It Takes All Kinds
Disclaimers: This is an original story so any similarities with "real" people is coincidental. This is also a work of alternative fiction so if the thought of two women in love doesn't work for you, please feel free to check out the general stories. There are a lot of really good ones.
Thanks to Jen for all her help and advice. Even the stuff I didn't use made the story better.
It was a quiet Saturday morning on the streets of Shaumburg, Il. A gray Lezus turned onto Shaumburg road from National Parkway. Suddenly there are two large Suvís in front and behind him cutting off all means of escape. A womanís figure slid out of the one in front. He can tell its a woman by her shape but she is covered from head to toe with a mask, hat, gloves and scarf around her neck, so he couldnít tell what her skin color was. She walked briskly over to his car and popped open his locked door with a small electrical device.
"Get out," said the woman in a surprisingly femine voice. She was holding a large Magnum in a steady hand right by his ear. The poor, scared man walked out of his pride and joy, and watched in horror from the side walk as the woman got in and drove it away. The other thieves then took off in the other cars in different directions as he shook in his boots and started to walk toward the police station a few blocks away.
* * * *
"We Tip Hot Line."
"Iíd like to speak to someone about the string of car jackings around town."
"Well one of my neighbors is acting kind of strange. Her name is Toni Hepburn and I saw her with two new cars in two days."
"Ok Maíam, if you will hold on I will take the pertinent information.
* * * *
Toni Hepburn trudged from her car to her apartment in a mood of reeling anger. ĎEverything went wrong today! Man do I hate Travel!! She screamed with rage in her mind at the stupid and unkind clients that wreaked havoc with her sense of self every day. As she turned the corner to her apartment she stopped dead. Leaning against her front door was the most beautiful woman sheíd ever seen. 'No, she must be waiting for a neighbor, my luck is not that good.íShe thought to herself as she studied the woman before her. She was tall almost six feet, with beautiful long, raven hair and the most striking feature were her sky blue eyes that had alertly turned the moment she stopped; those eyes grabbed Toniís heart and wouldnít let go.
Liz Wagner was stunned by the vision she beheld when she lifted her eyes to the woman coming down the hall. What she saw was a beautiful, petite, strawberry blonde with the most amazing green eyes she had ever beheld. And those green eyes were locked on hers, 'No way in hell can this be the woman I have to see. Iím never that lucky,í She thought as the woman again started to approach her.
Never in her thirty five years had Liz been so nervous. She swallowed several times while chanting with in her a mind a mantra she tried to believe, but just couldnít,íThis is business, this is business, this is business.í She kept up the mantra until the beauty stopped in front of her.
"Can I help you?"
Liz had a slight brain freeze, she just couldnít get her mouth to form the appropriate words.
Tony tilted her head to the side in an adorable way to Lizís infatuated eyes, and asked, "I assume you're waiting for me since thatís my door? What can I do for you?" She asked with a sweet smile, her bad mood forgotten.
ĎI canít count the number of things that come swiftly to my mind, Pretty Lady.íShe thought then replied in sultry voice, "Iím investigating a string of incidents around here for Anex Insurance, may I come in to speak to you for a few minutes?" She asked quietly.
Liz had been assigned to investigate the car jacking ring striking with alarming frequency in the neighborhood. She had gotten a tip that Toni was involved. She inwardly shook her head, not only did her instincts tell her Toni was innocent but that who ever gave that tip must be doing drugs.
"Of course you can come in, Miss...."
"Miss Wagner, please come on in."Toni said as she gestured the other woman in after she opened the door, "What kind of incidents?"
"Um...Car jacking gang, Miss Hepburn. We got a tip that you... uh...well might of witnessed one," ĎOh God Damn it Liz, that was really smooth!íShe thought to herself mentally giving her butt a good swift kick.
Toni gestured toward the couch that Liz should sit and be comfortable. There was a puzzled expression on her face. "Witness one, Miss Wagner, I donít even know anyone who has been car jacked. Where on Earth could that tip have come from?"
"It was anonymous and it looks like another bum lead...Damn. Well I donít want to trouble you any more..."
"Ummm, would you like something to drink? Its hot and humid outside."
She really didnít want the beautiful investigator to leave.
"Yea, it is hot, isnít it?" Liz really didnít want to leave and was grateful that Toni had thought of offering her a way to stay.
"Would you like some lemonade? I made it myself."
Liz was completely charmed by the offer and said, "Yes, thank you, Miss Hepburn, its very nice of you."
"Please call me,Toni. Iíll be right back."She smiled sweetly and went into her small kitchen to get the drinks.
"Wow," Was all the investigator could say.
* * * * *
Liz was explaining toToni how she had been given her name as a tip from one of the insurance companies tip lines of being involved in the crime. Liz also said her instincts had told her it was all a vicious lie within seconds of meeting her.
"But why? " Toni asked, "I donít have any enemies. Iím a nice person. I...donít understand."
"I donít understand either," Replied Liz thoughtfully as she sipped her lemonade."Um this is a very personal question and you really, really donít have to answer it, but have you had any problems with anyone in your love life? In my experience that is where people can be the most vicious. Have you turned anyone down lately?" Liz asked with a charming smile to lighten the tone of the question.
Toni was mesmerized by the smile, but she shook her head and answered quietly, "Honestly, no. I mean I do occasionally get propositioned when I go out with friends, but Iím always very gentle. I donít like to hurt anyone. I canít think of a soul who could be that angry at me."
"Well it must be someone you're not even aware of. Please be careful, Toni. People like that rarely stop at practical jokes...you may have ... a stalker."
"Oh my God, I never...I donít ...why?" She had become in hysterical in seconds.
What Liz did next was done on pure instinct, all she wanted to do was to help the young woman. She took Toni in her arms and cradled her like a baby against her chest. Softly she stroked her hair and cooed, "Its all right. Everything will be fine. I promise, Toni. I wonít let anything happen to you," Even as she said the words she knew it wasnít an empty promise. Surprisingly she knew sheíd give her life in order to protect this special woman in her arms. It was like her soul and Toniís melded and they were now attached and Liz didnít even know when it happened.
Within the circle of this perfect stranger's arms she felt an aura of peace and protection she had never felt before. It was bizarre, but she trusted her, she believed the promise that was made seconds before. It was now a fact that there was a deep familiarity with this woman and from this moment on they would be insepartable.
* * * * *
There was a knock on the front door that broke the spell. As the women gently separated they both knew that the other had the same magical entanglement; they were two halves of soul that were reunited. As bizarre as it seemed to these two very individual women; they were now one and they would remain that way even though they had only known each other for half an hour.
"Wow!" They both said at the same time and laughed. They were both smiling staring into each other eyes when Toni realized she was supposed to answer the door.
"I guess I better...um....answer the...uh, door, huh?"
Liz nodded her head and let her go. She then proceeded to collapse into the kitchen chair, "Wow."
Toni opened her front door to an older woman. She was about forty five years old with a sweet face and head full of auburn hair. She looked a good ten years younger then she was with a body of twenty five year old, "Hi nieghbor,"The woman said with a sweet smile.
"Hi Jean, how are you?" Toni said sweetly. She never liked this woman though she couldnít figure out why. Jean gave her the creeps. There was no reason she could put her finger on, she was a courteous neighbor, always polite and tried to be interested in her life and well being. Toni trusted her instincts so she always maintained a polite social distance from the older woman.
"Iím fine thanks hon. Listen I noticed this strange car parked for several hours and a rather formidable woman..."
Jean stopped mid -sentence when that very formidable woman strolled out of Toniís kitchen carrying two lemonades, "You forgot this," Liz said quietly handing Toni a glass.
Toniís face lit up as Liz entered and Jeanís paled when she noticed it. Liz saw both and suddenly gone was the gentle friendly woman and in her place was the professional investigator full force. ĎThis woman has feelings toward Toni,í She thought as she leaned against the breakfront smirking at the woman. The smile was feral and didnít reach her eyes, Toni was amazed at the change of her new friend.
"Uh Liz, This is my next door neighbor, Jean. Jean, This is Liz, Sheís a..."
"A new friend. Nice to meet you, Jean." She interrupted holding out her hand to the older woman. She had interrupted Toni for a reason; she didnít want this woman to know what she did.
Toni was surprised by the interruption, but she followed Lizís lead, she trusted her completely. ĎFunny, we just met and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can trust her. Iíve known Jean for three years and I know that I canít, strange.' She thought to herself as she quietly listened and watched the two woman converse.
Liz smiled inwardly, she was pleased that Toni was showing such trust of her, within one hour they both knew that they were no longer strangers, ĎWeird.í
"Well, its always nice to meet new friends of Toniís. I was just being a good neighbor, Liz. Toni is all alone and you seemed to be staking out her front door."
"No need to explain. I just got here really early and was waiting for Toni. I didnít think Iíd alarm anyone. Why didnít you call the police if you were worried?"
"I ...Uh...well I thought ...that you were a...salesman or something..."
ĎOr something, mmmm. Thatís interesting.í Thought Liz, "Yes, I can see that but a salesmen would get bored and leave. I was waiting for almost an hour and half, if you were so worried..."
"I...uh....Oh dear, I forgot I had something on the stove," Flushed, Jean literally ran out of the apartment.
Toni closed the door and turned toward her new friend, "Weird, Huh? She has always given me the creeps, I donít know why..."
"I do, you have excellent instincts. She knew damn well I wasnít any salesperson, I wonder why she didnít call the police?"She said thoughtfully to Toni. ĎI wonder if she is the one who put in the tip? But why? Should I warn Toni? No, I donít want to alarm her, but maybe I should stay close... very close.í "What?" Lizís thoughts were interupted by Toni repeating a question with a confused expression reflected in her beautiful green eyes.
ĎMesmerizing green eyes,í Thought Liz with an inward sigh.
Toni wondered where Liz had gone but decided to ask her question a third time, "I just wondered if youíd like to sit down?"
Liz smiled and Toni thought she had never seen such a dazzling smile, "Yes, thank you. Iím beat. This investigation is taking a lot out of me. The case is going on too long."
"Liz, since you said I was false lead what's next on your agenda?" Toni asked with a smile, 'I hope I will get a chance to know her better. Iím so drawn to her, like a magnet to a piece of steel, whoosh.í She thought to herself as she tried to get comfortable on her own couch.
Liz sat down right next to her and thought,í You my sweet friend, you.í She took a sip of her drink and said, "This is very good."
"Iím going to relax a little tonight. Iíve been working on this case non stop and Iím exhausted, um...have you had dinner, yet?"
Toniís smile brightened, "No, I havenít. I just came straight home from work."
"Would you like to get a bite with a new friend?" Liz asked shyly still a little afraid of rejection.
"Iíd love to." ĎThis day has definitely improvedí.
* * * * *
Jean watched as Toni and Liz went to Lizís jeep from her bedroom window with a scowl of anger on her face. The mask of kindness she always wore had vanished and in its place was the face of an angry woman with a deep grudge. She backed away from the window with a determined look on that angry cruel face.
* * * * *
Liz smiled, she was amazed by the amount of food the petite woman could so easily consume. She shook her head and asked with a smirk on her face, "Are you sure you didnít bring a dog with you? I mean there is a hungry hound youíve been feeding under there all evening, isnít there?"
"Nope, Just a growing girl with a healthy appetite," Toni replied laughing at her new friendís astonishment.
"And two hollow legs. Youíve consumed three times more food then I did and Iím twice your size."
"I guess tall, muscular girls just donít need as much food as petite, growing ones do, huh?" Toniís eyes glittered with amusement. It had been a fun evening, They decided to eat at the Rainforest Cafe at Woodfield Mall. They were seatedby a large fresh water fish tank and they were enjoying the spectacle of the place and each otherís company.
"Toni, what do you do for a living?" Liz asked as she nibbled on the only surviving peice of food from Toniís assault, a small roll. They were waiting for their desert and she was consumed by the need to know everything about her new friend.
Toni smiled and rolled her eyes, "Iím a Travel Agent."
"That must be fun, all that free travel." Liz said innocently.
Toni choked on the potato she had been finishing up. Liz hopped up to help but Toni took some water to clear her throat. She took a couple of deep breaths and waited for the tears to stop pouring out of her eyes.
"Iím sorry, did I say something wrong?" Liz asked after she sat down again. She was nervous she had put her foot in it.
"No, itís just that everyone thinks that. I send people places, I donít travel. When I do it certainly isnít free. We get a discount off the full coach fare which are a lot higher then youíd think. Now a days our discount at hotels is only 10 percent and with the commission caps Iím in a demanding thankless profession which will be gone in just a few years. There is no glamour in it, I assure you."
"Well, why do you do it then? You're very bright you should be in a job where you're appreciated."
Toni smiled shyly and said, "Thanks. I do it because Iím good at it. I want to be a writer, but its very hard to break through. So I make a living and I keep my eyes and ears open for a good opportunity, in a demanding aggravating job Iíve come to loathe."
"Oh Toni, Iím so sorry. I just wanted to get to know all about you. I didnít mean to depress you...I..." Liz was at a loss, she loved her job and didnít know how to make her new friend feel better about hers.
"Its OK, I had a really bad day at work today...I ...Uh, want to know all about you too. I..I kinda....I feel this connection with you. Does that scare you away?"
Liz heart picked up a several beats. She reached out and touched the back of Toniís hand and felt a charge of electricity shoot up her arm at the slight contact. "No, I feel that too...I canít explain it but I feel... a longing Iíve had all my life was quenched the moment you turned that corner and entered my life. Weird huh?"
Toni shook her head rubbed Lizís hand with her thumb beneath it , "No Liz, I felt that too. I think its fate..."
They were interupted by the waitress with desert. Their eyes were locked as they ate their hot fudge sundaeís knowing there was a more delicious desert coming after they left the restaurant.
END PART ONE .....TO BE CONTINUED.........
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