DISCLAIMERS: in Part 1
Keeping Faith, Part 10
Reece thought she was angry before, but now, she was furious. She kicked a garbage pail and raged to herself. "Alicia Alvarez! Of all the fucking women in this world? HER?" She walked aimlessly, knowing for some reason, getting out of the house was the right thing to do. She wanted to scream at Faith, tell her, no, insist she forget the movie. Somewhere inside she knew that wasn't the right thing to do so she ran away. "How can I deal with this? How does she expect me to deal with this? I can't! I'll throw up if I have to hear about it. Oh god, I'll have to go to this movie when it opens!"
Cori left the bagel store to find Reece leaning on a car, arms folded tightly, jaw clenching. I haven't been gone 15 minutes! What the hell happened? She approached the club owner carefully. "Reece?"
Reece lifted her angry gaze from her feet to the dancer. "Leave me alone."
Cori got slightly closer. "What happened?"
Reece pushed off of the car, arms flying, face twisted. "Alicia Alvarez? Did you fucking know that?"
Cori swallowed hard. "Uh? yeah."
Reece kicked a tree. "Great! This is fucking great!"
"Reece, people are starting to stare. Come on, let's walk."
"I don't want to walk, I want to kill something!"
Cori, sneered at a curious passerby. "You heard her, she wants to kill something so I'd get moving." She turned to Reece again who looked about to blow her top. "Reece, c'mon, lets go home."
"HOME! No way. I can't look at Faith right now. I just keep seeing her fucking that tramp. I can't."
"Reece! It's not real you ass! Stop behaving like an idiot! My toasted bagel is getting soggy."
"Fuck your bagel Cori, and fuck you, you don't understand."
"Fine be a moron. I'm going home. I suggest you get over it real soon."
Reece watched Cori walk away and flung herself against the tree she kicked earlier. "Stupid freak doesn't get it. Fucking Alicia."
Violet listened to Cori's rehash of what happened and sighed. "Man, oh, man, Alicia Alvarez. She's like a walking condom she has so many different men. I can imagine Reece's anger. "
"Anger ain't the word Vi, she's inconsolable. Anyway, maybe it's a good idea she get lost in this mood. Faith has enough stress and doesn't need Reece's immaturity." Cori sat in her lover's lap. "What did you say to her last night? She came home with flowers."
Violet snickered then kissed Cori's nose. "Nothing deep. Looks like she may be home with more flowers later though."
"Who knows. She's real pissed. She seemed to be coping with the whole sex thing until Alicia came up."
Violet thought for a moment. "She may be hot, but she's a ho. Maybe if we convince Faith that Alicia Alvarez is nothing but a sperm burping gutter slut she'll lose her crush."
"Ew, pretty attractive description. Good luck convincing Faith though."
Unable to finish breakfast, Faith sat, arms folded on the couch. Reece's behavior was getting tired and she wished her wife would just get over it. She reached down to Smudge who was watching her curiously. Picking him up to her lap she sighed. "You understand me. You get that it's just a movie." Smudge licked her nose with his tiny pink tongue. "See, you love me. You don't care if it's Alicia Alvarez or not." Smudge cocked his little head to the side in a question. Faith felt she needed to reply. "What?" The dog sat down and stared at Faith. She swore it was in an accusatory manner. "Oh, I see, you too. Fine" Faith stuck out her chin in defiance. Smudge stood up and yapped. Faith leaned her head back on the couch in defeat. "I know, I know, you're right. She has every right to be jealous, I know if it were her and Angelina Jolie I'd bust a vessel. What do I do? Even if I get them to take out the hardcore stuff, I'll still have to make out with the woman." Faith thought about that for a while, and realized it did give her a little thrill. Stop thinking like that, this is strictly business. You can't enjoy it, that'd be cheating. She sat up and picked up the script from the coffee table. Leafing through it, she stopped on one particularly graphic scene. "Oh yeah, Reece can't handle this. I can't handle this, how can I expect her to. Smudge, I'm so fucked. I gotta call Brad."
Reece wandered around aimlessly for a while before reluctantly returning home. She opened the door quietly and slipped in, heading straight for Smudge. Scooping him off of Faith's lap, and gathering his ear medicine from the coffee table, she brought him up to the bedroom ignoring her wife. As soon as she settled down on the bed she heard Faith approaching the door.
"I didn't think you'd be back so soon."
Reece didn't look up. "Believe me, I didn't want to but he needs his medicine."
Faith sat on the bed. "You can't stay mad at me Reece, you have to understand. Please."
"All I know is you wanted to do Alicia since the first time you saw her and now you'll be rolling around like naked pigs for everyone to see. I understand you'll be liking it. A lot. That's all I need to understand."
Faith watched as Reece pulled a small bit of cotton from a cotton ball, wet it with solution and gently wiped out the dog's ear. She smiled despite the situation. Reece has it in her, she has the ability to be gentle, when it counts.
"There you go little man. Shake it out." Smudge shook his head so hard he fell over. Reece picked him up. "Just a little drop or two of antibiotic and we're done." She held his head in her hand, swallowing the tiny dog's whole face with it?s size.
Faith watched the scene with envy. "You're so gentle with him. Why are you so aggressive with me?"
"He's not cheating on me."
Faith threw her hands up. "Reece, if it were anyone else would you be acting this way?"
The club owner shrugged. She really didn't know.
"You were okay with me kissing Jim on television."
"That was Jim the dim. Besides, I had a talk with him." Reece smirked to herself. "Maybe I should have a talk with Alicia."
"No way!" Faith protested. "I will not have you threatening that poor woman?"
Reece cut her off. "Since when is she that poor woman? Because you want her?" The club owner became angry all over again.
Faith sat closer to her wife and touched her face. "Just calm down already. We have to solve this Reece, I don't want it tearing us apart."
Reece steeled her jaw and said nothing.
"Baby, please. I love you. This has to work out. You have to deal with it. Please. I know you're the strongest woman I ever met, you can do this. " Faith pled.
Reece sighed and lifted her gaze for the first time to meet Faith's. "I'm trying, Faith. I'm trying. I'm selfish and I don't share well. I don't think I can stomach this."
The last sentence was so quiet Faith had to strain to hear it. She wrapped her arms around Reece and sighed. "Just hold me baby. I need you to hold me so I know it's alright."
Reece wrapped her arms around her wife and closed her eyes. She had to let Faith do her thing, she knew she had to. But it was going to hurt. Bad.
"I love you, Reece."
Despite their love, the tension was a bit thick in the Corbett-Ashford household. Faith eventually and reluctantly left Reece up in the bedroom with Smudge while she went downstairs to resume her phone calls. She left another message with her agent, Brad, and made a call to Mr. Wells, the gentleman that assured her the part when she went to audition. Without anyone else to call she waited impatiently for a response.
Reece made her way downstairs after a long while and announced her departure to the gym.
Faith watched her put on her sneakers. "Don't be so angry Reece, please."
"I'm fine" she replied flatly.
"Oh, that was convincing." Faith replied sarcastically.
Reece turned to Faith and sighed. "Look, I'm not okay with this, and before I act like another ass, I'm going to the gym. I think I learned my lesson and the weights won't talk back. Just let me leave without annoying me about it."
Faith's eyebrow was raised high. Reece just spoke more words to her in that instant than she had for days. "Okay, you go, but don't hurt yourself. You're not Hercules."
Reece nodded as she left.
Faith stared at the door silently.
Reece walked sullenly to the gym, a lot on her mind. She was really conflicted. Faith has a job, not just a job, but a dream job. She wanted this more than anything. Moving to New York City all alone, with nothing, leaving her parents against their wishes, working shit jobs, living in a slum. All in the name of an acting career. Reece sighed loudly. Knowing full well what her own job asked of her, asked of Faith, she felt guilty for her own negative feelings. Surrounded by naked women all night, having to audition new ones, watch the acts of regulars to gage the response levels. She knew in her heart she would never want Faith to do what she does, yet Faith never complains. Could Faith be more trusting than herself? The club owner sulked. But I don't want her kissing Alicia Alvarez. She's my wife, and I have a say don't I? Why does this even have to happen anyway? Sure I want her to be in a movie, that's what she wants, that makes her happy. Reece scowled hard. She knew she really didn't have a say one way or another. The only way to stop it was to put the fear of god in Alicia and Faith was on to that plan. Not wanting to think about it any more, Reece opened the door to the gym. The smell of sweat, the blast of manufactured cold air greeted her like an old friend. Feeling immediately more comfortable, she strode to the locker room with long steps.
Faith busied herself cleaning the house while she waited for someone to call her back. Then it happened, while she was on her knees, cleaning under the couch, the phone rang. Rushing to get it, she smacked her head on the coffee table and cursed all the way to the phone. Filled with anxiety she grabbed the phone. "Hello?"
"Hello, this is the Vet's office. We'd like to now how Goliath is feeling."
"Goliath?" Faith questioned.
"Goliath Corbett? Did I call the wrong number?"
Faith rolled her eyes. "No, you have the right number. He's doing pretty good I think. My wife is actually taking care of his ear."
"Ah, yes, Ms. Corbett. We're quite familiar with her."
Faith felt badly for the poor woman. "I'll have her call you as soon as she gets home. But I can tell you she is taking very good care of Goliath."
"Good to know. If anything changes, feel free to call."
After the phone call ended Faith sat down next to Smudge on the floor. "So, why didn't you tell me about the new name? Do you think it suits you sweetie?" She kissed the tiny dog on the nose and laughed lightly. "Goliath, huh?" Faith held the little dog in one hand up to her face. Smudge licked her lips. "Oh yes, totally suitable you big killer dog."
Reece worked hard to forget her troubles. All of her concentration was focused on the muscle she was working. Her already taxed biceps bulged as she curled the barbell. Squeezing her triceps on the extention, then squeezing her bicep as she curled the heavy weight. She concentrated on the feeling of her muscles working, pleasurable pain as she exhausted her negative energy. Unable to do one more curl, she dropped the heavy iron with a loud bang and stretched her arms. Women and men alike watched her, watched her muscles flex and bulge, watched the sweat drip down her neck into her cleavage, watched her ass as she twisted this way and that, finding sensuality where Reece found her only innocent escape.
No doubt about it, Reece was worth a second look, by any breathing human, but she was oblivious to it. No game playing today, no toying with the straight men, only release from her worries. It was extremely cathartic. Before her religious attachment to the gym, Reece was violent, aggressive and unmanageable when angry. Little by little she learned that the gym may be her only relief from herself. And she benefited greatly for her efforts. Finished stretching and ready for the shower, Reece took a moment to catch her breath. Looking around at her various admirers, she smirked, glad she wasn't aware of it all before.
Antsy and irritated, Faith began going through the script and changing the questionable scenes herself. She began to distance herself from the part and started picturing the scenes as she created the changes. When she was sufficiently satisfied with the editing, she put the script down and felt a sense of satisfaction. While in the moment, shelled Brad, her agent and was surprised when he picked up the phone.
"Brad, I couldn't wait for all the red tape and changed the script myself. I think it's doable and want to know how to get it to the right people. "
Brad was surprised. "You changed it yourself? You're a writer now?"
"Maybe, and I'm pretty proud of what I did."
Brad made a small sound, and shook his head. "I'll get it to the right people, but I can't guarantee this will fly."
"Whatever you have to do, Brad. You just make sure to tell them that your high profile lesbian client won't do it any other way." Faith said smugly.
Brad chuckled. "Okay. I'll do it. I'll send someone to pick it up."
Faith hung up the phone feeling infinitely better. She wished Reece was there so she can share.
The well rejuvenated club owner had a bounce in her step as she headed home. Not thinking at all refreshed her, and the endorphins she was currently experiencing made her almost happy. Almost. It was still there in the back of her mind, it was like a little knot of tension behind a bone that you can't get to. It didn't matter, though. Reece continued her trek home, keeping the knot behind the bone so she didn't have to touch it. She veered into a bakery, and bought Faith's favorite pastry as if on autopilot.
Faith was happy to hear Reece's key in the door. She wasn't expecting her wife to come home until much later. Now she just had to wonder what mood Reece was in after a short time away. Eyeing the striped bag in Reece's hand, Faith smiled. "You just bring that little bag in here." She instructed.
Reece grinned and obeyed and surprised Faith with a short kiss.
"Wow. It must have been a great work out!"
Reece nodded. "It was."
Faith inhaled deeply. "Ooo, get back here, you smell so good."
The tall woman chuckled under her breath. "I took a shower there." She sat down on the couch next to her wife, and it felt good to feel Faith's breath on her neck. "You better eat that thing and leave my neck alone. There's too many endorphins flying around in my blood."
"And that's a bad thing?" Faith took a bite of the pastry. "Mmm."
"Well, it is if you're still mad at me."
"Reece, I can be mad at you and still love you, make love with you."
Reece grinned widely. "Yeah? You wanna?"
Faith smacked her wife playfully. "Not this second. I have to tell you something."
"Okay, what? Did the guy call you back?"
"No, but I took matters into my own hands and changed the script myself. Brad sent someone over to pick it up. Now all we do is wait."
Reece raised her eyebrows in surprise. "You can do that?"
"I don't know. Brad isn't sure they'll take it seriously, it's a gamble. They say they wrote it for me, so if they mean that, they'll fix it. If not, they can get someone else to play the part. "
"For real? You would want that?" Reece leaned forward and took a bite of Faith's pastry.
"No, not really. I want this part, but not if it means porn. I'm going to make sure there's a no nudity clause in the rest of my contracts from now on."
Reece smiled with relief. "Now that's more like it. Hurry up and eat that so I can get you naked and lick your whole body."
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