“Mom, I’m home!” Rindy walked in a tossed her book bag on the kitchen table. “I got the mail.”
Carol came breezing into the kitchen, “Hi sweet pea, how was your day? How was practice?”
“Fine, boring, I’m starving!”
“Do they not feed you at this school?” Carol wondered. She walked by to tussle the young blonde’s hair, aggravating her.
Rindy jerked her head away, “Mom! I’m not 6! Plus I have plans later, you’ll mess it up!”
“Plans? With?” Carol opened the fridge and prepared her teenage daughter a snack. Rindy had always had a good appetite, but once she had adolescence and started playing lacrosse, it was a whole new ballgame! This girl would eat them out of house and home.
“Just me and some of the girls on the team. Janet said she’d drive, mall and movie. That okay?” Rindy smiled.
“Mmhmm…home by 10.” She laid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the table in front of her daughter that was quickly scarfed down.
“But it's a Friday," she whined. She looked in her mother's eyes and knowing the battle was already lost, quickly changed the subject, "How was your day?” she asked through her bites.
“It was good. I started the new semester yesterday, so just getting to know all of my new students.” After leaving the bureau, Carol had taken a couple of years off to help Rindy continue healing, but eventually she found herself a little restless. A woman could only do so much gardening. She was easily able to get a job as a professor in the criminology department of George Mason University and loved bringing criminal psychology to life for the eager young minds.
“When does mama T get home? Didn’t they catch that guy in Mexico?” Rindy finished her sandwich and placed her plate in the sink.
“They did and she texted a little while ago. She’ll be home for dinner.” Therese had gone back to work for the BAU. It was hard at first, on both of them. Carol would worry incessantly while she was gone, and Therese found she missed bouncing ideas off of Carol while in the field and it took some time to back into the swing of things. Eight years later, SSA Therese Belivet was in charge of the B-team, which was fine with her. A-Team, now led by Emily Prentiss, was always the first team to go out and B-team would hang back, helping from home, which meant most of the time Therese worked Monday through Friday. If there were multiple cases, B-team would go out, and that had been the case this week. Therese had been gone since Monday and both Carol and Rindy missed her greatly.
"Good! She won't miss my game tomorrow..." Rindy was sorting through the mail and got quiet.
Carol instantly sensed her change in demeanor. “Honey? What is it?”
“He sent another one.”
Carol sighed. Once a year, around the time of her birthday, Rindy would get a letter from her father in prison. She had never opened a single one, always tossing them in the fireplace to burn. But this year, as she stood holding it in her hand, she found her curiosity building.
“If you want to read it, you should.” Carol came up behind her and placed her hands on her shoulders. “I’ll give you some privacy.”
“No!” Rindy grabbed one of her hands. “Stay,” she said her voice shaking.
Carol walked around the kitchen island and sat in one of the stools and watched her bright, beautiful, and strong daughter slowly open the envelope. Her eyes scanned over the single page quickly, and Carol found it difficult to read her expression. Her profiling skills were definitely rusty. “Do you want to share?”
“He says he misses me, wishes I would come see him, but it’s mostly about grandmother and grandfather. I think he’s trying to guilt me into spending more time with them.” She handed the letter to her mother to read.
I hope this letter finds you well. You have never responded to any of my letters, so I’m not sure if you are getting them or if your mother is keeping them from you. I miss you terribly and pray every day for a visit from you. We always had a special relationship, sunshine, and I do hope one day you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me. I know I scared you that day, but please believe I would never have done anything to harm you. I just wanted our family back together.
I want to encourage you to spend time with your grandparents. Your Grandpa John tells me he misses you terribly, and seeing you only twice a year is heartbreaking for him. Your grandmother misses you as well. They are getting older, Rindy and time is running short. I don’t want you to have regrets about missing out on time with them.
I love you always,
Carol folded the letter and slid it back into the envelope. “Do you want to go see him?”
Rindy shook her head, “No. I know I should, but I just can’t.”
“Who told you that you should?” Carol tilted her head, already knowing the answer.
“Grandmother.” Rindy frowned. “She said she has forgiven him and I should, too and that I only have one father and should go see him to try to understand why he did what he did.” Rindy’s face started to get red, “How am I supposed to forgive him for killing people? For what he did to Mama T and how he hurt you?”
Carol stood and walked over to pull Rindy in to her arms. “Listen to me, sweet pea, you need to do what is best for you. If you feel like you want to forgive him, to see him, Therese and I will support you. If you don’t, we will support that, too. Our priority is that YOU are happy and healthy, and we will do whatever needs to be done to make that happen.”
“I’m happy with the way things are. You and Therese are the best parents I could ever ask for and honestly, mom," she paused, "I know we set up the supervised visitation with my grandparents, but it’s just so uncomfortable and I don’t want to do that anymore either. I love Grandpa John and I'll call him and invite him to my games and stuff, but grandmother…the way she looks at me…you told me to always trust my instincts and something about her just feels…wrong.”
“I’m glad you told me that. I will call Fred first thing tomorrow and if you are sure you don’t want to continue the the visitations, they will stop.” She held Rindy’s face in her hands. “Whatever you feel is right for you.”
Rindy wrapped her arms around her mother. “Thanks, mom.”
“Can I get in on this action?” Therese walked in to the kitchen to see her two favorite people hugging. She placed her bag on the table next to Rindy's.
Carol’s face lit up, “You’re home early!”
“Paper work can wait. I needed to see my girls!” Therese walked over and pulled them both into her arms, doing her best to give them a squeeze. “This was easier when you were little, Rind.”
Carol leaned over and placed a sweet kiss on Therese’s lips. “Hi.”
“Hey,” Therese smiled back, still adoring those blue eyes. “So, what did I miss? Why the hug-fest?”
“I’ll let mom fill you in. I need to go shower and get ready. Janet will be here in like 30 minutes” Rindy took off running up the stairs.
Therese tiled her head and furrowed her brows, asking the silent question and Carol just handed her the letter. “She actually opened one?”
“Yes, do you want a drink darling?” Therese nodded and Carol walked back into the kitchen and poured them each a glass of wine as Therese read the letter. “She doesn’t want to go and she also told she doesn’t really want to see her Harge’s parents anymore, so…”
“Jennifer?” Therese made a face showing she understood all too well.
“That woman.” Carol sighed and took a sip of her wine before looking over at the beautiful brunette now standing next to her. Her hair was shorter now, at shoulder length and she was starting to show the beginning of crow’s feet and laugh lines around her eyes, but Carol still found her absolutely breathtaking. She leaned forward and rested her forehead against Therese’s. “I missed you,” she sighed.
“I missed you, too.” Therese leaned forward and took Carol’s lips into her own. She still marveled at how after eight years together, she could never get enough of her kisses. It didn’t take long for the kiss to intensify, but Carol pulled back and looked into her eyes longingly.
“Save that for later. Rindy is going out tonight and we’ll have the house to ourselves for a few hours.” She gave Therese s flirtatious grin.
Therese’s eyes twinkled. “Do you want to go out to dinner?”
“I think I’d rather eat at home.” The double entendre was not lost on Therese.
“Then I’m going to go take a shower and get cleaned up.” She gave Carol another quick kiss. Rindy came bounding down the stairs, looking like a teenage version of Carol. “Have fun tonight, munchkin.”
“I don’t think you can call me that anymore since I’m technically taller than you now.” Rindy stood tall next to her.
Carol laughed from the kitchen. “She’s not wrong!”
“I’m surrounded my amazons!” Therese rolled her eyes and walked up the stairs.
Rindy grabbed her shoulder bag and ran towards the front door. “Janet’s here! I’ll text you when we get to the mall.”
“Have fun! Be safe! I love you!” Carol called after the younger version of herself and watched from the door as she sped off. The shower water was still running upstairs and Carol took the stairs two-by two. She crept into the steam-filled bathroom and stripped off her clothes. “Mind if I join you?”
Therese poked her head around the curtain, eyeing the beautiful blonde standing naked before her. “God, yes.”
They made love in the shower and again in their bedroom, the passion between them as hot now as it was in the beginning. Her body spent, Carol fell back on the bed, “Fuck, I love you.”
Therese giggled from between Carol’s thighs. “Interesting phrasing Mrs. Belivet. Do you love me, or do you love it when I fuck you?”
Carol’s eyes lit in a wicked smile. “Yes, to both.”
Therese kissed her way up Carol’s body until she could lay on top of her. “Good, because I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of you.”
Carol’s phone buzzed from the bedside table and she looked over to read it. “Just Rindy. They made it to the mall.”
“So we still have a few more hours of alone time?” Therese smiled and flicked her tongue around one of Carol’s nipples.
“Hours…” Carol looked down at her, her eyes lust-filled again. She flipped then over so she was now on top of Therese and pushed her pelvis forward, causing Therese to close her eyes and let out a soft moan. She paused for a moment, taking in the amazing woman beneath her. Therese opened her eyes and looked deeply into the blue-grey eyes staring down at her. “I love you, Therese Belivet.”
Therese raised a hand and cupped Carol’s cheek. “I love you, Carol Belivet.”
Carol smiled, never more grateful that she had taken Therese’s last name and further distanced them both from the trauma of their past. She leaned down and gave Therese a searing kiss before whispering in her ear. “I’m going to make you come so hard the neighbors complain again and then I’m going to make you a very special dinner.
Therese looked up, pupils blown, pulse racing. “If you promise me dinosaur nuggets, I’ll come even harder.”
“I promise…” Carol whispered.
Somewhere in Virginia, hazel eyes stared out a dirty kitchen window. It was so hard to find good help these days. The older woman took a sip of her tea and pushed away from the counter, walking out in to the dining room. Her husband sat there, reading the daily newspaper, sulking like he always did these days. The past few years had not been kind to him and he looked much older than his 70 years. They didn’t speak, just existed in an uncomfortable silence until her tea had gone cold.
“I’m going to have Paul drive me out to see him tomorrow, do you want to come?” They had lost a great deal of their fortune over the past years due to lawyer’s fees, civil cases, and such, but Jennifer Aird refused do such menial tasks as drive herself places or clean her own house. She had gone through a series of housekeepers, but none was ever as good as Florence. This house was significantly smaller than their estate had been in Alexandria, so she just couldn’t understand why these fools could not do such simple tasks like clean the damn windows.
“No,” was all John Aird replied, not looking up from his paper. Following the court case, John had disowned his son. The stress and scandal of it all had just been too much, and it was easier to pretend that Harge was dead. The only light left in his life was his granddaughter, but he saw her so infrequently, it did little to ever lift his mood.
Jennifer sighed, knowing there was no point in even discussing it with him further. She excused herself to her bedroom and sat at her vanity, looking out into the woods behind their house. This simply would not do. It had been eight long and taxing years, and she had been stripped of control over her own life for far too long, and enough was enough. Revenge is a dish best served cold.