks in the fridge..."

Callahan shook his head, "Dave called and said you had a medical situation."

“What can I do for you?” I inquired while looking around for any sign of Gail.

Sal looked at his hands and shook his head. “Dave’s lady managed to get herself knocked up. We were hoping, cuz he's so fond of her, you could help us take care of it quietly. It would be a shame to have to 

I barely managed to stifle a sharp intake of breath and felt myself flush, my heart beating in my mouth.

“You don’t have a problem with that, do you?” Dov was looking at me sharply.

I shook my head.

“Look, “ Sal said, “She’s in the back. We had to teach her a lesson, so maybe you could help clean her up a little too.”

“Let me examine her, and I will let you know what I can do.” I offered

Dov opened the door at the back of the trailer and ushered me into a dark bedroom. The lump on the bed groaned and rolled over. He quietly closed the door behind him.

“Hey!” Gail’s hand snaked out from under the covers.

“Hey!” I sat on the edge of the bed, suddenly unable to stand. Her fingertips ghosting along the underside of my jaw created a giant boulder in my throat. I swallowed hard in an attempt to gain some small amount of control. All I wanted to do was kiss her, but that would be stupid. I heard Dov shift and lean on the door behind me.

“So Doc, what do you think?” He asked a little bit louder than necessary.

“I think I will need to take her back to my clinic for further evaluation and treatment.” I manage in an unsteady voice.

There came a knock on the door. Sal was standing there as it opened.

“Well?” he demanded

“I will need to take her back to my clinic for further evaluation and treatment.” I repeated firmly.

“I donno,” Sal stated looking me up and down, “Why can’t you take care of her here?”

“Look,” I said firmly, “If you want me to terminate the pregnancy I can’t do it here under these unsanitary conditions. I will need the equipment and medication I have at my clinic.”

He turned to Callahan “I thought you said she could take care of it!”

“Don’t worry, she’s cool.” Luke said calmly after a tense moment of silence. “If she says we need to go back to the clinic, we go back to the clinic. I mean Christ, Sal, it’s her clinic, no one else will be there!”

They glared at each other for a moment.

Dov cleared his throat, “Guys, guys…”He cut in, “Don’t forget we need her in one piece by the time Sanchez gets here, unless you can understand both Portuguese, Spanish and look good in that little red dress he likes...”

“Ok, ok, just get it done. But no hospitals!” Sal insisted, “Dave, she’s your lady, you go with her.”

“Sounds good!” Dov replied

He and Callahan helped Gail up and into the light of the kitchen. I was not ready to see the dried blood in her hair or the dark purple bruise on her cheek, or her left eye that was swollen almost shut as the helped her into the back seat of Luke’s car.
The trip to the safe house was quiet. Dov and I switched places when we stopped for gas on the highway. Gail sighed and snuggled up against me gripping my hand like she might never let go. I was numb, but she was here, solid and real.

“I’m going to need to debrief the two of you before you can talk to anyone else” Luke stated as we pulled into the drive of what looked like a farm. “I’m sorry Holly, but I will need you to wait down stairs for a while. The kitchen is fully stocked, so just make yourself at home.”

“But Gail’s injuries..” I began to protest

She reached up and kissed me briefly for the first time, “Don’t worry about me. It looks worse than it is.” She tried to smile and ended up with a grimace, uncurled herself from my side and stretched. The three of them briskly got out of the car, collected duffel bags from the back and went inside. I followed slowly behind, my head still swimming from the contact of Gail’s lips.

I was sitting on a bench at the long wooden table in the farmhouse kitchen, staring into my coffee when Gail appeared in the doorway fresh from the shower. Even though she looked rough, the sight of her took my breath away. She was wearing dark navy sweatpants, and a hoodie, unzipped just enough to make me wonder if that was all she was wearing. She moved silently across the wood floor on bare feet to straddle the bench next to me, snugging her body close to mine.

“Hey.” She whispered into the crook of my neck, as she wrapped her arms around my waist.

“Gail.” I breathed out, scarcely believing she was here.

“Mmmm.” She nuzzled me behind the ear making it hard to think.

“Gail,” I repeated, “Are you really pregnant?”

She laughed softly, her breath on my neck causing all of the hairs on my body to stand at attention. “Not unless your sneaky, nerdy, science ways have perfected a method of long distance parthenogenesis. Though I have to say, the dream I had the other night when I found out I might see you, about you trying to knock me up was quite, um, real. Doctor.”

My heart beat faster, and I could feel myself flush with both the shame of having doubted her, and desire so strong I thought I might pass out. As I turned to face her, I found that I could no longer contain it. Our lips crashed together with searching tongues and savage teeth, my hand tangled deep in her damp hair, hers clutching at the collar of my shirt, her leg sneaking across my lap to give her center contact with my hip. I swung my leg over the bench while pulling her into my lap, suddenly in need of more contact as well, my other hand finding its way under her sweatshirt and spanning across the bare skin of her back. The world was on fire. Her hands were gripping either side of my face as we breathlessly pulled apart. She leaned her forehead against mine and whispered,

“I’m so glad you’re here!”

“I missed you,” I whispered back “more than I can say!”

I reached up to gently run my fingertips over the bruise on her face. “Tell me what happened.” I demanded.

Gail shrugged and got up abruptly. “Things are heating up.” She began, “It won’t be long before we finish this.”

I was watching her pace around the kitchen, weighing how much she should tell me. I was beginning to wonder how dangerous this assignment had become. She stopped to face me, her eyes burning into my soul.

“Dov and I got into a public fight about me being pregnant so we could disappear for a few days without suspicion.”

“Dov did this to you?” I asked incredulously, nearly tipping the bench over as I rose.

“Holly, it’s ok.” She said slowly, “He needed to prove himself to the guys, and we needed an excuse to get away for a few days."

I think I must have been looking at her like she had lost her mind.

“Besides,” She continued, “I had to promise Dov I wouldn’t retaliate by breaking his nose later.” She smirked

“That’s not funny Gail!”

“Listen, “ Gail went on quietly, “we have three days, can’t we just make the most of it?”

She stepped in close to me, hooking her fingers in my belt and pulling me closer, our hips barely touching.

“Gail I…”

She reached up, removed my glasses, placed them on the table, and turned to cup my face in her hands, stopping the words I could no longer remember from falling from my mouth.


The word breathed out against my lips, made me shiver. Her lips were on mine again, soft this time, full of need, and tenderness, and longing. I opened to her, breathing her in like oxygen. My hands found themselves once again running up the naked expanse of skin beneath her sweatshirt. Her tongue was brushing softly against mine, charging the atoms in the room with electricity that ran across our skin. When she moaned quietly into my mouth, we were no longer on solid ground, my knees giving way beneath me. She pulled away, breathless now, and took me by the hand.

“Come on Holly!” She whispered urgently

All I could do was nod and allow her to lead me through the old farmhouse, up a flight of stairs and into a small suite. In the center was a large four-poster bed covered in an old-fashioned blue and white wedding quilt and white pillows. She sat on the edge of the bed still holding my hand. I allowed her to draw me in to stand between her legs, silent and pliant, heart beating a staccato against my ribs. The fleeting thought, "This is ridiculous!" Darted across my overly stimulated brain as I felt my mouth go dry and my hands begin to sweat. I knew I was one hundred percent at her mercy, as she looked at me with a glint in her eye and her hands on the button of my slacks.

“Holly, I just love you so…” She breathed out

I answered by leaning over to kiss her again, a long slow kiss that built with intensity, all the while her fingers working at the buttons of my shirt. A kiss that was finally interrupted as she growled with frustration, pulled my shirt over my head and flung it into the corner of the room. Once I was free from the offending article, she sat on the edge of the bed, butting her head against my midriff like a big cat, rubbing her face across my belly, and breathing me in.

“God, I’ve missed you!” She breathed out, as she swiftly unzipped her hoodie.

“I know. Me too!” I replied in a hushed tone, as I tugged at the drawstring of her sweatpants.

She and pulled me on top of her, while wriggling out of them. With one smooth kick they were gone and we were lying there naked, pressed together. She turned and rolled on top of me, pinning me to the bed, knee expertly placed between my legs. I gasped, overwhelmed by the sensation of her incredibly soft, firm body rubbing against mine.

“Mmm, Hol,” she whispered breathlessly in my ear, “I just want to fuck you!”

I could have died right there. Our lips collide again. Her mouth opened, pushing tongue past teeth, and I was drowning in sensation, transported beyond myself. She pulled my leg up around her waist, fingers sliding between my legs, seeking my molten core. My body betrayed my desire as my hips rose and my legs spread wider with a mind of their own. As she entered into me, I muffled a cry into her shoulder. She pulled me up into a kiss, laughing softly into my mouth, her body and fingers driving me wild. Holding my gaze she inched lower, I heard myself moan and sigh as she took my left nipple in her mouth and began to suck hard. Gasping aloud, my body writhed with animalistic pleasure, pushing my breast into her mouth. Without breaking eye contact she smirked and then slid between my legs, tongue seeking, teasing, causing my eyes to close and my back to arch. I opened my eyes, my body on the edge of oblivion, to find her watching me intently. It was a connection so intimate and intense my world imploded with wave after wave that ripped open my chest and destroyed me completely.

Wrapped in her arms, I kissed her tenderly, my body still aglow. Attempting to snake my hand between her legs she caught my wrist, just as my fingertips brushed up against her soft curls and the evidence of her desire.

“Not yet.” She whispered, “I just want to hold you.” Her eyes held a look of open soft intimacy I had rarely seen before.

I smiled as I fell into those eyes. “Where did you come from, and what have you done with Gail?” I teased and kissed her tenderly.

She laughed softly, and looked shyly away for a moment. When she looked back her eyes were so intensely blue and trusting it took my breath away.

“I have only been thinking about you, and us, and this, every minute of the last three months.” She admitted softly leaning in to kiss me again. There was a tenderness in her kiss I don’t expect, it simply blew me away. The kiss deepened, and then there was only hunger, and need, and love.