Disclaimer : Characters and situations are all from my imagination.
Warnings : Sex and love between women
Feedback : Constructive criticism and feedback, both welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2011 Geonn Cannon
"We still have time to back out if you're uncomfortable."
Tory smiled and stroked my hair, fixing the collar of my costume. "It was my idea."
"That doesn't mean you can't back out. I don't want to lie."
"You're not lying. It's all in the spirit of the day, right? People pretending to be things they're not." She bent down and kissed me, and the kiss became something deeper and more involved than we really had time for. I pulled back and brushed my lips over her cheek. She squeezed my shoulders until the tension seeped from them and I rolled my head back. "You ready?"
"As I'll ever be." I kissed her one more time before we separated. I took her hand and led her into the elevator.
One week earlier ,
I glanced up as Tory entered the apartment we shared. "Hey." I held up the artwork I was close to finishing. "For the shoe campaign."
"It looks amazing." She looked back at the mail she was carrying and held up an envelope. "This is from your hometown. Could be family." She handed it to me as she passed my work table, pausing to bend down and kiss me hello. She smoothed down my hair as I examined the card. I didn't recognize the handwriting, and the return address was only vaguely familiar. I tore it open with my thumb and took out the card.
It was a generic invitation to a Halloween party, mass-printed with directions to the apartment. I scanned the bottom of the card and saw the names of the people hosting. "Charlotte," I whispered, smiling despite myself. She had scrawled a message at the bottom of the card that said, "Please, please, come!! I MISS you!" I suddenly had flashbacks to sleepovers, to riding in her car with the top down and the wind making our hair into banners that trailed behind us. The boys we had fought over, the classes we had spent passing notes to each other. Charlotte Tinsley, my best friend.
I told Tory what the card was as she prepared an after-work snack in the kitchen. We were separated by about ten feet and the kitchen island, the rest of the apartment spread out in much the same way. It was an open-plan design, with rooms separated by furniture like Tetris blocks. She cut her sandwich in half and put it on a plate.
"Sounds like fun."
"Yeah. I wish I could go."
She handed me half the sandwich. I didn't realize how hungry I was until it was in my hand, and I felt a surge of love for her.
"What do you mean? Why can't you go? It's not that far away." She pulled a stool over so we could face each other while we ate. She balanced the plate on her thighs as she ate.
" I could go," I said, "but no one... I mean, I'm not out yet. I didn't fall in love with you until I was living out here, didn't admit who I was until you. And no one back there knows that I'm a lesbian. I want to tell them, just... I want to be ready. I want it to be right. And I don't want Charlotte's Halloween party to turn into Jessie's Coming Out Party."
Tory nodded. "I guess I can understand that."
I reached out and took her hand. "It's not about you. It's not about being ashamed, or... I just want the time to be right. Especially for Charlotte. She and I were like sisters growing up."
"I understand." She picked up my hand and kissed the knuckles. "I'd be okay with it if you wanted to go alone."
"And spend the whole night trying not to talk about the greatest thing in my life? That seems like torture." Tory smiled. "I'll just stay here with you, hand out candy, and fall asleep on the couch watching Nightmare Before Christmas ."
Tory leaned in. "Sounds good to me."
We kissed, and I tasted crumbs from our shared sandwich on her lips.
The next day I had finished the shoe campaign and sent the artwork to be approved or dismissed on the company's whim. I was in the kitchen looking for something to prepare for lunch when I heard the front door open. Tory said, "Babe?"
"In the kitchen." I closed the fridge door and turned to welcome her, but I froze in my tracks.
Tory was Italian, close to six feet tall with thick dark hair. She had strong shoulders and long, lean arms. Her breasts were small, her hips narrow. She had a dark complexion with wide, expressive eyes that were even darker than her hair. I was used to seeing her in casual clothes that tended toward the masculine, but this was a step beyond.
She wore a man's Oxford shirt buttoned all the way up, with a blue tie knotted at her throat. Her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail that left enough that she could feather bangs across her forehead. She wore jeans and a pair of flat-soled shoes that somehow made her look even taller. Her eyes were obscured behind glasses, and she was grinning as she presented her new wardrobe with a slow turn.
"I was thinking about how you didn't want to make Charlotte's party into a big thing, but you also didn't want to go without me. At work today, I raided wardrobe." She walked toward me, rolling her hips in a way that made her gait seem manlier. "I decided everyone else is going to be dressed up, so why not wear a costume that actually hides my identity?"
The smile that had been growing suddenly crashed and burned. "No way. Uh-uh. I'm not going to hide who you are..."
She put her hands on my shoulders. "You won't be. I won't lie about anything except my gender. And probably my name. Although Tory could work for a guy, I guess." She moved her hand to my cheek. "I want to do this for you."
I kissed her, and my hand moved to her necktie. I tugged on it, and the knot came loose. I pulled back from her and looked down at her outfit. "How detailed is this disguise?"
"Well, not too detailed under the surface. I could use some of the supplies we have in the bedroom to make it more realistic."
I nodded and walked toward the bedroom. I led her along with the tie, turning to watch as she trailed behind me. "Thank you."
"I wouldn't do it for just any old person. Only the woman I love."
We kissed as I led her into the bedroom. Her hair fell loose, and I undid the knot of her tie until it looked more like a noose. I fell onto the bed and she stayed standing. She slid out of her pants, the shirt hanging down to cover her as she opened the bottom drawer of our nightstand and took out one of our toys. She glanced at me, the devil in her eyes, and stepped into the harness. She turned her back to me as she tightened it, and I admired the full curve of her ass. I sat up and put my hands on her hips, kissing her rear end as she fit the toy in place. She turned around, and suddenly the dildo was pressing against my lips.
I took it into my mouth and Tory sighed happily. She stroked my hair, gently thrusting, and I looked up at her to watch her reactions. She smiled down at me. She really didn't look like a man to me, but I knew her inside and out. I knew what she looked like when she was sick, when she was just waking up. I knew this woman with all my heart, and I could see through the disguise. Strangers, though? Someone who had never laid eyes on her? They might definitely be fooled.
I let the toy fall from my mouth and scooted back on the bed. Tory followed me. We kissed as she untied the string on my sweatpants. I lifted my hips and she dragged them down to my knees, letting me kick them the rest of the way off. I smiled as she nuzzled my jaw and throat, straddling me before she pushed her hand up under my shirt to find my breast. I twisted my neck and kissed her hair, then lifted my arms so she could peel my shirt off.
"You want me naked, or dressed?"
She smiled. "Troy. Troy is good." She kissed me again and moved her lips down to my breasts. She wet my nipples with her tongue, knowing how much that drove me crazy, and then moved to my stomach. I ran my hands through her hair and closed my eyes as she pushed my legs apart and then began to kiss my sex, using her tongue and fingers like parts of a well-crafted machine. When I was close to losing control, she abandoned me. It was just a split second, but it was long enough to make me whimper with confusion and want.
Tory slid up between my legs, letting me tighten my knees around her waist. Her tie hung down between us, tickling my breasts, but I was locked in on her eyes. She had me hypnotized.
"Ready?" I nodded, and she guided the toy into me. I bit my bottom lip and closed my eyes, and Tory began to kiss my face. She had one hand on my hip, the other on my thigh, and I moved against her as she began to thrust. I pressed my shoulders into the mattress, my lower half lifted and resting on her lap with her toy buried deep inside me. I came with a cry, and Tory shushed me out of habit; we used to have neighbors who complained about us having sex too loudly, but they'd eventually moved and we were neighbor-less. Still, I quieted at her admonishment and sat up, finding her lips without opening my eyes.
Afterward, when the toy was put away and Tory was naked and once again entirely female, we lay together on the bed. I rubbed her feet, a prelude to a second round of lovemaking that would focus entirely on her. Occasionally I sucked or licked her foot, knowing that it drove her crazy the same way she knew sucking my nipples was a sure way to make me melt.
"You really want to go to this party and pretend to be a man?"
Tory shrugged. "It's up to you. I'm willing. And I think we've discovered I make a pretty good man."
I smiled and kissed her big toe. "Better than some of the real ones I've seen." I stopped my foot rub as I considered my options. "We don't have to decide right away. It was an invitation, not an RSVP, so... we can decide in a few days."
"For now..." I kissed from her toe down to her ankle. "We only have one thing to decide. And that is which one of us will be on top."
Tory smiled and pulled me to her.
We decided to compromise.
The elevator doors opened directly into Charlotte's apartment. A troll-like man stood just outside the elevator doors, his jaw hanging slack and his eyes glazed as he looked from me to Tory and back again. His skin was sickly gray, and he wore an old leather jacket that was much too big for him. He held out one hand, the fingers trembling. "In-vuh-tay-shun?" he grunted, forcing each syllable out.
I handed over the card. "Jessica Todd, and Troy Gibson."
The troll's eyes snapped into focus and his posture straightened. "Get out. Jessie? She's been going crazy hoping you'd show." He twisted at the waist and scanned the crowd. "She's going to go ballistic." He took my hand and pulled me out of the elevator. I pulled Tory out with me. The troll grabbed someone passing by. "Where's Charlotte?"
"I just saw her in the kitchen."
The troll turned to me. "Kitchen. Go in, surprise the hell out of her. You're really going to make her night." He glanced at Tory. "S'up."
"S'up," Tory said in her practiced 'man' voice. If the troll noticed anything, he didn't mention it. He pointed us toward the kitchen and I made my way through the crowd of partiers. I was dressed as a cop, and I put on my mirrored sunglasses as I led Tory through the unfamiliar apartment. We found the kitchen easily enough; it was the only room in the place lit normally without the spooky mood lighting.
Charlotte had her back to the door, talking to Dorothy and the Tin Man. She was wearing a leather jacket, and her hair was feathered in a mockery of the way she'd styled it when she was a teenager. I squeezed Tory's hand before I stepped around the counter and tapped her on the shoulder with three fingers.
"We've got a noise complaint."
"Oh, that is such bullshit--" She turned and stared at me for half a second before her face contorted into joy. Her eyes went wide and her mouth opened into a wide O. She covered her mouth with one hand and I saw tears shining in her eyes.
"You might not remember me. It's Jessica--"
She grabbed me and hugged me hard, nearly knocking me down in the process. "Jessie!" she said. She rocked me from side to side, laughing or crying, I couldn't tell which without seeing her face. "I can't believe you came. I just can't believe you're really here. I almost didn't even send the-- I thought I--" She pushed me away but kept her hands on my shoulders as if afraid I'd flee. "You're here! And you're a cop ?"
"Just for tonight."
She shook her head. "Oh dummy. Of course. I'm just so thrilled to... see you." She looked at Tory. "Hello."
"This is, uh... we're dating. This is Troy."
"Nice to meet you."
"Hi," Charlotte said. It was a bland greeting, the kind people give just to be polite. She looked at me and her face came alive again. "So what are you really up to, then? We have to find a place to talk... God, why did I invite you to a party ? We should have just met for coffee or... or something."
"It's okay." I hugged her. "We'll find time. And if not, I'll stick around after the party ends and we can really catch up."
"That would be so great. Come on, I want to introduce you to some people."
I glanced back at Tory, who nodded that she would be okay on her own. It didn't really matter if she agreed or not; Charlotte was already dragging me out of the kitchen and into the party.
I was introduced around, and Charlotte interrogated me between quick conversations. I met her workmates and discovered she was working in customer service at a heating and air company. She was currently single but looking. I told her that I was in advertising, dropped the names of a few companies that had hired me, and she said there was a chance her company might need something put together.
We ended up on the balcony of her apartment with Spock and Chewbacca. They seemed to be getting along with each other, which was nice to see. Separated from the party and having finally accepted the fact I really was there, she'd calmed down into the Charlotte I remembered. It made it even more painful to think of how I had cut her off when I moved away, just because I couldn't bear to have a conversation about who I was over the phone.
"I'm so glad you found someone," she said. I looked at her and saw she was looking through the glass at Tory. She had found someone to talk with, and seemed to be having a good time. Her eyes moved toward me, locking onto me like a magnet, and she smiled and waved. I waved back.
"We're very happy," I said. "We're living together, and I don't see that ending any time soon. I spent the first few years waiting for us to get sick of each other, because that's the way it always goes. You know? The first blush of romance, and then the every day sets in. But I just keep falling deeper in love."
Charlotte wrapped her arms around me, hugging me sideways with her head on my shoulder. Spock and Chewbacca left us alone on the balcony. "I'm so happy for you, Jess. I want to find something like that. I can't believe it's been so long since we saw each other. I'm so sorry for that."
"Sorry... it was my fault we never got together."
"I knew where you were. I have a telephone. No, I avoided you because I was too ashamed. Seeing how strong you were made me feel so... weak."
I frowned at her. "What do you mean?"
Charlotte gestured through the window. "Her."
My eyes widened. "I... I'm..."
Charlotte looked confused.
"You knew I was gay?"
I felt like everything had tilted. The way she said it, so matter-of-factly. Like I'd asked her if she knew I was a redhead. I looked away from her and rested my arms on the railing.
"I can't believe you knew."
"I thought that was why you left, and why you didn't contact anyone for so long."
"It is. I didn't want to have The Conversation with everyone I knew, but I didn't want to hide who I was anymore. So I went somewhere no one knew the old me, and I became the... new me. The one who was already out. It was just easier that way."
Charlotte closed her eyes. "Oh. I thought it was because of me."
"What about you?"
"I thought you moved away because you were disappointed in me. Because you were stronger than I was. You came out, and I stayed in the closet."
It took me a second to process what she had just said. " You're gay?"
"You didn't know?"
I put my hands over my face and shook my head. "I'm finding out that apparently I don't know much of anything at all."
Charlotte rubbed my back until I looked at her again.
"Am I the last to find out?"
"Well, I thought you were the first. I guess in a way, you still are. I haven't told anyone. I was too ashamed because you were, you were off in the big city with your new life and your girlfriend and I was just here... stagnating."
"You're not stagnating. You're building a life. Putting everything together so you'll be ready when the right person comes along." I smiled. "You're doing fine, Charlotte."
"You think so?"
I gestured into the living room. "You have a lot of friends, a job you seem to really like, a nice place to live, and you're hot. People have gotten through life with a lot worse."
"Thanks for adding the 'hot' part."
We embraced and I sighed, suddenly sad. "I can't believe we threw away all those years just because we didn't want to talk. If we could have said this before I left--"
"We said it now. That's what matters. And we're going to be making up for lost time, starting tonight."
"Starting right now, in fact." I turned and motioned to Tory through the glass. She excused herself and threaded through the crowd, joining us on the balcony.
When she spoke, she used the affected male voice she'd practiced on so hard. "What's going on, babe?"
I reached up and undid the pins holding her hair up. I ruffled it with my fingers, then took off her glasses. I kissed her cheek, then her lips, then took her hand and presented her to Charlotte.
"Charlotte, this is Victoria. I met her when she modeled for one of my advertising campaigns. We fell in love after a few dates, and now we're living together. Tory, this is Charlotte. She was my best friend growing up, and she just told me that she's gay."
Tory smiled. "Guess you guys had more in common than you thought." She held out her hand. "Nice to meet you."
"You, too." Charlotte looked at me. "I would have been happy either way, you know. Anyone who makes you happy, who makes you look the way you do when you're holding her hand? How can I not love them, too?" She kissed my forehead and backed away. "Let's get back to the party. We can play twenty questions later."
"Sure. Just, um, give us a minute?" Charlotte nodded and left us alone on the balcony. I let go of the air I was holding in and sagged against Tory's chest. She put her arms around me. "She knew. She knew the whole time. Since before I left. She was envious of me, of how easily I was able to accept who I was. She's been in the closet all this time, wishing she could be as brave as me. How ironic is that?"
"I don't know. I've heard stranger things." She held me. "Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah. Charlotte... opened the door. She knew, and the sky didn't cave in. She still loves me." I looked over my shoulder. "And the people in there, the people who once meant the world to me... if they can't accept it just as easily, then I don't need them in my life anymore. All I need is you. I love you, Tory."
"I love you, too."
I took her hand and led her toward the doors. "Let's get back to the party. There are some people I want you to meet."
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