See No Evil
Cory hated Merrilville. The people that
walked around in the mall seemed like they didnıt have a care in the world,
while those actually living in it were experiencing hell. It wasnıt ironic that
she was actually one of them this time around. She figured this mall looked
like every other one in the country with fake plants, efficient escalators,
a wishing fountain, and cheesy stands that sold faux designer sunglasses and
jewelry at half price. The air was cool and smelled of popcorn with the sounds
being a mixture of murmuring children, loud patrons and splashing water permeating
it. All in all, it was a nice little get away if so many people didnıt well.
. . get away, which only added to the carefree air.
She hated shopping almost as much as she hated Merrilville. So, by proxy, her mood should have significantly soured, but with JR along,, it was kind of hard to be sour. She had ended up laughing at his antics with the saleswomen, and they both had a good chuckle when talking about old times. She followed him from store to store, critiquing his choice of clothes until time started to wind down.
"Hey Wipe? Itıs almost 1 oıclock, so we had better get going."
"Shhh, would you not call me that around here! Itıs gonna hurt my rep with the ladies."
Cory snorted. When that sound ended, another began. Two pairs of green eyes looked downward, toward her belly.
"Whoa, that thing sounds like a monster from those old Japanese films." He rubbed her stomach affectionately through the cotton tee. Picking up his bags, he murmured from behind them. "Come on Rodan. Letıs get out of here."
She gave him an evil smirk and fell in beside him.
"Hey! Youıre not gonna help?!
Moving in front of him, she rearranged some of the bags and boxes to give a slim view of his surroundings. She clapped and rubbed her hands together. "There. This is my charity to you for the day." She quickly moved to the side as he lunged for her disrupting the precarious packages. "Ah, behave and come on." They made their way to the JCPenny exit, before she looked down and started to fish in her purse for the keys.
Taylor put up a hand in thanks to the car that stopped to let her pass. She jogged quickly across the street heading toward the Pennyıs entrance. Despite her attire of white shorts and light sleeveless, blue top, she could still feel the sweltering heat beat down from above. Maybe Iıll get some lighter clothes too.ı Pale blue scanned the sidewalk as she got up to the doors. She blinked as a familiar presence exited from the door that she was about to enter. Taylor blinked again, thinking this was a manifestation of her overheated brain, but there she was with her head buried in a purse. A little ping of giddiness ceased her emotions at the sight of the blonde caseworker. She stopped where she was and waited to be acknowledged. Glancing to the side, she noticed a tall man walking beside the caseworker. Curious green eyes peaked from around the myriad of packages, and she raised a brow at their familiarity.
"Psst! Hey Bunch. . ."
"Hold on JR. Iım trying to find my keys."
"But, Bunch. Thereıs a"
"Shhh! I said---"
Her speech was cut off by a shadow that took away needed light.
"Hey buddy youıre in----" She stared at the blue shirted chest and noticed it to be a womanıs. Eyes moved downward over impossibly long tan legs and sandal encased feet. Ooh, nice legs.ı Cory quickly glanced upward and swallowed hard at the laughter in the blue eyes and the smirk on full lips. Her purse dropped from nerveless fingers, causing Taylor to raise an eyebrow in concern. She hadnıt meant to throw the woman off. Bending over, she intended to help the blonde retrieve her belongings. Moving almost simultaneously, heads connected at the midway point.
JR snorted in amusement from his upright position. Rubbing her forehead, Cory wasnıt deterred, she bent and gathered up the spilled contents slowly to give herself time to recuperate from shock. Oh my God! What a small damned world!ı Her heart jumped to her throat, causing the pulse to jump erratically. Um, okay calm girly. Itıs not like you havenıt met in public before. Yeah, but last time she fired you. Breathe, breath. Thereıs no chance of that now. Ugh, so what is there a chance for? God, what do I do?!ı ıFirst, you CALM DOWN!ı An inner voice screamed. Okay, damn you donıt have to yell!ı Taking a few deep breaths, she felt some tension ease. As she finished picking things up, she stood, getting a birdıs eye view of long, muscular legs again. She really does have nice legs. Oh, shut up!ı
Stunned, Taylor looked from the chuckling man to the kneeling woman. Well, that went well. Should I step on her toe next? Of all the places to run into her, this had to be the one. What the hell do I do now?ı She watched the blonde rise and took in the wary look shining in green eyes. Well, at least sheıs as weirded out as I am.ı
Cory cleared her throat. "Uh, hi. Sorry about. . .well you know." She motioned with her hands.
Green and blue connected as apprehension slipped away and the humor of the situation set in. Taylor couldnıt help but chuckle. "Hi yourself. Itıs been a long time since someone made me see stars."
ıOooh was that a joke! Ornah.ı The blonde smiled. "Well, glad I could oblige."
They all shifted over to let other people through.
"So, what are you doing here at our main attraction?"
"Uh, buy some exercise equipment and maybe a few other things. I havenıt been here before, but I heard one of the caseworkerıs talking about it. So, how are you?"
"Uh, Iım doing better," she said turning her head away.
Then, they both turned as JR cleared his throat from behind the packages. Cory gave her brother a smirk. "Oh, sorry. I was here with my brother, following him around like a puppy while he shopped. W- um JR this is my boss, Taylor. Taylor this is JR, my younger brother."
Taylor decided to let the obvious lie go for now and reached out a hand. She couldnıt hide the amusement as the young man dropped the bags and reach for her outstretched hand. JR gave her a toothy smile as her ran a free hand through his hair. It was Coryıs turn to chuckle. "Alright JR, weıd better get going so you wonıt be late."
"Oh yeah. Nice to meet you Taylor." He got a nod in return.
The blonde woman turned to Taylor in explanation. "He has a seminar that heıs attending in Chicago."
Long dark lashes hid her disappointment. Of course she was leaving.ı "Oh, sorry to hold you up. Weıll have to meet somewhere on purpose next time."
Warmth flushed from the inside out. "Um, yeah. Thatıll be nice. Well, weıd better get going." She waited for JR to gather his bags then they turned to leave.
Watching them walk away, Taylor didnıt know if it was a whim or silent whisper from Little Shelley. She just didnıt want the conversation to end before it barely got started, and something kept nagging her to find out what was behind those green eyes. She called out, "Hey!" The blonde caseworker turned. "Um, you could stay and show me around this place. We could even catch some lunch?"
Cory glanced at her brother.
"Iıll drive you home if thatıs what youıre worried about."
The caseworker took a moment to make her decision. The other woman looked so different outside the office. Would she be different too? Cory recalled the way that they had talked on the way to the board meeting. Yeah, I think she could be different.ı "Sure, give me a minute." She glanced at JR again only to see him smirking. "What?"
"Now, sis thatıs what I call a major hottie! Donıt tell me you didnıt notice?"
"Jesus, Wipe. Sheıs my boss!" She whispered harshly.
"You still didnıt answer the question. Hell, if you donıt want her, fix me up."
Cory stared at him incredulously. "Iım not your pimp! Besides, youıre too young, and she would eat you alive."
He looked down at her confused. "And?"
Sighing, "Nevermind." She slammed the keys in his hand. "Here, just take my car and go on to your seminar. I have a spare house key in my purse."
"Okay, Iıll see you later then." He picked up the his things and left.
Taylor took a few breaths to calm the threatening nerves. Get a hold of yourself Tay. You wanted to get to know her.ı Relief flooded her as the blonde jogged back across the street.
Cory stopped in front of the taller woman and looked up into smiling pale blue. "Hi, again."
Taylor smiled toothily. "Long time no see. Where to first?"
Walking ahead of her, Cory assumed the other woman would follow. "Letıs go find your exercise equipment. Do you have something in mind?"
They walked through a throng of people. "Yeah, a weight set, including a bench.."
The blonde peaked curiously at toned arms. "I thought you went to the gym?"
They both had to talk a little louder over the noises of the crowded mall.
"I am, but I need something more personalized too. That gym doesnıt exactly have grade A equipment."
"Mmm, I think I know the perfect place. Itıs this place on the second floor called Gantos. They have all sort of fitness equipment in there. Cımon we need to hop an escalator. As they were about to get on the escalator, a gang of kids pushed from behind, trying to get on before them. Cory was jostled to the side, and Taylor wrapped an arm around the caseworkerıs waist to move her out of the way faster. The arm felt strong, warm with its heat burning through the thin t-shirt .
"Whoa! Dammit, I hate shopping."
Pulling the smaller form into her body, Taylor ended up facing a wall while warding off the running stragglers with a broad back. "Iıve got you," she whispered in the caseworkerıs ear.
The blonde was pillowed into the firm body in back of her. The customary smell of mall popcorn was blotted out with the spicy smell of the other womanıs perfume. She sucked in a deep breath and tingled with the familiar feeling of being safe for the second time in this womanıs arms.
Taylorıs mind screamed at the ease in which she held the woman. There was no awkwardness. No nerves. Just a nice fit. Not wanting to outlast propriety, pale eyes scanned the near vicinity before slowly releasing her hold. "Okay, all clear. I think."
Cory peered from one side to the other. "Whoo, thanks. Thatıs the only problem with being short. The kids today tower over me and could probably run me over." She looked up into azure with a smile. In another gesture of thanks, the blonde wrapped a hand around the other womanıs forearm, squeezing slightly. "Cımon, letıs go, stretch." Coryıs smile got bigger with the twinkle in the adminıs eyes.
Once in the store, Cory watched as Taylor tried out several forms of equipment. She couldnıt hold her laughter as the saleıs reps fought over the taller woman, and snorted when the woman barked at them to go away.
Now, the older woman lay flat on her back staring up at what looked like a significant amount of weight. The blonde eyed her curiously. Shining blue glanced up at her. "Spot me will ya?"
Cory smirked then nodded her head. She watched in fascination. With a small grunt and a release of air. The woman lifted the bar several times. She sat it back on its rest. Then proceeded to do it again. Sleek muscles in her arms worked and neck muscles stood out in effort. With a final louder grunt, she lifted the bar one last time. "Can you give me a hand here?" Taylor asked in a slightly strained voice.
Cory blinked completely taken in by the site until she heard her name called. Assuming the other woman needed help, she leaned forward placing her hands in the middle of the metal bar. Not realizing that Taylor had loosened her grip on the bar, Cory could feel herself being pulled forward. She squealed in surprise. The admin looked up just in time to see the other woman falling forward. On weakened arms, she struggled to bring the bar back down slowly. The blonde was on her knees, but leaning forward face to face with the other woman. Cory blinked, realizing that she didnıt fall. Releasing her grip, she backed up a little until green met blue. Their faces were so close that short blonde strands were brushing against the other womanıs face. The gaze held, and the caseworker found herself peering into ice blue eyes. The color seemed true with flecks of darker blue in the pupil that only served to accentuate them. It made her breath catch with the urge to swim in them. She tore her gaze away with effort only to have it land on full lips, devoid of lipstick. She couldnıt help but lick her own.
Taylor held her breath, but the peach smell of blonde tresses entered her senses anyway. She followed the line of pure, flawless skin as the blonde moved. The spell was broken with the ringing of the store phone. Whoa, what the hell?ı Cory said to herself. She cleared her throat and moved to her feet. Dusting off the knees of her pants, she drew in a calming breath. "Well, put me in a funky skirt and call me danger prone Daphne."
After putting the bar in it's proper place, Taylor sat up. The moment was broken, but another one started. Her mouth twitched in mirth. She looked up at the smaller woman to see eyes glittering with laughter. They chuckled easily. Very, very, very interesting.ı Little Shelley whispered in her ear. "I think Iıll take this one."
Cory picked up her purse from the floor. "Good, I think they deliver within 24 hours."
With the purchase made, they headed out the store. "Where to next?" The blonde asked.
The sentence was interrupted by a loud growling. The caseworker grabbed her stomach and looked up sheepishly.
"Um, lunch definitely. We have to feed that monster in your belly."
They made a beeline for a nearby Ruby Tuesday. Cory recited her order to a young boy who looked at her dreamily. "I'll have the Ceasar Salad with dressing on the side to start with. Then, bring me a bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings instead of fries, a strawberry milkshake, and carrot cake for desert. "
Taylor's mouth twitched but she decided to hold it in until the waiter left. "Uh, I'll have mushroom-swiss burger with steak fries, and a large diet Dr. Pepper."
The green looking boy nodded, gave Cory one last look, then left. The admin let her smile through. "Y'know I think the kid thinks you're my daughter or something. He was giving you the goo-goo eyes."
"Nuh-uh, you're kidding." Green eyes looked around shocked. "I get that a lot actually, and I haven't decided if it's my looks or my height."
Taylor cocked her head to the side, giving the other woman the once over. "You do have a younger face, but anyone should be able to see the experience in your eyes."
Cory glanced up, only to see dark head lower. She took a sip of her water and patiently peered over the cup. Short minutes later, pale blue met hers again. The blonde gave her a slow smile. "I don't know why he thought that you were my mom. You don't have a gray hair in your head and barely a wrinkle, except the ones around your mouth when you smile. Those are just character lines."
The comment earned a raised eyebrow and a crooked grin. "I have the decimated bodies of fired employees in my trunk. Keeps me young," she deadpanned.
Cory couldn't hide the surprise from widening her eyes. Then they narrowed when she realized that it was a joke. "Careful, Taylor, the real you is showing, but it's kinda nice to get to know her."
The admin hid an uncharacteristic blush behind the water glass. She sat it back down with a thud. "Only kind of?" She asked with curious eyes.
Not intimidated or deterred, Cory answered truthfully. "I'll let you know."
Blue eyes darkened with warmth then she let loose a bark of laughter. It was deep, free, and it changed her whole face. Cory decided that she liked it
"Has anybody ever told you that you are beyond blunt?" She charged on, not waiting for an answer. "It's quite invigorating. I like it."
The blonde bit her lip, looking impish. "It's a family curse. You should sit down and talk to my brother. He's shameless."
Taylor gave her a smile instead of commenting as the lovestruck waiter returned. They both watched as he put dish after dish in front of Cory then sat the admin's lunch on the table. The dark haired woman studied the blonde as she tucked into her food with a sensuous sigh.
"Where on earth do you put all of that?"
The blonde caseworker looked up. "Huh? Oh, another family curse, high metabolism. I like working out, but I usually don't have the time to do it regular."
"You look fine to me." A flashback of sweat covered, muscular legs filled her vision from the kickboxing ring.
"You look better." Cory stopped mid-chew, feeling the blush creep up past her neck. "Um, I mean you have a nice body." 'Damn!' "I mean that you must work out a lot. You look pretty toned." She took a long sip of her shake mortified at her own behavior. 'Why don't you just tell her what she looks like naked, idiot!'
Taylor held up a hand. "It's okay. I know what you meant, and I do. It releases a lot of stress."
"Ah, I see. Good idea."
Conversation was sparse as they ate. They barely spoke until the waiter returned to take away empty plates. Cory patted her full stomach and looked across the table as Taylor sipped on a refreshed diet Dr. Pepper. Blue eyes looked up and caught hers suddenly. "I don't mean to pry, but we're friends right?"
The blonde looked at her with a little wariness. "Yeah. . ."
"Then why don't you tell me how you're really doing. You're not a very good liar."
The caseworker sat back in the seat. "And you call me blunt?"
Taylor shrugged. "Just letting you know that I'm here if you want to talk."
The blonde looked into the crystal blue gaze and saw sincerity starring back at her. It would be so easy just to let go, so freeing, and for some reason that she couldn't fathom, she wanted to talk to the very woman sitting across from her. The feeling was part disconcerting and part comforting. She closed her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose. Blowing out a breath, she took the proverbial step forward. "The nightmares started this morning."
Taylor sat down her drink and leaned in with relief, listening closely.
The blonde ran small hands around the sweaty water glass. "I mean I knew when I took this job that I couldn't save everyone, but to know it and KNOW it is two different things. In my dreams, I see kids that I can't help at all. They call for me, but I'm stuck." She stared into blue eyes not seeing. "I have seen so much that can be categorized as evil. Parents that hurt, kill, and maim their kids, and kids who do that to each other. I know all about the cycle of abuse, but I sometimes wonder will it ever end if no one realizes that their in it?"
Taylor swallowed. 'I had no idea, kid, that you felt so much. Don't you realize that you can't take everybody's pain on your shoulder's?' Somehow, instinctively knowing that the other woman needed some kind of contact, Taylor pulled a smaller hand in hers. "Cory, look at me." Green eyes shifted and peered into blue. The admin could see the blonde's heart in her eyes as well as see it breaking. It took her breath away and planted the urge to fix it. Squeezing the hand, she added, "Don't you know that each person that you do help makes the world just a little better? You help to change so many people's lives for the better. I've seen you files. There are kids who sleep safer from their fathers, mothers, and nightmares because of you. You must know that?"
"B-but there are so many that I don't get to help or can't help. . ."
One handed, Taylor searched through her bag for a tiny mirror. She handed it over to the blonde. "Look in there. How many people do you see? One right?"
The caseworker nodded.
"You're only one person. You can't take on the world's pain. It's too much, and it will end up becoming your own. Then, you won't be able to help anyone." She squeezed the hand again and felt it squeeze back. "If it will help you, go talk to the people that you've helped. Maybe it will help you see that evil can be obliterated, but not by one person and only a little bit at a time."
Just then, lover boy returned with the check. Taylor almost laughed at the crestfallen look on his face when he saw their entwined hands. Instead, she reached for the check, only to have Cory lunge for it too. "Ah, ah, ah," the admin clicked with her tongue. "Just think of it as a treat for a new friend." She was relieved to see a ghost of a smile. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Su" Cory could feel the gravel in her throat and cleared it away before she spoke again. "Um, sure."
"What made you care so much? I mean everybody that works in this field should, but you care a lot more."
The blonde glanced at their entwined hands. She soaked in the strong, soft touch, gathering strength. "This is gonna sound so cliché, but when I was little I witnessed violence that I later identified as racism. Was in a Wal-Mart, and these three little white boys walked up to an African-American kid. The little boy was playing one of those sample games. Atari had just come out back then. I was across on the other side from them, but I could hear and see everything. They yelled, "Nigger" at him, and I don't think he knew what they were talking about. He was such a little guy. Then one of the boys kicked him and kept screaming 'Nigger, Nigger!' One by one they all piled on him. I screamed for them to stop, but they didn't until that kid's dad stopped them."
"By that time, the little boy was crying. His father picked him up without a word and walked away. A few minutes later, the three boys parents showed up. I'm guessing they were brothers, and then they left." She paused taking a sip of the melted shake and saw blue looking back at her patiently. "The racist act wasn't the only thing that caught me. All four boys had raggedy, torn clothes as did their parents. When I was older, I was able to analyze it all. They were all poor, and those white kids were probably taught that blacks were taking away from them, so even at a young age they lashed out. This may sound naïve, but I figured that if I helped the poor that they would realize it's not different races that made them that way it is society as a whole that needs a kick in the ass. To make a long story short, that in a nut shell is why I chose this field."
Taylor blinked, feeling like she had gotten deep insight into a passionate woman. "Uh, wow. That's quite the story. You're just full of surprises. You know that? I would have never thought. . .I think I understand." Taylor smiled as her respect for the little woman grew leaps and bounds. She saw the flush as the blonde hung her head. With a free hand, the admin lifted her chin. "I really mean it. You're a valuable asset to the agency and to my team. I look forward to working with you in starting better programs, but you need. . ."
"I know. I'm gonna call somebody first thing Monday."
Taylor removed her hand from smooth skin. "Good." She picked up her dwindling Dr. Pepper and drained the rest of it. Opening her mouth, in an attempt to speak, it was interrupted by the buzzing of her purse. They both looked down confused.
Cory raised surprised eyebrows. "Your purse is ringing."
Taylor chuckled. "I think it's my cell phone. Hold on."
"Ms. Wilson, this is Barb. Paula from CPS contacted me when she couldn't get Cory. I tried to call her, but her brother answered and said that she was with you. Is she there?"
"Yes. Do you want to talk to her?"
"No, you're a friend. She might take it better coming from somebody in person. Um, Marjorie Smith was found by her foster mother dead in the bathtub. She had cut her wrists."
Oh, God." Dark brows drew together.
Knowing that she was being discussed, the blonde looked on curiously. Apprehension ceased her upon hearing the hoarse quality of the other woman's voice and seeing the look on her face. She whispered, "No," to herself as her heart beat accelerated. The blonde twisted a napkin to pieces in her busy, nervous hands.
"Ah, okay. I'll do what I can. Thanks for letting us know."
Blue eyes closed as their owner tried to prepare herself. That's when the nervous babbling from the other woman began. "That was for me right." She said with a forced smile. "Must of left my phone in the car. I hope JR isn't running up the bill. . .
"I'll kill him if he does."
"Cory listen to me," she said louder.
Green met blue and Taylor cringed at the unchecked emotion shining in them. "I have to tell you"
A sob escaped the blonde's throat. "No! I don't wanna hear!"
"Cory, please. I need to tell you."
"Tell me what? What's happened now!?"
People began to stare at the raised octave of the blonde's voice. Taylor didn't care, but decided to protect the other woman's privacy. She swallowed. "Maybe we should leave."
Cory laughed without humor. "Oh, no. You're gonna tell me now what the hell is going on."
She could see that the younger woman wasn't going to budge unless she carried her out over her shoulder. Taylor sighed in resignation and leaned forward. "Marjorie Smith was found by her foster mother. It was an apparent suicide."
The words echoed in the blonde's head.
Her heart thudded painfully then stopped altogether. The caseworker blinked as her vision tunneled. The only contact that she could feel was warm flesh. She pulled away. Tears stung the back of her throat, and she wiped at her runny nose with the back of her hand. A hard flash of pain made her grab her chest. Then, it radiated outward, spreading to her gut. "No," she murmured harshly. "Nononononono," she continued to whisper.
Taylor sucked in a breath, shocked by the empathy pain that pummeled her. Instincts kicked in. 'Protect her. Comfort her. Be there for her.' She looked into the lost, watery eyes, and made her decision by whispering a 'yes' to Little Shelley. With the decision made, she threw some bills on the table and pulled Cory up gently by her arm. She mumbled in hushed tones in the small ear, "I've got you. Let's get you home."
Somehow, they got out of the mall into the admin's Accord. She glanced periodically at the huddled form on the passenger side. Reaching over, she squeezed a knee in an effort to relay reassurance.
Cory shivered despite the heat filtering in through the open window. Her insides felt torn as did her heart. She hung on to hope by a little thread. She looked up as the turned in front of a familiar building. Automatically, she got out and started to feel a strong hand guiding her to the door. "Thank you," she husked. She looked from under wet lashes. "Will you stay. . .for awhile?"
Taylor glanced down with a small smile. "Yeah, as long as you need me to."
They entered the apartment, and the admin watched as the caseworker went straight for the couch. Taylor took in the surroundings. The little bric-a-brac that littered the walls was colorful, honest just like the owner. She spied the little Scooby-Doo figurines and smiled. Going to sit by the still form on the couch, she scooted closer before asking, "Do you need me to get you anything?"
"Some aspirin please, and a glass of juice. The bathroom's through there." She pointed the way with a finger. "Pills are in the medicine cabinet."
Taylor got up as requested. Cory wrapped her arms around a pillow. She felt like flying apart, but something was keeping her grounded. Whether it was with a touch or a word, she stayed on the ground. Glancing up, Taylor's lanky form re-entered the room. 'She's what's keeping me grounded, keeping me safe.' The tall woman sat back down next to her. "Here you go."
Swallowing down the juice and pills, the blonde murmured a, "Thank you." She cleared her throat. "Thank you for all this."
She got a smile and a comment in return. "That's what friends are for." The older woman blinked. "Ugh, that was cheesy."
Cory smiled despite herself. She watched as the taller woman moved back, spreading her arms across the back of the couch. The blonde stared at the long appendages, remembering how she felt in them and how she wanted to feel it again. She lowered her lashes, feeling suddenly shy, and schooched over toward the taller form. Taylor watched with held breath. 'I wouldn't mind holding her at all.'
"Um, can I . . ."
Taylor patted the empty space beside her. "C'mere." She released the breath as the blonde snuggled up to her side, and smiled at the small sigh that escaped the other woman's lips. Unable to help herself, the admin bent her head to whisper in a nearby ear, "Don't lose hope, Cory. Don't stop believing."
Cory pillowed her head on a strong shoulder. Laying a stray hand across the other woman's stomach, she bunched the blue shirt in her hand. She sighed again and nodded.
They talked in hushed tones passed afternoon into the night. The blonde glanced up at the wall clock, but she didn't want it to end. She couldn't hide the disappointment in her voice. "I guess you have to go. It's getting pretty late."
Taylor blinked as she looked up at the clock. 'It is late, but I don't want to leave.' "Um, I can stay on the couch if you need me here?"
"Uh, you can't.
"Oh, then I'd better"
"No! I mean," she softened her voice. "JR is bunking out on the couch. I have a huge bed, and I don't snore."
As an administrator, she knew that this was wrong. The gossip this could start would be tremendous, even if they were only friends, but as a friend, she couldn't walk away when she was needed. So, she found herself saying, "You'd better not. I have sensitive ears."
The smaller woman yawned for good measure. "I don't have anything for you to sleep in. . ."
"It's okay. I'll live with what I have on. Do you want me to lock up? Give you time to get situated?"
"Yeah, thanks. I don't know when JR is coming in, but he has the key.
Minutes later, Taylor found herself staring at the darkened ceiling as a small form curled up to her side almost immediately.
"Is this okay? I don't want to make you uncomfortable."
"It's fine. Don't worry."
Sleep came in time for the both of them. Sometime during the night, the admin's eyes opened. She listened, trying to see what had woke her and heard a small sob. She shushed the quaking form and wrapped her in her arms. Sleep came again.
Cory wanted to purr at the warmth of the other woman's body. She disengaged her body gently and looked down at the sleeping form. She smiled slowly and mumbled, "I'm not the only one full of surprises." Gazing at the expressive face, even in sleep, Cory got up quietly and padded into the bathroom. Finishing up in there, she headed toward the living room to see the sprawled form of her brother on the couch. The blonde looked up at the clock, 8:30am. She made a u-turn for the kitchen. Green eyes looked up surprised when the doorbell rang. 'Who the hell? Ooops, Barb.' She walked briskly toward the door and pulled it open before the bell could go off again. Barb looked at her worriedly from the door way. "Hey, kid, how are you?"
"I'll be okay. I think."
"Well, I figured that you would still need to burn off some steam, so are we still going to the gym?"
"Yeah, Taylor may want to go too. She probably wants to go home and change first though." Cory turned and headed back toward the bedroom.
Barb moved further into the apartment and blinked. 'I can feel it. I must be making my 'Oh my God!' face. She closed the door and blinked again.
Copyright İ Minerva 2000
Wellllll, what do you think folks? An interesting turn of events to say the least. Give me a jingle at Minerva.