LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle
and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series are
the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.
No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan
fiction. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies
of this story may be made for private use only and must include all
disclaimers and copyright notices.
LOVE/SEX WARNING DISCLAIMER: This story graphically
depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women.
If depictionís of this nature cause you distress, this story is not
for you, stop now, save your time: life is short, enjoy. If you are
under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal where you
live, please do not read it.
VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER: Though not graphically, this
story does depict violence against women and attempted rape, both of
which are pivotal to the plot. If scenes of this nature disturb you,
please be forewarned.
B L Miller - As always, an invaluable help.
Lunacy - Her input and encouragement rescued this from
the recycle bin.
Pam, my partner - One of my strongest motivations in
writing is knowing Iíll get to read the numerous comments she scrawls
in the margins. I smile, I groan, I laugh and I continue to write.
I welcome comments or constructive criticism at email@example.com
Email Comments to Friction at firstname.lastname@example.org
The figure scaled the wall effortlessly, dropping silently on the
other side. A small hand-held electronic device took out the globe
illuminating the rear entrance with a soft pop. In minutes the
security alarm was disabled and the intruder was inside, moving
seamlessly though the shadows of the mansion.
The safe was not a problem. It was a clean job. Things were going
according to schedule. The dark figure moved slowly toward the exit. The
narrow beam of the flashlight scanned the open door halfway down the
hall. It was a small den. A quick glance revealed nothing of interest
and the intruder started to turn away, when something on the floor
glimmered in the soft light.
The thief bent to examine it. The gloved hand gently fingered the
object. It was a writing nib, the tip of an old fashion fountain pen.
The intruder paused momentarily and set it on the desk. Beside it lay a
leather bound book. It was old, unique, covered with intriguing symbols.
With little hesitation, the thief deposited the book in the bag of
stolen goods and exited the room, continuing down the hall. But the
brief stop proved costly. Soft footfalls warned of someoneís approach.
The intruder ducked into the closest doorway, a bedroom, and listened
intently. Someone was steadily approaching. The thief pressed against
the wall behind the door and firmly gripped the handle of the razor
sharp knife. A woman entered and set a plate of food on the table by the
bed. The intruder edged forward, preparing to take her out. Unexpectedly
the woman changed direction, walking to the adjoining bathroom. The
thief slipped back into the shadows and watched as the woman closed the
bathroom door behind her.
The dark figure waited a beat and slowly came out of hiding, moving
cautiously to exit. Suddenly, the bathroom door opened. The woman was
framed in the doorway against a backdrop of light, her golden hair now
clearly visible. The thief froze, mesmerized. Although the reappearance
of the woman presented a problem, it wasnít concern that the thief
felt, but wonder. The blonde was strikingly beautiful, almost ethereal
in the pale light.
The intruderís trance was broken when the young woman shut of the
light, shrouding the room once again in darkness. The thief leaned
against the wall, motionless, hoping to escape notice. It seemed that
the woman would walk past, but at the last moment she stopped as if
sensing a presence. Just as she was about to turn and face the intruder,
the thief clasped a hand over her mouth and pressed the cold blade to
Startled, Danielle gasped. Her heart pounded wildly as adrenaline
rushed through her veins. She tried to move but the thiefís hold was
firm, the strength of the arms daunting. She was powerless. Danielle
tried desperately not to panic as she was pushed forward, toward the
dressing table. The blade tightened against her neck as the assailant
released her mouth and reached for something on the dresser. She
inhaled, about to cry out when she felt the cool silk of her own scarf
pressed to her mouth. Purposeful fingers parted her lips and pushed
against her teeth. A sense of dread flowed through her as she realized
what was to be done. The blade pressed insistently at her throat. Her
resistance withered and her jaw went slack. She tried desperately not to
gag as the scarf was pushed into her mouth.
Before she had time to think about her situation, she was turned and
pressed back against the dressing table chair. Her eyes instinctively
sought out the intruderís face, hidden by a black ski mask. The dark
form of her attacker melded with the blackness of the room, making it
difficult to get a clear view. The coolness of wide blade burned against
her skin, forcing her attention to return to the knife at her throat.
All at once, Danielleís terror was doubled as she watched the
gloved hand reach for the tie at the front of her robe. She froze,
holding her breath as the tie was unfastened and pulled from the loops
of her robe. The sensation of it gliding slowly across her hips made her
shiver in dread. Her flimsy robe hung open, revealing her nakedness. A
fear induced sweat coated her body, causing the cool air to sting her
exposed skin. She was utterly vulnerable.
A shuddered passed through her as the gloved hand reached for the
opening. She held her breath. Her heart beat wildly as she watched agile
fingers grasp the edge of the thin material of her robe, lightly
brushing her abdomen. Danielle closed her eyes, preparing for the worst.
She would have begged for her assailant to stop, but the gag prevented
all but a guttural moan.
Before she had a chance to react further, the robe was pulled tightly
closed around her. Her eyes sprang open in surprise. Startled by the
small act of kindness, she risked a glance at her captor. The gentleness
she saw in the brown eyes deepened her confusion.
The intruder quickly put the belt to use, tying her hands behind her
back. With firm pressure, she was guided to sit and the belt was secured
to the chair. The loose end bound her feet.
Danielleís mouth and throat were dry, scratchy. She tried to
swallow, but the scarf made her cough, causing the silky material to
shift in her mouth. She gagged and inhaled deeply. The forceful intake
of breath drew the scarf to the back of her throat, blocking her
windpipe. Her eyes watered and her chest heaved as she fought for air.
She struggled desperately against her restraints. Just as panic overtook
her, she felt the gentle touch of cool leather under her chin. The
intruder quickly removed the scarf and looked into her eyes.
"Shhh....shhh." The voice was calming, vaguely familiar.
Soon, her breathing leveled off and her body relaxed. A leather-clad
finger pressed to her lips indicating that she should remain quiet.
Danielle did not utter a sound. She was entranced, lost in her thoughts
as she tried to recall the melodic whisper.
She watched the intruder pull a roll of tape from the backpack and
tear off a small length. The soothing eyes watched her intently while
gentle fingers wiped her tears and pushed several loose strands of hair
from her face. Danielle thought she saw the eyes sadden as the tape was
placed over her mouth. She met their gaze for but an instant before the
thief backed away, in a movement so fluid it seemed an apparition.
Alex Lord stood at the bathroom sink. Tonightís job had come close
to ending badly. Too close. The old man was supposed to be the only
resident. Her information had been wrong. There were too many mistakes
on her part, enough to warn her that she was losing her edge. She
removed the brown contacts and looked into the mirror. Her blue eyes
reflected the concern she felt.
She stripped out of her dark work clothes and slipped into her robe.
The experience had shaken her. She had allowed her emotions to rule over
her better judgment. Her steely control was slipping, something she
could little afford.
She poured herself a scotch and walked across the room to the
fireplace. It was the one thing she required of her temporary
residences. This one was magnificent. Sitting by a fire calmed her, made
her focus on the present and push back memories of her past: things
better not remembered.
Tonight the brilliant flames reminded her of the golden highlights in
the young womanís hair. She sipped her drink and tried to concentrate
on the problem at hand. She had broken Julianís number one rule: leave
no witnesses. Yet from the first moment she laid eyes on the blonde,
killing her had been out of the question.
She tried to rationalize her decision. The woman had seen nothing.
She would not be able to identify her. Unlike Alex, who sensed she would
never forget this woman. The blondeís image was seared in her mindís
eye. She felt a pulling deep inside as she pictured the woman bathed in
soft light and tried to dim the image with a long sip of scotch. She
grimaced. Letting the woman live hadnít been her only breach of his
Something about this woman had thrown her off balance. Although they
had never met, there was a familiarity that unnerved Alex. It was as if
part of her awakened when she first looked into the blondeís emerald
eyes. It distressed her beyond her understanding to see the womanís
confusion and fear as she had bound and gagged her. To Alex she seemed
the embodiment of innocence, completely naive and uncomprehending of the
treachery that necessitated such an act.
Alex became increasingly uncomfortable as she recalled the young
womanís panic as she struggled for breath. What a stupid move that had
been. Knocking her unconscious would have been more logical and
certainly kinder, but it had never even occurred to her. The mere idea
of striking this woman was disturbing. Rubbing her eyes, she finished
her drink and refilled the glass. Ten years was too long for anyone to
be in this business.
Danielle sat motionless after the thief had gone. Her heart pounded
furiously. This was the closest she had ever come to real danger. She
felt utterly charged. The adrenaline rush lingered, making all of her
senses more acute. Danielle listened intently for any sign of her uncle,
silently praying he was all right. She tried to wriggle her hands free
but the belt held her securely. She was considering tipping the chair
over when a noise down stairs caught her attention. Her heart thudded
loudly as footfalls approached.
She watched the door anxiously as two police officers rounded the
corner into the room. Relief washed through her. They had responded so
quickly that she wondered if the thief had been caught.
A young officer peeled the tape back from her mouth.
"My uncle, is he okay?"
"We havenít found him yet, maíam." He began working on
the knots binding her hands.
"His bedroom is the last on the left."
The officer motioned to his partner to check and continued untying
her. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, I think so."
"It was fortunate that a neighbor noticed something suspicious
and called us." Danielle rubbed her wrists and moved toward the
door to check on her uncle.
She released an anxious breath as she watched him rush down the hall
toward her. "Honey are you all right?" He hugged her tightly.
"Iím fine. Are you okay?"
"Iím embarrassed to say that I never even woke up."
The police officer interrupted him. "Sir, can you show us where
you keep your valuables?"
"Certainly, the safe is located down the hall." He lead the
officer to the large study.
Danielle went back to her room and sat on the bed, her relief was
followed by a sudden weariness.
"Can I get you a drink of water?" the policeman asked
"No thank you. Iím just a little shaky, Iíll be fine."
"Maíam, were you hurt... in any way?" His question was
"No, he didnít hurt me." She thought back to how gentle
he had been.
"You were lucky. These things can be very nasty sometimes."
A short blonde man walked into the room and stepped forward to
introduce himself. "Ms. Stafford is it?" She nodded.
"My name is detective Bowin, I know this has been a trying
evening but I need to ask you a few questions. Do you feel up to talking
about what happened?"
"Yes." But even as she began answering his questions, she
felt a heaviness settle in her limbs.
"The style of this robbery is similar to other cases Iíve been
following." There was one glaring exception that he didnít
mention. Until now, the thief he had been tracking had been too clever
to leave witnesses. The jobs had been well planned and perfectly
executed. He hoped he finally had the breakthrough heíd been looking
"Anything you might remember would be helpful."
Danielle spoke about her brief interaction with the thief as the
detective took notes. Confused by the robe and choking incidents, she
purposely left them out.
Detective Bowin tried to establish as many details as possible while
they were still fresh in her mind. His questioning went on for nearly
forty minutes before he noticed her exhaustion and finally eased off. He
ended by asking her to come by the station the next day to finish her
Her uncle circled her like a mother hen. He was appalled that she had
to endure such a thing and kept wandering into her room to make sure she
was all right. Finally, realizing there wasnít anything more he could
do, he let her rest.
Although tired, Danielle was too keyed up to sleep. Her mind was
flooded with conflicting emotions. The police had handled her with care,
as if she were in shock, and maybe she was. Why else would she have
purposely misled them about his height and the color of his eyes?
Although it made no sense, she felt reluctant to see him captured. There
was something in his manner that had been almost apologetic. She blushed
as she remembered how her skin had tingled when he touched the tip of
his finger to her lips.
Danielle berated herself for these irrational thoughts. She could
have been raped or killed. She was being foolishly sentimental. Still,
somehow deep inside she knew that she had never been in danger. She was
certain that he never would have harmed her, even though it defied all
logic. Danielle shivered as she thought of his eyes riveted to hers, his
gentle touch and soothing voice. Her senses had been keenly alert
through the whole experience. She remembered the aroma of his leather
jacket and something else, something that tugged at the edge of her
memory. Danielle glanced around the room for an item that might have
held his scent. There was nothing, even the scarf he had used to gag her
She scolded herself for romanticizing. He was a common thief, who had
broken in, tied her up and taken what didnít belong to him. The safe
had been cleared out. Over two million dollars in jewels and cash were
Even so, the loss was minor in scope of her uncleís wealth. But
there was one item among the contents of the safe that could never be
replaced: her motherís medallion. It had been handed down through the
generations to the eldest daughter on their twenty-third birthday. In a
couple of weeks it would have been hers. Now the tradition would end.
The thief had taken a piece of her birthright along with the jewels.
The thought distressed her. Feeling too edgy to sleep, she decided to
write in her journal and discovered it wasnít where she had left it.
An exhaustive search of the house turned up nothing. A chilling thought
occurred to her. Maybe the thief had taken it. The idea seemed ludicrous
but she had no other way to explain its disappearance.
Her pulse quickened as she thought of him reading her private
thoughts. What could he want with her diary? Was he hoping to find
information, secrets? Her mind jumped to a variety of unpleasant
conclusions. Luckily she had only recently inserted new pages, filing
the old entries away.
She tried to recall what she had written in the last few weeks and
groaned as she remembered the park. Was she allowing her vivid
imagination to get the best of her? Surely if he had taken the journal,
he would throw it out, probably without even reading it.
Alex poured herself another drink. Her behavior this evening was
worrisome. She was indeed slipping. How else could she explain her phone
call to the police? She squeezed her eyes shut. God, what had she been
She grabbed her leather jacket from the chair and pulled the colorful
scarf out of the pocket. Her mind flashed back to the fear she had seen
in the young womanís eyes, and she winced. Remembering the womanís
suffering distressed her. Hoping to erase the vision, she stuffed the
scarf deep into the pocket.
Her reason for alerting the police was simple. The thought of the
innocent woman bound and uncomfortable had been unbearable. She had to
Her actions were completely out of character. She never allowed
herself such sentimentality. It was too dangerous in her line of work.
But there was more to it than that. She couldnít shake the feeling
that she knew this woman from someplace. Looking into those emerald eyes
had felt like coming home. She had wanted to kiss her, to take her in
her arms and protect her from the world. A ridiculous thought,
considering she was probably the only one to ever pose a threat to the
Alex couldnít explain her feelings, but it was clear that her heart
wasnít in her work anymore. She would have stopped years ago, but the
decision was no longer hers to make. He was calling the shots now, and
she knew it would never be enough. He owned her.
She walked to the table and dumped out the contents of her bag. It
had been a good haul. There was approximately $500,000 cash and an
additional two million in jewels. They were high quality, many antiques.
An unusual medallion caught her attention and she pulled it from the
pile. It was oval shaped, made of gold with an intricate spiral pattern
engraved on the front. It was obviously very old. Alex turned it over in
her hands, examining it closely and felt a tingling sensation in her
fingertips. She set it down and took another drink.
Her attention was drawn to the leather book. She picked it up and sat
next to the fire, gently running her fingers over the cover. This was
old too. The spiral design on the front was similar to the one on the
pendant, and there were symbols she couldnít decipher. Its pages were
held in place with leather ties. The cover was beautifully cured and
oiled. It must have meant a great deal to someone, as it was well cared
for. She leafed through the pages and smiled. She loved the scent of
ink. Ever since she was a kid she associated the aroma with pleasant
She glanced at the first page. The handwriting captured her attention
right away. It was written with an old fashion fountain pen. The strokes
widened and narrowed with artistic flair. Looking at the page as a
whole, the script formed a beautifully abstract design. The penmanship
was flowing, pleasing to the eye. As she looked closely it became
obvious that it was a journal. She took another sip of scotch and began
It was another sleepless night in an unending chain. The darkness
calls to me. Iím drawn to the risk, the mystery. The element of
danger promises fulfillment, an escape from my ordinary life. I
hunger for adventure.
I chose to walk through the park even though my uncle had warned
me how dangerous the city was as night. The air was warm. I walked
quickly, trying to cool myself with the breeze my movements created.
I was lost in my thoughts, as I so often am.
A noise to my left caught my attention. I turned and listened. It
was a deep moan. Curiosity drew me to the sound. The area was dimly
lit and I had to strain to see two people in the distance. I edged
closer. I was only twenty feet way when they came clearly into view.
The woman was leaning with her back against a tree. Her lover was
pressed tightly against her, their mouths locked in a steamy kiss.
The woman was delirious with pleasure, her moans escaping the seal
of their lips.
I felt like an intruder, but I was transfixed. My feet wouldnít
move. My eyes were locked on their undulating bodies. I stood
frozen, watching his hands glide up the outside of her thighs,
raising the light weight skirt above her hips. His lips were moving
against her neck and I could see the intensity of her need in her
The raw sensuality of it, stirred something in me, bringing me to
my senses. I stepped back, intending to leave, when the unthinkable
happened; a twig snapped loudly under my weight. I quickly glanced
up to see if the couple had heard me.
They had, both were facing me now. I willed myself to run, but a
realization settled over me and I hesitated. They were both
I ran. Flushed with embarrassment, feeling like a common voyeur.
My reaction to these women confuses me. My interest in this
couple makes me more aware than ever that I need to get a life. I
havenít been out with anyone in over a year. Dating has always
been awkward for me. Iím uncomfortable in intimate relationships.
There is no desire.
I thought for a long time that the sexual part of me was dead,
but tonight, for the first time, I felt... something. Maybe I am
capable of those feelings, maybe they are lying dormant, waiting to
be awoken. For the first time in my life I have a flicker of hope
that I might be capable of falling in love.
Itís time I took the initiative, and tried another date. John,
one of the sports reporters at work, has approached me several
times. Heís friendly and attractive, maybe the time is right.
Tomorrow I will ask him out for a drink.
Alex was captivated. She felt like a bit of a voyeur herself. But the
young womanís words drew her in and she couldnít resist. She smiled
and took another drink. Closing her eyes she tried to picture the blonde
woman coming across the couple in the park. Instead she found herself
fantasizing about the young woman leaning against the tree while she
kissed her. The image was so vivid it was like reliving a memory.
She frowned when she thought about the sports reporter. Something
told her this date idea had disaster written all over it. Reluctantly,
she put the journal down. She needed to contact her fence. It would be
dangerous for her mother and brother if she were late with her payment.
Alex walked through the dimly lit lot to the back entrance of the
pawn shop. She rapped lightly on the door, and within minutes Sal
answered and ushered her in. He hit a button under the counter revealing
a hidden panel. Upon keying in his code the wall behind him slid to one
side. There was a metal door behind it. Alex stepped past him and walked
in. Once inside he hit another button causing the wall to slide back
He grinned at her. "The wonders of modern technology." He
loved gadgets, anything and everything electronic fascinated him.
Alex frowned. "You always did have a flair for the
She had known Sal since the early days. He had a bubbling
personality, that, while on occasion grated on her nerves, she also
found endearing. Their relationship was not built on trust, for Alex
trusted no one. Rather she viewed their association as mutually
beneficial. He had been fair in his dealings with her and was discrete.
It was in his best interests that she not be caught because their
association was very profitable for him.
Although the nature of her work demanded that she relocate
frequently, she did business with Sal whenever possible. There was a
familiarity with one another that gave her comfort. He represented
consistency in a life riddled with change.
He carefully emptied the bag she handed him onto the table.
"This stuff from the Palanos heist?"
"Didnít think that one was yours." He eyed her curiously.
"Iíve never known you to have any witnesses. What went
wrong?" She shrugged in response. Silently wishing she knew the
answer. He sorted through the pile of jewels and continued to make small
"You made the front page of the early edition."
She looked at him with sudden interest. "What did it say?"
"Seems the witness is Palanosí niece, his sisterís kid,
...Danielle something" The mention of the woman made her pulse
He picked up the paper from the chair and scanned the article
"Yeah, her name is Danielle Stafford." He tossed the paper on
the table. "Evidently she was just visiting for the weekend."
He looked up and smiled. "Guess she picked the wrong time to
visit." Noting Alexís lack of reaction, he continued.
"Anyway she wasnít hurt and, if she saw anything, the police
arenít disclosing it. She works for the newspaper. Thatís probably
how they got the story so fast. I had to laugh though. The article says
the man got away with about 2.5 million in cash and
jewels." He saw Alexís uncharacteristically troubled expression
and tried to cheer her.
"Hey, if she thought you were a man, she didnít get a very
good look. My eye sight isnít exactly twenty-twenty but itís a
mistake I would never make." He grinned at her.
"Donít be so sure. I wasnít dressed in typical feminine
attire." She grabbed the paper and read through the article as he
examined the jewels.
"These are nice pieces. Shame to remove them from their
settings. Hmm... this is interesting." He picked up the medallion
and examined it closely.
Alex looked up from her reading and took it from him abruptly.
"Iím keeping this." She pushed it into her pocket. "How
much for the rest?"
"Iíll give you 1.5."
She shook her head. "And they call me a thief. Havenít
you made enough to retire yet?"
"Alex, you know Iím not in it just for the money." He
winked. "I get to meet such interesting people."
She ignored his comment and handed him a piece of paper. "Have
the money transferred to this account by Friday."
Danielle arrived at the station early and waited outside Detective
Bowinís office. There was something about the place that made her
Marisa Sands walked past Danielle and entered the office.
"You wanted to see me?"
"Yeah, It looks like we might have a lead on the Palanos case.
It seems our man left a witness this time.
"Well, thatís good news."
"Iíll tell you though Marse, something about this doesnít
"You always look a gift horse in the mouth." She smiled and
shook her head.
"Why, after all these robberies, would he slip up? It just doesnít
make sense." Bowin puzzled.
"They all make mistakes eventually. Maybe this isnít one of
"No, Iíd bet money it is, too many similarities. I can feel it
in my bones. And if Iím right, we donít have much time. If he holds
true to pattern heíll be moving on soon."
"Okay, so whatís our next move?"
"I want you to sit in on this one. Keep an eye on her while I do
the questioning." She nodded and looked towards the door.
"You think sheís involved?"
"Iím not sure. Evidently she doesnít visit often. Makes me
wonder if itís just bad luck on her part or something more."
Marisa shrugged. "Want me to call her in?"
"Yeah, lets see if she can tell us more."
Marisa led Danielle into the office. Detective Bowin stood politely
to greet her.
"Ms. Stafford, thanks for coming down so early. I hope youíre
feeling better today.
"Yes, thank you."
He shook her hand gently. This is my assistant, Detective
"We wonít keep you long. I just had a few things I wanted to
clear up." His tone was casual but he watched her carefully.
"You say the thief grabbed you from behind and held one hand
over your mouth while he put a knife to your throat?"
"Do you remember which hand held the knife?"
Danielle thought of a moment. "It was the right."
"I would like to try a little experiment. See if we can trigger
any memories, if thatís okay with you?"
Detective Bowin stepped behind and put his hand over her mouth
pulling her back. It felt wrong to Danielle: his short stature, the body
type, the grip, the very presence was different.
"Marisa give it a try." Marisa positioned herself behind
"Sheís a bit taller than me. It will give us a different
perspective." Bowin explained.
Marisa pulled Danielle against her, covering her mouth. A shiver went
through Danielle. The detective was strong, forceful. She hadnít
expected that from a woman. There were definite similarities and it
Danielle pulled away, obviously a little rattled.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, just brought back some unpleasant memories I guess."
"Please have a seat."
"So, was he closer to my build or Marisaís?"
She hesitated only a moment and lied, "closer to your height and
stature, I think." Both detectives watched her shift nervously.
"When the thief was tying you up, did you notice anything about
him? You said his eye color was green."
"Yes, green I think." Her voice quavered slightly. But she
recovered quickly. "Itís kind of hazy and I was frightened."
"Of course, thatís completely understandable. Was he white
"I think so. He wore gloves and a mask. I never saw his
"Hmm, but the eye color would indicate someone of light
"Yes" Danielle was feeling uncomfortable with her lies. Why
was she protecting the robber?.
"Did he speak to you at all?"
Danielle hesitated again. "No."
Bowin cast a quick glance at his partner, wondering if she had
noticed Danielleís eyes lower. "Anything about him that was
unusual? Mannerisms, walk?"
"Nothing I can remember."
There was something strange going on. Bowin could feel it. He decided
not to press the woman too hard. He could always call her back later.
"Well, thatís all I can think of for now. Youíll be
available if we have further questions?" He stood and smiled.
Danielle nodded, wondering if he was asking or telling her.
She was relieved to be leaving. Her head was pounding. She could not
imagine what had caused her to lie, but she had done it with barely a
thought. It had almost been instinctive. Uncomfortable with her
fabrications, she wondered if her face may have revealed her discomfort.
She took a deep breath as she exited the station. It was over now and
she would just have to deal with the consequences.
It was early morning by the time Alex arrived home. She poured
herself a cup of coffee and settled on the couch. The journal lay on the
table where she had left it. She ran her hand lightly over the smooth
leather, her fingers tracing the curious design. ĎOkay Danielle, howíd
the date go?í Turning the pages to the point she left off, she began
The date was disastrous. We went out for drinks and then back to
his apartment to see his autographed sports collectibles. God, how
do I manage to get myself into these things? I knew
early on it wasnít working out, but I wanted to give it a fair
shot. After the second drink, his subtle advances escalated to heavy
groping and forceful kisses.
He did all the things that make for effective love scenes in
movies, the same things others before him have done. I felt nothing.
Fortunately, he was oblivious to my disinterest and seemed genuinely
reluctant for me to leave. At least, I didnít hurt his feelings.
He even asked me out again. At least one of us had a good time. Of
course, I declined. It wouldnít be fair to him. Whatís the
point, Iím hopeless.
Whatever triggered the sensations in me last night in the park,
wasnít there tonight. Was I attracted to the forbidden, the
voyeurism, the sense of danger? Maybe it was the simple fact they
were both women? But, my body had reacted long before I knew their
sex, or had something deep within me known it all along? Iím
"Iíll bet you are." Alex smiled. Something told her that
the young woman was far from hopeless. She had seen the fire in those
green eyes. It was clear to Alex that the right person would have no
trouble stirring the passion she sensed was smoldering below the
surface. She got up to pour another cup of coffee, then sat back down to
I made plans to spend the weekend with my uncle. He is such a
kind and lonely man. I feel a little guilty for not making more of
an effort to visit him since Iíve lived in town. He was so
supportive of my decision to move here. Without his help, my parents
would have made it even more difficult for me. They were dead set
against me coming out here.
If it werenít for my grandmother, I would think that I was
adopted. I have nothing in common with my family. They are appalled
by my need for adventure and will never understand why I broke my
engagement to Paul. It was the right decision. As nice as he is, I
knew we werenít right for each other. I like him, but I could
never love him, not the way he wanted.
My father will never forgive me for the embarrassment I brought
to the family, breaking the engagement and leaving town. But, my
leaving was hardest on my mother. It made the memories of my
grandmother surface. When I left, I could see the pain in her face.
I knew she was remembering my grandmotherís scandalous affair.
It took all my courage to leave what was safe and familiar. I
could have spent my entire life trying to fit in there. I never
would have. I had to find myself.
I went to see the fireworks with some women from the paper. They
were spectacular. Iíve always enjoyed looking up at the night sky.
The stars fascinate me. My friends seemed much less interested in
the fireworks than the men that passed by.
I feigned interest in their observations. Puzzled by what they
found so alluring. None of the men we saw interested me physically.
But then, they never do.
After the night in the park, I find myself thinking about women,
wondering if thatís where my attraction lies. Iím more aware of
women since that night. I appreciate the beauty of the female form.
The soft sloping curves of a womanís body are pleasing to me.
Still, there is no physical attraction except for that glimmer of
feeling I had watching the women in the park.
I will be twenty-three in a couple of weeks. That has been a
milestone year for women in my family. My grandmother was that age
when her life changed. Maybe it will be my year for self discovery,
Six years of journalism and Iím stuck writing obituaries. If
only I could get a shot at writing a real story. Iíve only worked
at the paper for five months but Iíve got some great ideas. I wish
they would let me try one. I sent the outline for the domestic
violence story to Liz, the editor of the womenís section. I wonder
if she bothered to read it. Itís just the kind of story I have
dreamt of doing. An opportunity to help people through my writing.
Elaine encouraged me to follow through with my idea for the story
and agreed to talk to the women at the shelter about setting up a
meeting. She has been the director for a number of years. They have
come to trust and respect her. I hope we are able to get a few to
participate. She thinks it might give some women in abusive
situations the courage to leave.
I owe Elaine a phone call. We havenít gotten together in a
couple of weeks. She has been a good friend to me, but lately her
attempts to set me up with her male friends have made me
uncomfortable. She only wants me to be happy. I guess Iím going to
have to work up the nerve to discuss it with her.
I have been trying to avoid John all week but today he caught up
with me at lunch. I donít know how to let him down easy. Although
heís a nice guy, I donít think that he has any close friends. I
should have left things as they were. Now, our friendship seems
strained. Iíll have to talk to Elaine. She usually knows how to
handle these relationship things. Who knows, maybe she could set him
up with one of her female friends.
Maybe I should ask her to set me up with one of her female
Since the night in the park, I havenít been sleeping well. I am
restless. Until that night I thought little about sex. Now my dreams
are filled with longing. I chase a stranger whose face eludes me.
I walk the park nightly, secretly hoping I will see the lovers. I
canít stop thinking of them. They haunt me. I canít shake the
feeling that they hold the key that would unlock my heart and end my
I believe the answer is linked with this incident. I donít know
what Iím searching for, only that I canít give up trying to find
it. I feel on the verge of discovering something I once knew and
have now forgotten. There is a piece of myself that is missing.
Without it, Iím incomplete.
Itís a promise of something wonderful, something I have waited
my entire life for. My eyes linger on each woman I pass and I wonder
if they are one of the lovers from that night.
An odd thing happened at the hair stylistís today. I was
waiting to have my hair trimmed when I glanced at the woman seated
in front of me. It wasnít the woman herself that caught my eye,
but her hair. She slid a towel off her head, revealing long dark
hair. It was wet and hung in tangles down her shoulders. I felt a
shiver run down my spine.
I watched entranced as she ran her fingers through it, shocked
that I wanted to do the same. I donít know how long I stared at
her. Time had stopped for me. My heart was pounding furiously. She
turned to pick up a magazine from the counter and faced my
direction. She was beautiful, but somehow I felt disappointed. What
had I expected? Who had I expected? Did the woman against the tree
in the park have long dark hair? I canít remember. Iím not sure
that I even noticed. I only know since that night I have changed.
Alex put the journal down and stretched. She wondered for a moment
what Danielle would think of her long dark hair. She ran her fingers
though it and laughed at herself. What an unlikely pair they would be.
They were as opposite as night and day.
Although they were worlds apart, the similarities in their
circumstances hadnít escaped her. Something was lacking in her life
too. Loneliness was a pain she had learned to bear. Like Danielle, she
had never been able to commit to a relationship. She took care not to
let her guard down. It was the one valuable lesson Julian had taught
her. But, unlike this innocent woman, not committing hadnít stopped
her from using lovers of both sexes. In her short life, she had slept
with numerous men and women. But, for her part it was always a
manipulation, she had never opened her heart to anyone. She never felt
love for them.
Reluctantly, she closed the journal. There were many things she had
to take care of, and she needed to rest. Her fingers slowly caressed the
journalís surface. The spiral design on the front fascinated her.
Hesitantly, she laid it down and walked to the bedroom.
Continue to Part II
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