After the Curtain Falls

Act Ten

by Beth Dragon and Kathleen Wolf

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: Any relation the characters within the following story have to other people living, dead or fictional is purely coincidental. All characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the authors.

LOVE/ GRAPHIC SEX DISCLAIMER: This story depicts a love relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story. Please note there are scenes of a graphic sexual nature at intervals in the story.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE WARNING/DISLAIMER: Later Acts of this story will depict scenes of sexual violence/spousal abuse and its aftermath. This type of depiction may disturb some readers and anyone who is sensitive to this particular issue may wish to read something other than this story.

ILLEGAL DRUG WARNING/DISCLAIMER: Later Acts of this story will include reference to heroin use and the horrors that it causes. If this topic disturbs you, you may wish to read something else.

FEEBACK: All comments are greatly appreciated and can be sent to:

THANKS: To Emma, for her never ending love, support and chocolate. To the Ex-Guards Village for all their feedback and expert advice.

Thea pulled the zip on her medium sized luggage bag closed and put it up on the bed. She opened the second wardrobe and pulled out a grey jacket. This she threw over the bag and then stepped back from it. She glanced around, walked through to the bathroom and checked there for anything she might have missed. Deciding she had everything she needed for the moment, she went back to pick up her bag.

Just as she was about to do so, her eyes fell on the shirt she had been wearing when she and Rae had first met. Her mind flooded with memories. She smiled, picked it up and folding it carefully put it on the bed. As she did so she remembered something. That day there had been a message for her at reception. She still hadn't picked it up.

With a gentle sigh she sat down on the bed and picked up the phone asking for her messages to be brought to her room. Only moments later there was a knock on the door and the small slip of paper was delivered, along with four new ones.

Thea glanced at them all. The first a simple “call Raven” from that horrible night of the review party. One was confirmation that there were to be pictures to accompany the interview she had had at the party. One was from Michael giving her a list of possible 'dates'. The third was from a paper requesting an interview. She frowned at that one, how had they managed to trace her?

A gentle smile spread across her face as she thought about the fact that she would no longer be here to trace.

The last one, the one that had come that fateful day was from her mother, wishing her the best, from all the family.

Thea glanced at her watch it was 12:30am. Rae was likely to still be bogged down with wiring and technical glitches, at least for another hour or so. Without thinking on the matter further, Thea picked up the phone and requested an outside line. Quickly she dialled a memorised number.

The phone rang for some minutes and when it was eventually answered, the response was incredibly sleepy, and yet distressed. With slight horror Thea remembered the time difference between Toronto and England. 5:30am was not a good time for a phone call.

"Hello, Wilcox residence." Came the concerned female voice.

"Tori?" Thea questioned somewhat apologetically.

"Thea!" The voice perked up immediately.

"Hello Blip, I'm so sorry the time slipped my mind completely." Thea continued her regrets.

"No bother, how are you?" Thea's little sister bubbled happily as the sound of blankets rustling in the background.

"I'm good." Thea thought about how good it felt to her Victoria's voice. It had been to long, and she missed her kid sister a lot. "How are you doing?"

"Great, tired!" Tori added with a gentle laugh.

"The play is going well." Thea gave out the information simply.

"Of course, you're the star!" Tori's voice was full of pride for her sister.

"Did you look the reviews up on the web?" The young actress asked, knowing this was a likely thing for her sister to do.

"Yes, looks like you're going to be there for awhile." Tori wanted to show she had indeed been avidly following the play's progress.

"They may extend it.” Thea informed. “Maybe go south!"

"Well, that's fantastic. I'm so happy for you Thea. Though obviously we all miss you here." A vague trace of sadness entered Victoria's voice.

"I've told you beg Daddy to buy you a ticket." Thea laughed gently.

"I've already tired." Tori sounded exasperated. "He won't budge."

"Do you want me to talk to him?" Thea asked seriously.

"Would you. I mean that's if you won't be too bothered having me visit. It's so boring here with you gone." The change in her sister's voice was vast.

"Having you here would be great." Thea said honestly. "I'd love you to come. You would love Canada."

"Is it beautiful? Are the people nice?" Tori tried not to ask too many questions.

"The people are great and yes the place is beautiful." Thea answered everything willingly. "I'll have a word with Father. Talking of Ma and Pa, did I wake them too?" She tried to not sound too nervous.

"They're not here." Tori's voice was a little quiet. "At Edward's for dinner and stop over." She added. Thea closed her eyes briefly and thought about what day it was.

"Oh." Thea made the small noise before going on. "How are they all?"

"The doctor put Father on a diet cause his cholesterol is a bit high, but it's nothing to worry about other than it's making him grumpier than usual." Tori chuckled. "Mother is good, though she misses you and Edward is Edward."

"Yes." Thea said distractedly.

"He asked me to fax him copies of your reviews." Tori admitted.

"Have you?" Thea's was quiet.

"No, not yet." Tori paused. "Do you want to do it yourself?"

"No, you go for it." Thea was more than happy to let her sister do this.

"Okay." Victoria agreed. "So are your co-stars handsome?" She questioned. "One of the reviews say's that they are gorgeous."

"Reporters exaggerate, it's their job!" Thea laughed, though in her mind she briefly thought about what her sister would think of Michael.

"You are so lucky Thea." Tori said genuinely.

"Lucky?" How did you work that out? Thea replied.

"You half way around the world Sis. Hanging out with all kinds of famous people." Tori's voice was quick. "I'm stuck here in boring land."

"Tori you are twenty three, beautiful and intelligent, the world is yours. And anyway..." Thea added. "I think you would be missed by the male population if you were to go anywhere!"

"Oh yeah, on that note, I forgot to tell you!" Tori squealed. "Guess who came round to ask if I could meet him at the club on Saturday?"

"Oh Tori it could be one of a hundred!" Thea said with an exaggerated sigh. "Who?"

“It was Craig!" She almost yelled she was so happy. "Him and Danielle broke up and he's coming running after me!"

"Craig? Goodness!" Thea was genuinely shocked. "Well Tori go careful. He had a reputation by the time he hit senior school!"

"Thea!" You could almost hear the girl roll her eyes. "As you said I am twenty three, I am not a kid anymore. And anyway, I have a reputation." She added trying to impress her sister.

"I know, I know and I must sound like Dad. Tori, you don't have a reputation like he did. Do you?" Thea asked pointedly.

"No, not like that Thea." She groaned.

"If Craig is who you want, then go for it. Everyone deserves to be happy." Thea laughed gently into the phone.

"Well I don't know if I want him permanently." Tori mused.

"What does he want?" She asked, trying to keep attentive but her mind was whirling. Mainly about Rae and about her, the recent revelations and the questions it raised.

"He doesn't want anything Thea. I said I don't know if I want him permanently." Tori spoke up wondering why her sister had suddenly become vague. "Do we have a bad connection?"

"Possibly." Thea shook herself, pulling her attention back into the conversation. "How are the horses?" She asked hurriedly.

"Beautiful." Tori changed topics with her just as quick. "Strawberry is in a show next weekend."

"Really? That's great news." Thea was happy for her sister and her horse. Victoria had overcome a lot to ride, the major one being a fear of horses. "And how about Ghost?"

"She misses you." Tori said honestly. "She won't take apples from anyone."

"Give her time." Thea laughed, her grey palomino could be stubborn at times.

"Everyone misses you Thea." Tori's voice softened. "Even Edward."

"I doubt that." Thea whispered her voice slightly bitter.

"I heard him telling Father." Tori retorted.

"Telling Father what exactly?" Thea asked suspiciously.

"That he missed you, and wished..." Her voice trailed off.

"Victoria, what?" She asked her voice firm, trying to keep the useless frown from her face.

"Well, he said he wished you all the best in the show but he really hoped you'd get over this little fantasy of yours and come back home to your real priorities." Victoria reluctantly relayed.

"Sounds like Edward." Thea sighed loudly. Why had she thought the news would be any different?

"I'm sorry Thea." Tori's voice was sad. "I wish he understood how much acting meant to you. He's like father that way."

"Yes, he and Father are very similar. That's why Daddy likes him so much." Thea mused quietly.

"Like the world needs another Daddy." Tori laughed. Thea forced herself to laugh along, though she didn't feel like doing so.

"Tori love." She started gently. "I should go, it's late here and ungodly with you. I am so sorry about the time." She apologised again. "The shows schedule is really heavy, but I promise I'll call again soon." She paused and her sister said nothing. "I'm thinking of possibly renting somewhere small in the city." She told her sister in an attempt to break the silence.

"Oooooo your own apartment. Now that is cool." Tori replied quickly.

"Yes, especially if the show runs on. The hotel just wastes money."

"Makes sense." The short reply came and brought with it another long silence. "Make sure you call me if any of those nice co-stars hit on you." Tori laughed suddenly. "I want to hear all the juicy details."

"Tori, are you encouraging me?" She said in mock seriousness as she laughed herself.

"Most definitely!" Tori laughed again. "Either that or line some up for me."

"I'll work on the latter and when I get my place, you have to come and stay!"

"Great!" Tori enthused. "Take care Thea." She added knowing their conversation was coming to an end. "Call soon."

"Okay Blip, I will." Thea lovingly used her sister's pet name.

"And remember you're not just there to work, go out and have some fun."

"I'll try." Thea pledged. "You too!"

“Oh, I will." Tori admitted.

"Give my love to everyone!" Thea reminded and Tori assured her she would. "I love you." She added softly before the familiar click sounded and the phone went dead.

With a heavy sigh Thea put the phone down. Her mind was a cluttered mess of unclear thoughts and broken ideas. Without really thinking Thea picked the phone and dialled automatically, waiting carefully.

"Hello?" A slightly suspicious voice answered.

"Hi, is Cassie O'Keefe still in the auditorium?" Thea asked trying to keep her voice calm.

"Who?" The voice asked confused.

"The chief lighting technician, she may be up the scaffold."

"Oh her..." The voice seemed to think. "Yeah I saw her cursing at some of the backstage guys a minute ago."

"Could you go and get her for me?" Thea asked politely.

"Yeah one minute." The phone was laid down with a thump. After a long silence it was picked up again. Absently Thea played with the folded shirt on the bed.

"Hello?" Thea said gently when she heard the difference.

"O'Keefe here." Rae used the standard intro having no idea who was waiting on the phone.

"Rae." Thea spoke her lover's name softly.

"Thea?" Her voice softened immediately.

"Rae, I... I..." Thea stumbled over her words, unsure of why she had phoned.

"What Thea?" Rae asked almost desperately having no idea why her young lover would have phoned her.

"I was thinking, perhaps I should stay at the hotel tonight after all." Thea blurted out the idea suddenly not even sure that was indeed what she wanted.

"Oh." All of Rae's hopes deflated as she heard the sentence. "Thea, please..." She started but didn't know what right she had to go on.

"Just tonight Rae. I just need a bit of, space I guess." Knowing how pitiful it sounded Thea hated herself but couldn't stop. "Do you need to come by the hotel and get your keys?"

"I understand Thea." Rae said trying to stay calm. "It's okay, thank you for being honest enough to tell me."

"Rae, you do understand I mean just for tonight?" Thea stressed weakly.

"No Thea, I understand that you mean it's over." Rae spoke softly, but honestly.

"No." Thea gasped. "Rae no, no!"

"It's okay..." Rae's voice was infinitely sad. "I understand."

"Rae, no! Listen." Thea's mind threatened to overload and began throbbing. "Yes, today raises things we need to talk about. But it's not over. Rae, don't say that! Don't even think it. I love you." She added somewhat desperately, she'd never in a million years thought Rae would get the idea that they were breaking up. "Nothing has changed that."

"I love you too Thea." Rae's voice was quiet.

"Come and pick up your keys, yeah?" Thea suggested.

"Okay." Rae agreed. "I'll be at least another hour though. Is that okay?"

"Of course. I'll let the desk know you are coming. Just tell them who you are, and bring some form of ID."

"All right." Rae's voice found a bit of volume.

"They'll bring you up." Thea added unnecessarily. "It's not over love, okay?" She pressed the issue gently.

"Not over angel." Rae repeated back, though she really wasn't sure she believed it.

"See you in about an hour." Thea underlined.

"Yeah, about an hour." Rae's answer was short but gentle.

"Take care." Thea said softly.

"You too.” Rae's voice was just as soft.

Thea replaced the receiver, a thousand things unsaid but she couldn't figure out a way to say any of it.

Rae listened to the line hang up and then kept listening until the dull thud of the busy tone rang in her ear. With a heavy sigh she went back to her scaffold.


Rae walked through the lobby up to the sleepy counter clerk and rang the bell that sat in front of him when he didn't immediately respond to her.

"I'm here to see Miss. Winters." She said calmly. "She's expecting me."

"And you are?" He said rubbing his eyes surreptitiously.

"Cassie O'Keefe." She flipped her driving license out of her pocket and put it on the table. The receptionist looked at the license, and then at Rae.

"What's the room number?" He asked.

"Six twenty one." Rae replied immediately.

"Okay wait a minute." He nodded to her and leaned down to press the intercom behind his desk. Rae gave him a tight smile as he talked quietly for a moment and then looked up again.

"If you would like to wait by the elevator someone will be here presently." He explained the procedure to her.

"Thank you." Rae picked up her licence and went to the elevator. A young man, pulling at his uniform, appeared quickly and joined her.

"Good evening." He said politely as he eyed her up and down, dismissing any threat from her before he pushed the up button.

'Oh Raven, Raven, Raven!' It was Cleo's voice that laughed in Rae's head. 'If he only knew what you could do to hurt him.'

"Hey." Rae nodded trying to ignore the voice. "You my escort?"

"Miss. O'Keefe yes?" He eyed the tall woman.

"Yes, that's me." She nodded again.

"Floor six, yes?" He looked up to the display to track the elevators progress.


The elevator door slid open and the young man held it open for Rae. She walked past him and went in.

"You taking me the whole way?" She questioned.

"Hotel policy Ma'am." He noted politely as he stepped in and pressed six.

"Well then can't argue with policy." She burrowed her hands in her pockets.

The young man shined his buttons and looked at the doors. Rae's mind reflected on how different this trip was from the last time she'd been in the elevator. Constantly reminding her that heartbreak and not her hearts fulfilment waited for her at the end of the hall.

The lift stopped and the doors slid open. Holding the door the young man gestured for Rae to exit. Rae stepped out before him and began walking towards Thea's room not really concerned if he followed or not. The valet followed a few steps behind, trying to catch up with Rae's long strides.

"Is it policy for you to knock?" Rae stopped by the door and stepped back.

"Yes Ma'am.” He smoothed down his white glove before he rapped lightly on the door.

"Hello?" Thea's voice came from inside the door.

"Miss. O'Keefe, Miss. Winters." He said simply.

"Thank you." The sound of Thea unlocking the door could be heard and then the barrier was pulled open. She looked at the young man, not Rae. She handed him a tip for which he politely nodded before he turned and walked back to the lift. As Thea avoided looking at her, Rae's mind gave in to the reality of what was going to happen.

"Come in." Thea stepped back from the door. Rae nodded silent and followed her inside as Thea remained to close the door.

"Would you like a drink?" Thea asked walking over to the small fridge.

"No, thank you." Rae moved further into the room and stood uncomfortably. Thea reached into her pocket and pulled out Rae's keys. She held them out in a shaking hand.

"Thank you." Rae took them, letting them hang between them for a moment before pulling

back to tuck them in her pocket.

"Are you okay?" Thea asked awkwardly and Rae shrugged. "Can't you even talk to me?" She asked in a hurt tone, unable to believe that things had gone so wrong.

"Yes, I can." She answered softly.

"Then are you okay?" Thea pressed. "What's going on in your head?"

"No, I'm not okay." Rae's voice came out strained. "My head is a mess." She added honestly.

"What do you need to help it get sorted?" Thea asked her voice emotional.

"Can it be sorted?" Rae asked her cynically.

"Surely it can be made better." Thea suggested.

"How about your head?" Rae asked in return. "Surely you have a million questions."

"I'm very, confused." Thea said carefully as she sat down on a chair, motioning for Rae to sit too. Rae sat where the actress had pointed. "I do have lots of questions."

"Maybe if you asked them it would help sort this out." Rae tried to find somewhere to start.

"Love." The actress started gently. "Do you really want to go here tonight?"

"Thea, I don't think this can wait." Her voice was soft. "Do you?"

"No." Thea admitted her mind focusing on the first thing it could find and that certainly couldn't wait.

"Please just start this." Rae leaned forward to rest her head in her hands.

"Okay." Thea tried to keep her voice calm and level. "You were a drug addict yes?" She looked up at Rae sadly.

"Heroin addict." Rae specified.

"Main lining?" She didn't know how she asked the question.

"Yes." Rae nodded as she spoke the soft word.

"How could you?" Thea let the question slip out her voice full of disbelief.

"The first time was about a month after Tommy was killed." Rae ran her hands into her hair as she began knowing she had the actress' complete attention. "I hadn't left the house in days, weeks even and Cleo came home and announced enough was enough we were going out. We were going to a party. I still don't know how she convinced me to go." She took a strained breath. "It was while we were there that a friend of Cleo's came over and said she'd heard about my little loss and that she and Cleo had arranged for something that would make it all go away."

"Cleo arranged it?" Thea interrupted disbelief in her voice. "Sorry go on." She apologised when she realised she'd interrupted.

"It's okay." Rae took a deep breath. "Ask anything that strikes you. So this friend of Cleo's shot the three of us up."

"Cleo too?" Thea interrupted again her vision of the tall blonde changing a little.

"Yeah, Cleo too. She said she was doing it for me, because if I tripped alone she wouldn't be there with me, there to support me." Rae tried to explain what Cleo had tried to do that night.

"She could have supported you without getting stoned." Thea couldn't help being judgemental.

"Yeah well, I've always sorta thought that myself." Rae said honestly with a crooked smile.

"Anyway, carry on." Thea encouraged wanting to understand.

"Well it's hard to admit this, but I was hooked from that first time. The minute it hit me and I looked around the room." Rae swallowed hard. "But not for the reasons you're going to think." She added quickly in her own defence.

"Then explain." She tried not to think anything.

"It made me feel dead inside, it made everything hurt so much." Rae whispered. "It was like I had found the perfect way to punish myself for Tommy. It never made me feel good Thea, not once." Rae laughed at the irony of it. "I was addicted to the pain."

"I think that makes it worse." Thea whispered sadly.

"It does, doesn't it." Rae agreed in a lost voice.

"So how long before Cleo got you dried out?" The actress asked quietly.

"Three months." Her reply was simple.

"How bad were you? On say a one to ten scale."

"Bad." Rae had to be honest. "Six on a good day, eleven on my worst ones."

"Do carry on." She encouraged somewhat emptily as she added the information to her already aching head.

"Cleo only did it the once.” Rae tried to at least save the other woman's image. "She didn't like losing control like that. But for the first little while she didn't mind getting it for me. It was hurting inside so I didn't have to be shut down like I had been."

"If it made you into a better person, I guess I understand the fact she got it for you." Thea could for once understand that viewpoint. Though it was a stretch to say the least.

"No, Thea it didn't make me a better person, it just made me easier to be around."

"But that's the same thing sometimes." Thea replied feeling a shiver go down her spine.

"Yeah I guess it is. When she found out I was buying myself stuff on top of what she was getting me, things really went downhill between us."

"So Cleo got you help." Thea sat back in her chair, her eyes still on Rae.

"Thea, Cleo had me committed." Rae's voice was almost silent.

"Do you want to tell me about that?" Thea asked hearing the tone of Rae's voice and fearing that it was too much to talk about.

"Not much to tell." Rae shrugged slightly.

"There must be Rae." The actress encouraged gently. "What did they do? How did they do it? How long did it take? Lots of things."

"Well first they dried me out." Rae started in a monotone voice, trying not to relive the memories as she recounted them. "Only problem was when they took away the heroin they took away my artificial pain and I soon learned that my real pain was even worse." She paused as she thought. “Thea, did you know I have a third degree black belt?" She asked the question wondering how much she needed to explain.

"No, I didn't." Thea shook her head.

"I do." Rae bit her lip.

"Rae, if you don't want to do this now, we don't have to." She tried to offer an out.

"As I came down I got suicidal." Rae kept going. "The only way they could control me was to throw me in a straight jacket and sedate me. I spent over three weeks like that."

"Oh." The sound Thea made was barely audible. She raised her hand to her mouth and looked at Rae with wide eyes.

"Most of the Doctors were content to see me as a permanent resident but there was one Doctor." Rae smiled at the memory.

"One Doctor, yes?" Thea prompted desperate for any ray of light in this horrible tale.

"She was the Chief Administrator of the facility, but she was still out to save the world. Dr. Lillian Kwon." Rae said the name with a vague reverence. "She assigned herself to my case and the other Doctors were more than happy to pass me along. I remember for the first week she used to sit in the room with me just watching."

Thea let her hand drop away from her mouth, watching her lover intently.

"Then one day she had the sedation cut in half and she waited for me to come around a bit

before she said anything." Rae looked off in memory for a moment. "She told me who she was." She continued finally. "And then she told me that she wanted to try to cut back on the sedation."

"She sounds brave." Thea remarked.

"Lillian had the heart of a tiger." Rae smiled.

"Tell me more." Thea encouraged gently.

"It was what she said that day that made me start thinking. Thinking that I couldn't let what was happening keep going." Rae took a deep breath. "She said that she would be back when it was time for the next needle but that between now and then she wanted me to think about something." Rae took a second deep breath.

"You want to stop?" The redhead asked, moving forward in her seat to place her hand on Rae's knee.

"She asked me if doing all of this to myself honoured or dishonoured my brother's memory." Rae continued not hearing Thea's offer to stop. "And then she ran her hand down my cheek and told me it was okay to be sad then she left. It was the first time anyone told me it was okay to be sad Thea." She looked at the actress finally her voice almost broken.

"And she cracked the shell." Thea confirmed.

"Yes." Rae nodded.

"Do you still keep in contact?" Thea asked, thinking about something in her own past.

"No." Rae shook her head lightly. "She was murdered a few years ago by a patient."

"Oh." The horror shocked the actress out of her own thought momentarily as she looked at her lover. "I... I'm sorry, it's such a risky job."

"Yes, she always used to joke that I was the most dangerous patient she'd ever faced." Rae laughed lightly. "Guess she was wrong. Her work goes on though, she always knew it would be her legacy."

"Such people are always remembered." Thea whispered.

"Yeah." Rae nodded though she didn't find a legacy comforting and instead as always wished that the woman herself was still alive. "Four months later she had me put back together." She found the thread of the original story.

"Did they give you lots of therapy or did they stick to a medication therapy mix?" Thea asked.

"Lillian took me off all the meds that first night." Rae smiled remembering the Doctor's fight.

"That's impressive." The actress smiled at the obvious esteem Rae had for the woman.

"She wasn't big on pharmaceuticals, she thought they were the same as the street drugs only

better manufacturing."

"Good for her, all to do with the inner soul, and the mind. Yeah?" She questioned.

"Exactly." Rae smiled. "She was very big on focus."

"Now I know where you get it from." Thea smiled softly.

"Blame Lillian." Rae smiled back.

"I'd thank her!" Thea patted the technician's knee again softly.

"She was an amazing woman." Rae nodded to herself.

"She sounds it." Thea agreed.

"What do you want to know about now?" Rae asked in a whisper, not sure where to go in the story. Whether to tell Thea all the details of her treatment, or what happened when she went back into the world and clashed with Cleo. Or if now her young lover would finally question the circumstances of her occupation that lead to Tommy's death in the first place.

Thea sat back on her chair and looked at Rae, happy that she now had details, but saddened that it just reaffirmed the big question. The one she had to have answered before anything could be anywhere near okay. But how could she ask it? Thea crossed her legs in a very uncharacteristic move

"There's still something isn't there Thea." Rae sat up straight and looked to study the redhead.

"Rae." Thea tried to meet the eyes that held her but she couldn't. She looked away and fear burned her throat.

"Thea, it's okay to ask." Rae was somehow able to read the look. "I'm negative and I'm re-tested every three months just to be sure."

"Sorry." Thea whispered, looking down into the carpet the young actress burst into tears.

"Thea, there is nothing to be sorry for." She moved quickly to crouch in front of her. She'd known since the soliloquy and Thea's even more dramatic performance of it that this question was coming. "You have every right to ask that question."

Hearing the genuine acceptance in her lover's voice, Thea turned to Rae and caressed her face with wet warm hands.

"And if you want proof I'll get tested again tomorrow." The technician added the last words softly without any malice.

"I love you." Thea wept sweeping black hair back off the technician's face with each stroke.

"I love you so much Thea." She whispered the words from her heart.

"I had to ask." Thea sobbed as she leaned forward and closed her arms around her lover's neck. "I stood in front of those people tonight and all I could think of was you. I don't want to loose you." She barely stopped for breath as she held Rae very tightly.

"I know angel." Rae closed her arms around Thea's slim waist. "That question has to be asked and answered." She held tightly back. "And I'm going to get re-tested again tomorrow regardless. I don't want you to ever have to worry."

"No love." Thea objected gently. "You don't have to do that."

"I want to Thea." Rae whispered back.

"Sure?" She asked timidly.

"You deserve to hear the results yourself." Rae stressed.

"Shall I have one to?" Thea offered hoping Rae could understand why she had offered.

"If you want love." Rae smiled at her softly, touched by the offer.

"Just so we both know." She added softly back.

"But I know you're not in the risk category that I am. But both knowing would be a good thing to build on I think." Rae held onto the actress just as tight as the actress held onto her.

"Rae?" Thea suddenly broke her grip and leaned back in her chair. She fixed blue eyes with green.

"Yes angel?" Rae held her gaze.

"I want you to know something." Thea took a deep breath, her mind kicked her sharply with a 'what are you doing Thea?' question.

"You can tell me anything angel." Rae encouraged softly.

"It's about your treatment, when you were committed."

"Yes love, I can tell you all about it if you want me too." Rae looked at her questioning just what it was Thea was trying to get at.

"No, no, that is of course if you want to." She flustered. "What I wanted to say though was..." Rae looked at her open and ready for any thought or question "I kinda know how it must have felt." She admitted quietly looking at Rae for a reaction.

"What part of it angel?" Rae looked for clarification.

"Therapy." Thea said quietly.

"What did you get yours for?" Rae asked softly making the small leap in her mind.

Thea pulled her hands back to her lap and unclipped the bracelet she wore there. She held out her hand. Rae took the hand offered in her own softly only breaking eye contact then as she looked down. Thea turned her arm palm up, slowly. Rae's heart broke as she looked down at the scar that ran down Thea's wrist. Without any real thought she bent down and placed a soft brief kiss on the scar. A tear slipped down Thea's face.

"It doesn't deserve that." A broken voice protested.

"I'm so happy you didn't succeed." Rae whispered turning to look back at watery green

eyes. "Why not angel?" She asked softly still holding her the small arm in her hands. "Am I supposed to be ashamed of you for it? Am I supposed to think less of you? Because I don't think either." She leaned down to kiss it again.

"You should." Thea whispered.

"It just hurts me to know that you ever felt that lost and alone Thea." She whispered when

their eyes met again. "Why should I?"

Thea looked at Rae somewhat surprised as her heart had said the statement before her

mind could intercede.

"Because..." She mumbled. "Because I was weak. I am weak."

"You are no such thing." Rae shook her head. "And whoever told you that lied to you."

Thea pulled gently for Rae to release her arm. Rae let it go without resistance. Thea clipped her bracelet back in place not even looking at the scar.

"You want to tell me about it?" Rae moved back to give her a little space but without seeming afraid of what was going on.

"There's not much to tell." Thea moved the silver band in circles around her arm.

"When?" Rae began. "Why? Where?"

"When I was seventeen. At a party, because I didn't know what else to do." Thea rattled off the facts.

"What had you backed into a corner?" Rae asked in a soft voice, somehow knowing that without asking she wasn't going to be told very much.

"My life, my parents, my future." Thea replied without a break.

"That doesn't make you weak Thea." Rae shook her head again.

"I did it with a screw driver, that's why it's not exactly neat." Thea's eyes were hard, but still damp as she looked at Rae.

"I wondered." Rae added honestly.

"My father paid for private treatment for my 'teenage angst'." The animosity in her voice was thick.

"What was the treatment?" Rae questioned now realising the motivation of Thea's question earlier.

"Stuck me on pills, gave me lots of tests and counselling." Her words were a touch bitter "After a while they asked if I would do it again. I smiled and said no, they told me I was cured."

"Well to quote Lillian." Rae gave her a sad smile. "That was a bunch of Cracker Jack

psychology. You went through all that alone angel." She added softly. "That makes you anything but weak."

"Well it broke up the monotony of 'A' level." She gave a sarcastic laugh.

"Thea, you have nothing to be ashamed of." Rae moved a bit closer to her.

"I love you." Thea replied as she moved closer to Rae.

"I love you." Rae held her lover's eyes.

"Hold me?"

Rae didn't' answer as she moved to wrap her arms around the actress and hold her close.

"Stay here." Thea whispered as she felt herself enclosed in strong arms.

"It would break my heart to leave." Rae whispered back holding her a bit closer.

"Ready for bed?" She asked as she rested her head on Rae.

"Yes angel." Rae kissed the top of her head. "Can I hold you all night?" She asked softly.

"Yes." Thea replied smiling warmly into Rae's embrace.

"Thank you." Rae whispered as she picked the actress up and began the short trip to bed.


Thea opened her eyes and focused in on where she lay. Then as she remembered the events of the previous night, she briefly closed her eyes again and kissed Rae's shoulder. The still sleeping technician gave a happy mummer though she didn't stir. She opened her eyes again almost instantly and moved a little so that she wasn't leaning quite so heavily on her lover. She watched Rae's chest rise and fall evenly and for about the millionth time that week thanked the gods for giving her this despite everything that could have spoiled it. Here they were, together, wrapped in each other's arms.

'Well Thea?' Her mind and heart spoke to her in unison. 'Has she proved it yet? Proved to you that she means what she said? Proved to you that she loves you?' She knew that the answer was yes. 'Isn't it time you paid her a similar compliment?' Her mind asked her suddenly.

She looked at Rae and the slight smile the dark haired woman wore.

"Perhaps it is." She whispered almost silently. "I think it is time you knew or at least it soon will be." She snuggled a little closer making sure her movements were not obvious enough to wake Rae. A sleepy arm came round to hold her tight. "When this first spell is over and we have the fund raising gala all over and done with, you are I are going to have a little talk my darling Rae." She said as she manoeuvred her hand free to rest over the top of Rae's. "Then we will see if our love can survive the test of my past as it did yours." She added as she lifted her head and kissed the sleeping woman's jaw. As always, one kiss was not enough and she moved to plant several small kisses in the same area. “I love you." She whispered between each kiss.

"I must be in heaven." Rae whispered as she opened her eyes slowly. "I love you too angel."

"Good morning my love." Thea said gently.

"Good morning." Rae moved to capture the lips that had awakened her.

"What a nice way to start the day." Thea kept the contact loving but brief.

“The only way I ever want to start the day.” Rae said honestly, holding the actress closer. She remembered just what was on their agenda for the morning and it caused her smile to waiver a bit.

"Do you want breakfast?" Thea asked reaching over towards the phone.

"That would be great." Rae commented with a yawn.

"What'll it be?" She asked as she picked up the phone and called room service.

"Whatever you're having is great." Rae yawned again. She couldn't remember ever sleeping so well. Not once had she woken up startled as she often did.

"I usually have a boiled egg and toast." Thea smiled as she placed her regular order.

"Make mine scrambled please." Rae smiled at her. "And the toast sounds great."

"Fruit juice?" She mouthed, after adding her lover's order to which Rae nodded vigorously. “Any kind?" She mouthed back. Thea added four fruit juices to the order and a pot of lemon and ginger herbal tea. "Anything hot?" Rae shook her head. Thea confirmed her order. “Thank you.” She added brightly before hanging up the receiver.

"How are you feeling love?" The actress asked as she moved to sit a little more upright.

"I feel good, never slept so good." She smiled and stretched out.

"Good." Thea said honestly. "Love?" She added gently as she looked around the room her eyes on the pile of dirty clothes that the pair had discarded earlier.

"Yes angel?" Rae pushed her arms under the pillow beneath her head.

"I feel like a nice hot bath with breakfast. Do you think you could oblige?"

"I'll run it for you." Rae stretched again as she yawned.

"That's just what I wanted you to say. You are going to share it with me though, right?" Thea checked.

"I thought you'd never ask." The technician sat up and kissed her on the cheek.

"Of course I would ask." Thea smiled. "There are bubbles on the side."

"Bubbles?" Rae queried as she pushed the covers off herself. "Bubbles coming up."

"Kiss!" Thea demanded as she leaned forward.

"Please." Rae leaned forward to mesh their lips and the actress smiled behind the kiss.

"Nice and hot, but not too hot remember." Thea joked gently.

"Hot but not too hot!" Rae grinned. "Gotcha." She moved off the bed and padded off still grinning to the bathroom as she pulled out the tangles in her long hair.

Thea watched her leave and then picked up the phone a second time. She made her instructions brief, but concise and clear. Again she finished the conversation with a charming thank you before replacing the receiver.

"Angel?" Rae stuck her head out around the door. "You don't have an extra toothbrush do you?"

"Top draw of the make up unit!" Thea called to her happily.

"Thank you." Rae disappeared back into the bathroom.

Thea threw back the covers off and padded over to the sitting area of the room. She picked up all of their clothes and folded them carefully, putting them on a nearby chair. Flicking on the TV, she skipped through a few of the channels until she found the news.

"How's the bath coming?" Thea called loudly when she heard the water start to run.

"Going good." Rae called back, busying herself with arranging the bathroom. As the bath filled, she tried to find something to light all the candles she'd found around the room. A box of matches conveniently sat in the first drawer she opened

Thea smiled at the typical response. The news was its usual bad news and mayhem so she turned to a cartoon show. As the temperature of her waking body dropped, she felt chilly in just her underwear. Moving to the bed, she took her robe from the bottom and slipped it on.

"Almost ready angel." The tall T-shirt clad woman stuck her head out to call. "Does breakfast usually take long?"

"Should be here any...." She was cut off by a knock on the door. She grinned and got up to retrieve their meal. "Second." She added as she reached the door.

"Good, good." Rae called back as she turned off the taps and checked that the steamy water wasn't too hot. The soapy strawberry scented bubbles made her smile.

Thea took charge of the breakfast tray and the two plastic bags that the porter handed her. She tipped him generously and then wheeled the trolley in.

"Shall I bring it into the bathroom?" She called as she closed and locked the door.

"You need help love?" Rae called as she came out of the bathroom. "The bath is ready."

Seeing Rae she moved the bags behind her trying to obscure the other woman's view of them. She hoped the technician would focus instead on the breakfast trolley.

"Whatcha got?" Rae asked curious of the move.

"Breakfast." Thea replied pointing to the silver domed plates on the trolley.

"Oh good, I'm starved." Rae laughed knowing her lover was up to something. "Do you want to eat in the bath?"

"That would be great." She pushed the trolley forward a little to Rae. "Why don't you take it in?"

"You got it." Rae pulled the tray and headed off for the bathroom figuring whatever else Thea was up to it was the actress' place so she wouldn't push.

"I won't be a sec." She added still holding the bags behind her. She smiled as Rae pulled the trolley away. She turned from the bathroom and went back to the bed putting the bags down onto it. She pulled the messy comforter over them to temporarily hide them. Slipping off her robe, she padded through to the bathroom.

Rae took all the lids off their meals and set up the tray near the bath. She took a long sip of one of the juices, suddenly realising how thirsty she was.

"Thirsty?" Thea asked from the doorway. She smiled at the candles and the smell of strawberry bubbles.

"A little." Rae licked the juice from her lips. "I thought..." She motioned to the candles.

"They are beautiful." Thea said grinning. “Can I get in or would I spoil the ambience?"

"You are the ambience." Rae looked at her lovingly. "Come on, breakfast in bath!"

Thea blew her a kiss and stepped into the water watching Rae carefully. The technician grinned to herself and stepped into the other side of the tub. Thea stepped forward towards her lover.

"Is the water too hot?" Rae asked in a whisper.

"Doesn't feel it." Thea replied only when her body was pressed lightly against her lovers.

"Feels very nice." Rae's body gave an excited shiver as Thea slipped her hands round the tall woman's waist. She moved her arms around Thea's waist to show she enjoyed the move.

"Does it feel as nice as this?" She asked kissing Rae's neck.

"That is definitely nicer." Rae breathed out as the actress continued to kiss her way to Rae's ear.

"You sure?" She asked her voice low.

"Positive!" Rae shuddered excitedly under the kisses as her hands moved to caress the bare flesh of Thea's back.

"Are we going to be bathing partly clothed?" Thea breathed into Rae's ear heavily.

"I think we should lose the clothing." Rae's voice was husky as she moved her hands to the bottom of the tight elastic of Thea's bra.

"So do I." Thea nipped Rae's earlobe. "But I am kinda busy." She added moving her hands to Rae's ass.

"Can I help you with this?" Rae questioned sliding her fingers under the elastic and around the bottom of her breasts.

"Please do." Thea encouraged still kissing and nibbling Rae's ear as her hands massaging Rae's cheeks.

"My pleasure." Rae worked the material up, making sure to rub her hands against as much skin as possible. She continued moving the material up, hoping Thea would assist her in ridding her of the object. Reluctantly the actress released Rae and moved her arms to aid the removal of her top. The technician quickly pulled the bra up and over her head and tossed it aside, instantly moving her hands back down to the warm exposed flesh of her breasts.

"Better?" Rae asked in a low voice.

"Much." Thea hummed out the word in a happy tone.

"Anything else I can do to help?" She massaged the soft flesh under her hands.

"Help me down." Thea leaned against her tall lover heavily. Rae didn't answer as she moved them downwards into the bubble filled water. Thea loved the feel of the hot soapy water and Rae's hands on her body. She briefly closed her eyes in ecstasy. Rae dipped her head down to kiss the actress' neck, the movements of her hands kept steady and slow. She enjoyed the bolts of pleasure that Rae sent through her, but then remembered the duty list of the day.

"We should have breakfast." She injected lovingly. "Before it gets cold."

"Yes, breakfast." Rae kissed her neck once more and moved back slowly to sit. "We've got an appointment to get to." She added with a soft smile to show she understood and that it was okay. "Would it be okay if I get rid of this" She held up the edge of her soaked T-shirt. “I can keep it on if you want." She offered not wanted to add to the heat in the room.

"Get rid of it." The actress smiled. Rae nodded and pulled the soggy shirt up over her head and tossed it aside to join the actress' bra.

"Juice my angel?" Rae reached to the tray and picked up a glass.

"Please." Thea replied holding her hand out.

Rae handed her the glass smiling and took a glass for herself, leaning back in the hot water. She closed her eyes as she took another long sip of the juice, noting the unique contrast of the cool liquid going inside to the hot water that surrounded. Thea did likewise and then put the glass down on the ledge by the bath.

"Could I have my eggs?" She asked snuggling further into the water.

"Of course." Rae moved to gather her tray from the cart and handed it to her.


"Cutlery?" Rae offered her a fork. "You know I was thinking." She looked at the actress through the bubbles around them.

"What?" Thea questioned meeting the gaze.

"This isn't the biggest tub in the world." The Raven grinned at her. “And with the two of us eating it could be a bit of a mess." Her grin got a little bigger. "Maybe we could avoid disaster if one of us ate and then the other." She held out her hand for Thea's plate, happy to see the actress' smile as she handed it back. "Thank you." She held out her other hand for the fork.

Thea handed it over grinning, she wondered if any one would believe that Rae could be so playful.

"Which would you like to eat first?" Rae questioned with a smile she slid herself over in the water. She snuggled her legs under Thea's in order to get close enough to feed her breakfast. Rae twirled the fork as she waited for her lover's choice.

"Toast." Thea replied with a grin knowing this would mean Rae had to move.

"Oh toast." Rae grinned and laid the fork on the suspended plate. Raising her hand into the air, she flicked off as much of the bubbles and soap as she could before reaching out to take a piece of toast. "Toast my angel." She moved it to Thea's lips.

"Now I'd like some egg please." She gently bit off a piece of the still warm toast and sat back.

"Egg it is." Rae balanced the toast on the plate and awkwardly moved to get some of the egg onto the fork. Thea grinned madly as Rae moved the forkful carefully towards her. She watched her lover's every move and leaned forward as necessary taking the offered forkful. "More?" She asked as she moved the fork away. When Thea nodded she carefully gathered another forkful and offered it to her.

"I think I could get used to this." She gently laughed as she took another mouthful.

"So could I." Rae winked at her and picked up the toast to offer her a bite. "Only for you my angel." She added softly as Thea took another bite and then moved back.

"I love you." She whispered contentedly.

"I love you." Rae whispered back completely happy. "More juice?" She nodded towards the juice on the rail of the tub.

"You should have some toast." Thea encouraged. "I can't have my slave dying of hunger!"

"Don't mind if I do." Rae took a mouthful of the toast and grinned at her as she chewed. “Though I would be dying in ecstasy." She winked at the actress slowly.

Thea grinned back. Happy thoughts ran through her head. She felt so content, so complete, like she didn't have a care in the world. She felt like a kid with her friend eating ice cream on a sunny hillside on a Saturday afternoon. She would fight anything for the moments with Rae that made her feel like this.


Thea wrapped a towel round herself and stood by the door, watching as Rae climbed out of the bath.

"Hey, where's my towel?" Rae grinned when she noticed the second one was missing from the rack

"Oh no!" Thea raised her hand to her face in mock horror. "I don't know where it is! You'll have to share this one." One hand beckoned to Rae.

"I was hoping you'd share." She moved over as Thea loosened the towel and opened it to wrap it round both of them. "We are only ever having one towel in the house." .

"Sounds good to me." Thea moved her hands over Rae's sides, rubbing the towel gently to dry her. "Breakfast was great love."

"It was." Rae agreed softly and moved her hand over the towel and Thea to dry her as well.

"We should get dressed." Thea enjoyed the movements of Rae's hands. "We have a busy day."

"Dressed it is." She smiled down at the actress. "Think we'll be able to have lunch together before the matinee?"

"I'll go and get your things." Thea slipped out from the towel. "I should think so." She stepped into the main room.

"Good, good." Rae turned and moved to brush her teeth again after breakfast.

Thea returned to the bathroom in her robe seconds later carrying the two bags.

"You couldn't wear your work gear love." She held out the bags grinning. "So I got you alternatives."

"Alternatives?" Rae asked genuinely curious as she took the bags. "What kind of alternatives?"

"You have a look in the bags, and see if anything strikes you." Thea turned and then turned back. "I have a few things to do. When you have chosen, put them on and come and show me!"

"Okay love" The technician grinned from ear to ear at the idea that Thea had gone through all that trouble. The actress waved one last time and hurried back to bedroom.


In the bathroom Rae laid the bags out on the counter, opening the first one she peered inside.

"What do we have here?" Rae questioned as she took the tissue paper wrapped smaller package off the top of the other items in the bag. “Well these could give a girl hope." She smiled at herself in the mirror as she unwrapped the gorgeous simple black bra and panties.

"What else is in here?" She put the undergarments aside and pulled out the next item. The thick cotton twill pants were a rich dark navy blue and the brushed texture of them made Rae smile. Examining the label she laughed as she realised that Thea had got them in even the proper leg length. Laying them over the towel rack she moved to open the second bag.


Thea stretched out on the bed on her stomach and picked up the phone. Bringing it onto the bed, she took out a piece or paper from the drawer where'd she deposited it the day before and called through to reception with the number. She waited for a moment for the ringing phone to be picked up, presently it was.

"Eaton here." Cleo's curt voice picked up after the second ring

"Cleo?" Thea's voice was suddenly unsure.

"Thea!" Cleo's tone changed instantly as she recognised who it was. “Little star, so glad to hear your voice.

"Hi, how are you?" Thea realised that her accent must have given her away, but the reception she was receiving was puzzling. "I was worried." She added genuinely.

"Swamped with work, sorry about the stuffy first hello." Cleo apologised.

"No, that's nothing. Don't worry about it." Thea brushed it aside, even more taken by how amenable this woman was.

"I'm doing okay." She let her voice waiver a little. "Yesterday was hard." Her voice fell.

"I know. Did Brittany take care of you?" Thea asked quickly, trying not to dwell on the dinner date.

"Oh Brit was a dear." Cleo brightened a little. "Though without your instruction I'm sure she wouldn't have had a clue how to help."

"I'm sorry I didn't stay myself.” Thea apologised without thinking. “I had to go to Rae."

"Oh no apologies little star, of course you did." Cleo's voice was soft and understanding. "I only hope my Raven can forgive me for all those harsh words."

"I'm sure next time you meet up it will all have been forgotten." Thea stated honestly. "We had a great talk about it all."

"I hope so," Cleo added and then stopped. "You did?"

"Things get better when you talk to someone off centre, don't you think?” Thea continued happy it had been so easy to enter this conversation with Cleo.

"Oh I do, I do!" Cleo added her mind reeling a bit. "Though it's hard not to be dragged into the centre of these things." She mused at last.

"One of the reasons I called was to say thank you." Thea enthused.

"Thank me?" She asked trying to keep herself on the top of the conversation but failing.

"Yes, I knew Rae had this stuff in her past, that she was guarding. But with you here, it gives me a doorway to that past, a way in through her armour. I can't thank you enough for that."

"Well Thea, I always want to do my best to help Raven get over her affliction for cutting the world off. I know first hand how much it hurts when my little blackbird decides to amputate your heart."

"Oh Cleo I realise how much you must have been hurt too. I only hope I can repay you by working with Rae through this so she finds a place where she can feel better about it all, and maybe bring you too closer." Thea suddenly realised the other woman's pain.

"I would be in your debt Thea." Cleo tried not to clench her teeth. "I hope you might give me the chance one day to tell you it all from my side." She added. "I'm sure Rae doesn't paint me in the best light."

"You're wrong Cleo." Thea's voice was gentle. "It's true some things may be biased, but not everything. You were such an important person in Rae's past Cleo. Nothing could ever change that."

"I would never want it changed, even with all the hurt. Though I wish I could have spared my blackbird from that. I tried too Thea you must believe me." Cleo pleaded with her.

"It couldn't be stopped." Thea confirmed. "And I am sure you tried. I promise you Cleo, as an important part of Rae's future I will continue to spare her as much as I can."

"My blackbird must always be spared Thea and I know you will little star." Cleo jabbed the pen in her hand into the leather of her office's couch. “It broke my heart to take her to that hospital, but I really had no other choice." She tested the water to see just how much Thea knew

"It must have been dreadful." Thea admitted. "But you must have been overjoyed that such an innovative doctor took over her case, with such great results." She wanted to keep the whole conversation positive and light.

"Pardon?" Cleo tore the pen through the leather. "She told you about her?" The tall blonde couldn't keep the contempt out of her voice for the first moment but she quickly got it under control.

"Of course." Thea replied quickly noting the change in Cleo's voice.

"I'm glad." Cleo's voice went soft again. "Dr. Kwon had a big responsibility in the blackbird we have today." She dragged the pen further through the leather.

"I wish I could thank her personally." Thea's voice was tinged with sadness.

"Such a tragedy." Cleo voice cracked. "To be cut down so young, it was such a waste. She could have done great things."

"She did." Thea said brightly thinking of her raven-haired lover. "I hope you saw someone too Cleo." She suddenly interjected.

"Me?" Cleo snapped. "Oh I had me put back together too." She returned to her soft voice, seeing her assistant enter she made a grand gesture for a pad of paper to be brought to her

"I'm glad. It must have been a terrible time." Thea replied honestly.

"It was Thea, it was." She mumbled as she scribbled down instructions.

"Cleo?" Thea asked gently.

"Yes little star?" Cleo gave back her full attention and threw the pad at her assistant who scurried off to follow the instructions.

"I know that at the moment you and Rae have a turbulent relationship." Thea began somewhat hesitantly. "But I believe that because of what you were to each other, that things can improve. I want you to know Cleo..." She stopped waiting to make sure the other woman was still listening

"Yes Thea?" Cleo gave her the utmost of attention.

"That as Rae and I begin this new chapter of her, that is, our lives. You will be a part of it."

"That means so much to me." Cleo's tight leap off the couch did not match her soft appreciative voice. "I want to do everything I can to help you and my blackbird be happy. All I have ever wanted is for her to be happy."

"Perhaps after the gala, when things have calmed down. We can meet again, perhaps at the cabin? Have some time away together?" Thea suggested.

"Cabin?" Cleo asked confused. "I can arrange to have one rented that would be a grand idea. Time away would be lovely and I'll clean up my meetings in the hopes of it going through." Inside her mind raced. 'Cabin, cabin?' What the hell did Thea know that she didn't?

For the first time in the conversation Thea was a little confused. Didn't Cleo know that Rae owned a cabin?

"Okay." Thea answered. "After the gala, we'll make some arrangements. "Yes?"

"Sounds grand." Cleo smiled. "Little star I hate to run but I have a meeting that won't go anywhere without me, can we talk later?"

"So Thea, what do you think?" Rae came out of the bathroom and modelled the new outfit.

"Oh of course." Thea tried to answer but was distracted by her lover's voice. She looked up from the bed. "Oh my!"

"You'll get to see the bra and such later." Rae spoke in a husky tone.

"I had better." Thea laughed as the phone moved away from her face. "Give us a twirl then."

Cleo felt herself choke when she heard the sweet sound of Rae's voice come into the background suddenly.

"You like?" Rae moved around grinning and feeling silly but loving it anyway. The thin navy T-shirt fit her like a second skin, but was complimented by the thick oversized lumber jacket in a contrasting blue and white check.

The small sound in the phone made Thea remember that she was in the middle of a conversation. Though the lure of looking at her beloved was greater.

"Don't tell her it's me Thea." Cleo found herself suddenly.

"It's gorgeous love." Thea remained listening to Cleo with one ear but watching Rae with every ounce of her attention.

"You two have a good day, don't let me get her rage up."

"Thank you angel." Rae blew her a kiss.

"Oh, okay, thank you then." Thea made a move to catch the blown kiss whilst speaking into the phone. "Call me?" She added.

"Most definitely little star. You take care, of both of you." Cleo used the sweetest voice she could find.

"Bye." Thea absently put the phone down as she stared at her lover with eyes that sparkled of lust and desire.

"Bye." With the last word Cleo pushed the end key and promptly pitched the phone at the window in her office. She was very unhappy when the safety glass didn't break and the phone clunked uselessly to the ground.

"Help ME with My Blackbird!" She screamed at the phone. "No one helps Angelina Eaton do anything! Chantal!" Her voice rang out hard as she called her assistant back.

The timid looking young woman came into the room slowly. She had never seen her boss quite like this.

"Yes Miss. Eaton?" She stammered.

"Did you get him on the phone yet?" Cleo barked as she walked over to kick the phone across the room.

"Not yet Miss. Eaton." She stammered dreading the response.

"I want him on the phone now." Cleo sat down heavy in her leather chair and put her feet on the desk "I want to know everything about this little witch and Chantal get someone to fix the couch." She waved the young girl off.

"Right away Miss. Eaton. Shall I patch it through when I get him?" She asked nervously.

"NO CHANTAL, HANG UP ON HIM!" She glared across the room. "OF COURSE PATCH HIM THROUGH!"

"Sorry Miss. Eaton." The young girl lowered her head and hurried out.

"Calm, Calm." She took a deep breath. "One must take their time and focus with such things." She spoke to herself softly before letting one final kick send the crystal sculpture on her desk into the wall, shattering it into a million shards.

Continued in Act Eleven...

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