After the Curtain Falls

Act Seven

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 pulled the jeep into the alleyway knowing to Thea it would seem like a blind move but she knew from experience it came out into a large parking lot that few of the out of town club goers thought to use. She pulled the jeep into a parking spot that would be easier to get out of later and with a smile she shut off the jeeps engine.

"So you ready?" She turned to Thea.

"I think so." Thea replied nervously.

"It's a great club really." Rae tried to be positive. "Just looks like a dive on the outside."

"I bet it is, I just feel a bit like a kid!" Thea replied honestly.

"You are one." Rae grinned at her, with a simple movement she got out and moved round to open Thea's door. "If you don't like it we can leave, just give the word. There are a hundred places we could go too." She needed Thea to know that nothing about the evening to come was written in stone.

"I will." Thea said as she moved to climb out.

"Good." Rae smiled and offered her hand. Thea took it and hopped down. Rae let Thea move clear and slammed the jeep door shut.

"Oh and if anyone says or looks at you anyway you don't like tell me." Rae's voice was icy and serious.

"Are they likely too?" She asked frowning gently.

"Nothing big or heavy angel." Rae lightened her tone realising the effect it had had. "Might get a few overanxious drunk admirers, but the bouncers here are really good for cleaning out the riffraff. They have a no question policy."

"I don't think I'll be the one plagued by admirers." Thea laughed gently then added in a more serious tone. "Bouncers are good."

"We'll see." Rae laughed, as she looked her up and down slowly before meeting Thea's eyes. "In that outfit I won't get a second glance." She squeezed her hand. "You look beautiful."

"Are you sure?" Thea glanced down at the outfit they had bought about two hours earlier.

"Positive." Rae confirmed.

"I feel a bit scruffy." She suggested not sure if she had used the right word.

"I'm positive." Rae repeated moving forward to give her a light kiss.

"Rae?" Thea asked reaching for Rae's hand. "Before we go in, and so I don't make an absolute fool of myself in there..." Her voice trailed off, then she made a second attempt. "How ... well ... tolerant will they be?"

"No one will even bat an eyelash." Rae smiled at her, adoring the fact that Thea was so sensitive.

"Sure?" She leaned closer.

"Positive." Rae whispered as Thea closed the distance between their lips and kissed her gently.

"Good." She whispered.

"You ready to go in?" Rae asked softly when the kiss ended. "Ready to dance up a storm?"

"Ready and waiting." Thea replied happily, ready to follow Rae to the end of the world.

"Let's go then." Rae grinned and pulled her off towards the alley. "Shortcut."

They walked through the alley and emerged onto a busy street as cars and taxis sped by.

"Good short cut." Thea looked to see the line up of people outside the club that stretched far down the street.

"Got to love it." Rae smiled at her.

"How long will we have to wait?" Thea asked happily as the approached the queue.

"I predict not long." Rae smiled at her and continued to lead her past the line. "We go VIP."

"Rae...." She started to argue then she paused hearing the VIP statement. "How?"

Rae fought with telling her directly why but decided she couldn't do it just like that.

"A friend of yours is part owner in the club." Rae stopped their walk and answered in a soft voice.

"Oh." Thea looked up in slight confusion, but then realized what her lover was telling her.

"I should have told you." Rae bit her lip, perhaps coming here had been a mistake. It was just that here she knew that Thea was guaranteed safety as well as a good time.

"No, no it's fine." The actress tried to move past her shock.

"Diversified investments." Rae smiled slightly and Thea made an attempt to return the smile.

"Apparently so." She said gently though inside she was beginning to feel that twinge of panic that had haunted her all day. Once again she was reminded of just how much she didn't know about her new lover.

"Are you upset?" Rae asked timidly.

"No, not at all." Thea said realising that Rae might be picking up on her subconscious vibes. "In fact I like perks!" She added grinning.

"Well no line is one." Rae smiled though she was not convinced that Thea was completely okay with this. She had expected at least one question on the subject. A 'hey when did you buy it?' would have put her mind at more ease. In fact anything other than straightforward acceptance would have been good.

"Rae?" Thea asked quietly as she slipped her arm through Rae's.

"Yes Thea?" Rae turned to her breaking from her previous thought, maybe she was getting a question after all.

"Has this got anything to do with Cleo?" As soon as the question left her mouth Thea regretted it. What a stupid conclusion to jump to, completely unaided. Her thoughts were reinforced when she saw Rae's face fall.

"Cleo also owns a portion." Rae admitted honestly. She knew that no matter how much talking about Cleo hurt, she couldn't hide any of it. "She's the one who named it The Asp." She added trying to make Cleo's involvement seem normal.

"I... I'm sorry." Thea apologised as Rae answered. "I had no right to ask that."

"Yes!" Rae stopped their walk again to turn and looked Thea in the eye. "Yes you did!" She assured again when Thea looked away a little almost ashamed of herself and the question. "You can ask anything Thea." Her voice was soft. "I will do my best to answer whatever you ask me."

"I can't." Thea argued. "What you own, what you don't own and who you own it with is your business Rae. After three days I can't expect the world from you."

"Angel, you didn't ask me for the books to the place." Rae tried to joke. "It was a good question, something you need to know. Almost all of my investments are partnered with Cleo's. She looks after the business side of everything. I just reap the benefits." She shrugged her shoulders at the admission. "I am a very silent partner."

"Rae, you don't have to tell me anything. You know that don't you?" The actress stressed.

"I know I don't have too." Rae confirmed. "I want to. It's hard for me Thea." She continued not knowing where she'd found the words. "But I want to tell you, all of it."

"Please, if you do, that's fine. But if you don't that's fine too." Thea needed to be understood.

"I know it is." She conceded she knew that. "You would never push, I know that."

"I love you and would love you even if I found out the most terrible thing in the world about you." The actress added with a smile and caused Rae to swallowed hard. "Truly love, I do." She whispered as she looked at Rae long and hard.

"As I love you." Rae looked back at her.

"Do you?" Thea asked her voice no louder than a breath.

"Yes." Rae whispered back. "More than anyone else in the world."

"More than you did Cleo?" Thea's green eyes burrowed hard into Rae's blue.

"Much more." Rae held her stare easily, as her words were true.

"Let's go in love, I am getting cold." Thea finally broke the stare.

"You'll warm up quick inside." Rae tried to muse as they approached the entrance. A velvet rope on all sides blocked off the large double doors to the club. Two tall, wide bouncers controlled the small one door entrance. It was an almost laughable display of force. The two men wore walkie-talkies and headsets. Thea slipped her hand into Rae's as they approached.

"Where's Peter?" Rae asked the bouncer closest to the ropes as they reached them. She didn't recognise him by sight.

"Peter's upstairs." He mumbled at her, his tone annoyed.

"Get him on the headset please." Rae began in a nice voice trying to give the guy a chance.

"Get to the end of the line like everyone else." He turned to grumble at her and pointed to the ever-growing crowd.

"When did you get hired?" Rae asked him in an icy voice. "Cause unless you want to get fired tonight I suggest you get me Peter."

"Look whoever you think you know I don't care." He stood his full height and met Rae eye to eye. "End of the line!" He barked the words at her.

Rae cast a slight smile to Thea before she turned back to him. She needed Thea to know that all of this was okay and slightly expected with a new guy on the door.

"When they hired you..." She kept her voice low and even. "I'm sure they told you the code names for the owners and their chosen guests right?"

"So what?" He turned to look at her wondering how she knew that inside information.

"Well!" She glared at him. "Why don't you say the raven has landed over that little headset of yours and see what happens?"

"The raven?" He took a deep breath as his mind recognised the name from somewhere.

"Yes, into the headset please." Rae smiled at him. Without hesitation the bouncer did as he was told. He was visibly pained when the response came back too him.

"Peter is coming right down to meet you on the first floor." He moved to open the rope for them.

"Thank you." Rae said and patted him on the shoulder. "Good job by the way. Ready angel?" She turned back to Thea as the barrier into the club fell.

Thea nodded mutely. She glanced at the bouncer and then Rae, over and over for a moment.

"Good." She squeezed Thea's hand and led her up the stairs inside the door to the first floor.


The entrance was draped in velvet curtains, leading into a long rectangular room, with windows wrapping two sides of it. Several pool tables littered the floor, and myriad of circular leather booths filled most of the remaining space. Thea walked beside Rae looking everywhere, soaking up the ambience and the smells. Against one wall was a long bar, specialising in martinis. A Sinatra song played all around, channelled through a number of speakers at a comfortable talking level.

"So what do you think?" Rae asked as she led Thea towards the back and an empty table. The room was about half full.

"It's different to how I expected." Thea said honestly.

"How so?" Rae asked curious.

"No flashing lights and loud bass line." She explained with a smile.

"Second and third floor." Rae pointed back towards the stairs. "We can head up there whenever you want."

"Ah." Thea paused. "This is very nice. Can we stay here for a while?" She slipped onto a leather seat.

"We can stay wherever you like angel." Rae slipped in beside her.

"This has a nice feel to it." Thea said gently, smiling happily.

"Here comes Peter." Rae suddenly announced as she rolled her eyes at the young man walking towards them. He was shorter than Rae was with blue hair and bright silver pants. Rae slid her hand over Thea's thigh and whispered as the man finished his approach. "Very nice feel indeed."

"Raven!" His voice boomed. "You should have phoned ahead I would have met you at the door."

Thea sat back a little, happy to watch their interaction.

"Wanted to check out the system Peter." She commented in a disinterested tone.

"Is Cleo with you?" He asked looking around.

"No." Rae answered him in a dry tone.

"Oh good my champagne supply is much too low for her arrival." He laughed at his own joke. Thea watched silently noting both the joke and Rae's reaction to the topic. "But seriously..." He sat down without asking at the other end of the booth. "You here for business or pleasure?" He looked visibly worried.

"Totally pleasure Peter." Rae replied.

"Good, good." He cast a sideways glance at Thea. "I'm Peter." He reached out and offered his hand.

"Estell." Thea shook it.

"Estell." He nodded. "Consider Asp your new second home, as any guest of Raven's has the run of the place."

"Thank you, it looks an impressive place to have as a second home." She said politely.

"Thank you." He nodded again habitually. "So Raven?" He turned back to her. "I'll set you both up at the bar right away, all floors?" He questioned to keep from getting himself in trouble.

"Yeah, clear all floors." Her voice was emotionless it was obvious to Thea that Rae was tiring of this conversation.

"Good, good." He looked back to wink at Thea. "Hope you don't drink like the Raven cause I was hoping to make a profit tonight."

Thea watched Rae closely, she flashed her attention briefly to Peter when he asked her a question.

"No, but I hope you have good dance floors. I may dance so hard I damage them." She tried to hold a charming smile.

"Best in the city." He grinned back. "I like her Raven." Rae shot nothing but ice back at him. "I bet Cleo approves." He winked at her.

Rae moved on him in a shot before she could even talk herself out of it. One hand went to his throat as she dragged him up out of his seat. Suddenly realising what she had done she promptly dropped him.

"Rae? Rae!" Thea hissed soothingly as she placed a hand on Rae's arm.

"Just set up the bar tab Peter and call off the goons." She knew before she looked that the bouncers were on their way to the table.

"It's all good, all good." Peter put his hands up in surrender and waved off the big boys in black. "You have a good night Raven, I've gotta look after your investment." He smiled at her and dashed away trying not to look scared.

Rae slowly came to feel the soft hand on her arm.

"Sorry, I just..." She turned slowly to look down at Thea in the booth, not knowing how to explain herself.

"It's okay love." Thea said softly. "Sit down, it's okay." Rae to her own surprise, promptly did what she was told. "Are you all right?" She kept her hand where it was.

"Yeah." Rae tried to focus on the feeling of the hand on her arm. "I just..." She tried to explain her unexplainable actions but couldn't find the words to say 'I wanted to rip his throat out and the truth is Thea I could'.

"You just got cross." Thea gently interjected. "That's okay love." She was reluctant to move off the subject. Rae's violent reaction had surprised her and she wanted to at least acknowledge it.

"But I shouldn't have went after him." Rae admitted softly.

"Maybe not. But the fact you sat down and let it go, tells me that you were in control." Thea reasoned gently. "So do you think a girl could get a dry martini on the rocks?"

"I'll just be a minute." She turned to smile at the small woman who she was sure was probably petrified of her at this point. Thea gave her a smile of her own before leaning back a little. "Be right back." She slipped off towards the bar in a confident stride.


Rae walked slowly through the growing crowd to the table balancing the martini in one hand and a double bailey's in the other.

"One dry martini for the gorgeous lady." She said in a light loving voice trying to erase the moments past.

"Why thank you!" Thea smiled brightly.

Rae placed the drinks on the table and took her seat again after much contemplation on whether to sit beside the actress or on the other side. Thea's smile told her to take her original spot.

"You're welcome." She nodded and took a sip of her drink.

"You have a fascinating range of patrons." Thea commented reaching out for her drink.

"Yes." Rae took a glance around. "It runs the gamut really."

"It has a nice atmosphere." Thea agreed sipping her martini. "Have you had it long?"

"Just over a year." Rae watched the swelling crowd. "Wait till you see the patio, it's my favourite floor."

"Changed it much?" Thea asked keeping her voice and tone light.

"Sorta." Rae laughed. "It used to be an advertising firm's head office, Peter came to us to pitch the club idea."

"Wow." Thea was genuinely impressed. "I wouldn't have thought he had it in him."

"He's got quite the head for this really." Rae winked. "Just sometimes he forgets that club life rules don't apply 24/7."

"So you like him rather than loathe him huh?" Thea appraised hopefully.

"Yeah." Rae smiled back.

"Can I ask you one question about this whole situation?" Thea asked looking into her glass, swilling the ice around.

"Of course." Rae tried to keep the smile on her face. "Anything."

"Why take all the crap you get as a lighting director if you are part owner of the biggest club in town?" Thea picked up he glass and swallowed, her eyes looking for Rae's.

"Cause I love the job." Rae spoke softly and held her eyes. "I love taking nothing but a bunch of knotted wires and a few light bulbs and changing the entire mood of a play."

Thea held the look for a long moment and then looked away

"Must be an impressive few light bulbs!" She said brightly.

"And because it gives me the chance to just be me." Rae turned to look in her own glass. "Without everyone worried about what I own." The two sat in silence for a moment.

"Have you ever thought of having a floor with a live band? You know a little instrumental quartet?" The actress questioned suddenly. The truth was Thea wasn't comfortable talking about money and assets with Rae, not yet.

"Live band eh?" Rae looked at her and thought about the suggestion. "That would probably work great on the patio."

"Oh yes a piano, an oboe, perhaps a session singer. That kind of thing." The actress mused as her mind wandered.

"That sounds great." Rae nodding loving the idea.

"Call me old fashioned but I love the sound of a voice and a piano, lots of cigar smoke." Thea grinned. "Bit like the set of Casablanca!"

"Cigar smoke eh?" Rae raised a surprised eyebrow.

"Or a pipe, one better!" She laughed and the technician laughed with her. "Then again perhaps I am just a sad stage actress who should have stared in black and white romance movies!"

"Well technically there is a no-smoking ban in Toronto." She motioned to the crowd around them. "But as you can see it's not really enforceable."

"I think whole city bans are a little silly." She said absently as she glanced around.

"You would be beautiful in black and white." Rae remarked in a soft tone.

"With Humphry Bogart trying to kiss my hand." Thea laughed out loud, truly appreciating the comment. She reached out her hand towards Rae in classic style.

"Lucky man." Rae smiled and took her hand gracefully in her own and kissed the back of it lightly. Thea smiled and pulled it back.

"At this point in the movie I would burst into tears and tell you 'it would never work' and dash out of the door." She bubbled. "And you would take a puff of your cigar, turn to the pianist and say..."

"Think we could re-write?" Rae asked taking a strong slug of her drink and watched Thea burst out laughing. "I swear that's what he said."

"Close I guess." Thea laughed and drank more of her martini.

"Well I always thought he was a fool for going back to the pianist when the girl had fled." Rae laughed.

"True. So you are telling me that instead of saying 'Play it again Sam' he actually said, 'write it again man'." Thea enjoyed the sound of laughter on Rae's lips.

"It's all in the sound editing!" Rae continued to laugh.

"You mean one of the most famous lines in the world was just badly dubbed?" Thea loved the banter of such relaxed conversation.

"Sssssh." Rae looked around playfully. "It's a trade secret."

Thea let impulsive overtake her and edged forward to kiss Rae.

"I love you." She slipped back into her place after the contact.

"I love you too." Rae smiled brighter than ever before.

"So what's you're favourite film?" Thea asked, sitting back and nursing her glass. Rae slipped her arm around the back of the booth cradling Thea's shoulders lightly.

"My favourite film?" Rae stopped to think for a minute. "That would, that would be..." She tried to think of something that would seem more appropriate but one choice kept repeating in her head. Thea drank a few more sips, looking intently at her lover. "The Wizard of Oz." She finally gave voice to the honest answer.

"Really?" Thea found herself as always amazed by the woman she'd fallen in love with.

"Yes really!" Rae nodded back shyly. "I know that's not the first one you think of when you see me."

"I spent the whole of my life from age two to six wanting to be Toto!"

"Toto?" Rae questioned.

"Oh yes, all my friends wanted to be Dorothy!"

"And you didn't want to be like everyone else." Rae spoke the words not so much as a question but as a statement.

"Who were you?" Thea asked eagerly.

"I was the tin man." Rae said softly.

"The perfect choice." Thea leaned up and kissed Rae gently on the cheek. Rae just smiled enjoying the gentle kiss.

"Hi. Do you need any drinks?" A bubbly waitress with short brown hair came up to the table. Thea stopped gazing at Rae and looked down at her nearly empty glass

"Another round please." Rae requested finishing her own drink. "And four of the floor special shots." She winked at Thea with a grin.

"Thank you darling." Thea blushed, suddenly realising what she had said.

"Coming right up." The waitress nodded and moved off towards the bar.

"I'm sorry." Thea apologised immediately.

"Why?" Rae turned to her.

"For calling you darling." Thea's blush spread.

"Why sorry?" Rae questioned further and gave her shoulder a loving squeeze.

"Well you might hate it." Thea explained. Rae studied the blush that had crept up Thea's face.

"Humm let me think." Rae leaned over unable to resist and kissed Thea's cheek softly. "Nope, I like it, any other reasons?"

"No." Thea replied cooling down a bit. "Apart from it was very forward of me. It was all that talk of old movies you see."

"Too bad." Rae grinned at her mischievously. " I was hoping I'd get to kiss you more."

"Since when did you need a reason to do that?" She asked teasingly.

"Hummm." Rae pretended to consider the comment. "Guess never." She smiled and moved slowly to kiss her.

"I like that guess." Thea whispered.

"So do I." Rae whispered before kissing her again.

"But I suppose there has to be a limit!" Thea pulled back after a long time.

"Does there?" Rae asked still leaned in close but waiting for an answer before she moved.

"Yes, as we are in a public place we should limit ourselves." Thea smiled and leaned a little closer to Rae.

"For the first time I'm happy to say." Rae grinned and leaned a little closer. "This is not a public place, I'm part owner."

"Does that give you special measures?" She asked her voice deep as she raised a hand to Rae's cheek.

"Um hum." Rae murmured in a low tone.

"Like?" Thea growled.

"Well if you didn't want this to be a public place anymore I could have everyone cleared out and shut it down for the night." Rae gave the suggestion in a sultry tone.

"That's a little extreme love, I was thinking more along the lines of private room. An office maybe, for later." The actress held the short distance between them.

"Private room is just in the back." Rae winked at her. "That was going to be my second suggestion."

"I like suggestion two. Don't forget it!" Thea laughed but made it a deep sexy one.

"Suggestion two it is then." Rae nodded.

"Here come the drinks!" Thea sat back a bit smiling at the waitress. Rae reluctantly sat back and looked up the woman.

"Sorry." She apologised for interrupting and quickly moved to lay the drinks and shots on the table in front of them. Thea watched the young girl's actions and then turned her attention back to Rae.

"No worries, thank you." Rae laughed and turned back to Thea. "You ready for a shot love?"

"What is it?" Thea eyed the glass and Rae suspiciously.

"It's called a broken down golf cart." Rae grinned knowing the bright green colour of the milky shot would be causing the question. "Don't ask where the name comes from as I have no idea."

"And it is made of?" Thea asked taking a glass.

"Creme du Mint and Bailey's." Rae picked up one of the shots. "It's actually quite tasty."

"The name probably comes from the fact that it is green."

"Probably." Rae shrugged with a laugh.

"Well a broken down golf cart would be stranded on the green!" She laughed and sniffed the drink.

"Oh God!" Rae laughed so hard she had to put the drink down as bit of it ran over her fingers. "Never thought of that!" Thea watched Rae laugh delighted. She beamed happily. "A toast!" Rae finally got her laughing under control and picked the drink up again with sticky fingers.

"To what?" Thea raised her glass like wise.

"To angels on earth." Rae said with a soft loving smile.

"To angels on earth." Thea agreed. "Down in one?" She added nervously.

"Of course." Rae nodded.

"Ready?" She tipped her glass to touch Rae's.

"Steady!" Rae clinked them together. "Go!"

Thea tipped the contents of the small glass into her mouth, paused briefly before swallowing and then coughed slightly as she put the glass down. Rae brought the shot glass to her mouth and swallowed the shot in one gulp, licking her lips.

"So what do you think?" Rae asked as she put the glass down.

"Not bad." Thea nodded actually tasting the drink then.

"Wait till we hit the second floor." Rae smiled. "You'll love the oatmeal cookies."

"If you say so." Thea frowned gently.

"What's wrong?" Rae asked seeing the change in her face.

"Just remember what a mess I made of your carpet." Thea's thoughts were more on her behaviour at the party though.

"Oh angel." Rae smiled softly at her. "Don't even think about that, carpets can always be cleaned and..." She lowered her voice. "And misunderstanding's can always be straightened out as long as we are willing to try."

"Are you sure? If I do anything embarrassing just throw a bucket of water over me. It usually helps." Her smile returned as bright as before. "Though in this top." She looked down at the thin material. "That might not be a good idea."

"Maybe later then eh?" Rae grinned at her licking the spilt drink from her fingers.

"Maybe." Thea agreed.

"You ready for the next one?" Rae teased.

"Why not?" Thea challenged.

"Just what I like to hear." Rae picked up one of two remaining shots and handed it to her. "I think this toast is up to you." She commented as Thea took the glass and looked at the thick green liquid.

"Okay, well how about a song quote?" Thea smiled.

"Always good." Rae agreed.

"Or maybe a movie quote." Thea contemplated. "Or even poetry?"

"Whatever strikes you angel." Rae encouraged.

Thea continued her eyes glazing happily. Rae held her stare at the actress completely contented.

"How about?" Thea prepared to quote one of her old movies. "To all the men I've loved before..." She smiled. "And the woman I love now." Adding her own ending to the old quote.

"To the woman I love now." Rae repeated the end purposely leaving out the beginning.

"A fair enough interpretation." Thea appraised before touching glasses and downing the drink. Rae watched her tip the glass up before doing the same. Thea heavy handily put the glass on the table. Rae enjoyed the familiar taste of the sludgy green liquid sliding down her throat. She placed the second shot glass to balance upside down on the first.

"I always knock them over." Thea admitted looking at the mini sculpture.

"Just a habit from university." Rae smiled back.

"The local one, yes?" Thea asked.

"Very local." Rae laughed. "It's about five blocks north east. University of Toronto actually."

"Great place for a Uni."

"Right in the middle of the city." Rae agreed. "It's got a good Theatre program."

"If I had known I would have checked it out!" She grinned.

Rae caught the waitress' attention and signalled for four more shots and mouthed what type she wanted.

"So tell me about the next floor up, I take it we are just making our way upwards."

"Whenever you like angel." Rae began. "The second floor is the so called alternative floor."

"Okay, so that would have alternative music?" Thea offered.

"Yes classic alternative." Rae laughed when she realised her omission. "Walls are painted black mostly, risers and such against one wall for the more adventurous dancers and strange glow in the dark paintings."

"Well for a second I was wondering what kind of club this was!" Thea laughed.

The waitress arrived and managed to slip the shots on the table gracefully before sliding away.

"You scampy!" Rae laughed and shook her head. "Ready for the next round?" She moved the shots to line up in front of them.

"Are you trying to get me drunk?" Thea asked reaching for a glass.

"Not if you don't want to be." Rae offered in a serious voice.

"Well, if you know a good hang over cure fine, next round it is. If not, I have a matinee tomorrow!" The actress smirked.

"Well that would depend on what you thought of the one I had this morning." Rae grinned unable to resist the comment.

"Oh that one was great but I didn't make it out of bed until two thirty!" She couldn't help but remind her lover, though she doubted that Rae needed any reminding.

"Very true." Rae conceded.

"So you have any others?"

"Lots of water when we get home and Tylenol." Rae offered.

"And what?" Thea asked as she had never really been a sickly person and wasn't at all in with any kind of medication.

"Tylenol." Rae smiled. "Headache medicine."

"Oh right, like Nurofen?" She asked with a smile.

"Nurofen?" Rae asked confused.

"Headache pills, English version!" Thea laughed.

"Oh!" Rae laughed back and nodded.

"And this works does it?" She didn't want to spoil the evening but she had two performances to think about.

"I find it does, but you might not want to take chances." Rae conceded.

"Well just two more." Thea smiled. "I believe the toast is yours!"

"Okay maybe we should spread them out then." Rae suggested.

"No, why the hell shouldn't I live a little!" She exclaimed as the atmosphere and music seeped into her.

"That's the spirit." Rae smiled and handed her a shot. "My toast then." She thought trying to find another one. "A toast to not being hung over in the morning regardless of how much we drink!"

"Indeed!" Thea agreed. Rae moved to clink their glasses and then downed the thick three-layer drink. Thea downed the drink in record time.

"These are my favourites," Rae commented as she licked her lips.

"What..." Thea coughed. "Was it?"

"B52!" Rae grinned.

"Oh good and what was in that?" Thea looked at the empty glass.

"Top layer is Grand Marnier." Rae began. "Middle is Baileys and the bottom is Kaluha."

Rae placed the glass right side up atop the small stack she'd started.

"Nice." Thea licked her lips and pushed her glass over to Rae's. "Here you go, have mine." She moved her other two empties over

"Okay." Rae placed the glasses upside down to follow the pattern. The structure sat almost as tall as the technician did.

"So we downing this one and then going on up?" Thea asked taking the next shot glass.

"Sounds like a plan to me." Rae picked up her own shot. "Your toast."

"To matinees and lunch dates!" She wrinkled her nose.

"To matinees and lunch dates." Rae repeated trying to keep the confusion out of her voice she wasn't sure what had really prompted Thea to make the reference.

"So you know I will be missing you tomorrow. I knew on the rotation you weren't lighting me." Thea downed her drink before she explained. "It hadn't made a difference before yesterday." She knew it had made a small difference as she'd always been studying the schedule to see when the tall beauty would be working if only for the hopes of something like yesterday happening.

"They'll be following my directions." The techie offered placing the glass in its place on the stack. Thea held her glass out to be added as well.

"I know." She said gently. Instead of taking the glass Rae put her hand on Thea's and gently guided it over to the stack. "I'll knock them over." She warned.

"Not if you believe you won't." Rae slowly guided her hand closer. "I believe you can do it."

Thea let her fear disappear as she felt her hand melt into Rae's. With a gentle clink the shot glass was placed atop the others but even then Rae didn't take her hand away.

"See you can do anything you put your mind too."

Thea wasn't really aware of anything until she felt Rae's hand pull back slightly and she found herself staring at the perfectly balanced glass. She heard Rae's voice and found herself smiling

"With you, maybe I can." Thea breathed.

"No angel." Rae spoke in a serious voice. "With or without me you can do anything. The only thing that can ever hold you back is believing you can't."

Thea said nothing and hated her mind for screaming at her. For though she wanted to believe Rae, she simply couldn't.

"Time to move upstairs." She said brightly making a move to stand.

"Ready to dance are you?" Rae stood up quickly.

"Ready to rock and roll!" Thea agreed. "I will follow you." She reached out her hand to the raven-haired beauty.

Rae took it happily having been a heartbeat away from offering her own.

"Onwards and upwards." She laughed.

"To the second floor." Rae laughed and made her way through the crowd being sure to block enough of a path for Thea as well. When they reached the stairs it was less crowded, but she held the blonde's hand and continued upwards until they reached the doorway to the dance floor on the second level.

The dance floor was busy and the standing area around the bars were a constant change of people getting drinks, chatting and dropping off empty glasses.

"So what do you think?" Rae turned to ask as they entered.

"Busy." Speaking loudly above the loud music in the background, Thea gave her honest first impression. "But it looks great!" As soon as Thea heard the rhythmic base line she felt herself moving slightly to the beat. She smiled happily at Rae.

"Wait till you see the third floor." Rae smiled back.

"I can hardly do so!" Thea found herself moving subconsciously to the beat. "Do you think we can find room on the floor?" She asked nodding to the crowded floor.

"Oh yeah, come on." Rae squeezed her hand and led her off towards the dancing area.

Thea followed happily as they moved, weaving through the dancing patrons till they reached an open area near the middle of the floor off to one side. As they reached the spot Rae turned and smiled at her.

"Very nicely done." Thea appraised impressed.

"Just lucky." Rae grinned back.

"And remember don't laugh at my dancing!" Thea's brain began to automatically learn the beat and move her body with it.

Rae began to dance herself. She was familiar with the song and so she subconsciously began to sing along though her voice was lost in the music.

"Same courtesy." Rae nodded back at her. "Though for the record you look great."

"You too." She closed her eyes and lost herself in the song. Thea was aware that this was the danger with bringing her to a nightclub. She tended to get lost in the music and the dancing and become pretty unsociable.

Rae danced along though her main focus was Thea and her every movement. It was easy to tell how much the actress enjoyed the music.

'Then again.' Thea found herself reflecting. 'When have you ever been to a nightclub with someone like this? Who makes you feel this way?'

Rae smiled to herself as she watched Thea's body turn gently to the beat of the song. Her heart and body both glad just to be sharing the same space as the young woman. Glad to watch her enjoy the dancing. Glad to be able to witness the real 'star'.

Thea smiled as thoughts of Rae penetrated the usual wall of music. She opened her eyes to see where the other woman was in relations to her. As Thea opened her eyes, the music melted into an even faster song, marked by heavy guitar breaks and a woman yelling lyrics. Rae had moved closer long before the crowd had closed in on them. Thea smiled and moved even closer as she felt the crowd swell behind them.

Noticing the change in the crowd, Rae moved part of her attention to the growing throng. She knew how easy it was to have unwanted interruptions in this sort of setting and she vowed to herself to get any such things under control long before Thea could notice. As she examined the crowd her eyes fell upon a young man dressed in black as he turned in his dance and his focus fell on the petite blonde.

On the other hand seeing Rae close to her made Thea relax again and she threw herself into an energetic interpretation of the song oblivious to Rae's change. Rae slowed her movement into something more deliberate and waited to catch his eye. The young man looked up from his appraisal of the young actress and came into the stare of the tall woman's icy blue eyes. Rae slowly shook her head quite against the best of the music. It was obvious that the man had not come out to make enemies that evening as he put up his hands in surrender and he turned back without missing a beat in the music.

Thea opened her eyes again and gave Rae a charming smile. Rae let herself relax back into the song as she smiled back at the actress. She could feel her adrenaline kicking in as the music flowed eloquently into the next track. She could feel the flush on her body, and the sweat forming lightly on her brow. The young actress loved this kind of nightlife. She had missed it.

The DJ mixed the next song into the ending of the last without a flaw and the room was filled with the thumping of a loud drum beat mixed with the oddity of extra loud strings. The desperate poetry like lyrics of the lead singer came in blurted words over the music and was almost lost within the song. Rae ran her hands through her hair to brush it off her face as she put more effort into her dancing.

The movement of Rae's hands caught Thea's attention. She moved closer to Rae, and ran a hand down the front of her top very lightly, keeping to the rhythm of the song. She stopped at her trouser top.

Rae kept dancing as she locked eyes with Thea waiting for the small woman's next move. Thea judged the beat of the song, and then slid her hand round the back of Rae's leather pants and boldly stroked her ass in rhythm. Moving her whole body lower as she did so.

Rae kept up her movements as she followed Thea with her eyes. With the hand moving against her ass she could no longer blame the cramped quarters of the dance floor for her rising temperature. Thea smiled as she pulled back her hand and ran it over her own body, twisting sensually as she danced. Thea fixed her eyes on Rae's excited blue orbs.

Rae realised that she'd become locked in her spot and that the majority of her movement was coming from her hips and upper body. Thea continued to twist and move, her hands moving lightly over her body, touching it now and again. Rae just danced on mesmerised by Thea's movements, she unconsciously moved closer without hindering the gorgeous woman's dance.

Thea danced closer still, slipping an arm around Rae's waist and grinding her hips against her. Meshing satin with leather as she kissed Rae brashly on the lips and then pushing herself away from Rae with a spin.

Rae didn't know how she danced on as Thea had her senses and mind going at light speed. Thea watched as Rae's eyes sparkled. She sauntered rhythmically back to the other woman. Rae's mind reeled. If she'd ever doubted it before, it was obvious to her now that this woman owned her body and soul. Thea's body was getting hotter, her pulse raced. She reached up and wrapped an arm around Rae's neck, deliberately resting her fingers near to Rae's pulse point.

"Feeling hot?" She whispered as Rae came closer to her.

"Oh you know I am!" Rae growled back.

Thea lowered her other hand to stroke the leather covering Rae's thigh.

"Need a drink to cool off?" Thea teased.

Rae let her hands go to Thea's waist as the woman's small hands went up from Rae's neck up and into her hair

"Why would I want to cool off?" Rae asked pulling her closer as they danced against one another.

"No idea." Thea hissed and moved the hand on Rae's thigh in slightly, pressing against more sensitive flesh. As she weaved against her tall lover. Rae took a sharp breath at the movement of Thea's hand. Thea was completely oblivious to the others in the room this was all about Rae and her. Nothing else. No one else. She moved her hand upwards across Rae's black body suit her fingers enjoying the feel of heated body beneath the fabric. Rae slipped her hands down over the satin pants to pull Thea's hips closer to her still. Thea loved the strength with which Rae held her, she could feel the sheer power and energy from her lover through this the merest of touches.

As the last song merged effortlessly with the next, Thea decided to make touching Rae a priority with the new rhythm. Rae danced on as the song merged, her only goal as the rhythm that bounced through the floor into them changed was to be as close as possible to Thea for every note. Thea felt a bolt of passion as she realised that Rae was working on a similar premise to herself. Her hands touched Rae's body on her arms, her stomach her legs. Light touches all rhythmically perfect, each one heated and meaningful.

Rae began to let her hands move freely, covering more and more of Thea as she moved to the music. Thea loved the way Rae moved and she felt herself feeling rather than watching each new move her partner made. Rae felt everything but the woman she wanted and the music drop away as she moved without thought and did nothing but feel. The thumping under her feet and within her chest were almost in unison. The light touches of Thea's hand and the press of other parts of her body made Rae shiver. A thin layer of sweet sweat began building on her from the rising temperature and the exertion.

Thea could feel her body switching into the new but oh so familiar pattern of matching Rae's every move. She began to feel her body reacting to the dance in deeper ways.

"I love you." She moved as close as she could to Rae's ear and whispered. Thea circled her hips on Rae's leg, her hands on Rae's body. With the heat from them soaking through Thea felt they must be searing a mark onto Rae's body beneath the thin fabric. For a moment she thought about moving back.

"I love you." Rae leaned down to look Thea in the eye as her hands went to the slender woman's waist. As soon as Thea heard and felt Rae's response she forgot all thoughts about moving away and instead moved her hands higher and fitted her body into its usual place in front of Rae as when they embraced. Rae drew the slight body as close as possible lifting her slightly off the ground, but keeping the dance going despite the change in position.

Unable to resist Rae any longer Thea kissed the taller woman heatedly on the lips, forgetting for a brief moment that they were in a bustling nightclub surrounded by strangers. Rae kissed her back, her only thoughts were of Thea and the contact between them.

Thea opened her mouth hungrily, overwhelmed by the moment. Rae groaned into the invitation and moved to explore Thea's mouth with insatiable want. It was only when Thea felt a hand on her satin trousers that she knew she should break the kiss. If she didn't stop this soon she wouldn't be able to stop it at all.

Rae found herself unprepared for the break, but grinned at Thea's move and kept dancing. Thea looked at Rae her head tilted slightly, then moved away, with a glance over her shoulder through the crowds of people. Thea located the bar in her mind as she turned and grinned at Rae again.

Rae moved quickly and with great purpose to follow her young lover. The actress waved and slipped under the arm of another dancer. She moved past person after person quickly and nimbly. Rae controlled her feelings of initial worry as the crowd threatened to swallow Thea's path. But she kept a steady confident pace and the dancers almost knew to leave her room lest she topple them over in her wake.

It was only as Thea slipped past two very tall dancers right at the edge of the floor that she realised she may well be losing sight of her lover. She turned looking around for Rae.

By this time Rae had decided everything was quite safe and so she decided to have her own fun. She kept an eye on the small actress as she side-stepped off the path. Quickly her long legs carried her around the crowds, approaching Thea from behind.

"Looking for me?" Her hot breath whispered into Thea's ear in a low tone. Thea jumped a little and whirled around. She hugged the other woman tight.

"All my life I have been." Thea whispered and was happy when Rae hugged her back.

"Me too." Rae added holding her close.

"Drink? Or up a floor?" She questioned.

"Why don't we get a drink up there?" Rae tried to compromise.

"Now that's a good idea." Thea slipped her hand into Rae's. "Lead on love."

Rae just smiled and moved on towards the stairwell. She breathed deep in the cooler air that waited in the large open staircase. Urgently she led Thea up the two flights to the third floor.

The minute they reached the third floor landing, the thick pumping baseline of the music could be felt even more than it could be heard. The glow of the various neon signs that decorated the walls gave the air an electric quality. A thin layer of artificial smoke covered the dancers and above them a laser show added atmosphere.

To the immediate right of the doorway was a small bar, while a longer version lay against the left wall halfway into the room. The dance floor was a jumbled mash of twisting bodies as the large crowd drank and danced.

Rae guided Thea over to the smaller bar to the right. Thea watched and listened, absorbing as much as she could, her body familiarising itself with the new base line.

"What would you like?" Rae asked trying to be heard over the music.

"Water." Thea replied. "For now."

"One water." Rae still held Thea's hand as she moved them in closer to the bar. "Two waters and two zambuccas." She gave her order to the busy bartender. The woman tending bar was a flash of tattoos and piercings as she moved to do her job. Thea glanced from the server to Rae to the dance floor and back again. She glanced at her watch and angled it up to the nearest light source.

"One water for the lady." Rae handed her the large plastic glass. Thea took it with her right hand and took a sip, before lowering her watch and then taking a longer drink. "So what time is it?" She asked noticing the move.

"A quarter after eleven." Thea relayed lowering her drink. "How you doing?" She asked, looking at Rae for signs of tiredness.

"Having the best time." Rae kissed her impulsively. It was only a brief contact but she hoped it would show that she really was enjoying herself. Thea loved the brief contact with Rae's lips and she gave the Canadian a smile.

"Good!" She said sincerely. "Me too." She drank more of her water and watched the dancers.

"You sure you're not up for a drink?" Rae asked holding the two shots in one hand. "No pressure but I wanted to offer before I did."

"Hey, I intend to match you all the way." Thea grinned holding out her hand. "Want to test your hang over cure." Rae raised her eyebrow as she handed the black shot over to her. "What is my poison this time?" The actress asked looking down.

"Zambucca!" Rae let the word roll off her tongue.

"Details?" Thea asked holding up the dark drink.

"That's it, that's all." She laughed. "That's the name of the alcohol it tastes like black liquorice."

"Liquorice? I hate the stuff!" Thea laughed gently.

"I can get you something else." Rae suggested.

"To liquorice!" Thea loudly tapped her glass against Rae's. Rae watched as Thea downed the drink regardless of hating it. Thea made an 'ugh' sound, and shivered. "It was great!" She managed a smile.

Rae laughed and downed her own shot, the hard taste of it made her take a deep breath as the liquorice caused her throat to tingle.

"Got to have at least one Zambucca." Rae moved closer to her lover. "Especially just to find this out." She moved to kiss her without warning. She licked her tongue over Thea's lips to show her the secret. They both now tasted solely of liquorice.

"Am I going to taste like this forever?" Thea laughed.

"No, not too long." Rae laughed back.

"Does it wear off quicker if you kiss me?" The actress asked with a wry smile.

"Yes, it does!" Rae smiled. "You want it to wear off quicker?"

"Yes please!" Thea's response was eager.

"My pleasure." She abandoned her water and the empty shot glass on the bar. She moved to take Thea's face into her hands as she kissed her slow and deep. Thea had to remember to keep a hold of both of her glasses as she felt herself weaken under Rae's mouth. "Is it gone yet?" The technician moved back a fraction after some time to question in a soft voice.

"Not quite." Thea whispered breathlessly. "But hold on a second." She put her glasses down on the bar and slipped her arms around Rae's waist.

"Okay, try again!" She requested gently.

"My pleasure." Rae moved in again to kiss her in the same soft manner. Taking the time to enjoy the taste and feel of the woman in her arms.

Thea lost herself for a moment before breaking the kiss. Rae moved back a little and turned back to her water. The two stood drinking for a moment before Rae watched the crowd swell up in anticipation as the first notes of a Latin beat pounded through the dance floor. Thea listened to the first three notes of the new song and then pulled Rae's hand. Everyone knew the song even before the deep calls of the lead singer rippled ahead of the pulsing background of the high tempo music.

"Come on, come on!" Thea raved.

"Lead on." Rae laughed and let herself be pulled out on the floor.

Thea found a niche fairly central to the dance floor, by the time the song had really got going.

"You can samba can't you?" She asked as she let go of Rae and began to move her body.

"I can what?" Rae questioned, pretty sure she couldn't.

"Samba!" Thea arched her back and danced a little off to the left with careful and precise foot movements.

"Nope." Rae moved to the fast beat as best as she could. "Think you can teach me?" She asked watching Thea's complicated movements both amazed and intimidated.

"My pleasure!" Thea grinned taking Rae's hand. "Ready?" She listened to the song's progress.

"Ready?" The tall woman tried to figure out what she was going to have to do.

"Just follow my movements and mirror me." Thea explained moving Rae's hand gently to the music.

"Okay lead on." Rae smiled.

With the start of the next bar, Thea stepped foot over foot to the left for a count of five and then pulled Rae forward slightly so that she could lean back. Then she straightened and moved back foot over foot to her starting place. Rae tried to keep up, knowing she'd missed the foot movements slightly though she enjoyed the dip. Thea then repeated the whole set of moves but this time going to the right.

"Okay?" Thea asked as they made the return.

"I think I might have it." Rae had studied the movement and broken it down into the easiest parts.

"So this time hold me close, right here." Thea took Rae's hands and put them on her hips.

"Like this part." Rae growled.

"Then I put my hands here." Thea continued putting both hands flat on Rae's chest. In her mind Rae hoped the DJ was playing the extended version of the song, she wanted this to go on for ever.

"Like that too!" Rae winked at her.

"Just wait till the chorus!" Thea promised and Rae laughed.

The chorus started and Thea pulled Rae to a stand still and ran her hands down the front of Rae's body. Going down to the floor, and then back up, moving her hands in time to the music.

"Okay love the chorus." Rae grinned and closed her eyes briefly.

"This is where it gets tricky." She said as the tempo of the chorus built. Thea suddenly stood up, took one of Rae's hands and curled it round her waist. She then twirled out from Rae's body and then back in.

Rae managed to follow this movement better than the others, little more familiar with this bit. Thea then ground her body into Rae's before repeating the curl and twirl to the other side. Rae met the move with her own body.

"You're a natural! Now we just put it all together and improvise with a few Latin high kicks, and we are well away." The actress beamed.

"No problem." Rae laughed. She tried to keep all of the steps straight in her mind. A task made a little harder by the sudden strike of all the alcohol she'd downed in the last hour. However she smiled as she closed her eyes and let herself feel the music and the proximity of the actress so close to her now. Opening them again she glanced at the rest of the dancers, some following the samba and others just going with their own interpretation. Rae watched attentively, waiting for the right time to try out what she'd learned.

"You lead I'll try to follow." Rae suggested.

"You're suppose to do that, I taught you the mans part!" Thea smiled gently.

"Oh!" Rae laughed. "Okay lets see then." She took a deep breath and moved closer to
Thea, placing her hands as she'd been instructed. "How's this?" She questioned.

"Great so far." Thea whispered holding Rae close.

"So we start going to the right yes?" Rae heard the approaching repeat in the song. Thea nodded, resting her head against Rae's body. "Here we go." Rae held her tight and began the steps to the right, before bringing them back to the start and then heading to the left concentrating on the feeling of Thea against her. To her surprise the steps seemed to come naturally.

Thea moved with Rae, with ease and pure enjoyment. The couple soon returned to the middle position and Rae waited remembering this was Thea's time to lead. Thea heard the music change and then worked her hands over Rae's body trying to be rhythmical, rather than erotic. She failed and had to concentrate hard to steady her mind.

Rae's breathing stilled as Thea went through the movement. She tried to remind herself that it was only a dance, but the response inside had nothing to do with dancing.

Thea moved back up to stand. Rae moved to take her hand and start the twirl portion she'd been taught. As Thea moved out she felt the blood rush through her ears, her body was on fire and she knew that she had to do something about it, soon.

Rae let Thea spin out with a tight but gentle grip on her hand, before pulling her back into a tight embrace. The growling want inside her was getting to be too much, she knew they either had to slow this down or do something about it as soon as possible.

"Rae?" Thea hissed as she clung to the woman's body. "Do you have a 'little room' on this level?" She concentrated hard on her words.

"Yes in the back." Rae growled.

"Could we?" Thea asked, moving her lower body against Rae's in the rhythm of the song.

"Please!" Rae tried to keep the beg out of her voice. "This way." She stopped the dancing to take Thea's hand, leading her through the crowd towards the back of the room. Thea willingly let herself be led. When they reached the almost hidden doorway in the wall, Rae gave a nod to the bouncer guarding it. Already knowing Raven the bouncer opened the door without question.

The door lead to a short hallway with only one door and emergency stairway.

"There's an office back here." Rae led her down the hall without stopping and opened the door.

"You sure?" Thea asked looking up at Rae, trying to keep her passion from being obvious.

"Positive!" Rae winked at her. "Door locks, so no interruptions."

"Great, lead on." She allowed her passion to show in her voice.

Rae couldn't keep the smile off her face as she reached for the door. Her heart was racing and her temperature was high. She could hardly believe the change in herself, though a quick glance over her shoulder reminded her who had caused it and reminded her just how happy she was to have changed.

Continued in Act Eight...

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