And Again and Again

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Babes

Disclaimers:

These characters are totally and completely mine. So hands off!

Also, this is a sequel to an earlier story of mine called, “If You Miss Once, Try, Try Again,” so if you haven’t read that one it might be helpful to do so, but even if you don’t, I believe you can still derive enjoyment from this one.

Love/Sex: Well yes, of course. On both accounts.

Violence: Umm, nope.

Feedback: First, let me apologize, yet again, for leaving such long delays in between story posts, but I assure you, they were inevitable. Anyhow, I truly hope you enjoy this story at least as much as the rest of mine, if not more, and if you do, please continue to write and send feedback because I thrive on them! I’ll also take this opportunity to thank all those lovely people who took the time to share their thoughts with me and for their truly astounding, heartwarming comments! Keep ’em up J

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“Hey Jaime…I’m not really sure how to say this but I rather you hear this from me than anybody else…[pause]…ok, I guess I’ll just say it and get it over with. I’m getting married…I mean, we’re getting married…your brother and I…ummm…well, ok, so, I guess we’ll talk…[pause and click — end of message].”

Jaime was in shock. Holding the phone to her ear, she blinked dumbly for a few moments before slapping the phone shut. They hadn’t broken up that long ago. How could this happen? thought Jaime as nostalgic images flashed through her mind. If she didn’t know any better, she would think she was on the verge of a life threatening situation, seeing the last few months of her life flashing in front of her like that. She couldn’t stop the surge of emotions and she almost felt choked up. Yes, she admitted, she was the one who had broken up with Terri nearly 6 months back, after their return from her band’s world tour, but she still felt somewhat betrayed. How could she get back with her brother, and marry him to boot? How dared he? How dared she? How dared they?! She pounded her closed fist against the steering wheel of her new favorite car. She threw the car in gear and screeched out into traffic.

Jaime just returned from another promotional tour with her band, this one domestic. Each of her band members loved their jobs, but they also loved their families and were always quite anxious to get back home. Jaime loved her family dearly, but for once, she wasn’t looking forward to this trip home. After a long, aimless ride, her anger, mostly caused by the shock and suddenness of the message, started to dissipate. She realized she still cared for Terri and that the wounds were still quite fresh. Even if they were of her own making. After some careful deliberation, Jaime also realized she wanted what was best for Terri, and if that meant her brother, then so be it.

Still broody and aloof, yet much calmer and accepting, she finally made her way to her parents’ house. Jaime’s mom opened the front door as soon as she heard the car door slam shut in her driveway. Her smile and bright eyes lit her face and they warmed Jaime’s heart. She was indeed happy to be home. She accepted her mother’s hug and returned it with one of her own, lifting her slight frame in the process. At nearly 6′ ft, Jaime towered over most people in her proximity, so her mother’s body was almost completely engulfed by her. Her dad was right behind to offer the next warm hug. Finally able to slip inside the house, Jaime stopped dead in her tracks. On the living room sofa sat her brother and his…wife to be. The scene felt familiar as Jaime was hit by a harsh wave of déjà vu. Terri got to her feet, but her brother remained seated. She guessed he was back to his on again hating her period.

Almost literally shaking herself out of her stupor, Jaime moved forward to greet Terri. Pasting a half-forced, half-sincere smile on her face, she came as close as she dared to Terri and waited for her reaction. Jaime was surprised when she was suddenly surrounded by Terri’s deceptively strong arms. Stiffly, Jaime returned the embrace, guiltily absorbing the warmth it offered. She had missed Terri and it was good having her back in her arms, Jaime admitted to herself. The hug ended quickly and in the following moment of awkward silence, Jaime offered an almost whispered “congratulations.” She didn’t dare say anything more.

Seeing that her brother was still unmoving on the couch, she decided to be the bigger person and went over to him, stretching her hand out as an awkward peace offering. Her brother shook her hand briefly, grunting some kind of unintelligible response to Jaime’s congratulations.

“So, how was the tour?” asked Jaime’s mother, in an attempt to break through the 7 ft. long iceberg crowding the room.

Jaime turned about and smiled, “Good, good. Great crowds and we made some mad sales. It was tiring and hectic, as usual, but quite awesome.” Both her parents and Terri smiled, nodding their heads in silence.

And the silence persisted.

After several minutes passed, which actually filled like güvenilir bahis several decades, give or take one or two, Jaime asked, “So, when’s the wedding?”

It was like someone had just unplugged a full bathtub. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, suddenly realizing that not only did Jaime know about the upcoming wedding, but she didn’t appear even remotely homicidal.

“Why don’t we sit at the table and talk?” offered her mom.

They all moved to the dining table and took their seats. Her mother was the first to speak. “There is so much yet to plan and so little time. I really don’t know how we’re going to do it all…”

“I’m sure we’ll manage. What have you already done?” asked Jaime.

Terri colored briefly. “We didn’t really get much of anything done. I was so busy at the hospital that I didn’t have the time and so was Jack with his practice… When I came back to work, I really had to start from the bottom and work my way up again.” For a second, Terri looked like she regretted finishing that sentence, but at Jaime’s look of sorrowed guilt, a look of determination came in its stead. She had had a lot of issues to work out with herself after their break-up, and it certainly wasn’t easy getting back into the fold of this particular family.

Jaime shifted in her seat and puckered her lips in thought. “So, I guess we’ll start from the beginning. How’d you manage to find the time to propose bro?” Jaime knew it was the wrong thing to say, but she couldn’t help herself. The menacing look her brother was throwing her way made her cringe and snicker at the same time. Her mother’s glare, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as amusing to her.

Clearing her throat of any invisible phlegm, she continued, “How about we hire a wedding planner or some such thing to take care of everything?” She had heard it was the latest trend, and in their case, it would sure suit them better to dump everything on someone else, and especially on someone who actually knew what he’s doing.

“Who’s gonna pay for it? You?” Jack asked with contempt.

Jaime refused to take the bait. “Sure, I’ll pay for the wedding planner.”

Jaime’s mother quickly shook her head, “No Jaime, you will not pay for anything. We’ve already discussed this issue with Terri’s parents and we’ve decided we’ll split the costs, so don’t worry yourselves about any of that.”

“But…” Jaime tried to say something but was quickly stopped by her mother’s glare.

“No arguments. Now, would you like anything to eat?”

The weeks flew by as the wedding preparations were underway. The wedding planner they eventually decided to hire looked nothing like J Lo, but she knew her way around a wedding and the family was mostly head-ache free.

Jaime was on a long break from touring, taking it easy after the last two long tours. She enjoyed just hanging around the house, even though the house was starting to look like the inside of a marshmallow, so white and fluffy with all the assorted cloths and ornaments. They decided to have the reception at their home, which was roomy enough to hold the medium sized wedding. She helped whenever and with whatever she could, though she had to admit to herself that her brother’s glares were starting to wear a little thin. But each time she reminded herself that it was his big day after all, and that it really would be a shame to have the groom disappear a few days before the wedding. So she kept her thoughts to herself and mainly tried to stay out of everyone’s way, especially that of Terri’s and her brother’s.

It was but a few days before the wedding and they had yet to book a band or a DJ for the reception. Even the wedding planner looked a little worried. She actually hadn’t thought of it at all when she met the groom’s older sister. She had naturally assumed that she would provide the evening’s entertainment. As logical as that seemed, Jaime knew her brother would have a fit if she even dared think of such a possibility. So she never asked, and neither did the planner, and that is how it came to be so close to the assigned date with no prospective entertainment in sight.

Mrs. Shepherd came up to Jaime and said softly, “why don’t you go offer your brother to play at the reception?”

Jaime turned to her mother with a raised brow, “are you kidding me?! You know he’ll flip.”

Mrs. Shepherd sighed. “Why don’t you just offer, hmm?”

And as if that wasn’t enough, at that exact same moment Terri decided to make her presence known. “I’d love it if you played at the wedding…” Her voice was small and timid, as though she feared her feelings and desires wouldn’t matter anyhow, but nonetheless compelled to express an opinion.

Jaime looked at the two women, looking at her with adoring eyes and she sighed dramatically, rolling her eyes. “Oh alright!”

Marching her way over to her brother, who for once was at home from work and stood watch over the assembling job, she called out to him, “Jack! Can I talk to you for a sec?”

Jack grumbled something but made to türkçe bahis move closer. When they were within hearing range, Jack barked, “What?”

Jaime gritted her teeth and turned her head back to the women she left behind. They were still looking at her pleadingly. Rolling her eyes once more, she turned her gaze to her brother. “Since there seems to be a problem with getting a band or a DJ at the last minute, my band and I would love to play at your wedding…” the entire sentence was pushed through gritted teeth so the sincerity may have been somewhat askew, but she had offered nonetheless.

Her brother smirked and then outright laughed. “No way! This is MY wedding and MY day so you’re not gonna hog the spotlight for a change!” he said and then stormed off.

Turning on her heel, Jaime marched right back to the women. “Happy now?” and left.

Two days before the wedding there was still no prospective band in sight. Jaime was on the phone with one of her band members, “why the heck doesn’t he want us to play? I mean, people all over the world are paying us millions to perform and he’s turning down a free show?”

“Yeah, look Danny, he’s a little jealous, always has been.” At the snort coming from the other end of the line, Jaime said, “ok, so maybe a lot jealous. If he doesn’t want us playing, then we’re not playing, end of discussion. I’m not going to beg him to perform at HIS wedding for free. I’ve already heard a lot of the guests are kinda expecting that though. That we play, I mean.”

“Yeah well, it makes sense! He’s your brother! He should be begging YOU to play at his wedding.”

“Whatever. Hey, we’ll talk later, ok?”

“Yeah sure. Bye.”

Jaime hung up and resumed her previous task. Before Danny called, she was busy writing a new song. Whenever she was going through some kind of emotional issue, it always made her feel better to write. A knock at her room’s door startled her out of her musings. “Come in.”

The door creaked open and a blonde head slowly peeked in. “Hey…can I come in?” Terri asked, unsure.

Jaime swallowed a bit thickly, but nodded.

Terri walked in and closed the door softly. Pacing for a few heartbeats, as though unsure of where to start, she finally sat on the edge of the bed, facing Jaime. Looking into Jaime’s deep blue eyes, she looked for the right set of words. When they didn’t come, she sighed and tangled her hands together, laying them in her jean-covered lap.

Jaime was just as lost. She had been desperately trying to avoid Terri since she had come home, and now that they were sitting face to face inside her old, childhood room, she felt like an anxious teenager again.

“I don’t know what to say,” Terri started. “To tell I’ve missed you seems a bit redundant seeing as I don’t even fully know what made you break up with me. And to make things worse, here we are, in your parents’ beautiful home, decorated for my wedding in two days to your brother.” Taking a deep breath, her lips trembled. She looked about ready to cry.

Jaime had always hated seeing Terri cry and she knew her heart would crumble to pieces if she actually let those tears drop. Placing a warm, comforting hand on the ones intertwined on Terri’s lap, she said, “I don’t know what you expect from me. As you’ve said, you are going to marry my brother in two days. This is a very emotional time, for any woman, but especially for you, especially for all of us, because of our…unique history…” Jaime’s lips quirked in a lopsided smirk. “It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, nervous, anxious even, but you’ll see, everything will be alright in the end.” She really believed that her words would persuade, not necessarily herself, but Terri, in the least.

Terri raised her gaze and stared into Jaime’s blue depths. “Why? That’s all I want to know… just why?”

Jaime looked pained. “Why? Why what, Terri?”

“Why did you leave me?”

And there it was. The big question. Why did she leave her? Jaime had a vague idea, but she feared speaking it out loud would make it sound much worse than it did in her head. In her head it was sound, and rational. Now, it just sounded stupid and childish. When they went on the world tour, after she had asked Terri to leave her job at the hospital and everything else behind, something had changed. She knew she cared for Terri deeply, probably still did, but being with her band, being engulfed and swamped by the swarming love of her fans, turned a switch in her mind and heart. The moment they were on the plane, she felt like she made the worst mistake of her life. It was serious. Their relationship was suddenly strikingly real. She could no longer be the resident playgirl because she now had a girlfriend. Somehow, that word still made her cringe. Maybe she wasn’t the committing type. Maybe she should be committed. There were all sorts of possibilities, but one thing she knew for sure, she was scared. All throughout the tour she made herself miserable, and she knew her morose behavior didn’t help Terri feel any more welcome güvenilir bahis siteleri among the group of essential strangers. She would look at her band mates with envy as they would pick up a fawning fan, and if she ever dared try to pick up one of her own, her conscious made her feel immeasurably guilty. She grew to resent Terri’s presence and when they landed back in the US, the decision had already been made. Without even letting Terri know. She dropped her off at her house with a simple, “this isn’t working,” and disappeared. And now, she wanted some answers.

“I could give you all sorts of reasons, but none of them would ring true, so I guess I have to be honest, even if I haven’t really been honest with myself either. The truth is, I don’t know. I was scared. I got cold feet. I wanted to be free, to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted…whoever I wanted.”

Terri winced.

“Yeah, I know. I’m an asshole. You can say it. I was afraid of being tied down. But you see, when I met you, I didn’t think this way. I was too caught up in you, too head over heels, too crazy about you. Then when we were alone, I freaked. I couldn’t explain it to you because, well, as you see, I can barely explain it now, after so many months. All I can say is I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you and all I want for you is to be happy, and if my brother makes you happy, then I’m happy.”

Terri bit her bottom lip, still teary-eyed and leaned in to capture Jaime in a surprising, yet very welcome hug. Jaime wrapped her arms around Terri and squeezed her small body to her. It felt good to hold her again. She truly had missed her. Placing a delicate kiss on her neck, Jaime released her and moved back into her chair.

They were both startled by the loud banging sound from across the hall.

“What was that?” asked a worried Terri.

“I don’t know. Let me go look. I’ll be right back.”

Jaime left her room and went to her brother’s across the hall. The door was closed so she knocked softly.

“WHAT?!!” was screamed from the inside.

Jaime snapped her hand back as if burned and then narrowed her eyes, pushing the door open. “What the hell is your problem?” she asked her fuming brother.

“What is my problem?! You!! You are my problem! You always think you can have everything you want, that you’re entitled to everything on this damn earth, well you’re not!!” As he was screaming, a vein in his forehead started bulging dangerously red.

Lowering his voice to a more menacing tone, he drew nearer to Jaime. “I don’t want you at my wedding, you got me?”

“Yeah, I got it, I won’t be playing at your wedding, don’t worry.” Jaime said dismissingly and started to move out.

“No…you don’t get it. I don’t want you to even be there. Stay away from me and stay the HELL away from Terri!”

Jaime was shocked. She didn’t know what to think. “What the hell is wrong with you? Have you finally snapped? What, you saw me hug Terri? So what? We were chatting and we hugged, she’s going to be my fucking sister-in-law, isn’t she? We’re allowed to hug, no?!” Jaime’s voice started to rise.

Before they realized what was happening, they were both yelling at the top of their lungs, hurling verbal abuses at one another in front of an entire audience at the door. Finally, Mrs. Shepherd stepped in. “Stop it! The both of you! Have you lost your minds?!”

“Forget it. I’m outta here,” said Jaime and stormed out of the room, shaking Terri’s hand off her shoulder.

Jaime spent the next two days locked up in her beach house, refusing to see or even speak with anyone. On the day of the wedding, her mother came to her door.

“Honey, please come. He didn’t mean the things he said. He was just upset and you know how he gets when he’s upset. He’s your little brother. I know you, you’ll never forgive yourself if you miss this.”

And that did it. She got dressed and accompanied her mother to the reception. Almost everyone was already there. The house looked magnificent and so did the guests. Jaime decided to wear a tux-like pantsuit that fit her perfectly with a white billowy blouse underneath the jacket. Matching black pumps adorned her feet, raising her by another few inches above the rest of the crowd.

From the moment the music started, everything else was a blur. The sight of Terri in her white wedding dress was a sight to behold. She looked mesmerizing. Time stood still, but at the same time, it flew by without notice. Jaime felt like she was in a trance. She couldn’t take her eyes off…her sister-in-law, realization dawned. That was it. It was done. They were married and Terri looked happy.

After the ceremony, the guests went to their respective tables and took a seat. The meal was an interesting combination, but none of the family members actually got a chance to taste any of the delicacies, they were too busy meeting and greeting. Jaime mostly hung around the bar area, watching the rest of her family enjoy the beautiful day. Once or twice, Terri’s eyes captured hers and she was enamored all over again. Smiling softly, Jaime turned around and took another swig of her drink. “Hey. How are you?” her mother approached and asked cautiously. She seemed uneasy, wishing both her children could get along and be equally happy.

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