Title: Longing With a Cherry Tomato on Top | Chapter Thirteen | All the Crazy Gals Come Out on Monday Night

Author: Nate

Pairing: Paris/Rory, Rory POV

Spoilers: Closer towards A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving, though none of the episode events are mentioned in this set of chapters.

Rating: R (swearing, sexual actions and allusions, nudity, self-pleasuring); FF.net version not edited.

Disclaimer: Geeze, I'm gone eight months with this new chapter, and suddenly the show's creator goes nuts, everything changes about the series, and I have to learn about some new network called The CW run by Les Moonves, who thinks renewing a dead preachy show which ended with three girls knocked up in the same family twice over was better than Everwood? Let your minds ponder that one folks!

OK, I got that out...breathe, breathe...anyways, even though Amy Sherman-Palladino lost her sanity around let's say...December, she somehow still owns the characters of Gilmore Girls, and we still have Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Hofflund Polone and Warner Bros. Television also owning them. But you know what, this guy named David Rosenthal? He runs the show now, and whatever his production company is named also owns the show (probably not Heidi Klum+Me=4EVAH! Inc. due to several court orders in New York State's Superior Court), plus you know Les Moonves slips a note by the show these days occasionally from his CBS offices. If one of those notes are 'Paris is boring, take her off', Les, I'm taking you out back, believe it!

Same copyright disclaimers from chapter 12 apply, along with an added NFL reference. All other trademarks within are the property of their respective owners.

Archiving: GilmoreGirlsSlash, Realm of the Shadow, RalSt, femslash.net, aff.net and ff.net. Anywhere else ask first.

Summary: Rory has to convince someone close to her that she's making the right choices when it comes to Paris, and realizes that her feelings for the girl are far more than innocent as she brings her sexual side out to play throughout the night.

Author's Notes: Hey there, you remember me, Nate? Hello? Said I'd have the next chapter out by April, May, June and July? Uhh, obviously that really didn't happen and it's now August. Let's just say that real life sucks, ASP's ruining of the show had me convinced to stop writing for awhile there, credit cards from the past bit my ass and took my inspiration with it (along with my never ever having a loan, I'll be paying a lot for the next three years), I got a little down, and some stuff with the family killed my writing drive for awhile. But now I'm back, and feel free to throw water-filled tennis balls at me next time I take an entire pregnancy gestation period to put out a new chapter.

I'm going to probably have different betas from now on since my original two and my newer one have decided to take their lives offline because of the things in their lives, which I fully understand; thank you Raven and Cinn for all your help to start out with, and hopefully Erin will be back next chapter. For now though, I still have help look over things, and now who I'm convinced is now the #1 Liza fan, Danielle gave me the big spelling/grammar help this time. I would definitely recommend looking up her work on RalSt and ff.net (under UbiquitousMixie on both services). Trust me, her Paris/Rory fics are some of the best out there, and she has a mile-long imagination when it comes to our favorite blonde and her brunette hanger-on. That, and she has such a wonderfully dirty mind ;).

Again to the ff.net readers, please don't bother to read this if you don't like femslash. I'm not changing it to another couple, and no matter how much you plead and beg, there are no plans to bring in Finn. Though I like him and Rory, really, he's the only LDB guy I can handle. But since he's not in the show until season five, he's not going to be here. Feedback is like Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper to me, my current favorite drink. Also the chapter title isn't calling Rory or Paris crazy; it's just the last line of Hank Williams' Monday Night Football theme changed around to create a witty title.

Oh, and Sinclair? Thanks for keeping the CW on Channel 18, I would've hated it if you would've forced it to go on another channel I might not have gotten until next year.


After eighteen years living the life that I lead, I know after all of this time there are hard truths that I can't change, they're stubborn and won't let go. That I can rebel, but I won't do it for long because what would happen to my grades?! I couldn't let them go.

I'm always going to be seen as weaker than I feel outside, no matter how much exercise I do or try to prove that I'm strong without questions. My mistakes will be seen as those of my mother's, a failure for which she should receive the blame rather than me. That I will never figure out how the hit songs of today, no matter how awful and sucky they are, are spoken about as glowing reflections of today's society, no matter that we're on the tenth top 10 hit on the old 'Hey DJ, play that song, that'll save my life' theme.

The hardest truth though, is that I can't get into trouble. I just can't, no matter what I do. Sure, I get a stern talking to, some kind of punishment, a warning not to repeat my mistakes, but trouble, I hardly know thee. That outburst I had at being ten minutes late for the Shakespeare test was very small drama, and it worked itself out in the end. I got into that accident with Jess behind the wheel, but things eventually calmed down after I explained it was a squirrel and not him trying to damage the one large thing keeping me bonded to him.

OK, there was this one time in eighth grade just before Christmas break. There's this girl, Samantha Petersen, that lived to make my life at Stars Hollow Junior High very trying. Remember after the sex ed talk that everyone started to turn their back on me because my mother isn't supposed to be respected, but reviled? Sam brought it all up to begin with, asking the instructor what should be done if a girl gets pregnant at a young age.

"I'm not in the position to answer that," the instructor noted, obviously wanting to toe the line and keep his beliefs neutral, "you'll need to get other guidance."

"Like from Rory's mother?" She leered towards me, buried in the loose-leaf materials from the class. "I bet she knows one position...spread eagle!" She laughs, and of course being a popular girl, all the fawning boys and girls who follow her every word join in.

"Ms. Petersen, that's enough!!" he cried out, offended. "You will not tease your peers like that, it is unacceptable."

"You're right, Mr. Eldridge," she agreed. "I wouldn't tease the product of a tease herself." Everyone in the class makes that sound you hear in the audience after something bad is said on Saved by the Bell, and I had no idea how to respond. I go with my own advice to ignore and continue looking at my work, and eventually both Sam and the instructor move on.

Of course, even after classes end and I'm with Lane, the teasing doesn't stop, with Sam and her clique following me around and being general pests. They never brought up the garden shed before that point, but then as I got a couple of books from my locker, the bitchy blonde (who looked nothing like Paris, thank God), decided to tear that wall down.

"So Gilmore, how did it feel to live in an outhouse for three years?"

"It was a garden shed," I pointed out. "and it was fine."

"Yeah, if you love sleeping with a gardening implement. No matter you're such a loser."

"Samantha, quit it--" Lane tried to defend me, but Samantha got even more into my face. She shoved Lane into a locker off to the side and came towards me.

"Stay out of this Kim. I'm surprised you're the friend of a mistake." I was stopping myself from doing something I'd regret, and even though I was ready to cry, I held back the tears because I was above this. "Why even bother getting good grades, Gilmore, you know where you'll be in three years: it's family tradition!"

"You better stop, Samantha, or I'll tell the principal on you," I threatened.

"Oooh, I'm so scared!" She faked being intimidated, then rubbed salve in the wound by humming the Jerry Springer theme right in my ear. "You're gonna find some rich loser with a big dick and a hate for condoms, he's gonna knock you up, and all the A's will mean nothing at all because you'll be a whore..." she then whispered the last four words so that no one could hear them. "...just like your mom."

What happened next was something no one expected from me at all, but I was pushed to my limit. Tease me all you want, but don't you ever bring my mother into the conversation, and don't you dare try to reduce her achievements because she had me earlier than expected. I dropped my books into my locker, and then backed into Samantha, making her lose her concentration and bearings for a moment. I slammed my locker shut, took her by the shoulders with strength I never knew I had, and slammed her back right into the lockers, very hard. Her friends watched in shock as I pinned her by the collar of her $30 Liz Claiborne Outlet shirt and gave her the most angry outburst I've ever had, even worse than when I yelled at Paris in the conference room.

"First of all, unlike you, I like to keep my legs closed, Petersen, so that rich guy's going to wait a bit before he gets to me." She struggled to get out of my grip, but she wasn't moving. "I also had a fine childhood, and sure I didn't have the huge birthday parties you did, but you know what? I don't need them because my friends actually care about me, and so does my mom, who is the manager at the Inn. She's not a whore, she never has been one, and you know what? She doesn't consider me a mistake. You on the other hand, are a slut, you have no heart, and you get off by teasing people who go to school to actually learn something, not just as a boring version of mall slacking! Don't say another thing to me, Sam, or else next time I slam you against this locker you're going to have a few pretty blue bruises mar that thing you call a face!!"

She stared at me, stunned silent by my outburst. Lane looked towards me, proud of my backbone. I had stunned her silent and hopefully made my point quite well enough that it would suffice. I prepared to back off and resume school threat and slur free.

Then she tried to get in the last word; big mistake.

"Don't worry, I won't bother with you anymore, dyke." She said it under her breath, but it got my attention quite well.

"What did you just call me?" I asked, seething. She brought herself closer and said the hated word right back in my face once again.

"Come on, you should have a crush by now, Rory, instead you dream of eating out Jane Austen the way you bury yourself in moldy old fiction." It sparked something inside of me. "No one finds book reading attractive except for lesbos like you--"

I finally had enough of Samantha's belittling attitude, and to call me a name like that was the final straw. Acting on pure adrenaline and little logic, I felt rage take over my thirteen year-old self, and before I knew it, I pushed her back into the locker one more time, and then felt my right hand rise as I slapped her hard on the cheek, then pushed her down to the ground with my other hand. I felt my face tighten into pure anger and I could hear Sam scream as she crumpled to the ground.

"What the fuck?!" She rolled onto her side as she looked at me above her, at first victorious that I had taken out a girl who had teased me for so long. I had defended myself, but much more than that, I defended my mother the best I could. She was crying on the ground, and around me, a crowd of my fellow students gathered around me in a semi-circle in the hall.

Then just as I was ready to retort she dare not mess with me anymore, I remembered why I never thought violence the solution to anything.


That was the voice of my fourth hour Spanish teacher, Mrs. Halverson. Uh-oh, I thought to myself. What did I just do?! Suddenly I looked down at Sam on the ground, and I started to feel sorry I had slapped her and pushed her to the ground.

"What did you just do?" she asked, taking me by the shoulder. "Samantha's lip is cut open and she's crying in pain, what happened?" I explained she was making fun of my mother and calling me names.

"That doesn't justify you beating her up," she scolded, as Lane brought herself into the conversation with her worries, mentioning that I was about to get in very deep trouble. Everything hit me right then and there; if I had ignored her like I usually did, Samantha would've eventually backed off. But I let her get to me, and in turn, things, which I thought would've been taken care of by the slap, got a little bad.

OK, a lot bad, in truth.

For the first time ever, I ended up in the principal's office, and I had to hear as the secretary called Mom at work to discuss what I did. Then I had to talk to him and tell him my side of the story. If I expected sympathy from him, of course I didn't get it because he never gave it to me in the past. I just looked at him with fake attention as he went on with the lecture that violence wasn't the way to solve any kind of problem, and I should've known that from the bad Sunburst videos the teachers occasionally showed us. He even threatened to give me a three-day suspension!

"No, you can't do that!!" I cried out; I didn't want my perfect attendance streak to die on such a stupid decision. By the time Mom got to the office, I was an emotional wreck, begging him to not do anything because this was my first incident ever. He went on about his zero-tolerance rules and that I would be suspended, or else.

Thankfully Lane told him exactly what Samantha had to say, and then Lorelai...she was disappointed in me for taking the action that I did, but appalled that Principal Meyers was going to suspend me and give Sam a slap on the wrist. "She hasn't done anything in eight years, and you're going to suspend her? Look at my daughter. Does she look like she'll be a Maury regular anytime soon? She's said she's sorry and she even said she'll apologize to the girl she slapped."

"Ms. Gilmore--" He tried to interrupt, but my mom stood her ground.

"No, my kid is good, my kid has been ignoring this teasing you've done nothing about for the last year, and your response is 'girls will be girls'. You know 'dyke' is an inflammatory word; it should give anyone who says it an automatic two-day suspension. I know if someone called me that in spite I might not be responsible for my actions. Please sir, she reacted, she vented, she's sorry, she's done. Don't suspend Rory, she loves school and she'll hate having to be cooped up at home the next three days."

I again apologized, and even though it pained me, promised I would say sorry to Samantha just to get out of trouble. He thought for a moment, as if to probe that I was actually sorry for my misdeeds. My mother begged him one last time to reconsider. He looked at me, and finally...

"Rory, four days afterschool detention." I breathed a sigh of relief. "Next time this happens though--"

"It won't happen again sir," I assured him, just wanting to move on. After a review of the incident, I was finally free to go home with Mom, who would ground me for a week as I well expected, no TV or music, but even worse, no books that weren't assigned reading. I'm not kidding...she said I couldn't read for fun for the next week; you know how that is to a girl like me?!

OK, so it was only a week and I learned my lesson pretty well, and the punishments fit the crime. I got through detention scot-free and I never again saw Samantha anywhere near me. Eventually I got my well-wanted revenge unexpectedly when Samantha's grades took a precipitous decline at the start of her sophomore year when she started to date the JV football center, and guess who didn't take the sex ed advice given in seventh grade?

Karma bites, doesn't it Petersen? I thought when I read the birth announcement in the Gazette of 8 pound, 1 ounce Justin Lance Petersen. Two guesses where she got the naming inspiration from. Sure, I wouldn't have wished that fate on her, but if she had concentrated more on her grades than making my life hell, she wouldn't be where she is today, would she?

Still, the point of rehashing this event in my life is if I can, I don't want to get into trouble if I can help it. If it were up to me, I'd still be paying for that stupid trip to New York to see Jess on Mom's graduation day. It was stupid, pointless, and worst of all, it blew my perfect attendance streak away, all because my hormones got into a tizzy about a boy like him reading Hemingway. My mind was telling me to stay behind and just worry about Jess later, but no, I needed to get closure. If I'm not thankful for Paris' making me vice president and this summer in Washington where I fell for her hard, I certainly got an earful the next day back when she sat me down in the Franklin office and scolded me for skipping school for a guy.

"Gilmore, you're not stupid, why would you do this?" I couldn't explain of course, and after she laid into me for ten minutes with statistics and stories of other Connecticut girls who instead of meeting their beloved, found their end on the banks of the East River, she made it clear that if I ever skipped again I could consider my Franklin position taken by someone 'without her head in the clouds'.

"Don't you ever do that again Rory," she said in her worried, yet annoyed tone of voice. "A guy isn't worth losing grade points over, or your mind. Picture me, if I wasn't over Tristan, going down to North Carolina just to make sure he still had me in his mind. First of all, welcome to 135th place academically Paris because I just can't leave, no matter that I can't get past the gate. Second, I'm expelled for not attending school. Third, I get four years in prison for stalking and loitering outside a military reservation. Oh, and my degree? I hope I enjoy the Daniel Kondo's Charlotte Career Institute three flights up from Sung Ho's Palace that I heard about while watching Jenny Jones, and my future job as a medical transcriptionist--"

"OK, OK, I get it, I get it. I'll be here everyday, Paris, cross my heart, promise!" The imagery she projected really got to my head, and she was right; if Jess didn't choose me, it wasn't the end of the world.

"Thank you." She looked at me, and smiled. "Now let's get to work." And it was all done, in the abrupt way that's a trademark with her. It was also a window into her mindset with me. For even through the competition we had for each other, we kept each other's back and stopped one another from making a bad choice, me with Jess, her with giving up on her campaign with a sad whimper, scared she'd lose. It was back when I was still in a cloud between going with Jess, or trying to push closer to the acidic blonde classmate I now romance. Without each other, we're half of a whole, and through these two years with her, I understand her more for who she is beneath the layers than what she projected.

That I'm now seeing these layers close up is something I'm only beginning to treasure as we've gotten together, especially tonight. How tense she gets when she thinks someone is about to find out, and how she feels afraid I'll slip away from her whenever she gets a wrong feeling about us.

She certainly had those feelings tonight, and more. Sitting next to her while we watch a movie with Mom, with a somewhat mixed blessing of our relationship that she found out about in a way the three of us never expected, a night spent trying to explain that I'm changing within the space of a month, that I like this girl in a way reserved for a guy, and telling this to my mother, my soulmate, my best friend.

Not to take away from my mother's experiences, but tonight? I felt like it was a mirror image of her discovering the strip on the EPT turned pink, confirming my existence to her.

Only this time the indicator was my girlfriend, and she turned pink and red and purple...pretty much every embarrassing shade under the sun in her own unique and embarrassing way.

Yup, I'm now out to Lorelai, and surprisingly, she thinks it alright. Recalling what led up to all of this should clear the picture up for you on why things ensued the way they did...

"It's time to get with my program, Gilmore."

"I won't approve of it, because it was a stupid idea! I will not accept us as a glorified puppet for the administration." I stood my ground in the bathroom with Francie as she chastised me for shooting down her idea to fundraise with teen magazines right in front of everyone. It was a stupid idea when she suggested it, ad it was a stupid idea Wednesday afternoon when she brought it up.

"Everyone's bored with chocolates," she tried to reason, "they'd subscribe to a magazine instead."

"Yeah, until they find out they're charged full cover price after the discount runs out. Unlike you, who gets bored reading anything with type smaller than twenty points, I read the fine print. You'd have to give them a credit card and they would be free to charge it at the end of the year, and you know where those profits go? Certainly not into the Chilton coffers."

"Rory, you're getting to be a liability," she sneered. "You better approve something of mine in the next three weeks or I will expose you. Or maybe I'll have Beth give you some initiative." Her eyes darted towards the corner, where Beth Kozlowski was making sure no one got into the restroom.

"You know what?" I implored. "If the idea isn't completely stupid, I'll approve it. But this time, get ready to sell some chocolates, Jarvis." I looked around, wanting to get the hell out of that bathroom. "Can I go now?"

"Whatever." Beth pushed open the door as Francie reminded me what was at stake for being her lackey, and again I had dodged another bullet when it came to her. Thank God she didn't make another homophobic crack this time, but having to face that redhead is wearing my patience thin. Is it wrong that I just want to tell her to be quiet and happy she's even the senior class president? After learning from Paris of the Boston Public-like plot where she gave Tom Hammond a blowjob in order to get the job, I figure everything she learned about politics she learned from her father. His experience with under-the-table politics has spread to his daughter, and it's a pain in my ass right now. It's sad that she holds a grudge with us over the Puffs, and that really was our fault in no way at all. I still remember that night, looking at Paris, reading the disappointment on her face as her attempt to get back into Sharon's good graces by joining the Puffs like she had years earlier, and not being able to.

I hate to see her disappointed, or sad, and I know she will be once she finds out that I did this to her. But you know what they say about politics, that it's a dirty business. Hopefully it doesn't become so dirty here that a certain group will be shut out because of homophobia.

Just thinking about the last week, I realize that where Paris and I are now in terms of us together has been faster than Dean and I were. There's been an instant connection between us, nothing that had to be built up with awkward meetings in the back corner of my yard away from Mom's eyes. There's a trust between the both of us that we have, and the good thing is that it can be hidden in hand caresses, body brushes, and secret looks within Chilton. I mean the small things about her that I didn't notice before, they're getting my attention, and in the whacked way my brain decodes them, they're secretly sexual to me.

The way she types at her Franklin desk for example, looking at the various articles spread through her desk and the LCD screen in PageMaker. She can easily just sit there for an hour looking at the words, occasionally calling over Ms. Peters for a faculty opinion, her tongue slightly pokes out from her mouth as her eyes scan the pieces, pencil braced in her left hand. Her legs draw me in closer to this picture, perched on the bottom of her stool, curved out, the skirt pooling perfectly just above her knees. It gets me every time how beautiful she looks doing such a menial task, my mind wandering towards massaging her stressed back as she wishes her writers all knew how to proofread. It makes me want to break the 'no kissing' rule we set so badly, but I keep in control, for her.

God, is it just weird that I want her most when she's doing nothing that involves kissing or caressing? Watching her when she drives, my eyes just scan her as she concentrates on the road ahead of her, the way she's so different around me, less prone to acidic outbursts or criticism. To be fair, she still gives it to me, it's just the phrasing is much more complimentary than her usual 'this needs work, you know how to fix it' kind of phrasing. Somehow I see it leak out with other people, that being with me has balmed her worst tendencies, where even if she loathes Madeline's writing style, she complimented her style of handwriting.

Despite all of these things, being with her physically and with nothing between us, she's just amazing. When I actually carried out my thought after our first date to wear the chopsticks from Lady Sing's in my hair the Monday after, she couldn't keep her eyes off of me as we ate at Luke's. I saw it in her gaze, that it took all she had not to do anything untoward to me in such a public setting, my mind concentrated on the food in front of me and the ideas in my head building as I felt her foot against my ankle. The secrecy and pure illicitness of what we've been doing in town, the sense that just outside the town limits, she pulled over into the county park and we proceeded to...well, make out like teenagers, and she undid those chopsticks and played with my hair so wonderfully, her slim fingers against my scalp seductive and alluring, my mind spinning with just how perfect she feels against me. It's such a 180° from Dean, who got it into his head that kissing against the bottom of my jawline was somehow seductive in some way, and pawed at my arms like he was hyperactive. Paris is slow, caring...just in general all-knowing, and willing to learn what makes me tick. She takes her time to know me and what happens with me, and she actually listens when I talk to her, be it face-to-face, on the phone, or in the text form via AIM or through the small spurts of text we exchange through our cell phones.

In the meantime, this weekend was long, a double wedding where I had to help Mom out both Saturday and Sunday turning the ballroom at the Inn into the dream days for two separate parties. The fact that Paris wasn't there brought me down a little, but to know that she was stuck in the hell of a DCW event made things easier, in that we were both too busy to come together that weekend. But that didn't mean we were incommunicado, for her observations kept me entertained as the originally sane Sunday bride became a Bridezilla, no thanks to her overbearing mother. About 2pm, I learn the boy who crushes on her a little too much is trying to get to her;

Vance just said I had nice legs, then hinted he'd like to open them! Would it be too much to punch him in the eye?

Yeah, I can see exactly one of the reasons she finds me attractive; with guys like these in Hartford who wants to be sexual in Hartford society? I came back with a suggestion that she throw a deli tray at him. I learned that's not such a good idea though;

I don't want him talking about meat in ANY context, that invites his commentary.

We continued to text back and forth whenever I could duck out of the ballroom, and the commentary on her end went from Vance to annoyance at the event, how she was now holding a secret that Viola Frentz was doing one of the drink servers, and Sharon thought she wasn't paying enough attention to details for the event. I tell her about how the wedding barely came off after the bride got a good talking-to from her dad that she do this since he paid a lot of money for the ceremony. During the reception, I texted a description of my purple dress, so she could have something to take her mind off how deadly dull her event was.

My surprise when she texted back a description of what she was wearing;

Red cocktail dress, hi-heels killing my soles, slinky beige slip and matching lingerie, hair messily done up.

I warmed up thinking about her in that classy ensemble, and with my fingers working the keypad quickly, I voiced how I'd rather she'd be dressed;

I'd rather it be down hon, with no dress; you have nice feet too ;).

A minute later;

You'd love my legs in this # Gilmore, I'd say I look better than last week on the date.

I smiled and texted back, starting to fall into our own little world.

Don't you have a camera on your phone, I need to compare.

I didn't know if she'd do it or not, but she was game.

Let me get to the cloak room, I can't believe I'm doing this...

At that point, Mom calls me into the kitchen to help Sookie and the help bring out the wedding cake, and I have to wait a bit to check my phone again. After watching the couple do the cutting and mashing as everyone cheered, I brought my phone out, and saw the screen showed three picture messages awaiting me. I told Mom I needed the restroom, and after she told me it was OK, I headed for a lonely corner of the lobby that was just out of Michel's sight and opened the first picture.

Paris isn't a very good photographer, especially when she has to take a self-portrait of herself and hold the phone out with one arm so that her entire profile can be in the picture. But I wasn't looking for Annie Lebowitz, just a visual of how she looked. The first picture was a regular profile shot of her face, a bunch of coats in the background as she tried to hide from Sharon and the party. She just looked so worn out and annoyed, even though she was smiling, her eyes were tired and I could just sense she'd rather be at the Inn helping me out and talking to me than at that Hartford supper club being a part of an organization she loathed.

I scrolled to the second picture, a weirdly taken photo of her legs and her feet, the shoes taken off and off to the side. I saw a bit of the skirt of her dress, and it was looser than the leather skirt, but her legs still looked very sexy. Is there anything she doesn't look good or cute in?

I thought she couldn't make me feel any luckier for being her girlfriend as I scrolled to the third picture, which I expected to be of maybe her arms or the back of her head to illustrate the messy bun her hair was in.

When I saw it though, I couldn't believe it, she was taking a shot of her dress from her neck down, and oh my gosh, did she look amazing. From what I could make out, it was a slim dark red number that fit her so perfectly, from her shoulders to her knees. It flattered her so much, and she looked ravishing.

The surprise was that she had an abundance of cleavage bared by the dress, and the positioning of the phone seemed to purposely amplify what she wanted me to focus on. The bodice plunged down just conservatively enough to pass Sharon and DCW's muster, but showed off her breasts in such a wonderful way. The low resolution of the picture also couldn't hide just a hint of beige lace peeking out from her cleavage, and I was taken aback at how sexy she was, but not only that, how she made it clear I should think about her only from even a half-hour away.

I smiled, looking at the pictures of her again, and wondering how she was thinking of me while she was creating them. She knows me way too well, for when I saw there was text to go with the last picture below it.

Call it a bonus; I know you don't say anything, but I see where your eyes wander.


You know I think of myself as the innocent one, right? Then how come I'm so transparent when it comes to her?! I shook my head reading that and responded back to her, my shoulder feeling Michel's icy and impatient stare from the desk. I don't need him to say anything to know that my heavy texting is bothering him, and that I need to move on.

I do, into the hallway between the lobby and the ballroom, where I decide to heat Paris up like I was at that point.

You got me, but that's not the only place I wander. I'll dress light in bed tonight thanks to that picture ;).


I send, and I know I need to slow down sending texts because out of plan they're 10¢. Still it's so worth it to see the boringness melt away with her words.

But if I know Paris, she is the true queen of the one-up, the ability to end something on her terms and thoughts known. I head back into the ballroom as the bride's friends try to go for the bouquet, and I feel the phone vibrate one last time. I take the phone out, and read what Paris has sent me...

I won't dress for bed...at all. It's coming off when I get home, before a soothing bubble bath in my private tub.

Wish you were there with me,


My jaw dropped at her audacity, and I know that she's sitting there at her DCW party, nodding her head and telling herself she got me. Did she ever! For the rest of the night, my mind was filled with that image of the dress and slip pooling down from her torso and down to her ankles, as that body slides into the bathtub, and I can hear her hiss as the hot water touches her toes then relaxes her...

Immediately I was looking for an opportunity to get my own one-up on her, in a big way. She might be my girlfriend, but there was no way I was going to let her keep all the control in this. That, and the itch I have for her is becoming less emotional, and much more physical. I picture her hands all over in my mind now, wishing those slim fingers were there, unhooking my bra, caressing my cheek, her hands drifting down my waist and around to my front, where they bury against my curls...

Geeze, sorry about that, my mind wanders off a little sometimes when it comes to her plus a state of nudity! I place most blame on the Chilton skirts and the fact she was in knee-high socks this morning due to cold weather. She knows how to push the right buttons, that's for sure.

Okay, we're moving on now before I have to stop to catch my breath...

I found her sitting at her Franklin desk, somewhat stressed after everyone has left the offices. She wasn't looking over paper work, and I could tell her mind was somewhere else. I pulled up a chair from one of the other desks and asked her what was going on.

She smiled at me, assuring me it has nothing to do with family. "It's really nothing, just going back over a dream I had last night." I brush my hand against hers and ask if it was anything good.

"I would like to say it involved you and I, but no, it wasn't. Just me in front of the admissions director at Harvard blowing my interview like someone who blew the first question on Millionaire, and went home with nothing." She shook her head. "I know, I have like three weeks before, but you know me..."

"You want to be ready months before, and what's happening now took your focus off a little." Her voice sounded as if she was denying herself pleasure for the sake of her dream school. "There's nothing wrong with that, sometimes taking your mind off things is good."

"But I feel weak, I just want everything to be perfect."

"It will be though, you're prepared for everything."

"So why does it seem like in my head, I'm not prepared?" She got up from her seat, and started gathering her messenger bag. "I feel like I need a rehearsal of some kind, just something keeps me in the game." Paris feels the nucleus of an idea build...while I start to sense another opportunity to seduce her.

OK, so I'd have to do academic things to get things going, but it would work well. I'd get some time alone with her, but at the same time build my Harvard chances further. She asked if I wouldn't mind helping her with question lines, and I couldn't help but be excited and willing to help her with it. I kept myself under control as we discussed the specifics of what she was going to do, but somehow I think the both of us knew that we'd be doing more than Harvard questioning tonight.

We stopped at the Manor so that she could change, and I wandered her room as she did just that, feeling a little disappointment that she's not comfortable enough to change in front of me, even with my begging and pleading for her to wear something thin and flattering. She has a good excuse though, a large walk-in closet and her own bathroom to shield herself.

I wondered what she would come out in as I checked my email on her computer, finding nothing but a few spams from financial aid places wanting to offer me forty years of debt in exchange for four years education. For some reason I also ended up with an inane forward from Dean's friend Kyle with a bunch of bad blonde jokes, and I quickly hit 'delete' on the stupid email. I still see Dean lately around town, but he's been very distant, nowhere near the diner at all and if we happen to see each other in the square I don't even look at him. There's no point to it, since he accused me of cheating on someone I wasn't interested in at all. I never thought it would be so easy to drop two years of history in the snap of a finger to go after what I wanted.

I heard the door open as I confirmed I wanted to trash the forward, and swiveled in the chair to remember why Dean was no more. I look at Paris in her basic sweater and an old pair of Calvins, and I know for once, she's trying to be casual with me, taking the interview practice seriously, but still wanting to be alluring. Her look gets my attention, and I yearned to get close to her.

It's surprising to hear her voice as I kissed her on top of her forehead, and then beckoned her on tiptoe so I could be mouth-to-mouth to her, complimenting her wonderful hair. Paris tries to keep me focused on the reason she's changing, but the only thing in my mind is how nice she tastes. I kiss her, hearing her try to complain, but it's coming out not at all how she wants to. I shock her by insinuating a dream that's reoccurred of her in the broom closet with me, but she doesn't want to bite, instead suggesting an elevator for a mid-school tryst.

Gah, she's so unconventional, I think to myself as I respond I'm not that much of a fan of elevator sex, though not using those words exactly. There's just something about the way we flirt that gets to me, it's not what I ever expected from someone like her. She's shy, yet when I get suggestive, she's more than willing to bite, and we leave the Manor unconsciously touching and brushing each other's hands, the both of us in our world, insulated from everyone else.

That continues as we get to my house, and for once I'm thankful that Lorelai isn't there to distract me from doing things I might reconsider otherwise. Paris seems at ease without her there too, and she decides to help set up things while I go into my room and change out of my uniform. This time though, it takes longer than usual, because what I would usually wear doesn't lure Paris in.

I mean I wanted her to be at ease, of course, but at the same time, her eyes fully on me, concentrating on not only the questions, but perusing my form. I decide not to minimize on her behalf, and change into an old Harvard t-shirt I picked up from the Army that seems to be from the early 80's (and also a good luck charm), and low-rise jeans I usually consider for a late summer date.

But this isn't a date, my conscience tried to remind me, you're just studying. I could use that excuse to throw on some old sweatpants, but I won't, because Paris' eyes are meant to be on me, I want her to think about what I'm wearing when she goes to bed later in the evening, and think about her trying to get those things off in a dirty dream...

Oh my God, I really am turning into my mom! I never thought like that around Dean, but with Par I have no limits! But it seems to be worth it, so against my normal idea of 'after school wear', I came out of the bedroom in that, though with my tank top still on beneath because it of the odd behavior of our old oil furnace downstairs before winter really kicked in, I didn't want to end up freezing from the heat not kicking in at the wrong time.

Not that I really needed it, eyeing up Paris throughout the night seemed to keep me above 98.6°, especially when I got a certain view trailing behind her. I love her breasts, but I'm finding a growing appreciation for her butt...

Right, tangent again, I have to stop doing that, you know how I see her already. Again, turning into my mom...

She smiled at me, telling me I looked nice, but went right to work on me, asking the questions I prepared within a notebook I've been using to keep track of my interview process, which I practice over the phone with Mrs. or Mr. Springsteen once every two weeks, just to make sure I'm on track. I know it isn't the same without someone directly in front of me trying to get a feel of who I was. My ad-libbing has needed some work, so I try to put the rehearsed answers out of my head and go right from memory for each question. Each inquiry becomes tougher and Paris moderates me to male sure I answer with speed and precision, not just perfect word choice…or something along those lines. When she asks what I think of singular-sex classes in public schools, I struggle and pause for an answer, and she's right on me.

"Gilmore, if you want to regard yourself as who you think you are, you need a faster answer," she tells me. "The AD's going to see that indecision and think you're really not thinking of public school, you're just thinking 'what would Chilton do'."

"But I do try to think of it that way--"

She sits down, holding out her index finger to make a point. "Look, I understand you moved to Chilton because you felt suffocated at Hicksville High over there, but you can't let that leech into what you say. Ignore your freshman year, ignore that one month before you landed in the plaid. If you're a fresh-faced girl going in there with no preconceptions, how are you going to answer? Are you going to think a math class without the distraction of Pacey over there in the corner giving you the flirt eye picks up grades? Meanwhile over in English Literature, you want to know if losing out that feminine touch will affect Craig's ability to relate to the works of Jane Austen."

Paris gives me a guiding point, to not think of my experience, instead that of someone going in with a like for public school. I think about it in this theoretical person's view, and I think about it for a minute as she gives me another question to practice on. She then comes back to it, and the coaching is perfect. I state that while I'm not opposed to the same-sex classes, that it might not be the best course for everyone, that the views of both sexes are needed, but that if a student felt comfortable with their own sex, they should be able to have that option. "Still, home ec and other domestic arts classes should remain co-ed," I disclaimed, "there's no excuse for boys to shy out of them."

Laughing, Paris stated an un-ADlike point of why that should be. "They can hold a fire extinguisher a lot better than I can."

"Personal experience?"

"I swear, those crepes would've been fine if they hadn't caught fire." She shakes her head, admitting one of her few classroom failures. "I didn't know the class was taught in Imperial measurements; I'm a thinker--with the Metric system all the way, and I fractioned out the oil in the pan in milliliters instead of cups, I read it wrong. You know how it is, the intelligent have so much they have no need for cooking lessons!"

"Thankfully we have the luxury of fire alarms and 911 in addition," I said back in response. "Ah, but we don't have to worry about that with an admissions director, do we? All we need to do once we get into Harvard is scan a card in a reader, and there's food, we love food, right?"

"As long as we both don't make the meal, my version of cooking grows actual hair." I remember why I'm practicing for this, and why I never want to take a cooking class, because Harvard is more important. Having idle conversation to relax us, keep our nerves from flaring up. I know that we're wanting to be together, but it has to be at the back of our mind when we're thinking academically.

She keeps asking, and I keep answering. I get into a good pattern where I don't miss a beat, it's almost to the point where she's Barbara Walters trying to throw me into a crying jag and get me off my game, but it isn't working, I'm staying strong. Financial questions, ethical quandaries, opinionated statements, they're all there for me to try to answer back, and my mother's genes when it comes to lightning fast responses are something I'm thankful for. Left and right, Paris is impressed with my responses, and I don't miss a beat, using my body language to make points as well as I do with my words. I'm a wealth of facts and information, shooting down any negatives into positives. Paris just watches me, amazed, her compliments giving my heart flutters. She compares me to that fast-talking guy that was on the Pee Wee show and the ads for Micro Machines, and I have to pause to think do I really talk that fast now? It's true I listen to the WPM tapes more to speed up my speech, but it's also to carry on the candor and speed with Paris if we're in the middle of a debate. I try to pay attention more to what she says, and it seems to really help me out.

I also take into account that my future in journalism is predicated on speed, whether it be chasing a disgraced congressman or try to write down a rambling statement from an extremist. Without this practice now I'll struggle to catch up, and I don't want to be left behind in a position I like well enough, but not stuck in for the rest of my life. Speed is good, speed is wonderful, it's always needed.

Well, not always needed as we'll find out later. I expect Paris to keep up the pace as I go through with reversing the roles and interviewing her, but she doesn't seem to have herself within the full mindset. I know she's probably abandoned a mind-numbing night with Sharon to rehearse with me, and that guilt stops her from being into everything. However the distraction that is I in the role of the interviewer is something I keep in mind. I'm dressed to impress, and she's thinking of that as I go with each question. I involuntarily go into a pose where I hold the card in my right hand, and then I wrap my left arm across my chest, lining up right along the bottom of my bustline. The decal making up the faded block HARVARD letters lined right up with where the line of my cleavage ended, and I could feel her eyes struggling to stay at face level as she gazed at my tall form, trying to contemplate that indeed, I was hers to do with what she might. I tried to keep my arms straight down, not get into that position, but after I'd ask the question and she'd struggle through, my arm was back in that same position, defining what I had inside that shirt.

I did my best to try to be a neutral bystander to her, but that fire that defines Paris...it wasn't within her. She seemed to be lost in distractions as I read off each card in her straight script. I'd wait a bit and she'd end up with an answer that sounded weak for her. I felt for her so much, seeing her shoulders hunch and eyebrows furrow with each new frustration that came to her with all the answers. The setting of the kitchen table was just fine, but the tension in the air was drawing pressure against her, affecting her game to the point that she was weighing too much down on herself, falling behind on her usually accurate answers.

Apologizing for her demeanor, I watch her turn from confident and into Don Music, complete with "No, no, no, that's not what I meant," though for her brain's sake she held off banging her head against the table. My poor girlfriend was stressed out, and part of it came from hiding that we were together. It was a rarity to see Paris this way, but she's a human just like me. Even she has a bad day once in awhile.

I kept going over questions with her until she drew an almost complete blank, going with a response that in her words would be just enough to get Louise in without sexual aid. It was unacceptable to her, and I found myself wanting her to do her best, even in a fake situation.

"I don't mean to be frustrating you, Gilmore," she said neutrally to me, not realizing her word choice. "Here I suggest a good idea and I don't carry it out to well."

"Hey, you're not frustrating me at all," I responded, trying to hide the fact that I was holding back so much from standing behind her so I could slide my hand up and down her back to give her some relaxation. Another thought of asking her to strip off the shirt and what was under it was being pushed by my devil of an inner vixen, along with how she was looking playing with her tongue in her mouth. "It was great, but maybe it just wasn't the night for you to go over things."

"That could be it," Paris admitted, her hand pushing hair from in front of her forehead. "I think I need to lay down, or else have a couple Motrins." Asking her if she was all right, she shook her head.

"Would you mind if lay on the couch while we continued?" She had a good idea, for us to debate and ask in the living room, but I felt myself stir at the idea of her tiring on the sofa. She hates it, but I love the idea...at least the shameless ogling part of the equation.

Then again, my mind noted, what would happen at the end of the questioning and there she is, laying on there, all ready to let you play with her? Mom's still out at the Inn, but if she walks in that might be suspicious.

What was I doing to myself? Paris had made it clear tonight was business only, and I was trying to find an excuse to change it to pleasure. Looking at her tired and stressed, I knew she didn't want to be on that couch if she could help it, her back couldn't take it. That left one other option to go with, but I wasn't sure I should go with it.

I mean she's seen my bedroom before, it's not a big deal, it's my room, I have nothing to hide. But to have her lay on my bed as I interview her...it troubles me that I could invite her in my room under circumstances most innocent, then there go the hormones into the wacky dance that they've done around her lately.

I felt on edge as I shot down the couch and suggested that she come into my room and lay on the bed as I went over her questions; this was certainly the first time I was playing the aggressor in a relationship, at least in my own house. The Gilmore dating rules never really went to the situation of studying with another girl, so I had to go off the book with how to compose myself around Paris as we went further on into the night. I didn't want to lead her on, yet if she was open to more than studying, I wanted her to know that I'd be OK with her, at least after everything was done.

Unsaid, I headed into my bedroom, leaving her in a position where she had to follow and lay down on the bed. It worked well, and though she expressed some doubts, once her head hit the pillow beneath my made bed, I think I made a good case for her de-stressing in there. She flopped onto the mattress, then spread out with a notebook and pencil to the side, propping her head on her hand and watching as I made her comfortable by giving her a pep talk to get herself back into the lines of questioning.

It was a night and day difference; once I started with the questions again, her grey matter sparked and the fluid brought back the impassioned Paris I knew would blow away the AD during the interview. By the fifth question her hyperfocus was back and she took only moments to respond to each query presented to her, no matter how complex that it might be. Relaxing her head had the desired effect, and moving from the harsh fluorescent lighting of the kitchen and into the calmer and dim illumination of my room really helped. It helped that we both knew the offices in administration also had the same kind of lighting, so it brought her into her comfort zone once again. Her only problem, mentioned with a laugh? "I feel like I'm gonna nod off any minute here." She smiled, and I shook my head.

"I guess I'll just have to pinch you awake again." I made a motion with my hands, and watched her shut her eyes, sighing.

"Just watch where you put those fingers, Ror." Her voice was a whisper, and her monotone had that hush that always got to me so badly. So she isn't completely into the questions, I thought, deciding to goad further.

"Who said I was going to do it in a place where you might want it?" I disclaimed with a bit of mischief and a laugh.

"Like you'd just go for the wrist, I know you, you want my full concentration, and you seem to always get it in a certain place." She was saying all that in her studious voice. "Just a reminder, if we win a debate, don't go near there."

I just looked at her, amazed that in her dry voice, she was trying to get me off-track even through her flirting. I couldn't help but look at her the way she was, feeling so relaxed and carefree in my sight. The session has new life to it with her laying on the bed...not to mention the mind track that's been thinking of her as something else besides a classmate.

Her eyes are closed as she answers what I ask, and I looked down from the index cards looking at her figures, which for the life of me, is one of the beautiful things I've ever laid my eyes on. She can hide it all she wants, but Paris has me hypnotized, from the way her hair lays along the pillow, to how her feet are crossed together in slimming jeans that highlight just how much her long legs truly make her figure something to stick in my mind. I have to hold in my mind that I'm not even processing her answer, but instead I'm daydreaming that we're having a night alone, where I tell her not to worry about bedclothes and she just lays down wearing nothing but a thin shirt and creamy silk underwear, the way I've dreamed about often when my mind is alone and undisturbed.

Adjusting often, Paris pulled at her sweater, trying to hide what she was wearing beneath it from me. My mind wandered more as I helped her with each question, the mystery of what was beneath the wool getting into my head. I found walking around the room to be another distraction as I created a nude mental picture of her in my head, staying serious on the outside but wanting to just slide against her on that bed, toss the question cards around the room and have a little fun with her. Her smile as she touches on a point about Mother Teresa and sainthood, she describes the woman as a trailblazer to the less fortunate, and all I can think is this is foreplay, that's what it is. She gets me into a debate about the question though I agree with her, and we bounce our arguments back and forth, Paris not losing one single step as every counterpoint hits her cerebellum at the exact moment it's needed. There's a spark between us as I ask her seven more questions to finish off the practice session, never a sense of boredom coming in, or anything stopping us. No love/hate one-upping, or her trying to force her talking points through, it's just Paris using her persuasive and combative personality to tell that stuffed shirt up in Cambridge "Yeah, you took Natalie Portman, so she wrote a few good scientific papers that got published. You know what though, Harvard is in by blood, it's in my genes, it's what I live for. You take me and I'll be the best damn student you've ever taught, my full attention is on you, all the time, period."

OK, maybe not all of her attention, I still want a little. But you get the picture...

After we finished the questions, Paris let out relief that she had let me pick her brain, and was well prepared for all that was going on, refreshed and renewed. She sat up on the bed and we were both thankful that all was well with that. But I had a feeling she was holding something back because her posture was still tight and imposing, still weighted down upon her.

It was like she wasn't supposed to be here, that she took the respite of escaping the Manor Sharon-free, but because of that she would have to deal with the lady and her imposing questions later on. Looking worn, I could see in her eyes she felt again like a disappointment because instead of staying on the straight line she had come to know so well, Paris's detour into my heart was keeping her from straying too far off the path. Leading her into reassurance, I tried to get Paris to admit what weighed down on her. It took a bit (as it always does with her exoskeleton-like inner thoughts), but she admitted to me that she thought Sharon would be disappointed in her for missing a not-so-important benefit where Sharon would meet up with her beau from Uncasville once again.

There was also fear in her voice that by not going to that event, Harvard would end up messed up because she missed an opportunity to meet up with an important contact who just happened to be there.

She really doesn't know when to quit, I thought, appalled that Paris would think this way. Parties were meant to be fun, not work, but Mrs. Gellar does all she can to turn even my girl's most fun moments into chores, I could just see her be the type to stop Par from having a slumber party because it would shake up home value, or God forbid, have a party she wants because that odious woman would want to make it all about her.

"How would it jeopardize Harvard?" I asked, seriously. "It's one night, you see these people all of the time."

"Louise lost a few points with Vassar because she accidentally sent IM transcripts listing it as her safety to her college coach." She started raising her voice. "I can't make any kind of impression that might make Harvard think I'm slacking off."

"For one cocktail party?" She nods.

"I'm a disappointment, I know this, okay? I excel at the schoolwork and extracurriculars, but my social skills resemble Gallant on a good day, I'm a complete wreck at social situations."

"Hey, I am too," I noted, taking her hand into mine. "You know how silly I found the debutante thing? It was ridiculous, cheesy and over the top, yet I did it because hey, it works its way into the transcript and Harvard knows that I have proper table manners. Would I do it again? Probably not, but it certainly wouldn't change any admissions officer's mind about getting me in if I did it or not. They look at character for these things, hon, not how many alum and faculty you impress with anecdotes and obscure facts."

"So I probably shouldn't tell my AD that the founder of Victoria's Secret committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and that inspires me?" Paris off-handed darkly. I smiled a little, shook my head and recomposed.

"Maybe if you're applying for the necrology department, otherwise I wouldn't." I continued on. "Paris, how many summers have you sacrificed on behalf of organizations that need your help? The hours you've spent in service clubs, volunteering nothing but your time and effort and for nothing more than a thank you at the end? There's so much time you've given up for Chilton to make things better for students, not to mention what you've had your father and your grandparents do at the Free Library, create a reading room devoted to the state's Jewish history, because not only did you want all your study materials categorized in one place, but you wanted to make sure everyone else could find them too. It was a simple idea when you suggested it seven years ago, and no one gives you credit for it because you didn't want to take it."

"But Ror--" She tried to speak, but once a Gilmore starts talking, she doesn't finish until her point is made. It's in my blood.

"While everyone else is talking about helping, you're actually doing something about it, there are seven families in Hartford right now with a roof over their head because you didn't want to be a camp counselor in the summer. You saved your father from paying so much more to Sharon, thanks to you finding ways within the divorce settlement to force her to give money needed by charities more than her Prada collection. Every day you walk into that school and you don't leave until you feel you've done something right, and you write opinion pieces that challenge the 'norm', expanding viewpoints and changing people's minds towards the right direction. You don't think Democrat or Republican, you think you, you think us, you think everyone. As long as an idea isn't stupid, you take it." I couldn't believe how many targets I was hitting, but what I was saying was striking the right chords within Paris. "You have a caring heart, a kind heart. You never think about legacies and traditions, you just want to make things better, and I admire that in you." I wrapped my thumb around her index finger, trying to finish my point. "Now if that Harvard guy is there, at that party, I know he isn't thinking 'where is that Paris, why is she slacking off this event?' He knows you're working on being the best woman to have Gellar blood, and that you're here, bettering yourself, proud of everything that you've ever done, and that you don't need to be there to be accepted by him. He'll look at your file and he already knows for sure, that you care, even if you don't show it or boast, you do care."

Listing a few more things that I admired about her, I finished the argument that there is no way that a cocktail party will determine her future, because it should be known that by not going, Paris is busying herself with work rather than inane topics. That she needed to relax, that she's the girl I look up to the most at how to be within society, and beneath all she uses to hide herself, I see her, and only her.

"You really believe that of me?" She asked, trying to make sense of things as I moved to start rubbing at her back. I nodded, trying to bring her into a sense of security.

"Well you are a girl who treasures her milk chocolate, right?" I hinted at the little stash of candy bars she keeps in a computer drawer in her room, her favorite indulgence solid Godiva chocolate, which just happens to go well with red wine.

"Sharon says it gives me pimples," she admitted with bitterness. "What are you leading to?"

"Just that it would've been a personal defeat to see magazine subscription forms rather than pallets of Nestle in the supply closet, I was thinking about you offended by Francie's idea."

"You have no idea, it was outrageous what she suggested. Food is meant to raise funds, magazines are meant to be hung up on walls, yellowed and then forgotten. I can't enjoy pinups, that's an insult to my intelligence. Chocolate gives you a spark and ideas, it's what runs newsrooms around the world when the coffee pot's not working!"

I was starting to find the perfect place to start the distraction that I wanted, what I planned in saying yes to getting Par here. I wanted to study, but there was nothing to study but her now. There was a want to see her in her most unguarded state, and with Mom not about to interfere, I wanted to take advantage of the time I could get with her. No matter that I was inwardly scolding myself for trying to move a study meeting towards something else, but I couldn't help my attraction. A weekend away from her just makes Paris all that much more wanting.

I lowered my eyes, letting them wash over her, and I could still sense that despite the pep talk, she was still wound up from other factors, be they stress or desire. I could feel her look me over, her gaze again stuck on the freckling of my arms. She was trying to push herself away from the kind of things she wants to do. She's distracted, ready to go...

"You can't forget Francie goes for Page Six if she ever reads a paper, she doesn't take the world seriously," I noted as I pushed closer to Par, and then moved myself behind her so I could have unencumbered access to her back. Still talking, I got all where I needed to. "Trust me, she might think she's smart now, hon, but in the real world, she's going to be unprepared, and that's the best thing that can happen to her. I just look at her ten years from now and she's still a petty bitch who's never gotten her way. While the both of us..." It's time, I thought, spreading my fingers out and softly whispering as I lay my fingertips atop of those small, defined shoulders of hers, hidden beneath the heavy wool of her sweater and what I think are bra straps. "We'll both be respected."

The reaction I wanted was there as I started to rub her sore body, a mix of shock and want. She couldn't even think of a reaction to my answer as she was surprised that I was drawing her in with my fingers. She was fighting to keep in control, but I knew I'd easily overcome that. She softly calls out my name in a hushed voice, and I explain she deserves a massage. Tentatively, she gives in...

My mind spins as I take in her soft scent, her shampoo mixing with a bit of cinnamon body spray she applied along her neck; Paris is so plain, yet beautiful. I moved my hands higher to take in more of her shoulders, and she gave up resistance to me doing this to her. I'm amazed that she lets me do this for her, be it in a private place such as my bedroom, or in the public setting of Mr. Mercurio's classroom. I take it as a trust that I'm the only one allowed to calm her down with touch rather than words, that she doesn't mind me easing the pain that she usually keeps hidden in her life from everyone else.

I rubbed both of her shoulders slowly in a circle pattern, feeling the tension within them quickly fade as I help calm her down from having to stress over Sharon. Paris is open to everything and I know she loves what I was doing to her. At the same time, I knew there would be a place to get her even more open with me, since I knew her sweater was probably itching her as I worked my hands faster to soothe her. Yeah, come on, this is going to get things interesting, I prodded to myself. I stared at her neck, veiled by her hair a bit, so slender and wanting.

Slowly I moved myself closer and closer to her, trying to heat her up, make her just a smidge uncomfortable. Who would've thought, me trying to find an excuse to disrobe my lover? I was wound up and wanting of Paris, the way she tortured me with the cameraphone pics and the insinuations she leaves in passed notes about dreams from the last few nights, including a mention of her wanting up my skirt in the middle of Life Sciences. Paris knew how to push my buttons, but now, even more in order to get me to do things unlike me in the days before my attraction to her.

With a little more effort, and a thankful kick-in from the temperamental boiler downstairs, I soon had Paris asking me if she could dispose of the sweater. It took all that I had not to smile at the idea of having almost unencumbered access to her upper body. I had to wonder if she was wearing a shirt beneath for modesty's sake.

Imagine my surprise when she said that she sort of had a shirt on, and then took off the sweater. My eyes were on her midsection as she slipped off the dark red shirt, and instead of some kind of undershirt barely shielding from view a bra peeking out from beneath, she wore a pink silk camisole. Static cling made it stick to the sweater a little, giving me another view of her belly as she tried to straighten out the undershirt. My breath deepened as everything went into slow motion, watching her disrobe getting to me as her face was shielded, allowing me to watch her take off the sweater without her self-image getting in the way.

You are amazing, I complimented silently, seeing Paris in what was her lowest form of casual dress getting within my mind and flaring my libido higher. She looked so understated, yet beautiful, her hair a bit of a mess and the camisole draping loose across her torso, flaring in just at her bustline where she needed it, but otherwise the undershirt left little to the imagination. Her shoulders were now fully exposed, and I could see where her shoulder blades met the clavicles, causing me to gasp about how beneath all her layers, indeed there was a body ready for ravishing. Her necklace dipped low, the six-sided star pointing down towards deep cleavage more spaced out without the usual support of her bra squeezing her breasts into a small space. Obviously the camisole was loose on purpose, with Par having to immediately go for both straps to prop them back onto her shoulders as they fell down her arms.

Definitely, I was flush and goosebumped looking her over, trying not to stare but unable to help it. She was distracted complaining about being itchy, letting me get back behind her without an acknowledgement. I palmed my hands across her back and restarted the massage, nothing stopping me from taking things further. She's so soft as I knead her trouble spots, little bits of moles and marks here and there across her sun-kissed skin.

"You have such a nice back, Paris," I complimented as I happened to hit the spot I knew her bag and bra straps always were laid upon (the indentation of her bra and the adjustment piece still a little red where it was); I took the heel of my hand and worked it up and down vigorously, making her vibrate in her seat. Her breathing relaxed and the stress started to melt away.

"Right there...move your hand down a little on the right, I have an itch right about..." She navigated me towards to where the irritation was, just along her spinal column. "...almost there, average...temperate, a little warm..." Lower and lower with my right hand, my nails scraping until she reacted with a gasp. "...oh, that's just the right spot, right there. Ohhh yeah." I started scratching slowly, drawing her relaxed as I tackled the itchy spot flaring out a little red. She audibly voiced her appreciation, wondering how she got by all of these years without someone helping her out with something as simple as an itch, at least without having to pay a professional at her spa. She looked so relaxed as I continued to give her this simple therapy, her voice hushed down to a low octave to tell me she didn't mind my making things deeper.

I alternated a full massage with scratching her back, following her every command and wish to cure what ailed her. Paris was so willing and open to do all of this with me, and to hear her pleasurably state how much she loved this put a smile on my face that the effort I took to woo her was being rewarded so much with such intimate gestures as this one. She would look back occasionally to make sure I wasn't getting any kind of funny ideas, but I'd look back at her innocently in return. Again, like a game between us, me trying to push further, her holding back. I rubbed my hands all along her back in a vigorous manner, trying to hold back from the one thing that was clear in my mind, that she was without a bra, and God, I just wanted to drive her crazy, the way she looked on my bed so carefree, yet beguiling.

My heart kept a fast and steady pace as I kept playing along her back, the sight of her flesh getting to me so much. Truthfully I was somewhat tense and nervous, surprised with how much my mind was drifting off the original track of her visit to my house. Don't forget, this is an educational visit only! My mind tried keeping me on a clean track...

...But Paris' neck was leading me somewhere else altogether. I parted the hair on each side so I get at it for a rubdown, and looking down from where her gold necklace chain hung and then down her spine, where it drifted beneath her shirt, oh my God. I stopped and just stared, trying to wrap my mind around this heavy attraction and pull I felt for her. There was just a want to seduce her, to draw her in; she just looked like the very definition of desire, no matter how plain she might look to everyone else.

I also missed her so much over the weekend, it was like a piece of me was with her while she couldn't see me. I thought internally about the ramifications of drifting her towards making out, wondering if it was worth the trouble to do it. She looked so kissable, yet I didn't know if she was thinking of things beyond the fact we were girlfriend and girlfriend. I found a doubt in my mind that she's not open to exploring with me beyond what I had with Dean, that she protects herself from doing more than she wants to for the sake of my innocence.

Trust me, I can understand that, I didn't get here in the first place without the loss of my mother's innocence (that and Dad's reluctance to wear a condom; like I needed that sealed in my head when I first asked where I came from!). I've also been the one watching with her as various couples impede our access to our lockers, reveling in each other instead of grabbing their books. She's never going to be a public romantic, nor is she into the entire ideal of romance as a whole. But I know that Paris is still a romantic no matter her allusions, she loves spending time with me, and how much she puts in to be the kind of girl she is in front of only me, one willing to share all she thinks about without having it dismissed as a pipe dream or 'girls don't do that'.

Paris isn't a girl; she's a woman with fight in her. But at the same time, she has a softer side she also brings out when needed. I look at both sides, and see a amazing woman in one small, blonde package. And in turn, I want to just show her how much I yearn for her in my life.

Aw, to heck with it, I determined internally. The worst she can say is no! I was going to go for it...be the aggressive one and show her what's been on my mind all night beyond getting my Harvard interview tailor-made. There was no way Paris was leaving this house not knowing that even I have sex on my mind every single moment I look at her.

"Rory, why did you stop?" she asked breathlessly as I slid my hand into hers, and then smirking, kicked off my sneakers with the help of the bed, straddling behind her. God, I hope she wasn't looking at my heart-filled socks!

How the hell I do it, I never know, but I was able to play femme fatale with my shaky voice. "Stop?" I brushed my face along the back of her head, the tone of my voice calming and wanting. "I'm not stopping...just pushing things along." I softly planted my lips along the back of her neck, her fragrance overwhelming my senses.

"Stop...we have to concentrate," she argued rather futilely, "I can't be doing this right now." Coughing she tries to get back into game mode, but I stop her by dragging short kisses along the periphery of her neck.

"No more homework, and I'm bored." I pushed myself closer to her, deepening the kisses along her neck and scraping my teeth against the nape of her neck. "I also want to do more of this."

"I do also," she acknowledged, "but what about Lorelai?" A justified worry that I needed to help her overcome. It cooled things down a little to be reminded of Mom, but I wanted Paris to be as comfortable as could be. Her breath was deep, her voice laced with want and need for us to come together.

I gave her a look and a smirk, sliding off the bed and reminding her off all the cleanup still to be done at the Inn. I headed over to the door to shut it, my full attention focused on her and a building case of nerves. We had done this before, but the sense that she was in my house instead of the safeness of a floor and three rooms between her and Sharon at the Manor was giving her some trepidation. A buffer needed to be created that showed I cared for her so much, that I wanted her without anything getting in the way.

"There, the door's shut. My shade is drawn, and I don't own a webcam." I tried my best to play seductive, watching Paris, through her eyes, look so turned on. "Nothing but you and I here." I looked her over, my mouth watering from how she looked. An errant strap from her camisole kept sliding off from her shoulder, her hair down and a little bit of the upper part of her breasts exposed thanks to the angle of the shirt. I command her to lay down, soothing her with my voice that she looks so sexy outside of the plaid and any of her normal clothes. I was catching her off-guard, and she knew it.

I put a hand into hers and slide onto the bed, positioning myself above her. This is so new to her, something unknown, being the prey rather than the predator. She feels nervous, trying to hide her body from my view even with all of my compliments. She tries to tuck the camisole back in, but I stop her, asking her to still and let me do what I want. Her breath deepens, and her chest rises, the top flattering her breasts so well. Her eyes close, a silent signal that she'll comply. I move my free hand to prop up her head, and then I bring myself closer slowly, basking in the feel of her body against mine. So full, wanting, beautiful.

We both come together and kiss, slowly and full of want. Soft lips against mine, her smell in my mind, a slight taste of vanilla, I'm fargone and wanting of her. I instigate the buss further, trying to bring her into the mood, softly working my way around her lips and along her cheeks. I play with her stomach, brushing my hand against it, wandering around the soft olive skin that only I for sure know, and then along her back. So beautiful...

Paris starts getting into it, sliding more against me and wrapping her arms across the small of my back, pushing me closer. I pull her hair a little, the feeling of the silky locks in my hand giving me a calming sense despite all of the heat between us. Before I know it, we're not only involved in a deep kiss, but closely positioned. My experiences with Dean tell me this is the time to bring things more to a boil. My body is tight and wanting, my light weight against Paris' smaller form just perfect for what I wanted to do. I slid my left thigh against her, looking to get comfortable. Of course this meant her right leg was pressed right against a certain part which I've been taught to protect like the Crown Jewels.

Both of us are nervous about this. I mean, two weeks with each other and we're already doing this? I didn't move into this phase with Dean until last February. Still, God, I wanted it, my center feeling tight and wanting to be filled, yet I knew I'm not ready.

You are, my vixen asserted, but there was no way Paris was at all. I might have the experience, but I had to tread carefully around her, the last thing I want is to do something wrong and have her curse me out for going to far. I heard her concern clearly as she asked what I was doing.

"Nothing you don't want, I just want you to relax."

"Rory, I don't mind this at all. I'm just...you know, this isn't the time yet."

I brushed my fingers through her hair and gave her a soft kiss of reassurance. "I'm not going to rub, don't worry, just feel you against me, this is all I need." The other hand was along the waistband of her jeans, flirting with the waistband of her underwear. I was dizzy with want for her. "How's this?" I brought her into another kiss, this time much more aggressive and wanting of her. She pushed even closer to me, and asked for more than that. She wanted me to touch all over her back, along her neck as we kissed, even to the point where I felt her grab me and then in a surprising move, let me move it to palm against her butt. Reason is gone with the both of us and now we were just moving along to each other's urges, the chance of anyone interrupting us seeming to fall away with each new minute of making out. Her voice, hoarse with want, my body so tight, the tank top I wore beneath my shirt tightened against my chest, my lip gloss seems to be ruined and our hands wander ever lower, right up to the point where she has both her hands on each side of my ass and is looking up at me, not only laughing and with a wide toothy smile, but her demeanor had totally 180'ed from nervous and unsure and back to how she usually was...except this time in a good way.

"Gilmore, you shouldn't be having all the fun," she husked, gathering all the strength she could to push me down onto the bed. "You're driving me crazy...those jeans should be a lot more loose than they are!"

Smirking, I made her try to eat her words. "Hey, I can't help it, I love tight jeans. Unless..." then in my best little-girl voice. "...you want them loose for another purpose?"

She bit her lip, trying to hold back the urge to hasten things further. "You haven't been talking to Louise, have you?" I shook my head no as she rolled me onto the bed and became the one on top.

"I love having an overactive imagination, blame that." With the new positioning, my eyes had a new viewpoint of my girlfriend which worked to fire me up further. Paris was above me, and the loose camisole dangled down clumsily, those two straps holding it to her shoulders not doing much to keep it reined in. God, it took all I had to keep my full focus on her face, filled with desire. Still I looked, and though my hands were nowhere near her chest, I felt like a glance gave me a mental feel for her physical topography that was quite good enough for me.

Oh man, I wanted her...my mind was wandering off the holding off path, and towards bringing things further. My hands were now at her sides, just above the top, and we were brought closer together into a kiss that was just full of so much want. I felt so much for her, my heart feeling so close to the blonde girl from all the talking and physical emotions we've shared over the last month. That we're at this point is such a small personal victory for me, and my mind is so confident of things going well, that nothing can stop us now. That I wanted more, even though it didn't seem to be time yet, and that Paris was also going in that direction.

Yes, I was confident, cavalier, and might I say, though it's a term girls rarely use with each other...cocky that I was going to get my way and move things further.

But as Paris pushed her leg closer, about to ask my permission to take things to second base territory, I head some background noise that I attributed to the boiler downstairs, ignoring it and continuing on. The sounds pick up, but I'm too buried in my lust to acknowledge it, Paris' breath shielding it as she pushes closer within my grasp and I feel like I start to lose control of my emotions.

The overload, her above me, her sexual want coursing through me...it was just building so much. I was never at this point before in a relationship, but to feel the power, the want between us, how much both of us were just beholden to each other rather than anyone else, I wasn't thinking of anything else, much less anyone else.

Nothing is stopping me, I thought as I looked up at that blonde and my mind blinded to everything else, I was about to give the signal to take things further, softly stating I wanted more...

The noise then picked up, and before I knew it, I found my eyes shifting over as I heard my mom walk into the kitchen, and then the worst possible fears that I had start to make themselves known. All of a sudden my heart tightened, I was kissing Paris deeply, and she was in the most undeniable position possible as I watched in shock, the doorknob twisting, and then the door as it opened.

Oh my God, was the only thought in my mind as I heard Lorelai say something vague about Paris being here and if we wanted pizza, and then I moved my attention towards her as Paris continued to kiss me, for a moment unaware that the worst way we could possibly come out was beginning to occur. I was pale white, my eyes meeting Mom's as she tried to finish her sentence.

Paris then turned around, hearing Mom's voice and pushing me to the bed in what seemed to be a protective move. Both of us looked at her, and within my grasp I could feel Paris' pulse speed up, her heartbeat seeming to get a scared push as she realized Rory's mom is here...in the room...I'm kissing her and it looks like much worse.

That time I got home after the Formal at 5am to my mom railing against me ever being with Dean again? Quickly forgotten as the most mortifying moment of my life, that was small potatoes compared to seeing Paris atop of me. She repeated the 'Oh my God', staying still in front of the door as Paris didn't do anything for a reaction. Like a deer in the highlights, her emotions were stunted, and as I scooted myself out from under her, Lorelai and her stared at each other, both of them trying to figure out what to do next.

Surprisingly, Paris didn't run away, or lose her emotions like she does when in a situation like this, she stayed calm and even, not denying what was happening between us, but not incriminating herself further.

However, Mom was a different story, immediately going with an off-color crack that we were...sating our hunger as it were, I'm not going to say it! I still had Paris' taste in my mouth and I wasn't thinking straight, but still I was offended by how she tried to dismiss the seriousness of the situation with such a joke. I had to find out why she was home early. I wasn't expecting her for another hour.

Of course she hired a cleaning crew after everything overwhelmed the Inn staff, I should've known that from all the damned rice and confetti thrown in the ballroom over the last two days! Seriously, newlyweds should look into laser shows, they're much more fun, cheaper and better for the environment!

I wasn't prepared for what was next, Mom giving Paris a 'big hello'. What? Huh? Why is my mom talking to Paris that way, I couldn't understand why at all. I thought she was crazy.

Then my attention drifted down Paris' shoulder, where instead of a strap, there was nothing but flesh. And as I propped myself back up on the bed, I could see her side in profile...

...Then remember that in the rush to heat things up, I had pushed down that strap and then with my blood-dizzied mind clouded, brushed my hand along her side, eliciting a moan from her as my palm brushed across her right breast, then over her nipple. I hadn't even looked at it at all, the stimulation of touch all that was needed for me to be turned on. She didn't say a word and I didn't worry about it, at least until the moment I had to watch in embarrassment as my mother tried to clue in Par that she was showing off.

Mind you while all of this is happening, where I should feel so mortified about being caught, instead my mind is lusting for more contact with Paris and I'm turned on by being discovered mid-kiss by Lorelai, my breasts swelling and tight, along with dampness between my legs. No way I'm letting anyone know this, so I tried to block the thoughts out that Paris in my bedroom at that moment, caught in the moment, human and vulnerable, looked beautiful in my eyes. Especially with her shirt down, my gaze wavering from full attention and occasionally glancing down towards that profile view of her exposed breast, tender and soft and so close to me.

Yet I was shaking as my mom's voice took on a tone not really used all that much. Her sarcasm was on high alert and she tried to her best to hide behind her words how she really was feeling, going with vague statements and tossing Paris my robe to cover her modesty.

Disappointment. That word describes how she looked as I held Paris' hand, trying to explain to my mom what's happened with Paris and I without inflaming emotions. My words were small and simple. I looked at Paris as she asked how in the heck we ended up together, instead of a guy of hers or someone she'd accept. I had to hold back how I felt, going with neutrality so Paris wouldn't be attacked. Just the way her body was and the way she was looking at Lorelai with so much fear, this was a different girl...she was scared for her life, unable to say anything to defend herself.

Almost like her mom taught her to be defensive when it came to her academics, but when it came to real life, she was supposed to cower and comply, no matter what her heart screamed. Paris, instead of coming out right away to say she was my girl and she would fight for me, she wanted to leave, flee away as Lorelai asked for an explanation for why she was on top of me in an intimate way.

She's denying herself happiness, I thought, watching her try to gather herself together, ready to flee my house before Mom could get an explanation. I knew it was probably a minimizing move designed to keep me out of trouble, to deny our relationship.

There's nothing to deny though, I like Paris, period. I like her as my girlfriend, and there's nothing, not even Mom's past, that can change that fact. I'm prepared to fight for her, and at that moment, training was over. There was no way I could keep a secret anymore, especially about someone that I felt so strongly about.

The ring is in the middle of Yankee Stadium, and the bell for the first round just went off. Time to fight for my love.

I grasped Paris by the wrist, and threw a 'honey' right at her to stun her still, you couldn't get a more perfect term of affection than that in order to come out. Then I just said it like I was in an impromptu debate towards my mom; Paris is my girlfriend and I'm not going to deny it anymore in front of Lorelai.

The word struck my mom unexpectedly, the way I said it not at all in the realm of the Ellen/Big Pete definition. She repeated the word, trying to confirm it true.

"For the last two weeks, one day, and four hours, that's what she's been to me." I threw back the time we've spent so far together, and that just stunned both women; Paris with how much I was sticking to this, Mom shocked as hell that I was being so cavalier. Repeating her timeline of the Sunday two weeks before, she was stunned to think that the dance marathon was just foreplay to sealing the relationship deal.

It led her to Dean of course, and wondering why I wasn't with him anymore. How I was so calm, I don't know, but I explained how things were going downhill on a fast clip since my arrival into Bradley in early August.

"It's built over the months, the attraction to her, and it became so overwhelming, an obsession to know how she really felt for me. It started out as just a thought, and then...it just grew larger, until we got into that room together. Seeing her every day as just herself rather than the Gellarbot 5.0 (another one of her dumb Paris nicknames), it got to me, and eventually that friendliness I had for her grew into a strong attraction." I felt like I was defending Paris to the fullest, but I hope she was finding it heartening for me to keep her from attacks by my mother.

I felt my voice waver with each answer to her question, trying to wear me out from what I was thinking and seeing things her way. What got to me so much though is that Mom wasn't comfortable using 'the word'. She tried to dance her way around it with vague terms, thinking by not vocalizing it, she could avoid me confessing to be one.

Christ, I'm a lesbian, mom, just fucking say it. Les-bi-an, L-E-S-B-I-A-N...oh God, don't even think I'm bisexual! My inner monologue listened to Mom talk, and I was seething because she wouldn't bite on the term. She sees things in black and white, or in her viewpoint, pink and purple, as it were, too broadly and never touching her. Her pregnancy all these years later might be something she laughs about often, but those first years of my life were tough, and they still are. Glossing over the issue doesn't make it that much easier; terms like 'girl-liker' and 'lady friend' still taste the same as lesbian and gay.

Finally I just said it, not wanting to be categorized by it, but not denying the fact I'm a lesbian. No need to dance around it, my mom needs honesty, I'm going to give it to her, no matter what. The worst has happened and all I could hope for was that she wouldn't take drastic steps against me. My emotions started to be lost as I described in frank terms how much Paris meant to me, that her unique personality drew me in, and that no matter how much I fought the feelings, no matter what I did to deny myself, it led me to one thing, that I was hot for the bitter little rich girl sitting next to me in that bed right now. There wasn't anything Lorelai could do about it, and for once I wasn't going to sit down, shut up, and do whatever she wanted me to do.

I swear to God I meant that, I was willing to give up Harvard, my home, my community, everything for Paris. Mom wasn't going to win, deny me, do anything to jeopardize what we had. My words made that clear, and it stunned Lorelai silent as she tried to attack on another front.

I tightened my grip of Paris' hand, cluing her in that since attacking me hadn't worked, she'd make Paris lose her temper and prove that my heart didn't belong to her. That she was a control freak only thinking of those four numbers making up her GPA, that she didn't have a heart. When my mom gets mad, she gets mad, and I know what she attacks first with her verbal skills. Paris' character was about to get taken down undeservingly to try to end this situation.

Her blue eyes were intense with anger as her teeth clenched, and she got into a defensive position, pointing right away at my girl and slinging an accusation worthy of Boston Public but definitely not Chilton Prep, that she wanted in my pants to distract me from my assignments, a way to get that gold sash around her neck on graduation day proclaiming her top of the class.

Like she'd ever do that! Remembering that she lost her drive after her County Day competitor dumbed himself down, I knew right away it wasn't Paris. Yes, she used affairs of the heart to throw me off when it came to Tristan, but never for grade points, only for activity positions. Paris would never stoop that low to get her revenge on me, and she's regretted everything she's done to me in non-love matters, especially the Max thing and the fight over the non-existent PJ Harvey date.

Paris tried to defend herself, but Lorelai has better skills in ad-lib debate, moving her focus towards me and trying to turn it around as not in my best interest. Sorry, this isn't children's court anymore, I take my best interest! Mom wasn't going to win if I had anything to do with it. Firm as I could, I shut her up, and then showed why I considered public speaking one of my most important subjects.

"Why should I listen, Rory? There's nothing that's going to change my mind about this. She's using you. Paris is a wolf in sheep's clothing, don't you know her character?"

"I'd like to think so, I kiss the girl every damned day!" I gritted out. "How the hell do you think you can say you know her, Mom? Can you really say that when you've seen her in the last two years, what, nineteen hours combined? I mean God, I spend at least ten hours a day with her, five days a week, it never changes, and then spent almost 24/7 with her between June and August, in a small little dorm room with a crappy AC and a lovely view of what is truly the dullest federal building in all of the District of Columbia! She's a soap junkie, she could tell you every plot development from The Guiding Light since June of 1989, her hair color preference is Clairol, she can't go to bed without a glass of apple juice at her bedside. Her favorite cartoon is Garfield because of how it makes fun of the dumbing down of television yet throws in educational lessons subtly. She prefers her news via the internet or C-SPAN, she just wants facts, not talking heads."

I continued on, trying to prove that Paris was scared to go into this in the first place. "She's also such an introvert she didn't realize she had a date until two minutes later, and then when she did, it was panic city for her! She went out with this guy Jamie, nice boy, Princeton man, high GPA, dreams of taking a high profile job with a think tank when he's out. All I could think though, while she was out, was how jealous I was of that guy, how I hoped the date was a miserable failure. When she said it was, I was giddy and that's when I knew that I had a chance at her." Of course this startled Paris, but I knew she was glad that Jamie and she didn't work.

"Moment I get home and I see Dean, I'm already bored with him. He didn't read any of my books over the summer and the first thing he shows me is some El Camino he and Todd rebuilt over the summer, like I'm impressed by an ugly car with a truck bed in the back! I tell him I miss him and want to spend time alone...'Rory, my sister's home, she'll be able to hear.' So go to my house....'What if your mom walks in?' That may have been cute two years ago, but I want more, I want someone interesting..." I dart my gaze towards Paris. "I want her, and there wasn't a thought in my mind telling me that it could be wrong. If she thought of me that way, she wasn't going to say a word because Sharon makes Grandma look like mother of the year. I know Par, she was scared to even bring it up. Worse, the way I am, the way I've been raised, it placed a shield in front of me that her being interested in me should never be revealed."

I then confessed that it was all me. "She did nothing but respond in kind, Mom, that's all she did. It took me three months and so much to get her to know how I felt about her, and if she was the same, that I wasn't going to run away from her. I didn't have one second thought about how Dean would feel because there wasn't anything there anymore, all I felt was for her, nothing else mattered. I got involved in gym for one day just to share close contact with her, it was shallow but I attained my goal. We've shared a hate for War & Peace that gets us both riled up, and to be next to her in class makes things in it so much easier to stomach. She did nothing but have a crush on me; Paris was too scared to act on her feelings, so to hear from me after the dance marathon that I like her too, it was a validation of what we both share, that even though we didn't do much except hidden flirting and subtle touches, there was something there to explore." My voice was now strong and unyielding, Mom knowing that if she'd interrupt I'd just hammer down her newest futile point.

Settling myself down, I knew I had to finish strong. "Look, I know this is a surprise to you, that you're feeling so off, that you don't know what to say, Mom, and I'm sorry about all of this. But it was hard for me to come to terms that I like Paris, and I wanted to kiss her, maybe more. This can't be easy for you, but it certainly isn't for me, nor is it for her." I looked up at my mom, playing with Paris' hand as I tried to make her sympathize with the both of us. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you to begin with or ask what you thought about the idea of this. But I was scared, and I knew you'd have misgivings about Paris being my crush."

"I'm not objecting to it," she said, her voice tight with hidden anger. "Kiddo, I'm just trying to figure out why Paris? Why a girl?"

"Because you can't help who you're attracted to." I looked up at her, struggling to put what I felt into words. "I can't explain it, it's just...right." Then with all the reserve I had, I decided to make it all the more real for Mom to picture. "Last week, she took me up to Massachusetts, and just hearing about all she did to plan what she thought was the perfect date and how excited she was to bring me out, it heartened me. She put so much into everything, and though there were some parts that didn't work, we both had fun, and we just talked and talked all through it, both of us talking about things we were both interested in, there wasn't a boring moment. Paris treated me good, and we found plenty of time to build things up further. I mean, she might look like she's firm and unwavering, but she's really a softie." I stared crying. "She wanted the night to be special, and it really was, Mom, honestly; I felt so much more after it, that she's much more for me than just being that thorn in my side. She was so sweet, and I wish you'd see that side that I do. she isn't just who I ranted to you about over the last couple years now. Paris is wonderful, and I'm not going to give her up easily, and I mean that."

Paris brought her gaze towards mine, and our eyes met as Mom watched us. Her emotions were even, and much calmer than moments before, her face taking on a serene look, mouth with a little smile, and her eyes slitted. It was if she was trying to tell me without words. 'Thank you for being my girlfriend. I feel more confident about this.' She didn't say anything, only squeezing my hand as Mom paced a small part of the room, trying to gather her thoughts.

"Mom," I noted softly. "I'm still your daughter, your Rory, nothing has changed about me at all. I'm just even more multifaceted abnormal that previously thought." That past description of me would hopefully clear her mind and make it easier to understand. I'm still that same girl with Harvard dreams and wishes for a correspondence in Tel Aviv, and the dream of going to Fez one day. Nothing has changed except who has my heart.

After what seemed to be an indeterminate pause, Mom finally asked to speak to me alone, theorizing that she could learn more about us separate than together, that we would focus on ourselves in conversations rather than speak in one voice, as a couple. That, and hiding my lesbian crush for at least a few months was something she had to get to the bottom of. I could just hope that things were calm and even, that I wasn't about to be shipped on a bus up to Boston for Dad to take care of me...

Don't even bring your mind to worst case!! My conscience chimed in. She just has to see things your way, you're her world. Right now her world might be thrown off, but she'll balance things out slowly, just stay calm, hope for the best and don't let any kind of anger she has get to you, it's not personal. Yeah, thinking positive had to be the way to go into this as I got up from my bed, pulling my hand from Paris at the last possible moment as she watched, white with fear as we were pulled apart for talks in separate rooms, hopeful she'd be leaving this house still with me, and not with word I was reenrolled at Stars Hollow High effective immediately.

Both of us were scared, fearful for the worst, but I could see with Paris that she was also hoping for the best. As I left my bedroom, watching Paris try to get her camisole strap back up, I thought about how much I was starting to love her, that after two weeks the butterflies were still there, and I wouldn't know what to do if I would lose her.

I hope you know no matter what happens, that I love you, Paris. I'm not ready to tell that to you out loud, but you need to know that, even if it's only in my mind. Don't lose faith in how much trust I have with you. I looked at her one last time heading into the kitchen, then turned around, already feeling an emptiness from not looking at her.

In the living room, I sat down on the couch, draping the throw blanket over me, and wishing that Mom would only have a fast talk with me and understand where I was coming from.

But unlike the Donna Reed Show, something like my coming out of the closet couldn't be dealt with in a four-minute scene within Act Three...

Mom sat down on the chair across from me, still wearing her power suit from work, and she looked unsure for the first time since she debated whether to accept Mr. Medina's flower-filled proposal or not. And there I was in front of her, feeling like complete scum for hiding my sexuality from her view, worse than coming back from Brooklyn after the trip to see Jess. We were mother and daughter together, but we might as well have been on different sides of the ocean. She was still filled with the shock of catching Paris, and my mind was still filled with that 'what the fuck' stare with the girl's weight on top of me.

How can my mom be so calm like this, to talk things over instead of tossing around vases and dishware? I can't understand why she's not going off on me about something I now know I shouldn't have done. It doesn't matter that I'm eighteen, for I'm still under her roof with her own rules, what few of them there were.

What do you do, however, when the rule is 'No unsupervised girls in your bedroom', and you never even considered it for your book? That had to be what my mom was thinking.

I have to admit to myself that I never fully considered what would happen when the coming out moment happened with Mom. I had an idea, which I shared with Paris, but it was probably something sugar-coated and more optimistic than reality. I know my mom, and when it comes to relationships of the same sexes in her life, her reaction has been somewhat acceptance, yet with some reservations. For example, Michel keeps his life purposefully ambiguous, but she still makes the occasional 'You have a hot guy tonight, don't you Frenchie?' joke his way, which he's never responded to. The night manager of the Inn, Tobin, is fully out and she's never really said anything about him, except he seems to regard some of the...let's say 'cuter men' with wake-up calls that have more energy to them than usual.

Let's not even get into how she regards media; she's completely shallow on that front. Two hot guys intimate and she's giggling like a schoolgirl over it. But a normal couple, there's times where she can be a bit offensive. She also makes fun of girl-on-girl kissing in movies sometimes, and though she accepts lesbian couples with open arms on the outside and has never used any gay slurs, I get the sense she's not as comfortable with it, judging from her turning her head at kissing scenes in movies.

I haven't been able to see her real reaction to a regular lesbian couple, as we only have three in the entire town, along with some single girls, and they usually regard the town more as a bedroom community than their town, they've moved out here for the sole reason of having a refuge from real life prejudices. I've never brought up the question at all when we talk (because asking that to my mom? Yuck!), so this is a whole new world for her. I sit across from her, feeling somewhat ashamed for hiding everything from her. She eyes me up, my arms crossed across my chest, my hair still mussed up from what just happened. There's also a dull ache in my stomach, arising from a combination of lust still within me, and the anxiety of Mom about to yell at me.

There was also a fear that she was going to get out the Chilton directory, hand over the phone, and ask me to call Sharon over so I could let her know I was making out with her daughter, and also happened to be her girlfriend. I had to stay strong, however; there wasn't any room to cry and break down. I had to explain things calmly, rationally, make her see it as a normal point of view, that this wasn't anyone's decision but mine.

It was odd to watch her speechless, trying to come up with a good opening line to start things off. This was a blindside to her from what it seemed, the very idea that I would be gay unexpected.

Finally, she got things started on a nervous note. "So...Paris." She sighed, trying to make sure it was real. "Paris Gellar."

I nodded silently.

"Miss 'I'll make this school a living hell for you'...you were kissing her, in your bedroom."

"Yes." I was feeling petrified with my one word answers. For once, my mother, the champion of speed talking couldn't find the words to respond or argue. She sat there for a minute in the chair, trying to figure out where to go with her mom talk. She wasn't ever expecting this, I could tell. Springing a pregnancy on her, that I know she'd be ready for, but this was never a possibility. I could see it, that she never had thought I could be a lesbian, because I didn't have the 'warning signs' most media tell parents to look out for. I had some popularity at school, was outgoing in the community, and I sure wasn't developing a secret want for flannel shirts or rambling folk music. Not that those things are bad, mind you, I respect them both, but I feel fine in my current skin.

"I can't believe it, you and Paris." She shook her head. "I thought you were going to be with Dean for years and years, and all of the sudden, you're here telling me that you've fallen for someone who doesn't have something that Dean has."

"I was going to tell you--" quickly, I was interrupted.

"When Rory, why would you hide this from me?" Lorelai was stressed, her voice showing that. "Kiddo, I thought we could tell each other everything, from crushes to shoe sizes, you know we've always had an open thing going on here."

"We were going to have a movie night in two weeks and reveal ourselves then," I confessed, trying to hold it off. "I just wanted you to be in a position where we were all comfortable, not...well, catching her on my bed."

With that, she twisted the knife of trust a bit deep, "Something you would've never done with Dean. I mean he was the perfect gentleman. You two are barely out of week two and already you're heading towards second base. Is there something missing here?"

"Dean and Paris are two different people, Mom," I noted, "he wouldn't have done that because as you said, he was a gentleman. This has nothing to do with how I fast I want things to go."

"I just don't want you to be seeing her for the wrong reasons," Mom argued, "you shouldn't be using her to circumvent--"

Damn it, she was trying to assert the 'lesbian to get some' excuse with me; I couldn't let her do that! "Circumvent what?" I said through clenched teeth. "Oh my God, you can't seriously believe my wanting a girl is an excuse to get some without...you know, I'm not trying to do that."

"I know, I know," she panicked, "I just have to completely rule it out, there's no need to panic. I'm not saying you're that way, but...God." She stopped for a moment, trying to focus her thoughts on what she needed to. "I definitely need to bring my mother's intuition in for a check up though. I thought you and Paris were getting closer and there were things I noticed, but I ruled them out right away."

"What are you talking about? " How could she notice, I left no bread crumbs behind to suggest to her earlier that we were a couple. "I thought...I thought you didn't know anything about us."

"Rory, I'm your mother, it's within me to worry about everything, no matter how small or trivial." She smiled at me. "I noticed how odd it was that you broke up with Dean this time. First time it was over him saying 'I love you', and this time Jess helping you with Dwight's garden is worse than that?"

I tried to defend myself. "He was jealous about me being Jess's friend."

"He always was, kiddo, even with Jess hooking up with Mustang Sally; you knew that, I knew that, Luke knew that, it was an established fact. Lame criteria to break up with him compared to him jealous over the basket auction and almost knocking him out last winter."

Thinking about it, I knew no matter what I did, she was right. It was a bad standard to consider something small like that a breakup-able offense. Then again there was still plenty of ammunition to the fire.

However, it would reveal things I tried to usually keep hidden, ashamed to even assert control over my sexuality. Hesitating, I stared at her, trying to find the perfect way to phrase things, while at the same time thinking of a way to say it without asserting the reason I became a lesbian was solely out of sexual frustration.

"It just wasn't that," I said softly. "Far from his jealousy or anything that he caused, there was more."

"Like what?"

"To put it simply, Mom...he was a gentleman." How very Scarlet of me to phrase it that way. Bemused, she couldn't wrap herself around the hidden meaning, so I filled in the blank. "Look, he was good, kind, perfect, that wasn't the problem. The major thing for me was we were at a standstill in other..." I stuck out my tongue and tried to say it innocently. "...certain areas."

Did that get her a little shocked. "Oh geeze, you don't mean..."

"I don't mean that far, really," I disclaimed. "But I just mean in the usual 'making out like teenagers' kind of way." I then explained to her that Dean was fine, but to go through a change in my mind as far as sexuality had me curious to do things at seventeen that I would eschew a year before, heavy petting, deep kissing, groping and the like. How Dean didn't get the clues and would argue with me that it wasn't time to go that far, that he wouldn't ruin our relationship just to do something like ask how he dreams about me, and how he never bit. Last year as my feelings for Paris came to light, to block them out I tried to amplify how dirty I thought of my boyfriend to overwhelm them. I didn't use colorful language, keeping everything neutral, but I admitted going into my room sometimes, trying to call him on the cell or get him over IM to fuel my imaginary fire. I'd start a conversation with a hard flirt, and after twenty minutes of futility and his thoughts that he had a log program placed on his computer (are you kidding, his parents don't even know how to write a Word document!), I'd end it and go back to being innocent, my sexual needs bottled up for a long time. All the making out over the months ended at the bra line, never higher. That I tried to see myself with Jess as a panacea with my needs, but right after that play kiss, the first time I saw Paris without Tristan, her longtime ball and chain, that she was relaxed and more easygoing with the one thing keeping us from true friendship so, so many miles away and not to come back.

Where I thought it was going to be hard to explain everything about my attraction to Paris, the words came very easily in reality. "I found it abnormal to think of her that way at first, and I wasn't going to say anything about it at all, because what if it was just a silly phase for me?" Mom nodded. "But these thoughts, they wouldn't stay dormant and let me be who I thought I was. Once I saw past her persona, I started to see her as much more than she presents herself as, that underneath her hard demeanor, she's kind, willing to help, if not with homework of course, to make someone else's life better. I look at her, just another girl obsessed with grades, and started to see beyond that, her drive being one of the things that I admire, and that I wanted to replicate within myself." Brushing a stray hair, I continue on. "She's passionate and devoted to everything, and I saw that in every day of debate prep we did, and then the actual competition which I'd watch her at the lectern, and her eyes never even wandered down to her script. We competed in Bridgeport and she was asked by a stage manager for the competing school if she'd like her script fed into teleprompter display software." Like a fangirl for her, I sighed. "She turned him down and compared their team to the Today show. 'I'm no fucking Katie Couric; you see me perky and teethy? No? I thought not. Your team members might have aspirations of taking over for Chuck Scarborough at WNBC, but if you expect me to read my speech off an idiot box, you're dead wrong. We'll read it from heart, and we will win, end of argument.'"

"You both won that, right?"

I rolled my eyes. "Cleaned the floor with them." Of course, that was just a small step to realize Paris=cute. It took someone else to make me realize who I wanted.

Yes, the day Dad and Sherrie watched our debate with Hillside, that's when it all changed, and I can pinpoint the exact moment my feelings for Paris went from friendly to sexual. When I turned her down to celebrate the victory due to having to get to know Dad's new girlfriend, watching her walk down the hall, furious in anger as she whipped down the corridor upset that she was denied my company for the evening. The way she asked me, the hope she had, how it was crushed by the reality of my situation.

"Instead of being annoyed by Paris though, I was more annoyed by Sherrie," I admitted. "I was looking forward to celebrating a well-earned win, and as I watched her whip down that hallway, that's when I realized something, that I was feeling more than empathy for her." I stared at my hands as I admitted to Mom how I really felt. "I was turned on by her anger."

"Turned on? By Paris throwing a hissy fit?" I nodded. "Usually the caveman act has you running."

"Not this time, I was thinking about her all night, getting to know Sherrie was the last thing on my mind--" That's when I got the held up hand from mom, the TMI signal to stop things before I got into the freaky territory.

"OK, I'm just going to assume things I don't need to hear about happened after that." All I did to answer her assumption was nod my head, because there was no way she had to find out more than that...no need to share my fantasy life.

From there, things turned serious as we got to May and how I was trying to shield myself from the conflicted feelings I had for my classmate, that I shouldn't feel the way I do. Admitting to Lorelai that I knew Jess took my Dean bracelet and that it was the easiest assumption that I could make, and that I really didn't feel like it was a big deal, that her and Dean pushed me into a panic to search around for it all over. I couldn't understand how I was drawing more into Paris' words as our study hours started to add up, that I was looking at her physical features more, finding them much to my liking. Hiding all that behind the wall that was my 'crush' on Jess, my last-chance gasp at trying to confirm my attraction to the opposite sex.

Explaining as I asked her not to interrupt (I was feeling emotional and didn't want to lose focus and then fall into a crying jag), how I felt touched to be her VP candidate and that I wanted to make up the lost time our friendship lost over our first summer. Her devotion got to me, the little things she did and said, that she didn't want to lose, she would do anything good for someone's vote. After a while the speech I gave fellow students to make it known Paris was the best candidate was no longer hollow, that the words started to have meaning.

We then come to the day of the wedding, minutes after I kiss Jess, which doesn't surprise my mom as I admit to it ("I had a feeling," she confided). After hearing from her that Dad wasn't going to be back with her and I told her I was going to DC, sitting near the pond, watching the water. My mind is shocked to find nothing sparked when I kissed Jess on impulse. All I could hear instead, is that beautiful female voice in my ears, saying she had the election sealed, and that I should be ready to leave for a Capital Summer.

Nothing I could feel at all with Jess. Instead, I think of myself next to Paris as the results are read to confirm the election, and how triumphant we feel hearing the results in our favor. We smile at each other, and then before I can take it back, my imagination has Paris and I, eye to eye, looking at each other. "Thank you, Rory," she says, as she brings herself near me. "You're welcome," I say back...

And then she kisses me, the exact way Jess did minutes before. Except this time, I feel this dream buss more physically and spiritually, it's so much more powerful. It's only a dream, something I think would never happen. Her soft hair in my hands, her hands on the small of my back. Just like Jess.

Except it was Paris, someone I shouldn't have felt that way about. I explained my insecurities over the summer and fall about developing my attraction for her, how having her only six feet away and listening to her sleep talking dreams and found them cute instead of earplug-worthy, that being with her only for two months, away from the distractions of the boys and Stars Hollow made it easier for me to determine that pursuing something with her was for the best.

"What if she would've gone out with a boy, would you have accepted it?" Mom wondered. That got me laughing as I remembered back to Jamie and all that happened with him.

"She did and all I wanted to do was hope he made her pay for a dinner at McDonald's," I joked. "But I could tell she was going through the motions with that guy, she didn't even feel any kind of attraction to him really. He was nice and that was appealing, but she never was looking for a relationship with him, and I was so thankful the date didn't work out. She didn't even know she had a date with him until I made it clear to her." That memory made me gleeful that I was the only one whom she really got excited about datewise.

"So you pretty much used that guy as a guidepoint about how to go further with her?" Mom was starting to calm down and understand everything and see that that this wasn't inspired by some random thought or a sociology experiment where we tried to understand what was behind the mind of the stars of Girls Gone Wild commercials.

"It really helped me out and told me that I just might have a chance to just maybe get to her. I knew it was risky and if I didn't approach things just right, friendship between us would never be an option again." I frowned, sighing. "But I had to try, I have to take risks, like I did when I went to Chilton in the first place. If I wouldn't have done it, I would go the rest of my life wondering what might have been."

I was truthful about everything, being vocal about how I wanted Paris and all I did on purpose the last three months to assure that she would be mine. Going on and on about her, surprising Lorelai with all the little things she didn't know about Par, how much her crap mother had almost insured she would forever be a loner, it was all laid out there on the table, bare. I was still scared of the small possibility that I'd be forced to break up with her, but my fears started to melt away as I continued on and made sure that it was known I was gay for the right reasons, not to get a good grade by distracting her or silly experimentation, that this was serious. I didn't even make any jokes or witty remarks, not feeling it the right time to regard anything between us as a joke yet.

A half-hour later, and with everything out in the open (including the fact Miss Patty knew), I had bared my heart out to my mom, who listened to why I was with Paris seriously. She made the occasional 'Ice Queen' remark, but I stopped her each time. All I could hope for is that she was happy for me, no matter who I loved. I was on that couch, my mouth dried from explanations, my stomach in a knot from so much nervousness. Downcast, I tried not to think the worst, but had it in mind just in case. We looked at each other firmly, as I felt like a disappointment, while Mom was searching for where her 'little Rory' went all of the sudden. Her jacket was opened, and she was thinking about everything that I just said.

Please don't hate me Mom, I monologue, I never meant to hurt you, but I just want to be happy. I like her, and she likes me, we've had fun together and we both work well mutually. I know you're not a bigot, and I just want you to feel that Paris is a good woman, she's not going to break my heart or abuse my trust, I know it, she's not going to be possessive over me. She stayed silent for a moment, looking me over, and I saw realization in Mom's eyes.

That I had crossed a threshold in my life. Instead of doing what was expected by the town, her, and my grandparents, I had gone on my own, proving that with my turning eighteen a month ago, I can be strong, think for myself, and fall for who I wanted to. Pressure wasn't going to stop me from keeping what I wanted.

But I knew she had her fears, too. "Are you sure you're prepared for this, kiddo?"

"Mom, I know what I'm doing," I said confidently.

"Now you do, but once this gets out, you might change your mind pretty quickly." My gaze locked sternly on her as I became defensive again.

"I think that's unlikely, Mom," I groaned out. "If someone doesn't like us together then I don't want to know them."

"God, this is so odd...I never would've thought about this at all." She grimaced, trying to keep her feelings in check. "You and Paris...what did she do to attract your attention, build an origami bouquet out of notebook paper?"

I smiled at her. "Mom!"

"Talked...nerdy to you." Oh geeze, she was using her flirting voice. "Rory, want to come over after school and expand the Pythagorean Theorem with me?"

"You're not going to stop, are you?" I theorized. "She was just herself, she gave me that opening last year, and I just jumped into it."

For once, my mom, queen of biting on the most obvious of lines, decided to let that one slide, holding up her hand, saying she wasn't touching it. I knew she wanted to really badly, but from the look she was giving me, Mom was trying to accept who I was, no matter her reservations and what she thought of Paris in the past. I made her understand that it was fine to joke about her when we weren't together, but I was less willing to accept any cracks now that I know her as my girlfriend, which came along with her burying herself in schoolwork for not only the academic aspirations she had, but to flee her mother's influence.

I was right about the conversation going from 'how could you do this' to 'how I will accept this'. She eventually moved over to the couch and I finally confided in her more about what's been hidden from her since the summer, the long glances, the ways I tried to get her to see things my way, how really, Paris isn't a bad person at all, just a bit off-kilter when things don't go her way. Lorelai saw it my way, not how she might have interpreted it.

Once I got to admitting the celebratory wine and my spontaneous Porsche test drive, there was some uneasiness, I admit. Describing how I took the curve so fast, then how I slammed down the last glass of red right from the bottle days earlier, she went mom card on me and told me to be careful and politely refuse next time.

"It was just a one time thing," I assured her. "Wish fulfillment. She had the wine ready to go for months, and we weren't going anywhere, so I thought it was safe."

"Yeah, but you two drunk...you don't want to do something you might regret."

"We weren't going to do anything, she's still scared about intimacy," I admitted, sighing. "That's about the only frustrating thing about going into a relationship with her, she's only dated, never had a relationship."

"I didn't know. I guess I just assumed that well...Porsche, going really fast, she was trying to be aggressive."

I shook my head. "Not at all, just a girl excited about her first real date where she wouldn't be dumped afterwards."

Mom seemed to start thinking of Paris beyond her stereotypical view of the girl, finally figuring out why exactly I saw myself with her more than I could with Dean. It was a sudden change as she stopped cutting her down and started to understand the way I saw her.

"I really wasn't thinking, was I? I just saw you and her, jumped to a conclusion, and I almost scared her."

"No, you scared her," I said, rolling my eyes. "She's probably in my room thinking she really screwed up big time."

"I didn't mean to," she admitted. "Just first instinct, I didn't know you were going to defend her so vigorously. I thought this was just pure experimentation and that's all."

I shrugged and shook my head. "I'm afraid not." She moved over to sit next to me, and we started to wind down the talk. "I fought this for so long and I just didn't know what to feel, and I know I should've talked to you about it. I just...I thought I could handle it just fine alone."

Mom then reminded me that my age didn't always mean to stop asking for advice from her. "Kiddo, just because you're 18 doesn't mean that you're completely independent; you still need to come to me with things like this. I know I'm not exactly the best authority when it comes to these kinds of things."

"Your explanation that Ellen on the episode where she came out wanted to be a 'really, really, big best friend' to her future girlfriend proved that well," I noted with a smirk.

"True, but I can't sugarcoat this, this is a big change for you. People are going to look at you differently once they learn who you're kissing; they're going to be judgmental and harsh."

"I know that."

"Though I'm definitely going to be there when you have to come out to Grandma."

Thanks for reminding me, trying not to imagine that! I smiled a little, thinking about how my grandmother might faint upon hearing who I'm going out with. "See, there's a bright side to this."

"Seriously, we're talking a popcorn, Dots and Coke-worthy outburst. I can just imagine it now, 'But Rory, there are plenty of guys out there, why take a girl?' 'Most of them are jerks and my girlfriend is a walking, talking Cliff Notes, she looks really hot in yellow and black.' 'Claude Birchmont has a good personality and a perfect pedigree and bloodline however, what can you say about Paris?' 'Well she really knows how to lick--'"

I was laughing at her horrible imitation of the both of us, along with her obscene observations "Mom! Oh my God..."

"Oooh, oooh, I also forgot about Taylor, can you imagine her at a town meeting? She'll get on his nerves worse than Luke, citing obscure statutes and 200 year-old laws to make her point!"

"The town meetings have lost a little spice lately since he busied himself with launching his loyalty card program." I shook my head, feeling nervous. "I just hope you're willing to give her a chance. Paris doesn't grate on me as much, you just have to know she does things her own way."

"I know..." Lorelai smiled at me. "You know, hon, I would've never thought of you with her, but really, I can see it, and I should've from the beginning. She's about the only one who can match you conversationally word for word, she's intelligent, and she'll definitely keep you on track." She started to feel contrite for her outburst earlier. "I shouldn't have said she was using you for a grade advantage, I was being a bitch."

"No, you were being a mom," I corrected, still feeling a little guilty. "Paris tried to keep herself under control, but I pushed her into making out with me." Sheepishly, I sighed.

Mom found another opening with that. "So you're trying to be the man in the relationship?"


Quickly she cleared up why she said that. "I mean the one trying to lead her, make her feel comfortable with everything. It looks like I'll have to calm her down majorly when I get in there and talk to her."

"I had to be careful to make my intentions clear, she's been burned by her dates in the past horribly. She has to talk things out with her psychiatrist at least twice a month and I don't want to do anything that freaks her out."

Mom and I continued to talk for another few minutes about how I found out that I liked girls, and then Paris, as I bared my soul to her. Obviously she asked if anything involving Dad or Max gave me second thoughts about relationships, and I had to assure her that she wasn't to blame for my choices in love. This was all me, a combination of hormones, an iffy history with Dean and Paris's chemistry coming together to form that conclusion. As a protective measure I decided not to mention the pro/con list, hopeful that Paris wouldn't reveal that either. The last thing Mom needed when it came to me was to learn I made romantic decisions via a method comparable to a spreadsheet.

I was able to explain myself with minimal interruption and was finally able to make Mom understand without having any kind of scene develop, and by the end of our talk, she had gone from unsure to pretty understanding with just a bit of protectiveness about us. Still, on the fly I knew that eventually she had to lay down some kind of law, and though there was a sense she could trust me, it for our own good we needed some boundaries, thus some new rules were added to the Gilmore Dating Handbook specifically for Paris and I.

The first rule: I had to keep the door open at all times Paris was in the bedroom. I didn't like it, but I could live with it. Also out the window were any rides in her Porsche and a curfew was laid down for when we had to be home.

"If it's OK with her," she added, "I'd also like her to pay half for snacks whenever we have a movie night."

"I'm sure she'll agree to that, despite her opinion that black licorice tastes better than Red Vines."

Mom voiced her shock over that fact. "Blasphemy, how can she think that?"

"Hey, I'm her girlfriend and I don't understand it." I was laughing about that, as Mom continued with some rules, including Paris having dinner at Luke's once a week, which I'm sure she'd agree to, though Luke might have some major reservations.

"Is that it?" I asked.

"Almost...just one more thing: she has to go in a sleeping bag or the couch if she stays over."

Frowning, I objected to that. "Aw man, she really hates both." But Mom was unyielding, claiming she would eventually get used to either of the uncomfortable surfaces.

No need to bring in how she sleeps, I thought to myself, knowing I might get deeper if I happened to mention how comfortable my girlfriend's bed was. But thankfully, those were the only rules Mom applied, though she said she'd be flexible if something else came up between us. I was just glad that she understood I meant no harm at all to her with what I was doing, and that I was being as cautious as I could be.

What surprised me was when I told her this, Mom hugged me and then told me not to fret over everything, that she understood that I was going after something that was frowned upon by society, and that I shouldn't have to fear everything that comes up. "Kiddo, really, don't hold back just because I have all of these fears for you, just know what you're doing with this. You know I really can't stop you, but I trust you so much, and if that involves somehow getting close to Paris, then I guess I'll just have to understand that."

"Are you sure?"

"Just be careful, you know how she is."

"Mom, we'll be fine, we've had worse happen to us," I reminded her, noting my bad middle school experiences and her introverted ways, "She has a way with words, and that'll help if someone objects."

"I know, just worried." It was just at that time that my stomach had to grumble, reminding the both of us the first question asked before we got caught. Blushing, I commented that maybe it was time to go get that pizza we all needed.

"Yeah, I think so too. But this time you better go to Joe's, that way Paris and I have time to talk alone."

"Good idea, it might be good for her to focus when I'm not here." Mom took the needed money out from her purse and gave it to me. "I know what we want, and Paris as always has no cheese on her pie."

"Yeah, you kind of remember those things."

I started heading out to the front, but not before being thankful that Lorelai was on my side. "Thanks for understanding all of this Mom. I love you."

"I love you too," she said with a genuine smile. "Thanks for being honest with me and telling me everything. I promise you I'll be the same way with Paris."

"I know you will," I said, and headed out the door to pick up the pizzas, feeling less of a weight on top of my shoulders than I had before I got home. I was glad that Mom was as cool with it as she was, and that she'll be on our side. I wasn't going to break her trust because it was so tentative, but the acceptance was all I wanted, expected, needed.

In the clear November night as I headed downtown, I was glad to be out to Mom. There was a chance for this to build, and she wasn't going to break us apart. My mind was more at ease, my stomach more settled, and relieved, knowing that Lorelai was done attacking Paris, and ending her teasing of the girl. I needed that, and hopefully things would be easier.

Although there was still that image of my brain of Paris' uncovered torso. Damn, it was nice, and I know I shouldn't have looked, but once you get a taste, you can't stop thinking about it. Why I developed a perverted mind around her I'll never know...

I made my order at Joe's, and the counter guy told me it would be about twenty minutes for the pizzas to be done, so there was some free time to wile away as I waited for our food. It was dark, but I was in the mood for a walk around the town square, so that's what I did. The cool air made my puffs of breath visible, and I felt a chill in my ears strolling around the area. My mind on was on so many things, including homework and the paper, but mostly it was on Paris.

How was she taking my mom talking to her, and with our discovery, was she going to withdraw and decide to delay telling Mrs. Gellar? I'm not pushing her at all and she can tell her when she's ready. Even so, to have who she probably regards as 'the cool mom' decide to jump to conclusions and go with a theory she wanted me for my grades, I could sense that she went to having some confidence about outing herself to her mom to feeling that guilt that comes back when she does something wrong. I know she withdraws into herself and I have to draw her back out, and that she's very nervous about everything that's come with this so far.

But I keep thinking about the weekend, and that maybe she was playing a tease on purpose with me, what with the texting and showing off her dress, she was feeling ready to come out to play a little more, push things a little further. I really can't explain how she would go braless on purpose out here to town; I know she's told me she hates her confining bras, but she seems to revel in the attention I give her when she's in something that pushes up her goods into something that gives me a good view. Besides, her friend is Louise Grant, flirt extraordinaire; she's had to take at least one hint from that girl to keep me hook, line, and sinker.

She was playing with me this weekend, and she knew it. But Mom was about to ruin that progress and I thought that somehow she'd try to encourage Par to be a little more restrained when it came to us, maybe go back to clothes not showing off her figure and being the complacent society girl once again.

I already had that type of partner though in Dean. If I wanted that I wouldn't have tried anything with Paris. I want her to flirt, to be a tease, known only to me for having a wild side. Her Porsche, the way her legs look in a leather skirt, the way that drone of hers just makes me wish her voice could be transferred into the form of perfect vibrations that in the right place could make me wet. The way she says my full name when I'm in a spot of trouble with her, she yells it out and suddenly I feel like the naughty little girl who put the whoopee cushion under teacher's seat, getting a nice little thrill out of what I did.

And no, that isn't my inner vixen talking, that's all me, wanting to be naughty. Within moments it was translating Lorelai's rules speech into my head, and that vixen was trying to find the many, many loopholes that weren't closed and will probably not be known by her unless someone calls her and tells on us. Not to be cocky, but I think that most everyone finds us both innocent, they wouldn't consider us sexually in any kind of way. Do they even realize that most of us smarties usually read many books a month, and that some of them just might get our blood pumping? Also, you have to consider the many aspects of academic competition, spending hours upon hours with eyes strained in front of computer terminals, microfilm readers, trying to build our arguments or a story with past references in The Franklin. The rare opportunity to see Paris' face light up as she finds something that will be the dagger to win a debate, her bright look as she describes in a frenzy that this will have Bridgeport East quaking where they stand.

You thought she was giddy after winning a debate last year, imagine her with you to 'celebrate' a win! I warmed at that very thought and felt a smile creep on my face. Then I lost my concentration for a moment, and before I knew it I felt myself crash into something as I thought of my girl thanking me for victory.

Dazed, I tried to get my bearings, and thought I bashed myself into something like a fruit cart or a bench. The impact was soft however, so I immediately ruled them out upon looking up to see Miss Patty looking down at me with a smirk on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

"Careful there, honey, the next time you'll meet a Beetle if you don't keep your wits about you." I smacked myself on the forehead and started to apologize for getting in her way.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry, Miss Patty, I didn't see you coming, uh...hi."

"Hello Rory," she drawled. "What's got you out here on such a beautiful night?"

"Just waiting for sustenance. Mom sent me out to pick up pizza for her and I..." Should I share that she knows? I thought, trying to wonder if it was a good opportunity to broach it. There wasn't anyone around and both Patty and I were close to the depot, but I never know in this town. Still, it wasn't like everyone in town cared, so what the heck? "...Paris is there too, so we're getting her something."

"I'm sure she is," she responded back with a knowing look. "You two are really working out well, aren't you?"

"Yeah." I was so on-edge. There had to be some way to keep the conversation vague and with veiled entendres. "She's really helpful lately, keeping my grades in line, I needed that help."

"Anything getting in your way? I see that Dean hasn't been doing that well since things ended."

I think she was trying to help me keep things low. "Nothing out of the ordinary. As for Dean, I wouldn't know anything." I could be truthful there, I tried to avoid the market whenever possible, Dean so set in his ways that I had his schedule memorized. I specifically told Lane not to mention him at all in conversation, and the few times I had seen him it looked like all the wind had been sucked out of him. I could feel a little sympathy for him, but I've thrown myself so into Paris that I don't even give it a second thought.

"How is she doing?" Patty asked.

Shrugging, I described the weekend and how tough it was on the both of us. "She was stuck in the middle of a hell party and just hated it."

"I'm sure you kept her entertained," she said with a hint of mischief. All I could do within the public setting is knowingly smile and mention how thankful I was for modern technology like cameraphones and quick text messaging. Still, even trying my best to hide things, she could sense that there was something up that I was retrieving pizza instead of waiting for it to be delivered.

She put her hand my shoulder and comforted me. "Dear, come on, I know why you're here."

"No, just getting pizza," I lied, shrugging it off. "Sometimes it's good to get exercise before you load yourself all full of junk food and candy."

"You never pick up your pizza though, I know all." Damn, Miss Patty really does have a photographic memory. "Now really, what's a girl like you doing out at a time like this?"

Shrugging, I felt a little weighted from what I was holding back, and I had to say something. "Could we...I'm trying to burn off some time until I have to pick up the pizzas." I pointed towards the depot down the street to hold off any insinuation of 'we need to talk' aloud. It didn't take the older woman long to realize that what I had to say wasn't town business.

"Of course." She nodded, and both of us walked towards and into the dance studio, where she shut the door quickly and made sure there wasn't a stray student or townsperson in the building to eavesdrop in on us. I think I sort of looked downtrodden and exhausted from having to pour my heart out and defend Paris.

Why, even after talking things out with Lorelai and being assured that she was going to learn to live with it, did I feel like a bad child who shouldn't have tried to do what I did in the first place? I felt shamed because of the way that we got caught and I still felt a minor buzz of arousal all the way through. I didn't need Miss Patty to understand the fact that I was caught, but that I was uneasy about trying to stay chaste when I wanted more.

After she asked what happened, I came out with it right away.

"We got caught, Paris and I."

"Ahh," she exclaims, almost like she expected it. "I thought you were going to tell her."

"In two weeks I was, she was too." I shook my head. "But reality had other plans."

"She didn't walk in on you two...intimate, did she?"

"Thank God no, but we were making out on my bed, Paris was on top, and it was pretty clear." I told Patty about everything, the defending, the talk afterward, the fear that Paris was going to shy away from me once again.

Miss Patty found it funny, and after I was done, told me she thought it was one of the few ways besides a confession she knew I was going to come out to my mom. She compared it to her own teenage years back in Cuba, where her father happened to discover her with the local town smart guy as she was trying to...let's say give him some experience. That's what I love about her, no matter what year she's in, Miss Patty always proves that she's never lead a boring life.

Both of us talked in serious terms for a while, her assuring me that she knew Lorelai would eventually warm up to everything, and that Paris will settle down too. I thought the same way, and I was just so thankful that the first person to know about us helped to calm me down.

After some more talking though, I could tell that Miss Patty was in digging mode, getting inquisitive with her questions. "So, how soft are Paris' hands when she's touching you?"

"I...I'm not sure how to answer that," I stumbled out.

"Child, she seems like she's quite fierce, I can see it in your eyes." She smiled at me, and my mouth dropped open.

"What do you mean?"

"Rory dear, you look like you were rudely interrupted in the middle of having an intimate moment."

"How can you tell that?" I wondered.

"Just the way you're sitting, it shows, you're edgy, like you need to finish yourself off or have a cigarette." She laughed as I got a sense of how I was sitting exactly. Usually I feel relaxed and calm, but instead I had my legs clenched together, my fingernails running in the grain of the wooden folding chair. I could still feel my face flare with embarrassment long after it should've faded, and my mind was secondarily occupied with Mom and Paris at the house, imagining a situation where my girlfriend was being nervous and combative.

"I shouldn't be doing anything with her so fast," I said to her, trying to explain my state. "It's just she looked so cute and I was looking at her all night, and she's so beautiful, but we should be focusing on work."

Smirking, she reminded me of my mindset when Paris had the idea to begin with. "Well that's why it's called a study date, isn't it?"

"Yeah, but it should be more study than date!" I threw my hands up high, spreading them out. "I tried to keep in control of my hormones and just think seriously, but she's laying on that bed wearing those jeans and that shirt playing peek-a-boo with me, and it took all I had not to just plain jump her!"

"You did it slowly then, the excuse of a massage that turned into more?"

"Mm-hmm, and it worked...at least until Mom got there." I squeaked my sneaker against the wood floor, feeling my frustrations build up again. "I didn't even know I was undressing her and suddenly I'm looking at her top slipping off, all because of my hand. I didn't know, but at the same time, my body wanted more and I'm just...just...you know, like a bottle under pressure and I just want to release the tension."

"Basically," Patty theorized, "you want more, but you don't want Lorelai to catch on too fast."

"It's silly, I know, but appearances are everything." I gritted my teeth, trying to explain. "I imagined all of this over months and months, and now that it's a reality I keep forgetting that I'm two years older, yet I'm the school's Mary, and my mother's daughter. I can't get out of that, and now that I'm the one initiating everything, I have to figure out how to tear myself from those labels." I wryly frowned.

Miss Patty, ever the sexually-minded woman, listened to all I had to say with open ears and a good heart, all I had to say. I just wanted to be back with Paris again, and being pulled away was just screwing me up. She saw that, and started to give me advice about things.

"Don't do anything about the labels, no one knows anyways. You should get your kicks in when you can, and slowly, Lorelai will realize that your dear girl isn't a threat and let you do more."

"What do you mean?" I was wondering what she exactly meant.

"You're going back home and Paris is joining you to watch a movie, right?" I nodded. "There you go, you'll get unwound then."

"You're kidding, right?" The woman was sounding crazy to me. "Patty, my mom will be in the same room, watching us like hawks!"

"She doesn't have x-ray vision though, and you're one to use a blanket to keep yourself warm."

Now I knew what she was hinting at, trying to sneak things. Still I was uneasy about doing that. "I'd be breaking her rules though."

"What are they?"

"Pretty much don't do anything in front of her?"

"Then you'll be fine, just flirt with Paris beneath the blanket, and whisper. Trust me dear, I think she's just as frustrated with things; she'll want it." She ran her hand along my shoulder and patted it down. "You're doing fine, but you just gotta keep those wandering eyes away from the both of you."

"Yeah." I smiled again at her, still a little nervous about how I'd pull off hidden flirting. "I just hope that she's open to it."

"You know she will be," Patty assured me as we talked a little more while I waited for the pizzas. It took my mind off things, and thankfully she offered much more advice than I really needed to show Paris discovery wasn't going to be the end of things between us, it's only the beginning.

You should be so thankful that Miss Patty was the one to find out first, I thought to myself after saying goodbye to her and heading back to Joe's for the pizza. Imagine if Taylor had discovered you two.

"Shut up," I told myself; I wasn't going there. The only thing I knew was that Paris and I were still together, my Mom was telling her it was OK, and a movie night with a bad flick ahead for all three of us.

Maybe a little rule-breaking too, along with other things...

"Babe? Rory? Hey, the film's almost over, it's time for Rapunzel to get back to her evil mother in Hartford." I felt a shaking against my shoulder, trying to get comfy with what I thought was a pillow. I opened up my eyes slowly, trying to let the light shock filter slowly. I had no idea where I was, much less what time it was.

"I'm sorry, I'd stay a little longer, but she's getting worried, Ror." Another voice, only this one I recognized from my dream moments before.

"Wha---what's happening?" I finally woke up, and realized that the 'pillow' I lay my head on wasn't that.

The itching should've tipped me off, along with the fuzz and static cling in my hair. I looked up to find Paris' gazing down at me.

"You fell asleep about the time the events started building. It was definitely god-awful, as your mom promised."

"Oh, in the movie, right." I rubbed the sleep out, realizing then that I had fallen asleep nuzzling against Paris's shoulder. "But I usually can watch it all without getting bored."

"It wasn't the boredom, kiddo," my mom interjected, "you didn't get much sleep over the weekend and it's just catching up with you." The all-nighter I pulled on Sunday night to review my classes for today suddenly seemed like a bad idea. I tried to bring myself up, but I then realized that before I started my nap, playing with each other beneath the blanket caused two things to happen, one of them being that my arm was stung numb from draping it across Paris' back, and then placing my hand at the side of her waist. Both of us were beyond relaxed and comfortable.

Of course, what she exactly did to get me into that state was what really got me to fall asleep. Her hand was still against my thigh. Now regularly, that's not a problem, all lovers do that, right?

That hand, however, was spread all along my jeaned flesh, with her pinky finger still in the unzipped area of my pants, alternating between playing with the denim, and then the zipper, and finally the now cool cotton beneath dampened by my wetness. Both of us had taken Miss Patty's advice and played beneath the blanket. I went with pawing her up without Mom noticing, while Paris decided to go lower. At first it was tentative and I felt Lorelai's gaze weigh upon me, Paris playing with my jeans zipper and pushing the hem of my sweatshirt up as she took advantage of my wanting state.

Eventually with each touch softer and softer, wandering along my sides, belly, and then lower than that, I collapsed against her and fell asleep, waking up with several popcorn kernels uncomfortably down my shirt, dropped in a drowsy attempt at eating. Some of them ended up in my bra even.

Paris, however, didn't dare disturb me, nor did she leave until she absolutely had to. There she was, still looking at me like she was awed at even being near me.

"Hey," she murmured softly. Without a second thought, she kissed my forehead. I was stunned she did that, and though I darted my look towards mom, by then she was on her way to the kitchen, pizza boxes in hand to put in the mud room for recycling.

"Hello, are you mad?"

"About you falling asleep? Of course not, we have to catch rest when we can sometimes. But I should've listened to you earlier and went with a sweatshirt, your face looks like a rash broke out." Laughing, her thumb ran along the texture of my face, temporarily patterned with the wool shapes of her sweater. "Besides, after this day you definitely needed some quiet time away from me."

"But I wanted to spend more time with you...awake." I felt sad since I wouldn't have the usual five days this week to be with her, only 3 1/2 before Wednesday afternoon, when she had to join the Thanksgiving rush and catch a flight with Sharon to Daytona Beach, where she'd spend the holiday weekend with her hated maternal relatives.

"You defended me today, hon, you deserve to rest," she said softly, her face covered with a slight smirk. "I should really thank you for dealing with your mom in that way, I didn't know how she'd accept it, especially after I panicked and she threw all those accusations at me." I just shrugged; I did it for the sake of defending her as my girlfriend, it was something I'd do for anyone, really.

"I didn't really do all that much, I just stated my case and hoped that would be enough."

"God, you're so modest...and stubborn." She pushed me up, and I was able to get my zipper back up as she told me exactly what my confession meant to her. "I was ready to give everything up, but you just jumped right in and stopped me from self-destructing, you don't know how thankful I am you turned this around."

"Hey," I soothed, settling a hand onto hers. "you're my girlfriend, and we need to get through this all together, so don't start doubting yourself now. You certainly haven't before at all, you stubborn mule." Her eyes squinted for a moment as she gave me a warning glare and a gritted out 'Rory!' in jest. Both of us got up and kept our eye contact strong.

"Yes, but this isn't a test score, this is real life," she said softly. "Ms. LaCosta and your mother are fine with us, but that was to be expected. We still have so many people to convince that we're a couple and we mean no harm."

"One at a time, that's how we do it." I scratched the nail of my thumb inside of her palm. "This wasn't the perfect time to come out, but better that we have it out of the way, because now you have a place to go to when things get too rough at home."

"Really? You're sure about that?" Paris smiled and I nodded.

"You're coming here once a week anyways per my mom, but I definitely want to see you more often than that."

"Me too." I felt silly staring at Paris the way I did, and I'm sure she felt out-of-body, the both of us falling so fast, and already breaking my mom's rules despite her insistence. "It's too bad I'm stuck in Florida this weekend; I was looking forward to the both of us at the Civic Center serving for the Hartford Mission Dinner Thursday morning." I could tell how depressed she was about it, for it was one of Paris' favorite ways to show her compassion for the community. "This year I was finally going to get turkey and gravy duty. I've moved up the totem from pumpkin pie since I was eleven."

"Maybe next year?" I wondered, hopeful.

"I'm not sure, they usually try to go for new blood after high school graduation." She sighed, trying to push her bitterness down. "I guess I'll live with it, though the Pats better win in Detroit, otherwise the whole day's a loss for me."

I assured her that I was going to make it bright somehow. "I'll call, I promise."

"And I'll know, silently, my phone has a vibration function, along with software to make it ring or shake however I want."

"Oh yeah?" Curiously, I wondered exactly what I was under. "Please tell me you don't have me under the chorus for Along Comes Mary." Always nice to make yet another dent in that nickname Tristan gave me so long ago, but is quickly becoming untrue.

"That's a good one, I'll have to remember that for when I get bored. But for now, it's simpler than that," she told me, "just your name in Morse code, ROR, both in vibrating and audible form. Everyone else thinks it's just my calendar reminder, and they don't suspect a thing."

I was awed by that simple touch of cuteness on her part, being saluted in such a secretive way. "And they say languages are dead, you're still putting it to use quite well there."

"I have to admit, you've softened me, Gilmore; everyone else except Daddy, the girls, and my Harvard assistant get the default, but for you, I can make an exception." Both of us got up as my mom came back into the living room.

"So," she directed her attention at Paris, "you had fun."

Paris nodded affirmatively, the tightness in her voice gone from hours before. "I really enjoyed the movie, Ms. Gilmore."

"You're never going to call me by my first name, are you?" Lorelai shook her head, smirking.

"One day, but for now, I'm minding my manners." Her messenger bag was at the side of the couch, and she slid it onto her shoulder. "I'm sorry again for the way I reacted...just stress and all." Her apology was genuine, and Mom was pleased to hear it, smiling at the girl before letting us both head for the foyer for our goodbyes.

"It's OK, I should be apologizing for the same thing. Who knows, maybe one day we'll both look back on this and laugh, and laugh, and laugh." She approached the both of us, and stood near Paris, trying to make her as comfortable as can be. "I'm still recovering from this, but really, you have a place to come here if you ever have any problems at home. We're not going to turn you away Paris. I'm trusting you with my daughter there," she then pointed at me, "and I don't want you to feel uncomfortable with me, I'm cool. Like a cucumber. In Arctic ice with a cherry on top and a penguin adding it to his glass for a saltwater cocktail--"

"Mom, I think she gets it," I interrupted, trying to get Paris home before Sharon blows a gasket. Unfortunately, this led to the true beginning of the 'Paris and Rory like each other' teasing I know will be a new routine with her.

"Oh boy, someone wants to pucker up! You better watch out, Paris, she's hot for you!" She giggled like a schoolgirl at her own joke, her sense of humor so warmed. She expected Paris to laugh, but instead my girl gave off a blank stare.

"Uhh, all right then, apparently you're both too tired to make a comeback." She finished off on a more serious note. "Drive safely then. Goodnight Paris."

"Thank you, Ms. Gilmore, and please, keep that film hidden out of my sight." She shyly smiled, and Mom went back to the kitchen for more popcorn as I showed Paris to the door, the both of us still happy about how everything turned out. I placed my hand on the doorknob and watched Paris slide her arms through her jacket as she put it on.

"Do you feel better about your chances with everything?" I asked, enveloping her college interview within the coming out and acceptance concerns.

"I felt doubts ease tonight; this was a great idea, Gilmore. Thanks a lot for everything, I'll go over my answers on the tape and construct replies from there."

"Anything to help," I confirmed. "Now we just have to get you over these unfounded Wizard of Oz fears." I grinned as she rolled her eyes. "Come on, it's a very sweet movie."

Leave it to my favorite classmate to ruin the magic of a film like that for me, forever. "It's a commentary on the incompetence of municipal politics, bad road design and messy ethnic relations between several groups of citizens. You really haven't thought about how maybe the Wicked Witches felt abused by the system tilted towards the needs of those damned little people and that Emerald City? She's an anachronistic woman stuck in her own ways as the Yellow Brick Road goes through her backyard while four disparate wanderers hope some nut job with fancy special effects can make their dreams come true and plot to bring her down. And then Dorothy, playing her 'cute card' to get out of the fact her house squashed the Wicked Witch of the East! She should've been tied up for weeks in the Munchkinland Police Department filing paperwork..."

Oh dear, she's going to run out of oxygen, I thought as she went on with her theories. Once she got to her 'Buddy Ebsen's Tin Man makeup was sabotaged' theory, I noticed just how fired up she was, her brow furrowed up, mouth looking so delectable around those plump pink lips, and how hot her voice sounded deep in a silly pop culture argument. I felt my heart speed up, blood pumping faster.

Yes, I was getting turned on by her anger, and loving all of the points she kept shooting at me. I loved seeing her this way, all flustered and passionate, but she had to get going soon, unless she liked Sharon grounding her for a week for 'worrying her'.

"Paris, you do realize that you're applying real world politics to a fictional world," I argued. "Whatever Baum had in his head, who cares, it's a great book and film."

"It is not..." I knew one way to win this argument, and it wasn't going to be with words. Keeping all of my attention on her, I gave her another once-over, and decided to make her want to get home...really fast.

"You might be scared of the movie," I whispered softly, wrapping my arms at her waist, "but you know that Dorothy in that gingham dress gets you hot." Bringing her closer to me, I laid a quick peck against her lip.

"What do you mean?" she asked. "How do I think of her sexually?"

"Oh, not her, the character, or Judy Garland. You don't remember my talking about the Halloween Festival here last year during a lunch talk, do you?"

Naturally she was confused about my sudden tangent. "Am I supposed to remember that?"

"You probably should've, considering you excused yourself to the restroom after I told you my costume choice." I nipped at her lip once again. "I was Dorothy last year, remember? I have the perfect All-American looks to pass for her, so I decided what the heck, let's go as that. Dean was a scarecrow, but wearing a straw hat and overalls just didn't put him into character that much, he sucked."

Slowly, I brought an arm up along her side as she gritted her teeth, trying to remember the details. "Isn't it appropriate for a small-town girl like me to go as a small-town girl after all? The day after, I describe the costume at lunch to you and Maddy, how it fit perfectly, Mom's design of the ruby slippers was a dead-ringer, how it was fun to go around town with tons of candy in my basket."

"Rory--" her monotone was a shriek, and I felt her body react as I moved that hand higher and higher, pushing aside the jacket.

"You can admit it to me, don't feel shy. You go to bed, and you recall that memory of me describing my costume, thinking of me as a Dorothy, wanting me, to corrupt me further. Because I have..." I cupped a hand along the bottom of her breast. "I remember thinking of that months later, the day after we won the election, my mind a jumble because of Jess. I got my mind off my kiss with him by thinking of you, how I felt. Your nicknames for me, like farm girl, Dixie Chick, Pollyanna, Fairest of the Fair--"

"I never called you that last one," she interjected, a creaky voice betraying her.

"No, but I know you've thought it. I know you probably think of me by every Disney princess name except for Jasmine and Ariel because I don't like showing off my belly and I'd make a hideous redhead. You've always thought of me as innocent before we came together." I bent down and kissed her softly, letting my tongue drift along her inside lips, her vanilla tinged taste returning to my memory once again. She fell into me and I shifted my other hand towards her rear. Paris was enjoying what I was doing to her, no matter that it was driving her up a wall.

I let the kiss fall apart slowly, looking at her deep, lusty glare, her mind spinning with everything under the sun. I brought her back towards where I was going. "You know when we were playing tonight, that was on purpose, right? That I'd like to get to know you more intimately?"

"Uh-huh." She sounded like she had to ask permission of a teacher to go further with me.

"Suffice to say, I imagine you in the worst ways possible, and get off to them. I got off to the thought of you dressing me down to nothing but ruby slippers, and I know that you get wet at trying to take my innocence." She inhaled a breath.

"Maybe a couple times I dreamed of it..." she wandered off, looking at me, her legs suddenly seeming to quake. "Or one afternoon I visualized it."

I smiled, glad to get it out of her. "I knew you did, Par." I used the three fingers of my right hand to play around with the soft flesh of her breast, obscured by the sweater and cami. "Which is why I relish every layer I see you out of." She couldn't respond as my index fingerprint made contact with her prone nipple. "Getting caught made me hot, and watching you with that shirt down is leaving me with a deeper want for you, it just stirred me up in the right way."

"What if you get caught now though?" she asked, my nail rubbing around the flesh. "God, that feels nice."

"If we are, we'll deal, but what she doesn't know can't hurt her." I kissed her one more time. "My mind has been haunted by you for months, and darned if I'm going to restrict myself to just kissing and making out. I've thought of you sexually, you have too, and we can't go back from there, right?"


"My mom will be fine, she'll come around, as long as you relax. But for now, don't let anything stop you from thinking about me the way you do, including rules. I like you Paris, and I'm not going to stop anytime soon." I smiled, and let her go, watching her ease from my grip, feeling wound up, her face burning up from my insinuations. Man, I just love getting her this way, it throws her off, but I know she loves it. She slid her jacket back on and readjusted her bag strap, brushing some stray hair from her face.

She told me how much she appreciated my flirting. "I just still can't believe your mom is OK with us. It's strange to be like this, in a relationship, being accepted. Not all the way, obviously, but my foot's in the door."

I nodded back. "I'll push you in further, I promise."

"I know you will, just be careful."

"I will be," I said.

"Good. I'll see you early in the morning, don't forget to look over some of the ads on the Franklin intranet, I have a few I'm wavering on as far as design."

"I won't, I hope you have a good night."

"You too, Gilmore." She flashed her smile one last time and prepared to leave as I looked at her, wanting just a few more minutes more with that beguiling woman who's come to make my life a whirlwind the last three weeks. Again my heart felt a letdown like coming off a caffeine high, and I savored the taste of her last kiss in my mouth as I turned around, hearing the lockset turn when she opened the door.

I was about to come back into the living room...

"Hey, you know what?" Paris' voice went into a sharp tone, the way she said something on her toes. I stopped in my tracks, turning back around to face her holding the door open with her shoe, her deep dark eyes filled with realization.

"Huh?" I thought she'd say something about a topic she just came up with as far as her interview questions. Looking both ways and seeing Mom wasn't back in the living room yet, she called me over to the door, beckoning me in for a whisper. "What popped into your mind?" I asked.

"I am scared of the film," she confessed, "everything I said in front of Lorelai is true as far as that. But sometimes I have role-play fantasies in my mind." She was slow to come out with her admission, flustered to confess. "One of the most common ones I have is indeed, you as a certain Kansas fictional heroine, and I visualize you so perfectly, down to the ruby slippers, the hairdo, and that gingham dress." She shuts the door just enough to keep it open but not have anyone peek into the house. "And then I work myself off divesting you of each article and the period-appropriate underwear beneath, most likely obtained via the Sears catalog."

"Oh my God," my voice groans in want, and I feel her lips brush against my earlobe.

"Since I don't think of myself as a good Good Witch and the Wicked Witch guise isn't enjoyable, I usually think of myself as...and you're going to laugh at this."

"No, I'm not," I promised. What could she be? I thought, unable to connect her to a female counterpart to the scarecrow, tin man, or lion. She brought her mouth down to the bottom of my earlobe, and slid her tongue along the soft, sensitive flesh, sliding her lips down and folding it between them.

"Since I have a short height, I believe myself as a Munchkin...and a high-standing member of the Lollipop Guild who happens to have a thing for heroines swept in by cyclones." Her voice deepens, she nips at my earlobe, and then..."The difference is, I really love to lick sweets, enjoy lollipops to a high extreme..." Her hand brushed my upper thigh, then towards my butt. "...along with a inclination towards brunettes tasting of coffee and Red Vines. You know me, I enjoy working my mouth all the time, be it at work..." her teeth graze down the earlobe before she releases it. "...or play."

I kept myself in very tight rein of my body, even though all Paris's sexy words were getting to me. I was hot...and she knew she was getting in that all important last word before she had to leave. She took your home field advantage, my vixen noted, and cornered you hard. She released me, and gave off her secret smile at me as she looked at me dead on, her cheeks standing out and making her seem so invincible.

I'm supposed to be the expert on this relationship, but she's trying to equal the tables. There Paris was, leaving me a mess. Hours and hours of chaos, and she leaves me thinking of her going down on me in full costume, trying to find out what 'click your heels three times and have an orgasm' would cause from the ruby slippers.

"Goodnight, Rory." Her last words were a singsong taunt, her last action a quick kiss as I failed to respond to what she just planted in the front of my brain. I watched shell-shocked as the door shut, and she left me behind, a want to get myself off planted in my mind.

Turnabout's fair play I suppose; I give her the fuel that I find her getting off to me hot, and she tells me about a deep, dark fantasy she carries and will never tell anyone. I expected her to react, but not to turn the tables on me!

You better go and take care of that itch, Rory, you know you want to! To top it all off, let my inner vixen butt in and remind me that I was soaking from her close contact and perfectly selected words, and all I can think is Damn you, Paris...no matter how much I like you, there are just times where you can just get me fired up in the worst way possible!

Really, damn her, for having such great verbal skills, limitless income, a way of winning everything she eyes up, and to have a body like hers that I'm slowly puzzling together, along with her saliva still cooling my earlobe...

I stood there in the hall as Mom came back into the living room, totally lost. She tried to make conversation with me, but all I could do is nod back, listening to her ramble on about my newfound sexuality as I nodded, 'yeah'ed, 'Yes, Mom'ed and 'mm-hmm'ed my way through it, agreeing with such observations as the dance marathon, Paris' completive demeanor getting me riled up, how I'm attracted her bad girl side with the cars and wine, the things I've gone over in my mind many, many times before. Nodding and agreeing, all I could think about through the fifteen minutes was that my bed was calling my name, and it smelled of my girlfriend, contained her hair strands on the pillow, and I needed to indulge myself.

I made some effort to conversate eventually, and she got to a part where she said she still loved me with all she had and would accept me, no matter what. I love my mom, but sometimes her long monologues really get in the way of what I want to do, you know? Finally I yawned, and it was then that Mom noted my tired state.

"It's been a long day, kiddo, you should head off to bed," she said.

"Yeah, I need it," I said back. "I'm glad everything is fine at least."

"You'll both be fine, Rory, just keep things a secret for now, OK?"

"We're not saying anything to anyone else for two weeks." Both of us then went to our bedtime routines after hugs and kisses, and I could go to bed, relieved that I wasn't the 'wrong way' when it came to who I was attracted to.

Maybe not right to bed of course...

Looking out the window as I lay in my bed now, two hours after Paris left and I was able to get in some muted alone time, I feel so tired as I find my mind going over tonight over and over again, my body so relaxed after indulging in getting myself off. My eyes are weighed down with sleep, but I feel much better about indulging in my body in my own bed.

A few weeks before I would've been afraid to, from what I thought was a fear of being caught masturbating by my mom or even someone else. I didn't even try to do anything, preferring the shower to get off to any thought of Dean touching me sexually.

These days however, I theorize that literally I needed to put a damper on my sexual fulfillment, because I never could create enough fantasy material with Dean to keep me satisfied. For some reason I could never think of him coming to Chilton and taking me in the school uniform, nor in a place that you'd think would get me all wound up, the checkout stand at Taylor's. I thought about it once in my dreams, but woke up freaked out by it since his clumsy hands ended up activating the conveyor belt, which ended with me waking up as my skirt, and in turn my butt got sucked in. I'll spare you the further gruesomeness from there, but you can see that my imagination for getting myself off was quite limited with Dean. Either the setting was too dirty (the garage at his house), too noisy (his house), or else was interrupted constantly (remember Clara? She butted in every time!).

I feel less shy however around Paris as far as settings, and once I got into my room and dressed down to my underwear, I started thinking about Paris' Oz fantasy, but without her there I thought it a little disappointing for her not to be able to bring it to life. Instead, I decided to dream about what may have happened had Mom not walked in on us, how both of us would've eventually stripped to panties and undershirts. I let my mind wander around the image of myself taking off Paris' camisole, remembering the image of her exposed naked breast now burned into my mind. She comes back through the stripped shirt, tossing it off to the side, her long silken locks making the view of her breasts as if having to part a transparent curtain. I think of her that way and I feel an air of mystery build up inside of me.

My hands, I thought of them as hers, caressing my body like a tuned instrument, fingers at the underside of my small breasts above my tank top, and then a brush of her fingers along my nipples.

"You know, you'd be a very good heroine, the way you look reminds me of a younger and brunette Linda Hamilton." The only person to make Terminator 2 watchable (damn it, the only reason I watched anyway was because of Mom's strange Edward Furlong crush of 1999!) came into my head, and I felt myself respond more and more. I turn off the bedroom light, going by feel and darkness to make the fantasy more realistic. She tops me, and I gasp as I brush a hand against my dampness, still obscured by my panties.

"You want me so bad, Paris, I know you want me, please." I talk to myself, using my mind to construct responses by DreamParis. Her hands brush up my sides to take off my shirt, freeing my breasts, sore with arousal and want of her attention. Then she kisses me hard, not relenting or making the kisses romantic, these are hard, blood-boiling kisses, designed to get me wetter and wetter.

I keep the fantasy boiling, wandering my fingers to only work my pussy for short periods of time, just enough to get me in the mood, build up the sensitivity. I'm breathing heavily, my body cooling from the building sweat. I play with my breasts, cupping them in my hands, and then I dare her to make me scream. I haven't had such a hard cum before, and the flirting has built up through the night, I'm ready to get off.

Pushing the duvet off my bed with my feet, I arch against the headboard, trying to get into the perfect self-fuck position. I think of her straddling me, commanding me that she will be on top in that deep foreboding voice that has such a command to it when she asks me to do something immediately. Her hand brushes against my pussy in a tortuous way, finding my clit and brushing it through the far ruined cotton soaked deeply with my want of her. I hyperventilate, tightening my mouth to hold back a strangled scream. My nose mixes in the scent of her shampoo, still strong on the pillow beneath my bed, and the raw aroma from my body, provoked and tightened, ready for her to bring me off.

I continue to groan, and then I hiss as I push the material aside strongly to expose my lips, so strong I hear a slight tearing sound and feel it loose in my grip. The air cools me down, but at the same time makes me gasp as my fantasy shows Paris kissing down from my belly until she's facing my clit, engorged with blood. Honestly, I can say that it felt like there was a weight down there all night with each provocation as she caressed and played down there. I felt myself tighten up as I tentatively brushed two fingers softly against my lips, and then down to my clitoris. They were wettened with my saliva, as I hoped to have a reasonable reenactment of her going down on me.

"Oh God!" I had a lot of pressure built within. "Give me more baby, oh God, you're so wonderful." I speeded the pace, my other hand at my belly, wandering up towards my boobs. My nipples were pointed straight, the first time that's happened in months. My teeth bit my lip and I worked my hand, trying to open myself as much as possible without breaking open. I thrust my hand in and out my vagina, and then back to front along my clit, trying to find just the right place to get myself to cum. My eyes closed tight around me, and my voice deepened with every thrust, my hair fargone also.

"Get me off, Par, get me off now, keep doing that." I opened my legs a little more, the mattress shifting below me and my ass bouncing on and off with it as I tried to get each new thrust in. In the middle I made a mental note to myself that I might need to get something to push the orgasm further next time, but for now my trusty lil' hand would have to do.

I thought in my mind vividly of Paris's head in my hands, her hair tangled through, and my feet clenching her body at the waist to bring her tongue in closer to me. I moaned lowly, feeling the beginnings of the orgasm build. "Ehhhuggh, ehhhugggh, ehhhugggh..." I lost control of my voice, my body only focused on getting myself off.

I then think of Paris humming, bringing the vibrations from her tongue, remembering how sexy I found it she hmmm'ed.

Oh man, that really did it for me. I started stroking faster and faster, my mind thinking of the humming, and I started to convulse a bit, having to push my free hand from my breasts and onto the side of the mattress. I arched back further, a few inches off the bed, pushing the panty material further off to the side as my clit retracted with each bit of stimulation. I 'mmmmm'ed through it as I started reaching the hilt, cursing a little and crying Paris' name softly into the night, my eyes wrenched as my body felt so tight.

Faster...faster...faster. I saw her tongue flicking my clit, no regards to slowness, her breasts doing a little bounce as her head worked up and down. I reddened, my lips tight as I tried to keep myself silent. "Oh fuck...please, please, please, mmmmmm, yes, yes, yes...oh Par...Par...yeah sweetie, make me cum, yeaaaaahhh..."

I was reaching a point, my eyes tearing up, oh Jesus Christ! My head pushed into the headboard as far as I could go, my toes gripping the end of the mattress so I wouldn't fall off, I looked really weird I'm sure. I felt the hair tangle up within my grasp with each thrust, and then I pulled softly at my clit.

"Shit!!" That was doing it, doing it very well. I pushed further and further, trying to get off faster and faster, and it was working, the feeling going all through my bones. Paris below me, my hand was joining in on stimulation. Oh God, that was wonderful, and I started to feel the pleasant feeling in my tummy going through me. I stroked further and further, and more and more, the little button stinging even more pleasantly with each rub...

"OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!!" Then before I could realize it, I was at my peek, and I started to feel my pussy convulse with release, I started coming and really hard, thinking of Paris getting in two good last licks. I grabbed the sheet to the side of me and pushed it against my mouth to scream into it. Wow, I didn't know I could ever get off that hard, but I was, I kept contracting in and out for at least thirty seconds. My hands dampened as my cum flooded out, slicking my labia. I shook, the orgasm going all through me until it ended, my lungs filled with air and each breath coming out in a loud shriek.

I came down from my orgasm really hard, the fantasy successful in reminding me how much I wanted Par to want me in more than a loving kind of way, that I wanted her sexually. My body collapsed onto the bed in a lump, completely soaked, my legs still quivering and I was sore from the powerfully hard orgasm that just occurred. I was actually crying at how much the orgasm meant to me, how hard and beautiful it was to me, because it resulted from something I wished could've happened tonight.

And I was so close, only to be disappointed when I was caught. She would've done that, or something a little tamer, I thought to myself as I recomposed, trying to remember that sex was going to be one of the things that would bring us closer or tear us apart. That I felt such an intense connection with her that I allow myself to fantasize about her in formerly taboo situations. That I would push aside my former fears to jill to her in my bedroom, and that right now, I have zero shame about it.

None at all, so much that I didn't put on any pajamas, letting the tank top rest at the side of the bed, because I still felt warm from the afterglow after self-pleasuring. It was so odd to feel so contented from just thinking of her that way, of all the girls in that entire school, my heart is with her, rather than one of the P&P's (the school code for 'pretty and populars' in case you're interested). And she likes me too.

Two years ago about this time she was teasing me about missing a test and teasing me at every opportunity. These days she's still teasing me...but for all the right reasons. Talk about your skewed flips!

I'm laying bed after changing into clean panties just waiting for the sleep to come to me, and I know it will soon, because I'm all tired out. Tomorrow's going to be a three snooze day, I can already feel it...

Wha-whoa? What's my cell phone doing ringing, it's 11:30 at night, does the person calling realize I'm sleeping? God, if it's Shane and Jess calling me like last week to tell me which new spot they picked to have sex with, I'm gonna, ohh, their sex lives will be so ruined when I tell Taylor they got one of his employees to open the ice cream shop for an after hours 'taste test'...

Grabbing for the phone, dreary-eyed, I look at the screen, but can't see it because I'm so tired. I flip open the phone.

"Hello?" My voice sounds like crap.

"Just thought I'd let you know I got home OK." Paris? Why is she calling? "I uh, did I wake you up?"

"No, of course not, I always have time for you," I stumble out. "Just don't expect calls at this time of night."

"I know, I just felt like I have to thank you again for defending me."

"Not a problem." My hair was a mess and I was in no condition to talk, so thank God for a phone line. "I just did what was right."

"Are you going to be grounded because of me? I don't know if you two talked after I left." I could tell she was worried about that a little.

"No, she didn't say anything, I think we're fine, just have to be careful around her." Remembering back to earlier, I asked about Sharon. "Was your mom worried about you?"

"Are you kidding, she was mortified I didn't come with her! She was ranting and raving, saying I missed a good prospect as far as my lovelife." A pause. "Wait, I should rephrase that, what was the term she was using to describe him? 'A good boy with golden sperm'?"

"She did not." I laugh tiredly.

"Indeed, she used that exact term. Then she chastised me for considering interview practice more important, calling it needless and unnecessary. According to her, my social contacts are always more important than making good small talk."

"Does she forget that Harvard isn't UConn?"

"I don't know, but I can't get out of the next cocktail party the Sunday after next, no matter what excuse I have."

Shaking my head, I wonder how Paris could live with having half her genetic material from this woman. "We can't create a fake anniversary issue to get you out of it?"

"I'll suck it up, but I refuse to talk to Golden Sperm Boy."

"That's the spirit." I then yawn, feeling so, so tired. "You didn't have to call, you know."

"I didn't," she admits, "but I had to...just had to hear your voice one last time before bed."

"Or do you have an ulterior motive for checking in on me," I wonder. "Wondering what your revenge for my pizzagirl routine did to me?"

"I can't say this call has innocent intentions. But when you tease me like that Gilmore, you know I come back with twice the drive to bring you down."

"That you do."

"I left you all hot and bothered, naturally you'd want to take care of it," she says back, her voice soft. "I hope it was good for you."

I give the answer to that seductively. "Oh, very..." I shift the pillow beneath my head to get more comfortable. "I was about to sleep like a baby when you called." Another pause.

"You just sound like you had fun, I can tell."

"I did."

"Fun not involving one of your cute pairs of pajamas." Did I mention that I shudder at her blue-blood pronunciation of pajamas every single time?

"No pajamas at all," I note.

"Impressive." Yet another pause. "You know I'm just making small talk until Nightline ends, Koppel's topic is boring this evening."

"No you aren't, it's a Monday night, and during football season his show airs late."

"It does not."

"Does too, Paris, you lie through your teeth."

"But the news is boring, and the airhead on 8 is telling me that a homicide in Bristol is more important than Bush's ridiculous assertion Saddam has WMDs. Come on, you know he's just bored because it's been 30 years since we had a 'real war' and the warmongers are looking to get back in!"

"Paris," I try to point out. "I don't care right now about Iraq."

"That guy doesn't have anything to prove any weapons are there, and the air strikes and no-flys work, we'll be fine."

"I know you think Condi is the new Henry Kissinger and that Cheney's pulling all the strings for Powell, but I'm not exactly in a war-talking mood, really."

"You watch, we're going to invade just on a whim and they'll find nothing. Nothing!"

"Goodnight, Paris," I smile, not intending to hang up at all.

"No, don't go!" Paris is pleading for me to keep on the line, but I keep silent for a bit. "Hello? Hello? Rory? Are you there?"

I giggle, and then respond. "As long as you don't kill my afterglow with bomb talk."

"Oh damn it, you're just evil, Gilmore, I really was about to hang up you know."

"Sure you were Par-Bear, I'm sure you were." I laugh as she groans.

"Is it sad that I'm getting used to that name, finally?"

"Hey, you look adorable and cute, just like one of them."

"Yeah, the blue one with the cloud on his stomach."

"And you said you didn't know any Care Bears at all, do I finally detect some useless knowledge in that brain of yours, sweetie?"

"If I do, I'm not telling." I can hear her laugh a little through the phone mic. "You know I'm probably going to be late to pick you up in the morning."

"Why, how could you possibly be tardy to pick me up?" I ask sarcastically.

"Why don't you ask those wandering hands of yours? They seem to know more than you."

"Are you suggesting that after you end this call, you may do something you might not want me to know about?"

"Maybe," she hints. "However, you don't really know, so I'm just going to head off to bed now, and let you do the same. A sleepy mind means a sound body."

"I should probably do that; today's been a day I didn't want to end."

"I know, but the sun always comes back, so Tuesday is on its way."

"Damn Tuesday," I complain, stretching out across my bed. "but I can't stop it, I can only hope to contain it."

"I had to get with the one girl besides myself who watches Sportscenter for pop references only, not the scores." I hear her throw a couple blankets up in the background, and then crawl into bed. "I suppose, better end this call before you lose your sleep buzz. I just wanted to see that you're OK."

"Nothing unusual here, but you as the last voice of my night will do wonders for my dreams."

"Then have good ones, Gilmore. I'll talk to you tomorrow morning."

"OK sweetie."

"Another thing I'll have to get used to," she complains. "Goodnight...my dearest. How is that?"

"Still sounds classy without betraying your manners," I comment. "I like it."

"Me too. Uh, so, I'm really going to hang up now."

"OK, go ahead."

"Well after I say what I just thought of as a goodnight greeting."

"But you did already."

"I was just asking if it was acceptable."

"I know, but now you can say it like you mean it."

"But I meant it the first time."

"You did, I know."



"I have to hang up, and you won't let me say goodbye."

"I am."

"So say goodbye."

"Goodnight Paris."

"Not goodnight, goodbye."

"So you don't want me to have a good night?"

"That's not what I was saying!"

"Fine, I'll end it then, for real, this time." Then I finally close out the call. "Goodbye Paris."

"Goodbye and goodnight, my annoying manners-challenged darling." Before I could say anything (jokingly at least), she hangs up, and I close the phone, setting it back next to my bed with the ringer set to silent.

I can't believe I just had a hangup war with Paris, and she went for it! I'm guessing this is even more progress towards a long relationship, since Dean and I did it four weeks into our thing.

There's a difference though, and that was four weeks into knowing him, I didn't have any naughty thoughts about him, but Par, I certainly do. Is this a sign of some kind, of something more?

Really, I'm not sure myself, but if she's seeing me off to bed, there's something inside of her that's telling her that I'm the one for her. And I know the same thing is happening with me.

I'm just laying in my bed, letting this great day full of happiness, worry, disaster, trouble, and reconciliation go through me, and I think to myself right now as I feel my eyes heavy from sleep that this is perfect, and that everything is going according to plan.

So why is there a nagging itch telling me that I want to push things further? I know while Paris packs the next two days I'll only see her on rides and at school, but now that I've had a taste for her seductive side, I'm ready to tackle anything she might want me to do. That now, with mom's approval, I can go ahead and push things further along without fear.

It's just too bad I'll have to wait to do it. I know Paris wouldn't try anything with all of those pesky relatives around in Ormond Beach, so I'm not even going to try at all. Cross my heart and all that other stuff, you know? She has the willpower to go four days without me, and with our hormones sated, there shouldn't be a problem, right? Right?

Then again, it's mighty tempting to think of Paris in that one bikini set she showed me last week, just a cute little two piece colored a darkish pink. Maybe just one more time, if you'll excuse me...

To be continued...

A Thanksgiving Call for Action


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