Disclaimers – See Part 1
(Thanks to everyone for the nice feedback!)
Part 6 —
A couple of weeks later, on a Sunday night, Karen came back from spending a weekend in Boston . She had gone there on a business trip, but stayed over the weakened to visit friends from her college days. When she got home, she called Addy. It was the usual ‘I'm home' call she made every time she returned from a trip. Addy was her anchor, and she needed to report to her.
Karen didn't really have a family. All she had dear to her heart was Addy. Karen's parents had passed away and she had no siblings. She had family in Scotland , but they were distant from her in more than one way. First, they didn't stay in touch, so she had lost that feeling of closeness. Second, she had never gotten along with them. She always felt like the odd one in the family. She recognized that she was not your typical person, but did they always have to criticize everything about her? What about her many accomplishments? Didn't that account for something? The truth was that she left Scotland because she wanted to get away from all of them, and she did.
Addy was the only person she felt cared for her. Sometimes Karen called her while being away. Whenever she had a problem, or needed advice or moral support, or just needed to chat, it was Addy who she called. Addy always had a solution, an answer, a suggestion, or a recommendation, and she was always supportive and loving. Karen always tried hard not to call Addy when she was away. After all her reason for going away was to take a break from her ‘Addy addiction' and to have some fun, and with some luck, get laid.
When on the phone, Addy mentioned that she wasn't feeling well. Her throat was soar, she had a headache and her body ached.
“Drink lots of liquids and take it easy today, maybe tomorrow you'll feel better. I got you a couple of things in NY. I'll bring them over tomorrow. Do you need anything? I mean, if you are not feeling well and I can do something for you, let me know.”
“Nah, I'll be fine. I'll see you tomorrow at the office.”
The following morning, around ten Karen went to Addy's office. It was dark. Julie, Addy's administrative assistant was there. “Where's Addy?” “She called in sick. She said she might have the flu, or something and not to expect her in tomorrow either.”
Karen immediately pulled out her cell phone and press Addy's speed dial key, as she walked back to her office.
Addy answered, on the first ring as usual. “Hello?”
“Addy, what's wrong?”
“I think I'm dying, Ker.” Addy was good at adding drama to the scene.
“What do you feel? What are your symptoms?” Karen was more pragmatic.
Addy told her and it didn't sound good.
“Is anyone there with you?” Karen knew how little empathy Luke had for people.
“Luke is here, but he is leaving on a week long business trip.”
“Can I talk to him?”
“Ker, I don't know where he is, and I don't have the strength to get up to look for him. Why?”
“Never mind. If I come over will you be able to open the door?”
“Maybe, but Luke doesn't leave until noon, so he will be here.”
“Okay, I'm on my way.” Karen didn't care that she had tons of work waiting for her on her desk. All she could think about was getting to her Addy.
Thirty minutes later, Karen was ringing the doorbell. “Where is she? What's wrong with her?
“She's upstairs and she's got some sort of virus.” She saw his suitcase and thought that he must be waiting for a taxi to take him to the airport. She pretended she didn't know he was leaving.
“Are you going somewhere?”
“Yes, I have a work trip. I'm waiting for my taxi.”
“What about Addy? Who's going to take care of her? Can't you postpone your trip?
“No, I can't. This trip has been planned for months and it's a very important meeting.” The front door was still open and they saw when the taxi arrived. “She can call her mother and have her stay here with her, or maybe you can stay, I can't. I got to go.” That said, he left and closed the door behind him. Son of a bitch! Initially she had disliked him, but now she just couldn't stand the sight of him! How could he leave when she's so sick?!
The minute Luke left, Karen went upstairs. She went up the steps two by two. She couldn't get there fast enough. She was hoping Addy wouldn't notice the anger she felt at Luke. On the other hand, the better for her that he was out of the picture, and for a whole week! She'd have Addy all to herself. She'd take care of her.
“Helloooo? Are you presentable?”
The minute brown eyes saw her, they lit up. “Hi. What do you mean with that question? I'm always presentable!”
Karen smiled. Addy looked so sick, yet she still had her humor and that sweet, adorable child like smile. “How are you feeling?”
“I've been better. Thanks for coming…..I..”
Karen interrupted her. “You are welcome, baby.” She came closer, sat on the bed and hugged her. Addy was also seating on the bed wearing a pink t-shirt. Her hardened nipples were very noticeable under the t-shirt. Karen avoided looking in that direction, but had trouble. Oh, God!
Addy closed her eyes and buried her face in Karen's shoulder. It always felt so warm when Karen hugged her. “You are burning up in fever, sweetie, have you taken anything?”
“How long ago?”
“About half an hour ago.” I'll give it another thirty minutes if the fever doesn't come down we are going to the ER.”
“Ker…” Addy pouted.
Karen caressed her cheek and kissed her forehead. “Sssssh. I'm taking care of you and that's that. I'm not going to leave you. I'm staying right here until you are 100 %. Is that clear?” Addy's eyes misted as she nodded and hugged Karen.
She pulled away. “Dios mio, Ker, I don't want you to catch this!” Karen smiled.
“Addy, I'm not worried about that. If I catch this thing, I know you'll take care of me.” I'd stay here with you, even if you had the bubonic plague!
“I hit the lottery when I met you. Someone must like me up there!” Karen grinned.
Someone likes you here too!
Karen stayed over for the next few nights. She'd gone back to the office to pick up her work and gave instructions to be contacted on her cell if she was needed for anything. She explained to Maggie and Julie the situation with Addy and left. Karen busied herself working while Addy was asleep. Karen also brought with her some of Addy's pending work. There were some matters with close deadlines. She'd take care of that too.
Karen slept on a recliner chair next to Addy's bed. She refused to lie on the bed. It was Luke's side of the bed and she hated the idea that he slept there and not her. She would have laid down in any other bed with Addy, but not on that one.
The fever wouldn't come down so Karen took her to the ER, just to be on the safe side. The test ruled out bacterial infection. She was diagnosed with a virus and sent home. Karen cooked for her, gave her whatever medication needed, placed ice packs on her head whenever she was too warm, and helped her to the bathroom. “Maybe you should take a shower, Addy, it might help you feel better and it might also help bring the fever down.”
“Do I smell?”
“No!” Karen laughed, she knew Addy was joking.
“You always smell good, Addy, you know I'm always telling you that!”
“I know…. that's why you made me worry now. I really don't have the strength to stand in the shower, Ker.”
“What if I run you a bath and you get in?”
“If you think it would help I'll do it.”
Karen prepared everything and helped Addy out of bed and into the bathroom.
“I'll be out here if you need me. Let me know when you are in the tub and I'll come and check on you, Okay?”
Karen stood next to the door. When Addy said it was okay to come in, she did. She brought in a clean long t-shirt and a pair of panties. Addy looked so cute in the tub, in the midst of all the bubbles. Karen set the clean garments on the towel rack and picked up the dirty ones to take them to the hamper outside. Before she put them in the hamper, she inhaled them. She could smell Addy's scent. Oh God, Karen fell ashamed of having done such a thing, but…she couldn't help herself, the woman's scent was intoxicating!
Karen waited outside the bathroom going over an appeal brief due in court the next week. All of a sudden she realized that time had passed and that things were too quiet in the bathroom. She called for Addy. “You okay in there?” No reply. She called again and again, when she got no answer, she timidly opened the door and went inside. Addy had fallen asleep. This was not a good idea, now what do I do? She has to get out of that tub.
Karen knelt on the floor next to the tub and touched Addy's shoulder “Addy, honey, wake up.”
Addy woke up startled, she was feverish and confused. She attempted to seat up, but Karen held her by the shoulders. She didn't want to see Addy's nude body, not with her all passed out like this! In spite of her attempt to hold her inside the tub, when Addy woke up startled by Karen's call, she jumped up. Her breasts rose above the water level. Karen felt like she had been kicked in the gut when she saw those beautiful full breasts and those gorgeous nipples surface over the water level. They were magnificent! Lord have mercy!
Karen pushed her down to keep her under the water and avoided looking in that direction. She didn't have to look to see them, though, the memory was enough. She could feel her own wetness in the fabric of her panties. This was getting to be a little too much. Her body had a life of its own when it came to this woman. She had never had that problem before with anyone. She was always able to control herself. “Sweetie, you fell asleep, you need to come out of the tub, can you do it?”
“Yeah, can you, please, get my robe? It's in the closet. If you get it and hold it for me I'll get out and just dry myself with it.” Karen found the robe and came back.
“How are we going to do this? I don't want to see you naked.” Karen looked a bit anxious. She didn't want to expose herself to a repeat of the earlier vision, as glorious as it was, she was frightened of what her reaction would be.
“I thought you liked to see naked women …what kind of a gay woman are you?” Addy joked. Addy was trying to lighten up the situation.
It didn't work. Karen was genuinely worried about this precarious situation, about not being able to control her feelings. She felt too much, she was afraid it would show. “The kind that doesn't like to see her friends naked. That kind.” Karen was serious and sounded a bit upset. She was worried. Addy looked at her.
“I'm sorry Ker, I was just trying to …”
Karen cut her off. “Never mind. I'll close my eyes and hold the robe open, you get up and put the robe on, when you have the robe on, tell me and I'll help you out.”
“Okay, I'm sorry if you see me naked, I don't mean to make you uncomfortable.”
“I'll live, come on, how's this?” Karen looked so funny and cute holding the robe open with her eyes closed! Karen was trying to move things quick and get it over with.
“It's good, I'm coming up!”
Karen was petrified. Oh, God!
“Okay you can look now.”
Addy wrapped herself with the robe. As soon as Karen heard Addy's okay to look instruction, she put her arms around Addy's waist. Addy leaned back into her and Karen helped her out of the tub.
It felt so good to wrap her arms around this woman! She was soft, and warm, and she smelled so good! In getting hold of her, Karen brought her face into Addy's neck and snuggled into her. She almost came close to kissing her. She had to fight the urge. She was frightened by her own desire.
Addy felt good in Karen's arms. She felt engulfed in a warm, tender cocoon. She felt comfortable, safe, and peaceful. She could have stayed there forever. It was perfect.
Once outside, Addy put her arms in the sleeves and turned around holding on to Karen. Addy felt drained, tired. It was as if the most minimum movement exhausted her.
“Ker, I don't think I'm going to make it to the bed.”
Karen was worried, not only by Addy's words, but also by the fact that she couldn't believe how incredibly good it felt to have this woman in her arms. She was overwhelmed by her concern for Addy and her own feelings.
“Yes, you, will. Come on, I'll help you. Hang on to me, baby, let's get you in bed.”
Karen was practically carrying her to bed. They hardly made it because neither woman was much bigger, or stronger than the other. Karen was just a bit taller and maybe a bit stronger, but Addy was no sack of bones. All her curves were adequately shaped and filled with the right amount of flesh. Addy had a perfect body.
“Is that what you tell all the girls?” Addy joked.
Karen smiled. “Only the ones I really like.”
“I guess I should be flattered. You must be a heart breaker, huh?” She helped Addy get comfortable on the bed and tucked her in.
Karen was absorbed in her task. “What?”
“Are you a heart breaker?”
“Why do you want to know that?” Karen was fixing the pillows and trying to accommodate her on the bed.
“Because you must have dozens of women after you. As gorgeous as you are, I don't understand why someone hasn't snatched you yet.”
Karen sat on the bed next to her. “Maybe I'm picky?”
“If I were gay, would you…?”
“Addy, why are we talking about this? Is there a point here somewhere? Karen was getting nervous with where the conversation was headed.
Addy grimaced. “I was just wondering….. since you‘ve got me in bed, semi-naked and all. Maybe you don't find me attractive.”
Karen chuckled. “I will attribute this conversation to the fact that you are feverish and delirious! No, I will not hit on you…. not because I don't find you attractive, I think you are a very attractive woman, but because I know I don't stand a chance with you. Okay?”
Addy was thoughtful for a moment. “Hum, but you would, if you thought you had a chance?”
Shit, she caught me! She thought that she needed to lighten up the situation. I'll joke about it! She opened her green eyes big. She smiled and got close to Addy. “If I stood a chance, I'd take you in my arms and ravish you every single day for the rest of my life!”
Hooded chocolate eyes looked at her mesmerized. Those green eyes were too close for comfort! Oh God! Those eyes! There was no immediate response from Addy. Just the look. “Hum…I'm going to have to think about that.” Addy closed her eyes, leaving Karen to wonder. What does she have to think about? What's going on in that head?
Karen went to the kitchen got some orange juice and Tylenols. She handed them over to Addy and then she tucked her in. Instinctively, without even thinking about what she was doing, she kissed Addy on the forehead. Addy looked so cute. As Karen was returning to her chair, Addy grabbed her arm.
“Thanks, Ker.” Addy was beginning to doze off. She attempted to kiss Karen on the cheek, but as Karen was not expecting this to happen she turned and Addy ended up kissing her partially on her lips.
Addy closed her eyes, she could hardly keep them open. An almost petrified Karen suddenly turned towards the recliner and stared at the TV screen, as she did she placed her hand on the edge of the bed to get her bearings. It had all been so natural, so unexpected. She could still feel the softness of Addy's lips on hers. She looked back at Addy and to her even greater surprise, found a pair of gorgeous brown eyes looking at her.
Karen was startled and quickly looked away to the TV screen. She felt Addy's hand on hers. Still staring at the TV screen, she couldn't help curling her fingers pressing Addy's fingers between hers. She felt Addy's grip on her hand. Addy's thumb was gently rubbing her hand. Karen closed her eyes, surrendering to the exquisiteness of the warm loving hand. She wanted to kiss it a million times. She wished she could jump in bed with her and kiss her all over, and tell her that she loved her more than life itself. Her thoughts made her teary, she turned her head and dried the tears with her other hand, hoping that Addy hadn't seen her.
Addy liked the way Karen held her hand. It felt good. When Karen woke up, they were still holding hands. She slowly got up and felt Addy's forehead for fever. The fever had broken, she felt cooler now.
Addy woke up sensing the warm hand on her forehead. “Hi.”
“Hi, sweetie, feeling better?”
“Umm, maybe a little.”
Unintentionally, Karen placed her had on Addy's thigh and caressed it over the bed sheets. Karen's hand stroked up and down Addy's thigh. When her hand stopped it massaged the spot where it rested. Addy liked the touch, she was momentarily breathless. Karen was unaware of her hand's motion. Addy continued to look at Karen absorbed by the touch on her thigh. Addy was in a trance. Her breathing picked up a bit and Karen was concerned.
“Are you okay? Care for some food?” Addy didn't respond at first, the feel of Karen's hand overtook her consciousness. Karen was concerned, but unaware of the placement of her hand. It was all so natural. “You okay?” She brought her hand and combed back a strand of Addy's hair. When Karen removed her hand, Addy snapped out of it.
“Yeah. What's on the menu?”
“Let me go down and I'll report back.” As she left, Addy followed her across the room with her eyes until Karen left the room. Oh, God, What is wrong with me? She was not thinking about the fever or the flu.
About two weeks later, Karen was due for an oral argument. It was a rare happening because it was a Supreme Court Case and she was going to argue a complicated financial point. Addy was in her office when she heard the commotion outside. “What's going on?” She asked Julie, her administrative assistant, as she came out of her office to see what was going on. “Karen just came in. She's got that Supreme Court argument today and she looks absolutely stunning. She is going to knock those old men off their seats!”
Sure enough, as Addy approached the main hallway, there she was…three of the younger attorneys were there, two senior attorneys, three of the administrative assistants and three partners everyone surrounding Karen and complimenting her on how great she looked. When Addy saw her, she could not help staring. She looked at her up and down several times! This went unnoticed by all, because people were talking amongst themselves and no one was looking at Addy. No one, except Karen.
Karen saw how Addy looked at her. It was not just a look. It was a very detailed scrutinizing look. She is checking me out! Addy approached the crowd smiling. She didn't say a thing. It was more what she didn't say that said the most. The truth was that Karen could have posed for Vogue at that very moment and would have fitted right in. She was not just stunning, she was beyond stunning. She looked outrageously gorgeous.
Addy came close and smiling brushed a bit of lint from Karen's shoulder, she then tucked a strand of hair behind Karen's ear, slightly brushing the ear with her hand. Karen stiffened. It was fortunate that it was a long sleeve dress and no one saw the goose bumps in Karen's arms when Addy touched her. As Addy retracted her hand, her eyes went to the jade butterfly pin on Karen's black dress. Addy had given it to her for her birthday with the matching jade earrings she was also wearing. Addy got it for her because she thought the color of the jade matched the color of her eyes.
Addy was still silent as her eyes bore into this vision in front of her. There was no need to say anything. The chocolate brown eyes had said more than they wished they had. Karen knew it, she was feeling it. Karen was in a daze as she held Addy's gaze. Karen could care less about what anyone thought, or said, or even if she lost her argument! This moment was worth a million dollars for sure! Karen was visibly nervous and ecstatic at the same time. Addy was nervous too. She knew her eyes were betraying her. Those green eyes were able to crumble any walls she could raise!
All these happened in a span of a few minutes, but for each of them, it seemed as if time had stood still. Addy swallowed and then jokingly said “I agree with Maggie, those old men don't stand a chance today!” Her remark broke the ice, which Addy knew very well how to do. Everyone laughed. The laughter helped Karen hide her nervousness.
“Thanks, we'll see about that!”
Addy pull her aside. “Are you okay?” Crinkled brown eyes still fixed on the green ones. It was such an unsettling look. A look that signaled something, but at the same time was fighting to conceal it.
Karen swallowed hard. “Yeah. I think I've been overwhelmed with compliments, plus I'm a little nervous.”
Addy smiled lovingly and brushed a strand of hair from Karen's face, her fingers barely brushing her face again. Again, Karen was petrified. “Don't be nervous. You'll do fine.” Addy wished she could kiss her and reassure her. Am I crazy? What am I thinking?
Karen was numb. I'm going to pass out if she keeps looking at me that way!
Others gather around Karen. She could still feel the smiling chocolate brown eyes looking at her. As she was leaving, she turned around to pick up her briefcase and felt Addy's presence right behind her. Her stomach tensed. She felt Addy's scent, the warmth of her breath near her ear, and a quiet whisper. “Good luck, baby! I'll call you later.” She could have sworn Addy almost wanted to kiss her. Karen continued to walk. She didn't want to look back. She wasn't sure she'd be able to make it to the door if she saw that face again.
During the following months they went shopping several times with Laurie and had lunches with different members of the staff at work, but they had not been out alone together in a long time. There were several unspoken reasons for avoiding being alone with each other.
First, neither of them wanted to talk about their personal lives. Addy didn't want to know what was happening with Karen's ‘love' life. She was afraid to ask. She didn't wan to know whether Karen was dating or seeing anyone. That conversation would probably come up if they met alone and she wasn't comfortable talking about that with Karen. The thought that Karen would be dating people who didn't care for her, or much worse, the thought that Karen might be sleeping around with people only for sex made her furious. She didn't want to know about that for sure.
For reasons she could not explain, even to herself, Addy couldn't even entertain the thought that there might be someone in Karen's life. So, there was nothing else to talk about amongst themselves other that work and family. Once she was done talking about the kids that would be the end of the conversation because for sure talk about work was a no-no and Addy knew that Karen had no interest in anything related to Luke. Although Karen had never expressed an opinion, either positive or negative, about Luke, Addy was sure that she didn't like him and she only dealt with him when she absolutely had to.
The second reason was because she was concerned about how she felt when she was around Karen. There wasn't a single thing about Karen that she didn't like. That was precisely the problem. The fact that Karen was gay aggravated the matter. She was beginning to wonder if she might have feelings for Karen, and she was scared to death of the answer, or the possibility that Karen might even suspect that she was questioning this fact.
She was absolutely sure about liking Karen, but what troubled her most was the inexplicable attraction she felt for the woman. For God's sake, lately she even had trouble keeping her hands to herself. She felt this need to touch Karen every time she was around her. Not to mention how Karen's touch made her feel! She had engraved in her system the feel of Karen's hand on her thigh when she was sick, or how she felt in Karen's arms when she came out of the tub that one time when she was sick. She also still had a vivid picture in her mind of Karen's breasts when she saw them back when she had that bad experience with that woman, and of how stunning she looked that day she went to the Supreme Court hearing. For that matter of how good she looked any time, because the woman could be wearing rags and still look sexy.
Karen's problems were similar. She loved to hear about the kids and to hang out with them, but she did not like Luke. He was her rival. Granted that Addy was not gay, but she was also taken by this man who certainly didn't deserve her. She thought that he didn't care about her enough and that he did not treat her right.
Not that he was bad or abusive, she would have drawn the line and intervened if that was the case, he was just not right for her. So, she didn't want to see him and she didn't want to hear about him. She did promise herself that she would never bring him down for what he was in Addy's eyes. After all he was the father of her children and she cared too much for her friend to hurt her.
So, whenever Addy complained to her about something he did or said, she kept her mouth shut and her anger and disgust inside and changed the subject as fast as she could. This was probably the reason why Addy suspected that Karen didn't like Luke. For someone who always had something to say about anything, Karen never spoke two words about Luke.
She also feared that Addy would find out that she had feelings for her. She thought that if Addy knew about her feelings that would put a damper on their friendship and, if nothing else she would rather have Addy as a friend than loose her totally. So, she panicked some times when she caught herself looking at Addy in a meeting, or any type of social setting. It also had not escaped her that sometimes she had caught Addy looking at her, but she had brushed it off thinking that she was just staring emptily into space and that she just happened to be in the range of vision.
“Do you want to do lunch on Friday?” She asked as she burst into Addy's office.
“There's a new Thai restaurant a couple of blocks away, do you want to try it?”
“Yes. Can we do 12:30?”
At the restaurant they ordered ant started to talk. Addy started the conversation. “I haven't heard much from you lately. What have you been up to?”
“Well, Jean Paul called me. He is in New York this weekend and wants me to fly there and meet up with him and some friends. So I agreed and I leave tomorrow at 7 pm. I think I'm due for some R&R.”
Addy smiled, but Karen noticed that the smile was not too convincing. She sensed that Addy was not too happy about this escapade. Probably because she knew that whenever she had done that in the past, it had been with the purpose of meeting women and doing her thing up there.
The food came and they changed the topic of conversation. Karen noticed that Addy had deliberately not inquired about the details of the trip and that the Addy was kind of quiet throughout lunch.
“Is anything wrong?”
Addy looked at her very seriously. “No, I've just been thinking a lot lately.”
“What about it?”
“How sometimes we follow a path because it's the one everyone expects us to follow and how it may not necessarily be the right one or the one we wanted or should have chosen.”
“Can you translate that?”
“No. I can't. I was just rambling, don't mind me.” They continued to talk. The conversation changed to their case load and matters going on at the firm. As they walked back, both women were very quiet. Karen knew something was bothering Addy, but she also knew Addy wouldn't tell her. Not yet anyways. When they arrived at the office Addy stopped in front of Karen's office.
“When did you say you were leaving for NY?” Karen realized immediately that the NY trip was still on Addy's mind and that it was probably the reason for her silence. Is that what's bothering her?
“Friday, after work.” Addy just walked away. Why?
A few minutes later, Karen walked back towards Addy's office. She had forgotten to ask Addy about an upcoming deposition on a case. She stopped at the door. Addy had not seen her. She was seating behind her desk, facing the window. She combed her hair back with both hands, a gesture Addy only made when she was very anxious about something. She laced her hands on the back of her head, rested her head on them and leaned on the chair. She was still looking out the window. She looked worried. Karen immediately took cover behind the wall and didn't go inside the office. What is bothering her? Why is she like this?
They weren't able to speak much again until Friday. On Friday, right before quitting time Karen stopped by to say good-bye with her suit case in tow. Addy didn't smile her usual smile.
“Leaving already?” “Yeah.”
“Be careful.” Karen knew exactly what she meant. Karen was sure that Addy had not forgotten that awful incident some time ago. Karen knew that Addy feared for her safety. Somehow, Karen sensed that this NY trip was not making Addy happy. Why is she so worried about me this time?When Karen left, Addy felt a sense of incredible emptiness. I wish you didn't go. Please, be safe!
To be continued in Part 7
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