"Grace…" Nick started as he looked at his wife.

"Hmm?" Grace was looking out of the window of their lavish house on the beach. As she watched the waves crash against the shore, she imagined Frankie in La Jolla dancing around a bonfire she had made on the beach outside of their, no, her house. She would never get used to living with Nick in Miami.

"Grace," Nick said again as he put a hand on her shoulder.

"What?" She asked.

"You're thinking about her again, aren't you? You miss her." He tried not to sound hurt. He liked Frankie. Sure, she was crazy, but she was Grace's best friend, and he knew that being with Grace meant being with Kooky too, even if they did live over a day away now by car and over five hours away by plane.

"Yeah," she said softly. "I sent her a text earlier, but she never responded. She probably turned her phone on silent and put it in her underwear drawer again. It'll be days before she finds it. You know she doesn't wear a bra or panties most of the time. She'll be so mad that she can't find it though. I know she was planning on doing another vision quest and vlogging her experience."

She thought back to when Robert and Sol had first left them. Frankie had hated all of the little things she remembered about Sol from all their years together. She hated that she knew that he kept his medicine in the kitchen cabinet and that he always lost his glasses under a couch cushion. Now here Grace was feeling that same way but about Frankie.

Was it really supposed to hurt this much? Was she supposed to feel like she left the best part of her in La Jolla?

She swallowed hard and turned away from the open window so that she could look at Nick. How young he looked in the sunlight. He had started dyeing his hair in an attempt to maintain a more youthful appearance, but he really didn't need to. There had only been a few streaks of gray to begin with, and Grace had found them endearing. His barely graying hair was just another reminder of the age difference between them.

"Do you…" he sighed. "Do you want to go visit her?"

"Yes." Her answer was immediate, too eager.

He had pretended to be clueless to her feelings for Frankie the entire time they had been together. They had been married for half a year now, and not a day had gone by without Grace mentioning, calling, texting, emailing, or FaceTiming Frankie. He sighed again and ran his fingers through his hair.

"You aren't happy here, are you?" He asked.

"What?" She asked. "Of course I am. I love your friends and all the parties we throw and this big, beautiful house."

"And me?" He asked.

"Well that goes without saying. Of course I love you." She didn't meet his eyes.

"But...not as much as you love her." It wasn't a question.

"I don't...I don't love her," she said. "I just miss her. She's my friend."

"Your friend who you're in love with. Grace, it's okay." He took her hands in his and kissed them. "We tried this, and it didn't work out. You don't love my friends. You don't love having to constantly entertain. If you loved this big, beautiful house then you would've unpacked all of your boxes months ago. They're still there in the corner waiting for you to make your great escape. I've seen it all along, but I thought...I really thought we could make this work. I thought we could build a home together."

Tears welled up in Grace's eyes. "I do love her, damn it. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. None of this has been fair to you. You're a great guy, and I've been so checked out of this marriage. It's just like my last one. Only this time...this time I can only think about her. I don't...I don't feel like myself here, Nick. I feel lost without her."

"I know, Grace," he said sadly. "You and Kooky deserve each other."

"I guess we do."

She felt terrible about leaving him but not as terrible as she would feel if she continued to stay. She was glad that he had seen what she was too afraid to admit. Goosebumps erupted on her skin as she thought about seeing Frankie again and she couldn't help but grin.

"Take the helicopter. It'll be faster than anything else." Nick told her as he texted the pilot. "Pack a bag. I'll have your boxes delivered back to you, and I'll mail you the divorce papers."

"Nick, thank you for-for all this. I'm so sorry." She hugged him tightly.

"Please stop saying that, Grace. It's okay. Just go get her, huh? You don't have many years left. You might as well spend them in the sand with an artist. Kooky's a lucky lady."

"I hope she'll have me," she sniffed and gave him one last squeeze before she went to pack her bag.

Grace threw her toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers, perfume, push-up bra, panties, and satin nightgown into an oversized purse. She went to the bathroom and couldn't help but smile at herself in the mirror as she washed her hands. She was going home. Home where tracked-in sand littered the floor. Home where there was always the faint smell of weed and incense no matter how much air freshener she sprayed. Home where laughter and odd, semi-satanic rituals woke her up at all hours of the night. Home where paint splattered overalls could be found hung over the back of a chair and a stray handmade clog would find its way into her bedroom. Home where Frankie was.

She took off her wedding ring and left it on the sink in the bathroom before she took a deep breath and went outside to board the helicopter.

The helicopter ride wasn't exactly pleasant, and they had to make several stops along the way. However, she was thrilled when they finally landed in San Diego. She got down on her knees and placed kisses in the sand before she wiped her mouth. "Bad idea," she grimaced and slowly made her way back up into a standing position.

She thanked Nick's pilot and handed him all the money she had in her wallet before she slung her purse over her shoulder and headed down the familiar beach.

When she approached the beach house, she took a deep breath, her nerves suddenly catching up to her. What if Frankie didn't feel the same way? What if she had moved on? What would people say? A million thoughts flooded her head, but none of them were as important to her as the fact that she loved Frankie. No matter what happened, she needed her to know that.

"F-Frankie?" She called as she walked into the house.

As expected, there was sand all over the hardwood, a pair of overalls over a chair, and a stray clog in the middle of the room. She bet if she went looking, she would find its partner in her old bedroom. Her shoes clacked against the hardwood as she walked further into the house. A half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an opened bag of marshmallows, and half a dozen Cheezits were visible on the kitchen counter. She opened the refrigerator and counted eighteen bottles of Reddi-Wip. At least five of them looked to be opened. Her eyes moved down to the freezer section where a baggy of weed stared up at her. Remnants of Frankie were everywhere, but the artist herself was nowhere to be found.

Grace set her purse down on a stool and kicked off her shoes. She rubbed her heels for about a minute before a lightbulb went off inside her head. The studio. Of course she would be there.

The old brass doorknob jiggled and Grace had to push her weight against the door to get it to open. Once inside, she gasped. The studio looked like a shrine dedicated to her. All different types of paintings, collage pieces, and photographs stood out on canvasses and hung from the walls. None of the works were gimmicky. They were raw, beautiful pieces. Each brush stroke was calculated, each part of the collage carefully placed, each photo strategically taken. These weren't Frankie's typical style. There was nothing cartoony or particularly whimsical about any of the works. They showcased a side to Frankie's artistic skills that Grace had never seen before.

The artist herself was asleep on the couch in her bathing suit, a towel underneath her, her hair still wet from her earlier plunge into the ocean. Her breath was even, and Grace watched the steady rise and fall of her chest as she slowly and quietly made her way closer.

"Frankie?" She couldn't help but whisper after a little while as she gently squeezed her hand.

Her eyes blinked open lazily, and her mouth turned into a smile. "My muse."

"I'm here," Grace whispered, and she lightly kissed Frankie's forehead.

Frankie's hands found Grace's, intertwining their fingers. "No ring?" She asked.

"It's hard to be married to somebody when-when you're in love with somebody else." Grace nearly chickened out, but she said it.

"Babe was right," Frankie grinned. "You are in love with me, and you have been this whole time," she giggled.

"Well I wouldn't go that far," Grace scoffed. "You do get on my nerves, you know?"

"I do know, and you get on mine too, but I love the shit out of you." She leaned up and kissed her suddenly.

Grace let out a slow moan into the kiss and let her fingers run through Frankie's hair. She never knew something could feel so right. "You-you know when I first knew I loved you?" She breathed.

"Our first night together in this house," Frankie giggled before she kissed Grace again, this time more deeply, her tongue darting around her back molars and working its way around to where Grace's tongue stayed motionless in the middle of her mouth.

"How did you know?" She managed to get out before her tongue was attacked by Frankie's in a one-sided sword fight. She couldn't help but laugh and try to fight back with her own tongue.

"Because," she panted softly. "That's when I fell in love with you."

"Yeah?" She breathed.

"Yeah," she murmured before allowing her tongue to resume roaming around Grace's mouth.

If Grace were honest with herself, which she was getting better at being, she would note that she had never been so turned on in her life. She really hadn't been with many men in the grand scheme of things, but she had certainly never been a woman before, especially not a woman she loved. She repositioned her body slightly so that she was more comfortable, now hovering over Frankie. Her hands found Frankie's chest and slowly started to massage it as she leaned down for another kiss.

"Mm, you know a good sternum rub relaxes me," Frankie smiled. "But I want…I want to make you feel good. I want your first time to be...earth- shattering. Awakening. Special." Kisses punctuated each adjective. "Switch me places."

It was a little awkward. Stiff joints and tired, old bodies didn't cooperate like they used to, but eventually, Grace was gazing up at Frankie, the woman's long, damp hair tickling her semi-exposed chest.

"I've never...I've never felt like this before." Grace hated the way her voice quivered.

"Shh." Frankie kissed Grace's pouty bottom lip. "I know. We'll go slow, okay? Nice and gentle. We'll get to know each other all over again. Yeah?"

"Yeah," Grace nodded and took Frankie's hands in her own. She brought them to her lips and kissed them. She couldn't help but giggle a little at the vagina ring she had on her middle finger and decided to kiss it too.

"Namaste," Frankie smiled down at her before she cupped the sides of Grace's face. Her fingers traced hearts on each cheek before they trailed down lower. "So beautiful…" she whispered as she reached under Grace to unhook her bra.

Grace reached her hands back to remove the bra, but Frankie stopped her.

"Slow, remember? Let me." Frankie moved with almost agonizing slowness as she gently removed Grace's push-up bra and let it fall to the floor.

Grace had never let a lover see her in the daylight before. What if she wasn't what Frankie expected? What if she didn't measure up to the paintings that surrounded them in the cramped studio? What if she wasn't able to perform for Frankie, having no prior experience with this sort of thing? What if it wasn't good for either of them?

Her panicked, racing mind was quieted by Frankie's touch, slow yet intent. Her warm, thin fingers traced the skin around her nipples through the thin fabric of her blouse. A gasp escaped her lips.

"Nice and slow," Frankie repeated her earlier sentiment as her hands moved lower and played with the hem of Grace's blouse. "This is about you. This isn't about getting some guy off. This isn't even about getting me off. Don't worry about any of that, baby. Just enjoy this. I love you. This is my gift to you."

Grace shivered as Frankie lifted her blouse up and placed a kiss to her navel. "I love you," she whispered back. It felt instinctual, natural, powerfully true.

It was only then that Grace realized music was playing softly from Frankie's boombox, half hidden under a smattering of drawings in the corner of the room.

"Forever in my heart

Forever we will be

And even when I'm gone

You'll be here in me


Kenny Loggins, of course. Part of her wanted to laugh, and the other part wanted to cry. Frankie was a part of her, forever. It wasn't a song she would have picked for her first time, but somehow, it was perfect. It felt right. Everything about the experience- the time, the place, the song selection felt perfectly right.

Grace had lived in a lot of houses in her life but this was her first home. As she lay there in Frankie's arms hours later, she started to wonder if maybe home didn't have to be a dwelling at all? Maybe home could be a person? Her person? Her Frankie? As Frankie pressed a tender kiss to her temple, she decided that yes, home could be a person. It could be the person who simultaneously drove her crazy and made her feel safer than anyone or anything else in the entire world. Frankie was her home, her safe haven, her refuge, her saving grace.