Rainne O. Lawless
1) The characters in these stories belong exclusively to me and are not the
property of anyone else.
2) These stories include depictions of lesbian relationships.
This means two women, in love, who have actual physical love relationships.
Unless marked otherwise, story content is PG-13. If such material is illegal
in your area, you need to find someplace else to live. If you are offended
by such material, do not read it. There are plenty of other bards who have
general fiction material available.
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RAINBOW ROOM - Part One
In the days when Kaia Lasgow first began hanging out at the Rainbow Room, she
had been an up-and-coming pop star, a fresh new face on the Billboard charts
with a brand-new way of singing the same old stuff. Teenage girls dressed
to emulate her and teenage boys dreamed of taking her out. She had been
21 then, naive yes, but experienced enough to know what she wanted. And
what she wanted could be found at the Rainbow Room.
They had seen her enough at first to start getting used to her coming in.
At first, she got the star treatment. Her first album, Soulmate,
had just gone double platinum the first time she walked in the door. But
as the women began to relax and become used to seeing her face there, they found
that behind the killer blue eyes and luminous raven hair was a personable young
woman with an easy laugh and a wicked sense of humor, and she became popular for
herself rather than her fame.
She was often absent from the bar on long tour stretches, and they would watch
for her on "The Late Show" or "Larry King Live." When
she appeared, all activity in the bar would stop as the women watched "their
Kaia." Then she would suddenly be back, and bar rumor would hook her
up with Corrie, or Sami, or Elizabeth. No one ever knew who she was really
involved with, because no one was talking. She arrived at the bar alone,
left alone, and flirted outrageously with everyone while she was there,
Then she would be gone again, and they would watch for her on TV.
Kaia was the hottest thing to hit the music scene in a long time. Her popularity
far exceeded that of every other Britney Spears/'N-Sync/Backstreet Boys wannabe,
and to outside observers, she rode high on that wave of fame for over four years.
The real story, however, was far different, as the Rainbow Room women knew.
A house on the bluffs overlooking the bay wasn't Kaia's style. Instead,
she'd settled in a 2/2 duplex on a quiet street on the northeast side of town.
The fleet of fancy cars she could have afforded was shunned for the cool leather
interior of a custom Jeep Cherokee. As she once told Elissa, one of the
bartenders, she'd grown up poor and didn't intend to die that way.
When she came off tour the fourth time, she was tired and it was obvious.
She had dark circles under her eyes and her cheeks were hollow. Worst, the
spark was gone out of her eyes. Some things, she told Corrie one night at
the bar after several drinks, were a grand adventure when you were 21 but began
to pall by the time you turned 25. Some nights later, she told Melinda,
another bartender, that she was just sick of everybody wanting something from
her. "You give and you give and you give and they just keep taking.
You can't tell anybody anything for fear they'll blackmail you, and gods forbid
you should sleep with someone. It would be on the front page of the National
Enquirer before you got them out of your hotel room the next morning."
Kaia got quite drunk that night. She woke the next morning in Melinda's
living room, on the sofa.
"Thanks for watching out for me," she'd said when Melinda came out of
her room, pushing back her unruly, shaggy blonde hair to find Kaia watching cartoons.
"No problem," Melinda had replied. "Couldn't leave you for
the vultures, could I?"
"Some people would have," Kaia replied quietly.
Melinda didn't need a magnifying glass to see the scars of old wounds, and grabbed
Kaia, hugging her fiercely, fire in her green eyes. "Well as long as
I'm around, nobody will do that to you ever again!"
Kaia's fifth album, She Wants To, was double platinum the day it came out,
and at the top of the charts by the end of the week. Her tour opened at
the Superdome in New Orleans, and she spent the entire show focused on Melinda,
who sat in the front row. They parted after the show, but six weeks
later, Melinda surprised Kaia at a show in Atlanta by showing up backstage before
the show and bringing seventeen women from the Rainbow Room with her.
After Atlanta, Kaia was slated to play sixteen dates up the Eastern seaboard to
New York City. She had three dates in the City - two in clubs and one at
Madison Square Garden - and was then scheduled to fly to London to kick off a
three-month European tour. She never made it.
Afterward, nobody was really quite sure what happened. She was able to tell
them that he'd been dressed as a security guard and looked just like the other
guards she'd seen both backstage and out front. He'd had a knife, she said,
but they knew that just from her injury. He'd gagged and bound her before
forcing himself on her in her dressing room after the show at the Garden.
And he'd tried to kill her.
Nobody knew how he'd managed not to kill her, the doctors all said. But
they all agreed that he'd managed to miss everything when he stabbed her in the
neck. Everything, that was, except her vocal cords... and those he'd severed.
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