Cooking With Fire 2 Iron Chef by Bat Morda. Worse than the original. Lesbians, degradation and debauchery. There is so much wrong with this story...


Xena, Gabrielle, and Callisto are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. They are not, however, in this story. Characters who *look* just like Xena, Gabrielle and Callisto are. Is this copyright infringement? Welcome to the Great Uber Debate. Just to be clear though, no copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. Please note that no characters in this story will be wearing Polo shirts at any time. They would rather die first. The story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.


God, this story is filthy. You absolutely, positively must be of legal age in your state to read this story. I’m assuming that is 18. If you aren’t click the back button this second! Don’t even read this disclaimer. There is a good chance you will be guaranteed a place in hell if you read this story. Maybe before you even finish reading it. Is that a chance you’re prepared to take? I will not be held responsible for any persons burning in hell as a result of my story. This story has no redeeming value. None whatsoever. Hardly any plot at all and what little there is centers around a Japanese cooking show that isn’t even in production anymore. How lame is that?! It’s filth I tell you, filth. Needless to say this story has sex in it. The people having sex are all women. There are three of them. They have sex together. I tend to write that way; it’s a reoccurring theme with me. This story also has food in it. No one has sex with food. Ah…not technically anyway. Not that I have a problem with people who like to have sex with food, as long as the food is consenting. This story also has a certain amount of what might be considered kink in some circles. I’ve lost count of all the naughty things they do. Lets see… there is some blood play, fire play, whips and things, anal stuff, mild yet sweet bondage and discipline, karaoke, knife juggling, dancing and possibly other things I’ve not even thought of yet. If you don’t like kink, sex, naked women or Japanese cooking shows- why did you even click on this story? There is one scene where Cass (the Uber-Callisto) gives a blowjob to a person of the male persuasion- if it doesn’t bother her than it shouldn’t bother you but if you’re opposed to such things on principle, then even though it’s one itty-bitty scene, maybe this isn’t for you. If you don’t like graphic stories then for god’s sake don’t read this. Finally <exasperated sigh> if the thought of double penetration of an Uber-Gabrielle by an Uber-Xena and an Uber-Callisto gives you nightmares then perhaps a different fan-fic choice would be more appropriate. Something in a Janice & Mel perhaps? Or you can go read stories by people who put their leading ladies in Polo shirts if you want cocoa and belly rubs. Okay technically there is cocoa in one scene and a belly rub in another, but the two never happen together.

Author’s note: This one’s for Katja, with love.


Cooking With Fire II: Iron Chef

By Bat Morda

Started 5/3/00 – Finished 3/5/06

Email Twitter @BatMorda


          I’ll bet you want to know what happened at the end of Cooking With Fire, don’t you? Well, I want to sleep with Jennifer Connelly, but we don’t always get what we want. See- for those of you just joining us and too lazy to read the prequel to this story (Cooking With Fire), it ended with all this stuff happening and Sam was going on a weekend trip to Big Sur with her three old friends and her two new friends. I’m sure they all had a wonderful time, but damn if I’m going to write about it. Somebody asked me to write about it once- but... I don’t know. It just didn’t strike me. I’ll leave what happened in Big Sur to your capable imaginations. 

          And now, the film begins to roll and we are introduced to our cast. First we have Tiffany Schrade. She will be our Uber Xena this evening. She’s got the black hair- the piercing blue eyes- the pissy attitude. She’s an uber of 3rd Season Xena- before every other week was a bizarre comedy and we had “maternity armor” (what the hell was that all about?) And just for the record- she has no coincidental look alikes. Tiff is one of a kind. She’s a chef- at a restaurant you can’t afford; cooking meals you can’t pronounce with equipment you don’t own in a kitchen the size of your whole apartment. She has issues with peanuts because one killed her brother. If you want the background on that tidbit- then go read the first story- or the intro to the first story at the very least.

          When we last saw Samantha Steele, our Uber Gabrielle, she was rather whiny. Not the “I’m all into Eli and love and I can’t kill” kind of whiny that leads to butchering 8 people in The Ides of March, but more of “I’ve been wounded, hear me roar” kind of deal. She’d been dealing with that post-relationship thing where you annoy the hell out of everyone especially yourself for being such a whiny lameass. Her friends took pity on her and paid for a high-class hooker to make her shut the hell up already. I’m happy to report that Sam is in a much better state of mind these days. It’s been six months now and she and Tiffany have gotten along quite nicely. For those of you not paying attention- Sam works as a food critic so she and Tiffany have something to base their relationship on besides sex. Wasn’t that clever of me?

          We can’t forget our Uber Callisto, Cassandra Wilson. Don’t even ask me “which Callisto” here. No, this is not “redeemed, Callisto-light” but the full boar uber-goddess-villain Callisto. Messy haired Callisto; screaming, “lets play truth or dare and I’ll kick your Potedidan ass” Callisto.”<sigh> How I miss her evil ways. Her whole business is sex so she gets along quite nicely with Sam and Tiff. Well at least Sam. Cass and Tiff can’t stand each other and it all goes back to something I was too lazy to discuss in the first story, and I’m not any less lazy now. Let’s just say they have a “history”. They still live together and Sam hasn’t moved in. Why should she? She’s got a cool house and sometimes she just gets fed up with Tiff and Cass’ shit, ya know? Anyway this sordid tale starts off in an airplane so that’s just where we’ll go. This story takes place when the original Iron Chef was still on the air. Alas, I realize I’m behind the times.


“Tell me what you eat. 

And I’ll tell you what you are” 



          “I hope the theme ingredient is peanuts,” Cassandra said matter-of-factly as she accepted the small packet of nuts from the flight attendant then returned her attention to her magazine.

          “Tell me again why we had to bring her?” Tiffany growled, half asleep, from her seat by the window.

          Sam smiled. She squeezed Tiffany’s hand that was resting in her lap. The flight attendant came back and Cass requested something from her in flawless Japanese. “I think that was the reason,” Sam replied, with another squeeze of Tiff’s hand.

          “Show off,” Tiffany growled.

          Sam leaned back in her seat and beamed. Strange to think she was on her way to Japan in the company of two women she’d only known for six months. In some ways it felt like she’d known them for years- lifetimes even. It was hard not to chuckle out loud. Sometimes you just met people at the exact moment when you needed to. She’d been on the mend emotionally when she stumbled upon the unlikely pair seated on either side of her. Something that night had clicked and the void and pain left by another had been filled to overflowing. Not that her two companions had become a substitute; quite the contrary. Feeling whole again she could look back on the past and remember only the positive. Her hurt had been replaced by happy memories. She was living a different life now, one that gave her perspective as well as fond recollection. Sam let out a slow sigh of contentment. She still missed what she’d lost, but it didn’t hurt anymore and she adored what she’d found. She wondered to herself if perhaps this is what growing up was.

          “Feeling good after an overly long flight?” Tiffany asked, not opening her eyes. Sam loved that. Tiffany could read her and follow her moods as if they were the tide.

          “Just happy. Got a problem with that?” she asked warmly.

          “Don’t get used to it,” Cass quipped. “Makes Ms. Schrade, nervous.”

          Sam grinned. Cass and Tiffany never stopped sniping at each other, ever. She’d gotten bits and pieces of stories from both women, but knew much of their history was left unsaid. It was interesting. All outward appearances would make one think they hated each other. Yet there was a genuine respect between the two if not affection. They also each respected the fact that Sam cared for them both. Much to Sam’s relief, neither one showed any signs of any jealousy where she was involved. Beneath it all Sam knew she could count on them both should she ever need to. She knew they could count on each other as well, not that either woman would admit it.

          Tiffany was cool personified. With a strong jaw framed by long dark hair, she had piercing blue eyes that could see into her very soul. She was reserved, thoughtful, warm and very, very dry when it came to humor. She let her actions speak for her and absolutely detested processing. Because of that Sam had avoided talking about what seemed obvious to her. They were soul mates. For all her sharp reserve, Tiffany Schrade was also too blind, stupid and oaf-like to realize that the other half of her soul was sitting right next to her. Sam didn’t mind though. She was in it for the long haul and knew she had the time to wait. Besides, the time spent in Tiffany’s company was good. Really good. There was a smart casualness about Tiffany. She always looked hot, yet at the same time gave the impression that she didn’t care and there was absolutely no effort involved. She wore makeup but it always looked natural, only highlighting the beauty that was obviously already there. She favored leather, dark colors and soft textures. Even in jeans and a ripped sweatshirt and worn sneakers Tiffany Schrade looked incredibly sexy.

          Cass on the other hand was all emotion, fire and volume. Everything about her was loud but not unpleasantly so. Tousled blond tresses framed her face and she had the softest brown eyes Sam had ever seen. She always looked like she’d just gotten out of bed after an amazing night of fucking. She dressed to the nines and could carry on a conversation about anything with anyone. If Cass entered a room you wouldn’t be able to think due to the din that radiated off of her. She spent time on how she looked, and it showed. Makeup always perfect, clothes that always fit her to perfection. She loved color, drove a hot-pink convertible Mercedes and seldom wore pants. Her monthly clothing budget was close to the mortgage on Sam’s tiny house in the Hollywood Hills and that represented an obscene amount of money.

          Sam stole a casual glance at the women on either side of her and wondered exactly where she fit in. She wasn’t as cool and reserved as Tiffany and didn’t have the ‘balls-to-the-wall’ confidence that Cass possessed. She was shorter than both women and her blond hair had the faintest hint of strawberry. She wore her hair short, with soft bangs in front, coming midway down her neck in the back. Her hair had fullness to it that Tiffany’s lacked, but it wasn’t in the perpetual state of “hair-fuck” that Cass’ favored either. Her green eyes were another contrast, in a face softer and less angular than her companions. She worked hard, was successful and enjoyed the perks that went along with being a highly respected food critic. Her wardrobe had changed somewhat in the last six months. Feeling more confident about makeup and her own personal style, she found she was getting a lot more attention from both sexes wherever she went. She wore skirts and dresses more, having picked up pointers from Cass, but leather was creeping into her wardrobe as well. In some ways she was a bridge between Tiffany and Cassandra. Tiffany was her anchor and she was confident that the chef knew exactly where she stood with the food critic. Samantha had also developed a very soft spot for Cass, which baffled Tiffany to no end. Cass worked in the high priced sex trade and due to her nocturnal schedule was seldom home when Sam was over. On the rare occasion that she was, Sam enjoyed her company-- whether sex happened or not. Cass was blunt, abrasive, rude and had a unique charisma all her own.

          Cassandra closed her magazine, drawing Sam from her thoughts. “Bored now,” she announced.

          “We’ll be landing before too long.” Sam reassured her.

          Cassandra signed dramatically. “I still don’t see why we had to get here two weeks before the show. I’m missing out on a lot of money.”

          “I’m sure you’ll find work here,” Tiff grumbled. “You always do.”

          “I’m not sure I want to work here. This is supposed to be my vacation. I just don’t see why the chef is calling all the shots.” Cass had this little pout that Sam found endearing. Tiffany just rolled her eyes.

          “Well,” Sam began diplomatically “we don’t want Tiff competing with jet lag-- and it’ll be cool to check out some of the local food before hand. Besides, we’ll get to do some sight seeing...and shopping.” Sam took Cass’ hand in her own. “You’ll have fun, I promise.”

          Cassandra grinned evilly. “I’ll hold you to that dearie.”




          Customs was a nightmare unto itself. They were met by a delegation from the television show and every thing seemed to be going smoothly until Cassandra’s bags came under inspection. It might have been the custom official’s intent to embarrass, but Cassandra stood there unfazed as each item were withdrawn from her black leather duffle.

          Anal beads- “it’s a paperweight.”

          Silicon dildo- “it’s a paperweight.”

          Stainless steel butt plug- “it’s a rather heavy paperweight.”

          Nipple clamps- “it’s a paperclip.”

          Hot pink rabbit vibrator- “It’s a vibrating paperweight.”

          Nexus double-ended dildo- “its sculpture or a paperweight, take your pick.”

          Calmly Cass droned on after whips, crops, ball gags, scarves, blindfolds, bottles of lubricant, flavored dusting powder, restraints, massage oil, condoms, finger cots, needles, scalpels, candles, ropes, dental dams, paddles, vibrators, gloves, body paints, harnesses, more dildos, more vibrators and more butt plugs were extracted from her bag. After forty-five minutes and with a small crowd gathering and getting quite the education, Cass was sent on her way with her assortment of paperweights and sculptures intact, loosing only her collection of needles and scalpels to the customs agents in Tokyo.

          “What? You didn’t bring the sling?” Tiffany remarked dryly as they were escorted to a waiting limousine.

          “Well you didn’t pack the power drill so I saw no point.” Cass shot back, settling herself in the back seat and pouting.

          The drive to the hotel consisted of the hooker translating the occasional comment between Tiffany and their escort. For the most part the conversation was carried on in English for which Sam was happy, but some comments were apparently best made in Japanese.

          The suite of rooms at the Century Hyatt were elegant, but small by American standards. Tiffany did her best to navigate the cultural waters and thank the bellhop who’d had to make two trips for Cass’ matching Gucci luggage.

          Sam moved to put her arms around Tiffany as Cass fell dramatically on the bed.

          “Now how does this Iron Chef thing work?” Cass asked innocently.

          Tiffany frowned. “I’ve explained it to you-- three times.”

          “Oh. I must have been ignoring you.”

          Sam couldn’t help but laugh. “You two are impossible! Okay, this is really simple. There is a pretend billionaire, his name is Chairman Takeshi Kaga. He lives in a pretend castle, which is really a TV studio. He has four men working for him; they are the best chefs in each of their fields. Masaharu Morimoto is the Iron Chef Japanese, Hiroyuki Sakai is the Iron Chef French, Chen Kenichi is the Iron Chef Chinese and Masahiko Kobe is the Iron Chef Italian. Tiffany will walk into the Kitchen Stadium, be greeted by Chairman Kaga then challenge one of the Iron Chefs to a cooking duel. Once she makes her pick, the secret ingredient will be uncovered and she’ll have one hour to make as many tempting dishes with the theme ingredient. When the cooking is finished, the challenger then the Iron Chef present their creations to the tasting panel who then decide who the winner is.”

          “So what do you win?” Cass asked, cutting to the chase.

          Sam shook her head, “it’s not about prizes, it’s about honor. We’re getting this cool trip to Japan, win or lose. It’s about giving a good show and making incredible food.”

          Tiffany grinned. “It’s not quite as innocent as that. Howard is hoping that if I win Le Bistro will be put on the map for Asian tourists. Chefs who beat Iron Chefs tend to see a large spike in their patronage. Nabu is now a well known restaurant in New York; that’s where Morimoto worked before striking out on his own. Over here it’s a huge deal.

          Cass shrugged, nearly having lost interest. “If the ingredient is secret, then how come you were doing all that faxing?  Every time I turned around, thinking I was getting a fax for a gig, you were sending love notes to Japan.”

          “The starting list is huge,” Tiffany explained. The Iron Chefs and I narrowed it down some by each taking turns crossing off ingredients we didn’t want to work with, peanuts for example. There are enough variables that it’ll still be quite a surprise, whatever it is. You can stock your own pantry with some things- spices, pastas, whatever but you kind of have to pick things that will work with a wide variety of foods, then pick a few special items that will match really well with some and hope for the best.”

          “Bath now,” Cass announced, making it clear that any further discussion that was Tiffany-centric would not be a good idea. The chef rolled her eyes but the food critic didn’t mind.




          Any annoyance Tiffany may have felt towards her housemate vanished the moment the three of them stepped into the bathroom.

          “Wow,” Sam breathed, her eyes widening at the sight of the huge tub.

          “There was a reason I insisted on making the travel arrangements dearie,” Cass replied smugly. “It helps to speak the same language.”

          Tiffany nodded and moved to the water controls. Cass playfully slapped her hand away. “No, you never get it hot enough. You two take a breather and let me get the bath ready.”

          Not wanting to jeopardize what could be an enjoyable bath, both women complied.

          “I don’t know how you put up with her,” Tiffany grumbled in Sam’s ear as the two walked over to enjoy the view outside the window of the suite’s main room. It wasn’t the sort of view Sam would call ‘pretty’. It was all buildings and people, but there was an exotic foreign quality to it that reminded her of the movie Blade Runner. She lived in a city that was steel, plastic and concrete, but this was different. She felt like she was indeed in another world. Tiffany had moved behind her and wrapped strong, warm arms around her, nuzzling her neck gently.

          “How I put up with her?” Sam replied with a giggle. “You’re the one who lives with her. Besides, now that I’ve gotten used to her, I find her charming, in a lewd abrasive sort of way.”

          Sam turned in the strong arms that held her so she could look up into Tiffany’s clear blue eyes. “Does it bother you?” she asked honestly, “that I’ve gotten attached to Cass?”

          Tiffany smiled a warm, open smile. One of the rare ones that she saved just for Sam. “No.” She was going to leave it at that, but a squeeze around her middle from the smaller woman encouraged her to elaborate. “Cass isn’t outside our arrangement.”

          Green eyes danced with mischief. “Tiffany Schrade, are you saying we have an arrangement?”

          Cocking an eyebrow the taller woman answered. “Yes.” There was another squeeze. “Our arrangement is to keep doing this, until this stops working,” Tiffany replied with a squeeze of her own.

          Sam rested her cheek against the chef’s chest and listened to the rhythmic beating of her heart. “That was nearly sentimental of you, Tiffany,” She murmured. “Keep that up and I’ll start to get ideas about you.”

          Tiffany squeezed tighter; both knew they were well past that point. “All I’m saying is we’ve got it good here. So far we’re both doing what we want and it’s working. No one is feeling left out or cheated. Why monkey around with a good thing by calling attention to it?”

          “Okay kids, bath’s ready.” Cass called from the other room.

          “Because I happen to like mush,” Sam answered defiantly as she followed the other woman to the bathroom.

          Cass hadn’t wasted her time. Flickering candles lined the black gleaming counter top. In the warm orange glow, steaming curls could be seen rising from the water’s surface. The whole bathroom smelled of the sweet foam that hinted of citrus. Sam knew the fragrance well, she’d worn Bergamot for years, but Cass had become addicted to it recently.

          Tiffany was the first in the tub, sliding her muscular body back towards the end away from the faucet. Cass got in next, taking the other end and Samantha climbed between them. At first Sam just rested, leaning back against Tiffany. The water was luxuriously hot and the fragrant foam almost hypnotic. She could feel the thousands of miles and hours of plane travel melt away from her body. She was nearly asleep when she felt a firm touch on her foot. Groaning with pleasure she opened a lazy eye to see Cass massaging her foot. While the blond woman worked, Tiffany started massaging Sam’s shoulders.

          To Sam it was bliss. Nobody said anything and it was perfectly comfortable. Each was enjoying the silence, save for the occasional sound of limbs being readjusted in the bath water. There was a comfort and relaxation that permeated the warm, softly glowing room.

          Finally Cass released her hold on Sam’s foot and drew her long thin fingers over a muscled calf submerged in the tub. Her hand continued to climb, moving up Sam’s thigh just as Tiffany’s hands moved down from Sam’s shoulders to cup her breasts and squeeze firmly. With the grace of a cat, Cass moved from sitting to rolling up onto the balls of her feet and leaning over the reclining food critic. “I did something for you,” she softly purred, “now you do something for me.”

          Sam knew what was coming, or at least she thought she did; Cass could be unpredictable at times. A sly smile spread across her face. “What can I do for you, Ms. Wilson?” she asked with all the sweetness and innocence of a Catholic High School girl.

          Tiffany stopped squeezing Sam’s breasts awaiting Cass’ answer. The prostitute moved close, so close to Sam’s face that her lips were brushing the other woman’s as she spoke. “You know,” Cass breathed, and then slowly moved back.

          Never taking her eyes from the blond, Sam nodded slowly and began to ease her body out of the water. The bathroom was warm, but not as deliciously warm as the water had been, and Sam’s skin showed it. Goosebumps and erect nipples changed the landscape of her skin as water ran off her smooth muscled form. Cass took her position on the corner ledge of the large tub, sitting out of the water with her legs spread wide open. Tiffany remained where she was, content to watch the show from her vantage point.

          Sam began to move. It was quite subtle at first just the barest rippling of muscle and skin. Then with the graceful rotation of a hip and the visible contraction of abdominal muscles Sam began to dance. Cass smiled, even bright white teeth showing between darkly painted lips. “Oh, you’re good,” she said approvingly “Shikira’s got nothing on your dancing, hon.”

          There was plenty of room in the tub to turn where she stood, so Sam did, adding slowly undulating arm movements to her erotic dance. Now it was Tiffany’s turn to smile, her bright blue eyes raking over the nude dancer’s form.

          When Sam finished her turn, facing Cass once again, she stood with her legs a little more than shoulder width apart. Her graceful arms continued to move, but this time they began to glide over her skin, hands touching arms, abs and finally her own breasts. Cass eyes widened in appreciation as Sam touched herself, then narrowed in arousal as Samantha’s hands moved down.

          While Tiffany couldn’t see the show, it was obvious what was going on from the back; the fact that Sam wasn’t shy about audibly conveying how she felt made the scene crystal clear. She could hear the standing woman’s breath catch, a slight gasp, a moan; all the sounds echoing off the tiled bathroom. Even submerged in bath water she could feel herself getting wet.

          Sam slipped two fingers deep into herself, groaning with pleasure, her thumb providing steady pressure on her clit. It felt fantastic. Her skin was hot from arousal and cold from the air at the same time. She could move her body and make two hearts skip a beat. There was power here. When she withdrew her fingers she held them out for Cass to sample, which the seated blond did enthusiastically. As the soft warm mouth encased her fingers she could feel the purposeful caress of Cass’ tongue.

          “Come on slut,” Cass whispered harshly when she’d licked Sam’s fingers clean. “Finish the show.”

          Smirking, Sam turned her back on Cass and bent over. While she was rewarding the hooker with an incredible view, she was also denying the other woman the chance to see her face. That view she rewarded instead to Tiffany.

          “I don’t think I liked being called a slut just now,” Sam commented, matter-of-factly.

          “Bummer,” Tiffany whispered. “However will you punish that vulgar and crass woman?”

          “I’ll have to think of something.”

          “Maybe I can help,” Tiffany replied. While Sam continued to move two fingers in and out of her pussy, Tiffany raised a hand out of the water and began to fondle Sam as well. Her fingers explored where the other woman was touching as well as lightly pinching and playing with her clit.

          “You’re not saving all the fun for her,” Cass objected, leaning forward from her perch on the side of the tub. Gently parting Sam’s ass cheeks with her hands, she leaned forward.

          “Oh god,” Sam groaned, deep and guttural. Cass’ tongue playing with her asshole, and Tiffany’s fingers at her clit were sending volumes of information along nerves ill equipped to process such traffic. Removing her fingers she used both hands to brace herself against the tile wall. Cass saw that as an invitation and moved two of her fingers to replace Sam’s. Tiffany also saw it as an invitation. With Sam’s hand no longer blocking access from the front, she leaned forward and moved her face to the place her fingers had just been playing.

          “Oh fuckkkk,” Sam hissed, a visible shudder shaking her body. “That’s right,” she whimpered. “Both of me.”

          Every nerve felt deliciously alive. Her skin cold, her breath coming in hot ragged gasps. She felt wonderfully full as Cass kept a steady rhythm with her hand. With Cass’ mouth on her asshole she delighted in the dance of soft dexterous wetness playing against her incredibly sensitive anus. The torrent of pleasure produced there threatened to overwhelm the tsunamic wave of bliss building from her clit and beyond. Two tongues moving against her, similar sensations and at the same time incredibly different. Cass was probing, moving in and around with an almost scattered quality; like Ragtime on the piano. Tiffany however, was smooth, slow, languid chords. She knew how to make Sam wait, how to draw out her pleasure. As soon as she realized that she wanted to feel the warm wetness of Tiffany’s tongue somewhere it was already there. Tiffany read every twitch and contraction of Samantha’s body an instant before Sam’s brain deciphered that same information.

          Movement caught the corner of Sam’s eye and out of her peripheral vision could see Cass moving her free hand, she assumed, to her own mound. Glancing down she could see Tiffany doing the same with her own pussy under the bath water. That sight alone sent yet more wetness to where she already felt herself dripping. “Fuck yeah,” she purred.

          It didn’t take long for Sam to come, nor did she try to put up any resistance to the tide that was rising to overtake her. No, she was ready for it, ready for the crash of bliss that hammered at her and left her weak and content.

          With a loud cry, then a gasp she slid back into the water and curled up contentedly in Tiffany’s lap. Cass also slid back into the water. Sam didn’t know if either of the other women came or not, but at the moment she couldn’t care less if they had. She was wrung out and happy and until the resonances of feeling that good dissipated, she was the center of the universe. She sat there smiling, warm and content without a single care in the world.




          Sam continued to smile through the rest of the raunchy sex that night, past breakfast the next morning and well into an afternoon full of shopping. Tiffany was busy at the television studio getting a tour of Kitchen Stadium where she would compete, as well as finalizing her contract with the show’s producers.

          That left Sam and Cass free for a day to explore the city on their own. While she wished that Tiffany could join them she realized that the TV show was the reason they were here. Besides Sam rarely got to spend time alone with the enigmatic hooker and it was nice not to have to endure Cass and Tiffany fighting. Cass knew the city and it’s customs well and Sam was grateful to have a private tour guide.

          It was a mystery to Sam where Cass had acquired her education. All she knew was that Cassandra Wilson was many shades of “worldly”. She spoke nearly a dozen languages fluently and had traveled the world over. Samantha couldn’t help but wonder if all that travel had been Cassandra’s idea, or if she had been running from something.

          “You’re unusually quiet today,” Cass observed, her eyes hidden behind Ray Ban sunglasses as she scanned a display in a storefront window. “Sprain your tongue?”

          Sam cocked her head. The high fashion shoes in the window were not as intriguing as her companion. “Is everything with you about sex?”

          Cass shrugged. “Maybe. Is that a problem?”

          Sam thought about it as they continued walking. “No, it’s not a problem,” she finally answered. “I guess I just never spent much time thinking about it. Sex I mean, and now I’ve met someone who is either doing it, or talking about it, and...” Sam stole a casual glance at her companion, her thoughts changing gears, “I feel like there is more to you than sex, but you don’t like to show it. Why is that? You’re like Tiffany that way- I swear it’s the only thing the two of you have in common.”

          Cass arched an eyebrow. “This is where we catch the bus to the temple,” she announced after reading the sign.

          The two sat in silence for most of the ride. Sam was aware of the eyes on them. Two hot blond Americans stood out prominently in the homogenous landscape. “Don’t I get an answer?” she finally asked quietly.

          “Do you know why Tiff and I don’t rip each other’s heads off?” she asked in return? “Because we don’t try to figure each other out. We’ve mastered the art of co-existence.”

          Sam continued to look at her patiently, waiting for more. “You know some of my history,” Cass said quietly, resigned to giving the woman an answer. “But that doesn’t define me. Maybe I am all about sex, maybe there is something else too- but I’m not the introspective sort that you are to figure out what quality goes in which bin. I swear you Virgos are such a pain in the ass that way. I’m just me, I take it as a whole and you my sweet will have to do the same.”

          Sam was surprised by the honest frankness of the answer and didn’t want to push the woman further, well not much further. “I’ve noticed that the two of you never have sex with each other,” Sam observed, “What’s that about?”

          The hooker turned her head sharply. She studied Sam’s face for a moment, as if trying to decipher the question lurking behind the question. “I’d think you’d appreciate having all of the attention on you?”

          “Oh god,” Sam replied in a rush, “I’m not complaining. But you two seem to really detest each other most of the time, yet you’re…well…closer than most people who hate each other usually are.”

          Cass shrugged. “I see your point. It’s complicated, sweetie. Do I think she’s hot? Of course I do, I’m not blind or stupid. Does she think I’m hot? Well she’s not stupid either, and… I am. We have fucked before, but we were pretty drunk off our asses at the time.” Cass shrugged, “I don’t have qualms, look at what I do for a living. Not to say I’m not picky, but I’m ready to go most of the time. Tiffany, get her drunk and well…But sober? No way. She’s still hot all right but then she opens her mouth and starts to talk and that just kind of kills it for me. Drunk, I’m not listening.” the blond woman trailed off and looked out the bus window for a few long moments as the city sped by. “Besides, I’ve got plenty of other friends to fuck who don’t make me crazy. Please don’t try to figure me out Samantha, it will only frustrate you.”

          “Why does me getting to know you, the real you, pose such a threat?” Sam pushed as the bus slowed to a stop. A man behind them muttered something to his companion and Cass answered in flawless Japanese, which elicited a number of shocked gasps from the nearby passengers.

          “What was that about?” Sam asked as they left the bus.

          “The stud behind us said he thought I had nice blow job lips,” she replied matter-of-factly. “I told him my teeth were better and if he’d like to lose his dick I’d be happy to oblige. And I’m not threatened by you sweetie, I just don’t think you’re going to find what you’re looking for-- not because I’m trying to be coy, but because I think you’re expecting to find something that isn’t there to be found.” She smiled a little sadly “I’m sorry sweetie, I really am.” Then regaining her composure she announced, “Ah, here we are at the temple.” In a moment she was heading up the stone path, leaving Sam in silence.

          Shaking her head she followed the other woman through the awe inspiring main gate to the temple. It was gorgeous. The clean lines of the classic double roofed temple sat back behind a five-tiered pagoda. Some distance to one side she could see the cemetery and to the other a peaceful garden. The two women decided to start their tour at the main temple behind the pagoda. Samantha had been interested in world religions since her teens and felt a familiar reverence envelope her as soon as she entered. While she never considered herself a “god person”, she respected places and relics others saw as holy. Maybe, she wondered, it was because she was jealous of not feeling that sense of the divine that others did. She’d looked her whole life, but never got what it was others were worshiping. As Sam wandered around in the temple she stole casual glances at her companion who strolled around the structure as if she were wandering through a shop on Rodeo Drive. A man approached her and Cass chatted with him quietly. It must be the clothes, Sam decided. Cass could draw men like a shark to chum. Leaving her friend some privacy she turned away and headed towards a man selling prayer incense.

          Sam watched what the other visitors were doing and with lighted incense in hand she knelt before the statue of Buddha opening herself up to some enlightenment. Nothing happened.

          “Not feeling the glow eh?” Cass asked quietly, joining Sam.

          Sadly, Sam shook her head. “No, how could you tell?”

          “I know how people look when they’re in tune with what they hold dear. Since you’re in a deep philosophical mood today I’ll tell you that you’re looking for your church and this isn’t it.”

          “That’s the problem, Cass. I’ve never been able to find one. I’ve looked, seriously, but I can’t find a religion or a church that works for me.”

          “Nonsense,” Cass replied, shaking her head dismissively. “You’ve got your religion, same as Tiff and me-- you just haven’t put two and two together yet.”

          The two women continued to talk as they explored the temple grounds. In some ways it was everything Sam expected a Japanese temple to be. Beautiful, well manicured, pristine but it was also unusual and alien. Not the stereotypical little bridges over koi ponds back home.

          “Let me get this straight,” She said stopping at a Zen garden. “You’re saying that you know what my religion is, when I don’t?”

          “That’s right.”

          “And you also know Tiffany Schrade’s religion. Tiffany our friend the devout atheist.”

          “Exactly. Calm down Sam, it’s not like I’m Cassandra Wilson: Psychic Hooker or anything. And as a matter of fact, I’d think Tiff’s religion would be obvious. Religion isn’t necessarily about some ‘god’ figure. Anyone who says it is, is probably recruiting or selling something. It’s about what pulses in your veins. For Tiffany, It’s food. Food and power.”

          The food critic frowned critically. “Food can’t be a religion. It just isn’t.”

          “Bullshit. Tiff has taken you with her to the fishmonger’s in the morning, hasn’t she? You’ve seen that gleam she gets in her eye when she spots the exceptional tuna or when she’s in the zone in the kitchen. Tiffany is as good a chef as she is, not because it’s her profession, but because it’s what makes her heart beat.”

          “I’m in the same field, are you saying food is my religion too? I know there are some lame religions out there, but that’s really pushing it.”

          “No, for you it’s a vocation. It’s what you do not what you are. You enjoy it; you write about it, you know your shit. But what’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? What’s the first thing you do when you get home at night? What did you do right before you, Tiff and I did it for the first time?”

          Then it hit her, like a bolt out of the blue waking her up to a truth that had been staring her in the face, waiting for her to blink. “Music?” she whispered. “That’s absurd.”

          “Score one for Blondie,” Cass muttered. “Let me prove my point.”         

          Without questioning, Sam followed Cass to another bus and to another part of the city. They walked several blocks to an area that didn’t appear to see many tourists. Everywhere they went people stopped what they were doing to stare. Sam heard the music coming out of a small neighborhood restaurant before she could determine which dingy door was the entrance. She smiled. Cass was right. It didn’t matter that the notes were foreign; that the lyrics were completely unintelligible to her ears or that the beat didn’t land where her gut told her it should. It was music and Sam responded to it. They stepped into the building and met silence. The players stopped abruptly, shocked by the new arrivals. Cass spoke to them encouringly in Japanese and they looked uncertainly at the proprietor. Cass spoke to him next, ordering something as near as Sam could tell, and after a couple more comments from the unpredictable blond, everyone seemed happy and the music continued.

          “What did you say?”

          Cass chuckled. “I just bought everyone a round of sake. Some things are universal.”

          Sam decided it was better than shopping. They spent the remainder of the afternoon in that dingy joint- almost like any other neighborhood joint the world over. Sam felt she’d gotten more of a sense of the people and culture of Japan than she would have from a dozen tourist destinations. She could tell the mates coming in after work, relaxing after their long day. One pair was obviously a young couple on their first date for drinks. It was both the same as back home and different too.

          “So sex is your religion?” Sam asked, after her fifth sake.

          Cass shrugged. “Perhaps, my religion and vocation. Like Tiffany I’m into power. She likes to bend food to her will, create things that enslave a person’s taste buds and senses. I do the same things but the body is my pallet and endorphins are my medium. It’s not as much about sex, the ‘getting off’ as it were, as it is about the trip getting there. Not every orgasm is a religious experience for me or whatever gorgeous woman I’m with- but when it happens, it gets me closer to god than anything else I’ve ever found.”

          “So you think of yourself as a lesbian?” Sam asked, and then regretted that last sake. She hoped she hadn’t offended her friend.

          Cass looked at her and blinked. “Did I not tie you to the bed and fuck you ever so completely last night? What kind of question is that?”

          Sam’s cheeks flushed. “But the John’s. The guys who pay you…”

          Cass smiled. “There are women who pay me too, dearie. That’s work. So I enjoy the occasional protein milkshake,” She shrugged, downing another sake. “I let guys fuck me for money, or I fuck them for money, or just wear rubber and walk on them in stilettos. Off the clock I fuck only women. What does that make me?”

          Sam shrugged a bit sheepishly, “Technically, a bisexual I think.”

          Cass rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed. “Fine, bisexual, whatever. My point is, Miss Lesbian Purist, is that the stuff that makes you feel alive, like there is actually a point to being alive, like it’s all not for nothing, then that is your religion.” She put down her sake cup and quietly muttered to herself “What’s the problem with men anyway? They’ve got the disposable income.”

          Sam didn’t know how she felt about what she was hearing. Her thoughts were muddled by sake. According to Cass’ theory The Super bowl or a T.V. show could be someone’s religion and that just seemed wrong. She wasn’t convinced like Tiffany that there wasn’t anything else out there. But she wasn’t convinced like Cass that there was either. The only thing she was sure of was that food, music and sex would have gotten her low marks as answers in world religions class.

          Both women were a little unsteady as they headed back to the bus stop to take them back to their hotel. Cass put a reassuring arm around Sam’s shoulders. “Sometimes something is so deep, so ingrained, so primal, it might as well be religion. I can see that music taps that thing in you, for chrissakes, you alphabetize eighties band names in your sleep, for Tiff and me it’s power. Tiff likes to use the elements of earth to channel her power: fire, and plants, and animals- that whole trip. I like to harness the energy within. Sometimes those things overlap, which is why we haven’t killed each other yet. Once in a blue moon we sort of see eye to eye. In fact, I think she was more disappointed than I that my blades didn’t pass muster at the airport.”

          Sam’s head snapped toward Cass. “What are you talking about?” Sam had wondered what the scalpels and needles were for. She knew they weren’t for drugs because neither Tiffany nor Cass was into that. She assumed something sexual, but still couldn’t imagine what.

          Before Cass could answer a sleek black limo pulled up to a stop next to the women and a tinted black window slid smoothly open. Cass leaned in and spoke with the occupant for several moments before turning back to Sam. “Mr. Ota here is taking this limo to his hotel which isn’t far, he says he’ll have the limo take us to our hotel after we drop him off...”

          “And?” Sam asked dubiously.

          Cass shrugged with a twinkle in her eye. “He wants a blow job.” Sam’s panicked eyes shot from the limo to Cass and back. “Hey, I’ve been to your office and seen you work,” Cass reminded her. “You’ve never seen me work. I think I’d like that.” It must have been the sake, because that argument made perfect sense to Sam. While she had reservations about men, generally speaking, she was curious to see the other woman work.

          Smiling nervously, Sam slid into the limo behind Cass and took a seat across from the businessman and her friend. He looked at her and smiled then said something to Cass. The hooker looked at Sam fondly and replied to the Japanese man.

          “He wanted to know if you were going to join me and I told him no, that you’d just be watching. He likes that idea and says you have beautiful eyes, which you do.” Sam smiled at him, flattered.

          The man said something, making a move towards Cass who flinched out of the way. She replied quickly. Not harshly as far as Sam could tell, but made her position clear. With another smile and wink towards Sam, Cass began to caress the man’s crotch as he raised the partition between the three of them and the chauffeur.

          “Is everything okay?” Sam asked.

          “Yes,” Cass answered, her voice a gentle purr. “Our friend here just needed to be told the ground rules. No kissing, no holding my head down unless I say it’s okay- watch the earrings. That sort of thing. Ota-San says he’s never had anyone watch him get a blowjob and finds it quite exciting. I told him to have his wife join him with a hooker sometime.” Looking down at the bulge in the man’s pants Cass grinned at Sam once more. “It’s show time.” She said as she deftly undid his pants with one hand, not taking her other hand off his crotch as she worked. Softly Cass whispered to him in Japanese and his breath caught.

          Sam was oddly fascinated. It had been some time since she’d seen a man’s penis, in the flesh, as it were. She tried to remember the last time, in real life- not in porn- and couldn’t think of anything past college. He wasn’t a large man, certainly not compared to the men in the gay porn she occasionally watched with Cass and Tiff, but he wasn’t half bad either. Certainly his size was improving as Cass worked. He was handsome Sam supposed, for a guy. She guessed mid to late thirties, well groomed, fit. His head rolled back as he let out a satisfied groan when Cass’ lips slid around his dick. Sam tried not to frown but felt a pang of jealousy anyway. While Cass wasn’t her girlfriend by any stretch, she still had more claim to those lips than the guy’s dick. He said something unintelligible to Sam’s ears as Cass sucked and nibbled lightly on his balls, her hands continuing to caress as her tongue moved up and down the shaft of his dick. Finally she closed her lips around him and moving her head down, deep throated all of him into her mouth and throat. He groaned, licking his lips. Watching Cass at work was having it’s own effect on Sam’s pulse. She knew what that tongue felt like and how incredible Mr. Ota must be feeling at that very moment. She was also feeling another pang of jealousy, lacking a part of her anatomy that sensitive which could disappear into Cassandra’s magnificent mouth. As if on cue he looked over to Sam, his eyes bright with wonder and pleasure. Cass also looked over at her and winked and the jealousy Sam was feeling towards the businessman ebbed away. Cass was putting on a show all right, but it wasn’t for Mr. Ota. Sam smiled at him. She didn’t have the heart to begrudge him the pleasure he was feeling. She might not know exactly what he felt, but she was sure that she had felt better. In moments it was all over. His voice rose, his body trembled. Cass covered his penis with her mouth, and he cried out then nearly sobbed.

          “Oh my god, you swallow?” Sam gasped, stunned.

          Cass laughed. “Less mess dearie.” She then asked Mr. Ota something and he gratefully handed her a handkerchief. After delicately blotting the corners of her mouth she wiped off her lipstick, then handed the handkerchief back to the gentleman. He replied gratefully, bowing slightly and returned the cloth to his pocket. “I told him that you complimented him on his dick by the way. It wouldn’t do to hear about squeamishness you know.”

          The limo had pulled to a stop. Their Japanese companion thanked Cass once again and gave her a wad of bills from his wallet. Cass bowed graciously and wished him well. He said something to his chauffeur and was gone. Cass gave some instructions of her own, and then raised the partition back into place.

          “Might as well take the long way home,” Cass remarked as she sat back in the leather seat, patting the space next to her.

          Sam joined her in a heartbeat as the limo pulled away from the curb. “I’d better get something that your recently departed client didn’t,” Sam nearly growled as her lips found Cass’ neck.

          “The difference between vocation and religion perhaps?” Cass asked after a soft moan.

          “I’ll settle for your mouth.” Sam kissed her hard, her mouth covering Cass’ and plumbing it’s depths with her tongue. Cass relaxed under the assault, more than pleased with herself that she’d gotten the other woman so turned on. As tongues dueled Sam noticed a salty bitterness in Cass’s mouth, a taste she could have done without, to be sure. But still, it was something that drove her to reclaim that mouth with an urgency that surprised and thrilled her.

          Schooled in the map reading of human desire, Cass could see where Sam’s passion was taking her. She smiled enjoying the power, the connection, and the moment. “Make me come,” she whispered urgently in Sam’s ear. “Please Sam, I need you to make me come.”

          Sam had only had sex alone with Cass a couple of times before. She and Tiffany had talked about it; the chef didn’t mind. Tiffany knew how persistent Cass could be when the prostitute was in a mood. Sam was surprised at first at how easy it all worked out. Her connection with Tiffany’s housemate was different; just as intense, but not the kind of connection that made her feel grounded and solid on the inside. This was more than merely a physical thing too. She cared about Cass, and at times like this felt white-hot passion for the woman and while it wasn’t Tiffany, it was still a connection she felt damn lucky to have.

          Cass hardly ever wore pants, which made moments like this convenient. Her skirt slid easily up over her thighs, the mesh thong she wore underneath easily moved out of the way. Sam continued to kiss her hard, alternating between sucking on the tongue that had taken up residence in her mouth, and teasing those exquisite lips with her teeth. On occasion Sam liked to bite, and when the mood hit her, Cass enjoyed being bit.

          Already there was a pooling of moisture at the juncture of Cass’ legs and Sam smiled in pleasure at finding it.” Sucking off dicks get you dripping for it?” She asked mockingly.

          It was Cass’ turn to smile. A coy, nearly shy smile. “No dear, but putting on a show for you does.”

          Not buying the innocent routine for a second Sam kissed harder. “Are you trying to play me slut?”

          “Will you fuck me hard if I say yes?”

          It was never really a question of Cass not getting fucked exactly the way she wanted. Sam had no problem in giving each of them exactly what they craved. It was easier for Cass to be rough than gentle, challenging instead of tender- but this wasn’t about hearts twining together and souls moving in to live with each other. This was about bodies demanding release and hearts that celebrated the friendly orgasm.

          Two of Sam’s fingers slipped easily inside Cass’ wetness. With the tip of her thumb she massaged the prostitute’s clit as her fingers kept up a steady rhythm. Cass sucked in her breath sharply then let it out slowly- gathering her will power to enjoy the ride as long as she wanted.

          “You’re so fucking hot,” Sam growled into Cass’ ear as she worked. With her free hand she roughly grabbed the hooker’s jaw, turning it to the side and exposing more of her neck. Cass moaned. “Play with your tits,” Sam demanded and she complied. It didn’t take long for Cass to surrender to the building wave, riding out each surge with a loud groan.

          “You are a gem,” she finally sighed, cupping the sides of Sam’s face and gently kissing her lips. The two continued to kiss, snuggle, and cuddle all the way to the hotel, which to Sam’s liking was some distance away.

          It took a few moments for the women to compose themselves and exit the limo, Cass quickly surveying the inside of the car to see if she’d made a mess. Satisfied that all was in order she gave the driver a few bills then followed Sam into the hotel.

          Outside the door to their room music could be heard and Sam swiped the key enthusiastically. “I say dancing before dinner!”

          Cass watched her bound into the room, deciding that Tiffany was at times worth putting up with in order to share Sam.

          Tiffany had been working out, dressed in shorts and a sports bra. She’d moved the central table of the main room to the side, and there was space to move. When Sam bounded into the room Tiffany smiled, cranking the music some more. Then she joined her lover in one of their favorite pastimes outside the bed. The techno groove of U2’s classic turned the small hotel suite into a three woman rave party.


High, higher than the sun 

You shoot me from a gun 

I need you to elevate me here,

At the corner of your lips 

As the orbit of your hips

Eclipse, you elevate my soul


          Sam danced with reckless abandon, completely at ease with her companions. As she moved around the room her clothes began to come off, as an after thought glancing to the window to verify that the blinds were indeed drawn. No strangers to a dance floor, Tiffany and Cass joined her enjoying the sensation of bodies in motion.


I’ve lost all self-control

Been living like a mole 

Now going down, excavation

I and I in the sky

You make me feel like I can fly

So high, elevation


          It’s not like logical thought could touch what had developed between the three. Unbidden, uninvited, happiness had descended on them nonetheless, and like a snake shedding her skin or phoenix rising from the ashes, Sam felt reborn in the company of her companions. Cass felt more than she let on and was relieved to have seriously found the connection without strings that she sought. Tiffany was baffled at the turn her life had taken but was determined not to wake from the dream if there was anything in her power she could do to prolong it.


A star, lit up like a cigar 

Strung out like a guitar 

Maybe you could educate my mind

Explain all these controls

I can’t sing but I’ve got soul

The goal is elevation


          As the women worked up a sweat Sam considered the buzz her body was feeling. Turned on, tuned in and alive, she briefly considered sex before dinner and decided she wanted to wait. She wanted to enjoy the tension, the building of erotic energy that had begun with watching Cass go down on some john in a limo. She wanted Tiffany to tease her through dinner and when she felt like she’d die from the sheer volume of passion she was feeling, she wanted to feel that mind blowing release through every cell of her being.


A mole, living in a hole

Digging up my soul

Going down, excavation

I and I in the sky

You make me feel like I can fly

So high, elevation


          The women danced closer together, muscular bodies moving in tandem, synchronized with each other’s unconscious movements. While each was in their own world with the song and how the vibrations affected them, they were also together at one with each other and the music.


Love, lift me out of these blues

Won’t you tell me something true

I believe in you


          Drawn from their reverie by the shift in tempo, they slowed looking at each other taking in the fine sheen of sweat on their bodies and the pounding of hearts and lungs at work. Knowing it was almost over and wanting to enjoy it to the last beat they smiled at each other, gathering their wind for the big finish.


A mole, living in a hole

Digging up my soul

Going down, excavation

I and I in the sky

You make me feel like I can fly

So high, elevation...


          As the song faded Sam collapsed on the floor happy and at peace with the world. “Man, I want a shower, a kick ass dinner then I want to come back here and have you two fuck my brains out.”

          Tiffany beamed over at Cass. “Can I score the classy chicks or what?




          Dinner was elegant. They were guests at the Italian restaurant of a chef who had defeated Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe. The three enjoyed the best the chef had to offer. They were as impressed with the food as the tasters had been during his Iron Chef competition.

          “So how did things go at the studio today?” Sam asked, taking a sip of wine. She studied Tiffany who was clearly enjoying her duck, but being particularly thoughtful about it at the same time. This was part of why they arrived early, to gain some insight to the palate of the people she would be judged by. Still, for all her focus on the sight, smell and taste of the meal they were enjoying, as soon as Sam spoke, she had her lover’s undivided attention.

          Tiffany shrugged, vivid blue eyes taking a moment to enjoy the sight of the woman before her. All three were dressed in black. Sam opted for a soft clingy sweater, short skirt and strappy heels. Tiffany had chosen a silk blouse and slacks and Cass opted for a tight black dress that hugged every curve she possessed. The ambient noise in the restaurant diminished considerably when the three walked in.

          “It went fine. The place is amazing. The stage is over 9,000 square feet. It’s the largest soundstage Fuji TV has. I brought my own knives, of course, but they’ve got over 100 of them anyway. The sheer quantity of everything for battle is something else. The number of plates, dishes, pots & pans, not to mention ingredients is really staggering.”

          Cass chuckled, “So we didn’t need to bring seven kinds of cereal from home?”

          The chef shook her head. “Oddly enough, Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Crispies and Frosted Flakes are not a regular part of their pantry. Every kind of Miso product you can think of, yes. Sugar infused breakfast foods, no.”

          Tiffany raised another forkful of duck to her mouth and took a sip of wine before continuing. “I got to meet the chefs, which was cool and chat with some of the assistants and get a feel for the pantry. The translator they provided is okay, but Cass, I’d rather have you do it if you don’t mind.”

          Cass winked at Sam. “Sure hot-stuff. But it’s going to cost you.”

          Tiffany rolled her eyes. “I pay anyway, at least this way I’m getting something out of it.”

          “Who do you think you’re going to pick for battle?” Sam asked, trying for a diversion.

          “I think I’ll go for Morimoto for some sort of French/Neo-Japanese battle.” The chef replied. Cass arched an eyebrow at the news. The gesture was not lost on the chef. “So tell me about your day,” she asked, her eyes boring into her housemate’s as she tried to decipher what the blond woman was up to.

          With an amazing mind for details, Cass described the sights they’d seen and places they’d gone during the day. She left the steamier moments for Sam to describe, who did so after looking cautiously around the restaurant and keeping her voice down. While it was fine to talk about fun and games in a limo, albeit quietly, this was no place to talk about some of the other things she had on her mind. Giving in to her better judgment, Sam decided that a restaurant was not the place to talk about some of the edgier things she and Cass had discussed. Tiffany and Cass had a habit of rendering coherent thought impossible when the three of them were alone so she wasn’t’ sure when she’d get another chance. Still she stuck with her decision to let it wait. There would be time enough in the days to come to ask Tiffany about needles and knives.

          “We haven’t played Truth or Truth this week.” Sam mentioned after another forkful of an amazingly perfected butternut squash ravioli.

          The game had originally been Truth or Dare. Each week one woman would take a turn asking a question or posing a dare and all three would comply with their choice. After all three women had received permanent body modifications they decided that perhaps the dares were poised to spiral out of control. Sam had to agree, but did miss some of the dares. Her favorite had been the time Cass dared her and Tiffany to take her camping. They chose the Sequoia National Park and settled in for a four-day trip. Sam would never forget the look on the young, attractive park ranger’s face the first night when she politely told them that they would have to keep it down, they were frightening the animals. For all of her spoiled tendencies Cass had been a perfect sport on the trip. She enjoyed the adventure and was roughing it by only brining three suitcases. Sam and Tiffany weren’t surprised when they’d come across the hooker a ways off the trail having her way with the attractive park ranger, her back up against a giant sequoia. Cass explained she was getting in touch with nature and had been bugging the other two to take her camping again ever since.

          In all honesty Sam found the challenge of coming up with a question more daunting than a dare. Inwardly she shuddered when she remembered the first question she’d ever posed. She had thought the question innocent enough; when had each of them had their first orgasm. She realized how unprepared she was for the honesty she was going to get with the answer.

          Cass’ eyes grew distant. “I was eight,” the hooker said flatly. “I’m pretty sure it was eight, can’t imagine me being seven that’s so young…It wasn’t my idea, I wasn’t happy about it, ‘nuff said.”

          Tiffany nodded sympathetically. “Her step-father,” she said quietly to Sam. “He was a problem until Cass was 13.”

          “He was a problem until the day he died, the miserable bastard,” Cass shot back. “He just left me alone after I was 13. Probably too mature for him, or he noticed my growing fascination with knives.” She shrugged, “I was on my own by 14 anyway.”

          If Sam could have chosen any other way to find out about Cass’ history with child-sexual abuse she would have. But there it was and she felt hopelessly lost.

          “I’ve heard about these orgasm things, but I haven’t had one yet,” Tiffany had announced. “Sam if you’d care to assist I’m sure you can show me what it’s all about. I hear when done correctly, they can be quite splendid.” They all laughed at Tiffany’s joke, Cass had the moment to regain her composure and hadn’t insulted the chef for the rest of the evening. Sam even noticed that the prostitute gently ran her fingers through Tiffany’s hair for a moment as she went to the kitchen for another bottle of wine.

          “I believe it’s Sam’s turn,” Tiffany said gently, drawing Sam from her memory. Both she and Cass had put down their silverware and were giving the food-critic their undivided attention.

          “Right,” Sam began. She’d worked on the question two days ago in the shower, trying to phrase it in such a way to keep the game fun. “Where is the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex. The sex has to have been a positive experience, the place has to have been of your choosing and,” she looked at Cass, “you don’t have to include any work experience if you don’t want to.”

          “Very considerate of you sweetie,” Cass said, toasting the food-critic with her wine glass.

          Tiffany chuckled. “But then you’re missing her best locations. The church, the funeral parlor, the DMV, the gas station on Melrose.”

          “As if,” Cass huffed. “You may pick up your dates at gas stations,” she shot back, then blowing Sam a kiss added, “present company excluded of course. And don’t knock the funeral parlor job. That Goth guy was very sweet, cute and rich. And coffins are more comfortable than you’d imagine. Hmm… maybe I should call him.”

          “You first Tiffany,” Sam said enjoying the way the soft lighting accented the planes of her lover’s face.

          “On horseback,” She said.

          “Were you actually fucking the horse Tiffany dear?” Cass asked sweetly.

          “No love,” she replied, without missing a beat, “You’re the only one of this trio who can handle a literal thoroughbred. Probably two.”

          “You think you’re so funny,” Cass shot back, annoyed that she’d set herself up. “Just tell your lame story.”

          The chef smirked at her victory, took a sip of wine and continued. “It was the summer I handled the kitchen for this Canadian resort. They had horseback riding and I’d gotten acquainted with the wranglers. I had been out riding with Boris…”

          “A guy?” Sam blurted, surprised. All three of them had slept with men, Cass the only one who currently did. But Tiffany rarely spoke of those days; she and Sam had come to their senses long ago.

          “You said most unusual place, you didn’t specify great sex.” Tiffany explained. “We were behind the barn, probably not the wisest choice.” She shrugged.

          Sam thought for a moment about physical logistics. “So you were um…”

          Tiffany rolled her eyes and her cheeks began to color a little. “Naked, yeah. Well my shirt was still on, but open. Jeans were off though.”

          Cass was positively glowing with delight. “Tell her the best part.”

          The chef sighed, resigned. “Sarah McLachlan came out of the barn looking for me, and we were…ah startled and I…um…fell off the horse and broke my ankle. I mean he fell off with me, we were sort of attached and when he landed his boot and my ankle tangoed, and my ankle lost.”

          It was all Sam could do to not spew red wine out of her nose she was laughing so hard. A few people at near by tables looked askance and Sam did her best to bring her laughing under control. The image of her stoic, unflappable, always in control girlfriend in that tragically comic scene was absolutely priceless. “What the hell was Sarah McLachlan doing there, and why was she looking for you?” She finally asked, between gasps.

          “She was staying at the resort, duh,” Cass supplied

          Tiffany’s cheeks reddened further. “And she offered me a job to go on tour with Lilith Fair. I was the head chef for the first tour.”

          “Just standing there doing her best to ignore the whole scene,” Cass chortled with delighted mirth. “Can you imagine. God, I wish I’d been there.”

          “I think you were servicing an aircraft carrier crew on shore leave,” Tiffany deadpanned and turned her attention to Sam. “Now you.”

          “My story is not nearly as impressive,” Sam began. “It was on the hood of a Mustang overlooking Mullholland at three o’clock in the morning.”

          “What a view,” Cass said appreciatively.

          “With who?” Tiffany asked a bit sternly.

          “Tisk, tisk Tiff,” Cass chided, “You’re sounding like a…a what is that word…”

          “Girlfriend,” Sam supplied happily. “Relax, it was a few years ago. Far enough in my past that you getting pissy about it would be comical.”

          “I was just curious,” the chef replied a bit defensively. “What year was the Mustang?”

          Sam shook her head, “Sometimes you can be such a guy. It was a 1965 cherry red Mustang. In mint condition,” she added for emphasis. “Unfortunately I wasn’t. Had a bit too much to drink or back then I’d have never done that on a first date.”

          This time it was the chef’s turn to choke on her wine.

          The chef and food critic turned their attention to their blond companion. Cass studied her nails nonchalantly. “On a float for the Rose Parade, 1998.”

          “Wasn’t she the corn queen from Oklahoma or something?” Tiffany asked.

          Cass shrugged. “I don’t know. She was queen of some sort of grain; corn, wheat, barley who the hell knows. And she was from one of the flyover states in the middle, can’t remember which one. I think it was square in shape. All red states look alike to me.” She shrugged. “I’d been hired by their people to give pointers to the girls on poise, get them ready for their close-ups as it were.

          Sam sat there stunned staring at the blond woman. When she thought she’d heard the most outrageous thing this woman had to offer, she was always surprised. “Was…was this during the parade?” She asked tentatively.

          Tiffany laughed. “Didn’t you hear the Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards commentary on the channel 5 telecast?”

          “Clod,” Cass huffed at her brunette companion. “No sweetie, it was before the parade.” She cocked her head in thought. “At least 15 minutes before the parade. They were still putting flowers on the float, and there was this sort of alcove in the grain castle or whatever the hell the damn thing was. The other wheat princesses had no idea their queen was getting and giving exceptional head. Although an equestrian unit was brought into formation behind our float before we were finished. When we were done those guys gave us quite the reception. She sighed wistfully. “For a beginner, that corn queen had a great tongue. Cutest accent to boot.”

          Sam’s mouth dropped open. Cass discribed the whole event as a person might recount their afternoon at a spa or beauty parlor.

          “Did you know the horses are more afraid of the marching bands than the floats? I find that just fascinating,” she said as she signaled for the dessert menu.




          The idea of needles and knives continued to nag at Sam ever so slightly, but she put it aside in the days that followed. The time never seemed right and there was so much going on. The three of them did a fair amount of sight seeing together. Tiffany tried to sample food at as many places as she could. From the street vendor selling a local specialty to restaurants large and small, Tiffany wanted to absorb all of it.

          They frequently compared notes on the taste, smell, back finish, presentation, and mouth feel of all the foods they sampled. It meant a lot to Sam that her lover thought so highly of her opinions. Sam was confident in her culinary knowledge, but felt especially honored that Tiffany chose to include her so intimately in something she held so dear. They could spend fifteen minutes or more discussing the intricacies of something as simple as tea and rice, which bored the prostitute to no end.

          The chef had said that her goal was to make five dishes, whatever the ingredient and as they tasted different dishes, they tried to come up with menus using that sort of ingredient. There was no doubt that Tiffany was taking the competition aspect of this challenge very seriously. For weeks she’d been timing herself whenever she cooked. How long did it take to perfect a Périgueux sauce, how long did it take to get the proper finish on the lamb? Sam was shocked at the decadent breakfast of eggs benedict they’d enjoyed before leaving for the airport that Tiffany had taken seventeen minutes to prepare.

          Sam was also interested in the sights and sounds of the city as well. Walking down the street holding Tiffany’s hand or Cass’ or both she soaked it all in. Her conversation with the prostitute had been an eye-opener and she realized how often she was drawn to a place playing music—any kind of music. Cass took off from time to time to leave the two of them alone. Sam considered bringing up the subject of sharp objects once or twice, but something always made her change her mind. If it wasn’t an earnest souvenir vendor, it was a crowded bus stop or something. Finally a couple of days before the challenge, over a simple breakfast Sam decided it was time.

          It was easier to talk to Tiffany when Cass wasn’t around. While Tiffany could be completely at ease with Sam, she couldn’t with Cass as the two could never completely check their antagonism at the door.

          “So what’s the deal with Cass’ needles and scalpels?” Sam asked as casually as she could once Tiffany had put a decent-sized bite of waffle into her mouth.

          Crystal blue eyes flicked over to her own; searching green as she chewed her food. Taking her time she took a sip of milk, putting her glass down gracefully. “They’re for blood play, pain, that sort of thing,” Tiffany answered casually, as she bit into another segment of waffle.

          “Cass doesn’t strike me as the type who’d like to get hurt. I mean, like that.”

          The dark haired woman nodded in agreement. “Usually she’s not, but if she decides she wants to get hurt… She dated a dominatrix for a couple of years once. I think that’s where she learned it.” She shrugged. “I don’t think she’s been on the receiving end of that kind of pain since then. She does enjoy hurting people though. Most of her clients could probably afford to pay her to do that. Especially if she’s in that kind of mood.” Looking right at Sam she asked, “Do you think that’s weird?”

          “Isn’t everything about Cass a little weird?” Sam replied, grateful that the response came out of her mouth without thinking. After taking a sip of water and bite of fruit she had a little more time to think of a serious answer. “Honestly Tiff, I don’t know about any of that stuff. Sure there are some things I think are weird- really out there, but this, I dunno. It’s out of my realm of experience, but I’m not going to call it weird without more information. As for sex with donkeys- that is weird and I don’t need any additional information to say that.”

          “Well I’m glad we agree on that then.” Tiffany replied with a reassuring smile.

          Sam contemplated her eggs for a few moments before speaking up again. “You’re into that stuff too, aren’t you?” She said it quietly, after a few moments she feared she might have said it too quietly since Tiffany hadn’t answered.

          “I’ve gone there, yes.” She finally said. “I do enjoy it. My head goes to a different place and I like the experience.” Leaning forward to make her point, her eyes locked on Sam’s “But it’s not like there is this big gaping thing missing with us. If you’re not cool with that sort of thing, it’s okay.” She sighed. “Things are good with us Sam, you don’t have to complicate it.”

          Green eyes locked into blue as a one set widened in understanding. “That’s why you left your last girlfriend, isn’t it? Something to do with this?”

          Tiffany rolled her eyes, the fact that Sam could read her so easily bugged her. “She thought she was cool with it, but wasn’t. But that was just a part of it. We didn’t work out for a lot of reasons, this just added to it.”

          “But you’re afraid to go there with me because you don’t want to get a taste of that with me and have me discover I don’t like it.”

          Tiffany smiled. “Sam, sometimes you’re really perceptive and kinda miss things at the same time. It hasn’t come up between us because it hasn’t come up. I’ve not been missing anything- yeah it’s a cool extra, but not the main event; like anal stuff. You know, it happens or it doesn’t and whatever… If you’re curious that’s cool, but if you’re not, don’t worry because no one is bolting anywhere.”

          Sam wasn’t quite sure what to think. “Is this something between you and Cass?”

          “Oh god no!” Tiffany blurted. “We’re both ‘tops’ Sam, besides if you haven’t noticed we’re really not that fond of each other. I don’t think either of us would trust the other with a sharp object, we’d be too tempted to slit throats.” She shrugged. “We both adore you but that’s about all we have in common.”

          “But what if I’m curious?” Sam pressed, fully aware that Tiffany was already ready for this conversation to be over.

          The chef smiled, knowing full well that Sam knew she was beyond finished with the conversation. “Sam, this isn’t a decision you should make lightly. I’m not interested in anything you’re not comfortable with.”

          It was Sam’s turn to shrug. “Before I met you I didn’t think I was comfortable with threesomes.”

          The chef couldn’t help but chuckle, “You have a point there.”




          The conversation gave Sam a lot to think about in the hours that followed. Tiffany was busy with last minute pantry selections at Fuji Studios and Cass was off somewhere. There was a garden within walking distance of the hotel where Sam went to hang out and mull things over.

          Over years of countless poker games with Grace, Chase and RJ, Sam had talked about a number of unusual things. At some point in the evening the conversation always turned to sex and she and her friends knew the most intimate details of each other’s lives. That understanding and lack of judgment was one reason the four had remained so close. Chase had been with more women than any of them and tended to find the more unusual. She alone had done wonders to educate the other three on the possibilities of the bedroom. Her most recent companion was way into bondage and had related stories over poker that had both turned Sam on and turned her off. But what she was considering now wasn’t about getting tied up- she’d already gone there with Tiff and Cass; what she was considering was letting someone hurt her. Not the kind of hurt caused by an over zealous nip on the neck, or too-hard pinch on a nipple. She was considering something that could make her bleed, or worse.

          Letting her thoughts drift inward she thought about music. She was hard pressed to remember any experience she’d had that couldn’t be better explained or described by some song she felt. Human by The Pretenders was the soundtrack to her last break up only to be replaced by a Broadway musical tune when she recovered. And there were dozens of other songs too. Times when she drifted away from friends then rediscovered them again, when she succeeded or failed. She then thought about the parts of songs without words; the music, the solos, the screaming, throbbing, soothing sound waves that ran through her veins like blood. The raw emotion of songs that simply transported you. Maybe that’s what the experience did for them, put you in a physical place beyond words. In that moment Sam decided she wanted to know. She was going to step into Tiffany’s world and taste it for herself.



Continued - part 2

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