Operation: Matchmaker

By Darkenedkarma

Disclaimers: This story depicts a relationship between two women and five friends. If you're not 18 or older please exit now.

Violence: None.

Sex: It's spoken of. Nothing overt though. First base is achieved.

Language: A couple of naughty words, nothing that will keep me out of heaven though.

Misc: Copyright-sure. I like feed back so if you're of a mind feel free to write. darkenedkarma@cs.com

Regina Carlton sat at her desk with her feet propped up on the corner, regarding her friends with rapt attention. Today she'd made the decision that after years of being alone and lonely, she would try dating. To that end she decided to ask her friends, who also were co-workers in the environmental department, advice on dating. After all, three of them were successfully married and the other was an avid dater.

Actually, rabid dater would be more accurate for Flint Hendee. Flint had more women calling him than the operator for 'Who Wants to Marry A Millionaire'. Each and every one got individual attention when they called. He never brushed them off. He was always pleasant and polite. Interested in what they had to say. Regina actually thought that he might actually have some valuable advice to impart.

The other three were all successfully married but with definitely different styles of courtship. Matt Anderson, the person she worked most closely with was a quiet, unassuming man. It was always the quiet one's you had to look out for. Or so she'd been told. So far Matt had been a good friend and even better co-worker. Cute too, if you went in for the dark hair, dark eyes tall man thing. Which, blessedly Regina didn't.

Ross Sharks on the other hand was a redneck, hillbilly, backwater, Neanderthal. Regina really liked him. He was funny as hell. Ross, a short man who was at thirty-one beginning to loose the shape of his youth, if the potbelly was any indication was a perfectionist with his wife. In that he demanded perfection from her while he went off hunting and fishing every weekend leaving her to tend hearth and home and kid. Regina wondered idly what kind of secret he had, cause she imagined that his wife should have left him long, long ago.

Jeff Clark was actually the most demonstrative towards his wife out of the group. He and his wife had been married for almost fifteen years and had three daughters. He still called her on the phone to tell her he missed her. He still called her sweetie.

These were the men who took it upon themselves to help Regina with her self-appointed task of dating. It had been almost seven years since she had been with anyone. Regina had only dated briefly for a few years before meeting and falling in love with her partner, Rachel.

Rachel had been everything she'd been looking for in a girlfriend. She was loving, kind, and considerate and had the good sense to fall in love with Regina. Regina had loved and lived with Rachel for six years. Six, short yet wonderful years. Rachel died of complications from Crohn's disease seven years ago.

Regina remembered everything like it was yesterday. And for years the memories were good enough. Every night she went to bed remembering loving arms wrapped around her. A warm body snuggled up to her own. When she closed her eyes she dreamed of them together. Then she awoke in the harsh light of dawn alone again. Now she wanted someone. She didn't want to be lonely anymore.

"You know there's this girl from my church I think you'd like." Matt told Regina. Matt went to church every Sunday. He even taught Bible study on Wednesdays.

"I already have the someone I want to date picked out. Remember?" Regina prodded with a laugh.

"Hey, you don't want to bog yourself down with one girl. You need to get some variety in there. That way you know what you have to choose from." Flint pointed out.

"But I really like this woman." Regina said slowly. Had things changed so much that you took a woman on a test drive like a car? "Besides, I didn't think it was acceptable to date more than one person at a time." She added thoughtfully.

"Maybe when you were younger those were the rules. But these days there are too many women to choose from. Haven't you seen the statistics? Women out number men almost two to one now." Flint shot back.

"Yeah, you don't want to settle on the first girl you see. You know I dated my wife for almost five years before we got married," Ross told her. "She represented herself the entire time as an outdoors woman. Once we got married she didn't want to get up at five a.m. and go hunting or fishing. She just reeled me in and did a big old bait and switch. You definitely want to have variety."

"I don't really think the statistics count for me guys, I'm a girl too. Remember?" Regina pointed out.

"They're right," Jeff chimed in. "You don't want to go out there and fall in love with the first girl you see. That's the easiest way to get hurt. Besides we'd never get to hear about any hot girl on girl action if you fell in love again."

Apparently it was the happily married guys who you needed to look out for. Everyone erupted in laughter that undoubtedly could be heard down the hall. Flint and Jeff knocked fists in a manly show of agreement. Regina chuckled too. She'd been working with them for years and had never breathed a word about private details of her and Rachel's love life. Even with them prodding every day. She'd always told them that it would cheapen the experience and show disrespect to Rachel. She supposed they figured that if she dated casually she'd give up her secrets more readily. Not likely.

"So why not go out with Matt's church girl and ask your choice out too." Flint suggested.

Regina shrugged her shoulders as she shifted in her seat. Why not? She didn't really know the woman very well. She certainly didn't owe her any kind of fidelity on a first date. Why the hell not.

"Ok, Matt I'll do it." Regina said, as she sat up planting her feet on the ground and slapping her hands on her desk. 'Ow'

"Why don't you call your choice now and set something up." Flint urged.

"She has a name, it's Sharon, and I will. I was just trying to think of what I could invite her out to do." Regina explained. She was nervous about her choice of activities. First impressions were really hard to over come; she didn't want to make a mistake.

"What about a movie?" Matt's suggestion brought Regina back to reality. She was about to answer when Jeff cut her off.

"She can't go to a movie on her first date. You're supposed to talk on a first date, get to know each other. You can't do that at a movie. How about dinner?"

Regina opened her mouth to comment again and was cut of once more this time by Ross. "No way, then she'd be stuck making conversation for a good two hours. What if the woman's a dog or something? At least in a movie Regina wouldn't have to look at her or talk to her. She could just pretend she was alone."

"Well then what about drinks?" Jeff offered.

They all fell silent for a moment and Ross smiled. "Good idea, get her drunk and she won't know how boring Regina is and she might even be able to score."

Their laughter practically shook the walls. Regina just glared. Thank god she didn't have any brother's these guys were trouble enough.

"Why don't you take her dancing? Flint asked.

Matt gave Flint a disgusted look. "Have you ever seen her dance. She looks like a chicken on a hot tin roof, only less graceful."

The guffaw's that followed left Regina sighing in frustration. Apparently this was just take a cheap shot at Regina day. That was fine. She actually had tape of Matt trying to dance at a company party. She decided to bring it in tomorrow to show during the safety meeting. That would teach him.

"Seriously though," Matt gasped for breath. "Why don't you go to a club listen to some live music and have a few drinks." He gestured towards Ross indicating his suggestion. "That way you don't have to constantly make conversation because of the music and you'll both be relaxed by the alcohol."

Regina thought about it for a moment. It wasn't a bad idea. In fact, it was a damn good idea. And she knew just the club to go to. A new place had opened up on highway 92 just outside of Lakeland. It would be perfect. A quiet atmosphere with live music. Perfect.

"That's a great idea!" She beamed at Matt. Maybe she wouldn't bring in that tape after all. Nah, he still deserved it.

"So call." Flint picked up the phone handset and handed it to her.

Regina stated at it. "Right now? In the middle of work?" She back peddled.

"Right now. You can go out tonight. Then we can hear all about it in the morning." Flint smiled as he hit the nine button for an outside line.

"Fine," Regina said taking up the challenge. "But you guys have to leave. I'm not going to ask a woman out with you guys standing over me making rude comments.

They all looked at her with a mixture of surprise and hurt on their faces. And then burst with laughter. Oh yeah, they would definitely have made fun of her. She waited while they all walked out of the office making jokes as they left. She shut the door and sat down. Regina hung up the phone and picked it up again, hitting the nine button for an outside line. She dialed the number from memory. She'd looked it up weeks ago; she'd just been to terrified to call before now. It helped that the guys were egging her on.

"Hello, um could I speak to Sharon please?" Regina asked when the receptionist answered the phone. Sharon was in accounting in a rather large company.

"This is Sharon, may I help you?" Came the voice on the other end of the phone.

"Hi, it's Regina."

She paused momentarily forgetting what she was going to ask and why. Her hands were sweating profusely. She could actually feel drops of water sliding down her wrist and beginning to bead on her upper lip.

"Hey. I'm so glad you called." Came Sharon's happy voice.

Regina sighed with relief. At least she didn't scream and hang up. "You are?" Regina finally asked after a deep breath.

"Yes, I thought you'd call before now though." Sharon laughingly told her.

Regina removed the handset from her ear and stared at it for a second in consternation. Called before now? 'What Sharon couldn't have called her? Could have saved about a month's worth of stress.' Regina brought the phone back up.

"Well better late than never." A lame joke, but she was nervous. Sharon chuckled on her end. "So," Regina began. "Would you like to go out tonight? With me?" Regina smacked her forehead with her hand. Idiot! Of course with me!

"I'd love to." Sharon's voice contained a note of happy excitement.

"Can I pick you up?" Regina asked. Picking up a date was still done wasn't it?

"Oh, uh sure, yes. How about seven." Sharon agreed.

Regina wrote down her address and said a quick, even more nervous goodbye. She put down the phone slowly letting out a huge breath. She hadn't realized that she'd even been holding her breath. She put her head down on the desk. It felt heavy as if she had a head cold.

Finally after getting her heart rate under control, Regina got up and went to the door to find the guys. It didn't take long. There they were. Standing there just outside the door, so close that they practically fell through the door when she opened it.

"Should I charge you for the show?" Regina knew that the sarcasm would just go over their heads at this point. They each had two dollars in their hand offering it to her.

"Fine, you guys can buy lunch." Regina told them as she pushed them out the back door towards their company truck.

The next day found Regina reclining in her chair in much the same position as she had been yesterday. One at a time the guys got into work. She glowered at them all as they passed by on their way to their own offices in the lab. At seven-thirty she left her office and walked down to Jeff's. They were all standing around talking in quiet voices that stopped once she came into the room. Regina stood there glaring at them.

"Well?" Matt finally asked. The suspense was killing them.

"Well, I took her out for music and drinks just like you suggested." Regina started off pleasantly.

"And?" Came the anxious response.

"And, she left with the drummer. Not just a drummer. A tattooed, bolt through her nose, ring in her belly button, only bra wearing, big haired, wanna be heavy metal drummer!" Regina fumed. Never! Never, had a woman dumped her on a date. Admittedly she hadn't been on very many but dammit none of them had done that.

Jeff nodded his head as if he agreed with Sharon's choice. "Well heavy metal drummers are pretty damn cool." He said sagely.

Regina stared at him dumbfounded. "It was a country music band!"


"Oh? That's all you have to say? Oh? I listen to you guys and look what happens. I got dumped, on a date no less, for some side show attraction. I'm not even sure it was a woman for god sakes." She ranted.

"That wasn't our fault!" Jeff defended the group. "She was obviously unbalanced. This all you. I mean, you picked her out." He pointed out. "Matt here wanted to hook you up with a nice church going girl."

Matt perked up and smiled. "Yeah she can't wait to get together with you. I kind of arranged a weekend barbecue at my house. My wife invited some other people. I just talked to the guys and they're all going to come with dates." He said using his hand to indicate the three love doctors in the room. "It'll be fun. And you'll have us there to help you."

"Yeah help me right into an early grave all alone." Regina mumbled under her breath. Then she spoke up. "Great. I can't wait." Her insincerity couldn't have been more obvious. Dating already sucked.

"Hey my sister has a friend who's interested in meeting you." Flint said when the silence continued.

Regina just nodded her head and smiled. Please bring on the humiliation. I love it, can't get enough of it.

"From what she tells me this girl is a real hottie." Flint gushed.

They all leered at her and Regina felt the crimson wave washing over her face. Regina was no raving beauty queen but she did get a lot of compliments. People seemed to like her dark blonde hair and blue eyes. And even though she was fast approaching her thirty-sixth birthday she hadn't let her body go. In fact, with no relationship she spent a considerable amount of time at the gym working out.

"Hottie's good." She squeaked out, cringing as her voice cracked.

"How about you and I go to dinner at my sister's house some night, so you can get introduced?" Flint pressed.

"Sure." Why did she even tell them about this? What in the world was she thinking?

"Is next Wednesday good for you? My sister told me she's usually free Wednesday nights."

"That sounds great." At least she'd get a free dinner out of it. "Does this hottie have a name or should I just call her hottie?"

"Monique." Flint said with a wide smile and suggestive wink.


The weekend came more quickly than Regina was ready for. She had been prepared to come dressed in her barbecue clothes. But after some thought she decided that maybe an old T-shirt and carpenter shorts weren't the way to impress a potential date. So instead she ironed a pair of denim shorts and wore a sleeveless silk top, deciding if any sauce or other food items got on it Matt, Flint, Jeff and Ross could buy her a new one.

Regina arrived at Matt's house right on time. She glanced around the pool noting all the familiar and unfamiliar faces. Matt smiled and waved her over to the barbecue grill he was attending with Jeff's help.

Regina smiled and walked over giving them both a short 'hey'. That hadn't even completely left her mouth before Matt was pointing out Amy, the church going girl he was trying to set her up with.

Regina tried to be as inconspicuous as possible while checking Amy out. It didn't work. One look at this girl and she felt the drool dribbling down her chin. There weren't any girls like that in her church. Maybe she'd switch to Matt's. Praise god!

"Hey, wipe your mouth." Jeff said as he laughed.

She did just that, moping at the drool with her hand. Regina tore her eyes away from the brunette with an effort. "I can't date her! She's flat out gorgeous." Regina told Matt with wide eyes. Her insecurities coming to the forefront just from looking at Amy.

"Yes you can. She's already seen a picture of you. She wouldn't come here for a completely blind date. She was worried that I was trying to set her up with a loser." Matt confided.

"Great." Regina said warily. Loser? Sounds about right. Regina turned around to get another look at Amy and got caught. The brunette smiled at her and started to weave her way through the throng of people to Regina.

"So you must be Regina. Matt's told me so much about you." Amy said as she took Regina's hand. A bold move in Regina's mind, and not an unpleasant one. "I'm Amy."

'Of course you are.' "It's nice to finally meet you. Matt's had nothing but good things to say about you." Regina said instead.

"I'm sure some of it was exaggeration." Amy demurred.

Regina just smiled suddenly at a loss for what to say. They'd already been through the extent of her small talk capabilities with the introduction.

"Regina did you bring your suit?" Matt asked, saving her.

"Uh, yeah. It's in my bag." Regina pointed to the bag lying with the other one's next to the sliding glass doors.

"Why don't you change, we'll all go swimming."

Regina nodded her head and turned to Amy. "I'll get changed and be right back." Regina told her. She gave Amy the once over wondering if she already had her suit on underneath her clothes. She didn't think that the suit wouldn't show considering the skintight shorts and baby T-shirt Amy was wearing. But, maybe the suit was just some dental floss strung together.

Regina grabbed up her bag and headed to the spare bedroom that Matt had told her she could change in. She'd just finished taking off all her clothes and folding them neatly into her bag when she heard the door open. She swung around clutching her suit to her as Amy came strolling into the room.

"I hope you don't mind, I needed to change too." Amy said as she held up her two piece suit. Or at least Regina thought it was two pieces. She couldn't be sure. There didn't seem to be enough material for a top and a bottom.

"Uh, no. No, that's alright." Regina stammered as she tried to pull her suit on without actually showing any strategic body parts.

She studiously ignored Amy as she the brunette started to strip off her clothes. She turned her back to Amy hoping that the woman would finish dressing and just leave while she fiddled with her bag. When she felt hands move around her stomach and up to cup her breasts she jumped and pulled away. Backing away quickly until the backs of her knees were pressed against the bed.

Amy smiled seductively even as she started towards Regina again. "I didn't mean to startle you." She offered.

She didn't quite seem sincere to Regina. Not with that wolfish smile playing around her lips and hungry eyes that were stripping away the bathing suit. "I was just hoping we could get to know each other better." Amy explained.

Regina didn't know about the other women Amy knew, but she got to know a woman by talking. Not feeling! "I really think we should get back out there. Someone else might need to get changed." Regina theorized madly. She was starting to feel like a cornered deer.

"I'm sure they'll find somewhere else to change." Amy told her as she moved closer.

Regina could feel the heat of the other woman's body against hers. God this wasn't good. Matt had set her up with a horny freak. Regina felt Amy's hands on her hips, saw her lower her head for a kiss and ducked right on out of there. Kissing was supposed to be at the end of the date, not at the end of introductions!

"You know, I think I hear someone in the hall. I'm just going to go out and tell them we're done in here." Regina prattled quickly as she backed away from Amy towards the door. She found the knob and turned it, practically dashing out the door. She stopped running only when she reached the pool deck and got into the crowd. She let out a sigh of relief and relaxed for a minute, only to feel hands on her hips again and a body pressed against her back.

Regina jolted forward in stunned surprise. This girl really was a fast worker. She turned to face Amy with a wary smile only to have that smile turn into a startled cry. She windmilled her arms trying to maintain her balance. Trying not to fall into the pool. It was a lost cause. With a considerable splash she landed in the water with her arms and legs inelegantly spread. Regina came up from the water sputtering and glaring at Amy, who had the nerve to actually laugh at her. She turned around and found all four of her best friends holding their sides they were laughing so hard.

Glaring at her so called friends; Regina hoisted herself out of the water. She stalked over to them and stood in front of Matt. She took a moment and ran her hands down her arms and over her face trying to get the excess water off. Regina took another small step forward and in a dangerously low voice hissed, "You set me up with Amy the Wonder Tramp? She practically tried to jump me in your spare room!"

"And you're complaining?" Flint asked sarcastically.

Regina shot daggers at Flint. "I unlike you, prefer to actually get to know a girl before we make out in a friends bedroom." She bit out. "Now I don't care what you have to do," Regina directed this towards Matt. "Just keep her away from me."

The rest of the afternoon the guys ran interference between Regina and Amy. By the end of the afternoon they were exhausted. Amy was single minded and crafty in her pursuit. Finally Matt had to pull her aside and tell Amy that Regina was just too old fashioned for a girl like her.

After Amy and the other guests had left they all lay around the pool trying to decide what exactly went wrong. In Regina's mind it wasn't really all that hard to figure out. There were rules to dating when she was younger. Rules that even now she couldn't and wouldn't brush aside.

It was a simple rule really. No kissing on the first date, not the kind of kissing Amy had in mind anyway. A peck on the cheek, yes. Then there was the three dates, three months rule. No sex until three dates or three months which ever comes last. How hard was that to follow? Which is the question she asked the guys.

"No guy is going to wait three months for some action." Flint informed her. "No way, no how."

"You know Regina, I have to agree with Flint. People don't wait that long anymore. You'd be lucky to find someone who would wait three weeks." Jeff put in as Matt and Ross nodded their heads in agreement.

"I'm not trying to date a guy." Regina reminded them.

"Well, I don't think your going to find a woman who wants to wait three months either." Flint responded skeptically.

"What about Monique? What kind of woman is she?" She asked after a few minutes of silently weighing Flint's words.

"Monique is more like a three day waiting period." Flint said with a chuckle.

"I've had to wait for hand guns longer than that." Came the sarcastic reply.

"Oh yeah," Ross interrupted the rude comment Regina knew Flint was going to make. She could see it in his eyes. "I told John about all this. He thinks you should try dating his daughter."

John was John Perkins our boss. His daughter was a sophomore in college. She was nineteen if she was a day. Blonde, tall, green eyes and leggy. And practically jail bait in Regina's mind.

"I'm not a child molester!" The exasperation and irritation in Regina's voice was apparent.

"What?" Ross asked. "She's old enough. There's only a..." He paused while he counted the age difference. When he started using his toes Regina glared. "Sixteen year gap."

"I'm old enough to be her mother!" Regina exclaimed. "And that's another thing, how would her mother feel if she were to date a woman as old as I am."

Ross shrugged. "John suggested it. I don't think she'd mind a bit. As a matter of fact, you'd probably be a severe improvement. Apparently the last girl she dated was a drummer with a bunch of tattoo's, got her in all kinds of trouble."

Regina frowned and leaned forward interested. "Did she play in a country music band and have a bolt through her nose?" She asked thinking about her ill-fated date with Sharon.

"He did mention something about a bolt but he didn't say what kind of band she played in." Ross told her.

They all started laughing at the same time remembering Regina's first date and the drummer who swept her date right out from under her nose.

"I guess if that's what John has to see his daughter date, I would be an improvement." Regina agreed as she wiped the tears of laughter from her eyes.

"You still have that date at my sister's place." Flint reminded needlessly. Regina was terrified at what she might find at Flints sister's house. Although, how much worse can it get?

How much worse? A whole lot worse! Monique, as it turned out was her stage name. She was a stripper at a men's club in Tampa. Not that Regina had anything against strippers. Everyone had to make a living. However, after listening to Monique talk it was obvious that she was a little more than just a stripper. Apparently she provided private shows and for a small price would be happy to do the same for Regina.

Regina smiled politely and shot Flint a look that said she was going to kill him later. Flint called in sick the rest of the week.


"Have you ever tried night clubs to meet someone?" Ross asked as they all sat in the office on the following Monday morning. This dating was harder than it looked. He thanked god everyday that he didn't have to go through it.

"No, I never thought that I would meet the kind of woman I'm looking for in a night club. I don't want just a one nightstand or even a once and a while kind of thing. I'm looking for a real and committed relationship." She looked down at the floor as she spoke. After just two weeks she was beginning to think that maybe she wouldn't be able to find what she was looking for. Maybe she'd be better off alone. After all if things got bad and she just needed a warm body she could call Monique. Regina snorted at the thought.

"Well it couldn't hurt to go look. And even if you don't meet Ms. Wonderful, maybe you'll have a good time." Flint was concerned about her. It looked like she could use a good time right about now. "I would be happy to go with you. I'm all about the lesbians. Bring on the lesbians. I'll lure em' over to my side of the fence with some ho ho's." Flint had a glazed expression on his face. Regina thought she might actually be able to see lesbians dancing in his eyes.

"I guess." Regina looked at them. They all were staring at her with varying degrees of sympathy. It would appear that none of them particularly cared for the single scene either. All except maybe Flint who seemed to be very interested in going to a lesbian club.

"You do know that you'll probably get more action from men than women?" Regina asked Flint.

"I'm sure there are some women in there that consider themselves Bi-sexual." Flint tapped his nose and winked. "I'll know em'. I can smell an interested woman at thirty paces."

"I doubt that interest is going to be directed at you." She needled. Everyone burst with laughter at Flint's expense.

"Hey! Hey now! I don't see anyone else offering to go with you. Let's go easy on the guy who's trying to help you out."

"All right." Regina agreed. "When do you want to go? Where do you want to go?"

"Ybor City, Friday night."

"I'm not real sure where the clubs are there." Regina told him honestly.

"No problem, we'll look for the club with a little rainbow sticker, like the one on your car." He said as he stood up. They had a stack to test today, now that the morning brainstorming session for operation 'matchmaker' was out of the way.

"This is great!" Flint shouted over the music as he danced with Regina. "The lesbians are really friendly." He yelled, referring to the couple of women he had been dancing with earlier.

"That last one wasn't a lesbian." Regina yelled back as she moved to the music.

"What?" Flint shouted his face the picture of confusion. How did she know that? Gaydar? He'd heard about gaydar but never actually thought it was real.

"'She' is a 'he'. A cross dresser." Regina told him with a wicked grin.

Flint abruptly stopped dancing and stared at the woman in question who was dancing with another guy. No way! She was so...so...feminine. Nah couldn't be true.

He turned back to Regina and she nodded to him. Oh yeah, definitely true.

He started dancing again while shooting covert looks at her, or was it him? The song began to fade and a new one didn't start up immediately. They looked around wondering what was going on when an announcer came out onto the floor.

"Ladies and Ladies." He smiled at a group of very feminine men. "Tonight, for your viewing pleasure. The Pink Pelican is proud to present the men and women of the Pelican Calendar. First up, please give a rowdy welcome to Chaz. Mr. November." He drew out the last word as he quickly removed himself from the dance floor.

A buff and obscenely blond man came dancing out onto the floor. Playing to the crowd as he gyrated and undulated to the men and women in the crowd surrounding the dance floor. Regina took that time to look around at all the people as they paid rapt attention to Chaz. Most of them looked relatively normal but they were all so young. They had to be mostly between twenty-one and twenty-five. She felt conspicuously out of place among them.

Even as that thought was dancing through her mind, Chaz was dancing up to her and Flint. Regina smiled at Flint and handed him a dollar bill. He shook his head and quickly handed it back before stuffing his hands in his pocket and hiding behind Regina.

"So are you having fun yet?" Regina asked as Chaz gave Flint a little pout and danced over to the guy next to them holding up the five.

"Maybe you were right, this might not be the best place to meet someone." Flint finally admitted.

Regina just smiled and nodded. "Chicken."

"You got that right. I may be comfortable with my sexuality but I'm not comfortable with theirs!" Flint said as he pulled her away from the dance floor and towards the door of the club.

"Well wait a minute." Regina stopped. "That little red head across the floor there has been giving me goo goo eyes." Regina was just teasing Flint. She'd danced with three or four women already and didn't really feel like she needed anymore exercise for the night. But it was fun to pull his chain.

"You can't be serious." He looked across the floor and sure enough some red head was watching them. "Well if you want to stay," He said reluctantly. He didn't want to stand between Regina and the possible love of her life.

"Are you nuts? There's no way I'd be interested in her. She's got to be twelve if she's a day!" She couldn't believe Flint would think she was serious. "Let's get the hell out of here before Mr. November takes off anymore clothes!"

"Amen!" Flint exclaimed as he followed closely behind Regina towards the door.


"So the club scene is out?" Ross asked for the group.

Regina stared at him and wondered if he had heard what she and Flint had gone through in that nightclub. Of course the club scene is out! She wouldn't go back into any of those places to save her dog. Instead of saying any of that she just nodded.

"So were does that leave us?" He wondered aloud.

She rested her head on her hand silently wondering the same thing. They'd managed to use up the entire pool of single women they all knew. Sure Regina had friends, but none she would want to date. They were all friends she'd made with Rachel. It just didn't feel right.

Why in the hell did she have to leave me anyway? Rachel had promised her forever! Forever had been shortened considerably. Regina didn't blame Rachel, at least not much. It's not as if Rachel wanted to leave her. But sometimes, she really hated Rachel for leaving her. For not keeping her promises. For not growing old with her. She sighed heavily, pulling herself out of her thoughts.

"Don't we have a meeting this afternoon?" Regina asked as she stood up. She wasn't going to let herself slip back down in that pit of regret.

"Yeah, John wants us to go over last weeks test results." Jeff said as he too stood up and stretched.

"Let's go." Matt tapped me on the shoulder.

"Right." I agreed. "Trains leaving guys. Who's riding with us?" Regina called as she headed out the back door.

All five of them piled into the Blazer with Jeff, Flint and Ross stuck in the back seat.

"Hey man that's not a hand rest!" Jeff yelled at Ross.

"Sorry man it was just so soft, like my wife." Ross told him making everyone laugh.

"The only soft thing is this truck is your pecker." Jeff shot back. They all laughed harder.

"Get your damn arm from around me, we're not on a date!" Ross harassed Flint.

They continued the harassment for the short ride to the main office. Everyone got out and started to head for the conference room where the meeting was being held. The loud piercing whistle stopped them. They all turned around to see John's daughter getting out of her car.

"Hey guys, how are you?" Dana asked as she walked up to the group of environmental specialists.

"Were good." Jeff answered for the group after looking around at everyone's shrugging. "What brings you by?" He asked as they all started walking to the building.

"I have to pick up my dad. His truck is in the shop getting new tires." Dana turned and looked at Regina. "I hear your dating again?" She said making it sound like a question.

"I guess you could loosely call it dating." Regina agreed.

"Having any luck?" Dana asked as the guys discretely fell back to give them some privacy. They had the feeling that this was going to go somewhere.

Actually they knew it would go somewhere since they had called Dana to specifically tell her where they would be and when. Dana had a crush on Regina since she was seventeen and discovered her sexuality. She just never thought she had a shot. But the guys had called and encouraged her. So here she was.

"No luck at all." Regina responded lightly. She didn't mind telling the guys about things but Dana was too young and inexperienced to hear all the sordid details of her recent experiences.

"Really, I heard you'd been out on quite a few dates."

"I've been on some." Regina said slowly. Someone had been feeding Dana information. She glanced over her shoulder at the four bozo's that smiled back encouragingly. Oh god! A set up!

"Have you tried that new place on 92?" Dana asked, oblivious to the daggers that were being aimed at the idiots behind them.

"Actually yes." Regina told her truthfully. "It didn't go well at all." She still cringed every time she thought about her date with Sharon. Regina shot a speculative look at Dana wondering if she really did date that same drummer.

"You should try Wednesday night. I happen to know the band that's playing. They're great." Dana enthused. "Why don't you come with me. I know you'll have fun." She offered casually.

Regina wanted to say no. Was all set to let Dana down gently but firmly. Then she looked at those soft green eyes and found herself saying "sure".

"Great. Why don't I come by your place about seven?"

"Uh yeah, that's good." Regina said distractedly. How the hell had that happened?

"OK, I'll see you Wednesday night then." Dana said as she headed back towards her car.

"Hey!" Regina shouted after her. Dana turned and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Don't you have to get your dad?"

Dana just smiled and waved before turning back around and continuing to her car. Regina looked from Dana to the four men who were studiously studying their steel-toed boots. She'd definitely been had.

"We'll discuss this later ladies." Regina said calmly before turning and going into the building. Oh we would definitely discuss this later.

Regina rushed around her apartment trying to get ready before Dana showed up. She'd had to work late because a nuclear density gauge had malfunctioned, requiring her to go lock it out for repairs. It had taken longer than usual for the electrician to find the problem. Now at 6:45 she was just getting out of the shower and looking for appropriate clothes to wear. Nothing provocative, but certainly presentable.

She was just slipping the silk shirt on when the doorbell rang. She went to answer it, grabbing for the doorknob even as she checked her appearance in the mirror next to the door. Why in the hell was she worried about how she looked? This wasn't a date, just a friendly outing.

Regina opened the door to a smiling Dana who was holding out a bouquet of flowers. Huh? Well, someone thought it was a date apparently.

"Thank you, Regina responded automatically as she took the flowers. When was the last time someone had brought her flowers? Rachel on Valentines Day years ago right before she'd gotten so sick. "Come on in." She invited the college student. "I'm sorry I'm not quite ready, I got held up at work." Regina told her as she tucked her shirt in with one hand and carried the flowers into the kitchen.

"Nice place." Dana commented as she looked around the apartment. She didn't know what she had expected but it hadn't been this. The apartment was tastefully decorated and had books everywhere. One entire wall was dominated by a floor to ceiling bookshelf. She expected something rougher, maybe something earthier.

"Thanks, I really haven't done much with it. I was never the one with the decorative flair. That was Rachel's department. Although, I do like to think that some of her good taste rubbed off on me." Regina's voice drifted out of the kitchen as she rooted for a vase to put the flowers in. Finally she had to settle for a diet Pepsi bottle.

"I'm almost ready, I just have to finish up in the bathroom. Why don't you make yourself comfortable? " Regina said as she came out of the kitchen.

"Don't I get a tour of the apartment?" Dana teased. She'd never seen Regina so anxious. Usually she was calm, cool and competent. Even her dad had mentioned how unflappable Regina was.

"Tours are for the second date." Regina said before thinking. Oh shit.

"So, you're already asking me out on a second date? We don't even know if we'll have fun on the first one, but I accept." She could see all the color draining from Regina's face and decided to jump on the implied offer before she could take it back.

"Oh, ok. Uh great." Second date? Who's thirty-five here and who's nineteen? God, why can't she at least be in her twenty's. Twenty would sound so much better than a teen. She's a teenager still! A small groan escaped Regina's lips before she could catch herself.

She escaped into the bathroom to quickly brush her teeth. She looked at herself in the mirror and gave herself a pep talk. "Just talk to her while your out and explain the situation to her. Be calm. Be polite. You can do it!"

"Ok, I'm all set." Regina said as she came out of the bathroom. She saw Dana in the corner perusing some of her books.

"You have quite a collection." Dana said gesturing to the books.

"Yeah, it's my main hobby. I don't really go out much. Or at least I didn't before."

"I really enjoyed this one." She told Regina pointing to 'Wild Swan'.

"That's one of my favorites. Have you read the other two in the series?" Regina asked, her interest peaked.

"I've read 'Swans Chance', is there a third?" Dana asked genuinely excited by the prospect.

"Oh yeah, it's called 'Season of Swans'. It's right here." Regina reached up for the book bringing it down for Dana to see. "You can borrow it if you'd like." She offered.

"Thanks, I can't wait to read it." Dana hugged the book to her chest. "So, you're ready to go?"

"Oh yeah, shall we?" Regina held out her arm indicating Dana should precede her. She stepped forward and opened the front door when they reached it and smiled at Dana. She locked the door quickly and started towards her car.

"Oh, you wanted to take your car?" Dana asked when she noticed Regina heading for her car.

"No, not if you'd rather take yours." Regina said quickly. She was just used to driving.

"Well I am picking you up, so we probably should take mine." Dana pointed out logically. "Besides you drive a Volvo."

Regina gave her an inquiring look.

"A Volvo is such a staid car. Boring." Dana explained.

"It's a safe car. It happens to have one of the highest safety ratings." Regina told her, extolling the virtues of her beloved Volvo. "However, if it's excitement you want from a vehicle, I have a motorcycle too."

"Really? I didn't know you rode a motorcycle."

"Yeah, I do a little recreational riding." Regina said lightly.

"Hmm let's take my car. We'll take the bike next time. I think, I being the asker, should drive." Dana decided finally.

Regina just smiled and moved over to Dana's Acura. She waited patiently by the passenger door while Dana opened it. She lowered herself into the car and Dana shut the door after her. That was a first.

They arrived at their destination without incident, but that wasn't because Dana wasn't trying. Regina doubted she'd seen a worse driver in all her life. And that was saying something considering she was thirty-five.

"Are you ok?" Dana asked for the sixth time since getting out of the car.

"I'll be fine." Regina told her. She wasn't really sure that was the truth but it probably wouldn't do to tell the woman that she was terrified to get back into the car with her. Wonder how long I can keep her here. Regina decided then that she would find some way to drive home.

"What would you like to drink?" Dana asked as they claimed a table close to the stage.

"Whatever you're having is fine." Regina told her. It would be rude to order a drink when Dana couldn't have any alcohol. In fact, Regina wondered how Dana could even get into the club at all. Wasn't the law twenty-one and up?

Dana brought back two ice waters just as the band members started filtering onto the stage. She waved at the band and turned back to Regina. "Well I have to go warm-up. Wish me luck?"

Regina finally understood why Dana could get in. She was in the band. And she played the drums. How ironic.

Suddenly Regina felt like having a beer. She looked around and flagged the waitress. When the woman finally walked over she asked for a bud light and leaned back to watch while the band warmed up.

The waitress came back bearing two beers and set them down. "Two for one until ten." She explained with an economy of words.

"Thanks." Regina said holding up a five. She let her keep the change from a three dollar beer.

Regina sipped her beer as she let her gaze linger on Dana. She was amazed at the time that must have gone by while she was studying the college student, since the band was starting their set. The music wasn't loud; in fact it was quite soothing. The lead singer had a sweet voice that washed over Regina relaxing her even more.

She went back to studying Dana as she sipped at her second beer. Where had the first one gone? So far Dana had done everything right. Of course Regina's expectations had plummeted dramatically since her first date. But, she didn't think that actually had anything to do with it. Dana was just the kind of woman she wanted to date. She was just too damn young.

After four songs the band called for a break. Dana bounded down to the table and sat down as she beamed at Regina. "See I told you the band was great."

"You were very good. I didn't know you're a drummer?"

"That's cause I wanted it to be a surprise. I find a lot of women find the drummer thing to be incredibly sexy." Dana told her with a wink.

"A previous date I had certainly thought so." Regina laughingly told her, while wondering how many 'a lot' actually was.

While Regina was silently contemplating the meaning of 'a lot' Dana moved her chair closer to the other woman. Only when Regina felt a warm hand on her arm did she turn and look at Dana. Whoa she was close! She wanted to move her chair over the other way. Instead she stayed where she was and tried to act nonchalant. Animals and women could smell fear.

"I wanted to talk to you about something Regina." Dana began. "You know there's a significant age difference between us." Dana told her needlessly.

Regina listened in amazement as her speech came out of Dana's lips.

"We don't have to let it be a problem." She continued without seeing Regina's amazed countenance. "I mean, I don't think it's a problem and I'd like you to feel the same."

That is not the way the speech goes.

"Look, this isn't something that we have to decide right now." Dana told her. The drummer leaned back finally taking her hand off Regina's forearm. She could tell Regina wanted to say something about it, and she thought that she might have made a mistake by bringing it up too soon. "I just wanted you to know that I won't let this be a problem if you won't." Dana finished, leaving the final decision to Regina.

It was her opportunity. She could tell Dana that she couldn't get past the age difference. That she couldn't be comfortable with a teenager. "We can talk about it later." She said instead. What in the hell was that?


"So how did it go last night?" Matt asked. He was too anxious to hear about Regina's date with Dana to wait for the other guys to get in before asking about it.

"Good, great actually." Regina admitted. Great mostly, she'd been unable to think of a good excuse to be able to drive home. She was still having flash backs from that ride home.

"I knew she'd be perfect for you." Matt told her smugly, just as the other three walked in the back door.

They didn't even bother to go to their offices to set down their lunches and briefcases.

"Well?" Jeff prodded.

"She had a great time." Matt offered, seeming even smugger than the moment before.

"I knew it!" Jeff held out his hand to Flint and Ross who were digging in their wallets. They both pulled out two fives and handed them to Matt and Jeff. "So, when are you going to see her again?" Jeff asked as he put away the ten dollars he'd just won.

"I'm don't know. I'm not sure I want to see her again." Regina told them honestly. "She's young enough to be my daughter."

"God dammit!" Jeff cursed as he pulled out his wallet and handed the five's back to plus two more, handing ten dollars to both Ross and Flint. Matt sighed and did the same.

"What exactly did you guys bet on?" Regina asked as she watched money switch hands for the second time.

"Jeff and Matt bet that you would have a great time and keep seeing her." Ross said as he stuffed the cash into his wallet. "We bet that you'd have a great time but wouldn't see her anymore." Ross told her with a smile. "I was really hoping that you would want to keep seeing her but money is money."

"How much did you bet?"

"Five dollars." Ross replied.

"Hmm well, I said I wasn't sure I wanted to see her again, not that I wouldn't see her again. We have another date for Friday night." Regina said with a wicked grin. She didn't have to tell them that she'd accidentally made that date.

"I really don't see why the you're so up-tight about seeing her." Jeff speculated out loud. "It's about the same difference there was between you and Rachel isn't it?"

"And look where it got me!" Regina snapped before she could stop herself.

Jeff sighed realizing that he had pushed too far. "I'm sorry Reg. I was just trying to help."

Regina shook her head and waved it off. "Don't worry about it. Dating has been driving me insane, I didn't mean to snap like that."

"So, you're going out with her again?" Flint asked filling up the awkward silence that followed.

"Yeah, we have a date for Friday night, she's coming over and were going to take it from there." Regina told them.

"So what do you have in mind?" Flint questioned.

"A movie maybe."

"At home or in the theatre?"

"Probably in the theatre. Staying in implies too much, don't you think?" Regina asked the room at large.

"As an expert, " Flint offered in a deep voice. "Staying in definitely has its advantages. You're on your home court, so you're comfortable. You get to pick the movie so you know it'll be something you like. And if things start to heat up you'll have plenty of privacy."

"A theatre it is." Regina said pleasantly, making them all laugh.

"You might want to re-think Flint's advice Reg. After all, he is very successful with the ladies." Jeff reminded her.

"I don't think I need that particular kind of advice this early in the game." Regina said dryly.

"It never hurts to know." Ross said as he leaned forward and looked at Flint intensely curious. "What makes you so successful anyway?"

"That would be a trade secret." Flint said folding his arms across his chest and leaning back against the wall.

"Come on. Regina needs all the help she can get." Ross cajoled. Making them all laugh again.

"Well.... If it'll help Regina." Flint hesitated dramatically. "You know those romance novels that you see in Wal-Mart? I read those and highlight the stuff that sounds really romantic." He looked offended when everyone burst with laughter.

"Hey! Hey, a bunch of women write those things! They know what women want to hear." Flint defended himself, shouting to be heard over the snorts and hiccups from his convulsed friends.

"Women actually believe the crap you're feeding them?" Regina asked wiping the tears from her eyes.

"Sure, you just read it get the gist and use your own words. They love it." Flint said smugly.

Regina shook her head trying to get the picture of Flint at the beach reading a romance novel with all the other women. "I don't think I'll be using that tactic." She told Flint with a snort of suppressed laughter.

"I knew I shouldn't have told you guys." Flint grumbled. They were going to harass him about this forever.

"I'm going to start prepping the gear for today." Flint said as he escaped the rampant laughter.

"Probably won't take as long as the prep work for a date." Ross called after him, laughing.

The doorbell ringing startled Regina who had been pacing nervously since she got home and changed for her date. She stood in front of the door and wiped her sweaty hands on her jeans and opened the door. There was Dana as lovely as ever, holding a pizza box with a movie on top of it?

Regina invited her in and raised an eyebrow at the pizza and movie. "I thought it would give us a chance to get to know each other better if we were alone." Dana explained.

Regina nodded smiling as she reached to unburden Dana of the pizza. She went into the kitchen with the pizza to serve it, wondering idly if Dana and Flint read the same romance novels since they obviously thought alike.

"So what movie did you get?" Regina called into the living room as she put a few slices of pizza on each plate. She placed them on a tray along with drinks and napkins.

"Resident Evil." Dana said from the door of the kitchen.

Regina jumped, surprised to hear Dana's voice so close. "I thought you were in the living room." Regina said explaining her jumpiness.

"I thought you might need some help."

"Oh, yeah. Could you take these into the living room?" Regina asked handing the drummer the diet Pepsi's. "I'm afraid they're all I have."

"I love diet Pepsi." Dana assured her as she walked back into the living room followed closely by Regina. She set the tray onto the ottoman and sat down pulling it closer to her. She pat the seat next to her offering it to Dana.

Regina realized too late that she'd automatically sat down on the loveseat instead of the large sofa. Would it be rude to move now?

"I should put in the movie." Regina said aloud as she stood. She breathed a sigh of relief as she fiddled with the DVD player making sure the television was on the right channel. She scooped up the remote and was going to park on the larger couch when Dana caught her eye and patted the seat beside her, just like Regina had done a moment ago. The girl could read minds!

Ok, this isn't a problem. Just sit there, keep to your own cushion and watch the movie.

Regina sat down and huddled on her side clutching her plate and napkin. She eyed the diet Pepsi wishing she could cross the invisible barrier to get it. But she couldn't take the chance.

"You know I don't bite." Dana said exasperated.

"Oh, well that's good." Regina responded for lack of anything better to say. She'd been caught. She relaxed a little bit more and leaned over for her diet Pepsi. That's when she felt Dana's thigh pressing against her own. She shot a look down at the offending thigh, then up to Dana's face.

Dana was watching the opening credits of the movie.

Regina finished her pizza trying to ignore the thigh pressed against hers. It turned out that finishing the pizza so quickly was a good move, because the movie was a marathon of blood, guts and gore. Good movie.

It did occur to Regina as the movie progressed, that every time Dana jumped she managed to land just the tiniest bit closer to her. Until Dana was pressed up against Regina's side and she had to put her arm around the drummer or have her arm loose all feeling from being pinned beneath one hundred and twenty pounds of woman.

Regina narrowed her eyes when she felt Dana snuggling into the embrace. She felt like she'd been professionally maneuvered. A military general wished he had such a clandestine and successful plan of attack. Regina was obviously dealing with a tactical genius.

"How about some popcorn?" Regina asked as she stood up. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Dana took the opportunity to scoot over another inch, leaving absolutely no room to separate them when Regina came back out.

She threw two bags of microwave popcorn in for two minutes and came back out with a bowl full of perfectly popped corn with butter already added. Regina went around to Dana's vacated side and plopped down pushing the bowl in between them before Dana could adjust to her counter attack. Regina smiled and tossed a piece of popcorn in her mouth. The winner and still champion, Regina Carlton. Thank you, thank you, no applause just throw money.

She almost choked on the popcorn she was swallowing when Dana lifted the bowl into her lap and moved back into her original position, this time on the opposite side.

The popcorn block is denied!

Regina sighed and settled back. It wasn't entirely unpleasant she supposed. There are worse things than snuggling on the loveseat with a beautiful woman. Like just about anything else. She tried to relax into the embrace. She even thought she was doing a pretty good job until Dana reached up and placed a hand over hers, stopping the nervously tapping finger.

"You need to relax a little." Dana said softly without taking her eyes off the movie. The zombie's had just pulled a man away from his friends and into their flesh-eating grasp.

"I'm relaxed." Regina said cringing when he voice cracked.

"I had a great evening." Dana said as Regina walked her to the door. "But you never did give me that tour."

"Ah yes, the second date tour. We could do it right now, real quick." Regina offered.

"Maybe next time. The first time I see your bedroom I'd rather it be a slow tour." Dana said with a grin.

Huh? Oh flirting. I remember that, vaguely. "Slow. I'll remember that." Regina said quietly, enjoying the surprised look that came over Dana's face when she flirted back.

"Are you doing anything tomorrow?" Dana asked after a couple of seconds.

"No," Regina hesitated. She knew Dana was going to ask her out again. She had a decision to make soon. "Just some laundry and light cleaning."

"We're all going to go out on the boat tomorrow, I'd love you to come with me." The drummer asked hopefully.

"We who?" Regina asked with a frown. The idea of spending the afternoon with a bunch of drunken college students really didn't appeal to her. Just another reason why them dating wouldn't work.

"My family. Mom, dad and my brother. My brother's bringing his girlfriend." Dana explained.

Oh my god, even worse.

"I don't know Dana, I doubt your dad wants to see me outside of work. I think he probably gets enough of me during the week." She joked.

"You're not going to see my dad. You're going to be with me."

"Ok." Regina heard the reply and couldn't believe that she'd actually said it. Maybe she was using mind control as well as mind reading. Need to buy an aluminum-lined hat.

"Great," She beamed at Regina. "Should I pick you up?"

"No, I think it would be easier if I meet you." Regina told her. And safer. "He docks his boat in Tampa right?" Regina asked just to be sure she knew which Marina he was docked at.

"Yeah, the same one he's always had. You've gone out on his boat before haven't you?" She asked, she remembered her dad talking about taking out the environmental team a couple of times.

"Yes, I shouldn't have any problem meeting you." Regina told her.

"About seven." Dana said apologetically because of the early hour.

"Sure." Regina smiled. She was used to getting up early anyway.

"Then I'll see you tomorrow." Dana said squeezing her had affectionately before she went out the door and to her car.

Regina watched her pull out of the parking lot, wondering at the contradiction that Dana was. One minute she was snuggling up to Regina the next she just squeezed her hand rather than try to get a kiss or hug. Regina shook her head. Strange.

The next morning found Regina out at the marina bright and early. She saw them as soon as she pulled up in her Volvo. She'd toyed with the idea of bringing the motorcycle, but she wanted to bring a change of clothes and a couple of twelve packs of soda and beer. She knew John liked to have a few when he was out on the boat.

Before she could even get out of the car Dana was there. She opened the door for Regina and helped her get the stuff out of the trunk.

"You didn't need to bring anything." Dana said when Regina handed her the soda.

"You invited me, the least I could do was bring drinks." Regina reasoned.

"Well I guess it's a good thing you did. Dad didn't get anything at the store and the marina store is highway robbery."

Regina pulled out the beer and heard Dana laugh. Regina lifted an eyebrow inquiringly. "Dad will really be happy now." Dana said indicating the beer.

Regina smiled and shut the trunk and followed Dana over to the boat.

"Hi John." Regina called when he'd spotted her and Dana walking over.

"Regina, come on aboard. I'm glad you could make it." He said even as he was reaching to take the sodas from Dana. He helped her onto the boat and set down the soda's turning to take the beer from Regina. "Thanks for the refreshments." He said as he hefted the beer.

Regina stepped onto the back of the boat and down the steps to the deck. "No problem." I wasn't sure what you needed, but you can't go wrong with beer and soda."

"Beer's always a winner." He responded seriously, then chuckled.

Regina greeted the rest of John's family, catching up since the last time they'd had a chance to get together. Regina tried to remember when that was. Christmas party last year.

John started maneuvering them out of the marina while the others drifted to the deck seats to get some sun. Regina felt terribly uncomfortable when Dana sat close to her. She could actually feel Dana's body heat she was so close. Regina turned her head and saw John smiling at them. She could feel the heat of embarrassment wash over her face.

"Are you ok?" Dana asked noticing Regina's heightened color.

"He's staring at us." Regina whispered embarrassed. This seemed like such a harmless idea last night.

"They're all staring at us. We're new." Dana responded with good-natured humor.

"It's not polite to stare." Regina said back softly. Was it polite to jump off the boat and swim to shore before it's too late?

"Why don't we go somewhere else." Dana suggested. They were being very obvious in their scrutiny of the couple.

"It's not that big of a boat, Dana. There's pretty much no where else to go."

"We could go below." Dana teased.

"You know that's not a very nice thing to say." Regina laughed.

"I just want you to be comfortable. You are my guest after all." Dana said with complete innocence.

"Yeah, that'll do it." Regina said sarcastically as she leaned back against the cushions relaxing. The light banter making her feel better, especially when the other's stopped staring after Dana glared at them.

She and Dana had been talking and joking with her brother and his girlfriend for a while when John dropped the anchor. They'd been cruising the Gulf of Mexico for about four hours stopping every now and then to try some fishing or take a dip in the water. Sam, Dana's brother, refused to budge off the boat citing sharks lived in the water. Dana took the first opportunity to jump in. Regina followed her as soon as Dana hit the water. She didn't want to leave her alone in the water just in case Sam's fears proved to be true. Although, what good she'd do against a shark was debatable. Maybe it would eat her instead of Dana. That would work.

They got out of the water and lay on the deck soaking up the sun when John came over and suggested Dana give her mother a hand fixing lunch. Dana smiled at Regina and told her she'd be right back, leaving her with John.

John sat down beside Dana and stretched out. Regina just enjoyed the sun on her body and the silent camaraderie. "So Dana tells me this is your third date." John said breaking the silence with a vengeance.

"I'm not sure I'd call them dates exactly." Regina hedged. But they sure feel like dates.

"Well whatever single people do now a days." John said dismissively. "I was wondering if you could do me a favor." He asked after a couple minutes of companionable silence.

"Sure." Regina responded unhurriedly.

"Could you talk to Dana about quitting that band she's in?" He asked.

Oh that's not good. Regina sat up slowly a frown covering her face. "John, I don't think it's my place to ask her to do anything like that."

"She won't listen to me. But if you asked her too she'd listen to you." John told her confidently.

She decided to try this from another angle. "Is it interfering with her school?" Regina asked.

"No, her grades are always great. It's just not a good environment for her to be hanging out in." John explained. "I don't like her being in bars around all those drunks."

Regina sighed. Why me? "Look John, Dana's an adult. She's old enough to make her own decisions. You have to trust that you've done your job raising her and trust her judgement."

"But she's only nineteen." John argued. "She doesn't have the life experience to know when she's in a dangerous situation."

"You're wrong. She knows exactly what she's doing." Regina defended her. "She's majoring in Chemical Engineering, has excellent grades and has never been in trouble. I'd say she's got plenty of life experience."

Regina stopped short. Dana was an adult and Regina had been doing just what John was doing now, treating her as if she were a child.

Dana came up with her mother carrying a tray of sandwiches and chips. Regina looked over at John. "Just let it go, John. She's an adult."
Dana sat next to Regina handing her a plate with four sandwiches and another plate of chips. "So what were you and my dad talking about?" She asked perceptively.

"Nothing really." Regina answered smiling. "He wants you to quit the band."


"I told him I thought you were adult enough to make that decision for yourself." Regina said pointedly.

Dana smiled and took a sandwich off the plate. "Thanks."

"Your welcome."
They glided into the marina at eight that evening. Everyone was tired and a little sun burned as they got off the boat. Regina offered to help clean up and secure the boat but John waved her off telling her that's why he paid those exorbitant fees. So someone else could do that for him.

Dana walked with Regina over to her car. "So this is our third date?" Dana said leaving it open as a question.

"Yeah it is." Regina confirmed as she turned and leaned back against the car. "How about a fourth?" Regina asked finally. "I mean if your not doing anything tomorrow evening, maybe we can go to dinner?"

"I'd love to." Dana said softly.

Regina stood up straight. "Then I guess I'll see you tomorrow. I'll pick you up." Regina said quickly before Dana could volunteer to drive.

"Sure. You know where I live." Dana teased. She lived with her parents still.

"Yeah, about that. They don't require you to, you know, call or tell them where you're going to be do they?" Regina questioned uncomfortably.

"No, of course not. I'm an adult."

"Oh good." Regina sighed. She could just see Dana calling from her apartment. 'Hi dad I'm going to stay over at Regina's ok.' It made her stomach flop just thinking about it.

"Well I'll see you tomorrow." Dana said smiling as she started to walk to her own car.

"Wait." Regina called working up her nerve. She walked over to Dana. "I uh, well I wanted," Regina shook her head and leaned forward brushing her lips against Dana's softly. When Dana responded she pulled her closer and wrapped her arms around the drummer. The first taste of Dana was sweet, the brush of their tongues making Regina tingle. She pulled back reluctantly and smiled at Dana. "I just wanted to kiss you. You're allowed that on the third date." Regina informed her seriously.

"When do we move beyond kissing?" Dana asked as she ran her hands up and down Regina's arms.

"Around the third month of dating."

'Who in the hell made that rule!' Dana screamed to herself.

The end.

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