Title: Who’s that Lady?
Feedback: Please, Ry_Rain@hotmail.com
Disclaimer: The only characters I own in this story (as of now) are Alex Desmond, Stacy Desmond, Bob Buckley, and Dr. Stiles (more will come later)
Pairings: Bette/Tina; Marina/Jenny Alice/Shane; Kit/Ivan
I walked into the club and spotted Alice sitting at the bar, terrorizing some innocent girl with her constant chatter and references to the chart. I still can’t believe she put that thing on the Internet.
“Shane!” Damn, she spotted me. I lazily made my way across the floor. With Alice’s attention elsewhere, the poor girl quickly got away while she could. Smart girl.
“Hey Alice, would you please stop scaring the newbies away before I even get a chance to meet them.”
Alice rolled her eyes at me. “I don’t get why people take offense to the chart.”
“Maybe they don’t want their love lives posted somewhere anybody and their mother can find them.”
“People don’t have to put their names on it,” argued Alice. “I know you don’t care and I asked everyone else.”
“What about the people who you put with me and didn’t ask? Hmm? What about them?”
“Fine, but I haven’t gotten any e-mails complaining or telling me to take their names off.”
“Fine. Where is everyone?”
Alice sighed. “Bette and Tina are sitting with Marina over in the corner there,” she said, pointing to the three of them.
“And Dana?” Alice glared at me. “What? You always know where all of us are.”
Alice sighed again. “Where do you think? She’s out with Lara.”
“I still can’t believe it turned out she was gay after all. Good for Dana.”
“Yeah, but bad for you.” I looked at Alice and quirked an eyebrow. “Well, you flirted with her and got nothing. You’ve lost your touch.”
“Come on Shane. When’s the last time you had a date ... or just skipped the date and went right for the sex?”
“Okay, I’ll admit it’s been a long time but I haven’t lost my touch.” Alice nodded, wearing a smug look on her face. “Shut up.” Alice just chuckled and took a sip of her drink. She started choking as she looked at the front door. “Are you alright?”
“No I am not. Alex Desmond just walked in the door.”
I looked at Alice, this moment turning into a cliché movie scene, as Madonna‘s “Who’s that Girl?” played over the speakers. “Who?”
“You don’t know who Alex Desmond is?” I shook my head and followed Alex with my eyes. She‘s beautiful, although not my type. “Oh my god. Alex Desmond is THE hottest thing right now. She does everything. There is no one better then her.” Alice turned around to watch Alex as well. “And now she is walking over to Bette, Tina, Marina and ... Dana? When did she get here?”
“I swear you have ADD. I have never known you to stay on one subject, with the exception of the chart, for more then ten minutes.” Alice just shook her head. We had nothing else to say so we sat in silence, watching Alex Desmond, with her dark brown hair up in a sexy bun, make her way over to our friends.
“Oh. My. God. Alex Desmond just walked in and is making her way towards us.” Bette, Tina, and myself all look towards the door after Dana points to it, as Alex slowly walks to our table. I stood up and waved at her. “Marina, you know her?”
“Yes I do.” Alex was finally at our table. I hugged her. “What are you doing here?”
She kissed me on both cheeks. “I thought I’d come visit you. I happened to be in the neighborhood for an interview and I haven’t seen you in a long time.”
“What is Marina doing?”
“And you say I have ADD.”
Shane glares at me and points back at Marina. “Alice, look at her. Does she not remember what happened when her and Jenny first got together?”
I look at Shane. She’s not making any sense whatsoever. “Shane, what the hell are you talking about?”
“Look at her!” I look at Marina again as she hugs Alex. “I mean, after what happened with Jenny and Tim don’t you think she shouldn’t be hugging and kissing other girls, especially famous ones?”
Ah ha. “So, that’s it. You’re jealous that Marina is getting attention from a celebrity and you’re not.
“I am not jealous!”
“Sure you’re not Shane.” I stand up and grab my drink. “I’m going to leave you here to wallow in your denial. I want to meet Alex Desmond. Marina obviously knows her.”
“Als!” I waved her off without turning around.
Alex looked at the rest of us at the table just as Alice sat down next to me. “Are you going to introduce me to your friends?”
“Oh yeah, of course.” Marina turned to us. “Guys, this is Alex Desmond. She’s my little sister.”
“Wow, you’re like my all time favorite singer.” I gush. Oh my god. Did I actually just say that? I blushed as I noticed everyone, including Alex, looking at me.
“Really?” I nodded. “Well, thanks.” Marina brought a chair to the table for her and she sat down. “You’re Dana Fairbanks, right?” I nodded. “You’re my favorite tennis player. I’ve seen all your games.” Marina looked between the two of us, quirking an eyebrow as she did. I blushed again and ducked my head, the water circles on the table becoming very interesting.!
“You’re a singer?” Tina asked. “Are you any good?”
Alice looked at Tina with disbelief. “Any good? Tina, haven’t you been reading my mag? We did an article about her last month. She’s one of the best singers of our time.” I watched as Alex blushed and also found something on the table to be very interesting. Alice looked at Bette. “She even donated a bunch of money to the museum.”
Bette looked at Alex. “You’re Alexandra Desmond? I’ve seen some of your work. You’re really good.”
Alex blushed and quietly said, “Thank you.”
“Hey.” I looked up and saw Shane standing next to Alex. Great now, I don’t have any chance with her.
“Hey,” Bette said as Alex looked at Shane with mild disdain. Maybe I wouldn’t have had a chance even if Alex had never met Shane.
“Shane, this is Alex.” Alex thinly smiled at Shane, who just sat down, completely ignoring her.
“So, Dana, how are things going with the chef?”
Great. I was hoping no one would bring Lara up. I can’t lie to my friends. I sighed. “We’re over.”
“Thanks Shane.” I slowly put my head on the table. “I’m so freakin’ pathetic.”
“You’re not pathetic Dana. Its her lost.” Shane stood right back up. She probably doesn’t want to have to deal with my problems right now. “I’ve got to get going. See ya guys.”
“Bye Shane,” I said, although it was muffled from my arms being wrapping around my head.
Alex then stood up as well. “I should get going too.”
“But you just got here,” Alice said. She obviously wants Alex as well. She’s acting the same way she acted towards Jenny. I wonder if Marina knows Alice had hitted on Jenny.
“Yeah, its pretty late and I have an early morning. Its nice meeting ya’ll.”
“Where are you staying?” Tina asked.
“Oh, a hotel just outside the city. It kinda of sucks. I have to get up in,” Alex looked at her watch, “three hours at the latest. Which means I’ll only have an hour to sleep. It takes two hours to get there.”
I picked my head up. “You can stay with me.”
Everyone stared at me. “I couldn’t do that. We just met.”
“Its not like you’re going to be sleeping with me.” OH MY GOD! Where the hell did that come from?
“I meant I couldn’t take advantage of your kindness like that.” Is she blushing? “I just wouldn’t feel comfortable. Thank you though.”
“Come on. I insist. Any sister of Marina’s is a friend of mine.”
“I only have the one sister.” Marina turned to Alex, “And I would invite you to stay with me but my girlfriend gets back in town in an hour which means I have to go. Alex, take Dana up on her offer or the rest of them will offer and all kinds of crap will happen. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“See ya Marina. Alex, are you staying with me or what?”
“Alex watched Marina leave. “Marina’s right,” Tina spoke up. Alex turned around and looked at her. “If you say no to Dana the rest of us will invite you to stay with us.” Alice and Bette both nodded, not that Bette asking would have been any different then Tina asking, although she could probably be more forceful.
“Well, I don’t want to go through this two more times.” She must have picked up on the fact that Bette and Tina are together. “So I thank you now for the offer and this is also my way of saying yes by the way.”
“Good. Lets go then so you can get your sleep.” Alex nodded and we left, saying goodbye to the others.”
“She seemed kind of …”
“Stuck up?” finished Alice.
I glared at her. “That wasn’t what I was going to say. I was going to say that she seemed kind of uncomfortable around us, like she had something to hide or feel guilty about.”
“I know what that was about.” Alice and I looked at Bette. “Alex and I … we kind of … went out in college.”
I blanched. “What?”
“It was only for a semester, our first semester. Her and I were roommates and … I don’t one thing led to another and we were going out.”
“Oh, my, god. I’m linked to Alex Desmond!”
“No you are not.” Alice looked at Bette and quirked an eyebrow. “We never got that far. To my best knowledge Alex was still a virgin then and could be even now.”
“I highly doubt she’s a thirty-five year old virgin,” Alice said, practically scoffing.
“Well, for one thing, Alex is younger than Marina by at least a year. She skipped a grade if not more.”
“So, she’s thirty-four. I still don’t think she’s a virgin.”
I looked between Alice and Bette, sensing another monogamy discussion coming along. “You know what guys? I’m really tired. You ready to go Bette?” Bette squinted at Alice but nodded. “Great. We’ll see you tomorrow Alice.”
“Yeah. Bye you guys.”
“Bye Als.” I quickly ushered Bette out the door. “You don’t seem so tired right now.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t want to listen to another monogamy lecture. Alice will never understand so its useless trying.” I turned Bette towards around and kissed her. “I don’t want my girlfriend and one of our friends constantly fighting.” Bette nodded and kissed me.
“Lets go home and practice some sexual monogamy.” I looked at Bette, my eyes wide. “What? I can’t have any surprises up my sleeves?” I chuckled and got in the car. Bette closed my door and climbed into the driver’s seat. She looked at me and grinned a grin that made my heart melt and we were off, speeding and running all kinds of red lights to get home as soon as possible.
I followed Dana to her house. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was bigger than my place in Atlanta and I thought that was a palace. This must have cost her a fortune. I didn’t know tennis players made this much money. “You’ve got a nice place,” I said as I walked in the door and followed her upstairs.
“Thanks. Its kind of like my dream house.” Dana turned around and looked at me. “You want the grand tour?” she asked as she took off her sweatshirt, revealing a wifebeater underneath. I just nodded, the sight of her having taken my breath away. “Well, take your coat off and I’ll show around.”
I thought the outside was nice, damn the inside was gorgeous. “You’ve got great taste.”
“Thanks,” she said blushing, “but Bette and Harrison helped me decorate.” Once she had shown me the rest of the house, we came to the end of a hallway with two doors. She pointed to one. “This is where you can stay.” She opened the door and we walked in. “Had you checked into your hotel yet?”
“No, otherwise nothing would have talked me into staying in the city. Need clothes.” Dana nodded. “Can I use your phone to call and say I’m not coming?”
“Of course. There’s one in the guest room. “I’m going to go to bed. It there anything you need before I do?” I shook my head. “Okay, I’ll see you in the morning. Have a good night.”
“Yeah, you too.” I watched her walk into her room. I closed the door, leaning against it, and sighed.
Three Days Later at the Planet
I love watching Marina work. The way she just seems to glide around, her feet not even touching the ground. I know I’m grinning like an idiot. I can tell by the looks on everyone’s faces and Alice is rolling her eyes. I turned around when Tina pointed towards the door. A girl walked in and was quickly greeted by Marina with a kiss on the cheek, a gesture usually reserved for the people I’m sitting with and Dana, who happened to be walking with the sexy stranger, who seemed to be flirting with Marina and Dana.
“Who is that?”
Everyone spun around and looked at me. Something must be going on. “You don’t know who that is?” Alice asked. I shook my head. “That’s Alex Desmond.”
“The singer?” I asked, just having heard one of her songs on the radio that morning.
“The singer, actress, author, painter, designed … I mean the girl does everything.” I looked at Alice. “She’s huge, especially in France. That’s where her and Marina went to high school actually, well, a boarding school.”
“They went to high school together?” Alice nodded, unable to hide a look that said ‘Wasn’t that just what I said?’ “I’ll be right back.” I walked towards Marina. We met in the middle. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure, but first I’d like you to meet Alex. Alex, this is Jenny.”
“Hey.” I looked at her. There’s something familiar about her, and it can’t be the famous thing because until this morning I had never heard of her. Alex smiled, nodded, then went to sit down. Dana closely followed. “What do you think you’re doing?” I demanded. Marina just looked at me as though I was crazy.
“Who’s that Jenny girl?” Alex asked, watching Jenny quietly yell at Marina.
“That’s Marina’s girlfriend,” Tina said, looking between Alex and the couple fighting. “Why?”
“Just wondering why she was accusing Marina of cheating.” I watched Alex stare intently at Jenny and Marina.
“How do you know that?” Dana asked, although it was kind of obvious even if I didn’t already know the answer to that question.
“She can read lips,” I answered for her. She turned around and smiled. I noticed Jenny and Marina walking towards us.
“I’m sorry Shane.” Shane looked at Alex, completely confused as she had been watching Alice head to the bathroom, but I knew what was going on. Its not the first time she’s done it.
“Everyone,” Marina said tersely as she sat down next to Alex. Jenny’s nostrils flared. It was obvious what Jenny thought of Alex.
I watched as Alex leaned on Marina, hugging her around the waist. I sure hope this works.
“Marina, Shane was hitting on me,” Alex said in a childish voice. Now it was Marina’s turn to flare her nostrils.
“What? Shane, how dare you hit on my little sister.” Both Jenny and Shane’s eyes went wide.
“I didn’t hit on her!” Shane glared at Alex.
“Alex, why would you say that?”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Because your dumb self didn’t introduce me to your girlfriend correctly.” Marina quirked an eyebrow. “Jenny thought you were cheating on her because she saw how you greeted me.”
“How did you know that?”
“She can read lips,” everyone responded for Alex. Alex just grinned as Jenny slowly nodded. She looked at Marina.
“Don’t worry about it.” Marina glared at Alex. “I take it you apologized to Shane before telling me she hit on you?” Alex nodded. “Did she know why you were apologizing?” Alex slowly shook her head and Marina gestured at Shane.
“I apologize again Shane, I or Bette should have warned you.”
Tina looked at Alex and I. “How could Better have know what you were going to do?”
“Its not the first time she’s done it.” Alex smiled and ducked her head. “She did it with Francesca before her and I were going out.” Bette looked over and saw the looks on Jenny and Marina’s faces. “Shit! Guys I’m sorry.”
Alex looked at Marina with a weird look on her face. “Don’t ask,” she said in Italian. Alex nodded. Marina looked at Bette, who grimaced slightly. “We’ve got to get going. We have dinner reservations.”
“It was nice meeting you Alex.”
Alex looked up and smiled at Jenny. “Yeah, I’ve heard so much about you I’m glad I finally got a chance to see what all the hype was about.” Jenny blushed as she put on her jacket. “I hope you guys have a good dinner.”
“Thank you Alex.” Marina turned to Jenny. “You ready?” Jenny nodded. “Good. Lets go. Goodbye everyone.” Jenny and Marina left to a chorus of goodbyes.
I noticed Shane looking at a point beyond us all. I turned around, trying to see what Shane was looking at. All I saw was Alice, finally coming back from the bathroom. Alice sat down next to Shane. “Took you long enough. I actually forgot you had gone in there.” Alice just shrugged and pulled a piece of Shane’s croissant. Nobody else noticed.
“Hey Bette.” I looked at Alex. “Doesn’t the CAC have nights when anybody can display their works?”
“Yeah, but they’re amateurs only. Why?”
“Well, I had my agent send ma all my stuff and he must have sent my paintings express cause they got here this morning. A bunch of them have never even been shown.”
I looked up from my planner, actually trying to find a show. “Really?” Alex nodded. “How would you like your own show?”
That made Alex’s eyes widen as well as Dana’s. “I don’t think I have enough suitable for a show.” Dana nodded.
“What do you mean suitable?”
Alex looked at Dana. “Most of them could be categorized right up there with Provacations. I don’t you to have to go through all that again.”
I smirked. She hasn’t changed a bit. “Can I see them?”
“If you really want to. Dana let me turn half of her garage into a studio. They’re almost all set up in there.”
Tina looked over at Alex. “Aren’t you famous for painting pictures of your friends that you actually took with a camera?”
“Only because my others have been too controversial to show anywhere.”
“Setting a premiere show up would be great for me. Especially from someone like you, well know by everybody because of other projects. Please Alex, do a show?”
“I don’t know Bette. Maybe you should see my work first. I don’t think your bosses are going to like any of them.”
I rolled my eyes. “They let me show provocations. You really think yours are worse?” Alex shrugged. “Dana, you obviously have seen them. Do you think there worse?”
Everyone looked at Dana. “Well, they’re all nudes and all women. There are no men at all. There will definitely be some backlash and controversy.”
“I want to see these paintings now,” said Shane. Alice slapped her hand and Shane actually looked like she had done something wrong. No one else noticed. “Sorry,” she mumbled under her breath. Alice just smiled and nodded. Something is going on there.
“You’ll have to deal with Buckley again.” Tina looked at me, distress in her eyes.
“I can handle her.”
“I don’t know Bette. I’ve dealt with her several times, every time I’ve tried to show these paintings. You wouldn’t believe the lengths she would go through to stop me.” I looked at Alex. The girl was outright scared.
“Alex, why are you so scared about this?”
“That videotape isn’t going to work again.”
“I’ll find something else.”
Alex looked at me. There was something in her eyes that made my blood run cold and freeze in my veins. “I have something on her, much worst than her daughter being in a pornographic video.” Everyone was looking at Alex now. Her voice was filled with so much hatred, it sent shivers down all our backs.
“Why haven’t you used it before than?” Alex shrugged as her demeanor returned to its normal, laidback state. “Alex.”
“It doesn’t matter why I haven’t okay?”
We all sat in complete silence, unsure as what to say next. None of us had ever seen Alex like this. One by one, we all quietly left, Tina and I being last.
I walked over to the table where all my friends had been sitting, now only Alex was there. “I thought you had dinner reservations,” she asked, without even looking at me.
I sat down next to her and nodded, knowing she couldn’t see me, her arms cradling her head and blocking everything around her. “The restaurant had messed them up. Besides, Jenny wasn’t feeling very good anyway.” Alex nodded. I sighed and also set my head on the table. “What happened after we left?” Alex just shrugged. I looked up at the clock and saw Dana sitting at the counter, watching us. “I’ll be-”
“I know she’s there. I can still smell her perfume. I love the scent but tell her she’s wearing way too much tonight. Also,” Alex picked something off the floor, “tell her not to forget her purse next time.” I nodded and walked over to Dana then handed her the purse.
“I don’t know what to do. We were all sitting, having an alright time until Bette asked Alex to show her paintings.” Dana looked at me. I know she wanted me to tell her what to do but I have no idea.
I walked around to the other side of the counter and took a bottle from underneath. I silently offered it to Dana. She looked at the bottle of tequila and nodded. She reached for her purse but I shook my head and she stopped. We quickly downed our shots. I played with my glass, as Dana just stared at the counter through hers. “Now, tell me what happened after Jenny and I left.”
Dana started playing with her glass for a few minutes, almost dropping it, before answering my question. “Alex asked if the CAC had a night when anyone could shoe their work. Bette said it was for amateurs only and then suggested Alex just have her own show. I guess Alex only wanted to show them for one night.”
I nodded. “Makes sense if they’re the paintings I think they are. Let me guess, Faye Buckley was brought up.” Dana nodded and I sighed, slamming down my glass. “Will you take her home please? Also, try to talk her into doing the show.” Dana nodded and I watch as she walked over to the able and led Alex outside. “I hope she does the show.”
The next day
I watched as everyone filed into the Planet and sat down at our normal table. I walked over and sat down next to Alex. She had a weird look on her face. Everyone was laughing and just chatting about nothing except her. Alex was silent, completely lost in her own thoughts. All of a sudden, she spoke. “I’ll do the show.”
Everyone went silent and abruptly turned to look at her. “Are you sure?” I asked. Alex nodded. “You don’t have to, you know?”
“I know Marina but I want to.” I nodded. The only reason why I had asked was to make sure she was certain. I wanted her to do the show. I’ll call Stacy in the morning.”
That surprised me. “Are you sure you want to do that?” This time Alex glared at me. “Well, that’s more risky than showing the paintings.”
“I know that but it’s the only thing I have.”
Dana raised her hand, actually making Alex smile, and asked, “Who’s Stacy?”
“My little sister.” I knew Alex wasn’t going to tell the truth. “She’s helped me deal with Ms. Buckley before.” Everyone nodded except for Bette.
“Did I ever meet Stacy?”
“No, she’s younger than that. She’s actually still in high school. A senior at Columbus High School in Georgia.” Bette nodded but I could tell she wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “Had you already talked to your bosses about my paintings?”
“Yep and they want to show them. They think it’ll bring a lot of people because we’re in West Hollywood.” Alex rolled her eyes. “Are you serious about wanting to show them? They’re going to get a LOT of media attention. I mean, you’re famous, and this is the first showing of them. They would like it though if you would do a couple of the ones you’re famous for.” Alex nodded. “Are you going to be able to handle Buckley?”
“I can handle her. Don’t worry ‘bout it.”
“Alright.” Bette pulled out her cell phone and put on her earpiece. “I need to call my bosses and tell then you agreed. There’s still time to back out.”
“Would you make the freaking call before I actually do change my mind?” Bette jumped up and ran off, furiously dialing the phone. Alex shook her head and laughed. We all looked at her, glad to see the change from yesterday. If they only knew.
We all sat around a table at a bar. It had been only a week since everyone first met Alex but they all had already fallen in love with her and they treated her as a part of our own little mixed-up family. She knew everything about them and their love lives and they knew everything about her … well, almost everything.
I had noticed a slight change in Alex’s demeanor since that morning. Alex had been very happy and cheerful but now it all seemed fake. “How was everyone’s day?” Now maybe I’ll know what up.
Everyone shrugged except Alex. The exact reaction I was expecting and somewhat hoping for. Everyone else has noticed the change as well. Alex looked me in the eyes and slightly, so as no one else could see, shook her head. I quirked an eyebrow but nodded.
“So, Alex, we all did our usual things today, what about you?” Alice asked. “You seem to do a different thing everyday.”
“I mostly stayed at home. Wasn’t feeling good earlier this afternoon.” I looked at Alex, trying to understand what was wrong. I noticed Alex’s hand shaking and a light bulb clicked on. I knew what was going on. “I feel much better now though, so don’t worry.”
Bette looked at me as she watched Alex. She had obviously also noticed Alex’s hand shaking. I caught her eyes and answered her unspoken question with a slight nod. Bette immediately put on a fake smile, on that was more convincing than Alex’s.
I leaned back and laid my head on Dana’s shoulder. Dana looked down at me. “Are you alright Alex?”
“Yeah, I just got dizzy all of a sudden.” I closed my eyes, trying to zone everyone out and ignore the two pairs of eyes, Bette and Marina’s, that were staring at me with concern. I knew they knew what was going on. “I’m sorry, is this bothering you?” I asked Dana, just realizing that my head was on her shoulder.
Dana looked down at me. “No, you’re fine. Do you want me to bring you home?” I shook her head then turned it further in the crook of Dana’s neck. All of a sudden I started shaking. “I’m taking you home. Everyone else in here is sweating bullets and you’re shivering like you just jumped in an ocean in Maine. If you won’t let me take you home then I’m taking you to the hospital.”
I sat straight up at that. I grabbed my head and started slightly falling forward but Dana caught me before my head hit the table. “That’s it,” Shane said. “You slept all day, you were dizzy earlier, and now you’re about to faint.” Shane stood up and helped Dana stand me up. “You’re going to the hospital even if I have to carry you myself.”
I looked up and glared at Shane. “It would be useless. I already know what wrong. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. Will you please help me sit back down? Standing up is just making the dizziness worse.”
Shane and Dana sat me down. “Well, are you going to tell us what’s wrong or not?”
“Leave her alone Shane.” Marina looked at me. “Are you alright?” I slowly nodded. “Is it what I think?” I looked down and started shaking, this time from tears, not cold. Marina stood up and knelt in front of me. She looked up at me. “Are they sure?” I nodded. “Damn Alex.” She stood back up and retook her seat.
“What’s going on?” Dana asked. Looking around, I’m sure she noticed that for once, she wasn’t the last to know.
Bette and Marina looked at each other then at me. I laid my head back on Dana’s shoulder, my tears soaking her shirt where they fell. “Alex, do you want us to tell them?” Tina looked at Bette, I’m sure she was surprised to find out Bette knew what was going on. Everyone watched as I nodded my head once more. Bette looked a Marina.
“When we were in high school, Alex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It went away then came back when we were in college.”
“That’s how I know.” Everyone looked at me. Dana hugged me tight to herself, rocking me as I slowly started to calm down. “I remember it like it was yesterday.”
“So do I,” I said, lifting my head from Dana’s shoulder, my voice hoarse from crying. “I remember everything.”
Everyone looked at the ground, ashamed for no reason other than the pity they felt for me, knowing it was not wanted and actually despised. Dana looked at me, careful not to disturb me too much. “Will you let me take you home now?”
I nodded and stood up, as did everyone else. They all followed Dana and me out to her car, everyone touching me somehow, lending me their strength. Dana was holding my hand, Shane’s arm was around my waist, Bette and Tina had their hands on each shoulder, and Marina was holding my other hand. I don’ know how we made it out the door but we did. I hugged them all and said goodbye as Shane helped me climb in the front seat then she sat in the back. Dana climbed into the driver’s seat and we were gone.
We watched as Dana’s car got smaller and smaller until we couldn’t see it anymore. We looked at each other, no longer wanting to be out but not wanting to be alone. Tina and Bette started walking to their car. Tina turned around and looked at Marina and me. She looked at Bette who nodded. “You guys want to come over and watch some movies or something?” I, not having a boyfriend or girlfriend to go home to, nodded and quickly caught up with Bette and Tina. “Marina, you of all people shouldn’t be home alone tonight. You can call Jenny from our house.”
“Thank you but I’m alright. I’d rather just go home.”
I was the one to speak up after that. “Step off you’re high horse and come with us. Alex may be the one with cancer but I‘m sure it’s hard on you to. Get your ass over here and come with us. No one should be alone tonight and like Tina said, that especially means you.”
Marina looked at me and nodded. “You’re right.” Marina slowly walked up to me and I put my arm around her shoulders. “Let’s go.” The four of us climbed into Bette and Tina’s car, Marina and I just a little too drunk to drive.
Dana opened the door and held it open as I helped Alex inside and up the stairs. “Where should I put her?”
“I can walk by myself Shane,” Alex said, glaring at me.
“Don’t care. Dana?”
Dana slowly walked up the stairs. “Depends on where she want to go. So either the couch or her room.”
“If you must manhandle me then just put me on the couch. Going up the first flight of stairs killed my head.” I nodded and carefully helped Alex over to the couch. “Thank you Shane.” I nodded and sat on an easy chair across from Alex. “I’m sorry I’m being such a bitch.”
Dana sat next to Alex and hugged her. “Don’t worry about it Sweetie. WE completely understand. You’re going through a lot right now.” I nodded but quirked an eyebrow at Dana’s behavior. She was stroking Alex’s arms as Alex leaned against her, her face buried in the crook of Dana’s neck again.
I looked at my watch. “I have a very important appointment in the morning. Are the two of you going to be alright?” Dana nodded as she continued stroked Alex’s hair. “Okay, well, if you need anything, call me, no matter what time it is.”
“Thank you Shane.” I nodded as I walked backwards, watching the interaction between Alex and Dana. I could see the sparks flying between and them and couldn’t wait for them to get together.
Bette and Tina’s House
I looked over at the couch where Marina had fallen asleep. Alice was on the floor, staring intently at the TV, some old black and white movie playing. I was in the easy chair with Tina in my lap. Alice looked at the door when someone knocked. She looked back at Tina and me.
“Who could that be?” Tina shrugged and Alice stood up to see who it was. “Its Shane.” Alice opened the door and let Shane in. “Hey, why aren’t you with Alex and Dana?”
“Didn’t want to get burned by the flying sparks. Damn those two need to get together soon.” Alice nodded as she sat back down on the floor in front of the TV. Shane sat right next to her, leaning back on her palms. “Whatcha guys watching?”
“Don’t know but see that girl coughing?” Shane nodded. “She’s going to die,” Alice said as she laid down, using Shane’s stomach as a pillow. I looked at Tina and we both smirked. A blind person could see the sparks flying between those two. Who was Shane to be talking. “There’s nothing else on.”
Shane tapped Alice on the shoulder and motioned for her to sit up. “I wanna lay down. You can use my arm as a pillow.” Alice nodded and waited for Shane to get situated. “I’m good now.” Alice laid down and backed into Shane until Shane was spooning her.
“You alright?” Shane whispered, a half hour later, thinking Tina and I were asleep. Alice nodded and then Shane put an arm around Alice and pulled her closer.
Tina silently giggled at the scene as I just rolled my eyes. Tina looked over and saw Marina was still fast asleep. “Are you guys going to make us endure another Dana and Lara incident?”
Shane chuckled as Alice turned and buried her face into Shane’s shoulder. “Leave us alone.”
Tina smiled. “How long have you two been together?”
“A week and don’t yell at us for not telling ya’ll sooner. We figured it would be easier to stay friends if something were to happen if ya’ll didn’t know about us.” Tina nodded. “I can’t believe you thought we were going to pull a DL. Neither of us are that desperate.”
“For once,” mumbled Alice as she turned back towards the television. “Don’t tell anyone else before we can. I know you’ve asked me to do that before and I haven’t but please don’t pick now to get back at me.”
“Neither of us would do that,” I said, as I hugged Tina closer to myself. I could tell both Alice and Shane were happy. Finally, they both really deserve happiness and someone who will treat them right. I remember the first time I met both of them.
I walked into a new club. It was crowded and loud. Women were dancing and grinding to the music blasting through the speakers. The club was tacky and its occupants even more so. Every single stereotype was represented.
I walked to the bar and sat next to a blonde woman who was shamelessly flirting with the bartender. The bartender was flirting back and not paying any attention to any of her other customers. “You can link anyone, especially lesbians. They’re the easiest to link.”
“Don’t tell me you’re another one of those people who plays “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?” I interrupted. The blonde and the bartender turned and looked at me.
“I’m sorry, you are who exactly?”
“Bette Porter. You?”
“Alice Pieszecki. You’re not from around here are you?”
I shook my head. “I go to Berekley. Had a big blowout with my roommate when we broke up.” The bartender looked between the two of us then went to pay attention to a redhead on the other end of the bar. “Haven’t been back since. Luckily its Christmas Break so I’m not missing any classes.”
Alice moved to a seat closer to me. “That’s horrible. How long had the two of you been going out?” Alice looked at me, actual concern showing in her eyes.
“Just the semester. We met through her sister at the very end of the summer.” Alice nodded. “What about you? Anyone special?”
“I wish.” Alice laughed. “No, I just broke up with someone myself.”
“Someone who treated you like shit Als.” I looked up to see a somewhat, butch brunette, standing next to Alice. “I’m Shane.”
“Bette.” Shane nodded and looked around. “You waiting for someone?”
“Shane doesn’t wait for anyone.” Shane suddenly whistled. Alice and I turned around to see Marina walk through the door. “Damn, Shane. You sure have a good eye.”
Alice looked at me. “That sure didn’t sound like a good damn there. Something wrong?”
“That’s my ex’s sister. I was hoping she wouldn’t be able to find me.”
Marina spotted me sitting with Alice and Shane. Bette!” I turned around and made like I was going to leave. “Oh no you don’t.” Marina grabbed my arm. Alice and Shane stepped closer to me. I was glad they did, although I had just met them, I felt like we could be very good friends. I was touched that they were worried about me. Marina released my arm.
“What do you want Marina?” I asked as I sighed and sat back down on my stool.
“Look, I know what happened between you and Alex but she really needs all the support she can get right now.”
“Why?” Marina looked over at Alice and Shane. “They’re my friends. You can tell them.”
“She has cancer.”
I stared at Marina. “How is that possible?”
“It had spread before her chemo treatments and the operation. They just never noticed it.” I sat my head on the bar. “She told me to you she was sorry.”
“Bette are you alright?”
“Bette.” Bette blinked as Tina shook her out of her thoughts. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, was just remembering something.”
“Me too.” Bette looked at me. “The first time Shane and I met you and Marina.” She nodded. “I just now realized that your Alex then is our Alex now.”
“The two of you don’t act like you’ve known each other that long. I know you told me before that you guys went out but still.”
“She’s not the same person anymore. Once her cancer went back into remission she started traveling all over the world then she became famous. She sent me postcards all the time until she stopped moving. I got one from every country and state she went to. After the one from New York I never got another one. I just figured she was too busy or had lost my address in the move but then I saw her in Kit’s last video.”
“She actually sent me postcards too.” Shane looked at me. “I’m sure I didn’t get one from every country but I did get one from New York.”
“I never got any,” Shane said, actually looking a little sad.
Bette grimaced. “Well, I hate to tell you this but I don’t think Alex liked you very much. Actually I think she only recently started liking you.” Shane nodded and laid back down. Bette sighed. Shane had truly been hurt. “Maybe we should all copy Marina and get some sleep. You two can have the guest room.”
“Thanks Bette.” Bette nodded as her and Tina slowly made their way to their bedroom. I looked at Shane who had sat up and was now staring out the window. “Are you alright sweetie?”
“I’m fine. You ready for bed?” I put my hand on Shane’s shoulder. “Alice, I’m fine. I’m just tired.” I nodded and stood up. “Help me up please?”
“Damn girl, you really are tired.” I helped Shane up and we headed to bed. “I’ll check on Alex and Dana in the morning.” Shane nodded and closed the door behind us.
The Next Morning
I woke up to the sound of someone pounding on the door. I looked up at the couch. Alex was fast asleep, the sleeping pills still in full effect. I got up and slowly went to answer the door, my back aching from falling asleep in my easy chair. “Stop pounding! I’m coming!” Dana whipped the door open. “What?!” I demanded, not even seeing who it was.
“Geesh Dana. What’s your problem?” Alice asked as she pushed me aside and started up the stairs.
“I just spent the night in an easy chair then was rudely awakened by someone pounding on my door.” I got upstairs just in time to see Alice sit in said easy chair.
She cringed. “Sorry bout that. How’s sleeping beauty?”
“Sleeping.” Alice glared at me and for once I didn’t back down. “I was able to talk her into taking some sleeping pills. She couldn’t sleep on her own. How’s Marina? You guys didn’t let her go home by herself did you?”
“No, we all went to Bette and Tina’s and watched some movies. Jenny called this morning and came to pick her up. Her and I left our cars at the club.”
I nodded even though I hadn’t really been paying attention to Alice and she knew it. “How long are sleeping pills supposed to work?”
Alice chuckled. She probably had noticed me watching Alex the entire time she was talking. “Eight hours, or at least they say not to take them if you won’t be able to sleep a whole eight hours.” I nodded again and looked at my watch, still wearing the same clothes I had been wearing the night before. “How long has it been?”
“Seven and a half house. Should I wake her up? She normally only sleeps six hours.” I looked at Alice.
“I guess so. If you think she’ll be mad that you waked her up though I wouldn’t, but if she would be mad if you didn’t I would.”
I stood up and walked over to the couch. I slightly shook Alex, knowing just the slightest disturbance would wake her up, waking to her screaming as Mr. Piddle’s jumped on her stomach on more than one occasion. She opened her eyes and smiled at me then looked at Alice and smiled at her as well. “Morning.”
“Morning sleeping beauty,” Alice said, ignoring the glare Alex threw her way. “How you feeling?”
“Better. I think the sleep really helped.” Alex looked at me. “Thanks for making me take the sleeping pills.” I nodded, the way Alex was looking at me had taken my breath away. “Whatcha doing here Alice?”
“Well, we didn’t want to all crowd you so I won to be able to come check on you and see how you were doing.” Alex smiled. “Now that I know you’re alright, I hate to leave but I got to get to work.” Alice walked over and kissed Alex on the forehead. “Get better Kiddo.” Alex scowled at Alice who just laughed and walked downstairs.
“You do look like a little kid all wrapped up on the couch like you are.” Alex pouted which just made me laugh.
“Leave me alone.” Alex looked at the clock behind the TV. “Do we have coffee?”
“No, I was going to wait till you got up and we’d go to the Planet, nut I could make some if you want.”
“Please? I really don’t want to have to face all them right now. I don’t think I could handle all their looks. I nodded and headed in the kitchen. Alex followed me. “Thanks Dane.”
I turned around and smiled. “No problem. Sit down.” I turned back to the coffee but I could feel Alex’s eyes boring into my back. “Have you called your sister yet?”
Alex’s eyebrows scrunched in confusion as I turned around again to look at her. “When could I have called Marina and why would I have called her? I haven’t had my coffee yet.”
“Not Marina, Stacy.
“Oh! Yeah, I called her that day. She still hasn’t called me back though. Hopefully she actually got the message. Her mother doesn’t really her talking to me.” I nodded and placed a coffee cup in front of Alex and one in front of myself as I sat down. “Thanks again.”
I waved her off. “Have you started the other paintings yet?”
“Not yet, remember that day I took a bunch of pictures of you guys and asked you to bring some to me?” I nodded. Alex stood up and downed the rest of her coffee. “Come with me.” I stood up and followed Alex to the garage, now Alex’s studio.
I gasped at what Alex had done to her half of my garage, having not been in here since the wall was put up to separate the double garage into halves. The walls were dry-walled and painted white (with some splotches of paint that had obviously gone AWOL). She had all kinds of easels set up, some of the paintings on them finished, some not finished, and even some blank canvases. Alex had also put in some built in shelves, which were filled with her art supplies. “I can’t believe you did all this work in such a short time.”
Alex laughed. “I don’t have a job so I have all kinds of time on my hands. Instead of sleeping all day I’ve worked in here. I got the wall up, splitting the garage in half in a day. Anyone else would have taken at least a couple days if not weeks.” Dana nodded as she walked by the paintings. “Like I said, I haven’t started the paintings of you guys yet. I’ll start tomorrow after I pick up the pictures. The black and white ones take longer than color.”
“This place looks great Alex. These paintings are beautiful.” Alex blushed as I beamed at her proudly. “Could you paint the Subaru ad for me? I would be cool to have something last a long time.”
“Didn’t you get one put on a plaque?” I nodded but shrugged. “I could try. I’ll have to get it blown up. My grid would have to be really small if I didn’t.” I nodded, not really understanding what she was talking about. “I should clean up in here. Bette’s bosses are supposed to come see the paintings. That’s why I have all the finished ones set up like I do.”
“You want help?”
“Nah,” Alex said, stopping to look at me. “You go ahead back in and start getting ready. Don’t you have practice today?”
“No, I called in sick last night. I didn’t want to leave you alone.” Alex smiled and went back to cleaning. “I’ll go make us some breakfast.” Alex stopped, her head whipping around to look at me, fear in her eyes. “I’m not that bad of a cook.” Alex quirked an eyebrow in my direction. “Okay, okay. I meant I was going to Burger Kind anyway. Does this door really open?” I asked, pointing to a door in the new wall.
“As long as its not blocked by anything on the other side.” I nodded and tried to open the door by pulling it towards myself. “Try pushing.” I blushed as I pushed the door open and walked into the other half of the garage. I could hear Alex chuckling until I got in my car and closed the door.
The Next Day
I sat in the Planet and looked through the pictures I had picked up that morning. All my friends looked so happy. You could see the love Alice and Shane had for each other now that everyone knew they were a couple (Alice sent everyone an e-mail from work the day before). I smiled as I came across one of Marina and me. You could see the family resemblance very well in it.
“Hey Alex,” Alice said as she sat on the couch next to me. “What ‘cha looking at?”
“All the pictures I took that one day. I’m trying to separate the triples. I have on of you and Shane before you guys let us know ya’ll were together.”
“Let me see.” I handed Alice the picture. “Wow, I didn’t even know you had taken this. Geesh, we didn’t hide it very well did we?”
“Yeah you guys did. You didn’t know anyone was watching even then I didn’t know you guys were together. I couldn’t see it until now.” Alice nodded as she looked through the piles I had already separated. “Where is Shane by the way?”
Just then Shane walked through the door, heads whipping around to see her. “On her way over here.” Alice waved to get her attention. “I really do lover her,” Alice seriously said, although she was grinning like a fool.
I smiled. “I can tell. I’m sure she feels the same.” We watched Shane talked to Marina. I noticed a slight change in Alice’s demeanor. “You don’t think so?”
Alice shook her head. She turned to me. “I’m not completely sure. I’m just afraid I’ll turn out like every other girl she’s ever been with.” She sniffled.
“Damn, Alice, please don’t cry. I hate it when girls cry.” Alice chuckled at that, wiping tears from her eyes. “What’s so funny?”
“You act so much like Shane in some ways. No wonder I had a slight crush on you that first day we re-met you, before Shane and I got together.” I blushed and ducked my head as Shane sat down next to Alice.
“Alice, stop teasing Alex. She’s in a good mood, don’t bring it down.” Shane downed her shot. “So, Alex, what are you doing today?”
“Chemo, Dana’s taking me. By the way, did she go out with you guys last night?” Alice and Shane shook their heads. “Did you guys see her at all?” Again, they shook their heads.
“Why?” Shane asked, throwing her arm over Alice’s shoulder.
“She said she was going out and then she came home really late last night. I just figured she was out with you guys.” Alice and Shane shrugged. “You guys are really getting annoying doing everything in unison.” They both blushed, ducked their heads, and then looked at each other and laughed. “So sweet I could barf.”
“Leave us alone,” Alice said as she stole Shane’s muffin. “You know you’ll act the same way when Dana and you get together.” I blushed and stole a piece of Shane’s, now Alice’s muffin.
“OH!” I said, my mouth filled with muffin. Alice pushed the rest of the muffin aside with disgust. I reached under the table and pulled a box out of my messenger bag. “I was going through my stuff and I found these.” I handed the box to Shane.
“Postcards I wrote you but didn’t have an address to send them to. Never thought to just send them to Alice.” I looked at Shane and saw something in the corner of her eye. “Are you crying?”
Shane shook her head and wiped her eyes. “Of course not,” she said, recomposing herself. “Thanks for these.” I nodded and watched Shane look through the postcards. There had to be at least thirty, most likely more.
Dana smiled as she practically skipped into the Planet. I watched her and figured something had happened between her and Alex since Alex seemed to be in a wonderful mood as well. I walked to the table and gave Shane her another morning shot. I realized Alex was no longer in a good mood. “You seem to be in a really good mood this morning Dana. Did you get a new campaign or something?”
Dana looked at me and started beaming. “Nope, but Lara and I got back together.”
I smiled and nodded, understanding now why Alex’s mood had taken a sudden downward plunge. “Good for you two,” I said, looking at Alex, conveying how sorry she was. Alex just shrugged. “So, how was everyone else’s night?”
Alice and Shane were both looking at Alex. They had actually seen the sudden turn in her mood and were worried about her. Alice finally spoke up. “I got a message from my editor. He might let me do an article about the chart.” Shane and Alex rolled their eyes, at least Alex hadn’t completely turned away from the rest of the world.
She suddenly stood up. “I’ve got to get going.” I looked next to her and saw Lara hugging Dana from behind. “I have an appointment to start treatments.”
Dana looked up at that. “I thought I was going to drive you, so you don’t have to go through that by yourself.”
Alex shrugged. “That was before you back with Lara. You guys obviously want to spend the day together. I can go by myself.” Dana looked at Lara then back at Alex. “Really Dana. I’ll be fine.”
Shane stood up and grabbed her jacket. “Tell you what Dane, I don’t have any appointments today so if it makes you feel any better, I’ll go with her.”
“There. Look, I won’t be by myself. Shane will come with me. You go have fun with Lara.”
“What about a ride home? You’ll be too weak to walk all the way home.”
“The first treatment doesn’t affect me that much. I’ll be fine walking.” Dana glared at Alex. We all, including Lara, watched the interaction between the two of them with rapt attention, the sexual energy flowing between so thick I thought I could actually feel it. “We’ll call a taxi.” That obviously still wasn’t good enough as Dana continued to glare.
“I’ll go with them,” Alice said. We all looked at her, surprised at her sudden interruption. “That way they’ll have a ride there and back and Alex with have two people there to support her through this trying endeavor,” Alice said, grabbing Alex’s shoulders. Alex glared at her. “What? I’m trying to be supportive here.” Alex rolled her eyes and headed outside.
“Well, I guess that means we’re leaving. See ya guys later.” Shane followed Alex.
“Bye.” Alice left me alone with the love birds.
I looked at Dana and saw a hurt look on her face. “Don’t let her get to you.” Dana looked at me. “She’s always bitchy when she has treatment, before and after.” Dana nodded and looked back at the door. “Well, you two have a good day. It was nice seeing you again Lara.”
“Yeah, you too.” I left as Lara sat down next to Dana, the two of them scooting as close together as humanly possible, but I could still slightly hear what they were saying. “So, what do you wanna do today?” Dana looked at Lara and smirked. The two of them ran to the door.
“Hey!” I yelled.
Dana stopped and turned around. “Sorry Marina. See you later.” With that she ran outside. I shook my head and chuckled.
“What’s up with Dana?”
I turned around and saw Jenny behind me. “Hey. She’s back together with Lara.” Jenny nodded. “Alex is heartbroken.”
“I’m sure she is. Dana is blind if she can’t see it.”
“What can’t Dana see?”
“Would people stop sneaking up behind me?” I turned around and put a coffee and tea on the counter. “Tina, Bette.”
“Hello Marina. What can’t Dana see?”
Jenny moved around the counter and sat next to Bette. “Alex.”
Tina nodded. “What happened this time?”
I laughed then turned serious. “Dana broke her heart.” Bette quirked and eyebrow as Tina just looked at me. “Her and Lara are back together. Dana came in here skipping like a little school girl. Alex’s wonderful mood plunged like the necklines of J. Lo’s dresses.” Tina and Bette smirked while trying to stifle back their laughter. “You can go ahead and laugh. I said that to lighten the mood.”
“Poor Alex. Her cancer comes back and her heart gets broken before ever her first treatment.” Bette looked at me. “I remember how she was when it came back in college.”
“That why you guys broke up, remember? She knew about it but didn’t want to tell anyone. She wanted to deal with it herself.” Bette nodded and grabbed Tina’s hand. “I’m glad Alice and Shane went with her. I wanted to go but I’m understaffed as it is today. There was no way I could have gone with her.”
“She has someone with her at least.” I nodded and stared out the window.
(A/N: I have no idea how long this process would really take and what else goes on during a treatment. If any of you happen to know, I know I’m going to be writing at least one more scene like this and would be like it to be as realistic as possible. Thanks.)
“Damn, they really want to make you comfortable here,” Shane declared as her, Alex, and myself walked into the Chemo lab. Alex chuckled as she nodded and signed in. A nurse came over and escorted the three of us to a station where she started Alex’s treatment.
“I’ll be right back to make sure its working. Can I get you anything?”
“Can I get an orange juice and can my friends get a couple cokes?” The nurse nodded and walked off. “Coke was alright, right?” Shane and I nodded. Alex rolled her eyes as she said, “I hate it that the only thing I can drink is orange juice.” The nurse came back over and gave us our drinks then checked the tubes running into Alex’s arm and left. “We won’t see her again until I’m done. Hopefully one of the other nurses will come by every now and then and check onus.” Alex must have noticed me staring at the chemicals running through the tubes cause she asked, “Are you alright Alice?”
“Does it hurt?” I asked meekly. I didn’t really want to hear her answer.
“Nah, it burns a little when it first goes in but even that will go away soon.” I nodded and looked back up at Alex to see her smiling but there were a few tears in her eyes, slowly running down her cheek. I wiped them away and looked at her questioningly. “Its at its worse but that means it will stop soon until its almost done. The last little bit burns like hell.” Alex’s face scrunched up in pain but then she slowly relaxed. “Finally, I was beginning to think they changed this stuff on me.”
I smiled and slightly chuckled. I didn’t like watching Alex suffer one bit. I looked over at Shane. “You’ve been quiet. Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Just thinking.”
“’Bout if we had one more person with us, a redhead, and Alex was blonde, this would be a scene straight out of Sex and the City.”
We laughed as Alex’s nurse actually came back with refills for our drinks. When she left Alex said, “All we need is Popsicles and for at least one of us to be straight so we can comment on how lucky her boyfriend is.”
“You could say that about me except I don’t have a boyfriend.” Shane rolled her eyes. “What? You can’t deny that I’m good.”
Alex blushed but I knew she wouldn’t let us to out vulgar her. “Well, you could always just get a snackpack and eat it with a spoon.” Shane and I looked at Alex, out eyes wide with shock at what she just said. “What? I can’t be vulgar? Shane just compared me to Samantha. I had to live up to the title.” Alex smirked but it suddenly changed into an expression of pain. “Shit it hurts.”
“But that means you’re almost done, right?” Alex nodded as she appeared to be gritting her teeth. “Should one of us go get a doctor?”
“No need, I’m already here. Other that the excoriating pain, how are you?”
“Hey Dr. Stiles. Other than the pain I’m actually doing pretty alright.” Alex’s face scrunched up in pain as the last drop of chemo went into her system. “I’m just glad this first treatment is over and done with.”
“Yep, only about a dozen left. Are your friends going to come with you every time? Your conversation made everyone laugh. I’m sure all of them would love to have that every week.”
Shane and I blushed as Alex and Dr. Stiles laughed. “I don’t know. I’ll try to talk them into it but they have a lot of people to fight with. Everyone I know in West Hollywood wanted to come with me. These two here were the only ones who could get past my bad mood.”
Dr Stiles smiled as she started removing the tubes from Alex’s arms. “Well, I ‘m glad they could see through your bullshit.”
Shane and my eyebrows flew up and our mouth dropped to the ground. “Its alright guys. I went to high school with her. We always talk like this.”
“Damn Alex. You got around in high school and college.” Alex blushed as she slowly stood up and moved into a wheelchair. “I’ll go get the car.” I nodded and stood up.
“Ya’ll only took one car?”
“Yeah. Alex had walked to where we met and I don’t know how Shane got there.” I pushed Alex towards the door. Dr. Stiles was starting to worry me, especially when she started following us. “Are you alright Alex?”
“Yeah, just really tired. Can I stay at your place tonight?”
“Of course but why?”
“Dana and Lara.”
I chuckled. “Right. I wouldn’t want to sleep there either. Lucky for you, Shane wasn’t going to stay the night tonight. You want to sit in the front or the back?”
“Back, but would you mind sitting with me? I don’t think I could sleep by myself right now.”
“Of course sweetie.” I turned to Dr. Stiles. “Thank you for walking us out here.”
“No problem. Take care of yourself Alex. I’ll see you in a couple days.” Alex nodded and Shane carefully put her in the backseat. “I’ll bring the wheelchair back in. Goodbye.”
“Bye.” I looked at Shane and shook my head. “Oh my god. Either she was flirting with Alex ort she was flirting with me.”
“I don’t think she would flirt with a patient at least she better not have been flirting with Alex. I don’t want her flirting with you but its worse with Alex cause of the state of mind she’s in.”
I nodded and climbed in the back with Alex. “You don’t mind driving do you? We’re going to my place.” Shame climbed into the driver’s seat but instead of starting the car she looked back at Alex and me. “She doesn’t want to have to sleep through the Dana and Lara Radio Show.”
Shane laughed. “Radio Show?”
“She can hear but she can’t see. Would you just bring us home please?” Shane laughed again and finally took off.
Alice’s Room – That Night
I walked in and saw Shane, sitting in the middle of the bed, the postcards from Alex all around her. Shane had her back to me and didn’t notice when I walked into the room. I watched as she picked up a postcard, read it, then put it into one of seven piles. One piles consisting solely of a homemade postcard.
I walked up behind Shane and wrapped my arms around her waist. “Whatcha doing Babe?”
“Separating the postcards by continents. Did you get one from the day she spent in Antarctica? I nodded and smiled. Shane was truly happy, had been for a while now but as she read the postcards from Alex, it was showing through. Her smile was from ear to ear.
“Why don’t you put all these away and go to sleep? Alex finally fell asleep.” I kissed the spot Shane’s neck that I knew would get a reaction out of her. “Please?”
Shane growled as she stood up, not an angry growl but a sexy one. She picked me up off the bed and then ripped the top sheet off, her carefully organized piles flying all over the room. “Wanna play 152 card pick-up?” I shook my head, grinning from ear to ear now as well. I pushed Shane on the bed and straddled her hips. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“You need to be pleasured every now and then.” I put Shane’s hands above her head. “I’m in control tonight.” Shane growled as IU began my assault.
THE NEXT MORNING
I woke up in Shane’s arms. I smiled, still not able to believe I was the one Shane decided to settle down with. I was in heaven … until I heard a crash come from the kitchen. I bolted straight up, bringing Shane with me. Our heads banged together.
“Oww, Damn Ales. What's wrong with you?” Shane rubbed her head and smirked at me. “I’d rather only bang my head on a headboard thank you very much, although, I’m sure I already have a nice sized bruise from doing that last night.”
I blushed but then remembered what was wrong. “Someone’s in the kitchen.”
Shane rolled her eyes. “Its probably just Alex stumbling around trying to find coffee.” Suddenly there was a knock on the door. “Speak of the devil. Come on in Alex.”
Alex popped her head in but then looked at the ground, blushing. “I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.” Shane and I looked down and saw that we were still naked from the waist up. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t wake you guys with all the noise I was making.”
“I was already up,” I said then pulled a shirt on over my head. I handed a shirt to Shane. “And Shane-“
“Was woken by Alice overreacting to all the noise. You can look up now. We have shirts on now.” Alex blushed again but looked up. “How’d you sleep?”
“Fine but I really need coffee now. Do you have any?”
“I should but I not we’ll just go to the Planet and get some.”
Shane and Alex grimaced. “Or I’ll go get some from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. I know you don’t really wanna see anyone right now.” Alex smiled gratefully as Shane got out of bed. “Come on, we’ll go rummage through Alice’s cabinets and try to find something.”
I watched my girlfriend and Alex walk out of the room. I’m the luckiest woman alive. Shane loves me and she is one of the most caring people in the world underneath that hard as steel exterior. I’m glad that I one of the few who get to see that up close and not just during sex.
Shane popped her head back in the room. “I’m going out. Whatcha want?”
“Usual and don’t you think you should put some pants on?”
Shane walked in all the way and I saw she was wearing a pair of jeans. “I stole a pair of your out of the dryer. You don’t mind do you?”
“No, actually that was what I was going to tell you to do anyway. Hurry back.” Shane winked and left. I heard the door close and I pulled a pair of pants on myself. I grabbed an outfit for Alex and headed into the living room. And found her watching cartoons in the robe Shane kept here, her hair wet from a shower. “Was I in there that long?”
Alex turned and laughed. “Yes and no. I take quick showers.” I nodded and handed Alex the clothes. “Thanks.” Alex stood up and went into the bathroom to change.
“I can’t believe you still watch cartoons, although, you do have good taste. Scooby Doo was always my all time fave.” Alex came back out and glared at me. “What? You look cute.” Alex looked down at the shirt, the white words “Lesbians Wanted” glaring against the black background. “At least I didn’t give you my “She’s My Bitch” shirt.” Alex rolled her eyes and flopped on the couch. “Wanna stay here again tonight?” Alex silently nodded. “Okay.” Alex moved next to me and put her head on my shoulder. “If Shane finds us like this she’s gonna kick your ass.”
TWO WEEKS LATER – DANA’S HOUSE
“Dana, would you stop pacing? You’re making me sick.”
“Sorry.” I turned and looked at Lara. “I just … you know Alex has been living here.” Lara slowly nodded. “Well, if you move in she might feel like she has to move out.” I started pacing again.
“Why wouldn’t she?” I stopped and looked at Lara. “Well, why would she stay here?”
“She has nowhere else to go.”
“She can find a place of her own Dana. There are tons of available apartments and she can easily afford any of them.” I glared at her. “What? Dana, you can’t seriously be considering letting her stay here?”
“Why not?” I asked, continuing my glare. “Why can’t I let her stay here?” Lara looked everywhere but at me. “Look at me!” Lara’s head whipped up, I have probably scared her with my sudden outburst. “I’m sorry but I don’t understand where this is coming from. Do you now like Alex or something?”
Ara sighed. “Its not that I don’t like her, I just don’t …”
“What Lara? Would you please tell me what you’re thinking. This is why we broke up before. We can’t let it happen again.”
“I don’t trust her Dana.” I quirked an eyebrow at that statement, not even wanting to give it an actual response. “I don’t know why, I just don’t.”
I sighed while looking at the clock. “We should get going. We’re supposed to meet everyone at the Planet in a half hour.” I grabbed my coat and keys, not really caring if Lara followed me or not.
Lara and I sat down at the usual table. The car ride over had been deadly silent. No sounds were coming into the car and we weren’t talking and didn’t have the radio on. We again sat in complete silence, not even touching like we usually did, waiting for my friends to arrive.
Alice and Shane walked in with Alex. The two of them walked towards the table as I watched Alex walked up to the counter and order drinks. I weakly smiled as Shane pulled out Alice’s chair for her. “What a gentleman,” I said, actually causing Shane to blush.
Alex came over with a tray full of drinks. “Lara, I wasn’t sure what you like so I just got you the same thing as Dana. I hope that’s alright.” Lara nodded and Alex finished handing the drinks. “I hope Bette and Tina aren’t too late.”
“They’re going to be late?”
Alice and Shane smirked. Alex was the one to answer my question. “We called and they were a little, umm, “preoccupied”.” I blushed and Alex just chuckled. “They said they would,” Alex coughed, “come as fast as they can.” That did it. We were all gone when Bette and Tina hurriedly walked in. They looked at us like we were crazy, which made us laughed even harder. “We told them why you guys are late.” Ina blushed as Bette just chuckled and cuffed Alex in the back of the head.
I hiccupped as I calmed down. I grabbed Lara’s hands and smiled at her. “Lara and I have some news we want to tell ya’ll.” That stopped everyone’s laughter. They all looked at us, waiting for us. “Lara’s moving in with me.”
Everyone congratulated us … everyone except Alex that is. She just stood up and walked outside. I followed her but stopped just inside the door when I saw her speaking to someone on her cell phone. When Alex turned around I saw tears coming from her eyes. She made eye contact and hung up the phone, wiping away the tears. I walked outside. “Congratulations. I was just trying to find a place. I’ll move out as soon as I an find one.”
“I don’t want you to move out. I want you to stay in YOUR room. Nothing with change except Lara will be living there as well.” I hugged her. “You have lived there for a couple weeks now and you will continue to live there as long as you want. I felt Alex’s tears soak through my shirt, but I didn’t care.
I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. I looked at the alarm clock and saw its neon green numbers displaying that it was two o’clock in the morning. “Who the hell would be calling me at this time of the night?” I knew it was for me because I had Dana’s put another line in my room just for this reason. I picked up the room and practically growled, “This better be good.”
<Alex? Its Stacy.> I could hear the fear in her voice. <I know its late but I’m in West Hollywood.>
I bolted upright. “What! Why? What happened?”
<She found out you called before your show was announced.>
“Okay, where are you? I’m going to come get you.” I could hear Stacy’s whimpering.
<The bus station.>
“Okay, go back inside and find a cop. They’re always there. Ask him or her to wait outside with you for your sister. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
<Okay. Please hurry.> I hung up the phone when I heard a click come across the line. I quickly got dresses and ran out of my room.
I heard Alex banging doors and drawers in her room. “Alex,” I said when I saw her come out of her room, fully dressed and very alert. Alex stopped and looked at me. “Where are you going?”
“Bus station. Stacy’s stepmother kicked her out of the house. I have to go pick her up.” Alex headed down the stairs.
“I’m going with you,” I said as I followed her in my pajamas.
She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and glared at me. “NO you are not. You are going right back upstairs and climbing into bed with Lara where you will be safe and warm.”
“No. I’m coming with you.” Alex growled as she picked me up and carried me upstairs. “What the hell do you think you are doing?”
“Exactly what I told you to do for you.” Alex grabbed the doorknob. “Is she decent?”
“Oh well, looks like I’ll be seeing your woman’s goods.” Alex opened the door and walked right into my bedroom. “Lara, keep your girl in here,” Alex said, dropping me not so nicely on the bed.
“Excuse you!” Now I was mad. “I can go anywhere I damn well want to and I want to go with you to pick your sister up.” Alex just turned around and Lara and I would hear her running down the stairs, but I had taken her keys out of her pockets when she picked me up.
I looked at Lara. “Go.”
I hugged Lara and kissed her. “Thank you.” I grabbed a jacket out of my closet and ran down the stairs. I walked in the garage and saw Alex sitting in her Jeep, strumming her fingers on the steering wheel. “Missing something?”
Alex glared at me. “Give me my keys please.” I shook my head and climbed into the passenger seat. “Give me my keys and get out. I handed her the keys. “Thank you. Now get out.” I just put my seatbelt on. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m going with you. Carrying me upstairs won’t work. Now lets go before your sister gets more upset than I’m sure she already it.”
“Fine. I don’t have time to continue to fight with you.” Alex started the car and they were off.
THE BUS STATION
I fidgeted next to the cop. “She said she’d be here in ten minutes.”
The cop looked at me. “I’m sure she’ll get here soon. Traffic’s bad even at 2 in the morning.” I nodded at the cop as he continued looking at me, making me feel very uncomfortable. “Its cold out here, why don’t we wait inside?”
I know my eyes went wide but then I saw a yellow jeep with two people in it, heading towards the cop and myself. After a couple of seconds, I could tell Alex was one of the people in the jeep. “No thanks. That’s my sister in that Jeep.” The cop nodded and headed inside. I sighed a breath of relief as Alex parked in a handicap parking spot a couple yards away. As Alex climbed out of her Jeep, I ran to her, meeting her halfway and clung on her arm. “Thank God you’re finally here! The cop was starting to hit on me. Where the hell have you been?!”
Alex hugged me back. “I’m sorry. I had to argue with my friend. She insisted on coming with me.”
I smiled as we headed back to the Jeep, arm in arm. “A girlfriend?” Alex blushed and shook her head. “It’ll only be time.” Alex rolled her eyes, as we approached the Jeep.
“Stacy, this is Dana Fairbanks.”
“No way are you THE Dana Fairbanks. I’ve wanted to be just like you for years now.”
Dana blushed as Alec chuckled. “Stop it kiddo. You’re making her feel old as well as me.” Dana and I both laughed at that. “Lets get going. I’m tired and I know you guys are as well.” Dana climbed into the backseat. “Are you alright back there Dane?”
“Yeah I’m fine. Just get me to my woman, please.” Alex nodded and her and I climbed into the front. They buckled their seatbelts and the three of them left as the sun came up.
DANA AND LARA’S BEDROOM
I woke when I felt the bed shift. “Hey sweetie. Did you guys get Alex’s sister?” Dana nodded. “Is everything alright honey?”
“Yeah there was just, I don’t know. I think Alex is keeping something from all of us, something about Stacy. I just … I can’t see how a high school student can help her against Buckley.” Dana looked at me. “You should have seen the two of them. I’ve seen Alex’s maternal side before.”
I watched Dana fiddle with my ring, smiling, most likely replaying the ride home from the bus station. I still asked, “What ‘cha thinking about? I want to smile at what your smiling at.”
“Oh nothing. Alex and Stacy are definitely related. They act and look SO much alike. It’s unbelievable.” I nodded. “Were you sleeping before I came in?”
“Yes but not well. I can’t sleep well without you.” Dana smirked but it quickly fell. “Sweetie, what’s wrong? Something is bothering you.” Dana shrugged and I stood up. I went into the hallway closet and grabbed a suitcase. When I came back, Dana hadn’t moved but now she had a confused look on her face.
“Lara, what are you doing? Why are you packing?” I looked at Dana as she sat up. I sighed and walked over to her. I grabbed her hand, putting something in it, and bent down, giving her a chaste kiss. I went back to packing as Dana opened her hand. “Your ring?”
“Dana,” I said, heavily sighing again. “Its obvious to everyone but you. You’re in love with someone else.” Dana’s eyes widened in shock at my accusation. She really is innocent. “Don’t worry Dana. I’m surprised you hadn’t realized it and then dumped me.”
“How can you say that?”
“Dana, listen to me. There are several other reasons why we should break up. It was a mistake for us to get back together. I can’t continue to live in the closet.” I walk back next to Dana and knelt in front of her. “Dana, you need to realize who I’m talking about and soon, BEFORE you lose her. Don’t give up. It’ll all work out in the end.” With that I zipped up my suitcase. “I’ll come back later to get the rest of my stuff.”
“Wait,” Dana said, standing up and grabbing my arm to stop me. “Tell me who you are talking about. Please.”
I shook my head. “You need to figure that out on your own.” I quickly left the room and then the house. I stood outside, leaning against the door. “I hope you’re happy. You’ve won.”
THE NEXT DAY
I walked into Alex’s studio and watched as she talked on the phone to someone, pictures of our friends and me peering down from their places on walls next to easels, some blank, with pencil outlines, or paint. I noticed the ones of me were the farthest along. Those must be the easiest.
“Hey Dana.” I jumped as I heard Alex’s voice. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Don’t worry.” I walked up to a picture of me that was almost done. “This looks beautiful. They all do.” I turned to Alex. “You’re doing a great job.”
“Thanks but I’m not too vain to say the subjects are part of the beauty.” I chuckled. Alex is always such a flirt. “Wait right here. I have something for you.” Alex ran into a back room and came back out with an easel. “I finished the picture of you and Lara that you gave me.” Alex showed it to me.
I started crying. “Its beautiful.”
Alex set it down and walked closer to me. “Dana, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” I shook my head. “Dana,” Alex wiped teas off my cheeks, “what happened?”
I looked at the ground. “We broke up again.”
“Damn, come here.” Alex hugged me and let me cry on her shoulder. “What happened this time?” I shook my head again, not wanting to go into all the details. I should have known it wouldn’t work. “Hey, you can tell me.” Alex led me to a low stool then knelt in front of me. “What happened?”
“I don’t,” I said, sighing. “We had had a fun day and then when I got back with you and Stacy, she told me it was a mistake for us to get back together. The reason why she broke up with me the first time was still true.”
“Why did she break up with you the first time?”
‘The whole closeted thing but also she said I was in love with someone else.” I looked up at Alex. “Do you think that true?” Alex shrugged. “Can I stay in here while you work?”
“Of course you can. Mi casa si casa.” I laughed at Alex’s butchering of the Spanish language. “What’s so funny?”
“Stick to a language you know, fluently.”
Alex chuckled. “Was it that bad?” I nodded. “Sorry.” Alex picked up the painting and put it back into her storage room. “Alright then.” She looked around. “Well, actually, I was about to call it a night but if you want to stay in here I can maybe finish one of these paintings that is already almost done.”
“No, if you were going to stop go ahead and stop.” Alex looked at me. “I’m fine.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
I glared at Alex. “Well, you were. You were going to ask me if something was wrong.”
“Okay, yes I was going to say something, but that wasn’t what I was going to say.” I quirked an eyebrow and Alex rolled her eyes. “Stay right here. Don’t even move an iota.” Alex ran around the studio collecting an easel, a canvas, paintbrushes, and paint. She set it all up right in front of me. She pulled a stool over and sat down. “I want to paint you. Can I?”
I looked down at the floor. “Why do you want to paint me? I look horrible.”
“No you don’t.” I looked up at Alex. “Trust me. This should take an hour, two tops.” I’m sure I still looked hesitant. “What can I do to make you say ‘yes’?” I titled my head. “If you say yes, stay just like that.”
“I’ll let you paint me if you let me take you to your treatment tomorrow.”
“Okay, now don’t move.” I smiled, knowing that was Alex’s way of giving in. “Are you going to be able to keep that exact same smile for two hours?” I nodded, my smile never wavering. “Okay. Stay as still as possible.”
I watched Alex do her work. It was obvious she was very engrossed in it. Every now and then, the two of us would make eye contact and Alex would smile then go back to work. This went on for two hours exactly. My smile never changed.
“I’m done. You can move now.”
“Can I see it?” Alex nodded and turned her easel as I walked up. “Wow. Alex, that looks beautiful. You’ve flattered me.”
“Again, the subject is all the beauty.” I smiled at Alex. “Are you better now?” I nodded. “Whatcha want to do now?”
“I’m kind of tired. Do you mind if I go to bed?”
Alex smiled and shook her head. “Not at all. Come on. I’ll walk you back to your room. Just let me clean up in here.” I nodded as Alex went right to work. I sat down and laid my head on Alex’s desk. I was out as soon as I closed me eyes.
AN HOUR LATER …
I woke up with a start. I had no idea where I was. I stayed still until everything came into focus. I was in my room. Alex must have carried me here when she was done cleaning up. I looked around. I wonder where she is then? I got up and walked across the hall.
I quietly opened the door and stuck my head inside. I saw Alex, laying on her bed, her hair in a ponytail. She was wearing a tight pair of white capris, slightly down, showing the tattoo on her lower back, and a white tank top. Alex was facing the other way, writing something as her feet moved to music only she could hear. Right then I knew who Lara was talking about.
Alex jumped as she heard my voice. She never even heard the door open. She quickly hid what she was writing. “Hey, I thought you were sleep?”
“I was but I woke up. I thought I would see if you were still awake.”
“Well, I am.” Alex must have noticed a weird look in my eyes and interpreted it as sadness over Lara cause she walked over to me and asked, “Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, everything’s fine. Can I sleep in here tonight? My room depresses me.”
“Of course you can. I’ll go get your pillows cause I’m going to need all mine on the floor.” I grabbed Alex’s arm before she could even take one step. “Dana, what’s wrong?”
“Will you sleep in the bed with me? I don’t want to sleep by myself tonight.” Alex looked at me and nodded. “Thank you.”
“No prob. Are you wanting to go to bed now?” I shrugged as Alex sat back down. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. By the way, where’s Stacy? I haven’t seen her all day.”
“She’s spending the weekend with Marina and Jenny. Marina is putting her to work at the Planet and actually paying her. Now, back to my earlier question. What’s wrong?”
I smirked. “I should have known that wouldn’t have worked. I’m just tired.”
“Okay.” Alex pulled a folder out from under her pillow. She stood up and placed it in a drawer then locked said drawer. “Lets go to bed then.” She got in and moved against the wall. “Is the edge all right with you?” I nodded and climbed in next to her. “Goodnight Dana,” she said, turning off the light and plunging us into darkness.
THE NEXT DAY
“Stacy, I don’t know what to do.” I paced behind the counter, wiping it off. “You’ll have to talk to her yourself.”
Stacy glared at me. “Like she’ll listen to me. She needs to do it before the debate. Especially since now she has a chance with Dana. She needs to be honest with her.”
“What do you mean, now she has a chance?”
“Dana and Lara broke up.” I spun around and looked at Stacy. “Yeah, the same night I got here. Something happened and she was gone in the morning.” I shook my head as I poured a cup of coffee.
“Hey Alex.” Stacy spun around on her stool and looked at Alex, a deer caught in the headlights look on her face. “How are you today Alex?”
“I’m good. What are you doing here so early this morning Stacy?”
“I gave Stacy a look, silently telling her to talk to Alex now. “Well, I wanted to talk to you actually. About …” Stacy stood up, “never mind.”
“Stacy.” Alex looked at me, trying to figure out what was going on. “Tell her.”
“I think you need to tell all your friends about who I really am. I feel like they’re always staring at me, like they all know we’re hiding something from them. They should know the truth, before the debate.”
“You know she’s right.”
“We’ll tell them when they all get here. We’re supposed to meet for breakfast.” Stacy nodded and looked towards the door. I looked as well.
“Looks like you’ll be telling them now.” Alex looked up and I heard her swear under her breath. Alex downed the rest of the coffee and walked towards everyone else. “You should go with her Stace. I’ll be over with drinks for everyone. She won’t say anything if I’m not there with ya’ll.”
“Did you just say ya’ll?”
My face scrunched up. “I’ve been around you and Alex for far too long.” Stacy laughed as she walked to the table and laughed. I watched as Dana kept glancing at Alex, she’d finally realized her feelings for Alex. Now Alex just had to realize Dana’s feelings.
“Alex, are you alright?” Dana asked. I looked at Alex and noticed she was a little green. Marina came over, placing drinks on the table for everyone then sitting next to Alex and squeezing her shoulder in support. I noticed the looks on everyone’s faces. “Alex, it didn’t spread, did it?”
“Huh?” A pure look of confusion came on Alex’s face but she quickly realized what Dana was asking. “No, it didn’t spread, but I do have some news to tell ya’ll.” I smirked at Marina who just shook her head. “Stacy isn’t my sister. When I was 15 I still lived with my adopted parents … the Buckleys.”
“What?” everyone asked in unison.
“Faye and Bob Buckley adopted me when I was two. That was when Marina and I were separated. I was adopted a month before she was. Anyway, the Buckleys didn’t really like me. I was too different, so they sent me to boarding school. Well, I didn’t go back my senior year because something had happened.”
I looked as everyone’s face. Surprisingly, Dana seemed to be the only one who had any idea what had happened to Alex. Softly, she asked, “Alex, what happened?”
Alex looked up and there were tears in her eyes. I knew this was hard for her but I also knew it would do her good. “That summer, Bob Buckley raped me, and it wasn’t even because I was gay, not that that’s an excuse. It was just a cruel act.”
Alex looked at me. She had been hoping everyone would figure out the rest for themselves. Well, I’ll give them a little push. “Its okay Mom. You don’t have to say anymore.
“Come on Marina. It would be fun,” Alice said as she followed me to our normal table.
“Fun for who?” I asked as I sat down next to Alex. “Hey, how are you Alex?”
“I’m fine. What would be fun?”
“I’m trying to talk Marina into doing a karaoke night but she won’t,” Alice grumbled as she sat next to Shane. “She did Drag Kings, turning Kit bi, but she won’t do karaoke.”
“I think karaoke would be fun and speaking of Kit, has anyone seen her lately?” Bette asked.
“Her and Ivan called last night after you fell asleep. I thought I told you?” Bette shook her head while Tina hit herself in the forehead. “I’m sorry Baby. They were just calling to say they were finally back in town.”
“I thought they got back a week ago.” Alex looked at Marina. “Marina, you should do Karaoke Night. There aren’t many gay clubs that do.”
“I can’t afford it and I only have a week left to come up with the money to buy Francessca out. I’m sorry.”
Alice looked at Alex. “Tell you what Marina, I’ll rent the equipment and you can charge a small cover fee saying it’s to pay for said equipment. You could also probably ask for donations. You have so many regulars that love this place, and you, that they wouldn’t want to see this place closed.”
“Alex, that’s sweet of you but I’d have to hire someone to run the equipment. I don’t know how.”
Just then Kit and Ivan walked up. “Run what equipment?”
“We’re trying to talk Marina into having a karaoke night.,” Alice said as everyone made room for Kit and Ivan. “OH! We can do like on that Britney Spears movie, where people give whoever’s singing money but ask the singers to donate the money to you. OR we can have a competition and there be an entrance fee. Fifty percent of the money going towards prizes and the other half can go towards the Planet.”
Kit looked at Alex. “Why are we getting money for the Planet?”
“I still need ten thousand to buy Fran out.”
“How about an auction? I’m sure there is something we can all do.” Dana looked at everyone. “I could give tennis lessons.”
“I could give a hair cut.”
“I could paint a portrait and sing at a function or something. That would count as two things.”
“I could talk to the magazine and see if there could be an intern for a day or something to the same effect.”
“I’m sure Tina and I could figure something out. I mean, I might be able to talk the CAC into letting someone show a couple things after Alex’s show is done.”
“I guess I would sing as well,” Kit said. “I could maybe serenade someone.”
“I can do the same,” Ivan added.
“Guys, I love all of you but I don’t think it’ll be enough. Even if people pay a thousand for each thing I’d still need two thousand.” Alex pulled something out of her bag. “Alex, what are you doing?”
“How much does Franny want?”
“This place actually cost that much? Damn. Oh, and I’m asking because I’m gonna buy her out.”
“But I already have $35,000.”
“You can buy some new equipment for the place, including karaoke equipment.” I slapped my hand on the top of Alex’s checkbook. “Marina stop. You can’t stop me form buying Franny out. I’m your sister. I want to do this.”
“Where’s your daughter?”
“School and stop trying to change the subject.” Alex pulled my cellphone out of my pocket. We could only hear her side of the conversation but we could figure out what Francessca was saying. “Franny! It’s Alex, Marina’s sister. Of course you do.” Shane and Alice held me back. “Just wanted to tell you I have a check here with your name on it for $45,000. What do you care? You’re getting your money. I’ll be waiting. Well Marina,” she said as she turned off the phone, “looks like we’re partners.”
“Thank-you Alex.” Alex waved me off and pointed to Alice. I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Fine. We’ll have Karaoke Night. Kit, you know where to get the equipment and how to run it?”
“Sure do baby girl. How much money can we spend?”
“No more than $10,000. That leaves me with $25,000 to redecorate or repair and replace things in here.”
Kit nodded, “That can buy the best, and a bunch of CDs. Want me to buy those too?” I nodded. “Okay, Ivan and I will go now. See ya guys later.”
“Goodbye,” Ivan said.
“Bye Kit. Bye Ivan,” everyone else said.
Alex stood up and walked out with Kit and Ivan. She came back in with Francessca. I watched as the two of them walked to the counter. “Its all yours in a couple of minutes. How do you feel?” I looked at Tina and smiled.
“Wonderful.” Francessca came over to the table, shook my hand, then left. Alex sat next to me. “Thank-you.” Alex shrugged and took a swallow of her coffee.
“So, karaoke night tomorrow, right?” I nodded. “Well, the place is bought so no cover charge. Jenny will be in town, right?”
“Yep and for good. Her book tour is over.”
“I can’t believe that story is so big.” I looked at Bette. “I didn’t mean she’s a bad writer. I meant because of the subject matter. Who knew a lesbian romance novel would be so big.”
“I’m sure Marina being on the cover helped a lot.” Everyone laughed. Tina looked at Alice.
“So, Alice, is Shane’s nipple confidence real or just her ego getting in the way?”
Shane turned beet red as Alice spit her coffee all over Alex. “Alice!”
“Oh my god Alex. I’m so sorry. I’ll pay for the dry cleaning.”
“Don’t worry about it. This outfit can be thrown in the normal washer and dryer.” Alex looked at everyone at the table then stopped on Dana. “Dana, you got something underneath that hoodie, right?” Dana nodded. “Let me wear it please. Most of Alice’s coffee ended up on my shirt.”
“Of course.” Dana quickly took off her hoodie and handed it to Alex. She nodded her thanks and went into the bathroom. The rest of us were staring at Dana. “What?”
“Lok at you, little miss hottie mc hot hot.” Dana glared at Alice then turned towards the bathroom, watching for Alex. We all looked at each other. “Dana, what exactly happened between you and Lara. You guys seemed so happy.”
“Lara realized something about me before even did I, that I was in love with someone else. The next night I realized whom she was talking about and that it was true.”
Shane looked at Dana. “Danes, who?” Dana didn’t say anything but continued to watch the bathroom door. Her face lit up and we all turned to see who she had seen. All we could see was Alex. We looked at each other again the our eyes widened as we realized what a somewhat outsider realized before us. “Alex?”
“Yeah?” We all turned as Alex walked up behind Dana. “Shane, what did you want?”
“Um, Alice and I were wondering if you’d sing “Closer to Fine” with us. You know the whistle solo, right?”
“You do mean tomorrow, right?” Shane nodded. “Okay, of course I’ll sing with you guys.” Alex looked at Dana. “You ready to go?” Dana nodded and stood up.
“Where are you guys going?” Alice asked, specifically looking at Dana.
“Dana’s taking me to chemotherapy. Its getting to be even worse. I’ll probably sleep all day today and all day tomorrow, cause I’m coming to karaoke night, might need to leave early but I’ll be there.” We all nodded and watched as they left.
“Now they just need to realize the other’s feelings,” commented Shane.
“Damn, our circle will never get bigger. We’re all dating each other.” Everyone looked at Alice. “What? It’s the truth. Look at us.” We all looked at ourselves. Shane was sitting on a stool, Alice sitting between her legs and Bette and Tina were sitting in separates chairs yet they were so close none of us could really tell. “Now, look at how secluded we are from the rest of the café. You’d thin the owner would want to be able to see what was going on.”
“You know what, I think we all need to get to work before we all get fired,” Bette said, standing up. She held her hand out to Tina and helped her up. “Anybody need a ride?” Everyone shook their heads. “Okay, bye Marina.”
“Bye Marina,” everyone else said as they all walked to the door and then outside.
I shook my head and I watched the two couples walk out the door. She looked at her watch. “Shit!” She took off her apron and threw it at one of the other waitresses as she ran out the door.
The Next Night – Dana’s House
“Stacy! Have you seen my leather pants?” I looked down at my mother’s leather pants that I just happened to be wearing. I spun around as I heard someone walk in.
“Id run and change fast if I was you. Soon she’s going to realize that you’re wearing them.” I nodded and put down the peanut butter jar I had been holding.
“Too late.” I looked at my mother and grinned. “You know if you had asked I would have said yes.”
“Can I borrow your pants?”
“But you just said-”
“I changed my mind.” I looked at Dana and saw her smirking at our interactions. My mother looked at her as well. “What are you smirking at missy?”
“Nothing Alex. By the way, I love your boxers. They’re just the cutest.” My mother glared at Dana. “Go put on a different pair of pants and let your daughter borrow your pants. She won’t ruin them.” My mother stuck her tongue out at Dana, then glared at me and headed up to her bedroom. “Real mature Alex!”
“Wasn’t that the best comeback you’ve ever heard?” Dana asked me. She was enjoying this way too much. She won’t have to deal with my mother when she’s old. I just shook my head, picked up the peanut butter and finished making my sandwich.
“You want half of this?” Dana shook her head but I could tell she really wanted it. “Okay. I guess I’ll leave it here for my mother.” I picked up the other half and walked to the table, my back facing Dana.
“Well, lets not tell your mother and I’ll just eat it myself.” I chuckled and pushed my glass of milk in between us. “Thanks.” I nodded and watched Dana eat her half, obviously deep in thought.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Dana looked up at me. “You got a million?” I shook my head. “Oh well.” She took a bite of her sandwich then a gulp of milk. “I’m in love.” I put down my sandwich and listened as Dana continued.
Half Hour Later
I ran down the stairs as soon as I was ready. We were already running late. As I stepped down to the third step from the bottom, I stepped on the bottom of my jeans (or actually Stacy’s which is why they were so long) and slipped, falling down the rest of the stairs. Dana and Stacy came running into the foyer.
“Alex, are you alright?” Dana asked.
Stacy looked at my pants. “Are those my pants?”
I glared at her as Dana helped me up. I looked at her pants. “Aren’t those my pants?” Stacy grinned sheepishly as I limped to the breakfast counter with Dana’s help. “I think I sprained my ankle.”
“You want me to bring you to the ER?” I shook my head. “Alex.”
“Dana, we’re already late. You know Marina’s going to be mad if we don’t show up tonight. Besides I need a night out. I’ve been spending too much time in the hospital as it is. I probably just twisted it. You have an ace bandage right?” Dana nodded. “Let me borrow one and give me a couple motrin. I’ll be fin in a half hour.” Dana nodded and went to get what I asked for.
“Mom, are you sure you’re going to be alright? You know Aunt Marina wouldn’t really care.”
I shook my head. “I want to go and I’ll be fine. Don’t you worry about me.” Just then Dana came back in and handed me some motrin. “Thank, Stacy will you get me some water please.” Stacy nodded and went back into the kitchen. Dana pulled a chair over to me. “What are you doing?”
“What foot did you hurt?”
“The right.” Dana carefully lifted my foot and put it in her lap. “What are you doing?”
“I’m wrapping your ankle for you. Which shoes were you planning on wearing tonight?” Dana started wrapping my foot.
“My combat boots. They make me taller. I should have brought them upstairs and put them on up there.”
“Yeah you should have. We wouldn’t be having to wrap your foot right now and making ourselves even later.” Dana patted my foot. “All done. Lets get your shoes on and get out of here. I’m driving.” I opened my mouth to argue but the look in Dana’s eyes quickly changed my mind.
“Stacy, where’s my water?” Stacy quickly brought me my water as Dana looked for my boots. “Thank you.” Stacy nodded and started looking for my boots as well
Radar – Hour Later
I saw Alex, Dana, and Stacy run into the club. As they got closer I could tell Alex was limping with Dana helping her. They got to our table fairly quickly. “You‘re late.” Stacy went to the bar.
“No duh Tina,” Dana somewhat snapped as she helped Alex sit down. It was obvious Alex didn’t want her help. “Alex, are you alright now? Do you need anything?”
“Dana, leave me alone. My ankle is fine.”
Alice and Shane just walked over. “You’re lucky I saw you come in. You’re late.” Stacy came over with three drinks in her hands. “Stacy, those better be sodas and I love your pants.”
“They are soda and thank-you but they’re my mother’s. I just stole them for the night.” Stacy sat down next to Alex and kind of clung onto her, somewhat scared.
“Are you alright Stacy?” I asked as Bette sat down next to me, having been talking to Kit. She nodded.
“Alex, are you still going to sing with Alice and I?” Alex nodded, although she wasn’t really paying attention. “Good because we’re going to be next.” Alex’s head whipped up at that. “Knew that would get your attention.” Alex glared. “That was the truth. We’re next.” Alex nodded.
“Okay, up next is Alex, Alice and Shane with “Closer to Fine”.”
i'm trying to tell you something about my life / maybe give me insight between black and white / and the best thing you've ever done for me / is to help me take my life less seriously / it's only life after all / yeah
well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable / and lightness has a call that's hard to hear / i wrap my fear around me like a blanket / i sailed my ship of safety till i sank it / i'm crawling on your shores
i went to the doctor, i went to the mountains / i looked to the children, i drank from the fountains / there's more than one answer to these questions / pointing me in a crooked line / and the less i seek my source for some definitive / (the less i seek my source) / the closer i am to fine / the closer i am to fine
and i went to see the doctor of philosophy / with a poster of rasputin and a beard down to his knee / he never did marry or see a b-grade movie / he graded my performance, he said he could see through me / i spent four years prostrate to the higher mind / got my paper and i was free
i went to the doctor, i went to the mountains / i looked to the children, i drank from the fountains / there's more than one answer to these questions / pointing me in a crooked line / the less i seek my source for some definitive / (the less i seek my source) / the closer i am to fine / the closer i am to fine
i stopped by the bar at 3 a.m. / to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend / and i woke up with a / headache like my head against a board / twice as cloudy as i'd been the night before / and i went in seeking clarity.
i went to the doctor, i went to the mountains / i looked to the children, i drank from the fountains / yeah we go to the doctor, we go to the mountains / we look to the children, we drink from the fountains / yeah we go to the bible, we go through the workout / we read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout / there's more than one answer to these questions / pointing me in a crooked line / the less i seek my source for some definitive / (the less i seek my source) / the closer i am to fine / the closer i am to fine / the closer i am to fine
“We did great ya’ll!” I looked at Alex and Shane, expecting a nod of agreement but all I saw was them both rolling their eyes. “Forget you two then.” I sped up and plopped in my chair.
“Stop being such a drama queen Alice,” Bette said as Alex and Shane sat down. “You guys did a wonderful job.” This time I looked up right away. I saw them shrug but I also saw a slight blush creep up to their cheeks. That was why they just rolled their eyes earlier. “Alex, you really know that whistle solo.”
“Better than we did on the was to Dinah Shore. I still wish you could have come Dana. You would have had so much fun.”
“Alice, you know why I couldn’t.” I nodded and looked around. Stacy was sitting with everyone but she seemed to be by herself. Just as I was about to say something Jenny and Marina sat down at our table. “Hey Jenny, Marina. Where have you guys been?”
“Bartender was late. I had to work the bar until she got here and Jenny kept me company.” Marina looked at Stacy. “How are you Stacy?” You didn’t talk much when you came to get the soda’s.”
Stacy shrugged. “I’m alright. Just, the homesickness is just now settling in.”
I perked up. “You should sing something.” Stacy glared at me. “What? Singing always makes people happy.”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to sing by myself.”
We all looked at each other, our eyes finally resting on Jenny. “Stacy, sorry, but no.” Stacy nodded and looked down at her drink, swirling around in her glass. I noticed Marina looked and Jenny and she sighed. Rolling her eyes, she said, “Never mind Stacy. I’ll sing with you but I get to pick the song.”
Stacy nodded and smiled, her back getting a little straighter as her mood got a little better. Alex got Jenny’s attention and mouthed ‘thank you’.” Jenny nodded then looked through the songbook. She smirked, closing the book and filling out a slip to bring to Kit. “Picked a song?” Marina asked. Jenny nodded and brought it up to Kit. As she came back, Marina asked, “What song did you pick?”
“Not telling. You’ll have to wait till we’re called to sing it.” Stacy’s face paled. “Don’t worry. Its not bad.” I smirked. I looked at Dana and Alex. Dana was fussing over her. “Hey, Alex. Why were you limping earlier?” The rest of us blushed as we realized we hadn’t asked her what was wrong when she first walked in.
“Well, since Stacy stole my pants I stole a pair of hers. Only, since she’s taller than me, her pants are too long. I was running down the stairs, since we were already running late, and I slipped, twisting my ankle, and fell down the stairs.” I laughed, spitting out my drink. Alex glared at me. “What’s so funny?”
I shook my head as I tried to calm down. “Its just that you are such a klutz. The story you just told did not surprise me at all. Almost all your postcards told at least one story of you tripping and twisting your ankle.” Alex stuck out her tongue and I wiggled my eyebrows. Shane rolled her eyes as she put her arm around my shoulders. Everyone giggled at her obvious display of jealousy. I grabbed her hand and snuggled closer, giving everyone a look that shut them all up.
“Okay. Jenny and Stacy are going to entertain us with their rendition of Britney and Madonna’s “Me Against the Music.”
B: Britney / M: Madonna
All my people in the crowd / Grab a partner take it down!
B: It's me against the music / M: Uh uh / B: It's just me / M: And me / B: Yeah / M: C'mon / B: huh / M: Hey Britney? / B: Are you ready? / M: Uh uh, are you? / B: uh
B&M: And no one cares / B: It's whippin' my hair, it's pullin' my waist / B&M: To hell with stares / B: The sweat is drippin' all over my face / B&M: And no one's there / B: I'm the only one dancin' up in this place / B&M: Tonight I'm here / B: Feel the beat of the drum, gotta get with that bass
B: I'm up against the speaker, tryin' to take on the music / It's like a competition, me against the beat / I wanna get in the zone, I wanna get in the zone / If you really wanna battle, saddle up and get your rhythm / Tryin' to hit it, chic-a-taa / In a minute I'm a take a you on, I'm a take a you on / Hey, hey, hey
B&M: All my people on the floor / B: Let me see you dance / M: Let me see ya / B&M: All my people wantin' more / B: Let me see you dance / M: I wanna see ya / B&M: All my people round and round / B: Let me see you dance / M: Let me see ya / B&M: All my people in the crowd / B: Let me see you dance ; / M: I wanna see ya
B&M: So how would you like a friendly competition / Let's take on the song (B: let's take on the song, let's take on the song) / It's you and me baby, we're the music / Time to party all night long (B: all night long, all night long)
Oh uh dear, let's go
B&M: We're almost there / B: I'm feelin' it bad and I can't explain / B&M: My soul is bare / B: My hips are movin' at a rapid pace / B&M: Baby feel it burn / B: From the tip of my toes, runnin' through my veins / B&M: And now's your turn / B: Let me see what you got, don't hesitateB: I'm up against the speaker, tryin' to take on the music / It's like a competition, me against the beat / I wanna get in the zone, I wanna get in the zone / If you really wanna battle, saddle up and get your rhythm / Tryin' to hit it, chic-a-taa / In a minute I'm a take a you on, I'm a take a you on / Hey, hey, hey
B&M: Get on the floor, baby lose control (yeah) / Just work your body and let it go (let it go) / If you wanna party, just grab somebody / M: Hey Britney / B&M: We can dance all night long
M: Hey Britney, you say you wanna lose control / Come over here I got somethin to show ya / Sexy lady, I'd rather see you bare your soul / If you think you're so hot, better show me what you got
M: All my people in the crowd, let me see you dance / C'mon Britney lose control, watch you take it, take it down
B&M: Get on the floor, baby lose control / Just work your body and let it go / If you wanna party, just grab somebody / M: Hey Britney / B&M: We can dance all night long
B&M: All my people on the floor / B: Let me see you dance / M: Let me see ya / B&M: All my people wantin' more / B: Let me see you dance / M: I wanna see ya / B&M: All my people round and round / B: Let me see you dance / M: Let me see ya / B&M: All my people in the crowd / B: Let me see you dance / M: I wanna see ya
M: All my people in the crowd, let me see you dance / C'mon Britney take it down, make the music dance / All my people round and round, party all night long / C'mon Britney lose control, watch you take it, take it down /
Shane’s POV (starts during performance)
I watched Dana the entire night. After her admission the day before, she had been acting strange, even more so tonight. She was continually fussing over Alex’s foot, making sure it didn’t hurt or anything. Alice watched them too but she was also paying attention to Jenny and Stacy. Dana’s eyes suddenly opened wide. She snapped her fingers and stood up, right as Jenny and Stacy sat down. We all looked at her following her sudden outburst.
“Sorry. Jenny, Stacy, you guys did a great job, really. I’ll be right back.” We all watches as she ran up to Kit and talked to her excitedly.
“What the heck happened to her?” Bette asked, looking at the rest of us. We all shrugged although I had an idea what was going on. I saw Kit hug a grinning Dana. I wished I could read lips … wait a minute, “Alex, can you tell what they’re saying?”
Alex shook her head. “Dana’s back is to me so Kit’s words mean nothing.” Alex’s eyes squinted but suddenly she looked under the table, acting like she had dropped something. “Shit! Kit saw me looking at her then Dana turned around.” I nodded, looking over and seeing Dana sit next to Kit. “Do any of you know what’s going on? Alice and I looked at each other. “Alice.”
Alice shook her head as the rest of us tried not to laugh. We knew Alex would try to get Alice to spill. “I can’t tell you. Besides, I’m not entirely sure what is going on. I just have an idea about what it might be.” Alice looked at Alex. “Are you even listening to me?”
‘Who?” I asked but Alex didn’t need to answer.
“Oh my god,” gasped Tina. “Is that Dana on stage?”
We all turned to look at the stage and there was Dana, standing in front of the mic. “Ladies and gentlemen, mostly ladies …”
“What is she doing? She can’t sing,” Alex said, looking at the rest of us. We all ignored her, the others had probably realized what was going on.
“Please give a big hand for Dana!”
The lights on the stage came on and the first notes of the song came through the speakers. I couldn’t believe what song it was. I turned to Alice. “This isn’t what I think it is, is it?” The look Alice gave me answered my question, as did Dana when she started to sing.
Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / Stacy's mom, has got it goin on
Stacy can I come over / After school (after school) / We can hang around / by the pool (hang by the pool) / Did your mom get back / from her business trip (business trip) / Is she there? / Or is she tryin to give me the slip (give me the slip)
You know I'm not the little boy / that I used to be / I'm all grown up / Now baby can't you see!?
Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / She's all I want, and I've waited for so long / Stacy can't ya see? / You're just not the girl for me / I know it might be wrong but, / I'm in love with Stacy's mom
Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / Stacy's mom, has got it goin on
We all turned and looked at Alex. Her face was pale but her eyes had a look in them I’d only seen a couple times before. Hope.
Stacy do you remember / when I mowed your lawn (mowed your lawn) / Your mom came out / With just a towel on (towel on) / I could tell she liked me / From the way she stared (way she stared) / And the way she said / "ya missed a spot over there" (spot over there)
And I know that you think its just a fantasy / But since your dad walked out / your mom could use a guy like me
Stacy's mom, has got it goin on / She's all I want and I've waited for so long / Stacy can't ya see? / You're just not the girl for me / I know it may be wrong but, / I'm in love with Stacy's mom
Stacy's mom has got it goin on (shes got it goin on) / She's all I want and I've waited for so long / Stacy can't ya see, You're just not the girl for me / I know it might be wrong, I'm in love with-
Stacy's mom, ah-oh-ah-oh / I'm in love with- / Stacy's mom, ah-oh-ah-oh / Wait a minute / Stacy can't ya see? / You're just not the girl for me / I know it might be wrong but / I'm in love with Stacy's mom
I watched Dana walk back towards our table, grinning from ear to ear until she noticed Alex was no there. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked at me. I quickly got up and walked to her. “Did she hear?” she whispered.
“Yeah, she heard.”
“So, she’s just in the bathroom, right Shane?” I didn’t answer that. I knew I didn’t need to say anything. Tears started coming to Dana’s eyes. I must have made a pained face because she said, “I know you hate it when girls cry but I can’t help it.”
“Don’t worry about it Danes. Cry it all out.” I hugged her and let her cry on my shoulder. I felt a pair of arms wrap around us. I looked up and saw Alice. Then Bette, Tina, Marina, Kit, Stacy, Jenny, and even Ivan joined in on our group hug. We stood like that for a good couple of minutes, just letting Dana cry. When she seemed to have calmed down, we all let go. “We should just go home now. You think you can drive?” Dana nodded as she composed herself.
“You ready to go Stacy?”
“Lets go home then.” With that, we all walked outside. Marina, Jenny, Kit, and Ivan waved as the rest of us walked to out cars.
Dana and I walked silently into the house. It was dark, not at all what we were expecting. “I’ll check the garage, see if her car is still there.” I nodded and watched her go, knowing my mother’s Jeep would not be there. This isn’t the first time she done this, but hopefully it would be the last.
I sat down on the couch and when Dana came back in, I asked, “Wasn’t there?” She nodded and sat down next to me. “Didn’t think it would be.” I looked over at Dana and saw tears in her eyes. “Don’t worry. She’s fine and she’ll be back. If she were going to be gone for good, she would be here now, packing.” Dana nodded. “Dana, I know my mother. Trust me.”
“I trust you. I really do.”
I smiled and tried to think of something to cheer Dana up. “I wish I knew you had a crush on me because then we wouldn’t be going through this.” Dana laughed, LOUD. “I though that would make you laugh, especially since you are a little bit drunk.”
Dana shoved me. “I’m not drunk.”
“Wow, I was giving you an excuse for that most embarrassing laugh earlier.” Dana blushed and I shoved her back. “Want to watch a movie? My mother just bought Flashdance. She bugs Bette with it because she thinks the lead actress looks like her.”
“Sure. Why not? How about you put the movie in and I’ll steal from your mother’s secret stash of junk food, hopefully she has some popcorn in there.”
“It my mother. Of course she does.” Dana laughed and went into the kitchen. I walked to my mother’s bedroom and slowly opened the door, not wanting to possibly see it empty. It wasn’t. I breathed a sigh of relief and quickly found the DVD. As I turned I noticed something on the bed. It was a note with my name on it. I sat down and begun to read.
10 Minutes Later …
“Stacy? Did you find the movie?” I jumped and quickly hid the note underneath a pillow. Dana quietly came inside. “Did you find the movie?”
“Yeah. I’ll be right down. I’m gonna change into some pajamas.” Dana nodded and headed downstairs. I listened carefully until I heard the microwave start. I pulled the letter back out. “I hope you’re right Mom.” I went to change but as soon as I entered the hallway I ran downstairs. “Dana, I think the popcorn is done.” I walked into the kitchen.
“I think you’re right.” Dana dumped the popcorn into a bowl. It was all black. She looked up at me. “Ice cream?” I laughed and nodded. “Good. That I can do.” She dumped the popcorn into the trash and we started making sundaes.
After the movie …
I looked at the other end of the couch and saw Dana fast asleep, a slight snore coming from her. I chuckled as I stood up and stretched. It was late, or rather early depending on which way you were looking at it. I grabbed a blanket out of the closet and covered Dana. As I headed upstairs I stopped and looked back down at her. “If this doesn’t work Mom, you’re a complete idiot.” I turned the light off and headed to my room.
The Next Morning
Alive and I climbed out of the mini and headed up to Dana’s door. I geld a box full of Krispy Kreme Donuts and Alice had four coffees. We knew Alex was back because she had called and left a message last night, explaining her way of thinking. I looked at Alice, took a deep breath, and ran the doorbell. We waited a couple minutes and right as I was about to ring again, a very sleepy Dana opened the door and headed back into the living room. Alice and I looked at each other and walked in.
“Morning to you too Dane.” Dana held her hand out and Alice put a coffee in it. She took a big gulp.
“Thanks.” Dana finally opened her eyes and looked at the two of us. “What are you guys doing here so early?”
“We just thought we’d come check on you and Stacy.” I sat down next to Dana. “How are you?”
“Right now, I’m alright. All her things are still here so, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.” I nodded and offered her a donut. “No thanks. Stacy and I had huge sundaes last night and it mess my stomach up, so, no donuts for me.” Just then Stacy walked downstairs.
Stacy grumbled, her face scrunching up. “Why are you talking so loud?” Stacy plopped on the couch between Dana and I. “I feel like I was very drunk last night and am having a horrible hangover.” Stacy looked at me. “Do I smell coffee?”
“You sure do kiddo.” I handed her a coup. “Now how would you know what a horrible hangover feels like?” Stacy glared at me. “Right. Alex is your mother.” Stacy rolled her eyes and took a big gulp of her coffee. “Better now?”
“Very much. What are you guys doing here so early?”
“Geesh you guys ask us that like we’re never up before noon,” Alice said, setting down her coffee.
Stacy laughed as Dana just looked at the two of us. “Alice, its Saturday and neither of you have to work. Therefore, because of past weekends, we just figured you two would be spending the morning inside.” I chuckled and winked at Dana as Alice blushed. Stacy was laughing so hard she fell off the couch, causing Alice to finally get over her embarrassment and laugh.
“Stacy are you alright?” Alice asked as we all stood up and leaned over her. She was still laughing so all she could do was nod and hiccup, trying to compose herself. “Its not that funny Stacy.”
Stacy finally stopped laughing and sat up. “Actually it is. You didn’t see Shane wink at Dana.” Alice turned and glared at me.
“Oh thanks Stace. Why didn’t you just build the doghouse yourself?” Stacy chuckled and moved back to her place on the couch, this time putting her feet in Dana’s lap as she sat down as well. I looked at Alice. “We should really get going. I actually do have to work today. A celebrity is coming in and today was the only day she could. See ya guys at the Planet tonight?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know. When we stopped to pick up the coffees Marina asked us to come tonight, all of us.” Dana nodded so Alice and I waved as we walked out the door.
I stared at the phone as it started ringing. I got drunker than I though last night. I put my headset on and answered the phone. “Hello. Bette Porter speaking.” I opened a drawer and pulled out some Tylenol. “Alex, where the hell are you?” As I listened to her answer I took two pills and gulped down some water.
James quietly entered just then. “Bette, you’re 3:00 got pushed back to 4:00.” I nodded and smiled at him. “Oh and you’re 2:00 cancelled. He quickly left.
I started pacing as I listen to Alex’s ranting. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying at this point. “Alex, calm down and speak slower.” I nodded as I realized what she was talking about doing. “Wow. You really going to go through with that?” I sat at my desk and turned on my computer to keep myself busy. “Yeah I’ll try but I think Alice and Shane will have better luck. Yeah, I’ll talk to Tina. You’ve already talked to everyone else?”
James poked his head back in. “Bette, you have a visitor.”
“Thanks James. Send them in.” I turned my back to the door. “So, you’ll come in tomorrow to help design the set-up?” I chuckled at Alex’s response. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll see you in the morning Alex. Bye.” I pulled off my headset and turned around when I heard my visitor clear their throat. “Dana. Um, how long have you been there?”
“Where’s Alex?” Well that answered my question. “Did she tell you where she was?” I shook my head as she sat down. “I’m driving myself crazy over this. Why did she call you?”
“We have to start setting up the display for her show.” Dana nodded and leaned back in her chair. “Don’t take this the wrong way but why are you here?”
Dana blushed and grinned sheepishly. “I thought today was the day you were going to talk about the set-up and I knew should would show up for that.” I chuckled. “Well, since I’m here, want to get a late lunch? I still can’t believe you’re working on a Saturday and you’re going to be working tomorrow.”
“Well, its just this one weekend because of the show. Lets go get something. I haven’t eaten anything all day therefore I am starving.” Dana stood up as I turned the computer back off. I grabbed my jacket and we were out the door. “Where do you want to go?”
That Night at the Planet …
One by one we all sat at our usual table, everyone but Alex was there. I sighed as I noticed how down Dana was. I really hope Alex’s plan works.
“Marina, why are the curtains closed around the stage?” I looked at Dana and then everyone else. I had no idea what to say. Luckily Shane saved me from having to think of something.
“It’s a surprise. She won’t tell any of us anything except that its why we’re all here.” I smiled and nodded. When Dana wasn’t looking at me, I caught Shane’s eye and mouthed ‘thank you’. She nodded and turned her attention back to Alice and Dana’s conversation, as did I. Suddenly the lights went out.
Everyone looked up as the sound of the curtains could be heard throughout the café. The first notes of a piano softly came through the speakers, soon joined by other instruments. A spotlight slowly lit up the stage and I saw Dana silently gasp as Alex came into view. Her usual messy short hair was slicked back. She was wearing black dress slacks and a plain white button down shirt, open, over a black spaghetti strap shirt. All the waiters and waitresses were going around lighting candles as Alex started singing the first verse.
When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me
And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try baby
And have a little faith, faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me, ooh
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith, faith in me
Shane pointed at Dana and we all nodded. I smiled. It was working.
And when your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here baby
From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me
And when your back's against the wall
Just turn around and you, you will see
I will catch your, I will catch your fall baby
Just have a little faith, faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith, faith in me
Well I've been loving you for such a long, long time
Expecting nothing in return just for you to have a little faith in me
'Cause see time, time is our friend
'Cause for us there is no end
And all you gotta do is a have a little faith in me
I will hold you up
I will hold you up
And your love gives me strength enough to have a little faith in me
oh, heeeeey, oh darlin'
have a little faith in me
I stood up as everyone gave Alex a standing ovation. We made eye contact and she stood up from the piano. I made my way to the stage as she jumped down. We met in the middle, with everyone watching us, but I didn’t care. I grabbed her head and kissed her. I heard her moan into the kiss, even over all the hooting and hollering, most of which was coming from the table I had just vacated.
I reluctantly pulled back from the most passionate kiss I had ever had. Our foreheads still touching, I gazed into her eyes, hopefully showing all the love I had for her. “You’re an even better kisser than Bette.” Dana laughed and leaned her head on my shoulder. “I love you Dana.”
Dana lifted her head and kissed me again, then put her head back in the crook of my neck and whispered, “I love you too.”
We all watched as Alex and Dana met halfway and kissed. The entire room broke out in hoots and hollers, out table being the loudest. When they stopped kissing everyone was silent.
“I wish we could hear what they were saying,” I said with a sigh as I jumped down and sat in the chair I had just been standing on to get a good view of my friends. Now that everyone was sitting down I could see them without having to stand. I noticed everyone was looking at each other. “I wish Alex wasn’t the one who could read lips. I wanna know what they’re saying.”
“We know,” they all said in unison then looked down at the table, giggling.
“Oh my god!” Being the only one paying attention to our two friends, I was the first to jump up when Alex suddenly fell to the floor.
I sat on the side of Alex’s bed. I couldn’t believe how pale she was. I pushed a couple stray hairs behind her ear. I bet no one knew her hair was just slicked back with water last night. I started chuckling but stopped when Doctor Stiles came back in.
“She’s going to be okay. She’s just had a little too much stress. With that and the chemo, it’s a wonder why this didn’t happen sooner.”
I looked at the doctor and nodded. “Can she go home soon?”
Dr. Stiles smiled and nodded. “When she wakes up, if she says she’s strong enough, which I’m sure she will, you can take her home.”
“Thank you Doctor.” Dr. Stiles left and I smiled as Stacy stuck her head in. “Come on in Stacy. She’s still sleeping.” Stacy came in and stood at the end of Alex’s bed. “She’s going to be alright. She just needs some rest. Did you bring Bette the plans for the display set-up?”
“Yeah but she told me something.” I looked up at Stacy. “Um, Buckely wants to have a debate with my mom.”
“What?! She didn’t learn anything from her debate with Bette?” I stood up and started pacing around Alex’s room.
“Dana, you don’t understand. My mom and Buckley have had debates before but, well, my mother always had a girlfriend and they never knew about me.” I stopped pacing and looked at Stacy. “She could never gather the courage to bring up her past.” I nodded and turned to face Alex. “We need to tell her.”
“She looks so peaceful when she’s sleeping.” I turned back around to face Stacy again. “She’s not supposed to have any stress. Lets give her the day at least and see how she is tomorrow. Lets give her today to relax and read the paper or something.”
“Better stick with or something.” Stacy pulled something out of her back pocket and handed it to me. “Its all over the front page of the newspaper.” I unfolded the paper and gasped. “The pictures are real. They’re from the day I was conceived. That lying bitch is saying they’re from a night that she got stoned and hitted on one of her models, who had a boyfriend and said boyfriend beat the crap out of her.”
I noticed Alex stirring and threw the paper back at Stacy. “Do something with this please.” I ran to Alex’s side and grabbed her hand as Stacy looked around the room then quickly threw the paper out the door and Alex’s eye lids fluttered.
“Please Mommy?!” A six year old Stacy looked up at me and pouted.
I shook my head and laughed. “Stacy, sweetie, you know I can’t. Aunt Marina will bring you.” I picked Stacy up and carried her out to the living room.
“Mommy,” she whined.
Marina laughed. “Want some cheese with that?” she asked Stacy. Stacy just put her head in the crook of my neck. “Aww.”
“Shut up Marina.” Just then Stacy blew a raspberry on my neck then pulled back and gave me puppy dog eyes. I set her down. “Stacy that’s not playing fair.”
Stacy groaned then grabbed my hand and tried to drag me outside. I rolled my eyes and allowed her to lead me out the door. Marina followed us. “Stacy, what are you doing?”
Stacy opened the passenger side door of my car and climbed in. She buckled her seatbelt and looked at me. “You’re taking me Mommy. I’m not getting out of this car unless we are at the softball field.”
I sighed and looked at Marina. She just shrugged and chuckled softly. I stood there a few minutes, looking at my watch and Stacy. “Let me get my jacket and wallet.”
As I walked back in the house I heard Stacy exclaim, “Yes!” and Marina laugh.
When I climbed into the driver’s seat I looked over at Stacy and saw Marina wink at her. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Marina laughed. “Sorry Alex. Alex? Alex?”
I opened my eyes and looked up to see Dana and Stacy peering down at me with concern. “Alex, are you alright?” I chuckled as I saw Stacy giving me puppy dog eyes.
“I’m sorry sweetie. I was remembering something as I woke up. Remember your first softball game?” Stacy nodded and laughed. Dana looked at us like we were attached by a third head. “I’ll explain later. Come here.” Dana leaned over me. “I love you. Can I go home now?”
Dana chuckled and kissed me. “I love you too and yes you can go home now.”
As we got home I looked at Dana, silently asking her what to do about the debate. I knew we said we would give her today to rest but I hadn’t told her about Bette yet. Dana helped my mom over to the couch. “Do you need anything Mom?”
“Yeah, actually, can I have some coffee and the paper? I just want to relax today.”
“Sure. Dana, will you help me? I always seem to mess it up when I make it for my mother.”
Dana looked at me, a deer caught in headlights look on her face. “Of course.” Dana stood up and followed me into the kitchen. “I didn’t think she would actually want to read the paper.” I shrugged and started making the coffee. The two of us hopped onto opposite counters. “What are we going to do?”
“I guess we’re going to have to tell her, especially since Bette will be here in about an hour to talk about the debate.” Dana glared at me. “I’m sorry but Bette scares my sometimes and I couldn’t say no to her.” I hopped off the counter and poured a cup of coffee. As I mixed in the sugar and milk I asked, “You want to tell her?” I turned around and saw her glaring at me. “Or we both can tell her.”
As we were heading out the kitchen Dana said, “Don’t forget the paper.”
Two Hours Later
As I knocked on Dana’s door I could hear shouting. “Well, at least I know Alex is home,” I mumbled.
Suddenly the door flew open and I came face to face with a very angry Alex. “Why am I having the debate? I’m the artist. I’m not supposed to have to debate about my work.”
“I know Alex. Why don’t you let me in and we can calmly talk about this, sitting down.”
“Bette, don’t talk to me like I’m a rabid dog.” Alex snapped but moved aside to let me in. “I’m panicked, not angry.”
As I sat down I looked at the three people in the room. I noticed the paper on the coffee table. “Why are you panicked?”
Alex sighed and ran her hand through her hair. “Because whenever I have a debate with Buckley, which I’ve had several, I can never keep the courage to tell the world about Stacy. If I had, you most likely wouldn’t have had to go through the shit you had to go through last year with her.”
I didn’t have anything to say to that. I sighed and leaned back on the couch, closing my eyes as I felt them fill up with tears.
Two Days Later – TV Studio Lot
“Mom, what’s going on with you?” I watched as she paced in front of her trailer. The rest of the gang was still inside. Dana came up behind me and hugged me. “Dana, maybe you can talk some sense into her.”
“Stacy, she’s just nervous. You know how she gets when she has to talk about her past. She completely broke down when she was just telling us, her best friends. Think about how she must feel now? She’s about to tell everyone who’s watching”
I nodded and looked up. My mother had stopped pacing was standing at the bottom of the steps, now watching Dana and me, smiling. “What you smiling at Mom?”
“I’m smiling because I’m looking at the two people I love most in the world, my daughter and my girlfriend. Come down here.” I ducked under Dana’s arms and ran to my mother, completely feeling like a little kid again. She hugged me tight, actually lifting me off the ground. “Dana, you too.” Dana gave us her trademark goofy grin and came down, enveloping us in a group hug. My mom was the first to pull back. “I need to talk to the two of you about this.”
“About what mom?”
My mother took my hands and looked me in the eye. “Are you sure you’re ready for this sweetie? I don’t have to even mention you.”
“Mom, if you don’t then Buckley will win. More people will have to go through everything you and Bette have gone through.”
My mother nodded. “But sweetie, I don’t want to cause you any grief. You don’t deserve this.”
“Neither do you Alex. No one deserves this, not even the bitch doing it to you.”
I nodded at what Dana was saying. “Listen to her Mom. She’s right. Mom, this is our only chance. We don’t have anything else against her. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself.” My mother nodded and let go of my hands to wipe tears from her eyes.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Alex Desmond herself,” a voice said from behind us. We turned around and saw Buckley, standing there all smug. “Didn’t think you’d actually show.”
“I’m not a chicken. I said I would do this debate and I don’t go back on my word.”
“Well, I hope you’re ready to cancel your show.”
I looked at my mother and smirked. “She’s not going to be cancelling her show. Are you ready, Mom?” Buckley’s eyes widened as she looked between my mom and I and Dana.
“Yeah Babe,” Dana said as she caught on to what I was doing. “We need to get you into Make-up.” Buckley grunted and stomped off. Dana chuckled. “Did you see the look on her face? That was fun.” My mom and I laughed and the three of us headed back into her trailer.
Debate Set – One Hour Later
I sat on the other side of the show’s host, watching as Buckley got a touch up. I looked over and saw Bob Buckley, smiled at me. It was scary because the smile was so familiar. I looked behind the camera opposite me and saw Dana and Stacy, smiling at me but smiling nicely. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as the director counted down and yelled, “We’re on!”
“Good evening and welcome. I’m Phil Carter and I’ll be your host for this debate between Alex Desmond and Faye Buckley. Good evening ladies.”
“Good evening Phil,” we said in unison. Buckley glared at me as just smiled. Secretly I was wishing she would mess up without me having to even mention Stacy.
“So, Alex would you kindly describe your paintings to our audience?”
“Of course Phil. Well the first room will be some of my more trademark paintings. What I did for those paintings was take photographs of my friends doing everyday things. I then drew a grid on a copy of the picture and a corresponding grip on my canvas. Using the grid, I drew the picture bigger then painted it in. The original photographs will also be on display.”
“Now what about the others? They are the reason why we are here.”
“The other paintings are of couples in love, making love.”
“The other paintings are abominations. You show unmarried couples having sexual intercourse.”
“Actually Mrs. Buckley, if you had done your research, you would know that all the couples were married. I did all the homosexual paintings in foreign countries where same sex marriages are legal. The heterosexual couples were married as well. You can see their rings in the paintings.”
“Well, these paintings sound very interesting.”
“They are disgusting and immoral, just like the artist.”
Phil coughed at that. “Well, yes, Mrs. Buckley. You claim to have incriminating photographs of Ms. Desmond.”
“Yes Phil I do.” Buckley reached beside her and pulled out several pictures. “Ms. Desmond tended to get stoned while she painted and one time she made a pass on one of her straight female models.”
“Oh that is such a lie. I would never do that.”
“Yes she did and the woman’s husband raped her then she had an abortion.”
“Ms. Desmond, are you going to admit that any of that is true or is Mrs. Buckley making all this up, including police records and the photos.”
“No, the pictures are real, the police reports are real, and yes I was raped but not by one of my females model’s husband.” The audience was completely silent as I looked over at Stacy and saw her smiling and giving me two thumbs up. “Also, I didn’t have an abortion. I have a daughter named Stacy.”
I smiled at Phil. “Well then, if you don’t mind, do tell us the truth.”
“Well, I was sixteen and living with my adopted parents the Buckleys.” I watched as Faye looked up at me and Bob Buckley pulled up a chair and sat down. “I was home alone with the husband and their birth daughter.” I noticed Stacy wipe a stray tear, knowing that I had a couple running down my face as well. “I made him mad so he picked me up, threw me on the bed, then raped me. His wife came home and stood at the door, watching what her husband was doing. Those pictures are from when they found out that I didn’t get the abortion.”
The entire audience gasped. Buckley stood up and slapped me. “You bitch.”
“Mrs. Buckley, what’s wrong?”
“She just accused my husband and I of a horrible crime.”
“No she didn’t. There are hundreds of people with the last name Buckley but you just accused yourself. Security.”
I watched as Bob Buckley was put in handcuffs. I laughed as I saw Alice smiled smugly but grimaced when she tapped Bob on the shoulder and punched him in the face. I watched Shane pull Alice back and grimaced even more as words that would make sailors blush came flying out of her mouth towards Bob. Everyone heard them as Alice was standing right under a mic.
“Well, that’s enough excitement for one night I think. Ms. Desmond, good luck with your show. I’m Phil Carter and good night.”
I was so proud of Alex as I watched her chit chat with the host. She caught my eye and with a nod to Phil, came running over and hugged me, picking me up and spinning me around. “I’m so happy right now!”
I laughed as she set me down. “I can tell. I’m so proud of you sweetie.”
Alex smiled then went and hugged Alice, also picking her up and spinning her around. “That was the coolest thing when you punched Bob Buckley but you could have gotten arrested.
Alice chuckled when Alex set her down and Shane grabbed her, acting jealous. “Well, I knew if I did you would bail me out. Besides, I figured they were more interested in getting the rapist in cuffs. Wish I could have gotten a piece of Faye though. Really wanted to kick her ass. We all laughed and headed towards Alex’s trailer.
As we got closer Stacy stopped and said, “Well Alice, you just might get your wish.” We all looked and saw Faye Buckley standing in front of Alex’s trailer. Stacy walked ahead of the rest of us, with Alice close behind though. “What are you doing here?”
When Alex caught up with Stacy Buckley looked at her and her nostrils flared. “You bitch! You got my husband arrested. You will pay for this!” Buckley ran towards Alex but Alice and Bette moved in front of her.
“You’ll have to go through us first,” Alice said and Bette nodded.
“Me too,” Shane said as she stepped next to Alice.
Tina stepped next to Bette. “Me too.”
Stacy pushed her way between Alice and Bette as I moved next to Alex. “Me too and before this goes on any longer, I’m sure the rest of the gang would be throwing some punches too if necessary.” Faye took one step closer and Alice punched her in the nose. “Told you.”
Faye glared at all of us, saving Alice for last. “You’ll pay for that.”
Alice smirked. “I’m sure I will but it was well worth it anyway. Now get out of here before I punch you again.” Buckely glared at Alice one more time then turned around and walked away, quickly. “And stay away!” We all laughed at Alice’s parting words to Buckley. She smiled and shook her hand. “Damn that hurt but felt good.”
Alex chuckled. “Let me get my stuff then we’ll all go to the Planet. I’m sure Marina will give you some ice for your knuckles.” Alice nodded. Alex went in to her trailer, grabbed her bag and we were off.
When we got to the Planet Alex pulled me aside and kissed me. “I love you.”
I laughed softly. “I love you too.” Alex batted her eyelashes then went and joined her daughter, taking a glass of wine away from her and handing her a bottle of water. Stacy pouted but took the water and sat with Alice and Shane. Alice slid her glass in Stacy’s direction and winked at her while Alex was talking to Marina, her back to them.
“Dana, get your butt over here and celebrate with us,” Alice said, waving me over then throwing her hand back in a bowl of ice.
I laughed and saw down, quickly taking Alice’s glass away from Stacy and pushing the bottle back in front of her. “Water good. Wine, bad.” Stacy glared at me but smiled and mouth ‘Thank you’ when Alex sat next to me.
Alice grabbed her glass from me and lifted it in the air. “A toast. To Alex and her daughter Stacy, may the two of you live happily ever after and congratulations.”
”You’re drunk Alice,” Alex said, but I could tell Alice’s toast had touched her.
“Yeah? Well, I punched both the Buckleys. I have the right to be drunk.”
One Week Later
I carefully opened the door to Dana’s bedroom, not wanting to wake her up by banging the door op dropping any thing on the tray I was holding. I set the tray down on the floor and sat on the edge of her bed. “Dana, sweetie, its time to wake up now,” I whispered in her ear.
“Nuh uh.” I laughed softly as a small smile graced her lips. I kissed her tenderly then lifted up a plate of bacon from the tray and held it under her nose. Her eyes opened and she took the plate from me. “I’m up but I don’t want to leave this room.”
I laughed. “You don’t have to.” I reached down and picked up the tray and set it over her lap. “I brought you breakfast in bed. Happy Birthday Dana.”
“Alice told me, yesterday. That’s why I was gone all day. Had to get your present.”
Dana laughed and smiled. “You got me something?” I nodded and stood up, walking towards the door. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know but I wanted to. Eat your breakfast and I’ll be right back with your present.” I walked out of the room backwards and quickly ran to Stacy’s room. I had let her go to her friend’s house for the night because I wasn’t sure how Dana would react to her present. I went into her closet and grabbed the handle through a blanket covering Dana’s present. I walked back into Dana’s room and smiled.
“Breakfast was wonderful sweetie.” I nodded and moved closer by a couple steps. “So, whatcha get me?”
“Well, I’m not sure how you’re going to react but, um, I thought you might like this.” Dana quirked an eyebrow and I put her present next to her, removing the breakfast tray. I heard her open the door. “I know its not Mr. Piddles but …”
“Aww, he’s so cute!” I looked up and saw Dana playing with the cat. “What’s his name?”
“Whatever you want. My friend’s cat had kittens but she couldn’t sell this one. I don’t know if the saying applies to cats but I guess he was the runt of the litter.”
Dana smiled and kissed me. “Thank-you.”
“No problem Babe. Alice told me how good a friend Mr. Piddles was and how devastated you were when he died.” Dana nodded and stood up, holding the cat. “Whatcha doing Danes?” Dana just looked at me and smirked. She went to her closet and pulled out a cat bed. Then she put the bed right outside the door and put the cat on it. She closed the door and walked over to the bed. “Whatcha do that for?”
“Mr. P2 is still a kitten. He’s not old enough to see this.” With that Dana moved in front of me, standing between my legs. She pulled my shirt off then pushed me back and pulled my boxers off. I looked up and watched as she pulled her shirt off then slowly untied the drawstring on her pans and took them off.
“Are you sure about this Dana?” She nodded as she took her panties off. I started at her as she stood there in all her glory. I sat up and ran my hands up her sides. “You’re so beautiful,” I whispered then took one of her nipples in my mouth and nibbled on it.
She moaned. “I don’t know how much longer I can stand up on my own.” I pulled back and gave her a devilish smiled then stood up and picked her up. I turned around and laid her on the bed. I slowly lowered myself on top of her. We both gasped as our naked flesh touched. “Alex,” she moaned. “I love you.”
I supported myself with my left arm and used my free hand to push hair out of her lovely eyes. I wanted to be looking in her eyes when I said, “I love you too.” I kissed her passionately, exploring her mouth with my tongue. She moaned into the kiss and I pulled her back. I looked down at her until she opened her eyes.
She looked at me, her eyes filled with love, concern, and desire. I leaned down and softly kissed her. I didn’t want her to see the shame in my eyes. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?” She caressed my cheek and I leaned into the caress. “Do you not want to do this?”
“Yes I want to do this but,” I couldn’t finish what I was saying so I buried my face into the crook of her neck. I felt her breath hitch as I slowly exhaled against her skin.
Dana sighed and rolled us over so we were on our sides, facing each other. I kept my face in her neck. “But what Alex?” she said softly in a voice that if I had been standing would have made my knees go weak, I couldn’t help but look in her eyes. “What is it Alex? You can tell me.”
“I’ve never done this before,” I whispered and although she didn’t say anything I know that she heard. “I’d been too scared with Bette and never had a relationship after her that lasted long enough.” I looked up, expecting to see disgust or shock on Dana’s face but she was smiling and her eyes were so full of love, there was no way I could misinterpret it as cruel. I mentally smacked myself on the forehead for even thinking that Dana was capable of cruelty. She didn’t have a cruel bone in her body.
“That’s nothing to be ashamed of Alex. You had something horrible happen to you when you were a child and you just now got some kind of closure with it. I mean, some people aren’t even ready to have a relationship at this point and you’ve had two.” Dana kissed me tenderly then slowly pulled back and rested her forehead against mine. “We don’t have to do this now if you don’t want to.”
“Babe,” I started but was stopped when Dana kissed me.
“Don’t worry about it. Our first time needs to be even more special now and a quickie before my party or before Stacy gets home is not special enough,” with that we both looked up as we heard a car pull up. We looked at each other and laughed. I climbed out of the bed and pulled on my boxers. “Now see, that would have totally ruined the moment and we would have been frustrated all day.”
“Mom! I’m home!” I laughed and shook my head as I pulled on my shirt. “Did Dana like her present?”
“Yes I did!” Dana stood up and pulled her clothes on quickly. I laughed as her arm got caught in her sleeve. “A little help here please.” I chuckled and carefully helped her slide her arm in the sleeve correctly. “Thanks.”
I kissed her nose and headed downstairs. I heard her giggle and felt her wrap her arms around my waist and ser her head on my shoulder. We clumsily walked downstairs like that. “Geesh, get a room you two.” Dana kissed me on the cheek and let go. She walked over and hugged Stacy. She hugged her back and winked at me. “Morning and happy birthday.”
“Thank you Stacy and morning to you too. Did you have fun at your friend’s house?” Stacy’s answer was interrupted by my cellphone ringing.
“Sorry guys.” I picked up the phone and answered. “Alex Desmond.” I winked at Dana and headed out to the living room. I listened to Stacy and Dana talk about possible names for the cat. “Wait a minute. What do you mean they have to be done today?” Dana came out and leaned on the door jam to the kitchen. “I might have to drop some. Why? Because I have plans for today that’s why. I don’t have time to finish them. I don’t care about that. I am not changing my plans. Goodbye.” I slammed the phone down and looked at Dana.
“Go finish your paintings.” Dana jerked her head towards Stacy. “I’ll make Stacy keep me company.”
“Are you sure?” Dana nodded. “Thanks sweetie and don’t listen to her. I love Mr. P2. You name your cat whatever you want. I love you.”
“I love you too. Now go get to work. You better not come late.”
I walked up to her and whispered in her ear, “I won’t be late but I will be cumming later, as will you.” I turned around and headed towards the garage.
“Alex Desmond!” I chucked as I closed the door and looked around. I didn’t really have that much left, just wanted to make that CAC jerk feel bad.
A COUPLE HOURS LATER
I looked around the garage and saw all my paintings, finished, finally. I couldn’t believe I was finally going to be able to show my favorite collection. They were the paintings I was most proud of. “They’re beautiful Alex.” I turned around and saw Dana standing on the steps to the garage, in a bathrobe. “You should be proud.”
“You’re beautiful but you know what might be even more beautiful?” She smiled and shook her head. I walked up to her and grabbed onto the belt keeping her robe closed. “You without this on.”
“You tease. You have paint on your lip babe.” I leaned in and tried to kiss her. “Oh no you don’t,” she said leaning back and slapping me on the arm. “You go take a shower and get ready for my party.”
I looked at her with confusion. “What you talking about Dana? I should have a couple hours left.”
“Sweetie, you woke me up at one and have been in here for five hours. You have two hours to take a shower and get dressed so …”
“So I’ll go get in the shower. Didn’t realize I was in here that long. Sorry babe.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just get in the shower. You’re covered in paint.” I smirked and ran to the shower.
AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER
“How come we’re always having to wait for my mother?” I asked as Dana and myself sat on the couch waiting.
“Because you’re always stealing the clothes I’m wanting to wear. My shirt looks great on you by the way. Oh, and Dana, my shoes match your outfit perfectly.” I was going to say something smart but was rendered speechless when my mother came into view. “How do I look?”
Dana smiled and walked to the bottom of the stairs. She looked up to my mother. “I thought tonight was supposed to be about me? Shouldn’t I be the prettiest girl there?” My mother chuckled and finished walking down the stairs. “Are you ready?”
“Yes I am and you are beautiful, more beautiful than me.” The two of them kissed and I groaned.
“Would you two get a room? Geesh, you two are so sweet I think I might barf.” My mother slapped my in the back of the head and pushed my towards the doors.
“Would you just get in the car? We don’t want to be late for Dana’s party.” I laughed and we all headed towards the garage. When we got there, I saw that my mother’s car was actually clean. “Climb in.”
“Alex, if we take your car our hair will get all messed up.” My mother shook her head and pulled the top out of the back of her Jeep. “Of course you were prepared for that. Fine. We’ll take your car. Stacy, get in the back.” I rolled my eyes. She was already staring to sound like my mother. “And don’t even thing about saying I sound like your mother.” We all laughed as my mother pulled on the top and we were off.
“It feels so good to be home.” Marina turned around and smiled at me. “I love you.”
“I love you too. Now will you help Alice with the banner? She won’t let any of us taller people help her, maybe she’ll let you help her.” I laughed and went to the other side of the café where Alice was hanging a Happy Birthday banner.
“Hello Alice. Want some help?”
Alice looked down at me for a minute and nodded. “Please? No matter what I do I can’t get this straight. Every time Tina looks at it she says its crooked and I’m starting to get pised off.” I smiled and climbed up the other ladder. “If you could just pull it a little towards you and then up some.” I did as I was told and Alice nodded. She looked down and hollered, “TINA!”
Tina quickly walked over. She looked up at as and smiled. “Perfect.” Alice mumbled something as we climbed down then went to the bar.
“Tina, it looked straight the first time she put it up.”
“I know. It also looked straight when I put it up.” I laughed as she winked and went back to helping Bette blow up balloons.
As I was about to ask if anyone else needed help, a young man walked into the café. “Sorry we’re closed.”
The boy smirked and looked at me. “I know. I’m-“
“Howie!” Alice yelled as she waved at him from the bar. “Glad you could make it. Dana’s not here yet.”
“Oh! You’re Dana’s brother?”
“Yes and you are?”
“I’m Jenny.” I extended my hand and he took it but instead of shaking it he kissed the back. I giggled as I realized Dana’s little brother was hitting on me. “Dana should be here soon.” Howie nodded and I walked over to Shane. “Need help?” I asked as I saw her struggle with a roll of scotch tape.
“Please. I’ve never been good at wrapping presents.”
I chuckled and saw down across from her, taking the present and wrapping paper. “What did you get her?”
“A pair of Bewitched pajamas. She already had a pair of I Love Lucy ones.”
I quirked and eyebrow and looked at her as I pulled a piece of tape off and stuck it on the box. “And just how would you know that?”
Shane blushed. “Because that’s what I got her two years ago.”
“Here.” I handed Shane the wrapped present and she smiled.
“They’re here!” Alice shouted as she turned off the lights and we all hid. I didn’t quite understand the point of hiding. Dana already knew about the party. I felt somebody behind me and when I turned around I saw Marina with a finger on her lips.
When the bell above the door was heard and the lights came on we all jumped up and yelled, “Happy Birthday Dana!”
“Wow guys! The place looks great! Howie you made it.” Howie nodded as he hugged his sister. The rest of us walked over and hugged her as well.
“You look great Dana,” I said.
Marina chuckled and smirked at Alex. “You too Alex.”
“Shut up Marina. Stacy stole the shirt I was going to wear and Dana stole my shoes. This is the only thing I had that was clean and matched my other shoes.”
“I didn’t even know you owned a dress.”
Alex glared at Marina so I pulled her away. “Lets get something to drink Babe.” I didn’t know Alex that well but from the stories Marina had told me I didn’t want to risk them getting into a fight because Marina didn’t know when to stop.
Dana opened her presents after a couple hours of drinking and dancing. By then most of us were drunk. Bette and Tina left right after she had finished opening presents. Howie gave Stacy a ride to her friend’s house while Shane had to practically drag a very drunk Alice of the door. Alex and Shane looked at the two of us.
“You two go,” Marina said. “We’ll clean up in the morning. Shane said she and Alice would be by to help. You enjoy the rest of your birthday Dana.”
Dana looked at Alex and smiled. “I will. See ya guys later.” Marina chuckled as the two of them ran out the door.
I looked at Marina. “You’re not going to be able to sleep with the place like this are you?” Marina looked over and shook her head. I groaned but smiled. “Alright. Lets start cleaning. The sooner we start the sooner we finish.”
When Alex and I walked in the door, I headed straight upstairs. “I’ll be up in a couple minutes babe,” Alex said as she checked the messages on her cell phone. I nodded and ran the rest of the way. When I got in my room, well, our room, I grabbed all the candles I could and a box of matches. I quickly arranged the candles and lit them all. I changed into my bathrobe and turned off the lights. I looked around, trying to make sure everything was perfect when I heard Alex walking down the hallway. I jumped into the bed right before Alex knocked.
“Come on,” I said, while moving my bathrobe to show just enough skin.
“Hey Dana, I-” Alex stopped mid sentence when she saw me. I smiled and motioned for her to come all the way in. She did and closed the door. “Wow.”
I smirked and got up on my knees. “Well, it is later.” She slowly walked to the edge of the bed and knelt on it in front of me. I pulled her closer and kissed her passionately. I reached behind her and unzipped her dress. “I still can’t believe you really wore a dress today.” Alex chuckled as stood up and took it off. She climbed back on the bed and untied my robe. I let it fall of my shoulders. I kissed her again, turning us around and laying down so I was on top.
I looked down. “Do you want me to stop?” She shook her head. “Then what’s wrong?”
“Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. I love you.”
I laughed as I leaned down and kiss her. I could die and be happy just being able to kiss her. I pulled back and looked her in the eyes. “I love you too.”
I woke up at 7:00 and groaned. I didn’t have to be up for another two hours. I looked over and saw a peaceful Dana, a peaceful, snoring Dana. I chuckled and carefully got out of bed. I’ve got to thank Stacy for staying with her friend.
I walked downstairs and quickly set about starting a pot of coffee and breakfast. As I was pouring my first cup of coffee, and thinking I make want to switch to decaf, the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw it was Alice. I hit the speakerphone button as I turned on the stove. “Hey Alice.”
“Actually its Shane.” I chuckled as I poured pancake batter in the pan. “I have a cooking question.”
“No there aren’t any take out places that serve breakfast.”
“Hardy har har har Alex. I already knew that … and from personal experience. No, my real question is how do I know the pan is hot enough to start making pancakes?”
I chuckled as I flipped my own perfect pancake. “Are your hands clean?”
“Of course but I know touching the pan is not the smart way of checking.”
“No duh Shane and please tell me that’s not from person experience.” I took Shane’s embarrassed laughs as a ‘yes it was’. “Get your hands wet then flick the water onto the pan. If the water sizzles away, its hot enough.”
“Thanks Alex,” I heard over a sizzling pan. I pulled a pan of pancakes out of the oven, where they were kept warm. “What are you doing up this early?”
“Same thing as you.” I put the last pancake with the others and replaced the pan then poured myself another cup of coffee. “Except I’m a little ahead. Already on my second cup of coffee.” I opened the fried and grabbed a couple eggs then cracked them in a bowl. “How is drunk Alice? Hungover?”
“I’m sure she will be when she wakes up.”
“You’re making her breakfast in bed? That’s so sweet.”
“You tell a soul and you’ll wish you were dead.” I laughed as I mixed milk in with the eggs.
I woke up to the sound of pounding on my door, again. “Dana! Hurry up!” I opened my eyes and couldn’t believe that this was how Alex was waking me up after last night. “Come on! I’m going to be late for chemo!” This time Alex actually came in. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to.”
Alex sat on the end of the bed and I sat up, wrapping my arms around her waist. “Now why would you think I don’t want to go with you?” Alex shrugged and let out a breath of relief. “What was that for?”
“Your choice of words.” I nodded, although I still wasn’t sure as to what Alex meant. “Come on. I made coffee and breakfast.” Alex jumped up and ran to the door.
“How many cups have you had already?”
Alex blushed and looked at the floor. “A whole pot,” she said before quickly leaving the room. I could hear her running down the stairs and then jump over the railing on the last flight. I heard a loud thud and jumped up. “I’m alright!” I laughed and shook my head as I grabbed my rove, putting it on as I went down the stairs.
I woke up to a cold and empty bed. I was afraid this might happen one of these days but then I heard the toilet flush and smiled. Maybe I should stop thinking so negatively.
“Morning beautiful.” I looked up at Shane as she bent over and kissed me. “Did you sleep well?”
“I always sleep well in your arms.” I pulled Shane onto the bed and she wrapped her arms around my waist as I messed with the drawstring on her pajama bottoms. “I love it that you have these cute kid pajamas.”
Shane blushed and swatted at my arm. “Shut up.”
“What? It’s adorable. You’re a little like Dana after all.”
“I’m not adorable and I am not like Dana thank you very much. They were a present from her.”
“Dana gave you pajamas?” Shane nodded. “With ice cream cones on them?” Shane grimaced and nodded again. “Why?” I asked, trying to not laugh at the look on Shane’s face.
“I was staying at her place one night and didn’t have any. She let me keep them, or made me keep them because I wasn’t wearing any underwear.” I nodded and smirked. “Just be quiet and get up already. Your breakfast is getting cold.” Shane climbed out of bed. “Come on.”
“You made me breakfast?” I asked as I climbed out of bed and walked up to Shane. “That’s so sweet.” I didn’t even know she could cook.
“Don’t you dare tell a soul!” Shane threatened, pointing her finger in my face. I just smirked as I swatted her arm away then followed her downstairs, checking out her butt the entire way down.
The Planet – five hours later
I smiled as I watched the newest couple in our group. Dana and Alex had just arrived from Alex’s last chemo session and Dana was smothering the poor girl.
“Dana, leave her alone. She’s been through enough. She doesn’t need you smothering her.” Apparently, Alice thought Dana WAS smothering her.
“I’m not smothering her Alice. Am I smothering you sweetie?” Alex just smiled and kissed her. “I’m not smothering you. The doctor told me to make sure you don’t do too much activity.”
“I don’t think she meant simple things like tying her shoes.”
“I know that Shane. I tied her shoe because I figured her arm was hurting.”
“Dana, she had just untied it herself.”
“You know what Alice?”
Alex jumped out of her seat and started jumping up and down, making everyone in the café look at her. “What the fuck are you doing?” We were all looking at her like she was getting purple and green dots on her, except Bette. Bette was just laughing at Alex’s antics.
“You always were a drama queen Alex.” I looked at Bette. I was obvious she couldn’t believe her. Alex could seriously hurt her self.
Alex shrugged and sat back down. “Stopped their arguing didn’t it?” Alice and Dana blushed when they realized they were the cause of Alex’s little outburst.
Bette nodded. “Always does.” Shane laughed and kissed Alice on the cheek as she blushed even more. Alex and Bette chuckled. “Now that we’ve had that little trip down memory lane, who knows what time it is?” Alex held up her arm showing she wasn’t wearing a watch as Alice went digging in her purse. “Shane, where’s your cell phone?”
“Alice’s purse. Yours?”
“Don’t want to turn it on.”
“Its one guys.” We all looked at Dana and she pointed behind us. We comically all looked behind us and saw a clock.
“Found it!” We all looked at Alice as she showed Shane’s cell phone. We all looked at each other and laughed. “What?”
Bette and Tina’s – Five Hours Later
“Tina, have you seen my gold earrings?” I paced around our bedroom in my slacks and bra, looking for my earrings.
“The really big hoops. You know the ones.” Tina walked into the room, still in her clothes from earlier. “Why aren’t you dressed?” Tina kissed me and walked over to her jewelry box. She pulled out my earrings then tossed them to me. “You haven’t answered my question.”
“I know.” I watched as she went in the closet and started skimming through the clothes. “What shirt are you wearing?”
“A blue one, to match the stripes in my pinstripe suit.” Tina nodded and grabbed a hanger. She carefully laid the dress she picked out on the bed as an alarm went off. “What was that?” She walked into the bathroom and closed the door. “Is everything alright?”
“Yep.” I looked at the clock and sighed. Well, I guess I’m not going to straighten my hair. I grabbed my blue shirt and finished getting dressed.
I watched Alice pace the bedroom as she tried to put her earrings on. She was still in her underwear. “Maybe you should give the earrings a break and get dressed.” Alice looked down then chuckled.
“How did I live without you?” I shrugged as she kissed me. “Now I just have to decide what to wear.” Just then the phone rang. “Will you answer that please?”
Already knowing whom it was I hit the speakerphone. “Hey Danes.”
“Hey Shane. Where’s Alice?”
“I’m in the closet.” Dana chuckled. “What do you want?”
“I can’t decide which sundress to wear.” I chuckled as Alice popped her head out of the closet.
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
“Of course I am Alice. You know, you should look in my closet sometime. If you did you would see I don’t even own a sundress.” I laughed as Alice’s mouth dropped open and she turned several shades of red. “Help me decide on what I’m going to wear please. I want to look really good.”
“Wear the dress that you’ve never worn.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes now let me get dress. Goodbye.” Alice hit the button then went back in the closet, mumbling. I heard her pull a couple things off hangers. She came out and laid them on the bed. “Its not fair,” she said, looking at me.
“What’s not fair?”
“All you have to do is throw on a pair of black pants, a white shirt, and a pair of black boots and you look great.”
I chuckled and stood up. “You look great all the time no matter what you’re wearing. What are you going to wear by the way?” Alice laughed and started getting ready.
Jenny and Marina’s
I looked around at the mess that use to be mine and Marina’s bedroom. It was now covered in clothes. I had pulled almost everything out of my closet. It had only taken Marina ten minutes to get ready. “Marina, help me please.”
“Jenny, it doesn’t matter what you wear,” she said as she put the finishing touches on her make-up.
I groaned and plopped down on the bed. She just laughed at my antics and knelt in front of me. “I don’t have anything to wear. I can’t even decide on which ring to wear.”
“I know which one you should wear.”
“I looked at her. “Which one?”
She brought her arm out from behind her back and showed me a ring box. “This one.” She opened it and inside was a diamond ring.
Bette and Tina’s
As I finished my hair I looked down one more time. I couldn’t believe it. I grabbed my wedding ring, putting it back on as I went back into the bedroom.
“Tina, what took you so long? You’re not even dressed yet.” I hugged Bette and whispered something in her ear. She pulled back and looked at me. “Are they sure?” I nodded. “Oh my god Tina!” She smiled and hugged me. The two of us started jumping up and down.
I walked up to her door. I wasn’t in full drag but pretty much. Just my hair wasn’t. I was nervous. Kit and I hadn’t been out in a long time, not since Provacations. I wiped my hands on my pants and knocked.
“Be there in a minute Hun.” I waited patiently. I could wait forever for her.
“And I will,” I said under my breath as I heard the door unlock.
Kit finally opened the door and I was in awe at what I saw. “Did you say something?”
“Nope. Ready to go my lady?”
Her smiled just lit up the night. “Yep lets get going.” I waited as she locked the door then the two of us were off, walking arm in arm.
“Mom! I’m home!” I screamed as I entered the house. She came running down the stairs, in her leather pants, which I know I hadn’t give back, and a wifebeater. She stopped right and front of my and glared right at me. “Um, sorry I’m late?”
“I’ll go get ready before Tahna gets here?” She nodded and I ran up the stairs to my room. I passed Dana, who was only wearing a slip and bra. “Hey Dana. How’d this morning go?”
Dana spun around and looked at me. “Huh?”
I rolled my eyes as I went in my room. “Nevermind.” I always hated being around right before my mother’s openings. Everything was crazed as was everyone. I threw my bag in the corner and took my outfit off my closet door. As I set it out on the bed, there was a knock. “Come in.”
“Hey Stacy. Everything went fine this morning. Your mother was alright after a while.” I quirked an eyebrow. “Well, she was kind of sick and dizzy afterwards. Wasn’t until we got breakfast and met the gang that she started feeling better.”
I scoffed. “That was what, an hour later?” Dana nodded. “Yeah, that was her milking it for all it was worth. She hates being sick. Let me guess, she stopped complaining after the first ten minutes?”
“And I’m sure she caused some kind of scene at the Planet?”
“I’m gonna kill her.”
I laughed. “Dana, don’t get mad, get even.” Dana smirked and nodded. “By the way, I like your hair like that.”
“Thanks. Get dressed before your mother freaks.” I nodded and she left the room.
“She’s already freaked.” I went over to my dresser and pulled out a black dra. “Don’t want any white peeking out.” I pulled my shirt off and quickly switched bras when there was another knock. “Come in.”
“Hey. Just wanted to see what you were wearing. You know, I won’t want to match.”
“On the bed. What shirt are you wearing?”
“My dark blue one.”
I turned around as I put my hair up in a butterfly clip. “The sleeveless crushed velvet?” She nodded as she inspected my outfit. “Something wrong?”
“You going as Britney Spears?” I looked down at the tan leather pants and red sleeveless top.
“Well, I guess it does look a little like something Britney wore.” I went into the closet and brought out a white sleeveless shirt and a blood red leather coat. “Better?”
“Yeah. Buffy’s better than Britney.”
“Buffy wore red leather pants and a black top.”
My mother nodded and chuckled. “You are definitely my daughter and I was just joking. You could have stuck with your original outfit.” I nodded. “When you’re done will you answer the door as the girls arrive?”
“Thanks and hurry up.” I rolled my eyes and took off my jeans. Better stop making her freak out.
After taking only ten minutes to get ready, I was waiting in the living room for the girls to arrive. When the doorbell rang, and I opened the door, I thought I was standing in front of a mirror. “Aunt Marina!” Jenny chuckled as she realized what I was so distressed about. “Just great,” I said as I moved out of the way.
My mother came downstairs and saw Aunt Marina. She looked over at me and busted out laughing. “I think the Britney outfit would have been better afterall.” I glared at her as I stomped up the stairs. I heard the doorbell ring. “Honey! Tahna’s here!”
Ah crap! “I’ll be right down!” I quickly changed into a dark brown blouse with sheer sleeves and grabbed my dark brown leather boots then ran downstairs. My eyes automatically went towards Tahna. “Hey. You look great.” And she did. She was wearing a long brown skirt with a slit up to her knee and a red sleeveless top.
“You too.” I shrugged and smiled at her as the doorbell rang.
“I’ve got to get that. Did my mom introduce you?” She shook her head. “Aunt Marina, Jenny, this is my friend Tahna.” I then quickly answered the door. “Hey Alice. Hey Shane. The two of you look good as usual.”
“You didn’t say we looked good.”
“You’re right Aunt Marina.” I turned to Jenny. “You look great Jenny.” Jenny just blushed as Aunt Marina glared at me. “YOU,” I said pointing at her, “stole my outfit.” I groaned as the doorbell rang and Alice and Shane just sat down. This time it was Kit and Ivan.
“Well, don’t we all clean up nice,” Kit said as she walked in the leaving room. She walked up to Tahna. “I’m Kit.”
“Tahna, I’m a friend of Stacy’s.”
“Its nice of you to come. These things can get boring.”
“Okay, Tahna, that’s Ivan with Kit. The blonde on the couch is Alice and the person who came in with her is Shane.”
“So we’re waiting for Bette and Tina?”
“And Dana,” my mother said as she came downstairs, fully dressed in black leather pans, her dark blue, crushed velvet, sleeveless turtleneck, and a black leather jacket. ON her feet she was wearing hot pink toe socks, the toes being neon green. “I still have no idea what she’s wearing.” She grabbed her boots and sat down next to Alice.
“I love the socks Alex.”
“Thank you Alice. Oh and Dana wants you. She was hoping you were already here.” Mom looked up at Tahna. “Did Stacy introduce you to everyone?”
Mom groaned and I laughed. Shane was the one who spoke up. “Don’t worry Tahna. She doesn’t like being called ma’am. Not counting Stacy, she’s the second youngest of us.” Mom stuck her tongue out at Shane as she pulled her boot on. “Although she acts younger than Stacy.”
“Nah.” My mom winked at me. “I’m just doing it to embarrass Stacy.”
“Well please stop.” Luckily I was saved by the bell, the doorbell that is. “I’ll get it.” I pushed Alice out of the way as she headed towards the door, the stairs being right there. “You guys are the last to arrive although Dana’s not ready yet.”
Bette and Tina walked into the living room, said their hellos and were introduced to Tahna. Bette looked at Mom’s outfit and said, “I’m glad I changed my mind on my blue pinstripe suit.” Tahna and I made out way into the kitchen but we could still hear everyone.
“Oh please Bette. It was probably too wrinkled after the two of you rolled around in the sack for a while.”
“Shane would you please tell your girlfriend to shut up.”
“Hey don’t look at me Bette.”
“Yeah Bette. Leave Shane – HOLY SHIT!”
Tahna and I looked at each other and ran out to the living room. I saw my mother standing up, staring at the top of the stairs, as was everyone else. I looked up and saw Dana, finally ready.
Dana was wearing a long, strapless, black dress with a slit going up to her mid-thigh. Her shoes were little strappy things, probably Manolo Blahnik's or Jimmy Choo’s, with two inch heels, making her taller than my mother even with her boots. The top of her dress was black crushed velvet and laced up in the back. Her hair was up in a messy bun, black chopsticks with rhinestones, holding it in place. Everyone was speechless, a first for my mother and Alice.
“Dana … wow. You’re … beautiful.”
Dana smiled as she started walking down the stairs. Luckily my mother met her at the bottom because Dana tripped as she step onto the last step. Holding onto my mother’s shoulders, she carefully stood upright. “Thanks.” The two of them looked at each other until the doorbell rang, then they looked at the door. “Car’s here.” My mother just nodded. Shane handed her Dana’s leather coat and then she helped Dana put it on. My mother locked the door once we were all outside then we climbed into the stretch limo and were off.
We all arrived at the perfect time. We weren’t the first there but we weren’t too late either. Dana took everyone’s breath away. She was the most beautiful woman there. I knew everyone who knew who she was were wondering where Harrison was while everyone else was wondering which one of us in our group she was with. If that makes any sense. I have to say that I did freak out a little when I overheard some reporters talking about her.
An hour into the night a reporter approached Bette, Dana, Tina, and I. “Ms. Desmond, you’re collections appear to be a huge hit. Are you surprised?”
“Not at all. The CAC did a wonderful job advertising my work and I think the controversy around it helped even more.” I winked at Dana.
“Ms. Porter, do you think this is a greater hit than Provacations?”
“Well sir, that is an unfair comparison. The two shows are completely differe. They have very different themes. Provacations was meant to shock people, this show isn’t.”
The reported nodded and looked at Dana. My eyes widened as I realized the reported knew who she was. “Ms. Fairbanks, may I ask you a few questions?” Dana turned towards the reported and nodded. “Well, first and foremost, where is the handsome Harrison?”
“I wouldn’t know. I actually haven’t talked to my double’s partner in a while.”
We could all tell the reporter was greatly taken aback by this. We were taken aback by it. This wasn’t at all like Dana. “Well then, why exactly are you here?”
“I’m here supporting my partner, the artist.”
Dana rolled her eyes as she moved next to me and grabbed my hand. “I am here to support the artist who happens to be my girlfriend.” My eyes were wide open, bulging out of their sockets I’m sure. Dana turned to me and smiled. She kissed me on the lips. “I’m going to get a drink. You want something?”
“Okay, Better? Tina?” They both shook their heads. “Okay, be right back.” The three of us watched as she calmly, confidently, walked over to the punch bowl.
Without paying any more attention to the reporter, we all looked at each other. I pointed at Dana. “Did she just do what I think she just did?” Bette and Tina both nodded, still speechless. “Okay. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.” I left Bette and Tina and walked over to Dana.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” I could hear her mumbling. I noticed her hand was shaking so I grabbed her cup and set it on the table. She looked at me with tears in her eyes. “Oh Alex.”
“Dana, its okay. You’ll be fine. Trust me, everything will work out.” I wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her exposed shoulder. “Bette and I only have to stay for another hour or so. If you want you can grab the others and take the limo to the Planet.”
“No, I want to stay just don’t let me talk to anymore reporters.” I laughed and nodded then led her to the rest of the group where she was congratulated by everyone.
Two Hours Later
“If I had known you were wrong I would have taken you up on that offer of leaving earlier,” I grumbled as I took off my coat and threw it on the counter.
Alex chuckled and kissed me on the cheek as I flopped down in a chair. “Told ya Babe. Maybe next time you’ll listen to me.”
I glared at her and she quietly sat down next to me. “I did listen to you which is why I didn’t leave early.”
Alex smirked and leaned back in her chair. “I love you.”
I sighed but then chuckled and put my head on her should. “I love you too sweetie.”
“Yuck!” I looked up and saw Alice and Shane peering down at us. Shane was smiled and Alice was making a face like she had just sucked on a lemon. I flipped her the bird. “Oh grow up.”
The two of them sat down and pulled their chairs close together. Alice and I looked at each other and laughed. “And they said yuck to us. I think I have a toothache now.”
“I know. I thought I had a sweet tooth but that is just too much.” I laughed as Alice rolled her eyes and looked over her should as Bette and Tina walked in. “Hey guys.”
Bette and Tina sat across from one another. Tina winked at me as she sat down. “I thought the night was beautiful. Alex you did a wonderful job designing the displays.”
Alex actually blushed. “Thank you Tina.”
I glared at Tina. “I never said that it wasn’t a beautiful night. I just said that it was long.”
Alex chuckled and squeezed my hand. “Don’t worry sweetie. I didn’t even doubt that you thought it was beautiful.” I smiled and snuggled into Alex’s shoulder. “Lets change the subject please before someone’s feelings are truly hurt.”
Marina pulled up two chairs. “Jenny and I have some good news.” The two of them sat down and leaned into the group. “I need to get a bigger table for all of us,” she murmured to herself.
“Well, what’s your good news?” Alice, forever the gossip queen, asked. Marina looked at Jenny then Jenny held up her left hand. “Nice ring. What’s the good news?” We all looked at Alice, waiting for her to realize what she had just said. “What?”
“Alice, you are so dense,” I said as I glared at her. I turned to Marina and Jenny. “Congratulations you guys.”
“Thank you Dana.” Marina looked at Alice and laughed as she could tell, just as the rest of us could, that she was still trying to figure out what was going on.
“There it is,” we all said as her eyes went wide. Alice blushed as we all laughed. Shane wrapped her arms around Alice’s shoulders, pulling her into a position similar to mine.
I noticed Bette and Tina shooting glances towards each other. I was about to say something when Alice lifted her head. “Alright you two, spill it. You’ve been looking at each other like that all night.”
I noticed Alex wasn’t paying attention to our friends but to her daughter and her friend. “Alex?”
Her head whipped around and looked down at me. “Huh?”
Everyone laughed at her and Stacy and Tahna sat down with us. “Where’d Kit and Ivan go?”
“Kit wasn’t feeling very good. She was the only person in ut group who ate the food.” Bette looked at Alex. “I think there might have been something wrong with it.”
Alex held up her hands. “I hired the people who you told me to hire lady.” We all laughed as Bette stuck her tongue out at Alex. “Yeah, that’s real mature. You’re setting a bad example for my daughte3r and her friend.” I looked at Alex, the way she said friends was strange. Luckily no one else picked it up.
“Oh please mom. Like you’re a poster child for maturity.” Everyone laughed as Alex proved her daughter right by sticking out her tongue. “See?” Alex groaned and leaned on me.
“Oh, leave her alone, besides, Bette and Tina haven’t answered my questions yet.” Alice turned to the two of them. “What is going on?”
Bette looked at Tina and sighed then nodded. Tina smiled and looked at the entire group. “We’re pregnant again.”
Everyone one of us look at the two of them, surprise on all our faces. “Congratulations Tina!” Alice said, jumping up and hugging Tina. Alex laughed at the expression on Bette’ face, already knowing what it meant.
“I don’t think its Tina that pregnant mon chere Alice.” Alice looked at Alex then at Tina and Bette. “Congratulations Bette.”
“Thank-you Alex.” We all looked at Bette, shock now replacing the surprise. “Is it that hard to believe that I am going to be a mother?”
We all looked at each other and busted out laughing. “I … can just … picture you … in a maturnity … power suit,” Alice sputtered between laughs. Bette just shook her head as Tina tried not to laugh along with everyone else.
“We’re sorry Bette, its just that its hard to picture you as a mother running after a little baby.” Bette shook her head at Shane. “Congratulations Better. We’re here if you need us.”
“Yeah, definitely,” we all chimed in.
“Well, thank you guys.” Bette smiled and grabbed Tina’s hand, squeezing it. “It really means a lot.”
“Whose the donor?”
“My brother,” Tina said. “This way we’re both related to the baby. We’re both real family.” Everyone nodded.
I looked over at Stacy and Tahna. The two of them had been awfully quiet the entire time we’ve been at the Planet. I looked at Alex. She was now talking to Bette, telling her all about pregnancy, being the only one in our group to actually go through the whole nine months. “So, Stacy, how are you tonight?”
Stacy slightly jumped at the sound of my voice. “Geesh Dana. You scared me.”</! P>
“Sorry. Is everything alright?” Stacy nodded as she took a sip of her soda. “You guys have been quiet.” Stacy shrugged and Tahna just looked at her hands in her lap. “You know you can tell your mother anything.” Stacy and Tahna whipped their heads in my direction and I nodded. Their reaction proved that my thought were correct.
Stacy sighed, causing Alex to look at her. “Stacy, is something wrong?” Stacy got a deer caught in the headlights look on her face. “Stacy, what’s wrong?”
“Well, technically nothing is wrong.”
I looked at my mother and could tell she was really worried at this point. “It just that I’m seeing someone.”
“How come you are just not twlling me this?” I shrugged and kind of slumped down in my chair. “Who is he?”
I sighed and looked at my hands. “You see, that’s the thing.” My mother looked at me, not understanding what was going on. Dana nudged me in the side and mom looked at her.
“Stacy, come on. You can tell her and you know it.”
I looked at Tahna and she squeezed my hand under the table for support. “Mom, I’m seeing Tahna.” My mother looked at me, then at Dana, and lastly at Tahna. “Mom?”
“You treat her right you hear?” Tahna nodded and she looked at me. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” I shrugged and looked at the table. My mother nodded.
“Like mother like daughter I’ve always said.” MY mother and I looked at Alice then at each other and started laughing. Everyone else joined us in our laughter.
I walked by a store window and looked inside. At first glance I thought it was open and was about to go in. Then I noticed the sign on the front door.
CLOSED FOR A FAMILY
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