Chapter 4

Two weeks passed and Jessie was still at Nichol's place. He stopped asking when she was leaving because her "soon" stopped meaning anything. He heard her on her cell from time to time – arguing with her mother, stalling with her agent, chatting with her LA friends.

Enough time passed that the kids came for their visits and they met their father's "house guest". They were old enough not to care, especially since the divorce happened five years ago. Besides, their mother was with someone new so they weren't about to question their Dad's dating life.

Jessie seemed pretty cool and hip to the teens, and Elizabeth told her brother Ken that there was something familiar about her too though she couldn't put her finger on it. Jessie had moved into the master bedroom, of course, so there were no conflicts with the sleeping arrangements.

Jessie cut her haircut and she colored it blonde so her appearance was different, but she still wore her ball cap and dark sunglasses when she and Nichols ventured out of the house. They continued to enjoy their naked Saturdays (when the kids weren't around) and the skinny dips, and of course the sex.

"I like being normal," Jessie would tell her mother when she called at least once a day demanding her daughter's return to the west coast.

Weeks turned into a month and then a second month. Jessie revamped the house, cleaning and redecorating, using some of Aunt Jenny's belongings she had removed before the house was sold.

Nichols enjoyed the changes and her presence but he felt like a convict on death row because he knew the day would come when Jessie Parkman would turn back into Jet Jefferson and disappear from his life. She talked of the future as if he belonged in it, but it was hard to take her seriously knowing her mother was advocating for her to return to her "expected" life.

"Wouldn't it be nice if just once my mother let me do something I wanted to do with my life?" Jessie complained.

Nichols almost drove off the road one morning when he heard Jet Jefferson giving a phone interview on the local morning radio show, talking about how wonderful Blue County was and how she was enjoying her extended visit.

"How long are you going to be in the area, Jet?" Morning Man Jaybird Frazier asked.

"Oh, I think people will be running into me quite frequently from now on," Jet Jefferson answered. "I'll have to leave on occasion for various commitments but I'll be back."

"Where are you staying when you're here?"

"Oh, that's a state secret I'd rather not divulge," she laughed. "When I'm here, I'm living a quiet, normal life with somebody I love very much."

Nichols felt his eyes water up. Could it be true? Was his fantasy turning into reality?

Blue County became abuzz with people interested in spotting Jet Jefferson and there were a few times when people gave her and Nichols funny looks when they were out and about. Sometimes Jessie would wave other times she'd put her finger to her lips and mouth a SHHH. She signed a few autographs when asked.

When Cissy stopped by one afternoon, all she could do was laugh at the sight of Jessie Parkman back in Nichols life.

Nichols told the guys at the fire station the truth although some didn't believe him until he brought Jessie by one day for a visit. After that, he could no wrong with his peers!

"The problem with me wanting to be normal is that I'm making your life abnormal," Jessie said with concern one night as they lay in bed cuddling.

"I don't mind," Nichols said.

"You sure?" She asked. "Because it's going to get crazy from time to time."

"I didn't realize how boring I had become until you showed up," he said. "You make my life interesting and complete."

"Jet Jefferson will have to leave from time to time," she said. "You okay with that?"

"As long as Jessie Parkman comes back."

"Jet Jefferson isn't as popular or as sought after as she used to be," Jessie said. "I can work out of Hillsboro just as easily as I can out of LA unless something major comes up like a series or something."

"What about your mother?"

"She'll have to deal with it," Jessie replied. "I've also asked my agent to focus on New York jobs too."

"Okay," Nichols said. "Your career is your business. I'll be here, even when you're not."

"You'll wait for me?"

"I've been waiting for you all my life."

"My Nichols," she said happily, hugging him close. "I was never acting when it came to you."