By E. N. Ginerd
Book 1, Part 1
Chapter 7 - Safe Haven
The small, red neon sign flickered ahead, the only evidence that there was any reason to venture into the dark and damp alley. She didn't plan on going to the dive this evening, or any other evening, but she needed to disappear and this seemed the best option. As she walked briskly towards the bar, she glanced over her shoulder, spotting a bag lady shuffling by with two large, battered Macy's bags bulging with various items that did not look like they were bought at Macy's. She sighed with relief as the street woman began routing for treasure in the trash can at the edge of the alley, ignoring the tall blond in search of a safe haven.
As she descended the stairs to the hole in the wall that was actually a basement, she glanced around for signs that someone was following. When she reached for the door, it burst open and two people who wore more leather than a cow, stumbled forth, laughing. She coughed at the smoke that suddenly assaulted her senses in addition to the people that reeked with alcohol. Wonderful, she thought with irritation. This evening keeps getting better and better.
"Hey," the young man, bald except for his goatee, said with a grin, glancing over the tall woman with interest. "Bastard!" the short-haired girl with a painful looking nose ring, blurted, shoving him hard into the wrought iron railings, and stormed off.
"Aw come on, baby! I didn't do anything!" he said defensively.
"And you won't either!" she said as the two disappeared into the night. She grinned at the way he chased after her, relieved she didn't have to discourage him. She would draw too much attention to herself, though the long blond hair, crystal blue eyes, and intimidating height had already done that.
She entered the bar, which was surprisingly larger than the outside would indicate. Glancing over the various customers, she was pleased no one seemed to notice her. She migrated towards the bar, looking around the dark hovel and settled down on a barstool that had a good view of the door. That was a must these days. Actually, she couldn't remember when she could just go to a public place and not worry about seating arrangements. It could mean the difference between life or death.
The bar tender came over, stood in front of her, and stared.
"Something wrong?" She asked with a deep voice and narrow eyes.
"What do you want?" He asked, annoying her with his accusing question.
"What do you mean what do I . . . ," she growled, then saw the bartender's eyes roll impatiently. "Oh, diet coke?" She asked sheepishly.
"Three dollars," he said flatly as he placed a warm can on the bar and opened it with a pop.
"THREE Do . . . ?" She blurted then muttered "highway robbery," as she got the money from the front pocket of her jeans and handed it to him. He walked off and left her alone.
She picked it up and frowned at the warmth of the soda. "You should never get the coke." The sage voice made her jump.
"Uh, thanks for the timely warning," she said sarcastically, lifting up the warm can to the young woman, who smiled warmly at her.
"You want to dance?" She asked, surprising the tall woman, who glanced around uneasily.
"Uh, I don't think so," she said, knowing that would definitely draw attention though the offer was very tempting. She was very pretty. Long, sandy blond hair, blue. . . no green eyes, attractive clothes that accentuated her toned physique . . . much too nice looking for a place like this, she considered, glancing around again curiously.
"I could teach you," the persistent young woman said helpfully.
"I know how," she said flatly, a little insulted.
"Good!" the younger woman with a winning smile, grabbing her hand, which she quickly pulled back.
"I really don't think we should," she said again and looked around, getting a frown from the shorter woman.
"It's a shame you worry so much," she said sadly and started to walk off. The comment surprised her. It wasn't like she was afraid of being out - like that, ever since . . . .
"Wait a minute," she said urgently, getting up from her stool.
"It's ok, really," she said with a small smile for the taller woman and started to walk off.
"No, it's not you, it's . . . .it's," she tried to explain but she couldn't tell her she didn't want to attract attention. She didn't want to tell her she was being followed by very dangerous people. She didn't want to tell her that one in particular would think nothing of harming anyone she got close to just to get to her. She didn't want to tell her that for some reason . . . she just couldn't disappoint her. "You really want to dance?" She asked uneasily, glancing around.
Earning a big smile, she was eagerly pulled to the dance floor. The music was not what she listened to normally - heavy bass with pulsing drums and scratchy electric guitar with a mumbling singer that threw in a few curse words here and there that she could actually make out. Not exactly dance music, she considered. But what the young woman was presently doing was not exactly dancing, she gulped as she felt the smaller body move against her slowly and purposefully, grinding with the pulsing beat. She swallowed as she tried to maintain an acceptable distance from the arousing motions and not feel the heat that was steadily building within her.
A persistent hand wrapped itself around the taller woman and pulled them back together, continuing grinding with the beat. When she pulled roaming hands away from the edges of her breasts she squeaked out "What's your name," feeling at this point it was probably polite to know the name of the person who was publicly fondling her.
"Felicity," she said and kissed the tall woman's neck. She gasped, feeling the wave of desire start beginning to drown her. Felicity continued to explore her with the beat, despite her efforts to fend off more intimate caresses. She looked around the bar to find a few passing glances and froze. You're attracting attention you idiot!
"What's wrong?" Felicity said looking up into her eyes. She looked around the bar uneasily then back at the shorter woman, gazing helplessly into her eyes and seeing a passion she had never seen before.
"There's a room in the back," Felicity said quietly, glancing over to a dark hallway that the tall woman didn't notice before. Her eyes must have widened with surprise for Felicity smiled and caressed her arm.
"You've been with a woman . . . ?"
"Of course I've . . . "
"Do you want me?" Felicity whispered, her eyes full of want.
The tall blond sighed and looked around, wondering why this suddenly felt so wrong. Well, not to her body, which strongly protested the hesitancy, still aflame with need. But why was she suddenly propositioned not more than ten minutes after entering the bar? What kind of woman would proposition her in a bar so quickly? And what the hell kind of woman could get her so aroused so quickly? Certainly not someone she should trust, she concluded suspiciously, looking around for others that might be with the smaller woman. She was certain she could handle this woman, but if she had armed backup . . . .
"You a cop?" The nervous question was asked before she could stop it. If she was smart, she'd high-tail it out of there and find someplace else to go, suddenly realizing she might not be able to handle this woman who continued to have a profound physical effect on her. She stepped back a few steps.
It was a beautiful laugh, she thought. So beautiful . . . .
"No. I'm not a cop." The shorter woman answered, causing surprising relief in the tall woman. But still, she didn't have her answer as to why this all was happening so fast. Too fast. Another question popped out, in her quest to understand this encounter.
"A hooker?" She asked and felt the pain immediately. The loud slap gathered much more attention than the sexy display between them on the dance floor. Felicity stormed off to the dark hallway.
"I'm sorry . . . Felicity!" She said, holding her hand to her throbbing face as she followed the young woman to the back room.
"Felicity! Please!" she said, catching up and grabbing her surprisingly muscular arm.
Her head snapped back like a PEZ dispenser. Sure she had been slugged before. Many times, over the past few years. And she would have to rate that punch as one of the most powerful she ever felt - if she were conscious.
Felicity paced in the small room with a blond wig in her hand, glancing at the tall woman who was actually a brunette. She shook her head as she tossed the wig on a small nightstand. A mystery, this one, she thought with a smile, intrigued. No one had ever caused her to feel so . . . alive. It had been a long time, she sighed, sitting on the bed and looking at the attractive lines of woman's angular face, except for where that round welt started to form where she had been hit.
The tall woman moaned as she came to. Blinking, her eyes struggled to open. The widened when they focused on Felicity. "I won't hit you again . . . unless you deserve it," she said conversationally, tenderly brushing the dark hair off the dark brow. "Your hair, I like it better dark. It suits you," she said, causing the tall woman to nervously confirm her wig was gone.
"It's ok. I won't tell anyone. I don't even know your name," Felicity said, waiting.
"Uh . . . " the tall woman said uncomfortably as she sat up and suddenly felt the throbbing in her jaw.
With a wince, Felicity got up and retrieved a dampened wash cloth from the bathroom that looked the size of a closet. Returning, she silently sat and gently placed the cold cloth against the taller woman's jaw. The cool was soothing and she shut her eyes a moment.
"I am sorry I hurt you," Felicity said sadly, looking into the blue eyes.
"It's ok. I deserved it for jumping to conclusions," the tall woman said, glancing down guiltily.
"No, that deserved the slap. The punch, that was uncalled for," Felicity said with a grimace.
"I'll just be more careful not to grab you in the future," she said, getting an uncomfortable frown. She looked around the small, sparse room. "You live here?"
"At the moment," Felicity said, also looking around. "It's better than the street," she added with a shrug.
There was so much the taller woman wanted to know, but that would require them to talk. Inevitably, that would involve having to answer some questions of her own. She couldn't risk dragging the young woman into the mess.
"Yeah. The streets are . . . ," she said, interrupted by an amazing kiss. "Ow," she finally blurted softly after enduring the wonderful pain a moment.
"Sorry for slugging you," Felicity said as she pulled back, sadly tracing her fingers over the tall woman's cheek.
The brunette gently captured the gentle hand. It was stupid, she thought as she gravitated towards another kiss that quickly deepened. It was irresponsible, she thought as her hand sought and caressed the Felicity's firm breast, which she could feel respond to her attention through the confining clothing. It was too dangerous to get involved with anyone, she thought as she started to unbutton Felicity's blouse and felt the young woman's hand comb through her dark hair and moan as their tongues dueled. But she couldn't stop herself, knowing deep deep down, this wasn't just "anyone."
A loud banging on the door startled them. "The cops!" The man blurted anxiously and sprinted down the hall.
Felicity pulled back and gathered her things, which amounted to a satchel and jacket. The dazed brunette jumped up nervously and whispered with hoarse surprise. "You're running from the cops?"
Felicity glanced at her sharply. "Are you so sure you want to cast stones?" she snapped and went to the bathroom, standing on the commode. She pushed at a panel in the ceiling, which moved. Stepping on the towel rack, she hoisted herself up through the ceiling.
The tall woman was quick to follow Felicity's lead. As she replaced the panel on the convenient crawlspace, she froze hearing the door bust open. "Police!"
She could hear two, no, three of them enter the room. From experience, she didn't make a sound or budge a muscle and just listened.
"Damn. She slipped away again!" A squeaky voiced cop said. A chair was tossed across the room in frustration and crashed against the wall. "Three fucking weeks, for nothing!"
"I am goddamn sick and tired of trying to catch that psycho," another said, surprising the tall woman, who glanced nervously back to Felicity. She squinted to seek out the woman in the darkness. But she quickly discovered there was no point. Felicity was gone.
"A fucking wig?"
She closed her eyes. There was always a catch wasn't there? She should have known the woman was crazy. Why else would she act like that?
"It's blond, she's blond. What's the point to that?"
But why did she respond so strongly to Felicity? She sighed, feeling confused and frustrated.
"She's a fucking psycho! There is no point, you idiot! Let's go. And next time, we should save time and just shoot her. The tax payers, the doctors, and the force will thank us!" The third man blurted.
"I hear ya," another said wearily. "We should go tell the ambulance they're not needed," he said and growled, slamming the door behind him.
After a few minutes, the tall woman nervously looked back to where Felicity vanished, wondering if she should try to find her. Considering what she had just heard and her own miserable situation, her head finally was able to overrule her body, which still ached for the smaller woman's touch.
Carefully, she lowered herself through the ceiling. Slowly, she entered the small room, looking around for signs of a trap. There were none. They had left, not finding what they were looking for. Glancing to the wall, she saw the shattered wood that was formerly a chair. A tear welled up, which was angrily wiped away. She didn't need to add to her troubles, she told herself as another part of her ached. Her heart.
Picking up the blond wig, she stared at it with a heavy sigh.
The tall blond looked up and down the alley as she carefully emerged from the bar. Pulling her coat around her, she walked away from the flickering red neon sign that gently hummed in the darkness, searching for a safe haven.
To be continued . . . .