CH 21:

Conner was in a whirlwind. Her feet hadn't touched the ground again since Sunday. Conner had given up her skybox seats to a family who was 2 rows off the floor. The mother jumped at the chance to lounge in the plush seats while taking in the mayhem at the MCI center. The crowd was huge and loud. The game was quick and crazy. Conner spent her time between drooling at the 6feet of bronze woman that sat next to her, ignoring Terry's giggles, and yelling like an idiot at Chamique Holdsclaw's performance. Their ears were still ringing as they left the arena and flowed with the other spectators down G street to a local bar. The night had ended with lingering kisses and touches. Monday night found Conner playing groupie to the dark songstress and then a late dinner/breakfast at the Double T diner. Tuesday night was spent watching old horror flicks, fumbling with bras, and trying to find out if it's possible to play Galaga while someone's sucking on your neck like a leech.

Conner's head was like a cloud by Wednesday and she was dying of want. It was 2:15a.m. when she kicked Greg out of the back door and locked her office, as she walked to the front. The only light in the bar emanated from the soft yellow gels of the stage lighting. Conner sucked in her breath as she exited the hallway and padded quietly to the stage, not wanting to disturb the dark haired woman who was swaying over the keyboard as she played something slow and unfamiliar to Conner. Blue looked up as she watched Conner step onto the stage, wearing a thigh length skirt and a short sleeved cardigan. The skirt had been a bet. Connor lost the third game of pool and opted to wear a skirt rather than give up her soccer jersey, that Blue had taken a shine to. Blue spread a wide grin across her lips , as she pounded out chords that announced Conner's arrival. She was rewarded with a swat to the shoulder.

"So, you liking the skirt, little miss?"

"Shut up, smart ass." She smiled and added, "when can we leave?" Conner stepped bare feet onto the stool and hopped onto the piano.

Blue raised an eyebrow. "Who said you could put your butt on this piano?"

"I think it likes it." Conner smirked and wiggled on the smooth surface as she scooted back, so that her knees were flush against the backboard. Pink painted toenails dangled over ivory keys. "Besides, I bought it, thank you very much."

"All the more that you should take care of it." Blue flashed her canines as she spoke causing a shiver to run up Conner's spine.

"I let you play it don't I ?" Conner leaned down until their foreheads almost touched and then sat up quickly as Blue chomped her teeth together in a biting gesture. "So, what are we doing Ox?" Connor inwardly figured that a change in subject would calm her hormones. The dark woman shrugged broad shoulders as she tapped out a melody on the piano. Conner stared into the mane of raven hair. "Dancing?" Blue shook her head no as she lazily ran her fingers up and down the keyboard, locking smoldering blue eyes with vibrant green, every so often. "Drinks?" A shake of a head as Blue moved around a pair of toned calves to reach the upper register. Conner felt herself shiver as Blue's warm fingertips brushed her skin. "Uh-movies?" A whisper of smile spread across red full lips as Blue shook her head no. "Then, dinner." Blue stopped playing. With her hands on either side of Conner's ankles, she looked up thoughtfully and said, "maybe", then focused again on the keyboard.

"Are you hungry?" Conner looked down into the lush canopy of blue-black hair and smiled.

"Yep." She didn't look up.

Conner bit her lip to keep from smiling. "A preference?"

"Something ethnic, I think." Blue fingered the keys around Conner's ankles, purposefully touching her at every chance. She kept her head down and smiled as she felt Conner tense up with each touch. "Hmm. How about some Haggis."

Conner's eyes grew large as she failed at stifling a chuckle. Teasing blue eyes met Conner's and made her smile as she tried to ignore the strong fingers that were drawing lazy circles on her ankles and feet. "Have you ever had Haggis?"


"Good- you don't want it." Conner let herself relax back onto her arms. She closed her eyes in reaction to the warm fingers that had stopped drawing circles on her feet and were now massaging her ankles.

"I'm not allowed to try something new/" Blue kept her eyes on her hands as she made firm circles around Conner's slim ankles and preceded up her achilles to her calves.

Conner set glazed over green eyes on the top of Blue's head. "I'll- uh, make you something new."

Green and blue eyes locked as Blue moved her hands up Conner's calf to the smooth flesh behind her knee. "Really, I was beginning to think all you could cook was breakfast." Blue fought a grin as she watched a small pout form on soft pink lips.

"Perhaps, I wanted to keep you in suspense." Conner let a wicked grin cross her face as she reflexively reached forward and brushed a lock of hair away from Blue's face. Whatever resolve Blue had, it was melting away like soft serve ice cream on a hot June day.

"So," Blue lightly traced a short path from the back of Conner's knee to the inside of her thigh, stopping where the skirt stopped. She could feel Conner tremble at the touch and ran her tongue across her teeth to keep from smiling and then met Conner's eyes. ", is the wait over?"

Conner was trying real hard to remember what the hell the conversation was supposed to be about; but somewhere in between requests for Haggis and the short bursts of tingles that assaulted her body every time Blue touched her- she knew exactly where this was heading. Conner didn't give a rat's ass that she was sitting on top of a $10,000 piano in a skirt. She was just wondering if she should voluntarily rip her clothes off or enjoy the soft touch that was making her burn on the inside. She bit back a moan as she felt smooth fingertips trace a path inside her thigh and back down her calf. At this point she decided to enjoy the slow torture and made a mental note to return the favor.

Blue watched Conner with her own glazed over eyes as Conner bit into her lip. Blue could see and feel the arousal spreading through Conner. She knew it was now or never. She hesitated for a moment in her ministrations looking for some sign that she should get up and walk away. She caught Conner's eyes when she opened them again and knew with certainty that she was right where she belonged. This was about to get really complicated and really strange, she just hoped that Conner could deal. She saw her own want mirrored in Conner's eyes and decided to work out the details later. Right now, past misgivings and indiscretions could do nothing to curb the swell in her heart or the want in her eyes.

Conner waited until the last possible moment to touch Blue, as she felt her skirt being pushed up to her hips. Blue stood up as she pushed the soft cotton of the skirt up and made no effort to push apart slightly trembling thighs, that parted on their own accord. Blue rested her hands on Conner's hips as their lips made their way to one another. Conner tangled her fingers in long dark hair. Both women breathed out one solid moan as bodies pressed together and tongues explored one another. Conner left one hand in Blue's hair as she trailed the other hand down a warm throat to the lapel of an oxford shirt. Conner began to tug at the buttons as Blue's lips and teeth plowed into her throat without apology. Conner reflexively wrapped her legs around Blue's waist, causing more contact as she felt herself being slowly reclined. Conner had managed to undo three of Blue's buttons before she had to release her grip to allow her own shirt to be removed. It was a quiet moment only accented by the random cacophony of the keys as Blue's thighs brushed against them.

Blue allowed Conner to sit up a bit as she tossed the camisole over her shoulder and onto the floor. She used an index finger to trace the lace strap and top of a demi-cup. Her touch elicited a sharp intake of air, as skin briefly touched skin. Conner leaned forward and grabbed a hold of Blue's shirt as if to unbutton another button. Blue pursed full lips, arched an eyebrow, and purred out "not yet" as she gently pushed Conner's hand away and entwined their fingers.

Conner grinned. "You keeping me in suspense?" Conner's only answer came in the light squeezing of her fingers as she felt herself moving backwards. She lost all rational thought as moist lips laid claim to her neck, her collar bone, and the pink flesh that was unobscured by the lace and satin of a bra. Conner ground her hips into the taut flesh of Blue's stomach, as she wrapped her legs around Blue's waist once more. Conner's slender fingers found themselves entangled in blue-black tresses more for something to hold onto than for guiding. Any type of control on Conner's part, went out the window the second she felt her bra fall away thanks to a set of teeth. Conner felt a brief moment of disappointment at the loss of warmth, as Blue removed her head from her breast and made a slow path southward. Conner's body tingled with a new kind of warmth as Blue's loose hair dragged along her abdomen. Conner's skirt quickly found its way to the floor of the stage along with her panties. Her heartbeat flooded her ears and her heart threatened to burst from her chest, as Blue moved northward to kiss Conner.

Conner attempted to pull Blue through her body, as she wrapped her arms around the smooth expanse of Blue's back that was still covered in a shirt. Conner smiled into the ravenous kiss as she managed to release the remainder of the buttons in one sure tug. Blue let out a chuckle as she broke the kiss and stared down into green eyes awash in want and a small something she couldn't quite put her finger on. She leaned in again and placed a sweet kiss on pink lips. Conner just smiled at the sudden change in intensity and returned the kiss in kind. She traced her finger across Blue's eyebrow, down her cheek, and paused over her lips. She whispered out, "hi". Blue breathed back a "hi" of her own and ducked her head to plant kisses on Conner's jawline and neck. Just as Conner was about to close her eyes and arch back, Blue abruptly stopped and hovered over Conner's face.

Startled green eyes met mischievous blue. "What?" Blue fought off a laugh, but not a sweet smile. "You, know I don't think I like suspense movies that much." She smiled thoughtfully, as she felt Conner squirm in frustration beneath her. Before she could let out a giggle, Blue almost lost her balance as small fingers wrapped themselves deep in her hair and tugged. It came as a pleasant surprise as she was forced to stand up and Conner sat up and tugged gently but forcefully on her hair, exposing her neck. Conner was clearly stronger than she looked and for a split second Blue wondered if she had made a bad decision, but her qualms were wiped away as lustful green eyes looked down into her eyes. Conner softly growled "now" as she increased pressure in Blue's hair and then attacked her neck and finally her lips. Blue found it rough and sweet at the same time. Blue was quickly realizing how much of a concession it was for Conner to give up control in this situation, as she lay beneath her open and unprotected. Blue was all ready to change her approach when Conner threw her for a loop. She broke the kiss with a gentle sucking of Blue's lip as she released her hold on her hair and caressed a flushed cheek. It was silent only for a second as Conner softly whispered, "please."

The simple word sent shockwaves through Blue's body, who only remained standing because she held onto Conner's waist. The word was an order and a surrender. It offered up complete trust and hinted at forever. Blue stood up to her full height and gently pushed Conner back onto the slick surface of the piano. She leaned over and rained light kisses on Conner's face and neck, only stopping to say, "so much for not putting your ass on the piano". A soft giggle quickly turned into a sweet moan, as lips closed over an erect nipple and suckled. The last coherent thought Conner had was swallowed up in the feel of a cool tongue slipping inside her.

Blue held on tight to the thighs that braced her head and thought not about the need to breathe, as the first waves of climax rippled through Conner's lithe frame. Only when she felt the body go limp beneath her, did Blue remove herself from Conner's warmth. She tasted Conner's sweat as she blazed a path of licks and kisses up Conner's torso, past her neck to her lips. Conner shuddered again as she tasted herself on Blue's lips and then buried her head in a strong shoulder savoring the sweet smell of sex and sweat. Blue nibbled on a pink ear and asked, "so have you decided what we're having for breakfast?" Conner let out a laugh as she pulled away from Blue's shoulder. She looked deep into eyes that coursed with indigo as she used a hand to wipe away the sweat from Blue's brow. She continued the motion and caressed a flushed cheek. Blue kissed her palm as it passed her lips, awaiting an answer. Conner drew a pink tongue across moist lips and spoke. "Who said anything about breakfast·I'm looking forward to lunch, possibly dinner." An impish smile spread across Conner's face as two black brows arched in challenge and surprise. "Then what are we doing Red?" Conner lifted her head and planted a kiss on Blue's nose as she wrapped her legs around her waist and her arms around her neck. "We're waiting for a big dumb Ox to stop talking." Blue smiled as she returned the kiss and pulled away from the piano with Conner attached to her.

Later, the dark woman would think about how well there bodies fit together, and how exceptional she felt when she was with her, and how much she wanted this to all work out. Until then, the two women were a blur of movement as Blue walked, kissed, kicked off her shoes, and tugged at her pants as they made their way to Conner's office. Blue's jeans lay in a pile at the doorway as she used a free open to turn the knob on the door. Conner stopped her feverish attack on Blue's neck as she heard the door click. "Oh shit! The keys. My shirt. The floor." Conner passed a hand through unruly hair. Blue felt Conner try to unlock her legs and she reached behind her and held fast to Conner's ankles. Before Conner could even get out the "what" she saw the gleam of determination in Blue's eyes. "Yeah, I can afford it." Blue smiled ferally, sending a shiver up the smaller woman's spine, and then kicked the door in.

The room still smelled of new carpet, fresh paint, and the smell of jasmine incense. Blue didn't have the time to really notice the free standing punching bag in the corner, the bookcase filled with wine and rare liquor, or the oak desk on the right side. Instead she stumbled blindly trying to reach a leather couch on the left side, all while Conner attempted to suck the filling out of her teeth and explore her tonsils. For a split second Blue thought that she would never be able to satisfy the fireball, but as Conner suddenly disengaged from her mouth, slid down her body, and proceeded to attempt trip Blue onto the floor- she decided she could die trying. Blue caught herself and staggered backwards stopping as she met with the desk. She smiled wickedly as she watched the nude beauty saunter towards her. "What, no couch?" She tried to sound as innocent as possible.

Conner gave a smirk and shook her head no as she eased the shirt off of Blue's shoulders, leaving her hands trapped as Conner took in the sight before her. Sparse bangs clung with perspiration to Blue's brow as her hair fell about her shoulders; considerably tousled. Conner closed the small gap between their bodies as she ran soft hands down her neck across the black sheer bra, that did nothing to veil a pair of sumptuous breast and erect nipples. Conner ran her thumbs across the material, giving a light squeeze to the nipples, causing Blue to let out a small groan. Conner continued her perusal of the bronze- colored woman travelling down her torso, her stomach, and then stopping as her fingertips discovered a familiar patter of scar tissue adorning Blue's right side an inch above her hip bone. Something Conner had found amusing in her youth, only reminded her of the horrible reality of her life, as she recognized the spray pattern left by a .357 magnum. Conner looked up at Blue, hoping that her own self-disgust at the moment wasn't mistaken for a rejection on Blue's part. For a moment Conner thought that that was the case as she saw a hint of fear cross wide blue eyes.

Blue wanted to flinch. She could feel her chest tighten and she didn't know if she should just puke or run screaming from the room, and then puke. Her brain flooded with possible escape solutions and a trillion explanations, but as Conner's touch became firm to her side, Blue found herself intrigued that she saw sadness and not repulsion in Conner's eyes. Conner looked away from her and continued to trace the fleshy pattern that ran horizontally across Blue's side. There were three fleshy circles that were no more than a half a centimeter in diameter all nestled in an awkward triangle of sorts. Conner finally looked up, leaving her hand in place and let a small smile grace pink lips. "Is it just me, or was your girl scout troupe closer to a combat unit?" The sarcasm elicited a small smile from Blue and she gave a nervous chuckle. "It was a rough neighborhood."

Conner could see Blue was clearly uncomfortable. She let go of the scar and removed the shirt from Blue's hands making note of the two inch wide white scar on her left shoulder. "Very rough indeed." She mumbled quietly. Blue begin to dart her eyes about the room and thinking that maybe puking right now wouldn't be such a bad idea. Conner could see the worry in Blue's eyes as well as the tensing of her jaw muscles. She ran the back of her hand across Blue's cheek as she stood on her toes to place a kiss on lips that trembled slightly. "Does it still hurt?" Conner knew she was pushing, but she wanted and needed to get inside this woman; and not just physically. Perhaps it was a selfish notion. Conner was willing to tell Blue whatever she wanted to know, she just wanted the same in return.

The words echoed in Blue's head. She closed her eyes and fought imaginary tears. "Conner, I-I can't.." Conner gently gripped Blue's chin, causing her to open her eyes and meet Conner's fierce gaze. "Does it still hurt?" Blue looked down into green eyes that burned with forgiveness and acceptance and she knew she could deny this woman nothing- not even the truth. "Yes," she breathed ", sometimes." Conner let her hand drop from her face as she dropped to her knees. Blue bowed her head and fought to keep her eyes focused on Conner as she traced the scars with her index finger and then placed a solid kiss on the scars.

It was surreal. It was ironic. It was insane. And, it was perfectly right. Blue stood there weak-kneed as she ran long fingers through the wild disarray of Conner's strawberry blonde hair. For all Blue cared that golden-red head could have had a halo around or even horns. She couldn't decide if this was the greatest gift on the planet or karma coming to kick her in the ass. She closed her eyes as she felt soft lips kiss their way across her pelvis and down her thigh as her panties made their way to the floor. She followed her underwear, as she sank into the thick grey Berber carpet on her back. As Conner kissed her way down her body the tall woman realized that if she died right now, she'd do everything all over just for the feel of Conner's mouth on her center and the rhythm of her fingers. As she rode out last waves of climax with Conner wrapped in her arms Blue made the decision that she wasn't going to let this go. Even if that meant she had to eat her own heart.

* * *

CH 22:

It was nearing 8:30a.m. when the women mutually succumbed to fatigue and soreness, not to mention rug burns. Conner had found her way into Blue's shirt that was two sizes too big for her. She let the cuffs droop past her hands and let the tails swing loosely below her bottom, not bothering to try to button what remained of the buttons. She draped herself across Blue's naked torso. Blue lay on her back with her head resting on a fluffy white towel looking at Conner through half closed eyes and fought to keep her eyes open, as Conner placed feather light kisses on the scars at her shoulder.

"Good God woman- do you ever tire?" Blue's voice was a low hum. Conner giggled into her ear as she nuzzled Blue's neck. "I guess that's why they call you rabbit, huh?" Conner's head shot up from its resting place and locked glazed green eyes with half-lidded baby blues. She decided to make light of the comment as she raised an eyebrow and smiled impishly. "Why you little skank." Blue poked Conner lightly in the side, make the young woman giggle. "So, little miss Conner Rose gets around." Full lips formed a smirk.

Conner pouted slightly and then leaned in and nipped at Blue's nose, eliciting an "ow" from the still smirking woman. "That's what you get. I'll have you know, missy, that I have been very responsible and very picky."

"Ooh, I bet." Blue emphasized her tease by poking at Conner's sides and rolling her over onto her back.

"Whoa! I thought you were tired?"

"Oh, but I am." Blue feigned sleep as she collapsed playfully on Conner's chest, causing her to laugh. "So really." She sat up and rolled on her side, propping her head up on her elbow. "What's the rabbit thing?"

Conner groaned. "Oh Lord." She rubbed at her face as if rubbing away the sleep and then crossed her legs at the ankles and clasped her hands behind her head. She looked over at Blue who was toying with the tail of the shirt as it draped open, exposing a smooth stomach and the smooth round flesh of Conner's breasts. Conner smirked as once tired blue eyes, begin to burn anew with desire. "Behave- or no story." Blue avoided the smiling green eyes as she put her hand at her side. "Sorry." Conner only shook her head. "It's really a sad story, but here it goes." Conner absently scratched an itch with her foot and then looked up at the ceiling. "I used to have a rabbit named Gompers, when we were kids. Duncan gave it to me."

"Who?" She almost wanted to take it back as soon as it came out.

"My oldest brother." She glanced at Blue who was trying to keep a straight face as she mentally flogged herself. "He's dead." She deadpanned. An "oh" was the only reply. Conner let out a small sigh that made Blue's insides ache. "Anyway, that's another story. So, Duncan buys me this rabbit and it's great. All white and fluffy, so cute." Blue couldn't help but smile as she watched Conner scrunch up her nose and wriggle it like a little bunny. "Apparently, Mr. Gompers was getting way too much attention and Ewan being the bad-ass neglected middle child wanted to play a joke. My room was on the third floor and his cage was by the window, so he could catch a breeze in the summer." Conner looked over at Blue, who had taken on a look of apprehension. "Of course we always kept the cage locked and the screen would have been locked had I had one. I think me and Terry kicked it out one night sneaking out or something." She shrugged in remembrance. "Anyway, It was supposed to be a joke. Ewan, was going to take Gompers out and leave the cage open so it would look like he jumped out." She turned to Blue when she heard a groan. "Let me finish. So he unlocks the cage and turns around to go get the box to put him in.."

"Oh boy." Blue closed her eyes as the inevitable end of the story came.

"Yeah, oh boy. It took like all of 4 seconds and Gompers hopped out of the cage and straight out of the window." She used her hand to simulate his fatal drop.

"Oh baby, I'm sorry." Blue passed a hand through Conner's hair and down across a cheek.

Conner smiled at the soft touch and the enderament and then rolled onto her side so that she faced Blue. "Yeah, well I sure as hell wasn't sorry. I think I cried for the rabbit for about two weeks. All I ate was carrots and I would just stare at his little cage-all day." Blue ran her hand through soft blonde hair as she nestled closer to Conner. "I didn't speak to anybody except for Terry the whole time. Ewan would try to apologize everyday, swearing it was an accident and such, but I just ignored him. Finally, one day I just snapped. I guess Ewan wasn't doing enough groveling for me, so I ranscacked his room, gathered all his KISS albums, put them in a pile outback-and set 'em on fire." Blue watched as a smug smile spread across Conner's face and she couldn't help but laugh. Conner turned innocent green eyes towards Blue.

"You little cretin." Blue poked Conner playfully in the ribs causing the small women to giggle. She opened her mouth as if to add something, but only a yawn came out. "Oh my." Blue rolled onto her back and stretched.

"I think someone's sleepy." Conner batted her eyelashes as she leaned in and nuzzled Blues' neck. Blue laughed as she reached out for Conner, sprawling her across her body. "Whoa! I thought you were sleepy." Conner looked into half-lidded Blue eyes.

"I am, but you were keeping me warm. Don't you have any larger towels.?"

Conner let out a laugh as she realized that the woman beneath was only wearing a pair of panties. "I should have a few towels, somewhere." Conner moved as if to get up, but frim arms held her in place. "Or..we could go to my apartment?" Conner focused her eyes on some spot on the carpet, as Blue slowly opened her eyes.

"Sure, sure. But-now- power nap." Blue closed her eyes again and resettled her arms around Conner as she lay her head in the crook between her neck and shoulder. "20 minutes tops and we can go. And, yeah, I want a big lunch."

"Oh you do." Conner giggled as she tangled their legs and breathed in the sweet scent of Fahrenheit cologne and sweat. Conner plastered a large smile on her face as she listened to the steady rhythm of Blues' heartbeat. Her own heartbeat was began to match that of Blue's as she drifted off to join Blue in sleep.

Their eyes hadn't been closed for more than 5 minutes when their nap was disturbed by a loud banging on the front door. A groggy voiced Blue mumbled out a "what the hell?" as she absently ran a hand through Conner's hair. The young woman stirred slightly and then bolted up as the pounding became louder and emanated from the back door.

"Oh Jesus! What time is it?" Conner rolled off of Blue onto her butt. Blue didn't even have time to get out an 'I don't know' for a response as she watched the small woman shoot up from the floor and run to her desk. "Oh shit!" Conner leaned forward onto the desk and groaned.

Blue sat up and crossed her legs as she leaned back on her arms and watched Conner hang her head and mumble incoherent words. She supported herself on one arm as she ran a hand through thick black hair and spoke, "What's up Red?"

Conner looked up from the desk and focused bleary green eyes on Blue. She felt her body grow warm as she gazed at the half-naked woman sitting on her floor. Her eyelids drooped low and she had the cutest haze of sleep crossing her face. Conner snapped herself out her lust-filled moment just as she felt the tingling grow heavy in her groin, and the fact that Blue was calling her name. "Oh, uh, sorry." A torrent of red rushed to Conner's ears as she tried to avoid the licentious smile that Blue was giving her.

"So what's up?"

"Yeah, uh. That's the freaking liquor guy. I need to let him in."

"So do it."

"Uh, hello, has anyone else here noticed my fashion statement." She tugged on her open shirt.

Blue laughed as she got up and settled herself on the couch, placing her forearm across her eyes and laying the other arm across her chest. "I'm sure he won't mind." She only smiled as she heard Conner groan and then she looked up just in time to swat away the paper missile making a bee-line for her head.

"Blue, I can't go out there." She walked to the couch and knelt down by Blue's head. "Blue," she cooed.

"What?" It came out in grumble.

"Will you go?"

It wasn't quite whining, but it was this soft child-like voice that was eating away at Blue's defenses none the less. "Why me?"

Conner held in her smile, even though Blue's forearm still covered her eyes. "Because- your jeans are outside the door and my clothes are·" Blue opened her eyes and laughed as Conner flopped her head down on her chest. She rolled her head from side to side and moaned. "My fucking clothes are on the stage. Shit!" Blue giggled as gently lifted Conner's head.

"Give me the shirt." Conner smiled from ear to ear as she planted a wet kiss on Blue's slightly chapped lips. Blue sat up and returned the kiss with force as she rolled off the couch and ontop of Conner.

Another knock on the door and Blue groaned. She got up off of a flustered Conner and slipped the shirt from her shoulders. She put the shirt back on as she walked towards the door, managing to find a few remaining buttons that worked. As long as she made no sudden moves her breasts probably wouldn't pop out- oh well. Blue gripped the door knob and turned back towards Conner as she opened the door. "Hey, you stay there and be naked when I come back." She smiled lasciviously at the now naked woman on the leather couch, who returned a smile of the same kind. Conner stretched her small frame out on the couch and watched as Blue bent over and picked up her jeans off the floor. If Conner had any strength left she would have gotten up off the couch and ravaged Blue as she stood in the doorway stepping into her jeans. Blue just shook her head as she winked at Conner and closed the door behind her.

When Conner heard Victor's booming voice she closed her eyes, only to open them a second later as she hopped up and retrieved a t-shirt from her desk. She slipped the shirt on and then laid back down on the couch and dozed. Blue returned 15 minutes later to find Conner curled in a ball on one end of the couch, lightly snoring. She placed Conner's clothes on the arm of the couch as she sat down beside her and softly stroked her back. Conner stirred a bit at the light touch, but kept right on sleeping. Blue continued to run strong fingers through hair that was no longer spiky and disheveled but soft and straight. She brushed over the bangs and followed the hair as it covered small ears and then trailed her fingertips down the nape of her neck, stopping short of the tattoo. She looked down at Conner in disbelief. "Is this real?" she whispered. She leaned down and breathed in the sweet aroma of honeysuckle in Conner's hair. She planted a small kiss on Conner's jaw line as she sat back up, still softly stroking her hair. "How do I tell you? Do I tell you?" Blue almost fell off the couch, when Conner answered back through a yawn, "tell me what?'

Blue stammered as she stopped stroking and looked down at Conner, who was rolling over. Blue looked down at her feet as Conner fully turned over, resting her head on the arm of the couch. "Tell-you..ah..that·uh..I'm ready to go to that nice warm bed." Blue flashed a grin, hoping that would be good enough. Conner let out a little squeak as she stretched and fully opened her eyes. For a split second she was going to call Blue on her horrible skills at lying, but things were going too well, and she could save that for pillow talk later. Instead she just smiled and held out her hand to Blue. "Well woman, hand over the clothes, and let's go."

* * *

CH. 23:

Conner drove back to her house sans shoes, and quickly stripped herself of the skirt as she made her way into the house and up the stairs-Blue in tow. As both women meandered to the bedroom, it was silently decided that any more sexual exploration could probably wait until after a good nap. While Conner found them both sleep clothes, Blue ended up wrestling away the yellow soccer jersey, which started a small tickle fight, that ended with both women in a tangle of exhaustion and eventual sleep.

The early morning gave way to afternoon, as Blue awoke to a paw on her chest. She cracked open an eyelid to watch as Romulus, in all his furry glory, strutted across her body, with no care to her discomfort. Blue smirked as she gently shooed the cat and then focused her eyes on the canopy of strawberry-blonde hair that rested below her chin. She smiled fully as she placed a small kiss on Conner's head causing the small woman to nuzzle her neck and grip her tight about the waist. Blue let out a satisfying sigh and was all ready to close her eyes and drift back into sleep, when she heard the front door open. "Hey, Con-Conner?" She gently tousled soft hair, which evoked no movement from Conner. Blue was beginning to get antsy as she could hear shuffling in the kitchen. "Wake up, Red." Blue nudged Conner a little harder this time, but still found it hard to awaken the topless woman sprawled on top of her. Blue's body tensed as she heard heavy footfalls begin to make their way up the steps. "Oh shit." Blue rolled Conner off of her and to her surprise Conner barely stirred. More than slight panic pulsed through the tall woman as she imagined Ewan stalking his way towards Conner's door. Blue propped herself up on her elbows and darted her eyes about the room as she looked for an exit. At the moment she decided she was going to hide under the bed, a groggy voice caught her attention. "Lie back down, it's just Terry." She threw a steely blue gaze down at Conner who merely rolled over and draped her arm across Blue's stomach. Blue squinted her eyes in the confusion of the moment and then sure enough Terry came barreling through Conner's door, before she could react.

"Good Morning Vietnam!!" Terry was all smiles as she burst through the door bellowing out the words. Her smile grew even larger as she locked eyes with Blue, whose face was growing redder by the second. "Or should I say the Love Boat. Hey chickies."

Blue watched with wide eyes as Terry plopped down on the bed next to Conner and swatted her lightly in the skull. It was completely strange and extremely hilarious, if she could have found the will to laugh at that moment. There she was lying in a soccer jersey that barely fit her and her underwear, while Conner wore only her shorts, back exposed, and an arm draped across Blue's stomach. Terry however, could find humor in the moment and in the look on the older woman's face, but she held in her laugh as she decided that the dark singer had had enough embarrassment for the moment. She just shook her head and then turned her gaze towards the still dozing Conner. "Conner! Get the fuck up!" Terry turned her eyes towards Blue as she was draping the sheet over legs. "This freak can sleep through a damn nuclear holocaust."

"What do you want Terry?" Conner tried to bury her face into the pillow.

"What do you mean, what do I want? It's Wednesday fool. It's happy hour·somewhere." She flashed a toothy smile at a still visibly nervous Blue. "Besides, I haven't seen you in two days, and well little girl- you are in trouble." Conner fully rolled over onto her back and sat up.

"What are you talking about- and move."

Conner shoved Terry aside as she got off the bed and walked to the bathroom. Terry took the moment to make herself comfy, as she kicked off her pumps, propped up Conner's pillows and sat back. She looked over at Blue who looked like she was desperately seeking escape. She smiled at the dark woman and Blue gave her a lopsided grin in return. "You don't have to leave, you know, so settle down. Besides, you actually have a little something to do with this."

"I do?" Blue hoped she sounded surprised as she followed Terry's example and propped herself up on some pillows. She let the covers fall haphazardly and the two women shared a smile.

Conner entered the bedroom wearing a sports bra , as she ran a towel vigorously through her hair. When she was done, damp strawberry-blonde locks were the epitome of an explosion. She let the towel drape her shoulders. "Now, what's this about trouble?" Conner bent down and scooped up a roaming Remus as she sat on the end of the big bed.

"Well, apparently there is an A.P.B. out on you."

"What!" Blonde eyebrows reached for the sky.

Terry waved a hand through the air. "Chill- not a government one. I meant from your brother."

"Oh." Eyebrows lowered to their normal position. "So what?" She let go of a squirming Remus, who sauntered over to join his brother on Blue's legs.

"Ooh, somebody's got a fan club." Terry looked over at the two furballs who were making a home on Blue's body. "Don't fight it, but watch the fat one-he'll claw your eyes out."

"Hey! Rom isn't fat·he's just big-boned."

"Yea, and I'm Princess Leia."

"Hey, those afro puffs looked good." The bantering women turned in the direction of Blue who had voiced the comment. "I-uh, saw in the photo album." She looked down at the cats on her thighs.

"They did look good didn't they?" Terry mimed primping in the mirror as the three shared a laugh.

"So what's up your highness?" Conner stretched her legs out.

"Well daddy-o, word is Ewan is in serious fe-duci-ary trouble." Blue let out a giggle at Terry's New York accented pronunciation of the word. Terry smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "I like the word. Any way, it seems to be serious and moreover it's inside." Conner slumped her shoulders as she leaned back onto her arms. Terry held up her hand. "Oh wait, it gets worse. Manny has been knocking over old ladies trying to find you."

Conner huffed. "Manny's always flippin' looking for me." Her irritation was aided by the rolling of her eyes.

"True, but supposedly he is really looking for you."

Blue dislodged the cats as she sat up straight. "Exactly what does that mean?" Terry almost jumped out of her skin at the sound of the smooth conta-alto. Gone was the nervous and shy woman, this was a dark amazon about to jump out of the bed and start kicking ass. Conner felt the heat of a faint blush attempting to rise in her cheeks as she avoided the hard points of blue ice that swept over her frame. Instead she focused her attention on Remus rolling on his back and swatting imaginary gnats. "No worries." she managed to say without her voice cracking as she leaned forward and rubbed Remus's white belly. Blues' jaw remained clenched at Conner's words, and Terry could see the muscles tightening in Blue's arm. Reflexively, she wanted to reach out and touch the dark woman's shoulder, but she just dropped her hands and turned to Blue.

"Hey, don't worry. Conner's not." She waived a hand towards Conner, who was rough housing with Romulaus. She was waiving her hands erratically in front of the feline, as he attempted to claw her fingers. Conner looked up as Terry finished speaking. "She's right, I'm not- ow! Shit, Rom!" Conner pulled a finger to her lips and sucked at the small tear in her skin.

The action actually seemed to burst through some of the tension that Blue was holding. To her own surprise, she found herself leaning down and scooping up the fluffy cat. "Give me this cat." She slung him gently over her shoulder and begin to stroke his back. Both Terry and Conner widened their eyes in surprise to the cat's uncharacteristic action.

"Well, Con, I think you lost a cat." Terry let out a small laugh at the sight of the fluffy cat lounging on Blue's broad shoulder.

"She can keep the stinkin' rat." Conner pouted playfully and then smiled as she listened to Romulaus purr. "So, anyway, what the hell is the big deal about Manny? Granted Ewan's in troubled, but what's the hubbub?"

"You." Terry spoke flatly and looked Blue right in the eye.

A black eyebrow arched skyward, as she removed the cat from her shoulder and placed him in her lap. "Me?"

"Her? What?"

"Oh yes. It appears that your lovely songbird is all the rage." Terry rolled her brown eyes. "They want full name, social security numbers, phone numbers, address, next of kin, blood type, stool sample, DNA, RNA, pet's names·underwear size·"

Conner interrupted the listing, "I can give you that." She found herself toppling over, as a throw pillow hit her square in the face. Blue and Terry added to Conner's laughter as both cats pounced on the pillow and Conner.

Terry settled her laughter as Conner sat up. "Seriously, chica, your uh-a.." Terry waved a hand through the air, "is this official or just sex?" This time the throw pillow found its way into Terry's abdomen. "What!" She looked form Conner's scowl to Blue's slight smile and laughed.

Conner took the break in the moment to hop off the bed as she glared at Terry. "Why don't you ask the half-naked woman in my bed- wearing my soccer jersey." She slipped into her flip flops. "I'm hungry." With that she stalked out of the bedroom, leaving a confused and amused Blue and Terry.

"I guess that means we should go downstairs?" Blue was amazed that she was actually remaining calm with disaster only a step away.

"Whatever." Terry threw up her hands as she got off the bed. "You need some shorts?"

"Uh, nah. I got my jeans." Blue swung her legs off of the bed and leaned over to pick up jeans. Terry was on her way out of the door when Blue looked up from her task and spoke. "Terry, question."

Terry leaned on the door frame. "Answer."

" Why am I so popular?"

Terry shrugged her shoulders. " My guess is that somebody thinks you're a superspy or something." Terry smirked. "Come on, I'm sure you're starving." She wiggled dark eyebrows at Blue and left the room.

The teasing smile that she gave Terry, dropped into a thin line as Terry walked from the room. "Superspy, my ass." She grumbled aloud as she walked around the bed. Blue didn't even bother to look in the mirror as she combed through her hair with her fingers and thought, 'you're in over your head legs.. way over.'


CH 24:

Blue and Terry entered the kitchen as Conner was standing on her tip-toes to retrieve a copper pot from an overhead rack.

"So, what's for lunch?" Terry asked as she hopped up on a stool next to the preparation island in the middle of the kitchen. Blue took a seat on the other side.

Conner spoke as she walked towards the chrome gas range. "Well, children today we have mom's speacial meatloaf, salmon, and as always..Chef's special chocolate balls." She chuckled heartily as she joined the two women at the island. Terry joined in on her laugh, while Blue sat with her hands in her lap and an eyebrow arched in question.

Terry caught Blue's quizzical expression and smiled. "I take it you don't watch South Park."

"Ahh," Blue shook her head ", 'fraid I missed that one."

"Es cool, ese. I won't hold it against you." Terry smiled and then proceeded to rub the spot on her arm where Conner whacked her as she spoke.

Conner rolled green eyes. "Terry, be quiet and cut me some onions."

"Oh, yes massa'." Conner just sucked her teeth and smirked at Terry's reply.

While Terry removed the onions from the refrigerator, Blue sat at the counter with her elbow resting on the top, and her hand cupping her chin. She watched as the two friends moved in and around the kitchen seemingly not noticing her presence. Finally, Terry moved away from the sink and turned towards Blue. She leaned towards Conner, "So how come tall, dark, and quiet doesn't have to do anything?"

Conner laughed as she moved past Terry to rinse off her knife in the sink. Without looking up she spoke. "Hey Ox, you want to go find us some cooking music?"

Blue eagerly hopped off the stool as a relief filled smile spread across red lips. "Sure thing, Red." She winked at Terry, who stood by the sink playfully pouting, and then walked off into the living room.

Terry turned conspiratorial brown eyes on Conner. "She can't cook can she?" Terry spoke with disbelief. Conner just laughed and shook her head before replying, "nope." Terry clapped her hands together. "Hot damn! I knew there was something wrong with her." She wagged a finger in the air.

"Terry, shut it. There's nothing wrong with her. Now, stop standing and do your job." Conner let a smile grace her face to lessen the sting of her words.

"Yea, yea." Terry walked to the counter and then called out, "You broke my heart Blue!"

The woman in question stood in the entrance to the kitchen as Miles Davis and John Coltrane wafted in behind her. "What did I do? I thought we had something real." The tall woman playfully whined as she leaned on the archway, crossing her legs at the ankle, arms across her chest.

Terry swayed her knees dramatically as she held her hand to her chest and pouted. "It was real, until I found out·" she paused for effect, "that you can't cook."

Blue hung her head in shame and then raised it with a snap. "But, I can order food in Spanish, French, Italian, and Greek." She shot blue laser beams at Conner and curved full lips into a wicked smile. Conner blushed to her toes.

"Yep, she sure can." Conner returned the smile and then focused her eyes on the salmon in front of her.

Terry ignored the little exchange and continued. "Oh really, well I don't know if that counts."

Blue held in a chuckle. "Well, there's a·Osso Buco." Blue's voice dropped an octave as she pushed off the wall and steepled her fingers in front of her as she took a step into the kitchen. Terry nodded as she watched the denim clad woman lose her shy act. "There's a rouget de roche or cassoulet d'Agneau." Blue licked her lips as she inched forward and watched Conner's ears turn red. Terry arched a sculpted eyebrow as Blue encroached on her. "There's a saltimbocca alla romana and not to mention stifado." Long legs placed Blue excruciatingly close to Terry, with only the stool in between them. Blue leaned down on the stool with her arms so that she was eye level with Terry, who still held a sweet smile on her face. Conner on the other hand, was about to slip off of the seat from all the moisture that was gathering in her shorts. Blue's voice had lowered to a deep rich purr, with all the speed of molasses pouring out of a tree on a summer's day. "And then you wash it all down with a flute of Chateau' d'nuef de pop." She made a popping noise with her lips as she ended her list. Terry still managed not to change her look. Just as she was about to rattle off a comeback, Conner dropped the salt on the floor.

"Oh shit!" The sound of the plastic hitting the floor snapped everyone back into reality, causing both Terry and Blue to break into giggles. Conner's spiky head popped up from off the floor as she sat the salt back on the counter. "Whoo!, sorry." Both Blue and Terry burst into full blown laughter as they took in the flushed features of Conner's face. She looked like she had just run a marathon, there was even the faintest hint of persperation on her brow. She raised blonde brows at the two women in her kitchen. "What?"

Terry turned to face Blue as she fanned herself with her hand. "Good Lord woman- I stand corrected, you're perfect!" The three women shared a laugh that was brought to an abrupt halt when Terry continued, ", ya got any brothers?"

Both Terry and Conner watched as the color drained from Blue's face and she stood up straight. Even though she wasn't exactly sure of what was going on, Conner had half a mind to reach across the table and punch Terry in the face, but she could tell Terry was all ready mentally kicking herself. Conner turned concerned green eyes on Blue as the woman shoved her hands in her pockets and looked at the floor. Conner was clueless as to what to do or what exactly was wrong, but obviously the subject of family was touchy. She breathed out Blue's name.

The dark woman lifted her head and darted her eyes from Terry to Conner. She caught Conner's gaze and felt herself relax enough that she actually mustered the strength to speak, instead of turning around and sprinting out of the house. She drew in a deep breath as she opened her mouth. "Um, it's okay." Blue held up a hand as she looked at Terry who could barely make eye contact with her. "Uh..yes, I have- I had..brothers. They're dead."

The cd player took that exact moment to change songs and the room filled with a pulsing silence. Blue broke the silence with an intake of air. She looked over at Conner, who looked as if she was on the verge of tears. "Uh, I'm gonna go upstairs and uh, clean up." With that Blue turned on her heels and exited the kitchen. Terry covered her face upon the tall woman's exit, partly in shame and partly in avoiding a fuming Conner. The sharp plunk of a piece of cauliflower hitting her in the skull made her look up.

"Shit, honey, I am sooo sorry. I didn't know." Terry shook her head as she looked at Conner.

Conner relaxed her scowl as she got off the stool. "I know. I didn't know either."

"Man, I feel like an idiot."

They both spoke together, " So what else is new." They shared a weak smile. Conner gave Terry's shoulders a light squeeze. "It's cool. Now get to choppin'." Terry saluted her as Conner left the kitchen and hurried up the stairs.


When Conner entered the bedroom she found Blue sitting on her bed leaning over her boots. Conner's shoulders slumped in disappointment at the idea of Blue's leaving, but she stood up straight and walked towards her.

"Hey." She spoke softly and looked down at Blue who was toying with one of her socks. "Ar-are you leaving?" Conner barely got the words out. The muscles around her heart grew tight as she waited for Blue to reply.

Warm blue eyes looked up into hopeful green and she smiled. "I was just contemplating that."


"I figured if I told you I used your toothbrush, you'd kick me out anyway."

Conner formed a crooked smiled as she sat down beside Blue. "I'll buy you one for everyday of the week, if you stay."

Blue looked over at the young woman next to her and wanted nothing more than to wrap her in a warm embrace, nuzzle red-gold hair, and stay there forever--forgiven. Her mind berated her for even trying to pursue this relationship. Nothing good will come of it, she reasoned. Her heart pleaded with her to take a chance and to hold on. Blue reached out a tapered hand and caressed Conner's cheek with the back of her hand. She drew her fingertips across Conner's lips, which elicited a wisp of a kiss to her fingertips. They stared at each other through the quiet gestures, each willing the other into the notion of safety. Blue couldn't help but smile as she drew her hand away, only to find it entwined with Conner's fingers. "You know, I love when we have these conversations." Blue's voice was smooth and steady.

Conner let out a breath as she lightly giggled. She leaned her head forward, so that it rested on Blue's shoulder. Blue wrapped her arm around Conner, and they hugged. "I'm sorry about your brothers." It came out in a whisper.

A reflexive shiver ran through Blue as she bent her head and kissed Conner's forehead. "It was a long time ago and don't you apologize." She spoke softly, trying not to put too much emphasis on the 'you'.

Conner reluctantly released Blue as she looked up. "Why can't I apologize?"

Blue looked down at the small hand she was holding and traced the palm with a finger. "Because, you had nothing to do with it." She wasn't really sure why she said that, but the glint of confusing that crossed Conner's face was proof enough that it was a confusing statement. None the less, she felt the need to say it. It was a validation that she wasn't betraying her family or fooling herself. Blue found herself staring into deep vistas of green, as a small hand brushed away errant wisps of hair from her forehead, and then trailed a path down her jawline; resting on her cheek.

"You are so·"

"Complex?" Blue gave a half smile.

"No silly," Conner passed her thumb over Blue's lips, effectively silencing any smart remark. ", so beautiful." Blue closed her eyes to the warm touch and sighed. "And so strange, so sexy, and.."

Blue opened her eyes as Conner searched for the right word. Conner could see the answer behind deep blue eyes that were full of life, yet rimmed with mortality. Blue finished the sentence before Conner could get the word out. "Blue." she breathed.

They shared a faint smile as their foreheads touched. "At least I know why now." Blue made no attempt to reply. Conner sat up and wiped away moisture that threatened to be tears. She stood up and reached her hand out to Blue. "C'mon you sad sack, Terry's probably dying of embarassemnt and ruining my Salmon."

Blue let out a chuckly as she grabbed a hold of Conner's hand. When Conner pulled out, Blue pulled in and Conner stumbled forward into the still seated woman. Her descent was met by soft lips that parted as her tongue pushed its way into Conner's mouth. Conner moaned into the kiss as she stood between powerful thighs. Her hands mindlessly wound their way into Blue's mane of hair. When Conner felt hands sliding their way up her legs and underneath her shorts, she broke the kiss with a gasp.

"Whoo!" Conner smiled bright as her voice rose an octave and she spoke with lilting Scottish accent. "Aye, no lass, if ay dunnae eat, I'm gonna collapse."

Blue grinned wildly. Surprisingly, the thick accent tickled her ears with delight instead of making her uneasy. "I'll nurse you back to health."

Conner stepped back from Blue's legs. "Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of." Blue threw her head back in laughter as she watched Conner scurry from the room.


CH 25:

A Thursday night, that found the dark woman in rare form; sauntering across the stage and dripping sex appeal like she just walked out of the ocean, was not so delightful a night for Ewan McGreely. He checked his sunglasses one more time and smoothed his hair down for the third time. He traded his three piece suit for a pair of khakis and a polo. After he asked Rick for the fifth time, he was a little more convinced that he looked like a golfer and not a Scotsman returning to the Boston borough that he was exiled from 15 years ago. Exile, of course was putting it lightly. Ewan peered cathartically out of the tinted window of the Mercedes and swallowed the lump of bile that sat in his throat as he passed the domicile he used to call home. Ewan shook his head hard, physically trying to shake away the images and sounds that the drab buildings brought back.

He lit a cigar and leaned back into the leather of the seat. They pulled up to a local pizza shop and Ewan watched as Rick stepped from the car. Ewan actually had no intention of getting out of the car, at least not here. He was all ready unwelcome enough, but it would be just his luck to run into another Thanos or Mikolos or any other olive-skinned Grecian who recognized the green-eyed demon, and wanted to finish what she had started. Ewan puffed harder as he tried to sift through the rampant rumors in his head. Two days after the 'incident' there were small skirmishes taking place in the inner city neighborhoods, but Ewan was in Baltimore grieving over a brother. When he returned, it was for the trial. What ever fear he had of the young dark girl who took the stand was multiplied ten fold as she spoke. She never mentioned his name, she said nothing of his presence, but she never took her eyes off of him either. Her eyes were a soulless blue-beyond ice- it was just a vapid stare. When she got sentenced to 6 years in a juvenile detention center, the city erupted. Ewan McGreely and what remained of the Scotsman in Boston fled the city and never looked back.

It was clearly no wonder that his heart just didn't explode the moment he stepped off the plane. But he had survived the plane, survived the ride, and it would only be at least another hour before he could hop back on a plane and head south. Ewan practically dropped the cigar from his mouth when Rick opened the car door and got back in.

"You get it?" Ewan stared straight ahead.

"Sure thing." Rick dropped a manila envelope in Ewan's lap and closed the door. He watched Ewan sigh with relief. "Let's go Carlo." The driver nodded and they pulled away from the curb heading to the airport.

Her full name sang out in bold black capital letters in the middle of the envelope. He slid out the contents and held onto the folder for a moment in silent prayer before he opened it. He avoided the first 20 pages. He knew that story very well. He flipped through criminal records and youthful mugshots, stopping only at an army record and two psyche exams. He bookmarked those pages with his hand as he flipped to the back. It didn't even matter that it said her last known whereabouts were in Maryland. What did matter was the picture taken two years earlier. She was dressed in full army regalia standing within another group of officers at Arlington National Cemetery. It was an unplanned shot obviously, that caught her and four other officers as they walked from the gravesite. The eyes were the same and so was the hair. 'Put her in a dress and some lipstick and I've got a diva sleeping with my sister.' Ewan's thoughts caused the settled bile to rise again. He tossed the cigar out of the window in disgust and gulped down a bit of fresh air.

Ewan decided he wanted to talk to Conner, to tell her the truth, to let her know, but she kept avoiding him. Too much was going on, and he needed her, and that woman was the last thing he expected. He would do whatever he had to do, and if that meant convincing Conner that this woman was some psycho beast hell bent on finishing the job, then he would do that. It was only with the briefest moment of hesitation that Ewan removed the psychological exams from the back half of the portfolio. He knew Conner would seek out the silver lining, so he just removed the lining. He placed the exams to his left and replaced the folder back in the envelope and sat that to his right, patting it absently. As they walked from the car to the plane he promised himself that he would tell Conner the whole truth, but he had to solve this problem first.


A week would go by and the time would just never be right. Conner finally met with Manny for a quick hour and when he tried to get her to come back to Ewan's she laughed at him and ran off to her car, leaving him with three boxes of printouts. She refused dinners, didn't return phone calls and when she did the conversations were marred with giggling in the background. He watched his sister with the tall woman and followed the pair all day Wednesday. He convinced himself that he was waiting for the tall woman to snap and show her true self. Honestly, he just couldn't admit that his sister was walking away from him because she wanted to, maybe even because she had to. He watched them as they sat on the amphitheater steps at the Harbor and hooted and hollered for the local talent putting on a juggling show. He followed them through the Imaginarium as they chased each other with foam disc shooters and occupied the rambunctious kids in the store with a shoot out. He shadowed them through Little Italy and even tailed them down Eastern into Highland town. He watched as the dark woman pointed out the signs in Greek and explained them. He watched his sister dance with complete strangers at an impromptu festival.

He stood a distance away and listened to the dark woman sing as his sister danced and filled her mouth with stuffed delicacies and was fed olives by the woman. He could not deny that she was beautiful. He could not even deny that his sister was happy. He clinched his jaw in grief as he watched the pair share a soulful kiss. He bared his teeth in anger, knowing that he could neither deny his brother revenge or deny himself the one thing he thought would bring him peace: her death.

Part 4

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