Looking Within ~
(8th Installment of Perspectives)
One: These folks are mine, so please donıt use them without permission. You
would have a heartbroken bard on your hands.
Disclaimer Two: There is some use of strong language; some obvious subtext;
some humor; and some surprises. Oh yeah, there's angst too.
Dedications: To my one and only, Camille. Stay with me always. Thanks to all
the readers and bards for the feedback. It means a lot. Maybe more than youıll
ever know. Thanks to God for feeding my talent. I will be forever grateful.
This installment takes place a couple of days after Blinded. We get a little
peak inside our caring caseworker. Taylor and Cory have started to work diligently
on the presentations (sort of), and Wendy has even offered a hand in more
areas than one. This is sort of a relationship piece, so it's a tad bit calmer
than the last one. Thatıs all Iım saying. :) There are some surprises in this
one, so hold on for the ride. Cryptic enough? Well read on.
Chapter XXI: One Step Forward
The blonde sighed. Here she was in Merrilville again, in an office that was too
close to the Mall for her taste. Much to her delight the building housing Dr.
Zawid was non-descript, looking like the average red brick containing professional
services. She thanked whoever was listening that it didnıt have that fake fan
fare that the Mall and so many other businesses close to it reveled in. She walked
slowly around the office, studying it for the second time. The thick shag carpeting
urged her to remove her shoes, but she suspected thatıs what the doctor wanted,
for the client to relax. The office looked like it belonged to a child psychologist
really. A myriad of little yellow trolls with different color hair lined the front
of the womanıs desk, and unidentifiable trinkets and accessories were held up
in one corner. Stress relieversı the doctor had called them. Cushy black leather
chairs, aptly positioned in front of a large oak desk, whispered words of comfort
that the blonde tried not to listen to. Pictures of the good doctor receiving
awards and degrees adorned the wall, reminding her that this woman was indeed
qualified to pick her brain. The blonde absorbed it all in her attempt to decide
if she wanted to be picked.
Continuing her circle around the office, Cory stood in front of the Venetian blinds,
pulling the string and watching the pliable material turn and reflect the waning
sunlight. Through the slight opening, sea green eyes studied a child and his mother,
heading toward a car, probably coming from the Mall not too far away. She smiled
to herself as he skipped along behind the woman without a care or responsibility
in the world. Wish it was me. So full of innocence and awe with no responsibilities.
Maybe I wouldnıt be here now.ı She sighed and pulled the cord once more, blocking
out most of the light. Still not turning around, she took a few deep breaths,
wanting to have a few minutes alone before she spilled her insides. She could
feel soft brown eyes staring at her back, waiting to pick through those insides
and decipher the mess. Finally turning, the blonde met the eyes of the doctor.
The small rounded face turned up into a ghost of a smile. "Take your time, Cory.
Iım ready when you are." Moving her eyes away, the blonde caseworker continued
to pace in front of the window a few feet away from the seated doctor. She refused
to sit down and get too comfortable, fearing that she would spill it all. "This
is harder than I thought it was. After being here last week, I assumed it would
In a voice laced with a New England accent, the doctor replied, "Never said that
it would be easy Cory. The easy part was coming here, but the challenge is in
"Maybe, but I donıt even know where to start. So much has happened between this
Thursday and the last." She crossed her arms over her chest and bit the inside
of her lip in an attempt to gather her thoughts.
"Where ever you want."
The blonde lapsed into silence and continued to pace. She eyed the empty chair
speculatively. Deciding to compromise, she stopped and sat on the arm. Just like
that, the words spilled from her mouth. "A man with a gun came into the agency,
and I knew him. I knew him because I helped to take away his children, making
me directly responsible for separating his family." She laughed without humor.
"He even told me so. He proceeded to tell me and the rest of the caseworkers how
worthless and evil we were," She swallowed, suddenly remembering the sickening
sound of the single gunshot and the coppery smell of fresh blood. Going into the
office after the evidence of the disaster had been cleaned was no better. A rich
red stain still pooled in the middle of the floor as a reminder. "And then he
blew his head off right in front of us." The sentence ended on a croak with her
voice thick with emotion. She pressed the back of her hand against her lips, trying
to control the impending sobs. They came anyway. "I have never felt so helpless
in my life. It was an empty feeling, sort of like I wasnıt there anymore. I-I
guess itıs symbolic? I couldnıt help anybody, and things just fell apart around
me. I was so sure that I had destroyed so many families." She paused, moving a
stray blonde lock out of her face and glancing toward the other woman. Silence
fell once more.
"So what youıre saying is that it was a culmination of events? The last straw
"Yeah, it was. I felt something die in me. It was like I pulled the trigger, and
everything just exploded in my face." The sobs stopped, but the tears began. She
wiped at the salty drops.
Knowing that the woman needed the tears, the older woman didnıt interfere as they
fell. In a soft voice, she asked, "In your first statement about the incident,
you used the past tense when talking about the families you thought that you destroyed.
Did something else happen?"
Cory laughed through the tears. "You know Doc? In school, I never could grasp
the meaning of the word ironic, but I think I did that day. An old client called
me to say thanks for turning her family around." The blonde pointed a finger at
her own chest. "She wanted to thank ME for helping her." She paused wiping at
her leaking eyes and sniffing. "It was like this light burst inside my chest.
I donıt know any other way to describe it. I felt so warm. Then it all came back
to me. This past year I have seen so much shit that I had forgotten that there
were people who survived, who I helped survive."
"Thatıs very important to you isnıt it? Helping people? It sounds like itıs tied
to who you are."
"As far back as I can remember, it always has been. I took care of my brother
while my parents were at work. I took care of my mother while she was sick. My
father couldnıt be there. Someone had to make money. Sometimes I feel like I took
care of everybody. I donıt think that I know how to do anything else."
"Thereıs still you Cory, and youıve got to take care of yourself. Do you have
friends or a personal life that can separate you from the professional persona?"
The tears started to dry as she revealed new found hope, making her voice stronger
and more sure. "Sure, I have friends. The closest one that I had for three years
is probably sitting in an office just like this at the moment. I was so wound
up with what was going on inside me that I didnıt see her falling. Itıs a good
thing she did. There are other co-workers that I call friends too. They understand
"What about your personal life? Is there someone. . ." The question trailed off
as the doctor watched the blonde blush. "Ah, there is."
Cory looked down, finding her fingernails of the utmost interest. Arctic blue
eyes and chiseled features swam in front of her face. An involuntary smile lit
her countenance. "No, I donıt know what it is. Thereıs an attraction, and I think
she feels it too." Green eyes scanned upward to meet brown, knowing that she had
just divulged a big piece of herself. "Uh, thatıs okay isnıt it? It doesnıt make
"No, not at all. It doesnıt make you uncomfortable to know Iım straight does it?"
She gave the caseworker a ghost of a smile, and Cory smirked back.
The smirk fell from her face. "Weıve turned into great friends, and I donıt want
to lose that. It took us a while to even get there, and I get so many mixed signals
from her as it is. Hell, I donıt know if sheıs straight or what. Still, the bottom
line is that sheıs been there for me like nobody ever has. She takes me for who
I am with no questions asked. Itıs very refreshing. I canıt lose that just because
Iım attracted to her." She looked down at her hands and back up again, trying
to hide the anguish in her eyes. "Itıs getting hard though not to touch or look.
Weıre around each other a lot, and whatever is between us is getting stronger."
She swallowed again, recalling the long looks and mutual touches. "Sheıs an incredible
woman. There are so many contradictions that I would gladly spend forever trying
to figure her out. In fact, Iım going over there after this session for dinner,
and the biggest part of me is so glad that weıre not going to be alone. She has
a friend in town. Otherwise, I donıt know what would happen." She let out a bark
of laughter. "Probably make a fool of myself. Itıs exciting and a little depressing
at the same time."
"Why not let it grow naturally?"
"Thatıs the depressing part. We can never be more than friends because of the
ethics involved. I think weıre already skirting around the edges. We canıt. Sheıs
"Do you want to get any beer?" Wendyıs yell was muffled from inside the store
Both Taylor and the liquor store clerk turned to the vicinity of the voice. All
they saw was a shapely derriere and long legs, encased in jean shorts, peeking
out of the glass door. The brunette turned and sat the single bottle of white
wine on the counter with a thud and called over her shoulder. "No, the wine is
enough. Weıre going to be working too." She fished in her short pockets for money
and waited for the clerk to ring up her purchase. Even though she hated this area,
it was conveniently placed with stores to the left and the right. Unfortunately,
things didnıt feel too convenient at the moment, when his head hadnıt turned from
the sight near the rows of refrigerators. Blue eyes rolled with impatience and
mischief. Leaning over the counter a little, she whispered in the young manıs
ear. "She really does have a nice ass doesnıt she?" Hazel eyes set in a scruffy
face looked back at her. "Oh, yeah."
ıMen, some things never change.ı ıHere, here.ı LS added. Continuing to
play, Taylor smiled sexily. "You know that sheıs a famous stripper, right?"
His eyes widened. "Man, I thought she looked familiar."
Her smile got bigger. "Well, if you throw in a pack of cigarettes and some whiskey,
I bet I can get her to lap dance for you right here and now."
"Oh man, really? My friends would never believe this." His face flushed as the
redhead made her way to the counter.
The grin on the brunetteıs face was deadly and saccharine sweet. Picking up the
bottle again, she slammed it down on the counter. The clerk jumped in surprise.
In a sing song voice, she answered, "No, not reallly. Now, pop your eyes back
in your head and ring me up!"
The young man moved as if a fire had been lit. He nervously grabbed the bottle,
trying to hide his flushed face. Taylor turned to leave, but taking pity on him,
Wendy stayed behind. "Hey kid? Her bark is worse than her bite, okay?"
He nodded his head jerkily, and hazel eyes followed as the redhead exited the
Wendy folded herself into the Accord. She gave her friend a sidelong glance; grabbed
her hand; and then smacked it. "Bad, Taylor, bad." The admin jerked her appendage
away with a smirk. "Well, he was staring at your ass."
"How did you know if you werenıt staring too, hmm?"
"Thereıs a difference, Red. I donıt stare at it like that anymore."
The redhead grabbed her chest. "Oh, Iım almost hurt. So, you were protecting my
honor then? Come on save yourself."
Taylor threw her a flash of a white smile as she pulled out of the parking lot.
"Yeah, that and I didnıt want him slobbering all over the counter and onto my
Gray eyes shot daggers. "See, you almost had me. Whatıs with you today? Youıre
certainly in a good mood." Wendy glanced at her dark friendıs profile. "Ah, I
know. Itıs the fact that Coryıs coming over soon." Her eyes widened as she followed
the flush up the tanned neck. "Oh my. Are you sure you donıt have something to
Taylor cleared her throat. Just the mention of the petite blondeıs name suffused
her with heat. She fought down the impending smile. "No, thereıs nothing to tell
because weıre just friends."
"Yeah, right now. I saw the way you looked at her, touched her, Tay. Somethingıs
"Itıs not that simple. There are ethical matters that. . ."
"And if they werenıt there? That touch you shared in the office would have been
a kiss, right?"
Taylor growled in frustration. "Itıs not like that. . ."
"Bullshit, I know you want her. Itıs so obvious, and itıs almost painful to be
around you two. Sheıs touched something inside you. Hasnıt she? Iıve never seen
you like that around anyone." Wendy willed blue eyes to turn her way, but the
jumping motion in the other womanıs jaw was answer enough.
Pulling into her parking space, the brunette removed the key and sat there silently,
not daring to turn around. Pale eyes closed, remembering the touches and most
of all recalling the way the younger woman felt in her arms. After the ordeal
the other day, she had awakened to the dimness of night with Coryıs body wrapped
around her like a blanket. The other womanıs t-shirt had ridden up, revealing
creamy thighs. With a mind of its own, her hand had taken privileges that her
heart would not. Softly, teasingly, she had followed the line of a curvy hip all
the way up to brief purple panties. Her fingertips felt scorched, touching skin
so soft and warm. She had gone back for more, so careful not to wake her. The
admin sucked in a groan when she realized that seconds were more profound than
firsts. The flash of arousal had been the strongest surge she had ever experience.
It had been enough to make her snatch her hand away and climb out of bed. She
had whispered bathroomı when a husky voice asked where she was going. Yes, I
want her.ı The edge of the ethics book nicked her ear, and she could have sworn
that she heard Little Shelley sigh.
Wendy watched her silent friend through knowing eyes. She means a lot to you.
You canıt hold it in forever.ı Reaching over, she captured a hand that had been
fisted in the other womanıs lap. "Tay, itıs okay if you donıt want to talk about
it right now. I. . ."
Sad blue eyes bore into gray. "She doesnıt know, Wendy."
The redhead flinched at the emotion shining in the usually stoic womanıs eyes.
"Huh, she doesnıt know what?"
Turning away, she stared out the window at the perfect grass, and bushes. "She
doesnıt know about me."
"Oh. Oh! So, sheıs. . ."
"Yeah, found out not to long ago."
It was the redheadıs turn to close her eyes. "Oh God Tay, when she finds out---"
"I know, but I couldnıt. I think itıs probably the only thing holding me back.
Wendy squeezed the hand that she was holding. "Yeah, I know," she added quietly.
This was something big. "Listen, letıs get inside. She should be over in a little
Taylor pushed an ebony lock behind her ear. "Yeah, I want to have dinner at least
almost ready when she gets here."
Wendy watched the womanıs tall frame get out of the car. You never cease to amaze
me. Iıll never understand how you could be so fierce and vulnerable at the same
time. I think you have met your match, my friend.ı Getting out of the car, she
followed the admin into the apartment building.
Wendy leaned against the counter, watching as the older woman puttered around
the kitchen. "So, what are you going to cook for her?"
Taylor looked up and ran her hand over her bangs. She tore the package of chicken
breast open and turned on the sink. "Um, I don't exactly know what she likes.
So, I figured that I couldn't go wrong with chicken. I'm going to make a scampi
sauce for it though."
The redhead smirked. "Oooh, fancy."
Taylor stuck out her tongue. "We're having pasta and some kind of veggie with
it too. Don't know which yet. You guys can choose when she gets here."
The wheels were forever turning behind the red hair. "Tay? You don't know much
about her, so what does she know about you?"
Busy hands continued to de-vein the chicken. "I never said that I didn't know
much about her. In fact, I think that I've learned quiet a bit. As far as what
she knows about me," The brunette paused and turned troubled eyes to her friend.
"Um, she knows about my parents. I don't know why I told her. It just came spilling
out, but she makes it so easy. You know?" She turned back to the chicken, cutting
it into symmetrical strips. Recalling the conversation that took place in her
office two short days ago, Taylor whispered, "I think she has me pretty much pegged."
Auburn eyebrows rimmed downward. "What? I didn't catch that."
"Uh, nothing. Just talking to myself."
Not believing her one bit, Wendy let it go anyway. "What are you going to do about
this? You can't deny that there's something there."
"There's nothing I can do about it Wendy. If we get involved, it could mean both
our jobs and reputations. Despite all of that, part of me wants to give in and
the other half wants to run away screaming. Her not knowing about me is the one
thing that's keeping me in check, even then it's still hard. Sometimes I feel
like chopping my hands off to keep from touching her."
Wendy sucked in a breath. 'God, she has it bad.' The redhead walked up behind
her friend, putting a hand to her back and rubbing for comfort. "You have changed
so much since I've seen you last. You were always able to talk to me about anything,
but to open up to her so quick, that's something special. I hope you don't lose
it by keeping this secret from her."
"I know, but there's no other way around it."
"I don't know Tay. Are you keeping this from her to protect your jobs or to protect
Hesitant blue met gray. "I don't have an answer for that, not right now." 'Time
to change the subject.' "You know what? I don't want to spend all this time talking
about me. I need to play catch up with you too. Seeing anybody?"
Wendy chuckled. "Subtle you are not, but okay, I'll drop it for now. Yeah, I'm
seeing somebody. Two or three somebodies to be exact. What can I say? Men love
the red hair."
Cory pulled up to the empty parking space beside Taylorıs Accord. She gathered
together her purse and the files full of information needed for the presentation.
Today, wasnıt a day that they were supposed to meet, but the excitement a few
days ago had set them back.
Flipping off the ignition, she let her mind wander. Was her self esteem really
tied to this need to successfully help or care? She knew it would explain so much,
especially her recent slump lately. Dr. Zawid made her think despite the jumbled
mass her brain had been in lately. She made her think about a lot of things. Now,
standing outside, she pushed the button to ring Taylorıs apartment. Even with
her voice diffused by a speaker, Cory felt the shiver of awareness creep its way
up her back at the sound of the other womanıs voice. She shook it off with much
determination and watched wide-eyed as both the outside and inside door opened.
Letting herself in, her thoughts went back to the doctorıs office. Surprisingly,
Dr. Zawid didnıt seem shocked with her present situation with Taylor only wary
of the consequences since the caseworker could end up losing a job that she loved.
Soft brown eyes had watched the blonde as she was told thatthat in itself could
lead to a deeper depression. Still, Cory had blushed deeper when the doctor told
her that a huge bright spot seemed to exist in her life because of Taylor.
Green eyes rolled skyward as she got on the smartı elevator. She sighed in frustration.
Either way this whole thing was a risk, and the blonde knew that she had to figure
out if she was willing to take it. The only things that she was sure about today
was that she was looking forward to dinner, getting to know Wendy, and being near
The petite blonde stopped in front of the door and listened to the throaty crooning
of Janis Joplin singing about Summertime as it seeped from the closed door.
She smirked and pushed the doorbell
Plopping the spoon of peanut butter in her mouth, Taylor did a light sprint toward
the door. Wendy followed slowly, watching from the vantage point near the kitchen
door. The admin tried to clamp down on the sense of giddiness that assailed her
as she opened the door. The grin on the blondeıs face didnıt help any. It only
made a smile spread itself around the peanut butter coated spoon.
"Hey." Green eyes tried to hide the admiring glance as they took in the long expanse
of leg peaking out of the blue shorts. Looking up wasnıt any better since the
cleavage exposed by the v-neck shirt caught her eye too. Oh my, I think this
woman would look good to me in a paper sack.ı She licked suddenly dry lips.
"Hey wo. Get in ere." Warm blue eyes beckoned her, as she took the books and papers
from the blondeıs hands.
"Ooh, something smells good, but I hope weıre not having that for dinner." Cory
pointed at the spoon. "What are you eating anyway?"
The brunette deposited the books on a nearby table. "Itwıs peanut buffer." Realizing
how ridiculous she sounded, Taylor sucked the rest of the snack off the spoon
and pulled it from her mouth. She chuckled apologetically. "Dinner was taking
longer than I expected, so I got a snack. Itıs the snack of champions you know."
"Mmm, more like the snack of big kid Taylor." She eyed the other woman with a
teasing glint in her eye.
"Hey, I donıt rag you about your Froot Loops and cartoons."
"Wendy observed the conversation with a slightly exasperated look. Theyıre like
big kids. Iım just waiting for one to smack the other on the arm and say you
got cooties.ı Ugh, itıs almost sickeningly cute.ı She had to do something before
this really got out of hand. "Ahem, hey short stuff. Long time no see."
Coryıs head whipped around. She had completely forgotten that the other woman
was going to be here too. Need to watch that tunnel vision, girlie.ı She turned
to the voice before sitting on the couch, giving her an apologetic smile. "Oh,
hey nice to see you again, Red Hots."
She heard the snort come from the adminıs mouth before the woman could hold it.
Wendy blinked, trying to process what she had just heard. "Red Hots? What on earth.
Cory held up a hand. "The way I figure it. We both got teased a lot for obvious
reasons growing up, so I was thinking that adding to it wouldnıt hurt. Is that
what you were thinking?"
ıOh, sheıs quick.ı "Touché. I knew I liked you." The redhead made her way to the
couch, but not before she heard the quiet chuckle come from the brunetteıs mouth.
Taylor turned and made her way back to the kitchen. There was no reason to worry
about those two. No reason at all.
Cory folded one leg under her as she scooted back on the couch. Turning at an
angle she sat face to face with the redhead. Green eyes gave her the once over.
There is something about her that I just like.ı "Iım glad that we get to meet
under much calmer circumstances."
Gray eyes bucked. "Yeah, you two throw a hell of a welcome party."
Cory chuckled wryly. "Yeah, I have to say that itıs been eventful since Taylor
came aboard, but the other day was something I just wasnıt prepared for." Her
eyes darkened in remembrance.
Wendy eyes rounded. "Oh, Iım sorry. I donıt mean to make light of what happened.
I just put my foot in it sometimes."
The blonde shook her head. "No, itıs okay. I think I would have fared a lot worse
if Taylor hadnıt been there."
"Yeah, sheıs a rock in any situation. The woman doesnıt crack often." Except
when it comes to you blondie.ı
ıBut, sheıs so vulnerable when she does.ı "Iıve noticed that about her. Um, do
you mind if I asked how you two met?"
Wendy laughed. "Sheıll probably kill me if she finds out."
Cory leaned in enjoying the conspiracy. "Sheıll never hear it from me."
The redhead rubbed her hands together. "Well, you know we went to Rutgers right?
Iım from Jersey, and so is Tay." The blond nodded. "I was a Sophomore, majoring
in accounting, and she was a second year Senior. I had seen her before because
she was dating this g--, um, one of my roommates at the time, but I didnıt really
know her. One thing we had in common is that we shared a professor. They had this
proff for a higher level class, and I was in an elective. Anyway, I found out
later that the proff was gay and made a pass at my roommate." She touched Cory
on the leg. "Taylor found out somehow, and the Taylor then wasnıt as mellow as
the Taylor now, meaning she was twice as intimidating." Wendy mentally wiped her
brow. She had never gone into a discussion without being able to use pronouns.
"Anyway, I just happened to have a meeting with him one day, and as I came around
the corner, guess who had beat me to his office?" The redhead sighed. It was just
too hard, lying and using him made it so much easier. "Taylor had the man against
the door, poking him in the chest and calling him names that would make a sailor
blush. Now, not much scares me, but the look on her face was enough to do it.
Apparently, it was enough for him too. All I heard was a growl, and I stood there
and watched while he peed on himself."
She smiled as Cory muffled a laugh.
"Taylor is almost six feet. This guy was little and skinny, so he didnıt stand
a chance. I didnıt think that I stood one either. I hoped she hadnıt seen me yet,
so I tried my best to get out of there as quietly as I could. I threw my backpack
over my shoulder and ran for it. Unfortunately, I had on sandals and they had
just waxed the floors. Soon as I turned a corner, I landed on my ass and slid
about three feet. I let out a scream that could wake the dead, and no sooner than
I stopped spinning that I looked up into these two blue chips of ice. And do you
know what she did? The hussy laughed at me! Was she scared that I had probably
just seen her assault a professor? No way, and I told her as much. It only made
her laugh harder. With as much dignity as I could muster, I got up, scowled at
her, and tried to pick up the books that had spilled from my bag. She pushed my
hands out of the way and got them for me, chuckling all the time. She walked me
home, saying that anybody that could make her laugh could hang out with her anytime.
Things just went from there." She smirked inwardly, knowing she had to leave out
the part about them becoming lovers.
Wendy studied the blonde for a moment, suspecting that the woman had been eating
up her every word. "Sheıs a great person to have in your life."
Cory laughed and shook her head. "Iım learning that." She paused. "So, did her
boyfriend ever find out about what happed or did anybody?"
"No, we are the only three, uh, make that four that knows, and you my dear have
to promise to take this to your grave."
The blonde chuckled. "Iıll do a pinky swear if you want me to?"
"No, no scoutıs honor will be enough." They laughed again. "Um, Cory? I need to
tell you how much I appreciate you befriending Taylor. Iım a thousand miles away,
and letıs face it, the woman can be so intense sometimes that itıs scary. She
needs somebody here that she can count on, and she doesnıt just let anybody in.
I donıt know you that well, but I like what I see. What Iım trying to say is that
Iım just glad she opened up to you."
The blonde nodded suddenly feeling a little shy. "Thanks. It took us a while to
get to this point." She blushed remembering the screaming matches and the name
calling. "It was pretty nasty at first. She even fired me, but know I can honestly
say that I donıt know what I would do without her."
Green and gray met sharing a mutual moment.
"I know what you mean shor--,um, Cory." All of a sudden feeling like she should
but out, Wendy decided to change the subject. "Hey, Taylor wants us to decide
on a vegetable. I say we freak her out and ask for brussel sprouts. She hates
"Mmm, lima beans," Cory deadpanned.
The redhead snorted.
Taylor stood rod still listening at the kitchen door. She hadnıt meant to, but
when she heard her name mentioned, curiosity got the better of her. Now, the brunette
muffled her laughter. They were really two of a kind. She was still going to kill
Wendy for telling that old story. She was no where near that bad then or now.
Was I?ı Still, she had to admire the way that the redhead kept the fact that
her roommate was female a secret.
Absentmindedly, she put her hands to her cheeks feeling the heat that was still
there. Coryıs whispered words had landed solidly in her heart, making warmth spread.
Hearing those words come out of the blondeıs mouth, somehow made her feel stronger
more confident, almost like she could conquer the world with the knowledge that
the blonde believed in her.
How can she believe in you totally with you keeping things from her.
Taylor gnashed her teeth. Little Shelley had picked a fine time to rear her head.
Because Iım afraid of what I might do.ı It could all fall down on you when
she finds out. Oh God, I know. I know.ı Feeling slightly dejected, she moved
deeper into the kitchen to stir the simmering sauce. She had moved just in time.
Cory walked in like a beautiful afterthought. The impish grin on the her face
made the adminıs potentially foul mood disappear. "Almost done. Is that monster
The grin got wider. "No, but it does smell unbelievable in here. What are you
With a motion of her hand, Taylor urged her closer to the stove. "I didnıt know
what you liked, so I figured Chicken Scampi was a safe dish." She continued to
stir the contents of the pot. "Do you wanna taste?" The brunette smiled full out
at the look of girlish delight on the younger womanıs face. "I take that as a
Cory could feel her head bob up and down as she took a step forward and moved
to the left to stand beside the brunette. Their elbows touched as the older woman
used her right hand to catch some sauce in the spoon. With her right hand under
it to prevent spilling, she brought the utensil to the blondeıs mouth. "Careful.
You should blow on it because itıs hot."
Cory nodded again and pursed her lips. Utterly fascinated, Taylor watched through
hooded eyes as the ripe lips slightly parted. She could feel the heat rush to
her face again, but this time it didnıt just stop there. She watched on as the
blonde sipped from the spoon. Green eyes closed and lips parted again on a sensual
moan. Taylor knew that the color had just left her face because all the blood,
by mutual consent, pooled elsewhere. Oh sweet mother--- Emerald green picked
that moment to open and look directly at her. Cory, please donıt look at me.
I donıt know what Iıll do.ı
Cory blinked. When had their faces gotten so close? She could see the darker chips
of blue hiding within the other womanıs irises, and minute lines fanning from
her eyes and around her mouth. That mouth. It was close as well. The blonde licked
her lips involuntarily, tasting the left over blend of spices. Would her mouth
be spicy as well?ı She moaned inwardly. I can even smell her.ı She swallowed.
I can see it in her eyes. She knows. She feels this.ı The swallow was followed
by a deep breath. Gotta stop this.ı Stepping back took considerable effort, but
she did it. Speaking was even harder. She had to swallow a few times to even get
her mouth to open. "Um, thatıs great. Whatıs in it?" The blonde hoped her voice
didnıt sound as husky as it felt.
Taylor took a little longer to come out of the spell, but eventually she did.
"Uh, what?" Her eyes felt unfocused and her tongue thick.
"The sauce. I donıt think Iıve ever had Chicken Scampi before."
"Oh!" Taylor shook her head slightly to clear it. "Just some garlic, lemon juice,
Chardonnay, and butter." Her body felt like it had been shot by a heat ray. She
swallowed hard, trying to immerse herself in calmer waters.
Cory smiled, feeling a little more settled. "Where did you learn to cook like
this?" She stepped back to lean against the counter and grimaced as the sharp
edges poked her spine in the wrong place. Still, it was somewhere safe. The iron
band of tension had been cracked but not broken.
"Survival skill that I had to learn in college, and I picked up a few things from
The caseworker chuckled. "How did I know that you were going to say that? Somehow
she strikes me as a person that knows a little bit about a lot."
"Yeah, that sounds about right. I was hoping that you two would get along. I guess
I got my wish. I heard laughing out there."
"Definitely. I like her, and I donıt think I can help it."
"Yep, thatıs the same way I felt. By the way, what did you two decide on for a
"Broccoli won out."
"Ah, I see. Well, let me start the pasta, and then Iıll steam the broccoli." She
turned off the sauce.
"Okay, but do you mind if I stay in here with you? I wanted to talk to you about
Blue eyes dark with concern and left over arousal turned her way. "Is something
"No, not really. I was just thinking about something yesterday, and I wondered
if you would go for it."
"Well, you never know. Shoot."
Well, um, given what we all saw a couple of days ago, I think that you should
bring an outside counselor in to gage the situation. What happened wasnıt an everyday
thing, and itıs bound to get to most people. Hell, itıs getting to me, but I have
"Mmm," she pursed her lips in thought. "I donıt know why I didnıt think of that.
Do you think itıs really needed?"
"Yeah, it could be very beneficial, especially to the new staff."
"Then itıs done."
Cory felt her mouth hanging open. "Um, just like that?"
Taylor turned from the slowly boiling pot and leaned against the part of the counter
nearest the stove. "Yeah, itıs that simple. I trust your judgment on this. Youıve
worked with these people longer than I have."
The blonde smiled. "We have come a long way havenıt we? There was a time not to
long ago where I didnıt want to listen to a word that came out of your mouth."
Blue eyes sparkled with mirth. "Yeah, it was right about the same time that I
wanted to sew yours shut." Good thing you listened to me. "Itıs a good
thing that I listened to Barb that day at the gym, or you wouldnıt be anywhere
at all." She could have sworn she heard LS blow raspberries. "Speaking of which
how is she? Luckily, I was able to give her time off immediately.
Cory shook her head. "I donıt know how she is. I tried to call yesterday, but
it wasnıt returned. I do miss her. She kept me from floating off into space somewhere.
As you have just pointed out, I do have a problem with my mouth." The caseworker
smirked wryly. "I think sheıll be okay. I trust she would call you if something
really went wrong."
"I donıt know. The look in her eyes scared me."
"I bet it did. You had the same look in your eyes a few days ago, and it scared
The blondeıs mouth opened, but nothing came out. "I-I donıt know what to say about
The admin smiled softly. "Itıs okay. You donıt have to say anything. I just want
you to get back completely to the old Cory with the runny mouth."
The blonde head hung, trying to hide the quick blush. "Um, thank you for caring
and looking out for me. It helps a lot. I donıt feel like Iım flying apart like
I did before, but I still canıt believe that he killed himself."
"I know. I wasnıt prepared for anything like that happening. Itıs a good thing
that carpet is being replaced in the morning. None of us need reminders."
Cory cocked her head to the side, caught up in a replay of the gory scene. "You
know, I felt something in me crack when I saw that. It was like I was outside
myself. Kind of hollow. When Mrs. Brown called, I felt almost full again. I donıt
know where I would be if it wasnıt for that or for you. I donıt even want to think
about where I would be."
Taylorıs throat bobbed. She remembered how she had begged the other woman to stay
when she saw the light go off in her eyes. It was something she didnıt want to
see ever again. "Iım here if you need me for whatever reason. I donıt want to
lose you as a co-worker or a friend." She stuffed her hands in her pockets feeling
nerves and other emotions creep up. Um, can I ask you something? Is the doctor
"Yeah, she is. Sheıs made me realize a lot about myself that I didnıt see before.
Iıve said some things out loud to her that were just running around wild in my
head." Like about you.ı
"So, do you think youıre going to be ready to go back out in the field starting
Cory shook her head slowly. "I honestly donıt know. I donıt want to walk into
something that Iım not prepared to handle."
"Okay. How about this? You talk to your doctor and let me know when youıre ready."
"Are you sure? With Barb gone, I donıt want to put any extra strain on anybody
"I can understand that, but you want to get back to where youıre helping people,
Cory, and not hurting yourself."
"I know youıre right. Iıll just have to be more patient."
They were interrupted by the black pot on the stove coming to a rolling boil.
"Well, I think itıs time to put the pasta in." Turning around, she grabbed the
package of thin spaghetti and poured a good portion of it in her hand. Before
breaking the sticks in half, she called over her shoulder. "Hey, look in the veggie
crisper in the fridge and give me the broccoli?" She completed the breaking motion
and separated what she could with small tongs.
Cory opened the behemoth of a refrigerator and smirked when she heard a drum roll
come from behind. "Smartass, " she muttered, but she only got a chuckle in return.
"I canıt believe Wendy didnıt follow you in here. Whatıs she doing out there?"
"Oh, sheıs watching some womenıs game on Lifetime," Cory replied to the other
womanıs back. What a nice back it is too. Down girlie.ı
"Thatıs the WNBA. Whoıs playing?"
"Uhm, Houston and Sacramento. I think."
The admin let go of an amused chuckle. "Houston will wipe the floor with them."
A blonde brow raised in interest. "You follow that stuff?"
"Yeah, I used to play in college. Power forward."
She chuckled again. "It was my position. Was pretty good too, but it was just
something to let off steam because of classes and stuff."
ıGod, there goes that sexy chuckle again.ı "I see. You know I seem to learn something
new about you everyday. I might have to expand my definition of your type pretty
Taylor flashed a smile over her shoulder, but didnıt comment. Cory reared back
into the counter again. "Ouch!"
Through talking over her shoulder, the admin turned completely around. "You okay?"
"Yeah, itıs just that the counter edge is hitting me in the wrong spot."
"Oh, why donıt you jump up then?"
"Donıt want to mess up your counter, and itıs pretty high off the ground. Why
donıt I just go get a chair and bring it in here?"
"No, itıs okay. Iıll give you a boost."
Before the blonde could protest, the woman was in front of her, and strong hands
wrapped around her waist. Placing small hands around the other womanıs biceps
for leverage, with a little hop, she found herself on top of the black, immaculate
countertop. She also found herself face to face with a beautiful woman. A beautiful
woman who she was attracted to. The crack in the tension lessened as blue and
green met in the suddenly charged silence.
Taylor became hyper aware of strong thighs near the top of her own and the feel
of soft flesh on flesh. A familiar floral smell assaulted her senses, making her
nostrils flare and her heart slam against her chest. This contact was too much
too soon. Unchained arousal flooded her body. Her breathing hitched, and a growl
hung in the back of her throat. Blood rushed to the area between her legs, making
her sensitive to her own clothing. They were so close. All she had to do was flex
her hips forward to relieve the pressure. Blue, darkened with desire, bore into
green that seemed just as cloudy. She can feel it too. I know she can." The admin
felt a fine shiver quake within the blonde. It only confirmed what she already
Sparkling blue looked longer and harder as if asking for permission to touch,
to move, to feel. The emerald gaze didnıt flinch, didnıt falter, but it grew darker.
It was all the permission she needed. Bracing shaky hands on either side of the
blondeıs elevated hips, she undulated her own and was rewarded with the smallest
and sexiest of whimpers that released her own growl and made breathing suddenly
Coryıs mind swam from either lack of oxygen or the overflow of sensation. She
didnıt care which. She just didnıt want it to stop. She ignored the nagging voice
that whispered, she sure seems to know what sheıs doing.ı
It was all okay until she saw the flush of tanned skin, the glint in silver-blue
eyes, and heard the sensual growl. She read the message that they sent. It was
need, plain and simple. A need that she knew mirrored her own. Caught up in the
wave of it all, she squeezed the thighs in between her own as a precursor to crossing
her legs behind the other womanıs waist. Sinking blunt fingernails into taught
biceps, she met Taylorıs hips with gyrations of her own. Her breath came out in
harsh pants as quick arousal snaked its way through her blood and pooled in her
The second whimper was longer, louder. Bare skin exposed from beneath brief shorts
that had ridden up, brushed sensuously as hips moved slightly faster. Heads leaned
in, and foreheads touched. Still, eyes refused to break contact and lips danced
dangerously close to each other. The kitchen was suffused with the sounds of harsh
breathing, breathless moans, and boiling water. Deep in a spell of their own casting,
they didnıt hear the door swish open, but they did hear the shocked, "Holy Shit!"
Coryıs body stiffened, and she began to hastily push off the counter. It was a
mistake with legs that had the consistency of Jell-O. Trying to hide the blush
of embarrassment and arousal, Taylor kept her head down, and luckily, she was
able to see the blondeıs distress. Wrapping her hands around the small waist once
more, she helped her to the ground. They glanced at each other briefly then at
the floor in an attempt to get breathing under control.
Wendy watched them both and waited patiently with a knowing smile plastered on
her face. Cory was the first to look up. A deep red assaulted her features, but
her gaze was steady. The redheadıs smile grew. Taylor glanced upward at her friend
with a glare already in place. When she saw that the smile only got wider, the
glare changed to a scowl. Completely forgetting what she had come in the kitchen
for, the redhead simply said, "Taylor, you need to think about getting a lock
on the kitchen door," and left with a swoosh.
Cory could feel reality crashing in on her like a ten ton boulder. They had just
skipped about a million steps, and they were steps she wasnıt even sure the brunette
was willing to take. Deep down she knew that the attraction was mutual, but what
they had just shared had the force of a twenty megaton bomb. She completely lost
herself in it, and it scared her. It scared her big time, making her heart thud
for a different reason all together.
Her thoughts began to roam, and confusion took the place of aforementioned arousal.
Wouldnıt she tell me if she had done this before? When I was outed it was the
perfect time to say that she was family. Surely she wouldnıt keep something like
this from me?ı Puzzled eyes glanced up to find pale blue that were wild with their
Every ethics book that she had ever read fell on her head like a ton of bricks.
Little Shelley simply whispered, ıItıs about time.ı None of it was any
help at all. The line between them had been wiped away by a touch. A touch that
quickly went out of control. She had done what she had longed to do two nights
ago, and the only thing she felt right now was rotten and scared. The rotten feelings
came from the fact that she had been hiding behind a lie that she suddenly didnıt
know how to tell anymore, and the scared ones existed because she didnıt know
where they stood, if they stood at all. Suddenly, the job or the rep didnıt matter.
A pang of emptiness made her heart ache. The only thing that mattered was preserving
whatever had been shattered, but deep down she had to admit that she wanted them
both, the fiery connection and the friendly one.
The flying elephant that had been in the room with them for so long, now, had
to be acknowledged and discussed.
The admin watched through haggard eyes as the caseworker retreated to a safe distance
by the stove. Thankfully, somebody had the sense left to turn off the food, and
she also knew that somebody had to say something.
Confused green eyes filled her gaze, and thoughts flew. "Um, we need to talk."
The blonde head nodded before she spoke. "Yeah, we do. Um, can we do it after
dinner? I need time to, um, you know?" Small hands wrung, and green eyes silently
"Yeah, sure. Do you want to leave the presentation for another night? It would
be kinda hard to focus now." Taylor dropped her head sheepishly and put her hands
in her pockets. She watched the blonde head nod again as the woman made a retreat
to the living room. Taylor stood there feeling something she hadnıt felt in a
while between them, awkwardness.
Chapter XXII: . . .Two Steps
Like the trooper she was,
Cory walked into the living room and sat right beside Wendy. Oooh, this girlıs
has balls. Iım liking her more and more.ı The blonde sat ram rod straight on the
edge of the cushion. Slowly, the caseworkerıs head turned. The redhead became
more impressed when the blush she was expecting didnıt appear. Cory was the first
one to speak. "I guess you didnıt expect to see that, huh?"
Wendy pursed her lips to keep from smirking. "No, not when all I came in there
for was a glass of wine."
"Well, you couldnıt be nearly as surprised as I was that it happened," she replied
The redhead reached over to squeeze the closest knee. It was time to stop playing.
The confusion and fear in the green eyes told her so. "Hey, itıs okay. Whatever
happened in there is between you and Taylor. Iım nosey, but I do know when and
where to draw the line. Taylorıs my best friend, and I consider you a friend also.
I learned a long time ago not to really interfere in her life unless she asked
me to. Iım guessing that you two have some talking to do, and far be it for me
to but in. Iıll stay for dinner just because it would be a sin to pass up on her
cooking, but after that Iıll leave." The redhead accountant was hoping to get
a smile from her last statement. She came out fifty-fifty when the caseworker
displayed a wobbly grin.
Dinner was an exercise in complete futility. The only one who ate with any gusto
was Wendy. Cory opted for the seat on the other side, closer to the redhead. She
picked over her food as her brain turned over images of what had just transpired
in the kitchen long minutes ago. With a snap of a finger, things had changed between
them. Feelings of loss and worry made her forehead crease. She knows about me.
Maybe the attraction is just curiosity on her part. God knows that I donıt want
to go down that road again. Itıs crooked and leads to a dead end. Still, wouldnıt
she tell me if she was gay? Wouldnıt I know? There isnıt a reason for her to lie
to me. Not now, when weıve come so far. No, itıs got to be curiosity, and maybe
we can fix this before it gets out of hand, saving at least the friendship.ı She
speared a broccoli floret and put it in her mouth. It tasted like green paste.
Her appetite left the minute they pulled apart in the kitchen. Trying to exercise
stealth, she discreetly glanced at the brunette seated on the other side of the
table She didnıt appear to be any better. What a mess.ı
Even though the chicken was marinated to perfection, it tasted like sawdust in
Taylorıs mouth. With hooded eyes, she glanced around the table. She had taken
out her motherıs good china for them to eat and for her to serve the food in.
It had all been for her to make her feel better; to show her that someone cared,
and it had all been ruined by her own raging hormones. A friendship could be gone
and a professional relationship might have suffered. She had been lying to herself
when she thought her little secret would keep the lines drawn in the sand. Maybe
I shot off like Roger Ramjet because I havenıt been involved in the past few years.ı
She could hear Little Shelleyıs dry laughter. No dear. It was because of her
plain and simple. She replied just as dryly. Okay no-it-all, what do I do
now?ı Tell her and deal with the consequences. That way at least you two can
start with a clean slate. Start what?ı She waited a few seconds for the answer,
but LS had gone quiet.
Wendy watched the two of them over her glass as she sipped. Look at them. Watching
each other and pretending like they arenıt. Jeez, Taylor, I knew that you cared
about her, but who knew you were going to pounce like that?ı She turned an eye
to Cory. And blondie here looked like she was enjoying it. Whoo, you got some
explaining to do, Tay.ı She turned an eye to her friend. But both of you are
just sitting here like knots on a log. Well, somebody needs to say something.ı
The redhead snorted. Figures it would be me.ı She smacked her lips after taking
another sip. "Houston won."
A dark head raised and blue eyes glared at her friend, but Wendy being Wendy,
she just kept on talking. "I know that probably whatıs on your mind right now,
Coop scored thirty," she deadpanned. She saw the full lips twitch. "Swoopes only
scored fifteen but she had three steals. I knew youıd want to know." The lips
pursed but formed a smirk anyway. With surprised eyes and armed with a fork, the
redhead pointed at her ebony haired friend. "Ooh, whatıs that? Was it that famous
crooked smile?" She turned to Cory. "What do you think? Did it pass muster?"
The blonde felt two sets of eyes on her that were within smirking faces. She sighed.
Was this woman for real? She peered at the redhead through narrowed eyes. Yeah,
she definitely is.ı Knowing that she didnıt have a choice, she answered. "No,
the lip needs to curl more on the left side."
This time Wendy snorted out loud. It was followed by Taylorıs chuckle then Coryıs.
The accountant eyed her handy work. Not bad.ı "Good. Are you two gonna eat now?
Youıre making me feel malnourished." That earned another round of chuckles. After
that, dinner at least passed with light conversation.
Now finished, Cory was attacked by a fit of nerves. She didnıt want Wendy to leave,
and she didnıt want her and Taylorıs little talk to happen. At that moment, she
wanted to try her best at forgetting the whole thing, and going back to where
they were. Her inner voice laughed and called it a childish wish, but she was
going to try to make it come true, nonetheless. She didnıt want to hear, Iım
curious. Can you help?ı or anything else that was going to hurt. She watched as
Taylor gathered plates and take them into the kitchen. Waiting for the kitchen
door the swish closed, she leaned toward Wendy. "Um, why donıt you stay for awhile?
We can watch a movie. She has a DVD and a VCR." The blonde blinked against Wendyıs
penetrating stare. "Getting cold feet?"
Cory shook her head vehemently. "No, no. I just want to get to know you better.
I know that youıre leaving in a couple of days."
Wendy turned away to drain her almost empty wine glass. She glanced back quipped,
"Uh-huh." She got up to carry some of the fragile china into the kitchen. Before
getting to the door, she called over her shoulder, "Thatıs the same entertainment
center Tay had in Jersey. The tape deck is at the bottom."
Cory nodded and watched her disappear into the kitchen before she got up to do
a frantic search. She kneeled in front of the huge piece of furniture. The little
door at the bottom opened with snap then a creek, and she peered in. The video
tapes were on top, so she decided to peruse them first. Her brow scrunched. Desert
Hearts? Iıve never heard of that. Curious, she pulled out the tape to read
the back cover.
Wendy sat the plates and utensils on the counter since the brunette was washing
dishes. "Your friend in there just had an attack of the nerves. I told her that
I would leave after dinner so that you two could talk, but she just asked me to
stay. She wants to watch a movie, so I told her where to find them. I hope itıs
okay, but Iıll leave anyway if you want me to." The redhead talked to her friendıs
back. Concern made her brows go up when she saw said back stiffen. Reaching out
a hand, she touched the adminıs shoulder. "Tay? You okay?"
Dishes fell into the water, dropped by her suddenly nerveless fingers. "Oh God,
all my movies are in there. All of them. I didnıt want her to find out this way."
Then like a shot, she was gone. Wendy stared at the sud drippings. "Oh." Then
Cory swallowed hard, and her heart beat painfully against her ribs. Realization
dawned, and she didnıt feel all that enlightened. She only felt betrayed. She
had gone through the bulk of them over and over again, but they were still mostly
lesbian films: Bound, Bar Girls, High Art, and a host of others. To top
it all off was an obvious porno, Where the Boys Arenıt 12. She lied to
me. She fucking lied to me. She knew how I felt about her. I know she did. I couldnıt
hide it anymore, but SHE didnıt mind hiding. She didnıt mind it all.ı She threw
the tapes down in disgust and turned when she heard the swish of the door and
quickened footsteps. Green eyes glanced upward alight with fury. Her face flushed
red and her breathing came in gasps. She stood up slowly, making the most out
of her five feet and four inches and got as close to the other woman as she could
Taylor felt the fury before she saw it. It came off the woman in huge waves. Feeling
lost and scared, she didnıt know what to say, so two words stumbled from her mouth,
"Cory, I" She saw a small hand raise, but wasnıt prepared for the slap that resulted.
It stung, but she welcomed the pain. Anything was better than the fear that tumbled
through her body. Iım going to lose her.ı
"Shut up!" She screamed. "Why? You had the perfect opportunity to tell me. Why
The anguish spilling from darkened green made her flinch. Her voice was hoarse
with emotion. "I was going to tell you---
She was interrupted by dry laughter. "When? When I couldnıt take it anymore and
was begging you to touch me?! You knew that I was attracted to you. I know you
did. I could see it in your eyes Taylor. . ."
The admin flinched again with the use of past tense.
"But you hid from me. What do you think this is? Some sort of sick game to play
with my head? Did you just want to see how far you could push? Was the kitchen
far enough for you!? I canıt believe I trusted you, and I thought I knew you.
All that time, you were just showing me what you wanted me to see. Do you know
how sick that is?"
Taylor shook her head and took a step toward her with her hands reaching outward.
If I could just take her in my arms and show her. . .ı
"No, stay away from me! Donıt touch me," the blondeıs voice fell to a throaty
She turned away from the taller woman and searched the room frantically for her
belongings. Green met gray and Wendy had to look away. The pain was too much.
Cory spied her purse on the couch. "I-I need to get out of here." She grabbed
it and headed for the door.
"Cory, wait!" But it was said to the blondeıs back and then, the slamming door.
Taylorıs heart fell in her stomach and sour bile made its way to her throat. Why
didnıt I listen? Now, I donıt have anything!ı Her chest heaved as the pain poured
into her torso. At least, it was something. It filled up the big empty hole that
formed when the door slammed. Hands fisted and fell to her side, and she felt
fingernails biting into her skin but welcomed it. Finally, she turned wild, bereft
eyes towards Wendy. Oh God, Iıve never seen her like this before.ı The redhead
took a step forward, but she was waved away. So, she settled for talking instead.
"Taylor, donıt do this to yourself. Go to her. Talk to her." Blue eyes stared
back as if they didnıt understand. "Get out of here and go catch her!" It was
all the admin needed to hear.
She ran down the hall at break neck speed, bypassing the elevator that was already
in use. The door to the stairwell flew open and banged against the wall with an
ear shattering thud. With the ebony mane flying behind her, she took the steps
two and three at a time and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw the door to
the first floor. Standing in the foyer, she looked up at the elevator and wondered
if she had beat it. She waited a second, hearing her heart thunder in her ears.
It was long enough. The brunette pushed her way through the doors not caring if
the glass broke as they banged against the other side of the wall. She stood on
the front two steps with blue eyes searching the dark, and she saw a blonde head
shining in the street lamps as it edged closer and closer to the familiar looking
car. The admin took off at full speed again, cutting across the immaculate grass.
She ignored the feeling of dripping cold water as the sprinklers soaked her legs
and torso. "Cory, wait!" Please donıt leave me!ı Just a little further, Taylor.
You can make it!
Cory heard her name being called. The sound of the womanıs voice ripped through
her, pulling her into two parts. Part of her wanted to stay and the other part
urged her to run. She sped up to a brisk walk. She lied to me.ı She whispered
it like a mantra.
Taylor felt like she had been running forever. Then suddenly she was within arms
length. She reached out and grabbed Coryıs flailing hand. Taking hold, she clasped
tighter when the blonde tried to wrench away. "No, let me go!" Tears made the
caseworkerıs voice higher. With the strength she had left, Taylor pulled the smaller
woman toward her. "No, I canıt. Not now."
Coryıs body sagged as she continued to sob, but she refused to make eye contact.
"Why did you lie to me?"
Using her free hand, Taylor lifted the blonde womanıs chin willing her to look
her in the eyes to see her own pain. "Iım so sorry. I-I thought that I had to.
To stop this"
The large hand released the smaller one, and she brought cool, wet fingers to
trace the blondeıs trembling mouth. Using both hands to cup the other womanıs
chin, she lifted her face to bring it closer to her own. Without another word
or a whisper, the dark head descended. In a moment of perfect pain and passion,
their lips touched. Taylor groaned at the first taste. Full lips brushed and lifted,
brushed and lifted, and her body trembled not because of the cold but because
she felt for the first time in her life.
Again, Cory felt herself get lost in the emotional tide sweeping them. The gentleness
of the kisses made her heart quiver and her whole body follow suit. It would have
been so easy to give into what she was feeling, but once again, the fear surfaced.
She wrenched her mouth away and took a shaky step back. "No, no!" Silver blue
implored her, and strong arms reached out. Still, she backed away.
Taylor continued to reach out helplessly, trying to touch perfection yet again.
All she felt was air. She watched in horror as the blonde closed her car door.
With the sound of the slam, her insides caved.
Cory wiped angrily at the tears as she started the ignition and peeled away. Looking
into the rearview mirror, she could see Taylorıs outline, and the tears started
anew. Why are you running?ı A little voice asked. She lied to me No, look
within. You knew all you needed to know, but you just chose not to see it. Youıre
running because youıre scared of where caring about her could lead.ı The blondeıs
foot pressed on the gas in her attempt to outrun the voice and her feelings.
I say? Into every life, some hard rain must fall. Donıt yell at me too much.
to come soon. You know where to reach me.
to Main Page