Said and Done

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Orange light and shadows of black. That was all she could see.

"Splash water on her face," she heard a male voice speak from somewhere far off.

"Wake up, Teddi," another male, this one more familiar. "Sweetheart."

A warm hand stroked her cheek. She felt the floor beneath her back and a pillow under her head.

"Here's a washcloth," someone else said. This time it was a female.

"Honey," the familiar male said softly as she felt wet warmth cover her forehead.

She forced her eyes open but could not see much for a moment.

"Teddi..."

This was a dream surely. "You're not really here," she muttered, blinking his image into complete view. "Are you?"

He laughed, removing the cloth from her head and brushing away the sticky strands of hair that had slipped down onto her face. "Yeah, I am," he whispered, leaning down and kissing her cheek, then her temple.

Her eyes slipped shut again. "Calvin."

"Come on. Let's get you over to the sofa."

Teddi realized what was being suggested: rest. Absolutely not. Her eyes sprang open. "I'm fine," she said, getting to her feet and not shrugging off Calvin's help because she was so glad to see him. Glad until she remembered what Liza told her in the lighthouse. "I know about my mother, Calvin."

"I knew you'd find out," he said, grinning.

"Why are you smiling?"

"Because you're so smart."

"Why did you keep it from me?"

"I got the story from Doc Jessup, and I didn't know if it was true. His goal was to drive us apart, and I'd never let that happen." He stopped and looked as if he wanted to say something more then stopped himself.

"What are you talking about?" Laura asked.

Teddi loved her friend, but she wished she and the rest of the people in the room would just disappear. She turned to Laura. "It's a long story."

Laura seemed to understand as she pressed her lips together and shared a look with Teddi. "Liza, do you want some tea? Riley?"

They nodded, and followed her into the kitchen.

"You should have told me," Teddi said to Calvin.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart. I know it's supposed to matter, but it just doesn't to me." Teddi eyed him, trying to sum up his expression. Calvin was always the one who wanted to leave the past in the past. "I just want it to be us, not them."

"Them?"

"You know who I mean." And she did. He meant Doc Jessup, Mrs. Chatfield, and all the other people in Brookhurst who wanted an excuse to believe they were better than everyone else. "Are you sure you're all right?" he asked, furrowing his brow.

She nodded, smiling on tip-toe to give him a kiss.

He grunted. "That's all I get after being away for nearly a year?" He grabbed her around the waist and planted a deeply thorough kiss on her mouth. He brushed his thumbs along her cheekbones, reverently moving his eyes over her face. He kissed her once more, this time, leaving her so breathless she worried she might faint again. The kiss was followed by several small but emphatic ones. "I love you so much, Teddi."

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