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 Zoobilee (Conners)

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PostSubject: Zoobilee (Conners)   Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:23 pm

Camera? Check. Phone? Check. Day off? Check.

Date with the sexiest Captain ever? Check.

Date with his darling daughter? Check.

Puddles had all ready been potty. Now was laying in his kennel with food and water. Curled up and pouting because of course, he would rather go. That little dude already knew Amanda's name. All she had to do was be talking on the phone to Jack at night, using a prepaid cell so it couldn't be traced, and say Amanda's name and that little bundle of black fur would trot over and sit and wait. As if Amanda were going to come through the phone.

Sadly, that was not the case.

Amelia got into the car and drove over to Jack's. They were heading off in his car, not that hers wouldn't work but Amanda's junk was all ready in his car and there was no reason to shift her around. Getting out of her car parked on the curb she grabbed her bag of stuff and headed to the front door. They had decided they would probably just eat at one of the restaurants at the zoo so that way they didn't have to worry about bringing food and carrying it around all day.

Knocking on the door, she had barely gotten the second knock off when the door was flung open by an over exuberant seven year old that nearly knocked Remy off her feet with the force of her hug.

Dad says we're going to the zoo! And you get to come.

Remy laughed. Yep. I get to come.

Though they had decided it together, it seemed the little girl was more than pleased that Remy was coming along as well. Remy stepped into the house she had spent that night in just less than a week ago and smiled. All the happy memories that she already had made here, and that was just one date. She was excited to see what memories they would be making soon together. Even as a sort of.. not really.. family.

I made Dad wear a tshirt. And jeans. she whispered into Remy's ear.

Remy smiled. And that sweater? she asked the girl conspiritorily as they whispered in the corner waiting for Jack to come downstairs.

I put it downstairs.

They high fived and laughed, and Remy put her bags down and came into the living room. Cartoons were on TV and Amanda plopped right down beside her. Resting her body against Remy's while they both watched cartoons together. Jack was probably just finishing picking out what to wear, or whatever. Or maybe he was on the phone to work, but it wasn't like they would be late. They would be getting there when they opened anyway so it wasn't a rush. Remy was just excited to be doing something with the family. She knew that dating Jack meant dating Amanda, and she didn't mind that in the least. At least she was lucky, and the girl seemed to like her.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:39 pm

The knocking at the door got Jack's attention. He knew who that was, and he knew he wasn't ready. Why was it so hard to find something to wear. Amanda had suggested a t-shirt and jeans. But, what did she know? She was seven. At least he shaved this morning, using a little extra shave gel since he knew Amelia liked it. It was supposed to be a cool day, yet he hadn't been able to find his sweater since their first official date a little more than a week ago.

Where the hell did it go?

Of course, he completely underestimated the conspiratory power of two women working together. Finally settling on a solid dark yellow polo with his jeans and sneakers, he walked quickly down the stairs, meeting the womenfolk in the living room, apparently glued to the same cartoons of which Amanda was so fond.

Hey you. You're early.

Its because she's excited Daddy! Amelia told me she loves the zoo!

Jack simply sighed and let Amanda's improper use of Amelia's name go. After a couple of willing girlfriends, Amelia included, Jack just found it easier to not fight it. When the women finally rose to get ready to leave, Jack met his date's eyes and smiled, crooking a finger and beckoning her over.

Wrapping his arms around her waist they hugged for an extended length of time. I missed you. Came the whispers from his lips as they pulled back and he kissed her lovingly.

We ready!?

A cheer from the short and domineering department confirmed a reply as they turned to head outside.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:00 am

Well Amanda was technically right. Amelia was excited. Any time outside of work she got to spend with Jack was good. At work, it wasn't so bad. She had reasons to 'see' him all the time. With cases, work, files, and even in the break room. But, the problem was, it was.. work time which meant no touching, smiling, or talking about anything other than the weather and if they had a good weekend. It wasn't hard. It was just.. not the level of connection that she was able to have when she was here with Jack on her private off days.

Amanda bounced off to get her backpack and what not and Amelia was allll too eager to slide herself into Jack's arms after his little finger crook. He hugged her tightly and she hugged him back. Inhaling that shave gel, she knew that he used extra, and she also knew that Amanda had bathed this morning and liked to use Ms. Bubble bubble bath sometimes. Not that it mattered. It was just information collection.

I missed you too.

She kissed him softly. Holding herself as tightly to him as she possibly could. She loved the way she felt in his arms. She could definitely see them doing something, going somewhere with this thing. But, in the same breath, she was not holding out for this to be 'the one'. She REALLY almost desperatley wanted it to be. But there were so many factors involved she didn't want to be sold on an idea only to have it not work out. So she was trying not to fall fast and hard.

She wasn't doing a very good job...


Amelia bent down and gathered her things. Then they doubled checked Amanda's backpack to make sure she had her bottle of water and her snacks just incase. You never knew when one might get hungry before it was time to eat. Amelia helped the girl tie a hoodie around her waist incase it got cold.

I like your earrings. I wish I had earrings.

Well, maybe Santa will bring you some? she offered softly.

But, I don't have holes in my ears. It wouldn't work. she said dejectedly.

Oh, well, now. You know, I didn't have holes in my ears until I was sixteen! I was SO afraid. But, you know what?

What? Amanda whispered.

There are ways to have earrings without having holes. So put it on your Christmas list, you never know what Santa will bring.

Remy was dressed fairly normally. Ripped jeans, weren't normally her thing but they allowed her to wear black leggings underneath. A black long sleeve tshirt, under a blue and black striped sweater. Jewelry, and her hair was down. But she had brought a few pony tail holders so she could put it up if she decided to later.

Here, how about this... Amelia took her black and silver beaded bracelet off her wrist and put it on Amanda's. The little girl gasped. There now you have style too!

I'm going to be stylin' like Amelia, Dad!

Soon they were in the car and headed off for the zoo. Amelia reached over, and if Jack didn't need his free hand for driving she fully intended to hold it. So she could be as close as she wanted today.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:38 am

Watching his daughter and his girlfriend interact about earrings and other girly things as he checked his own possessions, Jack Conners could only smile. He could never have that conversation with Amanda, earrings were definitely not his specialty. Of course, Conners' wasn't blessed with a tomboy who he could relate to easily.

Amelia was amazing with Amanda, and she has been for the entirety of their dating. Every evening, she made sure to say goodnight to his daughter, staying on the phone to talk to the seven-year-old about her day of cooties, crushes, and general mayhem. She was everything Jack was looking for in a partner, a true partner. This trip to the zoo was already showing him Amelia's potential to be an above par stepmother for Amanda. That, and she looked cute in those jeans to boot.

I'm going to be stylin' like Amelia, Dad!

I can see that...better be careful, you don't want your Dinosaur of a Dad stealing kisses from you because I get you two confused!!

To emphasize the point, he lifted Amanda, backpack and all, above his head, planting dozens of kisses on her face. She covered her face and yelled in protest, but to no avail.

On their way in the car, Jack took note of Amelia's hesitant hand, and he took it in his own. He held her hand practically the entire way, except when the driving required him the use of both. As they continually got closer, Jack could see Amanda bouncing more and more in the backseat. It took a force of Terra to not have her leap out of the seat as they pulled in to a parking space.

Can you handle that one while I get use tickets? He leaned in for a quick kiss before departing for the ticket booth, leaving the two ladies to themselves for a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:52 am

He held her hand the entire way. And, she loved that he was open like that. At first, she wasn't sure how he would be in front of his daughter. She figured that sometimes he might feel that it was inappropriate. Of course it wasn't like they were sucking face or anything in front of her. They were careful to keep that stuff til after she went to bed. They usually waited about half an hour just to make sure she didn't want 'water' or something.

When they got there, Amanda basically burst out of the car, and waited, bouncing on her toes. Amanda and Amelia held hands as they headed up to the gates and jack asked her to make sure Amanda was safe while he got in line for the tickets. She didn't even have to be asked. Luckily, there was a pond with ducks and swans just outside the gates so the two girls went over to the pond.

Do you think you'll marry Daddy? Amanda asked out of no where. Amelia had no idea where the girl got her bluntness from .. probably her father.

Oh well, honey, I don't know. I'm not really sure. We just started to date, it'll be a while before he's ready for that.

Yeah but say he was. Like in a month!

Amelia laughed. Well if things keep going like this, then yeah, I think that might happen. But, it's hard to say. Those things aren't set in stone and I don't want to get your hopes up.

Amanda nodded and hugged Amelia around the waist as they watched the ducks swim in the lake. When Jack rejoined them, she put her arm around his waist and they entered the zoo together. Inside, there was a huge map, the kind that lay everything out for you so you knew where you might want to go. That way you didn't miss anything. They stood in front of the map as Amanda decided where she wanted to go, so they decided on the elephants.

Amelia! You're gonna take pictures of ALL the animals right!

Amelia smiled. Sure, and if you want, we can get them printed and put them in a book for you.

The little girl seemed to be happy with that idea, and they rushed ahead to the elephants. One of them was bathing in a pool while the other one was eating. There were two large ones and a small baby one. Amelia took out her camera and began to take pictures because, Amanda had asked her to.

I read about this place online. There is a carosel. And there is a animatronic dinosaur exhibit too. With dinosaurs that are the actual height they would have been. she told them to make conversation while she leaned into Jack.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:21 am

Standing in line, Jack took in the sights and scenes around the entrance: happy families parading in, ducks fattening themselves on old bread from a candy machine, and the woman he cared about chatting up the little girl he loved. It was amazing to him aabout how quickly Amelia had taken to little Amanda, and now they were sharing jewelry. That was somehow important, right? Jack hadn't the foggiest idea...despite being around women all his life, even his little daughter was quickly becoming a mystery to him.

She's grown up so much: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes I still feel like I'm trying to parent a small girl, and she talks to me like she's a teenager already.

Looking over the map, Jack knew instinctively which exhibit Amanda would want to go to: the elephants. The little girl was obsessed with elephants. Jack whispered softly, knowing Amelia would hear him as she slid next to him, arm around his waist.

Amke the book mostly about elephants, and she will love it more than she loves Puddles.

That was saying something. Amanda already had asked for a dog bed and dog care products for the house on the off chance, quote, Puddles came for a sleep-over, unquote. She was more adorable than she had any idea, and it was a shame she was growing up. He never wanted her more than four or five, when she would sleep with him and hog his pillows.

I read about this place online. There is a carousel. And there is a animatronic dinosaur exhibit too. With dinosaurs that are the actual height they would have been.

Jack looked at her for a moment. She really had done her research. The dinosaurs were Jack's favorite part, he had always wanted to be a paleontologist as a kid. Amanda stared at the elephants as they nuzzled and Amelia took pictures.

Watch this, he whispered softly, penguins. Stepping up to Amanda, Jack hoisted her on his shoulders so she could see.

Where to next kiddo?


Penguins it is... he continued with a whisper, ...told ya.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:28 am

Amelia made sure to take Jack's advice. She snapped as many pictures as she could of the elephants because if they were Amanda's favorites then she wanted them to be in the book so that the little girl could look at them any time she wanted. She was also thinking about a gift shop stop before they left. Maybe they had a cool stuffed elephant or something that she could take home and make memories of Amelia being part of their little family for a while.

She only hoped those didn't end up as bitter memories down the road.

She really hoped that everything was going to come out all right.

Sure enough, Jack was right when they were done with the elephants and moved onto the penguins. She smiled and walked beside them. Quickly darting in front of them to snap a picture of the two of them together with Amanda on his shoulders, it was a precious picture. Especially the two of them smiling at Amelia and then the one of them smiling like loons at each other.

The penguins were awesome, they were in a fantastic habitat with sea lions and a large polar bear. It was Amelia's favorite exhibit so far. Not that they had seen very many yet but this one was amazing. She took a lot of pictures and she took several of the polar bear because it was her favorite. She supposed she had a thing for them, but it wasn't like she collected them or anything.

The penguins were awesome, diving and waddling. Amanda was so excited, she was jumping up and down just watching the animals experience their lives in the habitat that the people at the zoo had created.

Next, close to the artic area was the Lions. They were behind huge plates of plexiglass or some sort of safety glass but there was most definitely several. Two males and four femals prowling the fake African Savannah. Amanda was glued to the glass as much as she could be which allowed Amelia to sneak a soft kiss to Jack. Putting her arms around him. It was nice that they were out and about, allowing them to be a couple without too much fear of getting caught. The only real danger of that was when they were at work, and they were both being so good about it.

When is Amanda's birthday? she asked him curiously. Wondering how far such a thing was.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:04 am

As they got to the penguin, well arctic habitat, Amanda bounced three times on his shoulder. That had always been her signal that she wanted to get down. With a rocket off his shoulders, Amanda scurried up and down the exhibit, trying to see everything all at the same second. He and Amelia chuckled at her and Jack took note that she spent considerable time taking pictures of the polar bear in the corner.

So, she likes polar bears. I will have to remember that for when we get to the gift shop.

The lions were next, simply by their proximity to the arctic. Jack had gotten used to mumbling sentences softly to have a conversation with Amelia. It was actually kind of fun, having a conversation where no one else knew it was going on. I'm writing a strongly worded letter to the zoo warden, this zoo is NOT laid out globally appropriate. Arctic and savannah, puhlease! He chuckled as Amanda placed her face basically up to the glass.

Before he knew it, arms wrapped around his neck and Amelia's lips were on his. Even though they were kissing, Jack kept one eye open, trained on the backpack. He knew how quickly she could be taken, it was a terrifying for a parent in general, more so for a parent who knew the statistics about child abduction.

When is Amanda's birthday?

The question caught him off guard as they headed towards the tiger pit and the pandas. Jack always liked the pandas...they had good family values. It was such a weird thing to value in your zoo animal, but Jack just liked them, he didn't need to justify it.

August 8th. Why do you ask? Are you planning the party already?

They stopped in front of the tiger exhibit, a similar one to the lions, except it was a deep pit surrounded by plexiglass. Amanda came over to Amelia and tugged on her pocket.

Amelia...why do tigers have stripes, and lions don't?
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:54 pm

Amelia kind of liked the way that he took advantage of her skills. Because, he could tell her things that Amanda wouldn't be able to hear, but that she easily could. She only wished that it worked both ways. Afterall, she felt like it would be nice to talk about things while the little girl was close but without tarnishing her ears. She could only smile at his little comment. He was cute, and besides that, he was really sweet and he always knew how to make her laugh.

It was one of the things she liked most about him.

Did you seariously say puh-lease? she asked as they headed off towards the tigers and panda bears.

She smiled at him as she slid herself into his embrace and let him put his arm around her. She snuggled in, both of them keeping an eye on the little hyperactive backpack that couldn't get enough of the zoo exhibits. Amelia didn't want to say the L word. Not so soon but it was hard to when she felt like she could just cuddle Amanda all day and night. Her father was an amazing man, and he had raised a little girl on his own that was an amazingly smart and quick witted little girl. Not to mention, she was mature, and still so happy and hyper.

Amelia smiled.

No. I was just curious. I mean, Christmas is close. So I wasn't sure if they were close or if she was months away. But, I think I'll get her some jewelry and stuff for Christmas. Maybe one of those.. make your own jewelry kits or whatever. she smiled.

She knew that she would actually enjoy doing that with Amanda if she wanted to. Amanda interupted their talk when she rushed over to ask her why tigers had stripes and lions didn't. Amelia was really happy that she had paid attention in school. Because, at least she knew this answer.

Well hun, the tigers live in the forests, and rain forests. Sometimes in the savannah too. So the stripes help them blend in with the forests, and the orange color to their skin helps them blend in with the savannah. The lions aren't forest dwellers, they're more open savannah and cave dwellers so that's why they don't have stripes, they don't need them.

She hoped that she explained it well. She didn't want to seem like a first grade teacher but at the same time she wanted to make sure that the little girl got the information that she was looking for.

YOU pick the next place Amelia!

Amelia smiled. How about the giraffes? They're always pretty cool.

Amanda nodded. Do you mind that I call you Amelia?

Remy smiled. But you can call me anything you like. Remy, like the guys at work. Or, Lia, or Amelia, or Melia. Whatever hun.

They began to head over to the girrafe's where they were wandering around their own place eating out of cages that were hung heavily with hay and other leaves. You could pay a few dollars and feed the giraffe's lettuce from a balcony so Amelia paid for that and brought Amanda up to the balcony and they began to wave their leaves hoping to get the attention of the giraffes.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:25 am

No. I was just curious. I mean, Christmas is close. So I wasn't sure if they were close or if she was months away. But, I think I'll get her some jewelry and stuff for Christmas. Maybe one of those.. make your own jewelry kits or whatever.

Amelia smiled as Jack rose his eyebrow at her in a curious look. She was already thinking about Christmas and presents for his daughter? She wasn't serious.

You aren't serious. Jack stated, reiterating the thoughts in his mind. You don't need to do that, nobody expects you to do that.

Granted, yes, Christmas was right around the corner, but they had just started dating! Were Christmas presents appropriate? Why was he worrying so much about it?

Maybe because you have no idea what you would get her? Could that be it?

As much as he hated it, Jack hated when he lost fights to his inner voice. While Conners was busy having a mental debate with himself, Amelia was answering Amanda's question.

YOU pick the next place Amelia! Jack immediately shot a glare to the little girl, who caught it and looked away, chastised. She knew how he felt about calling his girlfriend without the proper respectful moniker. That must be what prompted the second question.

Do you mind that I call you Amelia?

Amelia quickly gave permission, erupting in a triumphant smile from Amanda as she scurried towards the giraffe's.

What would you like me to call you? Amelia can be quite the mouthful, sometimes. He smirked as she walked away to go taunt the giraffes with green treats. Wait! Hand over the camera.

She handed him the camera as Jack took a couple of shots of the two trying to get a giraffe to eat their leafy greens. When one of the tall animals came over and ate, he saw Amelia pick Amanda up so she could steal a pet. Amanda hadn't looked this happy in a long time...

Well, she always did want to be a mother. Amelia is really doing a good job of it so far...

Thoughts resounding in his head, Jack met the duo at the bottom of the stairs.

What do you ladies think about some lunch? I hear the Safari Cafe has a great view of some of the habitats.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:30 am

You're not serious.

Amelia's face fell. She stared at him for a moment as he told her no one expected her to do that. Well.. no.. .she supposed they didn't but in the same breath wasn't that what the Holidays were about? Christmas was about giving gifts to the people you cared about. Sharing love and wealth.

Oh... yeah, sorry.

She didn't bother to explain herself, or hear anything else he had to say. Apparently, she had over stepped a boundary. Which was strange because of all the questions she had asked and things she had done in their short relationship so far she had yet to piss him off by stepping on a boundary. But, somehow Christmas was one? She was confused, but she wasn't going to let it ruin her day either.

He asked her as they walked to the giraffe's what he could call her, saying that Amelia was a mouth full. She supposed that it could be. So she just shrugged. Whatever you feel comfortable with, I'll tell you if I don't like it.

At the giraffe's he asked for the camera so she handed it over as Amelia and Amanda headed up to the balcony and started to feed the giraffe's. She knew that Jack was taking pictures of the two of them, and she hoped that it would be something neat that Amanda would really like in her book. Once the giraffe's came over they got to reach up and pet one. Luckily, they were tame and gentle. Not to mention, used to people touching them. Amanda was giddy.

This is the best day EVER! she exclaimed as they headed back down to meet her dad. Cuz you're here, and Dad's here, and we got to go to the zoo, and then we pet giraffes!

Amelia chuckled.

When they got back to Jack he was ready for lunch and Amelia had to admit she was too. Afterall, it seemed like the zoo trip was going quickly but they had all ready been here for a couple hours with the time spent at each exhibit not to mention the fact of walking between them all. He mentioned the zoo sponsered restaurant, and Amelia smiled.

Sounds great.

Once at the restuarant it was one of those 'pick your own table' kind of things. So Jack and Amelia found one next to a great black bear exhibit. Where two large bears were with about four baby cubs. They figured it would be entertaining enough for Amanda while they waited for their food to come.

I have to use the bathroom and wash my hands before we eat. Wanna come Amanda?


The two girls went off towards the bathroom and inside Amelia sighed. She was having fun, but she couldn't get the thought of stepping on some sort of boundary out of her mind. Jack would let her know eventually. Or maybe not. Maybe it was just 'lay off Christmas'. Well, that was fine, she supposed, Christmas was a family holiday and it wasn't like she was family. The girls met each other again at the sink and washed their hands.

I think I wanna use that sweater to make stuff for Puddles! she said excitedly since her dad wasn't around to hear.

Oh really?! Are you suuuure? I don't want your dad mad at you. Amelia couldn't help but laugh.

I'll take that into consideration.

Amelia smiled as the two walked out of the bathroom and back to the table where they looked over at the food that was available to them. Amelia decided to just go with something simple. Chicken tenders and fries. Plus it wasn't like this place served anything that took much effort to cook or eat. It was the zoo afterall.

Is Amelia spending the night?! Amanda asked randomly, loudly, and excitedly. Causing Amelia nearly to spit out her drink in surprise.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:35 am

As the two girls were getting themselves ready in the bathroom, probably to wash the giraffe off them, Jack got a table near the bear exhibits and waited for his company to arrive. When they did, Jack reached under the table and softly squeezed her knee. Something was bothering her and she was doing a good job of not letting it show. Regardless of her skill of not being apparent with things, Jack knew something was wrong.

He was determined to find out what it was.

For lunch, the Safari Cafe had pretty standard tourist trap food: fried, overpriced and quick. The whole place was designed for maximum money input. Thankfully, there wasn't a huge group at the zoo today, so the wait staff was far more attentive, trying to squeeze out tips where they could.

Amelia got tenders and fries and Amanda got the same, which made Jack chuckle to himself. Amanda really was infatuated with being Amelia's twin in some ways...well, in every way. Jack got himself a cheeseburger with onion rings and enjoyed every moment of his meal, but also watching Amanda eat hers. She had never liked eating chicken, and the faces she made emulating Amelia was fantastic.

Is Amelia spending the night?!

His daughter's sudden outburst made Jack choke on a bit of onion ring, leaving him coughing and puttering for a good minute before he could address the question.

Amanda, that is not an appropriate question.

But I want to have Amelia over! It could be a sleepover! And...and...and...

Jack held up his hand and looked at his date, giving her an apologetic look before continuing.

If Amelia wants to stay, she can, but I know she has puddles and such at home. It wouldn't be fair to leave that small little dog all alone.

Once Amelia made a decision or stalled Amanda, they finished lunch and headed off to the bear exhibits, which happened to be right next to the cafe. As Amanda ran forward to the podiums with information, Jack and Amelia hung back for a moment.

So...something has been on your mind all day. What's bothering you? Are you...you not having fun?

He was petrified that she would leave him...it had been going all so well? Was that amazing night last week a fluke? Jack hoped to the forgotten gods it wasn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:19 am

It was sweet, and endearing, that Amanda wanted her to spend the night. She was more than happy that she was being so accepted by the girl. She hoped that it went far more than just wanting her dad to have a girlfriend. She really hoped that Amanda really liked her. That she wanted her to be in their family as badly as Amelia wanted to be in theirs.

Jack gave her an appologetic look and Amelia gave him a reassuring smile. She was by far used to Amanda's outburts. They didn't really bother her. And it wasn't just because she and Jack were dating, but also because she had known the girl since she had been working under Jack. Because, she didn't hold back her questions or opinions for anyone at the office. One day it was going to turn from cute boldness to something worse, but for now it was fairly harmless.

Amelia waited until Jack finished and looked over at Amanda.

I don't know sweetie. It depends on when we get done here. If I have time to get Puddles out to potty and pack some things.

Amanda clearly did not like maybe. Puddles can sleep over too!

Amelia smiled. Well that isn't up to me sweetie. That's up to your Dad. It's his house, and though Puddles is potty trained, he has accidents sometimes. I wouldn't want to ruin your house.

Amanda frowned. I would take him potty! We have a yard!

Yes, that's true, but what if he has to go potty in the middle of the night? Sometimes he does, and you have to take him out.

Amanda's wheels were spinning, you could almost see the smoke coming out of her ears as she thought about the delima in front of her. I could do it.

Lunch was over, and Jack paid the bill. They all rose and gathered their things and headed out to see the bears. No one had paid them much attention when they were in the cafe. As Amanda pressed herself up as close to the glass as she could. Jack and her hung back a bit and he decided to figure out what was bugging her. And here she thought she was doing such a good job at covering it up.

Oh.. oh no no. I'm actually have a really good time. I usually do, when you guys are involved. she gave him a smile and hugged him around his waist. Pressing her body into his side she put her head down on his chest. He was warm. I just.. I guess I overstepped a boundary.. back there.. when .. when I asked about Christmas and stuff, and I just.. I don't know where the boundaries are.. and I guess I got too comfortable with you guys, and ... I need to remember that I'm not in the family.

She said, but she didn't look at him, she was watching Amanda with her bright colored back pack and her amazed face. Still at the age where large animals amazed her. It was one of those precious innocent times in life that were so few and far between. With her father being a cop she doubted that the little one was going to stay innocent enough for long. She would try to grow up and be a big girl. She already was trying so hard, but Jack was doing a fairly good job at making sure she stayed a little girl as long as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:15 am

Amelia seemed a little off put by his question. He supposed she felt like she was hiding it well, but Jack had been around girls for long enough to know when a slight change in behavior made a hell of a lot of difference when it came to their attitude. It was moments like this he was thankful Amanda was a girl. If she had been a boy, all Jack would know was dirt, worms, and the need for regular cootie injections.

I just.. I guess I overstepped a boundary.. back there.. when .. when I asked about Christmas and stuff, and I just.. I don't know where the boundaries are.. and I guess I got too comfortable with you guys, and ... I need to remember that I'm not in the family.

She was up against his side, resting her head on his chest as she spoke. It was nice to feel her so close, and in public no less. She was watching Amanda, and her eyes spoke of some amazing bond between her and his daughter. He couldn't even imagine what was going on in Amelia's head.

Ames...you didn't overstep any boundaries. You...just, you're such a new figure in our lives. I didn't expect you to even want to be involved in this Christmas, since it is so close. I cannot put in to words what that means to me, and what that will mean to that little girl over there.

He squeezed her close to him, reassuring her that he was sincere. He wanted nothing more than to spend special occasions with her. Christmas was coming up, and playing Santa with him could have its unique advantages. Amanda trotted over and jumped in on the hug. Jack smiled down at the puff of brown hair near their belts, rubbing it softly. Amanda looked up and smiled.

I love you, Daddy.

I love you too baby.

Thank you for taking me Amelia...and you too Daddy.

Without another word, Amanda scurried off toward the monkey cages, which was close to the bears.

Sometimes, you can't explain why things happen...but, moments like that, you cherish forever. Jack spoke softly as he watched his little girl for a moment. Leaning in to Amelia, he gave her a soft kiss as they walked together.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:30 am

She had misunderstood what he meant. It wasn't that he didn't want her to be around or celebrate Christmas together, but instead, it was more that he wasn't sure she would want to. Since she was so new, and Christmas was a big major holiday that was more for families than it was about new girlfriends. Still, she wanted to be part of it. If only to see amanda smile when she woke them up in the morning way too early to be legal and then she found out what Santa had left her. Not to mention, how she would crash later after all the excitement was gone.

I would really, rather celebrate the holidays with you and Amanda than be on my own. I've spent too many alone. she admitted.

He hugged her tightly, and Amanda came and joined in their group hug. It was like they were starting to come together in a way that was more like a family every day and less like she and Jack were just dating. Amelia wasn't expecting anything like a proposal any time soon. But in the same breath, she knew that if things kept going on this way she could eventually expect one. So would Amanda she was sure. Hell she was surprised Amanda didn't leave bridal magazines all over the house as not so subtle hints.

Amelia could only imagine it was things to come.

A kiss after their hug, and they were off following the hyper little girl. Amelia wondered if she was going to crash out in the car on the way home because it was a decent drive and she was running around like a crazy kid. Amelia smiled up at Jack.

I can't wait to make memories of my own like that. Not just.. because I don't have my own kids yet or anything just because, I don't have a family really yet. I have my parents, and everything, but they aren't the kind of family I need now I guess.

She couldn't help but smile. She was enjoying her time with Jack and Amanda. They were sweet and they took care of her, and she loved taking care of both of them. Amanda seemed to have a lot of friends with birthdays and sleep overs so the upside was there were times that she and Jack would have with just each other and she wouldn't always have to share him. She loves spending time with Amanda but she wanted to enjoy Jack too. Otherwise, they would never really get to grow as a couple.

What do you guys normally do for Christmas? Do you have any traditions? she asked him curiously as she took his hand in her own and they walked slowly towards where Amanda was watching the monkeys that were grooming each other. Some wrestling, and others were just kind of doing their own thing. Amelia.. was not so much a fan of monkies so she kept her distance from the glass. They just.. creeped her out. Their hair scrunchy faces and.. well she wasn't sure what it was about them, but they creeped her out.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:35 am

I can't wait to make memories of my own like that. Not just.. because I don't have my own kids yet or anything just because, I don't have a family really yet. I have my parents, and everything, but they aren't the kind of family I need now I guess.

Well, I'm pretty sure that this particular memory is yours just as much as its mine or Amanda's. For all intensive purposes Amelia, you're part of the family today. Play your cards right, you might even get to stay for family dinner.

He winked at her as they headed towards the monkey cages. Amelia seemed to want to stay back, so Jack let her and stayed at the longer distance. Amanda seemingly had found a monkey companion and was trading dance moves with the hairy primate. Jack could only chuckle as the his offspring seemed to have a moment with a wild animal. Then again, that was her nature sometimes.

This is the future of my bloodline...right there. Dancing with a monkey.

They shared a laugh while watching Amanda, before Jack walked over and picked her up when he caught her yawning. Throwing her on his shoulders, Amanda held on to her father's head tight.

Look Amelia!! I'm a giraffe!

If you're a giraffe, you got to eat leaves and green stuff.

Amanda stuck her tongue out and make a blech noise. The girl hated eating vegetables, unless of course, she already liked them. Getting her to try them was the difficult part.

When she asked about Christmas traditions, Jack simply spoke softly so she could hear.

This one is starting to get tuckered out, let's head back to the car. We can discuss holiday surprises when the little one falls asleep.

With that, they made the slow trek back towards the zoo's entrance and the car. Amanda was already getting heavier in Jack's shoulders as her sugar crash and general fatigue finally came through.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:52 pm

Amelia smiled. He was right. That was just as much her memory as it was his own. She couldn't help but be happy about that. Though Amanda looked exhausted and they agreed that they would talk about Christmas when they got to the car. She could only nod as he whirled Amanda up and tossed her onto his shoulder. It was amazing how fast the little one passed out. As they reached the front of the zoo she saw the gift shop come into view.

One second, okay? Or if you need, go put her in the car I'll be right there.

She went into the store and there was a ton of merchandise. But she knew what she was looking for. There were soft plush stuffed animals of every animal that lay in the park and so she grabbed one of the elephants. They were on sale, which was a nice perk and smiled touching the ear of the polar bear fondly but leaving him on the shelf as she turned. She found a cute, elephant umbrella, an elephant piggy bank and a couple other things which she quickly bought.

All in all she was probably in the store for less than ten minutes.

Outside she met back up with Amanda and Jack again. At the car she got in and put the bag between her feet. She couldn't help but want to give the little girl something. Because of her, she had Jack in her life now. Because of her, Jack had given her a chance and she felt that the little girl really deserved something for that. Not like a bribe or anything, just to b e taken care of she guessed.

In the car they headed for home and Amanda was curled up in the back seat sleeping softly and quietly. Amelia looked over at the girl and smiled warmly and fondly before she turned to face Jack again.

So am I invited to dinner now? she laughed softly trying to keep her voice down so that they didn't wake up the sleeping seven year old. Now, about Christmas. It's really close. But, I also, don't want to .. like.. intrude on anything you guys do. I'm not sure what.. you guys.. uhh.. started with your.. umm with Celeste, so I just.. am afraid of stepping on your toes or something.

She really didn't want to offend them, or ruin their traditions, she hoped eventually she might be part of new traditions. But, she wasn't sure yet. And she didn't want to assume. She hadn't known them long enough to bring her own traditions into play.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:39 am

Jack walked towards the entrance, a very lethargic Amanda in his arms. By the time the father and daughter hit the parking lot, she was completely asleep, looking all the more innocent and precious. Amelia excused herself, and stepped quickly towards the gift shop.

To think on how cute you are, yet you are so devious when it comes to my love life. He thought to himself as he pushed the key fob to open the doors to the car.

Placing the sleeping form of Amanda in the center seat, Jack carefully buckled her in and helped stand her up with pillows and blankets. Leaning in, he kissed his daughter tenderly on the forehead.

Thank you sweetheart. You made Amelia and I happen, I owe you big time.

Walking around the car, he started the vehicle and waited for Amelia. She came to the car, a large bag in her hand. Jack simply chuckled, and leaned in to share another soft, romantic kiss.

Couldn't resist buying yourself some polar bears?

Now, about Christmas. It's really close. But, I also, don't want to .. like.. intrude on anything you guys do. I'm not sure what.. you guys.. uhh.. started with your.. umm with Celeste, so I just.. am afraid of stepping on your toes or something.

Jack chuckled and nodded. I've invited you to Christmas, formally now. So, as of this moment, there is no stepping on toes.

Typically, Amanda attempts to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve to open one present. She hasn't succeeded thus far. So, you should come over for Christmas Eve. She has no idea you're coming, and she has already gotten you a present. You being there will be a huge surprise for her.

It may very well make her Christmas...

Jack reached over and took her hand while they pulled in to the driveway. He spoke softly, completely unaware of her acute hearing for a moment.

...and mine.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:57 am

Amelia smiled

Actually, I didn't buy any polar...wait how did you know I like polar bears? she asked giving him a mock glare. Then a smile. [cololr=pink]No I wanted to get Amanda some ... uhh stuff. You know for .. having such a great day.[/color]

Yeah.. she was probably going to spoil her a little bit but Amelia liked having the little girl around and she was sleeping so soundly in the back with a pillow and a blanket you would think it was an actual bed. As he got the car back on the road, she smiled and held his hand. He told her that he had invited her to Christmas now and there was no way that she could step on his toes.

He even explained that their big tradition was watching Amanda try to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve so that she would be able to get to open one present. But it never worked apparently, it was fun to watch her try. Amelia laughed, and nodded.

I remember when I was younger my brother and I would get up sooo early and we weren't allowed to be up until 7 because our parents had that rule. We were NOT having Christmas at five in the morning. she laughed. So even if we woke up early, we would get together in our rooms, and then sneak downstairs with flashlights and try to figure out what Santa had brought us. Then sneak back to our rooms to talk about it while we waited for our parents to get up.

She smiled over at him. He said showing up on Christmas Eve would make Amanda's Christmas. And then as he turned away she heard him say 'and his'. Her heart warmed and melted. She squeezed his hand softly and offered him a soft smile.

Mine too. She whispered.

They continued to drive, and she held his hand, feeling happy. Happier than she had in a while. Remy was always a fairly happy person. It took a lot to take her down and she happened to enjoy her work and her life. She was the kind of girl that just assumed at some point, she was going to find Mr. Right. It would take a while, but she wasn't in a desperate hurry. Who knew that she had been working for him all along. When they got home he carried Amanda up to her room, she was still knocked out and Remy took the bag and put it in the kitchen she would get it later. She helped herself to a bottle of water from the fridge and leaned against the wall.

When he came back down she smiled at him and walked over to him. Standing on her tip toes she kissed him. Long and slow. It was the best way for kissing she thought. Long and slow. Showing your feelings and not just your passion, though Remy would never admit, she did like the kind of making out that ended up with her pressed up against a wall being thoroughly kissed and ravished. But, that was something she didn't want every kiss to be because then it ceased to be as amazing.

Thank you.. for inviting me out today. I had a good time. It's nice to hang out with you and Amanda. she whispered having not yet moved from his arms.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:52 pm

Walking down the stairs, Amelia met Jack at the bottom and leaned up for a kiss. Jack could only smile as she got up on her tip toes until their lips met. It was hard not to smile when Amelia did that, she was ridiculously cute when she put herself up for such an amazing kiss. Granted every kiss they had was wonderful, but those soft, long kisses really did more for Jack than the others. It was like each one was another connection with Amelia...they got closer with each one.

Thank you.. for inviting me out today. I had a good time. It's nice to hang out with you and Amanda. She spoke softly, still wrapped up in his arms, which were draped around her waist.

You are more than welcome, my dear. If that is the way you want to thank me...the trip to the zoo was kind of extravagant, I think I need a wee bit more thanking.

Smiling, Jack leaned in for another long, slow kiss. Feeling her arms wrap around his neck only made him smile more. They kissed for a while, letting their emotions get really wrapped up in one another. When they finally broke for a moment, breathing heavily, still mere centimeters from one another, Jack finally got a word out.

So...you wanna stay for dinner? I was gonna order a pizza. I figure it takes thirty minutes to get here...plenty of time for us to spend childless, don't you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:04 am

You're right, way too extravagant for just one kiss.

She smiled up at him as he brought himself back down to her level and they kissed again. She pulled herself as close to him as she possibly could. Unable to let go of how amazing she really felt when he put his arms around her and when he had his lips pressed into hers. They kissed for several minutes getting lost in one another, and she couldn't help but love the way that when he kissed her really good he let his hand get lost in her hair.

The kiss broke and he asked if she wanted to stay for dinner. He was going to order a pizza and that she could stay. They would have a bit of private time together and she could only grin up at him.

I'd love to stay. Just order whatever you normally order for you guys.

She followed him into the kitchen where he had the phone and the menu. She pulled herself up on top of the kitchen counter and scrolled through her phone. She smiled at a message from her best friend Wes ,and quickly fired off a reply that she was blissfully busy for his firehouse self and he would have to find entertainment else where. She suggested a few strip clubs just because she knew they would make him smile and pressed send.

By that point, Jack was done ordering the pizza and she sat her phone to the side. Taking her bottle of water she took a long sip and studied Jack with her large teal colored eyes. She smiled warmly and slid down off the counter top and into his arms. Her favorite place to be. Leading him to the living room she found a place on the couch where she could lean against him and curl into him happily.

So the company Christmas party is in a week. I know we can't go together. Which kind of sucks because this year I actually have someone I want to go with. she laughed as she put her head on his shoulder.

She wished that she could go with him. She had this great dress all picked out for it too. But, she couldn't, and that was just how it was. Maybe they would be able to get together after the thing was over. Probably at his house because while she had spare rooms, she didn't have all of Amanda's necessities over at her house and it was just easier if they were here. But, then there was Puddles and while he was just a dog, she felt like it woudln't be fair to keep him crated forever. Maybe she could get her neighbor to look in on him or something.

Are you bringing Amanda to the party?
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:35 am

As expected, Amelia wanted to stay for dinner, which made Jack unbelievably happy. It was such an odd feeling, to be so enthused to have specific company...even if it was for pizza. Pulling his house phone from the counter, he dialed the number and began to place the order while he watched Amelia play with her phone. She seemed to be sending some sort of funny text, as she smiled and chuckled to herself as she sent it away. He simply stared at her as the man on the other line spoke his order back to him.

Thanks. See you in thirty-five.

Strolling to her as he put the phone back on the counter, she slipped off the granite and into his arms, softly pressed between the counter-top and Jack. She practically beamed as she led him to the living room, where they cuddled up on the couch.

So the company Christmas party is in a week. I know we can't go together. Which kind of sucks because this year I actually have someone I want to go with. She laughed and laid her head on his shoulder with a soft sigh.

I know the feeling, I have this amazing, wonderful, gorgeous woman in my life...and I don't get to show her off to the world. How fair is that?

He laid his arm across her shoulders as she played with his shirt casually. Running his fingers through her hair, he kissed the top of her head lightly.

Are you bringing Amanda to the party?

Jack simply laughed. Its more like she's bringing me. This is like prom to a seven-year old: a place to see and be seen. She already has an entire outfit picked out. I haven't even thought about what tie I'm going to wear.

How about you...you are coming, aren't you?
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:48 am

She smiled. I guess as fair as having his amazingly awesome and deathly handsome man in my life and not being able to share it with anyone. Though I think my best friend is pretty sure I"m seeing someone.

She smiled again. But, she wouldn't give it away. Not on purpose anyway. She was too happy with Jack to jeapordize anything. She sighed softly as he brushed his hand through her hair causing her to almost instantly relax. She loved the way that she could just curl into his arms. She liked the way he was more mature than guys that she normally dated. He already had a wife once, and a daughter, and he knew what it was that got a woman to BE a wife, and it wasn't being a prick or letting your nether regions run your life.

She smiled at the thought of Amanda having already picked out the outfit she would be wearing to the party. She could only imagine it was something cute, and beautiful. Amanda was a great girl, and she knew that all that girl wanted in the world was for her father to be happy. When he asked if she was coming she smiled.

Nah! No date. Probably spend the evening watching old Christmas movies and sharing popcorn with Puddles. she said.

Then looked up at him and couldn't keep the smile off her face as she laughed.

I'm kidding! I'm kidding. Of course I"ll be there. I wonder if the mysterious stranger is going to bring that really awesome guacamole that he did that one time. Man that was good, people are still trying to figure out who made that stuff.

She kissed his lips and smiled.

I bought a pretty dress. So you're going to have to be a really good boy and keep your hands to yourself. she chuckled as she smiled up at him. Not that she wouldn't have a hard time keeping her own hands to herself as well but it was fun to tease him. She ran her hands over the tshirt that he wore, liking this outfit a lot better than that terrible sweater of their first date. She had bought him a couple nice sweaters for Christmas, all ready, so it was good that she was going to be allowed to come here on Christmas eve. She couldn't wait to spend the holidays with someone like Jack and Amanda.

So... what do you want for Christmas, Jack? I don't even know where to start buying something for you. I'm not sure what you're into except your daughter. she smiled warmly and ran her fingers along his face gently.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:58 am

I guess as fair as having his amazingly awesome and deathly handsome man in my life and not being able to share it with anyone. Though I think my best friend is pretty sure I"m seeing someone.

Jack raised his brow at her. Best friend? Amazingly awesome? Deathly handsome?

So, you're best friend...she thinks you're involved with someone? Is that who you were texting? Telling your friend you couldn't hang out with her for the umpteenth time this month?

She smiled at him and he kissed her on the cheek.

Besides, what kind of guy is deathly handsome? Does this man have a face that can kill!?!?

Finally, she answered about the Christmas party, saying she was staying in with her dog. Jack's mouth dropped in shock, causing her to laugh and smile.

I'm kidding! I'm kidding. Of course I"ll be there. I wonder if the mysterious stranger is going to bring that really awesome guacamole that he did that one time. Man that was good, people are still trying to figure out who made that stuff.

She went in to detail about the dress and how he would need to keep his hands to himself, to which he grumbled....that only meant it would make him want to touch her. How inconsiderate. She slowly looked up at him, touching his face gently.

So... what do you want for Christmas, Jack? I don't even know where to start buying something for you. I'm not sure what you're into except your daughter.

He took her hand and held it softly, kissing it so tenderly. You don't need to get me anything Amelia. I have you...and you've become so much to my little girl in such a short time. I couldn't ask for anything more.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoobilee (Conners)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:15 am

She smiled.

Oh he's pretty positive I'm seeing someone. He just doesn't know who because I won't tell him. And that drives him nuts, which makes it all the more fun. And yes, I told him I was too busy to hang out for the umpteenth time. she laughed.

But, it was worth it and she knew that Wes would understand. He was her best friend, had been for a while. She had known him back when they were teenagers. When he was more into music than fighting fires. She remembered crashing out on his floor eating candy from a bag watching terrible syfy movies on TV and laughing their assess off at the stupidity of people. She knew that their parents had thought, they would get together one day. But, as far as she knew, they had never felt that way about each other. They had stayed best friends though.

Deathly handsome, doesn't mean kill. It means, that you could stop my heart with those things. Figuritively.

He took her hand softly when she asked what he wanted for Christmas and he said the most romantic thing she had ever heard. She smiled warmly as he kissed her hand and slid into his lap so she was sitting sideways. Her feet on the couch and her left side to his chest. Looking into his eyes she touched the slight wrinkles between his eyes. They were one of the many features about him that she liked. They showed how serious he could be.

Letting her fingers drop she leaned in and kissed him softly. Letting him wrap his arms around her and settling in against him. Her eyes shifted up when the kiss broke and she snuggled into him. Layng her head on his shoulder with her forehead against his neck. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the way that she fit against him. As always she felt safe and at home in his arms.

Well I'm still getting you something, since having me is no surprise, and I can't exactly fit myself under the tree. Which by the way, do you have a tree to put up? Or.. do you go buy a tree every year? We need a tree, we really do honey.

She bit her lower lip. She loved decorating trees, they were so fun and it was always a pleasure when you got finished and you plugged it in and you got to see it all light up and sparkle when you were done. There was just something truly festive about the whole Christmas tree part. She loved the way that they looked. She usually set up a small table top tree in her apartment, but she hoped one day to have the kind of home where she could get a big tree and have at it.

Kissing him again, she fell into utter bliss as they waited for the pizza.
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