After the Curtain Falls

Act Six

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. Do not read if that sort of thing disturbs you.

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.

Rae held Thea tight for a few moments before breaking away from her.

"You ready for breakfast?" She asked.

Thea looked up at Rae from the embrace and brushed the woman's dark lips with her own.

"Ready." The actress nodded.

"Good." Rae kissed her back lightly.

Moving out of the embrace Thea dropped the key into her purse and dropped the leather case onto the floor by the back door.

"I should warn you though, I'm a horrible cook." The tall woman grinned and turned to get a large bowl.

"Not to worry, I can see a fire extinguisher from here!" Thea laughed moving to slide herself onto one of the high stools near the island.

"But has it been used recently!" Rae grinned even wider as she measured out the pancake mix.

"Get on with it!" Thea laughed again.

"I can start a fire in the living room too help warm you up." She added, still worried about the young woman's exposure to the cold for so long.

"No, if you stop talking and start cooking the heat from that will help." Thea teased.

"Right away." Putting the frying pan onto the gas burner, Rae threw some butter into the pan. Turning back to the counter she added water to the simple batter and began mixing it. "Would you get me a glass of juice angel?" She asked as she went about her task. "Got my hands full."

"Sure." Thea smiled and slipped off the stool. She looked around the kitchen lost as to where to begin. "Point me in the right direction for glasses."

"Your kitchen too." Rae smiled back at her. "Check the place out. Margaretta changes things around so much your guess is as good as mine." She laughed as she began to pour batter into the hot pan.

"Okay then." Thea began to open cupboards, finding the glasses in her second choice. Even after she found them she carried on and looked through the other cupboards. Remembering Rae's juice order she moved to open the fridge and smiled at the number of choices.

"Which one?" She asked looking over everything else inside as she asked.

"What's on the menu?" Rae asked testing the pancakes and flipping them.

"Apple, orange, grapefruit and tropical punch." She listed off the technician's options.

"Tropical fruit please." Rae answered and looked to the small woman by the fridge. "You should try some it's a really good blend."

Thea took the carton out of the fridge. Breaking the seal she poured some into the glass she had found earlier.

"There you go love." She held the glass out.

"First round of pancakes are almost ready." Rae smiled and took the glass taking a big swig. "Thank you angel." Reaching into the cupboard beside her she was glad to find it still held the plates. "Now to find the syrup, did you see it honey?" She asked as she bent to look in the small cupboard to the right of the stove.

"Syrup?" Thea questioned.

"Maple syrup." Rae turned to look up from her crouched position. "The stuff you put on pancakes."

"And what would that look like exactly?" Thea asked. "I put orange juice on mine and sugar."

"Clear bottle full of dark thick stuff." Rae smiled and then screwed up her face at Thea's choices. "Has Aunt Jehmima written across the front. You're telling me that you've never had syrup?"

"Oh that! Top cupboard on the far right." Thea laughed when she realized what Rae was looking for.

"See you're at home already." Rae followed her instructions and found the syrup right off.

"Never had syrup." Thea admitted.

"You have to try it, it's the best stuff on earth." Rae smiled and pulled another smaller plate out of the cupboard. She moved the smallest of the pancakes onto it and smeared it lightly with butter before dousing it in syrup.

"Okay I will, just for you."

"Try this." She handed it too Thea with a fork.

The actress took it and cut a small piece off, tentatively putting it into her mouth. Rae watched her waiting for a reaction. A smile spread wide across her face as she took a second mouthful.

"So?" Rae asked.

"This is good!" Thea pointed to her plate with her fork.

"I thought you'd like it." The technician smiled and dished the bigger pancakes onto a large plate. "Convert you from orange juice and sugar right quick." They both laughed as Thea continued to eat.

"Next round for you angel." She handed her the next plate stacked high with pancakes. "Have to keep that stomach of yours from growling." She made a low growl in mimic and Mac joined in.

"I am so hungry." Thea laughed and turned to smother her plate with syrup.

"Good thing you're hungry." Rae laughed. "I got a ton of batter here." She poured out the next batch into the hot pan.

"Always hungry!" Thea replied happily munching away.

"Good, good." Rae took a big drink of juice.

"So what should we do with the rest of our day?" Thea asked as she slipped a piece of pancake to Mac.

"So angel?" She poked at the cooking food. "What would you like to do on your day off?" She turned and asked at the same time. Thea laughed at their identical questions.

"I saw that by the way." Rae's voice was low. "She's supposed to be punished remember."

"Oops!" Thea shared a mock worried look with the dog.

"She almost got you hypothermia." Rae flipped the latest pancakes off the stove and onto two plates. "Round two for you and one for me." She smiled and flipped off the stove and moved over to take the stool next to Thea. "Have you forgotten cold and out in silk pjs at three in the afternoon?"

"No, she didn't. Did you angel?" Thea stroked Mac somewhat roughly. "It was your big mean owner that tried to kill me wasn't it?" She added with a smile and fed the dog more of her breakfast.

"Oh I did, did I?" Rae raised an eyebrow. "When did I do that?"

"Yep." Thea slipped off the chair and went to the back door. "Oh you know, with your..." She imitated Rae's accent. "Oh Poor Mac!" She dramatically raised a hand to her forehead, grinning madly and glancing over her shoulder at Rae. The technician was staring into her pancakes. "We have to look for her!"

"Yeah I tried to kill you." Rae's agreement came in a low tone.

Thea stayed where she was for a second, looking at her tall dark lover and then she came back over to the island.

"Hey!" She said trying to look Rae in the face, her tone gentle.

"Hey." Rae returned the blank word as she took another mouthful of breakfast.

"I was joking love." Thea stressed. "You know acting. It's kinda what I do." She reasoned with a little laugh.

"You do it well." Rae gave a little smile.

"Well thank you." Thea bowed. "I am a star you know." She laughed again.

"Yes, you are." Rae's smile turned a bit more genuine.

"But let me guess..." She made her way back to the stool. "I should leave the acting to the theatre?" She asked the question as she settled down to sit again.

"No." Rae's voice was soft. "I just have to get better at figuring out when you're acting."

"Sorry love." Thea kissed Rae on the cheek gently. "Really I am."

"So am I." Rae kissed her back on the cheek lightly.

"These really are good." Thea said brightly convinced the momentary shadow over Rae had been moved away.

"I'm glad you like them. You want more?" She motioned to the stove. "I can make them for you in a snap."

"No, but they were great. I want to know what we are going to do with the rest of the day." Thea asked putting down her fork.

"I have no idea." Rae shook her head thinking. "Any ideas?"

Thea picked up a piece of pancake and dipped it in some of the syrup on Rae's plate, with a wrinkle of her nose she popped it into her mouth.

"I always have ideas." She laughed. "We could go to the theatre! To check out the competition."

"You really want to do that?" Rae abandoned her fork and tore a small piece of pancake off with her fingers, sliding the piece around in the heavy syrup on her plate.

"Or a zoo. Do you have a zoo? I love zoos and libraries and art exhibitions. Well I could go on and on." The actress laughed again.

"Yes, we have a zoo but it's mighty cold out angel." Rae brought the piece to her lips and then turned it away offering it to Thea. "Lots of libraries and we have the Royal Ontario Museum."

"I could wear real clothes rather than pajamas!" She took it gratefully and licked Rae's fingers in appreciation.

"Ahhhh!" Rae moaned disappointed. "I liked the pjs myself." The attention being paid to her fingers made her smile.

"Really I was hoping you liked me without them best!" She gave the woman's sticky fingers a last lick and sat back smiling.

"Oh well." Rae tore another piece of syrupy pancake of with her fingers. "I didn't know without them was on the table for an option." With a smile she offered it up for Thea, syrup dripping down her fingers.

"Well at the zoo or museum it's not!" Thea caught the dripping syrup with her tongue and worked her way up to the pancake.

"That's true, that's why I don't vote for them." Rae watched the small woman's every move.

"Rae, though it would be lovely, can we really spend all day in bed?" She asked as she closed her warm mouth around Rae's fingers. Her tongue playing with the fingers she had trapped inside her mouth.

"I like that idea." Rae grinned, both for the idea and Thea's move. "Of course we don't have to stay in bed. There's the whole house waiting for us."

"Tell me more." Thea said quietly around her captured prize. Rae slipped the short distance to stand off the stool and moved a bit closer to the captor of her fingers.

"Well there is the kitchen here." Rae purred. "I seem to remember you making a comment about strawberries and later." Thea smiled and closed her eyes as her tongue continued to lick Rae's fingers. "Though my favorite." Rae growled lightly as Thea closed her eyes. "Would be the option of the sheepskin in front of the fireplace."

Thea concentrated on turning what she was doing into the most arousing motion she could with a series of licks and gentle sucking motions. Rae moved her free hand to Thea's leg and gently slid it over the outside of her thigh up to her hip and back again. Thea moaned lightly and moved one of her hands out to touch Rae's stomach. Her fingers playing with the fabric.

"God you're driving me crazy!" Rae admitted when the moan reached her ears. Moving closer to Thea, she slid her hand back and forth over the top of Thea's thigh now. Thea opened her mouth and released Rae's fingers.

"Did you like being sane?" She asked softly as her fingers inched up with v-neck and twirled circles on Rae's flesh.

"Not at all!" Rae growled as she pushed herself closer and continued the motion on Thea's thighs with both her hands.

"So if I asked you to point out the kitchens finer points." Thea focused on drawing her other hand up to join the dance on Rae's stomach. "Where would you start?"

"Hummm." Rae locked eyes with her. "I'd start with the beautiful woman at the counter and ask her what she wanted for dessert."

Thea slipped her hands around to Rae's back under her top and stroked the other woman's sides lightly.

"Strawberries the strawberry blonde would reply." Thea grinned at her. "Obviously!"

"Obviously!" Rae winked at her.

Thea breathed deeply as she felt the now familiar tingle begin deep in her being.

"They're just a few feet away in the fridge." A wicked glint sparkled in the technician's eyes.

"Rae, I think you should get my strawberries." Thea breathed the instruction as she slid her hand off Rae's body and brought them back to rest on her knees.

"Okay." Rae moved slowly away from the other woman's hands to the fridge. Thea took the moment to look away and blew cooling air at her forehead.

"Strawberries, strawberries?" She murmured as she opened the door and took the basket off the lower shelf. "Right here where I thought they were." Moving back, Thea's eyes returned to her as Rae pushed their plates down the counter out of the way. Placing the basket of strawberries in their place.

"Do you always have fresh strawberries in your fridge?"

"No, not always. We were lucky this week." Rae smiled. "How do you like your strawberries?" She asked as she took one from the basket, rolling the small piece of fruit between her fingers.

"Depends with sugar if they aren't sweet enough or with cream when I am feeling decadent and naked when I am feeling..." She stopped, knowing she wasn't sure she was helping herself cool down here.

"When you're feeling?" Rae questioned.

"Simple." She added finally.

"And how are you feeling right now?" The tall woman moved her empty hand to trace her finger over Thea's collarbone. She was struggling with the building fire inside her that wanted things to go much faster but she knew the slowness would make things that much better.

"Right now?" Thea asked her voice trembling slightly.

"Right now." She repeated in a breathy tone.

"Hungry." The reply came as clear green eyes met with blue and the actress breathed heavily out.

"For strawberries or for something else?" Rae asked raising the fruit to her lips.

Thea formed a small circle with her lips around the strawberry and traced her tongue around the small sweet fruit, before biting off the end to let the juice trail down her chin a little.

"Sweet enough?" Rae asked watching the juice trail down the actress' skin and licked her lips.

"The strawberries are sweet." She moved her mouth back to the fruit and bit off more of the soft flesh but nipped Rae's fingers deliberately. "But I can think of something sweeter."

"So can I." Rae moved the strawberry away, the little nip to her finger had fueled the growing want inside her and she moved closer. Thea watched her toy being moved away. "Though I want to double check the strawberry rating." She said in a low whisper as she very slowly and deliberately licked the trailing juice from Thea's chin. She was very careful to avoid the woman's lips for the moment.

Thea breathed out deeply when Rae's tongue touched her flesh and her skin broke out in tiny bumps of pleasure.

"The strawberries are sweet." She breathed against the wet area under her mouth. "But there is much sweeter underneath." She licked at the corners of Thea's mouth before slowly drawing her tongue across her bottom lip. "Much sweeter." She purred repeating the motion with her tongue.

Thea shivered and closed her eyes as wave after wave of pleasure broke over her with every touch of Rae's tongue.

Moving away from Thea's lips, Rae kissed wetly across the woman's soft jaw line. Using her hands to push back the actress' hair, she began to softly suck on her earlobe for a moment before moving further back to lick and suck the soft area behind her ear.

"Rae..." Thea breathed.

"Ummm?" Rae mumbled as she happily devoured the flesh there.

"I..." Thea lost all train of though to Rae's oral exploration and instead she moaned deeply and tipped her head back.

"Um humm." Rae mumbled again now lavishing her attention on the length of her neck and then resting again to concentrate behind her ear. She slipped her hands out of Thea's hair and too the front of the silk top. Moving with sure motions to open the buttons that kept it in place.

Thea moaned again, this time in a slightly higher tone. She knew she was quickly losing all thought of restraint and her mind fought to keep its focus. Heavy with passion her heart fought back even harder and she found herself pulled between the wants of the two.

Once Rae had the silk top open she brushed back the shirt and placed her hands full to hold the weight of the young beauty in her hands. Massaging gently as she again sucked on Thea's earlobe. Explosions of pleasure shot through the young actress as Rae's hands touched her and without worry of the way ahead she let herself give into the feeling.

Rae's hands felt of fire when they touched Thea's breasts. The heat bursting up her arms to pool with the inferno inside her. She breathed hard and fast against Thea's neck as she sucked it gently as her hands continued their motion now to place a concentrated caress on the woman's hard nipples. The technician licked her way across Thea's collarbone and slowly kissed her way up the other side of her neck.

It was Thea's mind that would not give up its silent fight as it forced an image into her mind that would remind her why she always checked the path ahead and never let herself give in like she was. As the image hit her, panic and raw negative emotion flooded into her heart and body.

"Rae stop!" Thea literally leapt backwards, over balancing on the tall stool.

It took Rae's senses a second to register the change as it came even before Thea's words. She moved away immediately, but reached out a hand when she realized her lover was about to fall over. Her hand latched around Thea's slim wrist and pulled her back up so that the stool again sat on all four legs. She let go as soon as she was sure Thea was safe.

Thea's mind still whirled with the idea that she was going to fall, even as it registered the stable grip on her wrist and the whole world being righted again. She opened her eyes as the tight grip left her wrist and looked around in momentary panic.

"Are you all right?" Rae asked concerned. "It's okay angel you didn't fall." She added softly, though she didn't move closer, as she knew something had changed long before the slip.

Thea took a second as things registered their presence in her mind. The place: Rae's kitchen. The person: Rae. Who is? Your lover. She checked off the various things in her mind before clicking back into the real world again.

"Sorry." She spoke automatically, her normal response at this moment after the panic. She swallowed awkwardly trying to clear her dry throat.

Rae watched helpless as the look of panic crossed over the actress' face and then change to sad contemplation. The apology caught Rae off guard.

"Angel, there's no reason to be sorry." Rae said softly. "We don't have to do this." She added. "We can do anything you like. I'm sorry if I did something wrong." She cursed herself. Why did she always have to be pushing? Why was she diving in her and scaring the hell out of Thea so much?

"You didn't." Thea came back to reality instantly. "That was me. All me." She shook her head.

"No, Thea." Rae corrected. "This error had to be mine and I'm sorry." She replayed every move in her head, trying to find something different that could have triggered the reaction. Tried to find the move, the action that she'd made to get such a scared response.

"Don't say that." Thea asked very, very quietly as she raised a trembling finger to Rae's lips. "Don't say you're sorry."

"But I scared you." Rae whispered. "And I never want to do that."

"Don't say it, please." Thea's voice was strange to her own ears. She didn't even like to think how it sounded to Rae.

"Angel, please tell me what's going on." She pleaded softly. "Please tell me what scared you."

'Fool!' Thea's mind screamed at her. 'What are you going to tell her?' Thea desperately racked her mind for an excuse, something that didn't sound dumb or improbable, but nothing came to mind.

"Please angel." Rae added. "Whatever it is you can tell me."

"I think I thought I was going to fall off the stool." Thea offered finally.

"Oh." The technician let the small word escape her softly as she realized the actress was lying. She knew she'd noticed a change in Thea long before she'd almost fallen. In fact Rae knew that the only reason Thea had almost fallen was because of the change.

"I can't afford to hurt myself Rae." The small woman slipped carefully off the stool. "Not with the production." She moved to pick up their plates.

"Of course not angel." Rae let the continued excuse grow without calling it. All she knew for sure was that whatever had sent Thea bolting out of her hands it was something that scared her much more than being injured.

"In here or do you have a dishwasher?" Thea asked trying to regain her bearings, praying that Rae would let the topic drop without pushing.

"Dishwasher's here." Rae opened the fake cupboard face to show the shiny metal machine.

In silence they went about cleaning up the kitchen. Both of them lost in their own thoughts and having no idea how to reach out to the other.


Rae opened the back door and motioned for Mac to run out free. Closing it, she moved to zip up the front of the fleece jacket she wore and pulled on her flap mittens to ward off the chilly cold. Taking one last longing look back at her house she moved down to follow Mac into the trees and the familiar path they walked.

'Okay O'Keefe.' Her monologue started immediately. 'She says it isn't you, but are you really believing that? Maybe it was the key and the code.'

Rae picked up a branch from the forest floor and twirled it in her hand.

'You scared her that had to be it.' She nodded to herself. 'Too much too soon, I mean she hasn't asked you a damn thing about Tommy yet or about the money. Not even about Cleo for that matter.'

Mac came in a run to circle her and then went off again.

'What the hell are you doing anyway?' She stopped mid-step and looked up into the canopy of green pine needles. 'You know nothing about her. Well you know she got a pony when she was eleven and that she has a younger sister and the same birthday as Tommy.'

Speaking her brother's name made her stop for a second.

'But you also know that you've never felt about anyone like this before. Not even Cleo, not even back when you loved her."

Rae threw the stick when Mac approached and watched her chase off after it.

'She makes you feel so complete somehow." Rae smiled to herself. "With just a little look or touch."

"Okay O'Keefe!" Rae gave a gentle sigh as she bent down and picked up the stick that Mac had returned. "First off your not going to screw this up by pushing the poor girl too much, from now on all actions thought out and deliberate. No more codes and keys just cause the mood strikes you, but you're not going to shut down on her either."

Rae felt the nervous energy building inside her and she broke into a fast run. Mac realised her change and moved to keep up with her, loving every second.

'You will walk back into the house and everything will be fine and if it's not you'll talk about it. You won't run from it or let things slip away in the silence.'

Rae picked up the pace of her movement feeling the pull in the tight muscles of her calves come out slowly as she ran. Her mind on the other hand pulled at the corners as she tried to resolve the conflict between it and her heart.

'Now you will not do the whole close up thing!' One part of her mind screamed at the other. 'You will not do this to Thea, not to her. No matter what it is that she's not telling you about. No matter if it's you pushing her or something else entirely. You've been doing so well so far. Hell you blew off Cleo that's got to be a first.'

As her thoughts again turned to the tall blonde, she moved off the normal path and headed up the steep incline to her left. Mac kept pace with her finding more fun in their romp then exercise.

Pushing her legs to climb the thick moving underbrush of the ravine wall she finally felt her mind stop its whirling, as balance became her first and only priority.

'That's it O'Keefe!' The hard voice inside commented one last time. 'Have to stay in shape cause you never know when you're going to need...' As she reached the top she forced the familiar thought from her mind.

"Not this time." She crested the ravine and kept running. "This time is going to be different." She spoke to the trees around her as she hurdled a fallen log at full stride without missing a step. "This time I'm not going to hide."


Thea turned off the water and wiped a wet hand over the steamed up mirror in the main bathroom. She wasn't sure why she had come to this one. Rae had shown her the other. But this one was where she wanted to be. She ran her hand over the mirror again and then ran the same hand through her dampening hair.

"What are you doing Theandra?" She asked herself as she watched yet another tear slide down her face and drip off her chin. "Do you want to loose her? Cause that's what you are going to do."

She leaned heavily on the sink and shook her hair. She slowly lifted her head again and looked at her reflection. Running a hand down over her naked body, the memory of the feeling of Rae's fingers on her skin made her close her eyes and shiver.

"No Thea, you don't want to lose that. It's like she is the only one who will ever touch you in the way she does." The actress closed her eyes again as she reflected on the fact that coming from her the statement was a big one. A lot of people had touched her, but none had ever made her feel as Rae did.

Moving away from the sink, Thea walked over to the large tub and stepped in. Sighing as she felt the contrast of the hot soapy water to her now cooling skin. Settling down in the huge tub, she rested her head back on the bath pillow. Moving her leg to stretch out made her wince as a flair of pain flashed across her stomach.

Thea closed her eyes again and unbidden her mind played to her the scene from the kitchen. The memory of Rae catching her arm not letting her fall was the one she wanted to centre on but instead all she could think of was the fact that she was drawing Rae deeper and deeper into something false. A shiver made Thea open her eyes and steady herself against the walls of the bath.

"Oh Thea." She asked herself as she ran her hand over her legs and arms. "You need to make a choice." She smoothed back her hair as she watched the steam curl in spirals round the room. "You either need to let go or take charge. You can't mix what is happening now with the past, though you can't afford to forget the facts either. You have to relax or leave girl. Those are your choices." She washed herself down as her mind whirled over the situation.

She watched the last of the spirals dissipate before pushing herself up and out of the bath. Her decision made. She stepped out and reached for the nearest towel and wrapped it round herself, tucking it in tight. Turning, she pulled the plug and let the water empty out of the tub.

Still in the towel, she walked through to the bedroom and smiled at the tangled sheets and crushed orchids. Thea tidied the bed and placed the five orchids she had separated in a tall vase on the side. She left the crushed ones on the bed and just pulled the sheets up.

"Tommy." Her mind assessed, when her eyes fell upon a picture of a much younger Rae with a younger boy. Walking over, she took the photograph from its place on the dresser and sat down on the edge of the bed with it. Her finger traced over Rae's face.

"I'm not going to leave Rae, I can't." She said solemnly. "Because I love you, and all I can do is ask that you forgive me for not doing it when it is over." A tear splashed onto the glass.


Rae broke back into her backyard still at a fast pace. She knew she'd pushed even Mac the last half kilometre. Sweat seeped back into her hair and pooled under the heavy fleece of her sweater.

As Mac stretched out on the cool grass for a rest, she went through a slow series of tai-chi figures to calm her muscles and reacquaint them to a normal temperature before she went back into the house. As her mind freed up, her thoughts started to whirl again.

'Okay, so I'm not just doing this to avoid going into the house. Am I?' When the question was asked she wasn't happy with the answer in her head.

"You're back." Thea's voice came from the door suddenly. The actress was dressed in a pair of grey joggers she'd been forced to turn up at least four times to keep from tripping on them and a grey sweatshirt. She'd found them both in the closet and hoped that Rae wouldn't mind her borrowing them. Her wet hair lay loose on her shoulders.

"Oh yeah." Rae looked to the door as the voice drew her out of her motion.

"Must have been some run." She called looking from Rae to Mac and then back again.

"Only a short one." Rae said finishing the last movement and stretching her hands above her head. "Got to wear her out." She smiled at Mac and headed toward Thea and the door. She concentrated on making each step closer as her mind screamed at her to turn and keep running.

"I can imagine!" Thea called brightly. "Want anything?" She took a step back into the house.

"Desperate for a drink." Rae admitted. "Come on Mac." She called back to the dog, which followed her into the house.

Thea could feel her hands trembling as she held the door open.

"What would you like?" She asked still smiling, though the intensity of it wavered a little.

"A water would be great." Rae answered as she peeled off the fleece and hung it on one of the hooks by the back door. Thea checked it was safe to let the back door go. "Though you don't have to get it." She added in a tight voice.

"I want to get it." Thea moved to the fridge and opened it. Finding a bottle in the door, she took it out turned and offered it to her lover. "Does Toni need anything?"

"Thank you." Rae smiled and took it from her. Quickly undoing the lid and gulping down the cold liquid. Hearing her name, the husky padded over to sit by her water bowl.

"She's subtle isn't she?" Thea said moving to fill the bowl with tap water and then returned it to the floor, stopping only to stroke the dog once.

"Always." Rae wiped a dribble of water from her chin and sat down on the small wooden bench near the back door to take off her runners. "Did you find everything you needed for your bath?"

"Yes, I found everything. Thank you." Thea nodded. "Do you want a shower or a bath? I could run you a bath." She glanced back at the husky nervously as she asked.

"A bath would be nice." Rae kept her voice soft.

"It would." The actress brightened instantly, pleased her offer had been accepted. The smile on Thea's face kept Rae from saying anything else. "Shall I run it?" She tried to keep herself from sounding like an excited child, happy to perform. She knew she'd failed when her own question rang in her ears.

"That would be nice." Rae answered in a soft slow voice as she tried to convince herself it was okay to say yes to this. After all Thea had offered and she seemed quite like she actually wanted to do it.

"Great." Thea bobbed and then turned to hurry towards the upstairs before stopping and turning around again. "Do you like bubbles?" She asked in a hurried cadence.

"A little known secret is I love them." The tall woman smirked trying to lighten her own mood.

"One hot bubbly bath coming up, top room?" She asked without thinking.

"Top room?" Rae questioned confused.

"I meant the master bathroom."

"Oh, yeah." Rae smiled.

"Come up when you like." Thea said as she dashed off, not waiting for a response.

"Be right behind you in a second." Rae called to her as she chugged the last of the water. Staring at the now empty container, she moved without thinking to toss it in the recycle box near the door.

"You're doing fine so far." She tried to reassure herself. "Just keep thinking and you'll be fine." With one last deep breath she headed upstairs.


Thea folded up the green pjs she had worn and placed them on the pillow that she had slept on almost with out thinking. She then went back into the bathroom to check the water level.

Rae came into the bedroom silently, hearing the water running she looked to see a bit of Thea's
reflection in the mirror.

The actress was sat on the side of the tub, watching the water level and checking the temperature. The sound of the water lulled her ears and made her oblivious to Rae's entrance.

Rae had the sticky shirt half way off before it struck her that stripping naked to walk into the bathroom might give the wrong impression. Pulling the material back down, she stopped to pull off her socks and tossed them down the laundry shoot. Turning towards the bed, the sight of Thea's green pj's folded neatly on the pillow caused her to smile.

'Maybe things aren't as bad as I thought.' She looked to the dresser, her mind instantly registering the change in the position of Tommy's picture. Without thought she went to move it back to the proper spot.

Thea checked the water and happy that it was going nicely she turned and headed out of the bathroom to the bedroom.

"Sorry, I hadn't heard...." Thea stopped when she saw the photo in Rae's hand.

"Pardon?" Rae turned to the voice.

The flustered blonde tried to look at Rae and not the photograph, desperately trying not to look guilty or embarrassed.

"Pardon?" Rae asked again, none of her focus on the picture and all of it on the strange look on Thea's face.

"The water!" Her mind racing, Thea turned and pointed to the bathroom. "It's nearly ready." She tried to make her voice sound natural.

"Thank you." Rae spoke with a soft smile. Thea returned it with an uneasy one of her own. "The photo was taken my first year at university." She found herself talking without thinking and a part of her knew that if she thought about it she wouldn't be talking. She placed the picture back on the dresser.

"It's lovely." Thea said honestly, taking a slight step forward. "I guess that's Tommy with you?" She posed the question gently.

"Yes, that's Tommy. He always did take a good picture." Rae frowned a little. "But there isn't many of the two of us I'm afraid."

"It's a great picture." Thea walked the distance between them and almost reached out to touch the picture. Just before her mind kicked in and she stopped her hand just short of the metal frame. "May I?" She whispered.

Rae could only nod, though it was the most genuine approval she could give. Thea picked it up and looked at it. The two happy faces that beamed back at her made her smile. Rae had her hand and arm around her brother's neck in a mock headlock. He was wearing what was obviously Rae's university sweater.

"How old was he then?" She asked.

"He was sixteen." Rae said almost silently. "He'd come down into the city to celebrate my birthday."

"He looks like you." Thea traced the faces in the picture and then without thinking she raised her finger and traced Rae's cheek. "Same cheek bones." She whispered.

"Naw..." Rae tried to joke. "He got all the good looks."

"Were his eyes such a beautiful blue?" Thea kept her hand at the side of Rae's face.

"Yes." Rae swallowed hard, letting her eyes close briefly.

'Not so hard.' She chastised herself, hearing the effort Rae had made to give the answer. 'Give the girl space and time.' Thea dropped her hand.

"Sorry." She whispered. "We don't have to talk about this."

"You would have liked him." Rae added finding her voice again.

"I'm sure I would." Thea admitted as she replaced the photograph and went to turn off the taps.

Rae's hand almost went to move the photo back to its proper angle. The angle it had sat at on that dresser for an eternity.

"No, it's fine like that." She spoke softly to herself and turned to follow Thea into the bathroom.

Thea shut off the water and stood by the bath when she heard Rae come in.

"Thank you for making up the bed." She hated herself for the mundane words but she really did want to show that she'd noticed.

"I looked around for candles but I couldn't find any." Thea waffled and then halted herself when she heard the bed comment. "No worries."

"Candles?" Rae looked off to think. "Wait I think there are some in the spare room. Do you want me to get them?"

"It's okay." Thea tried to be accommodating. "I just have candles with my baths and I wanted to get some burning for you. Then I remembered it's just a me thing!" The actress laughed.

"Sounds lovely." Rae admitted.

"Next time." She said sincerely.

"Deal." Rae nodded with a smile.

"I should... er... do you..." Thea pointed to the water and then to Rae and then to the door several times. "I should leave you to it." She managed to put together a sentence at last.

"It's okay, you could stay and keep me company." She tried to make the offer without any overture in her words.

"I wouldn't want to be in the way." Thea hated herself for the statement.

"You wouldn't." Rae smiled at her. "Ever."

For godsake, they'd made love until she'd been exhausted only hours before and now here she was acting like a child visiting a family friend. The little word 'fight' filtered into her brain again and she looked up at Rae feeling a little more confidence.

"I could wash your back." She suggested finally.

"That would be nice." Rae tried to put the perfect amount of enthusiasm in her voice. The truth was that she was so happy just to hear that Thea would entertain the idea of coming anywhere near her.

"You should get in, it's going to get cold."

"I have to get out of these." Rae said suddenly as the sticky feel of the sweaty shirt started to make her feel itchy.

Thea tactfully turned round and looked over at the sink and the mirror where she had stood earlier.

"It looks the perfect temperature." The tall woman moved to quickly shed her running clothes.
Feeling rather guilty Thea watched Rae's every move in the mirror. Stepping into the bath, the technician let herself sink down into the bubbles and tried not to look at Thea in the hopes of easing the woman's newfound shyness. She closed her eyes as the hot seeped into every inch of her slowly, burning at first but relaxing to a nice temperature as her skin adjusted.

Thea's heart and body overcame the moment and then without thinking she pulled off the sweatshirt and slipped the joggers down as she walked over to the tub. She placed a loving hand on Rae's shoulder.

"It is a perfect..." Rae's voice caught as she turned from looking absently at the bubbles to the owner of the hand at her shoulder.

"Move forward then." Thea said gently not as an order but as a suggestion.

"Temperature." She managed to finish as she slid forward.

"Good." Thea whispered as she climbed in behind Rae, her hands steady on the other woman's shoulders. Thea slipped her legs either side of Rae's body and leaned back against the tub. Rae raised one hand to cover the small one on her shoulder

"Very good." Rae whispered.

"Lay back." She encouraged Rae with a gentle tug at both shoulders. Silently Rae leaned back to lay against her, closing her eyes as inch by inch their skin met under the water. Thea's hands gently massaged the strong shoulders beneath them. "Welcome home." Thea breathed without thinking as she let her own eyes close filled with an overwhelming sensation and love as the simple meeting of flesh on flesh solidified the one fact she knew. Rae's touch made her feel like no other had and that was the important thing.

"Home." Rae repeated in a whisper as she leaned a little heavier against the woman behind her and allowed her shoulders to relax into the small hands on them. Thea felt Rae relax slightly but she continued to gently rub and stroke.

"I missed you." Thea breathed.

'You can't hide from this.' Rae's mind admitted to itself.

"I missed you too." She murmured back.

Thea moved her hands forward on Rae's shoulders a little so they moved more on her collar bone lightly pressing as she kissed the raven locks in front of her and rested her cheek against them.

Rae moved her hands to the legs at her sides and caressed the calves under the water gently with her hands.

"I'm sorry." Thea whispered. "For earlier." She added trying to clarify.

Rae opened her eyes at the words, hearing the difference in this sorry then the ones she'd gotten in the kitchen.

"Whatever it is Thea." She spoke back in a whisper. "No matter what it is..." She let the beginning lay silent for a moment.

"I will tell you." Thea said sincerely. "Just not now, not today."

"Tell me in your own time angel." Rae answered meaning every word. "Not until you are completely ready and whenever that is I will be here to listen and love you."

"Thank you." Thea forced the tear that threatened to fall back inside and she kissed the head that rested on her again.

"No thanks." Rae's closed her eyes again under the kiss. "Just the facts."

Thea let her hands drop a little lower so they came to rest on the top of Rae's breasts and she stroked gently back and forth.

"I think I love you Cassie O'Keefe." She said before the words could be stopped by her cartwheeling mind.

"Thank you." Rae said simply wanting to show her that the moment was the actress'. Never having heard words as beautiful, she relaxed completely into the woman behind her. "Thank you for giving me a real home." She added in a whisper trying to explain.

"I have never had a home either Rae, let's make this one ours."

"I would really like that."

"Me too." Thea kissed Rae's head once more as the technician moved to try and meet the actress' eye. She needed that window of the purest green to tell her this wasn't a dream. Almost knowing what she needed, Thea looked down and smiled.

"Turn over." She prompted in a gentle voice, happy to see Rae move slowly to turn in the frothy water and bring them face to face.

"So angel." Rae asked softly. "What would you like to do with the rest of the day?"

"I want to spend it with you." She replied without losing her smile for a moment.

"We've got the same plans." Rae smiled back at her and with a very deliberate telegraphed motion kissed her softly on the lips, pulling back after a short time.

"Any specific plans?" The actress asked, wondering why Rae had pulled back. She tried to keep the frown from her face as she wondered.

"Anything you would like my angel." Rae smiled at her, happy that the kiss had been well received. Despite the desire of her body, she would not push as she had in the kitchen that morning.

"But I don't know what Canada has to offer." Thea replied bending her mouth down to Rae's. All of Rae's senses jumped as she realized Thea was moving to kiss her again. The actress stopped unsure she had made the right move.

"Anything you need." Rae whispered as she moved closer.

"I need you." She placed her cool lips on Rae's.

"Oh God I need you." Rae mumbled her want heavily into the meeting of their lips.

"You have me." Thea opened her lips, ready to receive Rae's exploring tongue. Rae didn't keep her waiting as she moved to deepen the kiss immediately. Moving her hands slowly to Thea's sides under the water and bracing her hands against the smooth side of the tub.

Thea tilted her head a little to deepen the kiss and lifted a hand to slip it around Rae. The move encouraged Rae on and she moved slightly higher in the water to allow the kiss to go even deeper.

"Mmmmmmm." Thea made a moan into the kiss as she moved her legs over Rae's and locked her ankles. Rae moved one hand from the wall to trace it slowly down the curve of Thea's hip and down her leg.

"Let's get out of the bath before it cools." Thea moved back and placed little light kisses on her lover's lips between the words.

"Good idea." Rae agreed, meeting each small kiss. Thea released Rae's legs and reluctantly dropped her arms. Though she gave her the freedom to move, she returned to a long deep kiss.

Rae shifted onto her knees to begin what she could tell was going to be a slow movement out of the bath but slow suited her fine. As the kiss continued she sucked lightly on the woman's lower lip urging the actress to rise up out of the water. Thea draped her arms around her tall lover's hips and allowed the hands at her waist to guide her up gently to stand.

"We're making good progress." Rae stopped to smile before moving back for another urgent kiss.

Thea hummed into the kiss as she let her hand roam free over the strong woman's body, urged on by the low moan she heard.

Carefully Rae stepped out of tub and was instantly joined by Thea to stand on the thick bath mat.
In a sudden deliberate movement she broke away from Rae, and making sure she had her lover's complete attention, she sunk to her knees on the mat. She raised a gentle hand and Rae took it softly in her own.

"I believe you said earlier something about showing me every room." Thea pulled on the hand. "What are the finer points of the bathroom?" She asked as she grinned.

"Yes, I did." Rae grinned and allowed herself to be led down to kneel on the bath mat as well. "Well once again my first choice." She moved the hand in her own to kiss it lightly. "Would be the absolutely breathtaking beauty before me."


"Most definitely." Rae moved herself closer slowly. Shifting to the side, Thea moved her legs out from under her and in a neat compact move was sitting on her butt rather than her knees. She moved her legs out and captured Rae's with them.

"Show me what it can do." Thea instructed.

"Hummm." Rae purred kissing her way slowly up the soft part of Thea's arm. "Well it can... " She moved herself back on her knees to reduce some of her height. "It can do many things." She suckled softly on the pulse point at Thea's wrist.

"Like?" Thea bit her lower lip as she watched.

"Hummm." Rae hummed against her skin. "What was the question again?"

"I think the question." Thea began as she moved back to lie down. Her back arched up slightly and her arm strained between them. "Was did you do so much running this morning that you are too tired to make love to me?"

Rae moved closer, using one arm to brace herself over Thea as she continued her concentrated assault on her wrist and inner arm. The move caused the reclined woman to close her eyes.

"Oh no." Rae kissed her hand one last time before moving to brace herself nose to nose with her lover. "Nothing could make me too tired for that privilege." She brought her lips down to kiss Thea softly but with every ounce of the passion and energy coursing through her. Thea literally trembled from the tenderness of the kiss. "Are you cold?" She asked in a gentle tone, kissing the actress' cheek lightly.

"No, I'm not cold." Thea replied honestly. Rae moved one of her hands slowly down Thea's cheek. "More like needy." The actress moved her hips unconsciously upwards as the familiar throbbing began deep inside her. Rae pressed her own hips down against the motion as she moved to kiss Thea's neck. Rae moved herself down Thea's body in long wet kisses.

"I want to fulfill your every need." Rae said gently as she moved. Thea groaned and moved her body to touch Rae's as much as she could. Running her hands over Thea's damp skin in slow lightly pressured movement. "No one has ever made me feel like you do." Rae admitted as she pushed herself harder against her.

"Nor me." Thea said as she arched her back high and Rae moved her hand underneath her back to hold her up tight against her. "You make me feel..." She stopped. "Beautiful." Her voice was a whisper.

"Thea, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." Rae whispered the tired line back meaning every word with her heart. She moved back up to kiss her softly.

"And you are the most loving I have ever known." Thea breathed as she returned the kiss with love rather than passion. Rae's kiss was as Thea's, not passion or unbridled need but of love alone. Thea lost herself in the kiss for some moments before she broke their kiss.

"Is that the end of the bathroom tour?" She asked softly.

"Do you want it to be?" Rae asked softly back as she ran her fingers over Thea's neck and collarbone lightly.

"Perhaps." She watched the fingers on her skin. "But..." She held Rae's eyes before continuing. The technician looked at her intently waiting as her fingers slowed but did not leave the actress' skin. "I believe the bedroom is next." She smiled broadly.

"Oh the bedroom." Rae smiled back. "That would be next wouldn't it and there is a big comfy bed in there."

"Ready?" She asked in a breathy tone.

"Whenever you are my love." Rae answered as she brushed her lips over the actress' before moving up and off of her. As she moved up she offered a hand to the reclined woman to help her up.

"Always ready." Thea took the hand smiling.

Rae rose in one sure movement and gently pulled Thea up with her.

"So the next stop on the tour is the bedroom." Rae smiled widely.

"Yes, please." Thea said as she found herself on her feet.

Without speaking Rae lead her with a gentle hand through the bathroom back into the bedroom and to the bed. As she stood beside it she gently pulled on Thea's hand to guide her closer. Thea willingly let herself be gathered up in the taller woman's arms.

"So this is the bedroom." Rae said almost silently as she bent to kiss the soft flesh of a bare shoulder. Her hands roamed over the small woman's back.

"What do you use it for?" Thea asked enjoying the hands on her body.

"Well before yesterday." Rae's hands made one slow trip down over the curves of Thea's ass before moving upwards again to her back. "It used to be used only to sleep in."

"And now?" Thea felt her heart rate quicken and her temperature rise as her body responded to the touch.

"But now it has so many possibilities other than sleep." Rae let her hands linger down again to caress over Thea's thighs and around her hips before repeating the motion with more pressure in her fingertips. At no time did the wet kisses on Thea's shoulder stop. "Would you like a more in depth tour of the bed itself?" She kissed her way up to Thea's neck, pulling the woman in her arms even closer.

"Make love to me Rae. Here, now, on your bed. Do it slowly, tenderly, but leave me spent and exhausted in your arms. Make me tremble inside and make me see the stars in your heavens." Thea's voice was low as the actress surrendered herself. "Show me a new possibility of this our room."

"As you wish." Rae whispered as she moved to kiss her again softly. With a strong but loving hand to the middle of her back, she gently guided Thea around and down to lay on the bed. She moved back to kiss her neck again softly when they were settled. Her hand came around slowly from its place at Thea's back and moved to caress her stomach before going downwards.

"The first time I ever saw you." Rae began to speak in a soft low tone as her hand move to memorize the angle in the actress' hips and the curve of her thigh. Thea just immersed herself in feeling and experience of their lovemaking. She silently hoped Rae would not mind her lack of action or doubt her devotion because of it. She just wanted to be loved, loved for no other reason other than the person making love to her wanted to fulfill her desires. Thea listened carefully as Rae spoke and knew in her heart that the technician would do just as she needed.

"You were standing outside the theatre in the rain. It was a very hot day in August." Rae shifted to rest more of her own body against Thea's side. "Everyone else was complaining about the heat and humidity and then even the fact that it was raining. But you just stood out there in it laughing." She moved up to kiss her softly on the lips. "And I knew then I loved you and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life making you happy any way I could."

Rae's mind doubted this had been what Thea wanted from her at this moment but she finished the memory needing for it to be told to her at this most intimate of times when not one word of it could be awkward. Unable not to be completely still, Thea drew a finger along Rae's arm, her eyes still closed, mesmerized by the words coming from Rae and the actions that warmed her body and soul. Rae moved her hand to Thea's inner thigh and lightly dragged her fingers in friction against the soft skin.

"Thank you." Thea breathed. A part of her wanted so desperately to return the favor and tell Rae when it was she'd known that Rae was different. But because of when that moment had been she knew she couldn't and besides this was Rae's moment and nothing should touch it.

"No thanks." Rae kissed her softly again. "Just the facts. I needed you to know." The last words came in a whisper. As she moved to explore the flesh of the woman's neck with her lips as her the motion of her hand continued and slowly got closer until it finally dragged over Thea's damp curls with a slight touch.

Thea moaned and pushed forward, her body reacting unbidden. Rae increased the pressure of her touch, allowing her thumb to enter the wetness slightly as she repeated the caress again. Her own breathing got deeper as the heat pouring into her hand increased. Unable to continue the soft teasing, she slipped two fingers inside the actress and split them to rub against either side of woman's wet center with a slow steady pressure. Thea moaned deeply as she breathed in.

Revealing in the pleasure that Rae was giving her, Thea moved her own hand. Not moving to explore Rae's body, but down to meet the hand that moved against her with precision and skill.
Her mind worried what Rae's reaction to her movement would be as she interlocked her fingers with those of her dark haired lover. She gently added her own pressure to Rae's movements.

Rae moaned her approval at the move and waited to see if Thea wanted to guide both their hands. Thea slackened the pressure to let Rae know that she was still very much in charge and closing her eyes she let go of time and space to concentrate solely on the pleasure being given to her.


"Come on, we have to see day light some time today." Thea said as she pulled on the fleece top Rae had leant her before.

"Why?" Rae asked from the bed, her smile was obvious.

"Because I fancy a night on the town." Thea said returning to the bed. She leant over her lover and kissed her lightly.

"A night on the town I can do, but why do I have to move now." Rae captured Thea in her arms.

Thea leant down again and kissed Rae deeply, her tongue teasing for a moment before she pulled back.

"Because I have no clothes and I am not going to a club in a fleece!" She laughed. Rolling off the bed to pick up the pants on the floor by the bed and threw them at Rae.

"I'll give you ten minutes and then I am leaving without you." She laughed and jogged out of the room and down the stairs to wait in the newly tided lounge.


Rae smiled in appreciation as Thea turned slowly and then looked at her lover, her red-blonde head tilted slightly.

"What do you think?" The actress asked.

"It'll be great." Rae replied honestly. They had been to at least seven shops and in the end Thea had brought them back to the first one they had visited.

"It's only a night club love." Rae said as Thea nodded and slipped back into the changing cubical.

"I know but I have to look good." Thea's voice joked from within. "Can't have you ashamed of your date."

"Couldn't happen love." Rae said smirking happily. "Couldn't ever happen." She whispered softly she sat back in the chair and waited for her lover to reappear.

Continued in Act Seven...

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