A Fire Ignited Within



Disclaimers: These characters are made up from bits and pieces of personal experiences. They bear resemblance to Xena and Gabrielle property of MCA Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended. This story was written for fun only.

Violence: Some mild violence, although nothing out of the ordinary for life as a human being.

Subtext: Yes. It does eventually involve women who grow to care and love each other.

General: There are mild obscenities used occasionally. This is my first attempt at fan fiction, so don’t be too rough on me. Thanks.

I want to thank everyone for all their patience in waiting for part 7. I have recently moved and it is has been a little overwhelming to say the least! Thanks also to everyone that took the time to send me positive comments. I tried to reply to each one, but if I missed anyone, I’m sorry.

Comments? Email nanook88@hotmail.com

Part 7

The restaurant was Italian and not a real fancy one, but the food was excellent. The place was crowded but they were shown to a booth in the back of the restaurant. This was one of Alex’s favorite places to eat and the staff knew her well. There was a red and white checkered tablecloth on the table. A glass chimney covered a lit candle that graced the center of the table. Alex wondered to herself why in the hell did these restaurants always have these little rinky-dink candles on the tables. You couldn’t see to eat by them, that was for sure. Cassandra looked around the restaurant. Their booth in the corner with the candle light was very nice and well….romantic. The waitress came then and interrupted both their thoughts by leaving them menus to look over and asking for their drink order. Toni returned with Alex’s Molson and Cassandra’s white zinfandel. They placed their food orders and both sat back to relax and take a swallow of their drinks.

There must have been a big celebration going on a couple of booths away because the noise from that area was deafening. Alex and Cassandra could hardly hear each other talk across the table. It was really starting to irritate Alex. She was leaning over as far as she could towards Cassandra, but she still couldn’t hear what she was saying. Finally, she couldn’t take it any more and got up from her seat and walked around the booth and slide in next to Cassandra. Cassandra was stunned but automatically slide over when Alex sat down next to her. It was a small booth and Alex’s shoulder rubbed against Cassandra’s upper arm. Alex turned her head to speak to Cassandra. God, Alex was so close Cassandra could drown in those beautiful sea green eyes. Alex cleared her throat and said, "There, now isn’t that better? Jesus I couldn’t hear a thing over there with all that noise. There’s nothing worse than trying to talk to someone and not be able to hear their answer to your questions." Alex smiled that lopsided grin that was really starting to get to Cassandra every time she saw it. Her throat was dry and she thought to herself, she hadn’t had that much wine to drink yet. Must be Alex sitting so close…yeah she was nervous…or something. It was the something that worried her.

Alex continued on with conversation about her day and the apartment fire and training and Cassandra thought to herself she couldn’t ever get tired of her voice, her hand movements or her facial expressions when she was talking about something passionate to her. Her thoughts drifted off to what else Alex could be passionate about and then she felt a gentle nudge on her shoulder. She had been gazing into Alex’s eyes the last she knew . Alex smiled and set her plate down in front of her. Their dinners had come and when Cassandra didn’t respond to the waitress, she had taken the plate from her as the reach was too far for the waitress. Toni gave Alex a big smirk and said, "Oh, I see we changed our seating arrangements." Alex nodded, "Yup, couldn’t hear my friend’s conversation. You got a problem with that?" Toni chuckled, "Hell, no Alex. Whatever excuse you need to get some action works for me. You know you don’t have to wine and dine me to get any action. I’m yours any time for the taking" and with that she turned and left.

Alex felt her face and neck redden. Damn it how come everyone all of a sudden was coming on to her and why did they have to do it in front of Cassandra? It probably made her feel very uncomfortable. Hell probably, she knew it did. Bud had warned her about the possibilities with the press and the department if Alex’s lifestyle was made an issue. Alex reprimanded herself. She would have to be more careful. The department didn’t need any negative publicity, especially because of her. They both ate in silence. Cassandra’s arm rubbed on Alex’s arm as she ate. Cassandra wondered why all of these women making offers to Alex was starting to bother her. It was nothing to her what Alex did. She was only writing an article for the paper. Due to circumstances beyond her control she was staying with Alex. What was the problem with her? Just write the damn articles and move on. It was that simple….or was it?

Alex leaned back in the booth and raised her left arm up and over to rest on the back of the booth. Dinner had been delicious and the two Molson’s had relaxed her. The company was pretty nice too. They had talked about Cassandra’s writing and what it meant to her. Especially when she was away at boarding school. Cassandra had never shared her feelings with anyone before and she wondered how Alex had gotten her to talk about herself. She remembered the diskettes that Alex had saved from her apartment fire and looked into Alex’s gentle green eyes. She was mesmerized by them and before she knew what was happening she was thanking her for saving those tapes and leaning in closer towards her. Alex was telling Cassandra it was no big deal about the diskettes and at the same time was wondering what Cassandra was doing. She was leaning in towards her and before she had any more time to think, Cassandra’s lips touched hers or her lips touched Cassandra’s, she wasn’t sure. It was a quick brush of lips on lips, but Alex and Cassandra both felt something. When Cassandra started to pull away, Alex’s lips followed hers and this time the kiss was a little more solid. Cassandra was horrified at herself. What had come over her to kiss Alex like that? And why was she responding to Alex’s kiss now? My God, she didn’t even know what she was doing half the time any more. Alex, felt her stomach flip flop as Cassandra started to pull away. She had to taste more of those lips. Alex edged closer to Cassandra and was interrupted by Toni asking if they wanted anything more. Oh yeah, Alex thought I want more, much, much more. Cassandra kept her eyes down and thought to herself it was a good thing Toni came or she would have let Alex kiss her again. She had to have time to think about what was happening to her…between them.

Alex held the door open for Cassandra so she could step through first. Just as Alex was about to follow her, Toni grabbed her elbow and turned Alex part way around. Toni said, "Alex, there is a phone call for you at the bar." Alex looked puzzled and said to Toni as she walked back to the bar, "Please tell Cassandra I’ll be right out". Alex reached for the phone receiver as the bartender handed it to her. Alex spoke in to the phone, "Hello?" A very sultry voice on the other end said, " Oh Alex, I’m so glad I caught you. I’m on a plane right now flying back and just wanted to let you know that I’ll expect you to have breakfast with me at 8:00AM tomorrow at my place. I’ll have room service send us up something. We must go over some strategy for the newspaper articles." She then rattled off her address and room number, said good night and hung up. Alex had been so taken by surprise she hadn’t even been able to get the word no in, let alone any other words. Alex handed the phone back to the bartender in a daze. Toni was at her side the next thing she knew and asking if she was okay. Alex nodded her head and turned to go. She stopped and turned and asked Toni for her pencil and pad. Alex quickly wrote down the information Mackenzie had given her. Damn it! Why was this woman in her face every time she turned around? How did she know where she was? Scratch that. She knew how and damn, she knew why. She didn’t know how much longer her libido would hold out on her. It was being offered to her with no strings attached. Just how she liked it. A long hot night of great sex. No promises, no expectations, no commitments, no talking. What could be any better than that Alex thought to herself? She reached for the door handle and pulled. She knew there was something better than that, and that’s what scared her.

Alex stepped out into the night and looked for Cassandra. She wasn’t right by the entrance to the restaurant, maybe she had walked to the car. She didn’t have a key to get in though. Just as Alex started to walk towards the car, she hear some muffled voices nearby. She stopped to get a fix on where they were coming from and then she heard a loud NO. Alex hurried into the alley to find Cassandra’s back pushed up against the side of the building and a tall figure pressed up to the front of her body. The tall dark figure was leaning into Cassandra and trying to kiss her, while Cassandra twisted her head from side to side to avoid the lips of the stranger. Her hands were pushed up against his chest, but he was taller and stronger and he was too close to get any leverage.

Alex thought a moment as she assessed the situation. She could do a running jump and kick the guy in the back, but Cassandra might get hurt. So she did the only other thing she could do, insult the guy! Alex yelled, "Hey dirt bag, is that the only way you can get any action? That’s pathetic!" The man turned to see what nut was yelling at him but he knew before he turned it would be Alex. He had been in the restaurant and was coming through where Alex and Cassandra had sat at their table and had seen Cassandra kiss Alex. That had made his blood boil. What a waste of a beautiful woman. All Cassandra needed was a good man to take her and she wouldn’t be tempted by Alex’s charm. He had been tempted by Alex’s charm once and had been made a fool of by her. Then there was the fact that Alex had gotten the position of lieutenant. That job was rightfully his. They only gave it to her as a token and because of her Father. Chad grinned maliciously at Alex and said, " What’s the matter Alex, can’t get to first base with your lady friend and now you begrudge one of your fellow firemen?" "I thought we were all brother firemen. Share and share alike. Well you’ve got something I want, and I’m gonna take it from you. Just like you took that lieutenants job I wanted at the station." Just at that moment when Chad’s attention was focused on Alex, Cassandra decided to make her move. She brought her knee up quick right into Chad’s jewels and then slammed her foot down into the instep of his foot. Not only the surprise but the instantaneous pain caused Chad to loosen his vice grip on Cassandra, and she was able to bolt from his grasp. She ran to Alex and Alex directed her to get behind her. This guy was drunk and no telling what shit he’d pull. He also was bigger than her, but she was faster. Chad turned himself around and lunged at Alex.

Cassandra had gotten behind Alex all right and kept on going until she got inside. She spotted Toni across the room and ran to her. Cassandra was in a frenzy. She didn’t want Alex getting hurt on account of her. Hell she didn’t want her getting hurt period. Toni, Cassandra and the bar bouncer came racing out into the alley. They stopped in their tracks. Alex and Chad were facing each other and just then Chad lunged at Alex and at the last possible second she moved and he plunged to the ground. Alex backed away from Chad as he struggled to get to his feet. He was drunk but could still do some damage unless she could get him down and keep him there. As Chad got to his feet he swung something at Alex and it hit her in the side and dropped her to her knees. It had hit the spot where she had been hurt at the fire. It was hard to get a breath and she struggled to get in an upright position. The bouncer was ready to jump into the scene, but Toni held his forearm. Cassandra looked at her in disbelief as Toni explained, "Alex will never forgive us if we interfere when it isn’t necessary. Please just trust me. She’s okay." Cassandra turned to look at the bouncer and he begrudgingly nodded his head as he spoke, "Toni is right. If we interfere now Alex won’t speak to us for a long time. I won’t let her get hurt. Trust us."

When they all looked back at the fight scene Chad once again was charging Alex. As he did so Alex grabbed his outstretched arm and at the same time hooked her foot inside ankle and by doing so threw him off balance and she twisted his arm slightly and the next thing he was on his butt in the dirt in a loud thud. Alex jumped onto his chest and was just about to give him a good punch in the jaw when Jay the bouncer gently touched her arm and said, "Alex , I’ll take it from here. Why don’t you get your lady friend home?" Alex turned and looked at Jay and spoke. "Yeah, it’s been a long day for us both. Okay, but he’s just lucky you came along." With that said, she gave him a big grin and got up off Chad.

By the time Alex had stood up and stepped over Chad, Cassandra and Toni were at her elbow. They both were talking at the same time and she couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Alex was tired, her side hurt like hell and she was getting a headache. She just wanted to be in her own bed and the night to be over. She turned to Cassandra and Toni, raised both her hands up in front of her as if she was under arrest. They immediately stopped talking. She said to Cassandra, "Can we please just go home? I’ve had enough excitement for one night." Cassandra smiled at Alex while saying, "Yes, I think we both have had enough excitement for the night." She hooked her arm inside Alex’s elbow and they both started off for the car. Toni watched them go arm and arm. She shook her head and said softly to herself , " They’ve both got it bad for each other and neither one will admit it. Wonder how long it’s gonna take for one of them to get up the courage to tell the other one?" She followed Jay and a drunken Chad back into the restaurant.

The drive home was quiet. Each one lost in their own thoughts. Alex was in pain and didn’t want Cassandra to know. If Cassandra would just go to bed and let her soak in her hot tub. Cassandra was thinking Alex is in pain. She saw the blow Chad had gotten in before Alex knocked his feet out from under him. It was the same side she had already injured. She needed to look at it and see if there were any open wounds, but how was she going to accomplish that? Alex had to act so tough all the time. Well she would think of some way to get Alex out of her clothes….to check her side she reminded herself.

Continued in Part 8

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