Squire’s Isle Created by Geonn Cannon

Window of Opportunity

Summary: At the tail end of summer, when Patricia has a victory at work, Jill takes the opportunity to ask her something important.

Patricia came home from work and found Jill in the small office next to the living room. She had her laptop open on the desk with her arms stretched around the gurgling baby on her lap so she could type. Her hair had gone from extremely short to shaggy, and soon she would have to make a decision between cutting it off again or letting it grow back to its original length. Patricia knocked on the wall and smiled when Jill look up with confusion. “Trish. When did you get home?”

“Just now. Hard at work?”

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Jill said. School started in four days, and she was busily getting all her ducks in a row so she’d be prepared. “How was your day?”

Patricia walked up behind Jill and draped her arms over her wife’s shoulders. “The council voted on my WATER Proposal.”

Jill perked up. The Washington Aquatic Travel Equal Rights Proposal had been Patricia’s pet project from the time she started campaigning as mayor. She wanted to ensure that all the islands in the area got equal representation from the Washington State ferries. Squire’s Isle was one of the largest islands on the route so they often got preference. Islands with smaller populations or less of a tourism industry sometimes got passed over to save time or money. Patricia had been working non-stop with the leaders of other islands to make sure her proposal was fair to everyone.

“I forgot that was today. How’d it go?”

Patricia kept a neutral expression long enough for Jill to feel teased, then she smiled. “Passed with flying colors.”

Jill took Isabel’s hands in hers and made her clap. “Yay, Momma Trish!” She lifted her head and kissed Patricia’s lips. “Well done, beautiful. I knew you could do it. I’m so proud of you.”

Patricia crouched and adjusted the collar of Isabel’s jumper. “How are things here?”

Jill sighed. “Just sad that I have to go back to school Monday. I mean, not sad…”

“I know what you mean.” She kissed the baby’s forehead. “You’re going to miss having your sidekick around all day.”

“I could take her with me. Every classroom needs a mascot.”

Patricia pressed her lips together. “I’m not sure the principal will go for that.”

“I could go over her head. I have an in with the mayor.”

“Name-dropper.”

Jill nuzzled Patricia. “Have you had dinner yet?”

“Yeah. The team wanted to have a pizza party in honor of the vote, so I had a few slices. I would’ve called you…”

“I’m glad you didn’t.” Between the work she still had to do and getting Isabel ready for the trek down to City Hall, it would have been far too exhausting even for pizza. “I had a sandwich here earlier. Michael is working until midnight so I assume he’ll have something at the lunch counter.”

“And I’m sure it will be oh, so healthy.” Patricia smoothed back the fine hair on Isabel’s head. “Did this one eat?”

“She did. In fact, I was just about to get her ready for bed.”

Patricia raised her eyebrows hopefully. “Please…?”

“Oh, if you insist.” She kissed Isabel’s head and handed her over. “Okay, Izzy. Momma Trish is going to put you to bed tonight.”

The baby cooed as she was transferred, but snuggled against the warm breast of her other mother’s jacket. Patricia wrapped her arms around the bundle.

“I’m going to go up in a few minutes. Listen… can you kill a little time in the nursery before you come into the master bedroom? There’s something I want to do before you go to bed.”

“Okay,” Patricia said. “Spend time with our baby. I think I can manage that.”

They kissed again and Patricia took Isabel upstairs. Jill turned back to her work and began saving everything before she headed upstairs to get ready.

#

Patricia got Isabel changed into her pajamas and watched her sleep for a few minutes until the light from the hallway was blocked by Jill’s arrival. She turned with a finger against her lips, and Jill nodded before gesturing toward the bedroom with her head. Patricia turned on the baby monitor and followed Jill down the hall. Their bedroom was dark except for flickering light that came from a few candles on the nightstand. Patricia smiled at the idea before she smelled their scent.

“Ooh, rain candles. I love that smell.”

“Smell anything else?” Jill asked.

Patricia inhaled deeply and furrowed her brow. “Fabric softener?”

Jill laughed. “Exactly. I was going to do this on our anniversary, but then you surprised me with that trip to Port Townsend. Which I loved… don’t get me wrong. That was much better than this. But you and I have been so busy this summer. You’ve been working your ass off, I’ve been getting ready for school and trying to soak up as much of Isabel as possible… we haven’t really had much chance to just be us. So I got the candles and I opened the fabric softener so we could evoke the day we met.”

Patricia smiled. “I love that day.”

“It was a good day. One of my top three.”

“Top three?”

“Well, we did get married twice. And we had a baby.”

Patricia chuckled. “Okay.”

Jill stepped forward and took Patricia’s hands. “I know we don’t take each other for granted, but I also know that it has to be a constant battle. We can’t get complacent. So I took a glance at your schedule and I know you have Sunday free. I arranged it so I can have all my school stuff ready to go by Sunday afternoon, so we have the evening.” She wet her lips. “I haven’t done this in a while, so I want to get it right. Patricia, would you go out with me?”

Patricia laughed. “What?”

“I was thinking we could have your mother stay with Isabel. We could go out to dinner, go for a walk down Front Street, just… you know… hang out.”

“You’re asking me out on a date?”

Jill ducked her head. “Never mind, I’m stupid… uh, I was just kidding around. It was a bet with my friends. I’ll see you in gym.”

Patricia pulled her close. “Of course I’ll go on a date with you, Jilly Bean. I’ve actually had a crush on you for a while.”

“Sh’yeah, right.”

“Oh, yeah.” She kissed Jill tenderly. “You know, I could abuse my status as mayor and turn that Laundromat into a historic landmark. Make sure no one ever tears it down or changes it.”

Jill smiled and shook her head. “No. It’s just a Laundromat now. We used up all the magic it had when we met there.”

“I like that.” She kissed Jill again. “I love you so much.”

“Love you too.”

Patricia looked at the candles and breathed deeply again. “Mm. This is so amazing. It’s definitely the best way I’ve ever been asked out for a date.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I think it would be foolish to even try topping it. You’re welcome to try, though.” She linked her fingers in the small of Jill’s back. “I like the idea of us fighting against mediocrity and complacency. Think we can fight it off?”

Jill nodded. “We won the town and found a way for me to have a baby with your eyes and hair. I think if we put our minds to it there’s nothing we can do.”

Patricia began moving Jill toward the bed. “Speaking of the baby, she went out like a light. I think we have fifteen… maybe thirty minutes before she wakes up and needs something.”

“Whatever shall we do with so much free time?”

Patricia lowered Jill onto the bed and began positing a few very interesting ideas.

 

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