I Drove All Night

by KatharosXG

Disclaimer: This uber story is the tale of two women who look remarkably similar to two of our favorite characters. It is not them, they are mine. These two women are in a committed relationship. There is no graphic sex, nor violence. There is angst. If any of this is illegal where you live then do not read it. If you are too young to read about two women in love come back when you are of age. The words of the song, I Drove All Night, as sung by Celine Dion, are used without permission. This story will not make me a dime.

Notes of Thanks: To Celine Dion and Cyndi Lauper for singing such a wonderful song; to Bill Steinberg and Tom Kelly for writing the song. Last but not least, thanks so much to a regular author at the Academy, GirlBard, for encouraging me to submit this piece and taking the time from her busy life to beta read it for me. If you see any mistakes while reading, they belong to me, not her. Thanks, Jen.

Comments: This is the first time I am writing for the masses. Constructive comments are welcome. Please send them to me at katharosxg@yahoo.com

The road lay out before Erika. She left her home in a foul mood courtesy of her girlfriend, Megan. It was the latest in a series of fights that seemed to never end.

'How many more times must we fight about my work?' thought Erika. 'I swear it's as though she'd rather fight than find a solution… like just accept the fact that I have to travel for my job.'

She was already two hours out of L.A. and headed for at least five more until she would be in Tucson. Erika opted to drive instead of flying out of LAX, thinking the drive would be best. She packed an overnight bag along with a garment bag and off she went. As she was about to walk out the front door she heard Megan call out,

"Fine, runaway from us again Erika. You already act like I should just accept everything so your life can be smoother. My feelings mean nothing. Just remember Erika, I now know all there is to know about running away."

With that said to her back, Erika left for her business trip.


"No more tears. I will not cry again," Megan said to her reflection in the bathroom mirror. No amount of make-up could cover up her red-rimmed eyes. Her co-workers stayed away from her with good reason. When Megan was upset, it was best to leave her alone or have your head handed to you.

It was nearly noon and four hours earlier she had yet another fight with her girlfriend, Erika. Megan tried to tell her she wanted, she needed her home more. Yes, she knew that this promotion would help them buy a house, but at what cost? Erika's blue eyes had turned icy. In response, Megan stared her down with her own emerald orbs. An eternity seemed to pass before Erika responded,

"We discussed this. You knew what this job requires. You said you were all right with it. Every time I have to leave you pull this. This trip is for two days of business meetings. I am sorry I'll miss our anniversary. I'll be back on Saturday. Just one day after and we can celebrate then."

"What are we really celebrating Erika? That we made it through another year, barely? We are not growing together. I cannot do this."

"Do what? Live together? Kiss me good bye and wish me a safe trip? What can't you do Megan?"

"I can't watch you leave again. We fight every time..."

"Whose fault is that?"

"Fine Erika, it's my fault. I fight because I see so little of you. We need to talk about all of this."

Erika grabbed her bags to go out the door. Watching Erika turn her back to leave, Megan ran her hands through her short, blonde hair. With tears already spilling down her face and anger in her voice she said, "Fine run away from us again Erika. You already act like I should just accept everything so your life can be smoother. My feelings mean nothing. Just remember Erika, I now know all there is to know about running away."

The dark haired woman walked through the door and Megan's tears continued to fall.


Erika arrived in Tucson, checked into her hotel room and changed into her workout clothes. The tall, dark haired beauty went to the hotel's fitness center. While warming up, her thoughts focused on the business meeting. She was prepared. The merger, or more specifically, takeover, was going to end with these meetings. They had hammered it all out over the last 21 days. Seventeen of those days Erika had spent in Tucson.

'Had it really been that much? Erika thought. 'I've only seen Megan on the weekends, flying home Saturday morning and back out Sunday night?'

A seventy-pound body bag was being punched and kicked by the blue-eyed woman. 'She said she understood. Did she lie?' Sweat flew off Erika's body with each punch and kick. The contact was solid, landing with ferocity, the bag moving with each blow.

Aloud Erika said, "She never lied to me, why would I think that? We both knew what this job would mean to us." She stilled the bag with both hands then looked at herself in the mirror. "Even I didn't think I would see her only two days a week."

Erika returned to her room to shower. She then left to have dinner in the hotel's restaurant.


Megan made it through her workday. The paper shuffle never ended. The gym was crowded that Wednesday night with the meat market crowd. The blonde changed and decided to take the cardio-kickboxing class. She wanted to focus on something other than her crumbling relationship. The class was good, but she found her thought drifting to Erika and how they met in this very gym.

As Megan was warming up prior to the kickboxing class, she watched the men and women walk into the group exercise room. A lithe, athletic, gorgeous, dark haired woman entered. Still watching her in the mirror, she saw her take a spot behind her and to her right. Megan was getting a pinging on her gaydar. 'Oh yeah, she'll be fun to watch.' After the class, the two women sat at the juice bar and made plans for Friday.

Back in the present, Megan smiled brightly at the memory as she continued to pummel her unseen foe. After class, Megan went home and ate leftovers. There was no message on her answering machine. Too tired to think, Megan fell into an exhausted sleep.


"No thank you, I'm not looking for company," explained Erika to the tall red headed woman one more time.

"I'm not asking to marry you blue-eyes, just a drink. Come on, I'm very good company."

"I bet you are but I'm married and I'm not looking for company or a drink. I'm sure you understand."

"I see no ring on your finger. I also see that you're less than happy by yourself. Last chance honey; let's have a drink... and some fun." The red head leered at Erika daring her to take that chance. Erika smiled and said to the woman, "Alright let me pay my dinner bill then we'll get a drink."

The two women left the dining area and walked to the bar. Erika pulled a chair out for the woman so she could sit. As she sat down, Erika leaned forward and asked in a husky seductive voice, "What would you like to drink?" The woman shivered slightly at both the sound of the voice and the breath that tickled her ear. "Martini, dry, no olive."

Erika went to the bar, placed her order with the bartender and scribbled a note on a cocktail napkin. She passed the napkin with a twenty-dollar bill to the bartender saying, "Please deliver the drink and this note to the red head in the corner." The man nodded. Erika then left the bar.

The bartender delivered the drink and note to the woman. She opened the note to read,

"If you knew the woman I would hurt by being with you, you would call me a fool. Thanks for reminding me just how precious and fragile love can be."

An amused look spread across the woman's face. Before sipping her drink, she raised it to the now absent dark haired beauty.


Thursday. It had been over twenty-four hours since Erika had left on her business trip. Megan was worried. She never went this long without talking with her lover. She would have known if she had been hurt or in the hospital. They shared a connection. She did get worried during dinner but it had gone away. "I don't even know which hotel she is in. I can't call her work or they'll know we had a fight. ARRRGGGHHHH, this is ridiculous!"

The blonde leaned down by her desk and opened her briefcase. Inside she found the box from the jewelry store. In it was a square cut sapphire with smaller diamonds and emeralds surrounding the larger stone placed in a platinum setting. "Oh Erika, I so much wanted to give you this ring tomorrow." As tears threatened to spill over onto her cheeks, Megan put away the ring and went back to work.

A knock at the door revealed Megan's boss Ann. "Hi Ann, what can I do for you?"

Ann looked at Megan and said, "Megan, I know tomorrow is your anniversary so with all the work you have done, I'm giving you tomorrow off..."

"That's not necessary, thank you though. Erika won't be back from her business trip until Saturday."

"Take the day off anyway." The older woman stood to leave and handed Megan an envelope. "Your work is greatly appreciated. See you Monday."

Megan watched the woman leave. Upon opening the envelope, she found a gift certificate to a gay friendly spa for a couple's treatment. There was another neatly folded paper inside. As she opened it, the blonde's green eyes grew wide. "A ten per cent raise!! WOW!! Erika will love to hear about this." Her smile lessened knowing she could not share immediately share her happiness. "Saturday will be soon enough."


The day plodded by. Line by line, Erika went through the takeover paperwork with the TriTech president and staff. Some items were changed to appease both parties. Erika's boss, Daniel McDavid, CEO of McDavid Enterprises was in attendance. To his credit, he allowed Erika to continue working her magic on the TriTech people, just as she had been over the last few weeks. Occasionally, he would say something, commenting on the importance of one point or another but it was Erika's show. Daniel always came in on the last couple of days of the takeover, mainly to sign his name. He knew with Erika in charge it was all done correctly.

Afternoon turned into evening and the TriTech people had thrown up a wall in the talks.

"We cannot let these people go without a better severance package then you are offering," firmly stated the TriTech president, Jim Cavanaugh.

"Sir," Erika replied evenly, "you and I both know that this is the standard severance package across the industry."

"It was standard four years ago when people could still get jobs within a few weeks of being let go. With the economy now, weeks have turned into years for many qualified people. This is not good enough."

Daniel quietly suggested they break for dinner. "Maybe tomorrow would be better. It is a final point and right now we seem so far apart. You haven't said what you are looking for in a severance package. When you know, tell us."

The TriTech people agreed dinner would work well for both sides. As they were filing out of the conference room door, Erika called out, "If you know what you want call me after dinner." Most of the staff members continued walking. Cavanaugh looked into Erika's eyes, studying her closely. "Yes, I will do just that."

Erika was not sure what he meant, but she could feel the stalemate was ending.

As Erika walked back to her room, her mind focused on Megan. She could clearly picture her shining green eyes and tousled blonde hair. Erika remembered the first time they admitted their love to one another.

Dinner at Megan's was a barbeque feast. Erika noted all of her favorites on the menu; hamburgers, corn on the cob, cole slaw, beer to wash it down and Neapolitan ice cream for dessert.

"That was great, Babe", proclaimed Erika. "You want another beer?"

"No thanks, Erika." Megan extended her hand to her girlfriend saying, "Let's sit on the balcony."

The night air was cool and the two women sat close to one another not noticing the chill. Megan smiled at Erika and said, "Beautiful night, beautiful company." The statement was punctuated by a kiss eagerly accepted by the tall woman. As they broke the kiss, Megan took Erika's hand in hers, placing both over her heart.

"You are in here. I hold you inside of me everyday. I love you Erika with everything I am."

Erika was speechless, her mind spinning with the admission of Megan's love for her. She knew she loved Megan, even dreamed of the time she would tell her.

"Megan, I love you, too. You have held my heart since the day we met. I never want to be without you."

As Erika opened her hotel room door, she asked herself, 'Why am I here without Megan now?'


Megan found herself wrapped in Erika's t-shirt and flannel boxers. She desperately needed to feel closer to the woman she loved. Earlier in the evening she again tried calling Erika's cell phone only to hear it ringing in the spare bedroom under some papers. "No wonder I could never reach her today."

They had been having problems for nearly a year. It all went back to the change in Erika's job. She had agreed that it was an excellent career move. Yes, they would be able to buy the dream house they both wanted within a couple of years. Erika was gone so much more than she thought she would be. Megan knew it wasn't as bad as military spouses had, but this was not what she agreed to. At least, she did not think it was what she agreed to.

A photo album caught her eye. As she took it off the shelf, she looked at the cover. Her mother had taken a crafts class and made the album cover especially for her and Erika. The soft padding, the picture of the two of them on horseback during their last vacation brought back memories. Megan laughed aloud and said, "How did you ever talk me into a dude ranch?"

Opening the album, the blonde relived such a wonderful time. The days were filled with riding, roping, campfires and interesting people. The beautiful starry nights were filled making love. It was paradise. A dusty, rustic paradise, but still paradise.

Megan sighed softly, thinking that after returning from the vacation Erika's job changed to include more travel. Her green eyes stared at the picture on the album cover. She wished that Erika were here to hold her. Saturday. It will be okay when she comes home Saturday.

With that thought, she put the album away and went to bed. As Megan snuggled in she grabbed Erika's pillow deeply inhaling her unique scent. The actions allowed her to drift off to sleep.


Dinner sat on the plate. Erika picked at the chicken salad she had ordered. She knew instinctively that the TriTech president had an idea to end these drawn out discussions. He wanted a better severance package. She admired that he was still pitching for his people. She knew Daniel would do the same for his people had the tables been turned.

'Severance package... what does he want? What would I want? If I had been with the company ten years, family, mortgage, what would I want? Healthcare, but there is COBRA for that. Another job is what I would really want. Picking up her notebook, Erika scribbled,

extended health care or pick up COBRA

job placement services for employees

As she set her notebook down, her room phone rang.


"Erika, Jim Cavanaugh here."

"Yes, Jim. Would you like to continue the meeting now?

"Yes, Erika. My people are already here in my room. Would you and Daniel join us?"

"Yes, Jim. Let me call Daniel and we will be there shortly."

"Thank you."

They both cradled their receivers. Erika dialed Daniel's room.


"It's Erika. Cavanaugh just called me and invited us to his room. His people are already there."

"You have an idea of what he might want, Erika?"

Yes, sir, I do. Let me brief you in person then we can go down to his room together."

"Excellent. Give me five minutes."

"Yes, sir, good bye."

Ten minutes later they were walking into the TriTech president's room.

"Erika, Daniel," welcomed Cavanaugh, motioning them to chairs. "My people and I have discussed this thoroughly. There are two items that need to be addressed in the severance package. The first is health benefits. They cannot pick up the whole price. For some with families it would be close to $400.00 a month. The second is we want to see them land jobs as soon as possible."

Erika looked at Daniel and saw him smile. He nodded to the woman saying, "Erika, tell Jim what your plan is. Jim, I think you will be completely satisfied with the offer."

With that said, Erika spoke of McDavid picking up the entire health care costs for up to one year and instituting job placement services, starting immediately and continuing for one year for employees who will not be offered positions within the McDavid business structure. Daniel watched the TriTech people closely as Erika spoke about her plan. He saw Jim Cavanaugh look at his people and nod.

Cavanaugh stood and walked over to Daniel McDavid saying, "Daniel, you know I didn't want my people to have the regular package. They all deserve so much more. If they all did not work hard for me, I wouldn't be here fighting for them. I also know that if I had employees like Erika, I would feel confident in any takeover. She is rare McDavid."

"That she is Jim. So, we have a deal?" asked Daniel as he extended his hand to the TriTech president. Both men shook hands, sealing the deal.

Turning to Erika, Cavanaugh shook the tall woman's hand. "How did you know?"

"Sir, I put myself in your people's place. What mattered to me were health benefits and a job. McDavid Enterprises has always been better than industry standard.

Daniel and Erika left the room with the paperwork. As Erika approached her door, she looked at her boss saying, "Daniel, I'm resigning. I cannot be away from Megan this much. She means too much to me and it's not fair to her. I won't make her sacrifice more than she already has. It is my fault. I thought this would be a great career move and I would still be able to have the same family life. I was wrong. One must go. I won't give up on my relationship with Megan so, I resign."

McDavid sighed. "I hate to see talent like yours leave McDavid Enterprises. As you know, after each takeover we send the paperwork to legal and start on the next project. Monday I was going to discuss your next project. Before I accept your resignation, allow me to tell you about that project."

"Daniel, I owe you at least that much. Let's go inside and sit down."

They both went in and Daniel sat at the small table while Erika retrieved two bottled waters from her stash. Daniel opened his briefcase, removing a folder with Erika's name on it. "Mind you," he said, "this next project needs to be finalized ASAP. You were the only one in the company who I could trust to do the job right. Today sealed that for me.

Erika squirmed uneasily in her seat but said nothing.

"Milo Zeffren is being transferred to East Coast Operations. This works well for him and his family. They are originally from the Boston area and both still have family there. This opportunity came up and he jumped at it."

The tall woman tried not to get excited if what she was thinking was wrong. 'Keep calm. Poker face. Just listen', she repeated to herself.

Daniel continued, "With Milo leaving, Director of West Coast Operations is open. It requires someone with technical know how, management experience and field experience. Even though your field experience is eighteen months, your closing of takeover deals has been outstanding. Not a single one has ever come back to bite us. Erika, your next project would require some travel, approximately ten per cent compared to the seventy-five you are at currently. Naturally your pay and compensation package would increase, too. I am officially offering you this position. Do you accept?"

Erika's stomach was doing cartwheels. "A promotion to Director of West Coast Operations?"

"Yes, do you accept?"

"Ten per cent travel?"

"Yes, do you accept?"

Thrusting out her right hand, Erika stated emphatically, "Yes, sir, I accept! I can't wait to tell Megan!"

"By the way Erika," said a grinning McDavid, "Take tomorrow off. See you Monday." With that, Daniel McDavid left her room.


Megan tossed and turned. Her sleep since nine p.m. had been fitful, twenty minutes tops at any one stretch. She missed Erika so very much that she ached. She looked at the bedside clock the blue numbers telling her was two a.m. 'Just let me sleep.' Exasperated, she rolled over and again her thoughts turned to her tall, dark haired, blue-eyed lover. She remembered how it felt when she would awake in the middle of the night, finding Erika with her long arms wrapped around her. Her mind remembered when Erika would purposefully wake her by tracing fine lines on her body using her fingertips. The fire that would race under her skin, traveling to more sensitive areas then build higher until she asked her for release. Green eyes again looked at the clock. Ten minutes had passed.

"Please Baby, be safe. Come home to me." With that thought, Megan again fell asleep.


Erika was less than a mile from home. Celine Dion was singing on the radio,

I drove all night, to get to you

Is that alright?

I drove all night, crept in your room

Woke you from your sleep, to make love to you

Is that alright?

I drove all night

Smiling to herself, Erika thought, 'Yes, I have.' Her car rounded the corner and she drove into the secure underground parking area of their condominium complex. The dashboard clock read 2:05 a.m. Quickly, Erika grabbed her suitcase and garment bag. The elevator delivered her directly to her floor. The dark haired woman entered the unit and dropped her bags on the floor just inside the door. After taking two steps towards the bedroom she shared with Megan, she detoured into kitchen and opened the pantry. On the shelf behind her protein shake mix, she found the present she had hid two weeks before. In the jewelry store ring box laid a square cut emerald surrounded by smaller diamonds and sapphires.

"I hope with this ring, my promotion and my love you'll want to stay with me. Please God, she means everything to me."

Erika walked quietly to the bedroom. She could see her Megan sleeping, her arms curled around her love's pillow. "You are so beautiful, my love."

Walking to the side of the bed, the tall woman leaned over, kissing Megan gently on her head. The blonde murmured Erika's name, although she was asleep. A second kiss to her cheek managed to wake the smaller woman and she searched for the source of the dream kisses. Slowly she fully awakened and whispered, "You're really here, you made it back early." Throwing her arms around Erika's neck, Megan pulled her lover closer. "I missed you so. I didn't know where you were... or if you were coming back. I..."

Erika placed a fingertip on her lover's lips. "I am so very sorry. I forgot my phone. I should have called. I drove all night to get here. Please forgive me Sweetheart."

The small blonde clung tighter to the woman she loved. No words came from her, only sobs. Megan nodded her head trying to tell Erika she forgave her.

"Baby," Megan began saying as she pulled slightly away so she could look in her lover's eyes. "Forgive me, I was wrong. I need to support you and your career."

"Ssssshhhhh, we don't need to talk about that right now. I have something for you, Megan." Erika turned on the bedside lamp then picked the small box up off the floor, handing it to Megan. "Happy anniversary Sweetheart. I love you."

Erika heard Megan gasp as she opened the box revealing the ring. Bursting into tears, Megan ran out of the room, scaring Erika. "Megan, what's wrong?" she yelled to the retreating figure.

Megan returned with another small box. "Nothing is wrong. This will explain it all. Happy anniversary my love." Erika accepted the box; opening it to reveal the ring Megan had bought for her.

"Oh my God!" the tall woman answered with a voice barely above a whisper.

"It is the same ring, with opposite centers and surrounding gem stones." answered Megan. "Erika, place my ring on my finger... please?"

Erika's smile widened as she did as requested. "Now your turn." Megan slipped Erika's ring on her finger.

"Megan, I felt as though I had lost you. I told Daniel after we wrapped up the takeover that I quit..."

"No Erika..."

"Please let me finish. It was too much. We need to be together to grow together, not apart. The job, the money, none of it was enough if in the end I lost you. Turns out, Daniel refused my resignation." The blonde's eyebrows drew together, not understanding.

"You see Sweetheart," continued Erika, "you are looking at the newly appointed Director of West Coast Operations for McDavid Enterprises! No more extended travel, only ten per cent of the time now.

Megan grabbed Erika in a crushing hug. "I was ready to put up with it as long as it took. Honey, I just found out I'm getting a ten percent raise at work. Even if you had quit, we still would have made it."

"We would make it in poverty, my love. As long as I keep talking with you and not leaving in the middle of fights, we will make it. Together we can make it."

The two women held each other close. Megan lifted her lips closer to Erika's ear and whispered, "I have tomorrow off. Why don't we both show one another just how well we can 'communicate' here in this wonderful bed of ours?"

"Megan," Erika answered, very happy to be communicating, "I have tomorrow off, too. I have a feeling this will be a very long and drawn out discussion that could last well into late in the day."

The green eyes of the smaller woman had started to deepen their color. She smiled as she noticed the same response in the blue eyes looking back at her as she started to untuck Erika's shirt from her pants. "You know how hard it is to get me to stop once I get started."

"I'm counting on it," smiled Erika as she slipped off her shirt and turned off the bedside lamp.


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