~ Can't Buy My Love ~
by Katia N. Ruiz
Copyright 2004

Disclaimers: see part one.

***Hello, this is the reason I finally decided to shorten the disclaimer, I want to try a hand at putting lyrics of a song in the beginning, which probably won't work out ::laughs::, but I'll guess I'll give it a try. PLEASE LEMME KNOW IF THE LYRICS GO WITH STORY… J THANKS!

****Hello readers. I want to apologize for the amount of time I've spent out of the loop. See, real life, and maybe my mind too, has taken a toll on me. Writer's block is a horrible thing to experience. I tried a few different things before to try to get out of the funk, and it didn't work. Lastly, I tried going back to school. I'm working on another college degree, with a course study concentrating on Creative Writing, based on "Can't Buy My Love" in particular. So let's see what happens. I hope that you enjoy these chapters, and that you'll continue to be patient and loving fans. (07/31/06)

You can find the rest of the lyrics to this song at AZLyrics.com (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/aqualung/brighterthansunshine.html).

"What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine.
Brighter than sunshine.
Let the rain fall, i don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine.
Suddenly you're mine.
And it's brighter than sunshine."

By Aqualung

Here is a little reminder of where we left off last time…

Kat thought about the night ten years before, a week before she'd left for college, when Oksana had tuned fifteen. Oksana had friends over that weekend for a secret birthday party. Her grandparents had gone away for the weekend and left her free rein of the house. She and her friends had taken the opportunity to break into the liquor cabinet, and had gotten drunk. Oksana had been very drunk when she'd slipped into Kat's room as the older girl slept. Kat remembered being scared out of her mind when she felt the clumsy but gentle touch on her face. She'd sat up only to find her mouth engulfed by an alcohol-laced mouth. Kat had pushed Oksana away then, and she'd always been grateful that Oksana didn't seem to remember the episode.

"Where did you go?" Domingo asked gently.

Kat blinked back to the present. "I was thinking, I guess," she said softly, her eyes searching the cafeteria. Oksana was sitting down nearby, in the midst of a conversation with a man Kat recognized as the head of Human Resources. The executive seemed unaware of the attention she garnered. Kat saw more than a few women staring at the blonde, sex in their eyes, and she knew that Oksana had slept with many of them. "She's slept with many of these women." She said, her eyebrows drawing together.

"The majority of them were experimenting," Domingo pointed out, glancing around the cafeteria and noticing the looks sent in Oksana's direction. "They used her just as much as she used them. There were a few who wanted more than just sex, of course, but Oksana doesn't seem like the type to make false promises. But what do I know, eh?" He sat back, patting his stomach and covering his mouth as he burped discretely. "Lunch was delicious today."

Kat mumbled unintelligibly, her eyes narrowed slightly as she thought about her friend's words. "She doesn't seem like the type to make false promises…" Coming from someone who'd been fucked over by Oksana, those words served to ease a small portion of her discomfort. She stood up and gathered her tray. "You're a good man, Domingo. I hope I can be as forgiving as you can. Thanks for the chat." She said, and walked away.

Domingo watched her go, turning his eyes in Oksana's direction to catch her staring after his friend, a look he recognized as love in her eyes. I think the tiger has been domesticated, he mused, the mischief making his eyes glint.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Kat chopped garlic and mushrooms quickly before throwing them into the wok and stirring them along with the other vegetables, a small involuntary smile softening her pretty features. She checked the chicken in the oven, satisfied that it was ready on time. Oksana was due any moment, and Kat wanted to surprise her with dinner. It was Friday night, and they'd have almost the whole weekend to be together. She tried not to take the time to think about the happiness just the thought of seeing the other woman made her feel, even though she'd seen her almost every night during the past week.

Dinner was almost ready when the doorbell rang, and she rushed to open the door, her smile still in place. Oksana looked very good in a fitted white polo long sleeve and tan cargo pants, her blonde hair was only slightly longer than the original haircut and out of the office it always stuck out in different directions. Kat's smile faded as Oksana's expression came into focus. Awkwardly holding a beautiful bouquet of roses, Oksana looked troubled. Her fair eyebrows were furrowed; her teeth kneaded her lower lip between them as her jaw worked rhythmically.

Kat felt panic move up from her stomach and into her chest. Oh no, it's happened, she thought, forcing a deep breath into her lungs. She's slept with someone else. She stepped aside to let the other woman in.

Oksana met her eyes briefly as she stepped through the threshold. She walked into the kitchen and turned to wait for the other woman. She looked at Kat with anxious eyes.

"What's going on?" Kat asked as she joined her, face carefully expressionless though her chest felt like it would explode. Just the thought that Oksana had slept with someone else hurt.

Oksana busied herself with finding a vase and attempting to arrange the flowers in it. She had no idea what she was doing, but keeping busy was the best idea she had. "I have to go away." She said softly without looking up.

Kat hadn't been aware that she'd been holding her breath until her chest expanded, her shoulders relaxing and the tightness in her head loosening. The relief was almost overwhelming. "Okay," She said softly, her eyebrows furrowing slightly as other questions formed in her head.

Oksana looked at Kat, adding: "I'll be gone for three weeks or more."

Three weeks? Shit! Kat did not want to think about the fact that three weeks without seeing Oksana felt like an eternity. She kept her face carefully neutral.

Oksana wondered what was going through Kat's mind at that moment. She guessed that Kat was wondering if she was going to sleep with anyone else; and Kat had every right to wonder. Would Kat decide that she didn't want to wonder? That she was better off without the worry that Oksana would stray? Oksana knew that Kat had never mentioned a commitment, but she was aware that she was the only woman Kat was intimate with. Kat would expect the same from her, whether she'd made it clear or not. Love hadn't been mentioned either, but Oksana knew that she was deeply in love with Kat, that Kat was the one she'd needed all this time.

After Dena, Oksana had allowed her emotions to shut down. She had numbed herself and her conscience, and became exactly what Dena was and wanted her to be: a callous uncaring bitch. But Oksana had changed once again, thanks to her grandfather, and to some extent, Kat. Yes, she was still oversexed, but her desire was only for Kat now. Her every waking moment was dominated by thoughts of the other woman, by her desire to be in her arms and loving her. She had been in love with Dena, an innocent kind of love and desire that had been ruined by Dena's ugly heart and mind. Kat had brought these feelings back, tenfold, and Oksana hoped that she'd be allowed to show her.

Kat blinked several times, trying to bring herself back to the present. Her eyes focused on Oksana's and her heart skipped a beat. She wondered how much she'd miss her while she was gone. "What will you do in those three weeks?"

"Jayne, bless her, scheduled this trip, made reservations and everything, and then didn't tell me until yesterday!" Oksana exclaimed, eyes flashing. "This was so unexpected. I'll be touring all of the Ivanov offices and meeting their heads and finding out about any projects they're currently involved in."

Not listening, Kat became engrossed in watching her as she spoke, fighting a smile. She'd never seen Oksana this animated, her eyes bright and her face full of life. Even as a child, with friends and an active social life, something in Oksana had seemed to be missing. Kat lived this new animation in Oksana, this new fire in her eyes.

"Have you heard what I've said?" Oksana asked when she became aware that Kat was staring at her.

"No," Kat said honestly, standing up and going over to the wok. She turned off the flame and stirred the contents, glad that she hadn't burned anything. She'd almost forgotten about them.

"What were you thinking about?" Oksana watched Kat fidget with the large wooden spoon and the wok, only vaguely aware of the delicious smell of sautéed vegetables. She wanted to at least know that Kat would miss her. That being apart for three weeks felt just as painful to her as it did for Oksana. She lifted the vase from the counter and set it at the center of the dining table, sitting down.

Kat looked at Oksana and her heart skipped a beat once again, doing a tap dance in her chest. I don't love her, she thought. I can't love her. "The last thing I heard was that you Jayne scheduled you and didn't tell you until the last minute."

Oksana repeated the information about the visits to the other Ivanov offices across the country and Europe.

"This is something you have to do." Kat stated, returning to the table and sitting down across from Oksana.

Oksana nodded. "I'm scared." She whispered, meeting the other woman's eyes.

"Of your employees?" Kat asked, surprised.

"Not at all, though I am a little nervous. I could never fill papa's shoes."

"You're good at what you do," Kat said, her voice betraying a hint of admiration. "This company has seen a high rise in profits, the likes of which it hadn't seen in years." At Oksana's questioning look, Kat smiled and said: "I read the Ivanov News. They're abuzz with praise for your ability."

"Oh," Oksana said, and tried to fight the blush that surfaced.

"Back to the subject, though," Kat said. "What are you so scared of?"

Oksana looked at Kat for a long moment, taking a deep breath. "I'm afraid that you won't want me when I return." She leaned forward on the table and extended her hands towards Kat, who was now staring at her with wide eyes. She wondered if she was saying too much, if this would be the moment when Kat would put a stop to the conversation, claiming that Oksana was pressuring her. After a moment's hesitation, she said softly: "I'm afraid that you'll decide that you don't want me anymore. That this will be your chance to get over your attraction for me, that you'll meet someone else, that…"

Kat's eyes widened as she listened. She knew the absurdity of those words. She knew that what she felt for Oksana would not be so easy to shed. She knew that the desire, the need, the love, were not feelings that would shut down by merely three weeks of separation. But how do I tell her that she has nothing to worry about without telling her that I love her? She wondered. Do I love her? The question made her pause, and she looked up at the worried woman, who was still speaking. Just looking at Oksana, just hearing her voice, or thinking about her made her breath catch and her heart swell. Kat was suddenly aware that Annie, or any other woman, had never made her feel the breathlessness she felt at this moment. Of course I love her, and I want her, and I need her, but I can't tell her that I love her. I can't give her that power. She would walk all over it. She realized that Oksana had stopped speaking and was now gazing at her.

"I'm afraid that you think I'll be sleeping around and won't trust me." Oksana was saying, her eyes earnest. "You have to know that you're the only woman in my life. Don't you know that?"

Kat stared at Oksana for a long moment before it hit her; she could see it in Oksana's eyes. Oksana loved her. She loves me! Holy shit! The ecstatic feeling in her heart manifested itself in goose bumps across her skin. Oh my God, she loves me. She would cry if she allowed herself.

Kat's lack of reply upset Oksana. Her silence had to mean that Kat didn't believe that Oksana wanted only her. And who can blame her? "You do know that you're only one, don't you?" She repeated softly.

Kat nodded, biting her lower lip as she tried to keep the tears from filling her eyes. "I know." She replied just as softly.

Oksana breathed a sigh of relief. "Will you want me, though?" She knew she was asking a hard question, that Kat couldn't know how she'd feel in three weeks.

"I don't think you have to worry about that, Oksana," Kat whispered, meeting her eyes, knowing that she was telling the truth. She'd want Oksana forever.


Oksana ate her dinner in stunned silence, Kat's words echoing through her brain. "I don't think you have to worry about that," had been the last words out of Kat's mouth before she'd jumped to her feet and begun to serve their dinner. Oksana didn't push the subject, knowing that cornering Kat would only upset her. She was satisfied to know that whatever this was between them was more than Kat wanted to admit.

She watched Kat silently remove the dishes from the table, beginning to rinse them. She stood up quickly and joined Kat at the sink. "Here, let me do this," she said softly, placing her hand lingeringly over Kat's and removing a plate from her hand. Their eyes met as Kat stepped back and Oksana smiled softly, heartened when Kat smiled back before turning away and leaving the kitchen. Once she was done with the dishes, Oksana headed for the living room, only to find it empty. Confused, she listened out for Kat.

Hearing soft foot steps upstairs, she followed them, making noise at the stairs to announce her presence. She found Kat in the bedroom, her back turned towards the door as she ran her hands through her hair. She'd removed her blouse, and Oksana took in the beauty of her back muscles as the long dark hair rested on her shoulders in thick waves. Oksana wished it was she running her fingers through the rich hair, caressing the strands and the beautiful scalp beneath them. Her heart rate quickening in excitement, Oksana imagined burying her nose into the strands, her hands touching the beautiful back and kneading the gently defined muscles.

Almost automatically, Oksana's feet took her past the doorway into Kat's bedroom. Oksana was aware that Kat had stopped moving, obviously aware of her nearness. She reached out and touched her smooth shoulder, her excitement mounting when she heard and felt Kat's breathing catch. She groaned, unable to think anymore, when Kat spun around and threw her arms around her neck, pulling her head down into a deep kiss.


Kat stretched languidly, moaning softly when she felt smooth fingers run across her stomach. She felt incredibly satiated. Lovemaking, - no, sex, she refused to think of it as lovemaking, - was always amazing with Oksana. Their mutual drive and energy was incredibly high and they could always go for more than two or three rounds, one after the other. Kat had never been aware of that ability, and each new time was a surprise to her. There was no doubt in Kat's mind that they were sexually compatible, that their desire for each other was real, and, she was sure, long lasting.

Kat couldn't foresee a moment when she wouldn't want Oksana any longer, when she'd turn her away without wanting her. That she was in love with Oksana was no longer in doubt either. She was very scared, though, and determined to never admit her feelings to Oksana. She opened her eyes and studied the blonde, admiring the long fair lashes resting against flushed cheeks. There was a tiny curve to her lips that indicated sexual satisfaction, which Kat knew was only brief. Oksana was on her side, facing Kat, her left hand still caressing the skin of her stomach and her left leg thrown over Kat's thighs.

"Oksana," Kat said softly, turning onto her left side and pressing up against Oksana's warm body. "When are you leaving?"

Oksana's eyes opened and met hers. "Day after tomorrow at seven in the morning. I start the tour in New York City."

"Shit. And what was Jayne's reason for the suddenness of this trip?" Kat asked with a frown.

"She thought it was about time. She'd been bugging me about it for weeks and I'd been putting it off." She looked embarrassed at her cowardice. "I swear to God she thinks we're some kind of royal family. She kept saying: 'you're the heir to the Ivanov throne, wear the crown proudly!'" She chuckled suddenly.

Kat joined her. She knew more than one person who felt the same way.

Oksana's laughter faded, and she gently touched Kat's cheek. "Can I call you while I'm gone?" She asked shyly.

"Yes," Kat replied, reaching up and pushing her fingers through Oksana's short hair. "I'd like to hear from you while you're gone." She admitted softly, meeting Oksana's eyes and seeing the relief and love deep in them. Her nipples hardened when she detected the recoiling desire in the blue depths. Her body shocked her with its response, the pounding of her heart echoing between her legs, demanding the welcome invasion of Oksana's fingers. It wasn't long before Kat pulled Oksana tightly against her body, her mouth melting against hers.

Chapter Twenty Nine

Oksana leaned back against her pillow, yawning tiredly. It was Friday night, the first week away from home behind her. She'd visited eight offices and met so many people that she couldn't even remember the state that she was currently in. This was the first night she'd spend in a hotel room; she wasn't leaving for the next destination until the following evening. Her only consolation was that Jayne seemed to be just as tired as Oksana felt. She chuckled as she recalled Jayne's almost comical expression of relief when they'd walked into their hotel rooms a few minutes before. The dinner party they'd attended had lasted far longer than Oksana expected and wanted it to last. She'd had to decline many an indecent proposal along with it all.

The pride she felt in herself was something new to her. In her sex life, she'd been unable to decline an offer of sex; when she'd first stopped sleeping around, saying no had caused an almost physical pain. She'd resented her grandfather and been unreasonably angry with Kat. Kat had represented what Oksana could no longer have: the sex, the women, the fun. She'd been what Oskar had taken away with his ultimatum. Her incredible beauty and attractiveness had been like unattainable ambrosia to a very hungry Oksana. But it hadn't taken long for the anger to subside, for the desire to take over, and then for the love to begin and grow.

She knew that she and Kat had changed since their childhood, that they didn't know each other as well as they had when they'd been kids, but she could not help but love her, even when she didn't know her. Oksana frowned, deep in thought. Maybe we should go on dates, instead of having sex all the time. We haven't had a date yet. She smiled, knowing that it was a good idea. It would be a way for Kat to get to know her, to see beyond the façade Oksana had put forth in the past, to see the human beneath the juvenile behavior. Oksana looked at the bedside clock, sitting up when she saw that it was already after ten o'clock. She reached for her cellular and dialed Kat's phone number.

The line rang three times before Kat picked up, sounding breathless. "Is everything alright?" Oksana asked in lieu of a hello, concern urging the question.

"I was in the shower," Kat explained, catching her breath. "How are you?"

Oksana smiled. "I'm okay, I finally get to relax tonight. Jayne regrets organizing this trip, so that's a comfort." Kat laughed, and Oksana could tell that she was relaxing. "How is everything on your end?"

"Everything is fine. I've set up a team to begin work on the new cereal from the Ivanest Division. They sent us some samples, and I have to say that it's delicious. Being in marketing has many, many pluses."

Oksana chuckled. Ivanest, located on the Hudson Valley just north of New York City, had been the first office and factory she'd visited on her tour. She was sure she'd never eaten so much cereal in her life. The new recipe tasted amazing, and she'd been insistent that it be marketed, asking that Ivanest's marketing department send a large sample batch to Kat's department. "I'm glad you like it. They're a very talented bunch of cooks down here. The Omega Company still remembers you, and sends their hellos." Oksana said.

"Thank you," Kat said, and Oksana could hear the smile in her voice. "Where are you headed next?"

"Miami next, and then Louisiana and Houston," Oksana said. "I'm hoping that we'll be able to finish the tour early."

"Don't wear yourself out," Kat advised.

"I won't, but I want to get home sooner," Oksana said softly. "There's someone I want to see really badly." The total silence from the other end of the line scared her. "Are you there?" She asked tentatively.

"I'm here," Kat said, her voice soft. "Does this person want to see you as badly?"

Relieved that Kat was playing along with her, Oksana sighed. "I don't know, but I hope so. What do you know about it?"

"If she's a smart girl, I think so."

"Oh, I think she's a genius." Oksana joked, Kat's laughter making her chest full. "What are you going to do this weekend?"

"I'm not sure. Domingo mentioned getting together with him and Millie for lunch and an afternoon the Sanford Country Club, but that's about it. I'll go see my mother Sunday. She's been calling."

Oksana could only imagine Yuliya demanding that her daughter go see her. Kat had been absent lately, since her involvement with Oksana began.

"What are you going to do?" Kat asked.

"I'm sleeping in very late, and then I have a social lunch appointment with Larry Silvestre. This guy has some great ideas for the cereal division. I'm interested in hearing him out." Oksana replied, stretching tired muscles before continuing. "Then we're leaving tomorrow night to Miami."

"When will you call me again?" Kat almost sounded like she didn't want to ask.

Oksana smiled, knowing now that Kat missed her as much as she missed Kat. "Tomorrow night? Is the same time okay?" She asked.

"That's great. I'll speak to you tomorrow, then." Kat said, sounding relaxed.

"Okay," Oksana said. She was disappointed to be hanging up with Kat, but at the same time happy to have spoken with her at all. "Have a good night."

"You too," Kat replied, but she didn't hang up.

Oksana listened to her breathe on the phone. She closed her eyes as she imagined Kat lying half on top of her, her face pressed against her neck, her breathing brushing warmly against her neck. She didn't want to hang up yet. It would be up to Kat to sever the connection.

After a few long seconds, Kat made a soft sound of exasperation. "Aren't you going to hang up?" She asked.

Oksana chuckled. "Aren't you?" She countered playfully.

"Yes, I am, so hang up."

Oksana could tell that Kat was amused by the lightness of her voice. "You hang up," She replied, and waited for a full thirty seconds before they both broke out in laughter. "Okay, okay, I give in. On the count of three, we both hang up."

Kat chuckled. "Okay, one, two, three."

Oksana hung up the phone, leaning back against her pillow and sighing softly as she stared up at the ceiling, already missing the almost musical sound of Kat's voice. If Kat only knew what I'm feeling right now, she'd run the other way. She thought, sighing softly in sadness.


Back in Sanford, Kat hung up the phone, a small smile on her face. She lay down on the bed, settling on her side. She reached for a pillow and hugged it, sniffing it, eyes closed, her nose picking up a faint hint of Oksana's cologne. I miss her so much, she thought, hugging the pillow tighter.

To Be Continued...

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