Committed Part 3
"Katrin. Come in." Jasmin warily checked the hallway outside the door, half expecting Katrin would have brought Kurt against her wishes. With a relieved breath at no sign of her ex-husband, she closed the door.
"Okay. I'm here. Are you sure you want to talk about this in front of Anni?" Katrin gave Anni a cursory glance.
"I have nothing to hide from Anni." Jasmin gestured to the chair, offering Katrin a seat, which she declined. "I want to know why you're doing this. Why are you working with Kurt?"
"It's a job. Metropolitan Trends was stolen from me, I have to do something with my time."
"And, you choose to work with Kurt?"
"Why not?" Jasmin repeated angrily. "How about because you're using your daughter's feelings for the sake of your own gain! I do not want to be with Kurt!"
"Jasmin, you're not looking at the whole picture. That's always been your problem. You're very shortsighted. Never able to see what's good for you."
"Anni is good for me." Jasmin purposefully went to Anni, sitting close to her, and taking her hand.
"Just think about this, Jasmin. Imagine the career you can have as Kurt's wife. If Anni means so much to you, then continue seeing her discreetly on the side. But this is your chance!"
"My chance? My chance to what, exactly?" Jasmin knew she was squeezing Anni's hand - or was Anni squeezing hers? - but she felt her body tense at Katrin's words.
"To make a name for yourself, of course! It's what you wanted. With the publicity we could generate from your reconciliation with Kurt, you'll be the new 'It' girl."
"Haven't you been paying attention," Anni practically growled. "She doesn't want that anymore!"
"Is that true, Jasmin? Or, are you just going to let Anni speak for you?"
"It's true," Jasmin answered without hesitation. "That life almost ruined me. I want nothing more to do with it." She could practically feel Anni's entire body relax at her response. I guess she was still worried about that, Jasmin thought with another squeeze to Anni's hand.
"Dreams like that don't just go away, Jasmin. I know that it was hard for you . . . "
"You've got to be kidding me!" Anni stood abruptly, and began to pace. She ran a trembling hand through her hair, madder than hell that Katrin was here speaking like this to Jasmin. "You were pissed at Jasmin half of the time when she was in the press. The other half, you were asking her not to be herself! Now that it suits you, you want her to go through that all again?"
"This is really of no concern to you."
The self-righteous look Katrin gave Anni stunned her. She had really thought Katrin was on their side. I guess when it comes to money and control, anyone is fair game, Anni thought angrily. "It is my concern! Jasmin is the woman I love, and you're telling her to go back to being married to someone she doesn't want to be with!"
"Jasmin loved Kurt once. I'm sure it's still there. They just need to spend some time . . . "
"Enough!" The vehemence in Jasmin's voice had both Anni and Katrin looking at her speechlessly. "Stop this now, Katrin. There's nothing either you or Kurt can possibly say to change my mind. I do not want to be with him. I do not want that lifestyle again. I certainly do not love Kurt, nor will I ever again. I'm in love with Anni. This is where I want to be, and how I want to live my life." Jasmin stepped closer to Katrin. "You are my mother. You're supposed to want what's best for me. That life almost destroyed me. I've never been happier than I am right now. If you can't see that, or won't see that, I no longer want or need you in my life."
Katrin looked positively shocked at Jasmin's words. It was as though she had no doubts that Jasmin would come running back for a chance to be in the public eye again. "You really don't want that life? The money? The notoriety? You could be huge, Jasmin."
"Do you know why I needed that in my life then, Katrin? I felt unworthy, unloved, and insecure. You certainly didn't think I was good enough. Kurt treated me like eye-candy on his arm. No one thought that I, Jasmin Flemming, was special enough just being who I am." She walked over to Anni, holding her gaze as she said her next words. "Except Anni. She always thought I was special. Even when she was sick of all the games I played with the publicity shit, she thought I was special." She turned back to Katrin. "So, the only love and devotion and acceptance I need, is right here in Anni's arms."
Anni didn't bother holding back the tears of joy from Jasmin's beautiful dialogue. She wrapped her arms around Jasmin, and held her tight, murmuring sweet words of thanks in her ear.
Katrin sighed. "If you change your mind . . . "
"She won't," Anni grumbled, wanting Katrin to just leave.
"You realize you're taking a job away from me, right?" Katrin said, trying another tactic.
"Then find something else that doesn't involve selling your daughter out." Jasmin turned in Anni's arms to glare at her mother. "You're a smart woman. Figure out what to do for Kurt that doesn't include me."
Katrin stared at the both of them for a moment before leaving in a huff.
"That went well," Anni said sarcastically. She felt the body in her arms begin to shake slightly, and she turned Jasmin around to see her sobbing quietly. "Oh, baby, come here." She guided Jasmin to the couch, sitting and motioning for Jasmin to lay her head on her lap. Anni stroked her hair tenderly, letting her lover cry until she got it all out. She reached for a tissue when she heard the sniffling.
Jasmin's voice was hoarse from crying, her eyes were red and puffy, and her nose was running. Anni had never seen anyone more beautiful in her life. She hated to see the woman she loved so upset, and wished there was something she could say or do to make her feel better. Making love was always an option, but she had a feeling Jasmin wasn't in a very sexy mood at the moment. Anni smiled as an idea came to her.
"Where are we going?"
"To the bedroom."
"Oh, sweetie, I'm just not . . . "
Anni silenced Jasmin with a sweet kiss. "Not for that. At least not yet. I want to play something for you." She closed the bedroom door softly behind them, escorting Jasmin to the bed. "You just sit there. Don't move." Anni winked as she went to retrieve her guitar. "I was going to save this for our anniversary, but I think you could use it now."
"Did you write me a song?" Jasmin asked, completely charmed by the slight blush that graced Anni's cheeks.
"Yeah," she answered with a shy shrug. "I wanted to do something special. I have a real gift for you," she added hastily. "This is just something a little extra."
"Oh, baby. A song is perfect! I don't need anything else."
"Too bad. Now hush, and listen." Anni blew her a kiss, then began to strum the first notes of her song for Jasmin.
Jasmin's eyes filled with tears, this time happy ones, as Anni began to sing softly.
Never in my wildest dreams
Did I ever believe
I would give my everything
I didn't want to need
Didn't want to open myself
To let my heart bleed
Then you walked into my life
And I found myself not wanting to hide
I gave you my heart, my body, my soul
I wonder if you will ever truly know
You are my
I want to leave you never
I need you when I remember
All the years before I found
Never had I imagined
This joy so burning
Or pain so deep
The will to give up everything
Just to take that leap
Only when you're near
Does the past disappear
Can you really believe
That you are my
Baby, leave me never
I need you when I remember
All the years before I found
Baby, be with me
Touch me as no other
And then you will see
You are my
Baby, be my love forever
Leave me never
I need you to be my
I don't want to be the person
I was before I found
Baby, be my love forever
Anni finished the song, fidgeting slightly when Jasmin remained quiet. She saw the fresh tears flowing from Jasmin's eyes, unable to stop her own.
"Can you put your guitar away, please?" Jasmin asked softly.
"Yeah, sure." Anni nervously placed her guitar back into its case, and rubbed her sweaty palms on her jean clad thighs.
The musician obeyed the request, making her way over to Jasmin. Her breath left her in a hurry when Jasmin suddenly pulled her into a crushing hug. Kisses were rained upon her face, before wet lips were pressed against hers in a fiery, seductive kiss.
"I guess this means you liked it?" she managed against Jasmin's lips.
"No. This," she lifted the hem of Anni's shirt, bringing it over her head, and throwing it to the side, "means I loved it. And, I love you!" Jasmin discarded the rest of Anni's clothes, then rapidly ridding herself of hers, and climbed in bed with who she was now certain was the love of her life.
Anni hummed as she worked, unable to get the song she wrote for Jasmin out of her head. Or Jasmin's reaction to it, for that matter. Damn. What a thank you that had been. Anni smiled, remembering just how many times Jasmin 'thanked' her that night. And, each night since. She chuckled. Her beautiful girlfriend certainly has stamina, and if Anni sang to her before, that stamina always rose a notch. As did Jasmin's adventurous side. Now I know what it's like to be tied up by Jasmin, she thought with an amused shake of her head.
Anni's mood was especially good today. It had been a really good week. After Jasmin's talk - if you could call it something as benign as that - with Katrin, they had essentially been left alone. No word from Kurt, nothing from Katrin, and even the press had died down a little. Okay, there were a few press jerks that still hung around, trying to make their lives miserable, but the couple wasn't letting it get to them. On the contrary, Jasmin had told Anni that if the press was going to follow them, she was going to give them something to write about. Jasmin then took every opportunity she could to make sure everyone knew how she felt about Anni. And, that was just fine with Anni. Just fine, indeed.
Another reason for Anni's good mood? Tomorrow was the big day for the couple. As apprehensive as Anni thought she would be for such a milestone - well, a milestone to her, at least - surprisingly, she was looking forward to it. Excited even. Anni had everything planned. She gave Jasmin explicit instructions to leave all of the preparations to her, and though Jasmin was curious, she consented. Anni rubbed her hands together, smiling like a fool, she was sure. She didn't care. Tomorrow was going to be perfect. The only thing that could make her happier right at this moment was if her girlfriend was here with her. Mauerwerk was going to be hopping tonight, so Anni wished Jasmin could be here while it was still quiet.
The voice cut through Anni's thoughts, and her happiness. Of course. She was thinking she was on the homestretch, nothing would ruin this, and here comes Kurt.
"What do you want?" Pleasantries be damned. He just soured her mood, so he can reap the reward for that.
"To talk," Kurt answered, his tone friendly.
"Nothing to talk about, man." Anni busied herself with winding up cables she wouldn't need. If she were honest, she would admit that it was busy work to keep from looking at Kurt. Or, perhaps to keep from hitting him, which is what she really wanted to do.
"You know there is. Man, Anni, you know Jasmin is not a lesbian. What are you doing? Are you really willing to get hurt?"
"It doesn't matter what Jasmin is. Labels aren't important. What's important is that Jasmin loves me."
"Come on. Jasmin is going through a phase, Anni! You know her! She does this. She tries out something new until she gets tired of it." Kurt stepped closer, understanding eyes gazing into Anni's angry ones. "She's going to get tired of you."
To her surprise, Kurt laughed. "Look, I get it, okay. Jasmin is hot! Who wouldn't fall for her? But you know her Anni. She's pretty flighty. Jasmin is really good at looking good, but that's about as deep as it goes. Her best bet at anything in this world is to be on someone's arm. Like mine. You want to keep fucking her, fine. Hell, come on tour with me. You're a damn fine musician. As long as she makes appearances with me, I'm good. It's not like I'll be lonely if she's with you every once in a while. I'll have side pieces as well."
Neither one of them were aware that Jasmin was listening to them from atop the stairs. Her eyes filled with tears, her heart breaking from what she was hearing.
Anni clenched her fists, nostrils flaring with rage. She stepped into Kurt's personal space, leaving only inches between their faces. "You fucking piece of shit! You claim to love Jasmin, and that's how you talk about her!? If that's what you think of her, you never knew her at all. Jasmin is intelligent and generous, and not only beautiful on the outside, but inside as well. Get out of here now before I kick you sorry fucking ass!" She could barely contain her animosity towards Jasmin's ex-husband. She wanted so much to punch him, to make him feel just a fraction of the pain she felt when she listened to him speak so crudely of the woman she loves.
"Wow, she really has you pussy-whipped doesn't she? Yeah, I know how that is, too. She's pretty incredible in bed, isn't she?"
Kurt's head snapped back from the surprise blow to the jaw. It was a surprise to Anni that it happened, so she knew he wasn't prepared.
"You hit me!"
"You deserved it." Both Anni and Kurt whirled around to see Jasmin standing there, unchecked tears tracking down her cheeks. She went straight to Anni, picking up the hand she had used to hit Kurt. Jasmin brought her lover's knuckles up to her lips, kissing them gently. "You okay?" she asked, looking steadily into Anni's eyes.
Tears immediately threatened at the back of Anni's eyes. Had Jasmin heard everything Kurt said? The possibility that she did, hurt Anni's heart. "I'm sorry," she said softly.
"Why are you sorry? You defended me when my ex-husband basically called me a blow up doll. You didn't agree when he said I have no other purpose in life than to be an accessory." Jasmin caressed Anni's cheek lovingly. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"He's full of shit, baby." Anni took Jasmin's hand in hers, kissing her palm as they both pointedly ignored Kurt who was dabbing at his split lip. "Don't listen to a damn word he says."
"It hurts," she whispered for Anni's ears only.
Anni felt an anger course through her unlike any other. Fucking Kurt. If she could get away with seriously maiming him, she would do it in a second. Maybe break a finger or two, she thought sardonically. See how he'd like not being able to play his damn guitar. It hurt her heart that his words caused Jasmin pain. "Forget him, Jasmin. He's no one. I know who you are, baby."
Jasmin nodded, trying to replace Kurt's words with Anni's in her head. Insecurities from her past - that she thought she was over - came flooding back. Anni must have been able to sense her self-doubt, because she stepped forward, taking Jasmin in a fierce hug. Just being in Anni's arms brought Jasmin intense healing. She had never before felt such peace within. With a new found confidence just being in Anni's presence, she turned to Kurt.
"Leave. Don't come back here, Kurt. I've made it perfectly clear to you and Katrin that I want nothing to do with you. Hearing how you really feel about me only solidifies that decision. You don't want me, you want an image. A plastic doll. There are many of those out there. Go and find you one. Leave me and Anni alone."
"I didn't mean all of that, honey . . . "
"Please." Jasmin raised a hand, effectively cutting Kurt off. "Just stop. I don't want to hear anymore." She wrapped her arm around Anni's waist. "I know now that what you and I had was superficial. It wasn't love. Not for you, and certainly not for me. This is love," she said, squeezing Anni closer to her. "The way Anni sees me? I feel that inside. You've never seen me, Kurt. We're done."
"You heard her," Anni all but growled at Kurt when he opened his mouth to say something else. "You're not wanted here. Leave my girlfriend alone."
"You're going to regret getting involved with her," Kurt snarled. "Your heart is going to get broken into tiny little pieces by Jasmin. Don't say I didn't warn you."
"Being loved by Jasmin, if even for a moment, could never be a regret," Anni called out to Kurt's retreating back. She felt Jasmin squeeze her hand, and before she knew it, she was being dragged upstairs. "Jasmin?"
Anni immediately began to grin like an idiot. The elevator holds special memories for the couple, and Anni was determined to make at least one more right now.
"Guys, this is really great! Thanks so much!" Jasmin lifted her champagne glass and toasted to her friends who had thrown her and Anni a surprise anniversary party. After everything Kurt had to say about her, knowing she had people in her life that truly did love her for who she was, meant so much.
"Yeah, thank you," Anni chipped in, touching her glass to Jasmin's and anyone else's she could reach. Ever since the scene at Mauerwerk, she hadn't wanted to be far from Jasmin's side. She knew her girl was still feeling a little vulnerable, and wanted to offer as much comfort as she could without seeming too clingy. Though, to be perfectly honest, she wanted to cling. The 'clinging' they did in the elevator was way too brief for the musician, and Anni couldn't wait to get home to continue where they left off.
"We're just so happy for you guys!" Nele's enthusiasm was contagious, and soon everyone was laughing and telling 'JasAnni' stories.
Ahh, a walk down memory lane. Jasmin and Anni glanced at each other, and smiled. They each thought of their own special memories as they listened, and saw themselves through their friends' eyes.
"Remember when Jasmin assaulted that police officer! That was hardcore! So awesome," Nele laughed. "They got their message across though!"
"I wish I had been there," Pia snickered. "I just don't think seeing photos does it justice."
"Oh, it doesn't, believe me," Anni smirked. "My baby-doll was fierce!"
"Hush!" Jasmin swatted Anni's thigh playfully, giving her a indulgent smile. "I saved your life!"
Anni answered with a 'mmhmm', wisely staying quiet by taking another drink.
"Wait! What about that bet!?" Nele snorted.
"Ugh, the bet! I won ten bucks!" Mesut announced. "Then lost it. Thanks, Jasmin," he grunted.
Jasmin grinned, and shrugged. "What can I say? My Anni is irresistible."
"Uh uh, that's you, baby. I told you that day that I knew what you were. I couldn't stay away from you." She leaned over, nuzzling Jasmin's nose with hers.
"You two are disgustingly sweet," Emily laughed. "I'm kidding. You're cute. Disgustingly cute."
Anni nonchalantly scratched her cheek - with her middle finger - directed at Emily.
"Well, I for one think they're perfect for each other," Ayla stated with authority. "They complement each other so well. Jasmin, I don't think I've ever seen you so happy. And, Anni? I'm glad you got the girl."
"You and me both!" Anni saluted, receiving a bump on the shoulder from her lover.
"Wait!" Sophie called over the chatter. "What was this bet?"
"You didn't hear about it?" Nele asked, incredulously. As if 'the bet' was the biggest news around. "Anni bet she could get Jasmin in bed. Of course, this was before Jasmin knew what her feelings were, and . . . "
"Okay!" Jasmin interrupted. That time was both the best, and worst time of her life. One the one hand, she gave in to her feelings for Anni. Her want, her need. On the other hand, she was so confused about how she felt. She ended up hurting Anni, and Jasmin had a hard time forgiving herself for that. "Enough of the bet," she laughed, hoping she didn't sound too panicked about it.
"Yeah," Anni added, sensing Jasmin's discomfort. "We're way past the bet. I won. Enough said," she said cockily.
"That you did, baby." Jasmin kissed her chastely on the lips.
"Hey, what happened with that whole Kurt issue?" Tuner asked, causing the couple to groan. "Sorry. I've given up reading tabloids," he added with a sheepish shrug.
"I think he finally gets it that Jasmin isn't coming back," Anni answered, her voice harsher than she intended. "Sorry. That asshole just gets on my tits," she mumbled grumpily.
"Hey, baby," Jasmin whispered close to Anni's ear. "It's over now, okay? Tonight is for us. As is the rest of our lives."
"You're right. We're not going to worry about Kurt anymore," she told Tuner, in a much calmer tone. Anni got another kiss from Jasmin for that, and she took the opportunity to make it linger a little longer this time.
"Okay, before these two start making out," Nele cleared her throat, "which, believe me, they totally will no matter where they are. It's midnight, and technically your anniversary!" Glasses were refilled, and lifted. "To Jasmin and Anni!"
"Jasmin and Anni!" the others shouted. Then came the chant as the couple kissed again. "Team Janni! Team Janni!"
"Alright, alright! Present time!" Anni announced. Although it wasn't what she planned, she was happy to include their friends in some of the celebration. Especially since they went through all this trouble for them. She hopped off the barstool, and went to get Jasmin's gift out of her messenger bag, glad that she hadn't taken it out to hide it in the apartment.
Jasmin also went to get her gift for Anni, her thoughts unwittingly mirroring her partner's. Nerves crept up as she retrieved the gift from her bag. Will Anni like it? She took a deep breath, and made her way back to her girlfriend. "You first," Jasmin said, holding the box out to Anni.
Anni took it with a smile. She didn't care what was in the box, she knew she would love it. Hell, it was a gift from Jasmin. How could she not love it? She started unwrapping, laughing at Jasmin's wrapping job, wondering if she used an entire roll of paper for the small box. It reminded her of another gift she had once gotten from the beautiful brunette. That gift made all the difference in the world to Anni.
"Come on!" Pia yelled.
"Hey, I didn't wrap it," Anni countered, finally getting the gift free of the paper. Now, she held a velvet, rectangular box. She looked up at Jasmin with a smile, then slowly opened it. Inside sat a white gold link chain with four diamond insets. Resting on the chain was a pendant. A guitar pick of white gold with another diamond adorning the center. Between the chain, there was also a barbell ear cartilage piercing with a matching guitar pick that dangled from the end. "Baby, they're beautiful!"
"The pendant on the necklace is inscribed," Jasmin said shyly.
Anni tore her eyes away from the stunning pieces of jewelry to give Jasmin a genuine smile. Then, with trembling hands, she lifted the pendant, turning it over. In what she immediately recognized as Jasmin's handwriting, the pendant read 'I pick you. Always. Love, Jasmin'.
Anni's eyes were shining with tears when she found Jasmin's gaze once again. She closed the distance between them in two steps, taking Jasmin in her arms and holding her tight. "Thank you," she whispered, her voice thick with emotion. "I love you."
"I love you, too, Anni. So much."