Becky looked up from her work as Mr. Barringer and the woman walked into her office. Becky was surprised. Mr. Barringer rarely came into her office; she usually reported to the senior partner's office not the other way around. The woman was someone new to her. She was older than Becky, probably about twenty-nine, but younger than any of the other women in the office. She was small, about 5'2", with a good figure and good taste in clothing.
"Becky, this is Katherine Martin, our new associate," said Mr. Barringer. Turning to the new woman he continued, "Becky here is our law clerk. If you need her to look anything up for you, just ask her, but clear major research projects with Ms. Riegger."
The two women shook hands. The new woman smiled and said to call her Kate, followed by a pleasantry about getting together for lunch, then Mr. Barringer took Kate off to introduce her to the rest of the staff.
Another woman in the office, and someone closer to her own age, Becky was glad. The legal secretaries were all over forty and they had little in common with Becky. With the exception of Kate, there were no female lawyers in the firm. The partners were all much older and, while nice, did not socialize with her. The two other associates were in their twenties, but once she made clear that she was not interested in going to bed with them they stopped talking to her about things other than business. There was no one to chat with, and the office was kind of dull.
After Mr. Barringer had finished taking her around to meet the staff, Kate settled into her office. While she was organizing her things, she assessed her new job. It looked like a good office. It was a small, conservative firm. She wanted a small firm, and this one made lots of money. The four partners all had excellent reputations and they seemed like nice people, albeit in a solid, WASPish, Republican kind of way. The other two associates were typical young, ambitious lawyers. They were probably jerks, like most young men, and would undoubtedly hit up on her, but given the reputation of the firm, they were probably excellent lawyers.
The support staff seemed pretty typical, but older and with little in common with a young, ambitious female associate. That Becky was a luscious number though. About twenty-three, svelte, creamy skin, long black hair, small breasts, she was absolutely stunning. Kate caught herself. It was not good to be thinking like that. This was a small, conservative firm. Sexual relationships in the office were not good for the career. Besides, Becky was probably straight. Kate's breakup with her ex-, Jeannie, had been rough, and she did not want to do anything stupid that would sacrifice her career for a fling on the rebound from a long relationship. She would have to make friends with Becky though. Her sanity would depend on having at least one confidant in the office.
The next day at about noon Becky's intercom buzzed.
"Becky, this is Kate. I was wondering if you were up for having lunch today, my treat. In return for picking up the check, I expect you to give me the lowdown on the office, a perspective on what it's like for a young woman to work here."
"Sure. When would you like to go?"
"Why don't you meet me at the reception desk in about fifteen."
Becky enjoyed the lunch. There was not much she could tell Kate about the office. It was a good place to work; the worst thing about it was that there was no one to talk to on breaks, or to have lunch with. She warned Kate about the other two associates, too late. One had hit up on Kate already.
Becky told Kate about herself, how she worked at the firm during the summer and a few hours a week when law school was in session, how she got the job through her dad who was a tennis partner of Mr. Barringer. Becky found herself opening up to Kate, saying things about her personal life that she never thought she would tell a stranger. She never talked to anyone about her sex life, but she did it with Kate. This was more evidence that she really needed someone with which to talk.
Kate did not learn much about the office, but she did learn a lot about Becky. Her gaydar was pinging throughout the meal. Becky was an athlete, a softball player. Her body showed it. She was thin but had broad shoulders and well muscled, but still very feminine, arms and a knockout ass and pair of legs. She had been brought up in all-girl, Catholic schools and attended an all-woman college. Becky talked about her boyfriend, but somewhat shamefacedly admitted that they did not have sex. Becky was waiting for marriage, a self-described "old-fashioned girl."
Kate came away from lunch fairly certain that Becky was approachable. She would not act on this belief, however. If she was wrong it could be disastrous. What Kate took to be lesbian traits might just be Becky's strict Catholic upbringing repressing a heterosexuality. She reminded herself that not all softball players were lesbians.
That night, Becky was feeling lonely. Her lunch with Kate had made her itchy for companionship. She called Peter, but his roommate said he was at the library and would not be back until late. She thought about leaving a message telling him to come over, but decided against it. If he came over late, he would stay the night, and every time he stayed the night there was pressure for them to have sex.
Peter was very good; he never pushed. He clearly wanted to fuck her (a chill went through Becky's spine when she thought the word "fuck," it made her feel dirty), but he respected her wishes. They usually just necked and when Peter slept over they played spoons, but little else. Occasionally, when she got him especially excited, she would give him a handjob (and rush to Confession the next day). She would let him play with her breasts, little as they were, but never let him touch her "down there."
Becky often wondered if this were unnatural. Peter was a really nice guy, and she liked spooning, feeling the warmth and closeness of his body, but she just did not want anything more from him.
She was embarrassed that she had confided so much in Kate, a complete stranger. She had not told her about details like the spooning or the handjobs, but she did admit to not having sex with Peter. There was something about Kate that inspired trust. Maybe it was her openness, her smile. That laugh she had, it was infectious.
She was a beautiful woman that was for sure. She was an athlete, like Becky, but not into sports. Kate said she worked out in a gym, lifting weights mostly. Becky thought about her own body and wished she were curvy like Kate. Kate had real hips, an hourglass figure, and breasts. Becky was embarrassed about her breasts. She was very flat-chested. Kate's breasts were not particularly large, but they were nicely proportioned to her smaller frame.
Becky realized that as she had been thinking about Kate, her hand had slipped down between her legs and she was absent-mindedly rubbing herself. She stopped. Masturbation was bad enough, but thinking about a woman while doing it, that was sick.
This was not the only time she had had thoughts about other women, though. Those thoughts and he apparent lack of sexual desire had worried her. She had read some psychology books on the subject, and once even asked a priest about it. Both the books and the priest assured her that occasional thoughts about members of the same sex were normal, and not to be worried. It did not mean anything. Becky was worried though, the thoughts came a little too often to be considered occasional. Still, she had a boyfriend, and although they did not have sex, that was because she was saving herself for marriage, not because she did not like men.
She had never acted on any of these thoughts, and that reassured her some. A woman had even hit up on her once, and she had done nothing. It had been freshman year in college. After softball practice, Lori, the first baseman, had asked her to pitch some extra batting practice. They practiced about forty-five minutes later than the rest of the team and the locker room was empty when they entered it. Even the coach, who usually stayed late, had left.
In the shower room, Becky could not but help look at Lori. She had large breasts, and Becky wished that she had breasts like that. Lori noticed Becky's glances and came over to borrow some shampoo. As Becky handed her the bottle of shampoo their hands touched. It was as if an electric shock ran through Becky. Lori stepped closer, touched Becky's shoulder and ran her hand lightly down her arm. Lori stepped even closer and leaned forward letting her lips brush against Becky's.
Becky closed her eyes and started to return the kiss, then suddenly, overwhelmed with fear, stopped and pushed Lori away. Becky apologized, telling Lori that she was not "like that." Lori said that it was her fault and that she should not have made a pass at her. That was the end of it. They quickly finished showering and never spoke of it again.
Going to an all-women's college, Becky knew lots of lesbians, some were even good friends of hers, but none ever came on to her after that incident in the shower; Lori had spread the word that Becky was straight.
As she was thinking of the incident with Lori, Becky's hand had wandered down between her legs again. She was quite wet. She sighed and gave up, too horny to resist. She pulled off her pants and underwear and started masturbating in earnest.
She rubbed her fingers in small circles around her clitoris with her right hand and stroked her labia with her left. With eyes closed, she forced herself to think of Peter. She would give in to masturbating, but not to thinking of other women.
She wondered what it would be like to take his penis in her mouth. In her thoughts the penis changed into Lori's breast. She was sucking on the nipple, licking around the areola and flicking the tip of the nipple with her tongue. Again, she forced her thoughts away from Lori and back to Peter. What would it taste like if he came in her mouth? She brought her left hand up to her mouth and tasted her juices. Would it taste like that, she wondered? Would it taste like a woman?
Peter had nice, broad shoulders, like Kate, but his body was hard and straight, not curved like Kate's. She wondered if spooning with Kate would feel any different. She tried to imagine it. Kate kissing the back of her neck, rubbing her breasts, then slipping her hands down between her legs. It was something she never let Peter do, but in her fantasy she let Kate do it. She imagined turning to face Kate, kissing her on the lips and letting her hands run down the other woman's body.
Becky could no longer control her thoughts. Peter vanished entirely, his place taken by images of Lori and Kate. As both hands furiously rubbed her clitoris, a strange, but very pleasurable, sensation began to well up from within her. It grew in intensity, uncontrolled. As the contractions of her orgasm began, Becky imagined her legs intertwining with Kate's and the two of them grinding together to a simultaneous orgasm.
As the waves of her orgasm crashed over her, Becky almost blacked out. She had to stop touching herself; she was suddenly too sensitive. She was sopping wet, and a puddle of liquid had formed on the couch. Becky lay panting. Gently, she brought her right hand back between her legs. The sensitivity was fading; she could touch herself again. She slowly stroked herself, amazed at the wetness. She did not masturbate often, and it had never been like this before.
Was that an orgasm? She had thought she had had orgasms before, but evidently not. It was incredible. Maybe she was really missing out on something, saving herself for marriage. She thought that it would be wonderful to do that for real.
Suddenly, she went chill. "For real" would be with another woman. It all fell into place. Her choice of an all-woman's college, the incident with Lori, her longings for Kate, the lack of interest in sex with Peter, her first orgasm happening to thoughts of another woman, it all pointed to one conclusion.
No. She refused to believe that she was "like that." She was not a... lesbian. She hesitated before thinking that word. She had used it before without embarrassment; everyone who went to a woman's college had, but she had never dared apply it to herself.
Becky avoided Kate as much as she could for the rest of the week. She could not bring herself to face the woman of her fantasy. Kate, busy as she was, did not notice the avoidance, but she did notice that Becky was disturbed about something.
At lunch with the other two associates, one of the men mentioned that Becky was upset about something and asked what it was.
"Boyfriend troubles," answered the other man.
"We can only hope," said the first. It was an article of faith between the two that Becky would sleep with at least one of them if not for her boyfriend. The remark made Kate angry. She did not enjoy male-bashing and had nothing against men; she just did not want to sleep with any of them. Remarks like this, however, just fulfilled the stereotype of the man with a one-track mind.
It was not until later that she realized the true reason for her anger was that she had had the same thought.
That Friday, Becky invited Peter over. She intended to sleep with him. She had to prove to herself that she was not a lesbian, and expressing her desire for Peter would be a good way to prove it.
Peter arrived. She kissed him hello, but he seemed nervous, agitated. He refused to sit down at first. Finally, they sat on the couch together, he took her hand in his and said the fateful words:
"We have to talk."
He wanted to remain friends, but their relationship was stagnant. He apologized. Cliché stumbled over cliché. He did not want to pressure her into sex, but he had needs. It was better if they just called it quits.
Becky was stunned. She could not come on to him now; it would seem like an obvious attempt to keep him, and Peter would turn her down. He was really a nice guy, she knew that throwing herself at him would be futile. What really disturbed her though, was that she was not upset about losing Peter. She was upset about losing something that protected her from the world, or herself.
Peter left. She picked up the bottle of wine she had bought for the evening and threw it into the fireplace, where it shattered against the bricks. She tried to call some friends, but they had gone out for the evening. She toyed with the idea of calling Kate, even going so far as to fetch the home phone list the firm published, but fear stopped her. She was afraid that she would be unable to control herself, and that Kate would be disgusted with the knowledge that her coworker was a dyke. The only thing left was to get drunk.
Unfortunately, she had no liquor in the apartment. She had just smashed the only bottle. With no alternative, she headed out the door and down the street, toward the liquor store.
The bell above the door rang as she opened the door to the liqour store. She managed a smile at the owner behind the counter who was ringing up another customer. It took her a moment to realize that the other customer was Kate.
Kate smiled and said "Hi," but then she realized that something was wrong with Becky. She had been crying and was visibly quite upset about something.
Kate pulled the younger woman away from the cash register and the owner and asked her what was wrong.
"Peter and I just broke up."
"Oh, poor thing." Kate hugged her. "If you need someone to talk about it with, I'm here."
"Thanks, but I just plan to get drunk."
"That's not good. You shouldn't get drunk alone. The best thing would be to go out and get drunk in a public place. I know some good clubs, you would be with people, but no one would notice that you were upset."
"No, thanks. I just could not face people tonight."
"What about just one person? A shoulder to cry on? We could go to my place, or yours, and get quietly drunk."
A warning bell went off in Becky's brain. This was what she feared and desired above all else, being alone with Kate. She was afraid that she wouldn't be able to control herself. She should refuse the offer.
"I'd like that, but I wouldn't want to ruin your Friday night," Becky found herself saying.
"Oh, it's no bother. I was just going to spend the evening watching TV."
Kate had no ulterior motives in offering her shoulder for Becky to cry on; she was just trying to be a friend. The fact that Becky was a highly desirable woman did not even cross her conscious mind. In accepting Kate's offer, Becky was aware of the desires she had for the older woman, but wanted her company not because of them, but because she truly did not want to be alone.
Becky bought another bottle of wine and the two women left the store, heading for Becky's apartment which was closer.
Once at her apartment, Becky offered Kate dinner. She had planned an intimate dinner for two with Peter, and if it was not eaten it would only go to waste. While Becky finished preparing the meal, Kate cleaned up the glass and spilled wine in the fireplace. They ate in the kitchen, Becky had set the table with candles for her dinner with Peter and Kate asked Becky for matches to light them. The younger woman tensed at the thought of a candlelight dinner with Kate, but the older woman obviously had no ulterior motives in lighting the candles.
Over the flickering glow of the candles, Becky unloaded on Kate. She told how she was finally ready to have sex with Peter, when he broke up with her. She was confused sexually. She avoided any mention of her fears of being a lesbian or her desires for Kate. All the while she was slugging back the wine; it made it easier to talk. After dinner, they left the dishes on the table and went into the living room and continued the conversation on the couch.
For her part, Kate mostly listened, making understanding comments where appropriate. She was aware that Becky was holding something back, but it did not matter. It was not her place to pry into Becky's private life. She was careful with the wine, though. With Becky drinking so much, it would be unwise to get drunk, too.
The alcohol finally got the better of Becky and she started sobbing. Kate opened her arms and Becky leaned on the other woman, crying into her breasts.
Becky's crying eventually gave way to gentle snuffling and that to gentle breathing. She felt safe and warm in Kate's arms. The older woman was gently rubbing her back, and Becky could feel the softness of Kate's breast against her hard shoulder. This felt right and good. She turned her head and looked into Kate's eyes. They were soft and warm and a small smile played across Kate's face. Becky raised her head and slowly brought her mouth towards Kate's.
When Becky started crying, Kate did not know what to do except hug the younger woman. Kate, never one comfortable with emotional scenes, was just glad that words were unnecessary. She just rubbed the younger woman's back and literally took on the role of a shoulder to cry on. Gradually, Becky's crying ceased, replaced by steady breathing. Kate thought she had fallen asleep when the younger woman turned her head and looked at her. Becky's blue eyes were soft and bleary from the crying and the wine. Kate smiled.
Becky's kiss took her by surprise. Not knowing what to do, she returned it. She felt Becky's hand on the back of her neck pulling the two of them closer. The kissing grew more insistent. When Kate felt Becky's tongue try and find its way between her lips, she knew it had gone far enough. The younger woman was far too drunk for this. Kate broke the embrace. When Becky tried to reinitiate it, Kate took the younger woman's head between her hands and gently kissed her on the forehead.
Kate looked at her friend. Becky was clearly confused, but also on the verge of passing out. Kate somehow managed to get Becky to stand and led her into the bedroom. Becky collapsed on the bed. Kate took off the other woman's shoes and drew the bedclothes over her.
When Becky woke it was still dark outside. She needed to pee. She stumbled to the bathroom. Halfway there, the headache kicked in. By the time she reached the toilet she was nauseous as well. Her stomach made a few feeble attempts to expel its contents, but nothing came up. Becky swallowed a few aspirin, swearing that she would never get drunk again. She sat down on the toilet, relieved her bladder, and tried to remember what had happened the night before.
Clearly, she had embarrassed herself in front of Kate; she remembered the crying. She was still wearing her clothes from the night before, so she had passed out without undressing. She had also had this disturbing dream, at least she hoped it was a dream, of her and Kate kissing. Getting drunk had not changed anything, she still desired the other woman.
Becky headed back to the bedroom, intending to go back to bed and sleep off the hangover. She stopped short when she saw that Kate was lying on the other side of the bed. She was facing away from Becky, and the covers over her were rising and falling slowly and steadily. She was asleep. Becky nearly panicked, then realized that she was being silly. She had passed out, and Kate, who had probably drank a lot too-although Becky could not really remember-had simply crashed in her bed as well.
Becky undressed down to her underwear and slipped under the covers, trying not to disturb her friend, but as she did so Kate turned, and still asleep snuggled up to Becky. The younger woman, gave in to her own desire and tentatively returned the embrace. Kate sighed in her sleep and murmured the name "Jeannie."