~ I Want To Be Where You Are ~
by thatgirlmct

These characters are my original creation and if the thought of two consenting female adults engaging in sex offends you or is illegal where you live stop here.

Content warning: Some chapters may have rape/violence scenes that are depicted.

I appreciate all constructive feedback and can be emailed at thatgirlmct@yahoo.com

"Kat" the voice said soft and faint.

Kat kept fading in and out hearing someone calling for her but soon was losing consciousness after a few minutes each time.

"Kat, can you hear me ?" The voice of Liz her best friend a cute redhead echoed slowly into her head like a jack hammer.

A screeching sound of wheels coming to an abrupt stop distracted Kat's line of vision from her friend.

"We have to get her out of here before she bleeds to death." A large hunk of a man seating on the driver side of the car that barely missed inches of driving on top of Kat shouted out to them.

Kat never thought she would ever be so happy to see Jack's ugly mug. The lean frame of her body made her look like a twig compared to his over bearing brick wall shape.

Kat slowly brought her slender almost boyish body up off the ground, that would have been easy enough on its own except for the burning sensation coming from her right arm.

The nights cold air hit her like a wet blanket and the musk from Liz's body was evidence of how wrong the night went.

The last few moments came back to her. She remembered hearing a loud barreling sound then her body touching the ground.

This was suppose to be the last job if they got all the money out of their mark. An quick twenty grand for each of them. It seemed so easy all they had to do was show him the photos and he would of given them the money but something or someone had tipped him off. The suitcase of money he traded for the photos was stuffed with newspaper underneath hundred dollar bills. Before any of them could react he pulled out a gun and started firing. Jack ran out the door and Kat seeing the guy aiming his gun towards Kim dove in front of the blonde and that was the last thing she remembered.

Two arms gently reached around on each side of Kat's shoulder and dragged the thin, dark haired girl into a beat up Honda.

Sirens could be heard from a distance as the car with Jack drove and sitting next to him was Kim; Jack's girl a cute, short blonde.

Liz sat in the back with Kat keeping the pressure on the wound and praying to God or who ever was up there to listen to her and save her friend from bleeding to death all over the backseat of the car.

"I thought you said the guy didn't have a gun? " Kat screamed up to the front. Kicking the back of Kim's seat .

"He told me he didn't have one. How was I to know he would flip out? "

The short blonde was scared not from the fear of having the sirens catch up but by Kat's fury.

"How were you suppose to know?' Kat snarled out. "You been sleeping with the guy for two weeks you should know if he has a gun."

"We're ok. Drop it until we get off the road." Jack shouted to the back seat.

Liz always the level headed one of the group tried to douse the flame burning inside of Kat before it exploded.

Liz started to clean up the wound on Kim's arm. Pulling the young girl closer she only saw a scared little girl even though the words coming out of Kat's mouth would make a grown man piss in his pants.

Kat was amazed how Liz could get her to do anything that she asked. Even though, Kat stood at least six inches over her, Liz would never let the size difference intimidate her. The two of them always looked like an odd pair standing next to each other. Liz with her long curly red hair and Kat with short brown hair in the back and long bangs in the front.

Liz was like so many other women who had a crush on the brooding young woman but none had stolen the young girl's heart in the five years they had known each other. Liz knew Kat was no stranger to a warm body in her bed but no one ever got close enough to stay around for long.

Jack wasted no time in getting the car to the garage . He wasn't a fan of the scrawny girl but Liz and Kim had taken a liking to her right away and he knew time wasn't on their side if they wanted to get the bullet out of Kat's arm before infection set in.

Dragging Kat to a cot Jack pinned her down after the first two attempts to get the bullet ended up with an upper right hand strike to Kim's left eye .

Jack and Liz could of cleaned the wound themselves but the bullet wasn't a clean shot and with Kim's nursing background she would be the only one to turn the bad situation around if the wound was worse than they thought.

Kim was more than qualified to handle a bullet and stitched it up with one hand sewing and the other holding a glass of bourbon. She always use to jokingly say to her colleagues. Unfortunately; she more likely than not actually would show up into her ER drunk.

Kat sensing she was going to be poking at the wound pulled away as Kim reached to take a look at it.

"Stay still." Kim snapped .

Kat moved off the table but before she got half way off the table Jack placed two strong arms on the girl and pinned the lean girl down.

Liz began shoving pills down Kat's throat to help take away the pain.

Kim started moving the shirt away from the arm but there was too much blood to see the wound.

"Hold her down good Jack." Kim instructed him.

Kim moved carefully towards Kat trying to avoid a wandering right hook. Kim started ripping the shirt sleeve off getting a better view of the wound. She dipped a towel into a pan of water wiping away the excess blood around the wound. The area was starting to swell up and infection was setting in.

"I'm going to need you to listen to me Kat." Kim stated looking into her eyes. "I'm going to get the bullet out but it's going hurt. A lot!"

Kim waited to get some response from the injured girl to see if there was a way to avoid another right hook to her eye.

Kim gave it a few minutes for the pills to take effect on Kat. The drowsy girl looked up with droopy eyes.

"Can you feel this?" Kim asked while putting the knife into the young girl's arm.

Kat responded by raising her body up but Jack with his bulky body made a mat out of her lean frame keeping her down.

A slight whimper came from the young woman.

The bullet was deeper than Kim thought and she had to dig for it moving the knife and the utensil further in and ripping flesh to get to the bullet. The few seconds it took to get the bullet out felt like hours.

The anguish look appearing on Kat's face broke Jack's heart to see the girl suffering, but he had to admire the little spitfire. She held her own better than he would of in the same situation he thought to himself.

The young woman stayed still long enough for Kim to remove the bullet.

Kim looked over to the girl's face and saw a lone tear drop fall from Kat's eye. A part of her soul wanted to hold Kat and the other half wanted to slap her for the stunt she pulled by being brave and putting herself in front to take the bullet that was clearly meant for her.

She meticulously cleaned the wound up and put bandages on it. The infected area was treated and only the night would tell if the worst was over.

Kat opened her eyes and looked at Kim and mouthed the words sorry when her vision focused clearly on the left eye of the short blonde.

"Just rest." Kim smiled to the woman placing a kiss on her sweaty forehead.

The cot in the corner seemed inviting to Kat even if it was surrounded by dirty clothes and old newspaper.

Kat couldn't hold off sleep anymore and with Liz's word she would wake her up if anyone came to the house looking for them she saw no reason not to get a little rest.

Kat thoughts of happier times kept her company as she faded into sleep with the smell of rags soaked in gasoline surrounded her.

The memories of when she was seven with her mom right before she died and of her stroking her hair as she lay in her lap. Then the thoughts of her ebony-haired beauty came into her mind. The vision always came when sleep was about to approach and systematically mess with her mind Kat's heart broke a little each day that she had to think about her. Kat couldn't even say her name it had taken years for her to forget that, but she could never forget her face.


Elwood 1998

Soft lips touched her cheek from the back as her eyes stayed covered. The tall girl with long, black hair turned her around and gave Kat another kiss on the other cheek.

This was the way Teresa always greeted her after not seeing each other all day at school. Teresa was always hugging or touching everyone she knew . There just was no other way to describe Teresa but as a big, lovable kid who gave her heart to everyone she knew and you couldn't help but give it back.

The Summer was coming up and the girls had made a promise to spend every minute together to make up all the time they had been apart during the school year.

Missing her increasingly each day Kat had been drawing a picture of Teresa in her mind from the freckles on her nose to the lines in the corner of her eyes. Weeks had come between them before Kat could embrace her friend, "No. Her heart again." she thought to herself. The look on Teresa's face wasn't the one that Kat had expected to see when she greeted her.

"What's wrong? ", Kat inquired.

Teresa didn't want to hurt her friend but she did want to spend sometime with Kat without having blood shot eyes looking back at her and smoke coming up in her face.

Kat realized what was making Teresa feel weird and she quickly put out the joint and rolled it back up into her baggie .

The almost psychic ability the two had of knowing what the other was feeling with out words expressed had freaked the rest of their friends out. This only made the two of them realize that they shared a special bond with each other. They said they were two parts of one heart beating as one.

The weekends always started the same for Kat and Teresa, they would go out to a nice restaurant. A meal with Kat was never a go out, then eat and go home type of excursion. Life was all about taking risk and dinner was no exception.

Kat had taught her younger friend a fun game of avoiding a bill a few years ago "dinner and dash" and she still got nervous every time they did it. Teresa would excuse herself to go towards the bathroom and out the door. Kat always said she slowed her down, so Teresa had to be the one to walk out first then Kat would bolt out when the waitress wasn't looking.

Kat and Teresa sat in the booth at Paula's hometown cooking kitchen. The family restaurant sat on the outskirts of town and was one of the few restaurants that the two hadn't tried their little scam.

Teresa looked across to her friend catching quick glances from the corner of her eye.

"So what's enticing you today" Kat asked raising one eyebrow.

Oh If you only knew. Teresa thought to herself. "Maybe a chili cheese dog and French fries."

"That stuff is going to kill you." Kat said laughing out loud.

"Well I better continue and live dangerously and order onions. It's not like I'm going to kiss anyone." Teresa sighed.

Kat wanted to reach over and pull Teresa into an embrace and tell her how she thought of nothing else but her soft lips.

The waitress came over and took their order giving a little too much attention to Kat.

"What can I get you girls? The waitress asked more less speaking only to Kat.

"We'll get the special with a salad and a chili cheese dog with fries." Kat let the waitress know.

"And don't forget the onions." Teresa added.

The waitress looked at Teresa with a cagey grin "You might want to skip the onions sweetie your girl might not like onion breath"

"She's not my girlfriend." Teresa informed the waitress.

The waitress was just a few years older and blonde. She was openly flirting with Kat offering her an extra helping of onion rings at no charge.

Teresa noticed the way Kat acted towards the waitress leering at the girl looking her up and down. The glint in her eye could only say what lustful carnal things Kat would do to this willing young girl. She wished she would look at her that way and take her in her arms and caress her, and make her feel things in places that even her mind hadn't thought about before.

Kat noticed the uncomfortable look coming over her friends face. She wasn't sure if it was the discomfort of seeing her flirting with a woman or because it was another woman.

"Are you going to get her number?" Teresa asked.

"Huh!" Kat was in a daze trying to figure out if Teresa might be jealous.

"If you get her number and want a date we better get out our wallets and pay the bill." Teresa reminded her of why they came here.

"Keep your money in your pocket you're my date ." Kat said placing her hand on Teresa's.

The young girl was swept away in thought about the warmth of Kat's hand and the way it made her have a tingling feeling between her legs that she didn't hear Kat tell her something.

"Go to the bathroom Teresa."

"I don't have to go. I'm fine." Teresa informed her.

Kat looked at her with a growl growing from her chest. Teresa realized then that she meant go to the bathroom and then run out the front door.

Teresa ran like she never had did this before. She left Kat behind never looking back for fear if she did she would see the waitress or the hostess coming up from behind and tackle her to the ground.

The hiding place was where she was headed. The two always met up at the same safe place after one of their pranks. A few minutes always seemed like hours as Teresa waited for her friend.

Kat would take her time to walk up to Teresa to let her know she made it there safely. A tree angled right over the drain pipe gave ample view of the unsuspecting brunette, and Kat could look for hours at her friend's face.

The older girl loved the way Teresa would look nervous and pace over the cement covered ground worried that Kat had got caught. Then the way she would put her arms around her when she realized Kat came back.

That definitely was the best part about "dine and dash." Kat thought to herself while climbing down the tree to join Teresa.

"You think they followed us ?". Teresa asked in between deep breaths.

"Don't worry" Kat put her hand on her friends shoulder and kissed her cheek.

No words had to be said to comfort Teresa just one look into the tall, lean, older girl face and Teresa knew she would follow her into the caverns of hell If she asked her to.

The look that Teresa gave to her made Kat nervous and every day it was getting harder to be this close to her. Hoping she wouldn't see the hope of love in her eyes Kat looked towards the ground and moved her hand away. The constant fear of doing something that might make her friend uncomfortable was something that Kat would never want to do.

They say you will know the moment you find your destiny and what your suppose to do with it. Kat knew that she loved Teresa but lately it was hard to express the new way she saw her friend.

Teresa felt the warm breath of Kat's on her neck and saw the way she looked at her before she pulled away like she would of kissed her.

She had kissed a lot of boys before but none made her feel as safe and loved as the other half of her heart made her feel and she wanted her lips on hers.

Teresa now felt weird for she knew there was no way Kat would give her the time of day. If you weren't blonde and dumb as wood you would never get noticed by Miss Kat Cantor.


Elwood present day

Kat woke up from her dream noticing it was still dim in the garage, so she knew she
couldn't have been asleep that long. She saw Liz huddled in a corner with Jack and Kim talking.

"So, where do we stand?" Kat shouted. She didn't like the look on her friends faces.

Grabbing hold of the sink next to the cot. Kat lifted her body up and stumbled over to them.

She realized that maybe it wasn't the best idea. As her head started to feel twenty pounds heavier and the loud ringing in her ear wouldn't stop. She could of got to the others if the room would stop spinning. The lean girl's legs gave out half way to her designation. Liz walked over to the falling Kat and caught her before she landed on the floor.

"Put her back on the cot Jack." Kim instructed him.

Kim looked at the wound making sure that it didn't get reopened.


"Right now I am two miles from Elwood and once you cross the county line there is no turning back." Teresa said while her hair blew in the wind in her convertible.

Talking to her twenty-something assistant Debra seating on the driver's side.

"It can't be that bad?" The young assistant said taking her eyes off the road for a minute.

"Yes. It is that bad . I'm surprised the cell phone is still working". Teresa answered sarcastically. "When I was growing up there was only one movie theater. Can you believe that ? Now a days you can't go two blocks and not see a milk dud calling your name from a theater.

A big sign with welcome to Elwood passed by them like a blur.

Teresa looked all around and saw old women sitting on porches talking to each other and old men playing checkers in the park as they drove by. Teresa noticed nothing had changed.

"How long has it been since you have been back? " Debra asked.

"God Six. No eight years." Teresa replied.

Nothing drew you back here before now? Debra looked at Teresa noticing that her face had turned from a look of contempt to complete sadness.

Teresa hoped that her assistant couldn't see that her heart was breaking at the thought of what she had left behind and the girl she still loved.

"No. My Mother died a year after I left and my family had the funeral back in Texas so there was no need to come back.

Kat told her to not look back and make all their dreams come true for the both of them.

Whimpering from the back seat knocked Teresa out of her walk down memory lane.
Searching through a bag on the floor next to her she pulled out a baby bottle.

"Here you go princess." Teresa cooed to her five month old daughter.

The baby smiled and gurgled realizing it was her Mommy talking to her. The only thing that could get Teresa to come back to Elwood was staring at her.

Katherine Kale Archer was the joy of her life and the only thing Teresa had left in the world to remind her of a sweet boy who took her away from the pain of the street life she turned to after leaving home.

Teresa grieved for the loss that her daughter would feel of never knowing the man who loved her even before he knew she was coming into the world. Private 1st class Kale Archer died on a mission in Iraq the same day that Teresa found out she was pregnant.

"Grant Hill road is that what I'm looking for?" Debra asked looking for the house.

"Yeah just look for a yellow house with red roses on a white picket fence you can't miss it." Teresa exclaimed. Remembering all the times that she and Kat vandalized the picket fence and roses when they were kids.

The day Katherine Kale or K.K. as her mother liked to call her came into the
world Teresa had did everything she could to keep Kale's Father away from K.K.

The judge didn't take to kindly to being turned down but complied with the young
woman's wishes. He gave her an ample allowance to support the baby and supplied an
Assistant, Debra for her.

The constant urging to move closer to him made her make a trek back to a town she thought she would never see again.

The young mother always thought it was ironic that she would meet and marry a man from Elwood while living 500 miles away from it.

Elwood 1998

"Go, go, go. Yeah!". A crowd of young people yelled out.

Kat laid out on a table with a funnel sticking out of her mouth drinking
beer being poured down it.

The crowd was amazed at the endurance of Kat and at the foolish
young man home for summer vacation who betted fifty dollars that
she couldn't drink ten beers without stopping.

The last drop of beer came down the funnel and Kat sat up wiping the
last of it off her mouth with one hand and grabbing the money with the other from the irritated young man.

The group began to applaud for Kat and she took a bow eating up the admiration from her peers.

The speed that she bent over or the impact of the beer made her wobble and her knees felt like they were about to buckle out from under her.

Kat thought about how this was great timing because her dinner was about to join her on the floor.

As her knees bent and she fell forward the impact of her body fell unto another warm body that drew her in and cradled her.

The sweet scent of mangos filled her nostrils and the brush against her cheek of ebony hair sent Kat to a place she could only describe as heaven.

"What are you doing?" Teresa inquired with a scolding look on her face.

"I was just waiting for you and had a little fun until you came" Kat whispered in her friends ear.

The reeking smell of beer on Kat's breath made Teresa push her away and walk out the door.

"What's eating her?" Bill the bartender shouted across the room. Kat and him had an agreement he would look the other way and not card her if she gave him a cut of whatever money she made in a night betting.

"Nothing ". Kat exclaimed feeling embarrassed that the whole room was looking at her.

"You better go get her and make it up to her or you'll be in the doghouse for sure. There is only so many chances you get with a girl like her ." Bill dished out the fatherly advice to the young girl.

Bill like a lot of her friends were confused and thought that Kat and Teresa were a couple. It made her a little proud that everyone thought that she could get a girl like Teresa.

Kat knew the day she turned twelve that she would only be with girls and fifteen when she knew that the girl she only wanted to be with was Teresa.

Fate didn't give Teresa the same endearment and Kat stood by while Teresa fell for boy after boy through their friendship. Well if being just a friend with Teresa meant she would always have her by her side then that was going to have to do.

Kat ran out of the house and looked for Teresa at all the places they usually would hang out at. The younger girl wasn't at any of them then Kat thought of the only place Teresa could be at.

When ever Teresa had a fight with her mom or Kat with her uncle they would grab the other and go to their hiding place. It was nothing more than an old abandoned water pipe in the park that had seen its share of drug paraphernalia and condoms thrown around in its day.

"You shouldn't be here by yourself it isn't safe". Kat told her as she turned a bucket upside down.

"I needed to get some air" Teresa replied back.

"You couldn't get air back at the party. There was music, food and no stale a….

"And beer and wee …." Teresa interrupted her and pointed to the paper rolled up on top of Kat's ear.

Kat pulled the joint from her ear and put it away in her pants pocket.

This was going to be one of those nights where the ebony-haired beauty would stay quiet and let the other girl stew in her own thoughts about what she was doing with her life.

Kat noticed Teresa in her haste didn't bring a sweater to cover her bare shoulders. She had to admit the dress was beautiful and fit tightly to the blossoming girl's body.

"Here put this around you." The older girl took her sweater off and placed it around the young girls shoulders.

Teresa trembled at the touch of Kat's arms around her. Kat couldn't tell if it was the night breeze or nervousness of her touch that made Teresa tremble.

Teresa gave a crooked smile towards Kat and glanced upward to the sky.

"Look a shooting star. Make a wish." Teresa instructed Kat to do it.

"Tell me what you wished for? Kat inquired.

"I can't tell you that. Then it won't come true". Teresa snickered out.

"Come on tell me". Kat teasingly said as she tickled the ebony-haired girl.

They spent the rest of the night looking up at the stars and Teresa told Kat the name of each star and of her dreams of becoming an astronomer. Kat didn't know exactly what she was talking about, but she knew she wanted to be there with her sharing it someday.

Walking back to town the girls talked about everything except what had brought them to meet up at their hiding place.

Kat ran up ahead of Teresa when they got to Grant Hill road and before Teresa turned the corner Kat rejoined her a little out of breath.

"Close your eyes." Kat pleaded with her.

Teresa looked at Kat pleading staring up at her with puppy dog eyes holding her hands behind her back hiding something.

Teresa closed her eyes and felt Kat's hand on hers and pulling her hands loose then closing them again.

"Ok. Open them !" Kat shouted like a kid at a birthday party.

Teresa looked down to her hands and saw three yellow roses surrounding a single red rose.

The right words couldn't form in her mouth so Teresa did the next best thing and hugged her friend.

The front porch light to Teresa's house was on and Teresa knew she would have to climb up her tree near her window to get in before her mother realized she was out all night.

"Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine." Kat whispered in her friends ear still holding her.

"I told you that if you tell it then it won't come true." Teresa whispered back and then walked away.

Kat thought to herself mine already came true.

Present day Elwood

"This is Katherine's room I had the nursery done up with the help of a local carpenter to build most of the furniture in here." Judge Archer said. The man was taller than Teresa's husband had been and at least fifty pounds heavier, but his eyes were a smoky gray color like Kale's.

The nursery was a lovely room decorated in pink and stripes it was everything a little girl could wish for. Teresa thought to herself maybe this wasn't such a bad idea coming back after all.

The baby started to get a little fussy and Teresa knew it was time for another meal break for K.K.

"You never get enough to eat do you little munchkin". Teresa gurgled to the baby.

"Feed her in the rocker. I had it built just so you and Katherine could sit together just like Kale's mother did with him.

Teresa saw how the older man looked on with such adoration and thought that this would of made Kale happy to know that his dad was looking out for K.K.

The thoughts in her mind went away from this moment with her daughter and father-in-law and to a tall and lean, dark haired girl with a crooked smile and a velvety voice.

The new mother wondered what would Kat think if she could see her "Tess" so domesticated living in the big yellow house on Grant Hill road.

Kat laid low for a couple of days that she didn't even get in contact with her uncle who took her back in after she got out of prison.

The years of supplementing her income with side extortion jobs with Jack and petty thefts were getting a little harder to accomplish. The new technology with alarms in every home and more people willing to suffer through a scandal were making an honest living out of not such an honest life harder.

The cramped one bedroom apartment smelled of stale pizza and dirty laundry, and the floor had moving boxes thrown all around it. The apartment looked the same when she moved in three years ago. Kat tried to never spend more time than she had to in the tiny apartment.

The odd jobs that her uncle would hook her up with kept her out of trouble most of the time, but lately the young woman had a burning itch that couldn't be controlled by a nine to five kind of job. A cozy job at the Archer house filled up most of her time these days. The old man Archer never bothered her while she worked and his maid fixed up some nice sandwiches with the crust cut off the bread just like the fancy people up on Grant Hill liked it.

The new project was building a club house for the Judge's new grand daughter. Kat thought to herself that the kid wasn't even out of diapers yet and how only the rich could throw away that kind of money like that. The yard was the largest in the county and it gave ample space for Kat to build the structure in peace away from the festivities going on in the main house.

The homecoming of Judge Archer's daughter-in-law and grand daughter made the papers front page. Elwood was the kind of town that before you sneezed someone else would already be handing you a handkerchief.

"Excuse me miss." A faint female voice called out.

Kat lying underneath the club house dragged her body out from under the small structure and recognized the voice to belong to Kim.

Kat was happy to see that Mr. Archer had instructed Kim to bring some food down from the party to Kat. The days always went a little faster when the short blonde stole away a few minutes to spend with her.

The two women had carried on a sort of love affair for months if you would call a few reckless gropes and kisses that. The other benefit of this gig was that Kat met Kim and embarked on various scams with Jack on the unsuspecting guests of the judge that came to the home.

Kat didn't delude herself into thinking that Kim was more than what she had to offer which was a warm body and soft lips.

Kim didn't mind using her body to get close to the friends of the judge. A few stolen caresses and sweet endearments whispered in the young girl's ear in a hotel room and Kat outside a window with a few Polaroid photos were good for a couple thousand dollars. The trio had been doing this for months, but Kat was getting tired of it and the pain still coming from her right arm reminded the woman that she needed to get out before she had a bullet in her head.

"I'm going to see you tonight?" Kat asked while nuzzling the other girl's neck.

"Jack is getting a little suspicious so I can't go out for awhile." Kim replied back.

Kat looked at her with a look of disappointment. She knew if she caressed Kim long enough and whispered enough endearments the short blonde would give into her carnal bidding.

"Won't matter you're not going to have time to miss me any way. The Judge wants you to come up to the house when the party starts winding down." Kim informed her.

"Keep me company until then." Kat whispered.

Kat began nibbling on the blondes earlobe. Pulling the backside of the other girl unto her chest. Kat reached under the girls blouse making a sweeping stroke across her breast rubbing a nipple until it became hard. The tall woman leaned the cute blonde back and moved her lips unto hers devouring every inch of it until her mind could not
think of the blonde no longer but of a summer so many years ago and a beautiful ebony-haired girl who would forever have her heart.

After a few minutes, Kim became worried that someone might wander off from the party and the short blonde pulled away from Kat's embrace and collected the plates and glass and walked away leaving the tall girl alone and frustrated.

The party went on until close to midnight and Kat waited just like the judge asked. The one thing that Kat learned was when the judge told you to do something you did it. The young woman by no means liked the thought of being owned by the man but knew she still owed him a debt that had to be repaid. The way Kat's life was that if the judge said jump to her then the next step would be to ask how high.

The back door to the kitchen was unlocked and Kat walked in and awaiting already was the Judge shoving a big piece of pie into his face.

"Sit down Kat. I was wondering when you would get up here." Judge Archer let her know.

"I finished the plumbing on the clubhouse today." Kat replied back.

"Good. That's why I asked you to come up to the house. My daughter-in-law wanted to meet the little girl I told had made all those wonderful things in my granddaughter's nursery." Judge Archer enthusiastically said.

The judge led Kat into the living room where a ebony-haired woman was playing on the piano with her back towards the judge and Kat.

The young woman's face was turned but Kat glanced down the slender frame of the girl with her small hands and long fingers. Kat thought that she had never seen anything so beautiful as this vision before in her life.

"Teresa this is the carpenter Ka….."

"Katherine Cantor." Teresa interrupted her father-in-law. "It's good to see you. I didn't know you were a carpenter?" Reaching over to give the girl a hug. The tall girl pulled away as she got closer.

"My uncle trained me when I got out." Teresa stopped talking realizing she hit a sore spot in both of their lives.

"So you two know each other. Good. I was worried that Teresa would have no one to talk to being cooped up here with the baby." The Judge interjected.

The years in Kat's mind had built up fantasies that would lead up to this day and when she saw the other half of her heart standing in front of her all she could do was run.

"Judge if you will excuse me I have an early morning tomorrow." Kat fibbed. "Night Mrs. Archer." Dragging the Mrs. out like it was a curse.

Drowning her emotions in a bottle of whatever she could get her hands on was always a good way for Kat to forget what ever was hurting her at the moment but she knew this kind of hurt wouldn't go away at the bottom of a glass.

Gesturing to the bartender, Bill to get her another drink Kat didn't notice her arm extended over to a fellow bar patron's own glass and inadvertently knocked the drink into the man's lap. The man taking offense at the drunken woman pushed her and caused Kat to fall off of the stool she was sitting on.

"That was a mistake mister." Kat slurred out.

"I don't want your apology." The irate man yelled at her turning his back to her.

"I didn't mean I was sorry. I meant you shouldn't of did that." Kat said rushing to the bar.

Before anyone knew what had happen the tall, lanky girl grabbed her empty bottle broke it across the surprised young man face and was kicking him in the stomach as he lay on the ground.

The bartender pulled her off of the man and pushed her into the corner. The young man now on his feet rushed towards Kat and was about to raise his fist when his friend came up to him and whispered in his ear. "187" but not low enough that Kat didn't hear it.
The young man walked out of the bar with his friends and the bartender tried to talk to Kat but the young woman just pulled away.

The past never lets you go and all you can do is deal with it. Kat knew if a total stranger would back off of her hearing her street name what would a respectable girl living at Grant Hill want with her.

Elwood 1999

The rain came down hard and with such force the raindrops could be heard hitting the metal fences that surrounded the building. Kat could sit looking out her window for hours watching the rain come down. The few months that Kat had been the guest of the state of California the rain was the only constant thing she could count on, that and Teresa.

Kat thought to herself that today was visitor's day, but seeing how harsh the rain was coming down she knew there was a good chance that Teresa wouldn't be able to make it. Slowly the recreation room filled up with inmates and visitors. Kat had arrived early when all the tables were empty giving her first pick of a table. But seeing how late it was and how the rain was coming down she decided she didn't want to occupy up a table with just herself when some people were standing during their visit.

Kat gestured to "Tiny" short for Tina who was her bunkmate to take over the table. She always thought it was ironic that a girl who stood at six feet tall and weighed close to three hundred pounds could have that name.

Kat remembered the first time she met her, she was assigned latrine duty and being the new girl some of the other inmates thought they needed to teach the scrawny girl a lesson. Kat had held her own in the fight when there was only two but when a third girl decided to grab her from behind and baptize her in the toilet she found herself in a loosing battle. Water was the only thing she saw and the constant flushing of the toilet was all she heard. The tall girl was loosing conscience when the attack suddenly stopped and the figure behind her that had held her under water a minute ago lay slumped next to her. Kat looked around and saw that all of the girls where laying on the ground and the only person standing in the bathroom was Tiny. Kat from that day on never left the girl's side.

A new copy of "motor weekly " occupied her time as she would peer up and glanced at the others spending time with their families. She knew she had no right to be so jealous of the other girls but a part of her wished she had a Mother who would hold her and tell it would be alright. The only family she had was an Uncle who had more stuff going on in his own personal life and couldn't control her. He actually felt it was for the best that she stay here and do her time "may be you'll grow up" he told her.

"Thinking about anyone special.' A soft voice said behind her.

Kat turned around and saw Teresa her best friend. The girl stood at least three inches shorter than her. Kat looked calm when greeting her friend but her insides where doing summer salts.

Teresa reached out and brought Kat into an embrace. She tried hard not to tremble when Teresa put her hand on her backside.

The electrical current floating from both of their bodies gave a sharp jolt to Kat's back. Teresa tried to give an explanation about how she walked on a piece of carpet before entering the recreation room and that was what caused the electricity shock between them.

Teresa looked at her friend hoping she would believe her explanation. But in her heart if she believed everything her grandfather told her about The soul and the power of finding your heart. Then that was just what her soul was doing, claiming its' mate with a fiery jolt.

"You look nice." Kat stated as she gestured Teresa to two lounge chairs that were now unoccupied.

Teresa was pleased for that one second of a compliment was worth the endless hours spent dressing and undressing just to find the right outfit to wear.

"I should of called you and told you not to worry about coming out this week." Kat exclaimed.

"No bother I would be here even if the streets were flooded and we had to take a …… Teresa paused. " What are those boats that are in Venice and couple's rent that has a guy standing up steering it ?"

"Gonnzos…." Kat struggled to remember.

"Gondolas." Teresa shouted.

Kat could only look at her with awe at how she always could take a bad situation and make it good. She knew if she only had one thing to make sure she got out of here in one piece it was sitting right in front of her.

The girls giggled and Teresa grabbed Kat's hand cradling it between her hands on the table. Kat's cheeks became flush. The crimson color appearing on her face matched the color of Teresa's blouse she quickly noticed.

Teresa's trek to the jail started at six in the morning and three buses later she was there next to her friend. She wondered if she knew that it wasn't only friendship that drew her to the place. Kat had made a huge sacrifice for her and at first the reason behind coming here was guilt but lately she longed to see her friend.

Should she tell her that every sleeping moment belongs to her and every waking minute is spent daydreaming about them leaving town together and starting their own lives away from their families.

The day went as others had before. The two girls would spend time catching up about what was going on back in Elwood and how they couldn't wait until the day it would become just one big blur they could leave behind.

Teresa hated the trip back home, back to Enid her mother even though it was the same length of time each way she still felt that going towards Elwood felt like twenty hours of travel time.

The house was dark except for the hallway when Teresa came home. She saw her mom sitting on a chair in the living room. Enid Baroques was a typical mother who lived her life for her daughter and through her.

The unhealthy bound that had grown between Teresa and Kat had her concerned. Teresa who usually had two or three boys calling on her had stopped going out. The only times that Teresa would get up and dress and have a smile on her face was when she visited that horrible girl in juvenile detention Enid thought to herself.

"Mama. Why are you sitting in the dark? Teresa inquired.

"Waiting for you to come in. Did you have a good visit with Kat today? Enid asked half heartedly.

Teresa tried to tell her mother what she felt but the only thing that escaped from her were a flood of tears. Enid tried to comfort her daughter to get answers to what was wrong.

"What did that girl do now? Enid asked

"Nothing. Everything. " Teresa replied back wiping tears from her cheek.

"She had to do something to make you act like this. Before she came around you were so happy." Enid reminded her.

Teresa looked up to her mom the darkness covered up most of her face. She knew Enid could only hear the sobbing coming from her daughter and not the look of excitement on her face at the mere mention of Kat.

"Mom. I want to tell you something but I don't know what I am feeling. And I'm sure if I don't know what I'm feeling. How are you going to know how to react after I tell you. " Teresa tried to explain.

"You are talking in riddles. Just spit it out. If its not that girl. Then what is it?" Enid grabbed her daughter and rocked her in her arms.

"I …… think I'm in love.

Before anything else could be said from Teresa's mouth her mother squeezed her so hard she thought that she couldn't breath.

"That's wonderful who is he? Is it that Montgomery boy by Griffin." Teresa shook her head. "……..Or who? . .." Enid said with glee.

"Ka …"Teresa interrupted. "Katherine. I am in love with Kat mom.

The walls closed in on Enid and she couldn't even remember if she was still breathing. Teresa kept on talking and all she could do was nod her head.

Ten minutes had to have passed before the blood flowed back into Enid's brain. Then the worst thoughts started to pop up in her mind.

"Have you two…. I mean have you?" Enid couldn't finish the question.

"No." Teresa answered as it dawned on her what her mom meant.

"But you want to? Enid dragged the words out.

"I know I love her. I just don't know if I am ready for that kind of step." Teresa said looking down at her shoes. "I still haven't did anything with anyone yet mom."

"Thank god." Enid cheered raising her daughter up and twirling her.

Teresa was getting concerned about her mother's response to finding out that her daughter loved another girl so many scenarios ran past in her mind but not the smiling elated woman in front of her.

"Do you know what I should do? Do I tell her? Teresa looked to her Mother for answers.

"You haven't told her?" Enid realized all hadn't been lost yet.

"I want to make sure she feels the same way that I do."

"Don't tell her wait until she is out of there. She has too much to deal with right now and adding the pressure of a relationship isn't going to help." Enid confided.

Teresa listened to everything her mother said about the pro and cons of delving into a relationship with another girl let alone one who had a rap sheet. The unknown seemed so much better than the present without Kat. Teresa did as her mother asked and promised to sleep on it before making a move.

"That was one fine looking girl you got." Tiny grinned out.

"She is not my girl." Kat sighed.

"Then if she is not your girl then someone needs to tell her that. Did you see that dress she had on? Tiny looked into Kat's confused face. "That girl got it bad for you and you two are the only one's who can't see it."

"Even if I could get pass the I have to do time issue. I still have the wrong body parts for her." Kat said tearfully.

"I never seen you scared of anything in your life." Tiny poked at her friends chin.

"I can't even hope to be anything more than a friend to her and I need to be thankful for that." Kat got up and walked out of the room.

Tiny felt for her friend she couldn't see what had occurred in the past in the two girls relationship, but there definitely was love between the two even if one or both didn't want to admit it.

The line for the payphone was always long but Kat had a few extra cigarettes to trade to get to the head of the line. Kat had to remind herself to breath as she waited for the phone to stop ringing and get picked up.

Her heart fell a few inches when she heard Mrs. Baroques on the other side, but she stayed pleasant in her conversation with her. Kat knew that Mrs. Baroques felt that she was a bad influence on her daughter and what better way to plead her case than the fact that Kat was incarcerated for the last six months.

"May I speak to Teresa? Kat inquired exhausted from the conversations pleasantries.

"At this time I don't think it would be appropriate if you two spoke." Mrs. Baroques implied.

"Did something happen? Is she alright? Kat shouted into the phone. The girls standing in line for the phone looked at her.

"Yes. Something did." Mrs. Baroques hesitated. "She came home in such a state and crying into the early morning."

"Who hurt her. I don't care I'm locked up in here. I'll get who ever did this." Kat couldn't control her anger.

"It was you Kat Cantor. You and your ways. You have my daughter trekking miles to god knows where to see you for a few minutes. You are the one making my daughter feel like she is your only connection to the outside world." Mrs. Baroques snapped out with such venom.

The words coming through the phone felt like bricks crashing on her heart. Kat always worried when her friend would travel so many miles just to have to turn around again.

"Tell her to not…." Kat could barely bring herself to say the words out loud. "Tell her not to come."

"No one tells my daughter anything. You should already know that by now. If you really care for my daughter you will let her go." Mrs. Baroques said smugly.

With those words Kat knew she lost Teresa and said goodbye to Mrs. Baroques.

Kat motioned for the next girl to use the phone as she walked by the line. The girl who had held her face under water in the toilet smirked at her.

"Your girlfriend find someone else babe. Maybe I'll let you visit me tonight." The smug girl said.

Kat didn't know if it was wanting to not feel anything else or just wanting to wipe that smug look off her face. The force of her fist on the other girl's face flattened her out. A shank that she kept hidden in her underwear moved across and into the other girls belly. Two strikes should do it Kat thought, just enough to seal her fate and get the cocky girl some bed rest. Kat didn't do anything else but stand over the girl and that is how the guards found her.

The detention of solitary confinement made it easier to not see Teresa because knowing to let her go would be for the best and doing it were two separate things.

Teresa came week after week waiting to see Kat but she was still in solitary confinement. Finally when the day came for Kat to get out of confinement Teresa waited at the table wearing a yellow sundress to remind her of the roses she once gave her.

The visiting hour came and went before an administrator informed her that Kat had been transferred earlier in the day. Teresa inquired of the new location but Kat had requested that information was kept confidential.

Teresa left that cold, grey building that only felt colder without Kat within its walls and traveled back home into her mother's comforting arms.

Present day Elwood

The clinking of trash cans hitting the ground echoed from the alley into the apartment. Kat slowly moved her blanket off of her face as the beading droplets of sunlight peeked through the various parts of the dilapidated blinds on her window. The clock flashed ten o'clock but Kat's body could of sworn that she had only gone to bed a few minutes before.

The previous nights events came to her in fragmented flashes more like a train crash than in serial timed occurrences. The man's snicker, and then the crashing of broken glass falling unto the ground. The unbridled fury that swept from the deepest bowels of her inner soul that surfaced with uncontrollable rage.

The one thing that had always had kept Kat sane and got her through night after night in that tiny cell she called home was; Teresa. The love she felt for her would last a lifetime there was no question in her heart. Teresa now belonged to Grant Hill and there was nothing that Kat had to offer could even equal a portion of what Teresa had accomplished on her own.

The door bell ranged and Kat shouted out to the unknown guest at her door to go away, but the bell kept ringing. The constant noise after several minutes Kat knew she had lost the battle with the assailant that was abusing the doorbell.

Rushing towards the door with every intent to do bodily harm to whoever was on the other side was her only mission at this time. The patience in Kat was at its wits end and even if the pope himself was on the other side there still would be hell to pay, Kat thought to herself.

"Well look what the cat dragged in." Liz announced very loudly bending over to Kat's ear.

Liz being the type to never wait for an invitation to come in, pushed her way into the apartment practically knocking Kat off balance. If the sofa hadn't been placed next to the door she would have been face first on the floor.

This was just another thing that Kat would have to thank her Uncle about on his unusual decoration style. Glancing around the apartment Kat saw two things that she would gladly donate to the Goodwill, the beer can lamp and the cheetah pattern throw rug. Kat then realized that she couldn't even give them away; they might ask her to pay for them to keep it.

As a little girl, she had asked her Uncle. "Where did he find such trashy umm!, unique items and he said they found him. "Two years ago on a beer run with Liz, she found him digging through trash bins and the next morning the beer can lamp was sitting in the corner of the living room like it always belonged there.

"You going to tell me what is going on with you?" Liz grabbed Kat and sat her on the couch putting her on one end as she sat on the opposite side.

Liz was the mother hen of their friends and was always checking on her whether she needed protecting or not. Kat could only cringe at the sound of Liz's voice completely ignoring whatever it was she was saying to her.

The time would come when she would pay her friend back for the inconvenience, but the only thing that was on Kat's mind now was getting to the bathroom before it was too late.

Liz was never one to let Kat get away with abusing her body. She always believed there was a time and a place to have fun and if you got sick when it was over you definitely didn't need that kind of fun.

Liz stood outside of the bathroom hearing gagging and coughing coming from behind the door. The mender and peacekeeper were the designated jobs given to Liz since childhood and she accepted it with a grain of salt. And many times the friendship between the two women would become strained when Liz would try to give guidance to her friend.

Kat came out of the bathroom with a greenish complexion coloring on her face. Liz always ready for anything had a towel to give to her. Kat buried her face in it allowing herself to be cradled by the warmth in the damp towel.

Kat could see the anticipation building up in Liz's eyes with the containment of words and it would not be much longer before the heavens and the skies would know what she thought of Katherine Cantor and her actions last night.

The questions of the previous nights actions would have to wait as Kat put up her hands as a sign that no words were to be spoken between the two of them. Liz stormed off to the kitchen realizing there was a time for the discussion, and if not now definitely later.

Kat had to control the conversation she knew that. The time and place would be decided by her, but it wouldn't be without a couple of cups of coffee in her first.

The young woman picked up the hot brew Liz had placed on the kitchen counter. She sipped it waiting for its lush flavorful bean aroma and taste to snap her out of her funk. The only thing that captured her taste buds was bitterness and water downed tea leaves. Kat looked down into her mug and realized that Liz had made a pot of green tea.

"Do you have to be such a geek." Kat shouted out to Liz as she picked up the coffee cup and dumped it and the coffee maker contents into the sink.

"It wouldn't kill you to drink some; it has antioxidants that could clean you out." Liz tried to inform her and showed Kat the box of all the ingredients it had.

Kat went into her freezer glancing through the rows of food and moved them around until she found what she wanted; she grabbed a package with steak, she shoved it in front of Liz's face "I love this." Picking up her empty cup that should of had coffee and raised it also to Liz "I love this." Pulling out a little bag out of a drawer. "You know I really love this." Kat flashed the bag containing the pot and then put it back into the drawer after she realized that Liz wasn't enjoying her little game.

"You want to blow all your money on weed and not remembering what you did last night ?" Liz needed an answer.

I want to forget every night. Kat thought to herself.

Kat dug through the cabinets and found the coffee can and refilled the coffee maker filter. She hoped that her silence would be enough a hint to Liz to drop the conversation but Liz just continued to look at her with daggers.

"Don't act like you don't know anything about smoking or drinking." Kat reminded her.

Liz thought about how far she had come during her road to recovery. Honesty was the best policy and she knew now was the time to owning up to her choices she made while she was high if she wanted to get through to Kat.

'Look. I thought you would be smarter. You saw what I went through. It's not worth it." Liz answered.

Kat still gave no response back to Liz.

Three cups of coffee later Kat sat staring across a mildly discontented Liz.

Kat's eyes felt like five pounds of led held them down and the piercing noise that was Liz's voice was the closest thing to a drill on a cement ground and there wasn't a big enough bottle of aspirin she could crawl into she thought.

"Go out with me tonight. It will be my treat." Liz flashed her the saddest eyes she had ever seen.

"I don't want to go on a date." Kat replied back. Stroking the cheek of her best friend.

The caresses of Kat's hand on Liz's face drew equal electricity between both of them. There was no denying that there was great chemistry between them but it worked better they agreed if they stayed just friends. The two of them took quick glances to the couch bed only inches away from them. Kat stood up to break the tension building up in the room and to get another cup of coffee.

"I'm going to see some friends tonight and I'd like you to meet them. I'm treating." Liz smiled knowing Kat couldn't resist a free meal.

Kat was tired of frozen dinners and the meal of choice lately was mostly beer and Jack Daniels. So, she agreed to go but had a feeling that the night was not going end the way she wanted it to.


"There, don't stop!" Teresa screamed in ecstasy to her lover.

Kat felt her lips pressed up tightly to Teresa placing soft kisses to her lips. Licking the bottom lip and gradually kissing both the top and bottom devouring them equally.

Teresa longing to be closer moves her center unto Kat's thigh grinding into it with a rhythmic thrust increasing the thrusting Kat applies more pressure to her moist lips causing Teresa to let out a soft moan.

Hearing the moans from the woman below her; Kat pulls away without warning from her lover. Teresa looks at her; the fear appears in Kat's eyes as if she would drown in the woman beneath her and their love. Teresa closes her eyes and sighs pulling her closer back into to her lips reassuring her lover.

Soon soft kisses increase into much deeper ones. A tongue forces its way into Teresa's willing mouth, tasting every inch of her as experienced hands roam her partially covered breast protected behind a half unbutton blouse and silk bra. Kat clumsily pulls at the clasp at the back of the bra, Teresa not happy with the progress of the removal of the bra assist her in pulling it off using one hand while the other explores Kat's ample rear and as the bra falls revealing soft, creamy breast. Kat takes one nipple into her mouth sucking on the mound as it hardens from desire.

Crying from the end of the bed snaps Teresa out of her dream and she realizes she is sweating and alone in her bed. Turning on the lamp next to the bed she gets a formula filled bottle and puts it in the crib with K.K. and watches as the infant falls back to sleep.

Teresa looking down at the baby wonders if she will be able to sleep again after that dream. Most nights even when she was with her husband involved Kat, but this mornings dream went further than even her daydreams had gone before.

Judge Archer sat in his chair sipping on a glass of brandy going over papers in his office. The early part of the day was the best time to get paperwork done before the staff came to his office located in his home.

"Teresa." Judge Archer shouted out as he saw her walk by his office door.
Teresa walked into the judges office, she glanced around the room taking in the walls of books, some of the copies were older prints with time weary binding. Her hand glided across a particular stack of leather binding books that fascinated her with their roughness and delicacies at the same time.

"Just let me know if there is anything you need. I want you to think of this as your home now." Judge Archer said as he laid a hand on her shoulder squeezing it with emphasis to let her know he cared dearly for her.

"You have done more than enough to make me feel at home. I feel K.K. and I are very lucky in having you in our lives." Teresa replied back.

"Have you thought of how you would like to spend your afternoons here? Anything in particular you want to throw yourself into?" The judge inquired with a look of anticipation.

Teresa had known when she came back to Elwood what projects and charities she wanted to be involved with. The only concern she had was would the Judge be receptive to her ideas. The reputation of Judge Archer was as a man, who lived in the dark and closed minded not unlike many of his generation.

Teresa didn't want to make the announcement before she got the leases signed and the other donations all in place. But Teresa decided to throw caution to the wind.

"I was thinking that maybe a home; for young girls in need, in between homes or with young children and no where to go." Teresa beamed.

"I thought you were going to say you wanted to grow a garden, join the country club, even a baby jamboree. This is definitely something new." The Judge replied back.

"This is something I had thought a great deal about and feel close too."

"That sounds well and good but do you think that kind of place would be suitable for our home. OUR TOWN!" Judge Archer emphasized. "Do you want a place like that around Katherine while she is growing up?"

"I hope that she always will come to me if she ever thinks she has hit a wall, so to speak and can't see any hope. A lot of girls don't have that from their parents." Teresa cleared her throat as she spoke.

"The type of girls that have these problems go beyond babies and parents they have records. Don't think I'm unsympathetic to this. Most of my employees I have in my home are ex-convicts, who I even myself had sentenced to do time. Strong will has
to be present to keep that sort in check. Kat Cantor was one of those young people I have given a second chance to enter back into society." The Judge informed her.

Teresa hearing the name of Kat was thrown off her thought of concentration and her mind wondered off to the numerous sleepless nights that had been consumed by the thoughts of the carpenter's hands caressing her face and licking her body. The image quickly left her mind and she refocused on the Judge.

The Judge noticed a little twinkle in her eye when he mentioned Ms. Cantor.

"If not here. Then where?" Teresa said very flustered at the direction the conversation was taking.

"Donate money, become a big sister even, but I don't want that type of home in my own town or near it." Judge Archer stated hoping this would close the issue

The plan to create a home for young girls and young mothers was started long before he invited her back to town. Teresa knew that with his generosity it was something that could happen now and stop being just a dream.

"I already have a few locations that I want to be the site and some other donators have already given checks to get furniture and appliances. I hope that you can now see that this isn't just a whim?" Teresa asked.

"You were doing this without my counsel? Judge Archer stated very angrily.

"I don't need your permission do anything. I look upon you with great affection as K.K 's grandfather and Kale's father, but don't think that I am not my own woman." Teresa walked up closer as she said this to him.

"My son always liked a challenge. I can see now what Kale saw in you. Teresa I might have treated you as nothing more than a trophy wife, but this is just the Archer's way." Judge Archer gave her his signature smile.

Teresa didn't know why but the smile he gave her at that moment looked so much like the ones on his campaign posters. She thought back to what Kale said about his father that he always lied and that his smile was the best way to see the truth within the man or not. Teresa just wondered which was the one she was having bestowed upon her today.

"I want this to be a sanctuary for them; it will be a place they can turn to when they think no one else cares." Teresa said with full conviction this time.

"I have a lot of work to do this afternoon, but I would like to continue this conversation with you. Would you do me the honor and join me for a late lunch?"

Judge Archer let her know as he guided her out the door.

Teresa smiled back and agreed to meet him later as she walked out of the room. The feeling of warmth and cold swept through her as she left the room and the glaring eyes of the judge that she felt burn into her back made her wonder if there was more to what he said that was going on in his mind.

Teresa was glad that the judge hadn't brought up her past with Kat. The old wounds were still raw and she knew that her heart was laid out last night ready to be claimed by the one person who would never respond back with love to her.

The Judge in deep thought in his mind worried that there was more than a casual acquaintance with his daughter-in-law and the young carpenter. The reputation of Ms. Cantor was well known and was what had led him to hire her in the first place more than for her skillful hands with wood.

The Judge didn't allow anything to go on in his town that he wasn't aware of. He owned Kat Cantor and the thought of her in his daughter-in-law's life was not part of his plan. The charms of his young employee did not get past him and he knew many of the young ladies in town had succumbed to her. The thought that there might be anything unnatural about his son's wife or her history with Ms. Cantor deeply disturbed him.

The mourning period had been sufficient enough for her to now be introduced to a suitable young man at his discretion who would help her raise his grandchild.

The ambitions of a young man are no different for an older man. The dreams of an ambitious individual allows one to attain power and take what they want and control all that is around them. Judge Archer had tried to instill this into his son but; unfortunately; he took more after his mother and cared about the consequences and the well being of others. There was still hope in Katherine Kale that the family legacy would live on in her.

Election time was near and talk in hush voices around Judges chambers and back alleys alike spoke of a nomination nod for a Senator seat. The sudden death of the incumbent in a car crash only a few days ago left a vacant seat and endorsements from the party. Archer knew his next move would be to accept the nod.

He had to first talk to someone who could inform him about the Kat Cantor situation with his daughter-in-law. He dials a certain woman who already has been keeping tabs on Teresa, her assistant Debra.

The number one order to deal with was why she didn't tell him about the plans for a shelter for girls that his daughter-in-law was setting up in Elwood. Getting less than a knowledgeable response on the topic, he directed her to befriending Teresa and getting her to confide in her about her social life.


Elwood 1998

"More cookies, honey?" Enid asked her daughter with the sweetest smile.

"No more cookies for her, or she will get a tummy ache." The voice of Teresa's father could be heard but fading as each word came out of his mouth.

Teresa's father grabbed her hand with the gentlest of grasp and placed her hand in his. Her small hand drowning in the palm of his larger hand as he walks her to the Ferris wheel. The young girl giggles and skips along side of her father as he joins in and makes a race out of getting to see, who will get there first.

The memories of her father when she was seven on her favorite ride was always her happy place; her safe place.

The face of her father fades and is quickly replaced by a gruff, unshaven bulky mass with the stench of beer and whiskey that engulfs Teresa's nostrils.

The pain, she had gotten use to after the first few times but the stench of beer always put her back in her place of where she was at and what was happening to her. The grunting of her cousin always signaled that he would be off of her leaving her soon.

The way it began or why never meant anything to Teresa. The first time her cousin took her innocence of believing that there was good in all people. Teresa felt disgusted with herself and her girlish crush she use to have on him. All the girls in her class use to flirt with him and when he picked her up after school to take her for ice cream or to just hang out. She was just like the others that would drown in his baby blue eyes and ebony curly locks.

That all changed the day he had told her that he was sent by her mother to bring her home because her grandmother had died. He made her laugh when only tears had fallen down her cheek before on that day. The two of the three people in her life that she could always turn to were gone and the guilt in her for wanting her grandmother alive, even though, the cancer had destroyed most of her body and her last days were racked with pain.

Antonio held her and kissed a wet cheek drenched in salty tears, and when she thought she couldn't cry anymore he held her for hours it seemed. The first caress didn't alarm her, she needed someone to comfort her. Kat was off on one of her crazy schemes and didn't even know yet about Teresa's Grandmother passing away. but she quickly realized that his kisses had spanned the length of her body.

The clothing that she wore he removed telling her that he only wanted to hold her and the closeness of their flesh would make her feel better. Before the night was gone she had the last bit of innocence stripped from her. He took away the special gift that she had wanted to save and give to Kat, and when it was over he took her soul too.

The lights were always out when he came into her room. He waited until her mother was asleep usually but this day he came to her in the early afternoon. The summer was going to be a dreadful time she feared. He knew her Mother would be at work and Teresa would have the house to herself.

Antonio groaned and collapsed into her body and stayed still for several minutes. Teresa knew the routine that would follow after he was done with her. Antonio would whisper endearments into her ear and tell her that he loved her and that it was a beautiful thing that they just did. Yet, Teresa wondered if it was such a beautiful thing why did he say never to tell her Mother about this

Several months had past since the first time and Teresa felt dirtier and that there would never come a day that it would come to an end.

She wished she could say something to her mother, but Antonio made it clear that it wouldn't end well if his Aunt knew about what had been going on. The way he stated it made Teresa feel somewhere in her heart that he would hurt her Mother. So she endured it, sometimes she thought maybe in the deepest part of her soul she wanted him this way. Teresa knew that it wasn't her heart that desired this though, that always would belong to Kat.

Antonio got up and instead of getting dressed went into the bathroom and closed the door. A few minutes later he came out, Teresa handed him his jeans to put on. Antonio shrugged the pants away and pushed them to the floor.

He approached her with a glint in his eyes and Teresa knew that he wasn't finished. The endurance of suffering for Teresa had in the past lasted only once a visit, she didn't know if her mind could distance herself again to another happy place.

Then the thoughts of Kat took over her mind and as his body dragged her back under the covers. A ringing noise echoed in the room from the phone sitting on her nightstand.

"Who knows your home?" Antonio inquired very frustrated.

"Just Mom." Teresa informed him.

Antonio reached up and grabbed the phone off the receiver and covered the mouthpiece.

"Tell her everything is ok." Antonio handed her the phone.

"Uh! huh! Yeah she isn't here." Teresa looked away from Antonio and his piercing eyes. "Your outside, come on up." Teresa looked towards the window. The voice on the other side gave the timid girl courage to let her cousin know they would be having company in a few minutes.

Antonio snatched the phone from Teresa and slammed it back unto the receiver.

"Who the hell did you just talk to?" Antonio snapped at her. As he fumbled in the dark looking for his pants that only moments ago Teresa tried to hand him.

"Kat is on her way up."

"Why didn't you tell her you were busy?" Antonio putting on his T-shirt muffled out.

Teresa went to the window and opened it up. Looking down at a climbing Kat who was halfway up to the part of the tree that was next to her window.

"You better go out the front door before she sees you." Teresa whispered.

Teresa turned back her attentions to Kat approaching the window. She never turned around waiting for the moment when she heard him walking away from her and down the stairs. As the front door closed she exhaled a breath of relief.

Kat found her in the darken room trembling and ran to hold her. The arms of Kat felt like a shield of comfort against all the wrongs done to her in the past two years. Kat the fearless, would protect her, Kat the courageous, would deal swiftly with Antonio and his violations on her body. Day after day had come and gone as Teresa tried to get the courage to tell her what had been happening to her.

Kat sensed that something wasn't right when she grabbed Teresa and wrapped her arms around her. The brunette at first retreated from her touch, she wondered did Teresa know that she longed to kiss her and make love to her. Did all the times she looked at her finally show the love she felt for her best friend.

No words were spoken that afternoon by the two girls. The quiet internal words only passed between them. The unspoken love that both felt for each other welded them in an embrace that was only broken when Enid came home and Kat knew that finding her daughter alone asleep in an embrace with Kat would be the last thing she would allow in her home.

Kat never hid her preferences from Mrs. Baroques, but had informed the older woman that she had honorable intentions towards her daughter and looked upon her as only a friend.

Though the two didn't make love that afternoon the energy of guilt swirling around them would of gave anyone that walked in on them the idea that they had. So Kat left out the window placing a kiss on Teresa's cheek.


Present day Elwood

Teresa walked up the pathway littered with trash and old newspapers clinging to wayward weeds along the walkway and stood in front of a two story house that was to become her first home for the young girls she would be helping. The window doors in what might be considered the living room hanged on by one lone hinge. The wind swayed it back and forth creaking as it moved.

The yard was nothing more than dirt with patches of weeds so clumped up, that any one with one good eye could see that a lawn was never part of the landscape in its past. For the past three years the house was home to gophers, rats, even termites but in a few months it would be a place where young girls could call home.

At least Teresa hoped it would, the budget was tight and the renovations on the home were going to have to be done inexpensively. Knowing that she had a short amount of time and money she had to make a decision and turn to the only person she knew that would help her and get the job done with quality work. Teresa just worried that maybe it wasn't the best decision. It was getting late and she was wondering if he had changed his mind. Checking through her messages the only person that had called was Debra wanting to meet up later for a few drinks.

A large thump sound came from the house and Teresa opened up the front door peaking in not sure what had made the noise only hoping that it was squirrels or something smaller than her hand.

Two butt cheeks greeted Teresa as she turned the corner into the hall way by the stairs. They were hairy and plump; Teresa wondered how long this image would be etched into her brain. The owner of the butt cheeks turned around and startled her. The biggest smile around Elwood welcomed her when she realized it was Mr. Cantor; Kat's uncle.

"Hey beautiful." Mr. Cantor said to her. Putting his arms out and bringing her into a big bear hug.

Teresa hadn't seen him since Kat was sent away. She use to write to him, but after Kat had told him not to tell her where she was she couldn't bring herself to keep writing him. He had understood that it hurt her to talk about how Kat was doing, but couldn't see her.

"So, what do you think about the place?" Teresa asked.

Mr. Cantor looked around the room and couldn't find one thing that was good or salvable without replacing something.

"It's big. Real big." Mr. Cantor extended his arms out past his body width length which was a great distance considering the large frame on him standing at six feet tall and close to that width length wise also.

The house was definitely roomy. The upstairs had four rooms and with the downstairs rooms the house had seven bedrooms. The place was picked out of all the other choices the real estate agent had shown her for one fact that Teresa herself never thought about until yesterday.

Other homes had better roofs, more efficient floor plans even better landscaping with actual grass. The final decision breaker was the white picket fence with yellow roses just like Kat gave her before everything she had and counted on went away from her.

Teresa gave a tour of the house looking through each room to see what floors, walls or anything could be saved. Mr. Cantor didn't want to get her hopes up but the house with a lot of money could be something quite nice when he got through with it. But he was a realist he knew in the time frame that she wanted it done there was only one possibility and it might be one that would be too painful for the dark haired girl.

The closeness between her and his niece was evident even when they were little eight year old kids running around in pigtails. He tried to never pry into Kat's personal life. He always felt that regardless if they were lovers or just friends; it was his niece that came out on the losing end when she let go of Teresa.

"You haven't asked about her." Mr. Cantor inquired knowing that he had over stepped his bounds.

Teresa glanced at him like a deer stuck in the headlights. The whole conversation turned from her dreams she had of today to what she had always wanted when she was sixteen. Kat was the one thing that she thought she would have in her life and maybe if she had not gone into her cousins car none of the things that followed would have happened. Kat and her might of got together, her Mom could of seen her granddaughter, there were a lot of ifs.

Mr. Cantor looked at her waiting for an answer. Teresa couldn't think of anything to tell him.

"We were talking about how much work the house needs. It slipped my mind." Teresa fibbed.

"Ok. She got out a few years back."

"I know. I saw her the other night." Teresa said cutting him off.

Teresa knew the day that Kat got out, she had counted it in her calendar. Fighting every muscle in her body to not call her and see her.

"Well that little sh …." Mr. Cantor cleared his throat. "She didn't tell me she saw you back in town.

"It was only for a minute." Teresa looked down at her shoes. Any where but into his eyes for fear he would know that she was in love with his niece. She smiled though when he had taken enough thought to not cuss in front of her, that was something his niece wouldn't or couldn't bend on.

"My two favorite girls are back in town. Now maybe Kat can get her self together."
Mr. Cantor moved a lamp off the wall.

The slight, movement from the inspection made the entire lamp fall down.

"I can fix that." Mr. Cantor looked at Teresa seeing the look of concern on her face.

The two of them proceeded to walk up the stairs. Teresa wanting to climb faster reaches for a post on the stairs and as she climbs up the piece breaks off into her hand.

"I can fix that too!" Mr. Cantor nudged Teresa with his elbow.

Yeah, this is going to take a lot of work they both thought to themselves.


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