Title: Learning to Live

Rating:  R

Fandom: All My Children

Pairing: Maggie/Bianca

Feedback: Yes please

Distribution: please ask first

Disclaimer: I do not own or make any money from the stories that I write. All characters that I create are mine and may not be used without my permission, like anyone would want to use my characters.

Summary: It’s December 2007 and Maggie returns to pine valley to begin her residency at the hospital

Notes: I am not a Zoë or Babe fan at all. My Greenlee, if in the story, is Rebecca’s Greenlee. Kendall is a little hostile in this chapter but since I love her character, it won’t last.

Chapter 1

Maggie Stone sat her bags down in the living room of a small apartment that Joe Martin had waiting for her arrival. She had just arrived from Paris and was beat. It felt as if the flight took longer then she recalled it taking and her nerves over the reception she would get this time around were enough to wear anyone down. As she checked her features in the mirror and frowned, a deliveryman knocked at the door with dinner. That was just another thing that Joe Martin had arranged for her to help make her arrival more comfortable.

Joe had monitored Maggie’s progress in school, as well as her on hands training and was amazed at how quickly she moved through the education end of the process. She had also got a paper published, which was a big accomplishment for someone who wasn’t even an intern at the time of publishing. Thus, Joe decided that it was time to pull out all the stops to get Maggie stone back home and working in his hospital. He phoned her regularly for two weeks before she relented and decided to give the position a sixty-day trial run. Joe thought that was fair enough but believed that once she got back to Pine Valley, she would not go back to Parris. At least, that’s what he hoped for because he knew that Maggie had a promising career in the medical field and any hospital would be lucky to gain her services.

As Maggie picked at her meal, fears of making the wrong decision began to surface for the hundredth time. She thought about doing the typical Stone move and taking off but decided against it once again. She had spent many sleepless nights tossing this decision around, had made it and couldn’t run now. She felt good about the move and couldn’t let a year old tongue lashing from Erica Kane or thoughts of Bianca rejecting her for some woman wanna-be change her mind. She knew that it was unfair to think of Zarf’s gender change in that manner because she helped create the problems between she and Bianca to begin with. She couldn’t help it though because it hurt to know that someone else was holding Bianca, loving her and building a life with her. The life that was supposed to be Maggie’s until she handled a situation in the wrong way and threw it all out the window.

When she left for Paris after the fall out with most of the residents of Pine Valley and Bianca ended all contact with her, she tried to go on a few dates but couldn’t bring herself to ever go on a second. The drinking picked up slightly and so did the famous Stone attitude of I don’t care. These were devices that most of the members of her family put in place to hide their pain and hurt and these defense mechanisms seemed to be passed down from generation to generation. David was the king of such defenses and Maggie prayed nightly that she would not become the queen.

- - - - -

Julia was the first to greet Maggie when she arrived at the hospital the next day. She was pleasant and eagerly welcomed her. She had heard the things that Maggie had done to Bianca but liked to make her own judgments of people. My sister Anita has just got back into town as well.” Julia was saying as Joe walked up and gave Maggie a friendly hug.

“It’s so good to see you again Maggie,” the man added with a big smile on his face. “You will be getting acquainted with things today and then full force tomorrow.” Though she was a very young doctor and a babe in the research field, something told Joe Martin that he scored one on the other hospitals when he managed to get this doctor. Like her cousin David, she had a brilliant mind when it came to medicine but Joe was certain that is where the similarities ended.

“That sounds good to me,” Maggie said as Kendall Slater came marching up to them with determination in her eyes.

“What the hell are you doing back here? Are you following my sister around like some lovesick fool? Kendall’s facial expression told the others that she had just begun her tirade but it was cut short.

“No she’s not here chasing Binks at all. She’s here to take a job at the hospital and have lunch with me.” Anita said with a smile. After she arrived back in Pine Valley, she had found out what Kendall and Aidan did to Zach and Greenlee. She always had a few morals about her and found it to be disgusting. She also found it disgusting that Kendall felt she could judge someone after what she did just a few days ago.

Julia had noticed her sister’s harsh attitude towards Kendall over the last couple of days and planned to find out why. Anita was typically a mild-mannered person but Kendall had obviously rubbed her the wrong way. “Why don’t we all go in for coffee and then Joe can give Maggie the tour of the place in a working sense.” Julia added in a weak effort to help defuse the situation.

“Stay away from my sister you slut.” Kendall barked and stomped out of the cafeteria in pure Kane style, as if she owned it.

“That went well,” Maggie said and turned to the others. “Thanks for trying to help me out.”

“Not a problem,” Anita said and sat down with her coffee. “We all make mistakes and we all deserve a second chance.”

“You all have no idea,” Maggie said with a far off look in her eyes, which prompted Julia to believe that there was more to the story then everyone was lead to believe. “I’m ready for that tour now.” Maggie said quickly and got to her feet.

As she and Joe walked off, the sisters shared a mutual look of concern for the woman. “So, what’s with the attitude towards Kendall?” Julia asked as soon as she was certain the others were out of earshot.

“Aidan confided in me that when he thought Greenlee was dead and she thought that of Zach, he and Kendall slept together out of desperation. That is to stay between us,” Anita added with disgust in her voice. “It just bothers me because that doesn’t seem like the Aidan that I once had feelings for. I mean, if you love someone is it normal to go sleep with another person before they’re even laid to rest?”

“Do you still have feelings for him?” Julia asked bluntly in an effort to find out why her sister had such a strong reaction to a situation that didn’t involve her in any way. “I’m not trying to excuse what they did but people have done stranger things while in a heightened state of grief.” Julia then tried to reason with her sister to calm her down over something that was none of her business.

“No but I know how it feels to be cheated on, regardless of the reason the cheating was done. That is why I sympathize with Binks where Maggie is concerned but, in turn, Maggie shouldn’t be berated like that over a year later.” Having said that, Anita stood and left Julia with her thoughts.

- - - -

Maggie had decided to go have a drink after work that night. Other then the Kendall incident, things were going fairly well. She still had a hesitation of the move but hoped that she could get over that quickly. As she entered the club, she spotted Zoë and Babe dancing. Nobody had warned her that Bianca was back in town this soon but she knew it would happen eventually. She had gone to an out of the way club to steer clear from possible altercations and was surprised to see people that she knew here.

As luck would have it, or not, Babe and Zoë sat at a table directly in front of her and she could hear their discussion. They had been discussing the party lifestyle of a rock star and how Babe would love to get involved in such a lifestyle. Words like Cocaine and other drugs of choice were thrown about in the conversation as well as a mentioning of Bianca. Suddenly Babe turned around and looked right at Maggie. “Oh look the tramp is here!” She shouted and Zoë jumped to her feet to turn on Maggie.

“Just what do you think you are doing back in this town? Have you come after Bianca again? If you think you can pull that one off, I’d like to see you try it sweetie.”

“I’m outta here.” Maggie said and readied to leave the club without any confrontation on her part. She wanted nothing more then to punch Babe out but decided against it. She hadn’t been back long enough to be in the middle of the fighting. She knew what she wanted to do but if she had the guts to do it or not remained to be seen.

“That’s it Stone, turn tale and run like the coward that you are!” Babe shouted and to Maggie’s surprise, JR Chandler stepped up beside her.

“Babe you cheated on me with Josh and therefore have no room to condemn someone else. Zoë, you are not yet a woman and if you come at her like that again I will flatten you!” He hissed in an enraged tone of voice that told Maggie there was something more going on.

After giving JR a nod of thanks, Maggie decided it was best to take a short drive and think things over before making a spontaneous decision that might end up failing. As Maggie drove through the near blinding snow, she caught sight of a figure walking. She had been deep in her own thoughts of what in the hell possessed her to come back here and the love that she’d lost with Bianca when she saw the silhouette of a person. She thought that she should just keep driving as she wasn’t in a charitable mood but then thought better of it. If that person had a long walk ahead of them in this storm, anything could happen.

As she skidded the car to a stop and inched down the window to see if the person needed a ride, she got a better view of them. There was no mistaking that it was Bianca Montgomery in the flesh. Maggie froze momentarily as she wasn’t prepared to see the beautiful CEO this soon.

Chapter 2

Bianca and Zoë had arrived in Pine Valley a couple of months before Maggie had got there. Zoë wanted a break from being a famous rock star who loved to be fawned all over and decided they should go to Bianca’s hometown because it was quiet. The two struck up a tentative relationship shortly after they moved back to Paris and London respectively but Zoë moved it from casual to something more, faster then Bianca wanted. For some reason, Bianca allowed Zoë to pull all the strings, make all the decisions and order her around but in one area. Bianca had not yet slept with Zoë and this often angered the transgender.

She was glad to get back home for more then one reason, being near her family was the main one but Babe seemed to enjoy cavorting around on Zoë’s coattails, which gave Bianca a break. She sometimes got the feeling that so long as Zoë had someone to show off, she was happy. Of course, she had to know where Bianca was most of the time and had frequent phone conversations when the two were apart. There was a part of Bianca that adored Zoë and that was mainly because she never gave her a reason to doubt her trust. Was Bianca in love with Zoë? She said she was but it remained to be proven.

Zoë and Babe had decided to go out to this quaint out of the way nightclub and tried to get Bianca to come along but she told them she didn’t feel well. In all honesty, going back home had stirred up memories in Bianca that she thought were long since buried away. The hurt that she felt over catching Maggie in the process of cheating on her, the love she and Maggie shared with Miranda and the wonderful friendship that she and Maggie had built all came crashing back. Thus, she told the white lie to give herself some breathing room so that she could think.

She had gone, of all places, to the boathouse and of all things, fell fast asleep. It was the best sleep that she’d had in quite some time if she would admit that to herself. When she got ready to leave, her car stalled out so she decided to walk. She had conveniently forgotten her cell-phone at home so that she could not be bothered on this little thinking venture, in which she never got to think about anything.

She had walked about twenty yards when she saw a car coming towards her slowly. She was more then happy to see a vehicle out because it was freezing cold and the snow was coming down fast. She thought whomever that was out in this was a bit on the crazy side but was glad they were stopping. As she walked over to the window and it was rolled down a bit, she saw the eyes that made her feel more love and more hurt then any other set of eyes ever had. “Maggie,” she said softly and wanted to run back to the boathouse as fast as she could. She was not ready to face Maggie Stone and by the look on Maggie’s face, Maggie wasn’t ready to face her either.

Maggie was the first to regain her composure because she saw that Bianca looked like she was almost froze. “What are you doing walking in this mess?” Maggie asked in hopes of remaining casual.

“My car stalled and I forgot my phone so can’t reach Zoë.” Bianca said between shivers. “I’ll be fine, don’ worry.” She said and started to turn away.

“Bianca now isn’t the time to be stubborn. Let me give you a ride or try to start your car at least.” Maggie said and stepped out of her own car to look for Bianca’s car.

Bianca did not want Maggie to know that she was at the boathouse so opted for the ride. “I’ll have someone come check it in the morning.” She said and quickly moved to the passenger seat.

“Do you want to go home or should I drop you where Zoë and Babe are partying?” Maggie asked with a forced effort of saying those two names nicely.

“Uh,” Bianca stumbled for the right decision to make. She and Zoë got along well most of the time but if the woman saw her in the car with Maggie, there would be a fight. Zoë could either still be at the club or at Erica’s, which is where the two were staying until they decided whether or not they were going to relocate to Pine Valley.

Maggie tried to look into Bianca’s eyes to see what had the beautiful woman so nervous but Bianca shifted her gaze out the window. “Bianca, I’m not going to try to force myself on you if that’s what you think. I’m not even going to push you into a talk about us. I just want to get you somewhere so that you can get into something warm before you get sick.”

As Bianca looked at Maggie, she saw hurt in her eyes and knew that it was her fault. She knew that her reaction to Maggie’s question had caused Maggie to think that Bianca was afraid of her for some reason, which was far from the truth. Bianca knew that Maggie would never physically do anything to hurt her, though mentally was another story. “No Maggie, that’s not it at all. God I know that you would never push yourself on me like that. I, it’s just that I’m shocked to see you here.”

“Joe wants me to work at the hospital so I came to check it out. I had no idea that you and your boyfriend would be in town.” Maggie said, unable to resist the jab at Zarf.

She realized that she had made a big mistake when Bianca flinched at her words. “Zoë is a woman Maggie and you know that. Did your girlfriend come with you?” Bianca snapped back at her former lover.

“I guess I deserved that one,” Maggie said and started the car.

“So you’re just into the one night stand deal then?” Bianca questioned with hurt still thick in her voice.

“It’s a family trait,” Maggie instinctively shot back. This conversation was not going how she had hoped it would at all. In fact, the Stone family trait of punching back verbally had kicked in and was making the situation worse then it needed to be. “Let’s not do this Bianca. You’ve moved on and no matter how bad it hurts, I have to accept that. By the looks of you in the tabloids, the two of you are pretty happy.”

Bianca did not want the conversation to go in the direction that it was headed either but that old familiar pain was coming back to the surface and causing her to lash out. “We’re very happy Maggie and so is Miranda.” Bianca took one last dig and instantly regretted it. She swore, during a fight with Zoë over Maggie and Miranda, that she would never use that precious little girl to hurt Maggie and she had just crossed that line. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…”

“Don’t bother Bianca,” Maggie said curtly. “If Munchie is happy, then I’m happy for her. She’s probably forgot me by now I would imagine.” Maggie’s eyes looked as if they were going to burst apart with tears at the thought of Miranda forgetting the bond they shared.

“God no Maggie,” Bianca said with regret oozing in her voice. “She asks about you all the time. Maybe you can see her for Christmas. I think she’s gone to long without seeing you.”

“Why didn’t you answer my emails Bianca,” Maggie said as she pulled into Erica’s driveway. “I emailed you for three weeks with no answer. I even told you that you didn’t have to get back with me but please don’t shut me out of Miranda’s life.”

Bianca had an utter look of confusion on her face and began to speak. “You stopped emailing me Maggie so I thought that you had decided…” she put her head in her hands to indicate that she didn’t know what to say. “I told you that I would not permanently keep Miranda from you Maggie. You stopped emailing so don’t try to turn this around on me.” Bianca quickly recovered having decided that Maggie was trying to correct her wrong doing by blaming it on lost emails.

“That’s far from the truth Bianca.” Maggie said and stepped out of the car with her. She tried to assist her, through the ice, to the door but Bianca rejected the offering and headed into the house.

Maggie stood beside her car briefly and collected her thoughts. How she wished that the night could have gone differently, that Bianca’s soft skin was entwined in her arms, her soft lips being kissed by hers and the full truth have been told. It didn’t work out that way and all Maggie could do now was somberly get in the car and drive away just as she was forced to walk away in the park nearly a year ago.

As Bianca watched Maggie drive off into the cold night, she wondered why the conversation got out of hand. She wondered why Maggie cheated on her and why she lost not only her love but also her best friend. She wondered how many one-night stands Maggie had since they stopped communications and why she even cared. She wondered why she could not shake the feisty woman’s loving memories from her head after what she’d done to her. Lastly, she wondered that if Maggie did not stop emailing her, who stopped them from coming to her? With a loan tear trickling down her face, she resigned to make a life with Zoë and leave the past behind one way or another.

Chapter 3

Maggie had managed to avoid anyone involved in her past problems for the next couple of days. She did it by working two doubles but had the idea that whatever works is good. As she was sitting down to lunch on her third day of no altercation, JR walked up and sat down next to her. “I’ve been trying to get up with you.” He said in a voice so low that Maggie barely heard him. His lips were tightened and his eyes were tense looking from the amount of stress that he’d undergone the last few months because of Babe.

Maggie looked at him strangely, being as the two did not have the best of relationships in the past. “Look, I know that you saw Babe with Zoë the other night. What I’m trying to find out is what seedy activities they are up to. I have straightened up my life and if you don’t believe that ask most anyone. I’m seeing Amanda Dillon now and I think we work well together.” JR added with not much hope in his eyes that Maggie was going to take the bate. He and Maggie never saw eye to eye and he figured that it wouldn’t change now.

“I wish the two of you the best of luck.” Maggie offered cryptically, as she wondered where this was leading. Though she couldn’t stand Babe Chandler, she knew that JR could be just as conniving as she was. She had no trust for either one of them and felt sorry for their little boy. Though JR had his streaks of doing the right thing, he could come unwound and curve to the other side just as quick as Babe could.

“The fact is, I need a partner Maggie. I want to keep little A safe and I think that you would want to keep Bianca safe.” JR knew that he would score a point with that statement. He was desperate to find out what was going on so that he could gain some advantage in gaining full custody of Adam.

“I gave up the right to protect her when I messed up our relationship. Binks is a big girl.” Maggie straight out lied to him but wasn’t about to tell him that she had put in a call to Anna for advice the day before yesterday and was awaiting an answer. She figured that Jr was looking to catch Babe doing something wrong so that he could swipe their baby out from under her. Though Maggie liked the idea of Babe losing her son, she couldn’t be involved in giving him to another underhanded person.

Anita walked over and sat down next to Maggie. She saw the look on her face and thought that she could help get the pest away from her. “I have resources right here if you should change your mind and help me.” JR said and quickly left the table.

“What was that about?” Anita asked in a friendly manner.

“He wants me to help him get his son from Babe. While I loathe Babe, I’m not into those kind of games.” Maggie said in a disgusted tone.

“Julia tells me that you are way overworking yourself Maggie.” Anita began to speak as she finished her soft drink. “I did that once but it doesn’t heal the pain and it can’t hide you from your problems forever.”

Just then, Erica Kane came sauntering into the cafeteria with a frightened look on her face. She grabbed a coffee and her eyes met Maggie’s. “Miranda has been injured, we’re looking for Bianca. Anita I don’t know any of the nurses on that wing and would appreciate it if you could go be there?”

Maggie was gone before Erica had finished speaking to Anita, who had quickly got up from her chair. “Of course, what happened?”

“She fell down an entire flight of stairs at my house,” Erica said with a pained look on her face. “You know the stairs all to well. What is that slut doing here?”

“Take the coffee with you, it’ll be fine.” Anita said and the two quickly headed for the ER. Anita was glad that she was able to easily evade Erica’s question about Maggie. She did not want to be the one to tell her that Maggie may be in Pine Valley for good.

As they entered the waiting area, they could hear Joe Martin’s raised voice. “Mister Zarf or whomever you are these days, this is my hospital not yours! You do not get to dictate what doctor goes where and if you push again, security will come to remove you from the premises.”

Both women looked for Maggie but with no sign of her, they correctly assumed that Joe was finishing up his reprimand after Maggie had not listened to Zoë and gone into the ER. “I agree,” Kendall stepped up and said. “This is not the time for this and I would like to know how my baby niece got hurt as she did. You were the one watching her.”

“Kendall please, not now!” Erica chided, as Anita went into the ER and Bianca entered the waiting area with a frantic look on her face.

“Bianca they allowed your ex to go into the room with Miranda, what are you going to do about it?” Zoë asked in a sharp tone of voice and Erica shot her daggers with the eyes that have made many a folks tremble. She didn’t care for Maggie either but knew that Miranda would be in the best of hands with someone who loved her and that was all that Erica cared about at this point.

“Not now Zoë!” Bianca echoed and raced into the ER.

“That way,” Anita said and headed back out to tell Erica what was going on.

Maggie turned from an unconscious Miranda to face Bianca. “They’re going to run some tests. Apparently, she took a fall from the top of your mother’s stairs and hit her head. As you can see, it knocked her out cold.”

“Is she going to be all right?” Bianca asked with a pleading look in her eyes. Maggie had seen that look all to many times when Bianca needed her help, protection or to be comforted over a crisis.

“I’m going to go get these tests ran,” Joe Martin interrupted as Anita began to move Miranda. “I have said that only immediate family can be back here until we get the situation evaluated. I don’t want this child stressed in any way.”

“I can do that if you’d like doctor Martin.” Maggie offered because it was her job. In edition, she wasn’t certain that Bianca needed the added stress of her presence in the room.

Joe shot her a knowing look and she knew straight away what he was up to. “Doctor Stone, there is another patient here who needs you right now.” He said with a blatant small smile on his face, as he and Anita walked out of the room.

Maggie turned to Bianca and saw a small smile, mixed with worry for her daughter, on her face. “I remember a time that you never thought you would be called by that name.” Bianca said with a dreamy look on her face.

“Yeah I remember that time,” Maggie said and sat down next to Bianca. “It all seems such a long time ago.” Maggie’s face showed a mixture of worry for Miranda, happiness that she made it this far in her career choice and sadness that Bianca wasn’t there to share the big moments of graduation and job offers with her. She knew that it was her fault for taking the road that she took but there was more to the story that Bianca never gave her the chance to explain. Whether it would have made any difference or not, Maggie didn’t know but felt that she should have had the chance to be heard.

“Yes and you ended up getting through faster then normal,” Bianca said proudly. “Maggie, do you think that Miranda will be okay?” Bianca’’s frightened look mirrored the look that she wore for quite some time after Michael Cambius raped her and Maggie wanted so badly to hold her and wish it all away. The love of her life had seen so much pain, deception and brutality in her life and it made Maggie shudder to know that she was the cause of some of that pain.

“I think Munchie will be fine Bianca.” Maggie said softly and instinctively gave Bianca a hug. It felt like the right thing to do and Bianca did not pull away. She leaned her head on Maggie’s shoulder and cried as she’d done often times before.

As Erica and Kendall stood back silently watching, they gave each other a knowing sad look and then Zoë burst passed them like a flash of light. “I am immediate family seeing as we live together and I will be adopting Miranda someday.” Zoë said rudely to Maggie. “Your plan failed doctor stone, now come here my love.” Maggie begrudgingly pulled away from Bianca because this was not the time for a confrontation.

As Maggie turned away, Zoë encircled Bianca with her arms and began saying soothing words. “Mags,” Kendall’s voice stopped the doctor in her tracks. “I’m sorry about the other day, you have my blessing.” Maggie just nodded and walked out of the room.

As she rounded the corner, JR stopped her. “Are you in Stone?”

“I told you once and the answer hasn’t changed.” Maggie said having to fight the urge to agree to help him, as she walked away.

- - - - -

A few minutes before Maggie’s shift ended, Julia alerted her that Zoë had ran to get Bianca something to eat. She decided to go check in on Miranda before she left. “I read the tests,” she said to Bianca as she walked into the room. “She’s going to be fine once she wakes up.” Maggie smiled and placed a gentle kiss on Miranda’s forehead.

At that instant, the little girl opened her eyes. “Magie,” she said in a tired voice.

Bianca tried to mask the tears that spilled down her cheeks but was unable to do so. How many times had Maggie been there to comfort her when she was broken, how many times had she watched the love that Maggie shared with Miranda. How much had she done for Maggie? Her eyes lit up as if a huge lightbulb had just exploded in her head. If only she could have tried to talk it out with and forgive what Maggie had done to her, none of this would have happened. She did not believe that Miranda took a fall down the stairs but didn’t know how to prove it. “She does love you. I’m so happy that she’s all right. Look, Zoë is just uptight and afraid that you are going to try to bust us up. I will talk to her and straighten things out. Then we can work out visitation arrangements.”

“Arwe you toming home Magie?” The little girl questioned, as Bianca gently stopped her from rubbing the huge bump on her head.

Maggie looked sadly at the little girl. She wished that she could say yes but Bianca was making it perfectly clear where the line was drawn. She knew that she had to move on for her own sanity but didn’t know if she could fully ever do it. “I will come see you soon munchie.” Maggie said, kissed the child again and swiftly left the room before Bianca saw her own tears fall.

As Maggie left, everything that had any sense inside Bianca told her to go after her and talk this thing out but, once more, the stubborn side won. She couldn’t take Maggie back after what she’d done to her, no matter how bad she missed that smile, the kisses, Maggie and Miranda playing together and being held by those loving arms.

As Maggie rushed out of the hospital, she spotted Anita leaving also. Anita turned and looked at the woman, who sported a tortured look on her face. “Hey, did something happen in there?” She asked and walked over to her friend.

“Just the same old stuff that I can’t seem to get over.” Maggie said in a tired voice as she looked for her keys. “I sometimes wonder if I came back here to put myself through the pain that I obviously deserve.”

“Mags,” Anita said and leaned against Maggie’s car. “It’s been over a year now and nobody deserves to hurt forever. If you think that you have some remote chance with Binks then try again. If not, you’ve got to find a way to move on. You can’t keep doing this to yourself sweetie.” Anita finished speaking, hugged her friend firmly and started back towards her car.

“I haven’t noticed you doing much about your social life either.” Maggie smirked at her friend, who shook her head in reply. “Why don’t we get out of these work clothes and go to ConFusion for a drink. Maybe we both could use some relaxation.”

“Sure,” Anita said with a smile. “I’ll meet you there in half an hour.”

- - - - -

Two days had passed and things seemed to be going at a normal pace of no drama for the citizens of Pine Valley. That was never good because it gave the appearance of the calm before the storm. JR had contacted Maggie earlier that morning to tell her they would have court today and he suspected the testing would be done very soon. Maggie wondered why this concerned her, when her phone rang. “Hello Maggie,” the calming voice of Anna Hayward rang over the other end.

Maggie was glad that Anna and David found each other again as she seemed to be his balance, the one who kept him as close to the straight and narrow as he could be. “Hey Anna,” she said and ducked into a restroom. “Look, I told you in the message that I think something is going on with this um, transgender that Binks is messing around with.”

“Yes and before we continue, I need to be certain that this is not because you are still hung up on Bianca.” Anna added softly, the concern for Maggie showing thick in her voice.

“Not at all Anna. She was overheard discussing drugs and other sorted things in a club. I just want to make sure that Bianca is safe is all.” Maggie said briefly as her name came over the loud speaker.

“That is so wonderful to hear your name like that Maggie. No matter what you think of him, David is so proud of you.” Anna finished speaking with a smile on her face.

“Thanks but could you give me some indication of what to do here? I’m sorry to cut this short but I’m needed in the ER.” Maggie said quickly. Maggie was glad that she had made someone in her cracked up family proud but wondered when she was going to do what she wanted rather then what someone else wanted. Granted, she liked being a doctor but her heart lie in the field of work that Anna was in.

“I will have someone keep an eye on this Zarf person and he will report to you of his findings.” Anna said and after Maggie thanked her, they hung up.

As Maggie rushed out of the restroom, she ran smack into Erica Kane. “I had you paged Maggie.” Erica said curtly. “We need to get a few things straight if you plan to live in this town.”

Maggie knew that she should cower in an angered Erica’s presence but she had decided that she had enough of being bullied. Allowing people to push them around was not one of her family traits. “Yeah Erica let’s get a few things straight. I am my own person, come and go as I please, speak to whomever I please and am not enlisted on the great Kane radar.”

Erica looked up at the doctor in utter shock. There were very few people who had stood up to her like that. “If you cross Bianca and Zoë’s path in any way other then at this hospital for something medical, you will regret thinking that you are big enough to stand up to me.” Erica shot back angrily.

There was one more person who had never been afraid to stand up to the great Erica Kane and she now stood behind Maggie. Greenlee Smythe quickly stepped around Maggie and looked at Erica in an undaunted manner. “Back off Erica! Half of the problems your children get into is because they allow you to run the show. Maybe Binks will get a backbone like Kendall sometimes has and tell you what she really thinks someday.”

“Greenlee this is clearly none of your business!” Erica shot back angrily.

“It’s not yours either Erica,” Greenlee shot back. I guess you and I are a lot alike. We both get involved in things that are not to do with us.”

As the two women sparred, Maggie’s phone vibrated so she checked and it was Bianca. It did it again a few seconds later and it was Bianca again. Maggie was about to turn the phone off in wonderment as to why Bianca was calling and then hanging up. She suddenly bolted from the hall and out the door, remembering that that was their distress signal. No matter what they would say to each other, the rifts that lie between them, Maggie was glad that Bianca knew she could count on her in a pinch.

Chapter 4

Bianca, Zoë and Miranda had finished a quiet breakfast, walk around the grounds and were now relaxing inside where it was warm. It was two days until Christmas and the little girl was excited to open presents early. The two had decided that a walk would distract her enough so that they didn’t have to keep telling her no all day. As they sat down in the extravagant living room, Bianca stood to go to the kitchen. “Zoë why don’t you take her up so that she doesn’t run for the gifts while I go get us all some hot chocolate?”

“Of course love,” Zoë replied and lifted the little girl up in her arms. As soon as she did that, Miranda started screaming in a panicked tone.

“Zoë hut me momma!” The little girl shrieked repeatedly and tried to break free from Zoë’s gentle, yet firm, grasp.

As Bianca turned and faced Zoë with questioning eyes, Zoë thought fast. “The little one here is afraid I think because I didn’t get to her in time during her fall down the stairs love. Why don’t we just put her down for a nap to calm her.”

“No momma, Zoë hut me!” Miranda shrieked again as Bianca lifted her from Zoë’s arms.

“It’s all right sweetie, I’ve got you now.” Bianca muttered with a pained look on her face. She had made a personal oath that, when she found Miranda again, nobody would hurt her after what Babe had put them through. If Zoë had done that, then Bianca had failed her daughter in her eyes. She looked at the little girl and fought back tears at that thought.

Bianca left the room and came back a few minutes later. “She’s fast asleep,” Bianca said and looked at a teary-eyed Zoë. “She told me that you pushed her Zoë.” Bianca said and tried to keep her voice calm.

“That’s nonsense Bianca! Oh dear what are we to do! You see, I bet that slut Maggie put this in her head! Now you see why I suggested that she not be involved in our lives! She goes and messes with first you, then that precious child and now Babe tells me that she was at ConFusion with that friend of yours, Anita?” Zoë exclaimed with a panicked look on her face.

“No Maggie would never use that child like that!” Bianca hissed back with rage-filled eyes. “Don’t you ever talk about her like that!” Bianca was to scared for Miranda and upset to worry about the Anita comment. She figured that Zoë was trying to use that comment to distract her and it wasn’t going to work. She also knew that no matter how much of a chasm lie between she and Maggie, Maggie would never involve Miranda in such a plot.

“She’s the reason that you won’t sleep with me, the reason that poor Miranda is blaming me for her traumatic accident and you are now blaming all of this on me? Maggie is no saint Bianca dear.  You have to see that.” Zoë replied with a mock laughter in her voice.

“Maggie is not the reason that I won’t make love with you Zoë.” Bianca said sadly and hung her head. During her and Maggie’s last talk last winter, Maggie had broached the subject of Bianca not being able to sleep with Zoë for two reasons. One was because Bianca was fully gay and though she understood Zoë’s situation, she wouldn’t be able to make love with a man. The main reason that Maggie sighted was because of the rape at the hands of Michael Cambius. Bianca, at that time, had thought Maggie was being foolish but, as time passed, she found that Maggie was correct in a sense. Bianca knew Zoë’s situation and understood it but due to the rape and the fact that it wasn’t Maggie, she could not sleep with Zoë.

“Then prove it!” Zoë shouted with rage in her eyes, as she stood up and put her hands on Bianca’s shoulders.

Fear was welling up inside Bianca, something told her that she was in deep trouble and there was only one thing to do. She used speed dial a couple of times to call Maggie from the phone that was in her pocket and sent up a prayer that Maggie would remember the distress call. She prayed that Maggie still cared enough to help her, as Zoë shoved her to the ground.

Bianca began to shake violently and no longer saw Zoë, as the woman loomed over her and began to unfasten her pants. “Bianca, we are in love. I am going through my transition, this is a normal thing to do.” Zoë said soothingly but Bianca still cried all the more. The crying let Zoë know that this was not going to happen, which angered her. As the door opened, she slapped Bianca across the face.

As Maggie stepped into the foyer, she could see what Zoë was trying to do to a sobbing Bianca. She saw how helpless and terrified the woman looked, as Zoë bent down and slapped her. As Bianca tried to stop her, Zoë slapped her again and that is when Maggie’s better judgment left her. “Just picture me as that slut Maggie and we should be fine Bianca. Stop being a baby dear, it’ll be such fun.” Zoë said lovingly, as Maggie lifted the gun from her jacket. She had secretly carried one since the traumatic event with Michael Cambius but never thought she’d have to use it.

“Zoë, I’d suggest you stop right now.” Maggie stated calmly as Bianca looked pleadingly into her eyes and begged for help.

Zoë looked over at Maggie and saw the coldness in her eyes, gun in her hand and the calmness about her. She decided that the drugs had pushed this to far and turned away from Bianca. “Oh how sick can you be, wanting to watch our love making? You would love nothing more then to shoot me and convince Bianca that I was the bad guy so you can get her back. It won’t work sweetie.” Zoë taunted Maggie and moved towards the door. “Bianca dear, I shall return once we’ve both settled a bit. I believe that we both came unwound because of Miranda earlier.” With that, she left.

Maggie then pocketed her gun and knelt down beside a sobbing Bianca. She pulled the shaking woman close and encircled her arms around Bianca lovingly. “It’s all right Binks,” she said and instinctively kissed her on the forehead. “You’re going to be all right. He didn’t get to do the deed, calm down sweetie, I’m right here.”

Bianca put her arms tightly around Maggie as if it was the only thing that would save her life. She began to cry harder, as Erica came sweeping into the living room ready for a confrontation, and then stopped dead in her tracks. “What’s going on here!”

“Not now mom!” Kendall shouted, having seen the signs of exactly what went down. She wanted blood and wanted it to be Zarf’s blood.

Maggie handed Bianca a glass of water that sat on the table and instructed her to drink it. She had to hold it up to the frightened woman’s mouth however, because Bianca would not loosen her grip on her protector of the last several years. “You hit my daughter?” Erica seethed with anger but Kendall halted her from advancing on Maggie.

“Get real mom! It’s so obvious that someone else hit Binks and seeing as Zoë isn’t here, well duh!” The anger was oozing out in the brunette’s eyes, as she dragged an infuriated Erica into the kitchen.

“We were arguing over Miranda and then why I couldn’t sleep with Zoë.” Bianca began to explain the events in-between sobs, as Maggie wiped the tears from her eyes and rubbed her shoulders, per usual. “Then she tried to blame it all on you and I yelled at her and she told me to prove it. Well then she smacked me around but Maggie, I don’t know if she would have actually forced me to…”

“That doesn’t matter,” Maggie said with a meek effort of keeping her anger in check. “She was behaving like she was going to do it Binks. Plus, she hit you several times. Do you remember what hell I went through with Jonathan? You had to kick my ass verbally so many times until I got it. Please don’t make me do that to you Binks.” Maggie said softly and, again, instinctively placed a gentle kiss on the brunette’s forehead.

Bianca relaxed easily in Maggie’s arms. No matter what the smaller woman had done to her heart, she knew that Maggie would never hurt her physically. She knew that if she needed her for that long, Maggie would sit by her side for a lifetime and never ask for even a kiss. That was just it, Maggie never asked for anything, not once and Bianca was beginning to see the light. She also knew that she couldn’t deal with this right now because Miranda had to be dealt with first. “Maggie, Miranda said that Zoë hurt her.” Bianca said and began to sob uncontrollably. “I swore that I would always protect my little girl and I failed.” Bianca added and began to tremble again.

Before Maggie had time to react, an enraged Kendall Hart-Slater raced out of the Kane estate with vengeance in mind. “Did she say how?” Maggie questioned as she tried to keep Bianca from seeing how her rage was growing.

As Bianca began to speak, the clip-clap of an angered Erica Kane’s stiletto heels could be heard thundering towards the door. “Babe talked to me a couple of weeks ago. She said that she was hanging out with Zoë because she didn’t trust her. She’s been telling me things that Zoë is doing but I didn’t listen. Anyway, Miranda told me that Zoë knocked her down the stairs because she wanted to call you. Zoë tried to smooth it over but I can’t doubt the word of my pride and joy.” Bianca’s face looked void as she finished speaking and tried to wipe her own tears.

“And you never should,” Maggie said as the tears began to fall from her cheeks. She couldn’t stand the thought of that beautiful little girl being hurt because of her. “Bianca, no matter if you ever want to be with me again or not, you have to get that bitch out of your life. She’s not good for you and certainly not Miranda.”

“I know Maggie,” Bianca said and tried to compose herself. “I always pick the wrong person it seems.” She quickly stood up and Maggie could sense that she was withdrawing from her again. “I need to go be with her for a bit.”

“Of course,” Maggie said and stood up. Bianca gave no indication that she wanted Maggie to join her and Maggie wasn’t going to push. “Since you trust her, I’m going to call Babe to come sit with you. I have a couple of things to do and then can come back if you’d like.”

“Just don’t leave until she gets here please Maggie.” Bianca said with a look of fear on her face.

“I won’t leave at all if you want me to stay Bianca. I just don’t want you to feel pushed.” Maggie said softly and hugged the love of her life again.

Bianca’s face brightened at the honesty in Maggie's words, no matter what Maggie did do to her, she never lied.. “You know what, the maid is just pulling in so if you wouldn’t mind doing me a quick favor and getting some nachos?” Bianca questioned with a look of deep thought on her face.

“Nachos it is,” Maggie said and hugged Bianca once more before exiting. She knew that she had time to grab the nachos and do what she planned on doing before Bianca would realize that she was later then it would normally take to get back.

- - - - - -

A short time later, Maggie returned with Bianca’s nachos. It was routine for Bianca to eat near the end of a traumatic day and Maggie was more than happy to oblige. As she entered the house, she noticed that Erica and Jack were in the kitchen. She gave them a tentative smile and headed up the stairs. “Hey Binks,” she said softly and sat the nachos down.

Bianca was lying on her bed trying to relax, which wasn’t an easy task, especially with her shoes on. “Hey, thanks so much Maggie. After all the times I pushed you away, I don’t understand why you keep running back when I’m in need. It might be selfish of me but I’m glad that you do.”

“I like your shampoo,” Maggie joked and then gave Bianca that famous Stone grin. “We promised each other a long time ago that we wouldn’t end our friendship if we didn’t make it as lovers Binks. Friends are supposed to help each other. I’m not ok with it but am trying to learn to live without you in my life in a romantic way. I hope that doesn’t mean that we have to terminate our friendship though.”

Bianca looked at Maggie sadly and then looked away quickly. The truth was, she hadn’t learned to live without Maggie in her life in any form but couldn’t get past the cheating that Maggie did. “I’m glad that you have learned to live without us Maggie.”

“No Binks,” Maggie said with urgency in her voice. “I’m trying to learn because I respect  your decision to end things. I understand that you can’t forgive my actions but that doesn’t mean that I like it.” Maggie wondered if now was a good time to try for an explanation. She thought that she had seen disappointment on Bianca’s face when she misunderstood her phrasing of words but dared not to hope too much for it.

:Maggie, do I take advantage of our friendship? What I mean is, do I ask too much of you? Did I put to much pressure on you and that is why you cheated?” Bianca hoped that she wasn’t giving Maggie an easy way of explaining everything away but she had to know. She believed that Maggie wouldn’t lie to her and thus decided to take a venture back into the conversation in which she never gave Maggie the chance to finish last winter.

“Binks there really is no excuse as to why I screwed up so badly. There are reasons but it doesn’t excuse what I did to you and Miranda. I would like to explain it to you but you’ve had a trying day. Maybe it’s best that we wait until tomorrow?” Maggie asked with honest hope in her voice. She loved this woman more then life itself but didn’t want to toss this much on her in one day.

“Of course, you’re probably right on that account. Is it asking too much for you to just hold me for now Maggie?” Bianca asked in a tired voice that was heavy with stress.

“That’s never asking to much.” Maggie said and took off Bianca’s shoes, which were a bit on the muddy side. “I can’t believe you wore those in this nice bed.” Maggie said with a smile, took her own shoes off and pulled Bianca into her arms.

Chapter 5

As a clear yet cold morning dawned, Bianca rolled over sleepily. She was snug in Maggie’s arms and needing to break free. All the progress that was made yesterday was dissolving quickly. Bianca’s hurt over the cheating was building back up and she felt like slapping herself for calling on Maggie. There was a small part of her however, that knew she was being a coward and that Maggie would do anything to help her. Maybe she was a selfish person and wanted Maggie’s help but not her as a lover anymore. Maybe she could get Zoë to enter into a drug class and clear things up with her, she thought as her mother came into the room. Again, that small sensible part of Bianca knew that she was pushing the love of her life away once again and that she was being an unfair Kane woman, as the Kane women had a habit of being.

“Bianca, we need to…” Erica came into the room to wake her daughter and was shocked to see her in Maggie’s arms. “What’s going on here Bianca?”

“Nothing’s going on mom!” Bianca snapped a little harshly, which garnered a glare from Erica. “I was upset over the fight with Zoë and Maggie was helping me and it got late is all.”

“A couple of days ago you were making plans with Zoë and now you’re in bed with that slut?” Erica hissed angrily, as Maggie opened her eyes.

“Good morning to you too Erica,” she said sleepily as she noticed the coldness back in Bianca’s eyes and rose from the bed quickly.

“Zoë was found yesterday by a park ranger near dead. There was a bullet in her. They don’t know if she is going to wake up. They’re looking for you Maggie due to the fact that you didn’t answer your page to go to the hospital to tend to her.” Erica said flatly and then walked out of the room.

The women looked at each other not sure what to say next. Maggie was certain that Bianca was going to be distraught over the news and Bianca was wondering how to approach the entire conversation with Maggie. After saying each other’s names simultaneously, they just looked at each other. “I should get to the hospital,” Maggie said in a rushed tone of voice as she glanced down at Bianca’s shoes.

“Oh my God no!” Bianca shouted and looked at Maggie frantically. “They’re going to be able to implicate me because of my shoes! I went to the park for a quick walk while you were gone but I swear that I didn’t do it Maggie!” Bianca’s cold look had quickly changed to one of panic and need of help.

“I’ll take care of it Binks. Just tell them that you never left the house while I was gone.” Maggie stood up, put her shoes on and deposited Bianca’s shoes in the food bag. “We’re going to have to give a statement about the fight though unless Erica and Kendall left that out of their stories.”

“Maggie, I have to tell the truth. I didn’t hear a shot at the park, which means someone did it elsewhere and took her to the park.” Bianca said with a frightened look in her eyes.

“You’ve been on trial for one murder Binks, I don’t think another attempted murder will go over so well.” Maggie replied honestly as she looked at Bianca sadly.

“Did you do it Maggie?” Bianca blurted out frankly, having noticed the woman’s calm demeanor.

“If I would have done it, Zarf would have been dead.” Maggie said matter of factly and with no regret in her voice. “It’s a bit sloppy, which means Zach or your mom didn’t do it either. I’d guess it’s the work of Kendall because she was too angry to see straight, Babe because she’s in love with you, or Greenlee because she’d do anything for Kendall.”

“How can you throw accusations about Babe at a time like this Maggie!” Bianca said in a raised voice.

“I’m just stating the facts Binks. We’re doing good here and I don’t want to mess it up but she is. Any person with a good radar can see it. That’s not important right now though. Are you sure that you aren’t blocking it out Binks? If you are, I will cover for you. I won’t let you go to jail because Munchie needs you.” Maggie said in a soft voice that was filled with sincerity. She would spend life in prison before she would allow Bianca to be torn from her daughter and would have no regrets about it.

“Would you tell me if you really did do it Maggie?” Bianca asked in an irritated tone. Obviously, the Babe comment had hit a sore spot with the brunette and she overlooked the other statement.

“Binks, this isn’t getting us anywhere. I’m going to get rid of these and go explain myself to Joe if Jack let’s me out of the house.” Maggie turned quickly and Left Bianca alone with her thoughts.

- - - - - -

Once Maggie had given her statement to Derek in which she told him that she had an encounter with Zoë over her treatment of Bianca and then only left to get Bianca nachos, she went to the hospital. “Maggie, I’ve got to talk to you.” Anita said before Maggie could get washed up and into her uniform. “You look like hell,” Anita said frankly.

“Sure but I’ve got to talk to Joe before he fires me.” Maggie said with a slight smile.

“No it’s all cleared with Joe. You’re not in any trouble because he feels that you are too close to the situation to treat Zoë. She is doing better by the way.” Anita looked at Maggie’s tired face and felt bad for the woman. She had either tried to kill Zoë or had a rough go of it with Bianca again, was Anita’s conclusions. Anita had got to know Maggie a lot better over the last few days and thought her to be a great person. She got the feeling that Maggie was being jerked around by Bianca and didn’t like it at all.

“I didn’t do it Anita,” Maggie said and looked down at the floor. “I am afraid that Binks did it or one of her family members. Zoë won’t turn any of them in because she loves Binks and knows that she has this thing for blocking out traumatic events. So that means that she will probably try to blame it on me.”

“And you will take the blame for Bianca,” Anita said dryly. Maggie was so devoted to Bianca and everyone could see that much

“Miranda needs her. I just wish that I knew who did it because frankly, I don’t care if Erica goes to jail.” Maggie said and slumped down in the chair. She knew that she needed a good ten hours sleep but knew that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. “We were doing good yesterday but this morning, she turned a cold shoulder to me again. I ran out, helped her without asking anything, and got kicked again for it. I know that I did wrong but…” Maggie let her words trail off into nothingness and looked out the window.

“How long are you going to be her lap dog Maggie?” Anita handed the tired woman a cup of hot tea. “Look, there has to come a time that you have to decide what you will do. Keep running back to her when she needs you and then allow her to push you away again? Babe and others have been given a million chances at forgiveness by Binks but you didn’t even get one Maggie.” Anita looked at Maggie in a concerned manner. Look, why don’t you let me go tell Joe that you came in but had an ordeal at Erica’s house? Then I can see that you get home, something hot to eat and you can try to relax for awhile.” Anita offered in a concerned tone of voice.

“Thanks, I need to go see Zoë for a second anyhow and then I’ll meet you back here.” Maggie’s brain was to tired to argue with the friendly woman over leaving, though she doubted that she’d relax.

“I would advise that you stay as far away from that room as you can Maggie,” Anita said, as Maggie looked at a text message from Bianca asking her to meet her at the boathouse.

“It’s Bianca needing something again?” Anita questioned, having noticed the changed look on Maggie’s face.

“Maybe someday I will learn to not run back but not now,” Maggie said sadly and walked towards the exit.

- - - - -

Kendall stood in Erica’s kitchen after being grilled twice by Jack over her whereabouts during the time in which Zoë was shot. Her attempts at informing him that he was not the DA did no good because he was not going to let Erica or Binks go to jail for the crime. It was obvious that he was trying to place the blame on Kendall, something that she was used to, but that didn’t mean she had to acquiesce and become the town pariah once again for trying to murder poor Zoë. Zoë had most everyone in town fooled but not Kendall Hart-Slater by any means.

“Look the bottom line is this. I turned Erica’s statement in. Now you’re saying that, when you left here, you went to see Zach. Of course he is going to vouch for you Kendall.” Jackson frowned at his stepdaughter and shook his head.

“It’s like this, it isn’t your place to be taking statements. I told you where I was and I’m sticking to it. You need to run for DA again before you try to bully me around Mister Montgomery!” Kendall’s temper was coming to the surface. She knew that Jack’s statement from Erica would be no good in court because he could be accused of coaching her. He was merely trying to grill her after the fact that she’d given her statement to Derek Frye before she came to Erica’s house. Bianca and Babe had also given their statements to the police. What Jack was up to, Kendall wasn’t sure but he was failing.

“Jack, I told you once,” Erica began to speak in a surly tone of voice. “If I would have done it, he would be dead. You seem to be convinced that it was Bianca or I but I will not allow you to frame another one of my daughters to protect me. Do you hear me? Now get the hell out of here!” Erica ordered the man as she wondered if Kendall really did do the deed.

“Yeah, get with the program Jackson,” Kendall said smugly as Zach came in.

“Oh thank god you are here Kendall.” He said lovingly and gave his wife a gentle kiss. “Listen, I just got word that Zoë is dead and everyone in this house has an alibi so give up Jack.”

Jack stood deep in thought. All this meant was, the murderer got to Zoë again or someone finished the job before Zoë could finger the attempted murderer. “I have to go,” he said in disgust and promptly left the house.

“Is Bianca here as well?” Zach asked and pored himself a cup of warm brandy.

“She’s upstairs with Babe Chandler,” Erica wrinkled up her face in disgust as she spoke.

“That’s better then being out of the house,” Zach said as Babe was let in by the maid. Both Kane women looked at Babe with panic in their eyes. “Where is Bianca?” Kendall asked with fear in her voice.

- - - - - -

As Maggie got to the boathouse, she was pondering what Anita said to her. Was she merely there for comfort to Bianca now and nothing more? Was she being foolish by running back time and time again to fix Bianca’s world when all she got for it was a slap in the face. Why was she only given one chance and Babe multiple chances? Did Bianca love Babe and not here? These were the questions that ran through her head as she saw Bianca in tears. “Binks,” Maggie said softly and encircled her arms around the fragile woman. “What happened?”

“Babe told me that I am the one who tried to kill Zoë. She said that she finished the job to stop Zoë from framing me and that the two of us needed to get out of town for good.” The tears spilled down Bianca’s cheeks faster as she sobbed into Maggie’s shoulder.

“So you called me here to say good-bye?” Maggie asked with a steely edge in her voice.

“I called you here to make some sense of this Maggie.” Bianca said desperately, which indicated to Maggie that the woman didn’t want to believe Babe.

Bianca’s features looked as if they were going to cave in at any second, as Maggie studied her intently. “Bianca, anything that I say against Babe to you causes a huge argument. What good would it do me to tell you what I think?” Maggie asked honestly with a look of sadness on her face.

Bianca looked down with shame written all over her face. She knew that she had been unfair to Maggie when it came to Babe but didn’t know how to respond to the question. “It doesn’t add up Maggie. You weren’t gone that long and where would I get a gun that fast? I mean, if I snapped over Miranda I would like to believe that I would have killed Zoë rather than wound her. Please help me,” Bianca pleaded with the shorter woman as more tears fell.

“You know that I’ll always be here to help you Binks,” Maggie said softly and wiped the tears from Bianca’s face. She wanted to be strong like Anita had suggested that she do but knew that was not going to happen. She was hopelessly in love with Bianca Montgomery and would move hell and high water to fix whatever was broken in her life, no matter the consequences to her person.

“Call Babe, tell her to come here because you need to talk to her. Once she gets here, tell her that you are going away with me so that she does not have to leave her son. Tell her that I’ve taken steps to make sure that nothing can be traced to her so that she doesn’t have to look over her shoulder. I’m going to hide and we’ll see what plays out.” Maggie said concisely. If her theory was correct, Babe would come unraveled and they would have the real person behind this sordid plot.

Chapter 6

Babe made her way to Bianca after dodging Erica’s questions. She had to think fast to find the reason as to why she wasn’t upstairs with Bianca as thought. Once she felt that she had satisfied Erica, she left quickly. “Bianca, we have to leave fast before they figure this out.” Babe instructed and waved her hands in the air to signify her urgency.

“Babe, I’ve been talking to Maggie and…” Babe cut Bianca off quickly.

“You didn’t tell Maggie what we were doing did you? Bianca she is crazy over you and might try to blame this all on me.” Babe’s eyes darted around the area like a strobe light in search of a criminal.

“That’s just it Babe. She’s offered to take me away and erase any trace that might exist of your involvement. She’s gone to check if there was any prints and such found.” Bianca offered in as soothing a tone as she could muster. She truly was not a good liar but decided that she needed to go with Maggie’s gut for once in her life.

“I’ve got to stop her before she ruins it all!” Babe shouted and tore towards her car like a bullet slicing through the air. “Stop right there!” Maggie shouted and shoved Babe against the car. “Did you really think that you could convince Binks she was involved in this screwed up plan of yours? You would have faired better if you tried to blame me you stupid slut!”

“You’re not going to get away with this Maggie! It’s full proof so either you let Bianca come with me or she goes down too! It doesn’t matter that she’s innocent, I have it all fixed up you stupid slut!”

“Babe Chandler,” Derek began to say as he stepped out from behind the car.

- - - - - -

Later that night, after all the hugs and tears, Maggie and Bianca were up in her room. “Maggie, once again, I don’t know what I would have done without you. No matter what has gone down between us, you are still here for me.” Bianca said and began to cry again.

“I always will be here for you B,” Maggie said and hugged the taller woman. “I just wish that you could let me show you how sorry I am for the things that I did. If you can’t, the friendship will never ever die.” Maggie said and wiped the tears from Bianca’s face.

“I can’t stop loving you Maggie. I wanted to hate you, to erase you from my life but I can’t. I just need to know why.” Bianca said and tried to regain some of her composure.

There it was, finally what Maggie had been waiting for. “B, one night while you were asleep, I heard you talking and it was Frankie’s name that you were talking to. So I let myself believe that I was just her replacement until it ate me up inside and she was there to comfort me is all.” Maggie said sadly, as a tear escaped down her own cheeks. “I didn’t think it was me that you really wanted but wanted me there to keep my sister alive.”

Bianca had a horrified look on her face as she pulled Maggie into her arms. “Oh my God Maggie! That must have been terrible. Maggie you should have talked to me and this could have been resolved. My God, I am so so sorry and believe me when I say that you were dead wrong in your conclusions. Maggie I love you with all my heart and soul.” Bianca further added and kissed Maggie tenderly.

“I know that now and I screwed it up on every level Bianca. I am sorry and wish that I could change it all but I can’t. I just was no good at sharing my feelings back then and still need some work in that area.” Maggie said and returned the kiss with hopes that she wasn’t reading what was happening wrong. “I just hope that someday you can forgive me and believe that I would never hurt you like that again. I would never cheat on you just to be doing it in the first place. And it would never happen again if you would let me have my family back.”

“It’s going to take some time for me to be fully relaxed with you Maggie but I want to try because I love you so much. I am so sorry for not trying to talk this out before I came back here.” Bianca said and the two began to kiss each other ever so gently.

As they held each other in their arms and kissed, they both felt a peace that neither had felt in quite some time. “Do you have a broad range of an idea as to how much time it will take?” Maggie asked, though she didn’t want to push.

“Two more minutes should be good,” Bianca said, smiled and the kissing grew more intense.



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