Avery Stevens: Maintenance Wizard. Part 2

by: Pat Winterburn


I would recommend you read part 1 of Avery Stevens: Maintenance Wizard.

This is a continuing story of two women who live in Toronto and happen to love each other very much.


A pair of long legs was extended out from underneath the sink. The well-worn black, Denver Hayes pants were partially soaked from water, as was the red golf shirt. Muffled cursing could be heard as the can of adhesive was set down to one side.

"Seal you bastard, cause I'm not going to spend hours ripping you apart again."

Carefully she lifted her self out from her confinement not wanting to bang her head when the loud chirping of her cell phone startled her and she banged her head anyways.

"Damn it!" She swore as she released the phone from her belt.

"Avery Stevens."

The low and sexy voice on the other end brought a smile to Avery's face, and the sore head was quickly forgotten about.

"Hey beautiful lady what are you wearing?"

Avery looked down at her appearance and chuckled. Trust Alice, she thought, to catch her at her worst dressed moment and, yet make her smile.

"Slime, grease and adhesive." Came the answer. Avery could hear Alice squirm in her chair and imagined the look on her face.

"Ew." Alice replied. "Remind me never to ask you that question again until well after six o'clock."

Avery just laughed as she crossed her legs and arched her back to stretch out the cramp from lying on the ledge. When her back didn't crack, a concerned look shadowed her face.

"How's chances for a back rub tonight?" Avery asked while rubbing the sore area.

"What's in it for me?" Alice sat back with a coy look on her face and hoped Avery would come up with something suggestive to brighten up her rather dull afternoon.

"Well, Avery thought, I will be lying naked on my stomach, arms down at my side, you naked straddling me and I will be at your mercy. How's that?"

"Pleasant." Replied Alice. "Your place or mine?"

"Mine." Replied Avery. "I don't think I want to walk that far to yours."

It was a simple statement, Alice recalled, but it had bothered her for the rest of the afternoon. She sat there staring aimlessly at the print out sheet that was on her desk with something in the back of her mind gnawing away at her leaving her uncomfortable. Your place or mine she questioned? They had said that to each other every day for the past few months and Alice realized what it was that had her so annoyed. In her heart she was wishing it to become "ours." The subject had never been discussed; it just seemed to be natural for them to take the time at each other's home. Usually they spent more time during the week at Avery's upstairs apartment, but weekends they spent at Alice's apartment on Yonge Street. Avery had bought an extra kitty litter box and a cat carrier for Lucky, and each weekend the cat travelled with them. Each of them had brought over clothes to the others home either for work the next morning, or activities on the weekend. So they had two homes, two sets of clothes, two sets of supplies for Lucky, even tools that Avery had brought over to Alice's. Was it too soon to discuss one home for them? How would Avery feel about the idea? In fact, Alice wondered, how was she feeling about it?

Avery was lying on the couch watching television with an ice pack on her forehead and the heating pad on her back when Alice finally arrived upstairs. She had gone over to the market and picked up some fresh vegetables and chicken for dinner. One of Avery's favourite dishes was a chicken stir fry with rice and Alice never minded cooking for them. Avery was not the best when it came to cooking; although she could barbecue. In fact, Alice laughed, if Avery could burn water on the stove she probably would.

Alice came in and unloaded the groceries in the kitchen. "Hi honey." She then turned and noticed Avery's condition on the couch. "What did you do to yourself?" Alice went over, sat down next to Avery and lifted up the ice pack. The bump on her forehead was red and looked like it was going to bruise by the morning. Then she notice the heating pad under Avery's back. "Who won the battle or should I ask?" Alice commented with a smirk.

"The sink won the battle, but I won the war. The drain pipe has stopped leaking, but there were heavy casualties on both sides."

Alice gently kissed Avery's forehead. "You want dinner first or a back rub?"

"Are they my only choices?" Avery asked with a sly grin.

"At the moment, yes." Came Alice's reply.

"Ok." Since Avery had missed lunch her stomach growling in an attempt to be heard made the decision for her. It was decided dinner first.

Alice went into the bedroom and changed into more comfortable clothes. Lucky met her there and began to rub up against her. "Hey fur ball, you should be out there keeping your mommy company." Lucky let out an indignant meow and headed out to the living room. Alice headed for the kitchen and started to make dinner.

If food was second best to sex, Avery moaned at every forkful of her dinner, it was a good thing her job kept her as active as it did, for Avery felt she would gain weight eating her lover's cooking. In fact how Alice never gained a pound surprised Avery. But then again, Alice would only have one helping of dinner while Avery filled her plate a second time. She poured her self another glass of white wine and motioned to Alice. "Another glass?" Alice nodded and Avery refilled it. Together they looked at each other and smiled. Alice started to giggle.

"May I ask, Ms. Conroy, what's so funny?" Avery cocked one eyebrow and regretted the motion the minute she did it. "Ouch!"

"It's bruising already. You're going to have a black eye by morning, honey." Alice smiled and took Avery's hand. "Just don't tell anyone that I was beating on you, ok?"

"Great." Avery winced. "Maybe I'll tell them the truth. I fought with a sink drain and lost."

"Boring." Alice replied. "Make up something better, like you rescued a little old lady from walking across the street on a red hand signal, and she hit you with her purse for your efforts."

Both women laughed. Avery winced again then finished her dinner.

After the dishes were washed and put away Avery stripped off her clothes and lay down on the bed. Alice had gotten out some cream for sore muscles, stripped as well and straddled herself across Avery's buttocks. She worked the cream gently into Avery's back and noticed a bruise starting to rise. "You're a mess Avery; you would think someone did beat you up."

Avery just moaned at the delightful feel of Alice's hands and her full stomach. This is heaven she thought, and willed her body into a puddle of ooze. Avery was relaxed and never felt it coming, but the vision struck her with such force she was tossed into a panic attack. Her body tensed and she cried out in pain. Alice, thinking she had done something wrong jumped off Avery. "I'm sorry honey; I didn't mean to hurt you."

But Avery couldn't answer. The sweat poured from her body and the constricting pain in her chest made it difficult to breathe. Avery felt like jumping up and running, but couldn't. Her ex-girlfriend’s cold and cruel words cut into her heart and Avery swore she was going to die.

Alice had never witnessed this before and was worried that Avery was having a heart attack. As she grabbed the phone to dial 911 Avery stopped her and whispered, "Antivan, bath room."

Alice had heard of the medication before and knew what it was for. Quickly she jumped off the bed and entered the bathroom. She grabbed the prescription bottle and returned to Avery.

"Open up honey." Avery opened her mouth and Alice slipped the tiny pill under Avery's tongue. Gently she stroked Avery's back until the pill worked its magic and Avery's body relaxed.

Avery started to shiver and Alice covered her over. "Are you ok?"

Avery nodded and rolled over on her back. "I'm sorry Alice; I don't know why that happened. It's been so long since I've had an anxiety attack."

"That's ok honey, but you were so relaxed it scared me." Alice bent down and kissed Avery's cheek. "Want to talk about it?"

Avery's body tensed again and Alice could see the turmoil in Avery's eyes.

Gently Alice started to caress Avery's stomach, smiled at her and waited.

Confession time Steven's, Avery thought. Just do it and get it over with.

"I've been thinking a lot lately, about you and me and where this relationship is headed." Avery couldn't tear her eyes away from Alice's. Her blue eyes had softened like a day at the beach, full of warmth and love and Avery knew she could do this. "I, well, you know that I love you, right?"

Alice nodded. "I love you too Avery."

"Well, ok, um well." Come on Stevens she thought, you can do this. "Ok, here's what I've been thinking. I - I think we should move in together."

Avery could feel the tightness across her chest again and winced at the pain.

Alice realized that Avery was having another smaller attack, but continued to rub her lover's stomach and spoke softly to her. "I admit I've been thinking the same thing and I wished I had of spoken to you about it sooner, but it's taken me time to get over my fear of the past." She could feel Avery's muscles relax under her finger tips and knew the conversation was headed in the right direction. "We've both had traumas in the past to deal with and I know we're both still scared. Neither of us wants to be pushed into something we don't feel comfortable with, but I'm not going anywhere Avery, and I promise not to hurt you, if you promise not to hurt me."

Finally Avery smiled. "I promise Alice." Then for a moment the smile disappeared. "She hurt me so bad back then I thought I would die. I couldn't believe how she could tell me one day she loved me, and then the next day she was moving out and continuing to spew venom at me. It was as if the world had turned upside down and was possessed by demons." Avery drew in a breath. "The anxiety attacks started shortly after Gwen moved out." Alice realized this was the first time she had heard Avery say the woman's name. "I couldn't control them and needed a prescription for Antivan. That's when I decided to leave Edmonton and come out here. I had to get away before I did die."

Avery and Alice spent the rest of the evening in bed, talking quietly about their past. How Gwen and David had hurt them, and how it had made them run shy from other relationships. As the evening wore on and two sets of eyes grew heavy from talking about their past and future, the question still jokingly remained as to where to live; your place or mine. Both women laughed and finally fell asleep.


The black and white cat crept softly on the bed, her eyes never leaving sight of her victim. She was hungry and most upset that her food bowl was empty. "I will see to it that this never happens again." The cat vowed in her mind. She sat on the chest that moved up and down and readied her strike. "Whap!" The black paw made a direct hit on Avery's nose and she woke up to see to black eyes staring down at her. "Can't you just meow like other cats Lucky?" Avery got up and stretched pleased to hear her back finally crack. She followed Lucky out to her food dish, dumped in some kibble, gave her fresh water and headed for the bath room. The night light gave off enough of a glow that Avery saw her eye. "Holy shit, what a shiner." Avery muttered. She used the facilities, washed her hands and returned to bed. She looked at the clock. Ah, another hour of sleep, good. She rolled on her side, wrapped her arm around Alice and fell back to sleep. Her last thoughts being; maybe we should buy a house together and just keep my apartment; after all no one knows about it. Avery smiled as the idea felt comfortable to her with no hint of anxiety. She wondered how Alice felt about a house, and would ask her in the morning.

The alarm clock went off rousting Alice out of a sound sleep. She shut off the alarm and realized that she and Avery had fallen asleep on opposite sides of what they normally do. She smiled at the thought of waking up every morning to Avery's arm over her and let her partner sleep for a few more minutes. She watched her sleep and giggled at the black eye that had formed over night. Sleepy brown eyes opened and attempted to focus on her. "What's so funny?" Avery murmured. "Your eye is black." Alice replied.

Avery kissed her partner and smiled. "I know. I got up earlier this morning to feed a certain animal and checked it out in the bath room. Pretty bad, eh?"

"Yes, but you look cute." Alice gave her a swat on the butt and went out to the kitchen to make coffee.

"Alice?" Avery followed her and leaned on the counter while Alice made coffee. "What do you think about buying a house?"

Alice stopped in mid scoop and looked at Avery in surprise. "Wow, that's a lot of responsibility owning a house, and the cost and taxes." Alice's head was spinning as the dollar signs danced around her.

Avery smiled and wrapped her arms around her. "Don't worry honey, I'll cut the grass and shovel the snow. Besides, I happen to know someone who is very handy to have around to fix things too." Avery's grin grew larger. We can keep the apartment here, and I happen to have a healthy bank account since I've never paid rent."

Alice finished making the coffee and watched as it started to brew. "Alright, I'll check out the realty web sites. You want to stay in Toronto or move to the suburbs?"

"Toronto." Avery answered and Alice's eyebrows shot up.

"You better be loaded lady, cause Toronto's expensive."

Later in the morning while Alice was busy checking out the web sites for a home, she never noticed the figure standing outside of the office door. Even though the small pane of glass bore the name of Peter's company the set of eyes that watched Alice could see perfectly. He stood there watching her for a few minutes, but walked away when he heard the elevator door open.

Avery left the elevator and walked the short distance down the hall to Peter's office. She was in need of a coffee and breakfast pastry and hoped Alice had picked up some muffins. As she walked into the office Avery caught the strong scent of an old familiar after shave lotion. Old Spice she thought; who the hell uses that any more? Shrugging off the scent she entered the office as Alice's eyes glanced up to meet her. They exchanged hellos and a quick kiss as Avery went into the small kitchenette to make them a coffee and peek through the refrigerator for her snack. "Alright." Avery's stomach danced in delight. "Chocolate chip muffins."

They sat together and looked through the homes for sale on Alice's computer. There were a couple that they both liked and Alice said she would call the real estate company this afternoon and set up appointments.

Avery had just finished her last bite of muffin and washed it down with her coffee when her cell phone rang. It was a forwarding call from her office phone.

"Avery Stevens."

"Hello Avery, this is Mrs. Lucas."

Dear God, thought Avery, I've just eaten.

"The toilet in our men's washroom won't flush properly, and I was wondering if you could come up and fix it?"

"No problem Mrs. Lucas, I'll be up in a few minutes."

As Avery hung up from Mrs. Lucas Alice started to laugh. "Oh no honey, not Mrs. Lucas again, and you've just eaten. Try not to throw up, ok?"

Avery kissed her goodbye, grabbed her tool box and headed off to investigate.

Upon entering Mrs. Lucas' office the older woman looked shocked at Avery's appearance. "What happened to you?" She questioned.

Avery pointed to her eye. "Little old lady hit me with her purse for stopping her from crossing at a blinking red hand."

Mrs. Lucas just shook her head. "Sometimes senior citizens get confused."

Avery rolled her eyes, left quickly and entered the men's washroom.

Indeed flushing the toilet did not move the object in question, and Avery stood there and scratched her head.

How could anyone have passed this and not screamed in agony? The object was at least six inches long, 1 inch or more in diameter, and solid. This guy must not know the meaning of fibre intake, she thought, and couldn't believe anyone would be able to pass this as one solid object. It was cross ways in the toilet bowl and Avery took her plunger and carefully moved it vertical. As she flushed the toilet again she used her plunger to push the object along, and finally it went into Toronto's sewer system. She rinsed the plunger off in the sink, cleaned the sink with a disinfectant and left.

Just another day of life's miracles of the human body.

The real estate agent met Avery and Alice at 7 o'clock and off they went to look at some homes around the Church and Wellesley Street area. It was in the heart of the gay district, and both women were looking forward to living in an area where they could hold hands while walking down the street and no one would think twice if they kissed while shopping.

The first house they walked into Avery caught the scent of a familiar odor. She quickly started looking through the cupboards under the sink and found what her nose already told her.... the house had been sprayed for cockroaches.

The real estate agent didn't argue with Avery. She shuddered at the thought of the creatures and checked her shoes before they left.

The second place was a two story home that had been refinished two years ago. The couple had broken up and were forced to sell. As Alice was checking out the layout of the home Avery was checking the plumbing. Alice had decorating ideas; Avery was double checking the electrical. By the time both women were finished inspecting the house, both were pleased, one with the layout, the other with the soundness of the structure. The real estate agent simply shook her head at the way this couple seemed to complete each other. She knew they would be together for a long time and smiled warmly at that thought.

That night Avery and Alice bought a home.


"Tell me again why this was such a good idea?" Avery teased Alice as they unloaded the boxes from Alice's apartment into their new home.

"Be thankful we are just moving my apartment and not yours." Alice smiled. She set down the box and wiped a smudge of dirt from Avery's face.

"Hey, we moved the washer and dryer, half of my clothes, and not to mention, half of yours as well." Avery laughed and was rewarded with a kiss from Alice.

"Yes, it's a good thing you're friends with the security guards, otherwise they would have called the cops and had our asses tossed in jail for theft." Alice blushed remembering the look on Jake's face when he watched the two of them moving the washer, dryer and clothes. He had smiled at them, nodded and wished them luck.

With the help of Vito's oldest son the girls had moved Alice's apartment into the new house within the afternoon. Avery had ordered in pizza and Pepsi's and the three of them relaxed until Avery dropped him off back home, and then went to return the van. Avery sat on the street car and let her aching muscles relax. She watched the sun sink behind the buildings as the days were growing shorter and cooler. Winter was approaching quickly and she was glad to have Alice with her. It had been a long time since she needed the warmth and love of another person, and she couldn't wait to have Alice sleeping beside her when the snow made it's entry into the night.

When Avery returned home she found Alice waiting for her wearing her flannel pajamas and a thick bathrobe. A bottle of wine was chilling and Alice pointed upstairs to the second floor. "Shower." She had demanded and Avery smiled knowing the evening was going to be very interesting.


David Conroy stood outside of Alice's office door. Everyday for the past few months he had done this knowing that if she ever caught him he could lose his new job in the building. His eyes narrowed in anger as he watched the blond haired woman hand Alice a coffee and pastry. They shared a quick kiss and David turned his head away. Clenching and unclenching his fists he headed back up to his office. He didn't understand why Alice was allowing that maintenance worker to touch and kiss her. It was disgusting and he would soon have to put a stop to it himself. He had already called Alice's parents and told them of their daughter’s behaviour, but Alice had told her parents to leave her alone. If they couldn't call her in almost two years to say hello, then don't call her about her love life. Alice had been concerned when her parents had called her about it, and wanted to know who had told them, but her parents had refused to say. She had talked to Avery about it, but neither could figure it out.

Alice stood back and admired her handiwork. The Christmas tree lights twinkled softly at her and their warm glow danced off the new decorations that she and Avery had purchased. They had gone out that morning, bought a tree from a vendor around the corner and carried the tree home. Avery had put the tree up securing it tightly with rope and made sure the pail had lots of water. Alice did the decorating, while Avery went out to shovel the driveway and sidewalk. Their new car was in the garage and Avery was now glad she had let Alice talk her into buying it. They had started driving it work, and on the weekends they had gone to one of the provincial parks to walk the trails for a couple of hours. Life was good, Avery thought, as she shovelled a little quicker. Alice had promised her hot chocolate and marshmallows when she had finished decorating the tree.

The gifts sat patiently under the tree, although a few bows were missing and scattered around the floor. The odd Christmas ball lay scattered as well while a black and white cat lay snoozing under the tree. Lucky was pleased with this new toy that her humans had purchased for her, although she was confused when they would scold her for playing with her toys. Humans, she thought, as she curled up and went to sleep.

Avery and Alice brought their coffees and toast into the living room. With a flip of the switch the tree lit up and two lovers kissed each other with words of "Merry Christmas." They sat on the floor and passed each other a gift. Within moments sweaters, work gloves, blouses, wrench sets and other gifts lay strewn over the floor. Lucky awoke from her nap; "and they scold me" she thought, got up and left in search of her food bowl.

When every gift was opened and the papers collected Avery reached for Alice's hand. "I've got one more gift for you". Avery reached into her bathrobe

pocket and pulled out a small square box wrapped in silver paper. A tiny silver bow sat on top and Avery placed it in Alice's hand. Alice looked at Avery and smiled. She knew what the box was and carefully opened it. Inside sat a diamond, pear shaped and surrounded by gold metal. A tear found its way out of Alice's left eye. "It's beautiful Avery, thank you." Avery removed the ring from the box and placed it on Alice's finger on her left hand. She leaned over and kissed the woman she loved more than life itself and the two lovers exchanged that love under the tree, coffee and gifts long forgotten.


"How was your Christmas and New Years?" Peter asked Alice when she returned to work in the New Year. Alice held up her hand and Peter took it. He closely inspected the ring and then smiled at Alice. "She has good taste, but then look at who she chose." Peter hugged Alice and congratulated her. He wished them both happiness and many years together. Alice hugged him back, "come on let’s sit for a while and I'll fill you in on work and Avery." She left to get them coffee as Peter stood and watched her leave. He hoped Avery was the one for Alice. She had gone through so much with David and Alice deserved better. His mind shifted back to business, as Alice returned with two coffees. She sat down and the two of them went over the reports of both business and Avery.

Avery came bursting into Alice's office. Her face was red from the cold and she was still shivering. "Avery, what have you been doing?" Alice asked in a mildly angry tone as she watched Avery head for the kitchenette and a coffee. Avery returned with steaming cup in hand. "That damn air vent fan froze up again and I had to chip the ice from it and spray more WD-40 on it." Avery took a healthy swallow of coffee and warmed her hands on the mug.

"You were on the roof!" Alice's voice raised a few octaves and pointed to the snow storm that raged outside. "Are you nuts, you could have been blown off."

Avery held up one hand. "I had my safety harness on honey, and I had no other choice. Those fans exhaust all the return air from the furnaces. Can't have anyone dying of carbon monoxide poisoning." Avery gave her a cute lop-sided grin and Alice soon melted.

Alice stood up and wrapped her arms around Avery. She kissed her and held her tightly for just a minute longer. "I love you Avery, it's my job to worry about you."

Avery let the warmth from Alice's body relax her. She didn't dare tell her that her footing had slipped on the ice and that, thankfully, her harness had saved her from sliding. Some things were better left not said.

Avery had her eyes closed and did not see the pair of cold eyes that watched them from the office door window. She didn't hear the door open, or the footsteps that quickly approached them. She did feel Alice being ripped from her arms and a man's voice screaming at them.

"Get your filthy hands off my wife!" David Conroy screamed as he pushed Alice to the floor and lunged at Avery.

Two beefy hands wrapped around Avery's throat as David shoved her up against the wall. "I'm going to kill you, bitch. You've touched my wife for the last time." Alice, shaken, looked up to see her ex-husband choking her lover. She knew from past experience how strong David was, and although Avery was strong, he had the weight advantage. She needed to help Avery and quickly looked around her desk. Avery, taken by surprise, was fighting David off, but he had her pinned and she could barely move. Unable to break free from his hands Avery realized she was in trouble and blackness was starting to cloud her vision. In a last attempt for her life Avery used her fingers to gouge into David's eyes, but heard a thud and felt the loosening of David's grip. Both David and Avery slumped to the floor as Avery coughed and tried to catch her breath. Her throat burned and she was still in a fog, but felt two familiar arms wrap themselves around her. Alice was crying, and Avery somehow managed to comfort her without blacking out.

David Conroy lay unconscious on the floor, his head bleeding from the wound that Alice had inflicted upon him. The ceramic statue of the black and white cat that Avery had given her lay in pieces on the floor beside David's head.

Peter Atkinson had stepped off the elevator and made his way down the hall to his office. He had been in a "meeting from hell" all morning and hoped Alice had replaced the Tylenol in his washroom. Upon opening the door he stood in shock as Avery and Alice were sitting on the floor and a man's body lay bleeding on the carpet beside them. "What the hell happened?" Peter asked. "Are you two ok?"

Avery tried to talk but all she could do was grunt and it had hurt to do that. Her vocal cords or larynx must be bruised she thought, and motioned for Alice to answer Peter. As she was explaining what happened Peter noticed the bleeding man was David Conroy. He picked up the phone, dialled security and requested the police and an ambulance.

It had been a short ride to St. Michael's hospital. The police had taken David by ambulance to the hospital while Avery and Alice went in the other squad car.

"You are very lucky Ms Stevens. Your vocal cords are bruised, but will heal properly." The doctor at the hospital gave Avery a number to call for an ears, nose and throat specialist. "Try not to talk for the next few days, give them a chance to heal." Alice thanked the doctor as he turned to leave to his next patient. She helped Avery with her jacket, noting the bruising that was starting to form around her throat. She shuddered at the thought of having to look at that for the next few days, knowing it was her ex-husband that had almost killed Avery.

A policewoman entered the room and introduced herself. "Sorry to intrude ladies, but I need a statement from both of you. Can you come with me to the station?" Both women nodded in agreement. "Avery will have to write hers out officer, she can't talk." Alice helped Avery off the table and they walked out with the officer. Alice briefly thought of asking about David's condition, but decided not to. She only hoped she had hit him hard enough to finally knock some sense into him; to leave her alone....forever.

That evening Alice had made Avery some herbal tea to try and relax her. Supper had been ice cream, to sooth her burning throat. In bed that night, Alice held Avery tightly and thanked whoever was listening for her lover. She had lost track of how many times she had apologized to Avery for David's behaviour. Finally in frustration Avery had written on a piece a paper...'not your fault, stop it, I love you.' Alice didn't fight the tears that began to fall knowing it was silly, but she couldn't help it. David would end up in jail, as this was his second serious assault charge. The first one had been against her. Alice nodded off to sleep with Avery snoring softly beside her.


Muffled cursing could be heard as Alice walked into their home. It had been several weeks since the attack and Alice was glad that Avery's voice had recovered and was back to normal. She had worked late on a project, and Avery had volunteered to have dinner waiting when she got home. Alice, expecting take out, never expected to see Avery fighting with a pot of potatoes that had boiled over. "Oh no, she's cooking!" Alice could only imagine what Avery's attempts would be. "Burnt potatoes and charred steak."

Alice hung up her coat and ventured into the kitchen. "Hi honey, need help?"

Avery smiled and passed Alice a glass of wine. "Nope, got things somewhat under control. I just hope you don't mind your steak well done."

Alice just smiled knowing the antacid tablets were in the bath room.

Surprisingly enough dinner wasn't as bad as Alice had expected, although Lucky had turned her nose up at some pieces that Avery had cut up for her. Makes you kind of wonder when the cat won't eat it; Alice briefly dismissed the thought and carried on with her meal.

The hum of the dishwasher could be heard in the living room as both women lay on the couch toe to toe. The television show that they had been watching was now over, and Alice announced she was going to have a bath. Avery, never one to miss out on an opportunity, offered her services as official back scrubber. Alice caught the sly look and wiggled her finger like a worm attempting to hook a fish. "You can do more then wash my back, Ms. Stevens", and walked up the stairs to change leaving Avery to turn off the lights, television and check the locks on the doors. There wouldn't be an opportunity afterward.

The warm water and tickle of the bath bubbles were normally a relaxing get away for Alice, to let the day’s tensions float away. But a different tension was now stroking her in between her legs, as Avery sat behind her in the tub with one arm around her and the other bringing her pleasure. With her eyes closed she had her head leaned back against Avery and could hear the pounding of Avery's heart mixed with her own. Soft lips were nibbling on her ear lobe sending a different sensation to her already tightened nipples. She felt Avery shift slightly and a warm hand began to caress her breast finally giving her nipple a gentle pull.

The soft lips now ventured their way down Alice's neck. She had pulled her hair up into a knot, securing it with a clip, giving Avery the freedom to kiss her sensitive spots. She felt the fingers that had been teasing her clit find their way deeper inside of her, and she bent her one knee up giving Avery easier access to her.

"Thought you were going to wash my back?" Alice moaned as Avery gently played with her.

"I can," came the reply, "but I'd need to free up one hand. Any suggestions as to which one?" Avery continued on with her play making sure Alice wouldn't worry about answering the question.

Alice opened her eyes, her body still shaking from the delight that Avery had given her. Carefully she twisted around in the tub to face her lover. Avery's brown eyes were filled with desire and Alice leaned in and kissed her. "Let's take this elsewhere, the water is getting cold." Alice stood up, got out of the tub and passed Avery a towel, then took one for herself. Quickly the pair dried off and headed into the bedroom. Lucky would have to sleep in her cat bed tonight, the other one was occupied by two women who made love late into the night.


The box of florescent lights stood against the wall as the step ladder was positioned in the middle of the hallway. Clad in jeans and a t-shirt today Avery was reaching up changing a burnt out light when she heard a familiar voice call out to her.

"Need an extra hand?" Richard Stevens, Avery's twin brother, held up a new light as Avery passed him down the old one.

"Hey brother, what are you doing back here? Couldn't resist my exciting life?" Avery flashed him a cheeky grin as they exchanged lights and Avery replaced the new one. Immediately it lit up. Avery closed the covering and started to step down to her waiting brother. Once on the ground, she gave him a big hug.

"How's your butt? Did the surgery go ok?" Avery asked him and then almost regretted it as Richard pretended to undo his pants and show her.

"Richard, I'm going to go blind yet! Cut it out!" Avery grabbed her ladder and handed the box of lights to Richard. "Come on, we'll get rid of this stuff in my office and then go swipe a coffee from Alice."

Richard went on to explain how the surgery had gone; the graft had taken and there was only a small scar on his butt. He had gone back to Edmonton to recover and stayed a while with their parents. He was sorry to report that although their mother was happy to hear that Avery was well and had a new life, their father had refused to budge on his narrow minded feelings and the subject was closed. Avery wasn't welcomed back as long as she continued to live the life style that she did. Richard put his arm around his sister and gave her a squeeze. "It's ok Avery, his loss. At least Mom was more receptive and hey, there's always me." Richard put on his best smile as the two of them stored the ladder and lights and headed up to Alice's office.

Avery walked into Alice's office first. "Hi honey, guess what stray I found outside in the hallway?"

Alice looked up to see Richard's beaming face and immediately jumped up and gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek. "When did you get here, and why didn't you call us?" Alice gave him a playful slap on the arm as Richard took a moment to look at Alice.

"You look terrific Alice." Richard commented and held her at arm’s length to look at her.

Avery stood back and watched the encounter between the two as a small jab of jealousy poked at her heart. Of all the things in life Avery could give Alice, a child wasn't one of them. She mentally gave herself a kick at that thought. It was something they had never discussed, and why it had hit Avery now she didn't know, but would mull it over later. Right now she could smell fresh coffee brewing and hoped there was some thing to eat in the frig.

Richard and Avery were on their second helping of food, and Alice was glad she had made enough dinner for an army. A small smile curled on her lips and she could only imagine the twins' appetites as teenagers. It must have cost their parents a fortune to feed them. Alice had taken the time to sit back and watch the play between the two of them. There was no doubt they were twins and although had been apart for a number of years as adults, the banter and play between them left Alice feeling almost sorry for their parents. They must have been little hellions and she smiled warmly at that thought. A small jab struck her and for a moment Alice couldn't figure out what she was feeling. Ah, reality hit her. My biological clock is ticking, well more like pounding like Big Ben in England, and she wondered if Avery ever thought of them having children. Her thoughts were soon shaken from her as Richard had asked her a question and was waiting for a reply.

"I'm sorry Richard, I was lost in a fog there for a moment. What was your question?"

"I was wondering how you managed to corral my other half into buying a house and living together." Richard asked with an amused expression on his face.

"I didn't," Alice replied, "Avery asked me to live with her and buy a house."

Richard sat back stunned at Alice's comment.

"See I told you dope," Avery sat back with her arms folded, "Alice just couldn't resist my charm."

Richard laughed as he raised his wine glass in a toast. "You have both done a great job on the house. It looks very much like a home and I hope you are both very happy in it for many years to come."

Avery reached over and took Alice's hand. "Yes, we hope so too."

Alice leaned over and gave Avery a kiss.

As Avery and Alice were saying goodnight to Richard the cab pulled up and the driver honked the horn. "Next time call us, you can stay here in the guest room instead of a hotel." Alice gave Richard one last hug as he turned to leave. The two women wrapped their arms around each other and watched as Richard waved goodbye and left in the cab.

Avery shut the door and shivered. It was cold out tonight; winter had not released its grip and she followed Alice into the living room and they both sat down by the fire.

"I wish Richard could stay in Toronto longer." Alice wrapped her arms around Avery. "It's nice to have some family around."

"Yes it would be nice." Avery stared into the fire. "He's trying to get a transfer here, but it may take a while."

Alice just nodded.

Both women wanted to approach the subject about children, but neither could find the words. As the fire died down to embers, Avery suggested bed time and a sleepy Alice allowed her self to be helped up stairs and into bed. In the dreams they shared that night Avery could envision Alice pregnant, her stomach and breasts swollen as she carried a new life in side of her. Their baby together, Avery dreamed and wondered whether they would have a boy or a girl. Alice dreamed of Avery pregnant and a scowl formed on her sleeping features. She could see Avery on her back fixing a leaking sink, her stomach extended with a baby. Somehow maternity pants and grease just didn't suit Avery's profile and Alice decided in her dreams if they were to have a baby, she would be the birth mother.

The next morning as two sleepy lovers awoke to the sound of the alarm; all the previous night’s thoughts and dreams were dismissed as a new day brought on new beginnings.

Avery was downstairs in her office when she noticed a small light flashing on a panel above her. It was a warning light of a possible fire, and it was showing the tenth floor. Avery jumped to the phone and called Alice.

"Honey, are you alright? I've got an emergency light flashing on your floor."

"Avery, it's raining in the hallway and the fire alarm is making me go deaf." Alice sat calmly at her desk and watched as the other office workers were peeking out of their doors and attempting to get to the elevator or stairs.

"Do you smell any smoke, or did the sprinklers go off for the fun of it?" Avery wasn't happy when the fire alarm hadn't gone off in the entire building. Even if a pipe had frozen and burst, the alarm should have triggered. "Stay there Alice, I'll come up and get you."

Avery grabbed her rain slicker, another one for Alice and headed up to the tenth floor. Security had already called her. The fire truck had been dispatched and was on its way.

When the elevator doors opened Avery got out and ran for Alice's office. The sprinklers were still spilling water and the tenth floor was soon going to be ruined. "What a mess." Avery sighed knowing she would be working overtime with the cleaning crews to clean up the mess.

Avery entered Alice's office as her lover was locking up the final reports in her desk. Her computer was shut down and Alice hoped the water would shut off soon and not find its way into her office. Avery helped Alice into the rain slicker and headed back out and downstairs.

By the time they arrived at the main level the fire trucks had arrived with the police. Office workers were scattered everywhere and Avery, the security guards along with the firefighters and police went up the elevators. The security guard used his key to open a panel door and shut off the sprinkler and the alarm. The fire fighters had given the ok, there was no immediate danger. A second group had brought ladders and Avery assisted them in locating the main valve and control system for that floor. Avery climbed up the ladder to join the Captain. A quick look at the system determined the cause of the problem. Mice had chewed the wiring, triggering the whole mess.

"Damn." Avery said to the Captain. "I should have left my cat here."

Avery was never so tired in her life. She had managed to grab a couple of hours sleep in her apartment upstairs after calling Alice to tell her not to expect her home. She had replaced the chewed wiring. The Captain said the inspector would be around tomorrow to look at all the wiring. An emergency cleaning crew was brought in and the clean up operations had begun. The water damage was extensive in two of the lower floors as well, and it was going to take hours of clean up and tripping over insurance and fire inspectors before Avery would ever see her home again. Thankfully she had kept the apartment up with canned and frozen food supplies, coffee and powdered creamer. It was three full days later and little sleep that an exhausted Avery Stevens returned home to her own bed, and slept for the next twelve hours.

When Alice heard the shower running she was relieved to know Avery was finally awake and started making her some coffee, bacon, eggs and toast. She had known the minute Avery came home that she had lost some weight and looked even worse. Alice had taken over some food for Avery each day, but knew she wasn't eating enough. She just hoped Avery didn't get sick.

Avery came downstairs still drying her short, unruly, blond hair. She had smelled the food and coffee and her stomach was burning she was so hungry. A quick kiss and I've missed you was soon replaced by Avery sitting at the table, knife and fork in hand and moaning at every mouthful. "I'm starved Alice, thank you." Avery continued to finish her plate and looked around for more.

Alice sat with her coffee and watched as Avery spread the peanut butter on her third and fourth pieces of toast. Alice had been working from home for the last three days while Avery had been away. She had missed her lover and hoped when Avery had finished her breakfast she could show her just how much.


Spring in Toronto had brought more rain than usual, and Avery had spent most of her morning helping out the small staff of Vito's day cleaning crew. She had placed 'caution wet signs' all around the front lobby and had changed the soaking wet front mats for drier ones. "Of all nights to have re-waxed the floors." She muttered. Avery grabbed a mop and bucket and was starting to help with the clean up, when she spotted Mrs. Lucas coming in. Avery could tell the large woman wasn't paying attention to the floor conditions or the fact that signs were up cautioning people. All she could see was Mrs Lucas sliding towards her, and all Avery could do was drop the mop and try to stop the woman from crashing into her. As Mrs. Lucas' and Avery's bodies collided, Avery slipped and went crashing to the floor with Mrs. Lucas landing on top of her. At this moment Alice had exited from the elevator on her way to the Tim Horton's donut shop across the street for the daily pastry run and watched in slow motion as her lover and Mrs. Lucas collided. "Oh no!" Alice ran over nearly slipping her self and knelt down to help Mrs. Lucas off of Avery.

"Are you alright Mrs. Lucas?" Alice asked as the large woman found her footing and got up off of Avery.

"Yes, thank you dear. Avery caught me and broke my fall." Mrs. Lucas brushed her clothes off and ,indeed, seemed unhurt.

Avery stayed lying on the floor, moaning. "Alice did you get that buses license plate number, and what is that smell?"

"Ssh Avery, Mrs. Lucas can hear you. Are you all right?" Alice knelt back down on the floor beside Avery. "Can you get up?"

With help from Alice Avery managed to get up and the two women headed for the twenty fifth floor and Avery's old apartment. Avery soon realized that during Mrs. Lucas' fall, the woman had farted on her, leaving a lingering odor. What does that woman eat wondered Avery and prayed no one got on the elevator with them.

Avery stripped off her wet work clothes, headed for the bed room and laid down. "I think I broke some vital organs."

When Alice returned with an old pair of sweat pants and sweat shirt, she took a moment to check over Avery's body. "Has any one ever told you that you are an accident waiting to happen?" Alice leaned down and kissed Avery's lips. "I think it's time I tie you to the bed and not let you out."

Avery reached up and brought Alice down closer to her. "Only if you stay with me, and promise to love me." Avery smiled and returned the kiss.

"Consider it done." Alice replied and tossed the clothes aside.

Later that evening when the two women returned home, Lucky greeted them at the door. Avery refilled her cat food and gave her fresh water, as she heard the bath tub running upstairs. Avery grinned at the thought of the warm water on her aching back and even a warmer Alice in the tub with her.

She shut off the lights, said goodnight to Lucky, and headed up stairs. The night was theirs and Avery had a back to scrub, or so she would tell Alice.


The end for now.
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