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Falling For Your Boss

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Jane stood there devastated, at Sutton’s Wedding Reception, after telling Ryan Decker that she could no longer stay with him without being able to trust him. Being with someone because you are scared is no reason to stay with someone. Jane knew this. She’s been having the inkling that something more happened on Ryan’s book tour then he said, but she didn’t want to see it at the time. Deep down in her subconscious she always knew. They were being manifested to her in forms of her dreams for weeks. She finally listened. 

“Hey Baby, oh no are you okay?” leaves Suttons mouth as she and Kat arrive in Jane’s presence. 

Jane with tears in her eyes, “Ryan and I broke up.” 

“What, Why?” Sutton replies with her hands sliding down Jane’s arms. “ Did you know about this?” she asks Kat. 

“I didn’t want to tell you and ruin your big day.” Jane tells Sutton as tear’s fall from her eyes.

“Nothing is bigger than us, you know that.” Sutton comforts Jane. “Oh baby, I’m sorry.” comes out as she runs her hands through the bottom of Jane’s hair. 

“Hey, we got you.” Kat adds rubbing Jane's other arm in comfort. 

‘Yeah, Always and Forever.” Sutton slips in as Jane is breaking with tears in her eyes.

Sutton and Kat pull Jane into their arms.  “Come here.”

&&&&&

On the other side of the room Jacqueline is staring at the three girls, debating on if she should approach them to see why her writer, no not hers, just Jane, she has to remind herself, is crying in her friends arms. Ian approaches her and hands her a glass of champagne. 

Ian notices Jacqueline watching the three girls as he comes up to her. “Here”  he says, handing her the glass. 

"Thank you Ian." Jacqueline replies gratefully as she takes a sip from the glass. 

Looking away from the girls for a moment, she turns to Ian “Excuse me a moment.” before walking to where the best friends are still hugging. 

Jane looks up as she sees Jacqueline, her boss, her mentor, her crush , she can’t stop thinking about, walking up to them. Extracting herself from the girl's embrace she straightens up wiping the tears from her eyes. “Hi Jacqueline” slips out quietly. 

Jacqueline pauses before looking right in Jane’s eyes, “Are you okay?” she softly asks her, stopping herself from reaching out in case she wouldn't be able to pull away. 

Jane smiles slightly as she shakes her head. “Not really, but I will be. Thank you Jacqueline.”

Kat and Sutton notice the looks between their friend and boss, and excuses themselves. “We’ll just be over there if you need us baby.” Kat whispers in Jane’s ear as they depart. Jane nodded her head in gratitude. 

Jacqueline watches Kat and Sutton depart, not sure what to make with the looks that pass between the three girls. She looks back to Jane, who despite wiping them away still has tears falling from her eyes. She raises  her hand, not being able to stop herself from wiping the tears from her writer’s eyes. "Jane, what happened?” is softly asked.  Her heart, breaking seeing Jane not being able to stabilize the tears from falling.

Sniffling and leaning in to Jacqueline’s touch she replies, “I broke up with Ryan, he -” stifling a hiccup “um he cheated when he was on his book tour, I didn’t want to believe more happened. It’s my fault for staying with him.” Jane starts to sob again, turning away from Jacqueline. 

Not knowing what to say, Jacqueline with her hand on Jane’s back ushers Jane away from the crowd and prying eyes to take Jane in her arms. “I’m so sorry sweetie. You didn’t deserve that.” Jacqueline softly tells her rubbing her hands up and down the writer's back. “Just let it out. I’m here for you whatever you need darling.” the darling and sweetie slipping from her lips not being able to stop it. 

Jane relishes being in the editor's arms. Wishing it was in different circumstances but loving it nonetheless. Finally with her sobs stopping she looks up at Jacqueline. “Thank you Jacqueline. It means a lot.” 

Stepping back from the Editor, immediately feeling the loss. Not knowing that Jacqueline also feels the same loss but neither wanting to put thoughts into those feelings. They both just stare into each other's eyes, not knowing what else to say, and not knowing neither wanting to break the feeling of being in each other's presence. 

Sutton comes over interrupting the moment they were sharing. “Jacqueline, Ian is looking for you.” she sadly notifies the editor. 

Sighing not wanting to leave Jane but knowing she was in good hands with Sutton and Kat. “Thank you Sutton.” Jacqueline looks back to Jane softly “Jane, please text me later if you need anything. I’m always here for you.” comes out imploringly before she can stop herself.

“I will. Thank you Jacqueline.” softly comes out of Jane's mouth as she pulls Jacqueline into another hug not wanting to lose her presence just yet. “I’ll need you.” is softly whispered into her mentor's ear before she pulls away. 

Catching her breath from those words, not being able to look at her writer again, Jacqueline slowly turns and walks away, to find her husband. 

Sutton glances from Jacqueline’s back as she walks away, then back to Jane, her best friend who was a crying mess before she left, with a slight smile on her face now. Knowing Jane’s feelings for the editor in chief of Scarlet magazine, Sutton smiles to herself before taking Jane's hands in hers. “Everything okay? Sorry for intruding babe.” she replies softly.

“Yes. I think I’m going to go home though. I love you Sutton!” Jane tells her newly married friend. 

“Let me go find Kat and we can take you home baby.” Sutton says softly. 

“Sutton, it's your wedding night, you need to go home with Richard. Jane tells her pointedly. Not wanting to keep Sutton from her husband the first night they are married. 

“I’ll be right back. I’ll talk to Richard too.” Sutton responds before walking off to find the two mentioned people.

&&&&&

Jane just stands there numb waiting for her friends to come back. Glancing around the room she spots Jacqueline having a heated discussion with Ian. Hoping it's not any fault of her boss coming over earlier - she sighs as Jacqueline eyes fall on hers from around Ians head. Not being able to look away now, Jane inhales from the compassion she can see from across the room. 

Thinking to herself how her feelings for her boss have been on her mind a lot lately. Jane isn’t sure exactly when her admiration for her boss/mentor went beyond that. She’s always admired Jacqueline Carlyle even before she got to Scarlet. 

On her first day at the magazine as an intern she remembers meeting Jacqueline for the first time. She was standing at the front desk when Jacqueline walked in through the doors of the Scarlet floor and she remembers smiling so hugely when Jacqueline noticed her. 

“What's got you smiling so big when only moments ago you were in tears?” startles Jane from the voice she was hoping to hear again before she left to go home to wallow. 

Looking up to see Jacqueline standing in front of her once again. “You.” is all Jane can say, making Jacqueline blush. “I was remembering the first day I met you.” a now blushing Jane replies.

Remembering the day like it was yesterday as well, Jacqueline just smiles softly. “I’m glad you still have a reason to smile.” Jacqueline softly says so no one can hear what she’s saying besides the beauty in front of her.

“You always make me smile Jacq..” Jane whispers softly, stepping closer to her boss. “I’m about to go home. Sutton went to get Kat and talk to Richard.” she adds quietly glancing around to make sure no one was watching them.

Jacqueline smiles at Jane reaching for her hand. “Jane, I just wanted you to know I’m sorry” squeezing the hand in hers. “ and please don't forget to text me if you need me. Even if it's just for something to do. I’m always here for you.” emphasizing the word always to leave no questions.

Squeezing Jacqueline’s hand back. “Thank you Jacq.” Jane softly replies . “I may just take you up on that. Go back to your um your husband Kat and Sutton got me.” Jane says, choking on the word husband. Hating to be reminded of the one person she wants more than anything else is married, and possibly even straight. Not to mention her boss and that's a whole other level of trouble. 

Jacqueline seeing the pain in the writer's eyes, and being the cause of it this time, tenses slightly. “Jane” is softly whispered out. Not knowing what else to say in these surroundings. Jacqueline squeezes the writer's hand in hers, letting her know she understands. 

Jacqueline Carlyle always was the utmost professional, never letting herself get truly close to someone under her employ. She never took account of one Jane Sloan to get under her skin so badly. Being the professional that she is would never act on it. She would never be that person as the male counterparts of the world do take advantage of. The editor has come to care so much about the young writer, not sure when to pinpoint exactly when the lines started to blur. Was it before or after Jane went to Incite she couldn’t tell you honestly. There’s always been something more when it comes to Jane Sloan. 

Shaking her head, Jacqueline doesn’t stop herself from pulling Jane into a hug just as Kat and Sutton appear. Not wanting to interrupt, the girls pause, letting Jacqueline finish up with their girl before they take her home, knowing that Jane needed the warmth of the older woman. “ We will talk later darling.” is then whispered before Jacqueline pulls back with one last smile to the writer. “ Sutton, Kat please take care of her.” is said when the editor is walking past them. 

Chapter Text

Later that night when Kat and Sutton finally leave Jane in her bed alone, she pulls out her phone texting Jacqueline I can’t sleep. And it’s not about Ryan. She sends letting the late night hour be her cause for honesty. 

Smiling when she gets a fast response. Jane opens the text. I wasn’t expecting you to text. To be honest I can’t sleep either Jane, I’ve been worried about you since you left. It breaks my heart to see you sad. Jane smiles reading when another message comes in. Blame the late night and all that champagne on this, but Jane you have become really important to me over your time at Scarlet. And I shouldn’t be telling you this. 

Shocked by the words, Jane replies. Jacq… Not knowing what else to say she hits send. Slightly panicking, not knowing what to make from all these confessions. Jane writes out. You mean the world to me. She hits send before losing her nerve. 

This was not how she imagined telling the older woman that she was falling for her. Jane applauded herself for keeping her feelings mostly in check over her time at Scarlet. Kat and Sutton both knew, of course they did, they both were there for Jane with her feelings. They encouraged Jane to come clean to Jacqueline. They always thought that their boss also harbored some deeper feelings for the writer. 

They both saw the lingering glances that Jacqueline would try to hide from the young writer when she thought no one was looking. It was just little things here and there, not to mention Jane is the only one that EVER got away with yelling at the boss in front of the entire floor of Scarlet. She was also the first to ever get invited to the bosses home, her inner sanctum. Everyone knew the editor was a private person; it only made sense that Jane was somewhat special to their boss. 

&&&&

You mean the world to me.  That sentence had Jacqueline just staring at her phone. Not expecting it, but not hating the words either. They mean everything to her for whom they came from. Jacqueline always hoped she wasn’t alone in her feelings. She also knew that being the writer's boss she couldn’t act on them. She couldn’t be the one to make the first move or any kind of move. Not to mention she was married and she didn’t want to be that person. She wasn’t that person. Her marriage has been crumbling for years now. She wasn’t in love with Ian, she never truly was to begin with. 

Would you like to meet tomorrow? I need to see you. I need to be here for you please darling. Jacqueline sends,  not able to stop herself. Jacqueline is holding the phone to her chest tightly hoping she didn’t scare the writer off. 

Come over tomorrow, I’ll make Sutton go with Richard and Kat made plans to meet up with Adena and all Jacqueline can reply is text me when they are gone.  

&&&&

The next day when Jane woke up she remembered that she would be talking with Jacqueline today. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face when she opened the door to Kat and Sutton awake in the kitchen making breakfast. “ Tiny Jane, you're awake.” Kat says when she notices Jane coming out of the room. 

“How are you feeling, baby.” Sutton asks, coming over with coffee in her hand for her friend. 

Jane just smiles in gratitude. “I’m good. You guys don’t have to stay here with me today. Sutton you should go be with Richard. I feel bad for taking you away from him last night.”  

“Richard understands Jane. You don’t have to be strong now.” Sutton responds. 

“I’m not trying to be. Okay I wasn’t going to say anything, but please I need to be alone today. Um.” Jane looks down everywhere but at the girls. “Jacqueline wants to come over.”  

“Oh oh” Kat shrieks out, glancing towards Sutton with a shared look between them. “That's good right.” comes out softly. 

“It's really good, I think. I told her last night that I needed her. She kept pushing that she wanted to be here for me and things kinda slipped out.” Jane shrugs sheepishly with a smile on her lips that she can’t seem to shake. 

“That’s great baby.” comes from Sutton as she takes Jane in a hug. “ I will go to Richards then. Are you sure you’re wanting to do this, now after just breaking it off with pinstripe?” 

Nodding her head in affirmative. “Yes. and honestly it hurts about Ryan but you both know if I knew I had the option of Jacqueline I wouldn’t have stayed with him this long anyway.” Jane tells them. “I’m not even sad about the breakup honestly, It just hurts to know that he lied to me about what truly happened when I asked him point blank what happened with that girl.” 

“Yeah I get that babe.” Kat says as she comes to sit next to Sutton and Jane on the couch. “Adena was wanting to meet up when she got back to town today. So I’ll make sure to not come back til you let me know it's safe.” Snickers Kat leaning her head on Jane’s shoulder. 

“Thank you.” comes out softly just as Jane’s stomach growls. “I guess we should eat.” laughs out Jane. 

The girls get up to make their plates to eat breakfast before they each go their separate ways for the day. Just as they sit to eat there’s a knock at the door. Sutton goes to answer it, surprised that Richard is standing there with flowers, wine and chocolate. “Hey you. What’s this for.” comes out as Sutton leans to kiss her husband deeply before pulling back letting the man enter. 

“I thought Jane might need some cheering up and I missed my wife.” Richard answers as he takes his coat off setting the items on the coffee table. “I wasn’t sure what the plans were for the day.” 

Both Kat and Jane couldn’t stop smiling at the newlyweds. “She’s yours for the day Richard. I told Sutton I didn’t want to see her the rest of the day. I’m fine.” Jane lets Richard know, already feeling terrible about keeping them apart the night of their nuptials. 

Richard looks between Sutton and the girls. “What’s really going on here?” He asks. Knowing something happened since they left last night. Seeing the looks that pass between the three of them. “You don’t have to be alone Jane. It’s okay to need Sutton right now. I don’t mind.” Richard assures them. Knowing how close the three girls are. 

“Um.” Jane fidgets. “Jacqueline is coming by so both Kat and Sutton won’t be needed, but thank you Richard.” stumbles out trying to look anywhere but at Richard. 

Richard did not see this coming. “Okay. Why is Jacq….nevermind. Of course she’s gonna show up. She was lost after you left last night. Just so you know.” Richard alerts her. “I know she cares deeply for you Jane. I’m not sure I should be saying this...but Jacqueline hasn’t been in love with Ian for a very long time.” 

Startled by that revelation Jane just smiles. “ Thank you Richard.”

&&&&

Jane notices her phone blinking with a notification when she returns to her room to shower. Picking it up, she inhales seeing a message from Jacqueline. Wasn’t sure if it was too early, but just wanted to make sure you still wanted me to come over. 

I’m getting in the shower now. Sutton and Richard just left. And Kat should be meeting Adena shortly. Give me 30 min and you can come over then. Jane sends back. 

Bringing the phone into the bathroom and sitting it on the sink before getting undressed to get in the shower. Just as she was about to step in, her phone beeps notifying her of a reply. Grabbing the phone and opening the text I’m on the way is all it says. Thankful there was no comment on the shower. Before she put the phone back down another reply popped up. Thanks for the image. Almost dropping the phone by the response, Jane hastily sets her phone down to focus on her shower. 

&&&&

Twenty minutes later as Jane was brushing her hair, came a knock on the door. Kat had already left when she was in the shower, so Jane sighed slightly before opening the door to the most beautiful site she has ever seen. Jacqueline stood there about as casual as one would ever see her. She was in a pair of jeans and the most comfortable looking cashmere sweater that caused Jane to stop breathing. 

Jacqueline smiles softly at the site of Jane, her hair still wet from her shower. “Can I come in or?” softly comes out as Jacqueline slowly reaches out to run her hand down the side of Jane’s face. 

Of course. Sorry, you’re just breathtaking Jacqueline.” Jane says leaning into the editor's hand while also letting her through. 

Closing the door behind them, Jane ushers Jacqueline into the living room. “Can I get you something to drink?” is stuttered out. 

Jacqueline smiles softly at how adorable the writer is. “ Just some tea is fine. Are you really okay.” is softly added as Jane heads to the kitchen to put on some water for their tea. 

“You want the truth.” Jane asks as she returns to the couch taking a seat next to her boss. 

Grabbing Jane’s hand in hers. “That would be appreciated, yes” the editor softly implores. 

Jane inhales deeply before looking up at her boss, her mentor, the one person she wishes she could call hers. Shaking her head from her thoughts. “It depends what you mean by okay?” she breathed out. “I’m not okay that my boyfriend lied to me when I asked him what really happened the first time. I’m not okay that I let it go because I was so inraptured with my boss who is married and as far as I know straight, that I thought that I had to make this work so I didn’t have to feel not being with the one person that I have wanted more then anything since I started at Scarlet. I’m not okay that I have had the same flipping dream for weeks, that I should have known that he was lying to me.” comes pouring out in sobs from Jane’s mouth. 

Jacqueline pulls Jane into her arms, “I’m sorry. Let it out darling. There you go.” is whispered in Jane’s hair. Rubbing the writers back up and down not wanting to let go of this beautiful creature in her arms. “I’ve got you I’ve got you.” softly repeated over and over. 

Startled by the whistle of the tea kettle, Jacqueline wipes Jane’s eyes before placing a soft kiss on her forehead before getting up to make the tea herself. Wanting to give Jane a minute to collect herself Jacqueline finds the mugs and the tea bags herself and goes about making the tea. 

 

Coming back into the living room setting the mugs on the coffee table. Sitting back down, she grabs Jane’s hand as she wipes the tears from her eyes with her other one. Jane looks up to her, shame showing  in her eyes from oversharing. “No sweet girl, none of that.” Jacqueline says pulling Jane into her arms. “I wish you would have said something darling, instead of letting this eat at you like it has been.” is softly said into the writer’s hair. 

Jane holds onto Jacqueline tightly as she is overcome in sobs. “I’m sorry I’m sorry” is pleaded over and over. The editor just holds her and lets her release her heartache. 

Moments later the sobbing has stopped, Jacqueline glances down and notices that Jane has cried herself to sleep. Not wanting to wake her, Jacqueline arranges them so Jane is fully leaning against her as they both lay on the couch.

Chapter Text

Getting lost in her thoughts of all that she was told, Jacqueline tries to decide what all she should let the writer in on. Seeing Jane a wreck like she is now is hurting Jacqueline more than she wants to admit. It has been a really long time since someone has gotten through her walls. Jane has become such a huge part of her life, even from the professional standpoint. It took everything in Jacqueline not to just give Jane the money to freeze her eggs. Which is why she published the article in Paris. Knowing that the board was gunning for her job. Watching Jane with Ben and even more recently Ryan was like being stabbed in the heart. 

Jacqueline might be married to Ian still but they haven’t been together in a very long time. They have 2 boys together, James and Conner, and still live together, though in separate bedrooms. They’re just hasn’t been any reason to divorce and make the boys go through the hassle of the press, with Jacqueline being the Editor in Chief of Scarlet Magazine. They still play the part of a happy married couple for work functions but Jacqueline’s heart hasn’t been there in a long time. 

Running her hands through the sleeping girl's hair she can’t help but to also kiss the top of her head. This is everything to Jacqueline, all she’s wanted since before Jane came back after leaving for Incite. It broke her when Jane felt like she had to leave, leave me, was always how she felt. Which is why when Jane first asked to have her job back she had to tell her NO although all she wanted to do then was open up her arms and embrace the girl. 

The night of the Mandy awards was one of the hardest nights in her life. To be in the same room as Jane for the first time in months was both thrilling and nerve wrecking. Jane looked amazing in the black off the shoulder dress she wore that night. The editor couldn’t keep her eyes off her. When Jane pulled her aside to let her know that a woman came forward and was victimized by the same guy that assaulted her years before it broke something in her. Struggling with that revelation not knowing what else to say she walked away. Sitting across from Jane at the table before she was called as the winner. She couldn’t have been more proud, and decided right then she wanted, no needed, her back at Scarlet. 

That next day Jacqueline had Andrew, her assistant, call Jane in to Scarlet and let her know just that. What sealed the deal was, she got the email of Jane’s article that she wrote as a follow up to Carry the Weight, The Domino Effect : How One Voice Can Inspire A Movement. Showing that she wasn’t fearful, by using the story even if it hurt. She told Jane that Scarlet missed her, that SHE missed her. It was the closest thing to the truth she has ever admitted to pertaining to Jane. 

Feeling Jane stir, breaks Jacqueline from her thoughts. “Sorry.” slips out panicked from Jane’s lips as she sits up quickly. Freaking out from how she ended up in the women's arms.

“Jane, it’s okay. You obviously have been holding that in for a while now.” Jacqueline soothes the girl not wanting her to completely freak. “I’m glad you told me.” sweeping the hair from Jane’s face, slipping it behind her ear. “Can I ask, how long you’ve been dealing with your feelings...um about me?” she softly chokes out.

Jane glances down to her lap. “Always.” 

“Oh Jane” cries Jacqueline. Not being able to stop the tears at the corner of her eyes. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to. No I, Jacqueline I have always admired you. From before I even became a writer. You Inspire me every day. You have grown to be one of the most important people in my life.” grabbing Jacqueline’s hands in hers. “I left Scarlet because I couldn’t be around you constantly without my feelings developing more than they have already. I have fallen in love with you Jacqueline even when I know I shouldn’t have. You chose me to tell your story about your assault, that made me fall deeper in love with you, for seeing how far you have come since then, how could I not but love everything about you. Jacqueline you are gorgeous, smart, dedicated, the most compassionate person I have gotten to know. I want nothing more but to know every part of you. I have also come to realize that I can’t stop falling. I wasn’t in love with Ryan, nor did I love him. Just so you know. He cheated on me as you know, and that hurt, but not as bad as watching you with Ian at Scarlet events.” 

Shocked from the monologue, Jacqueline can’t help letting out a sob. Squeezing Jane’s hands in hers. “Oh Jane! It’s been just as hard for me. I’m your boss though, I wasn’t going to do anything to make you uncomfortable or pressure you. I have come to care about you so much. I can’t even tell you when the lines started to blur. You opened up about the BRCA 1 Mutation, about your mother. It meant so much to me. I hope it wasn’t just for pushing you to write the article though.” 

  “No, it wasn’t. I wanted you to know why I was having trouble. You pushed me to accept that part of my life Jacq.” Jane interrupts, ensuring the older woman.

Sighing in relief, Jacqueline wipes her eyes. “That’s good to know.” she whispers out softly.

“Jacq”  The writer whispers just as softly, while lightly running her hand down the side of her editor's cheek. “I hate to ask this now, but what about Ian?” her hand falling to her lap.

Grasping Jane’s hand, not wanting her to retreat. “Ian is a long story...We’ve been married for twenty years, we have two amazing boys together, but we aren’t - as they say in love with each other. I haven't ever been in love with him, Jane. We don’t even sleep in the same room.” 

Jane’s eyes hold onto Jacquelines, as she squeezes Jacq’s hands to let her know she’s listening. “Ian and I coexist for our boys and we’ve lived this way for so long, there hasn’t been a reason to upset things. We are so used to everything as it has been for years that there hasn’t been any reason to change things. ” The editor’s hand on Jane's cheek. “Until you.” is barely heard. 

Leaning into the Editor’s touch. “Oh Jacq, I wish you would have said something, anything. When you  invited me into your home, when I met Ian and your boys -you all seemed so happy. The perfect family. I loved seeing that part of you but I also hated that HE got to see more of you then I would ever get to see.” 

The ladies are interrupted by the shrill of Jane’s phone. “You should get that.” the editor whispers, pulling away adjusting herself on the couch. 

Shaking her head  “I don’t want to.” is whined out. 

Jacqueline laughs out loud at Jane’s cuteness. “Jane, answer it.” 

Checking the phone she sees the hospital calling. Oh shit she thinks, answering the call. 

“Hello. Yes this is her.” sitting up straight glancing at the woman next to her. “My pre-op is scheduled for tomorrow. Okay thank you. Nine a.m. Okay. see you in the morning. Bye.” hanging up the phone. “So that was to let me know when my pre-op appointment so they can schedule my surgery.” 

Shocked “You’re having surgery?” 

“My preventive double mastectomy, I decided to proceed with the surgery.” Jane fidgets. “I um, um found a lump in my breast. It was benign but it shook me.” 

“Oh sweetie.” Jacqueline pulls Jane in her arms. “Why didn’t you..” but stops herself. It wasn’t her business. Sighing. “That’s scary. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision.” 

“It wasn’t easy. It was the hardest decision in my life so far.” Jane breathes out. “I wanted to tell you, I was going to tell you. Obviously, I’ll need time off but I just got my Vertical and I just wanted time to relish that.” Jane pulls back so she can look at her boss. 

“What do you have to do for your pre-op in the morning.” 

Smiling at the older woman “I just have to go in and they make sure everything is ready and okay for them to schedule my surgery for next week.”  

“Would you be…” sighing “I’m sure Sutton and Kat have you covered.” 

“No what were you going to ask Jacq?” Jane implores as she grabs her hand. 

Tangling her fingers with Jane’s, the Editor looks at Jane softly. “Can I take you? I understand if you don’t want me there. I just really would like to be there for you, anyway you would let me.”  

Tears glistening in the editor's eyes, Jane brings her fingers up wiping away the tears. “I’d be honored, if you're sure you want to. I have to be there at nine thirty.”  

Smiling, Jacqueline can’t help but to glance at Jane’s lips. They are so close, but not wanting to take that step after such an emotional day -Jacqueline looks away. 

Feeling disappointed, but understanding at the same time, Jane pulls herself away. Reaching to drink her now cold tea. “Our tea is cold.” she laughs. 

Jacqueline laughs softly “Well you did fall asleep on me.” 

“Well you try having a breakdown.”  she snickers softly 

Jacqueline just smiles, reaching for her phone, checking the time, she notices it’s already mid afternoon. Hearing Jane’s stomach growl, looking towards Jane who looks away embarrassed. “We should probably feed you.” 

“I am getting hungry. Do you want to order something? What are you in the mood for?” 

“What about chinese? I’m in the mood for some Orange Chicken.” 

“Oh Jacq that sounds amazing actually, make it two orders with fried rice and some potstickers.” Jane moans in want. 

Jacqueline laughs, raising an eyebrow at the girl. “Sounds good.” Calling in the food order before sitting her phone down on the table again. “Should be about thirty to forty minutes.” 

“Do we want some wine to go with it? I have both Red and White.” Jane asks standing up heading to the kitchen. 

“Some White would be great darling.” 

Jane takes out a bottle of White and opens it before setting it on the counter to breath. Taking out two glasses, setting them next to the wine. “There, all set. We can eat at the counter or the couch when the food gets here.”  

Nervously Jane leans against the counter, taking a moment to go over everything discussed so far. Still not sure exactly where she stands with her boss , not believing that she even has the slimiest of chances even with all the evidence pointing otherwise. Not wanting to lose that hope yet she deeply inhales and breathes out. 

Jacqueline, curious at what happened to Jane, heads into the kitchen. Not liking the panic she sees on the girls face -rushes to her side. Hands grabbing her face “Jane, look at me. What's going on pretty girl?” 

“What’s happening?”  the writer sobs out -pulling away from the editor. “Between us? It's not all in my head is it?” 

“No of course not.”  stepping towards the girl before thinking twice. “Jane”  deeply sighing. “You mean so much to me, you have always meant more to me than you should - more than what is okay for a boss to care about their employee.”  

Jacqueline has her back to Jane. “Jacq, I’m sorry. I just can’t wrap my head around all this I guess. To know now about Ian, it’s a bit mind boggling. Thinking you were happily married to now knowing that you aren’t even physically together, it's everything that I have wanted for so long and it’s like right there in my reach. It just seems too good to be true.”  

Turning around when feeling Jane’s hand on her shoulder she turns to face her. “It’s not Jane. It’s not out of your reach. I’m standing right in front of you darling. It’s just not as simple as two people liking each other and getting together though. I am your boss, and the board wouldn’t like it if they were to find out. You know that Jane.”  

“I don’t...” Interrupted by a knock on the door. “That must be our food.”  she sighs out.

‘I’ll get it darling, go ahead and pour the wine.” squeezing Jane’s shoulder in passing. 

Paying for the food and returning, sitting  it on the counter before taking a stool. Jane poured the wine in the glasses before walking around the corner and taking her seat next to Jacqueline at the counter. 

Opening the containers of food. “This all looks so delicious.” Jane says, licking her lips.

“It does.” smiling at the young lady. “Here’s your Orange Chicken, Fried Rice and Potstickers.” handing over Jane’s food to her.

Looking at Jacqueline before taking a bite of her food. “Jacq...Thank you for this.”  slips out once the food is swallowed.

“Jane you don’t have to thank me. We needed to eat.”  

 

They both dig into the food enjoying the company of one another. Just when they were about done, Jacqueline’s phone goes off startling them both. Getting up to grab her phone from the table, she squeezes Jane's shoulder on the way by. Checking the screen, It’s a text from her son. When are you picking us up from grandma’s? We’ve been here all day you know.  

Hearing the sigh from the other woman, Jane asks “Everything okay?”

Walking back over to Jane “Yes. Just James, he’s tired of his grandma already and is wanting to know when I was coming to get them.”  as she sends James a text back letting him know she will be to get them soon. 

“You didn’t have to stay all day with me Jacq. I know what your boys mean to you.  

Taking the girl's hands in hers. “Oh darling no. I wanted to be here.” Cupping Jane’s cheek. Jane leaning into the touch. “You didn’t keep me from them. They were at their grandma’s today anyway. They just don’t like staying with my mother longer than they need to.” she giggles out. 

“You should probably get going then. I wouldn’t want them thinking I’m trying to keep you from them.. I mean if they even know where you are.” comes tumbling out as she pulls away. Not sure how she can be so scared and assured at the same time. Feeling ashamed of the last words. “Sorry”

Jacqueline, a bit hurt by the last sentence, softly whispers “ Oh Jane” grabbing her hands in hers and bringing them to her face, she softly places kisses on the writer's knuckles. “I told them I was checking on a friend. They are smart and I'm sure they or at least James knows that I have come to check on you. I have always been honest with them. They just want me to be happy and they know that their father hasn’t made me happy in a long time. I won't hide you from them. They know we sleep in different bedrooms. They are smart kids. Jane, I told you -you are important to me! I want to explore this darling.” kissing the knuckles over and over. “I want to know what it’s like to kiss your sweet lips and hold you close when you're not passing out from crying yourself to sleep. I just don’t know what to do about the board.” she sighs deeply irritated thinking about the board. “But I will not hide whatever this is from those closest to us. I will not be ashamed of you Jane!”  

With tears falling down her eyes Jane pulls the editor's hands to her lips, kissing her knuckles now. “Oh baby.” Jane’s eyes went big with the slip up dropping the hands in hers. “I’m sorry.”

Grabbing the hands back not letting Jane pull away, Jacqueline just smiles at the writer. “Oh darling, It’s okay. You can call me baby, if you want to. I kinda like it, coming from you.” she squeezes Jane’s hands in hers before sighing  “As much as I want to stay here with you all night, I should go and pick the boys up.”  

“Okay. You’re still wanting to take me in the morning to my pre-op?”  

“As long as you still want me to I’ll be here at 9 am darling.”   The editor tells the writer as she stands up. Glancing to the counter and the mess still there. 

Jane saw the look. “I’ll take care of the mess. You just go get your boys.” standing up to escort the other woman to the door. 

Opening the door, the two just stare at each other. Seeing the lip glances but not ready for it yet, Jacqueline brings her hand to Jane’s face skimming the lips with her thumb. “I want nothing more darling, then to take you in my arms and kiss you, but there’s still so much that needs to be discussed.” instead kissing the girl's head. “Soon I promise. I’ll be here in the morning.” 

Inhaling deeply from the lips on her forehead. “I understand. Thank you for being reasonable. I’ll see you in the morning. I hope you have a goodnight with your boys.” 

“Goodnight Jane.”  is said as Jacqueline walks down the steps to her car, glancing back at Jane before getting in, starting the car and driving away.

Chapter Text

About an hour after Jacqueline left, Kat and Jane settled down in the bed in the living room. Kat showed up not long after the older women went home. Not wanting to leave Jane alone for the night. They both told Sutton to enjoy her night with her husband since she spent last night with Jane.

Cuddling together under the comforter Jane has her head on Kat’s shoulder. Not being able to stay quiet any longer “So Tiny Jane, what happened today with her majesty?” Kat nudges Jane “I’ve been dying to know.”  

Not being able to stop laughing at the majesty part, Jane tries to calm herself before responding “We talked, well I sobbed at her about everything I bottled up and was a complete wreck until I passed out on her.” Sighing “Not so attractive at all. I felt like a mess honestly. Jacqueline was just so good about it all. She told me I mattered to her more then I probably should but there’s just so much we didn’t talk about.” Jane sighs out pulling her head up fidgeting with her fingers. 

Kat takes Jane's fingers in hers. “I’m sure she didn’t mind though babe. That woman is mad about you. Watching the two of you interact has always been something magical.” Inhaling, bracing for the next words that needs to be said. “What about Ian. I know that's a huge concern of yours.”  

“You had to ask.” sighing in contempt “Ian and Jacqueline have separate bedrooms. Richard was partially right; although she was never in love with Ian. They live together for the boys and she just hasn’t had a reason to upheave the way things are. You know the press would be all over them. She didn’t want to do that to James and Conner without a good enough reason. She um, also said I was that reason.”  

“Oh baby, that’s like wow.” replies a flabbergasted Kat. “What are you going to do?” 

“We didn’t get there. We kept getting interrupted.” Jane runs her hands down her face dramatically. 

Hugging Jane “I’m sorry boo.”

“Want some wine? I’m getting some wine.” Kat nods as Jane shrugs Kat off before getting out of bed, heading into the kitchen. Jane takes out two glasses from the cupboard. Grabbing the wine from the fridge, she then fills the glasses with the wine. Returning to the bed Jane gives Kat her glass. “Here babe.”

“Thanks boo.” taking a sip from the glass. “Tomorrow is your pre-op isn’t it?”

Smiling shyly “Yes. Jacqueline said that she wants to take me.” Jane says behind sipping her wine. 

Kat nudges her friend and teasingly replies “I see how it is..Jacqueline shows interest and I’m put to the back burner. Love you too Tiny Jane.” 

Jane shakes her head “You know it’s not like that Kat. She was here when I got the call. I almost forgot to tell her I was having the surgery. Which is bad when I’m gonna need all that time off. I was just excited about getting my own vertical that I forgot.”  

Running her fingers through Jane’s hair. “I’m sure she was surprised but understood.”

Nodding her head “Yes she does. She knew my struggles of even accepting the gene in the first place.” Sighing deeply rubbing her hands down her face. “This is gonna test us isn’t it.”  

Not knowing what else to do besides just holding Jane. “Maybe. You don’t know what it’s gonna do. But I can tell you this babe. That woman isn’t gonna go anywhere. This isn’t gonna scare her away. Think of it this way. You both have the time to talk and really get a feel for where this can go. You both still have so much to work through between work and then what she wants to do about Ian. This is a good thing babe.” 

“I know that, I do. I just want to be with her already though. We haven’t even kissed and I know in my heart that I’m hers.”  Jane shivers as the words leave her lips. 

Kat just stares at the wistful look on Jane’s face. Lovingly “Damn you got it bad boo.” comes out softly. Kissing the top of Jane’s head. 

On the table next to the bed Jane’s phone goes off, notifying her of an incoming text. Curious who would be texting at this hour -Sutton was occupied with her husband -Jacqueline was supposed to be chilling with her son's and Kat well was right here with her - grabbing the phone she sees it Ryan. Sighing loudly Jane shows Kat her screen. Jane, can we talk? I can take you to your appointment in the morning if you would like me to.  

"Who does he think he is? He cheated and you broke up with him. Why would you want him to take you?" Kat irritatingly says. 

Jane just shakes her head. She has nothing more to say to pinstripe. He's the one that lied. He's the one that cheated. He's the one that deliberately kept the whole truth when she asked him point blank what happened. 

She might not have been in love with Ryan and was pining for her boss, but she was still faithful. She was still with him and cared for him on some level. He did give Jane her first orgasm. 

"Babe, you good?" Kat shakes Jane from her thoughts. " Are you going to reply back to him?"  

Jane sighs out "Should I?" Staring at the message debating on answering or not. 

The phone beeps again, this time with a text from Jacqueline. Smiling seeing the name as she clicks the text. I miss you. I didn't know if I should call or text but I wanted you to know that darling. 

"That's got to be Jacqueline from that smile" 

Jane nods showing Kat the message. "Aww" Kat coos. 

I miss you too. You could have called. I'm just sitting here with Kat. Debating on if I should text Ryan back. Jane texts back. 

A few seconds later Jane phones rings with Jacqueline calling. Answering the phone. 

"Hey" and " Ryan texted you?"  Is said at the same time. 

Kat laughs hearing Jacqueline's inquiry over the line, smirking at Jane. Jane smacks Kat with the pillow. 

"Straight to the point. Yes he texted asking to talk and also if I wanted him to take me in the morning." Jane nervously tells the other woman. 

Hearing the nerves in Jane's voice Jacqueline sighs. "Darling I'm not mad. Why haven't you replied back to him yet? Maybe that will help him get the message?" She laughs out. "Sorry. Just tell him you have nothing to say to him and he is definitely not needed in the morning." 

"No he is not. And  I can't wait to see you in the morning." Jane softly replies. 

"Ditto Jane." Is softly returned. " I'm sorry I disturbed your evening, truthfully I wanted to hear your voice. " Jacqueline bashfully let's slip. 

Jane swears she can hear the blush from over the phone. "You didn't, baby." Jane glares at Kat, snickering and making smoochie noises in the background. "I should probably get some sleep though before my appointment in the morning. I will see you in the morning Jacq."

"Good Night Darling." Jacqueline hums  lovingly. 

"Night Jacq." 

"You two are sickeningly cute - and have it so bad for each other it's nauseating." Kat says when Jane hangs up the phone. 

"Shut up, like it was any better when you were falling in love with Adena when you first met her." Jane tosses the other pillow at Kat before getting up heading to her room. 

"I was not that bad!" Scoffs Kat following Jane to her room. 

"Oh you were worse. Do you not remember when Adena was held at customs for trying to sneak contraband dildos into her country? That you helped her pack! Or when she was sent back home after coming here for you from Paris and you spent the entire time with her at the airport til she was deported then shortly after you jumped on the plane to follow her!" Jane laughs out.  

Kat just smiles as she sits on the edge of Jane's bed -remembering her time with Adnea at the airport. Talk about a first date for the books. "Okay point made." She laughs. "I just felt such a connection with her from that first meeting. She saw me. She still sees me." Sighing deeply "I want Adena back." 

"Oh Kat" Jane joins Kat wrapping her arms around her friend. "You both look at each other with so much love and admiration still. You just need to tell her how you feel. I believe Adena loves you still too Kat. It wasn't wrong when you chose you over both Tia and Adena before. It was a good choice babe. You had to grow and learn exactly what you wanted when it comes to who you want to be with. Adena is forever for you. Sutton and I both saw that from the beginning. Adena still makes you nervous when she's around."  Jane kisses the top of Kat's head. 

" She does. I can't think straight." giggles "No pun intended. She's dating someone again though. How can I be the person to break up her relationship again when I gave her up when she told me she wanted me back." Kat sighs out in frustration.

"She understands why you did that though. And you both went on with your life's, and here you both are. You're drawn to each other like a spark to a flame. Just talk to her Kat. It's her choice who she truly wants." 

"Thanks babe. I love you." 

"I love you too." 

 

As Jane is changing into her pajamas, Kat makes sure everything is turned off in the living. She sends a text to Adena asking her if they can hang out again tomorrow. Before plugging her phone in and setting it on her nightstand. 

Back in Jane's room "Are you gonna answer Ryan back?" Kat asks Jane sitting back on the bed. 

Sighing "I guess I should." 

What is it you're wanting to talk about? I have nothing more to say to you. It's over Ryan. And you were never taking me to my appointment, so no I don't need you to. Goodbye Ryan. Hitting send, having nothing else to say.

"There sent." Showing Kat the text. 

Laughing "Hopefully he gets it."  

"Right?!" Jane sighs, shaking her head. " Are you sleeping here or out there tonight?" 

"Can I sleep here?" Kat bashes her eyelashes. 

Nudging Kat in the shoulder. "Yes you can sleep here. Jacqueline is coming to get me around nine am."

" Okay. Why don't you text her to come over earlier to have breakfast before she takes you. We can have Richard and Sutton over for breakfast too." Kat suggests.

Nodding her head in confirmation before texting Sutton the plans. Followed by a quick change of plans text to Jacqueline. Kat suggested you have breakfast with us before my appointment in the morning if you're okay with that. Sutton and Richard will be here too. 

Sure darling sounds good. What time then? Eight?  Jane shows Kat. "Sounds good." Kat says.

Yes that works. She sends back. 

Sutton's message comes in as Jane sends Jacqueline another message. Is it bad we haven't even kissed and all I want is to be cuddled next to you right now. Kat is an okay substitute but I prefer your arms. 

Opening Sutton's text. Sounds good we'll be there around 8 babe. 

"Sutton says they'll be her around 8. So we should get up around 7 then.

" Sounds good." Kat responds before getting under the covers. 

Another text comes in. I was thinking something along those lines earlier. I don't have a substitute though, so Kat is lucky, but remind her you are mine.  Followed by another text. I mean it should be me.

Not being able to stop the blushing, she shows Kat her screen. "Aww" Kat coos. 

She's aware. And I like the thought of being yours! Btw and yes it should be YOU. Jane replies back with pure honesty. 

Good night and sweet dreams darling I'll see you in the morning. 

Ditto babe. Is all she replies before plugging her phone in after setting her alarm. 

Getting under the covers herself "Night Kat." 

"Night Tiny Jane."

Chapter Text

On the other side of the city Jacqueline was laying in bed thinking about the writer. What is she going to do about the board? She still has to talk to Ian about finally getting a divorce. She doesn't feel right moving forward with Jane without starting the process first. Her and Ian have been in separate rooms for around 6 years. They barely talk besides their interactions for the boys and the once in awhile Scarlet gatherings here and there over the years. Basically when public appearance is necessary. 

Being the Chief Editor of Scarlet magazine has been incredible for her career but also has the downside of being in the limelight from the press. She keeps the press out of her private life as much as she can because of her boys. They don't deserve to be hounded constantly. Which is why she hasn't pushed for a divorce. Unfortunately if she wants anything to come from being with Jane that has to change. 

Jacqueline sighs in frustration, she just wants to hold the writer in her arms right now. Not wanting to feel needy, instead of calling the writer she just sends a text. I miss you. I didn't know if I should call or text but I wanted you to know that darling.

Jane's response was immediate. I miss you too. You could have called. I'm just sitting here with Kat. Debating on if I should text Ryan back. 

Jacqueline reads the message twice before hitting the call button.

Not waiting for a hello - Jacqueline asks " Ryan texted you?" At the same time as Jane says "Hey"

Hearing Kat laugh through the line. Jane replies " Straight to the point. Yes he texted asking to talk and also if I wanted him to take me in the morning." 

Sensing the nerves from the other woman Jacqueline sighs "Darling I'm not mad. Why haven't you replied back to him yet? Maybe that will help him get the message?" She laughs out. "Sorry. Just tell him you have nothing to say to him and he is definitely not needed in the morning."  

Jane replies softly. "No he is not. And I can't wait to see you in the morning." 

Jacqueline smiles not being able to stop the love that pours out. "Ditto Jane. I'm sorry I disturbed your evening, truthfully I wanted to hear your voice." Thankful she's alone, not being able to stop the blush she knows is covering her face.  

Hearing Kat in the background snickering with smoochie noises as Jane replies. "You didn't, baby." Jacqueline can't help the smile that adorns her face. "I should probably get some sleep though before my appointment in the morning. I will see you in the morning Jacq."

Sadly but lovingly Jacqueline hums "Good night Darling." 

Ending the call after Jane says good night. Jacqueline snuggles in her bed pulling the comforter under her chin. Not being able to stop herself wondering what Ryan has to say to her Jane. 

She knows she shouldn't be nervous. Jane has made it pretty clear -in sobs at that, that all she wants is to be with Jacqueline. Shaking her thoughts away, there's a knock on her bedroom door. 

Getting out of bed, she opens the door to Ian. Sighing in irritation "What do you want Ian?" 

"Well hello to you too Jackie" Ian says sarcastically. "The boys said they were at your mother's today and are going back over tomorrow." 

Rolling her eyes "So. They can go to their Grandmothers. I had something important come up. It's not like you're here Ian." Crossing her arms leaning against the door. 

"What's so important you have to do on your day off?" Ian asks since the boys wouldn't tell him anything. 

"Ian, honestly it's none of your business. I'm being there for a friend and that's all you have to know." She sighs out irritated -not believing how Ian is acting,  Jacqueline closes the door in his face and locks it before getting back into bed. Her phone alerts her to a new text. Smiling seeing it from Jane.

Kat suggested you have breakfast with us before my appointment in the morning if you're okay with that. Sutton and Richard will be here too. 

Sure darling sounds good. What time then? Eight? She sends back.

Yes that works. Comes in and before she can respond another comes through.

Is it bad we haven't even kissed and all I want is to be cuddled next to you right now. Kat is an okay substitute but I prefer your arms. 

Jacqueline not expecting the text but welcoming it greatly, suddenly forgetting about Ian being an ass. 

I was thinking something along those lines earlier. I don't have a substitute though, so Kat is lucky,  but remind her you are mine. She hit send before catching what she said.

I mean it should be me. Hitting the send again not wanting to scare her. 

She's aware. And I like the thought of being yours! Btw and yes it should be YOU. 

Jacqueline can't help the sigh of relief that they are both on the same page. 

Good night and sweet dreams darling I'll see you in the morning. 

Smiling at the Ditto babe - Jacqueline sets her phone back on the nightstand before pulling her pillow in her arms, wishing it was her writer. 

 

Not being able to fall asleep, Jacqueline decides to head to the kitchen to get some warm milk. It usually calms her down when she's unable to sleep. 

Opening the door, she heads to the kitchen flipping the light switch. She heads to the fridge pulling out the milk, before getting a glass from the cupboard. She gets a pan out to warm the milk on the stove. Once she has everything started she sits at the counter.

A minute goes by before she hears James saying mom behind her. 

"Can't sleep baby?" Jacqueline asks her son. 

Shaking his head no, Jacqueline wraps her arms around him. "Would you like some warm milk?" 

James just nods his head in reply.

Jacqueline let's go of her son, walking over to the stove to add a bit more milk to the pan. Pulling out another glass sitting it next to hers.

"What's going on baby?" 

James sighs sitting down in the stool. "Can I ask you something mom?" He fidgets with his fingers on the counter. 

Jacqueline lays her hand on his, taking his hand in hers squeezing his fingers "James, baby you can ask me anything." she smiles at him assuringly. 

James looks down the hall making sure no one else was around before asking "You were with Jane today weren't you?" 

Only a little shocked Jacqueline squeezes James hand again, coming around the corner to stand next to him. "Why do you think that baby?" she asks him. 

He looks up at his mother. "You were smiling when you picked us up. I haven't seen you smile like that since you had Jane over that one time. " He shrugs.

Leave it to her intuitive boy to know her. "I was with Jane." She replied honestly. "Are you okay with that?" She worriedly asks him.

Nodding his head. "I like Jane. She's cool, mom. You deserve to be happy." 

With tears in her eyes she remembers the milk on the stove. She wipes her eyes before pouring the warm milk into both glasses, handing one over to James before sitting next to him at the counter. 

"Thank you baby. Tomorrow you're gonna be back with grandma again." Seeing the sigh "I know babe, it's just that I have to take Jane to her Dr. appointment in the morning." 

" Oh is she okay?" He acquires.

Jacqueline nods, taking a sip of her milk. "Yes, it's just her pre-op before her surgery next week." Seeing the confusion on his face. "So her mother passed away when Jane was little to breast cancer. She found out a bit ago she has the mutation gene that her mother had, which means she has a higher chance of getting it. Jane has decided to go ahead with the preventive surgery." 

" Oh mom. And you're going to be there for her? Through it all?" He asks her before drinking his own milk. 

"If she wants me to be then yes." she tells him. "James, can I ask you something now?"  She nervously asks him. 

Giggling "Sure mom, is this about the situation with dad or about you wanting to pursue Jane?" His intuitive mind asks in return. 

Slightly shocked but not all that surprising Jacqueline just shakes her head. "When did you become so in tune with me." She giggles softly. "Both actually. You know I love you boys, and I wouldn't do anything without your full support. I don't want to hurt either you or Conner. I know I've explained to you why your father and I aren't together. And why we live the way we have over the years. I know it's been hard. Your father is rarely here and I'm always working." She sighs, taking another drink of her milk before she continues. "What I'm trying to say is I believe it's time we make it official. Are you going to be okay with that? With us finally getting a divorce we should have done years ago." 

James smiles at his mom assuringly. "Yes. And Conner will be okay too."  

Letting out the breath she was holding in. " Thank you James. You have grown up so much you know that?" Pulling him into her arms hugging him tightly. She drops kisses on the top of his head. "About the other thing. Are you really okay with me seeing Jane? Her being around you guys? If you're not okay with it, then I won't see her in that way." She painfully asks him, needing him to be okay with it. 

Jacqueline cringes at the thought of not being able to be with the writer. She's already fallen deeply for the young girl. She's not sure if she could honestly stay away from her if her boys weren't okay with it. 

Sensing his mother's fear. "Mom, I don't care if you like women or that she's younger. If she makes you happy then I'm okay with it." 

Jacqueline cries out in relief, as tears spill from her eyes. Hugging her son tightly to her again. " Thank you James. I love you, you know that right?!" 

"I love you too mom." He pulls back, wiping the tears from her face. Kissing her on the cheek. 

James finishes his milk, taking their glasses and rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher. Taking his mother's hand before turning the lights off heading down the hallway. 

Standing at his mother's door he scuffs his foot against the floor. "Mom can I stay with you tonight?" He nervously asks her.

Smiling at his nervousness, she nods her head leading him into her room. Shutting the door before climbing into bed next to her son, she turns her lamp off. Snuggling down under the covers, James snuggles in next to his mother and is out moments later. 

Jacqueline can't help but sigh in relief at how the conversation went. She wasn't expecting to let James in on everything but she's so thankful she did. James is growing into a very mature and understanding young man. She couldn't be more impressed. 

Glancing at her clock she sees it reads one am. Sighing knowing she has to be up in six hours she cuddles her son, kisses his head and finally falls asleep looking forward to seeing Jane for breakfast. 

Chapter Text

The next morning Jacqueline is up at six thirty and has breakfast ready for James and Conner before she wakes them up. While the boys eat she showers quickly and dresses in a pair of faded jeans and a nice blue satin shirt. 

Once ready she takes care of the dishes and ushers the boys to get ready to go to her mom's house. She's out the door at seven forty five, nervous to be having breakfast with Jane's friends and Richard. 

Richard and Jacqueline have been friends since before Richard was on the board of Safford. They have known each other forever. Richard is one friend she has confided in about her feelings for Jane. He also knows about her home life with Ian. 

Not many people know that Jacqueline married Ian because it was easier than admitting the truth. He was her best friend at one point and it was easier to say yes to him then having to come out in the world at that time. 

Jacqueline doesn't regret her decision, she got her boys out of it. James and Conner are both her world. Who knew that the few times she and Ian did sleep together was enough for her to be granted the best gifts the world could have ever given her. 

Arriving at her mother's, she walks the boys to the door -her mother waiting on the porch for them. "Thank you mom, for taking them for the day again." 

"I love having them. I was going to take them to the museum today, if they are up for it." She nods to the boys. 

Both squealing in happiness. " Yes, thank you grandma!!". 

Jacqueline laughs "Sounds like you're good then." Hugging Conner first before tugging James in for one too. "Love you both." Conner just hums.

"Love you mom. Tell Jane I'm thinking of her please." James whispers in her ear. 

Smiling "I will hunny. Thank you." 

Heading back to the car she texts Jane she's on her way. 

 

At Jane's they were up at seven Kat showering first. When Jane was in the shower Kat started on breakfast. Making French Toast, Scrambled Eggs and some fresh fruit of strawberries and blueberries. 

Coming out of the shower she hears that Sutton and Richard have arrived. Getting dressed in a white dress with blue flowers on it. She's putting her makeup on when Sutton walks in with Jane's phone. 

"Hey tiny Jane. Jacqueline texted. Damn you look good. Dressing up for her Majesty?" She laughs up. 

Jane shakes her head. "You talked to Kat I see." Taking her phone from Sutton. " Jacqueline should be here in a few minutes." She says walking past Sutton out into the living room. 

"Hey Richard. Oh Kat this looks wonderful babe." Jane coos thanking her before there's a knock at the door. "That's Jacqueline."

Walking to the door opening it to greet the woman that is never far from her mind, Jane's jaw drops from Jacqueline's outfit. As does Jacqueline's from Jane's dress she has on. 

"Let her in Tiny Jane!" Kat yells from the couch knocking the ladies out of their staring. 

Blushing terribly "Please come in. You're gorgeous Jacq." Jane finally gets out letting the woman through the door.

"You are too darling." Not hiding her eyes checking her out up and down. "It smells great in here. Hi Richard, Kat and Sutton." Jacqueline says coming into the living room. 

"Jacqueline"  Richard says.

"Hey" both Kat and Sutton say at the same time. 

Jane goes to the kitchen, her hand grazing Jacqueline's back as she goes. "Kat made French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, she also put out some Strawberries and Blueberries. To drink I believe we have Orange Juice, Coffee, Apple Juice or if you are feeling adventurous we also could have Mimosas." Jane let's the editor know. 

Laughing "A mimosa would be amazing right now but I'm gonna go with Coffee." Jacqueline walks over to the counter sitting down on the stool. 

Richard and Sutton sit at the table with Kat after getting their plates as Jane grabs a plate for Jacqueline and herself after getting Jacqueline her coffee. 

Sitting next to Jacqueline at the counter Jane can't help but to glance at her after every few bites. Noticing the glances Jacqueline puts her fork down. " What is it darling?" She asks, laying her hand on Jane's thigh. 

Freezing at the touch, Jacqueline goes to remove her hand, before she's able to though Jane grabs the hand in hers squeezing it. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting that." Jane glances down for a second before looking at Jacqueline. "I just can't believe you're in my home and this is real. Not to mention you are absolutely breathtaking in that blouse." 

Jacqueline smiles squeezing Jane's hand back. " Thank you. You're not so bad yourself in that dress. And this is real darling." 

Kat not being able to help herself "Jacqueline did you know that Jane is like a koala when she sleeps?" She giggles out.

Jane blushes so bad, pulling her hand from Jacqueline's. 

"She just wraps her body and locks it around you." Kat continues snickering.

Jacqueline pulls Jane to her, wrapping her arms around her. "Darling, it's okay she's just trying to get a rise out of us." Kisses the top of her head. "Kat that's enough." She pointedly stares at the girl, making sure she knows she's serious.

" Sorry tiny Jane." Kat apologizes.

Sutton and Richard are just sitting back trying not to laugh at how red Jane blushed.

"I hate you guys." Jane says embarrassed. Pulling away from Jacqueline smiling slightly at the editor. Taking her hand in hers squeezing the hand in gratitude. 

"So Jacqueline" Richard started but was cut off by Jacqueline's glare as if she knew what he was going to say. 

Sutton just laughs before going back to her food.

Glancing at the clock seeing the time Jane sighs. "We should probably get going." 

Jacqueline who just finished her food smiles at Jane. Squeezing the fingers still in hers "Okay. Thank you for breakfast Kat. It was really good." 

"You're welcome Jacqueline." Kat replies as she stands up to clear the plates. "You guys go ahead and go I'll take care of all this." 

"Thanks babe." Jane says as she gets her sweater as she and Jacqueline get ready to leave the house. 

"Richard, Sutton it was good seeing you again." Jacqueline tells the married couple. 

"Thank you Jacqueline." Sutton says as Richard nods his head at her. 

"See you later guys." Jane let's them know, ushering Jacqueline out the door.

 

Once in the car Jacqueline let's her driver know the destination. She turns to Jane grabbing her hand. "I missed you Jane." She lets out softly. 

"I missed you too Jacq." Jane squeezes the fingers in hers. "I'm  sorry about Kat." 

"Jane it's fine. Promise. I liked the image of you around me even in just sleep." She winks at her.

Jane laughs. 

"I wanted to tell you, James and I talked last night, about you." 

"You did? What about?" Jane asks, her nerves getting the best of her. 

Jacqueline scouts next to Jane, taking her face in her hands. "I was honest with him. He asked if I was with you yesterday. I told him I was. He said - and I quote - 'she's cool mom.'"  she laughs softly. "He told me that you make me happy. He noticed when I had you at the house. He said he hasn't seen me smile like that in a very long time." She smiles as tears appear in the corners of her eyes. 

Jane sees the tears and brings her hands up to Jacqueline's face wiping them away. Nodding her head for her to continue.

Jacqueline's thumb caressing Jane's cheek. "I told him I was coming with you today and he showed such concern for you darling, it warmed my heart." She pulls back, getting nervous herself about telling James something personal; she wasn't sure it was her place now that she's facing Jane. 

Jane sensed the change. "What babe. Why the nerves?" 

Looking down. "So I kinda told James about your surgery and about your mother. He asked why you needed surgery after I told him about coming to your pre-op with you today. I'm sorry, I hope I didn't overshare." 

Understandingly Jane pulls Jacqueline back to her, foreheads touching. " It's okay Jacq. I'm glad you're honest with him. He should know if you're going to be, if you want to be here for me through this. It's hard talking about my mother still. But babe you are the one that helped me except this. I didn't want to face it til you pushed me to. You are why I'm doing this." 

Jacqueline pulls back tears running down her face, to look at this beautiful soul in front of her. Not sure why she's been holding back -Jacqueline glances at the younger girls lips - before anything happens though the car is stopped and her driver, Steve announces they have arrived. 

Signing from the interruption Jacqueline wipes her eyes " Let's go sweetheart." 

" Jacq…" Jane whispers softly wiping her own eyes. 

Letting the moment pass, Jane and Jacqueline help each other out of the car. Jane is still holding Jacqueline's hand in hers, as they walk inside for her appointment.

Chapter Text

After the appointment, which was only about an hour, Jacqueline asked Jane if she wanted to take a walk in the park. Not ready to go home yet, Jane agreed. They took Jacqueline’s town car to the nearest coffee shop before being dropped off at the entrance to Central Park.

They both walked shoulder to shoulder, wanting to hold hands, but not wanting to push each other in public. Enjoying the fresh air and the company of one another they both continued on in silence, not sure how to bring up what was on their minds.

Finishing their coffees throwing away the cups in the nearest trash. Jacqueline glances over at Jane seeing the panic starting to set in.

Jane was spiraling from her nerves, things were still so unsure for them as much as it shouldn't be. Not to mention she was supposed to have surgery in a week - would her and Jacqueline even be official by then? Would Jacqueline still want her after the surgery? Is Conner gonna be as okay with the idea of us as James was? What exactly isn’t she saying about Ian? 

 Jacqueline spots a bench just ahead of them, sensing all of Jane's turmoil, and seeing it in her eyes - Jacqueline grabs her hand ushering the writer towards the bench to sit. "Jane, come sit and talk please. I know we still have a lot to talk about." 

Jane sighs, blinking her eyes, squeezing the hand in hers as she comes back to the world. "Okay." Following Jacqueline to the bench sitting next to her. "I'm sorry Jacq, my head just won’t stop spinning." 

"Babe it's okay. I get it. A lot has happened over the last forty-eight hours." Jacqueline turns her body to the girl, brushing the hair out of her face as their knees touch. "What's bothering you Jane? You can talk to me." 

Glancing down then back to Jacqueline. "Are you okay with me having the surgery? Are you still gonna want me?" she softly asks.

"Oh sweet Jane, I think it's brave of you wanting the surgery. And nothing is ever gonna make me not want you! You have become an essential part of my life. Don't you know that by now." She takes both Jane's hands in hers pulling them to her chest. "Would you like to know something?" 

Jane with tears in her eyes nods “Everything Jacq. I want to know everything.”

Smiling softly, rubbing the knuckles with her thumb “Do you remember the first day we met?”

“Of course I do. It was the first day of my internship. You thought I was a writer.” She smiles.

“And I was right.” she laughs. 

“You wore that black and yellow dress.” she hums remembering the day from so long ago.

“You remember that?” she asks, flabbergasted.

Jane nods her head. “Of course I do”

“You remember when you were sitting at the table and I came by, saying 'it's the notebook again. -”

"I told you I liked to write by hand." She smiles fondly.

"Yes you did. And I said ' Girl after my own heart. ' and then I asked you what you were writing about.” stopping her from answering with a finger to her lips “ ‘You told me expectations. About how if you let go of them reality can exceed them in ways we never expected.’ That moment Jane, it set me on a path I wasn’t expecting to be on. It made me deal with personal things I didn’t want to deal with.” Jacqueline turns away slightly, dropping their combined hands from her chest to her lap.

Shocked - “Jacq. Please look at me” comes out before pulling Jacqueline back to look at her. Getting her bearings she removes a hand from the older woman, softly taking her cheek in her hand. “What things Jacq?”

Leaning into the hand Jacqueline chokes out a silent sob. “It made me question my marriage. Think about how my life would have been different if I didn’t follow expectations of what I knew was set for me.” Jacqueline sighs out. “ Only Richard knows this, but I didn’t marry Ian for love. He was my best friend, he came into my life at a difficult time as you know.” she tells Jane who smiles softly at her, remembering when Jacqueline told her about her assault. 

Seeing Jane looking down. “ Jane you were the only person I told the whole story too, the details of it all.” Pulling Jane’s hand to her lips kissing her knuckles.

“He was the safer option. I never fully told him what happened, I mean he knew something happened but nothing more than that. He never fully pushed to know more than what I told him either. Which I’m thankful for.” she sighs out. “Does it make me a bad person Jane? He didn’t push me for sex -which I wasn't interest in with him - he let me be and build my career, not minding the long hours I always kept to keep myself out of my own mind. Jane, to be honest, it was easier with him like that, then telling my truth.” 

Tears pouring out of her eyes, Jacqueline pulls away from Jane, standing up from the bench. Wrapping her arms around herself. Not being able to look at Jane. “I did come to love him -as my friend, later as the father of my boys. More than that though it could never happen, would never happen.” The sobs wrecking her body now, never having said these words out loud. It took Jacqueline a long time for her to even admit it to herself.

Jane stands up, wanting nothing more than to take Jacqueline in her arms but wasn’t sure if it would be welcomed or not. Hesitating behind the editor, Jane places her hand on her shoulder. “Jacqueline, no that doesn’t make you a bad person. You did what you thought was best for you at the time to survive.” 

Jacqueline turns around throwing herself into Jane. Both ladies wrap their arms around one another. The editor, still with sobs wrecking her body, cries out “Jane”

Jane pulls back slightly, with tears in her own eyes, she brings her hands up to wipe the tears from the woman's eyes “Hey, Jacqueline, baby, you are the strongest person I know. You have dealt with everything that happened to you alone for years. You did what you needed to at the time to get through it the best way you could when wanting nothing more than to push it behind you. There was nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with wanting to survive.”

Breathing shallowly, Jacqueline wipes the tears falling from the writer's eyes. “Jane, I need you to know I don’t take this lightly." Pointing between them. "What's  going on between us is so much more than anything I have ever felt in my life. You make me feel things I haven’t let myself feel since before” pausing, choking on the words “ before my assault. Things I didn’t want to feel. Jane, you make me feel safe.” Her thumb lightly gracing the lips she has wanted to taste. “I don’t want to scare you darling but you make me feel like I have come home.”

Jane shutters in anticipation at the combination of words and the feel of Jacqueline’s skin -even just her thumb - on her lips. Slightly glancing at the editor's lips; that she has been dying herself to finally claim as her own, then looking back into blue eyes she can’t get enough of. 

“Baby” pleadingly escapes Jane’s lips just as they both lean closer, heads tilting before their lips finally press into each other in a sweet slow kiss. Lips moving in sync with each other, hands sliding up backs and through hair to bring each other closer to one another. 

Needing to breath, they both pull back, both breathing hard - Jane’s fingers touching her lips, not believing they finally kissed. Jacqueline smiles fondly “ Yep. Feels like home.” leaves her lips.

Jane breaks out into giggles, lightly shoving the editor. “Thank you.”

“Darling you don’t have to thank me.” she says pulling Jane into her arms. “It was a pleasure, I assure you. ” she laughs out kissing Jane's head. 

Not seeing eyes watching them, they continue to hold each other for another minute not wanting to break the closeness they finally let themselves feel. 

Pulling apart Jacqueline grabs Jane's hand in hers, lacing their fingers together. They begin walking again this time hand in hand. Not caring much more about what anyone else thinks. 

Arms swinging between them Jane can't help the smile gracing her face. Moments pass before Jane glances at the editor next to her, looking past her near a tree in the distance. Jane stops suddenly. 

Feeling the tug on her hand from Jane stopping, and seeing the strange look on the girl's face Jacqueline slightly panics. Getting Jane's attention by squeezing the hand in hers, stepping a little closer to her. "Jane, what is it?" The concern over powering her words. 

Shaking her head, glancing around again. "I think Ryan was over there, behind the tree." Comes out in a panic.

Jacqueline pulls Jane into her arms kissing her head. "Oh Jane." Pulling back taking out her phone. "I'll text my driver to come get us." 

" Okay."  She says looking around not seeing anyone, she sighs in relief. 

"Come on sweetie he'll be here in a moment." Taking Jane's hand walking to where her driver will pick them up. "Are you sure it was him?" 

Shrugging "I don't know, maybe." Laying her head on Jacqueline's shoulder once they get to the street. 

Kissing the girl's head holding her close. "What do you want to do, darling?" 

"Fade away with you, if that's an option." She sighs with longing and hope in her voice. 

Jacqueline laughs as the car pulls up. "Come on you, are you hungry?" Her own stomach growling in want. 

"A little. Can we get something and go back to mine though?" Jane asks softly. 

"Of course. Whatever you want." she says before kissing the writer's lips softly.

Chapter Text

At Jane's place a few hours later both Jacqueline and Jane are cuddled together on the bed in the living room, fast asleep. Jane with her head on Jacqueline's shoulder their hands entwined not wanting to release each other even in sleep.

Startled awake from the sound of a phone, Jacqueline slowly and mindfully pulls away from the slumbering girl, not wanting to wake her. Quietly slipping out of bed, she moves to the coffee table where they set their phones at. 

Seeing that it was Jane's phone that got a text Jacqueline sighs running her hands through her hair. Not wanting to look she picks the phone up and goes over to Jane sitting next to her sleeping form on the bed.

Brushing her hair from her face "Darling, it's time to get up."  

Jane stirs opening her eyes, which lock on Jacqueline. "Hey you." She softly rapts out.

"Your phone went off. I didn't want to check it." handing the phone over as Jane pulls herself up sitting against the headboard of the bed. 

"You could've checked it." She smiles at her "But thank you." Taking the phone and pulling up her texts. 

It's a text from Ryan. Jane I need to talk to you. He never even replied last night she was hoping he was understanding she didn't want to talk to him.

Seeing the worry lines across Jane's face, she sets her hand on Jane's lap in concern. "What is darling?" 

Showing her the phone "It's Ryan even though I told him I didn't want to talk to him." 

Another message comes in this time with a picture of Jacqueline and Jane at the park when they were embraced. 

Jacqueline gasps as she sees the photo. Jane turns the phone back to see what the gasp was about. Dropping the phone to the bed, her hands coming to her face in mild shock. 

Jacqueline pulls Jane in her arms as she sees the girl shaking. Holding the girl close, Jane wrapping her arms around the older woman trying to steady her breathing.

"Just follow my breathing baby, shh, there you go deep breaths." She soothes by running her hands through the girls hair.

Moments later Kat walks in, instantly worried when she sees the situation in front of her. Rushing to the bed, on the other side of Jane. "Hey what's wrong?" She questions them, her hand on the back of Jane in concern. 

Lifting her head from Jacqueline, Jane finds her phone showing it to Kat. Kat's jaw drops at the message. 

"He was following you guys??"  She spits out angrily. 

Jane shrugs, turning toward Kat, not leaving Jacqueline's arms. " I don't know but I thought I saw him at the park when we were leaving. And then I just got that before you got here." 

" What do you want to do?" Kat asks, taking the girl's hands in hers. "I'm texting Sutton." 

Pulling out her phone Kat texts Sutton to come to Jane's. Not letting her know why, just that there was an S.O.S situation. " There Richard and Sutton should be here soon." 

Both nod their heads in reply. " Thank you Kat." 

Jacqueline places a kiss on Jane's head before she gets up from the bed. "I'll be right back sweetie, going to the bathroom." She says squeezing Jane's shoulder in love.

Jane just nods her head, watching her walk through the french doors of her bedroom to the bathroom. "Kat get us when Sutton gets here please?."

She nods "of course babe. Are you okay?" 

"We kissed right before that picture was taken. It was magical, but now I feel like it was tainted with him watching us." 

"Aww tiny Jane." Kat coos out. " Don't let him ruin it!" 

"I'll try not to." She sighs out before heading into her room to wait for Jacqueline. 

 

While sitting on the bed waiting for her editor Jane's mind is racing. First, thinking about what's going to happen next. Then to think about what Ryan wants to talk about and why he was in that park when they were. Is he following her or was it by chance. She wonders. And finally to that amazing kiss. The feel of the editor's lips on hers was better than she ever imagined. And she imagined it a lot. 

Jacqueline comes out of the bathroom several minutes later, she pauses seeing Jane in the room. Instead of alerting Jane to her presence, she just looks at the woman in front of her. How did she get so lucky to have this woman care for her. She thinks. 

Just watching Jane she's able to see all the different emotions pass over her. From worried, to anger, to love. Once the tears begin to show in those gorgeous hazel eyes Jacqueline kneels in front of the girl. 

One hand resting on the girl's knee, the other wiping the tears from her eyes. "What's going on in that pretty head of yours?"

Surprised by the action. "I don't know honestly" Jane shrugs out. "We finally kissed. I told Kat that I feel like our moment was tainted." she whines out with tears slipping out again.  

" Oh darling no." Jacqueline's hand going to Jane's neck pulling their heads together. "Nothing about that moment was tainted. Please don't think that. It was as they say magical." Wiping the tears from her eyes. "Jane" she whispers softly before taking the lips in hers once again.

Jane responds, returning the kiss immediately. Arms wrapping around the woman pulling her in close. Tongues asking for entrance and granted, as they kiss deeply forgetting the world around them. That first kiss was like coming home, but this one feels like a promise. A promise that nothing can come between them. 

A knock on the doors to Jane's bedroom brings them both back to the real world. They slow the kiss down, not wanting to part just yet, lips still together as they calm their beating hearts from the heat of the kiss.

Jacqueline pulls back nipping the lips in hers. "See, nothing can ruin our kiss." Fingers running over said lips she just kissed before placing another peck against them. 

Smiling at one another Jacqueline stands pulling Jane with her. "We should get out there." 

"Thank you." Jane squeezes the hand still in hers. 

Seeing Jacqueline raise an eyebrow in question, Jane brings her hand to her cheek to whisper softly "Thank you for catching me." Before gracing their lips softly once again before pulling back and exiting the room.

 

Out in the living quarters Kat is showing Sutton and Richard the messages when the ladies grace them with their presence. 

Spotting them Sutton runs to Jane wrapping her in her arms. "Oh babe, I'm sorry!" 

Jane brings her arms around Sutton. "It's okay. Sorry to bother you guys" 

Richard who is sitting on the couch. "Jane it's fine. I know when I married Sutton she came with the two of you." He laughs out shrugging. 

"You better believe it buddy!" Kat adds.

Jacqueline laughs at the antics. "Sorry, I just wish I had friends as close as the three of you are." 

Pulling away from Sutton, Jane turns towards Jacqueline. "Aw babe." She coos out. 

Jacqueline moves to sit down on the stool by the counter, squeezing Jane's shoulder on the way by winking at her. "I need a drink." 

Kat jumps up going to the kitchen. "What shall we have, wine, vodka or some scotch?." 

" Wine for me is fine." Jacqueline says.  

Richard asks for a scotch, Sutton and Jane both having Wine. 

Kat gets everyone a drink, herself included before sitting on the bed. Jane joins Jacq at the counter as Sutton sits next to Richard. Each taking a sip of their drinks.

"Should we be worried about Ryan?" Sutton breaks the silence amongst the group.

Jane sighs out reaching for the editor's hand. "I don't know. Maybe I should just text him back about meeting him to see what he actually wants."

"That's up to you Jane." Jacqueline squeezes the hand in hers. "I am worried though. Was he stalking you or just happened to see us at the park?" She questions. 

"I was asking that very question myself." 

"You don't have to meet him alone if you don't want to." Kat let's her know. 

"Yes! We will go with you!" Sutton adds.

Jane smiles at her friends thankful to have them in her corner. 

A phone goes off making everybody jump. Jane's phone is sitting on the table, Sutton looks at it shaking her head it's not hers. They remember to breath checking their phones. Jacqueline getting hers from the table in front of the couch. 

"It's mine." She breathes out before sighing deeply. "It's a message from Ian. Letting me know he's going back to the Ukraine tonight and would like to see the boys for dinner. They are still with my mother." She glances at Jane, before replying back to Ian. I'm picking the boys up at five. 

"When do you have to go get them?" Jane asks her over her wine glass.

Glancing at the time, seeing it's four in the afternoon. "In about an hour. My mother took them to the museum today. They love it when she takes them." She smiles walking back over to the counter taking her seat again. 

Another text from Ian comes in. Okay. We should probably talk before I leave.

"Jacq, you okay? What is it? " Jane asks in concern, hearing the sigh leaving the woman's lips. 

"He thinks we should talk before he leaves." 

"Oh" slips out before Jane gets up walking to her room.

Feeling a little hurt Jacqueline stares at where Jane walked away. 

"Maybe you should go talk to her Jacq." Richard says, not liking the hurt look on his friend's face. 

"Yeah." She breathes deeply before following Jane. 

She knocks on the door once before entering, closing the door behind her. "Jane?" She calls out sadly. Seeing said woman laying on the bed, her back to the door. 

Jane stays silent, hoping the older woman just goes away so she doesn't see her tears. She's not sure why she had that reaction about Ian. She knows Jacqueline doesn't love Ian, but Ian is the father of her kids. 

Jacqueline decides to crawl in next to Jane on the bed. Laying on her side behind her writer, bringing her hand up to slowly move the hair behind Jane's ear before sliding the hand down her side. Placing soft kisses on the back of her neck.

Hearing Jane's breath quicken with each kiss, she continues. Moving to Jane's ear, she softly whispers "Don't run away from me darling." Pulling Jane into her, her arms wrapping around her from behind.

Not being able to stop the tears, Jane cries out. "Jacq -" turning so she's facing the woman. "I'm scared, I love you so much. I don't want to lose you. I can't lose you." She sobs in the arms of the woman she loves. 

Hands slide up to Jane's face wiping the tears -as tears start to fall from her own eyes "Oh Jane, You're not going to lose me baby, you're my home remember." She tells her promisingly before kissing the soft lips 

"I love you too if you hadn't noticed already." She cries out pulling back from the kiss to look into the writer's eyes. 

Jane seeing nothing but the truth in those ocean blue eyes, lowers her head to Jacqueline's shoulder. "I'm sorry." She sobs into the woman. 

"Jane, look at me." She softly pleads pulling Jane from her shoulder. "Do not apologize. I'm scared too sweetie. But please do not run away from me." 

Nodding her head "I won't. I won't Jacq." 

"I'm gonna have to go soon, Before I do -please tell me why you just walked away like that." She asks, caressing Jane's cheek.

Inhaling deeply before letting her breathe out. "Ian." She mumbles out eyes downcast. " At Sutton's wedding I saw you in a heated discussion before you came back over to me. Was that about me?" 

" Jane," she says while lifting the girl's chin to look at her. "That's a complicated answer. It wasn't as much about you but about me." She pulls away sitting up against the headboard. 

Jane sits up taking the editor's hand in hers not wanting to lose the contact. "Jacq, you can tell me. What about you?" 

"My truth Jane. I told you earlier that I was with Ian because it was easier than letting my truth out. Then letting everyone know that I preferred girls over boys. I found myself in college but then I was assaulted -" she pauses shaking her head. "I was assaulted for who I was Jane, for liking girls so I hid." 

Jane, shocked by that revelation, immediately pulls Jacqueline to her. "Oh baby I'm sorry. Why didn't you tell me before?" Her hands running up and down the woman's back. 

"It wasn't important then." She shrugs pulling back. "Jane, I'm done hiding that part of me. What you saw at Sutton's wedding was Ian not liking that my feelings were showing." 

"You coming over to me?" She asks perplexed. 

"More like not being able to stop watching you from afar." She grabs Jane's hand in hers playing with her fingers. "I never told him the truth you know. He overheard me a few weeks ago when I was talking to the boys about it. I didn't know he was there." She sighs out looking at Jane.

Jane squeezes the fingers in hers, glancing at the clock on the wall she sees it four forty-five. "It's almost five. You have to go soon." She says sadly. 

Pulling the writer into her lap "Jane I wish I didn't have to. I don't want to have the conversation that is going to happen but it needs to happen. Ian isn't happy about what he overheard. Which is why he was so irate at Sutton's wedding. I don't know what's going to happen but it's time Jane. It's long past time."

Jane wraps her arms around Jacqueline's neck, leaning their heads together. "Aren't we a pair?" She laughs softly

Smiling, rolling her eyes at the girl before taking the lips near hers for a soft sweet kiss. 

Humming from the lightness of the kiss Jane pulls back, butterflies in her stomach from the simple yet informing kiss they just shared. 

"I love you Jane" 

"I love you too Jacq"

Chapter Text

After Jacqueline left, Jane was still in her room on her bed. She was overwhelmed by everything that had happened that day. Between her pre-op, finally kissing Jacqueline, not to mention that stalkerish text from her ex. 

Jane's pre-op went well. She's all ready for her surgery in a week. She hasn't texted Ryan back yet but she will tonight. The only issue that Jane faces, is she can't stop thinking about how the conversation that Jacqueline is going to be having with Ian was going to go. 

Jane didn't want to admit it, -she promised Jacqueline she wasn't going to run -which she wasn't going to, but truthfully, she was scared. Jane was scared, even though Jacqueline admitted that she was tired of hiding, she couldn't stop thinking that whatever Ian had to say would change that. 

She knows it's not rational thinking but what can you do? Not to mention they still had to worry about the board. They had plenty of time for that though. Jane would be off of work for a couple months for her time of recovery. 

Kat and Sutton enter Jane's room finding her in the middle of the bed cuddled with her pillow with tears staining her face. They both glance at one another before joining her, one on each side.

"What's wrong, tiny Jane?" Kat asks, stroking Jane's hair. 

"She's panicking." Sutton claims, settling at Jane's side. "Talk to us babe."

Jane sits up bringing the pillow with her, wiping her eyes, "Jacqueline is talking to Ian about us tonight and also about starting the process for divorce. " 

"Isn't that good though? " Sutton asks, perplexed.

"It is… but there's still so much they have to talk about." Jane tells them resigned "Jacqueline told me she married Ian for he was safe."

Seeing the confused looks on both of their faces she tries to explain. "You remember how Jacq was assaulted? What she didn't mention then was that she was targeted for liking girls." 

"That's awful!!" Both say in disgust.

"Tell me about it. It caused her to hide a part of herself away." She says deploring. "She was with Ian because it was easier than admitting the truth. She loved him as a friend, later as the father of her boys but it was never deeper than that." 

"Oh baby that's a lot. And Ian didn't know this?" Kat questioned.

Shaking her head. "She never told anyone - Richard knows the truth about her and Ian, but I don't think she fully told him everything though." She shrugs. "She never fully told Ian everything about the assault, all he knew was that she was. She said he never pressured her and pretty much made it easy for her to hide -her words - and focus on her career." 

Seeing the tears falling from Jane's eyes, Sutton and Kat both sandwich Jane between them. "That's hard. I can't imagine how she was feeling during all that." Kat softly says. Sutton humming in agreement.

"Me either. I can't help but worry how Ian is going to react though. A few weeks ago Jacqueline said she was talking to the boys about how she wasn't ever in love with their father. That she actually liked girls. What she didn't know was that Ian happened to be there and ended up overhearing that." 

" Wow," Sutton says, shocked. "That couldn't have been good to overhear. "

" Yeah. I would say not. I saw them at your wedding reception while you went to get Kat, they were having a heated discussion. Jacq said that Ian was irritated that she couldn't stop watching me all night."

Kat in irritation blurts out "Because  of course showing concern for another person is automatically a sign of secretly wanting them." Rolling her eyes. 

All three girls laugh at the truth of that. "Oh I know that was my thoughts." 

"What do you think is going to happen?" Sutton asks when calmed down.

Breathing deeply and exhaling Jane plays with the corner of the Pillow. "I don't see Ian taking it well. Especially when he's told about me. But the only ones that matter in all this are James and Conner. Jacqueline and James already talked about me and he's okay with it. She said he said 'I was cool'." She giggled out puffing her chest. 

Sutton and Kat burst out laughing. " Oh she's getting an ego." 

Laughing. "I am not." Before calming down and sighing. "Plus that was before she told him about everything going on with me." 

"Oh Jane, he isn't going to think less of you about that. Just appreciate you more. I mean he is Jacqueline's son after all." Sutton declares rubbing Jane's back. 

A moment later Richard knocks on the doors letting them know he has dinner for them. While they were talking he went out and grabbed Tacos for everyone. 

"Let's go eat, our dinner awaits thanks to my husband." Sutton says giddily. "That's still so strange to say." She laughs out.  

Jane and Kat join Sutton with her joy before all three get up to join Richard for the Tacos he so graciously picked up. 

"Thank you Richard." Kat and Jane both say as Sutton goes up to Richard and takes him in a sweet kiss. 

The girls gather their food just as Jane's phone beeps alerting her of a message. Pausing letting out a deep breath before grabbing her phone from the table to check who it is.

 Looking at the screen as it lights up, she sighs in dread. It's another text from Ryan, this time it reads Jane this isn't over, you need to talk to me!! 

Kat and Sutton surround Jane as the phone drops from her hands. Sutton kneels over and picks up the phone. Kat wraps her arms around Jane's waist pulling her to her side. 

"What does it say this time?"  Richard asks from the counter, where the food is. 

Sutton reads the message aloud as Jane shakes in Kat's arms. 

"This is becoming an issue, you're lucky he hasn't shown up here!" Richard tells them.

"I know." Jane shakily says. "I should just meet with him right?" 

Rubbing Jane's back trying to get her to calm down, Kat pulls Jane down to sit on the couch. "That's up to you but you're not going alone." 

Jane nods her head in agreement. "I wouldn't feel comfortable going alone."

Sutton sits down next to Jane on the couch handing back her phone. "Then text him back. You could have him come here and we will be in your room like we aren't here if that makes you more comfortable." 

Jane takes the phone, inhales and exhales before opening up the message. Rereading the words before replying to it. I do not have to talk to you but since you keep insisting you can come over in an hour and not a minute sooner. You will say what you have to say and then leave. It's over Ryan and nothing is going to change that. She speaks as she writes the text and hits send. 

While Jane was replying to Ryan, Richard sent a text off to Jacqueline to let her know what was going on. Hey Jacq, sorry to interrupt but just letting you know that Ryan texted Jane again and Jane invited him over in an hour to hear what he has to say. She's okay, freaking out a little bit. We are going to be here when he comes so she's not alone. Promise.

"Let's eat please, I can't deal with him on an empty stomach." Jane tells the girls as she gets up to grab her tacos. 

Kat and Sutton exchange looks. "How about some wine or vodka to go with them? You know some liquor courage." Sutton asks, going to the kitchen to get drinks for everyone. 

"Sure hand over the vodka with a splash of soda." Jane laughs out sardonically. 

A phone beeps alerting to another text. Jane glances at her phone and smiles seeing it's from Jacqueline. Opening the text it reads: Hey beautiful Richard told me Ryan was coming over. You okay? 

Jane looks to Richard before answering Jacqueline back. I'm kinda freaking out honestly. But I need to get it over with. How's it going on your end? 

"Thank you Richard." 

"No problem Jane. Let's eat. He should be here in about forty-five minutes." Richard replied, looking at the clock.

Sutton hands Jane her vodka with a splash of soda just as her phone beeps again. "It's Jacqueline again." Jane replies to Sutton's questioningly look.

Just remember I love you and if you need me call me! And it's going, Ian isn't too thrilled obviously, but you should know, Ryan sent the photo to Ian. Not sure what he expected to gain from that but it's not working. 

I'm sorry Jacq. I can't believe he did that! I love you too. I'll let you know when he leaves. Jane sent off the text. 

"Ryan sent the photo to Ian." Jane tells the room as she takes a huge gulp of her drink. 

"Well good news that's not gonna make a difference there. Ian and Jacqueline aren't together like it matters." Richard says, trying to make light of the situation at hand. 

"I know. Jacqueline wanted to tell him though." Jane informs him.

"I can understand that." He sighs. 

"Let's eat before he gets here." Jane says before grabbing her plate to eat her food.

Chapter Text

It was just after Seven when a knock came at the door. Knowing who it was, Jane took a deep breath, closing the door to her room - where Richard and the girls were quietly waiting for the unwanted visitor to say what he needed to say and to take his leave. 

It's okay, just breathe, let him talk and then kick his ass out. Jane kept telling herself as she walked to the front door. Taking one final breath to calm her nerves she finally opens the door. 

"Jane..." Ryan says the first thing before Jane cuts him off. "Don't! Please let's get this over with. I don't want you here Ryan." 

Leading him into the living room, Jane continues to stand not wanting to give Ryan any thoughts about him being here. "Now what did you have to say?" 

Ryan steps closer to Jane only to pause when she backs up. "Jane, come on! I'm not gonna do anything. I just want to know why we can't talk about this. I love you and I don't want us to end." 

Jane scoffs "If that's true then you wouldn't have cheated to begin with let alone lie about it. I've told you Ryan I can't condone cheating." 

"Oh that's huge!" He laughs out irritated. Throwing his hands up. "What are you doing with Jacqueline then?! I saw you this morning in the park, and she's married!" 

Jane backs away before replying. "First of all, what were you even doing there? Were you following me because I wouldn't let you take me this morning. News flash Ryan, even if we were still together Sutton and Kat were taking me to my appointment not you. Secondly Jacqueline's relationship to her husband is none of your business. My relationship for that matter with Jacqueline is none of your business. We are not together anymore, who I chose to spend my time with doesn't concern you!" 

"If Sutton and Kat were taking you then why were you with Jacqueline this morning? Huh why did she take you to your appointment when you weren't even going to let me take you." Ryan spats out angrily.

"Jacqueline asked if she could take me after she overheard my call for my pre-op appointment. Plus she was there for me when I found out I had the Gene and helped me to accept that part of my life. You know I had to write that article about it." Jane tells him. 

Running her hands through her hair Jane sighs out. "Truthfully I wanted to ask Jacqueline from the start but wasn't sure how it would come across so I'm thankful she offered to take me." 

Ryan just stands there staring at Jane. "You're in love with her. Did you ever love me Jane?" He scoffs out, throwing his hands up in anger. "What was I to you Jane? Just a good fuck to pass your time as you waited for her to notice you!!" 

Jane backs up in fear forgetting that if things escalated her friends were there for her. "It's not like that Ryan. Yes it's true I wanted Jacqueline, but I never thought to imagine it was ever a possibility. For one as you pointed out she's married and the biggest thing is she's my boss - but it never stopped me falling for her. I tried to stop it. I even left Scarlet and went to Incite to try to get past her but it didn't help. Jacqueline is the epitome of everything I have ever dreamed of." 

Taking a deep breath Jane continues with nothing but honesty. "Ryan, I tried to make it work with you. I would have stayed with Ben otherwise. I chose you at the time but admit it ever since your book tour things haven't been okay. You lied to me. You not only kissed someone else but you slept with her then rushed home afterwards out of guilt and lied to me about it. I asked you what else happened and you said nothing. It took weeks for you to even admit the kiss. Not to mention what happened when my brother was here. I can't trust you Ryan." She sighs out looking directly at him, she continues. "I don't love you. I don't think I ever did but it was because of you, not anyone else." 

Ryan just stares at Jane taking everything she said in. He knew he messed up, he knew that but he wasn't okay with being second to her boss because of it. "So that's it then? I love you but because I lied to you to keep you from hurting I don't even get a second chance. And you're running into the arms of your married boss who is much older than you. Tell me how that makes sense." He scoffs out frustrated. 

"You cheated on me Ryan! If you didn't want to hurt me that never should have happened. You told me you kissed someone on your book tour and when I asked you if anything else happened then you lied to me and said no. I asked you and you lied to me! That wasn't to protect me from getting hurt, that was to protect you for you knew I would have walked away then! Then when my brother was here you kept it a secret when you found out he split from his wife. And still only weeks later did I find out the truth about you sleeping with someone else and not just kissing." She scoffs at him frustrated from having this conversation.

"You want to know why I didn't want you to have any part of my decision to have this surgery because I knew something was wrong." She breathes out. "My dreams told me you cheated on me because subconsciously I knew you lied but I didn't want to see it at the time. I needed something more than pining for my boss, something that was in my reach. It was a mistake to stay with you Ryan and I'm sorry but that's the truth." 

"Jane, you're fooling yourself if you think Jacqueline loves you. She's married, not to mention the issues with her precious board. She wouldn't want to risk losing her job just to be with you. Everyone knows she would choose Scarlet over any chance at being with you." Ryan tells her trying to get a rise out of her.

Not wanting to take the bait Jane takes a deep breath, releasing it counting to ten before she answers as calmly as she can. "Ryan just stop, you know nothing about Jacqueline. I know you sent the photo of us to Ian. She told me. News flash though, Jacqueline and Ian are over. He's going back to the Ukraine and this time most likely permanently. They have their own issues to work out though and that's between them. There is so much you don't know and will never know Ryan." 

"So that's it? Just like that. Your boss notices you and I'm second fiddle?" He lets out angrily. 

Sighing "It was already over Ryan. I told you it was over at Sutton's Wedding. I honestly have nothing more to say to you about it. You already had three chances technically and I shouldn't have given you the third one so just stop and go Ryan. Do not come here again. Do not text me or call me or even think about following me or I will take action against you!" 

"You don't mean that Jane!" Ryan bellows out, taking a step towards Jane pushing her against the wall. "We were great together, we can get that back. You will have what - a couple months off from work to recover? I can be here for you and we can work this out. Let me take care of you baby!" He pleads into Jane's ear.

Jane struggles to push Ryan off of her. "No! Get away from me Ryan." She cries out scared just as Richard and the girls burst out of the room.

Shocked from the intrusion thinking they were alone, Richard was able to pull Ryan away from Jane with no issues. The same time Kat and Sutton pulled Jane into them.

"She told you to leave and that it was over. Ryan, take this as your only warning, leave her alone! And for what it's worth you will also leave Jacqueline alone as well. You are not to come anywhere near any of these ladies or you will deal with me! Do you understand me?" Richard asks him. 

Ryan nods his head in agreement before looking over at Jane wanting to say something but stops himself. He turns around and leaves the premises, Richard following to lock the door behind him.

Richard comes back into the living room and sits on the couch. "He's gone, Jane. I'm so sorry I didn't come out sooner." He sighs. Thinking to himself how much Jacqueline is going to kill him for letting him touch her like he did. 

Jane is shaking in the arms of Kat and Sutton. Looking up when Richard speaks to her. "Thank you Richard." She softly lets out. 

Rubbing Jane's back trying to calm her down Kat asks her softly. "You gonna be okay? Need anything baby?" 

Jane shakes her head as she replies. "No. I just want….I don't know." She sighs out before getting up from Kat and Sutton's embrace. Taking her cell phone before going to her room shutting the door. 

Kat and Sutton look from each other to the door before Kat speaks out. "Should we follow her?" 

 Sutton shakes her head. "No, let her be. If she wants us she will let us know. I think we should maybe stay here tonight though just in case he tries to come back." She says to Richard.

"I agree babe." He tells her. Not wanting to leave any of the girls alone for a second after what occurred tonight. 

"You guys can have the bed out here and I'll sleep on the couch or maybe Jane will let me sleep with her tonight." Kat let's them know. 

 

Inside the bedroom Jane is laying in bed curled around the pillow that Jacqueline was using earlier that evening. Hoping the smell left from her would help calm her nerves. It wasn't helping though.

Sighing out in frustration she takes her phone to finally send a text. I'm not sure if you're still talking with Ian but I wanted you to know Ryan left. Hopefully he will leave me alone now. Richard had to step in though. Rereading it before she sends it off to Jacqueline. 

Running over the conversation with Ryan again in her head she sends another text to Jacqueline. I'm sorry I….never mind she hits send before she can stop herself. 

Jane pushes herself up from the bed feeling bad about just walking away from her friends, she decides to go apologize to them. Leaving her phone on the bed and taking in three deep breaths before opening the door to the others.

Hearing the door open Sutton and Kat both smile softly at Jane. Both saying the same thing at the same time. "Do not apologize Tiny Jane." Sutton finished the thought. "We know, and with that being said we are all staying here tonight with you!"

"You don't have to do that, but thank you." Jane replies gratefully not wanting to be alone tonight. "I guess Kat you're sleeping with me tonight again then?" 

"If you don't mind - or I can take the couch." Kat alters back in case Jane needs the space.

Jane smiles softly at Kat. "I don't mind. Just please don't tease Jacqueline about it this time." She winks. 

Kat laughs out "promise!" before embracing Jane in a hug. 

"Now that that is settled, are you okay Jane?" Richard asks in concern. 

"I will be. Just a little shaken still. But I don't want to talk about that. Let's watch a funny movie to take our minds off things ." Jane suggests as she moves to sit down on the couch.

"Sure babe. What about Flubber?" Kat suggests.

"Perfect," Jane replies, pulling the blanket from the back of the couch. Forgetting her phone on her bed before she settles. 

Kat grabs the movie and puts it in before taking her seat next to Jane. Richard takes the chair as Sutton decides to take the other side of Jane. Wanting Jane to feel nothing but comfort after the events earlier. 

With all the worrying of Jane no one hears the phone going off in the bedroom.

 

Chapter Text

When Jacqueline got home with the boys, Ian was waiting for them with Chinese food. The boys greeted their father with polite hello's before going and washing up to eat. 

Jacqueline already told them Ian was leaving back to the Ukraine, they weren't that phased. At this point they were used to their father always being gone. 

Jacqueline for her part wasn't showing how nervous she was for the upcoming conversation she was going to be having but like Jane, she was also a little nervous. Ian has had nothing but animosity since he overheard her talking to the boys. 

How was she going to explain to Ian that she cared for him but only  as the father of her beautiful boys that he gave her. Jacqueline was tired of hiding though. It's been exhausting all these years. 

After she was assaulted, she just felt empty inside. She pushed it down though when she made the choice to not report it. She went back to work everyday like nothing happened. She stopped seeing girls and hid that part away from herself. 

It was several weeks after her assault that she met Ian. He was sweet, kind, and charming. She wasn't interested in him in the least for obvious reasons but she was hiding away from herself. So when he asked her out for lunch she agreed. They were both in the journalism world so they ran into each other a lot.

When her parents got word of Ian they were excited. They didn't know their daughter wasn't into him that way or that she was hiding. They didn't know she was assaulted. All they saw was their daughter finally going out with someone so Jacqueline continued seeing him.

It was easy. Ian knew about the assault, Jacqueline had to explain why she was jumpy and didn't like to be touched. He took it like a gentleman at the time. He never pressured her or expected more from her then she was willing to give. 

Jacqueline was working all the time and they only saw each here and there between both their schedules. She was career driven and Ian knew this. Ian was also career driven so it worked for them. 

The boys come back from washing their hands, sitting at the table knocking Jacqueline from her thoughts. “This looks great, dad.”  They both say before digging in.

Ian smiles at his boys as he starts to eat himself. “How was your day with your grandma?”  

The boys glance at each other before James looks towards his father, answering for the both of them. “It was good. We went to the museum and we had ice cream.” 

“That sounds like fun.” Ian smiles while taking a sip. “Jacqueline, how was your day off? Do anything fun?” he asks her like he knew something more than he should have. 

Jacqueline starts coughing as she chokes on her wine, eyeing Ian across the table. When the coughing stops Jacqueline answers him suspiciously. “What is that supposed to mean Ian? My day is none of your business. For your information though I was there for a friend today. That's all you need to know. ” 

"I got a text earlier today. I know exactly what you were doing today." Ian tells her arrogantly.

Outraged by bringing it up in front of the boys Jacqueline tries to calm herself before she answers.

Glancing at her boys, Conner who is puzzled not knowing what is going on, and James who looks concerned for his mother, knowing exactly where she was. "Ian, we can discuss this after dinner. This is not a conversation to be had in front of them!"  

"Then when Jacqueline, when is it a good time to discuss it hmm." Ian snips out. 

Before she's able to reply she hears her phone beep from the counter. Jacqueline excuses herself to grab it in case it was Jane. 

"Really Jackie you're going to answer that now?" Ian angrily asks out for the interruption.

"Dad stop, it could be important" James tells his father, hating how he's talking to his mother. 

Smiling at her son's defense she opens the text from Richard. Hey Jacq, sorry to interrupt but just letting you know that Ryan texted Jane again and Jane invited him over in an hour to hear what he has to say. She's okay, freaking out a little bit. We are going to be here when he comes so she's not alone. Promise.

Sighing in annoyance for not being able to be there herself - Jacqueline opens her thread with Jane. Hey beautiful Richard told me Ryan was coming over. You okay? She sends.

I'm kinda freaking out honestly. But I need to get it over with. How's it going on your end?  

Wanting to reassure her she replies - Just remember I love you and if you need me call me! And it's going, Ian isn't too thrilled obviously, but you should know, Ryan sent the photo to Ian. Not sure what he expected to gain from that but it's not working.  

She glances back towards the table and her phone beeps once more with I'm sorry Jacq. I can't believe he did that! I love you too. I'll let you know when he leaves.

Locking her phone before placing it back on the counter she takes a steadying breath before taking a seat back at the table. 

"Everything okay mom?" James asks his mother knowing it was probably about Jane.

Smiling softly at him she responds "It will be baby thank you." 

Seeing the boys are finished eating. "Why don't you guys go play your games in the room after you take care of your plates." She suggests wanting to get this conversation with Ian over with. 

Both boys get up quietly taking their plates to the kitchen, once out of the room Jacqueline angrily faces Ian. "Now you can say what you wanted to say." 

Ian rolls his eyes. "Really Jackie? We're doing this now?" 

"Yes Ian you said you wanted to talk so now we are talking before you leave again. There is a lot we need to get straightened out before you go!" Jacqueline calmly lets him know before getting up from the table. "Let's take this to the living room. I need a drink." 

Jacqueline grabs her plate, taking Ian's as well before taking it to the kitchen to put it into the sink. 

"Sure why not." Ian sighs out, also getting up. He walks over to the liquor table, behind the couch and pours himself a scotch. Taking a seat in his chair by the window as Jacqueline comes in and pours herself a whiskey before sitting on the couch.

They both sit there just staring at each other for several minutes not wanting to be the one to start this long awaited conversation. Finally taking a sip from her drink, Jacqueline starts.

"Look Ian - I know things have been more intense than normal lately. Ever since you overheard the conversation I was having with the boys after the Mandy awards. I'm sorry about that by the way. But this is one of the hardest things I have had to come to light with. It's not about you Ian, it's about me being truly honest with myself." She softly tells him. "Ian surely you have noticed over the years our marriage isn't a normal one. We sleep in different beds, I barely let you touch me. We have only ever slept together a total of four times and it was when we were completely wasted. Two of those times we got our wonderful boys, who I wouldn't trade for the world. They are my world Ian."  

Taking a drink of her Whiskey to gather her thoughts she continues. "Look Ian when we met as you know I was going through a very hard time. Just three months prior of us meeting I was raped by my boss. You know this, but what you don't know and only one other person knows, is that he raped me because I turned him down and told him I was gay."

Ian interrupts "Jacqueline, that's horrible. You didn't deserve that. If you were gay then why did you agree to go out with me or even say yes to marring me?" 

"Honestly, it was easier at the time. You don't know what it's like to feel so broken and lost. A part of myself was ripped away from me and I could do nothing about it. I was scared but if I told anyone about what had happened I would have lost my career. All my hard work would have been destroyed in an instant. My dreams would have been taken and that I know I could not have lived with. So I pushed it down, deep down and just ran away." She emotionally tells him. 

Jacqueline downs the rest of her drink before she continues. "I know that was wrong but I wanted to move on from it. With you, we had the same career driven goal. We both wanted the world but didn't want to drive it alone. You became a good friend Ian. My best friend at the time. You didn't push for sex that I wasn't interested in. It was safe. I know that's horrible to tell you now after all these years but it's the truth. I'm sorry if this hurts you, but I wouldn't trade our years for anything Ian. I am who I am thanks to you. You held me together all these years. It's just not enough anymore." She shrugs out. "I need more than just being held together. I want passion. I want my other half and I never thought in all these years I would have found that but I have." 

Ian finishes his drink before getting up to refill it, downing the contents. He turns back around facing Jacqueline trying to digest everything he was just told. "That's a lot Jackie." He breathes out. 

Jacqueline gets up to approach him. "I know it is. I'm sorry about all this but you can't tell me you've been truly happy all these years. We coexist, Ian. It's always been coexisting between us. Nothing more. We are friends. And we are good parents, anything more than that I will never be able to give you." She tells him softly. 

"You can't tell me all these years you've been happy or even faithful at that.  You mostly live in the Ukraine Ian, you come home to see the boys or attend the occasional Scarlet event to show face. Aren't you tired of that being all this is. I know I am." 

"Jacq… Yes I've been seeing someone there. But you can't expect me not to when we don't sleep together and the few times we have as you said we were drunk." He honestly tells her. "I guess it doesn't matter you know now though since you've been harboring this huge secret about yourself over the years." Trying to laugh it off. 

Jacqueline just smiles softly at him. "As long as she makes you happy Ian. You deserve more than I've been able to give you. I love you Ian I do - You are the father of my kids but I've never been in love with you and I'm sorry for that. I think it's time we get a divorce. I've been wanting to keep things simple for the boys but it's time Ian." 

"You're right. I'm sorry I've been horrible these last few weeks. I never thought about how you were feeling Jackie. I know all this is coming to light because of, what's her name, Jane?" Ian questions. 

"Yes Jane. You met her when I brought her to the house that one time." She responds.

"You know I thought I saw something between you but I didn't want to question it then. I didn't want to see it." Ian laughs out. "What's with this Ryan guy who sent the photo of you two?" 

Sighing out in frustration. "That would be her ex. She broke up with him at Sutton's Wedding. He doesn't seem to take the break up for what it is." 

"That's what was wrong with her that night?" He questions her.

"Yes." She nods, replying softly. "He cheated on her during his book tour and she only found out recently after he lied about only kissing someone else." 

Ian shakes his head. Knowing he himself cheated many times over the years. Jacqueline noticing the look stops the thought. "Ian, it's okay. I never knew but I figured you had. I honestly don't care." 

Nodding his head in thanks. "He's not stalking her is he?" He questions. 

"I'm not sure. He was trying to get her to talk to him and she didn't want to. He spooked her pretty badly. They are supposed to talk tonight. That's what the text at dinner was about."  She lets him know. 

Ian nods his head. "So James knows about Jane then?" He asks. 

"Yes he does. We talked last night about it. I'm sorry I told them before you Ian."  

"It's okay, I understand Jackie. I wasn't making it easy for you." He laughs out in guilt. 

"No you weren't." Jacqueline answers. "Just so you know, Jane and I have only just started to admit our feelings for one another. More like she broke down on me and it spilled out." She laughs softly. Smiling by the memory of Jane asleep in arms. " I wanted to talk to you about the divorce before anything started. I need to do things right, by her." 

Ian takes in the smile gracing Jacqueline's face. He smiles to himself seeing for the first time since Conner was born that missing sparkle behind her eye. Taking her in his arms for a quick embrace. He softly lets her know. "You deserve to be happy, Jackie." Pulling back from her. "I haven't seen that sparkle of joy since both of the boys were born." 

Jacqueline, shocked from the hug, just smiles back at him. "Thank you Ian. So when is your flight? Shouldn't you be leaving soon?" She asks. 

"Actually I changed my flight to tomorrow afternoon. I wanted to spend the morning with the boys." 

"They will love that Ian. Why don't you go and tell them to get ready for bed and let them know." Jacqueline tells him glancing at the clock seeing it's eight thirty. "I'm glad we finally talked. I'll have my lawyer fax you the papers when you get back to Ukraine." 

Ian nods in acknowledgement before heading down the hall. 

While Ian goes and gets the boys ready for bed Jacqueline heads back to the kitchen to grab her phone off the counter. Seeing a couple texts from Jane, she sighs in frustration for missing them when they came in. Just great, she thinks to herself. 

The first text that came in at eight read I'm not sure if you're still talking with Ian but I wanted you to know Ryan left. Hopefully he will leave me alone now. Richard had to step in though. Not liking where her mind goes she opens the second text that came a minute later. I'm sorry I….never mind. 

Jacqueline, puzzled and concerned with both of those texts, immediately replies back. Darling what happened? Are you okay? I'm worried! I just got done talking with Ian. It went well. He doesn't leave till tomorrow afternoon and plans on taking the boys out in the morning before he goes. 

Thirty minutes with no reply Jacqueline really starts to panic. Opening Jane's contact, she tries to call her. It rings several times but then goes to voicemail. Growing more concerned by the second she comes to the decision. I'm just gonna go to her. She thinks. 

Grabbing her phone before going to the room to grab a bag with clothes for tomorrow. She kisses the boys good night before she goes and finds Ian. She knocks on his door. "Hey Ian, since you have the boys tomorrow I'm gonna go over to Jane's. She's not answering and her last text has me concerned. I'll be back after lunch before your flight." 

"Sure, go ahead. I hope everything is okay. Night Jackie."  He tells her. 

Jacqueline doesn't waste time; she grabs her coat and keys and heads down to her car to go where her heart needs her.