Disclaimers: Nope, sorry, can't say there are any. All of the characters are mine. I take full responsibility for all of their actions. Hmm ... On second thought ... I've never seen them before in my life. They just followed me home one day ... really ...
Violence/Sex: No violence, I don't think. I guess that would depend on what you mean by "violence" ... I don't think there is any. You can decide for yourself. And sex? Umm ... I'll go on the safe side and say there will be. But don't go suing me for false advertisement if you can't find any. It really depends on what you mean by sex. As there are people in some cultures that show their affection by licking each other's eyeballs, it is possible that my definition of sex may be different than yours. Mine may involve cows in ballet slippers for instance ... wait, that doesn't sound right ...
Warning: This story involves an in-the closet actress, online relationships, Puerto Ricans, the Spanish language, Starbucks coffee, angels, boyfriends, sexual relationships between women .. and a ton of other random things that poured forth from my artistic loins. If none of the above things interest you, then you may not want to partake in this little tour of my demented psyche.
Dedication: to you and you and you you and you .. to people living with living with ... ::notices there are people watching:: Ahem. Sorry. Too much "RENT" for me. Strike that. There can never be too much RENT. Unless it's the kind you have to pay. But my point.. and I do have one .. is that this story is dedicated to you. Thank you for taking the time to delve into my madness. What a brave soul you are .. muahahaha <coughcough>
Special Thanks: To Amber, Cindy, Camilla, Christy, Amy, and Robin. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't know what I'd do without you guys.
Write me: Cause I'd love to know what you think. I may be reached at email@example.com
"I thought we were going to a lesbian bar!" Kris yelled over the loud music. She glanced around the club that Julianne had led her into, trying to see through the clouds of smoke. Everywhere she looked, scantily clad people were dancing and jumping around. Red and blue and green lights bounced from the walls to the floor to the ceiling and back again.
Julianne smiled and took Kris' hand. "I thought you wanted to dance."
Kris had to smile back. She looked at their intertwined hands for a moment, feeling unreasonably giddy. "A deal's a deal," she replied. The dance music was making her want to jump around. She felt suddenly energized.
As they made their way to the dance area, Kris noticed that it was mostly guys dancing. There were a few girls scattered along the place, but the majority were men. Arching a brow, she leaned against Julianne and asked, "Where are we?"
"Gay club," Julianne replied, her lips near Kris' ear. "But if you were really that set on a lesbian bar ?"
Kris closed her eyes momentarily as Julianne's cheek brushed against her own. She opened them quickly and shrugged. "Hey, if sweaty guys with no shirts turn you on ? then who am I to judge?"
"Don't they turn you on?" Julianne shot back.
Kris had no idea how to answer that question. She listened as Missy Elliot's "Party People" came on the speakers. And she laughed. "We have to dance to this, come on!" She grabbed both of Julianne's hands and pulled her into the crowd.
"You like this song?" Julianne yelled over the music.
Kris nodded as she let go of Julianne's hands and started moving a long with the beat. She could feel the energy pulsating all around her. She was grateful that she'd worn a tank top because it was certain to get hot in there soon.
Julianne just stood there, as dancing lunatics began to slam against her. "I'm getting a drink!"
Kris shook her head and grabbed Julianne's hand again, pulling her closer. "This was your idea, Miss Franqui." She mouthed the words along with Missy, "'Let me dance with you, let me wear you out ?'"
Julianne laughed. "You're making me nervous," she admitted.
The actress stared at her, and then leaned over to say, "Cause you look really hot when you dance."
Kris tried to hide her surprise, her heart pounding at the words. "Well, you look really dorky just standing there. So dance!" She put her arms around Julianne's neck and pressed against her. She didn't want to think too deeply about what she was doing, because if she did, she'd probably stop. And it felt too good to stop.
Especially when Julianne put her hands on Kris' waist and started loosening up. "Better?" the actress asked.
Kris grinned. Julianne should loosen up more often. "Yes, you look a lot less dorky now." She was sure her voice would be shot by the end of the night. She might be deaf, too; the music was so loud. But she was having too much fun to care.
Julianne was stunned. She was stunned at her own audacity. You look really hot when you dance. The words echoed through her mind. Had she really spoken them out loud? Loud enough, even, to be heard over the music. What other thoughts might escape unchecked into the air between them? The question worried her.
But the feel of Kris dancing so close to her was distracting, and her thoughts wandered away from the worry and the fear. Julianne had stepped away slightly after the first song. She didn't want Kris to notice how much she enjoyed the close contact. Especially after the slip-up.
Still, the dance floor was crowded and their bodies were inevitably pushed closer by forces beyond their control.
As La Rissa's "I Do Both Jay and Jane" started, Kris said, "Thirsty?"
Julianne nodded. She grabbed Kris' hand so that she wouldn't lose her in the crowd and led them in the direction of the bar. "What do you want?" she asked Kris.
"Water," Kris called back.
Julianne ordered two bottles of water from the bartender, who thankfully didn't give her a second glance. She handed one of the bottles to Kris and said, "Want to get away from the music for a bit?"
Kris gave her a relieved look as she nodded.
They set about finding someplace relatively quiet, and eventually came across an empty bench in one of the upstairs hallways.
"Oh, my God, it feels so nice to sit down," Kris said, with a sigh.
Julianne sat down beside her and leaned back. "Let's not move from here."
"Deal," Kris agreed, opening her bottle of water. She downed half the contents in one long gulp.
Julianne laughed. "Want mine, too?"
"Don't tempt me," Kris warned. She started pulling at her tank top. "I'm all sweaty now."
"Well, you were pretty into it," Julianne replied. "Some of those moves would've put Shakira out of business."
Kris started laughing. "Shut up."
Julianne smiled and closed her eyes. She was exhausted. How many songs had they lasted? Like five? She couldn't imagine dancing all night. It was inhuman.
Kris yawned and put her head on Julianne's shoulder. "Do you mind?"
Julianne leaned her cheek against the top of Kris' head. "Nope."
"I think I'm falling asleep."
"Want to go home?"
Julianne glanced down to see that Kris had taken her hand. Her heart sped up at the contact. It was such an innocent gesture, but it made her body tingle.
Kris lifted her head suddenly and let go of Julianne's hand. "Mark?"
Julianne looked up at the guy standing in front of them. So, this is Mark? He looked like a surfer boy who'd misplaced his board. Or perhaps, just his boyfriend's step-sister.
"What are you doing here?" Kris continued.
Mark pointed to the air around him. "Gay club." Then to himself. "Gay. A better question would be, what are you doing here with?" He paused as caught Julianne's gaze. "Oh, my God."
"Nice pants," Julianne said with a smirk.
Mark blinked and started to walk away. "I'm hallucinating and I haven't even taken anything yet?"
"Excuse me," Kris said to Julianne.
Julianne watched as Kris pulled Mark out of earshot. She smiled and closed her eyes again. This might take a while.
"Were you seriously just cuddling with Julianne Franqui?" Mark asked incredulously.
Kris frowned at him. "I wasn't cuddling. We're just tired."
"Are you guys together?" he asked, his voice low. "Cause that would be scandalous!" He said the word "scandalous" as if it were a good thing.
Kris tried not to roll her eyes. "We're just friends."
Mark glanced over at Julianne. "I can't believe you actually know her. How did that happen?"
"Very long story," Kris explained. "I'll tell it to you another time."
Mark was still staring. "Doesn't she look like she's posing for the cover of something?" He sighed. "I totally meant it when I said she could get into my pants." He grinned and looked over at Kris. "Do you think she was flirting with me?"
"There you are. I've been looking for you."
Kris glanced up to see her William walking over to them. Great. Just great. "Hey William."
William looked confused. "What are you doing here?"
"She's here with her girlfriend," Mark teased.
"Since when do you have a girlfriend?" William asked, looking completely lost. "I know you said you were confused, but ?"
Kris wanted to crawl under a rock. "She's not my girlfriend."
Mark turned toward his boyfriend and said. "She was cuddling with Julianne Franqui."
"I wasn't cuddling!" Kris insisted. She looked at William. "I wasn't cuddling."
Mark nodded and pointed toward the bench, where Julianne was sitting, eyes closed, looking like she didn't have a care in the world.
"Oh my God. That totally looks like her." William stared in awe.
"It is her," Kris said. "She's my friend."
William looked at Kris, eyes wide. "Since when?"
"It's a long story," Mark said. "She'll tell us later." He smiled at Kris. "Skip ahead to the part where you introduce us."
"If you embarrass me, I'll kill you both," Kris warned, and started walking toward Julianne. "Now, stay right there, and try not to look like you're staring." Please God ? let Mark behave.
Julianne sat up as Kris approached. "Everything okay?"
"They want to meet you," Kris announced. "But if you don't want to meet them, you don't have to. I'll tell them to go away."
"William is here, too," Kris explained, nervously. She hated putting Julianne on the spot like this.
Julianne's face lit up. "Oooh, did he bring embarrassing baby pictures of you?" She stood up and smiled. "Lead the way."
Please, please God ?
Mark was the first to speak as Julianne approached the two men. "Before you say anything," he began. "I just have to tell you that I am the biggest fan. I've seen all of your movies. I mean, all of them. I even have Guardian the first season on DVD. And?"
Julianne laughed. "It's nice to meet you, too, Mark."
Mark leaned against William for support. "Honey, she knows my name."
William stretched out his hand. "I'm William. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Franqui."
"Julianne," she said, quickly, shaking his hand. "It's so nice to meet you. Kris has told me a lot about you."
William and Mark both glanced curiously at Kris. Kris shrugged awkwardly, looking uncomfortable.
"So, what brings you two here?" William wondered.
Julianne and Kris glanced at each other. "Just wanted to go dancing," Kris said.
"You guys didn't look like you were dancing," Mark commented.
William quickly piped in. "Hey, Kris, can I talk to you for a minute?"
Kris stared at him. "Now?"
"Yeah." William smiled politely at Julianne and excused himself, dragging Kris along with him.
Julianne watched them walk away and turned back to Mark, who was staring at her. "Guess it's just us, then."
Mark grinned. "He's probably just concerned for her," he said. "She's been all confused lately."
She arched a brow at his words. "Confused?"
"Yeah, you know girls and their sexuality," he said with a shrug. Then paused, looking worried. "I mean, with guys. Sexuality with guys. Not girls." He stuck his hands in the pocket of his pants and looked down. "Please make me stop talking."
Julianne stared at him, trying to understand what he was saying. She glanced over at Kris and found the artist staring back at her. She gave her a small smile, and was relieved to get one in return. What are you confused about? she wondered. Turning back to Mark, she decided not to press the matter. She found him glancing at her curiously.
"So, um," Mark continued. "Are you and Kris close friends?"
Julianne couldn't help but smile. "I'd like to think so."
"She didn't tell us that she knew you," Mark explained. "Unless ..." His eyes grew wide as something occurred to him. "Oh, my God. That means that ... Oh shit."
Julianne had lost track of the conversation somewhere along the way. "Something wrong?"
Mark cleared his throat and appeared to gather some self-control. "No," he said, though it was clear there was something he wasn't telling her. "So, uh, what brings you to New York?"
Julianne was surprised. Didn't they know about Leigh? "Filming," she answered. "Kris' friend Leigh is in the movie with me."
"That's right," he said. Comprehension finally seemed to dawn on him. "I forgot about that. It's just weird to be talking to you. My head's a little muddled. So, you met Kris through Leigh?"
"It's a long story," Julianne told him.
"So, I hear."
William and Kris returned at that moment.
"Sorry about that," Kris apologized. She glanced worriedly at Mark. Then back again at Julianne. "I'm glad he didn't scare you away."
"Hey!" Mark complained.
Julianne smiled. "I can take him."
"Hey, again!" Mark said. Then winked at Julianne. "Actually, you can if you really want to."
William smacked him on the arm. "Hello? Boyfriend standing right here. Getting a little freaked out."
Mark smiled and put his arm around William's shoulders. "Isn't he cute when he's jealous?"
William rolled his eyes.
Julianne and Kris smiled at each other.
"Anyway, we're going to go downstairs," William announced. He smiled at Julianne. "It was really nice meeting you."
"Yes, so great," Mark emphasized. "We should go out to dinner or something, sometime."
Julianne nodded. "I'd like that."
"Really?" Mark asked, surprised. "How about Friday?"
"She'll be in California," Kris interjected. "And she's really busy?"
Julianne ran her schedule through her head. "Maybe next week sometime," she suggested. She didn't want to let the opportunity pass by. "If Kris doesn't mind," she looked at her friend, worried that she'd crossed the line. Maybe Kris didn't want her hanging out with her family.
Kris looked at her. "No, I don't mind at all."
"Great," William said. "We'll be in touch, and maybe we can settle on something."
"Wait, can I have your autograph?" Mark asked, searching his pocket for a pen and paper. "Otherwise, no one will believe me at work tomorrow."
Julianne scribbled a quick message and her signature on the paper he handed her. "There you go."
Mark jumped happily and thanked her several times over before William finally took him by the arm and pulled him away.
"I am so sorry about that," Kris said. "I had no idea they would be here."
"They're adorable," Julianne said. "I'm glad I got to meet them finally."
"Really?" Kris asked.
"Yes, really. Did you not want me to?"
Kris shook her head. "No, I just? I didn't want to put you in an uncomfortable situation."
Julianne smiled. "My life is one long uncomfortable situation," she joked, though it was partly true. She shrugged slightly. "You make it comfortable."
Kris looked at her but didn't say anything.
"So, what do you want to do now?" Julianne asked, looking around.
"I'm kind of partied out," Kris admitted. "Did I pass my dare?"
"With flying colors," Julianne told her.
They started walking toward the stairs.
Kris looked at her with a raised brow. "So, Shakira, huh?"
Julianne knocked on the open door of Naomi's office. She'd been thinking things over all weekend and had reached a decision.
The director glanced up from the stack of papers on her desk and smiled. "Julianne," she said, standing. "You're here early."
"Can we talk?" Julianne asked, closing the door behind her.
"Uh oh," Naomi replied good-naturedly. "Of course. Is this business or ?"
"Not business," Julianne answered quietly.
The director nodded and came around the desk. She motioned to the couch against the wall. "Let's sit."
Julianne took a deep breath and joined Naomi on the couch, wondering how to say what she wanted to say without sounding like an idiot.
Green eyes studied her patiently, yet curiously. "What's wrong?"
"The thing is this," Julianne began, feeling nervous. "I really like you. You're smart and beautiful and funny ?"
Julianne hesitated. "But I'm in love with someone else," she confessed.
Naomi stared at her for a long moment, before nodding. "Kris?" she guessed.
The actress was surprised, and wondered if it was obvious to everyone, or just to those looking closely enough. "Yeah," she admitted.
Naomi nodded. "Karen sort of warned me that there was someone else," she said. "She didn't say who, but ? you don't really hang around many people, so the process of elimination was short." She smiled slightly.
Julianne didn't know what to say. "I'm sorry," she said finally. "If things were different?"
Naomi laughed. "Yes, if," she said. She smiled at Julianne. "I appreciate your honesty. I hope things work out with Kris."
Julianne chuckled. "Well, the straight thing might present a problem."
"Most of us were straight once," Naomi replied, with a laugh. "But, I guess things will just have to follow their natural course."
"Yeah," Julianne agreed, not wanting to cling to false hopes. "Anyway, I'll let you get back to work. You looked busy." She stood, and started toward the door. At the doorway, she paused, and looked at the director. "Thanks."
"Everything," Julianne replied, meaning it. She smiled, and walked out of the office, feeling like a great weight had been lifted.
"Mami," Kris said impatiently. "Mom! Calm down."
"Pero cŪmo me voy a calmar, Kristina, cuando me vienes con esto de ir a California con una persona ajena."
Kris was growing exasperated. "She's not a stranger. She's a friend. And it's only for the weekend."
"I don't know," her mom said, her tone conveying her disapproval. "Are you visiting your father?"
"I'll be in Los Angeles," she replied, regretfully. It would've been nice to see her Dad. But at least her mom appeared to be softening on the issue. "I won't have time to go up there and see him."
Her mother let out a long sigh. "Bueno, ll·manos cuando llegues a la casa de tu amiga," she instructed.
Kris smiled, knowing she'd won. "I promise I'll call the second I get there," she said. She said goodbye to her mom, and hung up the phone, just in time to see Leigh enter the apartment.
"Hey, roomy," Leigh greeted with a smile. "What are you up to?" She joined Kris at the kitchen table.
Kris held up the phone. "Had to tell my mom about my trip."
"I can't believe Julianne is taking you to her house," Leigh said, shaking her head. "What do you think you're going to do there? Is she taking you to the premiere?"
Kris shook her head. "I don't think so. I think she's got a date." She shrugged. "I guess we'll just hang out." She hadn't given the details much thought, and the more she thought about it, the more nervous she grew. How would she ever fit into Julianne's world?
"So, I take it things are a lot better now?" Leigh asked gently. "You know, since your fallout."
"Things are great," Kris replied, unable to keep the smile from her face. "She's ?"
Leigh stared at her expectantly.
But the adjectives that came to mind seemed inappropriate, and Kris paused. The ringing phone saved her from having to come up with something to say. "Hello?" she answered.
"Hey, can you come over? I have something to show you."
Kris grinned at the sound of Julianne's voice. "What kind of thing?"
"It's a surprise," Julianne replied. "I'm making dinner. Do you have homework to do?"
Kris didn't even want to think about how much. "A ton."
"Bring it. I've got a scene to rehearse, anyway. I'll walk around mumbling to myself while you study."
Kris laughed. "Okay, I still have to shower. So, I'll be over in like an hour."
"See you then."
"Bye," Kris said. She hung up and looked up to find Leigh looking at her. "Julianne," she explained. "I'm going to her apartment."
"Gathered that," Leigh told her.
"I'm going to jump in the shower," Kris announced, rising from her seat. She started toward her room, but stopped when Leigh called her. She turned to look at her roommate.
Leigh had stood up as well. "Jeremy has this friend," she said. "He's really cute. I thought maybe we could double tomorrow night."
Kris shook her head. "Sorry. I'm not really in a relationship kind of mood."
"It's just to hang out," Leigh argued. "He doesn't want to marry you."
She hated getting put in this position. "I might have plans with Julianne," she said. "And I really don't feel like doing the dating thing again. There's a reason I broke up with Anthony."
Leigh crossed her arms. "What reason is that?"
"I really have to get in the shower," Kris insisted, wishing to put an end to the conversation. What was Leigh's problem?
"Kris," Leigh started, her tone changing. "Is there something you want to tell me?"
"Like what?" Kris asked, feeling nervous.
"I don't know," Leigh said. "But if there is ? I'll understand."
Kris didn't know what Leigh was getting at. Or rather, didn't want to know. "I'm just tired of everything being about guys," she said. "I don't see why I should suddenly jump at the opportunity to go out with a person I've never even seen before, just because he's male and you think he's cute."
Leigh stared at her, mulling over Kris' words. Finally, she nodded. "Okay, that's fair."
Relieved, Kris softened her gaze. "But I'd like to hang out with you before I leave on Friday," she said.
"Pizza and movie night? Thursday?" Leigh suggested.
"Deal," Kris agreed with a slight smile, glad the storm had passed. "I'm going to take that shower now."
Leigh nodded, and headed toward her room. "Tell Julianne I said hi."
Kris managed to make it to Julianne's in a little less than an hour. And she was more than anxious to find out what Julianne's surprise was. The thought of dinner was also alluring. Kris was starved.
Julianne opened the door a crack and peeked out. "What's the secret password?"
"New England clam chowder," Kris replied, smiling.
"Red or white?"
Kris narrowed her eyes. "Seen the movie a few too many times, have you?" she asked.
"I love Ace Ventura," Julianne answered. "Now, what's the correct color?"
"Um, white?" Kris guessed. She couldn't remember. "I can never remember what he answers."
Julianne looked thoughtful. "I can't remember, either. So, white it is. But, you have to close your eyes."
Kris played along and closed her eyes. "Something smells nice," she said, as pleasant scents wafted into the hallway. "What's cooking?"
"You'll find out soon enough, Oh Impatient One," Julianne replied, guiding Kris further into the apartment.
Kris had no idea where they were going, but soon enough, Julianne stopped.
"Open your eyes," the actress instructed.
Kris did as she was told and smiled at the sight before her. Julianne's furniture had arrived. The couch she'd selected and the two recliner chairs had replaced the empty carpet space. But the object that caught her eye the most was the dining table. Kris laughed. "When did you get that?"
"I told the guy at the store to pick one out for me," Julianne answered. "I'm sure it was the most expensive one. But at least it matches with everything." She laughed. She motioned to the food on the table. "Dinner is served."
Kris smiled and looked around again. The apartment looked so much nicer now. It looked inhabited finally. She noticed that there was a flat screen television on the wall in front of the couch. "Did you move the one in your room?" she asked.
Julianne gave her a 'yeah right' face. "I bought it on my way home from the set today," she answered. "I knew the furniture was arriving, so I thought I'd give the living room a reason for existing."
"Television is the reason?" Kris asked with a grin.
Julianne nodded, walking behind the island in the kitchen. "What do you want to drink?"
"Whatever you're having is fine," Kris answered. She glanced at the two recliners. "So, why did you get two? Are you getting a roommate?"
Julianne shrugged and set about filling a couple of glasses with ice. She glanced up and smiled. "Why, do you want to move in?"
Kris laughed, and walked over to help Julianne. But for some reason, the prospect of living with the actress didn't seem half bad.
After the dinner plates had been cleared up, Julianne sat Kris down at one of the recliners and instructed her to study. The last thing she wanted was for Kris to start failing. But, she wasn't willing to give up her time with Kris either. So, it was a good arrangement. And best of all, Kris didn't seem to mind.
"I think I'm in love with this chair," Kris announced after a few minutes.
Julianne smiled from where she stood. "I told you." She turned back to the script in front of her, trying to concentrate on the scene. She was pretty certain that she had the entire script memorized, but they were filming that scene the next day and she wanted to make sure she had it down cold. And it wasn't even the lines, those she knew, but everything else. It was an important scene and she wanted to get it right.
"What are you working on?" Kris asked.
Julianne stopped mouthing the lines to herself and stared at Kris. "Just running the lines for tomorrow's scene."
"Can I help?"
"Don't you have homework to do?" Julianne asked. "If I'm distracting you I can go do this in my room."
"No," Kris answered. "I just don't feel like studying." She caught the look Julianne sent her and laughed. "I'll lock myself in the library tomorrow and catch up, I promise." She stood up from the chair. "You're worse than my mother, do you know that?"
Julianne grinned, slightly proud of herself. "I try."
"So, how can I help?" Kris asked, now standing in front of Julianne.
Julianne sighed, defeated. "Okay, it's a short scene. Just read Emma's lines. And just to warn you, this is really sappy."
"Aww, I remember this one. It's sweet." Kris smiled. "Do I start?"
Kris cleared her throat. "I heard your song last night. It echoed through the trees outside my window, and I thought ?"
"I had the crazy feeling that you were standing in the garden."
"With a piano?"
"Isn't it crazy?"
Julianne stepped closer to Emma, who was really Kris, and said, "I believe that us standing here together is crazy."
"Do you want me to go?"'
"No. I want you to stay forever."
"That's even crazier."
"Is it? You promised yourself to a man you do not love and you think this is insanity."
"Who says I do not love him?"
"You don't have to say it, Emma. I can see it. You speak of love as if it were an obligation."
"Not love," Kris said. "Just marriage."
"So you admit you do not love him?"
"According to you, I do not have to. And what difference does it make?"
"It makes a difference to me," Julianne said softly, stepping closer. "I can show you love."
"Don't." Kris glanced up from her reading, and met Julianne's gaze.
Julianne's heart started pounding, and she fell completely out of character. She was so close to Kris, their lips so near. It was the perfect excuse, the script called for a kiss. Julianne saw Kris start to close her eyes, and felt her own shut. Soft breath tickled her lips ?
What was she doing? She wasn't Elizabeth and Kris wasn't Emma. This wasn't right. Julianne stepped away. "Thanks," she said, trying not to sound as nervous as she felt. Her whole body hummed with sexual energy, and she didn't know how to make it stop.
Kris had opened her eyes and was looking at her with an unreadable expression. "Any time," she said, handing the script back.
"You make a good Emma," Julianne replied, hoping the tension between them would ease. She wished she could read Kris' mind, to decipher what the other was thinking. Had she crossed the line?
"Too bad I didn't audition," Kris said with a smile. "So, um, do you need to run that again?"
"No," Julianne said quickly. "I think I got it." If they went through that all over again, Julianne didn't know what she'd do.
Kris watched the credits rolling on the television screen, wondering what had happened to the movie. Was it over already?
"Did you like it?" Julianne asked from her place on the other side of the bed. "I thought it was cute."
"Yeah, definitely cute," Kris agreed, thankful for an adjective. Ever since the near-kiss earlier in the evening, Kris had been lost to the outside world. Julianne had suggested a movie, and Kris had agreed. She'd hoped that a movie would distract her from her thoughts, but on the contrary, it gave her ample opportunity to surrender to them.
They had almost kissed, Kris realized. If Julianne hadn't pulled away, it would've happened, and there would've been no turning back. She knew it was in the script, that it would've been justifiable, at least on the outside. It was just acting?
But, she couldn't justify the fact that she'd wanted it to happen. She couldn't justify her disappointment when it didn't. She couldn't explain why she kept going back to it. Why her mind kept imagining it happening; kept picturing how it would feel. She, Kris, had wanted to kiss Julianne.
Still wanted to.
The thought made her dizzy.
Julianne turned the movie off, and glanced at the time on the alarm clock. "It's late, do you want me to drive you home? Or I'll walk you."
"No," Kris replied, distractedly. "I can take a cab."
"Spend the night," Julianne suggested. "You look tired."
Kris turned her head to look at Julianne. What if they kissed? Right now, on that bed. Would Julianne kiss her back? And then what? God, her lips look so soft. "Um," she knew that Julianne had said something. But what?
"Do you want to?" Julianne asked.
Want to?? Yes to whatever it was. "Sure."
"Kris, are you okay?" Julianne asked, concern in her voice. "Did I make you uncomfortable?"
Kris snapped back into the world of the living. "I'm fine," she answered. "Just tired, I guess." Not that she would be able to fall asleep. Ever, ever again. She glanced at the TV, where an infomercial was playing. "Have you ever bought any of that stuff?"
"I plead the fifth."
Kris smiled to herself. She could picture Julianne ordering random things at the strange hours of the morning. "You're a compulsive shopper."
"I enjoy pointless gadgets that only work for the people on TV," Julianne said.
"Maybe you just don't know how to work them properly," Kris teased.
Julianne smacked her lightly with the remote.
Kris laughed, grabbing the remote from Julianne's hand. "Let's see what else is on." After flipping through an endless amount of channels, Kris realized that there was nothing good on any of them. She settled on the Food Network, since she knew Julianne liked it. "This okay?"
"Ah, the Iron Chef," Julianne said with a heavenly sigh. "Perfect."
"Nerd." Kris smiled, thinking it was adorable.
Julianne grinned. "I want to compete against one of the Iron Chefs."
"Why don't you?"
"I have no idea how to cook with those weird ingredients," Julianne replied, sounding regretful.
"You can compete against me," Kris suggested. "I'll heat up a pop tart, while you create something spectacular."
Julianne laughed. "You're some competition."
"I try." They fell silent as they watched the show for a few minutes. Kris was still unable to pay full attention to anything. "Julianne?"
"When are you going to see Naomi again?"
Kris tried not to frown. "Got another date?"
"Oh, you meant see her see her?" Julianne asked. "I ... um .. I told her yesterday I kind of didn't want to date her anymore."
"Why?" Kris asked, feeling completely shocked.
"I don't have feelings for her," Julianne admitted.
Kris felt irrationally elated. "I see," was all she could think to say. But she wanted to say more than that. She wanted to know more. "Did you ? did you kiss her?"
Her elation instantly evaporated. "Oh, is she a good kisser?"
"Yeah, it was really nice."
Kris decided she couldn't hear about it anymore. She was sorry she'd asked. "But you don't have feelings for her?"
Julianne glanced at her curiously. "Why do you ask?"
"I'm just curious," Kris answered, worried that Julianne might suspect her true emotions. "Things seemed to be going well."
"One could say the same of you and Anthony," Julianne answered. "Sometimes the feelings just aren't there."
Kris looked into Julianne's eyes, so blue and beautiful. "So where are they?"
Julianne smiled. "I don't know."
I think I do, Kris thought. But only smiled in return.
to be continued...
return to the academy