Past is Present

by Zee

Hey all this is the part where I do the disclaimer so hold on tight till I get to the good stuff.

1). This is a piece of original/uber fiction.

2). This here be a love story (nothing too graphic) featuring two women. If that bothers you don't go wasting your time or mine by reading any farther. However, if you continue to read and it upsets you I don't want to hear about it.

3). Violence. Um, yep. There will be some and some references to child abuse. I like to think it all works as part of the story and none of it is over the top.

4). Those who are not 18 should not read this. Why? Dunno, probably protecting them from knowing about stuff there already know about.

5). To J, Bri, and Ar thank you all without you the story would never have gotten out of my head. You folks are the best.

6). Let's see anything else ... in order to ride the ride you must be this tall, have no heart problems and pregnant women should consult a doctor. Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times and enjoy.

Okay this is my first writing endeavor so please, please with a cherry on top, give me feedback. At Thanks.

Without further ado on with the show -

copyright 2002

Part 3

There was a horrible electronic chirping noise coming from somewhere. It shrilled throughout the house with its urgent cries until a hand snaked out from under a black comforter. The hand picked up the shrilling object and slammed it repeatedly on the wooden table while a voice huskily whispered out, "its too fucking early." The phone was then gentle placed on its cradle. The hand slipped back under the covers.

5 minutes later the phone rang again only to meet with the same violent results.

"Damn it I'm sleeping here." A husky, sleep-roughened voice mumbled out.

Five minutes later, the phone obviously into S and M, rang again. There was a pounding on the wall, "Fuck! Amanda it's your psycho father, pick up the phone."

Grumbling was heard, " I have it Sammy."

"Dad it's," she blinked trying to read the numbers on her clock, "it's really early." The red numbers swam into focus, "DAD, it's 5 o'clock in the morning!"

A gruff, yet very awake voice came over the line. "How's my pumpkin doing? You still one of those queer girls?"

She sighed rubbing the bridge of her nose, "Yes dad I am still queer."

"Good, glad to hear it. I gotta tell you I am so against that 'Don't ask, don't tell policy'. When I go into a fight I like to know who I have on my side and well, damn! Those queer girls sure know their stuff in a scrap."

Amanda banged the back of her head lightly into her headboard, "Dad was there a reason for your call at this ungodly hour or did you just want to debate the virtue of queers in the military?"

"Not queers, honey, queer girls. I'm not fond of those Nancy boys handling weapons."

She wanted to scream. How many parents were proud their only child was gay, revise that, how many retired Army Generals were bursting with joy that there only female child was a lesbian? "Dad is there a point to your call?"

"Well of course pumpkin. Bunny is going to be having a Masquerade party here at the house and she wanted me to call and invite you and your friends to come -- oh, and that girlfriend of yours too. Um, Soni was it?"

"It was Toni and dad we broke up six months ago."

"Oh well good, I wasn't really fond of her and her beady little eyes."


"Well, it's true. She wasn't good enough for my pumpkin. So, do you think you can make it, to Bunny's party?"

"When is it?" She fumbled for a pen and paper to write down the date and time.

"I'll be there. I'm not sure if anyone else will be with me."

"Well fine and why don't you come on Friday and spend the weekend. We never get to see you anymore now that you're at the University."

"I'll see what I can do about spending the weekend."

"Good, Good. So pumpkin anything going on in your life you want to tell your old man about."

Amanda paused. Great all she wanted to do was go back to sleep and try to capture that dream again, but, no. Her father was feeling chatty.

"I ran into an old friend of mine from high school." She blurted out. She blinked in surprise. Where did that come from?

"Oh, really. Anyone I know?"

"Do you remember Cameron Hayes?"

"Oh ya, a real spitfire, that one. She would have made a damn fine soldier except for that whole attitude of hers."

"Well I ran into her the other day and we started hanging out..." She faded out, not sure where she was going with the conversation.

"Well, pumpkin, why don't you invite her up for the party?"

"I'm not sure if it's her sort of thing, but I'll ask."

"Good, and pumpkin be careful. I remember how torn up you were when she took off and disappeared."

"Thanks Daddy, I will."

"Okay, I'll talk to you later."


She hung up the phone and crawled back under the sheets throwing the covers back over her head. A minute later a hand reached out, turning the ringer off.

- - - - - - -

Cameron's fist crashed into the heavy bag causing it jerk and dance on the chain that suspended it. Rotating her hips and planting her right foot her left shot up in a smooth motion snapping out in a round house kick that caused the bag to jump back. Air moved in and out of expanding lungs. The beating of her heart was rapidly moving oxygen-rich blood to overworked muscles, and the sweat covered her pale skin was her body's attempt to cool overheated flesh.

In her mind, there was no past and no future, just the here and now. Her pinpoint of narrowed reality was comprised of the unthinking calculation of balance, foot placement, and the location of her center of gravity. There was the contraction and relaxation of the muscles under the skin. Her eyes moved, tracking the bag as it moved in response from her last jab. She sneered, as her eyes followed the bag's movement. She imagined an opponent, an attacker, rushing her. As the bag moved forward, she glided to the side, lashing a foot out in a side-kick to what would have been the ribs if her opponent had been real and not a bag. Her leg, still poised in the air, hooked and then snapped back in another kick to the head, letting her momentum swing her around she followed it up with a back kick. The bag jerked sharply, causing the chain to jangle.

Breathing heavily, she grabbed her water, she took a couple of small sips of liquid into her dehydrated body. She grabbed a towel, running it over her face and arms. Her breathing was starting to return to normal as she leaned on the wall watching the bag slowly swing back and forth, bit by bit coming to a stop.

Idly, her mind shifted gears. Thinking about Amanda she wondered what the woman was doing. Looking at the clock, she decided that Amanda was probably in class. She had four hours till she had to be at the club to help open. Grumbling, she wondered what the hell was she going to do for four hours? It was Tuesday, and she hated Tuesdays. It was fifty-cent draft night at the club, and that meant every low-life alcoholic loser showed up at the club on Tuesdays. Of course, she thought with an evil grin, she normally got to toss a few people around and out on their ass on Tuesdays.

Unwrapping the tape from her hands, she started losing clothing on her way to the shower. Maybe she would go check out the campus on her way to work -- never mind the fact it was out of her way. It would be character building being around all that knowledge and academic bullshit. Plus, college girls were sexy in an intellectual sort of way. Oh yeah, and there was one brainy college girl in particular she wouldn't mind an all night study session with. She groaned as she realized where her thoughts were heading. They were headed down a seedy back alley in her brain toward the catholic schoolgirl fantasy. Stepping into the shower she vowed no more visits to the adult section of the video store.


Amanda sat on a bench letting, the late morning sun hit her face and absorb into her skin. Fall was beginning to paint the trees in reds, yellows, and oranges, but it was still warm out during the day. She leaned back on her hands stretching her long legs out in front of her. She had three hours until her next class. Maybe she'd wander over to the Sub and grab a cup of coffee and do some homework. She felt the back of her neck itch, like some bug skittering over the surface of the skin. Shifting her weight she brought her hand up to rub her neck. Narrowing her eyes behind her sunglasses she looked around. Was someone watching her? Not seeing anyone, she shrugged it off as just being paranoid.

Brown eyes squinted in the sunlight from the shadow of a building as she watched the woman across the way stretch out in the sun. Eyes narrowed in anger as men and women walked by, and slowed down to check out the dark haired woman who was oblivious to the glances. The bitch was such a tease, but she'd fix that, oh yes indeed.

Amanda was starting to freak herself out. She didn't like the feeling she was having one bit. She grabbed her backpack, intending to walk to the student union building when a hand tapped her shoulder. Eyes going wide she whirled around, ready to scream. Her tense body loosened as she saw Lisa from her biology class.

"Amanda, I'm so glad I caught up with you."

"What's up Lisa?" Amanda became aware that Lisa still hadn't taken her hand from her shoulder. Amanda glanced over at the hand, and Lisa's eyes followed blushing as she realized that she hadn't moved her hand. Quickly, Lisa moved her hand away.

"I was wondering if we could get together sometime before Monday to study for our Biology test." Lisa said hesitantly, her heart beating a rapid tattoo in her chest.

Amanda looked at Lisa. Was the girl hitting on her? No she had to be imagining things. "Sure Lisa, I'd like that. I could use all the help I can get."

"You? You're brilliant; you'll be doing me the favor," Lisa stuttered out, her heart fluttering at the smile being directed her way by Amanda.

"Hey I was just on my way over to the Sub for a cup a coffee. Want to join me?"

"You want me to, yes. I mean, yes, that sounds good," She said trying to act casual.

Dark eyes cold and hard with rage, followed to two women as they walked off.

- - - - -

This had to be one of the stupidest ideas that Cam had ever had. She knew absolutely nothing about Amanda's school schedule or even how the college was set up. Yet, here she was hopelessly lost and trying to figure out the large campus map before her. 'You are here', was proclaimed proudly highlighted by a large helpful red arrow. Yeah, but where the hell was here? Plus, if she did find Amanda, what would she say? 'Funny meeting you here, just out for a walk on my way to work. Can I buy you a cup of coffee'. Well, okay maybe that wasn't half-bad. She sighed, running her hands through her short hair, making it stand up in odd angles.

Okay, Amanda was studying some sort of physical therapy stuff, so her classes would be where? The gym? Maybe the science building? She studied the map a finger tracing the lines her eyes darting back to legend trying to decipher the information in front of her. The science building was about two buildings back and to the right. Well she'd go give it a shot. If worse came to worse, she could head over to the Sub. The legend said there was a sandwich shop there.

- - - - -

Amanda's skin was still crawling and she was fighting the urge to turn around and see if she was being followed. Next to her Lisa chatted on and on about stuff. Amanda tried really hard to follow what the other girl was saying but her instincts for self-survival kept overriding everything else. As they rounded the corner of a building, she craned her head to look behind her, and she thought she caught the glimpse of someone darting from the shadows of a building entrance. Not paying attention to what was in front of her she ran into someone coming around the same corner. Falling, she heard someone grumble, "Hey watch where the hell you're walking."

Blinking up from the ground, she looked into the scowling face of Cameron Hayes. The scowl melted off the face and into a sheepish sorry look,

"Oh, shit. Amanda I'm sorry. I, I, wasn't paying attention. Jeez, here."

Cameron stooped over, holding out her hand and grasping the taller woman's hand. She pulled harder than necessary, and accidentally pulled Amanda up and into her body.

Amanda felt herself rapidly pulled off the ground, and realizing she was going to crash into Cam, she put a hand up to minimize impact. As they stood a half-inch apart, time seemed to slow down. Nothing seemed more important than this single moment. She had a brief flashback to high school, and as Cam's breath washed over her face, her heart began to pound in her chest and Cam's breath seemed to scorch her skin. Her right hand rested in the valley between Cam's breasts connecting them and holding them apart at the same time. Fingers twitched moving slowly back and forth on the soft cotton shirt. She could feel the heat from Cam's body flowing through the thin fabric burning the tips of her fingers as they moved. Then she felt the pounding tempo of Cam's heartbeat; her fingers stopped moving and she paused to savor the feeling. Cam's heartbeat was fast, racing very much like her own, and the knowledge that she was having an effect on Cam collided in her brain. She was almost giddy as the insight struck her; hope blossomed in her chest.

Cam felt like kicking herself. First she knocks Amanda down, and then she nearly pulls the poor girl's arm out of the socket. Then she felt like the wind had been knocked out of her when she realized how close they were standing. Her eyes widened when she felt where Amanda's hand was resting. She felt the fingers slowly move rubbing the soft cotton against her skin. Her pulse started racing, and she snuck her tongue out to moisten her suddenly very dry lips. The air around them seemed heavy and full with sexual tension. Muscles in her neck rebelled and strained upwards to kiss waiting lips.

A polite cough jerked everything askew, and time started back up. Cam's head jerked back and looking around, she caught the glare from a woman standing slightly behind Amanda. They pulled apart slowly, looking everywhere but at each other. Lisa glared at the two magnetized bodies, but even in her anger laced brain she knew she was no competition for the chemistry these two had. It wasn't fair; the minute she had worked up the courage to talk to the striking girl, her plans were thrown back in her face.

Amanda came back to reality, "Uh, Lisa this is an old friend of mine Cameron. Cameron, this is Lisa; she's in my Biology class." The two girls took each other in, and through narrowed eyes, each began to check her rival over. Amanda, oblivious to the posturing going on, picked her backpack up and slung it over her shoulders.

"Hey Cam, Lisa and I were just on out way over to the Sub for a cup of coffee. Want to join us?"

Taking her eyes off her rival, Cam grinned, "Sounds lovely."

Walking over to the Sub, Lisa was beginning to feel more and more like a third wheel, "Um, Amanda?"


"Hey, look, I forgot I was supposed to meet a friend of mine, I'll call you later and we can set up a study time."

"Oh, okay. I'll talk to you later."

Lisa sighed dejectedly as she crossed through the parking lot toward the parking garage. All that time spent prepping herself in the mirror to talk to Amanda -- only to have it be snatched away. 'Figures,' she pouted. Slowly, she dragged herself up the flight of stairs to where her car was parked. Walking toward the beat-up Toyota, she fished in her pocket for her car keys. Standing by the driver's side door, she caught the warped reflection of a person in the window. Before she could turn around, she found herself rammed into the car with a bone jarring intensity. Keys tumbled from nerveless hands and jangled hollowly on the cement. As she was pulled away from the metal, she sucked air in to her lungs only to have rush out as she slammed into the side of her car again. She whimpered dully as she felt something pop. Then, her right side was engulfed in red-hot pain.

"You stupid slut. Stay away from my girl, you pathetic little whore."

"What, who?" She babbled out.

"You know who, you fucking whore."

The voice was low and dark filling up her ear. She whimpered trying to break away. Her hair was grabbed in an iron grip and her face was smashed into the window of her car over and over again. The glass cracked like a spider's web, and blood crawled down the window to the car door. It dripped slowly on to the black cement. Hands released her as she bonelessly slid down, following the trail of her blood to the cement. She could taste her own blood running down her throat choking her. Everywhere, there was pain poking her with its fiery touch. Thankfully, the blackness was coming for her, washing over her mind in soft waves. The last thing she heard was, "Stay away from Amanda Walker, you spineless bitch."

- - - - - - - -

"Hey, I'm sorry if I intruded on anything here." Cam spoke up as they walked across the campus.

"What? No, we were just going to hang out and talk about class."

"You sure, I mean well if you two wanted you know, just to hang out alone together." She trailed off awkwardly. She'd been happy at first when the other girl had begged off but then that had changed to guilt, and she had started to doubt her motives. What if Amanda wanted to spend time with the girl? She shouldn't be getting in the way of Amanda's life.

"No you're fine, trust me."

Cam just shrugged; suddenly she was feeling very self-conscious. She felt like a fraud. She wasn't any academic egghead, so what the hell did she think she was doing? She didn't belong here. She was following Amanda like some weird stalker. Maybe Amanda was just being nice, humoring her. Maybe Amanda didn't want to be seen with her some uneducated idiot who never even graduated form high school.

Cam's face began to darken, and formed into a scowl.

"Um, look I'm sure you have more important things than waste time with me. I'll just catch up with you another time."

Confused by the sudden change in direction, "Hey, whoa, time out."

Amanda looked over at Cam noticing the tense body posture, she had an image in her mind of Cam bolting. She wasn't sure what had brought on the mood swing but there was no way in hell Cameron Hayes was running out of her life again.

Amanda pulled them off the sidewalk and on to a wooden bench. Cam seemed agitated her eyes darting around. Finally, unexpectedly, she reached up and removed Amanda's sunglasses. This act seemed to put her more at ease, and Amanda resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

Cam grinned sheepishly, "I, uh, feel better when I can see someone's eyes when I talk to them."

Amanda decided to ignore this statement but filed it away to examine later. She spoke, hoping to put Cam at ease once more, "I'm really glad I ran into you today Cam. I thought I might have to wait whole week till we could hangout together again. So this works out really nice because on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have about a three-hour break after my class gets out at 10:40 and normally I just hang out and do homework. So this is a nice surprise for me, and I don't have to wait until next Saturday before hanging out with my favorite blonde."

Smiling in relief, Cam asked, "Oh, and who's your favorite blonde?"

"You, you dork." Amanda replied, lightly slapping Cam's arm

"You sit around for three hours just doing homework. My god girl did you learn nothing from me in high school?" Cam said in mock horror.

"Maybe you need to give me a personal one on one refresher course." Amanda said. Then her face turned pink as she realized how sexual that statement had sounded.

Cam looked shocked for a second, then threw her head back and laughed. "I think that can be arranged but first woman you need to feed me, I'm starved. Then, your lessons in how to slack off Cameron style may commence."

They moved off the bench toward the Sub at an easy unhurried pace. "So Cam, what are you doing on campus? Are you a student?"

Cam laughed again, "Me, a student? Oh that's a good one."

"Then, why are you here?"

"I, well, I..." Cam looked sheepish, "Iwaskindoflookingforyou." She spouted out in a hurried breath.

"What? And could you repeat that in English please?" Amanda said with a laugh. Her eyes grew large as her brain translated the words. "You were looking for me?"

"Well you know, I've been here for four years and I've never been to the campus and I thought, what the hell? I have some free time today before work, and then there was the off chance I might run into you."

Amanda barely heard what the other girl was saying; she had a goofy grin on her face. Cam had come to the University looking for her, even though she had no idea where on campus she might be. That was so sweet in an absurd sort of way. Then she realized that since she'd run into Cam, she hadn't felt like someone was watching her. She thought briefly that maybe it had been Cam, but the girl had come from the wrong direction. She shrugged it off.

They sat in the grass outside the Sub. Amanda slowly sipped her coffee while Cam inhaled a large turkey sandwich.

"How can you eat that?"

Cam paused, looking up, her cheeks bulging with food. Amanda had to laugh, "You look like a chipmunk."

Cam scowled and stuck out her tongue.

"Ewww, could you at least have swallowed first?"

"Nope, no fun in that."

"Just finish that disgusting sandwich."

"What is your beef with my sandwich? Are you one of them tree huggin veggies?"

"Yep, a card carrying member."

Cam choked on a bit of turkey, "Well good for you." She coughed out.

"Do you have any idea what they do to those poor animals before..."

Cameron cut Amanda off, "Hush, you. I have no desire to know such things. You just keep those strange veggie ways of yours to yourself or there will be no lessons on how to slack off. Got me missy?"

Amanda snickered but nodded her head, while Cameron made a great show of eating her sandwich.

Sucking a bit of mustard from her thumb she looked over at a smiling Amanda. "What?" She questioned.


"Nothing my ass." Snorting, she got up and threw her trash away. Coming back, she helped Amanda up. "It's beautiful out. I can't believe you were just going to sit inside and study for three hours. What, are you some sort of a masochist?"

"A what?"


"Come on, tell me."

"You know what we need on a day like this is a Frisbee."

"What? Are we have a conversation here or are you just talking to yourself?'

Her mind was already distracted by other matters. She watched a group of girls playing football in the quad.

Amanda followed Cam's gaze and eyebrow quirking.

Amanda's eyebrow remained quirked as she asked, "and how pray tell will we get a Frisbee?'

"But lacking a Frisbee we can join them." Cam said pointing at the sweating girls.

The other eyebrow rose to join its twin.

"I'm not sure. I mean, I'm wearing nice clothes." Amanda hedged.

"Are you wearing a T under that shirt?"

"Well yes, but.."

"Come on ya wuss! Weren't you the big old basketball star in high school."

"Fine. What are they doing?"

"Feeling each other up.'


"They're playing some sort of football. Basically, it gives a bunch of lesbians an opportunity to grope each other in public."

"Great. How do you know they're lesbians? Just because they are playing football doesn't mean they are lesbians. That is such a stereotype.'

Cam raised an eyebrow of her own. "See the large dykey-looking girl with the short spiky blonde hair?" She said pointing.

"Yes. I mean that is such another stereotype.'

"Hush, she dated one of the strippers at the club, and well, I'm familiar with one or two others out there."

"I probably don't want to ask how well you're familiar do I?"

Cam turned red, rubbing the back of her neck in a nervous gesture. 'Great Hayes just throw it in her face what a big slut you are' she thought.

Amanda wanted to laugh; Cam was so cute when she was all embarrassed.

They walked over to where the eight girls were playing; and stood off to the side until the play came to a stop.

"Hey, Chris." Cam shouted out.

A large meaty girl looked their way. Seeing Cam, a large toothy grin broke out on her face. "Well, if it isn't my favorite bouncer." The girl trotted over, looking Amanda over and dismissing her. She gave Cam a hearty handshake Amanda thought the smaller woman might get lifted into the air.

"What's up?"

"Can my friend and I join up?"

"I dunno. It's kind of members only."

"Oh she's a member -- don't worry."

"Really." The girl said surprised, "My gaydar must be broke. She ain't even pinging on it."

"Trust me. She's a card carrying member."

Amanda felt like most the conversation was going over her head.

"I get it, she's your flavor of the week."

Amanda got that. Her eyes flashed dangerously and she stepped into Chris's personal space staring the other woman down.

Chris backed away nervously, making a mental note not to piss off the tall dark haired woman. "Uh, ya. You two can join us. No problem."

"Um, my team will take Cam, " she said not wanting the other woman near her "and you guys get the tall one."

Amanda unbuttoned her oxford exposing the white T-shirt underneath; she folded up the oxford and placed it on top of her backpack. Moving out to the field, she passed Chris whispering, "The name's Amanda and just for your information, Cameron's my flavor of the week." She almost started laughing as the other girl's jaw tumbled open. She heard a slight snicker and turned to catch Cam trying to hide her smile. Huddling up with her team she asked, "So what's the point of this game?"

Four pairs of eyes turned and stared at her.

Cam sucked in a deep breath as she watched Amanda throw her head back, her black hair whipping around over her shoulder. The woman was a goddess. After a rough start, Amanda had gotten into the game. Using her height to its full advantage, the girl was a superb passer. Cam watched as those blue eyes scanned, looking for an opening, a tanned arm tensed moving backwards then forwards to throw the ball.

"Hey Cam, get your mind out of the gutter and into the game. I should have taken the femme girl, I swear."

"Shut up Chris." She retorted back.

She watched as the ball was snapped into the air, headed for a girl who had broken open. Cam darted back. Running along the side, she leapt up snagging the ball out of the air inches from the other girl's hands.

She heard a muttered, "What the fuck?" As she sprinted away laughing and dodging hands and feet.

Amanda was stunned, Cameron had come out of nowhere to steal the ball. The girl was amazing. She was like a contortionist twisting and bending her body to avoid getting caught. As a larger girl flew through the air to tackle Cameron. Amanda's breath caught, but Cam merely laughed and leaped over, tucking her feet up as the girl fell under her. Shaking her head, she realized Cam was coming her direction, and she smiled evilly.

"Bring it on Cam. You aren't getting by me, short stuff."

"You and what army?" Cam taunted back. "And I am not short, I have a perfectly normal height," Cam said faking one way, then spinning around to sprint in the opposite direction. Amanda slid, nearly losing her balance. Then, regaining it, she took off after the blonde.

As Cam could felt Amanda coming up behind her, she spared a brief backwards glance. Damn, girl must be all leg. Amanda was rapidly eating away her lead. She tried zigging, but Amanda was not about to lose her prey, and Cam felt the girl's hands on her hips pressing down, exerting pressure to stop her. She tried slapping the hands away, but they stayed firm.

There was a warm breath in her ear, and Amanda's voice asked, "You wanna do this the easy way or the hard way?"

"Bite me, Amanda! It isn't over till I'm face down on the ground."

"That can be arranged." With a burst of energy Amanda caught up more space and wrapped her arms around Cameron's waist. She hugged the shorter woman into her body and threw them both to the ground; they tumbled over the grass smearing green streaks on Amanda's white shirt. Somewhere in the distance the other girls hooted.

When she came to a stop, Cameron was face down in the grass, the football tucked under her right arm. Her back was covered in a warm weight, and she could feel Amanda's arms still encircling her waist. Panting, she looked up spitting grass out of her mouth, a trickle of panic worming its way out of her gut. The weight on her back was no longer pleasurable.

"Get off." she snapped.

Amanda felt the muscles under her stiffen and she jumped up, thinking she'd hurt Cam. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine." Came the short reply.

Amanda watched as Cam got up, brushing herself off, her eyes going everywhere but in Amanda's direction. Cam got herself calmed down and turned to see Amanda looking at her worried.

"I'm fine, sorry I snapped at you. I, umm, the football was digging into my side, it wasn't you."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep." She lied. trying to be reassuring, she gave a little grin.

"Awe, Cam why don't you kiss her and make her feel better? Come on you wuss, pick up the ball and lets play." Chris said running up to the two.

Cam picked up the ball and jogged over to Chris. She grinned and pinched Amanda's ass on her way past the girl. Amanda jumped, then laughed at the cocky grin on Cam's face.

- - - - - - -

Amanda pushed the front door open and set her backpack down with a heavy thump. Closing and locking the door, she smelled the spicy sent of food wafting from the kitchen.

"Smells good." She called out.

"I'm glad you think so." Sammy replied coming out from the kitchen. "Whoa. What happened to you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You look like you've been trampled."

"Thanks Sammy."

"Well shit A-girl, you're normally so well put together. I think you have a few hairs out of place."

Amanda shrugged, "Cam talked me into an impromptu football game during my three-hour break."

"Back up a minute. Cam and football, how did this come about? And start from the beginning."

Amanda retold her day to Sammy, following the red head into the kitchen. She grabbed a carrot out of the fridge and crunched on it as Sammy stirred a red sauce on the stove.

"That's so sweet! She went to the University just to look for you. It must be fate. I mean, what are the odds of her actually finding you? The campus is huge. So you guys kiss yet?" Sammy asked slyly,

"Sammy!" Amanda said shocked almost choking on the bit of carrot she was chewing.

"It's not like that. We're just friends."

"I don't know Amanda. From what I heard, you guys have some serious 'lets go have wild nasty sex in the backseat of the car' vibes."

"Sammy if I wasn't so sore I'd smack you upside the head."

Sammy rolled her eyes, "Go shower or something. Heidi and Sarah will be over in a few for dinner."

"Don't those two have any food at their house?"

"I'm sure they do, but the can't resist my traditional Italian spaghetti."

"Sammy you're Irish."

"Fine. My traditional Irish spaghetti."

Amanda strolled out of the kitchen munching on her carrot, thinking maybe there was more going on between her and Cam than she thought. She paused as Sammy called after her.

"I'm going down to the Creature later for the drag show. You want to join me?"

She thought about it, but she really did need to study. Since she had spent her break goofing off with Cam, she hadn't gotten her normal study time in.

"Nah, I'm going to pass, but thanks though."

- - - - - - -

Unknowingly, Cam was whistling a jaunty tune in the back as she pulled beer to stock the front bar. Worried employees of the Shady Lady stared at the open door in an abstract fear. Cam was supposed to be snarly, broody, and dark humored -- not this whistling, smiling and light humored pod person that had come to work in her place. At the bar Jason crossed himself certain that the Second Coming was upon them. Dee didn't give a rip. Well she did, but she wasn't going to make a fuss about it. That was Georgia's department. Mario sipped his water, trying not to giggle. Miss Tough Stuff and gone and stepped in love.

Exiting the back, she noticed eyes staring at her. The tune she was whistling died on her lips. That's when she realized she'd been whistling. What was even more shocking was the fact that she didn't whistle, and what was even worse was that it had been a Disney song. Her face darkened, and eyebrows drew together in a fierce scowl, "What?" She bellowed out.

The room seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief at this; all was good in the universe again.

Mario giggled as he watched Cam restock the beer in the fridge in the bar; she was whistling Zip A De Do Da again. "So, tough stuff. Who's the lucky lady?"

"What are you talking about Mario?" Cameron replied, not even looking up.

"The girl who has you so worked up you're whistling a Disney song?"

"I am not whistling." She said with a growl.

"Of course you're not, miss butch thing."

Cameron returned to the task at hand but was startled when a voice began singing out. "My o my what a wonderful day. Plenty of sunshine." Cameron's head snapped up. "Don't you need to go get ready?"

"And miss out on teasing you? I think not."

"Lucky me." She responded and went back to stocking the fridge.

Mario sat studying the young woman, "You don't even realize you're in love do you?" He asked, slowly counting to ten waiting for the explosion.

Cameron tensed at Mario's question, and leaned her head forward to rest on the cool glass. Love, the word rolled around her brain. Love was fists and slaps. Love was drunken rages and empty promises. Love was something she had no stomach for.

"Go away Mario. Before I start whistling 'it's a small world'." She said emptily.

"Tough stuff there's nothing wrong with being in love. You won't lose butch points."

"Now, Mario! Get the hell away from me."

Mario started back. There was the eruption he had been expecting.

She got up, reached over the counter, grabbed his shirt and pulled him in close to her face. "Listen up Mario. I don't give a rip about my butch points, and I have no use for love and all its bullshit and lies."

He gulped. Then she was pushing him away.

He stumbled away, slightly shaken. She hadn't been there. He'd looked into her eyes, and she hadn't been there. He didn't know where her mind had wandered, but he had no desire to follow her to whatever dark memory held her trapped. He shuddered again. Especially if she was going to start whistling " It's a Small World." That was just... he shivered, not finishing the thought.

They were getting ready to open the doors and let in the desperate dried out sponges that masked themselves as people into the bar. Cam grinned. Time to kick some ass. She was mentally putting herself into bouncer mode when Dee yelled out, breaking her thoughts away.

"Cam, get your skinny butt over here."

"What?" She hurried over to where Dee was coming out of her back office.

"I need you to take your bad little bouncer self over to the Night Creature."

"What? Why?"

"A couple of David's guys are out sick and they have a drag show tonight. He needs all the help he can get. I figure you're as good as three or four bouncers, so I'll just send you and call it good."

Cam grinned. Working a drag show was definitely more fun than tossing drunks out on their asses. "I'm all over it," She said grinning.

- - -- - -

Sammy stood near the dance floor staring out at the feather-clad figure gyrating to the music being pumped through the speakers. She had been slightly miffed that Amanda, Sarah, and Heidi had all begged off coming with her. Now that she was here at the club, she didn't really mind. She had run into some bar friends and she had sat with them whispering and talking about the other people in the bar swirling around them until the show had started. Then, she had politely slipped away to stand next to the dance floor.

The strange creatures that bounced, flounced, and twirled their way across the floor fascinated Sammy. A part of her realized it was wrong to view them as some alien being under glass, but they were so very much the embodiment of the other. While a select few could be viewed as female, most were an odd combination of the masculine and feminine wrestled into a sequined gown. Strong jaws, towering heights, broad shoulders, soft curves, bulging cleavage, pouting lips and large hair. It was the reverse of what she appreciated in women. She liked butch women who had an edge of masculine strength screaming out of their feminine softness. Queens of the club had feminine softness oozing from their masculine hardness. She was attracted to the vessels that balanced within them the essence of both sexes.

She was sure that in another city, in another club, there were probably drag queens who could wrap themselves more securely in the shroud of painted on femininity and fool even the most red-blooded of American males. She liked the ones she saw here once a week at the club. The illusion was there, but she couldn't get lost in it, and in truth she, loved how they embodied the male and the female. It was like a guilty secret she was too scared to share with anybody else. That and the fact she got turned on by the sex scenes in Queer as Folk. Really! What self-respecting lesbian would admit two men getting it on was hot?

She stood there watching the feathered Amazon prance from the floor sipping her rum and coke. As the next act started up, she noticed her bouncer; she almost ducked her head in anticipation of a smack upside the head. Shaking her head at her actions, she revised her thoughts. She noticed Cameron standing next to the bar chatting with some pierced punk-rock-looking girl. Cam was hot, she admitted. The bouncer was wearing black leather pants and a tight black shirt with the words "Night Creature" in shiny silver letters on the front. Sam felt herself getting angry. Amanda had, had a wonderful day filled with heavy moments of near bursting sexual tension with Cameron, and said girl was here picking up somebody else.

Sammy marched up to the bouncer, an angry glint in her eye; she stopped when she was half a foot away from where Cam leaned against the bar. When she had Cameron's attention, she hissed out, "Have you no shame? You spend most of the day working my roommate into knots of sexual tension that you do nothing to help relieve. Then later that same day, you're hitting on some other poor girl. You make me sick."

Cameron stood there stunned as some small slip of a woman verbally beat her into the ground. The redheaded woman seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn't quite place her.

"Excuse me. Do I know you?" She said starting to bristle.

"The name is Sammy O'Brien; I'm Amanda's roomy, the one who will be sending you to the doghouse."

Cameron's brain began to click, putting two and two together. "You're Sammy?"

"Yep, all feisty 5'4" of me." She said with a glare.

"It's nice to meet you."

"Don't try playing nice to me. I'm on to you, and your cheating ways."

At that moment, a sandy-haired young man broke through the crowd. Coming up to them, he swept up the punk rock girl in his arms, giving her a breath-stealing kiss.

With a smirk Cam said, "Sammy this is Monica. I work with her at the club, and this is her boyfriend Brad."

Sammy could feel the blush work its way up her neck, "Oh, you mean... its nice to meet you both. Ah, so, you're a stripper huh?"

Monica laughed, "You're roommate is very lucky to have such a loyal friend looking out for her. Trust me. You need to keep an eye on this one." She said pointing at Cam.

"Hey." Cam said indignantly.

"Brad and I will let you get back to work. See you later, and Sammy, it was refreshing to meet you."

Cam watched her friends depart and turned to stare at Sammy. She was amused and disturbed. This little spitfire had come at her like a mama bear protecting her young, yet it was disturbing to think how easily she could have been guilty of what Sammy accused her of. Shaking her head, she snorted thinking, 'Amanda and I are just friends', but there, out in the open again was the idea that they were on a level above that of friends.

Sammy wished there was a rock handy that she could crawl under. Man she had really stuck her foot in her mouth this time, and she'd probably need a crowbar to get it out. She hoped she hadn't ruined anything for Amanda, but looking at the silent woman in front of her she found it impossible to read her expression.

"Look, I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions, about you. I'm sure you're a very good, um, friend. I so need air." With that, she turned around and made a beeline for the door.

Cam stood stunned again as the slightly smaller woman took off. Twice in ten-minutes that was a first. Briefly she thought about taking off after Sammy but shrugged the idea off and returned her attention to the activities going on inside the club.

- - - - - - -

Sammy leaned up against the side of the building, letting the coolness sooth her as it seeped through the back of her shirt. She rubbed her arms. It was getting colder at night. She wished she would have thought to grab her jacket on the way out. It was silent outside the club. Everyone was inside watching the show; she could see the shadowy shape of the bouncer just inside the door, his head nodding in time with the music. She didn't think she had messed anything up between Amanda and Cameron. The blonde bouncer hadn't looked upset with her, but then again, girl was pretty hard to read. She rubbed her arms to warm them up and moved off the wall to go back into the club.

An odd noise, soft and delicate, floated on the breeze into Sammy's ear. It wasn't a normal downtown near midnight noise that should have been floating around vibrating on the air currents. It was the sound of lungs trying not to exhale oxygen, and it was the noise of muscles in pain; it was a sigh, a gasp, and a whimper all joined as one.

Sammy stood still. Had she imagined it? Was it any of her business? Alone in the night, was it right to go looking in even darker places? Turning she went down the side of the building till it ended and looked down the dark alley behind the club. At first there was nothing. Then, next to the larger looming shadow of the dumpster, she spotted movement.

- - - - - - -

Cam ran a hand through her hair yet again re-arranging the already messy spikes she had caused not five minutes earlier. She couldn't stop thinking about her run-in with Amanda's roommate. She should go after the girl make sure that they were cool. She didn't want to cause any problems for Amanda. Briefly she wondered when she started giving a shit, but shrugged it off. She began walking toward the door she had seen Sammy exit a few minutes before. If the girl was gone, oh well, but she should look.

She nodded at TJ as she walked out the front. Looking around, she thought it was quiet. Then she heard shouting coming from the alley, 'Fuck' she thought and pounded on the door to get TJ's attention. Not waiting to see if he followed, she sprinted off into the alley.

- - - - - - -

Sammy leaped onto the smaller of the two men attacking the woman. She shouted at him, "You fucker! What gives you the right to beat on people?" All the time she pounded her fists into his head.

"What the hell? Get it off, get it off." The man bellowed out.

She was spun around and was then tossed off into another figure, and they both crashed into the ground. In a daze, Sammy thought that as alleys go this one was fairly clean. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a bloodied face. In front of her two men stood cracking knuckles and grinning wickedly.

"Hey look! We got ourselves a new playmate. Think she's a he or just some dyke in need of a fuck?"

The other just shook his head, stupidly hanging on his buddies every word, "Don't know. Let's find out."

Sammy stood up on wobbly knees but placed herself in front of the woman they had been using as a punching bag till she had shown up and thrown herself into the fray. "You piss poor excuse for the male gender. Why don't you runaway before I really get pissed?"

"How cute. We got ourselves a real raging bull dyke here." The taller one said laughing. "Shut up bitch, and maybe I won't hurt you to bad."

"Well even if you do shut up, I'm still going to leave you broken and bleeding on the ground." Came an angry voice from behind them.

The two men turned, "Oh and what are you going to do, little girl? Sprinkle fairy dust on me?"

Sammy felt instantly better knowing Cam was there, "Nope. She's going to kick your ass."

"Is that right?" Sneered the shorter man.

"Sammy, if I asked you to be quiet, would you?"

"Hey, are you going to save us or what?"

"Well I don't know. You kind of ruined my dramatic entrance."

"Oh, jeez the badass bouncer is pouting. Would you commence with the ass kicking already."

"Well fine, but you don't have to treat me like some pet here to do tricks on command."

The two men stood confused. The taller one spoke up finally, "Would you two bitches shut the fuck up?"

Cameron turned on him, glaring, and before he knew what happened he was bleeding on the ground, his nose a bloody fountain, while Cam's leg retracted from the kick. The shorter one stood, stunned, then charged Cam, side-stepping as she brought her leg up in a hook kick smashing it into his back and increased his forward momentum into the wall. Sammy watched as the taller one got up to grab Cameron from behind. She rushed him, knocking them both down. He pushed her off, landing a hit to her face.

"You're going to get it now, you little bitch."

Sammy raised her arms to protect her head; suddenly a well-manicured hand lashed, out landing a solid right hook to the man's jaw. His eyes rolled up and he crashed to the ground.

Sammy stared up into the hazel eyes of her savior, grasping the hand as the woman offered it to her.

"Thanks." She offered.

"No problem. Thank you for coming to my rescue. Not many people would."

Sammy felt herself flush, "Well I'm just glad Cam came when she did."

"Yes that's some friend you have there. Oh, my name is Nikki."

Sammy took the hand again shaking it, "I'm Sammy."

Sammy took in the woman. She had a split lip and a black eye, but even with the rapidly swelling eye the woman was beautiful, she had hazel eyes, red lips and was slightly taller than Sammy with broad shoulders and a tapering waist. Warning bells were going off in Sammy's head.

"Oh, oh, you're a drag queen."

Hazel eyes looked hurt, "Is that a problem." The husky voice turned cold.

"No, no, I well... " Sammy really wanted to make the hurt look go away in those eyes, "No Nikki, it's not a problem." The hazel eyes defrosted slightly.

"You kids okay here?" Asked Cam.

"Yeah, I think so?" Sammy turned a questioning glance to Nikki, who nodded in agreement.

"Good, the cops are here they want to take statements and then I'll take you guys to the emergency room to be looked at."

"I'm fine."

"Sammy um, it could be the adrenalin, but in case you haven't noticed you have a black eye, a cut on your forehead and have scratched the hell out of your hands."

"What?" Sammy stared at her hands in wonder. She had no clue she'd been hurt at all. That's when she fainted.

'Shit!' Cam thought as she caught Sammy before she could impact with the ground a third time.

"Quite some hands you have there." Nikki said with a smirk.

"Hush you." Cam said with a brief glance in the other woman's direction.

All the time she was thinking that if anything happened to Sammy, Amanda would never forgive her. Musing out loud. She asked, "Who knew the little spitfire couldn't stand the sight of her own blood?"

Part 4

Cameron stared at the phone as if it had just grown legs. She had been trying to get a hold of Amanda, but when she had called the number, the phone had been picked up and then slammed into something, hard. The booming echo was still throbbing through her head. Wincing, she attempted to dial the number again.

Sammy swam through the fog in her brain, slowly rising into awareness. The smell broke through first. Her nose was assaulted with the chemically over cleaned and sanitized smell of a hospital, and then there was the hum of lighting and other electrical equipment. She slowly fluttered her eyes open to the stark whiteness of the ceiling. She looked to her left then to her right, and finding nothing of interest, she started to get up.

"Hold on there." A voice spoke, startling her.


A head and body came into her view. Hazel eyes stared down at her with concern. "Oh, it's you. Where am I?"

Nikki placed a hand on her shoulder and helped her sit up. "We're at the hospital; we brought you here when you fainted."

"Oh." She said trying to remove the cobwebs from her head. "Who's we?"

"The bouncer, ah, Cameron I think."


"Yes really. That's some friend you have there coming to our rescue and taking on those two meatheads and all."

"She's not my friend; yet, we barely know each other. Other than me lusting after her body." Sammy said with a chuckle.

"Oh, you're a lesbian?" Nikki said with a frown.

"Yep, know the secret handshake and everything." Sammy looked over giggling at Nikki's puzzled expression.

"Lesbian's have a secret handshake."

"Yes don't gay men?" Sammy said trying hard to keep a straight face.

"I don't know."

Giggling, Sammy slapped Nikki's shoulder; "I'm just pulling your leg."

Relief washed over Nikki's face and he started giggling with her.

"Hey slugger. Sounds like you're doing better." Cam said entering the room.

Sammy's eyes went wide as she noticed the bandages on her hands as she was wiping away the tears from her eyes caused by her giggling.

"You scraped them up pretty good, but nothing serious." Cam said getting up and joining the other two on the hospital bed.

"I called Amanda and she's on her way down to pick you up. She said something like 'the hospital that's a new one'. Sounds like you're a troublemaker."

"How'd you get Amanda up? That girl is next to impossible, especially at 2:30 in the morning."

"Well, my ears may never be the same and I may have a terrible ringing noise in my head but I got her up after about 6 calls."

"You brave, brave soul." Sammy said.

"So, Nikki. You okay?" Cam said, looking at the drag queen.

"Yes, nothing too serious. A black eye and some bruised ribs it could have been a lot worse if this little spitfire hadn't jumped in."

Sammy blushed, "Hey, it's nothing."

Cameron snorted, "Well it was silly and dangerous and you could have been seriously hurt. However, you rushed in to help where others would have pretended not to notice anything." Pausing, Cam looked at the girl who was looking at the ground. "You have a good heart there slugger." She said squeezing Sammy's shoulder.

Sammy grabbed the other woman in a fierce hug. Cam went stiff at the unexpected gesture, then relaxed, returning the hug.

"Cam if I didn't say it before, thanks for being there."

"Your welcome slugger, but it is part of my job."

Amanda stood in the doorway disheveled and wearing jeans and a t-shirt that was on backwards. A pang of jealousy ripped through her at the intimate position she found Sammy and Cam in.

"I can't leave you alone for a minute." Amanda said more harshly than she intended.

Sammy jumped and moved away from Cam and three sets of eyes stared at Amanda.

Amanda ignored them, "The nurse said you could go any time I'll just wait out here till you're ready." She moved out the door letting it close.

Cameron quickly got up and followed Amanda's exit out the door.

"What's with her?" Nikki asked.

Sammy flinched, "She thinks I was making a move on Cam."

"We're you? " Nikki said with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"What? No, I mean, maybe earlier before I knew that her and Amanda had a history, but not now." She rambled out.

"It's okay. Sammy I was teasing." Nikki said rubbing the girl's arm in a comforting gesture. Inside Nik felt better knowing that the red head was not dating the bouncer. In fact, it looked like the bouncer was all in knots over the dark haired woman. What a little soap opera he had stumbled into.

Sighing, Sammy looked over at Nikki who had a relieved look on his female face. "You need a ride or anything?"

"No, but thanks. My sister should be here any minute."

"Uh, and Sammy, thanks for having such a good heart." He said kissing her softly on the cheek.

Cam came out of the room looking for Amanda. She spotted the woman down the hall pounding on a coffee machine.

"Fucking piece of shit, refuse to give me my caffeine will you. I'll make you rue the day you were made, you little bastard."

Cam grabbed the hand before it could hit the machine again. "Whoa, there champ." Amanda turned her head and glared at Cam. She tried to free her hand but Cam held it fast. "Let me go."

Cam gave a lop-sided grin, "Make me."

Amanda's eyes narrowed even further and Cameron felt a nibble of fear but she shook it off.

"You, Miss Hayes are treading on dangerous ground. First, you wake me up in the wee hours of the morning, then you get me all worried cause my roomy's in the hospital, and I drive my ass down here and find Sammy wrapped around you, and finally the stupid vending machine won't give me any caffeine." All the time Amanda had been speaking she had been backing Cam into the vending machine and now the woman was trapped between the device and Amanda.

"Poor you. My heart bleeds. Your roomy was very brave in a stupid way tonight. She could have been hurt a lot worse, and you're moaning over the fact the vending machine won't give you a cup of coffee."

They stood there glaring at each other. Both woman were extremely turned on and fighting the urge to kiss the other. Amanda was having a flashback to high school and had just made up her mind to relive history when Cam let go of her hand. Cam then reached behind her hitting a button on the vending machine. The machine began to hum and chug, then spit out a cup of hot coffee. Amanda backed up blinking in confusion.

"It helps to actually push a button not just beat on the thing." Cam said walking away leaving Amanda alone with her coffee.

Entering the waiting room, she spied Nikki and Sammy talking with another woman. She was slightly shorter than Nikki with his hazel eyes and long blonde hair. Nikki and the woman had similar features. She figured it must be his sister.

"Hey there slugger. You ready to go?"

They turned and then Cam noticed that Sammy and Nikki were holding hands. Cam studied the pair. Nope, they were totally unaware of the action, she thought. However, Sammy noticed where Cam was looking. Following the gaze, she blushed and removed her hand from Nikki's. Sammy didn't notice the hurt look on Nikki's face but Cam did, 'oh boy,' Cam thought. 'Straight boy's a drag queen that's unusual. Poor kid was also in love or lust with his savior,'

"Yep, I'm ready to get out of here. Where's Amanda?"

"She's getting coffee; she'll be right along." Cam paused, "Well, if everyone is fine, I'll be on my way."

Not waiting for a reply, she headed out of the building. She needed some air it had been a strange evening. Exiting the doors, she saw Georgia sitting in the Jeep waiting for her. She smiled and climbed in. Georgia patted her on the knee; "David called us and told us what was up, Superwoman."

Cam blushed, "Thanks for coming and getting me."

"Of course silly. You're family." Georgia said quietly. She squeezed Cam's knee and then drove out of the parking lot. The darkness of the early morning shrouded Cam's face, whose eyes had become large and shiny with unshed tears. Family was a scary word with a lot of negative meaning to Cam. At that moment, she felt the warmth and security that most felt at a very young age. It should be associated with the idea of family, it had been so long since family had meant anything good to her.

- - - - - - -- ---

Amanda sat sipping her coffee in the student union building. She was feeling self-conscious; nervously, she tapped her fingers on the edge of the table. On Tuesday, she and Cam had agreed to meet during her break again at the SUB on Thursday, but because of their little encounter at the hospital, she had no idea if Cam was even going to show. She sighed; she had been a jealous jerk. When they had gotten home from the hospital Sammy had told her the story of her evening and when the girl had gotten to the end of her story, she had apologized for giving Amanda the impression that she had been hitting on Cameron and making Amanda jealous. Amanda had sputtered, trying to deny her feelings till Sammy had rounded, on her calling her game.

"Bullshit Amanda! You are so into the bouncer its not even funny, so just stop lying to yourself and deal." With her thoughts verbalized the redhead had gone to bed, leaving Amanda alone to think.

Thursday left her still thinking and wondering. Lost in thought, she jumped in her chair as a hand tapped her shoulder. She caught her coffee before she could send it flying off the table. Turning, she stopped her angry retort when she saw Cam's smiling blue-gray eyes.

"You came?"

"You sound surprised. Of course I came. I said I would. I'm just glad to see you've already had your coffee." Cameron said teasing.

Amanda blushed, her thoughts going back to the scene at the hospital. "About that, I wanted to say thank you for saving Sammy. She told me the story and well, sounded like she bit off more than she could chew."

"Yep, slugger there needs to learn to look before she leaps. But, she's got a good heart."

Amanda felt a faint pang of jealousy at the use of the pet name but shrugged it off, "Yes she does, no matter how many times I have to bail her out of jail. The girl does have only good intentions."

"So, look what I brought." Cam said with a smile, pulling out the Frisbee from behind her back.

"A Frisbee."

"See, I knew you were the smart one!"

"Shut up Cam."

"Fine I'll take my Frisbee and go play with myself."

"Really," Amanda said with a grin and quirking an eyebrow, "Hmmm; I'd pay to watch that."

Cameron looked confused, "What?" Suddenly understanding the dual meaning of her words hit, her mouth opened and a blush worked its way up her face. "I, I, I, didn't mean it like that. Sicko." Getting her composure back, she grinned, "How much?"


"How much would you pay to watch?"

It was Amanda's turn to blush. Cameron just laughed. Holding her hand out, she said, "Come on, sicko, let's go teach you the fine art of the round spinning thing."

"How come Sammy gets a good nickname like slugger and I get sicko?"

"Just lucky I guess."

After a half-hour of throwing the Frisbee around Amanda, thought she might be getting better but she was still fairly certain that she sucked at it. So far, she had refused Cam's offer of help. Watching Cam run after her wild throws made her laugh. It was like watching a blonde dog. Cam just grinned from ear to ear and chased down the Frisbee no matter what angle the thing took off at. The girl had energy to burn as she ran, leapt, and dove across the grass. She wore baggy jean shorts and a black t-shirt, and her feet were bare. Amanda swallowed sharply watching the muscles in Cam's legs bunch as she built up kinetic energy.

Pouncing on yet another wayward Frisbee toss, she jogged back over to Amanda, "Amanda, come on let me show you how to toss a Frisbee. You're killing me here."

"I think I'm getting better, really Cam, I can figure out how to throw the stupid thing."

"Well if it makes you feel better to believe that."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, you stink, sicko."

Amanda sighed; "I want a better nickname."

"Hmmm, I'll work on it. Now here." Cam said thrusting the Frisbee into Amanda's hands.

Amanda held the Frisbee, then sucked in a deep breath of air as Cameron molded her body into Amanda's, lightly resting her hand on Amanda's wrist.

"Well the first thing you need to do is relax. Jeez, you're tense."

Amanda willed her body to relax, too late realizing that by relaxing her body, it seemed to come into even more bodily contact with Cam's.

"Okay, the secret to the Frisbee is all in the wrist, kind of like masturbation."

"What did you say?" Amanda said, shocked. Her ears were obviously not working right. Did she just say masturbation?

"Oops, sorry I didn't mean to say that out loud." Cam snickered, watching the blush work its way up Amanda's face.

"Okay for real. It's all about the wrist."

She took Amanda's fingers placing them on the Frisbee. She was amazed at their softness. The skin felt so smooth, and she could smell Amanda's perfume subtly working its way off the skin. CK had never smelled so nice.

"Umm, okay just kind of snap the wrist while releasing."

The Frisbee took a header into the ground. Cam stared at it then pulled away from Amanda to go get it. Amanda felt cold at Cameron's absence, but relieved. Amanda's mind could now function on higher levels of thoughts instead of running a home movie in her head about her baser instincts to throw Cam to the ground and ravish her.

"Okay, let's try this again. Honest, it's not that hard."

"Umm, Cam, I don't know."

"Okay here, you come up behind me and feel how I do it."

"Huh?" Amanda's brain was back on the whole masturbation thing.

"Amanda, you here?"

"What? Oh yeah." She came up behind Cam trying not to really touch the woman's body. Sweet, sweet torture she thought.

In the shadows of the building, a woman stood staring at the two. Absently, she rubbed her right shoulder remembering the pain that had been inflicted to it. Narrowing her eyes, she watched the two women touch each other, oh so innocently, but she knew the truth. That blonde-haired whore would get hers. Then Amanda would get hers, oh yes, she'd teach the dark-haired beauty manners, she'd teach her respect, and she would teach her who she belonged to. They always did what she wanted. They couldn't live without her. Amanda was hers until she said otherwise. The blonde was trying to take what was hers. The woman grinned, stroking the black handle of a knife, the blade securely tucked away inside. Oh yes, the blonde would have to be taught a lesson about taking other people's property.

- - - - -

They were breathing hard, lying on the grass while Cam was putting on her shoes.

"Hey Cam." She stopped feeling suddenly shy.

"Hey Amanda." Cam joked back.

"I was wondering, my step-mom is having a party, a Masquerade party and I was wondering if you would like to go with me."

"Uh," Cam articulated in her speechlessness, "like a date."

"Well no, maybe. Sammy, Sarah, and Heidi will be going too."

"Oh." Cameron winced. She sounded dejected; Cameron Hayes was never left dejected by anybody. Pause. Okay, fine, the fact Amanda was not asking her out had left her dejected.

"Are you pouting?"

"What?" Cam came out of her thoughts, "Of course not, the big bad bouncer does not pout."

"Really, looks like you're pouting."

"I'm not. You're seeing things."

"Uh huh."

Suddenly Cam squealed as her sides were tickled, "You shouldn't pout around someone who knows where your tickle spots are."

Cameron huffed, trying to catch her breath, "At least I'm not ticklish on the inside of my thighs. Oral sex must be hell."

"Cam! I can't believe you just said that." Amanda said renewing her assault on Cam's sides.

"Well." Cameron wheezed out when the assault had stopped.

"Well what?"

"Is oral sex hell, with those ticklish thighs?" She asked trying to give her best leer.

"Hmm, maybe if you're really nice to me, someday you'll find out." Amanda said with a wink. She walked off leaving a speechless and rumpled Cameron lying on the grass.

Cam got up and followed Amanda into the SUB like a puppy.

She caught up to her at a soda vending machine, "So is the party fancy?"

"What? Oh I guess, you have to be in costume and Bunny always goes all out."

"Bunny? Your step-mom is named Bunny?" Cam choked out trying not to laugh.

"Yes, and it's not funny Miss Hayes."

"Yes it is. Was she a stripper before your Dad married her?" Cam said with a snicker.

"No, she was a masseuse."

"Of course she was."

"Are you implying anything Miss Hayes? I'd be careful. You are quickly getting on my shit list."

"Umm, no. I'm not implying a thing." Cam said trying to look innocent.

Amanda just turned, sipping her newly acquired cola, and stared at Cam.

"Honest, see these honest eyes."

"Right." Amanda said unbelieving.

"So, doing anything over the weekend?"

"Sarah, Heidi, Sammy and I are having a girl's night Saturday; you could come."

"Sorry, I'm working. Dee's taking Georgia up to the cabin for a little alone time, so I'm pretty much in charge for the weekend."

"Oh, that's too bad. Well, not the alone time part. That's really romantic."

"Uh, maybe Sunday we could go grab lunch."

"I'd like that; I'll call you. As you've already learned, you really don't want to wake me up.'

"Yeah, my ears are still ringing."

- - - - - - - - - -

Amanda trudged through the front door smelling the spicy scent of Thai food. Who knew playing Frisbee could make you so sore? God what did Cam feel like? The girl had been running around like a big puppy.

Sarah's voice called out from the living room, "Put your stuff down and come sit down and watch the game."

She walked in setting her stuff down by the lime-green sofa, her stomach grumbled softly. "Icky, you're watching football. Why are you watching football?"

Heidi grunted, her mouth full of noodles, and pointed at a figure running across the screen.

Puzzled, she looked, "Okay what's with number 33 other than the fact he has the ball and is running away?"

Sammy laughed at Amanda, "Didn't you date a football player in High School?"

Amanda nodded yes, her mouth stuffed with noodles.

"Well, how come you don't know anything about it then."

"I only went to the games cause it was expected of me, not because I find the sport interesting. I spent most of the time gossiping and being seen."

Swallowing, Heidi was able to finally respond, "Number 33 is my brother Seth he plays for the Oregon Ducks, and this is his first year."

"Oh, Wow. Seth, little Seth is in college."

"Yep." Heidi said with a proud grin. Out of Heidi's whole family Seth was the only one who kept in contact. Her parents pretty much disowned her when she and Sarah moved in together. They had finally come to the realization that Heidi was not going through a phase.

Amanda scooped up some noodles on to a plate and plopped down next to Sammy on the couch.

Sammy looked at Amanda, "So Amanda, did you and Cameron make good use of your three-hour break today."

"Oooh yeah, spill A-girl. What's shaken on the sexy club bouncer front?" Sarah said wiggling her eyebrows.

Amanda sighed, "Don't you people have lives of your own?"

"Well yes, we do but Sarah and I have been together for about three years. That means we're basically in the Lesbian bed death portion of our relationship. So that leaves us you and Sammy to add spice to our sexually limp lives." Heidi said joining in during the commercial break.

"Eww, Heidi way to much info."

"Yeah, what Sammy said." Amanda said, "Besides, aren't you two on a first name basis with just about every employee at the Erotic Room."

"Sure, how do you think we afford all the toys we own? It helps to know the right people"

"Again. Too much information." Sammy said sticking out a tongue.

"So Amanda, what's up with you and the bouncer? Sammy tells us you two are building up loads of sexual tension. You two working it off in any way?" Sarah said trying not to laugh at the embarrassed expression on Amanda's face.

"I have no idea what sordid things Sammy has been planting in your guys' heads but Cam and I are just friends." She paused, smacking Sammy's leg when she gave a snort of disbelief. "She met me at school during my break and we played Frisbee. We had fun. That's what friends do. They hang out and have fun."

"Yeah, but you'd rather be hanging out naked in bed working off some of that frustration." Sammy broke in.

"I, well yes, she's hot and most times I'm near her all I can think about is getting her naked and sweaty. So there. Are you three happy?" Amanda said with a glare as the other three rolled around laughing on the floor.

"I hate you all."

- - - - - -

Sarah rolled off a very sweaty, very tired Heidi. She snuggled into her partner's side, licking the salty skin next to her face, causing Heidi to squirm.

"Honey I love you but you need to stop. I need a breather."

Sarah pouted, nipping the skin one last time then settled back down. Sighing she softly traced patterns on Heidi's flushed skin, not to turn her on but just to feel connected to the woman.

She had met Heidi at a florist shop the woman had worked at, needing to get flowers for her mother's birthday that she had forgotten about, again. She walked in, got caught in a pair of the most radiant blue eyes, lost track of what she was doing, tripped over a stepping stool and crashed into a floral display. Sprawled out in colorful bed of crushed flowers, she had opened her eyes to see an angel crouching down before her.

Heidi had gotten fired for leaving the stool out in the walkway. Sarah approached the tall blonde as she was leaving the store, distraught, and asked to take her out to dinner. Heidi had actually turned her down, but let Sarah walk her home. Okay, Sarah had followed her like a lost puppy and had shown up everyday for nearly three weeks to ask her out to dinner till Heidi had caved. Something along the lines, "If I meet you for a drink this once will you stop showing up on my doorstep?"

With a twinkle in her eye Sarah had said "Maybe."

After three dinners, two movies, one night of dancing followed by a session of marathon sex, Heidi finally agreed to date her.

Sarah could be smug because out of all three siblings she was the only one in a stable relationship, and she didn't have to listen to their mother try to set her up. Her two brothers, Randy and George, were constantly under threat of being set up on blind dates by their mother and their mother's friends.

"So, what do you think of Amanda and Cameron?"

"Huh?" Sarah grunted out, her mind slowly shifted gears.

"Amanda and Cameron, do you think they'll get together?"

"Well if Amanda has her way, they will."

"Its so romantic, that whole unrequited love thing. It's so Romeo and Juliet."

"Um, Honey, everyone dies in that play, that's hardly romantic."

"Fine, just burst my bubble. You can just go sleep on the couch, you unromantic lout."

"Well, if that's what you really want." She said teasing, "but I have the keys to the handcuffs.'

"Oh right. Speaking of which, my arms are getting sore. Think you could undo them."

"I could. What's the special phrase?"

"Sarah, I'm not.. fine. Oh, great warlord. I, your humble servant, beg you to release me. Have I not been most pleasing to you this evening?"

"Aye, wench. I have found your services most rewarding."

As soon as Heidi was released, she flipped Sarah onto her back, "Call me a wench, will you? No more pirate movies for you." She began to tickle her lover, till Sarah was begging her to stop. Heidi switched tactics and Sarah was begging her not to stop.

- - - - - - - - -

Cameron stared at her shoes. She couldn't believe it; the stupid alcohol soaked excuse for a human being had puked on her boots. He had puked on her nice, fairly new steel-toed-for-her-safety work boots; ugh! She was so tempted to kick him in the head. She looked over at Peter, who just stared at his boyfriend in horror.

"Mario. Mario! I really think it's a bad idea to puke on Cam. If you need to puke on somebody, you should probably do it to me."

Mario straightened, grinning. He slurred out, "Oh, honey, when we get home, I certainly will do it to you."

"Cool it Romeo. That would probably be a lot more suave if you didn't have puke on your chin." Cameron said with disgust as she tapped her boots on the side of the building. "Why did I let you two talk me into going out with you?" She said rolling her eyes.

"What else are you going to do on a Friday night, Hot Stuff?" Mario giggled out. "Sit at home playing with yourself and whistling Disney songs?"

"I do not whistle Disney songs." She said in a huff.

"Nope, only when you are in love." Mario drew the word love out like a three-year-old.

"Peter, if I killed Mario, would you really miss him?" She questioned.

Peter shrugged, steering his drunken lover back into the Night Creature, "I'm beginning to wonder at the moment. "

Cameron waved at a bouncer as they entered and helped Peter pour Mario into a seat. Peter adjusted his glasses and looked at Cameron, "So what's this love stuff he keeps going on about?"

Cameron squirmed uncomfortably, and gestured for a waitress to come over. She ordered cola and two waters. As the waitress left, she turned to find Peter still looking at her. "What?"

"Dear Lord, you are in love. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it."

"What?" Cameron wondered if she had subconsciously been whistling that stupid Disney song again. "For the last time, I do not whistle, sing, or chant Disney songs."

"Do too." Mario giggled coming out of his drunken stupor.

"Not that." Peter said waving his hand dismissively. "That waitress was so hitting on you, and you didn't even notice. She was practically shoving her cleavage in your face."

"Oh, that. I'm just not in the mood."

"Cameron 'the Lady-Killer' Hayes is always in the mood." Peter scoffed giving her a weird look.

"Ack. Stop with the weird eye thingy. Come on, I don't have to always be a walking hormone working on my collection of toaster ovens. Okay."

"So who's the girl who has you walking the straight and narrow?"

"Cameron's not straight honey, she's as gay as a, as a, as a, pink triangle." Mario giggled at his joke.

"Peter, I'm going to kill your boyfriend. Just so we're clear about this."

Peter sighed, wishing for the tenth time that Mario hadn't felt the need to drink so much this evening. Mario couldn't keep his mouth shut when he was sober, and drunk, the guy was worse. However, he loved his little Italian stallion no matter how annoying he could be at times. Peter rubbed Mario's arm and tried to get some water into him.

Cam looked at the retreating waitress' ass; she had left her a note saying she got off at one. The girl did have a nice ass. Not as nice as Amanda's, but still, it wasn't bad. She stopped mid thought. She really had it bad. Some little hottie was practically throwing herself at Cameron and she was thinking about the one person she couldn't have. Okay, she probably could have Amanda, but if she went there, she just knew it wouldn't be simple sex and see you around, maybe. In all honesty, she didn't want that with Amanda. However, being with Amanda would open up things in herself she wasn't willing to examine -- places she really didn't want to revisit.

She sighed, picking up her drink; she caught two pairs of eyes looking at her. "What?"

"You were brooding again." Peter said mater of factly.

"She does it cause this whole love thing has her scared." Mario said nursing his water.

"For the last time, I'm not in love. See this is me going to hit on the waitress so I can let her take me home and we can screw like some sort of rabid woodland creatures." She got up and stormed over to the waitress.

Peter glared at Mario, "Mario, could you stop pushing her buttons for a moment? Obviously, Cameron equates love with negative feelings."

"Sorry Mr. I-took-a-couple-of-psyche classes."

"Not as sorry as you're going to be Mr. I'm-sleeping-on-the-couch-and-not-getting-any-for-a-month."

"A month. Awe, come on, that's cruel. I'll, I'll, spend time with your nieces and teach them to ice skate." Mario blurted out desperately.

"Really! The threat of withheld sex will get you to do something with Rachel's kids."

"Yep, anything so my Peter will..."

He was cut off by Cameron's return to the table. She looked visibly shaken.

"Uh, so I go up to deliver my smoothest lines in order to hook-up with someone and instead end up telling them, I'm flattered but can't, that's, uh... a bad thing, right?"

They both just blinked at her, trying to pick up on the new conversation.

"Fine, her name is Amanda Walker. I fell in love with her my senior year of high school, and she ripped my heart out. I ran into her and some of her friends at the Shady Lady about a month ago, and we've been hanging out doing the friend thing. "

Peter and Mario continued to stare. Finally, Peter stated, "Well, I see. This may take awhile and we'll need to start at the beginning."

"I don't want to start at the beginning I don't want to talk about it at all. Okay."

Peter just raised his hand, waving the waitress over, "I'll need a bottle of tequila and two glasses."

Cameron eyeballed the shot glass filled with the nasty smelling liquid. "Peter, I don't think this is alcohol and even if it was, I don't drink. You know that."

"Come on, Hot Stuff." Mario slurred out, "the more you drink the easier it will be for you to spill your guts."

Cameron had to admit that did hold a certain appeal. However, "what if it makes me violent?" She asked worriedly.

"Shit Hot Stuff, you're already violent."

She opened her mouth to argue, then shut it. "What if drinking makes me more violent?"

"Haven't you ever drank before?" Peter asked.

"Well no. I use to smoke dope in high school, but I haven't done that in awhile."

"Well, if we think you're getting out of control, we'll cut you off and call Dee down to deal with you."

She nodded. That sounded reasonable. It was tempting. She worked around it, and was curious about what the appeal was. However, there was also fear. What if she was just like her mother?

She lifted the small clear glass up, "Lick it, slam it, suck it; Right?"

"You go, Hot Stuff." Mario giggled out.

She slammed the shot, sucking on the lime shuddering. Dear God, it was eating a hole in her stomach.

The two men let her convulse for another minute, then filled up her shot glass again.

- - - - - - -

Amanda sat at the kitchen table studying, but the formulas just kept swimming out of her head. She was having a really hard time focusing; it had just been a bad week. The weekend had been great -- a girl's night on Saturday with Sammy, Sarah, and Heidi; they had rented cheesy horror flicks and gossiped and painted their nails. Well Sarah hadn't -- too girly or something for the woman. Sunday had been fun. She had spent the afternoon with Cam. They had met at a deli downtown and then walked around window-shopping and people watching.

However, Cameron could be quite frustrating. She couldn't read the girl sometimes. Cam would flirt, then back off. She couldn't tell if Cam's feeling ran deeper, and it was driving her nuts.

The week had been crappy Cam had been unable to hang out on Tuesday and Thursday, although they had talked on the phone. She had forgotten all about Lisa till she had gone to class on Monday and sat down to take the test. Then she remembered that Lisa said she would call so they could get together and study. Looking over, she had found the girl's seat empty. She approached Dr. Stuart after the examination and asked about Lisa, only to find out that the girl was in the hospital after being brutally attacked on campus. That had brought back the memories of being watched on campus and she had felt jumpy and unsafe all week until she had gotten to the safety of her home.

The doorbell rang, pulling her out of unproductive thoughts, 'who the hell could that be at two in the morning'? She got up, turning on the hallway light Sammy emerged from her bedroom wielding a baseball bat.

"Taking Cam's little pet name a little too seriously are we?"

Sammy just shrugged, "Can't be too careful. That poor girl is in the hospital with a broken jaw and ribs."

Amanda felt a cold shiver race up her spine as she went to peek out. Amanda sighed in relief, "it's just Cam."

- - - - - -- -- --

Cameron unsteadily made the trek up to the house from the Cab that she had taken with Mario and Peter. Blinking, she realized that this wasn't where she lived. Foggily, she realized that this was where Amanda lived. The little gay boy bastards had set her up; she knew she shouldn't have attempted to do the whole drinking thing with Peter. She had been so confused and mixed up with her feelings that it had seemed like a good idea. After the first shot it was so much easier to go spilling her guts on the subject that was Amanda.

Dimly she also realized that the cab had driven off. "Bastards," She muttered darkly. Out of options that her tequila-hazed brain could process, she made the long journey to ring the doorbell.

Cameron was waiting patiently for the door to open hoping against hope that Amanda was not as violent to doorbell ringers as she was to early morning wake up calls. She was just about to knock when the door opened throwing her off balance; she stumbled and then looked up shyly. "I, uh, was in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by and say hi." She paused, "Hi."

Yep she was one smooth motherfuc..

"You're drunk.'

"Nope, can't be drunk. I don't drink." She slurred out.

"Well you've been drinking tonight."

Cam paused in thought, "Oh, right. Peter and Mario snuck up on me with a bottle of tequila." She said giggling.

"Uh, huh." Amanda said dragging Cameron's ass in and shutting the door.

Sammy giggled and put the bat down; "Looks like your hands are full tonight better put her in your bed with you just so you can make sure she's okay."

"What? No."

"Awe, come on Amanda. Slugger there has a great idea."


"See Amanda, Cameron wants to get you into bed."

"No she doesn't."

"Yes I do. We can do the whole bed thing, followed by the naked thing and maybe top it off with snuggles"

"What? Cameron, you're drunk you don't have any idea what you're saying."

"Fine they always did say actions were stronger than words, plus I owe you from High School." Cameron grabbed the collar of Amanda's t-shirt and pulled her down and kissed her. Amanda's senses were overrun by the smell tequila, bar smoke, and something sweet and musky' something that was very much Cam. The kiss was awkward at first, but as both relaxed into it, it became full of urgent promises. Cam lips softly kissed her and soon a warm tongue was sneaking out to lick her bottom lip. Cameron's hands moved up from the collar to stroke her neck and face.

Cameron couldn't believe what she was doing. She was kissing Amanda Walker. It was wonderful feeling; it was exciting and her stomach was all a tremble, and she was going to be sick.

Cameron pulled away from Amanda, "Bathroom." She croaked out urgently.

"Down the hall and to the right."

Cameron sprinted down the hall unsteadily slamming her shoulder into the door jam as she failed to turn correctly, she slammed the door shut.

Amanda slowly opened her eyes, "What just happened?"

"Well, I for one have to say that for all the talk I've heard about Miss Don Juan Hayes, she is very much a disappointment. But if I had to guess, she tried to kiss you."

"Thank You Sammy. Now go to bed and not a word."


"Not a word. Or I will tell all your other lesbian friends about your crush on the drag queen."

"Kiss, what kiss?" Sammy said, sheepishly sneaking off to her room.

Amanda sighed and walked down to the bathroom. After knocking on the door and receiving a very weak "come in". She entered to find a very pathetic Cameron huddled on the floor next to the toilet.


Amanda "hmm'd" while getting a cold washcloth for Cameron's face.

"Remind me in the morning if I'm not dead to kill Peter and Mario,"

"Okay. How many shots did you have?"

"I forget after two."

"And you don't drink." Amanda said helping Cam sit up; she gently washed her face.

"Nope, I wouldn't want to be like her." Cameron's face screwed up into a mask of anger at the mention of her.


"Yes, her that bitch. My.." Cam's voice choked off in a sob.

Amanda stopped. It wasn't a normal 'I've been drinking sob'. No, it was more of a deep seated, in long need of getting out sob, and she gently grabbed Cam into her body, rocking her as Cam struggled to both get closer to the comfort and away from it at the same time. Amanda just held the girl tighter, humming a soft tune into the pink tipped ear until Cameron gave up, too uncoordinated in her present condition to launch a successful escape plan. Cameron gave up control for a brief moment and cried onto Amanda's shoulder, clutching Amanda's body tight into hers, afraid that it would all disappear.

Amanda had no idea how much time had passed. Cameron had cried herself out and was quietly dozing in the safety of Amanda's arms. Amanda's head was full of questions, but at this time, there were no answers. Sighing, she lifted herself and Cameron off the floor and guided them both to bed. Tomorrow would be another strange day.

Setting Cameron on the bed she started to unlace the girl's boots.

"Uh, Amanda, I'd be careful with the left boot. Mario puked on it earlier."

"Gross." Tentively she unlaced the left boot. She went to her dresser and pulled out a t-shirt and boxers. She looked at Cameron trying to gauge if the girl could dress herself, weighing it against her desire to touch her. Cameron just looked at her confused, blinking her eyes.

"Okay, help me take your shirt off." Amanda said stepping close to Cameron and grabbed the edge of the material.

Two strong hands grabbed hers. "Don't, ugly." Cameron slurred out.


"I don't want you to see. I'm ugly."

"Cam you're not ugly, you're beautiful."


"Fine, but you're not sleeping in my bed wearing those stinky clothes."

"Give me a minute. I can change myself.'

Amanda sighed, walking toward the door. "I'll be back in a minute."

Cam nodded, engrossed with unbuttoning her pants."

Amanda walked through the house, checked the door and turned off the lights. She went back to her room. Knocking lightly on the door, she went in. She smiled as she found Cam sprawled out on her bed lightly snoring. She debated whether or not to go sleep on the couch but decided to sleep in her own bed with Cam. The girl was unused to drinking and if she got sick, Amanda wanted to be there. Of course, there were all the other purely selfish reasons she was staying in her own bed, too. She was briefly tempted to lift up Cam's shirt to see what she thought made her ugly. Maybe it was a birthmark or a mole, but in the back of her mind, she was afraid that it wasn't anything so nice. She didn't want to abuse Cam's trust, so she stopped herself.

Cameron whimpered and Amanda brushed the hair out of her eyes and whispered words of nonsense. Cameron settled down and rolled over seeking out the heat and warmth from Amanda's body. Amanda's presences giving Cam shelter from her torn dreamscape.

Part 5

Morning was creeping out over the land with its promise of a new day and new beginnings. Painting the suburban landscape in its warm colors, the sun started to rise. However, as the light touched the outside world of waking life, the light inside stormy blue-gray eyes was slowly dying.

Arms wrapped around herself for warmth, her breath made visible on the cool wind currents, Cameron staggered down the street, wanting nothing more than to reach her hands inside her skull, into the hidden depth where her mother still ruled and lived in harmony with all her insecurities. Her mother's voice slurred out, a tongue made lazy from drinking and was husking out her inadequacies. "Worthless waste of space." The voice breathed out. "Little piece of nothing. Amanda could never be happy settling for you. You are so beneath Amanda. Thought you were so much better than me. Look at yourself bloodshot eyes, cottonmouth, the smell of alcohol stained into your clothes. Just give yourself a little time. You will be me." That brought Cam to her knees. She raggedly tired to control her breathing as tears welled up. She fought it, her hands trying to dig themselves into the hard surface of the road. She wouldn't cry, she didn't cry. She, Cameron Hayes, didn't cry. She never once did when her mother struck her and she wouldn't allow the satisfaction to a ghostly memory. Shakily she stood up and continued walking home.

Thoughts flickered in her head drowning everything out. The memory of the morning was still so fresh. She could feel Amanda's warmth and smell her sleepy scent again, a moment of false happiness.

Cameron had rolled over, touching something soft and warm. Fuzzily, she opened her eyes. Blinking, she tried to focus as colors saturated and sharpened into focus. She took in the lines of the dark hair spread out before her. She grinned sleepily... oh, she knew this dream. This was fantasy number 9. She reached out. There was no hesitation, no second guessing. This was her fantasy, a bit of unreality in which she could be perfect. Reaching out; she stroked and smoothed the midnight infused strands. She brushed it to the side, finally exposing the warm flesh of the neck. Snuggling closer, she kissed that warmth. It was so real. Her dreams were always shrouded in a haze, but the sounds, tastes and smells were textured so real this time as they pierced her senses. She trailed her tongue along the curves of the neck. Licking and giving small kisses, she made her way up to an earlobe that peaked out wickedly from a mass of tangled hair. She leaned up, brushing more hair aside. Lightly, she nipped the ear. Amanda moaned and she slowly sucked the lobe into her mouth.

Amanda gasped and shuddered, then rolled over, blinking sleepily at her with foggy blue eyes.

Cam smiled. This was the best one, her favorite fantasy. it was a fantasy of warmth and belonging; this was a dream about couplehood and the promise of many mornings together. Cam kissed a forehead, then Amanda's nose. As she did that, a giggle came bubbling out of Amanda and she smiled again. Finally, Cam kissed waiting lips; heat raced through her body, causing her breath to catch. Beautiful, the moment is the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced, and it was just a dream.

She removed her lips from Amanda's and kissed her chin, her jaw, her neck; then hands were there pulling her away from the taste of Amanda's skin.

Panting, Amanda breathed in question, "Are you sure? Are you positive this is okay?"

Cam's mind stalled. This had never happened before in all the times she'd had this dream, "What?"

"You're not still drunk? This is you, right? Not the tequila?"

The world lurched. Oh shit, this was reality. "Oh God, not a dream. I'm not dreaming." Cameron sputtered. She jerked backwards, away from the warmth and coldness seeped inside. Oh God, she had taken advantage of her friend. Then the night before swam up out of the recesses of her mind and blindsided her. She felt exposed. All her secrets, everything she wanted to leave behind and buried seemed to be too close to the surface. She couldn't let Amanda see inside her. It was too much. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Amanda's hand reach out for her and she jerked away, falling out of the bed. She scrambled to her feet, looking for her clothes

"Cameron? Cameron, is everything okay?"

Spotting her clothes she grabbed them. She needed out of here. She jammed her legs into her pants, pulling them up over the boxers she wore. Her panic and fear were in control, she slipped her shoes on and ran for the door.

"Cameron?" The voice penetrated her haze.

Amanda's face was broken the hurt written on the crinkled forehead and shining blue-eyes. She, Cameron, had created it.

"I can't, I can't." It was almost a sob. She was breaking, her cool outer amour was falling apart. "I'm sorry. I can't be with you." She ran, knowing it was wrong.

- -- - - -- - - - --

Sammy emerged, yawning, from her room. She slide her arms into a cotton robe, she thought briefly about streaking to the kitchen. It was early enough Amanda wouldn't be up. She grinned evilly, particularly if she had company, 'Hope A-girl got laid.' She thought briefly, making the trek to the kitchen. Entering the kitchen, Sammy felt the disturbance in the force, 'Ah fuck me.' She smelled the perky morning goodness that was freshly brewed coffee, and saw Amanda's robe covered back as the tall girl sat at the kitchen table, presumably staring out the window. Sammy puzzled over this and her good fortune not to have to make her own coffee as she reached for a mug. She poured and sipped. The whole time, Amanda made no move to acknowledge her presence in the kitchen.

Sammy rubbed her nose. Something wasn't right. Hmmm. "Where's the bouncer of your dreams?"

Nothing. The silence continued to tap dance around the room.

"Okay, what did I do now?"

The silence moved onto a rousing salsa number.

"I know you're alive. I can see you breathing. What, you and the chick magnet have a fight?"

For its finale, silence shot itself out of a canon.

Sammy got a clue, "Ah, ah, ah shit. What happened? Let me go get Sarah. We'll go kick her ass. Nobody uses my friends."

Amanda spoke in a strangled voice that people use when they're trying not to show emotion, "Nothing happened."

"Bullshit." Sammy gave her friend a hug from behind, and at the touch, Amanda began to sob. "I screwed it up again, I messed it up."

"Aw, honey, you did no such thing." Sammy whispered stroking Amanda's hair. Sammy sat down and nudged Amanda's chair till it was turned toward her. She sucked in a breath at Amanda's face. The woman's eyes were red and swollen. "That's it. I'm calling Sarah. We're going to go kick her ass. I knew that girl was dangerous, I knew she was no good." Sammy yelled out.

Amanda gave a slight chuckle; "you knew no such thing Miss O'Brien. You were lusting after her tight little ass."

Sammy paused in her tirade. She really wasn't expecting that reaction. "You're scaring me here A-girl. Why don't you clue me in."

Amanda sighed, her eyes boring into the depths of her coffee cup.

- - - - - - -- -

Cameron was walking down the street arguing with herself. She couldn't do anything right. She wanted Amanda, and she had let the woman slip right through her fingers. She knew though she couldn't be good for the woman she deserved better than Cameron Hayes. She felt queasy in her stomach at the thought of Amanda with somebody else. She raked her hands through her hair in frustration. She let out a small scream of frustration kicking out at a garbage can sitting on the curb next her. The can sailed up, landing with a metallic crunch and vomiting waste on to the driveway.

A voice yelled out from the house, "Hey, what the Hell!"

"Oh shit." Cameron said and sprinted off in a panic.

- - - -- -- - -

Sammy waited for Amanda's story holding her breath.

"I woke up and she was kissing me and touching me and I thought my god, I'm dreaming again, but it was better than a dream. It was real. But then, then I made her stop cause I needed to know it was her and not the alcohol. Then the moment was gone, and she was running for the door. A moment I've been in anticipation of for almost forever and I screwed it up."

Sammy blinked, going through her head for possible words of comfort, or even a funny story, "That certainly sucks." She said weakly.

Amanda just blinked at her.

"Fine." Sammy said throwing up her hands, "Maybe we should call Heidi Sarah has that whole butch issue that sometimes prevents her from acting rationally."

Amanda went back to staring morosely out the window.

"Ah, okay you just sit there I'll go get the phone and call Heidi."

- - - - - - - - -

Cameron was digging around in her pants pocket trying to find her house key. Her brow scrunched up, she pulled out her wallet, the keys to the Shady Lady, and a piece of pocket lint. "Fuck me." She muttered.

"Problems, Cameron?" A voice boomed out next to her ear.

Cameron Hayes, the most feared bouncer of the Shady Lady, screamed and then clutched her head. Her head, already in the throws of a violent mind-bending world-altering hangover, was now taken to the championship level of hangovers.

"Rough night?"

Cameron looked up in to Georgia's brown eyes, which didn't seem to be so warm at the moment. "Ah, you could say that."

Georgia squinted, taking a long look at the girl, "So how's your first hangover treat'n ya? All you expected and more?"

Cameron grimaced, "You could say that, only quieter." Then tried to give a weak smile.

Georgia was not moved. She looked more closely at the hung over deflated shell of Cam, and her eyes narrowed dangerously. "You fucked something up, didn't you." It wasn't a question.

Cameron's eyes widened in shock. She wasn't sure what shocked her more -- the fact Georgia knew she had screwed up or the fact the older lady had used the word fuck.

"It was that Amanda girl, wasn't it?"

Cameron flinched. This was getting weird. Her eyes widened in panic and she was looking around for escape. "I didn't sleep with her. WellmeanIdid, but, notinthewaythatsoundsinthenonsexsense."

"Cameron are you aware of your ability to babble at high speeds."

"Uh, no."

"It's kind of cute."


"Go shower and change. You smell like stale beer. Then come upstairs to the kitchen and have some breakfast with me, and we can talk about what did and did not happen last night."



"I seem to have lost my key."

"What happened to your key?"

"I think they fell out of my pants when I took them off at Amanda's." Mentally she shouted at herself, "way to go dumbass."

"I see." Georgia walked down the steps and unlocked the door.

- - - -- - - - - -

Heidi, Sarah, and Sammy stared at the shut bedroom door.

"So I called you and while I was on the phone, she went all passive-aggressive and shut herself in her room and won't come out." Sammy said with a sigh. "I'm going to go take a shower. Let me know if she comes out."

Heidi stared at the door, then at Sarah, and finally at Sammy's retreating back. "Eh, honey what do you think?"

Sarah examined the door, "I think I need whipped topping and you tied naked to the bed screaming my name out in a very good way."

"Hmm, tempting but that's not going to happen till we sort out what's up with Amanda. After that, we can go have sex anywhere you would like."

Sarah gave an evil grin, "Cool." She returned her attention to the door, "Honey why don't you ask her to come out, while I go look for some tools. If she's not out by the time I get back, I'll take drastic measures."

Heidi shrugged. It sounded good to her; she began to knock, calling out to Amanda.

- - - - - - -

Amanda was resting on her bed; she was curled around the pillow Cameron had used the night before. She sniffled, sure it smelled of smoke and beer, but there was the faint scent of Cam there. She was trying to figure out what she had done to make Cameron bolt. She couldn't think of anything. She thought she had been very gentle and hadn't pushed when Cameron had started crying in the bathroom.

There was a scraping noise coming from her door. Heidi had gone quiet a few minutes ago and Amanda had just assumed she had given up and gone away. There was a faint clicking noise and her door began to slowly open as Heidi and Sarah's heads slowly peaked in. Sarah gave a huge grin, but Amanda just hid her head under her pillow. Didn't people understand she was trying to feel depressed and sorry for herself?

"Look ,Heidi, I told you she was fine. She's just crying." Said Sarah. "Ouch! What did you hit me for?"

"You were being insensitive? Only crying, sheesh."

Heidi left Sarah by the door and walked into the room and knelt down by the bed, "Amanda, we are all really worried here. You need to come up for air and tell me everything that happened last night with Cam."

Sarah shifted from foot to foot, watching Heidi try to talk to Amanda. She really wanted to be there for her friend. She just wasn't sure what to do and when she wasn't sure what to do, she started feeling antsy. She just wanted to make everything better, but she didn't know how.

Heidi noticed Sarah's little dance of unease and she had to smile at her little control freak. Heidi was well versed in the "I have no control over this situation" dance. "Honey, why don't you go make some food while I talk to Amanda."

Sarah nodded happily at her lover, thankful Heidi was giving her a way to help, even if it was a small thing.

Heidi watched her lover scamper off and hoped she wouldn't set the kitchen on fire. "Now, Amanda. Tell me what happened with the big bad bouncer that has you in tears."

- - - - -

Toni shivered from the cold as she stepped into her apartment. She shut the door and set down the baseball bat, leaning it up against the couch. She took off her coat and hung it up; fiercely, she rubbed her hands together. Angrily, she threw herself into her recliner. All night she had trailed that blonde bitch hoping to catch her alone. But no those, fag boys were glued to her side. When they had left the Night Creature in a cab, Toni had rushed off ahead hoping to catch the bouncer when she tried to stumble into her house. The blonde's entrance was perfect around the side with some evergreen bushes right next to the stairs; Toni could wait and never be seen. However, the girl had never come home. Toni had waited in the cold well into the morning hours, her brain stewing. The bitch must have gone to see Amanda. The thought of her touching Amanda made her see red; Amanda was hers, and nobody else's.

Toni rubbed her temples. She just had to wait. The moment would come and everything would be perfect, just like that moment in the parking garage. Then the would be Romeo would be out of the picture and nobody would get in the way of her and Amanda's happiness. Now she just needed to get rid of the blonde.

She leaned forward, and put a tape into the VCR, and hit play. As the tape played, she could see Amanda. She was inside her house studying at the kitchen table. The blinds were open and she could see the girl hard at work. Toni smiled. Too bad she couldn't get closer maybe get a camera in the house. Her thoughts paused, oh, to be closer, but how? She leaned back to ponder an answer for her problem.

- -- - - - - - -

Cameron shifted nervously in her sock-covered feet. She had showered and changed her clothes, and felt a tad bit more human. She stared at Georgia, unsure if she should begin talking, but Georgia sat reading the paper. Occasionally, she picked up her coffee cup and took a sip.

Cameron opened her mouth to speak and shut it; she scratched her wet head. Dee came striding into the kitchen, disheveled and sleep still very much stuck in her eyes. Dee took one look and turned around and walked out. Poor kid, she felt for Cam, she really did; but the kid was on her own.

Helplessly Cameron watched Dee's back turn a corner and disappear.

"Cameron, have a seat." Georgia said not looking up from her paper.

Cameron did as she was told.

"Cameron, you have been living with us now for what? Four years?" Cameron nodded. "Never in that time have we asked questions about your past, or butted in, even when you bring home those girls who hold nothing more meaningful for you than one-night." She paused looking up to see if Cam was paying attention. The girl had a puzzled look on her face. "However, over these past four years, Dee and I have somewhere along the way come to love you like the daughter we always talked about having, but never did. Cameron, Dee and I love you very much and we want only the best for you." She saw the tears forming in the girl's eyes, even though Cam was doing that whole stoic thing and trying to fight them off. "I have wanted nothing more for you to find somebody who would steal your heart and break through that very thick stonewall you have built around yourself. However, it has come to my attention that before we met you, somebody had already done that."

Cameron sniffed. Fucking tears. She would not cry, she would not cry. It was bad enough she broke down in front of Amanda, but Georgia's words had touched some deep seated longing inside of herself. Inside, she felt like something was trying to break through a barrier and swim up to the surface. It was making her feel very self-conscious. Her attention was suddenly captured by Georgia, "What do you mean somebody already has stolen my heart?"

Georgia smiled, "Your friend, Amanda, she's had your heart all this time hasn't she?" Georgia just smiled as Cameron sputtered. "Now dear, you can either allow her to keep it, or take it back, but first you need to tell me what happened last night."

---- ---------

To be continued...

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