Hello to all you patient people! (Those of you on my list have already received this message)

Thank you all for your patience and for your desire to still want to follow the escapades of Alex and Sam. In actuality Chapter 7 was finished the week of 06/18, but I felt it best to wait until I was able to function enough to perhaps continue writing and not leave you all waiting another few months before a continuing chapter is completed.

Nicole was one of my most ardent fans and, as Tricia keeps telling me, she would not want my world to stop and would not want me to stop writing, so . . . here is the next chapter in CG and hopefully chapter 8 will follow along in the not to distant future.

I have had a rather hard few months and the counselor I spoke to the other day said I seem to be 'on schedule' so that is what I shall tell everyone when they ask. Tears still flow daily, but the memories are as sweet as ever, and some day the tears will stop and the memories will be all that remain. There is an emptiness to the house that is difficult to deal with, but I have Tricia by my side and we have weathered many a storm together, although none as life- shattering as this. On the up-side (and I'm not sure how this may rock some of your belief systems, but I consider it great news), we contacted a medium to try to give us some relief. What she gave us was news and acknowledgements that could have Only Come from our Nicole, the first being that she is 'clear of head' and the last that she is 'extremely happy.' With that in mind, I then must try to stop being so selfish in my grief and try to do as I know Nicole would want me to do and try to move on in life. My memories and the memories of all who loved her are what keeps her alive and in the moment. I carry her with me every day, and it must be my goal to continue to make her proud of me, as I was of her, and to keep her memory sweet. I know a part of her will always be with me and for that I am blessed.

So . . . with that said . . . Chapter 7 is up on my site. I will try my best to come out of hiding and rejoin the world of the quick. You all have been with me on this 20-month journey, and although Nicole's journey is over here on Earth, mine must continue. As always and perhaps Even More than before I appreciate ALL your feed back. It always encouraged the Muse to continue to feed me and it always brought a smile to my heart. I know it will continue to do the same. Please Write, it's good therapy <g>, I have ignored the world for long enough I am told. It's time to get back into it.

Enjoy the chapter!

With much affection ~ Carole

All disclaimers may be found in Chapter 1

California Gold

Chapter 7

Christmas Day had come and gone, but visions of sugarplums, angels, brightly lit trees, and Broadway lights still danced in Samantha's dreams. She tumbled and tossed throughout the early morning hours and awoke uncharacteristically early. There was the distinct lack of a warm body beside her and when she reached up, she discovered that Alex’s pillow was also missing. Bolting upright in bed she glanced at the clock on the nightstand. 8:00. That means it’s actually 5:00 to my body, so what in tarnation am I doing awake, and where is Alex?

She scooted off the bed and into the bathroom to take care of morning duties before tiptoeing into the living area of the suite.

Alex lay stretched out on the couch with her feet dangling over the edge. She was half covered by a blanket she must have taken out of one of the closets.

The drapes were partially closed, but there was enough light for Samantha to see into her dark angel’s sleeping face. It wasn’t a sight she got to glimpse often, and she couldn’t bring herself to awaken her.

She turned to go into the kitchen, but being unfamiliar with the layout of the room, she banged her shin against the edge of the table and started to fall. A strong hand reached out and grabbed her, pulling her backward onto the couch.

"Morning, Ms. Klutz," Alex whispered. "The sun hasn’t even thought about peeking over the horizon at home and here you are sneaking around a strange room in an even stranger city and bumping into other people’s furniture. ’S plain that to me, Lucy."

Samantha giggled and turned over on her stomach, taking her lover’s face into her hands. "Did anyone every tell you you do a lousy imitation of Ricky Ricardo?"

"Hey, I thought that was pretty good."

"Okay, no," Samantha insisted, giggling again. "But I will explain to you nevertheless. You left me alone in a strange bed. I guess your being gone woke me up. When I found you, you looked so damned peaceful I didn’t want to wake you."

"Didn’t want to wake me, huh?"


"I thought it was more like you didn’t want me to sleep."

"Huh?" The blonde sat up on the side of the couch. "Why would you say something like that?"

It was Alex’s turn to chuckle. "I wish I had a camcorder last night. You were tossing and turning and even sometimes singing in your sleep. There was no way I was ever going to get any rest. Coming out here to the couch was self-preservation."

"Oh, Alex, I’m so sorry. You poor thing . . ."

"It’s okay, Samantha, honestly." She grabbed a sheet of paper off the coffee table. "Before I fell asleep, I made a list of things we already have scheduled and then added some places we might want to fit in while we’re here. Wanna go over it with me?"


With pen in hand Alex began to recite the activities off the paper. "Today is a get acquainted with New York day. I thought we might start with a carriage ride around Central Park . . ."

"Can we walk through Strawberry Fields?"

"Absolutely, and then maybe stop by the Dakota if you want."

"Sure, and lunch in a New York deli."

"No problem. I’d like Rockefeller Center to be our last stop for the day so you can see the tree all lit up."

"Oh, yes, and watch the ice skaters and maybe even join them."

"Let’s see how tired we are after walking around Central Park all morning before committing to ice skating."

"How old did you say you were going to be in February?"

Alex ignored Samantha's giggling. "Let me quickly go over the rest of the week’s activities."

"Okay. I’ll sit quietly and listen."

"Yeah, right." Alex grinned. "Monday I don’t really have anything much planned except for the show in the evening. We could do a little sight-seeing in the morning and afternoon, if you want. Tuesday I thought we might go visit Lady Liberty, and since Uncle Al is in town he might be able to get us some last-minute tickets to the Radio City Music Hall show."

"Oh, wow, that would be . . . oops . . . I said I would just listen," Samantha quickly put a hand up to her mouth.

"Like I really expected you not to say a word, gabby. But to continue, Wednesday early we could go to the Village and Washington Square before meeting Uncle Al for dinner and the show. Thursday is Beauty and Beast day and Friday is New Year’s Eve. We have a lot of free time during the day so if there’s something in particular you want to do, we should have plenty of opportunity." She put the paper down on the table and looked questioningly at Samantha. "Any comments?"


"Nothing you want to see or do?"

"Nothing you haven’t already mentioned, except a little shopping. Oh——wait——on second thought, I’d love to see that famous children’s toy store . . . um . . ."

"FAO Schwartz?"


"Now is certainly a great time to go visiting there, but you had best be ready to be jostled and tossed; it’s gonna be crowded."

"I don’t care; it would still be fun."

"All right then, I’ll add it to the list." Alex jotted on the agenda sheet. "Got it down for Thursday a.m., and since it’s on Fifth Avenue we can do some window shopping while we’re at it or some real shopping if you’ve a mind to."

"Alex I’m glad you have some kind of schedule for us to follow, even if it is sketchy. I’d be bouncing us all over the city, especially since I don’t know how any of the attractions are related to each other, distance-wise."

"Right now, I think we should get showered."

"Shouldn’t we call Uncle Al?"

Alex looked at the clock on the mantle. "Not at this hour. He’s a night owl, not an early bird. We’ll give him a ring about noon. If he’s in New York, and especially during the holiday season, he’s more likely to see the sun rise on the sleepless side of morning, if you know what I mean."

"Like, ‘Broadway babies don’t sleep tight, until the dawn’?"

"Exactly." Alex grinned at Samantha's rendition of Lullaby of Broadway. "I know our bodies haven’t gotten used to the time change yet, but since we’re up we might as well get dressed and go eat."

"You know, my stomach seems to object when I get it up this early and don’t feed it, so I’m kind of agreeing with you." As if on cue, a rumbled emitted from Samantha's belly.

"I get the message," Alex laughed. "So, it’s showers, dressed, and breakfast."

"Sounds like a plan."


At 10:00 sharp the two women made their way out of the suite. Samantha had gabbed the entire time they dressed and changed her mind at least five times about where she wanted to go for breakfast and what she wanted to eat. Most of her indecision was Alex’s fault. She kept throwing out suggestions, and each time the newest place sounded more interesting than the one before it.

"You know what?" Alex asked as the door opened and they stepped into the lobby.

"No, what?"

"I think that since we’re in New York, we ought to have a New York-type breakfast. How about bagels and lox?"

"I’m fine with the bagels, but I’ve never had lox."

"No better time than the present to try new things: new city, new clothes, and new foods. I know a cute little deli not far from Central Park that serves marvelous bagels with more toppings than even you could sample at one sitting. They have every type of bagel imaginable from pumpernickel, spinach, sourdough, and sun dried tomato to cinnamon raison, apricot, and blueberry."

"That sounds perfect," Samantha said.

"They have a large variety of coffees, teas, and fruit drinks, as well. Yeah, I think you might enjoy this place even better than a fancy restaurant. It’s very New York."

"Okay, okay, no more discussion, no more choices, I’m convinced."

"Good. "

When they stepped through the front door, Samantha pulled the collar of her parka up around her face to keep out the biting wind.

"I thought you were the one with the winter experience," Alex chided.

"Yeah, but it’s easy to forget just how cold cold really is. I’ve gotten quite used to California weather, thank you very much."

"I’m sure it will warm up a little this afternoon, but we may have to put in a stop and get you a good coat while we’re here. You don’t want to be wearing that to the theater."

"Alex, that’s the first time I’ve heard you sound like a Fifth Avenue snob."


"You heard me," Samantha grinned.

"Well, I’m not a snob."

"Couldn’t prove it by that comment." Samantha put her arm in Alex’s. "But I love you anyway," she purred and rested her head in the crook of her lover’s arm.

Alex shook her head. "You’re something else, do you know that?"


After breakfast the two women walked to the entrance to Central Park where the carriages stood, waiting for customers. Alex told Samantha to pick out the horse of her choice and the blond immediately pointed to the only palomino in the group.

"You’re beautiful," Samantha cooed as she stroked the horse’s head.

"And smart, too, Miss," the carriage driver informed Samantha. "Her name’s Alcippe. It means ‘mighty mare.’"

"Really?" Samantha asked. "That’s funny because it’s also the name of a daughter of Ares, the god of war."

"Don’t get her started on mythology," Alex said, shaking her head and grinning. "She is a beautiful animal. We’d like the extended ride around the park, with a few additions."

"Additions, Miss?"

"Yes, like having you wait while we explore some of the attractions."

"That can be a bit pricey."

"Pricey I can handle." Alex handed the driver two hundred-dollar bills and smiled. "That’s for starters. Do we have an understanding?"

"Wherever and for as long as you desire, Miss. I’m yours for the rest of the day, if you so wish." The driver tilted his hat and quickly stuffed the bills in his pocket. "My name’s Harrigan." He helped his passengers into the hansom cab.

"Alex, this is so exciting," Samantha cooed as she snuggled close.

The sun was beginning to warm the air as the tour began. Harrigan described each attraction as they passed it, and Alex added personal touches from her many visits to the city. The joyous sounds of vacationing youngsters filled their ears as they passed Wollman Skating Ring. At the carousel Samantha asked if they could get out and ride, and of course the request was immediately granted.

Alcippe trotted regally through the park, slowing when they passed the important tourist areas to give her passengers time to take in the sites, which included Sheep’s Meadow, the Summer Stage, the Bandshell, and the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. Before long the palomino came to a stop front of the entrance to Strawberry Fields, directly across from the Dakota building.

"I do believe this is one of the places you requested to stop. Would you ladies like to get out and stretch your legs for a bit?" Harrigan asked.

"We’d love to," Samantha answered for both of them.

Harrigan started to get down to help them out, but Alex told him she had the situation well in hand. She got down from the carriage and extended her hand to help Samantha out. Arm in arm they walked toward the memorial.

"Look, Alex, T-shirts."

"Want one?"

"Nah, but thanks anyway."

The pathway was dotted with benches and fences. "In the spring the garden is beautiful," Alex told Samantha. "Winter doesn’t do this place justice."

"I can imagine the flowers, Alex. But just being here is magical."

"Imagine. Good choice of words," Alex commented as she pointed in the direction of the mosaic that sported the title of John Lennon’s famous song.

In contrast to the stark barren look of the surrounding area, the region around the mosaic was colorful and covered with cut flowers, candles, and a variety of tokens from fans who had traveled there from all over the world.

Alex broke the silence. "Would you like to walk over to the Dakota?"

"No," Samantha sighed. "This is so beautiful——this tribute to him and his music. Standing by that building would be like visiting his death, and I would rather carry away from this spot the beautiful feeling of his words and his life."

As if on cue one of the visitors turned up the sound on their boom box and Imagine filled the air.

The two women stood for a few minutes, holding hands as each tried to envision what the world would be like if Lennon’s vision were a reality.

Alex soon nudged Samantha. The morning had already slipped away, and it was time for them to continue their tour.

They had entered and exited the park at various points throughout the trip and the last leg of their journey took them through Central Park West and past the New York Historical Society and the Museum of Natural History.

Harrigan slowed Alcippe down as they began the final leg of their ride along the lake. It was almost 3:00 when they left the park for the final time and stopped in front of the Plaza Hotel.

"Is there anywhere else we can take you ladies today?" Harrigan asked.

"I don’t believe so," Alex answered, as she slipped several folded hundred-dollar bills into his hand. "Make sure you treat Alcippe to some carrots from us, Harrigan. Thank you for being a perfect guide."

The driver jumped down from his seat and offered his hand to Samantha. "My pleasure, Miss." He tipped his top hat. "Come back this evening, and I would be happy to give you two a special ride around the streets outside the park."

"Thanks for the invitation, but we have quite a full schedule," Alex answered.

"I’ll bet you do, Miss. People visiting never seem to have enough time to see it all. I hope you have yourselves a great vacation. If you ever come back be sure to look Alcippe and me up."

"Thank you, Harrigan," Samantha said as she stepped down and walked around to give the horse a hug. "Thank you, girl, for a wonderful ride."

Alex had phoned for a cab to meet them at the drop-off point, and during the short ride back to the hotel, she called Al to arrange their meeting. He told Alex that he wanted to be their tour guide on Wednesday and that they should not to make any plans. Alex explained that she wanted Samantha to see the Village and Washington Square, and he agreed that they would be included in the day’s activities. A few minutes later the two women were back in their suite.

"I made reservations for dinner at 7:30," Alex informed her partner. "Do you want to order something from room service for lunch, or do you want to go down to the hotel restaurant?"

Samantha glanced at her watch. "Well, it’s 4:30 now so, maybe just a snack here in the room. Then we’ll have time for a bath and maybe a short rest before we have to get ready."

"My sentiments exactly," Alex agreed. "What’ll it be?" She handed the menu to Samantha and sat on the bed waiting for the blonde to decide.

Samantha looked at what the menu had to offer and then let her eyes roam around the room. The basket of fruit was still untouched. Next to it there was a new bottle of champagne and over on the kitchen counter there was a second basket. As she approached the new offering her eyes lit up. "Look, Alex, cheeses and crackers!"

"And your point is?"

"My point is that I don’t want to spoil my dinner."

Alex laughed.

"Stop that," Samantha scolded, with a smile on her face. "I’m serious. I’m sure we’re going somewhere fabulous for dinner, and I want to be hungry. We have cheese, crackers, fruit, champagne, bottled water, and a variety of sodas and alcohol."

"Well then, what are you waiting for . . . open the baskets."

Not needing to be told twice, Samantha began with the kitchen basket. She got out plates and knives and began slicing the cheese and placing the crackers on the plates. Then she grabbed an apple and a pear from the fruit basket, cut them up, and placed them next to the cheeses. "Whaddaya want to drink, Alex?"

"Hmm, how about water?"

"Good choice." Samantha took two bottles out of the refrigerator and balanced them on the plates as she walked into the living room. "You’ve been preoccupied with something since we came in. What are you looking at?" She put the plates and bottles down on the coffee table and sat next to Alex.

The brunette waved a brochure in the air. "I don’t know how many times I’ve been here, but I’ve never actually taken a tour of the city. I was looking through their pamphlet and I think you might really enjoy this. It’s pretty all encompassing. We’ll get to visit most of the important sites and Lady Liberty. They even include a tour of Radio City Music Hall and the show, which is quite unusual."

"Wow——isn’t that everything you wanted to cover on Tuesday?"

"Yes," Alex answered. "I’m impressed. If it’s okay with you I think I’ll book us on the tour instead of trying to do everything myself."

"Hey, you’re the New York expert . . ."

"I never said I was an expert," Alex corrected. "It’s just that I’ve been here enough times to know what is important to see and what’s a waste of a day." She picked up a piece of cheese and bit into it. "Yum, I think I’m hungrier than I thought. Thanks, honey."

"You’re welcome."

"Let me call and get us booked into the tour. Stay on your own plate while I’m on the phone."


"Don’t Alex me. I know how you are." She smiled and patted Samantha on the shoulder, then picked up the phone. When she finished with the call she returned the phone to its cradle and picked up a piece of pear. "This is good. I like this room service better than the one provided by the hotel staff."

"Why, thank you, Miss. You can call me anytime you need a snack; I’m available 24-7."

"Can’t beat that." Alex smiled and scooted closer to Samantha on the couch. "Okay, tonight will consist of dinner and a trip to Rockefeller Center. Tomorrow is pretty much open except for dinner and the theater. I thought maybe we’d do some shopping."

"Sounds marvelous, Alex. I’m looking forward to the toy store."

"Oh, yeah, that’s definitely a treat."

They finished eating and decided to take a leisurely bath, followed by a nap. The bath went just as anticipated, but napping was forgotten by the time the two of them lay side by side on the bed.

"I think I’m still hungry," Alex whispered into Samantha’s ear.

"How could you be? You devoured that entire plate and then a banana to boot!"

"But I didn’t have dessert," Alex argued.


"Yeah." An eyebrow raised as a smile graced the beautiful face of the dark-haired woman. "I have a craving for something sweet and blonde. Just a little snack." She pulled her lover close and kissed her gently on the lips. "Hmm, I think you will do just fine."


It was almost 7:15 and Samantha was still fussing with her outfit.

"Samantha, will you please stop procrastinating? Tomorrow night is dressy. The outfit you have on is perfect for tonight."

"But I don’t want to feel like we’re back in Laguna where anything goes, dress-wise. This is New York. New York’s different."

"It’s not all that different," Alex countered. "To reiterate, this is not a dress and heels night, honey. Remember, we’ll be walking back from Rockefeller Center. You need to be comfortable and warm."

"Right, I keep forgetting about that. So, this looks okay?"

"No." Alex shook her head. "It doesn’t look okay; it looks beautiful. You look beautiful. Now can we please go?"

Samantha took one last look in the mirror and excited hands caressed her dark green velvet pants. "Oh, wait a minute, I forgot something." She raced into the bedroom and retrieved her heart-shaped yin/yang necklace and matching earrings. She put the earrings on as she walked into the living room, then held out the necklace in Alex’s direction. "Will you hook this for me?"

"Sure, come here."

"You know, every time I wear this it brings back memories of our first time in San Francisco."

"Good ones, I hope."

"More than good——fantastic."

The brunette smiled and kissed her lover on the head. "I’m happy to hear that. There——final touches all completed. Are we finally ready to go?"

"Hey, I’m ready when you are." Samantha said in a solemn voice.

Alex smiled and shook her head. "Women–can’t live with them, can’t live without them."


A blast of cold air hit their faces as they exited the hotel and made their way to the waiting taxi. Alex gave the driver the name of the restaurant and within minutes the vehicle pulled to the curb in front of a building decorated for the season.

The atmosphere inside was soft and quiet. The walls were decorated with autographed pictures of stars who had graciously extended thanks and good wishes to the owner of the establishment. The women were escorted to a table in the corner with a perfect view of the entire dining area. After they were seated Alex leaned over and whispered in Samantha's ear, "No one can walk into this room without you seeing them."

Excitement welled in emerald eyes. "Do you think maybe a Broadway star might come in for dinner tonight?"

"Wouldn’t surprise me in the least," Alex answered with a grin. "Just remember to spend at least a small amount of time enjoying your dinner, Samantha."

"Oh, I will, Alex. I promise I will. But it would be thrilling if someone famous actually walked in while we were here."

Alex knew that it was too early for the place to be filled with actors and too late for those who preferred dining before the shows. But just watching the excitement in Samantha's face was enough to make the evening a big hit for her. "Perhaps when we go to dinner with Uncle Al we’ll have more luck at seeing someone famous. Tonight you might have to be content with reading the autographed pictures."

Samantha put her hand on Alex’s knee. "Just being here is enough, Alex. This place is great. Kind of like Grauman’s Chinese but on the wall instead of on the floor." She giggled and turned her attention to the menu.

When they finished dining, Alex called for a cab. Winter continued to remind them of her presence, as snow flurries fell like small pixies from the sky.

"We can put off seeing Rockefeller Center if you think it’s too cold," Alex said as they got into the cab.

"I’m plenty warm in this jacket, Alex," Samantha assured her. "And I brought my gloves with me. I’m ready to watch the skaters, but if you want to go back to the hotel, that’s okay with me, too."

"Nope. I just thought you might want to." Alex gave the driver their destination and sat back to enjoy the ride.

When the taxi stopped, Alex paid the driver and opened the door. The smaller woman stood on the sidewalk with her mouth open, staring at the vision before her.

"Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?" The question was half swallowed by the wind, but Alex knew what she had asked.

"Actually, I have," she answered. "I even get to take her home with me at night."

Samantha laughed and poked her lover playfully in the ribs. "You know what I’m talking about, Alexis Dorian. Look at these angels, they’re magnificent! And that tree . . ." She pointed in front of them. About a block away stood the tallest Christmas tree she had ever seen. The glow from its lights encompassed the entire area surrounding the Rockefeller Skating Rink.

"It is quite a sight to behold, isn’t it?" Alex agreed.

"I’ll say. I’ve seen pictures and I always thought, ‘how pretty,’ but pictures don’t begin to capture the beauty of this scene."

Alex placed her arm around Samantha's waist, and they walked between the rows of brilliantly lit angelic figures that heralded the arrival of the holiday season with glittering white trumpets.

When they reached the rink Alex asked Samantha if she still wanted to join the skaters.

"I don’t think so. I’ve had enough excitement for one day; just taking in all this eye candy is enough for tonight. Besides, we have a bit of a walk back to the hotel, don’t we?"

"Not too bad, but if you’re getting tired, I can always call for a cab."

"No, I want to walk. Let’s just watch the skaters for a bit and then take our time getting back to the hotel, okay? I need to walk off some of tonight’s dinner——I’m still stuffed."

"Your wish is my command." Alex bent at the waist and smiled.

The wind turned colder and Samantha snuggled closer to her mate as they stood and watched the procession of people on the ice in front of them. Samantha started to shiver, and Alex suggested that it was time to head for the hotel. "Don’t want you catching a cold."

"I won’t, but I guess it’s time to start back."

In unison they turned from the skating rink, and with her arm around Samantha’s shoulder, Alex led the way back toward the hotel.

Many of the small tourist shops were still open and they became fleeting shelters from the now bitter cold wind. Alex and Samantha even purchased a few souvenirs before reaching their final destination for the evening.

It was almost midnight when the warmth of the lobby greeted the two shivering visitors. Alex immediately suggested they stop in the bar for a hot toddy before continuing on to the room. Samantha quickly seconded the proposal.

Their first full day and evening in New York City had slipped quietly into the second before they finally made it upstairs to their suite.

As they readied themselves for bed, Alex noticed that Samantha's pale cheeks were aglow with the combination of wind chill and the warm rich liquid they had just imbibed. No doubt she’ll sleep well tonight, the brunette told herself as she climbed in bed next to her lover. "Tired, Samantha?"

"Exhausted," the blonde answered. "It must have been all the cold wind in my face." She tilted her head, and sleepy green eyes focused on Alex. "Did you have something else planned for tonight?"

"Not really. It’s already been a busy two days and tomorrow is another full schedule." She kissed Samantha and then waited until the smaller woman was situated to give her a hug. "Sweet dreams, honey."

"I have not doubt that they won’t be," Samantha whispered. "Same to you, Alex. See you in the morning."


Sight-seeing took up all of Monday morning and most of the afternoon. They made a special stop to purchase a knee-length silver faux chinchilla coat for Samantha to wear to the theater. Although they had started quite early, they ended up rushing back to the hotel with just enough time for a quick shower before they would have to leave for the theatre.

"It’s hard to believe we crammed so much into one day, Alex. I know there’s a lot to see in New York, but all in one day?" Samantha giggled as she undressed and stepped into the warm water.

"You wanted the grand tour, Samantha; this is a big town. Remember, we still have Lady Liberty to see tomorrow and Radio City Music Hall. I’m just glad you found a coat you liked. That parka of yours would have looked a little out of place with your dress," she laughed. "Also, it’s good you had your clothes picked out for this evening; I’d hate to be late to the show."

"No way will we be late for the theater!" Samantha yelled above the sound of running water. "But you know, even with everything we’ve done today, I can’t wait to see the Village and Washington Square."

"No chance missing those two places," Alex retorted. "Uncle Al would never allow that. And since Wednesday is his day, by request, he promised a special tour of the Village, bohemian-style. I think he also has a tour of the Village Voice slated for sometime in the afternoon."

"How cool is that!" Samantha said, stepping out of the shower and towel-drying her hair. "When I was in college, one of my friends was from New York City. He got the Voice delivered to the dorm. I loved the film and theater section and the no-holds-barred attitude of all the contributing journalists."

"Uncle Al said that every writer should get to see the inside of a an honest-to-goodness alternative newspaper at least once in her lifetime. I think he’s as excited to be heading Wednesday’s outing as you are to be going on it." Alex placed a dab of Obsession on her wrist, then turned to face Samantha, who looked stunning in her low-cut, midnight blue, sequined dress. "Wow! You look fantastic! And I think we’re about ready to join the theater crowd."

"You betcha," Samantha answered. She applied a final spray of perfume and primped in the mirror one last time before joining Alex in the living room.

The brunette stood, with her coat on and Samantha's in her hands. "Here ya go, sweetie."

"Thanks, Alex." Samantha allowed the taller woman to help her on with her garment and ended up with her back against Alex’s chest.

The dark-haired beauty inhaled the scent of Shalimar before bending down and whispering into Samantha's ear. "You smell good enough to eat, and if we didn’t have somewhere special to go tonight I would be suggesting an early date with the bed."

Samantha turned and gave her a peck on the cheek. "If I didn’t want to see Bernadette Peters perform in one of my favorite shows, I might have suggested the same thing."

Alex offered her arm and they exited the suite. Still giddy with excitement, the women entered one of New York’s most elegant eating establishments. The perfect end to a perfect day came in the form of a fantastic dinner, which started with lobster bisque and ended with Samantha's favorite dessert, tiramisu. To accentuate the culinary delights, they shared a breathtaking midnight view from 47 stories high. The festive lights of the season filled the night, and as they sat in the city’s only revolving rooftop restaurant, the dazzling panoramic view changed continually throughout the meal.


It was well past 9:00 a.m. when Samantha said goodbye to her pillow and slowly made her way into the bathroom. "Why did you let me sleep so late?" she yelled at Alex, who was sitting in the living room reading the morning paper.

"I didn’t have the heart to wake you. Today is kind of a kick-back day; we’re just going to do some shopping, see the Lady of the Harbor, take the tour of Radio City Music Hall, and watch the Rockettes dance. There was no need to interrupt your beauty sleep."

Barefooted and still sleepy-eyed, Samantha trotted into the living room and snuggled up next to Alex on the couch. "When you put it that way——thanks——but it sounds like an awfully full schedule for a ‘kick-back day.’" She kissed the brunette good morning and tugged at the blanket around her lover’s knees until it also covered most of her own body.

"I can get you a throw of your own, Samantha."

"No thanks, I’d rather share yours," the blonde answered. "You don’t mind sharing, do you?"

Alex shrugged and smiled. "Of course not, what’s mine is yours. But you’re making it terribly difficult for me to read the paper with your head in my lap."

"Poor baby, but I’m sure you can manage. I have faith in you, Alex." Samantha grinned and looked coyly into her lover’s face.

"Oh, well. I was about finished anyway." Alex leaned down and planted a soft kiss on Samantha's forehead. She folded the paper and pulled the blanket off both of them.

"H-e-y," Samantha whined. She grabbed for the blanket that Alex held just out of her reach.

"Want to go get some breakfast or eat here in the room?" Alex asked, ignoring Samantha’s pout.

"Can we do the bagel place again?"



"We do need to dress for the weather, Samantha. We’re going to be out in the elements most of the day, and there’s no sense in being uncomfortable."

"Gotcha," Samantha acknowledged as she headed for the bathroom. "Want to make it a double shower? We’ll get through quicker that way."

"You really think so?" A few long strides placed Alex next to Samantha at the bedroom door. She raised a dark eyebrow and grinned. "I repeat, Samantha, do you really think we get done faster when we shower together?"

Emerald eyes sparkled. "We do when you behave yourself."

"Ah, but I never behave myself when I shower with you."

"True," Samantha giggled. "But didn’t you just tell me in the other room that today was a kick-back day and that we didn’t need to hurry?"

"I did."

"Well then . . . want to shower with me?"


End of Chapter 7

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