See Part 1



A Sibling’s Rivalry

{Part II}

By Katia N. Ruiz

Copyright 1997

Copyright Poem "Love Not Lost" By Katia Ruiz „ 1997

Copyright Poem "Almost lost you" By Erica Polanco „ 1997





FRANCES sat on the barstool placidly, a cold drink on her hand. The party was going pretty boring for her own expectations. She was into wild partying, dancing to the music. She was sitting at the bar, occasionally engaging in conversations with other guests or the friendly bartender. She wore loose dark blue slacks, her shirt a soft beige V-neck, her blazer was dark blue like her pants, a small gold chain was clasped around her neck, making a perfect contrast with her bronze skin; she wore her blonde hair loose down to her shoulders.

She lifted her head up to look at the bar mirror and saw her lover walking towards her; she had a beautiful and sweet smile on her lovely face. "What is so funny?" Frances asked, turning completely around, pulling her hips between her legs and wrapping her arms around her. "Eh, Katie?"

Katie wrapped her arms around Frances and kissed her lips softly. "What's funny is that this is a lawyer's party for lawyers and you, my love, are a lawyer, are not enjoying it, but I am having the time of my life." She laughed softly. "These people are really nice, Frances. They obviously like you. They are wondering at this minute why you're not joining us in our conversations."

Frances studied Katie's beautiful, young face. Many considered Frances lucky; Katie was an extremely beautiful woman. With a body to kill for, gorgeous green eyes and silky, straight black hair, Katie was a stunning woman. Tonight, she wore a soft white silk shirt that hung from and accentuated the roundness of her breasts, with a flowing knee length skirt that revealed the perfect roundness of her hips; there were slits along the sides that stopped halfway up her shapely thighs. Her small feet where comfortably tucked into high heeled shoes that made her legs seem long and exotic, which in reality they really were.

Frances knew that people considered her lucky because of Katie's looks. But it wasn't because of her looks that Frances was in love with her; she loved Katie's softness, understanding, and sensitiveness; everything about her. To her, Katie was beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside. "I want to go home." She said, feeling Katie's pale, silk skinned face with her hands.

Katie looked down, considering, like she always did, then her eyes went back to Frances'. Everybody felt that she was lucky too. And she did feel lucky. People thought Frances was the most gorgeous woman ever born to this planet; some compared her smile to that of Isabella Rossellini's. With angelic features that at the same time showed no innocence, and deep, sensuous gray eyes, she was a perfect combination of beauty. But it wasn't only that which held Katie's heart, it was her charm, her loving ways, her sensitiveness, and her desire to please Katie all the time. Many women wanted her lustfully, and this made Katie crazily jealous.

She ran her hands through the golden and wavy hair that belonged to her lover. "Okay, let's go." She said. "I miss the baby already." She concluded. Plus she desired a good feel of Frances' smooth body.

Frances smiled broadly, understanding the unspoken desire, feeling the same. "Great! Let's go." She said, pushing Katie back a little and getting up from the stool eagerly.

Katie pushed her back, laying her palms flat against Frances' chest. "We have to say goodbye to people." She chided in a humorous whisper.

Frances slouched, pouting her thick and luscious lower lip. "Oh, I forgot." She said.

"Come on." Katie said, laughing delightedly at her lover's charm, pulling Frances after her.

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FRANCES held the sleeping nineteen-month-old child in her arms, waiting for Katie to open the front door of their townhouse. It was very cold outside and a few flakes of snow were falling. "Katie, what is taking you so long, my love?" Frances urged, her teeth chattering.

"It's freezing, my hands are shaking!" Katie replied. I should have accepted those drinks they offered me. She thought to herself. At least I'd be a little warm! She turned around in resignation, taking the toddler from Frances’ arms. "Here," She said, handing her the keys. "You open the door." She watched as Frances steadied her cold hands and easily opened the door.

Once they were inside, Katie carefully went up the stairs and into their bedroom. She put the little boy on the bed and softly removed his clothes. She heard a soft noise downstairs and after a few moments smelled hot chocolate; she smiled at Frances' thoughtfulness. She picked the sleeping boy off the bed and took him to his room, put him on his small bed, then softly put on his nightclothes. She put the covers over him and softly left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar.

She went down the stairs slowly; at the bottom, she turned left towards the kitchen, where she found Frances sitting at the dining table and bent over a cup of the chocolate. Frances stood up from the chair she was sitting on and took Katie into her arms. "About time you came down." She said, her voice low, her French accent sensually accentuating every word she said. "I missed you." Kissing Katie tenderly, she drew a deep breath into her lungs. Slowly, she pulled away. "How is the little Rug Rat?" She asked.

"Sleeping like a log." Katie replied, slipping her fingers onto the back of Frances' head, grasping her hair and pulling her down for another kiss. "Can we go to bed?" She suggested after a while, with mischief in her eyes.

"You do not want chocolat to warm you up?" Frances asked, her eyebrows arching in inquiry.

Katie looked down; her eyes traveled slowly back up to Frances'. "No." She said. "You can warm me up better." She whispered suggestively.

Frances smiled, arousal strengthening anew. She picked Katie's light form into her arms and carried her out of the kitchen; Katie wrapped her arms around her shoulders. She laughed loudly as Frances quickly ran up the stairs and into their bedroom with Katie in her arms.


"DAD, I do not understand how you can be so accepting of this relationship Frances has with Katie." Ross DeValoi said to Richard in his cold tone.

Richard rolled his eyes with impatience. His son's unnatural dislike for his older sister was beyond bearing. Since Frances and Ross were children, Ross had, for reasons unknown, an intense dislike towards his sister. Richard had watched Frances' various attempts to get along with Ross; he would unnecessarily start arguments, goad her into her violent anger, and at times, start fistfights with her. Ross knew his sister's temper was like a time bomb, that she could explode as suddenly as sneezing, and he still did everything he could to discredit her in front of Katie's eyes.

Richard looked up from his newspaper, upset that his son turned out to be so arrogant and homophobic. Upset also because he and Francine had always given their children the same opportunities, love, caring. They had always made sure that there was no animosity between them, but it seemed that their son was the one who would push his sister away, his jealousy of her getting the best of him. "Frances is my daughter and I love her unconditionally, like I love you." He said, pausing as Flores, the maid, approached. He watched her come to the table; pour two cups of tea, and leave. Then he said: "This marriage, I do think it's a marriage, son, is the same as the kind of marriage I have with your mother." He started counting on his well-groomed fingers. "Francine and I love each other, we have had you children, they love each other and have William, and we provided for you and loved you both. I do hope you both loved us."

"I love you, dad." Ross said, jabbing his thumb against his chest indignantly. "But does she? I mean, showing what they are in front of all those important people at the party." He said in disgust. "What they're doing is unnatural!"

"My friends didn't seem to mind, son." Richard said, patiently. "Just like Francine and I do not; they see them as a normal couple, just as your mother and I do." He sighed softly. "Now, please leave me alone about this, Ross. I do not want to loose my patience with you." He watched expressionless as Ross indignantly stood and silently left the dining room.

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"GOOD morning, Papa." Frances said, walking into her father's office with a big smile. Her office was down the hall from his. It had been days since she had visited him in his office. She'd been so busy.

"Frances DeValoi," Richard chided good-naturedly. "You finally decide to give your father a proper visit." He stood up and took his daughter into his arms. "How are Katie and little William?" He asked, all tenderness.

"Little William is doing great! He is always asking for his grandpa." Frances said, smiling proudly. "Katie is doing great too. She says Hello." She said.

"Tell her I said Hello too. And hug William for me." Richard said, smiling down at Frances. "Now, take a seat, darling." He said, taking his own seat. He watched her for a second as she settled on the chair, and turned serious. "Have you spoken to your brother?" He asked, frowning in concern.

Frances crossed one leg over the other. "As a matter of fact, I want to." She said, frowning. Richard proudly noticed her deep resemblance to himself. She had his strong cleft chin and a more feminine version of his set jaw. She also had his dark; naturally tanned complexion and his penetrating gray eyes. She was of average height, about five foot eight inches. He also saw her slight resemblance to her mother. She had her wavy golden hair and her beautiful smile.

Richard thought Ross looked totally like Francine, with his wavy golden hair, and his soft features. He came back from his thoughts when Frances spoke again. "He has been calling Katie, telling her he has seen some of my past dalliances, that they have seen me and that they want me back. That I am playing with her. Things like that!" Her deep French accent still startled him, even though she had remained in France only until almost four years before, where she had done her first four years in law school.

She had moved to New York, deciding to finish studying law in the United States and to work in the firm where her father was an associate. She had done two years in Columbia University and an internship at the firm, working under her father's wing. Soon, in about two years' time, she had succeeded in her Bar Exams, graduated from Columbia at the top of her class and received her juris doctor. She was hired as a full time lawyer by the firm, and had won her very first case, one of the hardest she had ever encountered since. In two years, she was considered one of the best lawyers in New York to come out of Henrickson-Powers & DeValoi Law Firm.

"Your brother's closed mind is upsetting me deeply. I thought your mother and I had taught him better." Richard said.

"Well, father, you know he had his eyes on her before I even came from France." Frances looked down, thinking. The first time Frances and Katie had seen each other it was love at first sight. They didn't know the way Ross felt for Katie until after the ceremony, when he'd gotten into an argument with Frances and told her everything, along with his deep hate for her. A month after they had met, Frances declared her undying love to Katie and asked her to marry her. Katie told Frances she felt the same way about her and said yes to her proposal, which was when Ross found out about their love. He had become angry and didn't even attend the marriage ceremony. "He was not counting on Katie being a lesbian and on us falling in love."

"There's no justification." Richard said vehemently, feeling vexed at his son. "He was not with her when you two met; he hadn't even told her how he felt. You didn't even know how he felt for her until it was too late. That is correct, no?"

"Yes." Frances replied, looking at her father. She stood and walked towards the window. "But you know that Ross gets what he wants, or so he thinks. And if he does not have it, he will destroy it." She remained quiet for a few seconds, then said: "I am not letting her go, father. She is the only woman who has ever awakened such love in me, such happiness." She said in a low voice. She studied the cars fifteen stories below them as if amazed at how small they looked. "Ross is a very complicated man. And I want him to stop trying to sabotage my marriage!" She said, her anger flaring.

"I understand, Frances." Richard said with a conciliatory tone in his voice.

"I mean, Katie is a very jealous woman." Frances continued, not hearing his words, turning to look at her father. There was pain in her eyes. "She already thinks that I am messing around with some other woman. She barely acknowledges that she feels that way, and acts like there are no problems between us. But there are, even though she will not grill me about things. There is still her doubt, and that stabs me in the heart every time I hear it in her voice or see it in her eyes, father. He is not making the situation any better, papa." She sat down on the chair again, crossing her arms and legs. She looked down at her lap. "I do not want to loose her." She said with sadness in her voice.

Richard stood, leaning with his arms on the desk. "Look, darling, why don't you tell him to stop this. I am tired of doing that. Maybe it's time you tell him." He suggested gently.

Frances looked up at her father. "I have no idea why he has to like lesbians!" She said, also standing. "He is selfish, he does not even care that Katie and I have a child!" Her voice rose at the thought of William and his possible suffering if Katie and Frances were ever to separate; she slammed her fist on the desk; everything rattled. Her face flushed red. "I will break his face if he does not leave my love alone!"

Richard didn't doubt it, he'd seen his children go at it before and Ross would always turn out as injured as Frances. He took light of it at this moment, trying to assuage his daughter's anger. "You are talking like an insensitive French woman!" He said and laughed. "Sit and calm down." She stood shaking with anger for a few seconds, and then sat down with a deep breath. Richard sat down with her. "Try words. As a lawyer, you should know words are the usual and best way to communicate."

"Ross is not a lawyer, though." Frances retorted almost childishly, her anger was still flaring. Then her anger waned, and she felt suddenly tired.

Richard sat back, considering, holding his chin in deep thought. "Try, you never know." He finally said.


FRANCES walked quietly into the living room, finding Katie sitting cross-legged on the floor, leaning back against the couch. William was sitting on her lap, babbling his mouth away while she listened with a loving smile. Frances smiled tenderly at the beautiful sight, wishing she had a camera at hand to capture the beautiful moment forever; she sighed dreamily. Katie's eyes looked up at the sound of her sigh, she saw Frances and her eyes brightened, and her smile grew. When he saw Frances, William beamed with love and struggled away from Katie, running into Frances' arms.

"Bonjour!" Frances said. "How is my little Rug Rat?" She asked, sitting on the floor next to Katie. "And how is my lovely lady?" She said, winking at Katie and throwing a little kiss in her direction.

Katie couldn’t miss the look of pure love in Frances’ eyes, her own eyes twinkled. "Your little Rug Rat is hungry." She said, smiling broadly. "And so is your lovely lady. Both of us were anxious for you to get home, so we could eat. Right, William?" She smiled. William nodded enthusiastically; a little dribble of saliva escaped his mouth and landed on Frances' blazer.

She didn't care; she was as hungry as they were. "So, then lets eat!" Frances said, standing and carrying William into the kitchen. Katie followed close behind.

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"WILLIAM'S finally asleep." Katie said, sighing tiredly and getting into bed. "That boy acts like he doesn't need sleep at all!" She lay back on her pillow, looking at Frances, who lay comfortably on her back with her hands clasped behind her head. Katie watched in fascination the fine muscles of her arms tense.

Frances turned on her side so she could look at Katie. "I talked with Papa today." She said huskily, bracing a hand on the bed and leaning on it. Their eyes met in silent agreement and they moved closer to each other.

"Really?" Katie said distractedly, Frances’ closeness arousing her. "What about?" She breathed, and moved her hips closer to Frances’, throwing one leg over Frances’ waist.

"About Ross." Frances said, throwing her arm over Katie and pulling her even closer to herself. She held her lips close to Katie’s, studied her fine features in awareness. " Papa does not like what Ross is doing to you."

"I don’t pay attention to him." Katie said unconvincingly, shrugging. She threw her arm around Frances' neck, her body tensing with arousal at the feel of Frances’ shoulder muscles.

Frances laughed humorlessly. "Yes you do! You do not tell me anything, but you do." She whispered sadly, placing a soft kiss on Katie’s lips. "If I could only prove that you are wrong about me... That for the last four years that we have been together, never have I been unfaithful." Her voice was full of unvoiced pain and love.

Katie looked up into Frances' deep gray eyes. "Let's not talk about this." She whispered, as she did every time they got into a conversation of this caliber, and kissed her softly on the lips. "Please?"

Frances kissed her back, reaching down and slipping her hand under Katie's night robe, instantly forgetting the mistrust from Katie, only remembering the smooth skin of her body. "Sure." She whispered hoarsely, pulling her to herself in a tight embrace. They kissed deeply, their tongues stoking the flames of desire in their bodies that forever burned. And after a while, with long fingers trailing the curve of Katie’s hips dangerously, she said huskily: "Let me touch you."

"You don't have to ask," Katie said shakily, submissively, tightening her embrace around Frances’ shoulders. One hand moved down Frances’ muscled back and rested at the waistband of her shorts. "To touch me." She returned Frances’ kiss, slipping one hand inside the silk shorts. Under her hand, she felt Frances' smooth tight buttock straining sensuously with each movement. She moaned and murmured. "You are so hard and soft everywhere." She breathed, turning over and pulling Frances on top of her.

Frances let her hands feel along the curves of Katie's body, letting one hand rest on her full breast, the instantly erect nipple pressing against her palm. She pressed her lips to hers, felt Katie shudder as she gently played with her nipple, squeezing it between her fingers. She never got enough of Katie; every time they made love was a new experience to them. They could go on for days, if it were up to Frances. "Katie...." Frances sighed into her mouth.

Katie felt her senses spinning, driving her to a point of pleasurable insanity. She couldn’t think any more as she felt Frances’ perfect body press against hers. Frances was the best lover she ever had; the love they shared seemed reach a new level every time they made love. She opened her legs, pulling Frances in between them. She slipped her other hand into the shorts and felt the other tight buttock. Frances pushed against her, sending a sensation through her body that concentrated at the center of her desire; she felt the heat and wetness spreading between her legs. She moaned loudly, quickly catching herself, she didn't want to wake William up. She buried her face into Frances’ neck and began gently licking it, her breath catching in her throat.

Frances' breathing quickly became erratic, her breath coming raspy. She quickly pulled Katie's night robe up over her head. And Katie frantically pulled Frances' shirt up and off; Frances pulled her own shorts off. She let her weight rest on her lover again, moaning at the softness of the erect nipples pressing against her own breasts. "I want to make love to you..." She whispered hoarsely into Katie's ear, feeling her shiver under her. She moved lower, her lips wrapping around one of Katie's engorged nipples.

Katie ran her fingers through Frances' hair, softly pulling at it. The sensations Frances' lips sent through her body grew; it was as if Frances always found a new way to please her. Gasping moans escaped her lips. "Ah…" She gasped softly. "Frances!" She groaned, her body arching violently. She felt her clit begin to swell and her wetness begin to grow.

Frances moved lower, kissing Katie's soft belly, licking the skin on her sides slowly. She wrapped her arms around Katie's hips; her lips and tongue traced the contours of her navel. She felt Katie’s fingers glide through her hair, and take a strong hold as her mouth moved lower. "You feel so good!" She whispered hotly against the taut quivering skin of Katie’s abdomen, feeling her own body heating up. She wanted to taste Katie so badly she ached; she never got enough. She moved down, pushed Katie's legs open wider, staring hungrily at her wet cleft.

She closed her eyes tightly in uncontrollable passion as she let her tongue hungrily caress Katie's swollen center. Katie cried out in passion, pulling hard at Frances' hair, her hips arching to meet her mouth. She removed her hands from her hair, ran her nails over her lover’s upper back, feeling the tongue doing circles over her clitoris.

Frances moaned into her wetness, her hands gripping the bed-sheets in shivering passion. She tasted the juices of Katie's delicious creamy sap. She felt the shudder of Katie's passion against her tongue. Her own body was responding to Katie with intense desire, her clit aching and engorged beyond bearing. Suddenly, she pulled away, making Katie moan in distress. She pulled herself up with her arms, pushing her hips in between Katie's thighs. Carefully, she strained her hips forward and touched Katie's clitoris with her own; the pressure sent pleasurable sensations of it's own through her body. Both women moaned in their passion. "Katie, oh!" Frances gasped, gripping the bed-sheets at each side of Katie’s head with strong shaking hands.

Katie stared up at her lover with unfocused eyes, seeing the shoulder length golden hair fall loosely over her cheeks and forehead. She wrapped her quivering arms around Frances, her nails pressing into her back. Frances moved her hips faster against Katie, lowering her head and kissing her deeply, pushing her tongue deep into her mouth. She felt her own passion reaching a point of no return. She was breathing audibly, her body shivering violently.

Katie arched her body, pushing her chest up against Frances', who moved faster as she felt Katie's nails digging deeper and with more fervor into her back. Frances felt herself loosing control; she pushed harder, again and again, groaning. She groaned loudly as she pushed one last time before they both lost control of their mutual passion. Both women exploded with abandon; together, moaning as continuous orgasms invaded their bodies. Katie arched at an unnatural angle and moaned into her pillow. "Frances!" She cried out over and over, her body caving in with every cry.

Frances groaned in reply, shuddering. She felt her arms weaken and she allowed herself to rest her weight on Katie, who wrapped her arms around her. She buried her face against the skin between the plump breasts, and then she moved up to kiss Katie's neck softly. She still felt the tremors of ecstasy rippling through her body. Katie was still feeling the aftershocks of her own ecstasy when she opened her lips to let Frances' silky tongue press inside her mouth. She realized that Frances was ready for more, and oh yes, that her desire was once again ignited, but she didn’t think she could take anymore. "Frances!" She gasped, pushing Frances up. "I can not take anymore!"

"Just a little more!" Frances whispered in a sensuous, husky voice, pleading with her melting gray eyes. She moved down again to kiss her neck softly, her smooth skilled tongue lapping at the sensitive sweaty skin.

"No." Katie whispered, almost surrendering once again. "Please!" She saw Frances begin to consider, narrowing her eyes and pursing her thick lips sideways as she thought. She sighed in relief when Frances lay down next to her and wrapped her arms around her. "You are too much... Your libido's always racing! There are very few times that I can go on and on like that with you, you know that!" She laughed into Frances' chest.

Frances chuckled. "You just can not match me." She said, wincing when Katie bit her on her chest. "Ouch, do not do that!" She said, rolling over quickly and pinning Katie under her, pressing her arms against the bed. A flush of desire flashed through her body. "Now you will have to take more." She whispered, kissing her way down Katie's soft chest.

"NO!" Katie gasped, her passion rising towards ecstasy as she felt Frances' hot tongue on her aching nipples once again. "Oh!"


FRANCES sat at the kitchen table, picking up the cup of lemon-flavored tea that Katie had prepared for her. William was sitting on his high chair, giddily drinking from his bottle. Frances proudly took in his resemblance to both her and Katie. He was a beautiful boy with light brown hair, grayish blue eyes and pale, soft skin, like Katie's; he'd most likely have her height also, since he was very small for his age. Still, he was gorgeous and made his family proud. "Well, bonjour, William. Did you sleep well?" She greeted tenderly.

The boy nodded quickly, laughing. "Di!" He said, laughing harder. It seemed to be all he could say through the laughter.

"What is so funny, William?" Frances asked, reaching over and tickling him.

"Frances, don’t work him up." Katie chided gently, serving him a small portion of mashed potatoes on his designated plate. She placed the plate on the counter, and served Frances her breakfast too. "He hasn't eaten his breakfast yet!" She said with a mock stern tone to her voice, placing a plate of eggs and waffles in front of Frances, who looked at them hungrily. She studied Frances with enraptured love, and thought that her lover could be such a kid sometimes.

Frances sniffed appreciatively. "It is hard to understand why you do not let me hire a maid." Frances said, taking a bite from the waffles. She closed her eyes lightly and chewed in fascination. She conceded: "You do cook good though!"

"I know. That is why I won't allow you to hire help, I can do it myself. I like taking care of my children." Katie joked, smiling. "Now, eat your breakfast." She said, as if she were talking to a child, knowing it was a joke between them, and turned to William as she picked up his plate. "Now, you, buddy," She poked the small spoon in his direction. "Are going to eat." She said, taking a teaspoon full of mashed potatoes and pushing it into his already opened mouth.

He swallowed the mashed potatoes and rubbed his stomach for more.

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KATIE walked Frances to the front door, already missing her for the day. Frances turned to face her and smiled tenderly at her. "Are you going out today?" She asked softly, staring at her lips with unmistakable desire. "If not, would you meet me for lunch?" She breathed. They could never be away from each other for too long.

Katie smiled back at her, lifted her hand to caress the soft, and finely sculpted cheek. Memory from the night before, and the way that she'd woken Frances that morning sent a shiver of desire through her. "I wasn't planning on going anywhere today." She said. "Should I bring the baby?"

"Of course!" Frances said, pulling Katie into her arms; they kissed softly. Frances pulled away very slowly, regret showing in her eyes; she didn't want to leave at that moment. She wanted to take Katie into her arms again and make love to her in the hall, if she had to. "So, see you at the firm? At, say, las uno?" One o'clock? She asked.

"Okay." Katie agreed, kissing Frances again. "See you."

"Le amo." Frances said, taking her suitcase and walking out the front door.

Katie leaned against the doorframe and watched her drive away, crossing her arms around her chest and staring at the back of the car until it disappeared. "I love you too." She whispered softly.

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"Vous avez voulu me voir?" YOU wanted to see me? Ross asked, letting half of his body into the large office. He’d received a call from his sister that morning, a curt hello and a request for him to go see her at her office.

Frances sat back on her chair, motioning Ross to come inside. She waited until he sat to speak. "You are my only brother, Ross." She said, looking into his icy blue eyes. He didn't speak, looking back at Frances with what she recognized as hate. His upper lip curled, his eyes narrowed, his stare devoid of any love for her. She felt her heart shrivel. "Why do you hate me, brother?" She asked in a quiet tone, her own hate for her brother dismaying her.

Ross crossed his legs, tugging at his slacks and looking down at his lap for a few seconds. There was a smile on his face, a smile of satisfaction at her hurt feelings. He looked back up with his eyes, leaving his head bowed. "I do not hate you. How could you say that?" He asked heartlessly, his voice flat, uncaring.

"You are a liar, my brother." Frances said, standing.

"What did you want to see me about, sister?" He asked with a sneer. "I have things to do, you know."

Frances glared down at him, watching as he straightened his light gray suit with vanity. She knew he had nothing to do but go hang out with his friends and make her life impossible. "I want you to leave Katie alone." She said slowly, sitting back down.

He snorted, looked at her in disgust. "Why should I?" He whispered. "She's my friend."

"You are not being her friend by trying to separate her from me." Frances said, struggling to control her rising anger. She lifted her pencil from her table and gripped it tightly, her thumb pushing against it. She felt it crack a little.

"I think I am." Ross said, glaring at Frances and enjoying her anger.

"Papa said I should try words with you." Frances whispered shakily, more to remind herself to calm down, than to let him know what their father thought. Her hands were shaking, her jaw clenched and unclenched visibly. This guy couldn’t be her brother. How could he purposely hurt her? How could he hate her? How could she hate him? She damned him in her mind, wished he would just disappear and leave her and Katie alone.

Ross saw her struggle for control, enjoyed the tension displaying itself across her features and body. "And what would you have done otherwise?" He challenged.

Frances bent her head down and pressed her chin against her chest, with her eyes, she looked up at his face. "I would have bashed your face in." She said, balling her hands into tight fists and pressing them down against the desk.

Ross laughed, knowing fully well that she would. "I would like to see you try." He said, suddenly serious. "I'll get Katie for myself. That I promise you. Somehow, someway, I'll get her for me."

Frances felt her anger explode. She surged forward, and quicker than Ross thought possible, jumped agilely over the large desk, throwing him and everything on the desk onto floor. Her fist landed on his jaw with a sharp crack.

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KATIE arrived at the office five minutes before one. William was on his stroller, drinking juice from his bottle. She smiled at Lucy, Frances' secretary and her own good friend. "Hi, Lucy." She said, kissing her on the cheek. "How are-"

A loud crashing sound coming from Frances’ office interrupted her. It disturbed Lucy too, because she stood, and quickly opened the door to Frances' office. "Dear God!" She gasped. She cried out as Frances' fist landed on Ross. She ran to her phone, dialing for Richard.

Katie looked into the office, still not knowing what had disturbed Lucy so much. What she saw frightened her. "Frances!" She cried out, running into the office. Frances’ face was bright red and on her face was an expression of such violent hate, that it scared her. "Stop!" She screamed. She cried out as she saw Ross ball his hand into a tight fist and hit Frances in the face. Frances’ head snapped back, she flew backwards, landing on her back. She quickly struggled to her feet again. She was about to run back at Ross when her father ran in.

"Frances!" He roared, his cheeks were red with anger. "Vous arrêtez bien cette minute!" You stop right this minute!

Frances stopped and looked at him with unfocused, angry eyes; she dizzily fell to her knees. Katie ran to her, kneeling beside her. Ross lay on his back, wiping his bloody nose and looking up at his father. "Thank God you-" He started to say.

"Leave right this minute! You and I will talk later." Richard cut him short. Ross stared at him in disbelief. "Leave!" Ross stood up and walked out of the office, cursing.

Richard took a seat, crossing his legs. He glared at Frances for a few moments in complete silence. She stared at him quietly, with respect and anticipation of her father’s angry wrath; she felt as if she were ten years old again, and about to get a spanking. "Now, when I said not to speak like an insensitive French woman, I also meant do not act like one." Her father said, suddenly chuckling.

Frances smiled slowly, marveling at how quickly her father's moods changed. She leaned against Katie, closing her eyes. She opened them quickly, looking around. "Where is William?" She asked, ignoring the pain on her jaw.

"Here he is." Lucy said, letting him walk his stroller inside. Her eyes were concerned.

"Come here." Frances said, opening her arms to him. William let go of the stroller and ran to Frances, giggling. "Look at Grand-père." She whispered into his ear.

William squealed, jumping from her lap and running to Richard. "Dear God! This child is a speeding bullet!" Richard exclaimed, laughing with William. A look of grandfatherly tenderness displayed across his features. "He is always so happy."

Frances looked at Lucy, who still had a frown of concern. "It is okay, Lucy." She said reassuringly. Lucy reluctantly walked out.

Richard stood, putting William down. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes. "It upsets me deeply to see my only two children fighting. It is distressing." He said, sighing.

Frances sat on the love seat of the office, pulling Katie up with her. She rubbed her chin, wincing in pain. "Papa, it hurts me deeply to say that I cannot stand Ross." She whispered. "He does not deserve my love." She said, leaning her head back against Katie's shoulder and looking up at the ceiling.

Katie rested her own head on Frances' head. "This is all my fault." She said, catching Richard and Frances' attention. "I knew he loved me and I fell in love with you." She continued, standing from the seat. "You should leave me." She said to Frances, crossing her arms and turning her back on her.

Frances was suddenly off the couch, glaring at Katie, her body tense. Katie turned to look at her again. Frances’ hands moved to and fro, no words came out of her moving mouth. "That is… preposterous!" She finally choked out. "How could you say that?" Tears burned her eyes. They were unaware that Richard was slowly walking out with William in his arms. Frances flopped back down onto the couch, putting her head in her hands. "Look at what he’s doing to us!"

Katie's tears escaped her eyes when she heard Frances' frustrated sobs. She went to Frances, kneeling in front of her. "I love you!" She whispered, taking Frances' hands and squeezing them. "It's that I just can’t take to see brother and sister fighting, knowing that it's because of me."

Frances looked into her eyes. She quickly stood, pulling Katie up with her. "You want me to really be insensitive?" She whispered, wrapping an arm around Katie's waist. Katie gasped, throwing her arms around Frances' neck. "I love you!" Frances whispered. Their lips met in a sudden passionate kiss.

They breathed against each other, each loving the feel of the other. Katie's fingers ran through Frances' hair. Frances pulled away. "I need you so much." She kissed Katie again, slipping her tongue inside her mouth. Katie sighed, completely forgetting the words she said before. She could never leave Frances.


KATIE and Frances had decided to go home early that day. Frances was putting William into bed for a nap when the bell rang. She heard Katie's soft voice. She went down the stairs and into the living room, finding Katie sitting on the couch with both of Frances' parents.

At the sight of Frances, Francine stood and walked up to her, taking her in her arms. "My baby!" She said, in a fluttery of kisses. "How do you feel?" She felt along Frances jaw line, letting her fingers rest on the black and blue spot where Ross hit her. "I’ve seen your baby brother and you really left him with a black eye. I was wondering how he left you."

Frances laughed. "Mother, I am fine!" She said, hugging Francine. "Take a seat." Mother and daughter sat, Francine next to Richard and Frances next to Katie, taking her hand. "I take it father told you of the fight."

Francine moved her jeweled hands in a dismissive gesture. "I'm going to tell you the same thing I told your brother. This is just little kids fight. What you both need to do is act like the grown ups that you are and talk." She said. "Ross has feelings for Katie. So he has to feel some contempt toward you. But he'll get over it." She said, taking Richard's hand.

"But mother, I do try to talk to my brother." Frances said.

Katie sat back against Frances, closing her eyes. "This is all my fault." She whispered.

Frances wrapped her arms around her. "Do not start that again." She said into her ear.

"It is not your fault, darling." Richard reassured her. "Please, do not think that way… For my Frances."

Katie looked up at Frances. Frances looked into her eyes. Katie sighed, caressing Frances' face with her hand. "I love you." She whispered.

After a few seconds of silence, Richard and Francine stood, sensing their mood. "We should leave, we only came for a quick visit, and we’re going to dinner with the Morgenstens." Francine said, kissing Frances and Katie lovingly on their foreheads. "Bye, babies. Give my little William a kiss." She walked out of the living room, and eventually, the house, Richard followed her.

Frances smiled, looking into Katie's eyes. "We should go to bed." She whispered. She kissed her softly, slipping her tongue into her mouth. She pulled back and waited for Katie's answer with a smile.

Katie's breathing had increased in speed, she was smiling too. "Let's go then." She breathed.

Continued in part III

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Katia N. Ruiz