DISCLAIMER: This story contains mutually fulfilling lesbian sex, strong language, and true love, so don't read it if any of those things offends you. The characters are mine; the world is ours.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By EldritchSandwich


I can tell you absolutely anything about pop star Kat Kara. I can tell you her real name (Katherine Moseley), I can tell you what's fake (hair color, nose) and what's real (breasts, rumors of tattoo on inner right thigh). I can tell you that she's always horny after a show and that she and trust-fund heir Billy Delaney only consummated their marriage once before it started to fall apart. I can tell you how she likes everything, from her coffee to her hotel rooms to her men. I don't know all this because I'm some kind of crazy Internet stalker like that guy they had on the news from Kansas who had the black-and-white photos plastered all over the walls of his cabin.

I know all this because I'm Kat Kara's personal assistant.

My name's Lisa Vatton, and I started working for Kat about two years ago, right after her North US/Canadian tour. She found out her last PA was selling gossip about her to the tabloids, and canned him. Despite the rumors, and the general princess air, she's not really a bad boss, especially if you know what you're doing. And I know what I'm doing. That's why after tonight's show in Tucson, as she flounces off stage and her manic, sultry grin fades to exhaustion, I'm right there with a smile and a freezing cold bottle of tonic water. Shooing off the stage hands and record industry lowlifes who seem to cluster around her everywhere, Kat takes the bottle gratefully and half-empties it in one long draw. Most people can't stand the taste of quinine, but Kat drinks a bottle of tonic straight, after every tour show—says it's the only thing that relaxes her. Just one more thing I could shock you with.

She'd normally be in the process of trying to get the costume off as we walk back toward the dressing room, but this one's by a new designer and the clasps are on the back, so she'll need my help. It's not as bad as some of the things she's worn on stage, but as always it's skintight and designed to show off as much of her body as possible without getting the FCC's attention. I'm walking a step behind her, and all of a sudden I catch myself glancing down at where the glittery material hugs the curve of her back…I pull my eyes away.

Oh, yeah, that's another thing. I've known I was a lesbian since I learned what the word meant and, pop temptress glamour aside, Kat's one of the most genuinely beautiful women I've ever met. But I don't let it interfere with my work; I'm nothing if not a professional. Kat's never even asked—she just assumes I'm straight. Sometimes I want to tell her, just to see if it would make a difference.

I click the door to the dressing room closed behind us, and the chatter of the record execs is shut out. With a low groan, Kat slides down into the chair and rubs two fingers against her forehead. She gets headaches on tour, especially quick transfers like we've been doing this week—something to do with the constant plane trips combined with the stage lights. I unscrew the bottle of ibuprofen I left on the makeup table and offer her two while she takes another sip of the tonic. She nods gratefully and takes the pills, swallowing them with the last of the bottle. "Jesus, it seems like my headaches get worse every time we do this. Remind me to talk to Jean about the tour schedule." I nod and slip out a tiny notebook, the kind with a calendar section, and a pen. I write 'Jean- Sched'. I'll know what it means. I put the book down on the makeup table as Kat gets up. "Help me out of this thing?"

I nod, clear my throat, and undo the first metal clasp on the top. That's one of the good things about Kat as a boss—I could hear that it was a request, not an order. If she thinks she can count on you, she doesn't feel like she has to order you around. She shrugs off the top as I undo the last clasp and hands it to me. I don't look at her breasts as they bounce free, but busy myself with attaching the top to the hanger. I've seen her naked so many times, it's not as awkward now, no matter how I feel about her. I slipped back in the hallway, but that was rare. I can usually manage to think of her as just a friend, even just a job. She slides the six-inch skirt down around her ankles, and I catch a glimpse of the aforementioned tattoo before she backs into the robe I hold out. It's a dahlia, with a double flower. She saw me looking at it one day when she was lounging around in her underwear, and explained that much. She never told me why she'd gotten it, though, and I've never asked. If she wants to tell me something, she will. If not, I don't push. That's one of the reasons we get along so well; I don't act star-struck.

Kat ties the robe in front of her and sinks back into the chair, eyes closed. There's a lot of business we have to cover, but part of me just wants to let her rest. That part makes me check myself in the mirror to give her a few more precious moments of silence. I'm twenty-two, petite, not unattractive, though I obviously pale in Kat's glow. Brown, curly hair down past my shoulder blades, blue eyes, and still a few freckles. I straighten the collar on my short-sleeved blouse—I always get mussed helping Kat push through the worshippers and brown-nosers. I used to dress more conservatively, sweaters and long skirts, but the contrast when we made public appearances was just too much—I looked like I was her bodyguard. Over time, my shirts have gotten more colorful, my skirts have gotten shorter, and my shoes have gotten more…interesting. Finally, I brush the wrinkles out of my skirt and have to get back to business.

"You got two messages during the show. Stephen from the Nightly Show called to see whether we're going to go with Thursday or Friday…"

Kat sighs and sits back up. "And I'm free on both nights?"

"Yes. Friday generally has more viewers, but you've got the flight Saturday, so you wouldn't get much sleep in between. I think we're getting enough publicity on this tour to sacrifice some viewers and go with Thursday, then you can have Friday off."

At that, Kat smiles a little. "A day off? Me?" I shrug. "You take way too good care of me. Thursday it is."

I nod and circle the 'T' next to 'Steph' in my notes. "Also…Billy called from the plane. He'll be in Boston when you're there for the Lovelorn video, and he'd like to have dinner with you."

Kat scoffs. "Yeah, me and a dozen paparazzi, I'm sure."

"Maybe he just wants to talk to you. You haven't seen each other face-to-face in…" I check the last page of the notes, "…two months."

Kat stands up and starts pacing. She's always wired after a show and, in lieu of sex, she has to do something physical. "I'm not going to have time in Boston, I'm going to be reviewing the new studio lyrics when we're not shooting. I don't even know why I have to see him at all."

I smile. "Isn't that the general idea behind married life?"

She shakes her head, platinum ringlets whipping about her face. "I swear, if it wasn't for the stupid movie studio, we'd just forget it. I don't feel like I'm married anyway." She lies down on the couch, long, tan legs spilling out of the robe. "He's fucking his publicist, you know."

I look up. "Hm?"

"Billy? His publicist, Mary Tanner…Tam…"


"Tannith. He's fucking her. He practically told me so last time we talked." She sits up. Like always after a show, she can't keep still. "At least he's getting some. He's a millionaire playboy, he's allowed to fuck his publicist. I so much as wink at a guy, the tabloids'll bring back that 'Alley Kat' shit." I'm sitting in the swiveling chair from the makeup station, pulling closer until we look like some kind of weird therapy session. Without warning, she leans forward and her hands are on my knees. "I haven't had sex in almost a year. Sometimes I just want to grab someone, I swear!" I glance down at her hands on my legs; she touches me sometimes, hugs me or strokes my hair, but this is making me a little more edgy than usual. Holy shit, Lisa. Control yourself.

As if she suddenly realizes how needy she looks, Kat clears her throat and leans back onto the couch. "I bet you never have that problem, do you? I kind of envy you, Lisa. You're beautiful, you can probably get any guy you want, and you don't have to worry about Entertainment blowing it back in your face." I look back up at her and blink. She's never called me beautiful before. I don't think she's ever called anyone beautiful before.

I clear my throat. "You've got pretty light shooting on Tuesday the first. Why don't you take him up on dinner, show up in a cocktail dress that'll curl his socks, and just order him to come back to your hotel room and have sex with his wife for once?" Kat giggles. I like the sound—she's told me before that I'm one of the few people who can actually make her laugh. "I'm penciling him in for Tuesday night…" I write it in the calendar section, "…through Wednesday morning." She laughs again, then sighs.

"I guess I've got fans to meet and greet, right?" I nod as I slip the notebook back into my pocket. She looks down at the robe, which has split open so that a well-placed shadow is the only thing leaving any part of her to the imagination. "Don't suppose I can just go dressed like this?"

"We might get a nice endorsement deal from the manufacturer of the bathrobe." She laughs, stands up, and drops off the robe. Once she's slipped into something that can be comfortable without breaking her image, we head for the door. I can practically hear the press outside, milling around like locusts. When I open the door for her, the flashbulbs start to go off, and the manic, seductive smile is back on her face. That's my smile. I'm the one who keeps that part of her, the part they all want to see, going. She's said it—I'm the most important person in her life. And she's the most important person in mine.

By the time we get back to the hotel, I'm exhausted. I slide the door to my room closed, and I don't even bother to turn on the light. I barely have time to kick my shoes off and unbutton my blouse before I collapse onto the mattress. Automatically, I go over the itinerary in my head: back to LA tomorrow, for studio sessions and meetings with execs, then the Nightly taping on Thursday, and finally the coveted Friday off. Then off to Boston for video shooting and dinner with Billy…I give out a low moan and let the sleep come. The last thought before I slip into unconsciousness? God, I love my job.

I stretch on Kat's patio and gaze down at the valley below us. We're back in Hollywood and the shooting for the Nightly Show was yesterday, so that means that today's Free Friday. I turn to Kat, lounging around beside the pool. "So, what were you planning to do today?"

She sighs and sits up in the lawn chair as I take the one next to her. "Honestly? I think I'd just rather stay in, relax."

I smile, nod, and start to get up. If she wants to be left alone, I have things I can take care of today. Before I'm out of my seat, though, Kat grabs my arm. "Wait." I sit back down, and Kat leans closer to me. "I'm really glad to have you, Lisa. You know that, right?"

I swallow. "Of course, Kat." There's a pause…we just stare at each other. I shake my eyes away and start to stand up. That's when she kisses me.

All at once, on the mouth, forcing my lips open with her tongue, sliding her fingers through my hair. I have to fight—she's my boss, she's my boss…no good. My tongue fights back against hers, and almost without thinking, my hands wrap around to undo her bikini top. I can feel her breasts press into mine as she kisses up my neck on the way to my ear. "Oh, God, Lisa I want you," Kat whispers, "I've wanted you since the first time I saw you…"

I wake up with a jerk, covered in sweat…I hope it's just sweat. I'm still in Tucson, in that hotel room that's twenty degrees hotter than it should be. I close my eyes and sigh. Jesus Christ, Lisa. Get a grip.

I look out over Kat's patio down at the valley below us. We're really back in Hollywood, and today's really Kat's day off. She's really lounging by the pool, but in a t-shirt instead of a suit. I clear my throat. The dream was three days ago, but I'm still nervous. I've never had a dream like that about Kat before. I gulp and turn to face her. "So, what were you planning to do today?"

She sits up and looks out over the forested ridge that surrounds the house, as if she hadn't really thought about it yet. "Well…" She looks back at me. "Aren't you going to sit down?"

I swallow my breath again. "Sure." I take the lounge chair next to hers haltingly. I think I might be shaking a little. Kat squints at me.

"Are you okay?"

I nod. "Yeah. It's nothing." Kat stares at me for a few more moments, then drops her gaze back toward the landscape. That respect for privacy I was talking about works both ways. "Anyway, you were saying?"

"Right. Well, actually, after I lie around for a while, I think I'd like to go hiking." She sweeps her hand across the view of the wild hills around us. "I mean, I have all this land, and I don't think I've ever even been on it. I think I'd like to hike the ridge." I nod and make a mental note or two. Kat lies back in the lounge chair and sighs contentedly. "Then, I think I'd like to get a pet. You know, something to be there to welcome me home. Do you have any pets?"

I shrug. "I have a pot-bellied pig living in my apartment. Sometimes it seems like he owns the place and I'm the pet, though." Kat smiles slightly. She doesn't get to hear this kind of thing very often.

"Well, then I thought I'd lie around until dinner and cap the night off with a game of chess."

I nod, then look up. "I don't think you have a board here."

She frowns. "Oh."

"That's all right, though. I can pick one up when I'm getting groceries for tonight. I mean, you haven't been here in a month, I can't imagine anything you have in the fridge is still good."

Kat looks up at me slowly. "You…you're going to cook for me?"

I shrug. "I've heard I'm pretty good."

Kat smiles and shakes her head. "You spoil me, Lisa. I don't deserve you."

I beam in spite of myself. "I know."

It's about an hour later, and we're stepping out onto the wooded ridge that rises over the hills surrounding Kat's house; it's a good thing I wore shorts today instead of a skirt. I look over at Kat—she's wearing the most casual clothes she owns, still enough to make my entire wardrobe want to kill itself. She takes the first steps down a poorly defined trail that circles the ridge, and I follow. I can't remember the last time I did something like this; I've always loved the outdoors, and the land around Kat's mansion is just gorgeous. She's more than a few steps ahead of me now, white-gold hair tied back in a loose ponytail and bouncing behind her, and I jog to catch up. I can't help it—she has longer legs than I do. I manage to keep good time with her as we clear the top of the ridge and, without a word, drop down to rest.

As Kat pulls open her water bottle and takes a swig, she looks me over. It's purely casual, just a girl thing, but I can't help but squirm a little. Finally, she looks up into my eyes. "You should wear things that show off your legs more." I blink. "You have really nice legs."

I clear my throat. "Thanks." I don't really know what else to say. I breathe a sigh of relief when we stand back up and start to walk.

The rest of the hike's not that hard. Despite the respective spoiled rich girl and industry busybody stereotypes, we're both in good shape—gyrating on stage is apparently a good workout, and I certainly get plenty of exercise running around on errands all day. We're sweating a little and breathing hard when we get back to the house, but Kat looks as alive as I've ever seen her. Glad I got her that day off.

It's now about…nine thirty, I guess. We finished my signature fettucini and eggplant and we've started to play chess. Kat's good, better than I gave her credit for. I'm about to move my knight when something brushes against my leg. I start and look down; Kat's new kitten (what else?) is rubbing against my shoes. I chuckle and pick her up. "She is really cute." The kitten purrs as I draw my finger across her throat. "Have you thought of a name for her yet?"

Kat takes the cat and shrugs. "I'm thinking of going with…Dog."

I look up from my knight and giggle. "Kat's cat Dog? Has a nice ring to it."

"Just move before one of us dies of old age." I slide my knight out. She moves her queen. "Check." I move out. She brings her bishop around in a fork. "Check." I shake my head and back my king into the corner behind my rook. She pulls her bishop back. "You're not letting me win, are you?"

I look up at her in faux shock. "I would never."

"Oh, really? Sure you don't just want to make the boss happy?"

"My hand to God."

"Prove it, then. Come on."

I slide my free rook to her back row. "Mate."

Kat studies the board for a second, then grins. It's not her stage grin—it's one that probably only her mother and I have ever seen, the one that reaches her eyes. It's spellbinding. "Thanks for today, I mean…everything. I haven't had a day like this in a long time."

I shrug. "That's what I'm here for." I glance down at my watch. "You know, I think I should get going. We have to catch the flight to Boston tomorrow morning." Kat nods and walks me to the front door. Before I can leave, she hugs me, hard, like she does sometimes. I can't help it. I smell her hair. Then I wave goodbye, blushing (not enough to see in the evening half-light), and get in my car.

When I get back to my apartment, Homer's waiting at the door for me. With a coo, I lift the pig up and scratch between his ears. I have to remember to thank Mr. Dewey across the hall for taking care of him when I'm away. Homer looks up at me as I sink down onto the loveseat. I shake my head sadly. "Oh, Homer, why isn't it ever simple?" It might just be giddiness or the bottle of wine we had with dinner, but I could almost swear I can see him shrug. I sigh. "Yeah. I got nothing."

Now it's Tuesday night, the night of the first time Kat's seen Billy since New York. I glance at my watch—it's almost eleven. They're probably having sex right now. I'm not. I'm sitting in a bar in downtown Boston nursing a gin and tonic (okay, so she got it to grow on me) and turning down the guys who stagger over to hit on me. I sigh, set down my drink, and tip the bartender. I should probably be getting back to the hotel; I've got work tomorrow and so far only men have tried to pick me up. I've seen a couple women I would have liked to talk too, but I'm not so good at that sort of thing. That's why I'm a personal assistant—I'd rather let her live the exciting life and just bask in the glow. I'm just out the door when my cell phone rings. I sigh and flip it out. It's Kat. "Kat? What can I do for you?" I don't hear much on the other end. Just indistinct breathy sounds. I think…I think she's crying. "Kat, what's wrong?"

I hear her sniff. She's definitely crying. "Would you…where are you?"

"I was just about to head back to the hotel."

"Would you come up to the penthouse, please?"

I'm already trying to hail a cab. I've never heard her like this. "Kat, what happened?" She doesn't say anything. I slide into the cab, tell the driver where to go, and listen to Kat cry until we pull up outside the hotel.

She snuffles again as she takes the tea from me. I got here five minutes ago, and her eyes were red. Billy was nowhere to be seen. I don't really know what to say. She's obviously distraught, and just as obviously more than a little drunk. "What happened?"

Kat takes a sip of the tea and shakes her head. "He came. He came and he went." She chuckles unsteadily, halfway between laughing and crying. "We came up here after dinner and we were all over each other, just like when we first got married. He came in five fucking minutes, then he said he had a meeting to get ready for tomorrow morning. He knew I'd understand!" I jump back as she throws the complimentary hotel mug against the wall. It shatters with a dull, ceramic clang, and that gets her crying again. "I'm a fucking international sex symbol and my own husband won't even stick around for five fucking minutes!" I don't know what else to do—I reach out and embrace her, letting her cry on my shoulder. I can feel her vibrate against me as sobs wrack her body. "I could have any guy on this fucking planet and that fucking hairy-backed two-inch-long son of a bitch doesn't even look at me afterwards!" She grabs me tighter and keeps sobbing. She says something, but it's muffled by my blouse against her face.


"I'm a fucking whore!"

I move my hand up to run through her hair, like comforting a child. "You're not."

"I'm a fucking whore and my husband would rather fuck his publicist! I might as well be jerking off teenage boys in a mall parking lot."

"Come on, don't talk like that. You know that's not true."

"Oh, go fuck yourself, Lisa! I don't need a fucking den mother!" She gasps and pulls back from me as soon as she says it. I can't imagine the look in my eyes, but it must be horrible to make the look in hers. "Oh, God, I'm so sorry." She dives back toward me and hugs me even tighter.

I shake my head and kiss her on the forehead. "It's okay. It's going to be fine."

She sniffs, smiles a little more, and kisses me on the cheek. Then the look in her eyes changes. I don't know what it is, exactly—my ego wants to think that she's been hiding it for the past two years, but it's probably just a combination of alcohol and Billy's leaving her so unsatisfied—but she kisses me again. Still on the cheek, but closer to the lips this time. Before I have time to do anything, she does it again, this time half on the lips, half off. "Kat, I…"

"Shh…" She moves her mouth over mine. It's just like in my dream, only slower. She uses her tongue to push my lips open and glides her fingers up and down my cheeks. I can't help but shiver. Then I pull away. She looks horrified, although I can't really be sure whether it's because of what she's done or how I reacted.

"I…I have to go." I'm almost crying now. Why did it have to go that way? Why couldn't I have been the one to slip up and start something so she'd be disgusted and fire me? Why the fuck couldn't it just be easy?

I meet Kat at the airport the next morning. Neither of us really says anything until we're on the plane. Once we're in the air, she looks over at me. "Um, Lisa…" I wince. Here it comes. "I just want to thank you for looking after me last night. I appreciate it." I smile and shrug. Not exactly what I was expecting. "I, uh…I guess I had a little too much to drink, because things are kind of a blur, but…I have this weird feeling I did something really embarrassing."

I let out a long, hard mental sigh of relief. On the outside, I smile and shake my head. "No. You were a perfect gentleman."

Kat flashes me a smile. With that apparent weight off of her mind, she sits back and slips on the headphones. She could afford a private plane, and Billy tried to buy her one once, but she prefers to fly regular, if first class. Says she doesn't want to get too detached. This keeps her humble.

I let out a breath as I sink back into my seat. Well, I guess we're right back where we started.

Kat takes the bottle of tonic water from me gratefully and pushes through the fawning masses back toward the dressing rooms. It's been about a month since Boston, and Kat's back on tour. I guess things are back to normal: for her, at least. For me, it seems to get harder every day.

I click the door shut, and she finishes the last of the tonic water and slips her costume off. I can't help but look more closely this time as she shimmies into the short cotton robe. With a groan, she sloughs down into the chair. "God, I'm so tense." I nod. Then I startle as she peels the robe down off her shoulders. "Lisa, could you give me a neckrub?" I hesitate, and she looks back. "I mean, I know it's not exactly your job description, but…"

"No, it's fine." Kat smiles and turns back, and I step forward. The second my fingers touch her skin, she lets out a low moan. I swallow my breath. My hands begin to move—I've never really felt her skin before. It glides under my fingers like silk, and she sighs contentedly as I tease and pinch and push the knots I find.

"Oh, God, Lisa, you're so good at this." One hand snakes around the front of her shoulder blade, fingers passing too close to her breast, half-exposed from behind the robe. I jerk my fingers back toward her neck. She doesn't seem to notice, she just lets out a long breath. "Could you go lower?" I gulp, fighting with myself for what seems like an eternity. Then, my hands shakily move down her back, pushing the robe farther down. I catch the view of us in the mirror—her breasts have slipped free of the robe now. Her nipples are usually fairly flat, but now they look…no. It's just my imagination. Or all the rubbing against the costume from the show. Get a damn grip, Lisa. My fingers trace across her back, and Kat purrs serenely. This is crazy. I don't know how much more of this I can take. My palms are back up on her shoulders now, and I start to pull away, but suddenly her hands are on mine. "No, please…" She guides my hands back down onto her shoulders, eyes still closed. I start to rub, her hands pressing into mine, and then I feel a tug. Slowly, she's pulling my hands forward, in front of her neck. Before I know it, my hands are at the tops of her breasts, still moving in small circles. She's breathing more heavily. So am I.

I have no idea which one of us it is, but someone jerks. Suddenly, I'm at the corner of the chair instead of behind it, and my left hand is on her breast. Her hand moves off of mine, sliding up my arm, pushing my blouse out of the way. Her fingernails tickle my skin, and I can't help but keep rubbing. Her fingers wrap limply around my arm, drawing me closer to her body. Her arms are edging up mine, and I have to either break the hold or keep sliding toward her. I'm practically sitting in her lap, now. My hands move down, pushing the robe open to reveal her flat but defined stomach. As my hands move over her breasts, I catch her nipples between my fingers momentarily. They're as hard as rocks. My hands crawl down to surround her waist, and I lift her slowly from the chair. We totter backward, arms flitting over each other's skin, until I run into the couch.

Gently, I lean down until I can lie comfortably. Kat follows me down and lets the robe drop off. Her hands move from my arms to my stomach and begin sliding my filmy top up over my shoulders. Her hands glide over my bra, and I gasp involuntarily. My hands are over my head, and I use them as well as I can to fling off the shirt. Kat's finger glides under the front closure of my brassiere; the snap pops open and her hands glide up, pushing the soft cups off of my smaller breasts. She's sitting on my stomach, and my hands reach around to knead her ass, urging her farther onto my body. She reaches behind her back and, more adroitly than I could ever have imagined possible, undoes my jeans. She slides back, pushing the pants off with her legs as she goes, and I breathe in sharply as her shaved pussy rubs past mine. I don't wear panties any more—because Kat doesn't. It's a solidarity thing. Kat lies down across my body, her legs wrapping around mine and her pussy pressing against me. Her breasts push harder against mine, and I can't fight. My head jerks up, my lips landing in light patterns around her areolas, and Kat's back arches, grinding her pussy harder against mine. Her hands slide up my sides, brushing over my shoulders and locking into my hair, urging my lips closer to her skin. I slide her nipple between my lips, nipping at it with my teeth. My first real girlfriend, sophomore year of high school, taught me about that—it always drove me crazy. Kat gasps, and I can literally feel her skin swell and harden against my tongue. I lean up, and her lips grind onto mine, our tongues slipping against each other. Then she stops. Just like a fairy tale—something in the kiss broke the spell. She pulls back and looks in my eyes. And she looks terrified. "Oh, god, what are we doing?"

I feel like I'm about to cry. "I don't know. God, I'm sorry, I should have just—" The words 'told you everything and left' melt in my mouth as she kisses me again, eyes closed, and her hands slide down onto my sides. I feel like I'm on fire as she glides over my stomach, the friction against my skin is so powerful. The heat from the inside of Kat's thighs moves down my legs, and a string of frantic kisses stampedes down the middle of my chest. I almost jump up as her lips brush between my legs, soft kisses tracing down the sides of my vulva. Her tongue breaks between my folds and begins to dart up and down, lapping at the walls as my breath shortens. She takes my clitoris in her lips and rotates the little bulb until the pleasure is so intense that I can't even see straight. In the seconds before I come, one lucid thought manages to slip through the electrical haze—where did she learn how to do this? After that, I scream, and lose control of every muscle in my body, and the answer doesn't matter anymore.

Kat's close to coming too, I can tell just by looking at her. My fingers roll down the outsides of her thighs, eventually hooking under her knees. "Lean back."

She nods urgently and begins to arch, first her shoulders, then her stomach, then her thighs sloping away from me, until she's lying on my legs, her open cleft just below my belly. One hand reaches out to hold her calf against me, and she bucks as my free index finger slides into her. I adjust my weight to look into her eyes, and she nods feverishly. When I slide my middle finger between her wet lips, she rises off my hips, pushing against me as I drive deeper into her. I pull out almost completely and uncurl my ring finger—I can barely fit all three inside her, but she lets out an ecstatic grunt when I push in again, rising to meet me as I work in and out. When my cramping fingers twist in for what seems like the hundredth time, I finally feel the slick skin tighten around me, and Kat lets out a stream of breathy screams as the juice of her orgasm falls, drop by drop, onto my lap. When the screaming stops, Kat falls, utterly shattered, against me. As the fog of lust clears away, it actually dawns on me what just happened. And what it means. I look across the couch into Kat's eyes. We're both panting. She looks terrified.

She opens her lips to say something, then closes them. Then opens them again. "I…" Her eyes keep flitting up and down. She can't look at me—but she can't look away.

By now it's been about…God, I don't know, ten minutes? We're just sitting across the couch from each other, still naked, curled up on ourselves, staring at each other. I start to cry.

I set a glass of water down in front of Kat, and she smiles thinly. She looks around the brick-red kitchen walls nervously, and I suddenly realize this is the first time she's ever been in my apartment. She was supposed to have a magazine interview and a licensing meeting today, but I cancelled everything. We have to talk. But neither of us wants to start. Kat clears her throat.

"This is a nice place."

I nod weakly. "Yeah."

"So…" We both say it at the same time, then fall flat.

"You first."

I clear my throat hesitantly, then nod. "Okay. Um…" I can't force the words past my lips. Finally, they push their way through all at once, and I'm almost crying again. "I've been out of the closet since high school. I've only ever been attracted to women and I should have told you, but I was afraid of what you'd think. I never intended to…" I stop, and look down into Kat's eyes for the first time since we left the arena four hours ago. "I've tried very, very hard not to let it affect my work. God, I'm sorry—"

"No, no, Lisa…" she leaps up from the kitchen chair and rushes forward to grab my arms, "you didn't do anything wrong. It was all my…" She lets go of me and back away. "I don't know what…" She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. "I'm starting to feel things…about you…that…I don't feel about women or…about anyone." She pushes against the flimsy kitchen table with a frustrated growl. "I don't know what I'm talking about!" She takes a deep breath and, finally, looks straight into my eyes. I see something there that tells me more than words ever could. "I just know that…that I want you to want to kiss me again."

Years of tension melt away as we fall into each other's arms. I bury my face in her hair, drowning myself in the smell, feeling safe and warm in a way I never have in my life. "I always will. Oh, God, I always have."

Kat freezes in place as the music being piped into the interior of the volcano cuts out. The stage lights die, and the director nods to his crew. "All right, Miss Kara, that's a wrap for today. We got some wonderful shots."

"Great." Kat steps daintily over the styrofoam rocks that litter her path. When she sees me standing to the side of the 'B' camera, she smiles. It's a smile she's only developed over the last two months, and it still makes me blush a little.

"Good work."

"Thank you, Lisa." A few of the crew members are glancing at Kat; she clears her throat and we start toward the dressing rooms. "So, let's go over my appointments for this week."

I nod, still all business. "Right. Well, this evening you've got an interview with Rolling Stone." I check the next page of the calendar. "Tomorrow's the last day of shooting on the video…Wednesday is a mental health day…" She grins devilishly, and I follow. Now that I have the incentive, I've found that creative scheduling makes it possible to give her a lot more free time. "Thursday through Saturday are studio recording for the album, then Saturday night you have the premiere of Wake Up Call with…Billy…" I fade out, and I can see Kat tense at his name. He's been trying to contact her since about a week after Boston.

She wets her lips and looks up at me. "I'd rather go with you." I turn my eyes back toward the calendar. We both know it's not possible. But I want it too.

"It's your and his studio releasing it." She nods sadly. "By the way, he called again…when you were on set." The great pop star Kat Kara is staring at the floor guiltily as we walk. "I'm running out of things to tell him."

She takes a deep breath. "Tell him to go fuck his publicist." I can't help but crack a smile. We reach the door to the dressing room, and I hold it open as she starts to undo the brass toggles on the slashed Napoleonic war jacket. The door clicks closed behind us, and Kat is smiling again. "Now, on to new business…" I grin, flick the lock closed behind us, and lean forward into her arms. Our mouths crush together softly, and my hands play with her elaborately sculpted hair. We pull apart to look into each other's eyes, and Kat's gorgeous lips curl into a mischievous smile.

I squint. "What?"

"The press is right outside." She plants a short kiss on my lips and her arms encircle me. "We should just go out and announce it, right now."

My smile fades. "Kat, that isn't funny."

Her features soften. "No, it's not. There's no reason it should be."

"We've talked about this. I can't let you do that, I'm not worth it."

She squeezes me tighter. "You're worth everything."

I lay my head on her shoulder and just let the pressure of her embrace and the feel of her hair against my cheek carry me away. I wish we could stay like this forever.

She straightens up, and I reluctantly pull back. Kat's smiling again. "So…I have Wednesday all to myself?"

I grin.

Maybe it's partly my influence, but Kat Kara is a very structured individual; even her free days seem to take on the same general patten. First we go for a hike, usually trying to find some new unexplored corner of her property, then we have "free time" that's generally either spent shopping or fooling around in the pool. Then I make dinner (Kat tried once…we don't talk about it anymore), then we play chess. Just like the first time when we got Dog, except that now we usually end up naked on the couch.

Not that I'm complaining.

Besides, it's not entirely predictable. Sometimes we make it all the way to the bed.

Right now, I'm slipping the spaghetti-stained plates in the main dishwasher while Kat sets up the chess board. She has the money and the square footage that would suggest having an entire staff of servants, but says she's here so rarely that she doesn't see the point. She has a maid service and a gardener keep everything neat, but the rest of the chores (like cooking or filling the dishwasher) fall to whoever happens to be around. And right now, that's me.

I hear her voice drift in from the den just as I swing the dishwasher closed. "Are you almost done?"

"I'll be right out." Her cell phone, sitting on the opposite end of the marble counter, releases a burst of Bach. "Do you want me to get that?"

"Let it go to voicemail. I want to beat the pants off you!"

I saunter out of the massive, white-tiled kitchen. "Funny you should say that…" Kat looks at me curiously as I settle into the easy chair opposite her place on the couch. "I thought we might try something a little different this time." She arches her eyebrow, and I smile wickedly. "One kiss for every captured pawn. If you lose a bigger piece, you lose an article of clothing too."

She almost laughs. "Strip chess?" My grin widens. Kat shakes her head. "You are really weird."

"Well, if you're too chicken…" Before I can finish my thought, she's advanced her king's pawn. Now she's looking up at me mischievously.

"Your move."

Kat slides her knight across the board into my bishop. I feign annoyance as she lifts it into the air. "Well, it looks like you lost another three point piece." She gestures toward my chest with her eyes and I smile.

I've already lost my shoes and my khakis so now, shaking my head, I start to unbutton my blouse. When the material slides down over my shoulders, it means I'm now only wearing a bra. Kat's lost her shoes and her shirt, but I've taken most of her pawns and, what's more, she seems a little distracted. I can't imagine why.

I take her last pawn with one of mine. She lifts herself from the couch, grinning, and leans across the coffee table to plant a lingering kiss on my lips. Without moving completely back, she takes the pawn I'd used with her queen. I rush forward to meet her lips, giggling. She starts to give way toward the couch, and something tells me we're not going to finish the game.

My hands pull Kat's head toward mine as she comes to rest against the couch. Our lips glide hungrily over each other, and I can feel the familiar tingle building between my legs. Kat's hands work behind my back, undoing my bra and sliding it down over my arms. Her hands knead my nipples and I begin to hum in pleasure. We break our kiss and stare for one beautiful, silent moment into each other's eyes.

"Is this a bad time?"

I pride myself on my awareness of my surroundings. Memory, sensory perception, these are the kinds of things a good PA needs. But that's how close I've gotten to Kat; being with her, so focused on her, means I can miss anything. Like the click of the front door being unlocked.

Billy Delaney stands stock straight, arms crossed tight against his chest, as Kat and I struggle to untangle our intertwined legs. Kat finally manages to tug herself free while I pull a pillow up over my chest and search the ground furtively for my pants. Kat stands up, hair in a tangle and eyes burning. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"I guess you didn't get my message." Billy stares at me for a moment as I grab for my shirt, and I freeze. I'm afraid he's going to kill me. "Lisa, could you give us a little privacy?"

My eyes flit down to the ground. "Yes , Mr. Delaney."

Kat's head whips around toward me. "No, Lisa, stay. You deserve to hear this."

"Oh, the hell she does!" Billy finally uncrosses his arms, spreading them wide. "So this is why you haven't been returning my calls."

Kat shakes her head. "Don't you dare…"

"At least it explains why you were always so frigid…"

"Don't you dare think this has one fucking thing to do with you!" Billy finally lets his mouth drift closed as Kat advances on him. "You stopped being part of my life a long time ago, Billy. You don't get to walk in here uninvited and judge me."

"Hey looks like you grew a backbone when you went dyke—"

"Oh, that's mature—"

"I am still your husband, God damn it!"

"Consider this a preliminary divorce hearing. I can have papers ready by tomorrow."

Billy narrows his eyes. "You wouldn't dare."

"We've got an ironclad pre-nup. I'm worth twice as much as you are anyway. I can do whatever the hell I want."

"You fuc…what about the premiere?"

"Fuck it! I'm fed up with your pet projects."

"The studio's under both our names. If you pull out, you'll lose millions."

"It's a small price to pay."

"I'll lose millions!"

"Yeah, Billy. Watch how much I care."

Billy takes a deep breath, fists clenched. His eyes drift over to me, and I get a cold shiver down my back. He presses his lips together bitterly. "No. Here's what's going to happen. You're going to go to with me to the premiere. You're going to smile, you're going to say how happy you are to be making a difference. Then you're going to keep being a good little wife until we recoup our investment in the studio—as long as it takes—at which point we never have to see each other again."

"Am I missing something that would make me give a shit?"

"The part where in return I don't give your little girlfriend's name to every supermarket tabloid with a phone number." Kat freezes in her tracks. I'm having trouble breathing. "Someone with your name recognition, I bet they'd just have a field day." He swaggers closer, thin lips pressed into a sinister sneer. "You play my way, or I swear, next to you Ellen Degeneres will look like a neocon poster child."

No one says anything after that. I can't help but hold my breath until I hear Billy slam the front door behind him. Then I start wheezing. Kat's back by my side, cradling me, but I can feel her shaking too. I want to be strong. I want to protect her. But I can't. I start to sob as she holds me tighter. "I'm so sorry, Kat…"

"No, no it's okay…"

I shake my head. "God, I'm so sorry."

We didn't talk last night—I think I fell asleep in Kat's arms. When I wake up, it's in her bed, the sheets a mess, with a yellow sticky note on the pillow next to me.

'Just rest.'

I glance up at the clock, bleary-eyed. It's almost one; Kat's at the studio working on her next album. I guess I was more wiped out than I thought. I drag myself out of bed, and everything that happened last night hits me. I start to cry again, and this time there's no one for me to lean on. I collapse to the floor, sobbing, and then choke when I feel something brush against my stomach.

"Mau?" I lean back, smile with relief, and scoop Dog into my arms. The kitten purrs when I kiss her on the head.

"Do you have any idea how lucky you are?"


The sound of the door opening snaps my attention away from the hypnotic dance of the fireplace. My muscles relax—I hadn't even realized I'd been tensing them—when Kat comes into view, but I don't get up from my position crouched on the couch. It's about ten o'clock. "I went out to dinner with Billy." She makes it sound like a confession, but I just nod matter-of-factly. "Outdoor café…he had to make sure the reporters could get to us." A breath escapes my throat that could almost be a chuckle. Kat stands awkwardly for another moment on the landing. Then I'm in her arms. She circles her hands around me, and I bury my face in her hair. "I hate this. God, I hate this."

"I know. But you have to do it."

She squeezes me tighter, tighter than she ever has. "I know."

After another night of sleeping it off, I think I'm finally ready to get back to work. I accompany Kat to the studio today, watching through the window of the recording booth. She does have a beautiful voice, and she looks incredible when she sings. It's not the same when she's on stage, just lip-syncing to her own voice. Because right now, she looks happy. Like nothing bothers her. The only other times I see her like this are on her days off, and whenever she's about to kis…I look away. How did this get so complicated? As I look back up at her, a tiny, distant part of me misses what it was like before she knew.

I jump a little as her cell chimes. I look at the screen—it's a text message from Billy. 'Fax # where you are?' I frown. I don't want to have anything to do with him, but then I remember that he's supposed to send over Kat's speech for the premiere the second it's finished. I turn to the studio manager, standing at the back of the booth watching the session.

"John, do you have a fax machine here?"

"Yeah, right through there in the office."

"What's the number?"

I punch it in and send it to Billy, then reluctantly tear myself away from Kat, down the corridor that leads to the office. By the time I get there, the fax machine is buzzing. The first page is Kat's speech. I take a quick glance:

'You know, we live in a world that's become more and more concerned with appearances, and with what people think is right. What people think is safe. Well, I'm one to talk (pause for laugh). It is because I'm so familiar with this plastic, cookie-cutter culture that my husband and I are proud to be behind a studio like Djinni, that will bring art cinema back into the blahblahblahblah blah…' It sounds like Billy all over. I set it down and look at the next page as it prints. My eyes go wide.

"What the hell is this?" Kat slams the fax page down on the polished mahogany of Billy's desk.

He picks up my discharge and smoothes it out, not looking at either of us. "I didn't think you'd mind. I do have veto on some of your holdings if I think they concern me." Finally he looks up at her, and the malice there makes me shrink back toward the wall. "You want to fuck her, go ahead, but you're not paying her for it with my money."

"My money!"

"Don't try to play hardball with me, Katherine. How many copies of that new album will be left once the family values people organize a few bonfires? You want your private life to stay private, keep it out of our publicly-traded corporation." An alarm beeps, and Billy glances down at his computer. "Ah. You'll excuse me, I'm late for a meeting." He strides between us and throws open the door without slowing his pace. "I trust you can show yourselves out."

I can't move. He's right. Legally. Which means I'm not Kat Kara's PA anymore, effective immediately. "Lisa? Lisa, honey, I…"

"Don't." It's such a low whisper I can barely hear myself. "Kat, I…I can't do this. He's right."

"He's not. It's my choice."

I spin around to face her almost automatically. "No, it's not! Whether or not to ruin your career isn't a choice. I couldn't live with myself if you did that!" She tries to move toward me, but I step away. "This was all a mistake."

I can't stand the look in her eyes. "What are you saying?"

"This is all my fault. I should have just…I should have told you how I felt before it would have made a difference, then just left."

I'm out of the office, running, before she can say whatever she was about to. I think she might be yelling something after me, but I can't hear it over the tears cascading through my head.

My cell phone rings and I glance at the screen. It's Kat. I set it back down. Homer looks up at me expectantly. I sigh. "No, I'm not going to answer it." My pig blinks. "Because I can't keep doing this to her. She's got to stop thinking I'm so important." It might just be a coincidence, but his head shifts toward the kitchen, where the ticket to the Hollywood premiere of Wake Up Call is magneted to the front of the fridge. Kat made sure I got my own, instead of just coming as her guest. She's like that. I shake my head clear of the thought. "And no, I'm not going." Homer snuffles. "Because the last thing she needs is me there to make her feel conflicted." Homer snuffles again. "No. I'm telling you, I'm not going. That's final."

Of course I went. Sue me.

I straighten my dress and step out of the cab, taking my place in the throng of people ringing the red carpet, waiting for the A-list. I see the celebrities go past—most of whom I know by name, a few who I've met in person. The flashbulbs go off. I see the fake smiles come on—like the one I've surrendered the last two and a half years of my life to maintaining. Unwittingly, a part of my mind wanders back. To when Kat hired me, and my first job was to help her set up this melodramatic sting to tell her old PA was fired. To the first real conversation we had. To when I saw her tattoo. To the first time she called me her friend.

Then to the first time we kissed, and then…and then the two months of absolute bliss we'd had before everything started to fall apart.

Then, all at once, the image still fresh in my mind, I see her. She's wearing a flowing silver dress that probably cost more than my parents' first house, with her arm wrapped around Billy's limply. Her hair's frozen into an immaculate sculpture that doesn't have any of the warmth of the tangled mass I used to hunger to get lost in. She looks so cold, passively sweeping her eyes across the crowd and smiling thinly for the cameras. Then her eyes find mine.

I freeze, I try to look away, but it's no good. She sees the same thing in my eyes that I see in hers. That I love her. That I'm about to die without her.

Something, just for an instant, passes over Kat's eyes. Almost like a smile, almost like a decision, but it's gone before I can figure it out. As the mass of us follow the VIPs into the theater, I can't take my eyes off her. But this time I don't want to.

"…that I hope will set a new standard for cinema, and prove that meaningful, artistic film can be profitable." Billy pauses for a moment as the crowd claps; I can literally see him counting out the prescribed number of seconds in his head. "Now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce my lovely wife, who's asked to say a few words of her own." I stifle a bitter laugh. "Ladies and gentlemen, Kat Kara." The crowd applauds vigorously as Kat shuffles nervously past her grinning, swaggering husband, and takes the podium set up in front of the screen.

"You know, we live in a world that's become more and more concerned with appearances, and with what people think is right. What people think is safe. Well, I'm one to talk." The audience lets out a low, collective chuckle. I roll my eyes. Kat clears her throat, and pauses. The audience begins to shift uncomfortably as her eyes scan the crowd, finally finding me in the fifth row. I can't help but look back at her, everything I'm feeling in my eyes. "It is because I'm so familiar with this plastic, cookie-cutter culture that…that…" And suddenly I know what she's going to do.

"…that I have to come clean. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to take this opportunity to announce that…I'm gay." She's almost laughing when she says it. "God, I'm so sorry, Lisa. I should have done this a long time ago."

The horror on my face melts away, and I'm out of my seat. We meet in the aisle, lips crushing together with a hunger that I suddenly realize has only been growing worse since I left. Our arms reach out and draw our bodies closer together, and I disappear into the smell of her skin. Tears stream down my face. And I whisper that I love her.

If this were a movie, the crowd would stare in shock for a few seconds, then start a slow clap that would build to thunderous applause while Billy faded silently into the background. I don't know if that's happening, though. Because the only thing left in the world is her.

Dog lets out a contented shiver as she lies down next to a dozing Homer. I shake my head—those two get along better than a cat and a pig have any right to.

Kat enters the living room smiling wearily. I grin. "Hey, how are you?"

She groans as she hits the couch. "Tired. I've been reading applications from new personal assistants all day."


Her fingers slide into mine. "None of them really seem to measure up." I blush in spite of myself. "At least I don't have to worry about publicity."

That's certainly true. Even with the moral outrage and boycotting, Kat's latest album's sold more copies than all her others put together, and her old CDs have started picking up in sales. Apparently a lesbian pop star is more interesting than a straight pop star. I'm positively staggered.

You're probably wondering what happened to Billy Delaney. Actually, so am I; after the divorce was finalized, he just sort of fell of the map. To be perfectly honest, neither of us really cares.

Kat's hand moves up into my hair, and mine drifts up and down her arm, tracing the second tattoo; the cursive 'Lisa' embroidered across her bicep. I sigh contentedly, and she smiles. "Come on, we've got a gay rights function to get to." I nod and force myself to lean up off the couch. It's weird, being a spokesperson all of a sudden. "Then I can make dinner."

I look at her askance. "Why don't you just stick to singing?"

Kat Kara breaks into a smile. Not the one I spent two and a half years grooming. Not the one that her mother and I know means she's having a good time.

This one's just for me.

The End

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