Lesbianism Warning: There is no such thing as too much rampant lesbianism, especially not in a story I write. Ergo, if this does not fit with your worldview, vacate the premesis.
Content Warning: This story contains explicit and frank discussion of bodily functions during a time usually reserved for non-crap conversation, i.e., food consumption time. If this description alone makes you squicked, for the love of hot lesbian sex, DO NOT READ THIS.
Language Warning: These people are quite vocal. In their vocalizations are various bits of naughty, dirty, nasty language. Their parents have been informed and they shall be made to sit with soap in their mouths until they tell us whom they heard these filthy words from.
Disclaimer: Archetypes of certain characters may or may not have been used in this story. The definition of archetype can be found here <http://theliterarylink.com/definitions.html> . As archetypes, therefore, they belong to no one and everyone all at once, ergo this story is summarily distributed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. For more information on the Creative Commons License, visit CreativeCommons.org.
Beta Worship: Eternal thanks go to my beloved buddy for beta reading.
Author's Note: Complete candy list is at the bottom of the page. All candy truly does exist and was found either by myself or my venerated beta. There is some very strange candy out there.
"Who all's coming tonight?" It had been a week since Rosemary McKay had been able to come out with her friends to the local restaurant they all liked. The redhead had been certain earlier in the week that she'd never be able to pull herself away from work ever again, only to be delightfully proven wrong by a phone call from her friend, Jack Phillips. Having plans was enough to ensure that she didn't volunteer to stay late for the eleventh day in a row. Jack had picked her up at home, following through with her offhand offer to be Rosemary's dutiful chauffeur, thereby ensuring that she would stay and have fun - not that she usually needed to try very hard when around Jack.
Raising her eyes from rummaging in her purse to glance at her friend, Rosemary was met with an unwelcome shock in the balmy Florida night. "Oh my god!" Across the car roof, Jack raised an eyebrow at Rosemary's outburst. The dark haired woman didn't usually hear such exclamations from Rosemary without provocation.
Grinning with clenched teeth, Rosemary leaned into the car and spoke quietly. "Few rows over, I swear to god, there's a guy that has got to be pregnant." A quirk of the eyebrow was enough to convey Jack's disbelief. "Look if you don't believe me."
Stretching casually, Jack turned her head and caught sight of the man. His stomach protruded grotesquely above his belt buckle in an impressive display of male pregnancy. Her stomach roiled as he hitched his pants, forcibly jiggling his mass of fat. "That's one hell of a jelly belly."
"That's exactly what I was thinking!" Rosemary grinned at Jack's expression of revulsion.
"I'm trying to keep my appetite, here, sweetheart."Jack shuddered. "That's just unnatural. Do you think he gets much lower back pain carrying those twins?"
Rolling her eyes, Rosemary led the way to the restaurant. She didn't want to dwell too long on how Jack's easy terms of endearment warmed her; how they had always warmed her. She consciously shifted her thoughts to more immediate concerns, namely, her stomach.
"Come on, if we hurry, we can get in there before the liquid phase of conversation starts."She pulled Jack toward the entrance of their restaurant.
The chain restaurant was an easy place for them all to agree to meet after a far too lengthy workday. The festive atmosphere always welcomed them with a blast of warm air scented with their signature appetizers, and the loud music flavor of the night. Tonight, it appeared to be the soundtrack of the modern slacker generation, complete with unsubtle lyrics.
"I'm in love with Mary Jane!" Rosemary found herself humming along with the tune she knew from their multiple viewings of "Half Baked" while less than sober. Grinning at her friend, the redhead nudged Jack's shoulder. "Abba Zabba...you my only friend!"
The dark woman shook her head, a smile ghosting around her lips. "You are not a master of the custodial arts. Get a move on, cutie pie."
Rosemary continued walking, not letting Jack's easy flirtation trip her up. Their friends awaited them in their customary back corner table, laughing at something Mark had just said. One of the girls spotted the two newcomers and waved them over as they all slid over to allow Jack and Rosemary room in the booth.
"How do you think - hey, Rosemary, Jack- how do squirrels wear pants?" Jane's casual wave hello offset the seriousness of her expression. She rested her chin on her hand, musing philosophically. Insanely, but philosophically.
"What?" Greg couldn't even begin to hide his confusion at the typical Jane question. For as long as they had all known her, Jane had been a walking non sequitur.
"I've been playing 'Animal Crossing'." Jane offered in quick explanation referencing the video game that most of them had become addicted to at one time or another. Nods and dawning understanding bloomed around the table as they caught up with Jane's train of thought. "How would they wear pants? Wouldn't the zipper get caught in their fur and their...whatchamacallits?"
They all blinked and exchanged glances for a brief moment. Jane continued staring blindly into the distance, not really looking at anyone as her mind wandered aimlessly. Across the table from her, Lauren snapped her fingers in a sudden flash of insight and leaned forward.
"I would have to say the answer definitely lies in squirrel nut zippers. Designed to catch and hold."
"OUCH!" chorused from multiple sides of the table.
"God, Lauren, are you trying to put me off my feed!" Greg complained, nudging Lauren with his shoulder.
"Stow it, slackmaster." Lauren nudged back, grinning.
Greg stuck out his tongue at Lauren. "Anyway...glad you could make it, Rosemary. They've been working you to a worthless lump, haven't they?" He craned his neck around Lauren to smile sympathetically at Rosemary.
She nodded and stole Lauren's water, taking a sip. She managed to deftly avoid the resultant slap. "Yeah, Jack's call earlier was a damned life saver. I never thought I'd be so happy to make a fast break for it. For some reason, if I don't have plans, I end up getting suckered into staying late."
"What's her name just had her baby, right? And that other dude has that harem or something?" Jack settled back in her seat, one arm draped over the back of the booth behind Rosemary, openly curious about her friend's workday.
"It is not a harem! He...has charms. Or something. Besides, he only works part time so he can't really stay. And yeah, Julie just had her kid, and Nick's mom just went into the hospital. Of everyone, I'm the only one who usually doesn't have plans or obligations, and besides...I get paid hourly." Rosemary grinned. "It's all good."
"Shit, in that case, you're paying for me." Jack nudged Rosemary's knee with her own, winking at her friend. "Poor salaried me."
"Poor whatever, you're union."
Nadine, their usual server, ran up the table, her hair wildly askew as was customary. "Hey, Jack, Rosemary, what's up for tonight?"
"The usual, Nadine. "Jack grinned widely at their server. "Still haven't found that sugar daddy bent on taking you away from all of us?"
Nadine smirked at Jack, her hand on her hip. "You know I'd never leave here for anyone other than you!" The rock on the third finger of her left hand belied the statement.
"How's Mitch?" Jack asked as the conversation on the other end of the table picked up again. With the others distracted, it gave Jack a modicum of privacy to catch up with her good friend, Nadine. If it hadn't been for Nadine's interference back in the day, Jack probably never would have become so tight with Mitch. Tight enough, in fact, that she could relentlessly tease both him and his fiancee with only a threat of reprisal.
Nadine rolled her eyes. "Still convinced that he can make water flow uphill. Try to talk to some sense into him?"
"I'll see what I can do, but I make no promises. That last grant was worth well over 100 grand. He's getting closer." For the last few years, Mitch had been diligently working on refining a chemical additive. Jack wasn't too clear on the specifics because she tended to glaze like a donut whenever he started on his chemical compounds.
Nadine laughed. "Yeah, I know." With a wink, she was gone. Jack smiled and turned her attention back to the conversation at hand, making a mental note to call her friend tomorrow and randomly sing a spree of show tunes. Maybe "Wunderbar" or something that would really make Nadine throw a hissy fit.
"I was seriously tempted to tell her, 'Ma'am, if you don't let me leave right now, you're going to be dealing with a pecan log roll on your floor.' Wonder how she would have taken that." Mark mused, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. As usual, Jack had somehow managed to come back to the conversation at Mark's punchline. She'd lay even money that it was about something proper and appropriate for a genteel Southern lady's table. Something having to do with green apple splatters.
"I declare shenanigans. You had more than enough time to make it to the bathroom before giving birth to a chocolate baby." Greg pointed at Mark accusingly. "I know because I had to listen to your happy ass grunting on that damn toilet for ten minutes!"
"How was I supposed to know that? Sumbitch felt like it was bigger than a black mamba, and I swear to god, I shot an atomic fireball out of my ass! Needed an extinguisher." Mark swigged his soda. "I was walking funnier than the last date you had, Greg. How long did it take you before you could stop using the donut?"
Greg laughed. "Ask your boyfriend, he's the one who bent over for me. Begged for it good and hard too, you've been neglecting your duties." Greg tossed a rolled up straw wrapper across the table at his friend.
"Too busy with YO MOMMA!" Mark posed awkwardly in his seat. "WINNAR!" He grabbed Lauren's hand and forced her to give him a high five. Greg recovered his wits and launched a piece of napkin at Mark's head.
The rest of the table laughed as the two men tossed bits of paper at each other, grinning. Jack leaned back in her seat, content that yes, everything was normal in their group. Mark was discussing soup ass, Greg was calling Mark a fudgepacker, everyone else was laughing...yep. Situation normal.
"Save it for the bedroom, boys. Lauren, did they ever find out what was up with those burial mounds south of town?" Rosemary smiled in thanks at Nadine as she deposited their requested beverages before scurrying back to the kitchen.
"Turns out I'm going to be on the excavation team." Lauren grinned sheepishly as Jane squealed in excitement. "From the location and the number, we've got some idea of what we're dealing with."
"Yeah, but not the kind you're thinking, Greg. We could find a complete cross section of the culture like we've never seen before." Lauren's eyes sparkled at the anthropological importance. "This is the best thing I've had happen since the Night of the Thousand Orgasms."
Jack almost spewed her iced tea across the table. Coughing and laughing, she was surrounded by the snickers of her friends. "Goddamn, Lauren! I'm trying to drink here!"
"It's not my fault you like to think of me naked." Lauren stuck her tongue out at the dark haired woman. Jack rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at her friend. She resolutely ignored Rosemary's warm hand rubbing her back, lest she have another coughing fit.
Nadine emerged from the kitchen with a heavy tray laden with their usual food order. A wide assortment of appetizers was deposited on the table before them, including the order of boneless hot wings and the basket of onion rings. They chorused their thanks like a proper Sunday school before abandoning propriety and digging in.
"Did anyone ever have any Pogs?" Jane lifted a piece of quesadilla and took a tentative bite of the steaming treat. Jack paused with a piece of boneless buffalo wing before her mouth, the blue cheese about to suicide onto the table as she tried to follow Jane's jump in conversation. Her brain was threatening to send her a cordial invitation to an ass kicking if she tried to figure out the workings of Jane's thought processes.
"Pogs?" Greg frowned in confusion. He looked to be receiving the same inter-cranial threat.
"Yeah, that game with the bottlecaps."
"Oh! The one with the cardboard-"
"And the slammers-"
"From the milk bottles-"
Greg shook his head. "Nah, don't remember a thing."
Jane threw a spare straw at him. "Jackass. If you don't watch it, you are SO getting a lump of coal."
Mark took a mouthful of chip and queso concoction, pausing to examine it as it ran loosely over the remains of his chip. "You know, this stuff always reminds me of the consistency of-"
"MARK! I'd like to finish a meal without discussing the consistency of your shit!" Greg mock glared at the suddenly innocent faced man across from him.
"I just happened to make the mistake once of having the taco shits going into the Fourth of July. Let's just leave it at 'toxic waste' and move on."
Greg lowered his head into his hands. "Why...dear God, why...I'm a good person. I haven't killed anyone. I haven't gotten monster truck tires for Betty's wheels. I don't drink much."
"Yeah, last time you did, we ended up with pretty pictures." Lauren grinned evilly.
"I wasn't here for that, what happened?" Rosemary stole a hot wing from Jack's plate. Jack offered the blue cheese without comment.
"Turns out Greggy here thought it would be better to go with a margarita instead of a beer. This pipsqueak has like four margaritas with salt before he realized they had triple the alcohol of the beer he had so wisely turned down. Poor bastard was knocked out before he knew what hit him."
"They tasted good!"
"Greg, dancing on the mexican hat...nice."
Lauren shook her head, laughing. "Try imagining it with him in a ballerina outfit."
Greg's flush crept over his ears as they all laughed. "At least I wasn't the one who decided it was a good idea to moon the symphony."
Rosemary laughed harder. "I remember that!" She turned to Jack. "What the hell made you think that was a good idea?"
"Better than losing a bet and having to sing 'Big Spender' in a Chippendale's outfit to a classroom of teenaged boys." Jane shook her head. "So sad...shaking your buns for those poor, impressionable boys."
"I did no such thing!" Mark protested. "It was 'Kiss to Build a Dream On' and it was for a good cause!"
"Yeah, sure. Get many requests after that, big hunk?"
Mark mumbled into the mini hot dog he'd plucked from the tray.
"What was that?"
"The Good Ship Lollipop, in a Southern belle dress."
Rosemary shuddered. "That'll give you a jolt."
"Now that I'll have that image forever seared on my retinas..." Jane nudged Mark with her shoulder, smiling at him. "Hey, Jack, did you ever find out what that song was?"
"The one with the line about the Milky Way and having drops of Jupiter in her hair?"
"Yeah! The perverted song!"
Jack laughed. "It's only perverted if you watch Sailor Moon."
Jack shook her head. "I've got the CD in my car, ask me for it later."
"The venerable Idaho spud, a lowly ground dweller, brought to our table by the toil of hard workers...such a lengthy and difficult journey you've had...only to have your head bitten off!" Mark bit the fry he held cleanly in half. "Ahh..nothing like junk food and philosophical discussion."
"What philosophy? We've discussed your ass and your crossdressing!"
Mark mock sobbed into his drink. "I thought you loved me!"
Rosemary shook her head at Mark's antics. It felt good to be among her friends again, their teasing camaraderie backed up by years of friendship. They'd formed their ragtag group a few years ago, during a summer working retail. The cast had changed somewhat since those halcyon early days, but the core of the group remained the same. Rosemary smiled to herself. Back in those early days, she'd have never thought she would ever break up with Samantha. Never Sam or Mandy...always Samantha. Woe betide any who forgot that little quirk. Glancing over at the dark haired woman next to her, she realized with a jolt that, now that the ho-bag who'd never worn shirts with necklines above her belly button had been curbed, she and Jack were both single again.
That hadn't happened since...since that stalker chick. That woman had been freaky. Rosemary wasn't precisely certain how Jack had convinced the woman to lay off, but somehow, she had and the woman had suddenly made herself extremely scarce. Just after that, Jack had hooked up with the skank with the horrific shoulder blades that she insisted on displaying to the world. Looking back now, Rosemary was certain that the woman was in all likelihood a perfectly nice person, once she put on a sweater. Seeing her on Jack's arm, however, was something else entirely. Like that one bitch that Rosemary swore had to be using Jack. She was never sure how, but she knew in her gut that Jack was definitely being used.
With another bite of a hot wing stolen from Jack's plate, Rosemary shrugged off her musings and returned her attention to the company she had missed.
"Oh! Jack, my computer's doing that thing again." Greg stole one of Mark's fries. "With the error message?"
"Jack, not everyone can be a nerd like you, hon. I promise I'll pay up front this time."
"Up front? No tricks?"
Greg laid a hand over his heart. "Your words are veritably worse than dragon fire licking across my skin!"
Jane started as she remembered something, almost dropping her fried mozarella. "Oh! You remember that one place we decided against going to that one day?"
Lauren blinked. Jane had gestured towards her, so she could only assume Jane meant her. "With the canopy?"
"Yes! You'll never guess what I saw behind the kitchen garbage can on a pickup."
Lauren eyed her friend warily, knowing that her profession as linen delivery boy let her see the inner workings of most restaurants in the area, by extension making her choice of places to eat invariably free of food poisoning. "Is this going to make me ill from the bug factor?"
Jane grabbed a chip and some queso. "Maybe."
Lauren sighed heavily, memories of the place with the pet rat flitting through her head. "What did you see."
"Huge ass chunky cockroach cluster."
"Oh, god." Lauren put down the fry she'd been about to bite into. "Have I mentioned that I'm very thankful I don't have your job?"
"Only everytime I tell you what I see in the kitchens." Jane grinned at her friend and scooped up a mini burger. She turned to her other side and changed the subject completely. "Mark, have you tried that new juice bar next to your office?"
"The one at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Clark, next to the Sky Bar?"
"No, the one next to Heath and 4th, with the starburst in it's logo?"
"Ohhh, yeah...try the shoo fly one."
"Yeah." Mark grinned. "Like the black crows in Dumbo said, 'I seen a house fly', so why not a shoo fly? The juice nuggets they use are awesome.
"Aren't you just my little jujube!"
"...Your little jujube?"
"You know I'm horrible under pressure."
"More like constantly horrible."
"You're just laying shockers on me now. I don't know if my heart can take it!"
Jack leaned over and spoke softly next to Rosemary's ear. "We're willingly friends with these freaks?"
"Recreational drugs. Maybe they OD'ed on vitameatavegamin." Rosemary grinned at her friend. Had it really been years since the first time she'd laid eyes on Jack? It still felt like last week everytime she looked over at the dark woman. The lopsided smile Jack flashed her was the same she'd seen for years, and still had the ability to make her stomach flutter.
"I bet you five bucks she doesn't know! Hey, Jack! What's the name of that annoying ringtone song with the retarded frog?" Lauren called out.
Without missing a beat, Jack called out, "Axel F. It uses the theme for Axel from 'Beverly Hills Cop'."
"HAH! Payday! Told you she's a veritable gold mine of useless knowledge!"
"You think that's good, try asking me about computer stuff."
"I'd rather not need to be revived after passing out from boredom, hon."
Jack stuck her tongue out at her friend. Lauren laughed and swirled her fry through the ketchup on her plate.
"What are y'all doing for Christmas? Only 45 more shopping days before the big morning!" Lauren grinned at her friends' groans.
"Christ, Lauren! It's not even Thanksgiving yet!" Mark grumbled.
"So? I've had people harassing me for Christmas crap since the first of October, I don't want to hear it." She pointed a finger at Jane. "Spill it, sugarplum. Where are you being carted off to this year?"
Jane grinned sheepishly. "He won't tell me. Says I'll like it, though."
"Think he's gotten that ring yet?" Jack popped a stray chip into her mouth. Jane and her boyfriend Carl, AKA Tarzan, had been dating for six years. It was a given that they would be married; they had discussed it numerous times. For reasons known best to himself, however, Carl had yet to actually get a ring and make their engagement official.
"No, but he did tell me to make sure I got two weeks off. Thankfully I have enough time to call in favors before some jackass takes the free spots."
Lauren nodded and pointed at Mark. "Alright, goober, what about you?"
Mark smirked. "Casino night. Big cup of quarters and a slot machine with my name on it for the day before, then a killer show on Christmas. One of those human circus things?"
"Cirque de Soliel?"
"Yeah, that's it. Some show they have at Downtown Disney."
"I've heard good things about that one." Greg nodded as he spoke. Rosemary stifled a giggle.
"Greg, you're doing the bobble head thing again."
The flush coloring his cheeks had to be red hot as he tossed his napkin in Rosemary's general direction.
"What about you two? Any plans yet?" Lauren had turned her inquisition on Jack and Rosemary.
"Actually..." Jack turned her head and smiled at Rosemary. "I've come into some tickets to that show that comes through at the Performing Arts Center. That group you like?"
"Oh my god, the ones that are a hundred bucks a piece for nosebleed tickets? Jack, you did not buy those."
"No, actually, I won them through my roguish good looks and sheer force of my personality." It had actually been a lucky round of rock, paper, scissors, but Jack wasn't about to confess to that except under extreme duress.
"What she means is, she mugged someone for them." Mark grinned.
"Shut up, crotch monkey! I'm trying to ask the lady on a date, here! Not another peep outta you!" Jack turned her smile back on Rosemary. "So...want to go?"
Rosemary flushed. "I cannot believe you got ahold of those. Of course I'll go, you little twerp. God, I am so going to owe you for this."
Lauren moved onto her next victim, ignoring the two as Jack shook her head and leaned in, speaking softly. "Just knowing you'll be having a good time is thanks enough." The gentle smile and clear affection on Jack's face was enough to make the blush on Rosemary's cheeks deepen.
The rest of the night continued in much the same manner. Easy, borderline offensive banter effortlessly borne by the weight of their long standing friendships, conversation touching on multiple subjects...Rosemary had truly missed it in the short time she'd been away. She knew that it couldn't continue indefinitely, but she would cherish this time for as long as it lasted. The more things change...
"Did you have fun?" Jack flashed a quick smile at Rosemary as she unlocked the doors.
"Mmm...same as I remember. I'm glad you called." Rosemary slid into the seat, settling in next to Jack.
Jack looked at her hands as she turned the car on. "Me, too." Jack pulled her music player from her pocket before putting the car in drive. "Here you go, co-pilot."
"Nothing that would put me to sleep." Jack smirked as Rosemary set up the in-car system.
"The trumpet is a fine and noble instrument!"
"Yeah, when it's playing 'Mars, the Bringer of War'. 'No Ordinary Love', however, puts me to sleep when it's Sade, nevermind the trumpet player du jour."
Rosemary harrumphed and selected something. Jack almost laughed as the fanfare for Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War" started.
"One of these days, Jack, I'm going to have to kill you." Rosemary thumbed through the music on Jack's music player. It still boggled her mind that so much music could fit in the palm of her hand.
Jack grinned at the easy threat that was vintage Rosemary. "You'd have to reach me, first."
Rosemary shook her head. "You are such a little shit...I cannot believe you got those tickets!"
"What can I say, I have many skills," Jack shrugged. "Besides, you love me, runt."
Rosemary laughed. "Sure, sure...keep telling yourself that, Mr. Big."She didn't dare examine why she was blushing so fiercely.
Jack couldn't help the flush of pleasure that filled her at the sound of the off-kilter endearment. It was stupid, she knew, but...there it was.
"Aside from worked to death, how are things going? Anything new?"
"Remember those CD's I was going to have to get for like thirty each?"
"Yeah, those import ones. What happened?"
"I found a used Japanese CD store with a website in English." Rosemary's casual tone belied the excitement that had fueled for the latter half of the previous week.
"You're shitting me."
"Nope, no whoppers from me. Honest to God brick and mortar used CD store in Japan, with a website in English and Japanese. He is my new best friend."
Jack shook her head, laughing. "Wow...hell of a find."
"Guess how much those CD's cost."
"Less than the sixty they did at the last place you bitched to me about?"
"With shipping, thirty five. THIRTY FIVE. Both new! And First Press, oh my god, it's, it's..." Rosemary's increased agitation reduced her to making a general scream of excitement.
"I take it you're pleased with this." Jack's wry tone elicited chuckles from the other woman.
"Like you wouldn't believe. Oh, it's so unbelievably cool." Rosemary thumbed through the tracks available on Jack's music player. "I see a decided lack of music I've given you on here."
"I just got it this week and I'm still playing with the Game Boy Advance you gave me last week! It's only got a five gig capacity, I can't carry the full breadth of what you've given me, let alone anything else! Put on 'Do We Rock' and tell me what you've got planned for Thanksgiving."
Rosemary rolled her eyes exaggeratedly as she did as her volunteered chauffer requested. "Ohh, Jack." Shifting slightly in her seat, she allowed herself an unobstructed view of Jack's profile. "I was going to try brining a turkey."
"Been watching TV, I take it?"
"How can I not? Those shows are about the only thing on that I can stomach when I get home. You know I can't watch that scary stuff you watch before I go to bed."
"Police procedurals and courtroom dramas are not scary!"
"No, but the crimes they talk about are!"
"Ok, ok..." Jack grinned, dropping the subject and letting Rosemary win the argument.
"What are you planning for Thanksgiving?"
Jack shrugged. "Hadn't thought about it much. Got an invite from my family, so it's either be with them for Thanksgiving or be with them for Christmas. Haven't decided yet."
"Well, why not both?"
"That is a possibility, but I'm not sure, y'know? It's expensive to fly out to Colorado." Jack shrugged. "I might end up doing that." She grinned over at Rosemary. "You're invited too, by the way."
"Sweet! In that case, tell them we'll be over for Christmas, and come over and try my turkey."
"I don't know if I have enough insurance for that."
"Jack!" A smack on the arm accompanied Rosemary's indignant cry.
A cold snap had actually forced people to break out their jackets. Having grown up in the Rockies, Jack was always amazed by how thin skinned the inhabitants of Florida were when it came to a chill in the air.
Shaking her head, she strolled over to where Rosemary was waiting.
"What's up, sugarplum?" Jack grinned at Rosemary.
"Jack! It's about time you got here, give me a freaking hug!" Rosemary threw her arms around the taller woman's neck. "You seem to have recovered from Thanksgiving nicely."
"Yeah, I'm still working on the bounty you gave me! Did you have to get a twenty pound bird?"
"You're still growing." Rosemary tugged on Jack's arm. "Come on, I want to grab a trophy!" With that, Rosemary dragged Jack into the Christmas tree lot.
Stray pine needles littered the floor, making each step crunch. Even though it was the Monday after Thanksgiving, the lot was already picked over, families milling around. She glanced at her watch. Well, early afternoon. She supposed it was late enough for some of the kids to be out of school.
"What do you think of this one?" Rosemary pointed at a deep green specimen.
"Hmm...bit spare around the bottom. Besides, it's nine feet tall. Try back there." Jack pointed at the six foot trees, labelled by the paint sprayed on the wall.
"Ooh! How about this one!" Rosemary ran her fingers over the short needled pine. "It's so pretty." Rosemary grinned up at Jack.
Jack eyed the tree critically. "Yep, looks all right. Let me turn it around." She reached for the trunk and freed it from the metal latch holding it to the upright pole. It slipped slightly from her fingers as the full weight of it was suddenly supported by her arm. Catching it, she cursed herself mentally for being a butterfingers.
She rotated the tree, allowing them to eye it fully. "Looks good to me."
Rosemary smiled widely. "Yes! This is perfect!"
Jack lifted the tree and carried to the checkout. A skinny kid in a red shirt dashed over and relieved her of the tree. "I can help you with that, ma'am!"
The kid trimmed the bottom six inches of the tree, reducing the stray branches to nibs before thrusting it into netting. Jack paid for the tree as Rosemary brought her car around. The kid hoisted it onto the roof and tied it with rope. Jack eyed the tie job with a critical eye. It would hold.
"I'll follow you?" Rosemary nodded. "See you in a few minutes."
Jack strode to her car, mentally cursing herself. Had she stared too long at Rosemary? Had she been too overt? She didn't want to push too hard, but she really liked how they were growing closer. They'd all been friends for years, and Jack knew that she and Rosemary had always had a light flirtation going on. It hadn't been until this year, though, that they had taken steps to deepen their friendship. Their Thanksgiving spent together had been amazing, just the two of them and a veritable feast. A few times, Jack was almost certain she'd caught Rosemary staring.
She had been surprised by how easily Rosemary had appropriated her into her life. These few weeks since she'd called Rosemary to come out with them had been some of the most entertaining. This tree excursion was a prime example of how easily Rosemary convinced Jack to come out and play. She had been working on a long term project, but somehow, Rosemary had convinced her to take five and be manual labor.
The things she did for a pretty girl...
Jack shook her head. It could be worse, she supposed. She could be in the throes of unrequited love. She'd rather have koala's marching up and down her spine than deal with that again. Once in high school was enough for anyone.
The billboard for the stadium was coming up. Tonight was the Redskins at the Cowboys. Jack made a mental note to make sure she at least caught the second half as she turned onto the rocky road that led to Rosemary's apartment complex. Damned construction.
Jack edged her way around the ever present peacocks with their fantails. Damned birds thought they owned the road. One of these days, they'd burn through someone's fuse and get run over. Jack sighed as one of the pesky birds stared at her car imperiously before slowly sauntering to the side of the road.
Parking next to Rosemary's sedan, Jack quickly circled to the driver's side just as Rosemary discovered that she was trapped.
Evaluating the situation, Jack smirked. "Well...you could climb out the window or wait until I untie the tree."
Rosemary glanced down at the skirt she was wearing. "I'll wait."
"You'd think they'd tie it to the undercarriage or something." Jack picked at the knot with her fingers, working the tough rope loose.
"So long as it doesn't slide off the car mid-braking, I don't care what they tie it to."
Jack grinned and tossed the rope over the roof before opening Rosemary's door. For her efforts, she received a kiss on the cheek. Jack coughed and turned her attention to untying the tree before Rosemary noticed that her cheeks were turning a rather pronounced shade of red.
Jack swung the tree off the roof easily, knocking it on the pavement a few times to shake loose the dead needles. She hoisted the tree, carrying it into Rosemary's house quickly and placing it on the prepared tree stand. Jack knelt under the tree, adjusting it until Rosemary proclaimed it straight.
"Got the water?" Rosemary handed the full pitcher down to her precariously prone friend. She poured it into the stand and jumped, falling onto her side as an audible slupping sounded in the still apartment. "Holy crap...was that the tree?"
"I think so. Look at the water!" Rosemary dropped down to kneel beside Jack, her hand landing on Jack's tensed stomach as the water level dropped visibly. Her shocked gaze dropped to meet Jack's own. They looked at each other for a long moment, silence stretching between them, pregnant with unspoken truths. Rosemary could feel the subtle movement of Jack's muscles beneath her thin t-shirt. Her fingers moved in a light caress over the soft material. "I don't think anyone would believe us if we told them...about the tree."
Jack chuckled slightly, the tenseness under Rosemary's softly drifting fingers shifting with each breath. "That's for sure. They'd think we're airheads...or something."
Rosemary was loath to rise from her position now that she was feeling the warmth beneath her fingers. If she had her choice, she'd be able to remain in this position forever. Or maybe see Jack topless. Ooohhhh...now that was a thought.
"Rosemary?" Jack's voice was soft, pulling her from the fantasy that had begun to form in her head.
"Hmm?" She didn't dare speak. She was absolutely certain her voice would crack like a teenaged boy. She almost fell over as Jack held up sap darkened hands in front of her face.
"Gotta use your sink, darlin'."
Blushing deeply, both from the endearment and the position she'd trapped Jack in, Rosemary rose quickly, snagging the pitcher and dashing off to refill it before Jack could say anything about the new color she sported.
In the bathroom, Jack stared at her hands as she squirted soap onto them. Maybe she should ask Rosemary out for a pizza, maybe to go see a movie...a real date, just the two of them. If what had just happened was any indication, the cute redhead was definitely interested. As she dried her hands, Jack came to a decision.
"Wanna go out for lunch?"
"There's this Tex Mex place around the corner I've been dying to try. I hear they have the best spicy hot tamales this side of the Mississippi."
"Sure, sounds good to me." Jack hooked her thumbs in her belt loops and prepared to wait for Rosemary to announce her readiness. One question weighed heavily on her mind: was this a date?
"So the guy turns to him and says, 'Young man, I've never heard such fiddle faddle in my life. Remove your head from the horse's posterior you've attached it to and apologize to the lady.'"
Jack roared with laughter. "You've got to be kidding. That nice old guy?"
"Yep. I swear, he was about ready to deck this guy." Rosemary grinned. "Never thought I'd see the day."
Jack chuckled and leaned back in her chair. Her eyes caught and held Rosemary's, the moment stretching long past proprietary, just like their one earlier under the tree.
"Rosemary..." Jack leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table. "Are we dating?" Rosemary looked down at her hands. A large hand reached over and covered hers. "Because I'd really like that."
Rosemary didn't dare look up as she nodded. She could feel the intense blush on her cheeks. Trust Jack to come up with new and exciting ways to make her blush.
"I'm really glad you feel that way, Rosemary." She was certain that if she looked up into Jack's eyes, she'd die from the blushing. It had to be an eventuality. "It means that when I drop you off back at your place, I'm going to get to do exactly what I've been dreaming of."
Risking a brief glance, Rosemary instead found herself drawn into a deeply happy gaze. Jack smiled at her, gentle and loving. She could feel the affection reaching out and enveloping her. If she'd known it would feel like this, she would have asked Jack out ages ago.
"What have you been dreaming?" Rosemary hadn't meant for her voice to sound quite so nervous and eager.
Jack dropped her gaze deliberately, zeroing in on Rosemary's lips. Desire flared, intense, in the shifting of Jack's expression, and Rosemary felt herself immediately respond to the primal call Jack sounded with just a look.
"Kissing you." Rosemary inhaled sharply, fire igniting in the depths of her soul as Jack brought her desire darkened gaze back up to meet Rosemary's. A lazy smile twisted Jack's lips and Rosemary couldn't help herself as her eyes dropped to stare...and wonder.
"Could I interest you in a dessert or an after lunch cocktail? Jessica makes a mean mint julep."
Jack turned to their eager server with a smile, withdrawing her hand from Rosemary's. "No, thanks, just the check."
When it arrived, Rosemary reached for it, but Jack stopped her hand.
"Please, indulge me." Rosemary hesitated for a scant moment before allowing Jack to pick up the check. It allowed her another moment of unabashed staring.
She'd always known Jack was attractive, but she hadn't realized the full impact of Jack's sensual approach until she'd been subjected to it. She found herself wishing for the end of this date with a desperation that she'd only experienced once before, on an outrageously bad date.
This date stood in such stark contrast to that one as to be diametric.
They had walked to the restaurant. On the way back to Rosemary's, Jack's hand brushed the back of Rosemary's and she suddenly found herself wishing to be on a beach at dusk, walking with Jack hand in hand. One part of her wish came true when Jack's fingers caught her hand and held it, threading her fingers through Rosemary's.
Rosemary glanced over at Jack and smiled, looking down at the sidewalk. She thought she'd long since left behind this giddy junior high approach to dating, but she was pleasantly surprised to find that her girlfriend could make her feel like it was all new. Even just thinking the word - girlfriend - made her light headed with excitement and possibility.
Far too soon, they were at Rosemary's door. She made to pull her hand from Jack's, in order to open the door, but her girlfriend refused to let go. Rosemary looked up at her.
"I should go." Jack smiled at her.
"I don't want you to." The words came in a rush and hadn't been at all what she wanted to say. A large hand reached up and callused fingertips brushed over her cheek gently.
"I don't particularly want to go, pretty girl, but I should." Jack's smile turned sheepish. "I don't really trust myself alone with you right now, and I refuse to treat you like some bit o' honey."
Rosemary laughed and leaned in to Jack's hand. "That's probably smart." She loosely hooked her fingers through Jack's belt loops, pulling her girlfriend in closer as she shifted forward. "I can't say I trust myself around you right now, either."
Jack inhaled sharply at the light aggression from Rosemary. "Sweetie..."
"Show me what you've been dreaming, Jack."
Jack gazed down at Rosemary, her thumb brushing over the redhead's cheekbone. She leaned down and softly captured Rosemary's lips with her own, her hand sliding back around to cup around the vulnerable softness of Rosemary's neck, needing her closer. She absently felt the tightening of her girlfriend's fingers around her belt loops, her mind exploding at the gentle suppleness of Rosemary's kiss. So many times she'd wished she could do this and here, now, she did.
Gently, lovingly, she explored the contours of Rosemary's lips with her own. Insistent hands gripped her hips now. If this continued much longer, she was going to lose her mind as well as her heart.
Reluctantly, Jack broke the kiss, raining small kisses on Rosemary as she pulled away, grasping her girlfriend's hands in her own. With one final, firm kiss, she stepped back.
To her surprise, she was breathing hard. She hadn't realized the fulfillment of one of her most frequently visited fantasies would be so titillating.
Clearing her throat, Jack smiled shakily. "Before I lose all my resolve, I'm going to go. I'll be back tomorrow to help you decorate?"
"Yes. But only if you give me another kiss."
Jack had never heard Rosemary sound so forcefully certain before. Far be it from her to deny a lady...
She dropped her head and captured Rosemary's lips again. Her body enflamed more quickly than she had realized it could, demanding that she be closer, closer...closer! Blindly, she pressed against Rosemary, their bodies arching against each other. Jack was dimly aware of when they slammed against Rosemary's door, her attention distracted by the sudden introduction of Rosemary's intensely agile tongue to their kiss.
She wanted, desperately, to push up Rosemary's skirt and slide herself deeply within her girlfriend, not letting up until that sweet eternity when Rosemary would clench around her, holding her tightly...
Just the thought was driving Jack out of her mind. She could swear that she could smell Rosemary's desire, ready and waiting for Jack to claim it. She almost moaned into Rosemary's kiss, but instead broke from it abruptly.
Tangling her fingers in Jack's hair, Rosemary tugged Jack's lips back to her own. Slender fingers danced over the sensitive nape of her neck as Jack pressed into her girlfriend, aching. Why were they still standing?
Jack pulled away, holding Rosemary at arm's length. Breathing heavily, Jack grinned. "Goddamn, woman!" Her voice roughened by desire, it had dropped slightly, just enough to make Rosemary shiver.
"If you don't go now, you're not leaving until tomorrow. If ever."
The dangerous glint in Rosemary's gaze was enough to convince Jack that she was mostly serious. Clearing her throat, Jack slid her hands down Rosemary's arms until she caught her hands. Jack brought them up to her mouth and pressed a kiss to each palm.
"Until tomorrow, sweet lady."
With that, Jack released her hands and strode away on deceptively steady legs.
Total Word Count: 100
Some names, as they appear in the story, are incomplete. I judged by what
a reasonable person would refer to the candy as, which is why I didn't use the
extensive Haribo gummy line much. "Cola Gummies" is just a trifle difficult
to work into regular conversation.
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