Disclaimer:  Some of the places mentioned in this story are real and some are made up.  All of the characters are fictitious and any resemblance they have of real people is coincidental.  This story includes sexual scenes involving two women.


By M. E. Tudor

Chapter Seven

Marianne raced up her parents’ drive coming to a screeching halt in front of the garage.  She looked in the mirror, wiped away some smeared mascara and brushed back a few stray hairs from her face.  She looked harried.  She knew she would have to pull herself together before she got into the house. 

The day had started off badly and never did get any better.  After her encounter with Robin, her computer crashed in the middle of downloading information about Bankers Development Corporation so she had to start all over when the computers came back up.  She had lost a some important documents that she had open when the crash happened and was going to have to wait at least two days to see if the IT department would be able to recover them.  If they didn't she was going to have go back to her sources to get new copies which was not going to be fun.  To top off the day of disasters, she got a run in her hose that Josie's boss, Tim Stratton went out of his way to point out, and she had a flat tire on her car when she got out to it.  It took two hours for AAA to get her car to the only shop open after five on her parents’ side of town and now she was late arriving at her parents for their weekly family night.

             Marianne rushed up the ten steps leading to the front porch of her parents’ huge colonial style home.  Marianne hadn’t realized how big their house was until she moved into her tiny dorm room at college.  Even now, this house dwarfed her two bedroom apartment but at least her apartment was a warm welcoming place.  This house had never really been anything more than her father’s showplace. "Mom," Marianne called after she slipped off her shoes before stepping onto the white carpet.

"It's about time you got here!" her mother called from the dining room.  "Your father is about to have a conniption fit."

"Didn't you tell him I had a flat tire?"

"Yes, but he is still all wound up because we are going to be late getting to the opening of the art show."

"I don't understand what the big deal is." Marianne headed towards her mother's bedroom, “Do you have a pair of panty hose I can use."  She turned so her mother could see the horrendous run in her hose.

"Yes, I have some."  Her mother went to her dresser and pulled out a pair of nude colored panty hose and handed them to Marianne, who promptly took hers off and put on the new ones.

"Thanks.  So why is this art show opening any more important than any other opening?"

"Because his favorite native American artist, Kevin James is going to be there in person and Otto Wiseman has said that he will introduce your father to him."

"Why does he have to have Otto Wiseman introduce him. The guy is not a rock star for crying out loud."

"Otto is a good friend of Kevin James and he said that he could probably get your dad an original copy of one of his paintings."

Marianne rolled her eyes.  She loved Native American art but she didn't understand her father's obsession with this one artist.  His work was awesome but her father acted like the man was Picasso.  Marianne knew the big deal had more to do with the fact that Otto Wiseman had gotten an original autographed painting from this artist last year so her father felt like he had to match him.  She shook her head.  "So where is he?"

"He's in the drawing room having a drink."  Her mother headed out the door of the bedroom, "Come on lets get this show on the road."

Just then the office door burst open and Mike Jones stepped out, "Are you two ready?" 

            Both women nodded, Janice grabbed her purse off the table by the door, they went out side and  the three of them got into Mike's plush black Cadillac Deville.

            "I can't believe it took so long for you to get your tire fixed," Mike turned towards Marianne who was sitting in the back seat.  It reminded her of the many times he had turned in his seat to reprimand her as she had grown up.  It seemed that he was always yelling at her while he was doing something else like driving or typing on his computer.  She was twenty-six years old and he was still talking to her like a child.  "I told you to get into a better auto club so you wouldn't have a long wait like that."

            "It would have taken that long for anyone, it was right in the middle of rush hour and there is no getting around this town in a hurry during that time."

            "I should have just had you meet us there." He growled and turned back to face forward and pulled out of the drive.

            "Yes, you should have.  It would have saved me the long trip out here, especially since my office is just a few blocks from the art gallery." Marianne shot back.

            "Don't get smart with me girl."

            "Please you two," Janice finally interjected.  "We are supposed to be having a nice family night on the town, remember?"

            Marianne and Mike both snorted.  Mike stared ahead and Marianne stared out the window.  She wished she had stayed in California where he didn't have this kind of control over her life.  She felt like a teenager again under his watchful eye.   She had been given no choice at the time, Amanda Kinsey’s father had bullied her and her father into a position where Marianne had to go home or her father would have been ruined.  Despite their difficult relationship, Marianne couldn’t let that happen to her father.  She knew how hard he had worked to establish the reputation he had in Denver and she couldn’t allow that to be destroyed over her stupidity.

            It had started out innocently enough.  Marianne had been covering Kinsey Oil’s rise to greatness from the small oil fields it had begun in out in the California valleys to the huge conglomerate it is today.  She had been to the main offices in Los Angeles and at the company compound in Palm Springs.  She had interviewed everyone at the headquarters except the president of the company, Robert Kinsey.  Robert had invited her to his mansion by Lake Tahoe and that was when she met Amanda Kinsey.  She was beautiful.  Her long auburn hair had blond highlights and curled at her shoulders.  Her hazel eyes had captured Marianne the first time they met and Amanda had known she had Marianne hooked.

            At nineteen, Amanda was already a woman of the world.  She had traveled extensively.  She had been to places and talked to people that Marianne could only dream of.  She seemed so mature for her age, much more like Marianne’s own twenty-five years of maturity.  Amanda nor Robert had told Marianne how old Amanda was and Marianne had assumed that they were close to the same age.  She had also assumed, by Amanda’s very open manner that her parents knew that she was gay.

            Marianne had fought with all of her might to avoid getting involved with Amanda but when Amanda hunted her down in Los Angeles and seduced her with all the charm and charisma she possessed, Marianne could not refuse.  She fell utterly under Amanda’s spell.  Marianne had finished her first article about Kinsey Oil and hadn’t planned on writing another until she heard a rumor that they were drilling on public lands.  Marianne had never considered asking Amanda about her father’s business but Amanda had volunteered the information.  She and her father had been at odds over environment issues for quite some time and Amanda was very upset about him drilling on public lands because she had proof that they were doing so at the expense of the wildlife in the surrounding areas.  Marianne ran with the story and Corporate Weekly published it, after which Amanda confided to her that she was terrified of her father.  Amanda said that she had heard that he had gotten rid of people in the past, including family members for trying to get in the way of his plans.

            Marianne’s story had just been published when Robert Kinsey had stormed into her office with her boss.  He had demanded that she tell him who had told her about the drilling on public lands but she refused.  He had towered over her and screamed at her just as her own father had many times.  He told her that he knew that she had seduced his daughter and he said that he would find out who the leak was.

She wasn’t sure how he found out about her and Amanda or if he ever found out that Amanda had been the leak but in very short order he had gotten her fired from her job, sent Amanda to Europe and persuaded her own father that he needed to get her out of California or else.  It was definitely not the way she had planned to come out to her parents and they didn’t take the news very well. 

            Marianne still found it fascinating that her first relationship with a woman would be with someone who had an extremely controlling father like hers but one with more money and power.  The two men had made an agreement and Marianne's father had flown her back to Denver.  It was the closest he had ever come to actually beating her.  He had screamed at her for two hours after she got home about how hard he had worked for all that they had.  He reminded her of all the comforts that she had because of his hard work, including the new Mustang that he had bought for her the Christmas before. 

            Once she had been thoroughly chastised, he informed her that he would help her get settled in her new place in Denver, which he paid the first six months rent and that if he ever heard of her consorting with women again, he would take back everything he had ever given her, including his name and force her to leave Colorado.  Marianne had been devastated.  She had never been as close to her father but she was the only child of only children  which didn't give her many other relatives to turn to in time of need.  Her mother was being indifferent and didn’t want to discuss it and her conservative grandparents would side with her father if they were to ever find out.  She had felt helpless and still did.  The emotional damage from the whole event with Amanda, her father and Corporate Weekly had shaken Marianne to her very core and she wasn't sure she was ever going to recover.  She had vowed to stay away from women until she could get back on her feet emotionally and financially.  More importantly she promised herself that she would stay away from women that had anything to do with her job or the business world in general.

            Marianne looked around at her father who was speaking in low tones to her mother. They were clearly fighting, again.  She knew at least part of their argument was about her.  She wished now that she had gone home instead of coming out with them.

She looked back out the window and sighed.   She was still mad at herself for treating Robin the way she had at the office.  If she hadn’t come out with her parents she might have gotten Josie to give her the number where Robin was staying then she could have called and apologized for being such an ass.  Maybe they could have met somewhere for drinks, Marianne shook that thought off as soon as it came.  Robin’s presence had affected her too strongly today and if she met with her they would have done more than have drinks.  Marianne wasn’t ready to test her father’s threat and take a chance on meeting a woman in this town, not yet.

Chapter Eight

                        Robin arrived at the gallery just as they began opening Kevin James’ exhibit.  She stood towards the back of the room and listen with pride to long list of accomplishments her cousin had achieved as an artist.  As if he sensed her presence, his eyes suddenly sought hers out and he nodded in her direction to let her know that he had seen her.  Robin gave him a slight salute. She stayed where she was and watched him go through the details of the ceremony of the opening.  She also studied the crowd.  She was not surprised that there were not a lot of other Native Americans in the crowd.  Most of the her people would wait to see Kevin’s work at the Council Tree Pow Wow in September.

Robin watched as the museum curator talked with Kevin and made some announcements to the crowd.  They did a short question and answer session and then Kevin began to mingle among the crowd.  Robin watched Kevin's performance from the far corner of the auditorium.  Her cousin was quite the showman.  Something that no one from their family would believe.  The only side they had ever seen of Kevin was the brooding artist that hated to be bothered when he was working.

Robin wandered off into other areas of the museum so Kevin could entertain his adoring fans.  They had already made plans to go to dinner after he finished here and they were going to spend tomorrow together so they would have plenty of time to catch up.

Robin had wondered back to the main exhibition room and was watching the people arriving.  She stopped short when she saw a familiar blond. Robin could not believe her eyes when she saw Marianne come into the art gallery.  She looked towards the ceiling and wondered why the Great Spirit was being so cruel.  She was still reeling from Marianne's rude brush off earlier in the day and now she was at the art show looking more beautiful than ever.  Robin made it a point to stay out of her line of sight.  She didn't feel like being subject to another rejection and she was sure that Marianne would give her the cold shoulder, especially since she was obviously there with her parents. 

            Robin watched the family from her perch in the corner of the room.  Marianne was almost an exact replica of her mother who was incredibly beautiful.  The blond hair, blue eyes, lips, even their smile were the same except that Marianne's mother carried herself with a poise that bordered on haughtiness.  Marianne looked a bit disheveled which surprised Robin considering how meticulous she had been about her appearance on the trail.

            Robin was relieved when Kevin let her know he was almost done.  She was glad she was getting ready to be out of Marianne’s presence, which was giving her chills from across the room. 

            After the show, Robin and Kevin rushed over to the Baroque cafe, which was their favorite hang out in Denver. It was a simple bar and grill with a very artsy atmosphere.  Most of the artists from the Denver area hung out there.  They were seated immediately and welcomed by their favorite waitress, Tammy, who had worked there “forever” according to her.  "Well, it’s about time you two got back around here!  How've you been?"

            "Good, how about yourself?"  Kevin sweetly.

            "Good as I'll ever be." She smiled and winked at Kevin.

            Kevin grinned back, "Well, I'm can see that.  How about a round a drinks?"

            Robin nodded in agreement.  "I’ll have a shot of tequila and that delicious dark ale you serve.  Robin?"


            "I'd also like a glass of burgundy as well." Kevin added looking at Robin shyly causing Robin to raise an eyebrow.

            Tammy made a face, "Okay but I don't know if I'd be mixing my liquors like that."

            "It's for a friend who'll be here in a minute."

            "Did you let Tony know that you had another guest coming."

            "No," Kevin put his finger tips to his lips, "I forgot."

            "I'll tell him. Don't you worry about it.  What's your friend's name?"


            "I'll have him brought over as soon as he gets here."  Tammy said with a wink and patted Kevin on the arm.

            Kevin looked up to see Robin giving him a questioning look.  "I meant to tell you about him meeting us here.  You'll like him."

            Robin nodded.  She and Kevin had always been very close and for a long time she had suspected he was gay even though he had never lead her to believe he was.  Robin just had a feeling about it.  Maybe now he was going to finally admit the truth to her.

            The door opened to the restaurant with a rush of cool air and it made Robin turn to look at who was arriving.  Robin sucked in her breath when she saw Marianne arriving with her parents and being seated within her view.  She cursed her luck.  She knew she wouldn't be able to keep herself from looking at her.  At the same time, a very good looking man about Kevin’s age sauntered in.  He spoke to the host who immediately motioned him to follow him and headed in their direction.  Robin looked from the man to Kevin who was absolutely flushed.  Kevin's smile widened as the man approached and he stood to greet him.  Robin was certain he was going to hug him but he didn't instead he turned to Robin and said, "Jarrod this is my cousin Robin Hawke.  Robin this is Jarrod Constalin."

            He leaned over and took Robin's hand firmly then turning it to kiss it on her knuckles, "The pleasure is all mine."

            Robin almost melted at his soft suave voice.  His brilliant blue eyes stood out in contrast to his olive colored skin and dark brown hair. He looked like a Greek god with his perfectly sculpted face and body.  She looked over at Kevin with a "Wow" expression on her face. "No, the pleasure is mine.  Kevin doesn't introduce many of his friends to me so this is quite an honor.

            Kevin slid in the booth and Jarrod slid in next to him, "Yes, he was very nervous about you meeting me."

            Robin looked at Kevin who was still smiling but with a slightly fearful expression on his face.

            Robin smiled to ease his fears.  The man was beautiful, very charming and quite smitten with Kevin if the look of adoration on his face was any indication of how he felt about Kevin.  "Well, I'm quite glad he decided to finally do it.  I'm glad to see he's got a good friend to keep him company."

            Both men smiled with a slight sigh of relief just as the waiter was bringing their drinks. 

            "Jarrod tell me about yourself."  Robin said after tossing down her tequila and chasing it with a long swig of the dark ale placed before her.  Robin focused on Jarrod as he began to tell her about his photography studio and the pictures he was taking while on tour with Kevin. Robin was glad for the distraction to keep her from looking at Marianne whose presence was once again playing havoc on her senses.

Chapter Nine

            Mike ordered a whiskey as soon as they sat down at their table.  Janice sighed knowing that if he was drinking whiskey it would be a long night so she ordered a chardonnay.  Marianne ordered a shot of tequila and a light ale to prepare herself for the long night of her father blaming his not getting to meet Kevin James on her. 

Both of her parents gave her a disapproving look.  “Marianne, don’t you think a glass of wine would be better. You do have to drive home from our house.”

“Don’t you mean that a glass of wine would be more lady like.” Her mother huffed and turned away.  Just wait until it gets here she thought to herself.  She was going to toss down the tequila and order another one.  She was in a defiant mood and quite sorry that she had ridden with her parents.   She could not wait for this night to end so she could go home. Maybe she really would call Josie and ask her where Robin was staying.  Maybe she could go to hotel and show her how sorry she was, Marianne flushed at the thought of her and Robin in a real bed and quickly looked up to make sure her parents had noticed her flushed face.   

            "Oh my God!"  Her father suddenly exclaimed.

            "What?"  her mother asked thinking something was wrong.

            "Kevin James is sitting right over there."

            Marianne swung around in the direction her father was pointing and her eyes collided with Robin's. "Oh my God." She breathed to herself.

            "Waiter!"  Mike motioned for the waiter to come to their table.

            "Yes sir, how can I help you."  The waited smiled as he approached their table.

            "I want to buy a round of drinks for Kevin James and his party."

            "Of course.  Would you like for him to know that you are the one who bought the drinks."

            "Yes."  Mike turned to Janice, "Otto would just shit if he found out that I got to meet Kevin James without his help."

            "Yes he would," Janice agreed warily and prayed that Mike wasn't going to make a scene.

“What are you looking at?"  Mike asked when he saw that Marianne's eyes were still staring in the direction of his favorite artist’s table.

            "Nothing."  Marianne said and quickly turned around.

            Mike looked over at the table and noticed the woman sitting with Kevin James was still looking their way then turned back to Kevin when Mike looked at her.  Mike cursed under his breath, "For Christ's sake Marianne, you promised.  I can't believe you would openly flirt with a woman while we are sitting right here with you."

            Janice turned to look at the woman who was in an animated conversation with the artist.  "Oh come on Mike.  There is nothing going on with her and that woman, is there Marianne?'

            "No." Marianne answered quickly and prayed for a way to explain her staring at Robin like that.  "Ah, ah," Suddenly it came to her , "I think she's the guide from my hiking expedition.  She is in town to talk to Josie about sponsoring a campaign to stop development on the mountain she lives on."

            "Really?" Mike said with new interest and studied the woman through squinted eyes.  "Do you know her well enough to ask them to have drinks with us."

            Marianne looked up at her father trying to hide her panic.  Robin at the same table with her and her parents!  "Oh, I don't know if I could do that.  We didn't really get on all that well."

            "What do you mean?" 

            "Well, she was pretty upset with me for most of the trip.  I made them late getting started ..."

            "Imagine that?"

            Marianne gritted her teeth, "I can go over there and ask though if you want me to."

            "I would like that very much especially since you were the reason I missed getting to meet him in the first place."

            Marianne stood and threw her napkin down and glared at her father, "Well let me see if I can't make it up to you."  Wouldn't he just shit if he knew she was getting ready to ask a woman she just had sex with a few weeks ago over to their table. 

            Marianne made her way purposefully through the crowd and approached Robin and Kevin’s table.  “Hi, Robin.  I thought that was you.”

            Robin looked up at Marianne warily. “Yes, its good to see you again.”

            Marianne smiled sweetly and turned to Kevin, “I’m sorry to intrude but I wanted to say hi to Robin and my father wanted me to tell you how much he loves your work.”

            “Well tell him I said thank you,” Kevin smiled at Marianne and watched Robin turning white.

            “He was the one who just bought you guys a round of drinks.  He was hoping to arrive at the gallery early this evening because his friend, Otto Wiseman, was going to introduce him to you but I made him late getting here.”

            “Imagine that?” Robin snapped.

            Marianne looked at her sharply.  She couldn’t believe she just used the exact expression her father had. She smiled sweetly again and turned to Kevin, “Apparently its getting to be a habit of mine, but I told him I would try to make it up to him by coming over here and asking you and your party to join us for drinks.”

            Kevin watched Robin’s fearful expression.  When they were kids, Kevin had always gotten a kick out of putting Robin in awkward positions and tonight was going to be no exception.  “Sure, we’ll be right over.”  He almost laughed out loud when Marianne’s smile faltered and she turned almost as white as Robin had.

            Marianne quickly recovered from the shock of his acceptance and smiled, “That will be great.  I’ll go let my father know.”  She turned to Robin, nodded, then turned and walked back to her father’s table and tried to hide the panic she was feeling.

            “Why’d you do that?” Robin hissed when Marianne was out of ear shot.

            “Because you are obviously attracted to her and I think she likes you too.  How do you two know each other?”

            “It’s a long story,” Robin said as she rubbed her temples, “I’ll tell you later when I’m drunk, I’m sure you’ll find it funny.”

            Kevin laughed and nudged Jarrod, “Come on, lets get us some more free drinks.”

            Jarrod gave Robin an apologetic look and got up.  Kevin moved in front of them and Robin leaned towards Jarrod, “Did you know he likes to torment people?”

            “I’ve suspected it for some time.  This is the first time I’ve actually witnessed it.”

            “Well let it be a lesson so you don’t let him do it to you.” 

            Jarrod giggled and put his arm around Robin’s shoulder as they walked to Marianne’s dad’s table.

            Once they arrived, Mike stood and held out his hand to Kevin, “Mr. James this is a great honor for me.”

            “Thank you, I really appreciate all the support I get from people who love my work.” Kevin said taking Mike’s hand.

            “This is my wife, Janice, and you’ve met my daughter, Marianne,” Mike moved his hand towards each woman in a gallant gesture.

            “It’s lovely to meet you ladies.  This is my good friend, Jarrod Constalin and my cousin, Robin Hawke which Marianne has apparently met before.”  Jarrod and Robin both shook hands with Mike, Janice and Marianne.

            When Robin took Marianne’s hand to shake it, she looked into her eyes and studied the fear she saw there, “It’s good to see that I’m not the only one you’ve made late.”

            Marianne blushed and looked away from Robin’s probing eyes, “Well, as I said, I seem to be making a habit of it lately.”

            They all sat down and Mike ordered another round of drinks.  Kevin was sitting next to Mike, “Marianne said that Otto Wiseman is a friend of yours and that he was going to introduce us today.”

            “He’s actually my boss and yes, he had offered to introduce me to you today but I wasn’t able to get here in enough time.”  Mike gave Marianne a glare.

            “Well, just so you feel a little better about that, he didn’t get to the gallery until after the show started so I didn’t get to talk to him tonight.” 

            “Otto will just shit when he finds out that I had drinks with you, especially if he didn’t even get to talk to you.” Mike laughed and tossed down his third whiskey. 

            Marianne looked at her mother who was gingerly sipping on her chardonnay.  She didn’t act as if anything was out of the ordinary so her father drinking this heavy in public must not be anything new.  Marianne hadn’t gone out with her parents very often since she had been back from California.  Usually she went their house for dinner a couple of times a month or she would meet her mother somewhere for lunch.

            Mike suddenly turned to Robin, “Marianne says that you are in town trying to recruit help to stop a developer from building on your mountain. Where would that be?”

            Robin kept her eyes on Mike’s.  He seemed to be trying to see something in hers.  “It’s in the southwestern San Juan Mountains on the other side of Lizard Head Pass.”

            “Is that where you took Marianne stomping through the woods?”  He was weaving just a little.

            “Yes, we took one of the easier routes around the mountain.”  Robin said holding his gaze.

            “So you take people hiking for a living?”  Janice interjected.

            “Yes, I also take people on fishing and hunting expeditions.” Robin answered turning her eyes to Janice’s cold ones.  Robin was quite shocked to see those eyes, so similar to the blue ones that had been filled with such passion that night on the mountain, filled with icicles.

            “Isn’t that a dangerous job for a woman?” Janice asked, her voice carrying a bit of haughtiness in it.

            “It has been my family’s business all of my life.  I grew up learning how to do these things and I was honored when my father asked me to take over his business when he retired.”  Robin pushed her shoulders back and held up her head proudly.

            “You know most of my snow paintings were made on the mountain,” Kevin stepped in and headed off what was looking like an argument coming on.

            “Really,” Mike swung his gaze from Robin who he had continued to study as his wife questioned her, “They all seem so different.  I can’t image that they are all from the same place.

            “There is a lot of diversity on the mountain. Waiter,” Kevin signaled the waiter as he passed, “I’m buying the next round for my friends.”

            “No, I can’t let you do that,” Mike started to stop him.

            “Please, it’s the least I can do for such a devoted patron.”

            “I tell you what I would really like,” Mike steadied himself. “I would love to get an original signed painting like Otto has.”

            “Well, I doubt that Otto has an original painting of mine.  If he does, he didn’t get it from me.  I don’t sell my original paintings.  I only give them to my family or keep them for myself.”  Kevin said as he paid the waiter.  He winked at Jarrod to let him know this would be the last drink.

            “He lied to me.  He said that you had sold him an original painting.”

             Kevin assured him, “I have never sold one of my original paintings to anyone.  I did give Otto an original, autographed first print from a run of prints from an original painting.  Maybe that is what he is talking about.  If you’d like, I can leave a signed print from a first run of prints from a new painting of mine that hasn’t been on display yet.”

            “That would be great.”

            “I’ll leave it at the gallery for you tomorrow.”

            Marianne was watching the exchange between Kevin and her dad and watching Robin out of the corner of her eye.  She had been terrified when her mother began questioning Robin.  She was sure that her mother was going to give Robin her favorite lecture about what kind of professions women should have.  She was thinking about excusing herself to go to the bathroom when her mother asked, “Robin, what does your husband think about what you do?”

            All eyes turned to Robin who squirmed just a little then stated, “I don’t have a husband.”

            “Your kidding, a beautiful woman like you and you aren’t married.”  Marianne was really being to perspire when her mother narrowed her eyes at Robin.

            “I’ve never had any interest in being married.  I love my work to much to leave it to have a family.” Robin answered steadily and held Janice’s gaze.

            “That’s interesting,” Janice’s eyes swung to Marianne, almost catching her staring at Robin, “Marianne is the same way.  She thinks her work is more important than a husband and a family.”  Janice swung her eyes back to Robin, “Why, I wonder would beautiful young women think that way?”

            Robin looked at Marianne who looked like she was going to be ill, “Well, from what I’ve seen of Marianne, she probably hasn’t found a man who can pack all the suitcases she needs to go on a simple trip.”

            Mike burst out laughing, Kevin and Jarrod joined in, “There has got to be some truth in that.  She can’t go away for the weekend with less than six bags, two of them being for makeup.”

            Marianne smiled sweetly, her color suddenly coming back, and stood up from the table.  “That is exactly right and until I find a man who doesn’t mind packing eight to ten bags for a visit to my parents house, I’m not getting married.  Now if you will excuse me, I must take my large purse filled with cosmetics into the ladies room and powder my nose.” Even Janice gave a slight giggle when Marianne threw her large pink purse over her shoulder and stalked off to the ladies room. 

Robin tried not to watch Marianne walk across the room.  She didn’t know why the little vixen was affecting her so strongly.  Maybe it was because she was the first woman Robin had made love to in more than a year, or maybe it was the way she looked so hot in her form fitting black skirt and blue silk blouse.  Robin also felt this intense urge to protect her, even from her parents who seemed to be searching for any reason to condemn her.

            After a short time had passed and Marianne had not returned, Robin stood, “I’m afraid I’ve had a few too many beers so I must excuse myself to go to the ladies room. I’ll check in on Marianne.  Hopefully she didn’t fall into that monstrous purse of hers.”  Robin quickly left the table with the sound of laughter behind her.  She made her way into the ladies room to find Marianne leaning against the wall in the back stall. “What are you doing?”

            “Psyching myself up for dealing with my parents on the way home.”  Marianne stepped slightly further into the stall.

            Robin moved to the front of the stall and looked back at the bathroom door to make sure Marianne’s mother had not followed her. “I’m sorry about the barbs, but I felt that your mother was digging.”

            “She was.  They both do that if I show the slightest interest in a woman.”


            “Because I promised them I would stay away from women.”


            “Because it would embarrass them.”

            “Why?” Robin moved closer as Marianne began to get frustrated.

            “Because they have a very well know, conservative reputation that they live by.”


            “Why what?” Marianne demanded.

            “Why do you make me want to kiss you into silence.” Robin couldn’t believe the words had come out of her mouth and fully expected Marianne to push past her but she just looked at her with those hungry blue eyes. 

            Robin looked back at the door, no one was coming and no one else was in the bathroom.  Robin leaned in and quickly kissed Marianne.  Marianne pulled her to her and kissed her back hard.  Robin pulled Marianne’s body into her and cupped her sweet buttocks.

            The bathroom door opened quietly.  Robin and Marianne both stopped and stared at each other fearfully. 

“Marianne?” Janice called softly and made her way further into the bathroom.

“Drop to your knees,” Marianne whispered.

“Why? She’ll see us.”

“Stop with the whys already, just do it.”

Robin did as Marianne said and that was how Janice found them, on their knees in the last stall. “What are you two doing?”  Janice’s tone was bordering on growling.

“I lost the back to my earring.  Robin is trying to help me find it.”  She looked up at her mother innocently and prayed that the “stay in place” lipstick had worked, “I hope I didn’t drop it in the toilet.  It’s one of the gold ones you and Dad got me for my birthday.”

Robin pretended to look in earnest and Marianne followed suit.  Soon Janice was looking with them.  Marianne reached behind her ear when she was sure her mother wasn’t looking, pulled off the earring back and then suddenly shouted, “I found it. Thank God.”  She showed it to Robin and her mother.

“Thank goodness,” Janice stood and dusted off her skirt.  “We paid quite a penny for those, you need to be more careful.”

“I know,” Marianne answered and stood with Robin’s assistance, “I’ve gotten so clumsy lately.” She turned and touched Robin’s arm, “Thank you so much, Robin.  You didn’t have to help.  I really appreciate you staying when you know your cousin is ready to leave.”
            “Yes, he had asked me to help you hurry along.” Janice stated studying Robin again.

Robin quickly turned towards the door, “I must go then.  I’m sorry I wasn’t much help.”

“That’s okay.” Marianne assured her then before Robin could walk away she grabbed her arm, despite the fact that she knew her mother was watching, “I wanted to apologize for being so rude this afternoon.  You just stopped at my desk at a bad time.”

Robin smiled knowingly and gave a side glance at Janice, “I just wanted to make sure you had recovered from your hike.”

“Yes, I was sore and sick for a long time but I did finally get better.”

“Good.” Robin stepped away, “Maybe you will come out and hike the mountain again.  Josie’s planning on going on an expedition in a few months you should come with her.

“Maybe I will.  Be careful going back over the mountains.”  Marianne waved as Robin walked away.

Marianne turned back to find her mother staring at her with her arms crossed.  “What?” Marianne asked as she looked in the mirror pretending to fix her earring but she was really looking to make sure there was no evidence of the kiss she had shared with Robin on her face.

“I didn’t like the way that you were looking at her.  You are really going to have to learn to school your features better or you will never be able to hide your true self.”

Marianne rolled her eyes and faced her mother.  “I really wish you and Dad would stop trying to read things into every conversation I have with a woman.  I promised you I would not embarrass you two and haven’t.”  She stormed out of the bathroom before she said more because she knew it would just start a fight that would lead to nowhere and she still had a long ride back to their house with them.

Janice was right on Marianne’s heals but she didn’t say anything else.  Kevin and Mike were standing just inside the restaurant door talking when Marianne came out of the ladies’ room.  Robin and Jarrod were apparently waiting outside. 

Mike was asking Kevin if they needed a ride to their hotel and Kevin was saying no that Robin had driven over to Denver in her car and that they were just staying a few blocks away.  They said their goodbyes and Kevin left the restaurant. 

Mike had given the waiter his credit card and waited for him to return with it and then they left.  Outside Marianne looked around, trying not to be obvious but Robin was no where to be found.  She knew she wouldn’t have called to Robin or anything like that if she had seen her but she just wanted to see her face again.

Surprisingly, the ride home wasn’t so bad.  The traffic had died down and her father talked excitedly about the new print he was getting and how pissed off Otto Wiseman was going to be when he found out about it.  Marianne was sure he would go get the print on his lunch so he could bring it back and gloat about how he got it.

Once they were back at Marianne’s parents’ house, she kissed both parents and complained of how bad her day had been.  She said she really needed to get home and get to bed so that tomorrow would be a better day.  Her father hadn’t cared but her mother had given her a probing look over.  “You be careful going home and call me as soon as you get there.”

Marianne knew that was her way of making sure she was being a good little girl.  If she knew she was at her apartment then she couldn’t be out carousing for women.  Marianne rolled her eyes and headed for her car.  “I’ll call you when I get there.”  She got in her car and left quickly, leaving her mother standing in the drive staring after her.

To be continued...

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