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August 22nd 8:30 AM
Patrick was finding it difficult to contain his smile as he rode in the elevator up to the penthouse. He was expecting to find two very content and smiley women in the early stages of young romance when he arrived. He sighed contentedly as the doors to the elevator opened, but not on a scene he expected.
Bianca was standing in the doorway, Miranda on her right hip. She was tapping her left foot with great impatience as she finally took notice of him. "Here!" she said as she thrust her briefcase at him. She barely turned her head around as she yelled, "I'm leaving now!" and slammed the door.
The taller gentleman gulped loudly as they rode down in the elevator in silence. Miranda looked up at him with a look in her eye almost as if to say, "shhh Stay quiet! It's your only defense!"
The drive to the Cambias building was awkward that day as Bianca sat in the back of the limo, staring out the window, her jaw set in an angry defiance of an unseen force. Miranda sat in her car seat next to her mother, silent as could be, turning a doll over and over again in her lap. Patrick did not speak, only stealing the occasional glance in the rear view mirror.
Bianca continued staring out the window, oblivious to Patrick's concern. Her mind was elsewhere the morning before
August 21st 10:00 AM
Bianca shuffled into the kitchen in her black, silk robe, her hair pulled back in a banana clip, Miranda walking beside her, holding onto her hand. "Okay Munchkin, come on, let's see if we can find Auntie Maggie, okay?"
"Kay!" the little girl responded, running from her mother to the far side of the kitchen. She slapped her little hands on the door to Maggie's room. "Maggie! Maggie! Wakes up!"
Bianca giggled and walked over to the coffee pot, preparing to give herself a caffeine jolt. Their night of clubbing had certainly taken a toll on her, both mentally and physically, and coffee seemed her only true friend at this moment. As she reached for the grinder, she spotted a piece of paper.
Got a phone call, made a mistake with my paper, not as done as I thought. I'm at the library, no idea when I'll be back.
So sorry really sorry, please don't be mad!
I love you (wow I said it!)
Bianca was disappointed, but understanding. If her paper wasn't done, it wasn't done. She sighed andS folded the note up before slipping it in her pocket. She turned to her daughter as she grabbed the coffee beans. "Sorry Munchkin, it looks like she had to go to the library for awhile."
Miranda pouted. "'anna see Maggie!"
"You and I both, baby girl you and I both."
August 21st 6:00 PM
Bianca's mobile rang with the tone that meant it was Maggie. "Hey you! You almost home?"
There was a pause for a beat on the other end and then a sour sounding, "No."
"Okay what's up?" Bianca asked hesitantly.
"It would seem your brilliant girlfriend wrote the wrong paper."
"I wrote the next paper, not the current one, but the next one."
"Um you can view it as being ahead?"
"Not funny, Bianca I have to go, I just wanted to let you know I wouldn't be home for dinner, I'll grab something here."
"Okay, I guess I'll see you when I see you."
"Yeah love you," and she hung up.
Bianca heard the click, but sat there for a moment longer, the phone pressed to her ear. "Love you too."
August 22nd 7:00 AM
Bianca shuffled into the kitchen in her black, silk robe, her hair pulled back in a banana clip, Miranda walking beside her, holding onto her hand. Where as the day before she had sent Miranda ahead, she held on to her this time. There had been no call from Maggie since the evening before, she wasn't even sure she had come home, to be honest. She had stayed up as late as she could, but not a sound was heard.
Bianca went over to the door, pressing her ear against it; nothing could be heard coming from Maggie's room, and if she was sleeping, she didn't want to wake her. She sighed, placed Miranda in her booster seat at the table and went to make coffee.
About ten minutes later she heard the elevator ding, and that told her all she needed to know about where Maggie had been all night; the library. She heard the lock to her girlfriend's private door open up, followed by a slamming door and text books crashing to the floor. She walked over to the shared kitchen door to knock, but when she heard the shower start up, she opted to leave her alone.
August 22nd 8:15AM
Bianca had quickly run upstairs with Miranda, thrown on their clothes for the work day, and come back to the kitchen, expecting Maggie to be in there eating her breakfast. Not a sign of her could be found.
She sat Miranda down at the table, and went over to Maggie's door, determined to learn what was going on because she was concerned. As she made to knock on the door, the door flew open, Maggie racing past her to the refrigerator.
As Maggie dug in the fridge for a quick bite to eat, Bianca tried to get her attention by making little coughs. It didn't seem to have any discernable effect. Finally, she spoke up. "Maggie?"
"Yeah?" came the muffled reply.
"Is everything okay?"
"Oh, just hunky-dory, but what do you expect when you discover you have a paper worth twenty percent of your grade due in twenty-four hours, and it wasn't the one you thought it was?" She spun around, closing the fridge door with her hip as she walked towards her room again with some leftovers and a jug of orange juice.
"Well, I'm sure you'll "
Maggie stopped and glared at her through squinted eye-lids. "Now is not the time for platitudes, Bianca. I'm just a bit freakin' stressed out if you couldn't tell."
Bianca's expression quickly soured. "Well, please forgive me for giving a damned then. I'll make sure not to do it again," she retorted as she walked towards Miranda to pick her up.
The shorter girl's expression softened. "Bianca wait, I'm sorry, that came out wrong "
"Oh no, it came out just right, I think. You're pissed at yourself, but it's better to be short with me about it. I'm surprised you could take time out of your busy schedule to give me two sentences." The buzzer went off signaling Patrick was on his way up. She snatched Miranda up and headed towards the front door.
"Bianca, please give me just a second "
"No, please, go back to your paper, don't concern yourself with Miranda and I wanting to know where you were all night, or if you were okay, seriously, go back to the paper," she said as she stormed off towards the front hall.
Maggie stood in the kitchen for a moment, finally hanging her head in defeat. "I suck at relationships," she mumbled, and shuffled off towards her room. Just as she got to the door, she heard Bianca bellow something about leaving, and then the door slamming shut. "Yeah I REALLY suck at relationships."
August 22nd 8:45 AM
The limo descended into the depths of the Cambias underground parking garage, the sudden change in lighting shook Bianca back to the present moment. Patrick pulled up to the usual spot near the elevators, hopping out of the car to open the door for the young executive and her daughter.
As she stepped out, Patrick gave her a small, but comforting smile that somehow conveyed every feeling it needed to. She returned it, as if to say 'thank you'. They once again rode in silence in yet another elevator, both lost in their thoughts. Nothing was said until they approached Bianca's office, Aurélia quickly approaching to scoop up little Miranda. "Patrick could you " she quickly grabbed a piece of her stationary and scribbled something on it, folded it twice, and held it towards Patrick, "could you take that to Maggie when you go back to pick her up for class?"
Patrick gave her a smirk as he took the note and tucked it in his inside jacket pocket. "We are now reduced to passing notes like grade school children? Does it have a box for her to check if she likes you or not?"
Bianca finally gave a soft chuckle. "Just take it to her you pain in the butt God, how does Guilia put up with you?"
"The patience of Saints Ms. Montgomery, the patience of Saints."
August 22nd 11:25 AM
Patrick got out of the limo with his newspaper, and took his usual position resting against the hood as he waited for Maggie to come out of class. She had called him as he left Cambias a few hours ago to say she couldn't wait for him, and had taken a taxi to class; he was appalled.
He scanned the newspaper for anything of interest, but there was nothing, so he settled for the gossip pages, positive there would be something from Guy. Sure enough, they were still playing up the pictures of the girl's night out on Saturday. Where on Sunday it had been all about their outfits, today it more about how they walked out hand-in-hand, sweaty, and looking "ravenous" for one another.
He had to agree, they had looked 'ravenous' for one another, which made this morning all that much odder. He was dying to find out what the problem was this morning, but was hesitant to ask. Now that he was in the know to the content of the note, and the accompanying plan that Bianca had filled him in on, it didn't seem as important any more.
A pen hit his newspaper, making the middle bounce up towards his face. "Snuck up on ya, didn't I?" asked the petite blonde as she took up her usual spot next to him.
"Not really, I knew where you were at all times, I just decided to let you have your fun."
"Sure you did, Frenchie, sure you did. I was stealthy, like a ninja," she said as she made a little karate chop move with her right hand.
Patrick chuckled. "Is that what you call it when you stumbled over your right foot as you came out of the door? Then you had to catch yourself by crossing your left arm in front of your chest, grabbing onto the door so you wouldn't fall?"
Maggie stared at him. "Damned you really were aware."
"Always," he said as he folded his paper, tucking it under his arm. He reached into his coat pocket with his right hand and fished out Bianca's note. "I have a message for you from Bianca. I was supposed to give it to you before class, but you took the cab."
Maggie tensed as she took the note, unsure of what Bianca would have to say since they parted on such a sour note mere hours before. She tentatively opened the note, a smile quickly creeping across her face.
Dinner, tonight, 6:30, dining room, FORMAL!
I love you
"Patrick, could you and "
Maggie couldn't resist a dig. "Really?"
"Of course, it's all arranged."
"Wow I have no clue how you knew I was going to ask if you and the Pope were going to be able to dance down the Champs-Elysées in tutu's," she turned and patted him on his right shoulder with a grin.
He stared at her blankly. "I hate you."
"I know you do, sweetie, I know."
Another time, another place
thumpa-thumpa- thumpa-thumpa- thumpa-thumpa- thumpa-thumpa
The beat of the club resonated strongly in Bianca's head; she could feel it in her teeth. All five of her senses were being attacked; the smell of sweat, intermingled with sex the sound of the never ending sonic onslaught the sight of the flashing strobe lights the taste of a fine champagne as it glided across her tongue the feeling of a cool champagne flute against the tips of her fingers. She was drunk on sensations as well as alcohol.
She turned her attention to the dance floor, having to squint to see through the mixture of fog, bodies, and lights, her eyes taking time to adjust. She could make out a lone figure in fine detail dancing there, moving in perfect synchronization to the beat. It was female in shape, the curves familiar, the outfit sexy. A mini-skirt off the shoulder shirt over-the-knee boots, she wanted to drink in every inch of this girl's form.
Starting at the feet, she worked her way up, over the boots the bare thighs the swaying hips up the torso over the bare shoulders to the glisteningly familiar face of Maggie Stone. Her eyes were closed, the corners of her mouth upturned slightly in a private smile, it was obvious she felt a freedom out there in the mass of gyrating bodies.
That was when Bianca saw it; her eye zeroed in on a lone bead of sweat, ever so slowly trickling down Maggie's temple. As if the world had gone into slow motion, she watched its journey across her girlfriend's face. It was mesmerizing as it traced the lines of her features, moving so slowly, seductively down the curve of her cheek along her jawbone finally dripping from the end of her chin, down into the billowing edge of her top, landing on her cleavage
Bianca gasped, her jaw slackening some, as the song began to change
"Estonia in the third quarter "
"What an odd song " she thought "who sings about Estonia in aw crap "
August 22nd 12:42 PM
Bianca shook herself back to reality, coming out of her daydream of her girlfriend dancing, once again, only for her.
"And in the fourth quarter, the projections show the office in Sweden "
"Josef is such a nice man " Bianca thought "so why do I hate him so? Ah yes the monotone, sleep-inducing, voice, that's it. Oh well at least it leads to thoughts of Maggie "
She began to slip back into her daydream as the financial officer droned on about the various Cambias offices and how they would be doing in the upcoming year.
" should be in the black by the end of the financial year."
"That mini-skirt holy hell, that mini skirt with that tract of bare skin between the top of her boots, and the bottom hem of that skirt "
August 22nd 12:42 PM
" and the way her eyes played over my thighs god I couldn't get enough of her eyes looking at me piercing me she looked so regal sitting up there, holding that champagne flute up, staring over the rim at me it was like she was dissecting me, studying me drinking in every inch of me I "
The girl with the dark, pixie cut hair to Maggie's left poked her with a pen in the side, jostling her out of her daydream. She jumped slightly, and then blushed as the girl giggled at her. "Thanks," she mumbled.
"No problem," the girl replied in a thick French accent.
Maggie looked around; everyone seemed to be lost in their own heads, the professor boring them all to tears. She couldn't take more of this; she quietly slid out of her chair and stepped out into the hall, pulling out her mobile phone as she did.
August 22nd 12:45 PM
Bianca's private line rang, the caller ID showed it was Maggie, causing her to grin. "Josef, I'm sorry, but could you step out for a moment? I need to take this call."
The older gentleman looked up from his files, gave a dismissive huff, and walked out to the waiting area as Bianca picked up the receiver. "Hey there did you get my note?"
"Hey yourself yeah, that's why I was calling. Formal? In our own dining room?"
Bianca grinned. "Yep I like my ladies to be all spiffy looking when I wine and dine 'em."
There was silence on the end of the phone.
"I'm here I'm just trying to wrap my head around, first of all, your 'ladies', and secondly, you used 'spiffy'."
"Get used to it," Bianca said while giggling.
"So look, about this morning "
"I owe you an apology, Maggie. Can we just leave it at that?"
"Well, I was kind of short "
"You're always short."
"Hey! I'm trying to apologize too, you know!"
"And that's me trying to tell you that you don't owe me one."
"But calling me short? That's kinda low!"
"Yeah I have to go low so you can reach it!"
"I am so breaking up with you after the fancy dinner of course."
"I wouldn't expect anything less."
"Okay, I have to sneak back into class now, I was just thinking of you and I needed to call and talk to you."
Bianca almost swooned, but held it together. "Funny I was just thinking of you too."
"Well, I am kind of hard to ignore," she said in such a way that you could almost hear the grin.
Bianca rolled her eyes. "So true. Okay I love you."
There was a pause, and then an almost whispered-while-giggling response, "I love you, too," followed by a sigh, and a click signaling the call was at an end.
Bianca smiled warmly as she placed the handset back in its cradle. She stared at the phone for a moment, lost in private thoughts, before she reached for the ringing intercom. "Yes, Aurélia?"
"Sorry for the interruption, but I saw the light go off on your private line. May I send Josef back in now, ma'am?"
"Oh yes, I'm sorry, please do."
There was a slight pause before the door opened and Aurélia ushered Josef in. After he passed by her, the assistant shot Bianca a look, and then threw her head back like she had fallen asleep. Bianca tried to hide her laugh, but she wasn't successful.
August 22nd 5:30 PM
Patrick had taken Bianca home early, for once, and was under strict orders to not only bring Maggie home no sooner than 5:30, but also to make sure she used her private door when she arrived. Neither feat was easy, but he had pulled it off.
"You know, you can go now," the petite blonde said as she unlocked her door.
"Not until I see you walk in there and close that door. Even after that, I'm supposed to stand in the hallway and make sure you don't sneak out."
"Yeesh, it's like no one around here trusts me!"
Patrick stared at her blankly. "You just figured that out?"
"Yeah, yeah," Maggie got her door open and turned to face Patrick. "So you're taking Miranda home, right?"
"That was taken care of hours ago. Do you really think Guilia would pass up a chance to spend time with her?"
Maggie laughed. "True okay then, well I guess I'll see you in the morning then. Thanks, Patrick."
"For just always being there for us I know this hasn't been easy for you."
"Helping two women in love? Oh the horrors. Go get changed, and have fun tonight."
"Okay, okay night, Frenchie," she said as she closed the door.
August 22nd 6:30 PM
"BIANCA! I'M HUNGRY! LET ME OUT!" Maggie shouted as she pulled on the door that led into the kitchen. Apparently Bianca didn't trust her girlfriend and had locked the door so she couldn't 'accidentally' show up early for their dinner date.
The door lock clicked, and Bianca opened the door. "Okay, it's 6:30, you can come out now."
Bianca gave her outfit a quick once over as she passed by. It was a knee length Betsey Johnson dress, layered at the bottom, almost like the petals of a flower. Her hair was pulled up in a bun, spaghetti straps at the top of the dress, a wide black belt in the middle, black stocking's, and matching red heels completed the stunner of an outfit. "Wow," she said, "when I said formal, you really listened."
Maggie blushed and whispered a polite, "Thank you," as she did a little spin to show off all angles of her dress. She came to a stop so she could see Bianca's strapless, knee length Donna Karan dress, finished off with black stockings and three inch stiletto heels. "Wow you look pretty smashing yourself."
Now it was Bianca's turn to blush. Regaining her composure, she gestured towards the dining room. "Shall we?"
"Of course!" As they entered the dining room, Maggie could see the table was covered in silver domed plates of varying sizes. "Wow did you have someone cater this?"
"Yes remember Patrick's friend with the restaurant we ate out on the roof?"
"How could I forget? It took me months to pay that off."
Bianca laughed. "True so, yes, I got them to cater all of this for us." Bianca walked over to where Maggie usually sat, confusing Maggie, until she saw Bianca pull out her chair for her. She blushed slightly, but took the offered seat anyway.
Bianca walked around the table to sit directly across from her. Once settled in, she removed the lids from their oyster appetizers. "I just got us iced tea to drink tonight, I hope you don't mind."
Maggie scrunched up her face slightly, confused by the proclamation. "Why did you do that? This spread seems to scream out for wine."
"I know, but well we always seem to get into trouble lately with alcohol, and with the way this morning went, it just seemed the more sensible thing to do."
"Ah yeah, you're right. Well then pass me some iced tea please!" She held out her glass and Bianca quickly filled it for her. "Why are we dining here by the way? Why not just go to the restaurant?"
"No Guy Kachel no outside pressures just you and me, and that's how I wanted it for once."
"I couldn't agree more," Maggie replied with a smile.
August 22nd 7:30 PM
The appetizers gone, the salads completed, the delicious duck l'orange devoured, they were just slowly digging away at their chocolate mousse desserts. They had exhausted all the normal dinner chit chat about how their days had been, what they had accomplished out in the real world, but with dinner winding down, now they seemed reduced to nervous glances and giggles. They would look down at their mousse, take a quick look at the other one without lifting their head, and then, when caught, look back as fast as possible.
Maggie finally cleared her throat and shifted in her chair slightly. "So when I called you today, you said you had been thinking about me. Care to share what it was exactly?"
Bianca blushed and giggled slightly as she twisted her spoon in the mousse. "Well I was um thinking about you from the other night actually when you were dancing."
It was Maggie's turn to blush. "Yeah, I kinda got into it, didn't I?"
"Just a tad not that I'm complaining mind you! It was just a bit distracting today at work is all."
There was a moment of silence again as Maggie looked down into her sinfully good dessert, moving it around with her spoon. "Well I was thinking similar thoughts today. Even though you weren't out on the dance floor all the time, you looked pretty damned hot sitting up there watching me."
Bianca gulped. "I didn't know you were even paying attention."
Maggie looked up to stare at her girlfriend directly. "How could I not? You were dead center to the dance floor, watching me the entire time you looked almost regal and and I'd be lying if I said all the dancing was just for me, a goodly amount of it was because I knew you were watching."
Bianca looked up and stared at Maggie for a long moment, their eyes locked, neither saying anything to the other. Maggie lifted a spoonful of the chocolaty desert to her lips without looking. She put the spoon in her mouth and pulled it out ever so slowly, scraping the mass of desert off with her lips as she did. After swallowing that, she placed the spoon back in her mouth, twisting it every direction imaginable. When it finally reemerged, it was as shiny as if it had just been washed.
Bianca gulped. Maggie smiled mischievously.
"You know " Maggie said as she looked down at her desert again, "I think that iced tea was a pretty good idea."
Bianca's throat was suddenly very dry. "Why's that?" she asked hesitantly.
"Well alcohol does always seem to get in our way doesn't it?"
"And we certainly can't say that adrenaline is a problem tonight."
"Maybe not for you "
Maggie smirked. "You know what I mean."
"I think at this point, Maggie, I don't want to jump to any conclusions about anything involving us. Especially not after what happened this morning."
Maggie smiled softly. "Yeah, I hear ya. I guess I guess I'm just saying " she looked up into Bianca's eyes, her right hand holding the now still spoon in her dessert, "that I wouldn't be opposed to you're going to make me say this aren't you?"
"I know it sucks, but I think it's for the best."
Maggie stared at Bianca for a long moment, studying the taller girl's eyes, searching them for a sign if they were indeed, at long last, on the same page. It seemed they were. "I wouldn't be opposed to us making love tonight." She immediately blushed and looked down again.
Bianca reached across the table, placing her right hand on top of Maggie's left. The touch was electric, the sensation speeding through the both of them, their eyes closing as they gulped in unison. "I can't say I would exactly be opposed either," Bianca said as she opened her eyes, "but, are you sure about this? This is the last huge step for us."
"I know and I get that, but I've really been ready for this for us for weeks, but one thing after another has gotten in our way. My stupidity on the couch too much wine work you name it, it's gone wrong. And tonight, Patrick and Guilia have Miranda, we're sober, I'm done with homework, I hope you have nothing you have to do "
Bianca cocked an eyebrow and grinned a devilish grin.
Maggie blushed. "Okay poor choice of words but you get what I mean."
"I do and this wasn't my intention for tonight, I promise, I just wanted to make up for this morning."
"I know that, but, really, don't you think our putting this off again and again is part of what led to the problems this morning?"
Bianca thought for a moment, finally retracting her hand as she did. "Yeah I think you're probably right we're both sexually frustrated."
"That's an understatement," Maggie said with a laugh.
"Yeah okay, well how about we clear these dishes and then we just see where the night leads?"
"That sounds like a wonderful plan to me, and if it doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel right."
"Agreed," Bianca said as she stood up and started picking up plates to carry into the kitchen.
Maggie followed her lead and did the same, trailing Bianca into the kitchen, a few feet behind her. Bianca got to the sink before her, placed the dishes in to be rinsed off after they had all been collected, and turned to return to the dining room.
This brought her nearly face-to-face with Maggie. She looked down at her shorter companion, who was looking up into her eyes, each hand carrying plates, this made Bianca stand in-between the shorter girl's out stretched arms. They stared at each other for a long moment, until finally, and without warning, Maggie dropped both handfuls of plates.
They crashed to the floor, breaking into dozens of shards and skittering across the floor. Neither woman cared as they quickly found their arms wrapped around each other, their lips entangled in an embrace of unbridled passion that had been years in the making.
Their hands shifted positions rapidly, running all over each others backs; their kisses were rapid and passionate, their heads changing position often. Bianca spun Maggie so her back was to the cabinets and she pressed her into them, their feet crunching plate shards as she did.
Her kisses moved away from Maggie's lips, moved along her jawbone, down on to her neck, along her shoulders
Bianca froze. They had been here before; she dreaded what was to come next. "What?" she asked, her lips still pressed against Maggie's shoulder.
"Can we just forget the dishes and get to my bedroom?"
Bianca closed her eyes, but this time it was in happiness. "Absolutely," she said as she lifted her head and smiled, looking down at her girlfriend, who returned the look.
"Worried, weren't ya?" she asked with her lopsided grin.
"Oh no, of course not!" Bianca replied with a roll of her eyes.
Maggie laughed, grabbed Bianca's left hand with her right, and walked quickly across the kitchen to her bedroom door. She opened it, they dashed through, and she closed the door behind her, shutting out the outside world well into the next morning.
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