DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Will never be mine. Just took them out for a show and returned them to Mr. Wolf's care. Story features Tracey Kibre and Kelly Gaffney of 'Law and Order: Trial by Jury'
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Perfect Day in May
Tracey Kibre sat in the living room of her brownstone, one leg draped casually over the arm of the overstuffed couch, a book in her hands, the windows thrown open to the warm Spring breeze that wafted in and gently caressed her skin. Her hair was loose around her shoulders, a slightly disheveled mass of black curls, little tendrils reaching up to just brush her cheeks.
On the small stand next to her was a tall glass of pale amber liquid, the ice-cubes just beginning to melt, a thin layer of condensation dripping languorously down the sides. From the Bose cd player in the armoire, the soft strains of Sunday in the Park with George swirled lightly through the room.
A perfect Saturday afternoon in May. There was only one thing that would make it any better. Kelly. Kelly lying on the couch with her head in Tracey's lap, blonde hair tousled, eyes matching the slightly faded blue of Tracey's jeans. Shaking her head at the lovely, impossible fantasy, Tracey tried to focus again on Gilead. She was falling into the gorgeous prose when it started.
Thump. Thump. Thump thump thump. Clang. Thud. Thump thump thump thump. Clang. Thud.
The thumping and clanging were accompanied by much yelling, "Give me the ball." "I'm open, I'm open!" "Shoot, idiot, shoot!"
Saturday afternoon basketball. Right outside her window. Thump thump thump. Tracey tried her best to focus on rural Iowa, but each dribble against the hard asphalt seemed to reverberate inside her skull, like marbles dropping into a kettle drum.
Tracey was determined that she was not going to allow such a minor thing to bother her. After all, it was a perfectly beautiful Spring day, a shining oasis finally reached through the barren desert of winter. Everyone wanted to enjoy it, to feel the warm air, the tantalizing touch of the sun against skin made dull and pale by endless dark days.
So, the kids were playing basketball. No big deal. She took a few deep breaths and again focused her considerable attention on the subtle splendor of the words on the page in front of her.
Thump, thump, thumpthumpthump, clang!
Thump thump. "What the hell is wrong with you! My grandma has a better shot!" Thumpthumpthumpthump. Clang! Thud!
"Dammit!" She swore loudly, her voice echoing against the rich crimson walls of the living room. Sitting up abruptly, she slammed the book shut, tossing it onto the glass-topped coffee table. Reaching for the remote, she turned up the volume on the cd, so that the soaring voices of Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin drowned out the pounding sound of the basketball.
Clang! Thumpthumpthumpthump! "Throw it, throw it!" Thumpthump! Clang!
She could still hear it. Nothing left to do but shut the window. It hardly seemed fair that she could not even enjoy the gloriously warm breeze blowing through her own windows, in her own house, but apparently, if she was going to enjoy anything else, she would have to do so sans fresh air. Glaring out at the four young men playing ball in the street, Tracey slid the wide casement window closed.
Sighing, she threw herself down on the couch, arms coming up to cover her face, trying to get lost in the music, in the infinite wit and beauty of the lyrics. She was almost to the point of complete relaxation when the sharp rapping of knuckles against the heavy wood of her front door startled her out of her musical reverie.
"God. What now?" Tracey muttered irritably, finally sitting up with a pronounced sigh. Swinging her feet to the cool boards of the hardwood floor, she padded barefoot to the foyer, pulling the door open with more force than necessary, so that the chain across the top strained against the metal plate.
"Tracey?" The voice sounded more than a little hesitant, but Tracey recognized it immediately. She heard it daily at work and nightly in her dreams, though with decidedly different inflections.
"Kelly. Sorry," she replied, pushing the door closed momentarily and removing the chain. Opening the door fully, Tracey's breath caught just a bit at the sight of her assistant dressed casually in faded Levis and a white short-sleeved sweater. "Come on in."
"I hope that I'm not intruding," Kelly began apologetically, slipping past Tracey to stand awkwardly in the doorway leading into the living room. Her expression was slightly embarrassed, like a child caught asking for something she had been denied so many times before. "I was out doing a little shopping, and I thought that maybe, well, I'm sure that with it being Saturday you already have plans. Don't worry about it. Dumb idea."
As Kelly walked by her, Tracey inhaled deeply, drawing in to her lungs and soul the scent of Kelly, the traces of citrus and fresh spring air, and unfocused longing. This was the first time that her assistant had come uninvited to her house, and Tracey couldn't stop the feeling of immense pleasure that flooded every part of her at the sight of Kelly standing so shyly in the foyer.
"What's a dumb idea?" Tracey asked gently, leaning against the doorframe with careless grace, her head tilted to the side and a fond smile just touching her lips.
"I just thought that maybe if you weren't busy, that you might be interested in having dinner with me," Kelly replied, her eyes caught and held by the dreamy intensity of Tracey's dark gaze. "There's a great Greek place not too far from here, if you don't have plans."
For an abbreviated eternity it seemed to Kelly, Tracey didn't answer, simply leaned against the deep walnut of the molding, and stared, a slow, torturously sexy smile curving full lips.
"I don't have plans," Tracey answered, her voice so low that it sent tremors along Kelly's skin, like thousands of individual earthquakes, epicenters rippling outward. "Just let me put some shoes on, and I'm all yours."
The promise in those husky tones, and in the depths of those Godiva eyes made Kelly's breath catch, start, catch again, a motor severely out of tune. Tracey turned and sauntered slowly into the living room, smiling up at Kelly from under her eyelashes as she slipped into her favorite Dolce mules. Picking up the remote, she silenced the cd player.
"All set," Tracey said, moving across the room with that dancer's sway that always captured Kelly's gaze. She stopped in front of the blonde and simply looked at her for a moment, one corner of her mouth turning upward. "Feel free to get dumb ideas anytime you want. I think that I could really learn to like them."
"Me, too," Kelly breathed, unconsciously running her tongue over her bottom lip.
"Come on, I'm starved," Tracey smiled, slipping her hand into the crook of Kelly's arm and guiding her to the door. Throwing it open, the noise of the world hurtled at them like a runaway bus.
Thump thump thump. "Shoot the ball!" Thump thump. Clang.
Stepping out onto the front stoop, the warm air rushed around them, the birds sent a sweet serenade from the braches of trees and tops of roofs. The sky was an impossible blue, the same blue of Kelly's eyes, Tracey noted, and from the street came the delightful sound of kids playing basketball. Funny, how just a scant hour ago it had seemed so annoying. Glancing over at her companion, Tracey Kibre couldn't help but think that this was indeed a perfect day in May.
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