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August 3rd 11:37 PM
"I can't take this anymore," thought Bianca as she ran her hands through her bangs, pushing them further back on her head. "How many more times are we going to make out, get close, and then at the last second she runs to the bathroom?"
"Ever since the Morrison grave visit and listening to The Doors together, she's been spooning me harder and harder kissing with more passion her hands roaming more and when we get to 'that moment', that all-or-nothing, do-or-die moment off she runs."
Maggie looked in the mirror, splashing cold water on her face. "Slow slow slow have to go slow. No rush to this . she's not Jonathan you don't have to prove anything don't want to scare her again my god she's pretty back on track, back on track slow slow "
August 4th 7:40 AM
Bianca sat at the corner table, glancing over a manila folder of printed out email from friends and family back in Pine Valley.
Maggie stood in the furthest corner she could, her back to the cabinets, her arms folded tightly against her chest in an obvious sign of uncertainty. It was the other occupant of the room she was uncertain of. They had been so close to sex that night on the couch, and now now she was freezing up anytime they got even close.
She was studying Bianca from afar, trying to put her finger on what it could be. The raven haired girl's fingers of her right hand rested in a coffee mug handle loop, her left hand kept the folder flat. She had on her black Versace power suit, with the fine gray pin stripes, and the just below the knees skirt. She had on those damned three inch stilettos of hers that made her calf muscles look like the most defined muscles in the history of the world. Her hair was tucked behind her left ear, her lips were slightly parted, a sign of concentration for her.
"No matter how you cut it, that is one sexy woman now, why am I freezing up when I was so eager just two weeks ago?" Maggie thought. "I mean, I'm her girlfriend, we got past that. We kiss like it's going out of style, so what is it? Why can't I take that final step to sex? And why can't she seem to even talk to me this morning?"
Bianca continued reading through an email from Reggie as she lifted her coffee cup to her lips. She was reading the words, but her total lack of focus was preventing her from absorbing them. She had read the same sentence three times now, unable to make sense of it. She knew the source of the problem stood in the far corner of the room.
She tilted the mug back against her lips, the hot acidity hitting her tongue, snapping her back to reality. "Damn it Maggie we get so close, and you run why does this all seem so oddly familiar? Thank god Jamie's far away, poor boy would probably get run over by a car again."
Bianca's cell phone rang, she looked at the ID; it was her personal assistant, Aurélia, calling with her morning schedule. She hit the answer button, "Aurélia, what's on for this morning?" She was too frustrated to deal with the formalities of courtesy. She wanted to get into work and forget about last night and the night before that and the night before that.
Not the voice she wanted to hear right this moment. "Yes?" she asked pointedly.
"Don't forget I have classes today."
"Oh, yeah okay. Aurélia? Please make sure arrangements are made for Miranda today? Thank you."
"Well, that went well she actually said a whole word to me," thought Maggie.
The buzzer on the kitchen intercom went off, signaling Patrick had arrived. Maggie went out to the front hallway to greet him and noticed Bianca didn't even look up at her as she walked by. She sighed as she heard the elevator ding and she opened the door to a widely grinning Patrick. "Hey."
His smile disappeared. "Well, you're in a good mood this morning."
"Eh first day of classes a bad night," her voice trailed off.
Patrick made to say something, but thought better of it, letting the subject drop. He followed her into the kitchen, and could see from the look on Bianca's face when she looked up to acknowledge him that it hadn't been a bad night for just one of them. "This is going to be a long day, I can see," he mumbled.
"Okay Aurélia, Patrick just got here, I'll be in the office shortly, see you then," she hung up the phone and stood up, collecting her documents together.
"Will you be home for dinner?" came the timid question.
Bianca paused, the hair on the back of her neck bristling. "Yes, not sure exactly what time though I'll call you later."
Bianca turned to walk out of the kitchen, pausing for a moment, a remorseful look passing over her face. She turned to look at Maggie, her lips parting as if she were about to say something, but she stopped herself. Licking her lips, she turned to look up at Patrick, "After you get us to the office, Patrick, can you come back and take Maggie to her classes?"
"Thanks, Patrick Maggie?"
"Is 6:30 alright?"
Maggie smiled. "Yeah, that should be fine."
Bianca gave her a weak smile and turned to leave. Patrick nodded to Maggie and followed his employer out.
August 4th 8:15 AM
Bianca pushed deeper into the back seat of the limo, sinking into the rich cushions, and turned her head to stare absently at the passing tree lined streets. "Do you really have any right to be mad with her? You know what the problem is, the both of us don't want to rush things, but for very different reasons. For Maggie its all about what happened two weeks ago, for myself, its about not rushing Maggie into such a life altering situation but really what other step is next outside of what we've been doing? We're girlfriends we technically live with each other what else are we going to do?"
The limo swung down into the underground parking of the Cambias building, pulling up to the elevators to shorten the walk for Bianca and Miranda. Patrick got out and opened the door for his passengers. "Ma'am why don't you care for Miranda? I'll carry the bags up to the office for you."
Bianca smiled warmly at Patrick; he took such good care of them all. "Thank you, Patrick, that would be a very big help."
Patrick walked over to the elevator and pushed the call button. As the trio approached, a voice called out "Hold the doors, please," in French.
Bianca saw Patrick roll his eyes and he mumbled something in Italian, a sure sign to her he was hiding whatever it was he was saying. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a familiar, but long unseen face approaching.
"Oh Ms. Montgomery."
"Hello, Jean," she replied, her voice flat. She hadn't seen Jean Dumas since her first day at Cambias six months ago. He was going to be her personal assistant, but after insulting Maggie, she had promptly sent him back to the assistant pool. "How have you been?"
"Well, very well actually," he said with a smirk. The little group got on the elevator, Patrick made sure to stand between Jean and his female employer. This, of course, did not deter Jean, who leaned forward to speak around Patrick. "And I hear, and see, you are doing well."
Bianca shot him a look, not quite sure what he meant by 'see', but she let it slide. "Yes, I am doing well, thank you."
Patrick pressed the button for the top floor, Jean the button for the floor just below that. Patrick sighed.
"And Ms. Stone, she appears to be doing well also."
Now Bianca knew he meant the tabloids. "We are all fine, Jean, thank you."
"I try to keep up with the latest news of course, but it's so difficult with the projects I have going and "
Patrick looked up and saw they were just passing the eleventh floor. He reached over and hit the button for the twelfth. The car came to a stop, and the doors opened. He leaned over and held the open button while he turned to look at Jean. His glare was menacing and firm. "Jean have you put on some weight?"
Jean looked up at Patrick who stood a good five inches taller than him. "Perhaps a kilo."
"Thought so, perhaps you would like to take the stairs for the next seventeen floors? Work off some of that excess weight?"
Jean looked past Patrick; Bianca could barely contain her smirk. "I I guess I will," Jean replied. As he walked out of the elevator he turned to say something, but the doors began closing and Patrick glared, his words went unheard.
Bianca looked up at Patrick as they resumed their ascent. "Patrick?"
"Would you like a raise?"
"That was a freebie Ma'am as I enjoyed it too much and I already pay enough in taxes."
August 4th 11:30 AM
Maggie came out of her morning biology class, pen in mouth like a horse bit, papers and books pressed against her chest, prepared to plop down on a step for the next hour and read. As she made to sit, she spotted the familiar site of Patrick leaning back against the hood of the limo, newspaper at waist height, ankles crossed. "What are you still doing here?" she inquired.
"Nice to see you, too," he said without looking up. "Bianca said she didn't need me until later and I thought you might want to go to lunch."
Maggie stared at him suspiciously. "This wouldn't have anything to do with this morning would it?"
Patrick turned the page in the newspaper, scanning it from top to bottom, still not looking up at Maggie. "This morning at the apartment, or this morning in the car when you didn't say one word while I drove you here?"
Maggie chuckled and looked down at the ground as she walked closer to him, turning to mimic his pose against the hood of the car. "Either or my friend either or. With you, I know getting food is code for," she put on an over-the-top French accent to her voice, "I know you need to talk, let's do it some place seemingly safe where you will open up and tell me of your inner most thoughts, and then I shall drop down upon you my old and wise Frenchie wisdom. It shall hit you like lightning, the heavens shall open and you will be awe struck by wise ways!" Maggie turned to look at Patrick who was now staring at her, brow furrowed.
"You get all that from 'want to go to lunch'?"
Patrick folded his newspaper, and tucked it under his arm. "Just get in the car you wise-ass American."
August 4th 11:30 AM
" and the quarterly projections from the Estonia office came in "
" and look to be on target "
"If I wish hard enough, perhaps his head will explode will that make him shut up and go away? Let's see ehhhhhhhhhhh damn it he's still alive."
" so in conclusion "
"THANK YOU GOD!"
" things seem to be up across the board."
"Thank you, Josef, that was enlightening."
Aurélia opened the door to the office and stepped in. "Ms. Montgomery? Your 11:30 appointment has arrived and is waiting in the conference room. Josef, if you're done, please follow me," she said with a smile.
Pleasantries were exchanged, Josef departed, and Bianca walked over and opened a door to the conference room. Her 11:30 appointment ran over, squealing, and hugged her legs. "Hey, Munchie! Did you have fun with Aurélia?"
"Uh-huh," the little girl replied while nodding.
"Good! Are you ready to get some food?"
"Alright then, so is Mommy, let's go!"
Aurélia stepped into the room quickly. "Ms. Montgomery, I know you're on your way to lunch, but it's your private line. It's Ms. Fargate."
Bianca smiled. "Wow, she's up early. Could you take Miranda down to the cafeteria for me?"
"Of course Ma'am," she said smiling and holding out her hand for Miranda to take.
As the two of them walked way, Bianca called after them, "Aurélia! No matter how much she begs, no ice cream!" Aurélia and Miranda giggled as they left the room. "Yeah she's getting ice cream," Bianca sighed.
She walked back to her desk in the main office, and picked up her private phone line. "Myrtle! What are you doing up so early?"
"I couldn't sleep any more darlin', I just had the most horrible feeling in my gut and I knew it was coming from Paris. What's going on over there that I can tell all the way over here?"
Bianca grinned, closed her eyes, and slumped down in her large leather chair. "Myrtle you amaze me some days."
"Only some days? I'm losin' my touch!"
Bianca chuckled. "Okay, here's the deal "
August 4th 11:45 AM
Maggie nearly shot soda out her nose. "PATRICK! No fair making me laugh!"
"Well, I had to do something to get you to stop drinking and answer my question of what's wrong. And really, who doesn't love a joke about a priest, a rabbi, and a nun?"
Wiping her face off with a napkin, Maggie glared at him. "Bastard."
"So " Maggie threw her napkin on the table and absent mindedly picked up a french fry and started chewing it while she replied, "you know I'm not really sure you're the um man for this job."
"You never know until you try."
"It's about sex, Patrick girl sex between me and Bianca as in the two of us "
"I get the mental image, thank you," he said while screwing up his face. "Really though who else could you talk to about this?"
Maggie sighed. "I know it's not like I'm swimming in lesbian friends. Matter of fact, the only other one I know really well is Lena, and yeah, I don't see me calling her for advice about sleeping with Bianca."
Patrick chuckled. "So you two haven't yet?"
"No I mean are you sure you want to hear this?"
"Maggie I was in the commandos, I think I can handle talking to a close friend about her personal problems. And I did ask, after all."
"Okay, okay. We've gotten close but at the last moment, I seem to run," she said, squinting one eye and cocking her head to the right so it touched her shoulder.
"So you're comfortable building up to it, but not the final step."
Maggie smiled a quiet, personal smile, "Yeah, I'm totally fine with the buildup," she said wistfully.
"Sorry, sorry!" she said snapping back to reality, adjusting herself to sit more upright, "I just yeah totally comfortable."
"So, it's not the idea of touching a woman that is doing it to you, then?"
"No I I mean, sure, it's new and different, but it doesn't feel odd in anyway, you know?"
"And you love her?"
Maggie's face took on a quizzical air as she looked down at her fries again. "Of course I do! I mean I'm her girlfriend now, and I've always loved her on some level."
"And she loves you?"
"Have either of you said it since you started dating?"
Maggie stopped stirring her fry in the ketchup. She stared at it. It was suddenly the most fascinating object she had ever seen. The little salt flakes on the exterior husk shimmering in the sun light, shifting from opaque to clear, depending on their angle to the sun. The ketchup was red like the blobs of light her brain was producing in front of her eyes. The world seemed louder for some reason, but more precise. The cars whizzing by on the street made whining noses, not unlike a sword chopping through the air. These sounds, and sights, were her whole world now, everything else seemed blocked out, non-existent.
"Maggie are you okay?"
She snapped back to reality, shaking her head to clear out the clutter of the last moment. "Yeah, I I just " her wrist went flat on the table, and she looked up at Patrick again. "Your question it hit a spot I wasn't expecting, I guess. I mean I know we love each other, I know that, it's a fact, but but I'm not sure we HAVE said that since we started dating and meant it in that romantic manner."
"Then perhaps that is what is missing and that's not something you can just flip a switch on. You have to build up to it, and after that then the rest will follow naturally."
"And maybe that's been part of my problem in the past especially with Jon I rushed everything didn't make sure it was all in order first " Maggie stared at Patrick. Her eyes narrowing, forming slits, her nose scrunching up.
"What?" Patrick asked uneasily.
"You know in the right light you remind me of someone back in Pine Valley "
August 4th 12:02 PM
"Myrtle how are you able to boil things down so precisely? Really I'm not sure if it's a gift or witchcraft."
"If it was witchcraft darlin', I would be on my broom and comin' over to see you and your precious bundle of joy daily."
Bianca smiled warmly. "And you would always be welcome. Back to the 'problem' at hand though you really think it is just us doing things out of order as usual?"
"Sex is sex, but when the hearts are involved, it's a whole 'nother matter. If you were just two people meeting in a bar, looking for a fling, then you could just go right to it, but with you two, it's so much more than that. Just calling each other 'girlfriend' is one step, the love has to come next."
"Yeah, and I'm certainly not one for flings." Bianca mumbled. "Well I think you're right, Myrtle, we just have to put everything in perspective. There's no reason to rush any aspect of our relationship, we have the rest of our lives to get where we're going."
"Don't go putting the cart before the horse, Darlin'. This is still very new to the both of you. She hasn't dated a woman before, and you got the girl you've been pining for, any number of things could still happen."
"Oh, trust me, Myrtle I know, oh how I know, but it just it just feels right, you know?" Bianca glanced at a clock, "Shoot, I really should get down to the cafeteria, I just know Aurélia will end up giving her ice cream. Okay slow down, take our time, make sure the love is there got it."
"Love makes it all better, trust me on this."
"I always trust you, Myrtle always."
August 4th 6:20 PM
"Thanks, Patrick. I'll see you tomorrow morning," Bianca said as she closed the front door to her apartment building. She unbuttoned her suit jacket as she walked towards the elevator. Patrick had already brought Miranda and Maggie home, so she was just juggling her messenger bag as she walked.
Stepping into the waiting lift, she pressed the button for the penthouse and leaned against the railing, letting her head rest against the faux wood finish. She closed her eyes, and smiled a small smile as she thought, "Home I'm home we're making this a home my girlfriend, my daughter this is home now."
The building wasn't very tall, so the ride was short. When she stepped out of the car to cross the small hallway to her door, she was greeted by a note taped there:
Please go directly upstairs to wash up and change for dinner. Casual is fine. Come down when you're finished.
Bianca read the note again, confused. She finally shrugged and walked in. She dropped her messenger bag on the entryway table, and placed her keys in the dish. "Maggie, I'm home!" she called out. There was no reply. As she walked by the dining room, the folding partition Patrick had used not long ago to safeguard them from photographers, was across the entrance, another note taped there, "Keep on a walkin' be back here at 7."
She laughed and shook her head as she went upstairs to wash up and change.
August 4th 7:00 PM
"MAGGIE! I'm starving! Let me in!"
The divider moved, Maggie was standing there in an emerald green top and very tight jeans, her hair pulled up and secured with a banana clip. "Hi there," she said with a big grin.
"Hi yourself," Bianca replied as she tried to look over Maggie at the dining room table.
"Um hello? Down here hotness waiting for a kiss?"
Bianca blushed. "Sorry " as she leaned down and gave Maggie a deep kiss.
"That's better! Now come on in," Maggie moved to the side, allowing Bianca to walk past her, taking note of her gray wrap top, with the plunging neckline, and tear drop necklace as she did. Maggie blew her cheeks out and her eyes went wide. "So not easy some days," she mumbled.
"What did you say?" Bianca asked over her shoulder.
"Oh, nothing have a seat."
She took in the changes from how the room normally looked; the lights were off, just a few candles were on the table and the spill over light from the kitchen. "So " she said as she took a seat at the table, "what's all this? And where's Miranda?"
"This is a new chapter for us," Maggie said. "And I shall be right back pour yourself some wine while I'm gone. And Miranda is at Patrick and Guilia's we needed some time for us tonight."
Bianca watched her walk away closely. Once she was out of the room, Bianca picked up the wine bottle, poured some in a glass, gulped it, and poured some more. She then picked up Maggie's glass and poured some for her too. Just as she set the bottle down, Maggie walked in with a silver domed tray.
"I wish I was a better cook, because our romantic dinner amounts too " she lifted off the lid, "pizza."
Bianca chuckled. "Sounds fine to me! I'm starving and well it is kind of romantic when you think about it."
Maggie smiled, unsurprised Bianca would catch the connection. "Because we had it the first night we were here. New chapter then new chapter now."
"Well it depends," she said nervously, "what this new chapter is." She took a piece of pizza and put it in front of herself, not totally sure her appetite was still there.
As Maggie took a piece for herself, she fidgeted in her chair to sit more upright. "It's I know I've been freaking you out with " she paused, rethinking her words for a moment, "I know how certain things have not gone the way you hoped, and I know it's been frustrating you."
Bianca blushed. "It's too be expected though this is all new to you."
"That's not it though, Bianca when I'm in bed with you, I feel I feel like I'm comfortable. For the first time ever, I truly feel comfortable, like this is right and where I belong."
Bianca's blush deepened even more. "I'm glad I was worried that "
"That I was uncomfortable touching you?"
"No, that's not it at all and it's not even what happened a couple weeks ago. I think it all comes down to this time this time, more than any other time, I can't rush it. I love you too much to rush it, and I have to make sure that this is right. I didn't realize it until today, when I talked to Patrick "
Bianca gulped. "You talked to Patrick about OUR SEX LIFE?"
Maggie leaned forward and held up a hand, "Believe me, it was far weirder for me than it is for you at the moment, but he did help me realize something. Just because we've said we're girlfriends and we know we love each other, are we sure we're IN love?"
Bianca had to chuckle. "I swear his last name has to be Fargate."
"Spooky, isn't it?"
"At times, yes."
"But do you see what I mean you know I love you, I know you love me, but are we IN love?"
"Probably not yet, no we're close, very close, but probably not all the way yet, no."
"And so while I want to keep sleeping with you, I think maybe that's all we should leave it at for now."
"Myrtle said pretty much the same thing "
"What is it with us that people always have to TELL us what to do? We seem to know the answers, but until someone says it to us, we can't seem to realize it."
"It's just human nature, I think. The easiest answer can be right in front of you, but until someone with an objective view point says it, it can be pretty difficult to see it sometimes."
"Yeah I think you're right." An awkward silence descended on the room, and both girls picked at the toppings on their slices of pizza. "So are we agreed then? We work on the love angle for now, and hold off on the physical?"
"Totally agreed I think we have all the time in the world to get where we're going," Bianca replied with a smile.
Maggie's grin broadened. "I think so too I really do."
With that, the girls ate their pizza and chatted about their days, sipping wine and telling tales of the helpers in their lives. After a movie and the usual clean up, they went to bed in Maggie's room. Bianca on her right side, Maggie behind her, arm draped across her waist, both with huge smiles and no hurried trips to the bathroom for splashes of cold water.
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