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by Vilia Kinell
© - 2008 Vilia Kinell, all
Disclaimer: Still mine! All of them. May look familiar, yada yada…
Sex: No, but it’s still an AltFic with two women who are adult and consenting… So if you’re not – Go away.
Notes: If reading this makes you break any laws – write to a congressman or whatever and get those laws changed.
No sooner had I uttered her name before Duke stood up from his chair and said something about girls and privacy. I absently made a comment along the lines of ‘I’ll walk you out’ and fell in step with him until we got to the door.
Sage was still there, not an apparition, and she exchanged looks with her father before he patted her arm and left. I tried to figure out just why I couldn’t really hear her as she spoke but the loud whooshing sound pounding through my head made it hard to think.
That was probably why the last thing I saw was two very round eyes staring at me in disbelief before I gently but firmly pushed her half a step back and closed the door, effectively trapping myself in my office, with Sage on the other side.
Yeah, I know. I am so smart.
* * *
It took a short while before my actions sunk in and I realized what I had done but the door being made of glass helped me along. Through it, I saw Sage, still standing with her arms crossed and her eyes unyieldingly fixed on my own.
Now would be a good time to say something, you moron, I berated myself but no words came to my aid. Sage, on the other hand, seemed too stunned to even try to speak.
And then she laughed.
I stared at her as if she had lost her mind. “Why are you laughing, this isn’t funny!” I said, a little louder than normal so the sound would carry through the door. I didn’t consider the fact that I could hear her just fine.
“Yes, it is,” she replied understatedly, shaking her head with a huge smile. “What are you doing?”
I couldn’t help but fall just that much more at the sound of her voice. And the accent… It had never struck me as much of anything before but suddenly it became very charming.
Oh, I’ve got it bad, I thought. What am I doing? Since when do I…I looked around briefly, wondering how I could have gotten myself into this situation and more importantly, how to save face and get out of it.
“Are you going to let me in?” Sage said and I looked at her once more.
Very calmly, and with my head slightly bowed, but keeping my eyes on her, I said, “No.”
“Why not?” She eyed me carefully, clearly amused. “Afraid I’ll bite?”
“That I wouldn’t know, you never said.”
Her look turned quizzical. “Never said if I’d bite you?”
“In that bulletin-questionnaire-thing. You asked if I would, and I quote; ‘lick and bite you all over’, but you never said whether you would be doing any of that yourself or not.”
“Ah…” She unfolded her arms and planted her hands firmly on her hips. The space didn’t really allow for much movement in terms of closing our distance, but she tried, by stepping right up to the door. A small spot fogged up as her breath hit the glass when she continued.
“I would have responded, had you done what you said you would, which was to repost it so that I could.”
“Oh,” I managed.
She was right. I had said that I was going to repost the thing so that she would be able to fill it out too. And now I found myself very curious as to what she would have written on the other questions.
As I didn’t say anything more, she broke eye contact and instead looked at my hands with a devilish grin. I followed her gaze and saw that they were still resting on the glass from when I had closed the door, and in a very suggestive position, mere inches from her breasts.
As if burned, I immediately removed them and tucked them safely into the pockets of my suit jacket.
She chuckled lightly and made an apologetic face. “Can we start over?” She gestured toward the computer on my desk. “Or would you prefer we did it online?”
“Why are you here?” my mouth asked without approval from my brain. I waited for her to turn on her heel and leave or even get angry, but she didn’t.
“I came to see you.”
“Because I wanted to.”
I thought back to what she had last written to me on the instant messenger. “What was it you did that you thought might be foolish?”
“I didn’t hear back from you so I thought you might be ill something.” She sighed and looked away. “But then my father came up here and saw you and you weren’t ill at all.”
“Sorry ‘bout that…”
I cringed a little. She saw it and shrugged.
“So, since I’m obviously the number one person in your life and everything you do revolves around me,” she smiled sheepishly, “I thought two things.”
I waited for her to continue, not yet ready to further contemplate her joking comment. It could very well be true, for all I knew. Not that I had thought about it in as many words before, but why else was I behaving this way?
“Either you weren’t who you said you were,” she said. “I mean, how often do you chat with someone online and they turn out to be… well, you…” She motioned her hand toward me, the office and the building at large.
“I could say the same,” I nodded. “You’re not exactly one of the masses yourself.”
She dipped her head with a smile. “That,” she continued, “or you were you and you were ignoring me because of something I had done.”
“Like what?” I burst out incredulously.
“Like reacting the way I did to the photo? Hello! Stalker-alert!”
I had to laugh. “You logged off! A stalker would have stayed on and never gone away!”
“I hardly needed to go all Muppet on you, did I?”
She fell silent for a moment.
“And hey, look at me! I’m here, at your doorstep, uninvited and just begging for attention! That should count for something!”
“I dangle expensive art in front of you, show up unannounced, won’t leave…”
“Won’t leave, huh?” I felt an eyebrow travel upward on my forehead.
“I could call security.”
“Ooo, I don’t know about that. Think of the headlines…”
“You’d call the tabloids on me?”
“Too right, I would! I travel all this way, with the art, mind you,” she said and pointed straight at me. “Just to get an appraisal and you chuck me out like a filthy nappy and probably have me arrested for loitering in your lobby.”
“Why would you be loitering in my lobby?” I said with a grin at the prospect.
“Me!” she continued, completely ignoring my question. “Of all people! My father is the ‘Duke of Avalon’, for heaven’s sake! Ohhh,” she laughed knowingly. “The papers wouldn’t like you…”
“Are you blackmailing me?”
She paused to look boldly at me. “Why, is it working?”
“I dunno, state your terms.”
She started to pace the floor of my secretary’s space, which I was happy to find empty if not for Sage herself. God knows what the company would think if it became known that I was hiding in my office from Sage Wexler.
Now that I thought about it, I remembered reading about her on a couple of occasions. From what I could recall, maybe one or two of the articles had had a photo printed, and in it Sage had had long hair and bangs that covered her forehead, if memory served me. Not like the somewhat spiky, short do she had now.
It seemed that only so many years could logically fit between then and now, as I hadn’t been in the country that long, but the longer hair had taken surely a decade off her looks. I suspected that would have been a welcome trait had she been in her fifties but truth of the matter was, I was completely unable to guess her age.
Late twenties? Early thirties? With the long hair she looked to be a teen, but that was only some three or four years back. The woman standing in front of me, if on the other side of a glass door, but still in front of me, was not a teenager.
I looked her over and confirmed my previous mental statement. Sage was a woman, not a child, and I couldn’t help but be enormously grateful for that. At the same time I felt a bit superficial to having spent so much time thinking about what age her hair made her look. What bothered me more was that I hadn’t recognized her. I was good with names and faces. Even if I hadn’t seen those old photos in a long time I should have made a connection just by looking at her features.
“In return for me not calling the tabloids…” she went on, oblivious to my wandering thoughts. She adopted a posh tone, “You shall escort me to a refined restaurant for tea.”
“That’s it?” I questioned doubtfully.
“I’m not done yet.”
“Then please continue,” I said and crossed my arms. This could be a potential goldmine…
“Afterward, you shall drive me back to the estate and lighten my duties for me.”
I pretended to pull out a pen and paper to take notes. “Which consists of?”
She grinned at my serious expression. “Seeing to the horses and hounds.”
She paused as if to gauge my reaction but I held my face stoic and jotted on my make-believe pad. Horses were one thing, but dogs? We’ll just see about that, won’t we?
“Alright,” she clicked her tongue and appeared to be in deep thought. “They are to be washed, groomed and fed. Their spaces cleaned.”
“No problem,” I smirked.
“And you read them a story!”
“And it can’t be the same story. The stables and kennel are very close to each other, they won’t want to hear the same story twice.”
“If they’re that close, why can’t it just be one reading? If they hear it from either place, I mean.”
She rolled her eyes as if it were obvious. “Because they need to see the person telling them the story. They won’t know the story is for them otherwise.”
“Alright,” I drawled. “Whatever you say.”
“You have to be dressed as a carrot for the horses. They won’t listen if you’re in regular clothes.”
I stared blankly at her.
“And a rabbit for the hounds.”
“To keep their attention…” she trailed off.
She can’t be crazy. Please don’t be crazy!
“Did you used to do this as a child and are now just retelling it in the hopes that I’ll join you in your madness so that you’re no longer the running joke at family gatherings?”
Now she stared and blinked.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking it isn’t obvious…” I said as a light redness began to spread across her cheeks.
“My, my… Miss Wexler, you’re not blushing, are you?” I grinned, loving every bit of it.
She stomped her foot a little as the blush deepened and became more pronounced. “Damn you!” she said but couldn’t hide her smile.
“Oh, more!” I declared and stepped closer to the glass. “I like it! It suits you.”
“Tabloids,” she warned with a stifled laugh, her ears now matching her face.
I waited for her eyes to seek out mine and when they did I said, “I haven’t thrown you out yet so you’ve got no story to tell the papers.”
“Why you…” She held out her hands as if to strangle the air in front of her. “So I told you that for nothing?”
“Well, no. Not for nothing.” I shook my head.
Up until then, I had for the most part forgotten about being nervous. She’s just too easy to talk to, my mind told me. The odd butterfly still roamed around inside of me but it was on a leash.
Mainly, I was glad to still be breathing after the unwarranted panic attacks I had been having over this. This was simple. Uncomplicated. Just how I liked it. She was just what she had always been in our online correspondence. Funny, smart, engaging…
What on earth had I been so up in stitches for?
“What would you like for tea?” I asked.
“That…” She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, crossing her arms. “We can talk about later.”
Not exactly the response I was expecting, I failed to say something clever before she continued.
“What I really want you to know is what I would have written to you, had you given me the chance.”
I think I visibly gulped at her expression and the look she gave me.
She pulled a piece of paper from her back pocket and began to read.
“Would you be in control?” She looked up at me briefly. “Yes, you say… I’d like to see you try.”
She snickered somewhat, as if privy to a secret I was sure to find out if only I stuck around long enough to be told.
“Would you pull my hair, whisper in my ear and talk dirty to me?” she continued. “Yes again, from you,” she smirked. And likewise from me.”
“Would you kiss me with a little tongue or a lot of tongue?” She paused. “Hm, wait and see…”
The suggestion was not too subtle. Watching her also wiggle her eyebrows, I waited, and hoped the seeing part would happen soon. Very soon.
As I listened to her go over the questions one by one, in a slow and almost teasing manner, I found myself being drawn into something mystical and engaging. I wasn’t so much watching her as she was holding my gaze captive.
Unable to look away, I found it interesting how I didn’t really see the door gradually coming open and out of the way. Soon there was nothing in between us but thin air and a feeling of unspoken sentiments.
She inched closer, I noticed absently, and before long all the thoughts and emotions I had ever felt for her tumbled from my mind and into the small portion of the brain where decisions are made and actions decided.
She closed the sudden, obscene distance between us and I could feel her breath on my face. A single thought drifted through my consciousness, an acronym that couldn’t be anything other than appropriate. As I leaned down slightly, seeing her eyelids lower in time with my own, the last coherent thought I had was the spelled out version of the aforementioned short form.
It echoed into nothingness as more pronounced sensations took over, wiping my wits into putty and letting my body take over.
Keep it simple, stupid.
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