Provenance

by Cruise


Disclaimer: This is a prequel to my Rayne/Lark story Indiscretions that I had an idea for while writing its sequel Ab Initio. If you are under the age of 18 or if lesbian romance bothers you then please find another story, this one is not for you.

Language: Mild

Special Thanks: To all of the fans of the story who fuel my muses! Thanks to all of the webmasters for your hard work and support.

NEW ADDRESS: Please take note that I have a new email address, as I will no longer use AOL's service. The new address is Cruise@clububer2000.com


Part V

Lark's knees weakened from the kiss Rayne placed on her hand. 'It's not where I wanted Rayne's lips, but at least the woman kissed me. She takes my breath away.' Lark thought dreamily as she finally steadied her frail extremities and stared into Rayne's deep blues. "I'll be expecting your call." Lark softly spoke and smiled staring into the eyes that melt her heart. She was disappointed, but it was a beginning and that's all she could ask for from Rayne right now. "Oh, here is your jacket." She offered when she remembered she was still wearing it and reached to hand it to Rayne.

"No, it's okay you can give it to me tomorrow and that way you won't be cold on the ride home." Rayne offered with a smile and opened the door for her.

"Thank you, that's very sweet." Lark giggled and climbed into the limo. Rayne closed the door and Lark quickly opened the window. She had to see those alluring blue eyes one last time. "Have a good evening." Lark smiled, her green eyes sparkling in the moonlight.

"Same to you." Rayne grinned and watched as the limo slowly pulled away. She turned her head to watch Lark and waved when she looked back at her. She sighed and lowered her head when the limo disappeared down the road. 'Why didn't you just ask her to stay? She inwardly questioned and looked down the darkened, abandoned road regretting her decision to not ask her to stay. She entered the villa and tossed her keys on the table. She picked up the phone and punched the numbers into it, holding the device to her ear. "Hey, Holly." She flatly greeted.

"Hi Rayne. Are you okay? You don't sound too good. Did your date not go very well?" Holly worried by the tone in her voice that the date wasn't what she had hoped for.

Holly fired off the questions quicker than Rayne could respond, but she managed to interrupt her, "No, Holly it was absolutely wonderful. I had a great time with Lark. She's fabulous." Rayne admitted and smiled as she thought back on the lovely evening, and walked down the hall towards her room.

"What's wrong then? You sound kind of down. Oh, is she there and you can't talk about it?" Holly chuckled when it dawned on her the reason she might be so quiet and evasive.

"No, she's not here." Rayne laughed and sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm alright. A little disappointed with myself for not asking her to stay, but I'm fine. Thanks for being so concerned." She answered and began to take her shoes off.

"Well, what happened? Why didn't you ask her to stay? I thought you said the date went well." Holly inquired intrigued and confused by what was going on.

"I'll tell you about it tomorrow okay. It's late and I don't want to think about my reasons for not asking her to stay right now. I would like to just enjoy the afterglow of the date. Know what I mean?" Rayne asked and lay back on the bed.

"Sure, I understand." Holly answered and knew it was Rayne's polite way of telling her to back off and shut up.

"Hey, what do you have planned for Brandon tomorrow?"

"Nothing. Why?" Holly queried.

"Well, Lark invited us to a pediatric AIDS Benefit Carnival tomorrow and I wanted to make sure he could make it."

"Trust me, even if we did have something planned for him do you think he'd pass up an opportunity to hang out with his aunt and his favorite actress?" Holly questioned incredulously and chuckled.

"His favorite actress?" Rayne asked with a laugh, surprised by the comment.

"Yes, he has deemed her his favorite actress since he saw her at your place. I guess she had some kind of an affect on him." She laughed, as did Rayne.

"He's not the only one she's made an impact on." Rayne added with a chuckle and smiled happily as she thought about how Lark made her feel. "I'll come by in the morning to pick him up. I'm not sure what time the event is, but I imagine it's in the early afternoon."

"Sounds great. I'll make a huge breakfast and you can tell us all about your date." Holly invited and chuckled.

"I knew you wouldn't let that one slip by you." Rayne laughed and added, "I'll see you in the morning and be sure you make some blueberry muffins."

"You got it. Sleep well." Holly agreed with a chuckle.

"You too. Bye." Rayne replied and clicked off the phone. She sighed and laughed thinking about how Holly wasn't going to let the details of her date with Lark go without explanation. She rolled onto her side and picked up Lark's card from the nightstand to call her. She blew out the breath in an attempt to calm the butterflies in her stomach and waited for Lark to answer the phone. 'Hmmm, she may not be home yet.' Rayne thought discouraged as the phone rang many times.

"Hello!" Lark replied, breathless as she rushed into the house and picked up the phone.

"Hey, Lark its Rayne." She greeted and suddenly felt too restless to lie still on the bed. The nervous tension she felt when talking to Lark coursed through her. The woman had the same affect on her when she was in Rayne's presence. She padded across the room to the French doors that led to her patio and opened them.

"Hi Rayne. I'm sorry I just got in the house. Whew!" She exclaimed and sighed to calm her labored breathing from running into the house. She had heard the phone and hoped it was Rayne, but had a hard time opening the door in such a rush.

"Oh, sorry well take your time and catch your breath. I can call back or you can…" Rayne offered and was interrupted by Lark.

"NO! No, aah I'm fine as long as you don't mind me breathing hard to catch my breath." Lark giggled and quickly thwarted her attempt to hang up.

"Oh, I don't mind listening to you breath hard Lark." Rayne commented before she could think about what she was saying. 'Shit! What the hell was I thinking by saying that!' She wondered flustered by the woman on the other end of the line and slapped her forehead hoping it would knock some sense into her.

Lark was stunned and moved the phone away from her ear, staring at it. She covered the receiver and excitedly voiced, "Yes!" from the comment. She knew by the playful sexual innuendos they exchanged at dinner and during their walk that Rayne was very interested in her. She truly believed that she could make a lasting impression on the dark haired beauty if she would only agree to a date with her and finally that happened. "Well, you certainly take my breath away." Lark casually and chuckled, tossing her purse on the couch. She kicked off her high heels and headed down the hall to her bedroom.

"Oh, aah well, I spoke with Holly and she said that it would be okay for Brandon to join us tomorrow." Rayne changed the subject, as she didn't know what to say in response, she was so flustered by Lark.

"That's great!" Lark enthusiastically answered and opened the door to her bedroom. "Oh, my god!" Lark replied stunned.

"What? What's wrong Lark? Are you okay?" Rayne worriedly asked, hearing the tone in Lark's voice change.

"No, I'm not." Lark answered stunned as she looked at her bed.

"Is someone there? I'll be right there. Hang up and call the police." Rayne anxiously informed her and rushed to put her shoes on.

"Oh, no! I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to scare you Rayne. I was shocked to see that Elaine had cleaned off my bed." Lark told her apologetically.

"Why would Elaine be cleaning off your bed Lark?" Rayne defensively and jealously asked. She had a sneaky suspicion that maybe Elaine lied to her about her relationship with Lark.

"Do I hear a tinge of jealous in your voice Rayne Donovan?" Lark flirtatiously asked and grinned wickedly as she sat on the edge of the bed.

Rayne was silent and smiled sheepishly admitting in a low tone, "you got me lady. I admit I it, I was jealous." Rayne laughed and walked back to the door to the patio.

"Don't be she's like a sister to me. She was just doing me a huge favor by cleaning off the mound of clothing I had there when I was trying to find an outfit for our date. You're the object of my desire." Lark informed her, feeling a tingling sensation from Rayne's admission and was surprised that Rayne said that to her.

"Really? I didn't know that, but it's good to know." Rayne teasingly answered and smiled broader, feeling warmth consume her from Lark's admission. She grinned happily as she stared out over the darkened ocean, enjoying the feelings that Lark elicited whenever she spoke to her. She knew exactly how Lark felt about her, it was hard not too as she made her feelings very clear.

"That doesn't scare you away?" Lark tentatively asked and hoped it wouldn't.

"Not at all." Rayne softly answered and blushed. She sat in the patio chair and propped her feet up on the railing, wiggling her toes in the cool ocean breeze.

"I'm happy to hear that." Lark answered and smiled, her heart racing faster. "What kind of cologne do you wear? I love the smell of it." Lark asked and breathed in the scent of it from Rayne's jacket.

"It's 'Curve'. You like it huh?" Rayne asked and chuckled.

"Yes, very much. I don't think I can give you your jacket back though. It smells too good." Lark giggled and pulled the large coat around her, pretending as though it was Rayne wrapped around her.

"Oh, so that's where you are getting a whiff of my cologne." Rayne laughed and ran an absent hand through her dark hair.

"Yes, I still have it on. It makes me feel close to you." Lark admitted, smiling. She didn't want to hold anything back. Even if she wanted to it wouldn't work as the comments just flowed from her mouth without any thought or hesitation.

"I was thinking the same thing about you Lark as I sit here looking out over the dark ocean and I hear the waves gently lap against the shore. It makes me think of our walk earlier and how much I would like for you to be here." Rayne replied in a low sultry tone, staring off in the distance. She decided to let her heart speak for her feelings of Lark and she wanted the alluring woman to know just how interested she was in her.

"Well, someone didn't invite me to stay." Lark teasingly laughed.

Rayne chuckled knowingly and replied, "Yes, that's my fault. I should have suggested it and I apologize. I'll have to issue you a rain check." Rayne coyly offered and smiled.

"An offer I cannot refuse and when might I cash in that rain check?" Lark flirtatiously asked.

"Soon, very soon." Rayne voiced softly.

"I look forward to it." Lark purred into the receiver.

Rayne blushed and chuckled, "So, where is the benefit tomorrow and what time is it at?" she asked changing the subject. If she didn't change it quick she'd have to hang up and take a cold shower from all the bantering.

"It's at a park down in Key Biscayne at 1pm." Lark informed her; disappointed that she changed the subject.

"Okay, well do you want to meet us over at my place and then we can head down south? It should take us about an hour to get there from here, counting in the traffic delays that I'm sure we'll encounter.

"That sounds like a plan. I'll be there at noon to pick up my two dates up. I hope you don't mind, but Elaine will be going with us too? She always goes on public appearances with me."

"No, not at all. I'm cool with Elaine as long as she doesn't have any romantic interest in you." Rayne answered and didn't feel as insecure or jealous about Elaine as before.

"None what so ever. Trust me when I tell you that Rayne." Lark answered adamantly and felt a tingle in her spine that Rayne was being somewhat possessive towards her in regards to Elaine.

"Your word is good enough for me." She was happy that she heard that from Lark and believed her. "So, what should I wear?" She casually asked and stood up.

"Shorts and a T-shirt are fine. It's a carnival outdoors so everyone will be dressed casually." Lark informed her.

"Great, I like parties that are casual." Rayne laughed and walked back into the bedroom. "Well, I'll see you at high noon then."

"I can't wait." Lark excitedly replied.

"Sweet dreams Lark." Rayne commented with a sly grin.

"Oh, I'm sure I will now that I spoke to you before heading off to bed." Lark teased and smiled wickedly, thinking of the dreams she would be having of Rayne later on.

"Same here Lark Morgan." Rayne sexily answered and lay on the bed. She rolled onto her side and rested her head in her hand. "I had a great time this evening and I look forward to tomorrow. Good night." Rayne softly told her.

"Me too, good night." Lark answered smiling and sighed when she clicked off the phone. She dropped the phone on the bed and looked up at the ceiling lost in her thoughts of Rayne. "She makes me so hot!" She proclaimed and quickly headed into the bathroom for a cold shower.

Rayne clicked off the phone and her hand dropped to the bed. She smiled giddily as she thought back on their wonderful evening and the phone conversation. She looked forward to their date the next day. She noticed a magazine on the nightstand with an article of Lark in it that she had picked up a few days before. She placed the phone on the bed and reached over, grabbing the magazine. She put it on the bed before her and looked at the alluring picture of Lark. "What is it about you Lark Morgan that drives me so wild? Could it be those gorgeous green eyes, the sexy body or that fabulous personality?" She asked the picture as if it would answer her. "I think it's a combination of all of them. I love the way I feel when I'm with you, there's no denying that." Rayne smiled and lay back on the bed. She closed her eyes and stared at the mental picture of the woman who had managed to capture her affections. She had warmth and a wondrous sensation course through her as she drifted off to sleep with an attractive, blonde actress heavy on her mind.

"What the hell!" Elaine stated stunned to see the sight before her when she entered the house. "Lark what are you doing up at this hour? I can't believe it, are you really Lark Morgan?" Elaine teasingly asked as she approached the dining room table where Lark was sitting.

"Oh, stop it!" Lark blushed embarrassed and playfully slapped her friend's arm.

"I can't believe that you are out of bed before noon Lark. What has happened to you?" Elaine suspiciously asked and sat down.

"I have the benefit today Elaine." Lark smirked and placed a piece of toast in her mouth.

"Yes, I know that's why I'm here. I thought I would have to drag your sorry, sleepy ass out of bed to make it in time."

"Well, I asked Rayne to accompany me there along with her nephew." Lark blushed and scrunched her shoulders from the tingling sensation she had every time Rayne's name was mentioned.

"I see that your date went well and that she's had a positive influence on getting you out of bed!" Elaine chuckled and laughed when Lark joined in.

"I would love for her to have a positive impact on getting me into bed instead of out of it." Lark added and laughed harder along with Elaine.

"Oh, let me call Elizabeth and have her prepare two other credentials for Rayne and her nephew before you give me the details on the date." Elaine replied and picked up her phone, quickly punching the numbers into her phone. Lark watched place the phone call and chuckled from the excited look she had on her face.

"I'll have to tell you on the way because the limo is here. I called and asked that they come a littler earlier than scheduled seeing as how we will be picking Rayne and Brandon up." Lark informed her with a chuckle and stood up, grabbing her purse from the counter along with a piece of toast.

"Damn, I don't even have time for breakfast." Elaine added and followed Lark out the door as she struggled to hold her paperwork and the phone.

"You can have my other piece of toast." Lark offered as they exited the house.

"Oh, you are too kind to me Lark." Elaine sarcastically quipped with a laugh as they walked towards the limo.

"Okay, I'll keep it then. Beggars can't be choosers." Lark teasingly giggled and moved the toast to her mouth.

"Give me that! Elizabeth!" Elaine exuberantly greeted when she heard the woman's voice on the other end and snatched the toast out of Lark's hand. Lark laughed and climbed into the limo followed by Elaine.

"Auntie Rayne! Is it true that we are going to a carnival with Lark Morgan?" Brandon jubilantly asked when he practically attacked her as she entered the house.

She laughed and picked him up. "You got it little man. She promised that you would have a blast there." She informed him smiling and carried him towards the dining room.

"Oh, yes! This is going to be so cool." He excitedly smiled and looked at his aunt. He placed his small hand on her cheek as she looked at him. "I am so happy that you and Lark are getting to be better friends."

"Oh, I'm sure you are." She chuckled and tickled his ribs, laughing harder when he squirmed in her arms.

"You're killing me! Stop, please!" He laughingly pleaded.

"Only if you tell me that you didn't eat all of the food your mama is making for breakfast." Rayne teased and laughed.

"I didn't I promise!" He swore and held up his hand as a promise of his oath.

"Okay, well I'm hungry so let's eat!" Rayne chuckled and led him towards the table. "Hey Holly." She smiled and kissed her on the cheek. "Old man." She taunted her brother and smirked when she looked at him.

"Tell me again why you invited her Holly?" He sarcastically asked and looked at his wife.

"She's your sister." She commented sardonically and looked at him with a sly grin.

"Yeah, we've been trying to get rid of her for some time, but she's like a loyal stray. She keeps coming back!" He answered laughing.

"Well, stop feeding her!" Holly added, snickering.

"Oh, you two are really funny. Did it ever occur to you that I come around because I feel sorry for the two of you?" Rayne countered jokingly with a laugh and sipped the coffee before her. "I'm sorry you have such silly parents Brandon, but you can be safe in the knowledge that you have a wonderful aunt to make sure that you grow up normal." Rayne teased as she looked at Brandon.

"Yeah, they're alright for parents." He laughed glancing at them then looked back at his aunt. "I'm going to watch 'toons' until you finish eating. Hurry up okay, I'm ready to go." He encouraged and climbed off her lap.

"Well, isn't he pushy." Rayne laughed and watched him skip over to the TV to watch the cartoons. She turned back to the table, "Did he already eat?" she asked and grabbed a muffin from the plate.

"Yes, and we'd like to thank you for getting him so riled up!" Holly sarcastically replied and buttered her muffin.

"Hey, what can I say? I have to keep this family on their toes!" Rayne jokingly commented and stuffed her mouth full of the muffin, and grinned.

"Come on, give us the scoop Rayne. We have to know how the date went last night." Holly eagerly encouraged staring at her sister-in-law, and waited for her to answer.

"I would say it went well if you two are going out again today?" Shayan mischievously smirked and looked up from his plate towards his sister.

"Oh, it went great. I really had a fantastic time." Rayne smiled exuberantly.

"That's wonderful Rayne, but why did you sound so down on the phone last night then?" Holly questioned, still confused by her demeanor the previous evening.

"Well, when I spoke to you I was disappointed with myself for not asking her to stay. I wanted her to, but I didn't want her to. Does that make any sense?" She asked with a silly grin, and hoped she was explaining herself.

"I suppose, but if you explain your reasoning a little more then maybe I can tell if you've completely lost it or not." Her brother suggested with a smirk.

"Normally I would have just cut to the chase and done the deed with my other dates, but I didn't want to be that way with Lark. I wanted our first experience to be special and not just to have sex with her for the sake of it." Rayne explained sincerely.

"Oh, that's so sweet!" Holly gushed and felt her eyes watering. She slapped her husband's arm when she saw him roll his eyes. "You'd be wise to take a hint from your sister mister!" She warned and pointed at him as he and Rayne laughed.

"Besides, I was nervous as all hell!" Rayne sheepishly admitted and laughed. "When I'm with her she does something to me and I lose control of my composure." Rayne grinned radiantly.

"It sounds like you are pretty smitten with this woman Rayne." Shayan observed from what she told them and from the look on her face. He had never seen her so happy.

"Completely. She's so intriguing, vibrant, sincere, stunning," Rayne snickered and raised an eyebrow in appreciation of Lark's beauty, "and real. She's everything I've ever wanted in a woman and then some." Rayne smiled infatuated with the woman. She stared at her plate lost in her thoughts and feelings for Lark.

"That's fantastic Rayne." Holly enthusiastically replied and brought Rayne out of her revere. "So, she's not some self absorbed celebrity then?" She queried curiously.

"Not at all. In fact, she loves to shop which is good news for you Holly." Rayne sarcastically informed her and snickered.

"Are you insinuating that I like to shop? You must be mistaking me for someone else." Holly teasingly protested.

"Yeah, right! I have the bills to prove that she's the one you are referring to." Shayan jokingly commented and playfully blew his wife a kiss.

"She's into traveling, writing, reading and she loves children." Rayne excitedly told them and felt a tickle in her stomach when she spoke of Lark.

"Wait! You had the children talk on the first date?" Shayan asked, surprised and shocked.

"Yeah, why?" Rayne asked, defensively.

"You don't have the children talk on the first date." He informed her; shocked that she had discussed it with Lark.

"Oh, really mister 'I want you to be the mother of my children' on the first date! That is the person I'm talking about right?" Holly countered accusingly and looked at her husband questioningly.

Rayne chuckled under her breath and held her hand to her mouth to conceal her smile. She couldn't wait to hear her brother squirm out of this one. Shayan looked at his wife and grinned. He gulped the lump in his throat and looked at his sister. "Like I said, talking about children on the first date is wonderful." He changed his tune and laughed with the others.

"You sissy." Rayne teased and laughed harder.

"I'm surprised you didn't haul ass when that topic came up Rayne." He stated, grinning.

"Yeah, I was surprised myself. It's so strange. Every time anyone else brought up the topic, including Karen, I felt trapped and I couldn't get out of the conversation quick enough, but not with Lark. I felt so at ease with her and the conversation was so right. I'm afraid I might be looking into all of this too much and too quickly. I mean, we only mentioned to one another that we love children, but it felt so right discussing it with her. The affect she has on me scares me. I want to be with her, but when I am I feel like a silly, little schoolgirl." Rayne admitted with a grin and looked at her brother.

He glanced over at his wife and back to his sister. He knew what was going on with his sister and this woman. It was written all over her face, 'She's in love with her. I know it.' He thought confidently and replied, "Don't fight the feeling sis. Follow your heart and be yourself with her. I have a feeling you are holding back with her. I know how you like to conceal your true emotions Rayne."

"I know, it's just frightening for me to lay my heart on the line again, but it's too late. She's captured it and I don't know what I would do if it were broken again but I can't turn back now. The feelings I have for Lark are far stronger than the one's I ever had for Karen and if I'm holding them back it's because I'm trying to keep from being hurt again." She explained sincerely.

"I know hun. Just take it slow and get to know her better. Hopefully, she feels the same for you and your heart won't be broken again. You've got to take a chance on love again Rayne. You know you can't live in the past and close that wonderful heart of yours any more than it already is now." Holly touchingly encouraged and patted her hand comfortingly.

Rayne looked at her smiling knowingly and replied, "Thanks." She turned when Brandon tapped her shoulder.

"I think it's time for us to go Auntie Rayne." He excitedly suggested, looking up at his aunt.

Rayne looked at the clock then to him. "Yes, we've got to boogie buddy. Go get your helmet and jacket." She instructed and smiled.

"Yes!" He excitedly shouted and ran off to retrieve the items.

Rayne, Holly and Shayan laughed as they watched him run off. "I should have him home by early evening." Rayne informed them smiling and rose from her chair.

"Have fun!" They suggested and looked at Brandon as he ran back. "You behave mister." Holly warned, looking down at her son.

"Oh, I will or Auntie Rayne will kick my butt!" He laughed as he put his jacket on.

The group headed out to the driveway. "You be careful with my son on that motorcycle." Holly cautioned worriedly.

"Mom, come on! I'll be fine. Besides, Auntie doesn't live that far away." Brandon responded with a grin.

"Give your mama a kiss and I won't worry so much." Holly suggested smiling and leaned down.

"There ya go ma!" He giggled and kissed her. "Bye dad!" He smiled and kissed his father who knelt before him.

"Bye son. Be a good boy." He smiled and patted his back.

"Always dad!" Brandon sardonically grinned and followed Rayne to the motorcycle. He put his helmet on and tightened his straps as his aunt did the same with hers.

Rayne placed him on the motorcycle in front of her and started it up. Brandon waved enthusiastically towards his parents as Rayne slowly steered the motorcycle down the driveway. "Hold on tight." She firmly stated. Holly and Shayan waved goodbye and watched as they headed off down the street. Rayne took the non-busy back streets to her house and took her time, as she was more cautious than normal because of Brandon being on the motorcycle. Rayne's heart fluttered when she noticed the limo parked in her driveway and saw Lark standing by the door. She waved as she steered the motorcycle up the driveway past the limo, stopping in front of the garage door. She shut the engine off and helped Brandon off the motorcycle. She climbed off and chuckled as she watched Brandon rush up to Lark who had started to walk back towards them.

"Hello Lark, I'm Brandon. My aunt forgot to introduce us before." He jubilantly greeted and held his small hand out to her.

"Well, hello Brandon. It's a pleasure to meet you." Lark giggled and leaned over to shake his hand.

"I have seen all of your movies and I really love them. You are my favorite actress." He enthusiastically informed her, looking up at her, as she stood upright.

"Thank you, I appreciate you being such a big fan." Lark laughed and looked up at Rayne.

Her mouth dropped open when Rayne removed her helmet and tossed her dark hair side to side as she approached. "I'm sorry we are late." Rayne apologized and leaned down, placing a soft kiss on Lark's cheek. 'I hope she doesn't mind.' Rayne thought inwardly of the kiss, which just came instinctively to her.

When Rayne's lips brushed her cheek it caused a million sensations throughout her. "Aah, no I aah think I'm a little early," she finally replied, flabbergasted by the gesture.

"I'm going to put the motorcycle in the garage and toss our jackets inside. Let me have your jacket buddy." Rayne asked, looking down at Brandon and holding her hand out. She took the jacket from him and looked at Lark smiling, "I'll be right back," she commented and headed into the villa.

"Come on over Brandon and meet my agent Elaine." Lark suggested and coaxed him towards the limo. She grinned happily and fanned herself as she approached the limo. Elaine had stepped out and stood next to the car. She looked at Lark and smiled. "Did you see that?" Lark mouthed, completely blown away by the kiss that Rayne bestowed upon her.

Elaine grinned and winked as Brandon approached the car. "Hello Brandon." Elaine sweetly greeted.

"Hi, nice to meet you." He smiled and reached out to shake her hand.

Elaine chuckled and shook the hand offered. "Same to you." She giggled and stood upright as Lark stood behind him. "He's quite the heartbreaker." Elaine whispered to Lark.

"He gets it from his aunt." Lark chuckled, along with Elaine.

"Are you sure he's not her son? They look like they could be mother and child." Elaine observed surprised by the uncanny resemblance of the two.

"I asked the same thing and thought the same thing, but he's her nephew." Lark giggled happy that he wasn't her son.

They all looked over at Rayne when the garage door opened. Brandon jumped into the limo as the women intently watched her. Rayne had removed her leather jacket and smiled as everyone looked at her. She grabbed the motorcycle by the handlebars and pushed the bike into the garage. Elaine looked at Lark and reached over to close her mouth that was agape. Lark looked at Elaine and sighed, arching an eyebrow in appreciation. "Don't make it look so obvious honey." Elaine commented quietly through her smile.

"I can't help it Elaine. I love the way she looks in tank tops and shorts." Lark answered, looking at her friend. "Her muscles are so toned and sexy that I can barely stand it!"

"I know, but you are drooling all over yourself and it's not something that a self respecting celebrity such as yourself should be seen doing." Elaine teasingly laughed as Lark playfully slapped her arm.

"Is everything alright?" Rayne asked oblivious to their conversation and wondered what was going on from the looks on their faces as she approached, stopping next to Lark.

"Perfect, just waiting on you." Lark answered with a grin.

"Hi Elaine." Rayne greeted and smiled.

"Good morning or afternoon." Elaine chuckled unsure of the time and climbed into the car.

Rayne sent a tingling sensation straight to Lark's core when she placed her hand on the small of Lark's back guiding her towards the car. 'She has no idea how much that turns me on.' Lark thought flustered as she took her seat.

Rayne climbed in and closed the door as the car began to move. "Hold up!" She called out and felt the car stop. "Brandon, put your seat belt on. You know better than that." She scolded and leaned over to where he was seated to help him put on his seat belt.

"I'm sorry. I was excited and forgot." He apologized as he watched his aunt click the belt into place.

'How sweet.' Lark thought admiringly as she watched Rayne with Brandon.

"Apology accepted." She grinned and leaned back to her seat. She reached for her seat belt and clicked it into place. She looked at Lark who stared at her and quickly snapped hers into place.

Lark looked at Elaine and nudged her with an elbow to make her place hers on. Elaine groaned and did as everyone else by placing her seat belt on. "Elaine, do you think that I could be in one of Lark's movies some time?" Brandon quizzically asked.

"Brandon." Rayne replied in a low, warning tone.

Lark giggled softly and waited to see how Elaine was getting out of this one. "Are you an actor Brandon?" She asked with a smile.

"I'm sure I could be." He answered sincerely and confidently.

"Well, I would have to speak to your parents and see if they would allow you to do something like that okay?" She asked sweetly.

"Okay, that sounds great!" He enthusiastically answered and wiggled his small legs that hung in midair off the edge of the seat.

Rayne lowered her head and chuckled at his precariousness. "I'm sorry." She apologized softly and glanced at Lark sideways.

"No problem. I could get him a part in one of my movie's if he parents would allow it." Lark offered with a smile.

"Thanks that's sweet of you. Let's not mention it again and he might forget about it." Rayne answered with a grin as Lark smiled in acknowledgement of the request.

The ride down was filled with conversations about Lark's movies mainly from Brandon's curiosity about them. Rayne stared quietly and listened as Lark patiently answered all of his questions over and over again. She knew Lark had to be sick of the questions, but she didn't seem phased by them at all. Rayne enjoyed watching Lark especially when she smiled. 'Her smile will definitely be the end of me.' She thought adoringly and looked up surprised when the car slowed down. She had lost track of time and location as she intently observed the conversation of the group.

"Is there going to be a lot of photographers here Elaine?" Lark questioned and checked out the area as the limo waited in traffic.

"More than likely." Elaine answered and craned her neck to see how the scene looked.

"Please tell me that they won't have a red carpet for me to walk down?" Lark asked embarrassed by the fact that she might have too.

"They didn't mention anything about that when they sent me the material." She informed her. "I'll get out and grab the credentials for Rayne and Brandon before you all get up to the front of the line." Elaine suggested and quickly climbed out of the car.

Lark lowered her head and rubbed her forehead irritated, then looked up at Rayne. "I'm sorry, but there is probably going to be a lot of people taking pictures. I had hoped we wouldn't be bombarded by them, but it looks like I have to take the obligatory pictures." Lark explained regretful as she looked ahead and saw the other celebrities being bombarded by the press. She had hoped it would be a small event without a lot of press coverage considering the fact that it was in Miami and not LA.

"It's okay Lark. Don't worry." Rayne smiled and comfortingly patted her leg.

"Thanks." Lark smiled appreciatively, enjoying the hand on her thigh.

"Whew!" Elaine gasped when she jumped into the car and plopped into the seat next to Rayne with Lark moving towards the door. "Here are your credentials." She offered and held them out to Brandon and Rayne.

They took them and placed them around their neck as the limo came up to the drop off spot. "Okay, here we go." Lark commented and climbed out of the limo when the attendant opened the door. She stepped away from the door and waved with a smile. She looked back to see Rayne climb out with Brandon. Brandon and Rayne were shocked by the amount of fans screaming and photographers taking pictures all at once. Lark saw their malaise and grasped Rayne's hand. Brandon held onto Rayne's hand tightly as the group walked away from the limo.

"Miss Morgan, over here!" A photographer shouted and waved to get her attention.

Lark moved closer to the photographer and posed for the picture. Brandon moved closer to Rayne. She leaned down and picked him up, when she noticed his nervousness. She stood behind Lark and waited as she posed for the pictures. She blew out the breath she subconsciously held from her uneasiness and smiled when Lark turned back to her. She held out her hand for Rayne who gladly accepted it and followed Lark into the event. "I'm sorry. Are you two alright?" She worriedly asked, looking at the both of them.

"I think he's a little nervous." Rayne answered and patted his back comfortingly.

"Aah, I'm sorry Brandon. The worst part is over and now we can have some fun." Lark smiled reassuringly and took him from Rayne's arms when she saw him grin at her last statement. She grasped Rayne's hand and led them away, stopping once they were farther inside. "You didn't answer me Rayne. Are you okay?" Lark asked concerned, turning to Rayne when she noticed how clammy her hand felt.

"I'm fine. I was just surprised by all the attention directed towards us. I'm used to it being directed to the person I'm protecting. Is it always that crazy when you make appearances?" Rayne inquired for future reference.

"Yes and sometimes more especially if it's an awards show. I'm really sorry I placed you both in that situation without explaining what to expect. It's a lot to ask of anyone even if you do deal with similar publicity in your job Rayne. I apologize from the bottom of my heart." Lark wholeheartedly apologized.

"Thanks but you didn't have to apologize. I guess it bugged me because I'm used to having other agents around me and I don't focus on that aspect very much. Don't worry though, I'll get used to it." Rayne smiled reassuringly.

"So, does that mean you'll accompany me on other public appearances?" Lark flirtatiously asked.

"Of course, but I'll be more prepared next time." Rayne chuckled and winked.

"I'm happy to hear that. Now, let's have some fun!" She enthusiastically suggested and led them away.

Brandon wore the group out as they chased him from one ride and game to the other. Rayne's arm was sore from trying to dunk the clown, the basketball shoot and from the baseball toss. As it turns out, she had to win prizes for Brandon, Lark and Elaine. They were all persistent that she win multiple prizes for them. The walk back to the limo was not as stressful for Brandon as there weren't as many photographers and fans as earlier. They patiently waited as Lark signed autographs and took pictures with fans. She smiled and waved goodbye, joining the group as they approached the limo. Rayne grinned watching Brandon proudly lead them towards the limo, protectively carrying the stuffed animals his aunt won for him. The driver cordially smiled and watched as the weary group plopped into their seats exhausted by the day's activities.

"Did you have a blast like I knew you would Brandon?" Lark eagerly asked and smiled looking at him as he lined his stuffed animals up in a row on the seat next to him.

"Yes, I loved it!" He grinned exuberantly.

"How about you?" Lark asked smiling and looking at Rayne.

"I had a great time." Rayne answered with a chuckle.

"I heard they raised a lot of money." Elaine mentioned and leaned her head back against the seat.

"That's great and thanks for your monetary contribution Rayne. The gesture was very sweet." Lark smiled gratefully as she looked at the object of her desire.

"No problem, it was for a worthy cause and I was pleased to help out." Rayne casually answered and smiled.

Lark looked at Elaine and chuckled when she noticed she was asleep. Rayne glanced over at Brandon, then touched Lark on the arm and pointed at him. "Aah, he's so sweet." Lark commented and smiled, noticing that he was sleeping.

"That's not a bad idea. I think we are all beat and deserve a good nap." Rayne suggested and leaned her head against the seat.

"I'm always up for sleep." Lark giggled softly and nestled her head against Rayne's arm.

Rayne smiled and looked down at the blonde leaning against her. She enjoyed the woman being so close and placed her hand on Lark's leg, resting it there. Lark's heart skipped a beat and she placed her hand on Rayne's as she closed her eyes. Rayne leaned her cheek against Lark's head and reveled in the woman's closeness. 'This feels so right. I can't believe I've fallen so quickly and hard for her.' Rayne thought and inhaled the strawberry scent from Lark's hair. She smiled and looked outside the window at the beautiful blue-green water as they crossed the bridge heading towards the interstate, finally feeling truly happy after so many months of heartache.

Rayne opened her eyes when she heard the window inside the limo move down. "Are we going to your home Ma'am?" The driver politely asked, looking back at her through the rearview mirror.

Lark woke up and sat up, trying to gather her bearings. Rayne looked at Brandon and saw that he was in a deep sleep. "Would you mind if we take him home? I don't want to wake him and have to take him back home on my motorcycle." Rayne asked, looking at Lark.

"Not at all. Just give him the address and we'll drop you off."

"Great, aah the address is 1313 SE 13th Terrace, which is four blocks south of my house." Rayne advised the driver and leaned back on the seat when he nodded his head in acknowledgment of the directions.

"Thanks, I really appreciate it." Rayne smiled gratefully.

"It's not a problem. Besides, I'll get to spend more time with you." Lark answered smiling.

"Very true." Rayne added with a snicker and looked up as they turned down the street. She watched as the driver pulled the car into the driveway and quietly moved over towards Brandon. "Here, can you carry these for me?" Rayne asked and handed Lark the stuffed animals he had situated next to him.

"Sure." She smiled and accidentally bummed Elaine who groaned from being brought out of her state of sleep. "Sorry." Lark giggled quietly and looked from Elaine to Rayne.

Rayne picked Brandon up and cradled him in her arms. She waited until Lark exited the limo and moved out as well. Lark cautiously guided her as Rayne carried her precious cargo away from the car. "Can you open the door please?" Rayne asked as she stopped at the front door.

"Should I knock?" Lark inquired and looked up at her.

"Nah, just open it up please." Rayne asked and entered the house when the door opened.

"Aah, there's my baby." Holly sweetly greeted and looked at her sleeping son.

Rayne smiled and looked at Holly who averted her eyes to Lark then back to Rayne. "Holly, this is Lark. Lark this is my nosey sister-in-law Holly." Rayne sarcastically introduced the women with a sly grin from the comment about Holly. "I'm going to take him to his room." Rayne informed them and quickly headed down the hallway with her nephew.

"Hi, it's a pleasure to meet you. We've heard so much about you." Holly exuberantly greeted Lark with a handshake.

"Same here and I hope it was all good that you heard?" Lark jokingly asked and chuckled nervously, hoping for the best.

"Oh, absolutely." Holly added with a grin and glanced over her shoulder when she felt her husband touch her. "Honey, this is Lark. Lark this is Rayne's brother Shayan."

"Hello, it's nice to finally meet you Lark." He cordially smiled and shook her hand.

"Same here." Lark smiled, nervous and worried that she wouldn't make a good impression on Rayne's family.

"It seems that you've made quite an impression on my son and my sister." Shayan commented with a smile and felt Holly jab him in the ribs with her elbow.

"Well, the feeling is mutual Shayan. They are wonderful and I really enjoy being around them." She smiled apprehensively and looked over their shoulder when Rayne appeared. She blew out the breath that she held and felt calmer in Rayne's presence.

"Okay, leave the lady alone you two. We've got to go, see you later." Rayne hurriedly commented and quickly ushered Lark out when she saw how nervous Lark was with her family.

"Oh, well aah it was nice meeting you Lark and please come back soon. Thank you for inviting Brandon." Holly called out as Rayne lead Lark away from the house.

"You're welcome and it was great meeting you." Lark replied with a smile.

"I'm sorry I didn't think they would gang up on you like that Lark. I should have never left you alone with them. I hope they didn't make you feel uncomfortable." Rayne asked, nervous that she was upset.

"I was nervous, but they are lovely people and I was worried about making a good impression on them. I would love to get to know them better." Lark admitted and smiled hopeful as she looked up at Rayne.

"You made a good impression on them by being with me and trust me you'll get to know them better. They'll drive both of us crazy until we do something with them." Rayne informed her and laughed as did Lark. She held the door for Lark who climbed into the limo and Rayne followed her.

The ride was short and both women regretted having to say goodbye. Rayne exited the limo as did Lark. "Oh, I forgot! Here is your jacket." Lark leaned in the limo and retrieved the jacket. She stood up and looked at Rayne with a grin.

"Too funny Lark. You didn't have to give it to me right away." Rayne blushed and accepted the jacket. They stared at each other unsure of what to say. They knew goodbye was not an option.

"Well, aah I guess I should be…" Lark tentatively began hoping Rayne would ask her to stay and was interrupted by Rayne.

"Would you like to stay? We could go out for some dinner or something?" Rayne nervously asked, hoping she would accept the offer.

Lark's heart raced and she smiled giddily, "On one condition?" She flirtatiously asked.

"Ooh, conditions. I think I might like this okay, what is the condition?" Rayne playfully asked and grinned.

"That you take me for a ride on your motorcycle." Lark asked with a wide smile.

"You got it." Rayne agreed with a laugh.

"Fantastic!" Lark exclaimed enthusiastically and turned to Elaine. "Can you send the limo back for me later?"

"Lark, I could aah give you a ride home." Rayne offered, smiling.

Lark's heart skipped a beat and she winked at Elaine before turning to Rayne. "Thank you very much. I'll accept the offer." Lark grinned and turned back to Elaine, leaning closer to her. "Beat it babe," she commented with a giggle joined by Elaine.

"You two have fun and try to be home early dear. I don't want you traipsing all over town with some leather clad, motorcycle driving woman all night!" Elaine teasingly responded, as Lark blushed embarrassed by the comment.

"She's safe with me, I promise." Rayne smiled and took Lark's hand in her own, moving her away from the door. She closed the door and both women waved as the limo pulled away. "Now, it's my turn to show you a good time." Rayne flirtatiously grinned and held Lark's hand, leading her towards the villa.

Continued in Part VI.

Comments accepted at Cruise@clububer2000.com

December 2001


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