Diplomacy, part 9

            Tracy hinted to her spouse that she wanted to go along with the group. She didn't want to attend the party but she would like to spend an evening with Robbie in a real bed with real walls.

            JP sighed heavily. "Tracy," she said seriously, "You can't go. I saw the dress they designed for Robbie."

            "What has that got to do with it?" the redhead asked, doing her best not to pout.

            JP's eyes twinkled. "If you saw your wife in that outfit she'd never be allowed to leave the room. You'd have her on her back before she could say 'boo'."

            Tracy's face flamed as brightly as her hair but her eyes widened, wanting to know more. "What does it look like?"

            "You're asking me? I'm butch, remember? All I know is that it looks like creamy orange sherbet and there isn't a lot to it."

            The petite woman glanced at her wife, her pale eyebrows lifting high. "And you expect me to let you out of my sight?"

            "Honey, I'm going as her bodyguard, remember?"

            "And who's going to guard your body from all those dirty old men?"

            "They'd lose a hand," the blonde grumbled.

            "I'm going," Tracy informed her wife.

            Robbie sighed. "You can't go to the dinner. If I see you looking at me like I'm dessert then I won't be able to concentrate."

            Tracy growled. "Then at least let me spend the night there with you. The three of you were planning on spending the night at the Embassy. Just think. You, me, a big bed and walls."

            Robbie's eyes glazed over as she imagined just that. "Okay, you can go."

            JP whispered to Robbie, "Pure, unadulterated, kitty whipped."


            "No, no, no. You cannot attend a formal event like this in a pantsuit. Ladies are expected to wear gowns and the men in black tie," the designer told JP.

            "Then put me in a tux. I refuse to look like a frosted cake."

            The woman placed her measuring tape back into her work case. "How butch," she drawled. "but I still think you should appear in a gown. She saw that JP was about to protest and held up both hands to hold her off. "What if I promise you that it will not look like 'frosted cake' and that it will be comfortable?"

            JP thought about it and glanced at Cierra. Her wife wiggled her eyebrows and was no help at all. JP rolled her eyes and huffed. "Fine, whatever. Let's just get this over with so we can get some lunch. I'm starving."

            Cierra grinned. "This was your idea, remember?"

            "Don't remind me."

            Robbie snorted, "At least you don't have to wear a slinky number and still try to hide a gun."

            "You don't have to bring a gun," Cierra reminded the blonde.

            "Oh yes I do. I don't trust a single one of those bozos to keep you safe. You're lucky I don't insist on an honor guard armed to the teeth."

            "That's a bit of an overkill."

            Robbie crossed her arms. "And how do you know one of these foreign ambassadors doesn't have some wild idea about grabbing her and forcing her to jump?"

            JP's was blank for a moment. "I don't."

            "Exactly. The only reason I don't is because I think Cierra is capable of outthinking a single person, maybe even two, but if a troop of bad guys grabs her no army can protect everyone if they are determined."

            "Then why bother being armed?"

            "Because I'd feel naked without it and it doesn't hurt to have a gun handy."


            Cierra snickered, "I think she wears it because Tracy finds it sexy as hell."

            The designer almost poked JP with a pin at the comment then blushed when the tall blonde laughed and agreed with the shaman. The woman didn't need to have that vision in her head.

            JP shook her head. "Robbie, just throw off your clothes if trouble starts. People's eyeballs will be too busy bugging out to cause any harm."

            Cierra smacked her wife on the arm. "Behave."

            Robbie cracked an imaginary whip from behind Cierra, out of her line of sight to tweak her friend. JP merely grinned and winked. She enjoyed having Cierra be commanding at times.

            The shaman knew there was an exchange going on behind her. She turned to the designer. "I have to speak with a few people. Feel free to poke either of them with a pin if they misbehave," she said, trying to look stern even though both women knew she was teasing. She leaned down and used a stage whisper, telling the designer she was fond of baby blue on JP.

            Her wife rolled her eyes. She just knew she'd look like a pastel-colored cake when this was done.


            Everything was arranged. The people attending the trading event had left several hours earlier and everyone was making room for the visitors. They had packed away their belongings and stored them in the courthouse until their return. Those remaining shifted down and the barrier had been put up for privacy. They didn't know how many would be female so several of the tents had been set up near the wigwams.

            All they could do was wait for Cierra to come back with the twenty-four people requested. Cyd ran the tip of her pocket knife under her nails and waited. She looked forward to seeing who arrived and what type of people they were. She hoped none of them were true jerks but she'd fix that fast enough if they were. They'd get the hardest tasks while the nicer people would get the easiest ones. She grinned at the idea of waking them at sunrise. Cyd was beginning to understand the appeal of being a Drill Sargent.

            A shadow in the corner of her eye made the tall butch glance up. Cierra had brought everyone along in a transport bus. The people seemed stunned but began filing out, carrying assorted luggage and duffle bags.

            Cierra and Robbie separated from the exiting crowd and joined Cyd. Jenny and a few others were escorting everyone to their sleeping assignments before the BBQ began.

            "What's your impressions so far?" Cyd asked the shaman.

            "Well, a few of them were underlings in spite of what I said." She pointed them out so Cyd would know them. "The others are assorted supervisors and agents. Two are military. Several of them are quite pissed off about this. I hope they don't give you much trouble while I'm gone."

            "Like they can up and leave if they don't like it?" Cyd chuckled.


            "Well, the party should give them time to meet people. Save some for us. If the dinner is anything like banquet food we'll be starving when the party ends," JP told her friend. She took a deep breath, smelling the smoking deer meat that was cooking inside the grill that Maggie had built.

            "Sharon's fixing enough food to feed an army. I didn't realize we had that many beans left from last year's crops."

            "I wish the corn was up already," JP said with longing.

            "We have to settle for corn bread. Kristy and Alana went out and picked a lot of spring greens for salad and Pam is going to bake a bunch of ducks in a ground oven. The cooking crew ground up some deer meat for hamburgers and we have potato salad, too. I'm even bringing out some of my pickles and Hillary made a bunch of salsa and tortilla chips. We ought to have plenty."

            JP placed her hand on her stomach. "Now I'm hungry." She turned to her wife. "Do we have time for a snack before we go back?"

            "Sure. I bet Sharon won't mind feeding us this late."

            The couple went to the communal building and went into the kitchen. Although the kitchen was filled with helpers it wasn't a scene of frantic cooking. Sharon and her crew were more than experienced at prepping food for large crowds.

            Sharon spotted the pair and waved them over. "Hungry, huh? Well, I already packed you a basket. I figured you all would pout if you missed out on this after coming up with the idea. Here," she said, handing them a large woven basket. Inside was covered ceramic bowls of smoked meat, a crock of beans, potato salad, and several loaves of homemade bread with butter. "That should hold you. Pam promised to save a duck for you for lunch."

            "The two of you are the best," Cierra told her, giving the older woman a kiss on the cheek. The couple headed to quad one so Cierra could feed Kiona one last time before the party. Pam would watch her daughter until the next day.

            A short time later they got onto their horses and headed back to the Embassy. They needed to pick up Michael and a few others. They would be changing in their suite. Tracy and Robbie were already there, looking over the building and satisfying themselves that all precautions were being taken.

            "I still wonder where Robbie is gonna hide her gun," JP mumbled as they leaped to Earth.



            "Oh.My.God! JP wasn't joking, was she?" Tracy gasped out as she took in the vision of her wife and that dress. If she wasn't so damned stunned she would be knocking Robbie onto the bed and ripping that little bit of nothing off of her and to hell with the party.

            Robbie grinned wickedly, knowing exactly where Tracy's thoughts were and pleased that her wife was still lusting after her after two years. "You like?" she said, spinning slowly and giving the redhead a show.

            Tracy nodded mutely as she watched the filmy material swish against Robbie's firm body--where it didn't cling that is. The pastel orange dress, although 'suitable' for such an event, had to be illegal. It clung to curves in a manner than guaranteed that Robbie would have both men and women clamoring after her like dogs in heat.

            The dress' waist was a marvelous creation of woven fabrics that seem to expand softly as Robbie breathed. Then Tracy wondered if her wife even dared to take a breath. The top of the dress didn't seem to have anything to hold it in place other than Robbie's own impressive chest. Robbie's arms were bare except for old fashioned gloves that reached her upper forearms. Golden jewelry hung from her neck and adorned one wrist.


            "Yes, love?"

            "If you want to make it out of this room without being ravished I suggest you leave now. In about ten seconds my will power will be shot."

            "Hold that thought." Robbie bent low and gave her wife a quick kiss then left the room.

            Tracy flopped down into an overstuffed chair and wondered if she'd make it until her spouse got back.


            "Well, it could be worse," JP sighed. She and Cierra had been sucked up into a whirlwind of hair stylists, manicurists, and designer assistants. The former Game and Fish warden looked in the mirro and was grateful that the designer hadn't made the outfit baby blue. Instead, the soft material was a deep dark blue, almost black, and didn't have a single frilly feature on it. It was a basic evening dress, sleeveless, but the designer had made a matching short jacket with glittering sequins of sapphire blue and silver threads.

            "I think it's wonderful since it brings out the color of your eyes." She stepped closer and ran her fingers along JP's arm, her eyes gleaming naughtily. "I think you look wonderful."

            The taller woman cleared her throat. She knew where Cierra's thoughts were leading. Changing the subject would be a good strategic option.

            "I like your dress though. It looks Greek. Very classy. It suits you," she said with a gentle smile. The antigue ivory-colored dress was gathered in what JP thought was called the Empress style. It hung in long folds down Cierra's body, only clinging to her milk filled breasts. She knew Cierra was still fighting those last few baby pounds and didn't want to wear anything clingy. Her dark hair, now quite a bit longer, was lifted up in a cute wispy style.

            JP held out her hand. "Shall we?"

            to be continued

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