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Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, I am simply borrowing them from
ABC and The Bedford Falls Company to tell this story.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: The 8th in a new on going series, exploring the life of Once and
Again's wonderful characters of Jessie Sammler and Katie Singer. In this
edition the winners of the contest at Club Nash are revealed and it's a
big surprise.
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Once And Again: Jessie And Katie Part 8 - Stay The Night
by The Vert Man (TheVertMan@softhome.net)
edited by Chris Franklin

"First the winner of the Female Category and the chance to record a demo for
New Hit Records Nashville." Brian said as he started to open the envelope and
looked back in Jessie and Sarah's direction, "Is......"

Brian looked in shock as he saw the contents of the envelope and then
announcing to a stunned house, "Folks we have a tie."

"OH MY GOD" Katie said jumping around excitedly beside Jessie.

"The First winner is" Brian said, "Sarah Grasser."

A look of complete shock and amazement came over her face and she just stood
there. Grace hugged her and pushed her towards the front of the stage.
Slowly she looked at Jessie, who was smiling politely and clapping as were
the rest of the crowd. A huge commotion was coming from the front of the
stage as security was trying to keep someone from getting on.

"She's my cousin you asswhole," Shell screamed as she was being taken away
from the stage, "let me go, I'm telling you flat foot, she's my cousin."

Sarah pretended not to know her and accepted the trophy. Taking a bow next
and returning to stand beside Grace.

"You won, you really won" Grace said noticing that Sarah was still in
complete shock.

"And the second winner is..." Brian said letting the tension build, "and I
have to say she blew me away. Jessie Sammler...."

"YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS" Katie screamed jumping up and down and pumping her
fist, pushing Jessie out to centerstage.

Brian announced that Travis had won the Male competition and talked for a
minute about what would be happening in the coming weeks to the winners.
Jessie and Sarah where in shock as the ceremony wrapped up. Jessie was
mobbed by Rick and Lily and of course Katie and Grace. Sarah took a seat
in the corner and kept to herself as she watched the celebration. This
didn't go unnoticed as after a few minutes Grace noticed what was happening
and excused herself from the Sammler/Manning Party and went to find Sarah.

"Hey What are you doing over here?" Grace asked pulling Sarah up to her feet.

"I didn't wanna interrupt" Sarah said smiling at Grace, "Jessie won and all."

"You did too" Grace said taking Sarah's face in her hands and trying to wake
her up.

"I know" Sarah replied taking Grace's hands in hers and moving them from
her face, "I'm going crazy on the inside. Just trying to remain calm on the
outside." Grace hugged her anyway and pulled her along to the rest of the
group. Katie was the first to see them and ran up and hugged Sarah,
congratulating her, which drew strange looks from both Sarah and Jessie.
Maybe a little jealousy from Jessie too, Grace observed.

"Sarah," Zoe screamed and ran up and hugged her after Katie.

Sarah smiled as Lily suggested they go out and celebrate, Jessie and the rest
of the gang readily agreed. Sarah suddenly faced with the prospect of not
having a ride home, now that Shell had been carted off, decided to tag along.
Only to later find out Shell was thrown out of the club and decided to drive
on home.

"Hey you know I'll give you a ride home" Grace said as they reached the door
to the pizza place, "and who knows maybe more...."

"Is that a promise?" Sarah asked starting to giggle and taking Grace's hand
in hers.

"Only if you have a good time" Grace said as she walked away and met the rest
of the family at the booth.

"A toast" Rick said, "to both of the winners, Jessie and Sarah."

Sarah finally let her excitement show as the party rolled into the night,
even she and Jessie seemed to be getting along,singing a duet for the crowd
later on. Sarah's excitement was even more evident as Rick and Lily and the
kids all piled into the car and headed home.

"I'm gonna give Sarah a ride home" Grace said at the last second, as the
family went inside.

"I'm going to Nashville baby" Sarah screamed as her and Grace got out of the
car at Sarah's place. Sarah then ran around the front and as Grace was
locking the car door, jumped on her back and hugged her tightly, "Thank you,
thank you."

"What did I do?" Grace asked feeling a little confused as Sarah jumped down
and took Grace's hand in hers.

"You're my good luck charm" Sarah said hugging Grace again, "and my best
friend."

"I am" Grace asked smiling in surprise at Sarah.

"You sure are" Sarah said pulling Grace by the hand, "now we're gonna
celebrate."

"Wait" Grace said laughing and trying to keep up with Sarah who was now
hopping along the sidewalk. A million miles above the city, Grace thought.

"HEY" Sarah screamed to the entire block, "I'M GOING TO NASHVILLE AND I'M
GONNA BE THE NEXT BIG THING BABY."

"Sarah shut up" Grace said putting her hand over Sarah's mouth and laughing
harder, "you gonna get the cops called."

"THIS IS MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD" Sarah said again aloud after
playfully biting at Grace's hand, "AND I LOVE HER".

Putting her arms around Sarah's neck, she covered her mouth with her hand
and said quietly, "you get me arrested Sarah Grasser and I'm gonna kick your
ass."

"You gonna be a good girl?" Grace asked as Sarah motioned her head yeh and
Grace slowly removed her hand, "Ok that's much better."

"I promise I'll be good" Sarah said looking at Grace with a dreamy look in
her eyes, "I'd never ever do anything to hurt you."

"Sure you say that now" Grace said walking ahead and giggling to herself.

"You know I'm serious" Sarah said catching up to Grace and taking her hand.

"Yeh" Grace said.

"Come on let's go" Sarah said pulling Grace again by the hand and heading
into her apartment, "time to really celebrate."

Unlocking the door and walking inside, Grace thought how much she had come
to like Sarah's place in such a short time and how tonight seemed
particularly nice. Sarah made a visit to the bathroom while Grace took off
her coat and made a visit to Sarah's closet. Selecting an interesting
title, "Bi Bi Bi", she quickly popped it into the VCR and took a seat on the
bed with the remote. Trying to keep a straight face as Sarah came out of the
bathroom. Grace hit the play button on the remote and smiled at Sarah.

"Well since you won: to the winner go the spoils" Grace said confusing
herself, "What I mean is you deserve a prize and I hope I'll do."

Sarah's eyes bugged out at the sound of Grace's voice and she slowly walked
over to the bed and then noticed what was playing on the TV. Three girls
where already naked and going at it. Sarah smiled and tried to get her
thoughts straight, but before she could, Grace began to direct her.

"Now get up on the bed and you'll get exactly what you deserve..... till
you're blue in the face." Grace said as Sarah smiled and moved to the top
of the bed as directed, kicking her shoes off to the side and never for one
second taking her eyes off Grace. Grace slipped the button-up sweater she
was wearing off and kicked her shoes off. Then as slowly as she could, with
a million thoughts running through her mind, she crawled up the bed until
she was over Sarah.

"Are you ready for what you deserve?" Grace asked trying her best to keep it
together. Sarah was nodding yes and waited for Grace's next move. Grace
took Sarah's hand and placed it on her side, touching her bare skin just a
little and then smiling as she leaned down, letting her hair surround Sarah's
face. Coming closer and closer, Sarah rose to kiss Grace, and Grace blocked
her lips with her finger tip and pushed her softly back down to the bed.

"Guess what?" Grace said moving within inches of Sarah's lips and being able
to smell Sarah's perfume and having to admit for the first time in her life,
at this moment there was no where else she wanted to be.

"What?" Sarah asked quietly tilting her head ready for Grace's kiss.

Moving up just a little, Sarah felt Grace gently kiss her nose, much like
she did earlier and she heard Grace whisper in her ear "I can be a tease
too."

Grace started laughing and flopped down on the bed, laughing hysterically
actually.

"OH COME ON" Sarah said looking at Grace in total disbelief, "you're dead,
you are so fuckin' dead."

Grace rolled off the bed and ran behind the TV. "Come here girl, you got a
spanking coming." Sarah said chasing Grace back on to the bed and grabbing
her leg and pulling her back. She whacked her on the ass with her hand and
then did it again, but not nearly as hard, as Grace whimpered and fought
to get away.

"That was so cruel" Sarah said moving over Grace and fighting with her till
she held her hands to the mattress, "now you're gonna get what you deserve."

"Oh NO" Grace said laughing and still fighting to get way. Sarah moved one
of her hands to Grace's waist and pushed her shirt up, almost to her bra and
then smiled an evil grin before going on. She lowered her head and started
blowing bubbles on her stomach, much like you would do to a baby.

"Stop Sarah Stop" Grace said barely able to breath for laughing so hard and
squirming to get out from under Sarah, "I'm gonna pee if you don't quit.
SARAH STOP."

Sarah just smiled as she stopped for a second and went on doing it four or
five more times, before stopping and starting to tickle Grace. Grace finally
managed to get loose and ran for the door. Opening it, she ran outside and
down the hall with Sarah hot on her heels.

"Grace stop" Sarah said out of breath as they both stopped at the elevator,
"I'll quit I promise."

"You come near me and I'll scream" Grace said moving her hair out her eyes
and still trying to catch her breath. Sarah walked one step at a time closer
to Grace, as she smiled and when she was finally close enough, she said
"We're even ok."

"Ok" Grace said walking ahead of Sarah back to the apartment. Then feeling
Sarah's arms around her waist and fearing the worse again, but this time
Sarah just walked behind her acting goofy and making Grace practically drag
her back inside. Falling down on the bed, Sarah said "that was so wrong..."

"I know I'm sorry" Grace said sitting down in the chair a few feet away.

"No, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings" Sarah said sitting up, "I just
meant it was perfect payback."

"OHHHH, so you're not mad" Grace asked Sarah seriously.

"No way, your my best friend" Sarah said, "I could never stay mad at you."

Grace then joined Sarah on the bed. As they talked and chatted for a while,
before falling into a long silence and just staring at each other for a
while.

"So when do you think they'll call?" Grace asked.

"You mean the record guys?" Sarah asked.

"Yeh" Grace answered

"Said it would be a few weeks." Sarah responded.

"I'm so happy for Jessie" Grace said smiling.

"Me too" Sarah said smiling at Grace, "hard to believe it was a tie huh."

"Yeh when he looked at you and then Jess, I didn't know what to think" Grace
said.

"You were like "you won, Sarah you won" Sarah giggled "and they announced
Jessie's name and Katie goes nuts, followed by that scream."

"I guess I see some of what Katie sees in her now" Sarah said looking away,
as Grace touched her back and Sarah looked back at Grace as she asked "you
ok?"

"Yeh I just miss her sometimes" Sarah said sitting up and moving off the
bed, walking slowly to the window and letting a few tears drop down her
cheeks. Grace sat there not knowing what to do as she watched Sarah cry.
Not being able to think of anything to say, she moved from the bed and
tentatively approached Sarah from behind. Touching her shoulder and
fearing the worst, Sarah took Grace's hand from her shoulder and pulled
her close. Wrapping Grace's arms around her tightly from behind. Grace
laid her head on Sarah's shoulder and met her eyes in the glass and tried
to smile.

"You'll find someone new" Grace said feeling her heart jump, "and they'll
never break your heart."

"I know you won't" Sarah said touching her hand to Grace's cheek and
confusing Grace for a second until she figured out what Sarah meant. Then
she could feel her heart start to pound like before, "you're my Amazing
Grace."

"I'm not that Amazing" Grace said, still with her head on Sarah's shoulder
and meeting her eyes in the window. Then she thought that it was so much
better that her and Sarah were the same height, before her mind drifted
again. Strange thoughts you have in those situations.

"I think so" Sarah said smiling again just a little, "that's why....."

Grace stood there waiting for Sarah to finish the sentence, but she never
did and Grace wondered what she was gonna say before trailing off.

"What where you saying?" Grace asked softly.

"Nothing" Sarah said wiping her face with her sleeve and getting quite again.

"No tell me please" Grace asked as Sarah turned around slightly and faced
her, "I swear I won't get mad or anything."

"You sure you wanna know" Sarah asked one more time as Grace nodded her head
yes and Sarah smiled and moved the stray hair from Grace's forehead. "I was
gonna say...."

"Yeh" Grace said as Sarah looked away again, seemingly worried about
something, "Sarah what is it?"

"Grace I'm falling for you" Sarah said softly and looking Grace in the eyes
before continuing on, "you're just so Amazing."

Grace's heart began to pound and she moved back a step or two, trying to
figure out everything.

"You wanted to know" Sarah said walking back over to the bed, leaving Grace
still standing by the window. Grace stood there for a long time thinking as
Sarah had now lain down on the bed and was reading or pretending to. Grace
thought about how much she had changed since falling for Mr. Dmitri and of
course for Eli and how this new thing with Sarah was so similar to those.
Looking back she noticed something strange, what Sarah was reading.

"Stories by Anton Chekov," The book jacket read as Grace moved back to the
bed crawling up again beside Sarah and asked, "you like him?"

"Yeh I love him" Sarah said not really noticing Grace for the moment, "Why?"

"He's like my all time favorite author" Grace said moving her hand over
Sarah's and moving the book so she could see, "this one is so cool."

"You ok," Sarah asked softly, "you're not freaked out are you."

"No," Grace said bringing her back to reality as it was, "I ummmmm....
sorta....."

Grace stumbled over the words as Sarah smiled at her, with a look on her
face like she had never seen anything like her before. "Tell me you're for
real," Sarah said running her hand down Grace's cheek, "and when you wanna
tell me what's going on in that beautiful head of yours, I wanna hear every
word."

Grace smiled shyly and seemed to relax Sarah observed, as she turned back to
her book. Grace picked up the remote and hit the play button and got a shock
when 'Bi Bi Bi' started playing again. Sarah looked up and started to laugh
as Grace fumbled with the remote trying to find the stop button, blushing a
deep crimson. Then after successfully stopping the tape, threw the remote
down and shot Sarah a dirty look.

"It's not that funny" Grace said unsuccessfully trying to hide a smile.

"That's payback for what you did to me," Sarah said through a giggle as Grace
whacked her with a pillow and started tickling her.

After a few seconds both lay on the bed laughing, when Sarah asked, "This is
gonna sound bad, but I swear I don't mean it the way it sounds."

"What?" Grace said looking at Sarah.

"You wanna spend the night?" Sarah said as the smile left Grace's face and
she feared she had went to far too soon.

"Why, so you can have your way with me?" Grace said sitting up, "Rip my
clothes off and make mad passionate love to me till where both exhausted."

"And you call me a perv" Sarah said laughing at Grace's response, then
leaning close to Grace and asks, "But that doesn't sound too bad does it?"

"NO," Grace said simply as Sarah looked at her intently and Grace began to
realize a lot of things had changed in her life.

"I just don't wanna be alone tonight," Sarah said, "something good finally
happened and I wanna share it with someone. I mean..... I wanna share it
with you."

"OK, if your gonna beg.... Geez," Grace said as her mind raced and she laid
down on the bed and said, "take me....."

* * *

Meanwhile back at the house in Jessie's room.

"Yes, they said me and Sarah both get to go," Jessie told her Mom excitedly.

"Honey, that is so wonderful," Karen said from the other end of the phone,
"and Henry says congratulations. Here, he wants to talk to you."

"Jessie," Henry said into the phone as he took it from Karen.

"Hey, Henry," Jessie said.

"Congrats," He said as Jessie thanked him before he went on, "I've got a
friend in Nashville that you and Sarah can stay with if you decide to."

"Thanks, Henry," Jessie said, "You don't have to do that."

"He's a nice guy and that way we can all stay together, that is if you don't
mind if I tag along." Henry asked.

"Are you kidding, of course not," Jessie said.

Jessie talked a few more minutes with her mom, making plans for the weekend
and trying to convince Karen to let Katie go with her. But Karen said she'd
have to ask Katie's mom, not her.

"You're going," Jessie told Katie, "or I'm not."

"How am I going get there?" Katie asked Jessie.

"You can drive out with me and Sarah and Mom." Jessie said, thinking about
the plans her and Sarah had made about driving out to Nashville instead of
flying and using the money they offered for plane fair to take Katie and
now Henry.

"If my mom will let me," Katie said standing up and pacing.

"She better, I'll go crazy without you." Jessie said laying back on the bed.

"Huh," Katie said with her hands on her hips now, "A minute ago you said you
wouldn't go without me and now it's I hope you get to go, but I'm going
regardless."

Jessie sat up and saw the smile on Katie's face and knew she was only
kidding.

"You know what I mean," Jessie said.

"Well, if Mom says no," Katie sitting down and looking serious, "then I'm
stowing away."

"Yeh," Jessie said as both started laughing, "and every hundred miles we'll
let you out to stretch your legs."

"If it means being with you I'd do it," Katie said as Jessie smiled and they
soon kissed, "you think we could be quiet?"

"For what?" Jessie asked really confused.

"You know," Katie said giggling as Jessie looked at her while starting to
laugh.

"You know what?" Jessie asked making Katie blush.

"Do you wanna fuck me?" Katie said almost in a whisper.

"Nice way to celebrate huh?" Jessie asked as she kissed Katie giving her the
answer that way.

"Yeh, you already won one award and you're about to win another." Katie said
wrapping her arms around Jessie's neck as they fell to the bed.

At the bottom of the stairs, Zoe was listening at the door and about to sneak
up the steps, when the phone in the hall rang.

"Hello," Zoe said out of breath after running all the way to the end of it.

"Zoe, tell Mom I'm spending the night at Sarah's and I'll be home early in
the morning." Grace said.

"Why are you staying over there?" Zoe asked, getting a little jealous.

"Because I want to, that's why," Grace replied and got ready to hang up the
phone, when Sarah took it.

"Hey, my little monkey," Sarah said.

"Sarah," Zoe exclaimed excitedly, "Can I come over please?"

"I don't see why not," Sarah answered. But Grace on the other end was waving
her hands in the air saying no.

"Zoe," Grace said taking the phone, "I'm not coming home to get you and
that's final. It's too late. You can find something to do there tonight.
And I promise, me and Sarah will come and get you in the morning."

"OK," Zoe said not wanting to, but accepting what Grace had to say and
hanging up the phone.

"And you're right Grace, there is something to do tonight," Zoe said looking
down the hall at Jessie's door, before going down the hall and twisting the
knob and opening the door.

"Oh Katie that's so good," Zoe heard Jessie moan as she pulled the door
closed......

To Be Continued......
_ _ _

Preview of Chapter 9: Sarah and Grace help Zoe paint her room.

    

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