Disclaimers: These characters originated in the deep dark recesses of my mind, and thus belong to no one but me. Copyrightã1999 by Advocate. All Rights Reserved.
Violence: almost none.
Profanity: some (my mama would be so ashamed).
Sexual Content: this is alternative fiction and depicts two women in a loving relationship (paramedics are now attempting to revive my mama). If this type of content is illegal in your neck of the woods, please look elsewhere for fiction, right after you fax your congressman and reserve your U-Haul.
Thanks:I've got the best beta readers/friends in the Xenaverse. You guys (Barbara Davies, kd bard, Ellie and Medora MacD) simply rock. Any semi-colons, or other funky punctuation, were kindly supplied by them. Finally, Iliana's formatting assistance was greatly appreciated.
Dedication: This is dedicated to my husband, Bob. Thanks for playing Superdad and Superhusband, so I could play bard. I love you, man!
"This is -- because I've just discovered that I really suck at thinking up snappy titles -- The Story of Me. And I, for the first time in my previously contented life, find myself in the role of storyteller. Well... there was that one time I tried to tell my sister Paula's kids a bedtime story about Godzilla and it scared them so badly they peed the bed for weeks. But that's beside the point."
An irritated dark eyebrow edged its way upward.
"Don't roll your eyes at me, you bushy-tailed rat. What is the point? I don't have one yet. If I have to deal with that, so do you."
The woman shifted on the cold wooden bench and tossed a few more sunflower seeds to her mostly attentive audience. The rotund squirrel leaned back on his haunches and turned to face her as he furiously nibbled his delicious treat, all the while doing his best to look terribly interested in her story. After all, the bag of seeds next to the tall, dark-haired woman was nearly full and it wouldn't be dark for another couple of hours.
"Who am I?" she continued, undaunted, even as the first few raindrops splashed into the shallow muddy puddles around the bench. "In addition to simply calling me the ridiculous dumbass who got roped into the biggest mess of her life over a worthless piece of tin, revenge, and petite blonde, you can call me Randi. No, it's not short for anything. It's just Randi. Ask my parents why."
Pale blue eyes fell from the squirrel and surveyed the wet, leaf-strewn surface around her feet. With one hand she absently pulled together the lapels of her jacket as a gust of wind picked up her hair then resettled it wildly around her shoulders. The wind and the soft, uneven pitter-patter of the rain nearly drowned out her steady but quiet voice.
"The reason I'm sitting here telling you this story on this incredibly dreary fall day, is that she lives in one those apartments over there." Randi pointed to a smallish building that lined the very corner of the park. "And I'm afraid to go up and see her. That's right, afraid. Scared shitless. So I'm killing time, pure and simple. Oh God," she moaned, as if suddenly realizing she was actually talking to a beady-eyed rodent. "I just know I'm insane." Then she simply shrugged and refocused on her tale. "Are you confused yet, squirrel?" Randi nodded. "I thought so. You're not alone."
A few more seeds fell between the soggy brown leaves at the squirrel's feet.
"I promise you that I was minding my own business when she knocked at my door and my life got flushed down the crapper? Wait. It started a little before that, only I didn't know it at the time. I was grocery shopping at Piggly Wiggly on 11th and Broadway?"
It was midnight, the only time Randi could bear to go to the grocery store. She'd do almost anything to avoid the crowds and the snotty-nosed little monsters that cried when their mothers bought Shredded Wheat instead of Fruity Pebbles. The aisles were mostly empty except for a few frazzled college students, off-duty nurses and cops. Who else shops at midnight?
Randi stopped in front of the shampoo display then turned her head to the left and right. She was alone in the aisle but someone was watching her, she was certain. When her body spoke to her, Randi listened. And it was yelling, in an unnecessarily spooky sort of voice, that she was being spied on. The hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention as the skin around them got all itchy and tingly. She wondered briefly if she should switch to dandruff shampoo.
Then she heard it? again. A squeaky shopping-cart wheel gave away her watcher's position at the end of aisle, just out of sight. Randi smiled to herself. He must have gotten one of those carts where one of the wheels is completely frozen or spins in a circle a millimeter off the ground. Unlucky bastard! she mused, shaking her head knowingly. For a second she felt an uncharacteristic surge of pity for her observer.
Randi wasn't surprised by the unwanted attention. She was an exceptionally attractive woman who stood out in a crowd. At 5'11" tall, the raven-haired driving instructor stood out almost everywhere. This wouldn't be the first time some guy tried to get his jollies at her expense. "He'd just better not come too close," she growled, more annoyed than frightened.
Shopping completed, she moved to the register and was disgusted to find a line of waiting customers. The young cashier was excitedly talking to the teenage boy at the head of the line whose groceries sat motionless on the conveyor belt. Randi rolled her eyes. She was going to be here a while. She could just tell.
Another customer piled in behind her and her patience snapped. She felt trapped by the carts and people and resigned herself to try 5:00 a.m. the next time. "Hey freak girl! You wanna hurry it up?" Randi called out to the muted cheers and laughter of the other shoppers.
The pierced, tattooed, and shockingly dyed cashier threw Randi a lewd gesture but began moving something other than her black,
Bored, Randi decided to investigate the contents of the other shoppers' arms and carts, and try to figure things out about their lives. Boredom was something the woman could simply not abide.
Two people in front of her, stood a man wearing sweat pants and a wrinkled T-shirt. He was clutching a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream and an industrial-sized bottle of pain relievers. He looked as though he had just crawled out of bed before walking into the store. He was no challenge at all; a blind man could pick out an expectant father.
Behind him stood a shaggy looking young man whose baggy pants barely spared the other shoppers a revolting view. His glazed eyes stared at the candy bar rack with undisguised need. Then he simply dumped an entire case of Hershey Bars into his basket, crushing one of his 6 bags of Cheetos.
Randi smirked. 'Just say no', my ass.
The woman behind her, facing away from Randi, was plainly dressed and intently reading a copy of the National Enquirer. In her left hand she was carrying a carton of orange juice.
Randi peered over her shoulder and read the story headline. "Alien Princess has JFK's baby". Who can read this shit? she wondered even as she was trying to read the words herself. Randi never got a good look at the woman but based on her reading selection she was content to simply think of her as a moron and move on.
Forty-three dollars later, Randi was loading 2 full bags into the back seat of her car. Suddenly she straightened, her eyes darting around the nearly empty parking lot. She heard something... or more likely someone. "Who's there?" she called out. The lot was very dark and Randi couldn't see into the long shadows that surrounded her. She shut her car door abruptly, mentally daring her watcher to show themselves. "Chickenshit!" she called out before driving home.
Randi leaned forward and put her elbows on her knees. "Then weird shit started happening on a daily basis. I couldn't get a good night's sleep. Someone was following me to and from everyplace I went. But I could never see them." Challenging eyes glared at the squirrel. "I was NOT just being paranoid! Ohhh? and they were good too, no doubt about that. This wasn't just one of my toked-out students out for revenge. No. Someone was putting in some serious effort."
"I started growing restless at work." Randi popped several seeds in her mouth, spitting the shells into her hand and tossing them alongside the bench. "Something was about to happen. I could literally feel it. Now, before you go calling me a modern day witch, let me explain. It's not like I used a crystal ball or anything. And it wasn't like these were feelings I'd never had before. What I felt was regular, run of the mill, highly intense anticipation. The problem was, I didn't know what I was anticipating. On the days when I didn't have out and out stomach cramps, I was nauseous all the time. I was left with this achy unsettled feeling. But then?" Randi stopped mid-sentence and tugged a waving strand of hair behind her ear.
An elderly couple, walking arm in arm, strolled down the trail in front of Randi's bench. The low burr of their voices and the crunching of the wood chips beneath their feet was the only conversation, other than her own voice, that she'd heard all day. When she was certain they couldn't hear what she was saying she continued speaking, happy that her squirrel friend wasn't chased away by their presence.
"But then, all that changed the night she showed up at my apartment."
Randi was stretched out on her sofa, quite naked and completely bored... again. There were a lot of things a healthy 32-year-old woman could do while buck-naked. Randi was just tired of doing them alone.
She flipped on the television clicking from station to station until she was left with only a choice between Bay Watch and ritual suicide. She was torn.
But at least she wasn't nauseous. She felt surprisingly good that evening and considered calling a friend to go out for a late drink. Maybe she'd meet someone while she was out? Maybe this was her body's way of telling her that she needed companionship? But that would mean leaving the apartment and she couldn't face the knowledge that she would be followed. It wasn't that she was afraid of her watcher. For some reason Randi couldn't work up a respectful fear. Instead, she was irritated that she could never see him. It was like trying to remember the lyrics to a classic song but never quite getting it right. She hated to admit it, but it was making her nuts. The thought of her watcher brought back Randi's nausea and she vowed that when she finally found out who was doing this? she'd rip him a new?
KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.
Blue eyes glanced at her watch. "Who knocks on someone's door at 11:00 p.m.?" she called out loudly as she approached her front door. Not caring who it was or that she was stark naked, Randi jerked the door wide open.
"What do you want?" the driving-instructor snarled, still angry with herself for choosing Bay Watch.
"I? um? I want? well?" Standing in Randi's doorway was a wide-eyed blonde who looked irritatingly familiar.
Expressive eyes narrowed dangerously. "I know you, don't I?" Randi asked, uncertainty threading her voice. Was this what she had been expecting? Nah...
The woman in the doorway shifted from one foot to the other wondering if she'd have the nerve to follow through with her plan and feeling oddly overdressed in blue jeans and a navy rugby shirt. But she couldn't run away now. This was the moment she'd been waiting for. The moment she'd planned and agonized over for weeks. Okay, for 12 long days. She would just have to focus on her mission. The mission is the important thing, she told herself as she forced away her decidedly naughty thoughts centering on the gorgeous naked body before her, a pint of whipped cream and a spatula. She commanded green eyes to drift up from the full breasts that were staring her in the face to meet angry blue.
Randi's jaw went slack. "I do know you! You're that incredibly stupid woman from my driving class!" Tact had packed its bag and left town with Randi's good night's sleep days earlier.
"I am not stupid!"
"You're sure as hell not smart."
"How can you say that? You don't even know me!"
"You failed my course." Randi always remembered the people who failed her class.
The blonde stomped her foot angrily. This wasn't going as she'd expected. "I missed the final exams. I was... distracted." Not feeling that she'd sufficiently made her point she added, "Just so you know, your course wouldn't challenge a monkey."
Randi considered taunting the woman by making monkey sounds but decided it would be too hard to maintain her dignity while making monkey sounds naked. She let a wickedly arched eyebrow speak for itself. "What's your name again?" She bit off the word 'blondie'. "And why are you at my front door so late?"
Ignoring the question, the shorter woman continued, still stinging from the slight on her intelligence. "Do you always answer the door naked?"
Randi's eyes narrowed and her face began to turn an angry shade of red as realization dawned. "You're the woman from the supermarket, aren't you? That night... you were... you were reading about the alien baby!" The last part wasn't a question. The pieces were starting to fit together for Randi.
Pale eyebrows shot skyward as mental alarm bells rang. Trying not to appear as out of sorts as she felt, the woman extended her hand. "I'm Mac."
Randi remembered the woman's name now. She even had the exact same thought she'd had the first time she'd heard it. 'Mac' was such a stupid name for the short woman. Mac implied something "big". Like a Mac Truck or hell? a Big Mac! It implied a manly owner. And while the younger woman was athletic looking she was, by no means, masculine.
"I remember your name now, Mackenzie," Randi intoned, making it clear that she knew the younger woman did not like to be called that but that she was going to do it anyway. Then she gasped as the last piece fell into place. "OH MY GOD!!! YOU'RE MY STALKER!"
Mac winced. Stalker was such an ugly word. It was true of course, but she still didn't like being called that. "I prefer to be called Mac," she stated quietly. She wrung her hands together in frustration wondering how someone only a few years her senior could make her feel like she was being scolded by her first grade teacher. So what if I liked to eat paste? All the kids were doing it!
A sound from behind her caused Mac to turn around. Randi's neighbor took a step out of his doorway, trash bag in hand,before he looked up and saw Randi's nude body. He froze, wide-eyed and open mouthed.
Mac turned back to Randi, hands on hips. "Do you see what effect that has on people? Look!" She pointed over her shoulder at the man who was afraid to even blink. Drool was beginning to pool at the corners of his mouth.
Randi shot her neighbor a disgusted look and pulled her former student into her apartment. Randi's door slammed loudly as she pushed Mac against its cool surface. "Why have you been following me?! Everywhere! You've been following me everywhere!"
"That's not true," Mac replied forcefully. "It's only been a few days. And not everywhere, just where I could. I... I had to be sure..." What did I have to be sure about again? Oh yeah, "...that your lifestyle would work."
Randi backed away a step. Her hands were shaking. She hadn't been so close to committing an act of pure violence in years. She wanted to strangle her tormentor. Didn't the woman realize how creepy it was knowing someone was watching you and never being able to figure out who? Randi instantly reached out and grabbed Mac's wrist; practically dragging the smaller woman across the carpet, she flung her onto the sofa.
Mac's temper was beginning to flare. She knew she deserved a little abuse. After all, she had been, she cringed, stalking Randi for the past 12 days. But this was going too far. Before she could open her mouth to protest Randi's treatment, the taller woman spoke.
"Stay right where you are," Randy commanded. "I'm still deciding whether to kill you myself or just call the police and let them handle you."
"Police?" Mac's face paled.
"What did you think? That I'd be happy or flattered that some crazy woman was following me? Although, I must admit that I'm surprised it wasn't a man." Randi took a few steps backwards and removed a short robe from her hall closet.
Mac's eyes easily telegraphed relief at the gesture. Now if she could only convince Randi to play along, she would have her satisfaction. Her face creased into a frown as Randi approached her again. This wasn't going to be easy. She hadn't planned on Randi being aware that she was being followed.
Randi sat down on the coffee table facing the sofa. Piercing blue eyes bored into Mac. "What did you mean you had to make sure my lifestyle would work?" As angry as she was, Randi was still more curious.
Mac swallowed hard. She had wanted to check out how Randi lived and whether she was married with 5 kids, but that was only partially true. Once she began following Randi, she couldn't seem to stop. The woman was utterly fascinating, although she seemed not to know it. Mac had used this time to build up the nerve to approach Randi. She should have done it days ago but every time she tried, something would happen and she'd change her mind.
Gathering her courage, Mac sat up straight and laid her cards on the table. "I have a proposition for you."
Randi snorted. "I figured it was something like that. Sorry to disappoint, but anything you could propose wouldn't interest me. I don't 'switch hit', if you know what I mean."
Mac wasn't surprised although she hadn't seen Randi with any men for the past 12 days either. It would have made things easier, but still... "That doesn't matter. You only have to look as though you do."
"I want you to pretend to be my girlfriend."
Twin eyebrows raised. "Your girlfriend? Didn't you hear what I just said?" Randi let out an annoyed breath, more certain than ever that her original characterization of the woman's mental capacity was right on target. "Let me spell it out for you. I am not gay."
Mac stood up and ran an impatient hand through her short blond hair. "I don't care whether you're actually gay. I just want you to pretend to be my girlfriend."
"Why in the hell would I do that?" Randi interrupted. "If you want a girlfriend why not go out and get a real one? It's not like you're unattractive or anything."
"Let me interrupt here by saying that was a huge understatement. Even then I knew that. Mac is not just average looking. She's beautiful in a fresh, all-American sort of way, and is pretty much the opposite of me as far as looks go. She's only about 5'4" and has that tussled, short blonde thing going. Well, I guess reddish-blonde would be more precise. The sun does really great things with her highlights. She's trim and just a little muscular from about a gazillion hours of aerobics and weights. Christ, I thought I was a fanatic! The woman acts like missing one day is gonna kill her. Her eyes are sort of this blue-green kind of color and I swear they change from one to the other depending on her mood and what she's wearing."
Randi stopped and laughed at herself as the squirrel cocked his head to the side. She took in a deep breath of the fragrant moist air. "I know what you're thinking." She slowly shook her head as unexpected tears stung her eyes. "Shit," she muttered and tossed out another seed.
Mac just stared at Randi. "Well... um... thanks, I think." She moved back to the couch and sat down in front of Randi who appeared much calmer. "I'm not explaining this very well so I'm going to lay it on the line. My family is having a 4-day get together at the end of the month. I want you to come 'as my girlfriend' and if everything works out, we'll both get something we want."
Randi opened her mouth to speak but Mac raised a hand to forestall her. "About 3 months ago, during the time I was in your class, my girlfriend dumped me." Mac's eyes went cold. "I guess it would be more accurate to say she used me and then dumped me."
Randi could already tell that Mac fidgeted when she was nervous or upset. A tiny bead of nervous perspiration rolled down Mac's throat and disappeared behind the heavy rugby shirt.
Mac's soft voice drew Randi's attention back to her. "I'm a nurse at Baptist Memorial. It seems my girlfriend had her eye on a certain doctor there, and she thought the best way to get to him would be through me." Mac took a deep breath, and stilled her hands, which were twitching nervously. "I want you to pretend to be my girlfriend so we can make my former girlfriend jealous." Mac knew that 'suffer' was a better term but she would explain that soon enough.
"What makes you think me being with you will make her jealous?" Randi eyed Mac speculatively. There was something she hadn't said. "Not to belabor the point, but if she dumped you, why would she care who you're dating?"
Mac's lips curled into what could only be described as an evil grin. "Because..." she drew out the anticipation, "... my former girlfriend's name is Sandra Flax."
"Have you ever had one of those moments when the world around you comes to a crashing halt? When your heart beats so loudly that it drowns out every other sound? When the universe collapses to a single, solitary, radiant point of energy? This was one of those moments for me. The last time I heard the name Sandra Flax, Clinton was still screwing that ugly chick from Arkansas." The squirrel cocked his head to the side. "Not Hilary, the other one, before the chubby kid." The squirrel still looked confused. "Fine! It was 1989. Anyway, the sound of Sandra's name sent shivers down my spine and reawakened a hatred so venomous, at one time I thought it would be my undoing."
Another squirrel joined the one at her feet and began milling around for anything her mate might have missed. Randi smiled at her antics and rewarded her with a treat of her own before continuing.
"Sandra and I were, at one time, the best of friends. In a weird sort of way we complemented each other both emotionally and intellectually. Where I was quiet and somewhat standoffish, she was outgoing and a little wild. And we both excelled in math. Together, we decided to use our talents as a way out of small town hell. We entered a two-day statewide mathematics competition as a team. To be honest, I pretty much sucked at everything else in school and my grades showed it. This was my ticket to college. My only ticket. The winners would receive a full scholarship."
Randi's voice shook a little as she spoke. "I was sooo ready. I spent months preparing. Endless equations ran through my head until I thought I'd go mad. But I wasn't going to be denied. My parents were against me entering the competition. They thought college was a waste of time for women anyway. When I was packing for the trip to the competition my father came into my bedroom and simply forbade me to attend and waste anymore of my time. Time that could have been spent helping him on the farm."
Randi stopped talking and took a long sip of water from the bottle that sat perched against her leg. She stopped tossing down seeds and simply stared at the trees ahead of her. The squirrels looked at each other then back at their storyteller. Was she finished? They had only begun to feast!
The tall woman sighed. "I'm getting a little long winded about this part, aren't I? Let me give you the short version. We were scheduled to compete on the first day of the competition. But instead of showing up at the auditorium, Sandra was fucking some guy in the back of his parents' shag carpeted van. She told me about the shag carpet later. We were disqualified. Sandra's new boyfriend, the person the entire state expected to win, happened to be scheduled for the second day of the competition. One teenage fuck later, he dumped his regular partner, another loser in the game of life, and guess who replaced him? Big surprise now... Sandra! They won the whole damn thing, including a little 1st place medal. The traitorous bitch wore it everyday for the rest of our senior year! And, I was locked out of the house when I tried to go home."
"Tell me you didn't say Sandra Flax," Randi said seriously.
"Sandra is gay?!" Randi's face twisted in fury. "God Dammit! She fucked away my future and she's not even interested in men! Bitch!"
"Well, that's not exactly true. It seems she can't make up her mind. She dumped me for a man."
"Uh huh. And to make things even worse, the man is my own brother."
"She wanted a doctor. My brother is a doctor."
When it came to Sandra, Randi's vocabulary was seriously limited and Mac was starting to wonder how they could pull this off if all Randi could do was curse. But to Mac's relief, Randi at last appeared interested in her offer.
"I take it Sandra told you about me." Randi knew Sandra was as obsessed with the medal as she was.
"She did or I wouldn't be here." Mac didn't want to go into the next part. Truth be told, it made her uncomfortable. If even half of what Sandra had said was true, Randi was not a person to be trifled with. "She said you made her life a living hell trying to steal that medal and that more than once you tried to rip it off her shirt. She claims you have some ridiculous idea that it should have been yours."
Mac could see Randi's anger growing even hotter. She fanned the flames, using Randi's hatred to her own advantage. "She told me that she enjoyed making you suffer over the medal." Shit, that was a low blow. What am I doing? Mac asked herself, disturbed at the lengths she herself was willing to go for petty revenge. But she couldn't stop. Not now. It was too late to be nice. She'd already crossed the line.
"That bitch!" Randi seethed.
"She really hates you."
"Will you help me?"
"So this is all about revenge, not just making Sandra jealous? Sandra's going to be at your family gathering with your brother and you want to torture her by my mere presence? Maybe get her interested in you again so you can turn the tables?" Randi loved the idea and she secretly respected Mac's plan even though she was furious with the woman for stalking her. It was devious and cruel and if Randi were a cat she would have been purring.
Mac stretched to her full height, ready to proudly confess her sins and admit her own obsession. "You're right. I don't want her back." In fact, Mac considered her 6 months with Sandra the biggest mistake of her life. There was no way in hell, under any circumstances, that she wanted Sandra back. "It will kill her to have you there. And when she sees how happy and completely in love we are, it should be the final nail in her coffin."
Randi wanted to do this. Oh how she wanted it! But Mac was a crazy stalker and she'd have to pretend to be in love with her. She didn't even find Brad Pitt attractive and he was as womanly as a man could be! She didn't know if she could do it.
Mac could see her wavering on the edge and she played her final card. "I have it," she baited.
"Have what?" Randi leaned forward until she was nearly nose-to-nose with the smaller woman. She can't mean...
"The medal. I have the medal. Sandra left it on our bedroom dresser when she moved out. She wants it back but so far I've refused." Mac fought hard not to smirk. Gotcha, Randi. "If you help me and we're successful, I'll give it to you." She wasn't taking any chances. If Randi couldn't be convincing, she'd end up even more humiliated than before.
Randi tried not to look overly interested but she knew she was failing miserably. She still wanted to pummel Mac, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sweet revenge! This would ROCK!!!!
"There are conditions."
"Yess!!" Mac pumped her fist in victory. This was going to be so good. It didn't hurt that Randi was gorgeous and charming. Too bad she hates me, Mac thought a little sadly. Composing herself she readied herself for negotiations. "What conditions?"
"Absolutely no touching."
"What?" Mac practically screamed.
"You heard me. No touching."
"I'm trying not to be totally insulted by that remark but it's pretty damn hard," Mac ground out. She'd had about all the rejection she could take. Her self-esteem didn't need another blow. "How can we be convincing if we don't touch each other? We're supposed to be in love."
Randi had to admit Mac had a good point but she wasn't ready to concede. "Even if I were in love with you, which would be impossible, I wouldn't be all touchy. I'm not like that."
"Unacceptable. My family doesn't know you so they'll find it odd if we aren't affectionate. If we can't even convince them there's no way we'll convince Sandra."
Randi scratched her chin. Maybe her stalker wasn't as stupid as she had first suspected. She didn't like the idea but had to admit that if she had to touch someone Mac wouldn't be a bad choice. She was cute in a girly sort of way. "No kissing then. I'll hold hands and give you hugs, but that's it."
Mac frowned. "Unacceptable."
"God Dammit!!" Randi exploded. Her stalker was totally unreasonable!
"I'll offer you minimal kissing, only when necessary to convince an audience. And I'll sleep on the floor."
"Like I was gonna sleep with you anyway, Stalker," Randi snorted.
Mac's eyes turned into slits but she decided to let the jibe pass. She was sooo close. "My parents are very liberal. We'll be given a room together with one bed. But after everyone is asleep I'll move to the floor so you can have a little privacy." She knew she was asking a lot, especially from a straight stranger. But this was an all or nothing type of situation.
Randi's jaw worked back and forth silently. Mac had made another good point. She could already tell that was going to happen a lot and she didn't like it. "Fine. You sleep on the floor. But I want Sandra to see me wearing the medal on the last day." Mac opened her mouth but Randi kept right on talking. "This point is non-negotiable. I've gone 16 years without the medal and as much as I want it, every time I've tried to get it has caused me nothing but grief. If I don't get my way on this you'll have to find another girlfriend."
Mac was surprised by the rational admission from Randi. Maybe she wasn't the psycho that Sandra painted her. Mac was honest enough with herself to admit that this had the potential to explode in her face. She even knew it was petty and spiteful. But something in Mac just wouldn't sit idly by while Sandra ran roughshod over her life. The smaller woman grinned and stuck out her palm.
Blue and green eyes locked as they
shook hands, united in purpose. Randi wasn't
"You won't believe what I did next. I drove her home! I gave my stalker girlfriend a lift back to her apartment! She told me she was going to walk and I refused to allow it." Randi stopped and smirked a little. "Heh. I wasn't going to start out letting her be the 'man' in this relationship, and I said as much. For some reason she didn't seem to find it as humorous as I did. Anyway... Didn't she know how dangerous it could be walking alone at night? What if some weirdo decided to follow her home? Ha!" Randi laughed, enjoying the irony even now.
Pale eyes drifted upward, gazing quietly at the dull gray sky. What had begun as an uneven trickle was now a steady but light rain. But Randi didn't care. She was already soaked to the bone and icy cold. She wondered wistfully what it would take to feel truly warm again.
"Apparently, Mac had gotten another speeding ticket earlier that day and when the cop ran a check on her license and found she hadn't completed her court mandated driving school, he confiscated her license on the spot. She had taken a taxi to my apartment that evening. You wouldn't know about this, being a squirrel and all, but our lovely state government has decided that if you get more than one driving violation in a year you earn a not-so free pass to driving school. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200."
"The class only lasts about 6 hours along with a final exam the next night, but people hate it... and me by extension." Randi shrugged as though it didn't bother her and stuffed her hand into her jacket pocket.
The female squirrel sighed knowingly, far too quiet to be heard by human ears. It was painfully obviously that it did bother the storyteller.
"It seems that I represent the evil-fascist State that is infringing upon its citizenry's inalienable, God-given right to drive 80 mph in a school zone." Randi let out an unhappy breath, causing a puff of fog to escape her lips and disappear into the cold autumn air.
"Mac insisted that the fact that she ended up in my class last summer, was purely coincidental. She swore that she didn't figure out I was that Peterson until she saw my full name printed on the letter telling her she'd failed the course. And even then she wasn't totally sure."
Suddenly, Randi clapped her hands together causing both squirrels to jump a little. "Exactly! I didn't believe her at first either! But then I realized that there was really no way for students to know my first name." Randi lowered her voice as though her next statement was a secret. "My boss makes me wear this dorky nametag that says 'Ms. Peterson' on it." Blue eyes rolled in disgust. "I hate it," she grumbled, not offering her audience any further explanation. She decided the squirrels didn't need to know that the nametag was one of those large, obnoxious, yellow happy faces. How much humiliation should one woman have to bear?
"I hesitantly agreed to meet Mac for dinner later that week. We didn't have that long until 'ShowTime' and she insisted that we needed to get to know each other if we were going to pull this off. When Mac said it, it made so much sense. She can actually be very persuasive when she wants to be. My original assessment of her was way off. She wasn't stupid. In fact, she's quite intelligent. Why in the hell did she ever hook up with Sandra? Of course I guess I could ask myself that same question. "
"We spent the short car ride to her apartment in quiet conversation planning our 'date'. It was so normal it was frightening. What was I doing? Did I think revenge was worth going to these ridiculous extremes? Oh yeaaaah, baaby. I sure did."
"Mac also promised that I wouldn't see or feel her until we met at the restaurant later in the week. I thought that would make my nausea go away. It didn't."
Randi rushed into her apartment and clicked on the light next to the television. Her last class had run a little late and she knew she'd have to fly to make it on time. Mac had said the restaurant was casual and Randi had already shampooed her hair that morning, going a dandruff shampoo just in case. But she still needed to pick out something to wear and find the place. She was certain it was one of those trendy type college places she just hated.
Rummaging through the closet she selected a soft V-neck, crimson sweater and pair of black jeans. Randi brushed her teeth and hair, deciding to wear it down in order to save time. A quick coat of lipstick and she was grabbing her black leather jacket.
On the way to the front door Randi stopped dead in her tracks and began howling with laughter. Meeting her stalker for dinner was the closest thing she'd had to a date in months! "How's that for a sad commentary on my life?" she mumbled to her Chia Pet on the way out the door.
Mac selected a booth at the very front of the restaurant so she could people watch. The nurse glanced at her watch as she slid across the cold vinyl seat, glad she wasn't as late as she'd thought she'd be.
The hostess deposited two menus on the table before motioning the waitress over to take Mac's drink order. The blonde ordered a bottle of light beer then leaned back heavily into the bouncy cushion to await Randi's arrival. Didn't Randi have the common courtesy not be late? She herself had risked losing her newly regained driver's license in order to be here on time. Well, almost on time.
The blonde didn't have to wait long before she spied Randi's lanky form through the tinted glass of the restaurant's picture window. Mac chastised herself and her body's immediate response to the taller woman. But damn, the woman was fine! Mac found it hard to believe that Sandra, the slut, had ever been able to keep her hands off Randi. She made a mental note to ask Randi about that later and took another deep swallow of beer.
Mac chuckled as Randi walked right past the restaurant. A few moments later the tall woman walked past the door again, this time in the opposite direction. Mac felt no compulsion to get up and assist the darker woman. She was enjoying her beer way too much to want to move, and besides, her feet were tired and achy. She knew Randi would find her way in sooner or later. If it turned out to be later, Mac would just order another beer and wait some more. She could be very patient when the mood struck her.
Last night, thank God, was Mac's last turn at the nightshift. She'd finally built up enough seniority to get a permanent dayshift and her bloodshot eyes were eternally grateful. While the hellish shift made watching Randi possible, it was plainly killing the younger woman. Mac briefly wondered how much sleep deprivation and her recent but highly detailed driving instructor/student fantasy - this one involved using the seatbelts in a way that would give JD Powers and Associates a collective woody well into the new millennium - had to do with her current plan.
On her third pass by the restaurant, Randi caught Mac's smiling face through the glass. The driving instructor looked up and finally noticed the restaurant's banner, which was partially obscured by a low hanging tree branch. She cursed vehemently as she watched Mac mouth the words "oh shit" then try to hide her face behind her tall menu.
Randi marched proudly through the front door and straight over to Mac. "Hello, Stalker!" she sneered loud enough for the other patrons to turn their heads. Randi punctuated her greeting with a slap on the back that was a little too firm to be entirely friendly. Mac began furiously choking on her beer as Randi walked around the table and slid into her half of the booth looking supremely annoyed.
"What did you call me?" Mac finally hissed in a low voice as she tried to push back her impending blush. People were staring.
"You heard me, Stalker," Randi hissed back in an equally distasteful tone.
Each woman childishly decided to ignore the other. They focused solely on their menus for several long moments until Randi couldn't take it anymore. For some unknown reason, Mac didn't appear at all affected by this little game. Damn, but that woman was patient when she wanted to be! "Mackenzie," Randi muttered in a more conciliatory voice.
Mac ignored Randi for a few more satisfying seconds before lowering her menu just enough for dancing green eyes to appear over the top. She smiled sweetly. "Yes? And please call me Mac. "
Blue eyes glinted with anger or maybe it was frustration. Randi wasn't sure. But the instructor could see that Mac was completely unrepentant. "Tonight was your idea so you'd better make it count because it won't be happening again... Stalker," she added in a voice every bit as sugary as Mac's, just to piss her off.
Mac knew she'd pushed the older woman too far. But there was something about Randi that sparked an evil streak in her. This type of childish behavior was so not Mac. But she just couldn't help herself.
It was like Randi was challenging her very existence with each look.
Mac was already beginning to despise that overly used dark eyebrow, even though she did find it sexy in an annoying sort of way. Just like Randi. Mac sighed. She wanted to be nicer to the woman. She really did. "I'm sorry, Randi. I really do want this to work." Mac reached across the table and laid her hand on Randi's forearm. "Let's start ov..."
Randi jerked her arm away violently. "What do you think you're doing?" she asked angrily.
Mac looked stunned then hurt. Why was the older woman so violent? She was trying to apologize! "I... I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. I..."
"Don't look at me that way. Just don't! I know it was cold-hearted thing to do. But I truly didn't mean to react that way. She just surprised me and a big part of me was still angry that she let me walk around outside the restaurant like an idiot. I felt like she was laughing at me. And I really meant it when I told her I wasn't a touchy person."
Randi shift slightly and kicked a pebble away from the toe of her boot. "She got all sad-looking and those soft green eyes turned watery. When she brought her eyes back up to meet mine I felt like someone was ripping my guts out. Why?" Randi slowly shook her head. "I still have no idea. But I decided then and there that I couldn't stand to see her hurt... ever." Randi smiled wryly. "Of course, that didn't keep us from mixing like oil and water. It just made me aware that when she was truly miserable, I would be too. Just my luck, huh? I was somehow 'in tune' with my very own, most likely insane, most definitely irritating, stalker girlfriend. Oh boy..."
Mac stood up and threw her napkin in Randi's face. "Forget it! Forget the whole damn thing!" With tears in her eyes she turned to leave but her feet stopped of their own accord when she heard Randi calling after her.
"Wait!" Randi slid out of the booth and moved in front of Mac. "Can we sit back down?" Blue eyes scanned the restaurant and Mac followed their gaze. Every head in the place was turned in their direction. "Please," she said as nicely as she could. When Mac looked unmoved she added, "I'm sorry." The driving instructor was even successful in not rolling her eyes... mostly. Not only was her stalker unreasonable but she was touchy too!
Mac eyed Randi warily, carefully trying to gauge whether the taller woman was sincere. "All right," she said a little hesitantly as she moved back toward her table.
Randi expelled a relieved breath. How was she going to get her revenge and that medal if she kept antagonizing Mac? It was obvious that the woman was the sensitive, high-maintenance type. Ha! Serves you right, you bitch, Sandra!
"Since you've been stalk... err... since you already know more about me than I know about you, why don't you tell me about yourself?"
Mac smiled and launched into nothing short of a dissertation. She continued through the meal and into the dessert before taking a break.
Randi found herself enjoying the sound of the younger woman's voice as well as the pasta and wine. She was on her fourth glass when Mac finally stopped her nervous chatter.
Mac set down her cup of coffee and stared worriedly at Randi. "Do you always drink so much?" Her brow creased. She couldn't remember any trips to the liquor store.
"Do you always talk this much?"
"Then I'll always drink this much."
RING RING. RING RING.
Randi's eyes widened. Why the hell did Mac need a cell phone? Why did anyone need a cell phone? Were nurses on call like doctors?
For a moment Randi was envious. Mac had talked a lot about her job, no... her career. She clearly loved it. Randi wasn't so lucky.
As Mac spoke quietly into the phone Randi began to replay what had turned into a fairly pleasant evening. Did Mac expect Randi to remember everything about her, from her childhood pet, not that she could forget a turtle named Fru Fru, to the brand of her perfume? Randi frowned knowing she'd be able to remember. Who cares what her perfume is called? She smells fantastic. Randi shook her head fiercely. NO! I did not just think that!
"What?" Mac began shouting into the tiny phone. "You can't do that!"
Randi leaned back and debated the merits of another glass of Merlot. She decided against it. If she was thinking about how Mac smelled then she'd already had one too many. Her attention drifted to Mac's eyes as they changed from sea-green to a more avocado color. Someone's in deep shit... and it's not me, she said to herself in a sing song voice.
"But...But..." Mac's face turned red.
Randi began counting down from ten, ready to duck for cover when the younger woman simply exploded.
"You can't just expect... Yes, I know... But... That's impossible! They can't all be..." Mac rolled her eyes and gritted her teeth. Didn't anyone respect planning? "Okay. Fine. Yes, I love you too."
Now that got Randi's attention. The driving instructor leaned forward and pretended to be rifling through the sugar packets on the table as she eavesdropped. She wondered whether her girlfriend was cheating on her already. The nerve! Randi had a certain social reputation to maintain! Of course, now it would be as a lesbian... but still...
"I'll see you then, daddy. Goodbye." Mac clicked the phone shut so violently the cover fell off into her ice cream sundae. Pushing the bowl away in disgust she laid her palms flat on the table in a visible effort to calm herself. She closed her eyes briefly and when she reopened them her gaze shot right through Randi.
The older woman swallowed hastily. This was bad. This was so bad. She could just tell. "Wh... what's wrong?"
"Our plans have changed." Mac narrowed her eyes as her face took on a determined expression. Sandra wasn't going to get off the hook no matter what hell she had to endure!
Randi's stomach sank. "What do you mean changed?"
"My family gathering has been rescheduled from the end of the month to this Friday."
Randi blew out a relieved breath. "Is that all? Jesus, you had me worried for a minute. It'll be a pain having get someone to cover my classes on Friday and Monday but..."
Mac braced herself. She did not want to tell Randi this part. "The gathering is in Las Vegas."
"What?!" Randi roared. "Las Vegas is at least 1500 miles away!" Her nostrils flared. "Just when were you going to let me in on this little bit of information, you manipulative little..."
Mac looked up from her coffee cup and winced, knowing she truly deserved Randi's wrath. Why was she always making idiotic decisions when it came to Randi? "I was going to tell you tonight," she said quietly. "I was afraid to mention it before because I thought you might not agree to the plan." Mac fiddled with her cup. "And I really wanted you to say yes." The blonde didn't even want to think of all the reasons that were true.
"Shit! Do you know how much airline tickets are going to cost with three days notice? How much money do you think driving instructors make?"
Oh God. Randi was going to really freak out now. Mac just knew it. The smaller woman pulled over what was left of the bottle of wine; filling her glass to the brim, she drank it down in one long swallow. Then she shuddered. "God, this is revolting!" Randi had horrible taste in wine.
Mac set down her empty glass. "Umm... we won't have to worry about plane tickets." She shifted nervously and waited for the inevitable... Ugh! There it was. That damned arched eyebrow.
"And why is that?" Randi's voice was a deep, dangerous purr.
"Because this happens to be the week of the American Medical Association's annual meeting, in Las Vegas." She sighed wishing she could make Randi believe that this wasn't how she planned things. If it weren't for bad luck... "All the airline tickets have been sold out for weeks."
"What about Tucson?"
A blonde head shook.
Mac winced again.
"Anything west of the GOD DAMNED MISSIFUCKINGSSIPPI RIVER???!" Randi boomed causing the glasses at their table to rattle.
"No," Mac answered in a remarkable calm voice considering the hostess was probably on her way to call the police and have her and Randi escorted out of the restaurant.
"How can you be..."
"My father checked everywhere before he called me. The only way we'll make it on time is to drive ourselves. If we leave in the morning we should make it in plenty of time."
"Are you suggesting that I spend nearly 3 days in a car alone with you, Stalker? Just for petty revenge?"
Randi shrugged. "Okay."
"You're probably wondering why I agreed so quickly to what was going to be an undoubtedly horrible trip. Simple. By that time, I had already spent days fantasizing about the look of utter horror that was sure to grace Sandra's face when she saw me. The obsession that I thought was peacefully sleeping came roaring back to life. I didn't like the person it made me and I didn't like the things it made me do. But I was going through with it anyway. I was totally screwed."
"To add to my misery, my feelings for Mac were already starting to get confused. I wanted to lump her together with Sandra or think of her as a complete nut job. But after only one evening, I found I had more in common with my stalker than I ever would have expected."
Randi's forehead creased. "Maybe 'in common' isn't the right way to describe it. Honestly, the only thing we had in common was hating Sandra. But beyond that, there was something comfortable about Mac that I could see myself getting used to. In another life we might have been able to be good friends. I was a little sad that in this life that already seemed impossible."
Randi pulled her gloves out of her pocket
and slipped them on, happy with the way her fingers warmed instantly. The
rain had stopped, but the air was so heavy with moisture that she wasn't
drying off. She coughed a little then shifted her frozen ass. Park benches
are not comfortable for marathon storytelling sessions.
Randi tossed out another few seeds but the male squirrel didn't move to take them. He had grown full long ago and now he was just along for the story. Humans were so fascinating! His mate, having joined mid-tale, enjoyed another seed then snuggled up to her partner for a bit of warmth. This was better than watching the human joggers trying to avoid the piles of dog shit!
"You're also probably wondering why anyone would go to such extremes for revenge and a tiny medal. I mean the medal probably cost all of $.89 and it wasn't even engraved. Maybe if I tell you a little more about me, you'll understand better."
"I told you that when I came home from the competition that my father had locked me out of the house? So there I was, sixteen years old with no place to live. Now don't go pulling out your violins just yet. This isn't a movie of the week, for Christ's sake. I didn't turn to a life of crime or prostitution or anything like that. I moved in with my grandmother and finished my last year of high school. I hated life on the farm anyway. So in a weird way, Sandra did me favor in that regard."
"If she'd left me alone at that point, I
think I would have been okay. But the bitch just couldn't. She enjoyed
her victory but even more than that... she enjoyed my loss. She reveled
in it and rubbed my face in it every chance she got. Which was often. The
medal represented everything and nothing, the dreams of a teenager and
opportunities lost. 'It was the best of times. It was the worst of times'.
Heh. Just kidding." Randi smiled but it didn't quite reach her eyes. "I
wanted it because she didn't want me to have it. And Sandra always seemed
to get what she wanted. It was time to change that. We just had to get
"After ten more minutes of arguing over whose car we would take, I finally agreed to let Mac pick me up in hers. She insisted that because it was her family's gathering, at her parents' home, she should drive. I know. It made no sense to me either. Just go with it. I did." Randi set the half-full water bottle back on the bench beside her.
"I hate being driven around. It puts you at the mercy of the driver and I was certain I didn't want to be at Mac's mercy. Of course - and this does appear to be a habit of Mac's - she left out one small detail about the trip."
"You drive a Volkswagen Bug?!" Randi looked as if she'd just stepped in something.
The driving instructor slid on her sunglasses and peered at Mac over the top of the cherry-red, cockroach-like vehicle. "What did you say? Far from pukin'?" Randy asked, looking back at the car. "Actually, I'm getting pretty close to it just looking at this ugly piece of crap."
"I said Fahrvergnügen, you remember, from that advertising campaign?" Mac explained through a clenched jaw. How long was this car ride again?
"Fuck Wayne Newton?" Randi wrinkled her nose and shook her head vigorously, purposely baiting the blonde.
"Well, we are going to Las Vegas." The older woman pulled down her sunglasses and gazed innocently at Mac. "And here I thought you were into chicks."
"Just get in, you big dumb...," Mac's sentence trailed off under her breath.
God, I love messing with her, Randi mused. Then she looked at the car again. Didn't Mac realize how unsafe these runty vehicles were? "We're taking my car."
"We are not," Mac practically snorted.
"I'll be squished! Look at me." Randi made a sweeping motion indicating the length of her body.
"If you insist." Mac smiled sexily and started at Randi's toes. Green eyes moved with exaggerated slowness, taking in every inch of Randi's lanky frame. The younger woman wasn't shy about letting her appreciation show.
"That's not what I meant." Randi didn't know whether to be angry or flattered. To her further embarrassment, she began to blush under Mac's perusal.
"I just did what you asked," Mac argued innocently. Was the taller woman actually blushing? Mac found that cute in the extreme. "Besides, you can just push the seat back for more leg room. It's too late to argue. You already agreed that we're taking my car."
Randi looked as though she would protest further, so the nurse kept pressing. "Look Randi..." Mac's hands came to rest on her hips in a gesture Randi was already beginning to recognize. "We're going to have to compromise to get through this week. Think of this compromise..." she paused, then smiled so broadly the corners of her eyes crinkled, "... as the first of many."
"When Mac was right... she was right." Randi stood up and stretched. How did people with those nerdy computer jobs stand it? Her ass was already numb and she'd only been sitting on the bench for a couple of hours.
"I think I'll simply call this next part of my story "Day 1: The Road Trip From Hell." Randi smiled proudly. "Maybe I am getting a little better at thinking up snappy titles!" The squirrels continued to stare blankly at her. "No?"
"What's wrong?" Mac asked slightly alarmed as she glanced over at the older woman. The blonde merged into a westbound county road and accelerated past a slower moving car. She was convinced that by using back roads she'd save time in the long run.
Randi wiped the sleep from her eyes and tried to get comfortable. After the first 200 miles Mac's words began to blur, then, thankfully, they faded out completely. When she woke up an hour later, the younger woman was still happily chatting away. "I don't feel so good."
Mac bit her lower lip and nodded. Randi didn't look so good either. "Is there anything I can do?" She reached out to pat Randi's leg but stopped mid-motion. The nurse tried to be nonchalant as she laid her hand to rest on her own leg.
Blue eyes closed as Randi felt a pang of guilt. It was obvious that Mac was making a concentrated effort to avoid physical contact with her. It was equally obvious that doing so ran completely counter to the nurse's personality. Randi sighed. She was certain there was no way in hell Mac would accept an apology for her behavior in the restaurant so decided to ignore the issue... at least for now. After all, she didn't have to let Mac touch her now. That wasn't part of the deal. Randi firmed her resolve, even though doing so made her feel like shit. It was her decision and she was comfortable sticking with it. Right?
"I could drive, you know," Randi finally commented.
"You're sick, aren't you?" Mac asked worriedly. She wondered to which one of them the curse was permanently attached. She frowned. Maybe the answer was both.
"No," Randi replied stubbornly.
Mac raised an eyebrow of her own.
No one ever understood the next part although it seemed perfectly reasonable to Randi. Fuck! I hate telling people this! "I get car sick sometimes," she offered a little sheepishly.
"What?" Mac stifled a disbelieving laugh. She had to be joking.
Randi grumpily folded her arms across her chest. "What's so hard to believe about that?"
"Other than the fact that you are a driving instructor?"
"And did we do any actual driving in my class?"
Mac's brow creased. They hadn't. But still...
"Look how fast you're going!" Randi pointed to the speedometer needle that was nearly buried. She swallowed weakly. "And is it really necessary to change lanes every ten seconds?"
Randi's words were still hanging in the air when Mac noticed flashing red lights in her rear view mirror. "Damn! I cannot get another ticket! I'll lose my license."
The word AGAIN was poised at the tip of Randi's very sarcastic tongue when, in a panic, Mac slammed on her brakes causing Randi to jerk forward. A second later the smaller woman changed her mind and punched the accelerator.
"Ohhh God..." Randi moaned as her stomach churned. "What...?" She turned furious eyes on Mac. "...in the hell are you trying to do?!"
Mac's lips shaped into a tight-lipped smile. For a moment she considered trying to lose the cop. It could be done. She'd seen it on television. This wasn't Los Angeles. There wouldn't be helicopters or spotlights or dramatic chases that would later be shown on "COPS". She could turn off on some dirt road and just get lost for bit. The cop would probably get bored after a few minutes and stop for donuts, or a romantically inclined sheep. Gods above, why didn't she get a turbo when she had the chance?
Randi moaned again and Mac rolled her eyes as she reluctantly brought her 'Dukes of Hazard' fantasy to a close. Besides, she hadn't even gotten to Daisy Duke yet, and that was always the best part. "Fine. I can take a hint."
Mac pulled the car over onto the narrow shoulder and waited as the officer readied himself in the squad car. Randi was just trying her level best not to vomit in the front seat.
The driving instructor sat down on the bench and shifted a bit until she was comfortable. Then she leaned forward and looked directly at the squirrels. "You're not going to believe this next bit. I still can't believe it myself."
"In the time it took for that pudgy cop to get out of his car and waddle over to the Volkswagen..."-- both squirrels looked at each other and at the same time exclaimed, "Fahrvergnügen!" Randi looked a little confused by the strange sounding chirps but continued with her tale, "...Mac hatched a ridiculous plan. That woman can get into more trouble quicker than anyone I have ever met... well, anyone except me. You would not believe the lengths a person will go to in order to keep their driver's license."
"I've already said I'm sorry a million times. How many more times do you want me to say it?"
"Keep going and I'll let you know," Randi groused as she glared at the smaller woman, wondering whether this state had the death penalty. Did it matter? Would it stop her from killing Mac? Probably not. Randi was always an instant gratification sort of a gal.
With one hand, Mac rubbed red-rimmed eyes. What was wrong with her lately? She had to admit that making split-second decisions was never her forte. When she didn't stop and think about what she was doing, things usually turned out badly... not this badly, but bad nonetheless.
Could Mac's plan to utterly crush and humiliate her former girlfriend, while knocking her snotty older brother down a peg or two, have done something to upset her normally infallible good sense? She couldn't see how.
The cell door slammed shut with a hollow clank that echoed through the cavernous room. The elderly jailer fiddled with the lock for a moment before slowly walking down the short hall and out of the cellblock.
He'd placed the two women in a cell together even though the cell across from them sat empty. The way the two of them had argued bitterly throughout the entire booking process had clued the jailer into the fact that they were a couple... that and the fact that Mac had offered to perform Randi's cavity search. The way the little blonde lit into the darker one reminded him of his dearly departed wife, Bertha, the nagging bitch... God rest her soul. So that's why he'd locked 'em up... together. The purpose of jail was to punish after all.
Randi tried not to look at Mac as she heard the beginnings of more sniffles. She had better not be crying again! Those crocodile tears hadn't worked with the cop the first or third time and they weren't going to work on Randi. Was the taller woman supposed to forgive Mac anything just because she was all sad and weepy? Yep. Blue eyes softened as Mac wiped her face and tried not to look as upset as she truly was. And Randi inexplicably felt her anger start to melt away.
Okay. Randi sighed. They had places to go and lives to destroy. It was time to kiss and make up. Well, maybe not kiss. Tucked in the corner of the cell was a cot that was covered with a thin, stained mattress. The cot's frame protested loudly as the taller woman sat down and crossed her long legs.
"I'd offer you a Kleenex, if I had one." Randi felt a little awkward about making the first gesture of peace. After all, this was TOTALLY Mac's fault. But she could be adult and mature... if she had to be.
"Thanks." Mac smiled a little as she moved across the cell and joined Randi on the small cot. "I'd offer you something to settle your stomach, if I had it."
Randi graced Mac with a lopsided grin that caused Mac's smile to widen further. "Thanks. But... um... I actually feel a lot better now." Especially, now that Mac didn't look so dejected.
"Which do you think carries a stiffer penalty: solicitation or assault?"
Randi chewed her lip for a moment. "My assault charge... definitely."
"Mmm..." Mac was inclined to agree. She'd always heard that it was really bad to hit a cop. So it only made sense that kneeing one in the groin... twice... would get you in a lot of trouble.
"I didn't know you were just flirting to try to get out of the ticket." Randi's words came out in a rush. Seeing Mac turn all sweet and coy with that porky cop had caused a knot to form in the pit of Randi's already upset stomach. "And then when he put his hands on you like that I... I..."
Mac laid her hand on Randi's. As soon as she felt her companion's warm skin she realized what she was doing... again... and began to lift it off. Why was she constantly compelled to touch Randi? It was making her crazy and confused. Randi wouldn't be interested in her. Ever. But that didn't stop her from wanting some sort of physical contact. Any contact.
Randi stopped Mac's withdrawal with a gentle tug on her fingers. It was okay if plotting partners occasionally touched each other, right? After all, she didn't want Mac to start crying again.
Mac leaned her head against the back wall and closed her eyes as a contented sigh escaped her lips. Randi's hand was soft and strong at the same time and she decided instantly that she liked the feel of it in hers. "It's not your fault. I don't know what I was thinking."
"Apparently, you seriously underestimated the impact of your girlish charm."
"Apparently," Mac laughed, all the while wishing that Randi wasn't immune to whatever 'charm' she may possess. "That's the last time I bat my eyes at someone named Bubba. I swear, I never thought he'd actually grope me!" Her smile turned wry. "I was gearing up to clock the guy myself. You just beat me to the punch, that's all."
Randi nodded. She'd seen Mac draw her fist back as she was retching into the ditch alongside the road. And when she saw the cop's hands on Mac's boobs she'd just lost it. Period. That bastard totally fabricated the solicitation charge after Mac rejected blunt advances. God, where was a good mouthpiece when you needed one? She'd love to sue the crap out of this entire shit for brains county.
"Do you think this whole place smells like wet, stinky socks?"
They both looked down at the stained mattress and
"So why aren't we coolin' our heels in the 'big house' right now," Randi said in her best James Cagney voice. Scowling, she decided she sounded ridiculous so she switched back to her normal voice. "Well, it turned out that jerk-off Bubba has a nasty little habit of accosting pretty women. A few hours after we were arrested a prosecutor showed up and offered us a deal. He agreed to reduce both our charges to 'disturbing the peace' if we agreed to 'hush up' about what Bubba did to Mac. Of course we still had to pay a $1000 fine. Each." Randi shook her head in disbelief. "I nearly dropped dead on the spot when Mac refused to take the deal unless they gave her back her driver's license. " Dark eyebrows rose. "Remember what I told you about people and their driver's licenses earlier?"
A grumpy look stole across the woman's face. "The fine pretty much cleaned out my bank account. I figured I had enough left for the trip down and meals. As far as the trip back... well, maybe I'd get lucky at the blackjack tables."
"We had already lost most of the day getting arrested and all, so we decided to get a motel room in Shitsville, USA." The squirrels looked skeptical. "Fine. Maybe that wasn't the name of the town, but it's my story isn't it? "
"Maybe we should see if the jail will take us back," Mac commented as she put her suitcase on the nearest bed.
Randi grunted her agreement as she clicked on the bathroom light. Okay, she tried to click on the bathroom light but it didn't work. "Cheap fuckers!" she mumbled.
"It's not like we can expect a lot for $29.99." Mac tested the deadbolt and breathed a sigh of relief when the metal bar slid smoothly into place. She shivered a little as "Hotel California" played endlessly in her mind.
"I suppose you're right. I'm just going to shower and then go to sleep. I'm beat."
Mac nodded and decided to wait until morning to shower. She was nearly asleep when she heard a groan and another muffled curse from the bathroom. No hot water, what a shock. Still, at the end of the day they were free and alive (her expectations had been seriously lowered over the past several hours).
She was asleep when Randi finally emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel that nearly made halfway around her body. The driving instructor slipped into bed and tried not to think about who or what had slept there the night before.
A little louder. "Mac."
"Yeah," came the half-asleep response.
"You didn't forget the medal, did you?" Randi was dying to see it. Touch it. Caress it. Fondle... She began to consider the merits of another cold shower.
Yes! They were finally in the same room together! Randi licked her lips and eyed Mac's suitcase. "Can I see it?"
Randi nearly bolted from the bed. "Why the hell not?!"
Mac smiled wickedly. Randi didn't give her nearly enough credit. The nurse rolled over and stared at the pale blue eyes in the bed next to hers. "I mailed it to my parents house. It will be waiting for me when we get there."
Randi chuckled despite herself. "Oohhhh you're a lot more clever than I gave you credit for... Stalker."
"I still prefer, Mac."
Comments or questions to Advocate email@example.comContinued in Part 2.