Disclaimers: I just love this part. OK. Although Tall Dark and Drop Dead Gorgeous Xena and the Rocksolid Sexy Girl Toy Gabrielle are not a part of the little tale, the feel and the gist are them to a tee. SO....X&G belong to Renaissance Pictures, MCA, and all those other folks. I won't make any money with this. (Not like I could.) The characters herein are mine, so please ask before you use them. They don't like being used. Well, not that way. Then again.........
LANGUAGE: Yep. They're talkin' all right. Using language all over the place....... Yep they swear here and there. If this offends you....Go far away or Get over it.
VIOLENCE: Kari whacks Reggie but no one dies.
SEX: Would I leave that out? I think not! YES! It's between consenting adults of the same sex. So if your are under the legal age in your area or this is a no-no where you live, run and read another story where this doesn't exist.
I think that's all. If I missed anything, sorry. Spell check is a good thing!
I Will Not Go Quietly Written by Stephen Curtis Chapman
Shot Gun Down the Avalanche Written by Shawn Colvin
Another Bad Dream Written by Shawn Colvin
Crazy Written by Willie Nelson
Love You Anymore Written by Kandis Glasgow
Comments will be taken at UgoXena@aol.com.
©K. glasgow 1999ROCK MY WORLD
Regina Taylor stood arms folded in stubborn surrender in the center of her new office. It was a jumble of boxes and files that had yet to see any attention from their owner. Two full week had passed since she had arrived in her newly chosen area and still the record executive could find neither the time nor the desire to put things away. "Hell. I don't even know how long I am going to be here."
Reggie had started her own independent recording label only a year before and had had the luck, if you could call an exquisite eye for talent luck, of signing some of the hottest new acts around. None of them were huge yet, but she knew they would be. She had decided, after much debate with her partners, to move her center of operations and her studio to Denver. It was a perfect locale. Right smack dab in between New York and LA. She could fly to either coast in four hours or less. And God knew she hated long flights. It was a beautiful city she decided as she looked out her high rise office. The lightly snow capped mountains stood in salute to the unbelievable blue of the sky. She didn't think she had ever seen that color of blue except in the mirror. Small enough to be comfortable, big enough to be exciting if she needed it to be. She loved her excitement almost as much as she loved her women. And she especially loved exciting women.
Six feet of walking hormones is how she sometimes thought of herself. *They weren't kidding when they said women peak in their thirties.* She ran long fingers through her raven mane and moaned at the thought of the redhead she had been pleased to accommodate the night before she had left. Passion and fire were the words that had best described her. It was so very true what they said about redheads. The woman with the name she couldn't remember had taken her to her limits of endurance and beyond. But what a trip it had been. The heated thoughts made her libido scream at the top of its lungs.
"Two weeks. Shit! I gotta get laid." She had a had a great time as she remembered but as she thought about it now there had been a nagging emptiness after that encounter that she couldn't explain away. Her cell phone chimed for her attention bringing her up out of her thoughts.
"This is Taylor."
"Hey, tall, dark and dangerous."
Reggie grinned at the voice on the other end of the line. Ann was an old friend she from college. How she had ended up here she didn't know but running into her at The Grand had been a blessing. Someone to play with.
"Hey, Ann. What's up?"
"I am bored out of my ever lovin' mind. Wanna get lunch?"
"I really should work on this mess I'm calling an office. But, screw it. I'll have my new secretary get started on it. Where do you want to meet?"
"Well, to be honest, I was hoping that you could come get me. My car is in the shop getting the brakes done."
"Alright. I'll be there in half and hour or so."
"See ya, doll."
She ended the call and looked at her watch. 1:30. Late lunch it is.
Forty minutes later she parked her green Range Rover in the circular drive of Ann's Devonshire Heights home. *Nice.*
Her friend came rushing out the front door handbag swinging wildly from her forearm. She was a sight to behold. She was wearing bell-bottom jeans with big pockets on the hips and stripes of various shades running down the sides. Her velour shirt was hard to describe. Dark tie-dye colors blended in swirls over the oriental stitching of the long top. It was almost a tunic in length. It was nice just not something she would wear. *Give me my tailor and I'll be fine.* Ann's blonde head of ringlets was going where ever it pleased, but it looked good on her.
Ann was talking before she ever got to the truck. "Ready? Let's go before I starve to death."
"Don't I get a tour of the place first?"
"God no! It's trashed. The housekeeper should be here any minute to take care of what I can't seem to get off my lazy ass to do. She's a gem."
"Really? I'm going to be needing a good housekeeper. Soon as I find a house that is."
Reg swept around the car and opened the door for her lunch companion. Ann slid into the seat and made a remark just before the door was shut in her face.
"You STILL haven't found a pla....." The rest of the sentence was muffled by the door. Reg shrugged her shoulders in apology.
She hopped into her seat and started the engine before replying, "To answer your question, no. At least not one to my liking. I spent every dime I had setting up this business so this area is out. WAAAY out. I'm thinking Wash park/DU or even downtown, like Brooks Towers. I don't know. I'll keep looking."
"Speaking of housekeepers......"
"We weren't but..." Reggie flitted her hand at Ann and gave her permission to continue.
"This gal that started cleaning for me sings. Thought you might like to meet her."
Regina rolled her eyes. *Why did everybody think they could get to her through her friends? No doubt the housekeeper had pushed Ann to mention it to her. Same story different town.*
"Ann, I appreciate that you want to help out your cleaning lady, but I do all my own head hunting. If she's any good I'll hear about her down the road. The buzz will get out."
"I've heard her sing Reg. She's good. I don't mean a little bit of good. I mean, Real good. Wouldn't want you to miss out on a 'good' thing."
"Anyone can sing in the shower, hon. Even if they're only cleaning it." Reggie flashed a white smile at her friend.
Ann slapped the driver on the arm. "You're bad Reggie. Did I mention she's cute?"
"NOW I'm interested." Both women laughed hard at the joke. They both knew the appetite of the dealmaker and it wasn't always for food.
Kari got to her last client's house just as a green Range Rover was pulling out of the opposite side of the drive. *Nice color.* The thought was passing as she parked and unloaded her supplies. Cleaning houses had not been her career of first choice but she enjoyed the freedom it gave her and the money wasn't as bad as people thought. She was making up around thirty dollars and hour and only worked six hours a day. If it was prestige she was looking for she would have stayed managing the upscale restaurants she had worked in for so long or maybe she could even have bought her own. Her mother would have been much happier.
The singer was what most people who weren't dead called attractive. Tall she was not but she more than made up for her height with fatal cuteness. The short blonde-red hair set off sparkling green eyes that were smiling most of the time. Her body was fit and tight from working out as much as working period. Her butt turned the heads of men and women alike. She preferred the company of women but had dated a man or two in her day. They just didn't have that certain emotional softness that she yearned for. Unfortunately she was very single and likely to stay that way. She knew that cleaning toilets wasn't much for catching women, but her singing was more than enough to make up for that. What it was about someone on stage she would never know. She sang because she truly loved it, not so people would notice her. Kari was as nice to people as she could be when they spoke to her after a gig, but sometimes it got out of hand. The guys that she played with were over-protective and sent everyone packing good and bad alike. Meeting women with that kind of guardianship was not what one would call easy, but she didn't mind too much. She never felt like she was in any danger, even when the guys weren't around. She was after all a second dan black belt. She could take care of herself and the guys should the need arise.
Kari entered the house and disarmed the alarm. Ann had left the cash on the kitchen counter and the blonde pocketed the money before assessing the damage she would need to clean up. Ann was a nice person but was a major slob. Clothes and dishes everywhere. *Ahh well. That's why she pays me the big bucks*.
Three hours later she was almost finished when her pager went off. Checking the number she got a sudden rush of hope. The band had been waiting for word about a great gig they had auditioned for; opening tomorrow night for Sweet Water Well, one of the big names running around town. It would be a great chance for them. Kari punched in the numbers to their manager's house.
"Sher, tell me we got it."
"You got it!"
"YES!!" Kari threw her fist in the air and pulled it down fast to her waist. "Have you called Jeff?"
"Not yet. I got a hold of Brian and Alex. I thought you would want to call your brother."
"Cool. Yeah. I'll call him right now. Thank you soooo much Sherry. I don't know how to thank you."
"Girlfriend, it's me who should be thanking you. You've got a gift. It makes my job easy. Not mention the fact that you are easy to look at. Easy."
"NOT that easy!"
"No honey. I'll talk to you later. Bye."
They had rehearsal right after Kari was done with her client. It went perfectly. They had been ready for this for months. They all knew that industry people might show up for SWW but maybe, just maybe a little group named 'Confluence' would catch the ear of one of them. It was going to be hard to sleep tonight.
Reggie shook her dark hair away from her face as she held the basketball high above her head and out of the reach of her opponent. Even pulled back into a ponytail small wisps of hair escaped to drive her slowly insane. She made a quick pass feint to her right. With an amazing look away pass she caught her partner on the run to her left. He was picked and bounce passed to Reg who was infiltrating to the basket. She caught the ball one handed and took a one step move to the hoop. Perfect lay-up and two points for the shirts.
"Game!" The tall woman was sweating profusely and jogged to the bench that held her towel. Grabbing her water and towel at the same time she looked up to find brown eyes attached to a very pretty face looking at her. *Heeeelooo.*
"Nice game." The platinum blonde lowered her head and looked at the tall woman seductively.
"Thanks." She flashed her best flirtatious smile at the woman. This was looking promising.
"I haven't seen you here before have I."
"No. I just moved here."
"Seattle. The bright and shiny northwest. That was sarcasm in case you weren't aware." Blue eyes flickered in amusement. She was going to have fun tonight.
"I am familiar with sarcasm. I'm Cindy by the way." She held out her hand in invitation.
Reggie accepted it and held it longer than was proper but the woman wasn't fighting her. "Regina. Please call me Reggie or Reg."
"Bet no one ever calls you Gina."
"Not to live and tell about it."
"I'll bet that, too. What are you doing later?"
"Later as in after I shower or later as in later?" She raised both eyebrows in a suggestive manor. Forward, yes, but her motto when it came to women was, 'Nothing ventured and your hand becomes your sex life.' Crude but to the point.
Cindy giggled and blushed. Reggie knew then that her lonely nights were over for at least one night.
"What you have in mind."
"How about a beer first and we'll take it from there."
"Fine with me. Let me get cleaned up and I'll be out."
Reggie turned and walked away from the woman with confident gait. She felt eyes on her back and she grinned. The tall, sweat covered woman reached the locker room and found her friend mid-way between toweling off and brushing her hair.
"Can you find a ride home?"
"Whyyyyy?" Casting a knowing glance at her friend.
"I gotta date."
"You mean you gotta 'laid' don't you?"
Sapphire eyes danced as a broad grin spread across Reggie's face.
"You dog! How do you do that?"
"What do you care? You're married. To a man no less."
"Doesn't mean I can't play on occasion."
"If I ever get married I pray it's not to you."
"If you ever get married I'll go straight, for real."
"You never know Ann. Ms. Right could be waiting for me right under my nose."
"Ms. Right for you honey, don't exist. She'd have to be perfect in a whole lotta ways. Looks, talent, patient, loving and a hellion in bed. My God, you'd need a combination of Mother Theresa, Traci Lords and Sarah MacLachlan. Like I said, she ain't out there."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
"Face it Reg, you are not the marrying type. You enjoy variety too much."
Regina smirked in agreement. "Yeah." She sighed inwardly. She had a growing desire to settle down but knew it would never happen. Ann was right. Perfect women didn't exist. Except in her dreams.
Kari crawled out of bed and dragged her half awake body into the bathroom. Turning on the light and peering in the mirror was upsetting and amusing at the same time. The short strawberry hair stuck out in so many places Kari thought Medusa herself had invaded the bedroom and left her head attached to the singers shoulders. *Veeeery pretty girl. It's no wonder I'm alone.*
The heavenly smell of coffee invaded her nostrils and it brought her out of her foggy thoughts of self-recriminations. She followed scent down the hall and into the kitchen. Her brother and their drummer were having a tongue war against the counter. She smacked her brother on his butt for effect.
"'S'cuse me, boys. I need to get to the java. God! That can not be sanitary. I eat in this place ya know."
"Sorry, Grumpy. Just cause you're not gettin' any."
"'Cause you won't let anyone living or dead come within 3 feet of me. By the way, good morning Brian."
"Morning, sexy." He put an arm around her waist and pulled her to his side. Brian was the sexy one. Over six feet tall and buff beyond belief. Light brown hair hung long and straight against his incredibly broad shoulders. Where on this earth he got those arms she would never know. They were out of this world. He was a stark contrast to her brother. Jeff's hair was long, too. That was where the similarity ended. Her brother inherited the short gene the same as she had. His hair was blonde and curled in all the right places. But just like his boyfriend he was a walking muscle.
"Oh yeah, that's me with this hair don't I have on this morning."
"Honey, you are way too hard on yourself. You know it looks good on you. You are adorable no matter!"
"You are so sweet. I am keeping you even if Dopey over here doesn't." If her brother was playing the 'Seven Dwarfs' card this morning she could deal one herself.
"He'd better. I'll kill him otherwise."
"And I'll help."
"That's enough girls." Jeff wasn't really hurt. He was amused more than anything. His sister very rarely got along with his lovers. In a strange way, they both had clicked with Brian the minute he had auditioned for them. Kari called it kismet. Whatever. Jeff shook his blond locks and laughed.
"How many people do we have left to call on the list?" Kari changed to subject to business. Her head wouldn't let her focus on much else. Their mailing/phone list had gotten quite large in the past few months and with the suddenness of the gig they had no time to mail out a flyer. Calling was time consuming but necessary.
"I guess about seventy-five. Sherry is e-mailing anyone that left an address. It's awfully short notice, but you have such fan base, people will be changing plans just for a chance to see your butt in those black jeans of yours."
Kari blushed and laughed. She was embarrassed by the attention but she wasn't stupid either. She knew she had talent but that was not all it took to be successful. Part of entertaining was fantasy. If people would come to see them so they could live somewhere else for a bit, then so be it. If it was on her butt for a while fine with her.
"Are we ready guys? This can put us in the spotlight and it will be great for the promo packet. It'll look great on the bio." Nerves were creeping into the singers voice.
Brian still had an arm around her and her brother added a second. "Calm down Kar. It's going to be fine. If we just keep having fun like we always do it will go off without a hitch. We have setup and sound check at 1:00. Can you arrange your clients?"
"I only have one. I'll reschedule her. Is the play list set for sure?" Kari extricated herself from the testosterone around her and sat at the table.
"Yeah. You sing third. We Open with "I Will Not Go Quietly"."
"Wow! Very bold choice. Think they'll figure out it's a Christian song?
"Doesn't matter. It's funky enough and it shows off your guitar riffs."
"Alright. If you say so. My first song is what again?"
"Cool. And the guys are going to let us use their lights, right?"
"Yeah. We can work on the staging when we get there. I have the lighting program written up. It's just a matter now of sitting at the board with Angel and fine tuning."
"Very cool. I am about to die of nerves."
"Well, get 'em out now, you're ending with "Crazy'."
"No, Jeff. I'm not ready."
"Yeah Sis, you are. With the different instruments and arrangement it's perfect for your voice. You'll kill 'em."
"If they don't die first." All three laughed at the joke.
A raven-haired woman slid carefully out of the grasp of the blonde next to her. She didn't was to disturb her slumber for fear of having to pretend everything was wonderful and perhaps engage in intimate relations again. Reggie had gotten the sex she had desired, but for some odd reason it did not fulfill the need. The nagging feeling that something was missing was still with her, she just wish she knew what that something was. The sex was great, that wasn't it. It had never left her feeling this empty before. She thought maybe it was the pressure she had been under lately. *Yeah. That's it. Pressure. Me not enjoying sex is like...well, it's not like anything. It's......unheard of.*
"Hey, sexy. Why you up? Come back to bed. I'll make it worth your while." Cindy said the last word in a sing song way that sent chills up Regina's spine. It was not the good kind. It was more of a nails on the chalk board sensation.
"Sorry, hon. I have meetings this morning and then I am in the studio with one of my producers. Busy girl."
"Yeah. Busy." The woman in the bed knew the tone and the story. She should have known better. No way she would snag a woman like this. Reggie was not the type to settle down or settle for someone that she could bed without effort. No. Reg was a tough catch. But when she was finally caught she would definitely stay that way.
Reggie had gone to the kitchen to make coffee. Her thoughts were refocused to the days activities. She did have a meeting with a manager from a local band who had a large following. *Sweet Water something* They had a gig that night at Herman's and the manager wanted her to show. She would listen to the demo and decide from there. She had no plans that night so she would probably go out somewhere if not there. She could get Ann to go with her she knew. Shirley Temple's husband was out of town on a consult, so she was free for fun.
After the meeting she was working on fine tuning the set-up in the studio. Not much fun but necessary.
*Work, work, work. Jane is really a dull girl!*
Her houseguest came to the kitchen fully clothed. She was surprised but grateful.
"Hey there. I gotta go. Thanks for a great time. You're a real special lady."
"Uh. Thanks. Coffee?'
"No thanks. I'll pick some up on the way home. Listen, Reggie, I know this is going to sound odd but, she's out there. She always is. Just you wait."
"I don't understand." She tilted her head and looked truly confused at Cindy.
'You don't need too. You'll see. Bye, sweetie. I'll see you around." Cindy leaned in and gave her host a kiss on the cheek. She turned her back wishing she was the one that the tall woman with the piercing gaze was waiting for. *Funny thing is she doesn't even know her world is about to be rocked.*
The bleach blonde shut the door quietly and left Reggie baffled and a little dazed. *She's out there, huh? Just who is "SHE". Women are so vague . Maybe that's why I don't have one.* She decided to forget what the strange woman had said and concentrate on her day. Shower first and then return phone calls. She made a mental note to be sure to call Ann. First things first. Party plans first, work second. It's not really how she thought. It just seemed like it.
The meeting with Jim Strabol went well. He was a likeable man with an honest edge to him that Reggie appreciated. Most managers she met with were pushy and overbearing. Jim had given her the promo packet without a lot of fanfare. He had said what needed to be said and had given her the information she needed. She would go see his guys just on that fact. As she listened to the tape she knew she would have gone to see them because they were talented. Not the best she had ever heard, but worth a look. Ann had agreed to go with her what ever she was doing. *Imagine that.*
Kari was a nervous wreck. No doubt about it. They had it all covered she knew but the success of the night rested on her shoulders. The guys were great and they all had fabulous talent but they all knew that ninety percent of the people came to see and hear her. Her nerves would go away once she started playing but that didn't help her now. She looked good in her black jeans, boots and white blouse. Her shirtsleeves were sheer and she hoped she wouldn't get too hot. Sweat was not professional. Tiny sequins dotted the shirt but it wasn't too flashy. Little eye catchers is how she described them.
"Good God KARI! Stop pacing! You are wearing a hole in the carpet." Alex, their bassist, was the sweetest straight guy you'd ever want to meet. "It's going to be fine. There are not going to be that many people here to see us and I doubt anyone important will show up 'til half way through Sweet. So CHILL!"
"Alex, the place is full out there, in case you hadn't noticed." Kari's voice had an edge of irritation to it.
"Yeah, but most of them are here for you. They love you. There is nothing to worry about."
Brian put his hand on Alex's shoulder. "Al. Save your breath. She's like this."
"I know. I just keep hoping."
Jeff came back and announced, "It's time. Huddle." The group gathered in a small circle. "O.K. guys. It's not Red Rocks, but it's an important gig. Let's go out there and do what we do best! HAVE FUN!"
Replies came with enthusiasm. The group headed out front with Kari bringing up the rear. She wouldn't be on stage until after the guys had started.
The lights went low and the crowd that had gathered clapped and more than a few whistled. The sound started low almost inaudible. The sound of the guitar raised and the bass joined in. It was soon was joined by the strong beat of Brian's drums. With a few bars of the song hung in the air the rhythm of a very funky riff sounded from an acoustic guitar. People looked around to see where the other instrument was but couldn't find it. Kari was standing off stage behind the curtain next to the stairs. Jeff began singing:
I was born with an angel
Whispering in my ear.
Telling me sacred secrets
That God wanted me to hear.
And I have lived
To tell the mysteries I've been told
And even when they tell me.
It's my time to go!
Just as the strong chorus started Kari traversed the stairs and joined the rest of the band on stage. Amid much cheering and clapping she took her place in front of the vacant microphone to sing with her brother.
But I will not, no I will not
Not go quietly!
It was dramatic they knew but the crowd loved it. The people that had come to see them came for the view as well as the music. The group had made the teaser part of the act a few months ago and people had loved the surprise so they left it in.
Kari loved being on stage and entertaining. If people loved it too all the better. The thrill was like nothing she could describe. It was definitely better than sex. At least as far as she could remember.
Reggie and her 'date' arrived at Herman's a little early but it was OK with the label owner. It gave her time to assess the groups following and get a beer at the same time. She had heard that SWW had found themselves an opener so Reggie figured she could meet with the guys and talk in the preproom before they went on while the other band did their thing. The crowd that was gathering was not what she expected for the main act. It was odd that most of the people wandering in were lesbians and some gay men. She had an eye for these things. There were lots of people going in and she and Ann were caught up with them and carried in a small wave into the club. The two women looked at each other. Reggie shrugged and used her size to make their way to the bar. The line was long as was the wait. Usually Reggie didn't bother to wait in line. She normally had the bar manager or group's agent find her a seat and take care of her. Tonight she wasn't in the mood for fawning.
As they got to the front Reggie ordered her beer and Ann's gin and tonic. As soon as she handed the bartender money and the lights went down. She was mildly surprised when the crowd went crazy. Music started to play. She listened waiting for her change and appreciated the arrangement. That was a great acoustic riff and she was anxious to see who was playing it. She turned to watch and didn't even see an acoustic guitar. She figured they were using a track. Tacky but acceptable anymore. The singer began and she recognized the song. *Are they trying to commit professional suicide?* The people gathered didn't seem to mind. They were digging the beat. She turned around to see where the tender had disappeared to. *Is my change ever gonna get here?* Just as this thought entered her mind there was a huge reaction from the audience. She and Ann turned at the same time. Ann smiled and Reggie's jaw dropped.
"Great day in the morning!"
Ann laughed at her friend. She stood on her toes and put her mouth to Reggie's ear. "What did you say?"
Not taking her eyes off the stage she bent to her companion. "My God! She's......she's.....Wow! She's..'
"She's my housekeeper."
Reggie looked at her friend in disbelief. "No shit?"
Her steel blue eyes wandered back to the stage. The woman performing there was like a magnet to her. She was small but her stage presence was unmistakable. She had an air of confidence that was an absolute necessity in this business. The blonde woman owned the stage even though she wasn't singing. She owned these people and they loved it. *Hell, she owns me and I don't' feel all that bad about it.*
She turned to the bartender and told him who she was. He turned immediately to search out the manager. The manager returned in what seemed to be seconds and asked, begged really, what he could do for her.
"I need a seat near the stage." He nodded and started to leave. She caught his arm and clarified her request. "Not for later. Now." Shocked he came around the bar and led the women to a table just to the left of center.
The group had finished their second number and an attractive blond man stepped to the mic.
"Hi all!" The audience responded with excitement. "All right! Hope you're have a great time." Cheers and whistles followed. "We are 'Confluence' and we are so happy to be here tonight. We thank our hosts Sweet Water Well for letting us do the honors tonight." Polite clapping in thanks rang out. "I'm going to step out of tradition and introduce the band first so you know who you're dealing with tonight. On bass we have Alex Green. On drums we have the hunk of the century, Brian Woodrow." Many wolf whistles and catcalls followed the intro and Brian had the good nature to blush profusely. "I am your lead guitarist for the evening and I am Jeff Swift. Now, I know you didn't come here just see us boys tonight...." He was interrupted by cheering and clapping. There were comments of 'bring it on' and such. He raised his arms. "Calm down." He said with a laugh. "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my sister, Kari."
Kari smiled at her brother and leaned into him. "Thank you."
"Go get 'em Tiger."
She stood silent at the mic as the crowd acknowledged her. A quiet hush fell over the people as they waited for her to sing. She nodded her head at Brian and hammered the notes that began the song.
Reggie noted the way the audience reacted to the blonde singer. It was almost as if they were awaiting a religious experience. When the notes to the song started she recognized it of course. It was her business to know these things. Shawn Colvin. She didn't care too much for the singer herself. Too much of a baby talk singer. Whiny sorta. Kari sang out the first lines in a rich alto tone that grabbed her soul and Reggie knew that Shawn was about to become one of her favorites.
Riding shot-gun down the avalanche
Tumbling and falling down the avalanche
So be quiet tonight.
The stars shine bright on this mountain of new fallen snow
But I will raise up my voice into the void
You have left me nowhere to go.
Kari caught her client and friend Ann out of the corner of her eye. She turned and smiled. She then was lasered by two of the bluest eyes she had ever seen. She sang the next line directly to her and shockwaves went through them both.
I love you so much
And it's so bizarre.
It's a mystery that goes on and on and on
And this is the best thing and the very most hard
And we don't get along.
Kari turned her eyes from the woman, disturbed. This was no time to lose her concentration. Mentally shaking herself she composed her thoughts and continued.
And after countless appeals we keep spinning our wheels
On this mountain of new fallen snow
And so I let go the catch and we are over the edge
You have left me nowhere to go.
I'm Riding shotgun down the avalanche
Sometimes you make me lose my will to live
And just become a beacon for your soul
But the past is stronger than my will to forgive
Forgive you or myself
Well I don't know
And I'm Riding shotgun down the avalanche
Tumbling and falling down the avalanche
Reggie felt the impact of the words and thoughts tickled at the edge of her subconscious mind. She knew this story. Anger, love, hate, betrayal, forgiveness. When this had been she couldn't recall. She tried to grasp the memories that weren't there. They were like shadows falling across her mind. Lost in her thoughts she missed the end of the song but not the reaction of the spectators. They were in love with this woman. She took the opportunity to ask her friend a question before the next song started.
"Ann. Is she...ya know."
"Don't know. Never asked her. Ahhhh. Reg don't go there. She's my housekeeper for God's sake."
Reggie just grinned and turned her attention back to the stage.
The blonde dynamo spoke after waiting for the noise to die down. "Thank you very much. We are going to do a bold thing now......"
*Not like they haven't already.* Reggie thought.
"But hey! If Melissa can do it, we can too!"
Kari was swapped her Guild for a classical nylon string Yamaha by the guitar tech.
"What now?" The dark haired woman didn't think this group could do anything else out of the ordinary.
"Huh?" Ann turned and looked at her colleague. *She is not herself.*
"They just keep doing things that they shouldn't, but it works. Somehow it works."
"I think it has something to do with a little blonde that's pure dynamite."
"Ya think?" She didn't hide her sarcasm well.
Kari played a classical piece that sounded familiar but Reggie couldn't place it. When she finished the guitar tech took her classical and replaced it with a twelve string Adamas. She nodded her head and hit the chords every one would know. She then sang out the words that gave her away.
Wake up Maggie I think I got somethin' to say to you!
It's late September and I really should be back at school.....
Reggie smiled. "That answers that question."
"She could just be singing it for fun."
"Straight girls do not sing about other women. Not songs like this anyway."
"You stole my heart, and that's what really hurts."
"Yeah. I see." Ann smiled at her friend but knew she was in for a big shock if she tried to hit on Kari. Ann had told her housekeeper about Reggie and what she did. Once she introduced them Kari would put it together that this was THE Reggie. If the record exec hit on her she would get the impression that...... *Ah hell! Let Reg worry about all that.*
The band had only a short time to play and they were making the best of it. Alex and Jeff teamed up to do a Sister Hazel tune that truly rocked. Kari danced all over the stage with her guitar while playing off the guys. They played two originals that were shockingly good.
Reggie got up from the table and went back to the soundboard. There was a butch looking woman working it. She looked up from her work to see the gorgeous woman looking right at her. *Holy Shit.* "Uhh. Can I help you?"
"Please tell me you are recording this.'
"Well, yeah. We record all the gigs."
"Thank you God in heaven. I need a copy."
"I can't. Well, I'm not supposed to."
Reggie pulled out a business card and gave it to her. "I'm Reggie Taylor. Chakram Records. It would really be great if you could see your way into making me a copy."
Angel's eyes lit up. "I'm Angel. I'll see that you get one. I'll have a copy for you say half hour, forty-five minutes after they finish. K?"
"Great. Thank you."
"No problem." She was dancing a jig inside. *Yesyesyesyes!*
Reggie returned to the table with another round of drinks and a grin on her face.
"You get laid while you were gone?"
"Well you sure got the look on your face."
"That's the 'I found me the next big name' look. I got the sound babe to make me a dup. of the show tape. I am going to make them famous. And I'm gonna get lucky with the blonde."
"What's to be careful? Chicks die to sleep with me thinking I'll do something for them. It's the business."
"Yeah. But how many of those had talent like hers that they could take somewhere else?"
"You worry too much."
Jeff stepped to the mic to speak. Kari looked like she was meditating. Was she nervous? *No way.*
"I hate to tell you this but it's time to wrap it up now." The statement was met with many groans. "Sorry. You guys have been awesome. Thanks! Thanks again to Sweet Water for giving us this chance to play. Thanks to Herman's and don't forget to tip your bartenders and wait people! We are going to do a song now that we haven't done in public before but my sister is going to blow you away right now!"
Kari put her guitar in the stand and walked to the mic. A single rose spot shone on the singer. As slow chords wafted from her brothers guitar she placed one hand on the stand and one on top of the mic. Dropping her head she swayed to the sound.
Reggie could not believe what she was hearing. *NONONO. You do not cover this song. You do not cover Patsy.* She had been around Nashville enough to know that unless you had already made it you, under no circumstances, covered this song. *Been nice knowing you.* She just shook her head and waited for the crash that never came.
Kari lifted piercing eyes of fire and gazed over the audience. She sang.
I'm crazy for feelin' so lonely.
Crazy for feelin so blue.
She didn't just sing the song. She made love to it. Resonating vocals wrapped themselves around the notes in an erotic seduction. People were enraptured. That included one very hardened record maker. This was not your typical country cover. This was a mature jazzy remake of a classic. LeAnne Rimes this was not!
Oh oh oh Crazy
For thinking that my love could hold you
The oh's came out sounding like she was in the throes of passion. More than one person shifted uncomfortably in their seat. When she came to the final note of the song you could feel the magic in the air. They were anticipating that last drawn out note as if they were waiting for their first kiss.
And I crazy for loving..............yoooou.
You would have thought Patsy herself had come down from heaven to sing for the people the way they reacted. They jumped to their feet as one screaming even before the last note sounded. Reggie right along with them. The blonde smiled and knew that she had done it. She had pulled off the impossible. Jeff was right. She had killed them.
Getting back to the dressing room was near to impossible for the foursome. People were all over them for autographs and pictures. The bouncer finally came to the rescue and escorted the group to the back.
In the security of the room they looked at each other in disbelief. Stunned they were silent. And then they grinned at each other. Kari shouted as loud as she could, "HELL YEAH!" The celebrating was on. Amid hugs and tears there was a knock at the door.
The strawberry blonde opened the door to find a very buff bouncer holding a note in his hand.
"Ms. Swift. A woman named Ann has requested you join her and her friend at their table."
*Her friend? The babe with the deadly blue eyes and the sexy smile. Do I wanna? Yeah. I wanna.*
"Jeff one of my clients is here and wants me to sit with her for a bit. I'll be back in a few."
"Clam down. It's Ann. She's married. One of these days you have got to let me have a life, Jeff. I'll be back in a few." She turned from the room back to the door to find the big man was still there. It was then she realized that he meant to accompany her. "Lead on my good man."
When she got to the table both women stood up to greet her. *Tall. She's tall. Very tall. I'd never be able to reach that much tall. Not even with a stepstool.*
Kari reached over and hugged her client. "Ann. What are you doing here?"
"I got dragged down here by my friend. Kari Swift I would like you to meet Regina Taylor. Reggie, Kari."
"Reggie? The Reggie?" Kari smiled her classic knock 'em out grin. "It is so awesome to meet you."
She was gushing and she knew it. *I have got to control that.*
"Likewise. That was a fantastic show. I am glad I was here to see it.'
"You really think so?"
With a low captivating voice she replied, "Oh yeah." Reggie smiled and started her seduction of the blonde.
*She's flirting with me. Huh.* "Thank you. We put in alot of work for this chance. I was hoping it would start something."
"Well you started something alright. I'd love to meet with your manager or agent...."
"That would be awesome. I'll tell Sherry."
"I'd love to meet with her if I can get you come see my studio."
Kari saw the look on the woman's face and felt her hopes crash to the ground. "Why is it that I feel like my coming to see your 'studio' is akin to 'coming up to see your etchings'?" She kept her face smiling while her heart was plummeting.
"Because you are a very astute woman." Reggie grinned again and gave Kari the once over. *She catches on fast. This is going to be a cinch.*
"I see. Well, Ms. Taylor, while I appreciate your comments there are two things you should keep in mind about me. While it is true that my talents may be up for sale......my body... is not." The blonde stood to her feet. "If you will excuse me. "She smiled at her friend in spite of the anger in her gut. " Ann. I'll see you Thursday. Bye." She turned her body around quickly and walked away being trailed by a very large man in a yellow security shirt.
Ann laughed out loud. "That was priceless. She nailed you hard!"
"What did I say?"
"Reg. You said everything and then some. You let her know, in no uncertain terms, that she wasn't going anywhere unless she slept with you and she called your bluff."
"But it wasn't a bluff. There is no way I'm doing anything for that sniveling ingrate."
"You don't mean that. She's good. They're all good."
Defeated the raven-haired woman shook her head. "I guess. I'll be back in a minute." Reggie walked through the crowded bar to the back. She was stopped by security. "I need to talk to Kari."
"Sorry no visitors."
"What? That's crazy. I just need to talk to her."
"I'm sorry. It was her request that no one come back. The three guys are out front tearing down their set. If you want you can talk to them."
"Thanks." Suddenly Reggie felt confused. She had lost something she couldn't put her finger on. The singer had touched her and she hadn't even known it until the blonde had turned and walked away . *Damn.*
She stopped by the sound booth to pick up the tape. Angel smiled as she handed it to her. "I put a little extra on there for you. It'll give you a better idea of what they are really all about."
"Thanks." She walked back to the table and sat across from her friend.
"Wouldn't talk to you, would she."
"I warned you. Kari is not like those other women you are used to. She's not impressed with status and she's not desperate for fame. To put it bluntly my dear, she doesn't need you."
"Yep you warned me. Damn I hate when you're right."
Kari was livid. She couldn't get to the back fast enough. The bouncer following her was almost running to keep up. When she reached the room she told the bouncer 'no visitors, then she shut the door behind her and roared.
"I can not believe the nerve of that...that....that...errrrrrrrrrrrrraaaah."
"Shit, Kar. What is up?" Her brother was getting ready to go up front to take down their set when his sister ripped into the room. He had seen her mad before, but this had all of those beat.
"Who? Your client?"
"No. That record producer I was telling you about. Ann's friend Regina Taylor. Bitch."
"Ooooooo. It's not like you to call names. What did she do?"
"She hit on me."
Jeff bit his lip trying not to laugh. "Heaven forbid."
Kari sent him a glare that shut him up in quick fashion. "You don't get it. It wasn't the come on. It was the implied threat behind it."
"Not physical. Don't go trying to throw down in the parking lot. She'd kick your ass anyway. I always thought the 'casting couch' was a cliche. Wrong. She basically 'implied' that the only way she would talk to Sherry was if I would come up and see her 'studio'."
Jeff was confused. "Huh? I don't see the problem."
"I don't care how gay you are, you are still a man. She wanted to sleep with me. Ya know "Come See My Studio."
"Oh." He went and put an arm around his sister. "It's O.K. Kar. Did she like the show?"
"Good Lord! You are insensitive." She poked him in the ribs.
"Ow! I have a point. If she liked us, it stands to reason that somewhere down the road the right people, people who want us for our talents not our singer's body, will find us."
"Your right. I'm just let down a little."
"Well, honey cheer up! We kicked ass tonight!"
"Yeah, we did, huh? Screw her, or not as the case may be!"
"You hang back here and relax. We'll be done in a few minutes. Krista has your guitars packed and locked in the van."
"I'd rather have my guitars where I can see them."
"They'll be fine in the van. There are some guys back there keeping an eye on the trucks."
"If you say so . I think I'll have Brutus out there have someone bring me a beer."
"Good idea. See you in a bit. I'll come get you so we can get a table for Sweet. K.?"
"Alright. And Jeff? Thanks."
Jeff flashed her a grin and walked out the door. She knew he was right. Someone else would come along. So why did she feel so empty and disappointed?
*Regina Taylor, big wig record executive. Yep. That's me. So why do I feel like the smallest person on the planet?* For five days the nagging feelings that she had failed in some huge area of her life invaded every aspect of her thought life. She was not used to being turned down sexually, but it happened. She just couldn't let this go. After the second act she and Ann had gone out to the Detour for more drinks. For some inexplicable reason she couldn't bring herself to look at the women who were practically throwing themselves at her. Her mind was consumed with a green eyed woman who's very gaze set her heart on fire. Ann shook her head the whole time and continued to remind her of what a jerk she had been.
"How was I supposed to know?"
"Reggie you are so used to fawning women you don't know how to deal with rejection. Get over it. She's just another girl."
"NO. She's not!" Her blue eyes blazed at Ann.
"OOOOO.K. What is she then?"
"I don't know. I've seen a thousand singer just as good. O.K. Maybe not. But I've seen that many more bands who are better, but..."
"But, I don't know what."
"You're a mess."
"Tell me something I don't know."
She left the bar that night confused about the emotions raging through her. None of it made any sense at all. She was just regular singer in another band in a different town. Right? She took out the tape that Angel had given her and popped it in her CD/tape deck. The music that came out of her six Pioneers was nothing she had heard that night. From the sound it was a recording of an impromptu jam session. There was no doubt though. Same singer. Different song. Words more to the point than she would have liked.
If losing sleep were and indication of the loving that I've missed.
I would wrap myself around you but how likely can that be when I feel like this?
And if life were not unfortunate and reason blew like summer through the trees.
I would stop to let you catch me but I think that you would find me on my knees.
And it's gonna be another long one tonight.
It's just me and my well-intentioned spite.
I said someone did this to me. But no one did.
There's no injustices
I can't afford to be right no more.
I bought myself another bad dream tonight.
With these little boys in my head sleeping tight.
It's gonna be another long one tonight.
She wanted to laugh but it hurt too much. She had made an idiot of herself. Why she cared what the small, sexy, intelligent, talented, gorgeous woman with eyes to drown in, thought of her she would never know. Nope. She couldn't guess.
After countless hours of begging, Ann had given Reggie the phone number for the singer but the first time she had called there had been no answer. The next time she'd gotten hung up on. It made her sick at her stomach. She would try one more time and that would be it. She wouldn't try again. Just let it go. *Yeah. Right.*
The phone rang three or four times on the other end before anyone picked up.
"Hello." A male voice answered.
"Hi. Is Kari in?"
"Can I tell her who's calling?"
"What are you? Her secretary?" She didn't like the run around game.
"Do you want to talk to her?" Jeff wasn't playing.
"Yeah. It's Reggie Taylor."
"She doesn't want to talk to you."
"C'mon. Give me a break here." Begging was not usually in her character. She was finding out alot about herself lately.
"Listen I'll get her, but she really doesn't want to talk to you."
There was muted talking in the background and the sound of the phone changing hands.
"Yeah. Hey. I....." She didn't even get a full sentence out.
"Is there a problem with your hearing? I don't want to talk to you."
The next sound she heard was the beep of a phone being disconnected. She threw her cell phone across the room. "DAMN IT!"
She sat heavily on her couch and put her head in her hands. This was driving her nuts. After a few minutes of doing what she had been doing since Friday night, she stood and retrieved her abused phone hoping it was still working. She dialed her only friend and prayed she was in.
"This had better be good."
"Yeah." She sounded as rough around the edges as she felt.
"It's Reg. You O.K.?"
"It's early for God's sake."
"Ann, it's noon."
"Hey, uum. I... Uuh." She had words to say they just weren't coming out.
"This has got to be about Kari." Waking up amused suited her day. Reg was really amusing her.
"How did you know?"
"You never lose your ability to speak except when it comes to her. Reg, what is wrong with you? Get over it."
"Don't you think I would love to?" Frustration was the emotion of the week for her and it dripped from her voice.
"I need to see her. Talk to her. She cleans for you tomorrow right?"
"Usually around two. You're coming over aren't you?" Ann shoved her head into her pillow to keep Reggie from hearing her laughter.
"I was thinking it would be the only way to find her."
"Corner her you mean. You could get arrested for stalking." This was so priceless. The reigning 'Raging Sleep Around Use My Title to Get Laid' queen, had a major crush on a no name housekeeper from Greeley. Life was grand.
"I'm not parked outside her house or following her around. Not that I haven't thought about it."
"I have a massage and I'm getting my nails done so I won't be here. You my friend are on your own."
"You don't mind do you?"
"As long as she gets the house clean I don't care what she does. As long as it's not in my bed."
"You are sick!"
"I'm only as sick as those I hang out with."
"Whatever. You really don't mind?"
"No, Reg. Be nice to her O.K.?
"Don't worry. Thanks Ann. Bye"
"You're welcome. Bye" Ann hung up and smiled to herself. She had known Reggie since college and she had never seen her act like this. Over a little slip of a strawberry blonde no less. "You have got it bad my friend. Baaaad. It's about damn time." She turned over and went back to sleep.
The singer was having the same emotional turmoil in her life as her record producer counterpart. She had been so angry at the woman that she had hung up on her when she heard her voice on the other end of the phone. That deep, sultry, sex-filled voice made her lose her ability to think or function. She hung up first, then she got mad. She was angry because she couldn't control how she felt. She should hate the woman for being as chauvinistic as any man she'd ever met, instead she found herself unable to think of anyone or anything else.
Her brother had had enough of her foul mood last night. She had stormed out of rehearsal over a disagreement about arrangements. Jeff went after her. Catching up to his sister her grabbed her by the shoulder.
"Have you got a bad case of PMS or have you turned into a total freaking sociopath."
"Shut up Jeff!" She was on the verge of tears.
"You have been too mean for words ever since that woman gave you the what for."
"This has nothing to do with her!"
"That right there says it does. What is the problem?"
"I don't know. I am so mad at her I could just SCREAM!"
"You don't even know her. Well, not enough to have you this pissed off." Jeff wasn't sure what was up with his sister but he had never seen her acting like this.
"I know. I'm sorry. I'll get a grip on this." Kari realized that this was a hopeless situation. She couldn't talk to the woman she was hacked at so she needed to just let it go. None of it made sense anyway.
"You better. Alright, let's go back in before those two learn the whole play list and start another band."
That was last night this was today. Kari got to Ann's house just as the owner was leaving.
"Hi, honey. How ya doin'?"
"Could be worse."
"Could be better though, huh?"
"I suppose. I have had the worst week."
'It wouldn't have anything to do with one pain in the ass record business type person would it?"
"I don't know. I am still pissed at her. You know she tried to call me. Can you believe the nerve?"
Ann had the good sense to act surprised. "Really? Huh. Well, you never can tell about people. Kari, listen, I know Reggie. She really is a nice person. She doesn't use the best judgement sometimes but don't hold that against her."
"She uses her power to manipulate people. That's bad character not bad judgment."
"Ouch. Truth hurts and it's not even me."
"Well, this is all a moot point. I need to just get over it. Get on with life and just get over it.It doesn't do me any good to brood. I mean I made my point with her. Right?"
"Right." *Oh-my-God. She's got it too. This is going to be worth the price of admission.*
"Right. O.K. So why can't I do it?"
"Don't know sweets. Answers like that have to find themselves. Listen, I gotta run. Let me know if I can do anything for you."
"I will. Thanks. See ya."
Kari had the music cranked out by the pool where she was sweeping. Reggie listened as Andrea Bocelli sang out in his enchanting tenor. *Wonder if she knows what the words mean?*
Qui ti aspettero This is where I will wait for you
Erubero i baci tempo Stealing imaginary kisses as time goes by
Un rumore il vento che A noise the wind
mi sveglia Awakes me
E sei gia qua You're already here.
The housekeeper was dressed in cut off Levi's and a sports bra. Her polished brass hair was hidden under a ball cap with London 1997 prined across the front. *Too damn cute. And that body. Wow! At least I wasn't mistaken about that.*
There was no response. She couldn't hear a thing because of the speaker she was standing next to.
Nothing. She walked over to the far side of the pool to get the woman's attention. Before she could get a hand out to touch her shoulder she felt a sharp pain shoot through her skull. Before her mind had a chance to register she was seeing stars her feet were swept out from under her. She hit the deck with a thud and the back of her head slammed into the concrete.
She opened her eyes to find herself staring at the hard end of a broom. She shut them as the world spun into darkness.
"Shit! Oh my! Reggie." *What in the hell did she think she was doing!* "Reggie? Hey!" The blonde threw the broom down and knelt over the prone woman.
"Oh. Fuck me!" The fallen woman lifted her hand to her head and tried without success to sit up.
"Oh my Gosh! I'm so sorry. Are you O.K."
"I'm not sure. Remind me not to ever really piss you off."
"Too late." Kari said the words before she could stop them.
"Yeah." *Well now I know for sure. Ha!*
"May I help you sit up? Can you sit up is the real question." *She is sooo good looking. Oh Great. Almost kill her and ........I am sick.*
"Uuuh. Not yet. Let me get my bearings." She closed her eyes and felt a soft hand caress her face. *It was worth it just for that.* She smiled at the touch.
"What's so funny? I just knocked the whiz out of you. That will leave a mark on that pretty face of yours."
"I think I earned it."
"I'd agree with you if I didn't feel so bad about it. We need to get some ice on that bump. Do you want to try to get up or you want me to bring it out?"
"I think I can manage." She tried but failed again. "Whoa. I think I need a little help here."
Kari put an arm around the tall woman and helped her into the house. The closeness of the contact felt so right it scared her. She wondered if She felt the same way. *Oh Stop with the romantic notions.* They entered through the back door and found their way to the kitchen.
"Yes ma'am. Sitting." Reggie sat down and closed her eyes again. She felt nauseous.
Kari went to the freezer to get the ice pack.
"Uh. Ann's not here, by the way. You got yourself beat up for nothing."
"Ahh! That hurts!" Blue eyes flew open at the contact.
"Sorry." Kari cringed and her nose crinkled at the bridge.
*Now that is cute. Oh, have I got it bad.* Reggie started to put a hand up to hold the pack. It was promptly slapped away. "I didn't come to see Ann." She stopped. Panic set in. *Oh no, I've said too much.* REM blasted in her mind.
"Really. Then why are you here?" She suddenly became aware that Reggie's hand was resting comfortably on her hip.
"I came to see you." Without even realizing it her hand found a place on the shapely hip of her attacker. *Oops. Well I ain't movin' it.*
Kari liked the warmth of the hand where it was so she let it go.
"I hung up on you not once but twice and made it quite clear that I wanted nothing to do with you and yet you wanted to see me? You are a glutton for punishment."
"I see that I got my reward ala Kari." She reached up a hand to grasp the wrist of the hand that was holding the ice against her head. She pulled it down and looked straight into emerald eyes. They both knew there was no turning back. "Look. I came to apologize," Kari started to interrupt but Reggie wouldn't let her, "I was so far out of line the other night. I'm sorry. I couldn't stop thinking about you and what a fool I made out of myself. I had to let you know."
"Ya know, Reg. That sounds really nice. But my bet is you say that to alot of women." The distrust hung like a noose around her words.
"You don't know me that well. I never apologize for my behavior, well I never have in the past. There is something very special about you that won't let me let it go. Kari, you can believe me or not." Changing the subject she continued, " You are very talented and I would love to meet with your band and your agent. No matter."
"Really?" Her spirits were lifting already. Her smile brightened the spirits of the woman in front of her.
"Yeah. Really." She smiled in return. It hurt her head and she lifted the hand with the ice back to her injury.
"Sorry. Is that good there? Alright. When?"
"After my head recovers from the 'Attack of the Pool Girl'."
The green eyed beauty grinned. "I said I was sorry."
"Apology accepted on one condition."
She rolled her eyes feigning irritation. "Here we go again. What's the condition."
"Have dinner with me tomorrow night." The invitation hung in the air.
Kari looked at her in amused suspicion. "Just dinner?"
"Yep. I won't even hit on you no matter how much I want to."
"What if I want you to. Then what?"
"My reputation is at stake."
"The good one or the bad one?" Kari had a mischievous grin spread across her face.
The tall woman laughed out loud. "Both."
"I see. Well, you can hit on me next time then." This time green eyes danced as she giggled
"Is that a yes?" Reggie smiled. She liked her personality. *Sassy! Very sexy!*
"Wait. Darn, I can't. I almost forgot. We are throwing some steaks on the grill and having some people over. Tell you what, if you behave, you can come over."
"If I behave, huh? Tall order."
"You're tall enough. Come on. I'm feeling forgiving and guilty."
"I can work with guilt. I'd love to. What can I bring?"
"Just you and some extra ice for that knot you're gonna have. Oh my. You will have a bruise. Let me get you an ibuprofen."
Reggie felt like her world had been set right again. A little more painful, but right.
Kari got a glass of water and a couple of 800mg. IB's for her victim. She smiled at the courage Reggie had shown even after the blonde had just about broken her skull. Her head told her not to trust the woman but her heart screamed at her to just lay a big wet kiss on her and get it over with. *Hormones!*
"Here. Take one now save this for later."
"It's not often the assailant is also the doctor. Thanks, Dr. Swift. I feel better already."
"Don't push it. I could whack the other side. I bet you'll not sneaking up on me again."
"Not without warning." *Then again...*
"Sit here for a while and keep the ice on it. Trust me. I've suffered a few of these. I need to get back to work."
"O.K. I'll let you go. Hey, what time tomorrow?"
"Seven, seven thirty. Here's my address. If you need directions call. You have the number."
"Yeah. That I do. And hey, thanks." Her voice was soft. It came from the huge soft spot that had found it's way to her heart.
"For what?" The reply was returned to her just as softly.
Kari peered deeply into blue eyes. *Give me strength.*
"I don't know. Forgivness? Tenderness? You pick. I'll see you later." The tall woman stood to her feet testing her balance. She could stand ergo she could drive. "Bye."
"Bye." Kari had no response to the words the woman said. She was not the same person she had met last Friday. *Funny. She didn't thank me for knocking some sense into her.* The housekeeper laughed to herself and went back to work.
"What do you mean you invited her?"
"I'm sorry, which words didn't you understand? It seemed the right thing to do after I nailed her. You should have seen it. When she hit the ground I thought I had killed her."
"You have spent the past week bitching and moaning about her and then you invite her to the house. Chicks! I just don't get you."
"Come on Jeff. Back off. It was a spur of the moment thing when she asked me to dinner. This is safer than being alone with her. I mean she is so hot I don't know if I could turn her down."
"You sure didn't have a problem Friday."
"That's because on Friday she was so rude about it. She was so sweet this afternoon it scared me. It was like she was like two different people."
"Well, if you say so. But do not start this again. You have been totally impossible to live with the past week. I swear to God, I'll have Brian spank you and lock you in your room if you do!"
"Do you promise? I have been such a bad girl. Where's your boy friend? I'll tell him now."
Jeff laughed at his sister. "You do need to get laid."
"I wish that were all I needed."
"You and your morals. Who ever heard of a lesbian with morals?"
"I just don't sleep with everyone that looks at me. I obviously didn't inherit the same genes you did."
"Oh ha ha. You seem to forget that I have been monogamous since I met Brian."
"Will wonders never cease?" She smacked her brother on the arm for good measure.
"Yeah. I love him though."
"Did I hear you right. You LOVE him? Really Jeff?" Kari was shocked and thrilled at the same time. Her brother had been what she thought was the stereotypical gay man. Men paraded through the house like fire ants. There had been so many she lost count. Sometimes there had more than one a day. And then again there had been times that there were more than one at a time. She worried about him, but he said it was all safe and she believed him.
"Is that so hard to believe? People fall in love. It happens all the time."
"Sure it does, Buzz. Just not to you. I'm happy for you." She was happy for him, but she couldn't help feeling a little jealous. *Where is mine? Or don't I get to be happy?*
"Yeah. Well. Hey, I still need to go get beverages. Want anything in particular?"
"You know I want Diet Coke(tm) and pickup some Sam Adams too. K?"
"Sam Adams? Who's that for?"
Kari didn't even answer. The look on her face did it for her. The slight grin and a blush sang volumes.
"You like her! I get it. Geez, now it all makes sense. YOU Like her."
"I don't know her enough to like her. I thought it would be a nice gesture. That's what she was drinking the other night." The excuses were digging her a little deeper.
"Hello. This is me you're talking to. Spill it."
"I can't spill it. I don't even know what it is. There is something about her, about 'us'. It's a connection or something."
"Does she know about this 'connection'?"
She lowered her head and shook it. "I don't know."
"Well, we're bound to find out, huh? Kar, I don't want you to get hurt. You've seen her, what, all of twice and you know nothing about her. What I'm trying to say is don't jump in if you don't know the water. Could be sharks."
"I got it. Thanks for caring."
"It's my job kiddo. I love you like a sister."
"Good thing too, seen as how I AM your sister."
"Oh. Right. Sister. Gotcha. Love ya. I'll be back in a few."
By the time Reggie showed up at eight the party was already in full swing. She rang the doorbell and waited nervously. *Me nervous? What next?.* The seriously good-looking drummer answered the door. She racked her brain in desperation but still couldn't remember his name. *Nerves'll do that.*
"You must be Reggie. Good thing too. Kari was worried you wouldn't show." He smiled a huge knowing grin and stepped aside to let her in.
"Please don't hate me, but I know your name it's just not coming to mind."
"S'all right. I'm Brian and Kari's right, you are gorgeous. Look at you girl, all tall and sexy. Wow! If I were straight. Mm mm mm."
Reggie blushed and grinned. " You my dear are no slouch either. She said that, huh?"
"Do Not tell her I told you."
"Your secret is safe with me."
"They are all out on the patio playing the 'Sing the oldest song you know game'. Kari always wins cause she loves the classics. Patsy is a favorite if you couldn't tell. Wanna beer?"
"Do I know you from somewhere? You look so familiar." Brian handed her the brew, "Sam Adams, perfect."
"No, I don't think we have ever met and Kari picked the beer especially for you. She said that's what you were drinking last Friday."
She had the sense to be surprised at Kari *Very observant.* and she was amused with Brian. "If you give away all of her secrets she will never forgive you."
"After the week we spent with her, we will all be even."
"You can not imagine. I have never seen her like that. I've only known her like a year, but shit. She was fit to be tied up and spanked hard."
"Quite a mental picture you are giving me there. Thanks." Suddenly she had a very uncomfortable feeling between her legs that would have been nice at a more opportune time.
Brian wiggled both eyebrows and grinned.
"Nice bruise you have by the way."
"Like that? Little Miss Sweet and Innocent packs a wallop, now doesn't she?"
"Sweet and innocent? Are we talking about Kari? That girl is far from innocent. Sweet she is but she has quite an imagination when it comes to getting uh......Personal."
"Brian, you really need to stop talking about her in those terms. She told me I had to behave myself. You, my friend are NOT helping."
"Sorry. Before we go out there I should warn you, Jeff is very protective of her. So am I for that matter. Don't hurt her. O.K.?"
"She's too good for that."
Well, it only took you five minutes last time."
She suddenly felt wounded. *I hate when that happens.* "Touché. I didn't feel so good about that myself. Let's just see how this goes."
The two walked to the patio door. The tall woman leaned against the door and crossed her legs at the ankles. Upbeat music was coming from a guitar in the hands of a talented blonde. The group was singing with her and having a ball. There was a cute brunette with pretty eyes hanging on Kari's shoulder and smiling with her. Reggie felt a sharp tug of apprehension and jealousy. *What is this?*
Suddenly feeling nervous and out of place she decided that here was not where she should be at the moment. *I guess I got the wrong impression.* "Uh. Maybe I should go."
"Oooooh No ya' don't! You are all she's been talking about since last night."
"Think her girlfriend knows that?" Her pointed with her chin to the pair on the wicker couch.
"Who?" Brian checked to see who his roommate was seated with and laughed. "Honey if she was sleeping with Krista it would be one sick situation."
"That's her sister."
"You sure? They don't look anything alike." Relief filled her and she let go a heavy sigh. Reggie shook her head and laughed at herself. *Sister.*
"No, but they act it May I ask you something?"
"Depends. I won't answer it if I don't like it."
"Is this a game?"
"Yeah you know, AND I KNOW YOU DO, are you playing her?"
Unfortunately she did know what he was talking about. In her time and in her line of work she had played quite a few people. Letting them think they were going somewhere only to find out she just wanted them for the sex or the power or whatever she could get. Oh yes, she knew that game. She asked herself if it was indeed a game. The question didn't even finish forming. Nope. This was so far from playing it scared her.
"No. No game. And it scares me to death." She smiled nervous smile at the last part.
"Oh yea! This is so cool." He clapped his hands together in quick succession.
"You are so gay." She smiled at him and stepped out to the patio. The whole group was singing and clapping to a song that was old but, like 'Johhny B. Goode', it never lost its appeal.
Come on Dad get with the jive
Let's let 'em know that we're alive
Until the break of dawn we'll yell for
More more more
We're gonna live it up and tear it down
get in the groove and paint the town
Gotta lot a rythm in my soul
Kari looked up from her playing to catch a tall blue eyed goddess looking at her and smiling. She stood up and continued singing.......
Well, baby baby let's go tonight
Together you and me
Baby baby when you hold me tight oooh wheee!
The big black hands on the clock tell me it's time to Rock'
I gotta lot a rythm in my soul
She strolled over to where Reggie was and stood next to her. She sang and knocked her with her hip and walked back to where she had been. Everyone looked at the woman as she smiled and waved, not sure whether to blush or not. So she did. *I NEVER blush. Guess I do now.*
Big Bad Pete with the crazy Bop
When the lights are low and the music's hot
We'll dance from two til three and then half past four
When that sun peeps over that hill
I won't stop i'll be rockin still
Gotta lot a rythm in my soul
The song finished with a big shout and a much clapping and laughing. Kari put her guitar in the stand next to her and walked over to her tall attraction. Unreal blue eyes smiled down on her and Reggie raised her eyebrow accusation.
"Will it always be your goal to make me uncomfortable in one way or another?"
"Uummm. Now that you mention it I can think of a hundred wonderful ways of making you uncomfortable." A sly grin crept across her face and her emerald eyes squinted slightly. She started walking away daring Reggie to follow her, which she did.
Reggie watched the woman turn her back and start to walk. She felt her own heart pulled along with her as she went. The tall woman suddenly found it very difficult to breathe. She caught up to her and leaned in speaking in quiet tones. "I see. And can you do all of these in public?"
Kari stopped and thought for a minute and then grinned at her own thoughts. "I could but I am quiet sure I would get arrested for a few of them."
Reggie blushed deeply and smiled into clear pools of green heaven. She raised both of her hands in the air. "You win. And you told ME to behave."
"Lighten up. I'm flirting with you not seducing you." Standing facing Reggie she put her hands innocently behind her back.
"And there is a difference?" Her arms were crossed and she had a look of challenge on her beautiful face.
She leaned in closely and lowered her voice. "If I were seducing you there would be candles."
"Ah. Well there's a BBQ that seems close."
"Nope. Flames do not candles make."
"Alright. Flirting it is. Maybe one day you'll get around to the candles."
"We'll see." Her stomach growled in rebellion and Kari laughed and then shrugged. "Let's eat before I starve to death."
"From the sound of things, that would be a very good idea."
The evening, filled with meeting Kari's friends and great music, made the night more fun than Reggie could remember. The blonde ate more food than Reggie had ever seen anyone smaller than a football player pack away. Jeff finally let up on her a little and relaxed enough to goad her into singing with him. Yes, she could sing. It was her business for heaven's sake. The rambunctious version they did of Indigo Girls "Shame on You" got rounds of applause and much laughter. Kari laughed until tears streamed down her face. The shared looks across the patio was like a secret language only the two of them understood. Reggie sat down finally and motioned for Kari to join her. Kari teased her by looking around for another she could possibly mean. Reggie rolled her eyes and smiled then pointing emphatically she mouthed, 'You.' The returned reply, 'Me?' 'Please?' Kari shrugged and conceded. 'Oh Alright.' As she approached blue eyes shone with appreciation for the view. The blonde sat next to her and placed an easy hand on her leg while leaning into the arm around her.
"Have I told you tonight that you look great. There is one little thing though, I think you should know that there is a fine for false advertising."
Kari looked at her confused. "False advertising?"
"The T-shirt. 'TOP'?"
"Jeff's not either."
"I could be."
"Uh huh. You? Girlie you? I don't think so."
"Girlie? Me? I am not!" She was feeling feisty and tried to look insulted.
"Stomping your foot like that is not helping your case."
"Oh you." She did a little shove with her hip.
"Are you gonna hit me again?" Reggie teased her.
"See? You're afraid of me. That says something."
"It says you're wicked when you're armed with a broom."
The blonde punched her lightly in the arm then grabbed it with both hands. "And you best watch it!"
"Oh I'm watching."
The gentleness that sounded in her voice caused Kari to look up and see that indeed she was. Sapphire passion plunged into green eyes sending tendrils of heat through both of them. The moment hung in the air. Both looking. Both seeking. Finally finding.
"You're gonna kiss me, huh?"
Reggie leaned in as close as she could without touching her placed a hand on her cheek and whispered the answer. "Yeah."
"Oh." Was all she could say before the soft lips of her heart's captor touched hers.
Kari's outside hand found it's way to the back of Reggie's neck and she pulled her in closer to deepen the
contact. She squeezed on a very firm thigh with the other. It had been too long since she had been thoroughly kissed and that was happening at that very moment. Reggie passed a gentle, probing tongue across Kari's lips. That request was all it took for the blonde to part her lips and invite her in. The invasion was accepted in sweet surrender. Their tongues slid slowly across each other, entwining themselves as if they belonged that way. Sweet moments passed before they ended the much needed kiss.
Not moving more than a few inches away, Kari put a small hand up to trace the bruise she had left the day before. "I am so sorry for hurting you."
"And I am so very sorry for hurting you. Forgive me?" The gravity of her voice made the apology sound almost sacred.
"You are very forgiven." She placed a soft sweet kiss on the lips that were so temptingly close.
"Ahem. Excuse me."
Kari didn't even look at her brother. "Yes, Jeff."
"Sorry to interrupt. I need some money for more beer. You have any?"
"Yeah. Hang on."
"Sit, Hon, let me."
"How much you need?"
"I don't know. Not much. Maybe another case or two."
"Here's forty. That should do, yeah?"
"Thanks. You know, I like you in spite of my better judgment."
"Thanks....... I think." She laughed at the words
"Jeff, you took everybody's keys right?" Kari wanted to make sure. She wasn't drinking so she felt responsible.
"Of course. Well, except hers." He pointed at Reggie.
"I've had two and that is my limit. If I can't drive I'll call a cab."
"Or stay." Jeff was pushing his luck.
"Uuuuh....I.. Oh boy."
"Jeff, get out of here." His sister sent a death-ray glare his way and he got the message
Jeff ran off in search of his lover leaving the two women alone.
"Sorry about that."
"Ya know, I like you too......in spite of my better judgment."
"Well, your better judgment must be faulty." She got a solid elbow to the ribs for her comment. "Do you have plans tomorrow? "
Kari leaned back snuggling into the strong arms that held her. "Besides sleep? Lemme think. Saturday. We are going over to Sherry's for a while to work up a bio and set up photo shoot. After that practice. Nothing tomorrow night. I was thinking of catching a movie, but I don't know. What are you doing?"
"Tomorrow I house hunt. I want to find just the right place. I'm impossible. I think I need a townhouse that way there are no yards to take care of."
"Oh. The yard is the best part. Planting flowers and trimming shrubs just so. It's cathartic."
"Cathartic. You sure use big words for a housekeeper. Anyway, I don't mind mowing but all that edging and stuff. And flowers, oh no. I like fresh herbs and a garden. I just don't have the time."
"You need is to marry someone like me that likes to do all those things you hate." Kari realizing what she had said, tried to cover it up. "What I mean is you need to find the right person that will be happy ...to.. do... those....things. That didn't sound any better at all did it?"
"You're right. I need to find someone just like you. Until then I have you."
"Until then? I don't think I like the sound of that."
"I could spend years, maybe even a whole life time trying to find someone like you. I'd have to say, you're one of a kind."
"Is that good or bad."
"I'm here aren't I? That must mean it's good."
Kari sat up and looked seriously into blue eyes. "Reggie, why are you here?"
"You invited me."
"Is that it? You came because I invited you?"
Reggie thought very seriously about her next words. *What was it that she wanted to hear? What is it I need to say?* "There are several reasons I'm here. The main reason is that I wanted, no, I needed to be with you. You're special in a way I don't quite understand yet. Sure, you are beautiful and talented, funny, intelligent, all of those things, but there is something else between us that draws me. Don't laugh, something bigger than the sum of the two. That sounds so corny." She laughed shyly.
A strawberry blonde head found its way back to a strong shoulder. Reggie placed a soft kiss on the top of that head. "It would if I didn't agree. I told Jeff almost the exact thing this afternoon."
"I saw you on that stage, mind you I never get star-struck, and you knocked me out. I couldn't even form a sentence. Then you sang and I was entranced. When you looked at me and sang something hit me and I couldn't breath." She paused and realized the real reason. " I'm here because I couldn't be anywhere else."
Kari took in a deep breath. She didn't have a response to what she had heard. It was all matter of trust at this point. The first impression she had gotten from Reggie had not been the best. This woman had a past that did not bode well for monogamy. Was this manipulation? Maybe it was all a game to her. 'Get the one that turned you down'. It's been known to happen.
Almost as if reading the woman's mind Reggie spoke, "Kari, I can't make you believe me or trust me, either one. All I am asking is a chance to prove it to you. I have a past that, at this point, I'm not very proud of. If I had known that one day I was going to meet you, I would have lived a little differently."
"Don't say that. Your past makes you who you are. I would never want that to change. Besides it'll make you appreciate me more."
She was tongue in cheek with the statement but Reggie knew she was probably right.
"Want to go to a movie with me tomorrow night?"
"Are you asking me out on a date?"
"Yeah, I think I am. Will you?" Her hands started sweating and her heart raced. How long had it been since she had actually asked anyone for a 'date'? She couldn't remember, but God, it made her nervous. She could say no. She had asked yesterday but that was an "I'm sorry" thing. This was not that.
With amusement Kari noted the dampness of the other woman's palm. That's a good sign. "Reggie you can be so sweet. I'd love to."
Kari stood in front of the microphone with her arms crossed in irritation. The headphones she wore were making her ears itch. On top of that she was hungry and it was late.
"I am NOT singing that part again. It was perfect."
Reggie knew that the singer had been pushed to her limits as far as patience was concerned. She pushed the intercom on the blonde's headset and spoke softly to her.
"Hang on one second, O.K. Kar?" Then she spoke to the guys in the room with her. "Take a few boys. I think I need to talk her down off the ledge here. I'll come out and get you when we're ready. Oh and Mike, run across to the deli and get us some sandwiches. Any kind, just make it fast." Reggie took the earphones from around her neck and stood up to stretch. She stepped around the board and went down the few steps to the door that led to the sound booth that was more like a room. There were buffering partitions set up around the singer so that it seemed she was in a much smaller area. Reggie poked her head around and was met with a glaring stare that put fear in her soul. *Oh boy.*
"Don't you babe me! That was a perfect take." Her arms were still crossed. She was one tired and pissed off singer.
The record producer/owner/everything walked gingerly over to her girlfriend. She put one hand on her shoulder. It was quickly shrugged off. She stepped closer just to invade her territory. Reggie knew she couldn't resist her when she stood close. Although they were not yet intimate, four months of dating had told her that much. The dark haired woman reached out a peaceful hand to touch her. Kari melted into the touch and into her soulmates arms. "Sweetheart, it would have been perfect if you hadn't been tapping your foot. It's in the mix and we can't clean it up. I guess your voice mic picked it up. Mike is out picking us up some food. Let's eat a little and do this one more time. If we don't get it we'll come back in tomorrow. The only thing is I won't have Tony for the board tomorrow and he's my best guy. Please, one time for me."
"One more time and then I am going home with or without your permission."
"You have never asked my permission before, why start now."
Kari wanted to get angry over the comment but couldn't when she saw Reggie smiling sweetly at her.
"You're teasing me aren't you? Boy, I am dreadful. I'm sorry. I just want to get this and go. I will not tap my foot. I will not tap my foot. I will not tap my foot. There that should do it."
A wonderful sound came over the intercom. "Food's here."
"Thank you God."
Reggie looked up and pointed. 'What she said.' Maybe the blonde would be less likely to bite her head off now.
After she got her blood sugar leveled and a few minutes of rest, Kari was willing to go back into the studio and try to lay the final track of their first real demo. The group had been in a home studio before but nothing like this. Twenty four tracks of which they may have used six or eight maybe ten with all the vocals. It was a lesson they had all learned from. Pre-production was a necessity. Playing on stage was one thing, where mistakes were over looked and easy to cover. Studio work had to be as close to perfect as you could get. Kari was having the hardest time with getting used to the sensitive mics and not working with the guys. It was a great and fun experience but lots of hard work at the same time. Working with Reggie had been helpful because she had a real feel for what the band wanted. Plus she had helped fund the project. It was money the band didn't have. Kari had faith that they would be able to pay her back one day.
"Kiss for luck". Reggie leaned over to Kari and stole a kiss. She hoped it wasn't one she would miss.
"Excuse me. I'll be needing that later. Give." The blonde raised one eyebrow above her green eyes. Reggie smiled and gave in. She grasped the petite woman in her arms and kissed her deeply.
*She'll remember that one.*
Breathlessly the blonde replied to the kiss, "That's not the one you took from me, but I think I'll keep this one just in case you need it back."
"Thanks. At least I'll know where to find it."
"Oh yeah. No doubt about it."
Kari stood silently at the mic. Music started in her phones and she made a point to keep her feet still. She sang. Second verse. One-hundredth time. Well, it seemed that way.
Your eyes have cast upon me
a spell of reckless hearts
Where time has no reason
and reason has no part
Dreamed a thousand times
of words that echo true
Just when I think I shouldn't
love you anymore.
I do oh I do.
The time has come in silence
the vows we make are true
Won't deny there's passion
give all I have to you
May the stars shine forever
May I speak to you I truth
Just when I think I couldn't
love you anymore.
I do oh I do.
Silence hung in the air until the last chord ended it's drawn out note. A pleasant voice came over her phones.
"That's it. It's a wrap."
"How did it sound?'
"Like an angel. It was beautiful. Man, I just love you."
"Uhhh." *Shit. Can't keep your big mouth shut, can you!*
"No wait. Could you come in here for a second?'
Reggie didn't know what had flown out of her mouth. Well, she did. She just didn't know why it had chosen that moment to fly out. She started to hyperventilate and sweat. 'Gods woman. The things you do to me.' The guys in the booth with her smiled at her dilemma.
"Not a word from you. Got it." Blue steel eyes became daggers.
Mike answered for the both of them. "Got it, boss. We were just leaving anyway. Weren't we Tony?"
"Huh? Oh! Yeah, we are on our way out the door. See ya." The two men started to make a hasty retreat when they were detained.
"We mix this tomorrow. Be here sixish." She looked at them with an icy warning.
"Right. Go Mike." Faster than many would think possible, the two men were out the door.
Reggie took a very deep breath and began one of the longest walks of her life. She made sure she could stand before she tried to traverse the miles around the partition. Another deep breath. Here we go. Slowly she peeked around the corner. Her gaze was met at the corner one more time. The reaction this time was totally different than the last.
"You wanted to see me?"
"Yeah, I did. Can you come over here."
Kari laughed softly when the woman with the azure eyes stood stiffly in place. Deer in the head lights would be the best definition of the look on her face.
"Uh yeah." The answer was so quiet it was almost not audible. She slowly walked over and stood in front of the woman she knew had more than captured her heart and the soul within her.
"You don't need to say a thing." Kari slipped both arms around her neck and pulled her down. They kissed a kiss that transcended the moment they were in. All the words that could describe it were of no use. Souls clashed and love released the power of perfection. They knew.
"Mmm. Wow. I'm never talking again if you kiss me like that." Reggie was silent for a few seconds. When she spoke, emotion filled her words. "I meant what I said. Look at me." Kari tilted her head and gazed into eyes filled with love for her and her alone. "You saved me, you know. I never thought I would get the chance to say this and mean it. I love you. I really love you. Do you believe me?"
"Yes. I do. And you know something? I love you right back."
Reggie let go the breath she didn't know she was holding. She needed this woman to love her. "Good thing. I'd hate to be in this alone. I'd ask you to come home with me, but it's all packed."
"I think I can wait."
"Not your place huh?"
"Sweetheart, when I make love to you, it's not going to be with my brother listening in the other room. It's going to be the right time and the right place. Can you wait?"
"For you? Forever."
"Good. What time are the movers coming Saturday?"
"I think nine or nine thirty. I should be in by two at the latest. I don't have that much."
"And in that huge house. You are going to need to go furniture shopping soon."
"You're going with me.'
"I hate to shop. You seem to have some strange talent for finding a bargain."
"You just have to know that no price is set in stone. Especially when you are buying cars, computers and furniture. Sales people are so easy."
"Glad you think so. Are you coming over.?"
"I wouldn't miss a chance to supervise the movers."
"How did I know that about you."
"Not to change the subject, but I want to start mixing this tomorrow. Can you guys be here around six or six thirty?"
"I can. I'll call you later and let you know about the guys. I think Alex works tomorrow night, but we can get most of it done. I'll take a copy to him. If he has any suggestions he can put in his two cents."
"Great. Wanna go have a beer with me?"
"Why Reggie, you are getting good at this asking me out thing. You didn't even hyperventilate that time."
"And I love you, why?"
It had taken forever to find, but Reggie had decided on a house in Bear Creek Estates. It was a newer home with a great view of the mountains. She could even see Red Rocks from her bedroom patio. The five thousand square feet were more than she needed but fewer than she had had in many other places she had lived. Hardwood floor entry-way led straight to the living room on the right and the spiral stair case on the left. The great room was further back in the house and it opened onto a huge redwood deck complete with hot tub around by the stairs to the master suite. The kitchen was a chef's dream. Stainless-steel everything. Gas cook top. If you could think of it, it was there. Kari just about had a field day looking at the kitchen alone. That is, until she saw the master bathroom. Sunken tub with a TV hung above it. 'Cool! I can eat bonbons in the tub and watch soaps.' 'YOU can? What do you mean you?' 'I meant you.' Reggie had lifted her into strong arms kissing her. 'How about we?' 'We is good.' The smile of the young woman brought life back into her existence. She didn't think she could live without her and she didn't want to even think about trying. That was the reason she had taken her house shopping with her in the first place. Kari had to love whatever she bought. Someday she just might share her home as well as her life with her.
Reggie snuck up on Kari. OK she tried. Somehow the blonde always knew she was there. "Hi there stranger." She always knew. She didn't even turn around.
"How's the supervising going?" Her little ball of fire girlfriend had whipped up on the moving guys telling them everything they needed to know about the profession. Not surprisingly, they hadn't cared for her advice but things had gone more smoothly than they were used to and had ended up conceding to her demands.
"I could get used to this. Being in charge is my kinda gig."
"Come on. The movers are almost finished. I had them put all the boxes I coded into the appropriate areas."
"Coded? Not just labeled?"
"No. Every box has a certain thing that goes in a very specific place. For instance, the hanging cook pots go in a different place than the 'in the cupboard' cook pots. So they may go in the kitchen but in a different place in the kitchen. It'll make it easier to put it all away."
"Uh huh. Well, it sounds.......organized."
"You are going to love it!"
"I'm sure of that. Listen I need to pay these guys and get to the studio. Here's a key and you know the alarm code right?" Kari nodded. "If you leave.........when you leave you're all set."
"All set." *Almost.*
"Have fun, love. I'll see you soon. Call me. You HAVE my number."
"That I do, my love, that I do, in more ways than one. Have a good evening. When will you be finished?"
"Not late I hope. Maybe nine at the latest. Do you have your phone?" Kari held it up for her to see. "Good. I'll call you when I'm done. If it's not too late maybe we can get together. If you want I mean." Reggie glanced quickly at the ground and then back up at Kari.
*She runs her own multi-million dollar business and people bow to her every whim and yet she is so shy when it comes to me. I love it!* "Geez, Reg. You'd think you'd know by now I'll see you anytime, anywhere, any way I can." Her voice took on a sultry tone. "Hurry home."
Reggie searched green eyes for intent. Desire appeared to be the intent of the day. Her pulse quickened at the very thought of holding that tight, toned, sexy woman close to her with nothing between them but the sweat on their bodies. "I promise. I'll call you. Thanks for helping me out today. Love you, bye." She gave her a quick kiss and took off.
"Bye you." Kari watched go missing her already.
The cell phone at Kari's side made a funky Star Trek sound and the blonde smiled. Only one person had her number yet.
"Hey yourself. Whatca doin?"
"I am fixing food. In this awesome kitchen of yours."
Reggie was pleased to hear that she was still at the house. "Still there, huh? Nice. I think I like that."
"Oh yeah? Careful Reggie, some people might think you're in love."
"Let them think what they want." The smile was in her voice.
"You don't care what people think?"
"Not when it comes to you."
"Oh! Good answer! When will you be home?"
"Give me forty five minutes."
"Save your appetite." *Both of them.*
"Will do, love. See you in a bit."
"See you soon."
Reggie walked into an almost dark house that was filled with the scent of wonderful food. The cook was nowhere in sight *Where has my girl gotten to?* She set her briefcase on the floor and let her senses attune to her surroundings. Soft music in her ears. There was a humid feel to the air that was scented with a sweet smell. Her eyes found a soft glow of light up the stairs. She shrugged her jacket and hung it on the coat rack then, in semi-darkness, she traversed the stairs. She was interested to see what the desirable blonde was up to.
Her senses had not failed her but she couldn't believe what her eyes were seeing. The master suite was still a jumble of boxes stacked in tiers. There was a pattern to those boxes. They were stacked along two corners of the room surrounding on two sides the futon mattress that was placed in the center of the room. The mattress was covered in the soft two-eighty count, dusty blue sheets Kari had picked out while they were shopping on Thursday. On the top of each box was placed one or two vanilla pillar candles. The room glowed in soft candlelight. Her love was still nowhere to be seen. She took her shoes off and pushed them to the side. She thought she had been surprised by the bedroom but she realized it was only an attention getter when she turned the corner to the master-bath. Candles lined the walls around the bath that was filled with bubbles. More candles lined up along the counter and she saw the light reflected back from all angles of the room. But the thing that caught her attention and held it was a beautiful blonde woman leaning on her hands against the counter. She was clad in a short and sexy satin green robe that hung open in the front. Underneath she wore a black satin and lace teddy that wasn't long for this world.
Reggie couldn't speak. She could only stare. She had seen many women in her day, clad in every state of dress and undress, but she had never been rendered speechless.
Kari stood up from her position and slowly walked to her victim. Two hands reached out to stroke strong, broad shoulders. Those hands were then tangled in raven hair. Kari experienced the feel of firm hands slide under her robe, encircle her waist and pull her close.
Reggie finally found her voice. "Candles."
Emerald eyes peered up at her. "Candles."
The tall woman bent her head to the blonde and stole her lips from her. She possessed them with all that she had. After tonight they would no longer belong to Kari anyway. Mouths moved softly against one another in a slow passion dance. Kari's hands gripped raven hair as she tried to mold her body to the tall woman that held her. The move was not lost on Reggie and her hands slid down to a very shapely butt and pulled the blonde's mound tight into her thigh. A groan escaped the small woman and her back muscles flexed tight to aid in the contact. Kari broke the kiss slowly and Reggie protested.
"You. Bath. I'll be back up in a minute."
Reg reluctantly released Kari and started to unbutton her shirt. "Sure you don't want to help?"
The blonde had second thoughts about leaving the room just then and decided to stay. "I think I'll just watch." She stepped back a few paces as not to miss anything.
The silk blouse fell to the floor revealing navy blue lace. The blonde's eyes widened at the sight before her. She looked into the smiling face of her soon to be lover and then her eyes wandered back to the view. Ample breasts strained against the fabric. Reggie's flat stomach was defined, smooth and inviting. Long fingers play with the buckle of her pants teasingly. "Sure you want to see?"
Kari couldn't hold back. "Oh yes, please." She strolled closer to the heat and undid the buckle, then the button, and the zipper slid slowly down. The pant's fell in a puddle on the floor that was quickly kicked to the side. Matching blue thong underwear adorned the apex of the longest legs in the known world. The blonde couldn't help her comment. "Thank you Victoria's Secret."
Reggie started to unhook her bra when small gentle hands stopped her. "No. Wait. I want to look." She stepped away and admired the strength and the beauty of the woman before her. She drank in every detail of this moment. She committed to memory the subtle shades of her skin and the way the candlelight reflected and bounced along delicate curves. She was breathtaking in her splendor. Kari wanted to touch so she did. Sweet hands wandered down long thighs and up to a smooth stomach. Reggie kept her hands at her side, allowing green eyes and soft hands to boldly explore her partially clad body. She smiled lovingly as small hands caressed full breasts through satin lace. Nipples hardened at her touch. "My God! You are edible."
"Thank you." Warm arms wrapped around a small waist. "You are not so bad yourself."
The singer placed delicate kisses across the woman's collarbone running a tingling line up to her neck.
The salty taste on her lips made her crave more. With her tongue she traced a small line up the graceful neck to the very edge of Reggie's jaw line where she placed a small nip and a slight suck and then a kiss.
"Very nice. Now take off the rest." Kari stepped away.
Blue eyes never left green as Reggie unhooked her bra and opened the cups to present her breasts and excited nipples to her seductress. Self-control was the word for the moment so the blonde refrained from touching. The tall woman, however, did not. Reggie cast the bra to the floor beside her pants and pulled her hands back up to her own breasts. Cupping them gently she seized hard nipples and gave a slight tug. Kari thought she would drown then and there in her own rush of wetness. *Control.*
"The bottoms." Kari pointed slightly with her chin.
Reggie enjoyed the demanding and yet very sexy tone of voice. She complied with the demand. Tucking her thumbs in either side of her underwear she bent straight down taking the fabric with her. She stepped out of the leggings and stood up. Kari smiled in acknowledgment of the display before her. She was a very happy woman.
"Beautiful. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life. Now, bathe and I'll be right back."
"Where are you off to?"
"Where else? Food."
The blonde prided herself on her control. *You don't see that kind of nice every day.*
Reggie slid effortlessly into the warm fragrant water. She had not been expecting 'candles' tonight. She had so wanted their first time to be special that she had put off planning anything until she was settled. *Obviously I don't need to be settled to have it be special.* She smiled to herself recalling the past few minutes with the one she loved. *That girl is magic. No doubt about it. Her touch excites me like no one ever has and that is saying volumes.* Reggie touched herself between her legs and felt the truth of her thoughts. The wetness was flowing out of her in rivers. She was interrupted by a soft voice.
"No starting without me allowed." Kari entered the room laden with a covered tray in one hand, wineglasses and a bottle in the other. She set the tray down on the marble behind Reggie's head. She then started to open the wine.
"How did you know?" Reggie reached out and accepted the glass offered to her.
"I know many things about you." Sure hands poured the wine.
"Is that so? Like what?" Reggie sipped and was pleased by the crisp flavor of the Chardonnay.
"Like your going to need to eat so you have enough energy to get through the night." She pulled up the cover and chose a piece of meat off the tray. "Open."
Kari placed the offered food in Reggie's mouth.
"Mmmm. That's great! What's it?"
"Honey-Dijon Currant Chicken. Try and say the three times real fast."
"No thanks. What else you have there?"
"Here." She fed her a piece of melon and a slice of baked brie in puff pastry.
"I'm in heaven." She sipped more wine and was fed by a very attractive blonde. *Life can be good.*
She was feeling full and she was also feeling very amorous. Kari fed her another piece of fruit and found her finger trapped in a warm wet mouth.
"May I have that back?'
The blonde knelt next to the tub and leaned in to more closely observe her captured digit. Using her tongue she lightly probed the trap. There didn't appear to be any openings. She leaned in a bit more and found herself in the grasp of long strong arms. She was lifted up and uncerimoniously pulled into a warm tub on top of a lanky form. Water splashed over the side and she screamed while laughing.
"Much better." The tall woman pulled her close and kissed her.
"For you maybe. My robe is soaked." She was amused anyway.
"Take it off."
Kari sloughed the robe and it floated to the bottom of the tub. She was left in not very much. Blue eyes devoured the lace clad body with hunger. Still cradled in her arms the small body fit against her perfectly. Kari caught her eye and smiled.
"Do you like?"
Reggie kissed her softly. "I more than like. You are extraordinary. Kari, you know my past. I want you to truly believe when I tell you no one has ever come close to you. You make everyone in my past disappear. For me they no longer exist. Now it's only you, it's always been only you." She sealed her profession with another kiss.
The singer's small hand touched Reggie's cheek and their noses touched. "I love you, Ms. Taylor."
"I love you, Ms. Swift."
"I'm getting cold. Can we get out?" She snuggled closer to the woman she was beginning to realize had an inner heat source. *My own personal bed warmer.*
"Alright. Up you go." Reg gave her a gentle push and she stepped out. She stepped the few feet to the hook and grabbed a long blue terry cloth robe and a short towel and handed them to the naked woman. She pulled a towel out of the cabinet and started to dry off her hair. Facing the mirror with one hand on the counter and rubbing her head with the towel she didn't see the admiration in the blue eyes behind her. She put the towel on the counter and dropped her other hand down to rest on the tile in front of her. Slightly bent over the sink she looked up. The utter look of desire she saw in the eyes of the reflection behind her surprised her. Reggie blushed and dropped her gaze. "Reggie?"
She raised her eyes back to the green eyes reflected in the mirror.
"You're allowed to look, you know. You can even touch. I want you to touch me. In any way you want to touch me." The intent in her voice was unmistakable. She needed the woman in the mirror to take her. Possess her completely.
"Come over here." The tall woman took the two steps and stood behind her eyes never wavering. "What do you want?" Serious eyes asked her the question from her soul.
"So take what you want, Reggie. Take what's yours." She bent over further in invitation. Hunger played in the reflection of green eyes and submission played on her face.
Taking a deep breath the she placed a hand between the blonde's legs and undid the snaps in the teddy. The satin opened and blonde curls dripping with water and wet with excitement were revealed to her. She put her hands firmly on the sexy ass in front of her and squeezed spreading her apart slightly. Her robe was open and she pushed her own mound in to wet the warmth. Her hands made a path up under the fabric pushing it along as she went. The small waist was almost totally encircled in her grip. With a hold on the handful of a waist she pushed in and pulled in at the same time. A moan and a sigh came from Kari and Reggie looked up. In the mirror she could see the pleasure held by the beautiful face looking at her. The sight was incredibly arousing. Her own tall form naked except for the robe she wore opened in the front, grinding into the prone form of the woman I front of her. She watched as her hands traveled further up her lovers body and tease nipples through the black silk. She reached down to the end of the fabric and pulled it up and over the blonde head. In her nakedness, this was the most beautiful creature Reggie had ever seen. She wanted to fully possess her and make her her very own. Her fingers itched to touch and probe. Kari had given her the permission she needed to test the limits. Could she? Long fingers explored the length of the wet folds and attended gently to the swollen nub of nerves at the summit of those folds.
Kari bent her head and groaned, pushing back begging for more contact.
"Look up, Kari. I want to see you."
Half open green eyes peered up into the depths of sapphire. She felt a slight pressure at her opening and then experienced the sensation of long fingers easing into her slow inches at a time. She couldn't break her gaze, though she knew her face showed the gratification she felt. She rocked back impaling herself as deeply as she could on those two long fingers. Reggie thrust with the rocking motion of the woman in front of her. Their eyes were locked in passion.
"Oh yeah. That's it. Fuck me.... slow and easy. You-feel-so-good."
The tall woman's knees about gave out at the words and the view. She shook her head and regained a modicum of her composure. With her free hand she touched the very tip of a secreted ridge.
"Oh you do.... ah... know...mmm.. how... to.... please.. a girl. Mmmmmm."
"You are the only girl I'm.... interested... in.....pleasing. Right...there."
"Ah! Oh my God!" Kari wasn't sure what spot the long fingers had touched but she was now barely hanging on to the edge of release.
"I take it that's a good thing." Reggie smiled in satisfaction. She wanted to give her angel everything.
Kari's green eyes closed and she nodded her head. "Oh yessss. That -is- a -veeeery ,......good thing."
"How about this." Long fingers moved slightly inside of her.
"Baby, it's aaaaaa. Shit! Yes." She was so close she was shaking. Her knees threatened to fail her. Her hands grasped the edge of the counter in an effort to remain upright. Reggie moved her free hand and grasped the woman around the waist.
"I can't have you falling, sweetheart. Hold still." She gently withdrew her fingers under much protest.
She quickly cradled the protesting woman into her arms and carried her into the other room. "I'm taking you to bed." She leaned in for a deep kiss. It was returned with craving. She set her package on her feet and removed her robe.
Kari lay down on the bed beckoning to her lover.
Unable to resist, Reggie lay between strong toned legs. She knew that this wonder before her didn't give her body to just anyone. She paid homage to that fact and whispered 'thank you' to whoever was listening, including the blonde herself. She felt the slick wetness at her fingertips and tasted it with her tongue.
Kari felt her lips spread open. The exposure excited her even more and she moaned. She heard a whispered 'thank you' and felt a long tongue begin a probing journey. The sensation of Reggie's tongue on her and those incredibly long fingers inside of her returned her to the edge she had been on before. Her legs gave away her excitement with their trembling.
Reggie Gave a purposeful suck on Kari's tender nerves and sent the blonde tumbling over the precipice.
"...can't........Oh god, Reggie.." With cry of release she gave herself over to rapture. Her muscles pulsed around the fingers within her. One hand gripped the bed covering the other sought and found the head between her legs.
Reggie heard the cry of pleasure fall from the lips of the singer and electricity shot through her. She moaned and wetness flowed down her own thigh from the sounds of passion in the air. She pushed in sync with the movements on her fingers. She pulled every ounce of pleasure from Kari as she had ability to do. Her fingers stroked inside against the soft mound of nerves behind the entrance and she sucked delicately until she felt the final spasm grasp her finger.
Movement ceased and little tremors shook through Kari's body. The dark woman who had brought her so much pleasure was now cradling her sweetly in her powerful arms. Reggie kissed her deeply and then laid a blonde head on her shoulder.
"Reggie." The voice was little more than a whisper.
Reggie kissed her temple. "Yes love.'
"I'm making sure you're real."
"I am, but I'm not so sure you are."
"Mmmmmm. God you feel good. What do you mean you're not sure."
Reggie reach down and gently fondled a breast and admired the view. "This. Now this is exquisite."
"You're not sure....'
Reggie smiled. "Sorry. I was......distracted. What I mean is you have totally blown my mind. There is no other way for me to say it. You know what I want, what I like and how to get me there. It's like we've done this a million times. It is so easy being with you. No rush. No pressure. Just feeling..... everything.
'Baby, I haven't even done anything yet." Her finger ran over Reggie's bottom lip. The tone in her voice told the long legged woman that the blonde was not even close to getting started.
"Heaven preserve me."
"Honey, heaven ain't gonna save you from me." With that declaration she laid her small frame across the long body of her lover and her lips on the other woman's with great purpose. "Take this thing off."
Long arms worked their way out of the robe that was pushed to the side. It would seem later, with clothes strewn all over, that the washer had blown up in the room.
Kari pushed her prey back to the mat and knelt above her and trapped her wrists. She growled deep in her throat and slid her body temptingly along Reggie's, nipples and breasts barely grazing her heated skin. Reaching her neck she took a small bite and a lick. "You are mine!" She whispered hotly in a sensitive ear. She ground her wet mound into Reggie's stomach, sliding up and down staring into azure eyes that wondered where this creature was taking her and would she ever be the same. Not likely. Kari released captive wrists and her firm butt was immediately taken prisoner in strong, sure hands. She was firmly moved down until wet curls and slick lips were entwined. Passion was no longer an issue. They became urgent in their movements. Reggie momentarily captured a swaying breast in her mouth. Sweat glistened and dripped on frantic bodies. Lips locked in craving need. A cry from one throat was swallowed up by the other. Mouths disentangled so breathing could take place. Kari plead with her lover. "Please. Please. Ahhhh." Reggie inflamed her's. "Stay with me. Oh! There. YEAH!" She cried out with the power of climax. She looked into the eyes of her soulmate and watched her follow her over. Kari felt the rush of electricity start at her toes and shoot up her legs she cried out when the power reached her center. Their eyes never broke from each other. The power in the contact of their gaze and their release, allowed souls to unite as they fell into one another
Kari lay atop Reggie breathing heavily after their intense workout. One hand rested powerlessly on her back. She wondered how that had gotten turned around. She didn't care, she just wondered.
"You up there?"
"Mmmmmm." Kari pulled her hands up, laced them across Reggie's ribcage and rested her chin on them.
She watched the beautiful being before her recover from their passion. She felt a tingling of recognition that passed as quickly as it came. It didn't matter. She knew her with every fiber of her being. They flowed in unison, connected in a deep way that she didn't understand. Understanding wasn't necessary. She just knew. Blue eyes, clear and direct, opened to look at her. She smiled.
"I am not the sexy one. The view from down here was inspiring. I know you had other plans but......well, I couldn't help it."
"Was I complaining?" She scooted up closer to her lover's face.
Reggie wrapped both arms snuggly around Kari's petite form. The blonde layed her head down and sighed.
"Well, I didn't hear any, but you never know."
"Honey, let me tell you something. I don't think making love is supposed to be a planned thing or a competition. If I don't want you to do something, you'll know. But, know this, if there is something you're doing I don't like it must be life threatening."
Reggie let that sink in. "What does that mean exactly?"
"It means I enjoy sex in almost every form. When trust is unwavering it can be quite an adventure." She smiled mischievously.
The business woman blushed at the thoughts going through her head. The things she could think of to do with this woman were unlimited.
"You sure do blush alot." Kari scooted up close enough to kiss her love. She got very serious. "I love you, Reggie. I love you deeply in a way that is almost overwhelming. And to think I wouldn't talk to you for a whole week. I think it did you good though."
"ME? I got a fractured skull for my trouble. Thank you very much." She addressed the previous subject. "So tell me, what do you like?"
"That's not what I meant."
"I know. Let's see. It's easier to list what I don't like. I would rather discover with you what suits us."
"OK. I'll ask you. Bondage."
The blonde blushed and smiled.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'. Blindfold."
She was very matter of fact in her response. "Not my favorite. I'm visual by nature. It can enhance something's but still not a favorite."
"Oh God Yes! Don't ask me why, it just gets me wet." Just thinking about it gave her a very warm reaction between her legs. Seeing in her mind this tall drink of water standing behind her while she presented herself for painful pleasure made her shudder. "Yum."
"I see. I've never done it before, but I'm game." She smiled. Her sex life was going to be very interesting if this conversation was any indication.
"Look, I like sex. I love you. The two could make a dangerously exciting combination." Sneaking her way to her lovers lips, she deposited a sensual kiss on her that curled Reggie's toes. "I'd much rather do it than talk about it." She kissed her again for emphasis. "I want to taste you." She whispered.
"As I heard someone else say....... 'Take what's yours."
"Oh I will. You relax. I'll do this." Smiling the blonde took control of the situation. A kiss down the long, sensitive neck was a good beginning. She sucked hard on a spot she knew to be titillating. Reg groaned under her touch. That would leave a mark. She grinned to herself. It wasn't her habit to leave tell tale signs of her presence, but she couldn't help this one. Reggie would have to wear turtle-necks for a few days. She paused to tug on an earlobe with her lips. She suckled softly flicking it in her mouth, giving her lover something to think about.
Her torturous journey continued until she arrived at perfect breasts. She worshipped them with her eyes and enveloped one nipple into her hot mouth. Her partner moaned deeply with pleasure. The hard protrusion left a trail of tingles on the blonde's tongue. She tried to pull the entire fleshy mound into her. Her other hand sought out the nipple of the lone breast on the left. Full handed she cupped the warm flesh in her hand squeezing the nub between outstretched fingers. She loved these perfect mounds. They were more than her small hands could hold completely, but it didn't stop her from trying. She pushed them together attempting to put both nipples in her mouth at once. When she succeeded, Reggie cried out, "Oh my God! That is wonderful. More." Encouraged she continued her ministrations with vigor. Reggie pushed her hips into the mattress and thrust up again. She couldn't contain her excitement any more.
Kari sensing her need, moved her body between tan legs. She saw the wetness that she had caused and smiled with relief. She could please this woman after all. She admired the view of dark curls and soft wet skin. One hand played in the curls atop the slick heart of her lovers center. She bent to her goal and with a probing tongue ran a long line up the folds and stopped to tease a stimulated cluster of nerve endings. Reggie jumped slightly and then pushed into the contact. Kari withdrew and paused before she began her next assault. Patient fingers pressed to the slick opening and waited for a hint. She pressed in harder and got the answer she desired. Reggie thrust into her fingers and Kari entered her with one slow push. Her tongue pursued the bundle again and thrust forward slightly raising the hood up to find the most sensitive spot. Her success was answered with a whimper and a ragged plea. "Please. Oh God, please. Make me come."
How could she resist such a sweet request. She placed her total mouth on the nerves and pulled with a gentle sucking followed by insistent flicking across the tip. Her fingers thrust in time to her lovers movements. The tensing of muscles around her fingers signaled the beginning of delivery. Reggie tensed and sat up slightly and then fell back. Her voice exclaimed her release and her pulsing center proved it.
"Kaaari! Fuck ahhhhh " There was silence as she continued her journey into paradise
Kari rode the wave with her, not losing contact with her pulsing flesh. She was pushing her higher, if that were possible. The tall woman ceased movement and spoke quietly "oh yeah. Dontstopdontstop. Yessssss." Seconds later she dropped over the summit again. "Oh baby! Oh yeah. Fuck me. Ooooh. " She had become quite verbal the second time. Thrusting along the fingers within her squeezing the last speck of pleasure she could find.
The words ceased and the woman lay still. Kari climbed the tall she never thought she could reach. She knew she had reached the most important part. The very soul of this creature was hers. She embraced the spent woman and kissed her cheek. "I love you."
"I love you back."
"Yeah." Blue eyes closed and Reggie drifted off to sleep and maybe to dream.
There was one thing Kari knew with all certainty before peaceful slumber fell. They made beautiful music together.
The end hummm.
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