All or Nothing



Disclaimers: Please be gentle with me as this is my first posted work. All the characters belong to me and me alone. Copyright 1997, 1999. Love/Sex/Language: This is an uber alternative fiction story. It depicts a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under the age of 18 or live in an ignorant state wherein this may in any manner be illegal, please move on. There is bad language that may offend some, but given what is on tv/cable these days, it's probably tame. There's also drinking of alcohol and a tad bit of angst. Feed The Bard: Please let me know if you like my work!


For the next two weeks Alex and Stacy were inseparable: baseball games, dinners, videos and movie theaters. If they didn't spend their free time together, they were on the phone for hours at a time talking about their days at work, their lives, hopes and desires. It was more like two college students in days gone by, taking their time to get to know each other, without immediately performing the "dastardly deed", unlike most relationships either previously experienced. It seemed that there was an unspoken boundary that a "sleep over" was off limits.

Alex remained apprehensive about becoming "involved". She was still concerned that she wasn’t ready for a committed relationship, but yet she savored the time she spent with Stacy. For Stacy, on the other hand, her insecurities fermented as she held her breath waiting for the other shoe to drop and for Alex to withdraw away from their contact. She buried her fears, instead relying on Alex’s continued encouragement and the intensity of her feelings for Alex.

Alex was still a workhorse at the office, but much more relaxed. Even Sally noticed a change in her that didn't pass without comment. Her superiors were also taking notice. Although Alex was very young to be in charge of the legal department, she never received the corporate title of 'vice-president'. When she was offered the position, she agreed to forego the title in exchange for the opportunity to prove herself, with the condition that after one year the corporate brass would review her performance for a promotion and raise. Her year was up in two weeks and she knew her work was being closely scrutinized.

Given her concentration on her work and Stacy, Alex had little time to speak with Ginny, who suspected, but had no idea of the steady progression of Alex and Stacy's relationship. Alex knew that she should make a point to get together with Ginny and Izzy before Ginny killed her. Deciding to save her own life, she picked up the phone and dialed Ginny's direct line.

"Virginia McDougall," Ginny answered.

"Hey there, stranger."

Shocked to finally hear from her friend, Ginny giggled, "My God! She lives! What's happened to you? You fall off the face of the earth?"

"Nope, just been busy. I'm sorry I haven't called, but I didn't hear my phone ringing either. I guess you must've broken your dialing finger as well."

"I figured that you'd call me when you were ready and took care of your primal desires."

Alex coughed and laughed at the same time. "My primal desires still exist, Nosey, and they're none of your business."

"Well, aren't we snippy? So, what are you up to tonight? Want to get together for dinner?"

"Are you going to have another surprise? I don't think I can handle another one."

"I thought you were rather impressed by the last one. Anyway, I promised you I wouldn't and I keep my word."

"I was and still am taken by the last surprise, but I'm glad to hear that it will just be the three of us."

"Two actually. Izzy had to go to San Francisco this morning for business and won't be back until Thursday. I was going to call you later on to see if you wanted to have dinner tomorrow, but tonight's fine."

"Great! I’m looking forward to it! We haven’t spent much time with just the two of us in awhile. It’ll be like old times."

"Yes. You know, even after all of these years, I miss Izzy already and will enjoy the company."

The two chatted for a few minutes, agreeing on the menu, both looking forward to spending time together.

* * *

"Late as usual," Alex thought glancing at the clock on the wall, contemplating whether or not she should start cooking the chicken. Ginny was very professional and competent at work but needed to be told to be places a half hour early so that she'd arrive on time. Accustomed to Ginny's perpetual tardiness, Alex elected to wait, busying herself with other tasks in the kitchen. The doorbell finally rang at 7:20.

"Sorry I'm late, but this time it's legitimate. Izzy called and I had to talk to her because I missed her," Ginny apologized as she walked in carrying two plastic bags. Alex grabbed one of the bags as they walked into the kitchen. "Can I help with anything?"

"Nope, just put away whatever is in the bags and relax. I've got everything under control."

"My bags are full of cerveza and lime. Want a Corona?"

Alex nodded while she heated the wok to cook their dinner. Ginny cut up the limes and handed Alex a beer with a piece of lime, then walked around the kitchen counter to sit on a bar stool.

"How's Izzy doing in San Francisco?"

"Tired. She had an early meeting which apparently may continue until after dinner." Ginny smiled as she watched Alex prepare their dinner. After a minute of silence Alex couldn't take it anymore and grinned in discomfort.

"It's killing you isn't it? You just want every little smutty detail of what's going on in my life, don't you?"

"You bet I do! I created this and I want the satisfaction of knowing what I created."

"A bit of 'Frankenstein', eh? I told you on the phone that there was no primal satisfaction. Didn't you believe me?"

"No. Why should I? I figured it’s been two, no, three weeks since the two of you had dinner at my place, so something has had to happen. I know of no red blooded lesbian who can abstain for that period of time." Ginny saw the sincere look on Alex's face. "Nothing? Or are you not seeing her anymore?" Ginny was confused and concerned that her master plan had blown up.

"I'm still seeing her, and something has happened, but we haven't slept together . . . yet."

"What the hell have you been doing for three weeks?"

"Taking things slowly. Talking a lot and spending a lot of time together. She's a really nice lady and we have a great deal in common. Oh, and she's a great kisser," Alex smiled at the last comment and waited for her friend to try to prod her for more information.

"Well, there's still hope. I still can't believe that you haven't 'done it' yet. What's the problem? More friends than lovers?"

"Not at all. The woman drives me crazy. We have played high school petting. I think we're both scared to be the one to make the first move." Ginny looked at her questioningly. "I can only speculate as to her reasons, but I think I know what they are. "

"Well, what do you think?"

"Remember when we went to the mountains and I was all quiet and reflective?"

"Yes. What happened?"

"I decided that I wanted to take things slowly and that I didn't want to get married right away. So when I saw her a couple of days later, I told her that."

"Oh, Al, I know it probably was the right thing to say to be honest, but knowing Stacy, she's probably walking on eggshells to figure you out. She can be very sensitive at times," Ginny moaned shaking her head.

"It's not that bad, but based on our talks, I think that you’re right. She's as insecure as I am. So I think she's waiting for me to cross the line into a more physical relationship," Alex speculated. Ginny watched her as she placed the tortillas into the microwave and took a drink of her beer.

"Why haven't you made 'the move'?"

"I'm terrified as well."

Ginny raised her eyebrows in response. "What're you so afraid of? I mean, I know you've done such things in your life, so it's not like you've never done it before. After all, your reputation precedes you." Ginny teased.

"Ha, ha. In a sense it has. I was ‘with' Cindy for ten years. Although I had my share of liaisons both before and during that time, I haven't made love with anyone in over a year. I’m a different person now than I was back then. I'm also afraid I won't remember what to do or that I'll make a fool of myself."

"Oh hon. What they say is true, it's like riding a bike. You never forget."

"I know. I've heard that before. But each time I want to, I think about it and I tense up even more. It's a vicious cycle." Alex walked into the dining room with two plates full of food. Ginny opened the refrigerator and retrieved a fresh beer for each of them, carrying them back to the dining room where Alex was already sitting at the dining table.

"Is that just it, or are you afraid of any emotional commitment that might arise once the deed is done?" She picked up her fajita and took a bite.

Pausing to chew her own food, Alex thought of the truth of her friend's comment. "You might be right. I think that may have something to do with it, which is funny. For most of my adult life I've wanted a 'relationship', but every time I'm presented with one, I run. Maybe the physical intimacy would equate to commitment. But that wouldn't account for the sleazy one night stands of my past."

"Yes, but maybe that’s the difference. All you wanted before was the one night stands. Now, deep down, you want more. Do you want to sleep with her?"

"Very much so."

"Do you like her, care for her, love her?"

"I can't say that I love her. I like her very much and I do care for her. What's with the twenty questions?"

"Bear with me for a while. Has she told you or given you any indication as to how she feels about you?"

"She's told me that she likes me. By the way she acts and talks, I know she cares for me."

"Has either of you discussed or actually dated anyone else since you've been seeing each other?"

"Jesus, Gin. I haven't had time to meet anyone else. I don't think she's dated anyone else. I don't know how she could, given the amount of time we spend together."

Taking the last bite of her fajita, Ginny pushed her plate away and sat back to carefully consider what advice she should give to her friend. While Ginny sat thinking, Alex cleared their plates and brought two fresh beers back to the table. Ginny finally spoke when Alex sat.

"Okay, the way I see it, you have three alternatives. The first one is where you sit and wait until she gets horny enough to make the move. You may have to wait awhile unless you give her the right signal. Second, you go back into solitude, but I don't think that's a viable alternative. The final alternative has two scenarios. One is that you have a nice romantic evening together and seduce her. Dinner, champagne, slow music and low light. Now this can be here or at a hotel in a room overlooking the harbor or beach. The other scenario is similar, but at the cabin up at the lake. Your choice. The bottom line is that you have to make the first move and walk through your fear. But, m’dear, be honest with how you feel. Sex, as wonderful as it can be, can change everything and emotions can be assumed or misconstrued."

"The lake and hotel are good ideas, but it'll be too much pressure because it'll be expected. But the dinner idea sounds great. It's so obvious I can't believe I didn't think of it. I feel like a frigging teen-ager."

"It's because I'm older and wiser."

"Well, at least you got the first part right," Alex laughed as Ginny threw her napkin at her. "Okay Solomon, off to the living room and let's relax."

The two settled down on opposite ends of the couch watch T.V. During a commercial a light suddenly went on in Ginny's head, as she remembered Alex’s upcoming review.

"Hey! Isn't your review coming up soon?"

"Yep. Two weeks."

"What are your chances of getting it?"

"Good, I hope. I've been giving them my body and soul for so long, that I should get the promotion. I've been under a magnifying glass. It'll be a relief when it's all over."

"Have you thought about what you'll do if you don't get it?"

"I'll stay until I find another job. The way the market is right now, it may take me awhile. But to be honest with you, I haven't really considered it. Staying there would be difficult politically. I have enough saved to last me a couple of months, so who knows?"

"Well, when I left, I know that they weren't all that concerned because you were there. I think they suspect that you won't stay if they don't do something and I don't think that they're that foolish. I'll just have to start planning the celebration party."

"I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, so I wouldn't start planning anything if I were you. Anyway, I don't think I want a party. Maybe just a few people over for drinks. We'll see."

* * *

Alex laid in bed, tossing and turning, unable to sleep as thoughts of Stacy raced through her mind. It had only been three weeks since they first met. She had never waited that long to sleep with anyone that she had dated. Usually it happened on the first night and was a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" experience.

It wasn't that she didn't want their relationship to become more physical and intimate, but, as she told Ginny, she was afraid. Was that fair to Stacy? She thought of Stacy's face every time they ended one of their "make out" sessions.

‘No,’ she thought to herself, ‘It's not fair. But is it fair for me to mislead Stacy in any manner? That's not fair either.’ Alex realized that she was obsessing over something that was only speculative. Stacy was a big girl and Alex had been honest with her about her feelings. It was a risk she was willing to take.

The next morning Alex called Stacy and invited her to dinner on Friday night.

* * *

Alex walked around the house in a state of near panic. She wanted everything to be perfect. Two bottles of wine were chilling and the candles were ready to be lit. It was 6:00 p.m. and Stacy wasn't expected for another fifteen minutes. Dinner was almost ready and the table was set.

To try to calm her nerves she poured herself a glass of wine and sat on the couch to smoke a cigarette. While she listened to music she wondered if Stacy suspected her ulterior motive.

* * *

Stacy was angry at herself for running late. It was 6:00 and she was just now pulling on her jeans. She wanted to stop on her way over to Alex's and pick up some roses and a bottle of champagne, but she was afraid that she would be even later than she was already.

When she spoke to Alex on Thursday morning, Alex sounded mysterious. Alex didn't say anything out of the ordinary, but it was the way in which she said it. After all, all Alex asked was "How was your night last night?" and "How about coming to my house Friday night for dinner?"

She threw on a T-shirt and put on her tennis shoes. She had hoped to have dressed a little nicer, but time right now was not her friend. Grabbing her keys, she ran out the door. As she drove down the street, she saw a mini mall with a liquor store and a florist. ‘Oh what the hell,’ she thought, pulling into the driveway.

Alex looked at the clock on the kitchen wall and wondered where Stacy was. It was 6:40 and Stacy was usually very prompt. In fact, she was usually a few minutes early. Dinner was about ready and would be ruined if Stacy didn't arrive soon. As she turned the burners down the doorbell rang. She heard the front door open and Stacy call her name.

When she walked into the living room, she saw Stacy walking toward her with her arms around her back.

"Sorry I'm so late," Stacy apologized, "I got held up and everything seemed to go wrong."

"It's okay. I was just getting a little worried." Alex put her arms around Stacy and gave her a long, sensuous kiss.

Slowly pulling away, Stacy was pleasantly surprised. "Mmm . . . to what do I owe that delight?"

"Just cuz." Alex tried to peek behind Stacy's back to see what she was holding. "Whatcha got back there?"

Stacy slowly brought her arms around and handed Alex a bouquet of red roses and a bottle of Tattinger champagne. "I'm really sorry for being so late and dressing like this, so I was even more late so I could make it up to you. I hope you weren't planning that we go out after dinner. If you did, I can run home later and change."

Alex leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. "You're fine. The flowers are gorgeous. Thank you. Would you like the champagne now or after dinner? I have some wine if you'd prefer," Alex offered as they walked into the kitchen.

"Wine is fine for now. Mmmm, dinner smells great. Is there anything I can do?"

"Nope. The wine's out in the living room. Go help yourself." Alex instructed, standing at the sink filling a crystal vase with water. Placing the vase on the counter, she unwrapped the flowers and put them into the vase. "Go in there and relax. Dinner's about ready and I'll have it on the table in a few minutes."

"Are you sure?"

"Go!" Alex ordered teasingly, pointing toward the other room.

"All right! I'm going, I'm going!" Stacy laughed as she walked into the living room. Sitting on the couch, she poured herself a glass of wine. Looking around the room she noticed that things looked a bit different, but she wasn't exactly sure what. She also noticed Streisand singing softly in the background. After a few minutes, she saw the dining room lights dim and heard Alex call her name telling her that dinner was ready. Standing up, Stacy picked up her glass and the bottle of wine carrying them into the dining room. When she entered, she was awestruck.

Alex had dimmed the lights and had candles lit all over the room. In the middle of the table sat the vase of roses. Alex was sitting at the end of the table with a salad bowl and plate of food in front of her. She motioned for Stacy to sit in the chair next to her.

"Alex, this is beautiful. What's the occasion? Did you get your promotion?" she asked excited.

"No, not yet. I just wanted to do something special for you." Alex took the bottle from Stacy and filled both of their glasses and picked up her own to make a toast. Watching Alex's every move, Stacy picked up her own glass as well.

"A toast. To a warm, quiet and eventful evening and to a gorgeous dinner companion," Alex toasted, holding up her glass while staring into Stacy's eyes.

Softly clinking their glasses together Stacy added with her own toast. " And to a wonderful cook whose cooking talents are second only to her beauty and intellect." The two sipped their wine, placing their glasses on the table as they still gazed at one another.

They ate their meal slowly over conversation ranging from the day’s events at work to the Padres’ recent winning streak. Throughout dinner Stacy wondered about the reason for this unexpected surprise. In the last two weeks they often ate together, usually at one or the other's house, but never had it been this romantic. Whatever it was, she wasn't going to be the one to rock the boat.

"This was a wonderful meal. How about I do the dishes?" Stacy asked.

"No, that's not necessary. There aren’t that many, really."

"Well, all the more reason that I should do them," she laughed, standing up to gather the dishes on the table. "You cooked, it’s only fair that I clean up. Go sit and relax. You've had a long day too."

Alex followed Stacy into the kitchen, carrying the remainder of the dishes from the dining room table. Stacy started rinsing the dishes and loading the dishwasher, while Alex pulled the bottle of champagne out of the refrigerator, placing it into an ice bucket. After grabbing two champagne flutes, she carried everything into the living room, leaving Stacy to finish the dishes. Alex studied her collection of CDs trying to decide on the right 'mood' music. Deciding on a collection of romantic hits from the 1980's, she put it in the CD player and lowered the volume. With the music to her satisfaction and to complete the effect, she lit the gas fireplace and candles she had placed around the room. After turning off the lights, she glanced around the room to see if everything was according to her plan. Placing two large pillows in front of the fireplace, she thought, "God, what am I getting myself into?", nervous that she had made the wrong decision.

Expecting Stacy to emerge from the kitchen, she carefully uncorked the bottle and filled the two glasses. As if on cue, Stacy walked into the room, looked around at Alex's handiwork and silently sat on the couch next to Alex.

Alex picked up the glasses, handing one to Stacy. Looking into the other’s eyes, they raised their glasses silently toasting each other. Neither knew what to say. Each was beginning to feel the effects of the wine, but neither cared because of the false courage it gave them for what possibly lay ahead.

"So, are you nervous about the promotion?" Stacy asked breaking the silence.

"A little. I was telling Ginny the other night that I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, but I'm optimistic. If it doesn't happen, I'll just move on. That's the scary part, especially because jobs are so hard to come by right now."

"Are you worried?"

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but I'm taking one day at a time. Two more weeks and we'll know one way or the other."

Stacy thought about what Alex had just said about being scared and wondered if that applied to her emotions at that moment. Stacy could sense that Alex was uneasy and she was nervous herself. Looking at the fire, she considered what she could do to ease Alex's fear.

"A penny for your thoughts?" Stacy heard Alex ask.

Turning to Alex, Stacy smiled. "I was just thinking of you and what a wonderful evening we've had and how much work you put into tonight. And . . . what I can do to help you not be so nervous."

"It's that obvious?" Alex blushed from embarrassment.

"Come here." Stacy took Alex's hand and led her to the pillows where they laid down side by side facing one another. Stacy gently pushed back a piece of hair that had fallen over Alex's face. "What are you so afraid of?" she asked as she softly brushed her lips against Alex's cheek.

"It's been so long since I've made love with anyone. I'm just scared that I'll do something wrong or . . . I don't know. I'm just scared. I'm also worried about what could happen to us in the future."

Stacy looked into Alex's eyes and leaned over, resting her lips on Alex's, separating them with her tongue which met Alex's. Stacy rolled Alex onto her back, sliding with her so as not to separate from her. Leaning on her elbow, she ran her other hand lightly across Alex's chest until it rested on Alex's breast, gently teasing the nipples through Alex's shirt. Aroused, Alex put her arms around Stacy pulling her closer and intensifying their kiss.

Stacy slowly pulled her lips away, moving them to tease Alex's earlobe. "All you have to fear is fear itself. As for me, I can take care of myself. Let's just take one step at a time," she whispered.

Alex felt her anxiety slip away. Rolling onto Stacy, she placed her thigh between Stacy's legs. Stacy lifted her head to nibble on Alex's neck while moving her hands to massage Alex's breasts, causing Alex to moan softly in pleasure.

"God, Stacy, it's been so long. You don’t know how much I want you."

Not needing any further encouragement Stacy slowly unbuttoned Alex's blouse, kissing skin as she progressed downward. Fully unbuttoned, she slipped Alex’s blouse one shoulder, then the other. Kissing Alex’s collarbone, Stacy unfastened her bra and pulled it off. Actually seeing Alex's breasts for the first time amazed her. She knew Alex was well endowed, but not to the extent she now witnessed. Alex rolled over and quickly unfastened her pants, which Stacy helped her pull off. Stacy quickly pulled off her own clothes and lay on top of Alex. The two began to leisurely explore each other, their bodies shaking in anticipation and pleasure. Stacy slowly made love to Alex, her own excitement increasing in the process.

"Oh God Stacy!" Alex cried in pleasure as she ran her fingers through Stacy's hair. "Don't stop . . . " As Stacy's movements increased, Alex couldn't contain it anymore. Exploding in orgasm, she felt the waves roll across her body one after another as she cried out Stacy's name and felt tears run down her face.

Stacy felt her own body silently explode as Alex cried out her name. Feeling Alex's body shudder to a rest, she pulled herself up and lay on top of Alex. Seeing Alex's tears, she tenderly wiped them away.

"Alex, what's wrong?" she whispered.

"I don't know why I'm crying. You . . . you just made me feel so good." Alex kissed Stacy passionately, holding onto to her tightly.

* * *

When Alex woke up the next morning, she opened her eyes and saw Stacy laying in the bed beside her. At some point in the evening they had moved their activities to the bedroom, finally falling asleep from exhaustion in the early morning hours. Not wanting to wake Stacy up, she quietly slipped out of bed and walked to the bathroom to put on her robe. Tiptoeing out of the bedroom she went into the kitchen to make coffee and bring in the morning paper.

As she sat reading the paper with her coffee and first cigarette of the day, she didn't hear Stacy walk up behind her.

"Morning, Starshine. Do you still respect me?" Stacy whispered into her ear as she placed her arms around Alex from behind.

"Good morning. Of course I do. I hope I didn't wake you up," Alex smiled, raising her head to kiss Stacy gently on the lips.

"No, not at all," she answered, sitting on the bar stool next to Alex.

"I like your morning attire. Do you dress like this every morning?" Alex teased in response to Stacy wearing nothing but a towel.

"No, usually I go buck-ass naked, but because I'm not at home I thought some sense of decorum was called for."

"Too bad you didn't think you were at home," Alex purred, leaning over to kiss Stacy and playfully running her fingers over the edge of the towel. "I was going to bring you some coffee in bed, but now it's too late. Would you like a cup?" She offered, standing up to get Stacy a cup of coffee.

"Please. Black's fine. Let me warn you, I don't function until I get two cups in me. Do you have any plans for today?" She asked, taking the full cup Alex handed her.

"I thought I'd visit Ginny and Izzy and lay out at their pool. What about you?"

"Chores. That's about it." Stacy stood up and faced Alex, untying Alex’s robe and pulling it slowly down off of her shoulders. Placing her lips over Alex's right nipple, she removed her towel, causing it to fall to the ground.

"Hmmm . . . you want to join me today?" Alex whispered in Stacy’s ear.

"I thought you'd never ask."

After spending the rest of the morning making love, they showered and finished the coffee they had started hours earlier. While Stacy changed into the clothes she had worn the night before, Alex called Ginny, who invited them over. Stacy sat on the bed watching Alex’s every move as she changed into her bathing suit and clothes. Alex was oblivious to her voyeurism, dressing in a carefree manner despite the audience. As Stacy watched, she felt completely enamored. Alex's looks, personality, goals; there was really nothing about Alex to which she was not attracted.

Her thoughts wandered to her feelings for Alex. She had heard what Alex had said weeks earlier about taking things slowly, but Alex's actions often contradicted her words. ‘Wasn’t last night a perfect example,’ she thought to herself. Thinking back over the last few weeks and the evening before, Stacy realized that she was falling in love with Alex and had no desire to see anyone else. But she feared expressing her feelings; afraid that the bubble would burst and Alex would run away.

"You ready? If we're going to stop by your house, we better get moving," Alex stated, breaking Stacy's train of thought.

"I'm ready and raring," Stacy answered enthusiastically.

"What were you thinking about? You looked like you were in another world."

Stacy walked over to Alex and put her arms around her gently kissing her on the mouth. "You," she answered.

* * *

When they arrived at Ginny and Izzy's after stopping at Stacy's house to drop off her car and get her bathing suit and fresh clothes, Izzy greeted them at the door. Izzy offered to bring them each an iced tea as she ushered them outside to the pool, where Ginny was laying on a lounge chair wearing a bikini and sunglasses.

"Hey strangers. How are you doing?" Ginny asked propping herself up on her elbow as they walked up.

"Great. How are you doing? I haven't seen you for a while," Stacy asked. Alex pulled their towels out of a bag and placed them on the two lounge chairs next to Ginny.

"Fantastic. Living up life in corporate America. Izzy getting you guys some drinks?"

"I think she's working on it," Alex responded as she rubbed suntan lotion over the front of her body. "Here she comes now," Alex noted as Izzy walked out of the house carrying a tray with four plastic tumblers filled with tea.

The four laid outside in the sun, enjoying each other’s company until late afternoon, when their rumbling stomachs told them that it was time to discuss dinner. Stacy and Ginny dressed and left in Izzy's Range Rover after volunteering to go to the grocery store to get the necessary items. Not having spent any time alone since Stacy and Alex started dating, Ginny was not going to pass up the opportunity to pick Stacy for information on her progress with Alex.

"So, I understand that you and Alex have seen a lot of each other," Ginny commented nonchalantly, silently laughing to herself for the double entendre. Although Alex hadn’t said a word to her about what happened the prior evening, she knew by the way Alex had acted all day what had happened.

Stacy had worked and socialized with Ginny long enough to know Ginny’s modus operandi. It also didn't hurt that before they left Alex forewarned her that Ginny may try to pry information from her.

"Yes, we've gone out quite a bit over the last few weeks. I want to thank you for the introduction. She's a super person, Ginny."

"So, are you two an item?" Ginny asked undeterred.

Stacy laughed. "Well, I can't speak for Alex, but I hope so. Knowing you, I'm surprised that you didn't introduce us sooner."

"I respect Alex. She was in her own little world for a long time. I wanted to, but it was hard enough to get her to do things with Izzy and I, let alone introduce her to available single women. I'm just really glad that she's coming out of her shell with such gusto. The last few times I've spoken to her she seems like a new woman. It seems that you've had a good effect on her."

"I'm glad to hear that, but I don't think that I can take credit for that. I've noticed that she's relaxing more, but I think that's normal in any type of relationship. The more time you spend together, the more comfortable you feel."

"That's true, but I've seen a change in her since that first night we all had dinner at our house."

"You really think so?" Stacy looked out of the car window. She knew she shouldn’t ask, but she also desperately needed answers to questions running through her mind. "Ginny, I know that even though we're both your friends that your loyalty is with Alex . . . ," she began to ask, turning back to look at Ginny.


"But, has she said anything about me?"

"Yes . . . but she's not very expressive about things sometimes. I know that she enjoys spending time with you and that she likes you. That's about all I know."

"Is she seeing anyone else?" Stacy held her breath waiting for the answer.

"Not that I know of. From what I hear, you're keeping her too busy," Ginny teased sensing and trying to relieve her friend's apprehension.

Stacy laughed at Ginny's response. "I'm sorry to place you in such an awkward position, but it's been so long since I've felt this way about anyone. You know I was in a long term relationship an eon ago. Since then I've dated considerably, to say the least, but I haven't met anyone like Alex. I mean, I haven't let myself get so close to anyone in three years. Usually I 'love 'em and leave 'em', but Alex is different."

Ginny was pleased for her two friends, but she was also concerned for both of them. "I know how it feels Stacy. But just take it easy. I really can't speak for Alex, but I do know she's not ready to rush into anything, " Ginny cautioned, concerned that Alex didn’t fully realize the depth of Stacy’s feelings.

* * *

While Stacy and Ginny went to the grocery store, Alex helped Izzy prepare the barbecue.

"How was San Francisco?" Alex asked, filling a pot with water for corn.

"Exhausting. Believe me, I’m glad to be home. So, I hear that you and Stacy are doing well."

"Et tu Brutus? Did she tell you to put the thumb screws to me while we were alone?" Alex laughed.

"Pshaw! You know better than that. She did tell me about your conversation the other night and that she was both pleased and concerned. You know damn well that I'm not like 'National Enquirer' McDougall. What you tell me stays with me and doesn't get to her if you don't want it to."

"I know . . . things are going rather well I must say. Stacy's great. Warm, intelligent, gorgeous, loves baseball like I do, and from what I can tell is understanding and compassionate. We are a lot alike and have a lot in common. So much that it's unsettling."

"What do you mean?"

"Our backgrounds. We are both insecure, have histories of unhealthy relationships, are workaholics, the list goes on. It's sort of scary how much we have in common."

"Is there anything wrong with that? Ginny and I have a great deal in common, that's probably why we've been together for so long. The major difference between us is our personality . . . I have one." They both started laughing. "Don't you dare tell her I said that."

"Don't worry. I have to hand it to her though. She does have some good ideas."

Izzy raised her eyebrows. "Do tell. Did you follow the advice she told me she gave you the other night?"

Alex lit a cigarette and took a drink of her beer. "Let me leave it at what I said earlier. You know I don’t kiss and tell. All I have to say is Ginny can sometimes give good advice," she smiled devilishly.

Izzy playfully slapped Alex on the back. "Good for you! It's about damn time!"

"Don't you dare tell Ginny. I'll never hear the end of it."

"Your secret is safe with me."

After eating dinner and cleaning up the dishes, the four sat around the kitchen table playing poker. At 11:30, after pocketing everyone's money, Stacy announced it was time for her to go, ignoring the teasing from her companions that she was taking the money and running.

"Thanks for the great day," Stacy said, kissing the back of Alex’s hand, intertwined with her own as they drove back to her house.

"De nada. I’m glad you came and we could spend the day together."

"Me too. Ummm . . . about tonight . . . would you like to come in and stay?" Stacy asked shyly as Alex pulled into her driveway.

"I’d love to!" Alex answered without hesitation. "Sure you won’t be sick of me?"

"Hardly," Stacy answered pulling Alex to her for a deep, passionate kiss.

Despite their fatigue, as soon as they laid in bed their bodies hungrily sought one another, continuing the exploration that began the night before and satisfying the seemingly unsatiable thirst that both were experiencing. For Alex, it was as if the dam had been broken; feelings and sensations she seemed to have forgotten to exist engulfed her in ecstasy. She couldn’t get enough of Stacy, nor could Stacy get enough of her. The two finally fell asleep in each others arms, exhausted and spent from their hours of passion.


Continued in Chapter 5

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