You Me Us

Pairing: Izzy/Emma

Disclaimer: Not my characters. Just borrowing a bit.

Spoilers: Every episode up until the season finale.

Authors note: I hadn't planned on watching this show, but I wound up finding it one Tuesday night flipping channels and was hooked. The writing is magic and the acting is wonderful. It was all around perfect casting. That being said, while I love Jack, the chemistry was such much more with Emma and Izzy and almost from the beginning I could see that Emma truly had feelings for Izzy and so here we are.

"You have to take the money."

Izzy frowned as she looked between Jack and Emma, the married couple who'd turned her whole world upside down and were now making her feel as if she'd been sent to the principal's office. "I don't understand," she admitted.

When Jack had called her earlier that day and asked her to come over, she'd been so relieved. She had been wanting to apologize for her reaction the morning after their first night together, hoping they could go back to the way they were before she opened her mouth, but when she arrived and went to kiss Jack in greeting, she had been gently pushed away and shown to the couch where Emma had already been seated. Her stomach dropped as Jack looked at her guiltily and Emma didn't look at her at all.

"Izzy, it's...this thing...with us. It started out as one thing and now...I know it's confusing for you but..." Emma paused and although Izzy usually found Emma's nervous rambling adorable and kind of sexy, this time it made her stomach twist in anxiety.

"Just say it," she interrupted impatiently.

"It's become too complicated," Jack finished. "Look, you're in a...different place right now and all you have to focus on is your studies, but Emma and I have careers, friends...family and this..this arrangement could ruin us."

"Arrangement," Izzy repeated, suddenly knowing where the conversation was headed and feeling sick.

"Izzy, you're very sweet and really beautiful but what did you think this was?" Jack asked gently. "Emma and I are married and want to start a family. This thing with you...this isn't a relationship. It never was and never can be."

Izzy felt her heart cracked and didn't understand what was happening. "What?"

"Jack," Emma glared at her husband, surprised by his bluntness. She turned back to Izzy, willing her to understand and to see that at least for Emma it had become a relationship.

"It's...please understand," she turned to Izzy. "We just think it's best if we keep the boundaries we originally agreed to just for now. It will make things less..."

"Embarrassing?" Izzy interrupted again, finally beginning to see she had been completely mistaken about everything. "You're ashamed of me," she accused, looking directly at Emma.

"No Izzy," Emma rushed to assure her, her heart aching at the hurt in Izzy's beautiful eyes. "We aren't embarrassed or ashamed, but this situation isn't accepted and if it gets out, it could cost me my bid for the new theatre and it could cost Jack his career," she explained.

"The problem is that you're so young and free that we got caught up in that," Jack added. "We let ourselves become careless. And after that clusterfuck outside the house the other night? Ava Matherfield heard Emma and I talking about it at school and now we have a sixteen year old kid blackmailing us for Christ sake."

Izzy listened to this patronizing load of bullshit and her pain was quickly turning to anger. She'd been dumped before and had always preferred the direct method instead of empty platitudes.

"Well that's your fault isn't it? You were the one's blabbing about it on school grounds," Izzy pointed out angrily.

"We wouldn't have had to if you hadn't torn up the check and started trying to convince us to blow off our responsibilities after one night of stoned sex," Jack replied defensively and then instantly regretted it.

"Izzy I'm sorry, I didn't mean that," he said sincerely.

"What did you mean Jack?" she asked coldly.

Jack looked at Emma almost desperately but Emma, sweet indecisive Emma, just shrugged helplessly.

"We think it makes things less complicated if you just take the money as originally planned," Emma said quietly. "That would help me, all of us remember to be more...discreet."

"Uh huh," Izzy said, crossing her legs almost as if she were barely interested instead of fighting tears of rejection. "And discretion is important."

"Right," Jack, agreed, relieved that Izzy was finally beginning to understand.

"It's to protect you too Izzy," Emma continued earnestly. Jack may not see it, but she could almost feel the pain radiating from the younger woman and she was hating herself more by the second and at that moment, looking into those sad dark eyes, Emma forgot she was sitting next to her husband. "I care about you Izzy and I don't want what we have to impact your college life and it would."

"What we have?" Izzy repeated incredulously. "What is it we have Emma? Jack already said this isn't a relationship. You're ashamed to be seen with me in public and you want to go back to paying me for sex. That doesn't seem like much of anything to me. Or am I missing something?"

"Yes...no," Jack protested. "Well not exactly. We need this boundary Izzy. We came too close to losing everything the other night because our feelings distracted us and now I'm having to kiss the ass of a spoiled nosy teenager just to keep her quiet."

Emma reached to take Izzy's hand, hurt when she pulled away but not really surprised. "Once you have a career and responsibilities, you'll know what we're talking about."

Izzy shook her head and smiled bitterly. "Wow," she muttered. "You're right Emma," she said firmly getting to her feet.

"Really? So you'll take the money?" Emma said, feeling more relieved than she probably should have. She suddenly couldn't stand the thought of not having Izzy in her life any more.

"No. I'm not taking your money" Izzy said, fighting hard to ignore those damned expressive eyes of Emma's as well as hide the pain and betrayal she felt. She'd be damned if she let this woman or her husband ever see her feelings again. "I meant that you're right. This has become too messy and as of right now I realize it's not worth it. You're not worth it."

"Izzy, come on," Jack said suddenly realizing that he and Emma's plan had backfired. "Just, take the check. I know you can use it for school and in a few days, once this mess with Matherfield has gone away we can go back to our original plan."

"Exactly how fucking pathetic do you think I am?" Izzy asked incredulously and then took a deep breath. She could fall apart later. "You guys win. I'm done."

"Wait, what? Izzy, please don't do this," Emma sniffed. "I don't...don't end this."

"According to you there's nothing to end," Izzy replied, her tears nearly choking her. "No, you know what? fuck you guys." She grabbed her coat and put it on, trying to regain the hold she had on her emotions, at least until she was out of the house. "Just so you know, despite what I do for a living, I have never felt like a whore until just now. So yeah, thank you for that." Without another word she stormed out of the house, not caring that it was a hell of a long walk back to her apartment.

She hadn't gotten far when she heard her name. Sighing she turned and saw Emma running after her. Only in her own mind would she admit it had been Emma alone who had broken her heart.

"Izzy, please don't leave. Not like this," Emma begged.

"How the fuck would you like me to leave? Skipping down the sidewalk or doing cartwheels?" Izzy retorted. "Or maybe you mean you want me to sneak through the woods like the whore I am."

"I've never seen you as a whore Izzy. Not since the day I kissed you in the ladies room. You have to believe me. We don't want this to end," Emma insisted, ignoring Izzy's sarcasm. "I don't want this to end." She couldn't let Izzy go. She wouldn't.

"No. You just want to pay to fuck me with no other interactions outside of that. That is pretty much the definition of whore Emma. You don't want to be seen with me outside of a bedroom and I get it," she smiled bitterly. "I do. I get it. This is just a job to you. I totally misread the situation and that's on me but now, it's done. You and Jack can get back to your 'grown up' lives without having to worry about my embarrassing you and ruining your lives."

"Izzy stop," Emma said, knowing Izzy meant it this time and feeling tears sting her eyes. "You didn't fuck up or misread anything. Not from me."

Izzy's heart fluttered at that but she wouldn't let her guard down with this woman. Not again.

"Yeah I did. God I'm so stupid," she laughed, ignoring the hurt look in Emma's eyes. "Nina warned me but I… never mind. Just... go back to your husband and I'll go back to my clients. At least with them I know where I stand."

"Izzy."

"You know I kind of expected this bullshit from Jack, but you?" Izzy shook her head sadly. "I thought you were different. You made me feel like I was special Emma, like maybe you felt the same way I did. You made me feel things I've never...when you kissed me, it was like nothing else for me and like an idiot I thought it was the same for you but it turns out I'm just some sex toy you pay to fuck when you and Jack are bored with each other. How did you put it? Your 'hall pass?" She swiped angrily at her cheeks, angry that this one woman could make her cry.

"Please don't say that Izzy," Emma cried. She couldn't bear the tears on Izzy's face and wanted nothing more than to touch her, but she knew it wouldn't be welcomed. "I care about you, I do," she swore. "More than I wanted to."

"Well that makes me feel so much better," Izzy scoffed bitterly. "Goodbye Emma," she finished tiredly, unwilling to reveal any more of her heart to this woman than she already had. Instead she just walked away, refusing to care about the tears in Emma's eyes or her own. She saw that nosy red haired bitch Lori standing on her porch trying to eavesdrop and in absolutely no mood to put up with it, she flipped her off, enjoying the offended glare she received.

Emma couldn't do anything but watch Izzy walk away. She wanted to run after her and beg her not to leave or at least promise to see her again but she knew the angry young woman would refuse and without any attempt at politeness either. "Goodbye Emma." Those horrible two words kept playing over and over in Emma's head, each time more painful then the last.

Tears slid down Emma's cheek as she returned to the house, uncaring that Lori Matherfield was watching suspiciously.

"Everything okay?" Jack asked with concern as Emma walked straight to the bar and poured a shot.

"No Jack, nothing is okay. We just hurt someone who didn't deserve it and why? Because we're fucking cowards," she snapped, tossing back the whiskey and pouring another one.

Jack took the glass from Emma and pulled her into his arms. "We aren't cowards Em," he said softly, "we're adults with very big responsibilities and everything to lose because a few nosy, narrow-minded assholes won't keep out of our business. Trust me, I hate this as much as you, but it had to be done."

No you don't hate it as much as I do, Emma thought as she cried in her husbands arms.

Jack eventually pulled away and cupped his wife's face, confused by her reaction. "Emma, Izzy will be fine. She knows we care about her. She'll come back like she has before."

Emma's eyes slid shut as she suddenly heard Izzy's voice in her head:

"Thank you for remembering I'm both present and a human being...you aren't the one feeling like a one night stand who lingered too long...I never felt like a whore until today."

Almost from the beginning she and Jack had done nothing but hurt Izzy, treating her as if she were nothing but a sex toy and they had been too selfish to see it. Emma had been too selfish.

"I don't think so Jack. Not this time."

Jack sighed, "God. Maybe we did handle this the wrong way," he admitted, hating himself for making Izzy feel bad. "Still, it's a sign right? This whole thing was getting out of control. Ending this now before anyone gets hurt is best for all of us. Including Izzy."

"Someone did get hurt Jack," Emma reminded him sadly and then left the house. She felt as she were suffocating from the weight of shame and sadness as well as the unwelcome acceptance of her own feelings for Izzy and she couldn't breathe.

"Oh hey Emma," Lori called rushing down the sidewalk.

Emma swore under her breath, having no desire to see the woman responsible for her current unhappiness. "What is it Lori?" she asked shortly.

"I was just wondering what was wrong with your...niece?" Lori asked not even attempting to hide her sarcasm. "She seemed quite angry with you."

"This may come as a surprise to you Lori but it's none of your fucking business. My life is none of your fucking business so stay the hell out of it," she snapped, turning abruptly and walked the other way.

"Well,' Lori huffed. "The nerve of some people," she muttered, returning to her house with all the dignity she could muster.

CHAPTER 2

"Hello?" Emma answered the phone with very little patience. She had been working on the plans for the Hamilton School theatre and getting very little done because she all she could think of was big brown eyes looking at her, first with desire and then with pain so sharp Emma could feel it clear to her soul.

"I hope you're fucking proud of yourself."

That got Emma's attention. "What? Who is this?"

"It's Izzy's roommate Nina. Izzy's broken and it's your fault."

Emma's heart stopped. "Broken? What are you talking about"

"She's broken," Nina repeated angrily. "She came home last Saturday more devastated than I have ever seen her but refused to talk to me about it. She's been in her room drunk ever since and only leaves it to get another bottle. She hasn't eaten in days, she hasn't gone to class and she's about one shot away from alcohol poisoning and I know of only one person capable of hurting her this badly."

"Oh God," Emma whispered, horrified.

"No, you don't get to pray to God You're the one who did this to her so you need to get your fucking ass over here and fix her."

"I...of course, I'll get Jack and..."

"Fuck 'Uncle' Jack. Izzy didn't fall into a bottle over your husband. You're the one who broke her heart and you're the one who needs to do something before she kills herself."

The phone disconnected before Emma had a chance to reply. She sat frozen for several minutes trying not to picture Izzy hurting so much and failing miserably. She dropped her head into her hands, fighting the tears that threatened. She didn't have the right to cry over what she'd done and she didn't have time. She felt the fear of losing everything welling back up inside of her and this time she met it head on. Yeah, she could lose the theatre project. She could lose her job and she was definitely going to lose her husband, but none of that even compared to the thought of losing the young woman who'd pushed her way into Emma's heart in such a short period of time. She knew what she had to do. She would go to Izzy but first she had to tell her husband their marriage was over.

"Wait. I don't...I don't get it. You're telling me you're in love with Izzy? Izzy, the escort we hired to save our marriage."

Emma shifted uncomfortably under his confused and accusing eyes. "Yes."

Jack gaped at his wife incredulously. "Unbelievable. Your...this is a joke right? You're kidding?"

"No Jack I'm not. I love her. I think I fell for her the moment I met her."

"Fuck," Jack ran his hand through his hair. "I can't even accuse you of cheating," he laughed almost wildly. "That first date when you fucked her on the roof...our roof, even though that wasn't part of the agreement...did you know then?"

Emma tried not to think about the hours spent with Izzy, her inexperienced but oh so passionate kisses, the soft touches and whispers, the laughter and the flaming hot desire she hadn't felt in years. "I...no. I knew I felt more for her than I was supposed to but it wasn't until the night with all of us that I started to realize what I felt. Seeing you and her together...I couldn't stand it.

Jack began to pace the living room as he tried to understand what was happening. His wife was in love with another woman. A paid escort of all people.

"I don't understand this Emma. I mean I know you've been with women before, even though you kept that a secret for ten years but you and I...you're saying...what is it you're saying?"

"I don't know Jack," Emma cried, hating herself for hurting this man. "I love you. I do and these years with you have been amazing, but be honest. We have three minute sex whenever we get around to scheduling it. We watch TV and play with the dog to avoid any intimate conversations. I mean as much as we love each other, the passion died a long time ago Jack and you know it."

Jack knew she was right but that just made him angrier. "And how many others have you fucked out of boredom," he snapped, earning a slap across his face that he knew he deserved.

"None you asshole, and just a reminder. You were the one who went behind my back first with Izzy. Why? Because you needed a different woman to spark your mojo."

Jack flopped onto the couch. "You're right," he admitted sullenly. "I'm sorry."

Emma relaxed a little and sat beside him. "Jack, if a couple has to hire someone else to turn them on, that says something doesn't it?"

"Emma you do turn me on," Jack protested. "God, you're so beautiful and smart and sexy."

"But I wasn't enough anymore," Emma finished gently. She quickly placed her fingers over his mouth knowing he was going to protest. "I'm not blaming you Jack. I feel the same way. You're sexy and funny and you make me so happy, but for the last few years there's been something missing...here," she placed a hand on her chest. "I thought it was because we haven't had kids yet, but when I met Izzy, I knew."

"Is it because she's a woman and you just discovered you're a lesbian?" Jack asked with the childlike hope that always made Emma laugh.

"God I wish it were that simple," she sighed, leaning her head back on the couch. "I don't know what happened Jack. I wish I did. I wish I could explain it to you in a way that wouldn't hurt you but I can't. If we'd never met Izzy, I would have been perfectly content with our lives. I was content. You're a wonderful man and a great husband and the best friend a woman could hope for. You were the one who wanted more. You were the one who wanted a therapist and you were the one who thought having sex with someone else would...I don't even know what you thought that would accomplish," Emma finished.

"I don't either. Why the hell do I keep listening to that asshole brother of mine?"

I have no idea," Emma said. "I never wanted to hurt you Jack. I never wanted to hurt anyone and I have. I hurt you and Izzy is..."

"Izzy's what?" Jack asked, surprised to realize he was worried for the young woman. "Is she okay?"

"No. Her friend Nina called me and apparently Izzy's not eating and is basically drinking herself to death." And with that Emma promptly burst into tears and Jack could do nothing but hold her.

Jack was silent for a moment as he remembered his encounters with Izzy, particularly the night they were together and something became painfully clear to him.

"Is Izzy heartbroken over us or you?" he asked dully.

Emma pulled away, unable to meet Jacks gaze. "I don't know, but Nina implied that..."she couldn't finish that until she knew for sure how Izzy felt about her.

"Well I just worked miracles didn't I?" Jack said bitterly. "I find an escort to help our marriage and she winds up stealing my wife. Great plan Jack."

"Jack this isn't Izzy's fault," Emma replied. "You...we called her. We're the ones who brought her into our marriage. She didn't do anything but be herself."

"I know," Jack admitted reluctantly, "but I still get to be mad for at least five minutes. I am the one being dumped."

"I...fuck, I'm sorry Jack, I don't know what else to say."

"There isn't anything to say Emma. This isn't your fault any more than it is Izzy's or mine. We don't get to choose who we fall in love with."

"What do we do now?" Emma said sadly.

"I don't know. I still have to figure out what to do about Ava and her blackmail," Jack sighed.

"That parts easy," Emma said. "You take it to the school before she and her mother do. We go in together and tell them that we were having a rough patch in our marriage and took some very bad advice."

"You think that will work?" Jack asked doubtfully.

"They're going to find out eventually. You're a good man and a good Dean Jack, you won't let yourself give in to Ava's demands just to protect yourself."

"You'll stand by me?"

"Of course I will," Emma exclaimed. "No matter what, I do love you and we'll make them understand that this situation is not the drama Lori and her daughter would make it."

"You're right as always," Jack agreed. "I'll set up an appointment for Monday. The sooner we get this done the better."

"Good. Just let me know what time and I'll clear my calendar."

The two sat in silence for several minutes, neither knowing what to say.

"I guess I should pack my things," Emma finally said quietly.

"You don't have to move out Emma," Jack told her. "Maybe we can still..."

"Jack, we can't. I...you deserve to find a woman who can give you her whole heart, someone that stirs your passion without effort and you know that's not me."

Jack nodded sadly. "I don't know what happened Emma. I do love you. I don't know how things changed."

"I think it was because we confused friendship and comfort with true love," Emma shrugged.

"Maybe. Still the sex was pretty awesome," Jack stated, drawing a laugh from Emma.

"Yeah it was. When we had it," she teased.

"Being a grown up sucks," Jack whined, though the smile on his face gave Emma hope they would not end up hating each other.

"It has it's benefits," Emma smiled.

"You don't have to move out Em, not until you ready or hell I can find some place. You know I've always wanted a swinging bachelor pad."

"I don't think they have those any more," Emma laughed. "But thank you."

"For what?"

"For not hating me."

"I could never hate you. I mean I could if you had just cheated on me with some random guy or something, but how can I hate you for a situation I pretty much caused?"

Emma nodded then got to her feet. "I need to go check on Izzy," she said awkwardly. "From what Nina said, she's pretty bad so I'm going to take a change of clothes and stay there tonight."

Jack wanted to scream and cry but looking at the pain in Emma's eyes he couldn't. He knew she didn't choose any of this and even though it didn't really help anything, he knew she hadn't meant to hurt him. "Tell her I'm sorry for everything," Jack said sincerely. He truly had felt a connection with the surprisingly innocent young escort from the first moment they met. She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart but he had never really let himself see past what she did, unlike Emma.

Emma nodded and then kissed Jack on the cheek before leaving. Even though she hated having hurt the most wonderful man she'd ever known, telling him the truth filled her with a freedom she hadn't felt in a while. Now she just had to go take care of Izzy and convince her just how important she was to Emma."

CHAPTER 3

"It's about fucking time," Nina greeted standing aside and letting Emma enter.

"I'm sorry, but I had to talk to Jack first."

"Of course you did," Nina sneered, looking at Emma with disgust.

Emma didn't like Nina's attitude but she knew it was deserved. "Look, I know what you think of me but at this point I don't care. I couldn't truly be here for her without telling my husband the truth."

"And what truth is that?" Nina scoffed.

"That I'm in love with Izzy," Emma blurted. If the situation weren't so serious she might have laughed at the stunned expression on the brunettes face. "Where is she?"

Nina just pointed down through the living room to the double glass doors that wouldn't give them a lot of privacy.

"I...would you mind letting me see her alone?"

Nina wanted to say no. This woman had screwed with Izzy's head so badly Nina was actually afraid for her, but to her amazement it would seem this mature married architect truly did love her. "Fine. I'll be back in two hours and if you've so much as made her sniffle? I'll kick that sweet ass of yours back to your husband."

Nina grabbed her purse and left the apartment, wondering when she'd fallen into some fucked up version of Pretty Woman.

Emma took a deep breath and walked through the living room, quietly opening the sliding doors and freezing at what she saw.

"Oh Izzy," Emma whispered, tears stinging her eyes when she saw the disheveled, barely dressed woman curled up in a ball, surrounded by empty vodka bottles. She had known the girl drank a lot, but this was the first time she'd begun to worry just how serious the problem was. Izzy was clearly passed out and Emma suspected it would be a while before she woke up. Sighing shakily, Emma removed her skirt and blouse and slid into the bed, spooning behind Izzy. She pulled the comforter over them both and shifted until she was holding Izzy tightly and waited.

Izzy was warm, too warm and she mumbled unhappily and tried to push the covers off but suddenly she felt a weight crushing her and she began to panic, struggling to escape whatever was holding her.

"Izzy stop, it's just me," a voice spoke in her ear and Izzy stopped fighting. Almost immediately the hangover kicked in and she knew if she didn't get up right that second she'd throw up all over the bed and whoever else was in it. She quickly slid out of bed and ran to the bathroom.

Emma winced as she heard the sounds coming from the bathroom. Fighting down her instinctive nausea, Emma followed Izzy and knelt behind the sick woman. She held Lizzy's hair with one hand while gently stoking her back until Izzy had nothing left to throw up.

"Come on sweetie," Emma said when she was sure Izzy was finished. She helped her to her feet and poured her some mouthwash.

Now with a raging headache, Izzy turned to her guest and was shocked and somewhat irritated to see Emma.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" she snapped, before noticing the tall blonde standing in front of her in nothing but her panties and bra. Jesus she thought her eyes running over that beautiful body. Then she shook her head. No matter how drunk or hungover she was, she wouldn't be this woman's toy any more.

"I came to talk to you," Emma said nervously. She'd seen the brief flash in Izzy's eyes as she ran her eyes over her body and that gave her some hope that she hadn't totally ruined everything.

"Well sorry, but I'm not available right now for...'talk'. Maybe you should Google someone else," she said weakly, wanting nothing more than the tall bane of her existence to go away.

"That's too bad," Emma said bluntly. "I'm not going anywhere and to be honest, I'm pretty sure you're in no condition to make me leave."

Izzy knew she was right, especially since the room wouldn't stop spinning. "Suit yourself," she responded, pushing past Emma and heading to the kitchen.

Emma sighed. She had known this was going to be difficult but she had no intention of giving up. She followed the stubborn young woman, not surprised to see her pulling another bottle out of the liquor cabinet. She quickly stepped behind her and took it from her unsuspecting hands.

"What the fuck Emma?" Izzy angrily turned around and reached for the bottle that Emma was holding. "Give it back."

"You've had enough Izzy. More than enough."

"You were a client Emma, not my mother," Izzy spat.

Emma felt a sharp pang at the reminder of the age difference between them, whether it was intentional or not, it still hit at her insecurities. Then she remembered the softness of Izzy's skin beneath her lips, the fire she felt when Izzy kissed her, when she touched her. She remembered the shivers she felt just hearing Izzy laugh and nothing else mattered more than proving to Izzy how much she meant to her.

"I don't want to be your mother Izzy,"" she said softly, putting the bottle down then backing Izzy into the counter. She placed her hands on either side of her hips.

"What the hell are you doing?" Izzy asked, her hangover suddenly fading to a dull pounding in her head as Emma's nearness and the seductive, predatory expression in her eyes, had her mind swimming.

"You scared me Izzy," Emma told her. "When I saw you...please don't do that again."

"Oh I get it, this is the 'you drink too much' lecture again," Izzy sneered and tried to push Emma away cursing herself for almost falling for those beautiful eyes and that beauty mark again.

"God you're stubborn," Emma breathed and before Izzy could even blink, she took her face in her hands and kissed her.

Izzy's knees went weak at the first touch of Emma's lips. She had never been with a woman aside from Emma but she had become addicted to how soft she was even as she kissed with as much passion as her husband. Emma was far more addictive than anything Izzy had ever known and it frightened her.

She pulled away before she found herself surrendering once again. "Why are you doing this to me?" Izzy choked out. "There are other escorts out there, you don't need me."

"I don't want an escort Izzy," Emma said firmly, gently forcing Izzy's face back to hers. "I don't want a husband or anyone else. I want you."

Everything around Izzy seemed to stop. "What?"

"From the first minute I met you, I felt something..."

"My foot?" Izzy blurted, sarcasm being the last defense mechanism holding her together.

Emma blushed at the reminder of the first and only foot job she'd ever received but she wouldn't be distracted.

"Izzy, I love you," she blurted, briefly feeling proud of herself for silencing the angry young woman.

"You...I...you love me?" Izzy managed.

Emma was well aware she was taking a huge risk. It was likely, even probable that the younger woman didn't feel as strongly about her and that she was about to humiliate herself, but seeing Izzy so hurt, she knew that it was worth it. Izzy was worth it.

"I know that it seems sudden and that I haven't really done anything to show you how I feel but, yeah I do."

"I...I'm confused." Izzy couldn't think. This older, sophisticated woman that was so beautiful it made Izzy's heart ache just said she loved her.

"Welcome to the club," Emma chuckled. She stroked a hand down Izzy's cheek.

Unfortunately Izzy's stomach decided to remind her of her very poor decisions over the last few days. "I...can we finish this laying down?" she asked, deciding that perhaps it wouldn't hurt anything to have Emma's arms around her one more time.

Emma grinned, hoping that perhaps young Izzy had finally learned something about moderation. "Okay. Plus it is getting a little chilly," she added, reminding both herself and Izzy she was standing in the kitchen in her underwear.

"Jesus," Izzy breathed, forgetting herself for a second as she ran her eyes over Emma. How had she never before known how beautiful a woman's body could be. Or was it just this one woman?

Emma felt her face heat once more at the heated perusal she'd just been given but Nina could return at any time and she still had so much to say to Izzy. She took Izzy's hand and led them back to her bedroom where Emma removed the empty bottles from the bed as Izzy slid under the covers. She joined her and they both lay on their backs not touching for several awkward moments.

"Why did you come here?" Izzy finally said.

"Nina told me that you...haven't been taking care of yourself."

"Nina needs to mind her own fucking business," Izzy said angrily.

"She cares about you," Emma insisted, "but I think it was more because she was pissed at me. She wanted me to know how badly I'd hurt you because I deserved to suffer. And she was right."

"Yeah I drunk myself into a fuckin' coma. Just proves to you how immature I am right?"

Emma turned onto her side and propped her head into her hand. "Izzy, I have screwed up so many things with you. I hated knowing that Jack had called you because I wasn't enough for him anymore. I told you I wanted to find out why he liked you and that was true, but I also wanted to find out what you had that I didn't."

"That's dumb" Izzy snorted. "You are sexy, smart, and wicked funny. And he even told me that his calling me had nothing to do with you. That he loves you."

"I know and I love him too but as I told him earlier I'm not in love with him and he's not in love with me. If we were than we wouldn't have needed a third party to help jump start our sex life."

"You're not in love with Jack?" Izzy asked hopefully.

Emma smiled and shook her head. "No and I realized that when we spent those hours together on the roof. I felt more with one kiss from you than I'd felt with Jack or anyone else in...forever. You are so sweet and innocent yet also a big giant bundle of trouble. And I when I saw you kissing Jack….I hated it Izzy. I wanted to cry thinking that you wanted him and I was just and...extra. I was so jealous and angry that I had to pretend it was turning me on but the whole time, I just wanted Jack to be somewhere else. I just wanted us to be alone. I wanted it to be me you were kissing and touching. I wanted to be the one kissing you and showing you how absolutely beautiful you are. I wanted to whisper such dirty things in your ear," she added with a laugh, enjoying Izzy's little responding whimper, "and I wanted to whisper 'I love you'.

Izzy's eyes slid closed and a tear slid down her cheek. "You wanted to give me money for sleeping with you. You wanted me to go back to being your whore."

"God Izzy, stop saying that," Emma begged. "Yes it started off as a business arrangement but we never saw you as a whore. I know that we didn't act like that and I'm so sorry."

"I sleep with people for money Emma. I know what that makes me and I'm not ashamed of that. It pays the bills and pays for college. I just thought that we had something different, but Nina was right."

"About what?" Emma prodded.

"She said that you and Jack were treating me the same way I treated Andy and she was right. It is some fucked up cosmic justice."

Emma sighed in frustration and rolled to her back. "Izzy, I don't know how many more times I can say I'm sorry for that. We just...we have Lori Matherfield and your boyfriend," Emma nearly choked on that word, "spying on us and...it would be difficult if it were just an affair between you and Jack or you and me, but the three of us? Jack is such a good teacher and he's an awesome Dean and so good with the kids, but Lori would make sure he never got a job in education again and she'd make sure I lost the contract for the theater which would cost me my job."

"I do know that," Izzy said sadly. "And I don't want that for either of you, but you could have just ended it instead of bringing money back into it."

"Jack...Jack does like you Izzy but for him this relationship really was about our marriage, but me? I went along with it because I didn't want to lose you," Emma said.

"You know that doesn't even make sense."

"I know, but it doesn't even matter right now. She rolled back on her side. "What you have to know is that I am head over heels in love with you Izzy. I want to be with you, just you."

Izzy's big eyes got even bigger as she stared at Emma in shock. "Emma," her mind went blank, having no idea what to say.

Emma's heart sunk and she felt a sick knot in her gut. "It's too much, isn't it? You don't feel the same. Shit," she had never wanted to disappear more in her life.

"I'm sorry. I'll go," she choked, moving to get out of bed, but a hand on her arm stopped her.

"Emma, wait. Stay."

"Why?"

"I just...that night, after you and I were together? I couldn't stop thinking about you. I was lying in bed, staring at your picture on my phone, remembering how good you tasted, how soft you were and how right it felt with you. God, I'd never felt that way before. Ever."

Once again Emma found herself blushing. "Really?"

Izzy sat up and shifted to where she was pressed against Emma. "Yeah," she whispered into Emma's ear before placing a kiss on the beauty mark that had always made her crazy. "Emma I was crazy about you from the second I saw you and I went along with this threesome thing only so I could be with you."

"Yeah?" Emma smiled hopefully.

"I love you too Emma. I love how you can blush while saying such dirty things to me, I love you how you stammer when you're nervous. I love the way you can make me laugh, just being together or even when you're lying underneath me. I love the way I feel when I'm with you."

"Oh, Izzy," Emma breathed wrapping her arms around Izzy and feeling how gaunt she was. "I'm so sorry that I hurt you. I'm going to help get Jack get out of this blackmail shit with Ava and then...I'm going to be single. If you're interested."

Izzy pressed a lingering kiss against Emma's throat, any lingering hangover vanishing with the realization that Emma loved her. "Oh I'm definitely interested," Izzy whispered, trailing her lips up the long neck, thrilling at the little moans she heard in a way that no client, no boyfriend had ever thrilled her. She nipped at Emma's chin and then Emma had enough. She captured Izzy's wandering lips and kissed her like she'd never kissed her before. It was more than desire or lust. It was a kiss meant to show the younger girl how much she was loved, how much Emma valued her. Their tongues danced and Emma's hand slid over Izzy's body, savoring each touch, each shiver and each moan as if she'd never get another chance.

Izzy's hands slipped into Emma's soft hair, clenching tightly as Emma's beautiful mouth moved against hers and she found herself more turned on from just a kiss than she'd ever been. Suddenly Emma's lips were gone and Izzy groaned in protest.

"Emma?" Izzy panted, wondering if she'd doe something.

"I...God," Emma breathed. "I'm sorry but sweetie, you really need a shower."

Izzy frowned and then blushed as she remembered she hadn't showered in quite a while. "Oh my God," she rushed out, embarrassed until she saw the sly look on Emma's face.

"Though I think you may still be a bit shaky so of course I'll have to help you." Izzy's face lit up like a child's at Christmas and damned if that didn't turn her on.

Izzy grinned, smiling for the first time in a week, grabbed Emma's hand and pulled her into the bathroom.

Emma laughed at Izzy's enthusiasm. "Nina could be back any minute," she said and then gasped as Izzy stepped behind her and released her bra, placing kisses down her spine.

"I don't care," Izzy whispered, turning Emma around and backing her against the vanity. "You are so fucking beautiful," she said, dropping to her knees and placing her hands on Emma's waist. She trailed her fingers along the firm soft skin of her belly before leaning in and kissing her. How had she never allowed herself to realize how amazing a woman's body could be. Especially this woman's.

Emma's head fell back as Izzy's lips burned hotly against her abdomen but she barely managed to hold onto her restraint.

"Uh uh," she teased, pulling Izzy to her feet. "Shower first."

Izzy reluctantly complied but only because being naked together with Emma under pulsing hot water was so much better than what she had been doing.

Nina opened the door to the apartment, worried about what she was going to find, but she'd meant what she said to Emma. If Izzy was still the basket case she was that morning, Emma would find a very expensive size 8 stiletto up her ass.

She walked into the apartment and to her surprise she heard the shower running. So relieved her friend was finally out of bed, she rushed into the bathroom to hug her and nearly fell over her feet when she saw Izzy through the glass doors, currently pressing a blonde architect against the wall, kissing her as if her life depended on it.

Nina grinned and shook her head quietly backing out of the bathroom, thinking maybe she needed to give Andy a call.

END