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Copyright: Although the main characters in the following do bear a strong resemblance to a cute couple with whom we are all familiar, all the characters in this work of fiction are the product of my own imagination and are therefore copyright to me.
For the rest of the disclaimers, please see the first chapter
by Helen Smith, (firstname.lastname@example.org) September, 2000
Ariel returned to the publishing firm shortly after 12:30. Jan, her editor, had not been at her desk when she'd dropped by earlier, so she'd written a message on a sticky note and stuck it on Jan's chair, since she doubted that any message left on the overflowing desk would ever be seen again. Well, the sticky was gone so presumably Jan had seen it.
"Hi there, pretty lady. Come here often?" a seductively pitched voice enquired.
Ariel turned and engulfed the speaker in a bear hug. "Only when attractive editors ask me to come up 'n see their corrections," she laughed. "Jan! good to see you. In person is much better than telephones or e-mail."
The other woman grinned and hugged Ariel in return. "It's been awhile. You look great, as usual. Tall Dark and Scary treating you well?"
"Very well. She sends her best."
"Uh huh, you always were a great bullshitter, m'dear." The tall editor noticed Ariel's shopping bags. " I see you haven't been wasting the morning."
"Well, I like to take advantage of any trips downtown. And with the book tour coming up ..."
"Uh huh. Any excuse to shop. Well, since you like spending money, and since you asked me, yes, I'd love to let you buy me lunch. Park your bags in here and we can go now, if you want."
"Great, I am getting a little hungry," admitted Ariel.
"Gee, what a surprise," smiled her friend, as she locked her office door.
Further conversation was shelved until they got out of the crowded elevator at street level. The two friends consulted, then decided on a small Indian restaurant in the next block. Although Jan wasn't as tall as Quinn, Ariel still had to hustle to keep up with her as they made their way there.
Drink and food orders placed, they took a moment just to catch their breaths and grin at each other.
"So. I can't find too much to query or correct in the stuff you've been sending me recently. Pretty soon I'll have to take up playing computer games to look busy."
"Either that or making paper airplanes from the rare pieces of paper on your desk." responded Ariel.
"There's a thought!" Jan was quiet for a few seconds, then became more serious. "So everything really is going well? With Quinn, I mean. I haven't seen you in three months, and, well, I just hoped you were happy."
Ariel reached across the table and laid her hand on Jan's. The other woman had always used a joking manner to cloak her attraction to Ariel, but the writer wasn't fooled. "I'm the happiest I've ever been, Jan. Truly. Quinn is like no one I've ever known before."
"Can't argue with that." said Jan, a touch sarcastically, then quickly added "Well good. If you're happy, I'm happy. She looked down at the table, sighed, then smiled across at Ariel and switched gears again. "Well, you've got me hooked on your latest. I sometimes forget I'm supposed to be editing the damned thing and just want to read it for the sheer joy of it. So what's going to happen next? Girl has gotten girl, so presumably girl will lose girl but eventually true love will triumph."
"Just about," Ariel grinned, then suddenly struck a dramatic pose and declaimed, "and all against a backdrop of a time of great change, as the world struggles to cope with the idea of women loving, gasp, women!
Jan laughed, then said, "So tell me, what's gonna happen?"
Ariel made her face very serious, leaned forward and responded, "Believe me, my friend, as soon as I know, you'll know!"
Quinn got into the Mark 5 and gave it the address of the first of the two residential jobs she wanted to check before her day was done. The warehouses had been time consuming but she could see a lot of improvements that could and should be made. As the car pulled away she plugged her handheld recorder into the computer so it could transcribe the notes she'd just dictated. Time to give Ariel a call.
One ring. Two rings, Three rings.
"Hey. Did I bring you from far away?"
"Oh, hi. No, I just got in, as a matter of fact, and heard the phone ringing.
"Yeah? Long lunch."
"No, I ... Stop that Harry! Just a sec, Love."
Harry? Quinn waited impatiently as she listened to Ariel speaking to someone.
"Sorry about that ..."
"Harry?" Quinn cut her off.
"No, no. Hairy. H-a-i-r-y. Uh, it's a long story."
"I got time."
"Ok, well, I took a cab home from Edward's about 2:00 o'clock. We'd just been stopped at a light and started up again when the cab lurched and stopped. I didn't know if it had broken down or if the sensors had detected something in the way, but when I looked out I couldn't see anything wrong. Then I heard a faint cry."
"A cry," said Quinn, resigned.
"Yeah. I looked again and could just see a kitten looking like he was trying to decide if he'd cross in front of the car or not."
"Where was this?"
"Right downtown. I could see other cats in the alley."
"Alley! You were in an alley!?"
"Just the entrance, I didn't go in it. Anyway I'm pretty sure he's feral. While he thought about whether to cross or not I nabbed him. He's adorable! He's black, kind of a long hair, and his fur sticks up in all directions."
"Hence the name Hairy," Quinn interjected.
"Right! Oh you're going to love him Quinn. The vet says he's about 7 weeks old. She thinks he's probably weaned. He's healthy, or seems to be, so I had them give him a flea bath, and his first shots and I brought him home.
Quinn checked outside, as the Mark 5 swung off the Expressway and onto city streets. Still a few minutes. She knew Ariel had had a cat before. Her ancient Persian, Beelzebub, the survivor of a brother and sister pair, had expired of heart failure just a month or so before they met. Ariel had expressed a desire to get another cat but since she'd always acquired her cats in unplanned circumstances, she'd come to half believe that she ought to give fate a chance to take a hand. I guess it has, thought Quinn.
"Can't wait to make his acquaintance," she murmured.
"Oh good, I'm so glad." Quinn could hear the warmth mixed with relief in her lover's voice. Then Ariel picked up the conversation again. "Speaking of which, any idea when you'll get here?"
"At least another three hours. Um, maybe by 8:00 p.m.?"
"Ok, I'll have dinner ready when you get here. How's that?"
"Sounds good. almost at my next stop so I better go."
"Ok. Um, Quinn? I was going to give the animal rescue volunteers a call about the other cats. If they find any kittens, what would you think if I got Hairy a sister or brother?"
Quinn grinned. Ariel never liked to think of anyone or anything being lonely, or in trouble. "I think that would be a great idea."
"Yeah? Cool! Well I better let you go. See you in a bit. Love you."
"Love you too." Quinn folded the phone and put it back on her belt. Ariel had sounded like a little kid. A sophisticated, successful young author, reduced to the level of little kid by a small bundle of fluff. Quinn smiled. Ain't the world grand.
But that still didn't mean that she should be wandering into alleys, for Goddess' sake!
"When asked if he had any last words Pearson simply shook his head. He was pronounced dead at 6:08pm, Eastern Standard Time."
Quinn zapped the info feed off, stretched her legs and checked outside. The Mark 5 had managed to secure parking very near the spot it had occupied overnight. She got out, locked up and armed it, and walked across the street.
The wonderful smells inside Ariel's house, and the closed kitchen door, gave her a clue where she would find her lover.
"Ok, ready to try that again?" Ariel asked, as she tossed a toy mouse out into the middle of the floor. Something that looked like an animated dustmop with a bad case of static dashed across the floor and pounced. Then, sensing a new presence, it whirled and ran to hide behind a cardboard box near one wall.
"Ummm. Hi." Ariel slid her arms around Quinn's neck and brushed the dark-haired woman's lips with her own. Quinn, in turn, wrapped her arms around the smaller woman's waist. Ariel's clothing -- a sports bra and tight blue jeans - gave lots of scope for hands-on contact, and she made good use of it, eventually sliding her hands down for a double handful of tight butt.
"Hmm. That's interesting."
"What?" Ariel pulled her head back and looked in Quinn's eyes.
"I was just thinking that I could describe you as having a nice ass and a tight butt, both of which you would correctly interpret as compliments."
Ariel grinned and kissed the tip of Quinn's nose. "And don't forget, it's the truth," she said.
"But if I described you as tight assed you mightn't be nearly so likely to feed me any of that delicious food you're preparing."
"Ya got that right, Sport," said the honey blonde as she stepped back and playfully backhanded her taller lover's stomach. "And speaking of food, I assume that means you're hungry, which is good because we got plenty. Sit."
Quinn complied and started to happily chow down on vat-grown roast pork, couscous, green beans with slivered almonds and a spinach salad.
"Wine or beer?"
"Wine, please." Quinn grinned. "Surprised you didn't I?"
Ariel smiled as she poured a glass and placed it in front of her lover. "A bit, but it's just one more reason why I love you."
"'Cause I'll drink wine?"
"Because I can't predict what you'll do. Keeps me on my toes."
"Hmm. Interesting position." Quinn wiggled her eyebrows.
"You are insatiable."
"And you're glad of it."
Ariel grinned, and looked down and then up to meet Quinn's eyes. "Yeah. I am."
Quinn leaned over, slipped her hand behind Ariel's head and pulled her in for a long, deep kiss.
"Left you speechless, did I?"
"Oh yeah. Hey, I have an idea, let's take the wine and continue this up in that big bathtub upstairs."
"Sounds good to me. What about Hairy?"
"Yeah, Hairy, the little ball of fluff that's currently sniffing my boot."
Ariel looked down then picked the kitten up, which caused him to purr. "I'm confining him to the kitchen for the moment. I'll get him settled and be right up. You go ahead and get the bath started and I'll be there before you know it."
"Will do. Quinn pulled her in for a final kiss that was interrupted by a loud squeak from Hairy, still in Ariel's arms, who suddenly found himself in danger of being squashed.
"Um umm! A playboy pose! Just for me? A naked Quinn, who had one knee resting on the edge of the large, claw-footed bathtub as she reached diagonally over it for the body wash, turned her head and flashed a seductive smile.
"I think this sort of pose is usually assumed on a bearskin rug, but whatever turns you on," she murmured, as she reached for the writer.
"Oh, bare skin definitely turns me on!" said Ariel, dragging her nails lightly down over the taller woman's taut belly.
"Me too, and there's not enough of it yet," responded Quinn, nuzzling the honey blonde's neck while she relieved her of the sports bra. Then, dropping to her knees, she playfully attacked Ariel's abs with her teeth, dipped her tongue in her navel and licked, bit and kissed her way down the smaller woman's body as she pealed off jeans and underwear. Quinn's return trip was so prolonged and leisurely that Ariel was ready to scream by the time her smiling lover once again stood to her full height and bent to kiss her mouth.
"Quinn! You make me crazy sometimes!" panted the smaller woman.
"Ummm," her lover agreed with a smile, quickly picking up the honey blonde and stepping into the water. They settled in with Ariel snuggled between Quinn's legs, leaning back against her breasts. Quinn slipped her arms around the shorter woman's waist, and leaned back.
"This is nice."
"Uh huh," the honey blonde agreed as she slid her hands slowly up Quinn's long, muscular thighs on either side of her own.
A voice chuckled in her ear, "If you keep that up you'll never get a chance to finish your wine."
"Oh, by all means, let's have the wine."
Quinn picked up the glasses and handed one to her lover. Ariel leaned back and sipped, loving the feel of Quinn's hardened nipples pressing into her back. The other woman's free hand slowly stroked her breasts and occasionally slid down to the blond curls at the apex of Ariel's legs. The third time the hand slipped south, tantalized, then started back up, Ariel grabbed it and held on. "Quinn, honey," she asked innocently, "do you like this hand?"
"Umm. I'm kinda attached to it."
"How about the fingers? Think you could do with one, maybe two less? Possibly three, or even four?"
"Hmm. I'd have to say that might slow me down a tad."
Ariel turned her head and smiled brightly at Quinn. "Well then, stop teasing me or suffer the consequences."
The taller woman furrowed her brow, seemingly in deep thought.
"Lost fingers versus stop teasing. Fingers, teasing. Teasing fingers." As if to underline the phrase, she started to wiggle them but Ariel clamped down hard.
"Quinn" she said warningly, still smiling although it was beginning to get a bit ragged around the edges.
Quinn looked at her solemnly "What about your wine?"
"TO HELL WITH THE WINE!"
"Yes Ma'am," The taller woman grinned.
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