DISCLAIMER: This story is a continuation of "Starting Over".  The characters of Cat and Julie may bear a slight resemblance to certain characters found on a show that is copyrighted by MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.  I'm not trying to make any money here; I'm just a newbie bard trying to entertain a mass of ravenous fans.  As far as I know, all my characters are original and are copyright Kelly Aten.  I don't want anyone out there trying to sell this story or profiting from it in any way. (If I can't, you can't!)  I don't mind if you copy if for your own private use or post it on a site but please be sure the disclaimers are included.

VIOLENCE WARNING: Not much violence, just a little memory of a past tussle.

LANGUAGE: Very mild.  Shit and Jeez are about the extent of it.

SEX: I hate to disappoint anyone but there is no real sex in this story however it is about a budding romance between two women.  It does include some kissing between the main characters.  Don't read it if this will offend!

UNDERAGE WARNING: Just to cover my butt, you should probably be eighteen to read this.  It will most likely be one story, among many, involving these two characters.  There will, inevitably, be some adult action that will require this warning in the future.  (I just need to learn how to write it; I guess I'll have to do more research. <g>)

PERSONAL NOTE: I would like to thank Helen for being my beta reader; her advice helped me a lot and for that I am very greatfull.  She has been a friend and source of support to this newbie bard and my heart will forever embrace her kindness.  Thanks Helen.
 
 

Moving On (Cat & Julie - pt.2)
By Kelly Aten








     "What do you mean you broke up?  You don't just break up after six years!"  The older woman's voice over the phone was ear piercing and angry.  "You're cheating on him aren't you?  It must be someone you met at that school you work for."

Julie held the receiver away from her ear and waited for the tirade finish.  This was exactly the reaction she had expected to get from her.  She clenched her jaw before responding "No Mother, I'm not seeing anyone else and there is nothing wrong with the school I teach at.  It's adult education.  They're people without diplomas, not criminals."  'Well, most of them aren't criminals.'  She amended silently to herself.

She sighed 'I don't know why she hates my job so much.  We have this argument every time I talk to her.'  Her mother was a very strong willed and opinionated woman.  'It's no wonder we don't get along very well, we're too much alike.'

The older woman continued venting, ignoring Julie's defense of her job.  "If you're not seeing someone else, you must be having wedding jitters.  It's perfectly normal dear; they'll pass once you get married."

Julie sighed again, for what must have been the fortieth time since the beginning of their conversation.  "You know what, I think you're right.  I was nervous.  Do you know why?  Because I never wanted to get married in the first place!  I don't want to get married at all."

Her mother gasped over the phone "Julie!  How can you say that?  How can you have children if you don't get married?  You know that's what I always wanted."  The older woman muttered under her breath "It must be a phase you're going through."

Julie was ready to throw the phone across the room "Stop already!  This isn't a phase.  In case you haven't been paying attention for the last twenty six years, I have always been like this."  The younger woman took a calming breath.  "My name is not Patricia Bennett, it's Julie.  I am not you!  I've never wanted to get married and have children.  That's just some fantasy life you cooked up for me when I wasn't looking.  But I'm telling you right now; it's not going to happen.  I live my own life and, frankly you don't really have a say in the matter.

Her mother snapped at her over the phone "Then why did you even call me?  It's obvious you don't care what I think.  I can't believe I raised such an ungrateful child!"

Julie's temper finally broke free "That's it!  I've had enough of your criticism!   Number one, I love you but you will not run my life.  Number two, I know you love Ben but the relationship is over.  Do whatever you want with him. Invite him to dinner or send him a card; I really don't care.  Just deal with it, and move on. And number three, I only called you to let you know what is going on with my life, not to ask for your permission."

"So you say, but this isn't over.  You'll probably hear from your father when he gets home.  You just try talking to him that way and see how far it gets you."

Julie ran her hand through her shoulder length reddish-blonde hair in frustration 'God!  She still thinks I'm five years old and I need my hand held every time I cross the street.   I'm twenty-six years old; how long will it take her to realize I'm an adult?'  Unable to answer her own question she said "Fine, I'll talk to him when he calls me.  But you should know this, neither one of you will change my mind.  This is my decision because it's my life.  What's done is done."

Julie glanced at the clock 'Shit!'  "Look mom, I have to go.  I have things to do right now.  I sent you a card with my new address and phone number; you should get it in the next few days.  I love you and I'll talk to you later.  Bye."

Her mother hesitated for a minute before replying "I love you too Julie, I just don't understand you sometimes.  Well... good-bye."

When Julie hung up the phone she threw herself on the couch and let out her breath in a rush. 'God, I wish I had never called her.  Talking to that woman can be so draining.  Especially when I know she isn't going to like the subject.'  She glanced at the clock one more time before deciding to go change.  She hadn't seen Cat since the weekend before, when she moved into this apartment.  Cat had picked her up in the middle of the night in the pouring rain then consoled her and found her a place to live.  After she introduced Julie to the apartment manager and picked up her keys, she helped get her settled into her new home.   It's been a week since the move and Julie finally received the rest of her things that Ben had shipped to her.  At least they still got along with each other.  People might think it strange that she could be friends with her ex-fiancé.  Actually they probably considered it stranger that he could be friends with her since she was the one who left him.  'Oh well, as long as it works for us its nobody else's business.'

She was kind of upset that she hadn't seen Cat; the tall dark-haired woman intrigued her.  She had the looks of a model with her high cheekbones and deep blue eyes yet she seemed to drive a cab for a living.  Not only that, she also went out of her way to help out a stranger in the middle to the night for no other reason than kindness.  She was a mystery, that was for sure, but one Julie was dying to crack.  She really wanted to get to know her enigmatic friend but Cat had been called out of town the Monday after she moved in.  She just got back this morning and stopped in to see her; the early morning wake up call was still fresh in her memory.

     Julie woke to someone knocking on her door.  She looked over at the clock.  'It's 6:00am on a Saturday morning, who would be visiting this early?  For that matter, who in the world knows where I live?' She groaned and rolled out of bed, putting on her robe and slippers on the way to the door.  She smirked to herself, 'Wouldn't do to answer the door naked and scandalize all my new neighbors.'  As soon as she opened the door she started verbally thrashing the unwanted guest "Who ever you are, you better have a good reason for knocking on my door this early in the morning..." When she got the door open, six feet of smirking Cat greeted her.

"Am I a good enough reason?"

Julie looked up and all thoughts of thrashing her guest ceased.  In her surprise, her still sleepy brain shut down and she started to babble, "Cat, you're back!  How was your trip; are you glad to be home?  What in the world are you doing here so early?"

The taller woman laughed "Whoa, slow down.  Obviously I'm back, my trip was fine, yes I'm glad to be home and I'm here to see you.  I've only been back for a few minutes.  I didn't know what your plans for the day were and I wanted to catch you while you were still home."

At the blonde's questioning look she went on "You forget that I left the Monday after you moved in.  I don't have your phone number yet so I thought I'd stop by on the way up to my apartment.  Sorry I woke you so early."

"Oh, it's no problem.  Sorry I thrashed you but you surprised me.  No one really knows where I live yet so I didn't know who would be visiting me, especially at this hour."  When Cat started to apologize again she cut her off "No, really.  It's ok.  I'll just be missing out on my beauty sleep is all."

Cat grinned and gave her a quick once over "Well if that's the only reason you wanted to stay in bed I don't feel so guilty waking you, because you obviously don't need it."  Cat would never admit it out loud but she had really missed the little blonde.  They had only known each other for one weekend but they got along so well together it felt like they had been friends for years.  She admired the smaller woman's guts and enjoyed her sensed of humor but it was so much more than that.  Cat was drawn to her in a way she couldn't quite explain.

Julie blushed and smacked her on the arm "You're such a goof!  Well I'm up now, you might as well come in for some coffee."

Now it was Cat's turn to blush "Uh, sorry.  I guess I woke you up for nothing.  I can't stay, I just came by to ask if you wanted to go out tonight and celebrate your getting settled into your new apartment.  My treat since you're kinda starting all over again."  She smiled and cocked her head to the side "So, what do you say?"

Julie had to stifle a giggle at the image Cat projected.  She was standing in her doorway with her hands behind her back, scuffing her shoe on the carpet.  'She almost looks worried that I might say no.  Yeah right, like I would.  Since I split with Ben I don't see any of our old friends anymore.  They must be mad at me.  Oh well, life goes on!'  She noticed that Cat looked ready to back out of her offer so she thought she'd better give her an answer.  "Sure, I'd love to.  After the week I've had I could use a break.  So where are we going and what time?"

Cat gave her a big grin "Great!  Uh, do you like to dance?"

Julie laughed, "Do I ever!"

The brunette chuckled at her enthusiasm "Well how about we catch dinner then go dancing.  Some friends of mine own a club downtown and I never have to stand in line to get in.  Seven O'clock sound all right?"

"Sounds fine.  I'll be ready and waiting."

Cat smiled at her "Great!  Now that that's settled, I have to run.  I've got a lot of things to get caught up on now that I'm back.  I'll see you tonight."  With that said, she turned and walked down the hall toward the elevator.

Julie watched her walk down the corridor for a few seconds then she shut the door.  'Wow, this ought to be fun.  I haven't been out dancing in ages.  I wonder what her friends are like?'

     Julie smiled as her mind wandered back to the present.  She really liked Cat.  She liked her compassion towards everyone, her good-natured sense of humor, even her little insecurities.  'Like she has anything to be insecure about.  God!  Sometimes I think I should be intimidated.  She's a freaking model!  I'll have to ask her tonight how she ended up as a cabby.'  Cat was so easy-going it was impossible not to like her and be her friend.  What she absolutely loved though were her eyes.  They were the most vivid electric blue she had ever seen.  'It's like looking into the ocean on a sunny day.  I could get lost in them if I'm not careful.  I guess if I can't have blue eyes of my own, having a handy set to look at now and again wouldn't be so bad.'

It was twenty minutes to seven and Julie was dressed and waiting for Cat.  She'd decided to wear a pair of blue jeans and green button down shirt.  It was long sleeved but lightweight; that way she wouldn't have to take a jacket but if she got too warm she could always roll up her sleeves.  At a loss for anything else to do while she waited, she decided to check her email.  'I hope she hurries, I'm starving here!'
 
 
 

     Cat wasn't sure what prompted her to ask her new friend out; she just knew she wanted to spend more time with her.  Her thoughts were racing a mile a minute. 'I wonder if I should have told her that my friends who own the club are gay?  No, I don't think she'll have any problem with it.  She seems pretty open-minded.  This will be a good test to see whether or not I should tell her about myself.'  Cat furrowed her eyebrows with worry 'Man, I hope she doesn't freak out.  I really want to be her friend but I don't want to have to keep secrets from her, especially one this big.  Shit!  I've never had a close friend who was straight before; this is almost like work.  It certainly doesn't help that I'm attracted to her.  I can't help myself though; she's just too cute.  With those gorgeous green eyes and that tight little... whoa!  I better stop now.  I can't afford to think like this, it definitely won't help me stay in control tonight.  We're friends, just friends.  We're friends... friends... friends... friends...' Cat repeated this mantra in her head all the way to Julie's apartment.

 When Julie heard the knock on the door it was five minutes after seven so she grabbed her keys and wallet before she went to open it. "Hey are you ready to go..." When she saw Cat she immediately lost the ability to speak as well as her train of thought.  'Holy shit!  When I grow up I want to look like her!  Wow!'  Cat was wearing a pair of tight black jeans and a silk shirt the same shade of electric blue as her eyes.  What really set the outfit off was the black leather coat, belt and slouch boots.  Julie realized that her mouth was hanging open and decided to shut it before any drool leaked out.  'Oh god, if blue wasn't my color before it definitely is now!  Whoops, better say something, she's giving me a funny look.'  She took deep breath "Hey, it's about time you got here.  I'm starving!"

When Julie opened the door, Cat stood transfixed by the vision of beauty in front of her.  Looking at the little blonde wearing a pair of well wore blue jeans and a shirt that brought out the green of her eyes made her palms sweat.  'What's the matter with me?  I'm acting like some hormonal teenager.  Uh oh, I better stop staring, she's giving me a funny look.'  She took a deep breath 'Friends, just friends... friends... friends...' Her brain switched gears and she laughed when she heard what the shorter woman said.  "Starving huh?  How about Chinese for supper?  I know of a great place and I guarantee you won't be able to eat everything they serve you."

Julie looked up at her with a twinkle in her eye "Oh yeah, what do I get if I do?"

Cat grinned at her "I'll be your slave for the rest of the night.  You name it; I'll be your drink fetcher, bathroom guard, bodyguard, whatever you want."  She thought to herself 'There's no way in hell that she'll eat everything, I think I'll be pretty safe; although... slave for an evening sounds like fun... Shit! I gotta stop that.  Friends... friends...'

Julie held out her hand "Deal!"

When Cat took her hand to shake, both women were suddenly motionless.  Their eyes locked on one another as they felt an almost physical jolt run through their bodies.  One knew it as lust and perhaps something more, the other, not quite sure what she was feeling.  After two seconds that seemed like an eternity, they let go.

Cat mentally shook herself by the scruff of the neck 'Whoa! That was intense. Uh oh, looks like she felt it too and doesn't have a clue.'  She thought that she should break the tension so she said, "All right, little miss starving.  We'd better get going, I don't want you gnawing on my seats on the way there."  She smiled to show she was only kidding.

Green eyes flickered from confusion to indignant then moved on to amusement.  "Never!  I'll have you know I would never gnaw on a seat."  She giggled and added "Now a steering column, that's entirely different!"

Cat just laughed along with her and said, "Now who's the goof?" then she turned and walked towards the elevator.
 
 

    When they got to the parking garage, Julie took one look at Cat's black Jeep and snorted, "Of course, I should have known."

Cat looked at her and cocked one eyebrow, "What's that supposed to mean?"

The blonde just laughed at her.  "You're so predictable!  I had you pegged for a 'Jeep girl' all along.  I just thought it was funny that I was right.  Seriously though, I really like Jeeps.  I think they're pretty cool, much nicer than my boring little Saturn."

Cat continued to give her 'The Look' but added a little smile.  "You had me pegged huh?  Well, we'll just have to see about that!  Just when you least expect it..." Her last words trailed off ominously.
 
 
 

     An hour later the two friends were sitting in a Chinese restaurant.  The blonde was just finishing her last plate of food and the brunette stared at her with something close to awe.  Cat shook her head in disbelief  "I can't believe you ate all that!  Where do you put it?  No, don't tell me.  I probably don't want to know!"

Julie sat back in her chair with a smug expression on her face.  "Time to pay up!"

Cat just looked at her "Huh?"

"Oh, how convenient, you forgot already.  We had a bet, remember?  I ate everything they served me."  She smirked and added, "Even some of yours."

The taller woman got that 'Deer in the headlights' look.  She thought 'Oh shit, next time I better watch what I wish for.' "Oh!  Yeah, I remember.  Uh... are you serious?"

Julie snickered to herself 'Ooh, I've got her now!'  "You're not going to back out on me now are you?  After all, a deal is a deal."  She cocked her head to the side "Buuutt... if you can't handle it..."

Cat interrupted "Of course I'm not going to back out.  I don't break my deals, what kind of person do you think I am?"

Julie stood up and smiled at her "I don't know, but we're about to find out.  Come on, I'm ready to go dancing and I believe you have some drinks to fetch."

The taller woman just shook her head ruefully before paying the bill and following her out.  'What have I got myself into?'
 
 
 

     When the dynamic duo got to the club they found themselves at the end of a long line.  Cat completely ignored the line and led Julie straight up to the door, which was being guarded by a tall dark-haired bouncer.  His well-developed muscles and rugged good looks had more than a few girls in line drooling on their shoes.  Cat walked right up to him and gave him a big hug "Jesse!  How the hell are yah?"

When Julie saw Cat hug the bouncer she got the strangest feeling.  The churning in her gut went on for a minute before she was finally able to identify it.  'What the Heck!  I think I'm jealous.  Why in the world would I be jealous?  Hmmm... This is something I'll really have to think about later.'

The man smiled at the taller woman "Hey Cat!  Haven't seen you around in awhile.  The place has been kinda quiet here without you."

Cat laughed, "Jesse, this place is never quiet."  She turned to Julie "This is Julie.  She's a friend of mine that just moved into my apartment building.  Julie meet Jesse."

Julie shook the bouncer's hand "Hi.  So this is a pretty hoppin' club, huh?"  When he nodded his head she said, "Good, Cat should stay pretty busy fetching my drinks!" then turned to her friend "So Cat, you used to come here a lot?"

The handsome bouncer answered before Cat could "She didn't have a choice, she worked here.  She was the best bartender we ever had!"

Julie looked at the taller woman in surprise "You were a bartender?"  She thought to herself 'I suppose that shouldn't surprise me any more than her being a cabby.  Neither job looks like they quite fit her.'

Cat gave her a mysterious look "I have many skills and I've had many opportunities to use them."

Julie laughed, "Now you've got me interested.  Just what else have you done?"

When Cat saw the speculative look on the little blonde's face she couldn't help adding a smirk and wiggling her eyebrows.

Julie suddenly realized what she'd said and blushed "Uhh, I mean... you know, you just don't seem like the type." 'Whoops, that didn't sound good either.  God!  What' the matter with me?'  "I mean, I would never have guessed you for a cabby or a bartender when I first saw you."  Still blushing she said to herself 'Shit, I must sound like an idiot.  What a way to impress her and her friends.'

Cat laughed at her friend's stammering speech "I thought you had me pegged?  I guess your people reading skills aren't as good as you thought they were."

Julie ignored her embarrassment and rallied in her own defense "Hey, I didn't say I had you completely pegged.  I just had a few ideas is all, and more than a few of them have been dead on.   I have complete faith in my own skills.  You'll just have to find out for yourself just how good I am." 'Whoops, did it again.  She's going to pick up on the double meaning right away.  Well, maybe not.  Not everyone has their mind in the gutter like me.'  She mentally shook her head at her thoughts and her brazen bantering.  'Jeez, hanging around her has the strangest effect on me.'

Cat swallowed at the little blonde spitfire's defense of herself 'Damn, does she even realize the double meaning she's implying?  I doubt it, not everybody's mind wallows in the gutter like mine.  Friends... friends... friends...'  "Well now is a good time to find out."  She turned back to Jesse "Hey Jess, you think you can slip us in for old times sake?"

The bouncer grinned, "Of course you can get in!  You know better than to ask, you're on the VIP list."

Cat snorted "Thanks Jess.  So are Jay and Carrie in tonight?"

The bouncer nodded "Yep.  Jay's probably moonlighting behind the bar helping out Sal, and Carrie will be up in the office.  Oh, do me a favor and tell Jay that it looks like it's gonna be a full boat tonight.  It might be a good idea to call in another bartender and waitress."

Cat smiled at him "That I can do.  Thanks for letting us in, it was good seeing you again."

Jesse laughed at her "Yeah, you too.  Next time, don't stay away for so long!"  He turned to Julie "It was nice meeting you Julie.  You bring Cat back here again soon, all right?  Everyone misses her."

Julie gave him a friendly smile 'He's not so bad after all.  It's obvious they're just good friends.'  "Sure thing.  I love dancing and besides..." Shot Cat a quick grin "I can't come without my personal drink fetcher."

The taller woman said, "Hey, the deal was only for one night!"

Julie laughed and said, "We'll see.  You shouldn't underestimate me, I have many skills too."

Cat just shook her head "Come on trouble.  You have some dancing to do and I guess I have drinks to fetch."  With a wave to Jesse she headed through the door with the little blonde following along behind.

Jesse stared after the retreating women and nodded. 禅hose two would make a cute couple and that little blonde seems to give as good as she gets.  I don't think they even realize the vibes they give off to each other.   Cat's crazy if she doesn't pursue more than a friendship.'  He chuckled to himself, 'Cat's amazing but she never could see what was right in front of her sometimes.'  The people in the slowly moving line just stared at the beefy bouncer who was laughing out loud to himself.
 
 

     Inside the club was a mass of bass music, writhing bodies and colorful whirling lights.  It was a converted warehouse so it had plenty of floor space and a tall ceiling, with the back half dedicated to the dance floor.  In the corner was a short platform where live bands could perform; while to the right of the platform was a large booth for the DJ.  It sat atop an eight-foot tower so that whoever was spinning disks that night could look out over the dance floor.  This made it easier to find the DJ if you wanted to request a song and the dance floor was crowded.  Everything else seemed to be located in the front half.  The bathrooms, tables, bar and even a few pool tables were located near the front entrance.  Julie could see a man and a woman working behind the bar, their smooth routine seemed to be keeping up with the demanding patrons.  She remembered the bouncer's words from a few minutes ago and thought to herself 'That must be Sal and Jay.  Jeez, if this place gets any busier they're definitely gonna need some help.'  She turned to Cat "Wow, this place is pretty big.  Your friends have done a good job with it though; it seems to be very popular."

Cat nodded "Yeah, it's their pride and joy.  They've had it for about six years now.  It was a real dive before but they turned it into one of the most happening places in the area."  She paused as she scanned the crowd then said, "Come on, I need to pass along a message to Jay.  I'll introduce you and get that drink I owe you at the same time."

Julie smiled "Sounds good to me.  Lead the way, in this crowd you'll probably have to play bodyguard tonight too!"

The taller woman just laughed "No problem."

When they finally made their way to the bar Cat walked behind the counter.  She put her finger to her lips urging the man serving up drafts to keep quiet.  She then slipped behind a woman with short red hair who was drying a beer glass in front of the sink.  When the woman turned around, the sight of the six-foot Cat standing mere inches away startled her, causing her to yell and drop the glass.  Cat reached out and caught it seconds before it hit the floor.  "Were you always that clumsy Jay or does that come with old age?"  Her comment caused few of the near-by patrons to laugh.

The little redhead slapped Cat on the stomach "Shit Cat, you scared the hell out of me!  What are you doing here?"

Cat pretended to be hurt "What, I'm not welcome?  Ok, I'll just leave..." When she turned to walk away the redhead laughed and grabbed her arm.

"Come back here you idiot!  You know what I meant, we haven't seen you around for a while."

Cat looked down and scuffed her feet "Yeah, I know.  I've been pretty busy lately."  She looked back up and smiled "Hey, there's someone I want you to meet.  Come here for a second."

When Cat led the short redhead over Julie thought 'Huh, so this is Jay?  She never said anything so I figured Jay was a guy.  At least I'm not her only short friend.  I think I've actually got an inch on her.'

Cat looked at Julie and said, "This is one of my oldest friends Jay Anderson.  Jay this is Julie Bennett."

As the two women shook hands the redhead said to Julie "So how did you meet our enigmatic friend here?"

Julie laughed, "Well the short story is, exactly a week ago she picked me up in her cab, played therapist and found me an apartment to live in, all in the middle of the night."

The redhead laughed and looked at Cat "Still picking up strays I see." At the taller woman's glare and growl she turned back to Julie "Well you couldn't have picked a better cabby.  She'll help anyone out and once she's your friend you'll have her undying loyalty and support."

Cat, more than a little embarrassed by her friend's uncharacteristic praise changed the subject "We saw Jesse on the way in.  He said to tell you it's gonna be a full house tonight and that you better call in another bartender and waitress.  Is it this busy every weekend?"

Jay's looked smug "Yup, you wouldn't believe how fast word of mouth travels.  We are now the hottest spot in the city.  It's been a long time coming but I think we've finally achieved our dream."  She rubbed her hands together and chuckled "We're practically rakin' it in."

Cat laughed, "My friend, you and Carrie worked hard on this place.  You deserve every bit of the success as well as the cash that comes your way.  It's nice to see someone's dreams come true."

The redhead gave her a serious look "You know, it never would have happened if it weren't for you.  We owe you everything."

Cat shook her head almost angrily "No!  You two don't owe me anything.  You helped me out when times were bad and I helped you.  That's what friends do.  I don't want you to ever say you owe me."  She softened her words "Please?  It would really mean a lot to me."

Jay looked at her "No problem Cat.  I'm sorry, you're right, that's what friends do.  Let me just say though, you're one helluva friend!  We love you a lot, you know; you should come over more often."  The redhead shook herself "Ok, enough of the mushy stuff!  I have a bar to run and Carrie's gonna kick my ass if I don't send you in to see her."

Cat stopped her before she could head back to the bar "Hey, one last thing; Julie needs a drink. What do you think she should get?"

The little bartender looked at Julie and grinned, "I think she needs 'Sex on the Beach'."

When the little blonde started to blush Cat rushed to explain, "Jay here can match any personality to a drink."  She was trying her hardest not to laugh at her new friend's cute little blush.

Julie laughed at her own embarrassment and said "Yeah?  Well as long as you're fetching them, I'll drink them.  So bring it on, we'll see how good of a match she makes."

Jay shook her head at the bantering women 選 know of one match I'd like to make between a certain tall friend of mine a feisty little blonde.  Oh well, I guess I better let nature take it's course.' She turned to Cat "Follow me back to the bar and get your own drinks.  I'm busy enough tonight, I'm not waiting on you too."

Cat laughed at the redhead's comments and looked at Julie "I'll be right back with our drinks, then I'll take you to meet Carrie."

When they got back over to the bar Jay smiled smugly "That's one fine-looking woman you've got there."

Cat growled at her and started fixing their drinks "Jay, she's just a friend."

Jay snorted "Yeah right!  You two have got some serious vibes going on."

The taller woman just shook her head "No really, we're just friends.  She's straight as an arrow.  As a matter of fact the night I picked her up she had just ended a six year relationship with her fiancé."

The bartender smiled and said, "Come on!   You can't tell me you don't think she's gorgeous.  I know you have that thing for green eyes too."  She laughed, "You can't hide anything from me, I know you too well!"

Cat leered "Yeah, well I never said I didn't think she was gorgeous.  I just said I don't have a chance."

Jay looked over at the blonde standing by the wall "You never know, stranger things have happened."  The little redhead smiled to herself. 'With the electricity between those two, they'll be a couple within the month.  It's about time too, Cat's been needing this for a long time.'

Cat finished making their drinks and grabbed a couple of napkins "I'll see you later tonight.  We're going to go say hi to Carrie then hit the dance floor.  I'll be sure to find you to say good bye before we leave."

The bartender nodded while twisting the cap off a beer bottle "Well you give your gorgeous, cute ass little friend a kiss from me and tell her I'm glad to have met her."

Cat just blushed and walked back over to Julie with their drinks.  "Here we are, one virgin strawberry daiquiri for me and one 'Sex on the Beach' for you."  She grinned "I hope you like it, it's one of my specialties."

The little blonde looked at her blushing friend and said "I'll bet it is."  This only caused the woman to blush more.

Cat grimaced 'I can't believe I'm blushing.  Shit! I'm gonna kill Jay next time I get over there for dinner.'  She nudged Julie's shoulder "Come on, I'll take you to meet Carrie."

Julie could tell where the office was before Cat even led the way.  It had to be the room that was built directly above the bathrooms. There was a large one-way window that looked out over the entire inside of the warehouse.  It was also the only second story structure in the building.  Julie followed the taller woman up a set of stairs and stood quietly while she knocked on the door.  When it opened Julie saw a stunning woman a little taller than herself wearing black dress pants and a white silk shirt.  She had light coffee colored skin and long black hair.  Julie was drawn to the woman's exotically slanted eyes that were so dark brown they looked black.  When the woman saw Cat she broke into a breath-taking smile and pulled her into a hug.  "Cat!  It's so good to see you.  You must have been pretty busy to stay away for so long.  You haven't even made it over for dinner lately."  She stepped out of the way and waved them in "Come in and have a seat."  She looked at Julie "Shame on you Cat.  You didn't introduce me to your friend."  She held her hand out and said, "Hello, I'm Carrie, part owner of this fine establishment and full-time paper pusher."

Julie laughed at the way this amazing woman just took over, and shook her hand "Hi, my name's Julie..." She glanced at a slightly chagrined Cat "I'm one of her strays."

Carrie laughed, "I take it you two have already seen Jay?"

Cat finally spoke up "Yeah, we talked with her for a little bit downstairs."  She frowned and said, "If you would have given me a minute I would have introduced you, you know that."

Carrie laughed again, low and musical. "I know, but it's so much more fun to ruffle your feathers.  You're just too easy sometimes." She turned to Julie "Don't take Jay's words to heart, she likes to tease everyone."

Julie grinned, "Don't worry about me, just seeing the look on Cat's face when she said it was worth a little teasing."

Cat gave both women 'The Look', which didn't seem to faze them one bit "Julie just moved into my apartment building last weekend."  She grinned at the little blonde "I found her a week ago wandering the streets with no place to go so I picked her up in my cab and took her home.  So I guess she would be considered a stray.  She's just lucky I didn't drop her off at the pound."

Carrie laughed and Julie's eyebrows shot up when the joke was turned on her "Hey!  I was just kidding."  She cocked her head to the side and chuckled "Although, you're right.  I think that under that definition I would be a stray.  I guess you better watch out then.  You know what they say, once you feed them you'll never get rid of them."  She gave Cat an evil grin and patted her stomach.

Cat swallowed nervously but recovered well.  "No way!  I've seen what you can eat; feeding you once was enough.  You'll just have to find a new owner because I wouldn't be able to do it all the time, I'd be broke."

The blonde laughed and swatted her arm "You're so funny!  Anyway, I don't eat like that all the time, only when I'm hungry or trying to win a bet.  You never stood a chance tonight, I had a bad case of both going on."

Carrie watched the two women banter with a little smile on her face.  When Cat saw the smile she knew exactly what she was thinking.  She gave her a little shake of the head.  When Carrie saw the taller woman shake her head 'no' her eyebrows rose in surprise.  'What does she mean 'no'.  This woman is perfect for her; I wonder why they're not an item.  Hmm, unless she doesn't know Cat's...'

Julie, still chattering away, missed the entire silent exchange.  "So how long have you known Cat?"

Carrie, interrupted in her mental speculation, answered her "For about nine years now, wouldn't you say Cat?"

The taller woman nodded "Yeah, we met in college."

The nightclub owner went on "She practically saved mine and Jay's lives."

"I did not!"  Cat protested.

"Don't listen to her Julie, she did too.  She's just too modest to admit it."

Julie was curious now "So what did she do?"

Carrie smiled and launched into her tale "Well, one night when Jay and I were walking back to our dorm, we were attacked.  You see there was a small faction of 'God's Messengers' that attended the school."  At the blonde's confused look she explained, "God's Messengers are a small religious group that is very extremist.  They're abusive towards other races, religions, and sexual orientations.  There had been a few other attacks on campus but they all wore masks so no suspects could be identified.  Anyway, it was no secret that Jay and I were together but we thought we would be safe as long as we never walked alone at night.  We were wrong.  They must have thought that two helpless 'Dykes' out walking alone were too good of an opportunity to pass up."

Throughout the story so far, Cat had been watching Julie's reactions very carefully.  When Carrie mentioned her and Jay's couple status the little blonde's eyebrows rose but other than that she seemed to have no other reaction to the news.  'Hmm... This is a good sign.'

The whole time she was telling her story Carrie was watching Cat out of the corner of her eye. 'That's what I thought.  She hasn't told her, and now she's safely testing the waters.  Oh Cat you are so blind sometimes.  It's obvious this woman wouldn't care; she seems to have a good head on her shoulders and a good heart.'  She took a breath and continued with her tale.  "We were walking behind one of the dorms where the lights didn't quite reach when they surrounded us.  There were six of them and at first they were only laughing and calling us names.  I was terrified but Jay kept her cool.  She took my hand and attempted to force her way through the group only to be roughly pushed to the ground.  One of them grabbed me and told her exactly what they were going to do to me.  They said that after they made her watch, they were going to do the same thing to her."  Carrie's face darkened with the bad memories "That's when she went berserk.  She may be small but she can turn into a little tornado, especially if someone sets off that redheaded temper.  She kicked one in the groin and punched two others before they finally got control of her.  Two held me while the other four beat her to the ground.  I was scared when I saw that she wasn't moving.  I began screaming even louder and started kicking and scratching the two men that were holding me.  It was then that Cat showed up.  She had heard my screams and the laughing men and decided to investigate.  She was amazing.  She practically flew into the group of men around Jay.  Her first flying kick knocked one man out cold and a roundhouse sent another one right after him.  One of the men holding me went to help his buddies so I stomped on the remaining one's instep and elbowed him in his solar plexus.  When he doubled over in pain, I kicked him in the head."  She chuckled dryly "I guess my self defense lessons finally paid off.  Any ways, after that I ran over to see if Jay was all right.  She was unconscious but still breathing so I sat down and cradled her and watched our savior at work.  It was obvious she didn't need any help; I figured we could call campus police when the thugs were taken care of.  I didn't want to leave Jay alone as long as any of the men were still standing.  So there I was sitting on the ground while a few feet away Cat was making short work of our attackers.  After she had one more on the ground with a broken arm and another one knocked unconscious, the last two took off.  One was limping and the other was cradling his broken hand.  She made sure we were all right then went and called and ambulance and campus police for us.  Jay ended up with a concussion and two broken ribs but it would have been much worse if it weren't for our tall avenger.  We've been friends ever since then."

Julie looked over at Cat "Wow, you really are a life saver aren't you?  That's an amazing story!  Did they ever find the two that ran off?"

Cat was able to answer even though she was embarrassed by the story "Yeah, they were pretty easy to track down.  Not only did they both check into the emergency room with their injuries but their buddies turned in their names to the campus police."

Julie nodded "Good.  People shouldn't get away with spreading their close-minded ignorance through violence."  She looked at Carrie in sympathy "I'm glad everything turned out ok.  It must be hard enough dealing with verbal abuse, you shouldn't have to put up with physical attacks too."  She turned to Cat "Is that what Jay meant when she said that they owe you everything?"

Cat shifted uncomfortably "Uhh, no.  She was talking about the club.  I, uhh... helped them get started out in the beginning."

Carrie spoke up "She's the best friend anyone could ask for.  She believed in us when nobody else would and loaned us the money for the club when we were turned down by all the banks."

Julie's eyebrows shot up and she looked at her tall friend 'She's just full of surprises.' "Really?  I thought you were a cabby!"

Cat laughed nervously "Well, see that's just one of those many skills I mentioned.  I just do that part time, I like the people I meet."  She smiled at the little blonde.  "I also own the cab company, a few apartment buildings and I hold stocks in few major corporations.  I guess I dabble in a little bit of everything."

Julie chuckled "I guess my skills are rusty.  I had you pegged for a model or something."

The taller woman blushed "Yeah, well... about ten years ago I, uh... did a few clothing ads..."

Julie laughed "Hah!  I was right." She pumped her fist in the air  "Yes, my skills have been redeemed!"

Carrie laughed at the blonde's antics and Cat laughed along with her, no longer worried about Julie's reaction to the whole 'gay' issue and to the fact that she was considerably wealthy.

Cat stood up and said, "Well Carrie, as much as I'm enjoying the visit we came to do some dancing.  I think I need to 'fetch' Julie another drink too.  Besides I don't want you filling her head full of any more stories about me; she might end up thinking I'm a decent person or something."

Carrie laughed, "She doesn't need my stories to tell that you're a decent person."  She gave her a quick hug "You better call me and give me a time when you can come to dinner.  It's been too long!" She turned to Julie and said, "You're invited too.  Any friend of Cat's is a friend of ours.  Anybody that can put up with her sense of humor has got to be something special."  She gave the blushing blonde a quick hug and said "It was really nice to meet you, I do hope you'll make it over for dinner sometime."

Julie was touched by this caring woman "Thank you, it was really nice to meet you too.  Maybe I will take you up on that offer of dinner."  She turned to Cat "I'll go get our drinks while you say good-bye."  She grinned, "You can 'fetch' the next ones." She then turned and walked out the door.

Cat shook her head and laughed at the retreating blonde.  Carrie looked at her curiously "She's really something isn't she?"

Cat nodded and said quietly "Yeah, she is."

Carrie looked at her closely "You like her, don't you?"  When Cat nodded again she said, "You haven't told her you're gay have you?"

Cat looked away and said "No, but I will."

"Good.  I don't think you should be worried though, I think you might even be surprised."

Cat looked back at her and narrowed her eyes "What's that supposed to mean?'

Carrie gave her a mysterious smile "Oh, I don't know.  I just think there's more there than what you see."  When Cat started to protest she said, "Look, I don't care what her history is.  It's the future I'm talking about, where nothing is set in stone and everything is subject to change.  It's time for you to stop running away from your emotions.  Learn to take a chance, you might like the results."

The taller woman frowned "I don't think I can do that.  I don't want to end up as one of those fools who have had their heart broken by a straight girl.  Besides, I'm not looking for love.  I gave up on that a long time ago."

Carrie gave her a serious look "Well my friend, then you'll never be one of those fools in love either.  Because if you don't take a chance you'll never find it, and believe me, everyone should find it."  She hugged Cat again and said, "Take care of yourself."  Then swatted her on the arm "Now get down there and do some dancing.  After all that's what this place is for!"

Cat smiled and said, "Yes ma'am!" then walked out of the office.
 
 

     When Cat got to the bottom of the stairs Julie was just walking back from the bar with their drinks.  "Wow, this place is a mad house.  They've got three bartenders back there and I still had to wait five minutes for our drinks."

Cat took her drink and looked over at the bar where her friend and two others were busy serving customers and taking care of the waitress' orders.  "It's definitely the busiest I've ever seen it."  She turned to Julie and said "So, are you ready for some dancing yet?"

"Am I ever!"  Laughing, she found a place to set their drinks and pulled Cat out onto the dance floor.  After that the night passed by in a blur as the two friends had a good time and enjoyed each other's company.
 

     Four o'clock in the morning found a sober Cat helping a very drunk Julie into her apartment.  Once inside she helped the smaller woman over to her couch and took a seat on the edge of the chair.  She looked at her inebriated friend and said, "Are you going to be ok?"

Julie giggled and said, "Yup, I'll be just fine... as soon as the room stops spinning."

Cat winced "You're not going to be sick are you?"

Julie giggled again "Noooo, I'm not gonna be sick.  I've got an iron stomach."  She patted her stomach for emphasis.  "Why, you worried I'm gonna throw up on the floor of your nice apartment building.  I mean, after all, this is one of your buildings right?"

Cat winced again 'Shit, I knew this was going to come up sometime.  I just wish it wasn't now.'  She took a deep breath, "Yeah, this is one of my buildings, but I'm not worried about the floor, I'm worried about you."

Julie moved over to the end of the couch closest to Cat and swatted her on the arm "I know, you goof!  I was just jokin' with you.  Hey, I just realized something."  She chuckled "It's no wonder you said you were good friends with the owner.  I guess if you didn't have enough pull to get me an apartment, no one did."

Cat laughed along with her when she realized that the little blonde wasn't going to make an issue out of it.  "Yeah, being the owner has its perks."  However Julie's next question knocked her for a loop.

The blonde cocked her head to the side and said "So are you gay too?"  When she saw Cat blanch and swallow hard she went on "It's just that... well, you've never said anything but after meeting your friends, I kinda wondered.  I mean, your friends are great, and I don't have a problem with anyone being gay.  I just thought I should let you know."  She smiled at the taller woman to show that she meant her words.

Cat wiped her sweaty hands on her jeans, relieved at her friend's words.  She took a calming breath and said, "I'm glad you said that.  I was nervous because I really wanted to be your friend but I wasn't sure if you would accept me for who I am.  To answer your question, yes, I'm gay."

Julie smiled and patted her leg "It's ok, I really don't care at all.  I don't like labels.  I see you for the good friend you are and nothing else matters."

Cat smiled back at her "Thanks Julie, you don't know how much that means to me."  She glanced at her watch and saw that it was four thirty in the morning. "Come on, you need to go to bed."  As she helped the little blonde up and to her bedroom she said, "Make sure you drink plenty of fluids tomorrow, or should I say later today?  You drank a lot of alcohol; you're certain to be dehydrated.  And if you have any problems let me know, I know a good hangover remedy.  I'll leave my number by the phone so you can call, all right?"

Julie chuckled "Yes mom!  And don't worry, I never get hangovers."  At Cat's raised eyebrow she added, "Well, I only get them if I drink beer.  I can't stand the stuff so I don't have anything to worry about.  But I'll call you later to let you know I'm ok if it will make you feel better.  Right now I've got to sleep."

"Yes, it will make me feel better."  She looked at the blonde who was lying on the bed with her eyes closed.  She was still wearing her jeans and long sleeved shirt. "Uh... do you want me to get you a night shirt or something?  You're probably not going to be comfortable sleeping like that."

The little blonde laughed, her eyes still closed. "I don't think you want to see me in my night clothes."

Cat raised her eyebrow "Come on, they can't be that bad.  What is it, Garfield or something?  I promise not to tell."

Julie smirked "Well, truthfully, I've never had any complaints but then not many people get to see me naked either."  When she opened her eyes and saw her friend blushing, she couldn't resist adding, "I guess you can say the only thing I wear to bed is the little tattoo that's above my right..."

Cat thought 'Shit!  She's trying to kill me!' She interrupted her before she could continue "That's, uh... quite alright, I, umm, don't really need to know.  I'll just leave and let you get ready for bed."  She swallowed and licked her lips with a dry tongue then quickly turned and headed out of the room.  As she was walking away she threw over her shoulder "I'll lock the door on my way out."

Cat had said everything so fast, Julie barely had time to register that she was gone.  She had to stifle her laughter in her pillow.  'Jeez, she is so easy to fluster sometimes.'  A little voice inside her head said 'What would have I done if she had stuck around?'  Julie groaned to herself 'Damn, I better not go there.  Must be the alcohol causing my brain to wander tonight.'  She yawned and before she could form another thought, drifted off to sleep.  She was too drunk and tired to get undressed let alone consider the revelations of her night out.
 
 

     Julie found herself awake seven hours later.  The clock said eleven thirty and her tongue felt thick and fuzzy.  She grimaced at the taste 'First things first, toilet then toothbrush.  Then maybe a shower and some lunch.' Her stomach growled and she laughed at herself. 'Ok, lunch then a shower.' Still chuckling, she walked into the bathroom and began her day, happier than she had been in a long time.
 
 

    Cat's day wasn't going quite as well.  She finally gave up on a good night's sleep, after lying in bed tossing and turning for a few hours, and went into her gym.  After completing five circuits on every piece of equipment she owned, she was still full of restless energy.  Their night out went better than she had thought it would, and she was relieved that Julie didn't seem to mind the fact that she was wealthy and gay.  There was still something nagging her subconscious though.  It was this unknown something that had cost her a good night's sleep.  As she headed for the shower, she sighed in frustration.  薦verything seems to be perfect, so what the hell is my problem?'  She realized that her night out with Julie was more fun than she had enjoyed in a long time.  As she showered she tried to think of why last night was so special.  糎e had a great dinner, I got to see old friends, and the dancing was really fun.'  After going over her small list it suddenly hit her what she enjoyed the most.  She realized it was all about Julie; she truly enjoyed spending time with her.  選 guess Carrie was right when she said she really is something.  The more I think about her the more I want to spend all my time with her.  It's like I'm obsessed or something. She is so beautiful; when I look into her eyes and see liquid pools of green, I feel touched by her soul.'  Cat closed her eyes and sighed.  選 love the way she smiles and the sound of her laughter.'  She suddenly had a thought that opened her eyes wide with panic.  糎hat am I going to do?  It's hard enough being attracted to her, knowing that she's straight.  When she starts teasing me like she did last night, it takes all my will power to remember that she's my friend.'  She thought about Julie's actions the night before.  選 thought she was going to kill me!  She didn't even know what she was doing, she was so drunk she couldn't see straight.'  The tall woman pictured Julie nude, wearing only a tattoo, and shivered.  前h god, what if I do something stupid?  How do I keep myself from crossing the line of friendship?  Every time I see her I want to taste her lips.  I want to hold her and never let go.'  Cat was overwhelmed by the unfamiliar emotions that were bombarding her.  選 gave up on finding true love a long time ago.  I faced the fact that I would never find that special someone, so why am I looking now?'  She pictured Julie's emerald green eyes shining back at her with affection and suddenly she knew why.  選 want everything she can give me; I want to give her everything.  We fit so well together that it's almost like she holds part of my soul.' The tall woman closed her eyes and took a deep breath.  Her next thoughts were colored with awe and amazement. 選... I think I love her.'

     Julie decided to take a shower before she ate, the need to feel refreshed after falling asleep in her clothes, overruling her complaining stomach for once. She thought about the night before and realized how much fun she had with her tall friend.  選 loved spending time with her, and her friends were really nice too.  The more I learn about her, the more I to want to know.'  She bit her bottom lip and remembered her actions when Cat had brought her back to her apartment.  全hit, what am I going to do?  There's no way she could miss that I was flirting with her.  I don't even know what I was thinking; the last thing I want to do right now is jump into another relationship, especially one with so many potential complications.  Not to mention the fact that I'm only now dealing with the desires I've kept hidden all these years.'  She hadn't told anyone her discoveries about her sexuality yet.  No one she knew would understand, especially her family.  禅he bad thing is, she probably thinks I'm a straight girl playing at her game, but I'm not.'  She felt a connection to the dark haired woman that she'd never felt with anyone else.  She remembered the intense feeling when she shook the taller woman's hand and the jealousy she felt towards the bouncer.  Now that she'd had time to think about things she started make some sense of the feelings she had toward her friend.  選 know I'm attracted but there is so much more to it than that.  I've never felt this intensely about anyone before, including Ben, and I was with him for six years.  Is this what being in love feels like?'  She shook her head in confusion. 銑ike I would know, I've never been in love before.  I'm so clueless, I don't know what to do.'  The deep bond she felt really scared her and she thought about the consequences. 選'm so drawn to her both mentally and physically, how can I keep from crossing the line between friendship and something more?'  She ran her hand through her hair and sighed 選 can't afford to lose the only friend I seem to have left.  I'll just have to take things very carefully from here on out.  I'll try to keep things casual and light.' She sighed again, 塑eah, right!'  She went to eat her breakfast with thoughts of Cat, her family and her friends tumbling worriedly through her head.
 

     Julie had just finished rinsing her cereal bowl when the phone rang.  She quickly dried her hands and answered it. "Hello."

A warm contralto voice was on the other end "So, how do you feel?"

Julie laughed, "Oh, I'm fine.  As a matter of fact, I just finished breakfast.  I told you last night I didn't get hangovers."

Cat chuckled on the other end "Yeah, I know, but you were pretty far gone last night.  I wasn't sure how much of what came out of your mouth was serious."

The blonde made a face the other woman couldn't see and groaned, "Uh, I'm really sorry about that.  I didn't mean to get wasted, I guess you were too handy with the drinks."

Cat replied, "Yeah, well I should have slowed down when I realized how many drinks I'd brought you.  It wasn't my intention to get you drunk."

Julie laughed again "Don't worry about it, you were a perfect lady.  You escorted me home when I was drunk as a skunk and didn't even take advantage of me.  That's something in my book."

Cat's eyes widened and she swallowed hard "Julie! I would never do that, you're my friend."

The blonde giggled "Cat, relax, I'm just kidding.  I know you wouldn't, jeez." She paused then said, "So how are you feeling?  You sound kind of tired."

Cat sighed "Yeah, I didn't sleep very well last night then I spent a couple hours working out in my gym.  I guess it's catching up with me now."

Julie's voice came over the phone concerned "You should try to get some sleep.  If you wear your body down too much you'll get sick and I wouldn't want that.  I think you're the only friend I've got left since I moved." She paused and took a deep breath "I've got enough to worry about right now, I don't want to have to worry about you too."

Cat reassured her "You don't have to worry about me, I never get sick.  I'll just catch up on my sleep tonight.  You seem down in the dumps too; what's bothering you so much?" She paused, "Do you want me to come down there?  You know if you ever need to talk, I'm here for you."  She added silently 'I'll always be here for you.'

Julie took a shuddering breath; the previous week combined with the day's thoughts suddenly hit her all at once.  "It's just..." Her breath caught and her next words came out in a sob "Oh god Cat, everyone hates me!  My family, my friends..."

When she heard the little blonde break down over the phone she knew she had to see her.  "Shh, it's all right.  You sit tight; I'll be right down.  Ok?"

Julie had calmed herself enough to answer "Kay."

Cat hung up the phone, grabbed her keys and headed out the door to Julie's apartment.  The door was opened on the third knock when she got there.  When she saw Julie's red-rimmed eyes and tear stained face her heart cried out for her to hold her, but her head told her to take things slow.  She compromised by taking the little blonde's hand and leading her over to the couch.  When they both sat down she said, "Are you ok?"

Julie bit her bottom lip and nodded. "Yeah, I am now.  Sometimes... I just get this feeling like I'm all alone.  I mean... I just turned my life upside down.  I threw the last six years of my life away and now I feel empty."

Cat reached out tentatively and put a hand on her shoulder.  Her eyes were full of compassion "It's understandable that you feel like that, it was a hard decision.  You didn't really throw everything away though; it's still right there inside you.  It will always be a part of who you are, of who you will be.  But it was only a stepping stone to your future and now you're moving on."

Green eyes filled with tears "But everyone hates me!  I let everybody down, Ben, my family, my friends...I... I have no one.  I'm all alone and I don't think I can handle it."  When she looked up into deep blue eyes, the concern she saw caused her to break into sobs once again.

When Cat saw her start to sob she did the only thing she could think of, she drew the little blonde into her arms and held her close.  "Shh, it's ok.  Everything is going to be all right." She spoke calm reassurances while rocking her and stroking her hair.  "Let it all out, I'm here for you." She continued to hold her for a while, letting her get it all out of her system.  When Julie started to calm down she gently lifted her face and wiped her tears away with the tips of her fingers.  "You're not alone Julie.  I'm still your friend and I'm not going anywhere.  I'll always be here for you."

When Julie looked up she got lost in a pair of sapphire blue eyes.  She was suddenly aware of the feel of Cat's hands on her face, the heat radiating off her body and the unique scent of her.  She felt warm and safe and something else that she had only just begun to realize.  When she was finally able to tear herself away from Cat's gaze, her eyes fell and locked slightly lower on her mouth.  The sight of those full red lips caused her to lick her own and her thoughts ran in circles. 'What am I doing?  She's my friend and she's trying to help.  I can't be drawn to her like this; it would ruin our friendship.  I can't afford to lose the only friend I've got left.  What am I doing?'  She continued to stare, the electric tension holding her motionless.

Cat was caught in the shorter woman's piercing stare.  She was aware of the closeness of their bodies and thought 'Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.'  As the blonde shifted her gaze to her lips Cat flushed and her palms started to sweat.  "Oh shit!  What's she doing?  I have to have control; we're just friends.  She doesn't know what she wants right now so I have to be the strong one.  Oh god, what's she doing?'  When she saw her friend lick her lips she felt a flash of heat shoot straight to her center and she released the faintest of moans.  She was held motionless by love and desire.

When Julie heard the faint moan she flushed with desire. 'Oh god, what's happening to me?'  She found herself drawn against her discretion towards the objects of her gaze.  As she slowly leaned forward the taller woman didn't move and inch.  Both women were holding their breaths, and after what seemed like an eternity, their lips met.  The kiss started out soft and slow, almost hesitant and as both women relaxed it deepened into a sweet exploration.  Surprisingly enough it was Julie who first sought entry into the other woman's mouth, her tongue caressing along the taller woman's bottom lip.  When lips parted and their tongues met, both women moaned out their pleasure.  Hands were suddenly caressing and breaths were fewer and far between.  When they finally parted, their faces were flushed and two sets of eyes were dark with desire.  The mood was broken when Cat saw the tear tracks from earlier on the little blonde's face.  She panicked as her conscience suddenly took over 'Shit!  What am I doing?  I'm taking advantage of her, we can't do this!'  She slowly pulled away, causing her heart to cry out in pain.  When she saw Julie's look of confusion she tried to explain.  "Look, I'm really sorry.  I shouldn't have done that.  I mean I'm taking advantage of you.  You're upset and you don't really know what you want right now.  You're just looking to feel a connection with someo..." A soft pair of fingertips stopped her words.

Julie smiled tenderly "I think I know what I want better than anyone else.  And you're not taking advantage, I kissed you, remember?"  She took the taller woman's hands.  "Cat, I'm not as straight as you think I am."

"But you..." Cat tried to interrupt but the little blonde cut her off.

"It's true that I've never been with another woman before but that doesn't mean I haven't wanted to."  She paused to gauge Cat's reaction then went on.  "I've been doing a lot of soul searching over the course of the last year and I've learned quite a bit about myself.  I've realized some things that I had always kept hidden - even from myself."  Julie sighed, "I guess I have always been drawn to women but I never understood what that meant until a few months ago.  When I think about it, I was really naïve.   When I finally came to terms with my feelings, I knew that the life I was living was a sham.  I'd been living a lie and that's one of the main reasons I broke off my relationship with Ben.  So you see, I really do know what I'm doing."

Cat's heart was racing; she was in a state of disbelief "Is this real?"

Julie nodded and said softly "I sure hope so."

Cat took a deep breath and let it out. "I don't know what you're looking for Julie, but I don't want to be an experiment."  She closed her eyes and went on "I... I, uh, really care about you and I don't think I could handle being just a one night stand."  When she opened her eyes she saw verdant pools shining back at her full of warm affection and the sight lightened her heart.

Julie squeezed the taller woman's hand and said "Cat, I care about you too.  I can't promise you forever, but I can promise that I will follow wherever this leads us, to the end.  This isn't an experiment and I don't do one-night stands.  You don't have to be afraid."

Cat looked at her love, her eyes were bright with unshed tears. "I'm not afraid, not anymore.  We can explore this together and we'll both go where it takes us."

Julie smiled "Together we go then." and leaned in for another kiss.
 

The End
9/24/00
 

Any comments, questions, gripes or suggestions can be sent to nikita@netonecom.net.  I hope everyone enjoyed this little piece.  I was actually thinking about ending it here.  Although I do have a few ideas for more about Julie and Cat, I don't seem to have the time to work on my other stories anymore.  (The bards are so ravenous and I hate to disappoint!)  I guess it will be up to my fans to decide what I should do.  I could continue with this series or work on some new stuff.  I suppose I could always alternate between the two.  (Decisions, decisions...) Lol

Kelly
 
 


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