A Brief Account of Bad Behavior and Poor Choices

- Who does Jill love most? Tim, Tammy, Geoff, or Jill?

“Jill, think about it, okay?”

Dr. Jill Knox nodded her head slowly, the look on her face and rolling of her eyes showed Dr. Geoff Mitchell she had no intention of thinking about it. This earned her an eyeroll in return.

“He can't give you what I can, why else do you keep coming back?”

Jill opened her mouth to argue with the man she lay in bed with, but what could she say, she ended up asking herself silently. He laughed at her lack of response.

“I'm going to keep pressuring you, y'know. You say you love him, why?” Geoff ran his large hand over her shapely thigh and hip. “It ain't the money. It ain't the sex. Is it because you two can borrow each others clothes?” The sharp glare and her removing his paw let him know he'd pushed to far again.

“Geoff, he is my life, and more importantly, I am his.” God, she thought, this is not the way I wanted to spend Friday night. Geoff only comprehended what he could touch with his hands or other body parts, emotional depth was beyond him.

“C'mon Jill. It was a joke, I get it, you two love each other. But obviously, his love ain't enough, right? That's all I'm saying.”

Jill giggled and rolled onto her back. “Lover, you do things for me no other man has, or probably will. Tammy...” Shit. “Tim and I have a connection that is beyond the physical, and no offense, he fills my heart and soul, you just fill my pussy.”

Geoff laughed hard at that. “None taken, babe. I know what we do for each other. Just trying to wrap my brain around why a sissy in a skirt is my biggest competition. Heart and soul, huh?”

Jill giggled, and rolled back onto her side to face him. “Google it.”

“Nah, I'd rather Google your pussy some more.” He smiled, and pulled his lover closer, and the two returned to what was the foundation of their relationship.

* * * * * * * *

Tim Knox returned home from class. His friends often asked him if he was embarrassed being almost ten years older than his classmates. He honestly answered no, reminding them this was Tammy Knox they were talking to. If he could go to class, shopping, dancing, or whatevering, in a skirt and blouse, heels make-up, and a feminine do, sharing classes with 19 or 20 year olds was a walk in the park, something he also did when presenting as Tammy. As he pulled into the driveway, it irked him yet again to not see Jill's car there.

She was a doctor, a general surgeon, and a damn good one, but her work schedule was not at all to his liking. She almost never had a free weekend, working Thursday through Monday, and 2nd shift to boot. She assured him that she was not the only skilled doctor on the staff, and being one of the newest, lacked the seniority to write her own schedule. But the last few months, they were like passing ships in the night. They communicated more with texts than face to face.

Tim got out of his clothes, and began the change into Tammy's, something that was so much more fun when Jill was there to help or comment. He really didn't know what had drawn Jill to him, and when he'd revealed Tammy to her, she had reacted like he'd simply stated the sky was blue. That the beautiful Jill Thorpe loved him as Tim or Tammy, was a mystery he wasn't eager to solve. That he loved her made more sense than anything his professors were trying to teach. He was a small, slender person, and for most of his childhood, the butt of the gay jokes, the bullied nerd, the outcast. He'd hoped that enrolling in a college far from his repressed hometown would end that. It wasn't until one of the most desirable future doctors on campus took him under her wing that those hopes became realized, he was certain he had found 'The One'.

* * * * * * * *

Tim's mother, Amanda Knox, had asked him to get adjusted to the campus and people he would be living with, to make certain it was a safe environment for Tammy. His mom, Tammy's most fervent supporter, went to great lengths to protect her child. She was not completely out of her depth when she found a five year old Tim trying on her clothes, his little face painted like a clown in a comical first attempt at applying makeup. Amanda's youngest brother had grown up to become Tim's Aunt Olivia, this was not her first rodeo. Tim's mother and family made certain he had the tools and support he would need to endure those social hurdles that nearly killed Olivia when she came out. Tim was not the same as his aunt though, neither physically or mentally. Olivia had suffered through adolescence, wanting to be the female she knew herself to be, but feeling betrayed by her height, broad shoulders, and testosterone fueled musculature made her goal seem unattainable. Counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and several operations allowed Olivia to finally become who she always knew she should have been.

For Tim, however, he never viewed his male body as a cage or a detriment to his dreams, but a blessing, his physique allowing Tammy to come to the fore at her leisure. He seemed equally comfortable as either gender, and unlike Olivia, expressed no desire to shed his male persona for all time. He did spend more time as Tammy at home or with relatives, than as Tim, but preferred his male side when in public. His preference for being Tim in public was not due to embarrassment or the hope it would lessen the abuse from his peers, it was just what felt right for him. That is not to say Tammy was a hermit. She had enjoyed shopping trips to the mall, dancing, or scenic hikes outside her hometown, and well off campus after starting college. It wasn't until Tim had revealed Tammy to Jill, that Tammy began to socialize on campus in her company, breaking down any reservations Tim might have had regarding revealing his dual nature to people Tim dealt with on a daily basis.

For two years Jill, Tim, and Tammy strengthened their love for each other. The summer break before Tim's Junior year, and Jill's 5th year in earning her bachelors degree, she proposed to him. He said yes, and a wedding date set during their spring break the following year was in the planning. Before that year ended, however, their future was thrown into doubt. Just after Thanksgiving, Jill's father, was arrested for tax fraud, decimating her families finances, and throwing her future schooling needs into serious jeopardy. After much discussion, and more than a little arguing, Tim convinced his fiancee and his mother that it would be best for his and Jill's future for him to drop out at the end of the semester and take a job with his Aunt Olivia to pay for Jill's continuing education. Jill finally agreed when he promised that when she had her doctorate and completed her residency, he would return to school to finish the two or three years he needed to acquire his bachelors in engineering.

* * * * * * * *

That was the past, and now Tim, or Tammy, was almost one semester away from getting that degree. Tim already had an amazing job lined up through connections made while working for his aunt, so while Jill and Tim's relationship seemed to have lost some of it's luster with work and schools demands, the future looked bright, as his upcoming engineering job would give Jill the cushion to seek work elsewhere and find a more accommodating and traditional mid-week, 1st shift schedule. It was with that goal in mind that Tim plowed on, wanting to return to the days and nights he and his wife could spend more time together than apart.

Friday night grew older, soon to turn into Saturday morning, Tammy was in her favorite white silk babydoll pajamas getting into bed. As she was plugging her charge cord into her phone, she received a text from Jill.

“Sorry love, 4 car pile-up, bad. Prolly not getting home til tomorrow. :(“, it read.

She quickly replied, “Get home safe, see you tomorrow, love you!”

Tammy sighed at the empty side of the bed Jill would hopefully be lying in when it was time for Tim's morning run, “If I'm lucky, I'll get a whole hour with you before you're off to work again.”

Tammy was not lucky. She woke up to Jill's side of the bed being just as empty as it had been when she finally fell asleep. A text received at 4am informed her that Jill had decided to just crash in the Doc's sleep room on-site, and wanted to go out for a late dinner after work, with Tammy. That gave her something to look forward to, and dismissed her initial hurt at waking up alone again. She shed her pajamas, and changed into Tim's running gear. Tim grabbed his keys, phone, and wallet from the bedside table, and was out the door to put some miles under his sneakers.

* * * * * * * *

Jill fell onto Geoff's broad, hairy chest, his arms closing around her bare back. Their sweaty naked bodies intertwined on his bed as their breathing returned to normal. She rested her head against his shoulder, eyes shut and a satisfied smile on her face. She felt him soften and slip out from inside her, his sperm trailing behind to rundown her thighs. Her eyes opened and looked up into his, his smile reflecting hers.

“I love you Jill.”, he whispered, leaning in to kiss her.

“I love you, Geoff.” She replied, returning the kiss with passion. She started to drift off to sleep, then realization hit her, “SHIT! What time is it?”

Glancing at his Rolex, Geoff grunted, “You're going to be in trouble with your girlfriend, almost midnight.”

Ignoring the snide remark, Jill rolled off of him and the bed, searching for her purse.

“Tell her there was a multi-car pile-up or something?”, Geoff kept the snide-ness coming. He really did love this sexy smart woman, and for the life of him, no matter how many times she tried to explain it, couldn't fathom the appeal of her scrawny poof of a husband.

With a frown directed his way, she was texting to her husband the very lie her lover suggested. She then started gathering her clothes.

“Jill, baby, stop. Get back in bed, no point in you rushing home this late, just text him that you're sleeping in the sleep room like last week.”, she thought about if for a second or two, saw her naked Adonis inviting her back into his strong arms, and with a coy smile, dropped her things and rejoined him. “Do you really love me?” He asked, his hands moving over her, attempting and succeeding in getting her aroused.

She kissed him again, their tongues playing about as her hands did their own exploration. “I do, Geoff, god help me, I do.” With a hand wrapped around his hardness, she shook her head, “I'll text him after we take care of this.”

“Doctor, your bedside manner is faultless.”

Around four hours later Tammy's phone silently got that text while she slept alone.

* * * * * * * *

Two weeks later, and Jill was back in Geoff's bed. This time she had set her phone alarm, she wanted to not leave Tammy or Tim alone another night, at least for three or four weeks. She and her husband had gone out that Saturday night two weeks prior, and Tammy had been very vocal in her hopes for Jill to find another job when Tim got his degree. Jill had no intention of doing so, but like so many other times, told her what she wanted to hear. Jill was happy with her present situation, sharing her shift with the other love of her life. She heard the disappointment in Geoff's voice when she told him her plans to not stay the night again.

“Jill...”, he paused to catch his breath, “We need to talk.”

She balked a little, talking was not a request he made from her before. “I told you, Love, Tammy is not an idiot. I was pushing the envelope as it was, his finals are next month, he'll be preoccupied with all the studying he will need to do. He's been missing me terribly, and he doesn't say it, but I see the hurt in his eyes when he has slept alone. Once his nose in the books, I can spend more time with you.”

“What about me? Do you think I find it any easier to wake up without you in my arms?”, Geoff propped himself up on an elbow to face her. “I want to spend every waking and sleeping moment with you.”

“Geoff, you knew I was married when we started this...” She began.

“When we started, yes.” He interrupted, “That was four years ago. I want more, I'm sorry. I want you to be my wife, for us to start a family, grow old together, never be apart.”

Jill was shocked, this was an emotional outpouring she wasn't prepared for. She remained silent, struggling to come up with something, anything to say in response. She was truly torn. He had essentially just proposed to her! Her feelings for both Tim and Geoff had never come into conflict before, now she was in turmoil. She met Geoff's eyes, a tear trailing down her cheek. On one hand, Tim had sacrificed almost a decade of his life to get her to where she was now, and on the other, Geoff took her to physical and emotional heights Tim never had.

“I know I push you, I know this isn't easy on you, but I ain't getting younger Jill. I've been faithful to you for these past years, but you still go home to someone else. Do you lie to me like you do your...husband?”

She stifled a sob, Geoff was right. She lied without missing a beat to Tim, and told the man she was presently in bed with, the man she had just spent hours making love to, everything. She told her secrets and Tammy's to this man. “Geoff...It would kill him. He has done so much for me and had to be forced to take something back in return....”

“But?” He prompted.

“What can I do Geoff? Would you be okay knowing I crushed the most loving soul on this planet to be with you?”

Geoff shook his head, beginning to realize the position he had just put Jill in. Even though he knew Tim better than anyone outside the freak's own family because of the years of pillow talk he and Jill shared, he truly believed her husband was a homosexual in denial. Maybe, he silently pondered as he and Jill stared at each other, Tim had never had the proper push to make him come to terms with his or her true sexuality?

“You would say yes if Tim wasn't in the picture?”

Jill was now shaking, she hated herself for her next word, “Yes.”

Geoff leaned forward, taking her in his arms. holding her and placing tender kisses on her neck and shoulder. “Go home to him, babe. We have time, we can figure this out.”

She nodded, crying even harder now, not at all certain she wanted to figure this out at all.

* * * * * * * *

Tammy stared at her laptop. The words no longer legible, bleeding and blurring together into some abstract piece of art. Rubbing her eyes, she leaned back. Her finals were next week, and she wasn't able to focus. Jill had been acting strangely the last few weeks. Some nights she came in from work, and Tammy knew she had been crying. She would tell Tammy a heart-wrenching tale of a patient they were unable to save, or seeing a family say goodbye to a dying loved one, any of which would crush Tammy. But Jill had been doing this for years, and never had she let the job follow her home as she had the last month or so.

Last night Jill had stayed at the hospital, telling her she had made reservations at one of the poshest restaurants in the city for next week to celebrate her exams being over, and being only one semester away from her degree. Jill would likely be texting her soon to let her know she was staying another night in the doc's sleep room. She didn't want to distract Tammy from her studies. How's that working out, Tammy asked herself as she got up to brew another pot of coffee.

* * * * * * * *

“What? No.”

“Jill, this is the answer to all our problems. You get me, I get you, and Tim or Tammy gets to embrace who or what she really is.”

“I am not setting my husband up on a date with, what did you call him? A tranny chaser?”

“You love him too, right? I would think two people that love each other as much as you appear to, would want what was best for the other. He wouldn't want to hold you back from true happiness, and you shouldn't want to keep her from discovering what she has been denying for what sounds like his whole life. Damn, these pronouns are tough to get right...”

“Geoff, for the hundreth time, Tim or Tammy has never even vaguely hinted interest in another man.”

“How many hints have you dropped to her about me?”

Jill's shoulders slumped. Every day of every week since Geoff had proposed it was the same. Tammy noticed the stress she was under, but accepted the excuses handed her way. Tammy was from the same family that produced her Aunt Olivia, who was happily married to a pretty nice guy. Jill had taken Tim's virginity, and those first few times she didn't doubt he had never been with a women before her. Was there any validity to Geoff's logic? Was she unhappy with Tammy? Was Geoff really who she wanted, over her husband?

Geoff watched his lover closely, she was starting to break. She was questioning everything by now, he knew it. Strike while the irons hot, “Look at it this way, any questions we may have, yours, mine, and Twinkle-toes, will be answered one way or the other. If it goes belly up, your alibi is already in place, but what I think will happen is that your husband will be riding my friend Mike all night. Boom, all our problems are solved.”

Jill was defeated, and nodded her acceptance to the man she basically agreed to leave her husband, the love of her life, for. Jill deftly avoided introspection, any errant thoughts that might point to her own selfishness, her most basic urges, were dismissed before they could take root. Geoff swept her into his arms, smiling broadly. Her body responded without thought, and the two were soon again in his bed, their bed. The following day at work she informed Tammy about the reservations she made for them to celebrate the end of finals, and Geoff made plans with Mike Russell, the guy he let Jill believe was his friend.

* * * * * * * *

Tammy had pulled out all the stops. She was dressed to the nines, in a sophisticated, sleeveless black cocktail dress, made of a shimmering stretchy material that hugged her undergarment enhanced curves. Her chestnut hair styled in a curly mane flowing down her bared back and shoulders. The sculpted skirt dipping below her right knee, the left side tapering up to mid thigh. Her grandmother's diamond earrings, and silver and gold bracelets that had been a gift from his Aunt Olivia on her wrists. It was warm still, so she skipped tights or stockings, going bare legged. On her feet were her strappy sandal style, gold and silver colored heels.

After the last week of scholastic hell, Tammy really needed this night out. It had been another heart wrenching time separated from Jill by her work and Tammy's studying. She was now watching the clock slowly tick by, Jill was getting off earlier than normal from work, and at six o clock, would be arriving in a limo to take Cinderella to the ball. Right at six, the limo pulled in front of their house.

Tammy approached the long black car, and saw the chauffeur step around to her side to open the door for her. She stopped, her eyes narrowing and her jaw clenching. Jill was not in the limo, but a stranger, a rather large man in a tuxedo. He smiled at her, and waved.

“Tammy? I'm Dr. Russell, a friend of your wife's.”

Tammy stood outside the car, glancing from the driver to the stranger, “Where is my wife?” The coldness in her voice was obvious to the two men who didn't know her temperament.

Dr. Russell got out, and offered his hand, “Sorry! Mike, Mike Russell. Jill got trapped by a last minute emergency appendectomy, should be routine, but it's going to keep her there till probably around seven or so. I happened to be meeting someone at the same place you two are going, and she asked me to accompany you there until she gets out of surgery.”

Tammy had spent over half her life dealing with people who meant her physical or emotional harm. Since marrying Jill, she was able to determine that not every person was out to make her life hell. But she was now able to differentiate between the genuine and the false when meeting new people with more accuracy. Something was tickling her the wrong way about this. She nodded at this doctor she had never heard of or met, and the hired chauffeur.

Tammy held up a freshly manicured finger, “One sec, okay?”

“Um, sure, but I know this place can be a bear if you miss your seating time.” Mike urged.

Tammy merely nodded, and her phone was soon out and a text was being sent. She tried Jill first, then shot off another text to one of the few other people she knew from the hospital, Pedro Rodriguez, the unit clerk that worked Saturday's in the O.R.. There was no immediate response, so with a shrug, she agreed to get a move on, and hoped her instincts were way off.

* * * * * * * *

Jill gasped, another orgasm rocking her body as she bucked and moaned beneath Geoff. She heard her phone text alert go off from her purse in the other room, but she was too far gone to care, pleasure flooding her every pore. Geoff heard it too, and glanced at his Rolex as he continued pumping into his future bride, just after six, perfect.

* * * * * * * *

Tammy excused herself to the ladies room. She was using every bit of willpower not to breakdown right there at the table she was sharing with this Mike guy. Once inside, she could no longer hold in the wailing sob that had been straining for release since Pedro returned her text seconds ago. Jill had the day off, and there was no Doctor Mike Russell that Pedro had ever heard of. What's more? Pedro wanted know how she was handling the divorce. Divorce? She had texted back. Si, Dr. Geoff Mitchell had been showing everyone the engagement ring he had gotten her ex-wife the last month or so. She had said yes!

Tammy collapsed onto the tiled floor. Her years of pain as a social pariah fell back on her shoulders like an avalanche. Before losing her self control completely, and becoming a sobbing makeup streaked monstrosity, she called her Aunt Olivia.

“Tammy?”

“Olive...Oh Olive, I need you please?”

“Tammy? What is it? What happened?”

“Not here, please? Can you come get me?”

“Of course dear! I'll leave right now. Are you at home?”

Tammy told her where she was, and Aunt Olivia assured her that she was already out the door. No sooner had she hung up, than the door opened a crack, the so called Dr. Russell peeking in.

“You okay Tammy? Thought I heard a cry.”

Tammy looked at this stranger, her expression changing instantly from grief stricken, to red faced angry. “Who the fuck are you really, and what the fuck is going on?” She hissed through gritted teeth as she used the sink to stand back up.

“That was what your text was about, I guess?” His tone was almost apologetic.

“You guess? YOU GUESS!?!”, Tammy was now standing in the restroom doorway, in his face, looking up at Mike with a glare that had him stepping back away from her. “Who the fuck are you really, and WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!” Tammy's voice became Tim's halfway through the screamed question.

The hostess was there in seconds, asking if there was a problem. Tammy barked a laugh without any mirth what so ever. But in Tim's voice, she responded, “My date here and I seem to have a misunderstanding.” Turning to Mike, still in Tim mode, she continued, “I'm paying the bill and leaving, but I would love to know the answers to the questions I have repeatedly asked you now.”

The hostess nodded nervously, and backed away, but ready to call 911 if the woman became violent. Mike held his ground, his hands out open palmed in a half hearted attempt to calm down his hostile date.

“Okay, okay, sorry! Geoff, Dr. Geoff Mitchell? He and your wife asked me to make that excuse for her. Geoff knows I have a preference for girls like you, and the two of them thought we might hit it off. I am Mike Russell, but I'm not a doctor. I met Dr. Mitchell at support group...”

Tammy's jaw had dropped, her body shook, her entire reality smashed to pieces in the course of an hour. Regaining some semblance of control, she leaned against the hallway wall, shaking her head. “Wh...What kind of group?”

Mike actually blushed, “Um...a group for...um, sexaholics?”

Tammy giggled, a nervous sound that was as devoid of humor as her previous one.

Mike went on, “Look Tammy, I'm sorry! I honestly thought you wanted this, both of them said you did!”

“Geoff and Jill?”

He nodded. She barreled past him, heading back to their table with Mike trailing. She caught the waiter's attention with wave, and asked for the checks for the drinks they had ordered but she hadn't even had a sip of. She pointed to his seat, and Mike sat, she then followed suit.

“When? When did you get contacted?”

“A couple of weeks ago.” Mike had a sad expression pasted on his face now.

“And you didn't think it odd that they had to ask you to lie to me to get me here?” She so wanted to take her drink, and either slam it in one gulp, or toss it at the sex addict with a preference for her.

“I did.” He bowed his head, “But he told me you were too shy to take any first steps, he said your wife assured him you were more than willing if you had the right...push?”

“Fucking hell...”, Tammy stared down the man across from her. “Push?”

Mike reached inside his jacket, producing a little brown bottle. “Supposed to put in your drink, but I wouldn't. I may have it bad, but I still wanted us to get together on our own terms, not some date rape drug.”

Tammy was in shock, and gestured for Mike to hand her the vial, which he did. At that point the waiter returned with the check. Mike started reaching for his wallet, and Tammy raised her hand to stop him, instead pulling a hundred dollar bill from her little handbag, and telling the waiter to keep the change. She then stood up, Mike remaining seated, looking up at her with shame painted all over his face.

“Sorry doc, seems we both had some lies told to us. Yes, you were lied to, as was I.”

“I'm sorry...”

Shaking her head, she began to turn away, “Apology accepted, but it's the ones that lied to us both I mean to be angry at. You helped remove the wool from over my eyes. Have a good life. Forget where I live, I will not be there should you ever go back.”

Tammy went outside, almost walking right into her Uncle Frank, Olivia's husband. She collapsed into him, and he hugged her tight, letting her cry onto his shoulder.

* * * * * * * *

It was only nine in the morning when Geoff's doorbell chimed. Jill was hungover, and Geoff's struggles to get out of bed informed her he was pretty much looking like she felt. Turning over, she got up, and threw on her robe, following Geoff into the living room, looking for her purse. She pulled her phone out, and plugged it in, while Geoff was talking to someone on his stoop. Forty two messages, 31 missed calls.

The memory of what she had agreed to, what she had been doing, jolted her awake. The messages broadcast her stupidity and selfishness, shaming and scaring her. Be they the curses from Olivia, the apologies from Pedro, the questions or congratulations from several nurses and docs she and Geoff knew who worked both their shifts and third. She glanced out the door, and started to shake. Had she heard that correctly, the visitors were the Police? She stumbled to the door, questions flooding her brain.

“...if not, than we can return with a warrant.”

“I'm, sorry but it sounds like I need an attorney, and if I am not under arrest at the moment that seems the appropriate course.”

They requested he or his attorney contact whoever was on the card handed to Geoff, within 48 hours. As they were leaving, another man was walking up. He asked for Jill Knox, the man was asked who he was, Geoff claimed she wasn't there, never mind, he would try her at home. After he finally got back inside, dead bolting the door behind him, Jill saw how white he had become.

“What's going on Geoff?”

A shrug of shoulders is his response. Geoff was focused on his locker at work. In there was more of the stuff he'd given Mike, in the same containers Mike must have handed to the police last night. Someone else had called it in as well. Did they need a warrant to search the hospital? “The shit has hit the fan. My ex-friend Mike must have tried to slip a mickey in Tammy's drink, and confessed.”

“Why didn't you help the police then? Did they say anything about Tammy?” Oh my god, she was going to faint, she thought, the room was spinning.

Geoff went on, “Mike confessed all right, he confessed I supplied him with the date rape drug. My instructions too, and you were mentioned. That last guy? Just here for you. He probably wanted to serve you something, probably a restraining order or divorce papers?” He sighed. “I'm calling my lawyer. You got one?”

She quickly shook her head. He would see what his lawyer said about that too. Jill stumbled to the couch, and rested her head in her hands. What a stupid way to tell someone you wanted out of a marriage, stupid, cruel, and now? Now criminal. Avoiding hurting a loved one in the most hurtful and potentially dangerous way? The lack of logic and intelligence finally outweighed the giddy schoolgirl Geoff turned her into. She read all the texts. Listened to the messages. She stated that the plan was ridiculous from the start, and was returning to her house to see what the situation was, and face it. So caught up in shocking his attorney, he nodded and waved her off.

* * * * * * * *

Of course Tim or Tammy wouldn't be home. She did suspect that second visitor at Geoff's to be waiting for her though. It was a restraining order requiring her to maintain a distance of no less than 500 yards from Tim Knox. She was informed he had already taken what he needed from the house, and a card for his attorney should she need to contact him regarding their divorce she obviously craved was provided. She asked if either he or the attorney could deliver a letter to Tim from her, and was told all contact with Tim was prohibited.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks became months before Jill was informed by her lawyer that the restraining order had been removed, and received Tim's new phone number. She had changed hers as well. Since the weekend she was involved in the final betrayal of her husband, both she and Geoff had been let go from the Hospital. Geoff was fired that day, the police discovering a supply of the drug Mike Russell had provided them as evidence. She had lasted two more weeks before being less than politely asked to resign. The local press had gotten wind of the sordid tale, and her old phone number rang non-stop, reporters, haters, pranks, she had to get a new number.

She had ended it with Geoff not long after that. He could care less, embroiled as he was in defending himself against criminal charges. His medical license was revoked, but Jill wasn't under the same scrutiny as her former lover and unofficial fiance. She had lawyered up almost from the beginning, and had been advised to document her story both so that what she said could be investigated, and corroborated with Geoff's story.

She knew it was stupid to think there was any chance of reconciliation with Tim, yet she had not filed for divorce, nor had he, yet. Now he was asking her to call. She had to, just to hear him or Tammy once more, before the inevitable face-off in divorce court. Her call went to voicemail, Tammy's voicemail! Her voice! She smiled and fresh tears ran down her face. She composed herself as much as she could and simply said she missed her, was so truly sorry, and left her number, hoping to hear from Tim or Tammy soon. Ten minutes later, she was talking to Tammy.

“Hi Jill. It's Tammy.”

“I know,” a stifled sob, “Its so good to hear you.” She wanted to go on, to cry for forgiveness, or at least validation that Tammy didn't believe Jill would have set her up to be raped! But Tammy was the one that wanted to talk right now. “Please, I have so much more to say, but this is your dime...”

“I know the feeling, believe me, but I am not calling right now to berate you or listen to your apologies. I will let you know I was thankful learning that you and Mike never actually talked, that you were unaware of...of that part of Geoff's plans. But the rest of that was still an attack on my emotions, so it has taken me a while to get the courage to have the control to call you. To talk with you, not at you.” Tammy couldn't hide the sob on her end of the line. “We need to discuss divorce, and what we want to do. I would rather we do this as friendly as possible than leave it entirely in the hands of our lawyers.”

Jill agreed, and they set a date for the coming weekend, there at the home they once shared. Her wailing sobs echoed off the walls of the empty house. She had spoiled the greatest love anyone would likely have for her. She had allowed her physical desires and selfish satisfactions to dominate her life, to drown out what she never realized until the morning that everything came to light, she had pushed away the person she loved more than anything forever.

* * * * * * * *

They parted ways without a single harsh word. Both sad, in the end, that their wasn't enough trust for them to even continue on as friends. Jill did make the last gesture, by paying for the last semester needed for Tim's degree out of her assets after the divorce was final. With a tearful hug, they ended their marriage.

After the house sold, Jill sent half the profits to her ex, and moved several states over, having accepted a job in small critical care clinic out west. She kept in touch with a few former coworkers back home, to follow Geoff's failed defense and final sentencing, 10 years, and to keep tabs on Tammy, she would never stop loving her ex, never stop being curious about her, always hoping for the best for her.

Tammy had moved back in with her mother a few days after leaving Jill, legally changing her name to Tammy Coleman, taking her mother's maiden name, as Tim Knox was now a name with too much baggage to bear. She still went out as Tim, but was mostly Tammy. After graduating, she started working as an engineer, designing cost and energy efficient heating-cooling units. It was there that she met Lori Edwards, and though Lori had always considered herself a lesbian, there was something about Tammy she couldn't resist. The feeling was mutual, and Jill was happy for her ex when she learned about the upcoming marriage between Tammy and Lori.

It did hurt a little that she wasn't invited, but Jill understood how uncomfortable that might be, for one thing, Aunt Olivia, Tammy's Maid of Honor, never had a kind word to say about Jill since that night. Jill Knox made a few friends in the small town she now called home, but hadn't met anyone she considered relationship material. She had some bouts with depression, but had been seeing a staff therapist since moving out there. Jill learned to remind herself of three important things every day. First, that she was a great surgeon thanks to the sacrifice of the most beautiful soul she would even know. Second, she had only her own selfishness to blame for the lonely existence she now had. Finally, and most importantly, should she ever find love again, she would avoid the bad behavior and poor choices that led to the ruin of her first love.



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