"Can I get you anything else?" the white haired waitress asked.
"No thank you," the darker haired young woman in the booth replied as she looked up from the magazine she had been reading, glancing as she did at the half filled coffee cup to her left. "I'm fine."
The waitress, her name tag identified as Rhonda, smiled as she totaled up the check, leaving it on the edge of the table before heading off to check on another of her customers.
It had been the third time the twenty-six year old had read the article since coming into the coffee shop. Not that she didn't already know every word by heart before she'd even opened the cover. The most important of which were the simple words under the title - "by Michelle Petrocelli."
After four years of doing all the grunt work that every fledgling writer had to endure, it felt good to finally see her own byline. Having their own feature article was a dream that most of the friends she'd gone to journalism school had yet to see.
"Congratulations," Sally Kirkland, her editor at the magazine had said only a few hours before when she had presented Michelle with an advance copy of this week's printing to have as a memento. "Now go out and do something to celebrate, because come Monday morning I'm going to have a new assignment for you and I'm not going to care what you did for me this week."
"I'm ready to start on it now," Michelle had said in an eagerness that the veteran editor had seen all too often.
"No," she grinned in reply, "there'll be plenty of time for you to start on it after the weekend. It's not every day that a writer gets her first byline, you should go out and celebrate. Take in a show, go to a bar, get drunk, get laid, do something to mark the occasion."
Hiding her disappointment at not being able to jump right back into the pool, Michelle took the copy of next week's magazine and left Sally to her work. After having sacrificed so much to get where she was that moment, the one thing uppermost on her mind was to make sure that she stayed there. To prove that she really was a great writer and not a one story wonder as she'd seen others turn out to be.
The problem with celebrating, Michelle thought as she reached out for the last of the coffee, was that it really wasn't much fun to do alone. Her family was up in Connecticut, and hadn't really been all that enthusiastic as to her choice of professions in the first place. Friends were few and far in between, especially at the office where trying to make a place for yourself among the limited space of a weekly publication didn't make for close associations.
The attractive young woman didn't even have a boyfriend at the moment, at least not one that she wanted to celebrate with. The few guys she'd been with since her break up with Kevin Shaw last Christmas had all been rather forgettable. Warm bodies to sometimes share her bed, but not her life.
The truth was she still missed Kevin, and regretted how their three-year relationship had turned out. Six years her senior, the architect had been just about everything a woman could've wanted in a man. Handsome, intelligent, caring, and great in the sack. The only problem was that Kevin had reached a point in his life where he wanted to get married and settle down. A place Michelle felt was still at least a few years in her future. There were still so much that she wanted to do before then.
The two of them had parted as friends, but Michelle knew that it was a friendship that would quickly wither on the vine. A mutual friend had already told her that Kevin was seeing someone else and it was already becoming serious.
"I guess that old song on the radio is true," she mused as she drained her cup. "The one about the clean-up woman."
Michelle's lament was interrupted by a comment made by an older woman in the booth across from her. It had been made to the woman sitting opposite her, but had been loud enough to carry.
"Isn't that disgusting," the woman had said, the look on her face reflecting her words, "and in public yet."
Curious, Michelle followed both women's gaze to the booth right behind her. She had to look back over her shoulder to see what they were talking about, but tried to do so in a way that looked innocuous.
There were two girls, who looked to be on the short side of twenty, sharing the booth. Or more precisely, sharing half the booth as they were both sitting on the same side and snuggling up against each other. Their hands were all over, touching places the two women across the aisle would've considered highly inappropriate even for a mixed couple. Giggling as they looked into each other's eyes, their mouths drew close enough to share a quick kiss.
"Well I never!" Michelle heard one of the older women say as she and her luncheon guest got up and left in indignation.
"Maybe that's your problem," the writer thought as she turned her head back around and watched the two of them go up to the counter to pay their bill.
Michelle, on the other hand, certainly had and wasn't put off by the two girl's behavior in the least. Back in the summer between High School and College, she had been lucky enough to have been introduced to the intimacies of girl sex by an older woman named Samantha Clark-Worthington, the wife of a rather prominent local businessman. The affair had lasted all summer and had opened the then naïve eighteen year old's eyes to a world of things.
Additionally, she had pledged Delta Theta Phi during her college years, the most exclusive sorority on the East Coast. One didn't become a member of the sisterhood without having gone down on a few of the sisters along the way.
But that had been a much different woman, she reminded herself. There came a time when you had to put aside the adventures of youth and become a responsible adult.
"Listen to me," Michelle told herself as she couldn't believe what she had just thought. "I can't be more than six or seven years older than these girls and I'm still almost ten years younger than Samantha was the night I met her."
The memory of that night, which also happened to be the night of her senior prom, caused the short haired brunette to also think of Bobby Fortuna, her high school boyfriend and her date for the dance.
It had been the last time she had ever spoken to her one time love. After the prom was over, Michelle had expected Bobby to try and take her virginity, something they had been heading towards after a year of back seat trysts. It was a possibility that she didn't have a problem with, having decided that the star quarterback of the All State Championship Team was going to be the one.
What happened was, however, something totally not what she had expected. Bobby had evidently only passed his finals by cheating, having bought copies of the test from another student. Since he didn't have the money to pay what he promised, he tried to convince Michelle to pay off the other boy with a sexual favor.
Outraged that Bobby would even think she would do such a thing, she had walked off into the night, not having any idea where she was going. Thankfully Samantha, who had also been returning from another party at the North Shore Country Club where the Prom had been held, had rescued her. One thing had led to another, and by morning, Michelle had indeed lost her virginity, although not in the way she could ever have imagined.
Bobby later got some other girl more willing to pay off his debt and went off to Northern State on a football scholarship. Caught up in a cheating scandal his sophomore year, that surprised just about everyone but Michelle, he'd lost his scholarship and wound up working for his father's lumber mill. The last Michelle had heard was that he'd married some girl he'd knocked up and they were already three kids beyond that.
Dismissing Bobby from her mind, after the three or four seconds he had occupied it, Michelle couldn't help but steal another glance at the booth behind her. This time, she took a longer, more detailed look at the two women.
One was Asian and more than a little androgynous in appearance. With straight black hair, cut even shorter than Michelle's, she had a face that defied any sexual identity. If not for the firm, rounded breasts quite evident beneath a sleeveless white T-shirt, the muscular young woman in black jeans could easily have been taken for a man.
The other young woman was almost twice her companion's size. A hefty, dark brown skinned girl with breasts larger than both Michelle and the Asian girl's together. Long black hair stretched down her back, framing a round, pretty face with full, bright red lips. Dressed in a form-fitting but not overly tight blue dress, she was quite lovely.
In fact, it was because that they both didn't fit society's norm for what was considered attractive, but were nonetheless so, that Michelle looked at them longer than she should have. At least as not to be considered staring as the now absent women across the aisle had been.
"You have a problem?" the Asian girl unexpectedly asked Michelle as she realized that the older woman was looking at the two of them.
"Me, no, not at all," Michelle quickly said, feeling embarrassed at having been caught. "I was just curious as to what that tattoo meant?"
The girl's eyes glanced down to her exposed upper left arm where a Chinese ideogram had been tattooed. A small look of annoyance filled her face, an expression that Michelle was sure indicated that the girl didn't believe her or was tired of explaining the tattoo.
"They're the characters for her name," the black girl answered for her, "it means Joy."
"And I suppose you're Happiness?" Michelle said without thinking, realizing as soon as the words had left her mouth that it was a possibly sarcastic thing to say.
"Actually, I am," the girl replied, not taking insult at all, "how did you know?"
"You're actually named Happiness?"
"Not exactly," the girl explained, "but my Mama named me Hanna and that means happiness."
"Satisfied?" Joy asked as she picked up the check from the table and rose to her feet. "Let's go honey," she said to her girlfriend as she headed up toward the front counter to pay their bill.
"Joy's not in the best of moods today," Hanna smiled and said in way of an apology before following. "It was nice meeting you..."
"Michelle," the older girl said, realizing that she hadn't given her own name, "and it was nice meeting the two of you too."
Michelle waited until they had paid their check and left before going up to do the same. Dropping a bill on the table as a tip for Rhonda, she wished she had gotten the chance to talk to them a little more. They seemed like a very interesting couple and if she wanted to grow as a writer, meeting people like that seemed valuable experience.
The weather was perfect for a New York autumn, and Michelle decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and maybe do a little shopping. Maybe buy herself a little something nice to celebrate the article.
Three stores, two hours and two something-nices later, Michelle was feeling pretty good about herself. Shopping was probably third on the list of her favorites things to do. Right behind writing and a really great fuck.
Having enjoyed the result of two of those things today, the brunette was reminded that it had been quite some time since she'd enjoyed the third. Oh there had been a guy here and there, but none of them had rocked her world anything like Kevin had. God that man could fuck!
Well that was his new girlfriend's treat now, she reminded herself as she headed for yet another store. She had no one to blame for that but herself. Still, there were times when she really wondered if she had made the right decision.
But Kevin, like Bobby, was in her past. The future, was right around the corner. Who knew what that would bring?
In this case, as the twenty-six year old literally rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue and Bleeker Street, the future came in the form of someone from the past. Only a few hours in the past to be precise. Joy and Hanna, the two girls from the diner.
"Excuse me," Michelle said as she narrowing missed running into the couple, before she recognized who they were.
"Hi there!" Hanna said, a broad smile on her face. "Imagine running into you again."
"Yeah, imagine," Joy echoed, the inflection in her voice saying more than her words.
"Hello again," Michelle said as she looked first at Hanna, and then at Joy.
To people passing them by, the three women made an unusual sight. Then again, in this part of Manhattan, unusual sights were usually the norm.
Aside from being the oldest, Michelle was also the shortest of the group. Only an inch or so separated her and Hanna, but Joy was almost a half-foot taller than both of them. The writer was also dressed a lot more conservatively in a green pants suit and comfortable loafers.
They exchanged a few more pleasantries, or at least Michelle and Hanna did, as Joy looked on with a dispassionate face. It was obvious that she couldn't wait for them to be on their way, an event that looked to be even more delayed when Hanna noticed the store name on the side of one of Michelle's bags.
"Oh my goodness, you went to D'Angelo's," Hanna gushed, "I adore that place. We can't afford anything in it, but we love to just go and look."
"I guess it is kind of pricey," Michelle said, remembering that not everyone grew up always having money for silly things like D'Angelo's.
"Can I see?" Hanna asked as she peeked into the bag.
"Sure, why not," Michelle replied, always anxious to show off a new article of clothing.
With that, Hanna reached into the bag and lifted out a bright purple and gold scarf. Her eyes opened wide with admiration as she wrapped it around her neck and looked at her reflection in the closest store window.
"Oh baby, doesn't it look great," Hanna asked Joy as she admired the scarf.
"Honey, you make anything look great," Joy said, her face forming a smile for the first time since Michelle had met her.
Leaning closer to the older woman, Joy asked her, in a low voice that only the two of them could hear, how much the scarf had cost. The answer that Michelle gave caused that smile to turn back into a frown.
"Someday I'll be able to buy things like this," Hanna said as she put it back in the small red bag. "Maybe when I finish school."
"What are you studying?" the shorter woman asked, drawing attention away from the expensive scarf.
"I'm in Pre-Med at Empire State" Hanna said proudly, "made the dean's list the last two semesters."
"Good for you," Michelle said in honest admiration. "And are you also in school?" she asked Joy.
"One of us has to work full time," Joy said, "I'm a personal trainer over at New Woman."
Taking another long look at Joy's trim, muscular form, Michelle took note that the tall Asian woman was a walking advertisement for her services.
"And what do you do?" Joy asked Michelle, conscious of the fact that the shorter woman's eyes lingered on her perhaps a bit too long.
"I'm a writer," Michelle replied, explaining that the magazine she worked for was coming out on Monday with her first feature article.
"That's so exciting," Hanna said, "isn't it Joy?"
"Makes me all a tingle," Joy quipped, as she made a motion of glancing at her watch.
"I guess we should be going," Hanna said, catching the obvious hint.
"It was nice running into you again," Michelle said, sorry to see the brief encounter end so soon. "Maybe we'll run into each other again one of these days."
"You really mean that?" Hanna asked.
"Of course I do."
"Joy, maybe we could..." Hanna started to say, but was cut off by her girlfriend's look.
"Look, Michelle," Joy said, "I don't have anything against you, but Hanna and I have plans for the afternoon."
"I totally understand," Michelle said.
"Since Hanna obviously likes you, I'd invite you along but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be into what we have in mind."
"You might be surprised," Michelle heard herself say, surprised at the words that spilled out of her mouth.
"Yeah right," Joy laughed.
A moment passed, giving Joy a chance to consider that Michelle might actually be serious.
"You do know what I'm talking about, don't you?" she asked, wanting to be sure that Michelle hadn't misinterpreted what she meant.
"Let me hazard a guess," Michelle said with a grin. "You and your lovely lady here were going to spend the afternoon fucking each other's brains out."
"Something like that." Joy grinned.
"Not a bad way to spend the rest of the day," Michelle commented, realizing that her own lack of sexual relief was taking her in a direction she hadn't considered in a very long time.
Another long pause passed, until Joy asked, "Do you think you'd be into that?"
Michelle also let a moment go by, just long enough for her to glance in Hanna's direction and see the expectant look on her face as she waited for the brunette's answer.
"It wouldn't be the first time," Michelle grinned.
"No shit," Joy grinned as well, thinking that maybe she had read this woman wrong.
"Would you like to come home with us?" Hanna quickly cut in, her heart skipping a beat. "We only live a few blocks from here."
Realizing that things were going a little too fast, and not wanting to jump in where she might cause a problem, Michelle didn't rush to answer. Instead she turned to Joy to see what she thought of her girlfriend's suggestion.
"We sometimes play with others," Joy simply said, again the inflection in her voice adding to the simple statement. Her tone saying that she wouldn't be adverse to the offer her lover had made.
"Might be fun," Michelle said, not really giving an answer.
"Buttercup, it would be a lot more than fun," Joy corrected her as her mouth twisted into the wickedest of smiles.
Home turned out to be a four-story walk up above a dry cleaning store. Three rooms in all, the kitchen was only slightly larger than the bathroom, which in of itself consisted of little more than a stand-up shower, a commode and a sink. But the only room that interested the trio at the moment was of course the combination living room/bedroom, and Michelle was glad to see that was definitely full sized.
The bed was easily large enough for three, with room to spare. Oversized pillows rested against the wrought iron headboard, and a bright red comforter covered a sturdy mattress. The rest of the furniture was typical of what you'd find in a college student's apartment.
"Very nice," Michelle said as she stood at the bottom of the bed, thinking the apartment was actually a lot better than her own dorm room back in college.
"I know what else is very nice," Joy said as she pressed up against Michelle's back, hard enough that the older woman could feel the swell of her breasts.
"Mmmmm," Michelle softly purred as Joy brought her hand around and cupped the underside of the brunette's left breast, squeezing the soft flesh and rubbing against her nipple with her thumb and forefinger.
Out of the corner of her eye, Michelle caught sight of Hanna resting against a low standing chest. For the moment at least, she seemed content to just watch her lover and their guest. Michelle's attention was immediately drawn back to the Asian girl as Joy tilted her head back and brought their lips together.
It had been a number of years since Michelle had felt the kiss of another woman in quite the same way. Feeling Joy's nimble tongue pressing deep into her mouth to caress her own, the budding writer was reminded how different it could be from that of a man. Different, but quite enjoyable in its own right.
Sliding her hands along Michelle's waist, Joy brought them back up and cupped both mounds this time, repeating the forceful motions of her single hand. Then she pulled them back, taking with them the light green jacket of the older woman's pants suit.
Before the jacket could fall to the floor, Joy's hands returned. This time they quickly worked their way down the thin line of buttons holding Michelle's white blouse together. It fell loose along her sides, exposing a matching green bra that displayed more of her charms than a more modest woman might have desired.
Michelle's blouse followed her jacket as Joy took a wide step back, turning the shorter brunette as she moved. The Asian woman let out a low whistle of appreciation as she surveyed the valley of delight in front of her. Gripping the bottom of her own shirt, Joy pulled it up and over her head in one quick action. Her own rounded mounds stood naked, a bra not being something she normally bothered with. Michelle let out a quiet but no less appreciative sigh as her eyes focused on the dark quarter-sized areola that capped both mounds.
Joy stepped forward, closing the gap between them. Her open hands closed against Michelle's clothe covered breasts as their mouths met once more in a kiss. Even as they embraced, Michelle felt a second set of hands on her as Hanna finally joined in, pressing tight against her back, her prodigious mounds rubbing against the exposed flesh.