Title: "The Glory Days"
Chapter 4/?
Written by: Pink-Green-White-4ever

Summary: As winter decides to hang on a little longer in NYC, Kim
finds more than the weather changing in her life. A surprise to
cheer up a friend turns into something that could dramatically alter
her view on her life and where it's heading.

Category: Drama/Romance
Rating: M. Adult language, adult situations, and sexual encounters.
Chapters containing sex scenes will be marked accordingly.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the PR universe. If I did I'd be
living in a mansion. Pink-Green-White-4ever: (Yeah! What Shawn said!)

Timeline: Everything up to the end of Dino Thunder is canon. Kim's
background post "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" is all my creation.
The story is set in January 2008.

Email: dayshawn1974@gmail.com, pink_green_white_4ever@yahoo.com

Special Notes: This is being written in Kim's P.O.V, so it is Kim-
centric with a heavy emphasis on other characters and relationships
as well.

Authors Notes 1. Sit back, relax, and pretend you're about to watch a
new television show airing its series premier. Oh yeah, it's on
cable.
It's featuring characters you grew up with and some new ones I hope
you grow to love. None of them are perfect, so don't expect cookie
cutter characters who always say, act, think, and react in a Brady
Bunch sort of way. They're human and that's why we love them.
Imperfect as the day is old.

Authors Notes 2: All details as to the how and why things are the way
they are will be expiated in the story. Trust me, answers are coming.
Pink-Green-White-4ever: (yeah, what he said!)

Authors Notes 3: No chapter in this series will feature more than two
scenes in order to make it easier to update more frequently. Also you
might see other PR authors dip into this little universe from time to
time writing their own chapters. I know certain things that will
happen, how and when, but there is no definitive end to this series.
It's ongoing until... well, until. Pink-Green-White-4ever:
(*snickers*
I'd be one of those PR Authors dipping in…..I love playing in Shawn's
Universe, it's always a lot more interesting there!)

Authors Notes 4: TK fans... it's gonna be a slow burn. But you know
me 'wink' Pink-Green-White-4ever: (And damn if he doesn't mean a
really SLOOOOOWWWW burn when he says that...*pouts*)

~~~~~~

There's a place I've been lookin' for
That took me in and out of buildings
Behind windows, walls and doors
And I thought I found it
Couple times, even settled down
And I'd hang around just long enough
To find my way back out
I know now the place that I was trying to reach
Was you, right here in front of me

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd retrieve all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here

It's amazing what I let my heart go through
To get me where it got me
In this moment here with you
And it passed me by
God knows how many times
I was so caught up in holding
What I never thought I'd find
I know now, there's a million roads I had to take
To get me in your arms that way
-- Rascal Flatts, Here --

~~~~~~

~~ Episode 4 "God Bless This Broken Road"

An unseen announcer speaks over the end of the credits for the last
program aired. "Up next, 'The Glory Days'.

(Voice over begins with the show's theme song, Bon Jovi's "It's My
Life" playing in the background)

"Once upon a time there was a little girl growing up in sunny
California who wanted a typical life." *footage of a little girl with
curly brown hair chasing an older brother away running with her
Barbie dolls and then kicking him hard in the balls when she caught
him* "She entertained dreams of being the worlds greatest gymnast."
*footage of the young girl, about ten years old now racing around her
house in her leotard, and then doing jumps and flips under her
father's instruction in the backyard of a nice house* "She was
blessed with the best friends ever." *footage of the young girl, a
boy with sandy blond hair, another with dark hair, another boy with
warm brown eyes, and a girl with long dark hair - all smiling bright
for the camera* "Like I said, she wanted what she got, a typical
life. That was until high school hit and with that monumental
occasion came a brave new world. Her first gymnastics competition."
*footage of the now teenage girl preparing for a first meeting,
looking nervous but determined* "Her first true love." *standing with
her best friend, the girl catches sight of a boy preparing for a
martial arts tournament that takes her breath away* "And the absolute
most shocking experience of her entire life." *footage tinged in
black and white with the words "top secret" scrolling across the
bottom of the screen, a Pink Ranger battling alongside her teammates,
flying Zords, fighting against and then with a Green Ranger, gazing
at the White Ranger*

"Then her typical life turned upside down when her parents divorced."
*shots of the girl seated on a couch being talked too by her parents
about their breakup, then a tearful goodbye at an airport with her
mother and another man* "An opportunity of a lifetime that would
separate her from her friends and boyfriend." *images of Coach
Schmidt, the girl addressing her team, walking with Tommy along the
shore, and giving her powers to Katherine* "As one door closed,
another opened to a new adventure that seemed to send her places she
never expected to go." *fast moving images of a girl getting off a
plane in Florida, training hard, sitting in classes, talking on the
phone to her boyfriend, preparing for the international competition
and dealing with the press, meeting a new male friend, a deeply
powerful kiss with the new guy under moonlight, writing a painful
letter while crying her eyes out, more training, the Pan Global
games, breaking up with the new guy, getting her first apartment, a
tense meeting with her ex-boyfriend after an encounter with the
Rangers, them finally making peace at a funeral for a dear friend,
her finishing college with honors* "With an amazing life already
behind her, the next phase came in the form of a job opportunity in
New York City, New York." *shots of her leaving departing another
plane, of gazing out of a taxi at the Big Apple, her face smiling
brightly* "As it often does when you least expect it, her life began
to take turns she hadn't expected." *meeting her new band mates who
were fixing computers at her office, guys who worked for the Best Buy
Geek Squad, them practicing, her getting on stage again for the first
time in years.* "And most crazy, or wonderful of all, a chance
encounter, one in a million, with the man of her... with someone very
special." *shocked expressions on an older Tommy and Kim's face at a
apartment showing, both worrying over not being able to pay the rent
individually, an idea struck over coffee, arguing over moving in and
who's stuff goes where, accidental moments in the shower, an almost
kiss in the rain* "She wanted a typical life and yet lived anything
but. Angel Grove was chapter one." *footage of Angel Grove High and
the Command Center* "Florida was chapter 2." *footage of Coach
Schmidt's training compound, the girl's dorm room, and the
beach* "New York is the newest chapter." *Daytime skyline flyover of
New York followed by the grown woman walking the streets of NY,
looking sharp, her shoulder length brown hair blowing in the wind,
determined and focused on the life ahead of her* *on screen credits
read 'Created and written by Shawn - co-produced with Pink-Green-
White-Forever'* "That young girl who wanted a typical life grew up to
be me. My name is Kimberly Ann Hart and this is my story. The Glory
Days of my life."

~~~~~~

5:30 p.m.
Saturday
March 8, 2008
115 West 57th Street
4th Fl.
New York City, New York
20 floor apartment building,

"Okay, you are seriously worrying me now," Tommy muttered as I tried
to stifle my laughter. I have him blindfolded, dressed to kill in a
pair of black dress pants and a nice blue polo shirt – a definite
departure from his normal color scheme which consists of a lot of
white, a lot of red, a lot of black, minimal browns, and very few
greens, and those of us who knew him once upon a time, can't blame
him for that choice, no matter how much we tease him about having
been the Christmas Tree Colored Ranger. I'm helping him put his coat
on now, before getting my own and leading him down to the curb to
catch our cab. "Are you at least going to give me a hint?"

"Hell no," I laugh, snuggling close to him for warmth in the
cab. "You're WAY too good at the guessing game. No, this is going
to be a surprise."

"You know, living in New York City for all of my fifty years and
being a cabby for about twenty of those, I'd thought I'd seen it
all," our cab driver mutters as he cuts in and out of traffic toward
our destination, drawing both mine and Tommy's attention to him. "I
mean, I've never seen anybody being dragged out of a high rise
apartment building by a beautiful brunette, looking all spiffy and
classy-like and being blinded folded. You two got something kinky
going on tonight?"

"No sir, just a very super secretive surprise," I try to tell him as
seriously as possible while watching the look that swept onto Tommy's
face – I'm not sure if he's amused by the cabby, appalled by the
suggestion of us doing something kinky, or resigned to the fact that
I'm not telling him, possibly all three. Considering what happened a
few weeks ago, I wouldn't be surprised if he was appalled by the
thought of doing something kinky with me. I did, after all, turn him
down…okay Kim, stop thinking about sex and Tommy in the same
sentence. That's a road best left un-traveled,

It's a good thing I had handed the cab drive the slip of paper with
our destination on it when I'd gotten in, because when he saw our
destination, he just took off from the curb. If I'd said out loud
where our destination was, Tommy would have guessed by now where
we're going. After all, it's been all over the news for months now,
and I was lucky as hell that I was able to get the tickets I did, let
alone tickets period. This was supposed to be one of the events of
the year.

The drive to Madison Square Garden doesn't take long, even with all
the traffic. After paying the driver, I carefully climb out and get
Tommy onto the curb without so much as a stumble. "Kim, where are
we?"

"Not telling!" I sing in a shrill, excited voice. I can see him
shooting glares at me, even under the blindfold. I silently drag him
through the crowd, watching where we're both going so he doesn't
stumble and fall, because really, that would just cap the kind of
couple of weeks we've been having.

To be honest, I'm surprised as hell I scored the tickets at all.
Neither Tommy nor I are big country music fans, but we're both guilty
of listening to my Christmas gifts from Kat this last year. My
fellow former lover of pink sent me some new c.d.'s as a gift –
Rascal Flatts. I have to admit, I was a little put off by what I
thought was country pop initially, but their songs have some pretty
good messages, not to mention, they could almost be used as a
soundtrack to both my and Tommy's lives the last few years. But that
is neither here nor there. No, tonight is about us taking in what
hopes to be an amazing performance – thank GOD for that snowstorm
that made this concert get rescheduled from January – and we are
going to forget about the stress and fear of the last few weeks.

Three weeks ago, if you'd asked me if I'd be taking such joy in
tormenting Tommy, I'd have probably kicked your ass. He went through
so much with his mom's accident and subsequent surgery, and the
stress and fear that caused not only for him but me as well; this is
why we need tonight. Even though everything went well and Mrs. O.
came out of surgery okay, we've still been dealing with everything
that happened – Tommy dealing with his mom and me dealing with these
new, real, and positively scary feelings I've been experiencing since
we've come home.

Okay, I admit it, I'm disappointed. We came `yay' close to making
love that night alone in his parents' house. A once very dear dream
to both our hearts nearly got lived out right there in the guestroom,
but the time, the place, and the reason would have tainted the
actions. Comfort sex can be fun, and I'll admit, I've engaged in it
before, but that's just the problem – I've been there done that – and
that isn't something I want for Tommy or I. We've made peace with
our past, we're able to laugh over it, but that one thing has never
been resolved and if we'd done what we'd both wanted in that moment,
it wouldn't have been good. A road best not traveled, because all it
could do at this point is lead to heartache that I'm not sure I'd be
able to survive again – I refuse to lose Tommy over something that
can be avoided, he's too important to my life now.

"Earth to Kimberly, come in Kimberly," Tommy's voice suddenly pulls
me from my thoughts.

"What?"

"We've been standing in the same spot for ten minutes, are we lost?"

He's smirking at me, and I so want to wipe that look off his face. I
could probably do it, but there are people here and I wouldn't want
to embarrass the former leader of the Power Rangers by kicking his
ass in public view. "No dear, we're not lost," I innocently tell
him, leaning against the arm I'm holding onto. "I just don't want
you to know where we are."

"If you're planning on killing me, this probably isn't the best way
to have it go unnoticed," he jokes with me.

"Handsome, if I wanted to kill you, I'd have done it before, in
private, where no one would know," I tell him. "I know where you
sleep at night, remember?" I purr in his ear, causing him to mentally
glare at me. "Besides that, I've had ample opportunity thanks to
Divatox, Maligore and Rita and Zedd. If I wanted you dead before,
I'd have done it. No, I rather like keeping you around to torture
you. Besides, if I get rid of you, who's going to carry my bags when
I go shopping?"

The muscles in his jaw are ticking and I know he's thinking of
something scathing to say. "Gee, lucky me."

"Calm down, I'm not going to get you killed," I assure him even as my
eyes land on the merchandise booth not far from us. "Come on, I have
one stop to make then we can go inside."

Once we're at the table, I carefully select my merchandise – a large
shirt in black and red for Tommy and a small one for me, as a
commemorative of the concert. After I pay for the merchandise, I
lead him inside. As soon as we're sitting, I reach up and take the
blindfold off. "Surprise."

"Where the hell are we?" he asks, looking around. "A concert?"

I glare at him, mentally reminding myself I'm supposed to be cheering
him up, not plotting his untimely demise. "Yes, a concert, dufus," I
mutter, and then hand him his t-shirt.

"Rascal Flatts?" he asks, utterly astonished. "How the hell did you
score tickets for this?"

"Don't ask, because I still don't even know," I truthfully tell
him. "Sit back and enjoy."

An hour later, with a good portion of their older hits out of the
way, the group moved into one of the newer songs off their
album `Still Feels Good'. I've listened to the c.d. quite a bit when
I need a few moments just to kick back and relax, because honestly,
the songs on it have somehow reminded me of how my life has gone.

"Oh for the love of God," Tommy mutters in my ear, shaking me from my
thoughts.

"What?"

"Look to your left," he whispers, causing my head to turn sharply in
the direction. My eyebrows shoot up in surprise as I taken in a
couple not far from us, still sitting in their seats. Now normally,
that wouldn't surprise me. No, what surprises me is that the woman
is sitting on his lap, her skirt hiked up around her waist, and
they're bumping and grinding in the middle of a very family
atmosphere. They couldn't be more than twenty, twenty one at the
most, and I suddenly feel very old watching them.

"Kids these days," I mutter, causing my own date to crack up laughing
and lean his forehead against my shoulder.

"Kim, they aren't much younger than we are," he reminds me.

"Shush. We never acted like that in public!" I hiss, turning my
attention back to the concert.

"No, we only did that when no one was around – no parents, no
monsters, no teammates, and definitely no Zordon."

I look at him, eyes wide and mouth open. "I cannot believe you just
said that! We did not act like that at all, unless it was in your
dirty, perverted mind!" I laugh. "And just what kind of thoughts
were you having about me at that age, Tommy Oliver?"

He's looking rather sheepish now as we stare at each other, the song
swelling around us. Oh, I know all about what guys think about,
after all, I spent the day as a teenage boy once. If that wasn't a
learning experience, I don't know what is. "Only that I had a very
beautiful, very caring young lady that I loved very much and she
loved me back," he whispers softly, his voice tinged in memory and a
little bit of hurt. I can't help the internal wince at realizing
that, because I know some hurts, no matter how far removed, still
ache from time to time.

"I said I was sorry."

"I know, and I accepted that apology," he told me sincerely, before
taking my hand and bringing it to his lips, placing the gentlest kiss
on the back. We both turn back to the song and realize just which
one is playing.

`Here' is one of our favorite songs, because in so many ways, it
reminds us of, well, us. Our lives have not been perfect, because we
are far from perfect. We have not had love lives that have been
happily ever after, hence our living together and many of our double
dates these last few months, but somehow, we've found our way back
into each other's lives, and somehow, I think we're all the better
for it.

As the familiar music of the next song starts up – `Take Me There' –
I notice that a young lady about five seats over to Tommy's right is
looking intently at my date. I've seen that look before; he's been
getting it from the female population for as long as I've known him.
Normally, I'd nudge him in her direction, but for some odd reason,
tonight, I want to be the center of his attention, aside from the
concert. With a devious grin, I reach over and take his hand in
mine, lacing our fingers together and smirking up at him when he
looks over at me. He's giving me this look, like he might know what
I'm doing but isn't entirely sure. I use my eyes to send him in the
direction of his admirer, and he turns to give her a smile before
turning back to me. My smirk suddenly turns to a genuine smile as he
once again brings my hand up to kiss the back of it before settling
back into his seat, our fingers still laced together. I lean my head
against his shoulder and enjoy his presence and the music.

"Kim?" he asks me a few minutes later.

"Hmm?" I ask, tipping my head up from its spot on his shoulder to
look at him.

He doesn't answer me, so I split my attention between the end of the
song and him, and turn my head toward him, only to find his lips
meeting mine in a gentle, unexpected kiss. We both recoil after a
few seconds, shock evident in our expressions. I know I didn't plan
for that to happen, and from the look on his face, he sure as hell
didn't either. "Tommy?"

I don't get a response this time either, just him looking from my
eyes to my lips and back, as if asking silently for something.
Before either of us can fully think it through, our lips are meeting
again in a much longer, much hotter kiss than we've ever shared. His
hands come up to cup my cheeks, angling my head as he takes the kiss
a little deeper. Okay, I have officially died and gone to heaven, as
sappy as that sounds, because his lips are rose petal soft and
they're doing wicked things to the butterflies that were in my
stomach from our first little brush a few moments ago, not to mention
the meshing they're doing with my own lips.

Jesus, talk about tempting fate! Tommy and I have never kissed like
this before, not even in the three years we dated. Yes, we made out,
several times, but even then it was with the sweetness of first love,
and the timid-ness of being seriously in love for the first time.
This kiss, it blows all those out of the water. Feeling his tongue
dip into my mouth to hungrily tangle with mine has just shattered the
memory of every other kiss we've ever shared. Okay, yeah, definitely
shouldn't have gone down this road, because I suddenly have the
feeling that EVERYTHING is about to change.

The mother of the two teenage girls sitting behind us suddenly clears
her throat, and the sound, even heard over the loud music, is like
cold water being thrown on us. I utter a tiny moan as Tommy pulls
away, his eyes dark like I've only seen a few times before, the last
time being a few weeks ago in the guestroom bed three thousand miles
away.

"I'm sorry," he murmurs. "I…I just wanted to say thank you, for
cheering me up."

Okay, breathing is a necessity here. Besides, this is Tommy, kissing
him is like kissing my brother. Or it was until about ten seconds
ago when his lips all but made love to mine like his life depended on
it. And I'm ashamed to admit I just set feminism back about 100
years with the fact that I so did not pull away from that kiss, but I
really don't care. "You're welcome," I murmur, trying to wipe the
incident from my mind and squeezing his hand which is now holding one
of mine. It's not a big deal, friends kiss all the time. Oh how
wrong I was.

--

6:00 a.m.
Monday
March 10, 2008
115 West 57th Street
4th Fl.
New York City, New York
20 floor apartment building,

You know what sucks about feeling things as deeply as I seem to? You
can't just turn those feelings off sometimes, especially when you
need to really focus on something else; which is my explanation for
the fact that I haven't slept all weekend. Saturday night, after
Tommy and I stopped for a late dinner out after the concert, I came
home and tried to sleep. I was up yesterday morning to see a sunrise
that I haven't in a really long time. Then last night, I tried to
sleep, and again I found myself up at four thirty in the morning,
sitting on the couch in our living room, a hot cup of green tea in my
hand, cuddled under my lavender colored silk pajamas, my fluffy white
robe, and the blanket that we keep on the back of the couch staring
out Central Park.

I'm cranky when I don't get my sleep, and considering I have to leave
for work at eight-twenty, being up nearly two and a half hours before
I need to is not making me any happier at the moment. Of course,
considering I've had absolutely no sleep, I think I may call in and
take a personal day; I've got enough time to do so. I'm not entirely
sure what's been making me sleepless the last few days, but I'm
willing to bet it has something to do with mine and Tommy's date
Saturday night. Or more accurately, with the fact that Tommy kissed
me that night and in less than two seconds, I had feelings I hadn't
had in over ten years come roaring back to life. Sucks to be me,
doesn't it?

I've been sitting here so long, not only have I lost track of time,
I've let me legs get all stiff and cramped. When I hear Tommy's door
open and the bathroom door close, I realize it's nearly six and he's
getting up for his usual Monday classes. With a long suffering sigh,
I get up and head into the kitchen, contemplating the eggs and cheese
in the refrigerator and the fact that he might like cheese eggs and
toast for breakfast instead of cold cereal or getting something on
his way to class.

Twenty minutes later, he's standing in the archway to the kitchen,
tying his tie, and staring at me like I've grown a second head or
something. "Sit, eat. Coffee's almost done, your breakfast is on
the counter, and I even packed you a lunch," I tell him, watching him
stop moving period and stare at me. He takes me somewhat by surprise
by coming over and bringing his hand to my forehead.

"Alright, who are you and what have you done with Kimberly Hart?
Because, seriously, the Kim I know doesn't get up and cook anyone
breakfast that isn't an Apple Fritter and Starbucks related, and last
I checked, I've never known her to make anyone but a child under the
age of ten a sack lunch."

I don't know why, but this morning, his teasing isn't taken in kind
and I feel myself snapping at him before I can even stop it. "Fine!
Be a smart ass! Starve for all I care!" I hiss at him before
brushing past him. I'm almost out the door when I feel the tight
clench of his fingers around my right wrist.

Through a blur of tears that I have no idea where they came from, I'm
being pulled backwards and turned around, so that I'm facing Tommy.
Before I have time to do more than put up a token protest, I'm being
pulled into his arms and against his chest, my head fitting perfectly
under his chin. "I'm sorry," he murmurs softly, his hand stroking
down my back. "I didn't mean to upset you."

"It's not you," I sigh, leaning against him. He smells so damn good
and his body is so warm and while I've learned to rely on myself nor
feel the absolute, all consuming need to be held, I'm still a woman,
and every once in a while, it's nice to feel safe in the arms of a
strong, caring, familiar man. "I'm sorry for snapping."

"It's okay, I should have known something was wrong when you were no
where in sight this morning when I headed for the bathroom," he
gently tells me. Suddenly he's leaning back and tipping my chin up
gently. "What's wrong?"

How to answer that? If I knew, I'd tell him, because as it is, it's
damn hard to keep secrets from him, but I don't even know how to
begin. I can tell he's seeing me struggle with how to tell him,
cause his face softens just a bit; his eyes full of compassion and
understanding that's making it really hard to even form a thought at
the moment. "I'm just….I don't feel all that great today."

"Is it that time of the month?" he asks before he thinks which has me
glaring at him.

"Why is it guys always assume it's THAT TIME OF THE MONTH when a
woman just simply feels like being a bitch?" I grouch at him, causing
him to bite his lip to keep from laughing.

"Force of habit?" he suggests, which only makes me glare up at him
more. "Are you sick?"

"Depends on your definition of sick," I mutter, leaning against him
again. "I haven't been sleeping and I don't know why."

His hands are stroking over the back of my head and down my back
while he holds me close. "Okay, here's the plan. Call work, take a
personal day. Get some sleep. I'll call on my way home and see what
you want for dinner, okay?"

I can only sigh, because really, how do you argue with that kind of
logic? Then again, it's me, and I have Insane Kim Logic, so it would
be really easy to argue with that, provided I had the strength and
mental capacity to give it a try. "Okay."

"Good. Now, I'm going to eat my breakfast and drink my coffee, which
you so graciously provided this morning," he chuckles, making me
blush. "Then I'm going to take my kick ass sack lunch to work early
with me, because I have a meeting this morning. I'll call and check
up on you around lunch time, provided I haven't fallen over dead from
the rat poisoning that I know is in that sandwich. Okay?"

Leave it to Tommy to have me smiling despite feeling like I've been
run over by a truck. "Okay. I'm going to go call work," I tell him
before I lean up and peck a kiss to his cheek. "Have a good day."

Once I'm out of the kitchen, I head for my room to call work. The
floor secretary answers on the third ring and I tell her I'm not
coming in. With that out of the way, I decide I want a shower to
wash away the grungy feeling and maybe space out for a while and not
think about what's going on with my life.

In all honesty, it's not as bad as I'm making it out to be. I told
myself when Tommy and I first agreed to move in together, that things
would change between us, and they have. The only problem is I feel
like they're starting to change far more than I had anticipated, at
least on my side of the situation. I have absolutely no clue how
Tommy feels about this, or if he's even feeling anything about it. I
know that he feels enough that he'd have been comfortable with having
sex with me when we were in California, but as life has so
wonderfully reminded me, men often don't think before doing things,
and him wanting to sleep with me could have been the result of
something left over from when we were teenagers. Which is why
sleeping with him would have been one monumental mistake, no matter
how much it killed me to tell him no.

Okay, Kim, no more thinking about it. Get in the hot steamy shower,
use the very expensive bath stuff your mother got for you and space
out. No more thinking about Tommy until after maybe lunch.

An hour later, with the bathroom steaming, I can happily admit I
haven't thought about Tommy at all. Grinning, I pick up my bottle of
Victoria Secrets lotion and begin rubbing it on my legs, arms and
body. I love the smell of the stuff – it's called Love Spell – and
it always puts me in a slightly better mood. Aisha got me hooked on
it, and for my birthday this year, Tommy fed my obsession and got me
an entire basket of it – lotion, body spray, body scrub, you name
it. I swear, he probably spent a hundred bucks on it, which is fine
with me, I love it.

The shrill ringing of the phone has me suddenly jumping out of my
skin and grumbling. Why is it I can never get through my washing
routine without an interruption? Securing the towel tighter around
myself, I hurry out to grab up the phone off the coffee
table. "Hello?"

"Why aren't you here?" Ari starts in on me, causing me to let out a
sigh of epic proportions.

"Because I'm taking a personal day," I tell her, knowing I should
have called her after I called in this morning.

The tone of her voice as she asks her next question almost makes me
want to buckle and tell her, but I need to figure it out in my head
first. "What's wrong?"

"It's a LONG story. Suffice to say, I just need a day for me. I'm
sorry I didn't call you and tell you, but things have been a little
hectic and I needed time to veg."

Ari just clears her throat. "You do remember we have a meeting this
morning about that new project, right?"

Damn it! I seriously think Dr. Forgetful is rubbing off on me. Oh,
SCREW IT! They'll just have to do without me for the day. "Ari, if
this wasn't important, I wouldn't be taking the day off, trust me.
Look, take notes for me, please?"

"It's something serious, isn't it?"

"It has the potential to be, and if I don't deal with it now, it
could have some nasty repercussions later. Look, I'll call you
later, I promise. Right now, I need to try and sleep for a bit,
okay?" I ask, hoping she'll get the hint and leave it be.

"All right. I'll talk to you later."

I hang up the phone and sigh. I know I've worried her a bit, but I
really just need to be left alone right now. With a shake of my
head, I head back into the bathroom to get dressed and then head into
my room to try and catch a nap before I even start thinking about
solving this problem.

I can't help but growl and curse beneath my breath when a few hours
later, around ten thirty, my phone starts ringing off the hook yet
again. With a sigh, I reach over to the nightstand and grab the
extension that's sitting there. "HELLO?" I bellow, thoroughly
irritated.

"Well good morning to you too, grouchy," the oh-so-familiar voice of
my childhood best friend suddenly announces.

"Sorry Tri, it's been a bad morning," I mutter.

"I'll bet it has been, considering you're supposed to be at work and
instead you are home," she sarcastically responds, causing me to roll
my eyes. Yes Trini, state the obvious.

With a sigh, I lean back against my headboard and settle in for the
conversation. "So, why are you calling me at ten thirty my time?"

"Because it's ten thirty where I'm at too," she cracks up
laughing. "I'm in Orlando."

"Doing what?"

"I'm at a conference for work, and you'll never guess who I ran into
yesterday."

I roll my eyes again, knowing Trini is being annoying on purpose,
because I know exactly who's in Florida right now – Aisha. "Let me
take a wild stab at it, could it be a former yellow wearing, bear
representing ninja who's working at Sea World?"

"Oh, Aisha, yeah, her too."

Okay, now you can color me surprised, because no one else I know
should be in Florida unless it's…"BILLY?"

Trini's laughing on the other end. "Yes, Billy. Actually, the three
of us are out to lunch together. We were just gonna call and see if
you or Tommy was home this morning. It's been a while since we
talked."

Again, my childhood best friend is the queen of the
understatement. "Trini, if you only knew," I tell her. "Put me on
speaker."

"KIM!" Aisha's voice came blaring through the phone, which I jerked
away from my head. "Hi."

"Goofball," I utter, listening to Trini and Billy crack up on the
other end. "Hi."

"Greetings Kimberly."

"Hello Billy," I grin as I hear the familiar voice of my long
cherished friend. Hey, next to Tommy and Jason, I've always felt
safest with Billy; we did switch bodies once upon a time after all.

"So, what exactly are you doing home at ten-thirty on a Monday
morning?" Aisha butted in again, making me laugh.

Oh if you only knew, Sha, if you only knew. "Not feeling that great,
decided I had enough time in to take a personal day."

"I told you living with your ex-honey would do that to you," Aisha's
sing-song reply has me blowing out a breath and counting to ten. I
love my girl, have since she became my teammate and Putty and Tenga
ass-kicking partner, but some days, I REALLY want to strangle or slap
her. I guess growing up around Rocky was bound to have an affect on
her at some point, I just didn't know it would make her so sarcastic.

"Sha, shut up," I tell her, knowing she'll take it in stride. We say
things to each other all the time that normal friends wouldn't.
That's the bliss of mine and Sha's friendship – we've been to hell
and back together, we know each other inside and out, we can say
things to each other that would piss off the normal person and still
be able to talk to each other without a hitch in our friendship.

I'm so lost in thought I barely hear Billy's voice. "I'm sorry
Billy, what did you ask?"

"Might I infer that things with Tommy are not going as smoothly as
you had hoped?" he asks, making me blink as I take in his question.
I can't help but feel slow for a minute, but I think it's the lack of
sleep. I've learned to understand Billy speak, despite the long
words. It's a skill I'm quite proud of, to be honest.

"No, Tommy and I are fine, everything's good between us, it's other,
more boring stuff," I tell him, before I smack my forehead. I just
said that with my two best female friends listening in, and if I know
those two, they are going to pick up on my hesitation to share in a
heartbeat.

"Kim, my cell phone battery only lasts so long, so I'm going to go,
so you can sleep and we can finish lunch. I'll call you later, to
check on you, okay?" Trini suggests, and considering the voice she's
using, I know I will be grilled about this later when I'm feeling
much better and she's by herself.

"Sure, I'll talk to you later. Love ya!" I call out before I quickly
click the phone off. Damn it, I hate having friends who have really
good intuition when it comes to me. Irritated, and now suddenly
hungry, I toss the phone on the bed and get up, heading for the
kitchen and food.

Just talking to three of my former teammates and childhood best
friends just smacks home the fact that I am going down a road I never
thought I'd find myself on again. I've said it before; I love Tommy
and he loves me, but not the way we use to. At least, I didn't think
it was the way I use to until this weekend. Damn concert, damn him
for asking to sleep with me, damn my conscience.

I thought I was over all of this, I really did, but maybe, maybe I'm
not. Hell, maybe I should just shag his brains out and get over it.
Oh yeah, I'm definitely turning into a man, because no self
respecting woman I know would have just thought that. Then again,
this is Tommy we're talking about, and Tommy is HOT, all capital
letters; I'll be the first to admit that, but still, he's Tommy;
slightly forgetful, has a bit too much ego, but also incredibly sweet
and caring when he wants to be.

As I slam the condiments for my sandwich around on the counter, I
realize how far out of hand this has gotten. I'm not going to be
able to figure this out in one afternoon, and I should have known
better than to think I could. With a huge ass sigh I'm sure was
heard all the way in China, I grab my sandwich and go stand in front
of our windows, staring out at Central Park. Taking a bite, I
realize just how much of a pickle I'm in now in regards to Tommy, and
for once, I'm not liking the taste of it.

----

(Closing credits roll while voice over previewing the next episode
begins)

'Next on The Glory Days.' Kim, Tommy, and a visiting Katherine hit
NYC'S nightlife... but who's going home with whom when the party's
over? Definitive answers are finally given in the worlds most
complicated and controversial triangle in the next episode.

Suggested listening music for Episode 4

1.It's My Life – Bon Jovi
2.Here – Rascal Flatts
3.Better Now – Rascal Flatts
4.God Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts