Reece's Faith, Part 33
For Disclaimers please see Part 1
The club owner gasped when she opened her office door; the room had been decorated from top to bottom, tree and all. Blinking a few times in confusion, she took it all in. She wondered when Faith had the time to do all this and why. Settling herself in her chair, the only un-decorated item in the room, Reece clicked on the radio with her remote. "Jingle Bell Rock" filled the air. When that song ended, the DJ came on to inform her that she was in the middle of an '18 hour, nothing but Christmas tunes' marathon. Sighing, she picked up the Santa hat off her desk and couldn't help but smile at the note underneath, in Cori's handwriting.
Put this on your head and be festive, you fucking Scrooge.
I see you had some help, Faith, you sneaky little thing.
The club owner put the hat on, for Faith. She made a deal with herself that she'd only wear it in the office and started to do her dreaded paperwork. She stopped to make the radio louder in order to drown out the incessant bass from the club sound system. She wasn't aware that she had started to tap her foot to the holiday music filling her office. Despite her usual grumpiness, Reece found herself actually humming along as Bing Crosby crooned on about a white Christmas. She studied the tree for a while, smiling she pictured how excited Faith must have been while putting this room together. Reece began singing out loud to "Feliz Navidad". For some reason, she was feeling happy and that felt good to her. Standing, she turned up the volume again and began singing out loud while dancing around her office.
"I wanna wish you a merry Christmas..." Reece belted out with the radio,"from the bottom of my heaaart!"
Sam couldn't help but hear her, since the club owner left her door open a crack. Even though it was important, she didn't want to interrupt her boss's unusually festive mood.
"Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad..." Reece shook her butt for all it was worth. Faith really has changed me... this is unheard of. A knock at the door startled the club owner. "Enter!"
"Nice hat, boss."
"Yeah well... what do you want, Sarge?" Reece stifled an uncharacteristic blush, too embarrassed to take off the hat now.
"We got a problem out front," Sam said as she shifted nervously; the last thing she wanted to do was interrupt Reece's good mood.
Immediately thinking it was a drunken businessman who wandered in from an office party, Reece waved her hand in boredom, "Just toss 'em out and close the door," she chuckled. Not hearing any response, she asked, "Why aren't you laughing, Sam?"
"Uhhmmm... it's not that kind of problem," she grimaced.
"What kind of problem is it then?" the club owner sucked in her cheeks, annoyed at Sam's squirming.
"You should come out here," Sam said, pointing her thumb over her shoulder.
Reece raised an eyebrow at the bouncer's behavior and threw her pen down on the desk. What now?
Sam led her boss through the club, towards the front door and then she held it open for Reece to look outside. Blue eyes opened wide at the sight. A crowd had formed on the sidewalk, chanting and carrying signs reading "Demeaning", "Degrading" and other references to her club. She also saw a few of her girls out there arguing with the protesters.
"What the fuck is that?" she asked, angrily pointing at the crowd.
"Rumor has it that some chick named Michele started it."
Reece frowned so hard her eyebrows met. "Ooo, that stupid little shit! I knew I shoulda took care of her. But nooo, Faith told me to leave her alone."
Sam raised a curious eyebrow at her boss as she ranted to herself, as did some of the onlookers. There was a tiny crowd of dancers and patrons at the front door of the club; they couldn't resist following the tall woman with the Santa hat.
"Oh great!" she shouted. "Channel 2 just arrived. Fan-fucking-tastic!
"Uhm, Reece? Do you want me to get rid of them?" Sam asked her tense boss, who now had the door to the club open.
"No, it's okay. If you go out there, it'll be chaos. Just stay in here."
"If you say so..."
"I say so. I used to be you, remember? I have experience with this. Once our girls see you out there, they'll get rowdy, knowing you'll back them up."
"I guess you're right, boss, but they look pretty riled up already."
"Trust me, Sarge, these people are pretty much telling them that they're trash. They're only fighting with words now, but if they have security behind them, they'll really let loose." Reece's eyes burned with anger as Channel 4 pulled up. "I need this now? Jesus Christ!" she said to no one in particular. She then opened the door wide and shouted, "Hey Michele! You idiot! All you're doing is giving me publicity!" and then laughed loudly.
"There she is," Michele pointed, "and not only is she responsible for this degrading hell-hole, but she's a lesbian to boot. Could you imagine a lesbian exploiting women?" she sneered evilly at Reece.
"She just had to play the exploitation card didn't she?" Reece pushed Sarge out of the way. "Fuck you, Michele, crawl back home. No one cares about who I sleep with. Maybe they should ask you!" Reece hollered and slammed the door.
Knowing what she just did was beyond immature and exactly what Michele wanted, Reece cursed and kicked the door. The tall angry woman turned to meet the stares of a dozen or so onlookers. "You," she pointed at the dancers, "get back to work. You others better be tipping those women well or you'll be thrown out there to the TV camera," she growled.
Sam's voice sounded very strange and Reece had a bad feeling. "Do I want to know?" The tall woman turned to face the bouncer.
"Probably not," Sam was wincing something awful.
"Should I know?" Reece closed her eyes and steeled herself.
"Yeah," she smiled nervously.
"Okay, hit me."
"Faith, Cori, Violet and some woman are fighting their way through that mob."
"God, no," Reece grimaced.
"Oooo," Sam shook her hand out at her side, "that old woman packs a mean right!" she whistled.
Marsha. Fabulous. "There is a God after all," the club owner slid down the wall.
"Why would you say something like that now?" Sam puzzled.
"This is retribution," the tall woman groaned.
The door flew open and Violet came barreling in with Mrs. Ashford hot on her heels.
"Reece! I think you better go and get Faith!" she panted.
Reece shot up to her feet.
"Relax dear, she's ok." Marsha patted Reece's shoulder. "I'm afraid Violet's worried about those other people's safety."
"Where's Mr. A?"
"He's at your house watching television. He's way too easy to please. Oh, and Theresa, dear, we must talk about the sleeping arrangements."
Sam's face became a ball of confusion. "Theresa?!"
As fast as she could blink, Reece's hand was around Sarge's throat. "Not a fucking word," she growled. "Understand?"
"Yep, not one," Sam squeaked.
"THERESA! Put that woman down this instant!" Reece growled in frustration and dropped Sam like a sack of potatoes. "Mrs. A, please don't call me..."
"I'll call you whatever I want. Now go out there see to my daughter, will you?"
"You're Faith's Mom???"
Reece spun around and pointed a finger of warning at the bouncer."You heard me, not a word," she threatened and grasped the door handle.
Once the door opened, they could hear Faith's voice, "You're just a jealous little bitch because that gorgeous hunk of woman wouldn't give you a second fucking look."
Reece stormed outside. The women waited til Cori flew in and the door closed again before crowding their faces into the little window.
"Woo Hoo! You go Faith!" the piercer cheered.
"Oh that's terrible, Violet, Faith is behaving so unladylike."
"Oh, Mrs. A, this is war, it's not supposed to be dainty." Cori patted her on the back.
"Well that hand gesture certainly wasn't. Oh my!" the older woman blinked and backed away from the door.
"Now, do you mind telling me what's going on out there?" Mrs. Ashford asked the very pale bouncer.
"We can see that, Sarge. What started it?" the dancer rolled her eyes.
"All's I know is some girl named Michele, who Reece thinks she should have taken care of earlier, started it. Possibly out of jealousy 'cuz Reece turned her down."
"That and Faith got her fired from the show," Cori added.
"THAT Michele?" Mrs. Ashford rolled up her sleeves.
"Down, killer, Reece will take care of her," Violet chuckled.
"How'd you guys know anyway?" Sam wondered.
"Live news coverage." Violet shook her head.
"So, Faith is out there jeopardizing her career for nothing?" Sam was amazed.
"Not for nothing, Sarge, for Reece," Cori smiled.
"Wow, now that's fucking love. Oh, pardon my French, Mrs. Ashford."
"You have no idea how easily that word comes from my daughter's mouth."
Sam raised her eyebrows in curiosity.
"Mrs. A's been sleeping there," Cori explained.
"No I haven't. I haven't got one decent night's sleep with the way those two carry on in bed. Cori, dear, remind me to talk to Theresa about her filthy mouth will you?"
Reece escorted all the girls inside, in between trying to coax Faith to come too. "Faith, come on now, let's go inside," she said quietly.
"Reece! They're calling you terrible names!" the actress was visibly upset.
"Hon, they don't know me. Let's go."
"But, how can you let them say these things?" Faith was livid.
"The guilty have no argument," a protester answered.
"OK, I've had just about enough! I force no one to work here. These women make their own choices and if taking off their clothes is what they choose to do, so be it!" Reece defended her girls. "This is a non-alcoholic, gentleman's entertainment club. There's no sleazy back rooms, there's no lap dancing, there's no touching. Period! Who the hell are you to judge anyone? Go home, the show's over."
"Ms. Ashford, is it true you and the owner of this establishment are romantically involved?
Reece shoved the camera aside and guided her lover to the steps.
"Ms. Corbett! Are you involved with Ms. Ashford?"
"Get off my steps. I'll ask you once nicely to leave my property."
"Are you threatening me? I have it on film."
Reece took a deep breath to calm down. She knew she couldn't do anything to these people. She needed to relax. "I'm not threatening you, I'm telling you to leave now or I'll let the dancers at you. Then its out of my hands," she smiled sweetly."
If you'll just answer my question... or are you afraid to ruin Ms. Ashford's career..." The man's words were cut off as his body was suddenly backed against the door by a redheaded ball of fury.
Faith covered the camera before continuing. "If you know what's good for you," she whispered in his ear, "you'll go away now. That sir, is a threat I fully intent to own up to should you choose to stay."
"Faith, let's go!" Reece demanded.
Once inside the door, Reece turned to her lover and threw up her hands in frustration. She tore the Santa hat off her head and threw it on the floor.
"What were you thinking?!" Reece yelled with the pent up anger. "How could you jeopardize the one thing you always wanted? What possessed you to do that?" she shouted.
"Reece, lay off a bit," Cori requested.
"No!" the tall woman punched the wall. "That was stupid!"
"Theresa! I insist you lower your voice and step back!" Marsha threatened the fuming woman.
Reece did step back, far enough to notice that Faith was in tears, sobbing. Immediately regretting her tirade, she kicked the door and turned on her heel with a loud frustrated growl. "See Cori! I told you!"
They watched Reece storm away, Mrs. Ashford right behind her waving her finger in the air.
"Told you what?" Violet asked as she embraced her friend. "Shh, Faith, it's alright. Reece is feeling threatened."
"She thinks that she's only going to hurt Faith, that Faith is too good for her."
"Oh, that old song and dance. I had no idea she was so insecure."
"Think about it Vi, when did she ever have security?"
"OOOO! She pisses me off!" Faith yelled, scaring both women.
"What?" Cori asked, still holding her chest in fright.
Sam looked everywhere but at the women talking. She couldn't leave her post and really didn't want to hear this.
"When will she get it through her thick freaking skull that I love her?! I'm not going anywhere! SHIT!" Faith sniffed hard and began pacing.
"I take it you've had this conversation."
"Plenty, Vi. I knew what I was getting into from day one! If I was going to up and leave, doesn't she think I would have done it already? She's next to impossible!" Faith made another loud frustrated sound and picked up the Santa hat.
"Well, it seems to me that she needs constant reassuring."
"Vi, what Faith just did out there should be reassuring enough."
"If I may," Sam but in, "Reece did not see Faith protecting her just now, she saw Faith being attacked, because of her."
The dancer and the piercer exchanged looks of surprise at the truth in Sam's words.
"Oohhh," Violet looked thoughtful, "she's scared shitless that because of her, Faith will now be dragged through the ringer and blame her in the process."
"Fuck me!" the actress yelled. "I gotta go fix this."
"I don't believe it," Sarge pointed towards the darkened hallway.
"I have a feeling your mom may have already fixed it," Cori nodded at the two figures approaching.
"Baby, I'm so..." Faith started, but was shocked speechless when Reece was shoved forward like a kid going to the dentist.
"Faith, I'm sorry I acted like that. Forgive me?" the club owner glanced sideways at Faith's mother who nodded her approval.
"Mom? Who is this and what have you done with Reece?" Faith playfully started taking inventory of her embarrassed lover.
"Faith?" Reece whispered from the side of her mouth, rolling her eyes in Marsha's direction.
"Oh! Of course I forgive you, but let me explain..."
Reece cut her off with a kiss. "Not here, come with me and give me my hat," the tall woman smirked as she donned the hat and led Faith to her office.
Three jaws hung open and six eyes stared at Mrs. Ashford.
"What? You just have to know how to talk to her," she sniffed.
"Whoa," Cori said with amazement.
"Oh girls, she's not that scary. Did you know she's afraid of nuns?"
"I'm not touching that one," Violet shook the thought loose.
Reece closed the door behind her, Christmas tunes still blaring from the radio. "Did I thank you for the surprise?" she grinned, sitting Faith down on he couch.
"No," Faith made a cute pout.
"Well, thank you. It actually made me festive with Christmas cheer," the tall woman knelt and kissed the actress.
Faith drew back from the kiss and leaned back. She furrowed her brows, studying Reece."What did Mom do? Drug you?"
Reece chuckled loudly, "No, she just told me in no uncertain terms to stop fuckin' around."
"Excuse me?" Faith was baffled. "She said I better stop that bullshit and act like my half of the couple. She told me, that if I ever worried about losing you, that was the way to do it." the club owner looked away.
"That she'd personally make my life a living hell if I didn't tell you what was going on in my head."
"So," Faith kissed Reece's head, "what's going on in there?"
"It's kinda crowded, so bear with me, okay?"
Faith nodded, concerned about what her lover was going to say.
"Okay, do you love me?"
"Of course I do, Reece," Faith was getting worried.
"Are you sure you made the right choice? I mean with me?"
"Reece Corbett, I did not choose you any more than I chose what color eyes I was born with."
"What?" Reece asked in confusion.
"I did not pick you, Reece, just like you didn't pick me. I didn't have a long line of people to choose from and decided to start my first foray into unconditional love with the most frustrating and impossible woman."
"I had a choice," the club owner argued.
"You did not. Think about it, Reece. Did you have any control over how you felt about me? Could you have just walked away and never seen me again?"
The tall woman stared off in the distance, then closed her eyes and grinned, "No, I had no choice, I was in love with you from the moment I laid eyes on you."
"See? Only it took you long enough to admit it," Faith smirked.
"So, you're not going to decide that there's something else out there? You're not going to just one day think you're missing out and leave?"
"Me? Need more than you?! Hardly. I can barely keep up with you on a good day."
"Come on, I'm serious here. Are you happy with me?" Reece asked sincerely.
"Yes, of course! Very happy," Faith smiled at the loud, relieved gust of air Reece blew out. "Love, I can't imagine not waking up next to you or at least in our bed. I am addicted to the smell of your skin. I need to see your face everyday like I need air."
Reece heard her unspoken thoughts and feelings coming out of Faith's mouth. It gave her the strangest feelings. "Doesn't it frighten you to be that dependent, Faith?"
Does it frighten you?"
"A little." Reece mumbled.
"That's okay, Reece. I'm not going anywhere. You're stuck with me, babe."
"Thank you, Faith." the club owner fell forward between her lover's legs and rested her head on her shoulder.
"Don't thank me. I had no idea what love really was all about until you."
"Oh boy, do I know what you mean." Reece lifted her head and kissed Faith with as much feeling as she could.
"Wow," the actress breathed.
"Hon, what are you going to do about your job now?" she lifted her hand and let her fingers brush the underside of Faith's chin.
Faith closed her eyes and made a contented sound, "Reece, don't you worry about that. I made my bed..." The actress slipped her hand into long silky black hair.
"I coulda took care of it You didn't have to go and do that." Reece closed her eyes too as Faith's nails gently scratched her scalp.
"Michele twists my panties. She pissed me off. Who does she think she is?"
"This could cost you your job... your career," Reece said sadly.
"Hey, look at Ellen," Faith joked.
"Yeah, look at Ellen," Reece turned to face her lover. "Faith, this could be very bad for you. If it gets to be too much, please tell me. I'll fix it. It's my fault."
"No, it's my fault, really, but let's worry about that another time okay? It's Christmas Eve."
"Like I could forget," the club owner gestured at her office.
Faith got up and stood by the tree. "You liked it?"
"I was surprised."
"Good surprised?" Faith smiled.
"Very good. I especially like my hat," Reece opened her desk drawer and pulled out a disposable camera and began taking pictures of her office.
"You look very cute, Reece," Faith said as she posed by the twinkling tree.
"Say cheese," Reece teased.
"Eat me," Faith laughed.
Reece snapped the picture and laughed. "Eat me?"
Faith shrugged. "The same amount of teeth as 'cheese', only more fun to say." She pulled out a box from under the tree and held it out to her lover.
"Those are real?" Reece asked, taking the present from Faith.
"Yes, these are real. They're private gifts," she smirked.
"Ohhh, you should have told me. Mine are under our tree," she wiggled her eyebrow. "Hey, this is heavy."
"Open it, already," Faith practically jumped up and down.
Reece unwrapped the box and opened the lid. Her eyes went wide at the contents. "You dirty girl, Faith." Reece held up the leather items. An elaborate harness, some wrist cuffs and straps.
"You like?" Faith purred.
"Oh yeah, I really, really like. I was wondering when this discussion might come up."
"Kinda nips that conversation in the bud, doesn't it?" Faith leaned into her lover.
"It certainly does," Reece leaned into Faith, her breathing a little labored. She kissed the actress, teasing her lips with her tongue.
"Thinking about what to do with your toys, Reece?" the actress whispered.
"Oh yeah," Reece whispered throatily back.
"Try on those pants for me?"
Reece leaned away and held up the leather pants. She examined the buckles and ties at the crotch, "Kinky," she grinned.
"The ties open up and..."
"Oh I see that, Faith." Reece leaned back into her lover and caught Faith's bottom lip in between her teeth before sucking it into her mouth. She nipped suddenly and Faith shuddered.
"Ooo, I like when you growl," Faith shivered.
"I think these are gonna fit perfectly. How'd you guess?"
"Reece, I'm practically sleeping with your leathers like a teddy bear. I think I know what size they are. Put 'em on already!"
Reece chuckled at Faith's excitement. She unbuttoned her jeans and kicked off her boots. Faith took the pants from her lover and held them open or her to step into.
"I can get dressed on my own, babe," Reece smiled.
"Yeah, but where's the fun in that?"
"Mrs. A, they've been in there long enough for us to figure out that they're finished talking."
"Violet, humor an old woman, please go check on them."
"Please don't make me go in there," she whined.
"Vi, if it'll make you feel better I'll go," Sam offered.
"Uh, no thanks, Sarge, if anyone's gonna barge in on them, it should be me," the dancer laughed.
"Okay, you go," Mrs. Ashford pointed to the door.
"Fine. I'll go." Cori stood there.
"Go on," Violet urged.
Cori knocked on the door, then again... and again. She opened it slightly and stuck her eye in the crack. What the? Closing the door behind her, she shooed away the rest of the others.
"What's happening?" Sam asked.
"They're fine. Typical kiss and make up stuff," she lied. Yeah, if you call slow dancing to Christmas tunes typical of Reece.
"You sure? You look kinda funny, Cor," Violet cornered her lover.
"They're dancing, Vi. Reece is wearing those scrumptious pants and they're dancing," Cori said dazed.
"Wow," the piercer mirrored the dancer's expression.
"I never would have dreamed I'd see a civilized Reece. That Faith was a miracle."
"Amen." The music changed in the club to a rocking version of "Feliz Navidad" and Violet grabbed her lover by the hand. "Come on baby, let,s party!" she dragged her off towards the bar.
"Reece! What are you doing?!" Faith squealed as her tall lover picked her up and headed out of the office, dancing and singing."
I happen to like this song."
"I like you like this, it should be Christmas all the time."
"Let's not get carried away," Reece laughed at her own joke and swatted Faith on the ass.
"Ha ha. Put me down. I can walk out there myself."
"Nah, I like you up here," she replied while walking through the club.
"Hey Reece! Come over here!" Cori yelled above the music.
The two women put their heads together and sang loudly to the music as Faith squirmed out of Reece's grasp.
"Faith, sweetheart, is everything okay?"
"Perfect Mom. Just perfect."
Mrs. Ashford watched her daughter's smile widen as she watched Reece dance and sing with the others.
"This really isn't what I thought it would be, Faith. It's really not a dark and dirty place at all."
"See? I told you, Mom. Now you stay with Violet, I'm going to get us something to drink."
"Woo hoo! Hey little one, go on and give us a show like the last time, will ya?"
Faith paled at the man's suggestion.
"Excuse me?" Marsha folded her arms over her chest.
"You should have seen her. Oh and with that freaky one over there... she can really turn up the heat, you know what I mean?" he winked and laughed.
"Are you saying that my daughter takes off her clothes for money?" Marsha was aghast.
"Your daughter? Cool! Yep, all of them. Damn, can she get the blood flowin'! She's got a one helluva set of... ack!"
"Good lord!" Marsha sat on the stool heavily as she witnessed Reece carrying the man out by his throat.
"Mom... I can explain... just let me..."
"Is it true? Do you do this?"
"I did. Twice. But I don't anymore."
Marsha sat there deep in thought while Faith fought the urge to throw up.
"Mom? Please say something."
"Is that how you met her?"
"Yes... no... well sort of," Faith stuttered.
"Mrs. A, I'm so sorry you had to hear that asshole spout such crap," Reece gathered Faith in her arms and the actress buried her face in her lover's chest.
"It's alright, Theresa. I'm not as shocked as I should be. I guess if that is how it was supposed to be, then how can I get upset?"
Huh? Reece was definitely confused. Mrs. Ashford was actually condoning Faith's dancing?
"Mom, thank you. This is how it's supposed to be, I'm where I should be."
Reece hugged her lover tighter. This was all going to work out fine.
"Let's go home. We still have your father to deal with," the club owner suggested.
"Ugh, don't remind me."
Faith laughed at her mother's outburst and they left the club and went home.
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