I listen to a lot of music when I write and often find songs that inspire scenes, or help set the mood for the scene. This particular scene, which will most likely find it's way into my newest book, Standing Her Ground, called for two different songs. The first one is Because of You by Kelly Clarkson. Read to the end of the scene to find out what the other song is.
Scene from Standing Her Ground
Jodi looked up from her take out box and looked across the cafe. A woman at the counter was staring at her. Jodi met her gaze.
Jean was about to say something to Jodi when she saw the young woman's face go white. “Are you okay?”
Jodi continued to stare ahead for a moment and then her head swung in Jean's direction. “No, actually. I'm suddenly feeling a little sick.” She stood, grabbed her to-go box and her purse. “I've got to go. Thank you lunch.” She quickly left the restaurant.
Ashley had turned to look at in the direction that Jodi had been staring. There was a very pretty blonde woman who had been looking in their direction and now her gaze turned to follow Jodi out of the restaurant. Ashley touched Jean's hand. “Look at the woman at the counter.”
Jean followed the direction of Ashley's stare and saw the woman staring toward the door Jodi had just exited from. She turned back to the counter to collect her order and then hurried out of the restaurant as if in pursuit of Jodi. But Jodi was gone. Her car squealing tires and she left the parking lot.
Jean and Ashley looked at each other. “Who was that?” Jean asked.
“I wonder if that wasn't the mysterious Kay, Jodi told us about,” Ashley said.
“The girlfriend from high school?” Jean asked.
“Well, Jodi said she was blonde and beautiful,” Ashley said. “That woman fit the bill. She looked to be about the same age as Jodi and she was clearly watching her.”
“Do you think she came here looking for her or was it just a coincidence that they were both in this restaurant at the same time?” Jean asked.
“That is a very good question,” Ashley said.
Jean looked out the window of the restaurant. A newer model Chevrolet sedan was leaving the parking lot. “The woman looked familiar,” Jean said thoughtfully. “But I can't think of where I might have seen her before.”
“She wasn't a party in one of your court cases, was she?” Ashley asked.
“No.” Jean turned to look at Ashley. “I think I've seen her more recently.”
The waitress approached with their check and a happy smile. The woman had worn a forced smile earlier, but now was actually beaming. “Here's your check, Hon.”
Jean handed her credit card to the woman and said, “Your day looks like it's turned around.”
“Oh, yes,” the waitress said. “I just saw the daughter of my former minister from my church back in Louisville. His church was much smaller when I went to it, but I watch his sermons every Sunday. His daughter and I were in the same Sunday school classes. She's going to school at the UK right here in Lexington. Even though I knew her when we were kids, her father has become so famous that it was almost like meeting a celebrity. And she was so sweet, but she seemed a little distracted.”
“Who is this minister whose become such a success,” Jean asked politely.
“Pastor Haverty, from The Living God Evangelical Church,” the woman answered.
“Oh yeah,” Jean said, “I've heard of that church.”
“It was small when were kids, maybe a couple hundred members, but now I think they have over five thousand members. Plus people watch his sermons every Sunday all over the world.” She sighed and smiled. “It's funny having been there when it was such a small place and seeing how big it is now. Anyway, I'll be right back.”
Jean looked at Ashley. “Now, I know why she seemed so familiar. She is the spitting image of her mother.”
“You said you met her,” Ashley said.
“Yes, she was very nice, but her seemed a little sad,” Jean recalled.
“Jodi said that she could never out her high school girlfriend because it would be so much worse for her than it was for Jodi. Can you imagine being David Haverty's daughter and being gay?”
Jean shook her head. “I can only imagine what kind of nightmare that would be.”
“Exactly,” Ashley said.
* * *
Jodi tiptoed from Bryan's bedroom. She fixed her a cup of herb tea, went to the living room and sat down on the couch. She picked up the library book she'd been reading and sipped her tea. She was just getting comfortable when she heard a quiet knock on her door. Looking at the clock on the wall that read ten-thirty, she wondered who on earth would be here so late. Probably Robert, she thought. She got up and looked out the peep hole. It was not Robert. She opened the door and said, “Kaitlyn.”
The young woman peeked out at her from under the black hoodie. “You haven't called me Kaitlyn since camp.”
“What do you want?” Jodi asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
Kaitlyn pushed the hood off her head and looked into Jodi's angry eyes. “I...I was hoping we could talk.”
“I don't think we have anything to talk about,” Jodi said angrily.
“You just disappeared, Jodi,” Kaitlyn said just as angrily. “Don't you think you owe me some kind of explanation?”
“Is that right?” Jodi demanded. “About how you tell me how you could just watch while the whole congregation humiliated me? You should have been on that stage too. You didn't even try to call and warn me.”
Kaitlyn's head dropped. “I couldn't. My father smashed my phone and had me locked in my room.”
“Lucky you,” Jodi said sarcastically.
“I don't know how they found out,” Kaitlyn said. “We had been so careful.”
“Jeremy McWilliams told my parents. He took a picture of us kissing and showed it to my parents.”
Kaitlyn's eyes widened. “ What? When?”
“When you walked me home that last night,” Jodi said, her glare turning hard.
“I'm so sorry, Jodi,” Kaitlyn said.
“You promised we would deal with it together,” Jodi said, her voice getting louder. “You promised we would make it through anything, but you wouldn't return take or returns my calls. You didn't answer my texts.”
“I couldn't,” Kaitlyn shot back. “My father beat the shit out of me. Not my face, of course, but he hit me everywhere else. He refused to let me leave the house or go any where without him or my mother.”
“For two years?” Jodi wanted to know. “I had Robert send you a letter six months after I left to tell you where I was and gave you my new phone number. You never called.”
“I didn't get it,” Kaitlyn said.
Jodi turned to see Bryan standing in hallway with his favorite bear clutched to his chest. She turned and went to him. “It's okay, Baby,” she said and picked him up.
Kaitlyn stepped inside the apartment and shut the door. “You have a son?” she asked incredulously.
Jodi turned and glared at Kaitlyn. “That's right. I've crossed to the other side of the fence.”
“Why yell, Momma?” Bryan wanted to know.
Jodi took a deep breath. “Did the yelling wake you, Baby?”
Bryan nodded and wrapped his arms around Jodi's neck. “It's okay, Sweetie.”
“No, Sweet Pea,” Jodi said but the look she gave Kaitlyn clearly said otherwise. “We were just talking a little loud. Let's get you back into bed.” She turned to Kaitlyn. “I don't know what you thought you would gain by seeking me out now, but you need to go back to your world, mine doesn't include you anymore.” With that, she turned and took Bryan back to his room, fully expecting Kaitlyn to leave.
Jodi sat on Bryan's bed and rubbed his small back until his breathing evened in sleep. She stood and went back to the living room, expecting to find it empty and was surprised to see Kaitlyn sitting on her couch looking at the book she had been reading.
Kaitlyn looked up at her. “You always did like mysteries.”
“What do you want, Kaitlyn?” Jodi demanded quietly.
“I want to know that you are okay,” Kaitlyn said equally as quiet. “No one knew what happened to you. Your mother was devastated when they got home that day and found that you had left.”
“Yeah, I bet she was,” Jodi said bitterly. “I left them a note telling them why I left.”
“They told everyone you had chose a life in hell,” Kaitlyn said.
Kaitlyn looked down at her hands. “I was terrified that you had...”
“Committed suicide, like so many other queers forced out by their parents?” Jodi said.
Kaitlyn turned her head to one side and nodded.
“I wouldn't never commit suicide but I was completely devastated,” Jodi said. She leaned against the door frame leading into the hall. “I couldn't believe how completely you abandoned me. You wouldn't look at me throughout the whole ordeal.”
“My father threatened me before the congregation met. He told me that I would not look at you. What was I supposed to do,” Kaitlyn said looking up at Jodi in frustration. “When he took you downstairs, I ran out of the sanctuary. I couldn't take it anymore. The next day, your mom called my mom and asked it you were at our house. Mom was freaked out when they said you'd disappeared. Everyone looked for you, even the police.”
Jodi sat down on the end of the coffee table facing Kaitlyn. “I went to Walmart and called Robert. He came and got me. I called the police in Louisville after the story hit the news. Your dad was oh so helpful with the police, trying to piece together where I might have gone,” Jodi bit out. “I told the police that I'd come out to my parents and they threw me out and that they were doing this whole missing thing to cover it up with their church. I'm assuming they had a talk with my parents. The story went away and I didn't talk to my parents again until I had Bryan. I went home one time after he was born, but neither of them were very interested in him.”
“So, are you married now?” Kaitlyn asked, looking away again.
Jodi wasn't sure what Kaitlyn really wanted, and with everything that was going on right now, she wasn't sure she trusted her. “Yeah, I'm married now.”
“Oh,” Kaitlyn said and stood.
Jodi stood too and followed Kaitlyn to the door. Kaitlyn opened the door and turned to Jodi. “I'm glad you're okay, and I hope you're happy.”
“I am happy,” Jodi said.
Kaitlyn started to walk away, but turned suddenly and grabbed Jodi's face. She kissed Jodi with a ferocity Jodi had never experience. Jodi couldn't stop herself from kissing Kaitlyn back. Old reflexes kicked in the second Kaitlyn's lips touched hers. Finally, Kaitlyn let her go. “Bye,” she said quietly and slipped out into the parking lot.
Jodi shut the door, locked it and leaned against it. Her heart was hammering in her chest. She let herself slowly slip to the floor where she sat stunned for a few minutes before the tears started. She didn't think she would ever stop crying. She never thought she would see Kaitlyn in person again and she didn't think she would have feelings for her if she did. But, being in Kaitlyn presence had brought back old feelings. And that kiss, Lord that kiss, Jodi thought. That was not the innocent kiss of an inexperienced teenager, that was the kiss of an experienced woman. Kaitlyn completely possessed Jodi for the few minutes the kiss lasted. Hopefully, thinking Jodi was married and Jodi's unfriendly demeanor will be enough to keep Kaitlyn from coming back.
When she got herself together, she called Robert. She knew he would be up at this hour and at work at his job at Walgreens. When he answered he said, “This must be an emergency, you never call me at work.”
“Kaitlyn showed up at my apartment tonight.”
“Kaitlyn? Like Kaitlyn Haverty,” Robert asked in surprise. “What the hell is she doing in Lexington?”
“I don't know but we talked a little. I told her I was married,” Jodi said.
“Good plan, you think she'll be back?”
“I hope not,” Jodi said. “She acted like she didn't know I had Bryan, but with everything that's going on right now, I don't trust anyone.
“That's a good idea,” Robert agreed.
“She said she never got the letter I had you send to her,” Jodi said.
“I was returned, remember?”
“That's right,” Jodi said. “I remember you showing me where it had been stamped return to sender. Well, it doesn't matter. She bailed on me when I needed her. She should have stood up to her father.”
“She could have found a way to contact you,” Robert said. “She should have known I would come to help you. She had my phone number. She was just covering her own ass.”
“That's right,” Jodi agreed. “Man, I need a vacation.”
She heard Robert's light chuckle. “Well, neither of us can afford a vacation but you want to go to the club Friday? Mom is totally looking for an excuse to have Bryan all night. She's been having pancake withdrawal.”
Jodi smiled for the first time since seeing Kaitlyn in that restaurant. “That sounds great. I'm sure Bryan is having pancake withdrawal too.”
“Okay, it's a date,” Robert said.
* * *
Kaitlyn stood at the bar waiting for drinks for her group. After seeing Jodi and finding out she was married with a son, she had been completely depressed. She had known they wouldn't have a happy reunion, but she'd hoped they would be able to work through the past and, if she were honest with herself, she had hoped they could patch things up. She had missed Jodi terribly. Even going to college in Florida for a few years and being completely wild hadn't eased the pain. She had been so stunned when she saw her in the cafe earlier in the week that she couldn't think of anything but talking to her and finding out what had happened and how she ended up in Lexington.
She had looked up a people finder program on her phone and got Jodi's current address. It still had her maiden name on the address. Kaitlyn wondered what kind of man had convinced Jodi to go straight. She sighed and picked up the drinks the bartender brought out. She knew she shouldn't have kissed Jodi, but she couldn't stop herself. She wanted to taste her lips one last time.
Now that Kaitlyn knew Jodi was in Lexington, she would swear she was seeing her everywhere. When she was at the bar earlier, she'd seen a woman with Jodi's hair disappear to a different part of the bar holding hands with a tall blond woman.
Robert had called Cassandra and had her meet them at the bar. He knew Jodi and she got together occasionally. Neither were interested in a relationship, and that was what Jodi needed tonight. Just some mindless sex.
Cassandra had grabbed Jodi and kissed her soundly on the lips the second she saw her. “It's been too long girlfriend.”
“Yes it has,” Jodi agreed.
Cassandra looked her over. Jodi was wearing skin tight black jeans, a black t-shirt tucked in, and black boots. “Girl, you look hot tonight.”
“So do you,” Jodi said, running her fingers lightly up the sides of Cassandra's red strapless dress.
“You still having child services problems?”
“Yeah,” Jodi said.
Kaitlyn a glimpse of the woman who she had thought looked like Jodi again. Kaitlyn caught a look at the side of the woman's face. She really looked like Jodi. When the woman turned and waved to a young man at the bar, Kaitlyn stood straight up. “That lying little bitch!”
“Kay, what's up?” Her friend, Maggie asked.
“I just saw my ex. I'll be back in a minute,” Kaitlyn said and started across the bar in a charge.
She found Jodi by the bar talking to Robert Conrad, who she remembered from high school. She grabbed Jodi's arm and spun her around the face her. “You lied to me!”
“So what if I did,” Jodi snapped back. “What's going on with me now is none of your business.”
“Fine,” Kaitlyn snapped and turned on heel and walked away.
“Was that who I think it was?” Robert asked, watching Kaitlyn's retreating back.
“Yes, yes it is. I'm going to get out of here,” Jodi said, chugging the last of her drink.
“Okay,” Robert said still staring after Kaitlyn.
Jodi pushed her way through the bar. She couldn't believe this was happening. She'd worked so hard to put Kaitlyn and everything that had happened behind her and now it was raining down on her like hail. She had no idea why someone would try to take Bryan from her. Jean said she thinks she's got an idea who it is but is working on proof. And now Kaitlyn Haverty is not only living in her town, but hanging out at her favorite places.
Jodi drove home in a daze. She was glad Bryan was with Jeannette. She could go home, take a sleeping pill and really crash.
She pulled into her usual spot in front of the door that lead to the entrance to her part of the apartment building. Grabbing her purse, she got out and went inside the building. She hadn't paid attention to the car that had pulled into the parking lot a few minutes after her. She didn't hear the creak of the outside door as it was cracked open so she was completely caught off guard when someone pushed their way into her apartment behind her, slammed the door and shoved her against it.
Jodi barely had a chance to register that it was Kaitlyn who was pressing against her before Kaitlyn claimed her lips. Jodi tried to push Kaitlyn away, but Kaitlyn grabbed her hands and held them over Jodi's head. In all the time they had been a couple during high school, they rarely had chances to have full body contact like this and the kissing and petting had been chaste compared to the deep, possessive kiss Kaitlyn was giving Jodi now. Kaitlyn had one leg between Jodi's and had her full front pressed into the front of Jodi's body.
The resistance Jodi planned to have with Kaitlyn disappeared the second Kaitlyn's tongue touched hers. Their French kisses in high school had been exploratory but this kiss was demanding and searing. Kaitlyn brought their hands down, pulled back from the kiss and pulled Jodi to the couch where she pushed her down.
Jodi didn't put up much resistance and Kaitlyn lay on top of her and roughly pressed her leg into Jodi's center. The moan that slipped out of Jodi's mouth could not be stopped. Only in her dreams had she and Kaitlyn ever been like this. Even in her dreams though, Kaitlyn had not be this rough and demanding.
Kaitlyn had been in a rage when she realized that Jodi had gone to the back of the bar with that woman to have sex. Why had she told her that she was married? Did she really hate Kaitlyn now? Did she really not want her in her life? It didn't matter this moment. Kaitlyn had spent so many nights dreaming about making love to Jodi and she was not going to be denied now.
Pulling Jodi's shirt out of her jeans, Kaitlyn moved her hands up Jodi's chest to her breasts. They were fuller than Kaitlyn remembered. She reached down and unzipped Jodi's pants and slid her hand inside. This was something they had never done. They had never touched each other in this most intimate way. Kaitlyn hated that they had not been each other's first for this experience, but Kaitlyn would have Jodi tonight, even if it was the only time they were together, she would have this one time.
Kaitlyn pushed Jodi's shirt up exposing Jodi's naked breasts. Leaning down, Kaitlyn ran her tongue across the nipple making Jodi gasp. She sucked the nipple into her mouth roughly.
Jodi was trying to clear her head, trying to make herself stop what was happening, but she didn't want to stop. She had dreamed of Kaitlyn and her being together like this for a long time, but now she couldn't believe this was happening this way. Kaitlyn was fierce and demanding, her body completely commandeering Jodi's body. Before Jodi knew what was happening, Kaitlyn had her pants down to her knees and plunged three fingers into her. That snapped her out of her stupor. She pushed Kaitlyn away hard and shouted, “Stop!”
“Why?” Kaitlyn cried, thinking Jodi was into what she was doing.
Jodi sat up and straightened herself. “I can't do it like that.”
“What? Why?” Kaitlyn asked breathlessly.
Jodi sat up and dropped her head into her hands. “Because I was…I was raped.”
“Oh my God, Jodi, I’m so sorry,” Kaitlyn said. She put her arm around Jodi’s back and tried to pull Jodi into her embrace. At first Jodi resisted, but them she turned and dropped her head into Kaitlyn’s chest and sobbed uncontrollably. Kaitlyn wrapped both arms around Jodi and gently rocked her as she cried.
Jodi tried to keep it together, but the reality of Kaitlyn being here, the craziness of someone trying to take her son, and the past closing in made the walls that Jodi had so carefully built around herself to come tumbling down.
She wasn’t sure how long she had been crying, but she started to pull herself together and pull away from Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn wouldn’t let her completely pull away. As Jodi sat up, Kaitlyn moved with her. Kaitlyn kept her arm around Jodi’s shoulders as Jodi began wiping her face with her hands. “God, I’m a mess.”
Jodi turned and looked into Kaitlyn’s worried eyes. “I can’t believe you are actually here and yet I’m still so pissed off at you.
“Tell me what happened,” Kaitlyn said as she turned Jodi to face her. “Your parents said you ran away. I was so freaked out. I called everyone we both knew when I finally got my phone back. I called Robert and he told me he didn’t know where you were. Why did he do that?”
“Because I told him told,” Jodi said putting some distance between her and Kaitlyn. “I didn’t want anyone to know where I was, especially you.”
“Why, Jodi? I wanted to find you,” Kaitlyn said, her own tears starting to fall.
“You abandoned me when I needed you, Kay. I needed you up there on that stage with me. I needed you to stop what was happening. I needed you to look at me and you wouldn’t.”
“I couldn’t. I was too afraid of him. He’d already beaten me and he would have done it again if I disobeyed him,” Kaitlyn said.
“I would have taken you with me,” Jodi said. “We could have runaway together. And, maybe if you would have done something to change what was happening in that church, what happened afterwards might not have happened.”
“What do you mean, what happened afterward,” Kaitlyn asked, wiping her tears.
“Your dad took me to the small office downstairs. We talked for a few minutes and then he left me alone. When I left the office it was completely dark down there. Some guys grabbed me and pulled me into one of the rooms…” Jodi looked away.
Kaitlyn stared at her for the longest time. “They raped you?”
Jodi nodded. “One of them did.”
“Is your son…” Kaitlyn didn’t finish the question. She didn’t have to. “Oh my God,” Kaitlyn stood and moved toward the bedrooms. “Where is he?”
“Kay, why are you in Lexington?” Jodi asked turning to meet Kaitlyn’s eyes.
“I go to school at UK. I transferred here from Florida.”
Kaitlyn stared at Jodi. “What do you mean? Why did I transfer up here? Why did I come back to Kentucky?”
“Yes,” Jodi said, still studying Kaitlyn.
“I was going to a Christian college my father picked out in Florida and I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t gay any more. I missed Kentucky, I missed my mom, and my grandparents. I missed you."
“You didn't miss me too damn much or you would have figured out a way to contact me. I'm on Facebook, for crying out loud.” Jodi looked away and ran her fingers through her hair. “You know what? It doesn't matter. I have my own life now and you don't belong in it.” Jodi moved to the door and opened it. “I'm sorry, Kaitlyn, but you need to leave.”
Kaitlyn stared at Jodi in disbelief for several minutes before turning and walking out the door. Jodi closed the door and locked it. She put both hands against the door as the tears started and the sobs began. She turned her back to the door and slid down to the ground, where she sat crying.
What Might Have Been by Little Texas.