Disclaimer: Characters and situations are all from my imagination. In fact, a couple of them might be familiar from other stories I've written.
Warnings: Sex and love between women.
Spoiler Warning: This is a prequel to my novel "On the Air" (now available at Amazon.com!) While it doesn't really spoil anything that happens in the novel, it does give a bit of back story to one of the characters.
Feedback: Constructive criticism and feedback, both welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2007 Geonn Cannon
The once-white blouse was marred by a blossom of yellow and reddish-brown. The smeared halo was the only evidence that remained of the street vendor's hot dog she had bought for lunch. She had draped her suit jacket over the blotch before entering her building, angry at the guy who'd shoved her, angrier at the people who had pushed her out of their way as she tried to blot at the damage with a handful of napkins that she didn't notice until too late were smeared with mustard.
Fuming, she pushed into the main business offices of WMAN, the "sound of Manhattan," the radio station where she'd worked as manager for almost five years. The offices were separate from the broadcasting area, but she could hear the current disc-jockey over the speakers in the ceiling. Matt E., known to the real world as Matthew Easton, had just returned from commercial and was promising a "huge block of uninterrupted music" in his next set.
Miranda pushed into her office and shut the door, turning on the small speaker-box over her desk so she could continue to listen. She made sure the office door was locked before she unbuttoned her ruined blouse and shrugged it off her shoulders. She draped the shirt over the back of her office chair and pulled out the bottom drawer of her desk. She had three spare blouses folded neatly and tucked into the back drawer and she chose a robin's-egg blue shirt with white cuffs.
She was shrugging it on when there was a knock on her door. "Who is it?" she asked.
Miranda rounded the desk and unlocked the door. Her assistant stepped inside and, glancing at Miranda's exposed brassiere, immediately pushed the door shut behind her. "Hot dog?" she asked.
Tina cleared her throat and held out a stack of memos. "Albert wants to see you in his office."
"Great," Miranda growled. She took the stack of memos with one hand, buttoning her blouse with the other. "Any idea what it's about?"
"He wouldn't tell me," Tina said. She walked around Miranda's desk and picked up the blouse. "Do you want me to run this to the dry cleaner's?"
"Do you think it would make a difference?"
"Couldn't hurt," Tina said, surveying the damage. "What happened?"
Miranda sighed. "I hadn't even gotten a bite of the damn hot dog." She picked up her blazer and pulled it on. "Some bastard comes barreling down the sidewalk, slams into me at a hundred miles an hour and shoves my hand up to my chest. He didn't even look back."
"And of course the fine people of Manhattan gave you enough room to clean yourself up."
Miranda rolled her eyes and said, "I didn't even have time to get back into line." She sighed and checked her watch. "All right. I'm going upstairs to talk to Albert. Wish me luck."
"Luck," Tina said.
Miranda left her office, aware of the irony that she hadn't even had a chance to sit down, and speed-walked back to the elevator. Albert Granville was the station owner and, at least once a week, called her up to his office to talk about how to make the station "better." In his dictionary, better was defined as "more profitable." Miranda would have to spend at least a half hour convincing him that the station was fine the way it was.
She rode the elevator up to his office and entered without bothering to knock. "Mr. Granville," she said as she walked to one of the chairs facing his desk. He looked up and motioned for her to sit. She took a seat, crossed her legs and waited for him to get off the phone. When he finally pressed the Bluetooth headset and leaned back, Miranda had already been waiting five minutes.
"Ms. Powell." He frowned and said, "Weren't you wearing a different blouse this morning...?"
She ignored his question. "Tina said you wanted to see me?"
"Yes," he said. He straightened the desk blotter and said, "Starting June first, the station is moving to an all-talk format."
It took Miranda a moment to realize the implication of his words. "Uh, sir, I'm not sure that's such a good idea..."
"It's done, Ms. Powell. I've been negotiating with a radio personality from New Jersey... guy named Leo Limpsky. Heard of him?"
"He's brilliant. You oughta hear some of his characters." Albert snickered and wiped a hand across his mouth. "It's just him, his producer and his sidekick in the studio. But he does all these voices so that it sounds like there are half a dozen people there with him."
"That'll be convenient. You just have to hire one guy to replace all the DJs you're going to be firing."
Albert sighed and finally acknowledged the chill in her voice. "Look, Miranda. Research shows that music-formatted stations are becoming passé. Who was the last big music DJ? Wolfman Jack? If this station is going to become what I think it's capable of being, we need to make drastic changes. We need a... a Howard Stern, an Imus..."
"You want an Imus?" Miranda snapped.
"I want this station to stand out. I want it to be something special, not just another pause between the static. I'll do what it takes to make sure that happens."
Miranda sagged back against the chair. "I'm going to have to fire everybody, aren't I? If the station changes formats, we're not going to keep anyone on."
"Well, behind-the-scenes people. Producers and the like. But as far as the on-air personality..."
"Unbelievable," Miranda muttered. She pushed up out of her chair and said, "So this is it. It's done. The station is switching to all-talk and there's nothing I can do to talk you out of it."
He held his hands out in a helpless gesture. "There's nothing to be talked out of. All that remains is cleaning house."
Miranda winced at his choice of words. "You're a prick, Albert."
He sighed and looked back at his blotter. "Careful, Ms. Powell."
She turned on her heel and stormed out of the office. At the elevator, she jabbed the down button with her middle finger and paced the ugly green carpeting outside Granville's office. They had eight full-time DJs working at the station, all of whom would have to be let go to make this change.
For a moment, she allowed herself to believe that maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Radio was a terribly fluid business, she told herself as she fiddled with the top button of her blouse. What worked one year wouldn't work the next and changes had to be made. Surely their DJs understood that. She took a deep breath and turned as the elevator doors slid open. As she stepped into the car, someone stepped out.
Three small, white-and-red boxes crushed against her chest. She took a breath as the hot liquid seeped between the buttons of her blouse and soaked her bra. She tensed her jaw and looked at the delivery guy. "Chinese takeout?"
The kid looked horrified, but managed to nod. "Sesame beef."
"Of course it is," she sighed. She pushed him out of the way and stepped into the elevator. "Of course it is," she said again as she jabbed the button for her floor.
She set a staff meeting for the next morning, hoping to take care of everyone at once and spend the rest of the day in her office, taking one meeting at a time and trying to soothe jangled nerves. She knew the vast majority of their DJs would be pissed off and, since Granville was a weighty opponent, they would aim that rancor at her. The thought of what awaited her at work the next morning weighed down on her as she stepped into her building's elevator. Miraculously, her lime-green emergency blouse had made it through the last six hours of the day without being stained, ripped or ruined.
Just as the door was starting to close, someone called out for her to hold the door. She considered ignoring the request, just letting the doors slide shut and taking the ten seconds it would take to get home by herself. The promise of solitude was inviting, almost intoxicating, but then she remembered all the times she had been racing across the lobby and all the times she'd cursed those closing doors. She stuck her hand out and let the doors bounce gently off her forearm.
As she leaned back against the wall, a young woman with ink-black hair ducked into the car with her. "Thanks," the girl exhaled. She reached for the floor button, hesitated and then withdrew her hand. "Oh," she said quietly.
Miranda was grateful the girl was apparently going to her floor; it meant there wouldn't be any extra stops between her and her couch. She muttered a, "no problem," and then focused her attention on the lit numbers over the door. The girl was attractive, if a little young for Miranda's tastes. She was on the right side of twenty, at least, so that made her feel less gross about checking out her cleavage. She wasn't dressed quite as slutty as some of the girls Miranda had seen her age, but it was close.
The elevator doors opened and, ever polite, Miranda let the girl exit first. She walked a few paces behind and couldn't even be surprised when the girl knocked on door right next to Miranda's apartment. The girl looked over as Miranda stopped and fumbled with her keys and offered a polite smile. "Hi."
"Hello," Miranda said. She found her key and slipped it into the lock as the neighbor's door opened.
"Hey," Miranda's neighbor said. She embraced her guest and, to Miranda's surprise, kissed her on the lips. "What are you doing in town?"
"Touring," the girl said. She ran her hand down her host's arm and said, "Is this a bad time?"
"No. God, no, come on in." She glanced over and spotted Miranda about to duck into her apartment. "Hi, Miranda."
Miranda waved and said, "Lisa."
Lisa took her guest's hand and said, "Can you stay?"
The rest of the conversation was muffled as Miranda finally closed herself in her apartment. She undid her jacket and tossed it over a nearby chair. She turned the locks on the door, attaching the security chain since she didn't plan to leave again until morning. She sighed at the two locks and a chain that now stood between her and the outside world. "Everyone's safe in their little cages," she muttered.
She headed to the kitchen where she knew she would find half a leftover pizza. If the cheese hadn't congealed, and if the crust wasn't too hard to gnaw through, it would be her dinner.
Through the kitchen wall, she heard her neighbor's apartment door close. Muffled voices trailed along the apartment towards the living room.
Miranda separated three slices from the remaining pizza, sniffed it, and tossed them into the microwave. As she nuked it, she heard laughter coming from Lisa's apartment. Apparently the guest had decided to stay for a visit. Wonderful. She sighed and watched the green numbers on the microwave count down. Unfortunately, in a market as unpredictable as ours, there come times when... "Shit," she muttered. Why did Granville have to make her the bad guy in this? Why did he have to put on that Cheshire cat smile and tell her it was for the good of the business and why had she just gone along with it?
"I should quit," she muttered. "Take Tina with me, take everyone with me. Leave him without a single support staff. Tell him to go--" The microwave beeped. "--himself." She pushed her hair out of her face and took the pizza from the microwave. She put a paper towel between the slices and her hand and carried them into the living room.
She dropped into her recliner, not bothering to reach for the remote. She picked at the cheese of her pizza, surprised at her lack of hunger despite not eating all day. Maybe her body was rebelling at the very mention of food, considering the kind of day she'd had. She sighed and put the pizza on the arm of the chair. She rubbed the bridge of her nose and tried to clear her mind.
Lisa and her guest laughed through the wall. Miranda groaned. Please, if they want to spend the night catching up on old times, let them go down the street to that all night diner. Spare me the...
Another laugh, this time accompanied by the sound of music starting.
She kicked off her shoes and pushed the chair back. She tried to let the sounds coming through the wall fade into white noise, tried to ignore the voices going back and forth and the sound of Dash Warren music. She was half asleep when she heard the first cry. She had her hand on her forehead, frozen in the process of brushing hair out of her face, and she sat up quickly. She knocked the pizza to the floor and cursed as she cleaned it up.
She told herself that what she'd heard was probably just a laugh. Some strangled attempt at laughing in the middle of taking a bite of food. She'd done it herself, choked as she was trying to eat. She dumped the pizza into the trash and moved closer to the wall. Of course, did she want to be one of those New Yorkers? The one who heard a sound and went back to sleep, only to wake to find police officers and a coroner in the hallway outside?
Miranda walked up to the wall and pressed her ear against the plaster. The music was still playing, but they had moved on to Chris Isaak. She could no longer hear voices or laughter, but there were noises. Rustling, like cloth on fabric. She closed her eyes and tried to picture the layout of the apartment next door. She'd only seen it once, briefly, when Lisa had gotten some of her mail by accident.
Miranda's eyes snapped open and she pulled back. She kept her palms flat against the wall and blinked as if she could actually see into the other apartment. She hesitated and then leaned forward again.
"Do you like that?"
Whispered words, just barely audible through the wall.
Miranda turned and pressed her back against the wall. She closed her eyes and cursed at herself for being turned on. How long had it been since she'd heard those sounds in her apartment? Two months? Three? No, God, it had to have been five months. Ever since that girl from the messenger service.
"Package for you, Miss... Powell." She raised her ice-blue eyes, pale irises that almost faded into the whites around them, and Miranda was lost. She held out the package and gestured with her pad. "Need you to sign for it."
Tight spandex shorts, a few strands of brown hair sticking out from under her bike helmet, Miranda had acted on impulse. She'd signed for the package and without thinking, slipped a business card into the girl's fanny pack. That night, close to ten, there'd been a knock on the door. This girl, this anonymous bicycle-riding messenger for Hermes Deliveries, pushed into the apartment and kissed her hard.
They had stripped each other in front of the door, unconcerned about people passing in the hallway. Miranda had come first, loudly and unashamed, and immediately turned the tables on the younger girl. An outside observer would have tried to break them apart, so much did it appear they were fighting. Miranda tore at the girl's clothes, the girl made a fist in Miranda's long, blonde hair. When they finally tumbled to the bed, Miranda was naked and thrusting between the messenger's legs.
Those thoughts are not helping, she thought as she undid the button of her trousers. She swallowed, licked her lips and turned her face towards the wall. She could still hear vague sounds - the squeak as a piece of furniture shifted across the floor, the uninhibited cries as something particularly pleasant was done to someplace particularly sensitive - and slid her fingertips over the crotch of her panties.
She spread her legs a little further apart and braced her shoulders against the wall. She closed her eyes, partially remembering the last time she'd had a woman between her legs and trying to picture what was going on in the next apartment. Her neighbor, Lisa, was attractive, but a bit too young for Miranda to actively pursue. Didn't mean she'd never thought about it. Didn't mean this was the first time Miranda had used her in a fantasy.
As the unnamed guest moaned - Miranda knew Lisa's voice well enough to distinguish them - Miranda pushed the cotton of her panties aside and curled her fingertips across the slick lips of her pussy. "Lis-ee," the woman in the next apartment moaned. Lisa replied, her voice low enough that all Miranda could make out was a quiet murmur. She imagined Lisa was saying her name, whispering "Miranda" against a quaking thigh and...
"Ah, shit," she hissed. She pressed the heel of her hand against her pubic hair, stilled her fingers and felt her muscles contract around her fingers. Her knees came together and her jaw dropped as she came, struggling to keep from banging against the wall and announcing her eavesdropping. When she could move without causing aftershocks, she withdrew her hand, straightened her panties and zipped her trousers up again.
She stepped away from the wall and, suddenly wary that every sound she made was a cacophony, tiptoed across the apartment to her bedroom. She shut the door against the sounds in the next apartment and undressed to her underwear, crawling under the blankets and covering her head with a pillow.
"All right, you degenerate listeners. This is Ike and Joe in the morning and we're back, we're live, with Name That Fart." Miranda cringed as an offensive sound effect played. "We play the fart, you guess the celebrity. We got Charlie from Brooklyn on the line. Okay, Charlie, you ready to Name That Fart?"
Miranda clicked off the speaker. There'd been a time when she had kept the desktop speaker on for most of the day. Now she could barely stand to listen to five minutes at a time. She rubbed her temple and buzzed Tina into her office. A few seconds later, the door opened and Tina appeared. She wore a white dress shirt with a bright red tie, a black vest and black trousers. She looked like a newspaper reporter from a 1930's movie and the image actually made Miranda smile. "Do you have the ratings numbers?"
"On my desk," Tina said.
"How are they?"
Tina hesitated and leaned against the doorframe. "You want me to lie?"
"No," Miranda growled. "But don't answer. I don't want to know specifics." She rubbed her temples and said, "People really like Name That Fart? I mean... God, are you serious?"
"Customer is always right my ass," Tina said. "I think we're getting a lot of university listeners. Twenty year old guys who thinking farting is the epitome of high humor."
Miranda leaned back in her chair and laced her hands over her stomach. "You know, we've only been on this format for two months and I'm already ashamed to tell people where I work. I tell them I'm a station manager and then, naturally, they ask which station. And as soon as I say W.M.A.N., they get this look on their face. Like I'm the enemy. I'm sick of it."
Tina glanced over her shoulder at the door to make sure they were still alone. "Well, you've checked all the nearby stations. No one's looking for a new station manager. Even one with your qualifications."
"Yeah, well," she muttered, "New York's not the only options I have."
Tina arched an eyebrow. "Well, that's cryptic." She glanced down at the desktop and said, "Oh! Is that what that call this morning was about?"
"Which call?" Miranda said.
"The one with the Washington State area code."
Miranda sat up. "Did you give it to me?"
Tina leaned forward and shuffled the papers on Miranda's desk. "Of course I did. When you came back from lunch."
Miranda finally found the memo slips. She had stuffed them into the edge of her desk blotter, dreading the thought of waging through another sea of complaints for something their idiot morning team had done. Near the bottom of the stack, she found a phone number with a 360 area code. "Shit. I didn't even pay attention."
"I should've pointed it out..."
"It's not your fault, Tina. Thank you."
Tina nodded and rose from her seat. "I'll give you some privacy."
Miranda thanked her and waited until the office door was closed before she dialed. She double-checked the number and leaned back in her chair as it rang. After a few moments, the phone was answered and she sat up straighter. "This is Miranda Powell returning Thomas Dugan's call. Yes, I'll hold."
She turned her chair to look out the window as she waited for the station owner from across the country to come to the phone.
Albert Granville knocked on Miranda's office door two weeks later. She glanced up, giving him a modicum of respect before she went back to the paperwork she'd been filling out. He ran his eyes over the wall, which was now completely devoid of awards and photographs. "Going spartan?" he asked.
Miranda leaned back. "I'm leaving."
"There's no empty office space in the building."
Miranda sighed and stood up. She filed the paperwork in the filing cabinet and said, "I gave you my notice ten days ago. In four days, I'm leaving." And in six days, she would be starting her first day at K.E.L.F. 1220 AM in December Harbor, Washington. She could hardly wait.
Granville sighed and said, "Look, I'm going to be frank with you, Powell. The guy we got replacing you? He's nowhere near your caliber. He's fresh out of school..."
"Then maybe he'll appreciate the subtle humor of Ho, Bitch or Dyke."
Granville pointed at her desk. "You've seen the numbers since we switched formats, right?"
Miranda nodded and took her seat. "Yes, I have. But I'm not letting it shake my faith in humanity as a whole."
He smirked and stuffed his hands into his pockets. "I'm here to offer you a raise. If you'll agree to stay. You're too good for, what is it, Squatter..."
"Squire's Isle," Miranda interrupted. "And it sounds idyllic."
"Well, if it sounds idiotic, why are you going?"
Miranda scanned her former boss's face to see if he was joking. When she decided he was dead serious, she scoffed and said, "I can't get out of this place fast enough."
"Two weeks extra paid vacation a year."
"It's not about money!" Miranda said. "To be honest, KELF is paying me less than I'm making here. I flew out there last weekend to get a feel for the island, and I listened to the station the entire time. And they are good. It's a station I can stand to listen to. It's a station where I won't be embarrassed to admit I work."
Granville shook his head. "You'll be sorry when you find out WMAN is the number-one radio station in New York."
Miranda rolled her eyes. "When I find out that this version of WMAN is the number-one radio station in New York, I'll completely lose my faith in this city."
"All right, Ms. Powell. If there's nothing I can do to convince you..."
She laced her fingers over her stomach and leaned back. "You destroyed the station I loved. You forced me to fire people I really liked working with. There's nothing you could do now to convince me to stay."
He shrugged. "I had to try. I wish you luck at your new station."
"Thank you, Mr. Granville," she said. "I wish I could say the same."
He chuckled and left the office. As soon as he was gone, Tina slipped in. Miranda looked up and said, "I lied to him about one thing."
"Oh, yeah," Tina said, handing over a phone message.
Miranda glanced at it before putting it aside. "I might have been willing to stay if he'd threatened your job."
Tina smiled. "Aw. To be honest, there's nothing to threaten. With you leaving, there's no way in hell I'm sticking around this place. Fortunately, I can be an assistant anywhere... it doesn't have to be a radio station."
"You're leaving?" She thought for a moment. "I wonder if KELF has the budget for an assistant."
"No, don't do that," Tina chuckled. "To be honest, I don't want to leave the city."
"Rude pedestrians, three or four locks on every door. Yeah. What's not to love?" Miranda joked.
"I am glad you're getting out, though. Promise me you'll write?"
Miranda stood and went around her desk. She hugged Tina and said, "Of course I'll write. You're the only thing I'll miss about New York."
"I rate above Broadway? The Statue of Liberty? Wow."
Miranda laughed and stepped back. "Get back to your desk. I'm not leaving for another four days; I won't have you shirking your duties this early."
Tina saluted and left the office. Miranda turned slowly, letting her gaze slip across the empty walls and the wide-open window. She walked over to the glass and looked out over Manhattan. She'd lived there her entire life, but the thought of leaving made her feel like she was getting out of prison.
"So long, New York," she whispered. She turned away from the window and tried to focus on the last few pieces of business she had to take care of.
Her apartment was even emptier than her office. Everything except for the furnishings that had come with the apartment - fridge, microwave, couch - had been packed away downstairs in the U-Haul. The only problem was finding someone to drive it from Manhattan to Squire's Isle. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of her vacant living room, talking on the phone to people she'd found in the phone book. "You're movers! It's just..." She sighed and said, "No. No, I understand."
There was a knock on the door and she reluctantly unfolded her legs to stand. "No, I understand. Cross-country is a bit much to ask. Thank you anyway." She hung up and muttered, "Thanks for nothing." At the door, she said, "Who is it?"
She frowned and undid the locks. She peered out before opening the door all the way. They'd never seen each other outside of work, so they were both a little taken aback by each other's casual attire. Miranda was in shorts and a WMAN Marathon t-shirt from two-years ago. Tina wore jeans, a red-and-white flowered blouse and had her black hair tied into a ponytail that stuck out from the back of her baseball cap. She smiled and said, "Evening, Ms. Powell."
"Tina, what the hell are you doing here?"
Tina gestured at the door and Miranda stepped back to let her in. "You asked me to get you the numbers of a bunch of long-distance movers, so I figured out what you were planning. And I decided to take the pressure off. I'll drive your stuff to Washington for you."
Miranda laughed before she realized Tina was serious. "Oh! Oh... no, Tina, I couldn't ask you to do that."
"You're not asking. I'm offering. Consider it my last act as your assistant."
"It's, what, three-thousand miles? More than that, probably. No, it's too much. But thank you."
Tina said, "Look, Miranda... I'm not going to take no for an answer. I want to do this for you. I took a week off work, I know how to drive a moving truck... and most of all, I want to do this for you."
"But why? It's going to be the most tedious, boring drive..."
"God, you're stupid," Tina said, a smile dimming the blow. She stepped forward, cupping Miranda's face in her hands and lightly kissed her lips. "Because I love you, you goof. And since you're leaving, this is the last time I'll be able to really show you that. I want to do this one thing for you. Okay?"
"You love me?" Miranda said.
Tina shrugged. "Well, not that I'm going to uproot my life and follow you across the country. But I've always been attracted to you. I've always kind of planned on you being here. And now that you're leaving... I had to say something."
"And you're okay with leaving it like that?"
"Yeah," Tina said. "I am."
Miranda pushed the apartment door shut and said, "Well, I'm not." She pushed Tina against the wall next to the door and bowed her head for another kiss. Tina's arms wrapped around Miranda, clasping her hands behind Miranda's back as she moaned into the kiss. Miranda pulled Tina away from the wall and guided her towards the living room. "I don't have a bed... it's downstairs in the truck..."
"It's okay," Tina gasped.
Miranda guided her to the couch and pushed her down onto the cushions. Before Miranda could climb on top of her, Tina said, "I want you to know... I didn't... I didn't come up here planning this."
"I know," Miranda said. She lowered herself onto the couch, stretching her body across Tina's. They kissed again and Miranda gasped against her lips, "I've wanted you, too." She ran her hand down Tina's side, trembling when the younger woman arched into her touch. She curled her finger under the top button of Tina's blouse. She popped it open and bent down, running her lips along the curve of Tina's throat.
Tina bent her legs and brought them up, framing Miranda's body with her knees. She gasped and pawed at Miranda's t-shirt. "This isn't... long-term. I don't want... long-distance sort of... thing..."
"I know," Miranda said, kissing along the line of Tina's jaw. "I don't either."
"This is just good-bye."
"Good-bye," Miranda muttered as she reclaimed Tina's mouth.
Tina moaned. "Bye..."
Miranda's hand slipped into Tina's blouse and she popped two more buttons free. She settled against Tina's crotch and felt the other woman's thighs tighten around her. Miranda sat up and quickly undid the remaining buttons. She tried to keep calm, tried to maintain her composure, as Tina's naked chest came into view. She spread the halves of the shirt and gazed down at Tina's bare breasts. A flush rose in Tina's skin and she said, "I seriously didn't plan this..."
Miranda smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears. She brushed the back of her hands across Tina's breast and bent down to kiss her again. Tina rolled her wrists until she'd gathered a good amount of Miranda's t-shirt in her fist. She yanked up, breaking their kiss and exposing Miranda's bra. The motion not only succeeded in removing the shirt, but also in knocking off Tina's baseball cap. She let it fall and shook her head to get the suddenly-loose hair out of her eyes.
Tina managed to get her hands untangled and traced the lacy cup of Miranda's bra with her fingertip. "All the times you changed into an emergency blouse in front of me..."
"Did I drive you a little crazy?" Miranda asked against Tina's cheek.
Tina groaned. "A lot crazy..." She moved her hand down, pushing it past the waistband of Miranda's shorts. Miranda lifted her hips and closed her eyes as Tina's fingers worked their way between her legs. Tina grinned and chuckled. "Looks like I'm not the only one going commando tonight..."
"Excuses, excuses," Tina said. She pulled Miranda down for another kiss and let her fingertips press Miranda's pussy lips apart. "Oh, God, I'm inside you," Tina suddenly gasped around Miranda's searching tongue.
Miranda purred, "Mm, yes, you are..." She lifted her hips and settled more comfortably on Tina's hand. "Oh, God," she whispered. She braced herself against the back of the couch and rocked her hips forward.
Tina gasped and reached up with her free hand, brushing Miranda's hair out of her face. She cupped Miranda's cheek and pressed her thumb against Miranda's bottom lip. Miranda opened her mouth and swept Tina's thumb onto her tongue. She sucked gently, continuing to rock her hips rhythmically against Tina's other hand. She closed her eyes and arched her back, her toes curling as her body bowed against her orgasm.
She sagged forward and collapsed on top of Tina. She kissed every exposed surface she could; shoulder, neck, ear and eyelids. She nibbled and bit, she ran the tip of her tongue over Tina's cheek and felt her smiling. She took a deep breath, inhaling Tina's perfume. "Your turn?" she whispered.
"Please," Tina said. She withdrew her hand from Miranda's shorts and pulled her close. They kissed and Tina rolled so that they were laying side-by-side. Miranda's ass hung off the edge of the couch and Tina was pinned tight between her and the back of the couch. Miranda scooted closer, slipping her leg between Tina's thighs. She ran her hand through Tina's dark hair, holding her head as she gently began to thrust.
"I need to take my pants off," Tina whispered.
"You're fine," Miranda said. She moved her hands to Tina's hips and held her in place as she began to thrust. Her thigh rubbed against the crotch of Tina's jeans. Tina kept her eyes open, staring at Miranda as she rode her former boss's thigh. After a few seconds of contact, Tina's breath caught. She moved her hands to Miranda's shoulders and her fingers tightened into talons. She bit her bottom lip, arched her back and pressed herself against Miranda like a drowning woman being brought back to shore. Miranda dotted Tina's face with kisses and eventually drew her lips up. They kissed tenderly and Miranda swept her hand across Tina's sweaty shoulder blades. When they pulled apart, Tina kissed Miranda's chin and nestled her head against the older woman's chest.
"Well," she sighed.
Miranda chuckled and stroked Tina's hair. "Mm-hmm."
"I swear I didn't plan this," Tina said again. "But I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it."
"Of course, I figured we'd both be naked for it."
"Well," Miranda said, stroking Tina's dark hair. "There's still time..."
"Oh? What was this, round one?"
Miranda grinned and kissed Tina again. "Something like that." She rolled on top of Tina and reached between them to undo the catch of her jeans. As the denim slid down Tina's thighs, Miranda said, "We'll go best out of eight... or to a TKO, whichever comes first."
Tina blushed, laughed, and kicked her jeans the rest of the way off.
Miranda woke when she swept her hand across the empty space in front of her. She blinked, pushed her hair out of her face, and searched the lifeless living room. The couch stood like an island in the center of the space, her clothes still scattered in a pile in front of her. She yawned and sat up, realizing Tina had draped her with a jacket before disappearing. She sat on the edge of the couch, naked and wrapped in the coat, until she noticed a slip of paper on the floor. She bent down and read the quickly-scrawled words:
I figured that if I just left, there'd be no way you could talk me out of it. So I stole all your stuff. I found the U-Haul keys on the counter along with the directions you printed off from MapQuest. Don't be angry! I have your cell phone number, so I'll call in a few hours so you can yell at me. And when I get to Squire's Isle, I'll call and you can tell me where to drop your stuff off.
Last night was a dream come true. Thank you so much for it. I wanted to kiss you good-bye, but I thought it would wake you. So I'll just collect when I drop off your things.
If you're not too pissed at me, that is.
She couldn't help but smile. She folded the note and bent down to gather her clothes. She had a feeling that their phone conversation with be anything but adversarial...
"...the office area," Thomas Dugan said, indicating the desks with a wide sweep of his arm. "The talent don't use their desks as much as they should, but it's a good place to drop off memos, interoffice stuff, schedule changes, that sort of thing." He patted his stomach and turned to her. "So, any questions?"
"No, not really," Miranda said, surveying her kingdom. Her office was against the back wall of the room, looking out over the sea of desks. A wide picture window to her left looked into the broadcast booth. At any point during the day, she would be able to walk three steps and would be able to watch her talent at work. "This all looks fantastic, Mr. Dugan. I can't wait to get started."
"Well, we're happy to have someone of your stature here. It's not quite... oh! Allow me to interrupt myself here. Nadine! Come on over here."
Miranda turned to see who Dugan was waving over. Nadine was a petite brunette, her bangs lightly feathering the top of her round eyeglasses. She smiled politely, obviously unsure why she had been summoned. Dugan gestured to Miranda. "Nadine Butler, this is Miranda Powell, the new station manager."
"Oh! How do you do?" the woman said, extending her hand.
"Miranda Powell," he said as Miranda took Nadine's hand, "this is Nadine Butler. She's our star of the station, the K-Elf Pixie."
"Oh, come on," Nadine laughed. She still hadn't released Miranda's hand. "I'm just a part of the team." She turned to look at Miranda and let her hand slip reluctantly from the blonde's fingers. "I look forward to working with you, Miss Powell."
"Miranda, please," she corrected.
"Miranda it is, then." She turned to Dugan and said, "I need to get to the booth... my show..."
"Right, right, of course," Dugan said, shooing her away. He cleared his throat and turned back to Miranda. "As I was saying, it may be a little dull after running a New York station, but we run a fun little ship here. I'm sure you'll like it."
Miranda was hardly paying attention to him. She watched Nadine, the Pixie of K-Elf, hurry across the bullpen. She paused before she went through the soundproof door, saw Miranda watching her and offered a quick wave before she disappeared into the broadcasting booth. Miranda knew Dugan was definitely wrong on one count.
Working for KELF - working with Nadine Butler - was going to be anything but dull.
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