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Seeing Red
By EponinesGhost

Chapter Three

As Tracey stepped away and allowed Rochelle to stand, she studiously kept her back turned toward Kelly and Ravell's table. Drawing up to her full height, the redhead pulled Tracey flush against her, dipping her head down for another long kiss. Tracey clung to Rochelle's upper arms as she threw herself into this embrace as well. In for a penny, in for a pound. Slowly they turned, almost as if they were dancing. When they finally stopped and drew apart, Tracey was facing her heartbreak once again.

Rising trance-like behind the table, Kelly watched in morbid fascination. If she hadn't been so totally shattered she would have admired them, so spectacular together. She took in both of their outfits, glancing down at her own button-up blouse and business-like slacks. No chance. You had no chance. They looked fabulous. And achingly erotic. She wished she were anywhere but here. Then without warning, she was looking directly into Tracey's eyes across the room. She hadn't even had a chance to brace herself or prepare. It was completely devastating.

For the briefest of moments, Tracey felt a glimmer of hope. The way Kelly was looking at her, the total openness of her face. She couldn't be sure from this far away, but maybe .... Just as quickly, she mentally slapped herself. Fool me twice ... Then Kelly's head dropped down as she reached for her scarf and coat. Ravell was nowhere to be seen, thank god. She wasn't sure she trusted herself not to hit him with something. Heavy. Still she was going to have to go right past her ... them ... That was one last plank she'd have to walk before she could totally go under, crocodiles be damned.

Shrugging on her coat and hastily wrapping her scarf around her neck, Kelly searched for a way out. Now that they had seen each other, that each knew the other was here, there was no way she could not speak to Tracey. Not if she still wanted any kind of working relationship. She did, didn't she? God this was hard. She had wanted so much beyond that. Think Gaffney! The woman was still your friend. She hadn't told you anything about the knockout redhead, but regardless ... Suck it up. Go over and be as casual as possible. Say your goodnights ... good-byes? No. No. Not if you pull your shit together. You can't just stand here like an idiot.

Simultaneously, they both began to move toward each other. Tracey with her arm loosely around Rochelle's waist, Kelly with both hands stuffed in the front pockets of her coat. It was so surreal. Without knowing it, they were both frantically wishing for some kind of intervention, a detour, anything to stall the inevitable. Kelly's eyes were fixed on the way Tracey's hip brushed against the taller woman as they walked. Tracey concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, her own eyes locked on the loose knot of Kelly's scarf. Then it was time. Kelly spoke first.

"Tracey ... wasn't expecting to see you here." That was certainly true.

"I'm sure." Tracey had hoped she could be less petulant, but found it difficult with Kelly so close.

Inhaling and exhaling calmly -- at least she prayed it was calmly -- Kelly looked up at the woman plastered against Tracey. Gorgeous. Hate her so much.

"Aren't you going to introduce me?"

"Oh, sorry. Rochelle Eckhardt ... Kelly Gaffney, my co-worker." Tracey felt a smidgen of satisfaction as Kelly almost visibly flinched at the qualification.

Perversely, Kelly stuck out her hand. She really didn't want to touch the redhead at all, but she wanted to make her stop touching Tracey, even for a few moments.

"Nice to meet you." She squeezed a little too firmly as they shook.

"Where's Ravell?" The name almost stuck in Tracey's throat, but she managed to spit it out.

So she had seen him as well. Too bad, Kibre. There was no way he was going to keep this to himself. "He went to get the car."

"Leaving so soon? You two must have plans ..." Like fucking each other's brains out.

Confused by the accusation and hostility in Tracey's voice, but not grasping the significance of it because she was so off balance, Kelly shook her head.

"No, just need to get home..." Now it was her turn to be the accuser as she glanced at Rochelle. "Busy day tomorrow."

Spotting Ravell just inside the door, Tracey nodded curtly toward him as she addressed Kelly. "Your ride's here." She slipped her arm back around Rochelle and pulled her tight against her side. "I may be late in the morning. I'm sure you can handle everything."

As of that instant, Kelly was sure of nothing. Her resolve faltering, she muttered a quick goodnight to both of them and headed for the door.

Tracey felt her insides twist as Ravell put his arm around Kelly's shoulders and guided her out. Fuck them both. Sighing, she realized that she'd have to get a better grip on herself before returning to the office. She was a professional. Still, why couldn't it at least have been Hector? At least she knew he wasn't an asshole.

Who the hell do you think you're trying to kid, Kibre? You don't want her with anyone but you.

Part 4

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