"Fifteen minutes. All I needed was another fifteen minutes and I would've been on the way home," Joey Greer said to herself as she struggled to keep her umbrella from blowing away in the strong wind.
That thought was small comfort to the twenty-one-year-old as she was already soaked to the skin by the sudden downpour. The short haired redhead didn't know who she was angrier with at the moment, the insufferably cheerful weather girl on Channel Two who casually mentioned a slight chance of a shower in the early evening, or her boss at the drugstore who had asked her to make a quick delivery on her way home, insuring that she wasn't already on the bus, warm and still dry.
After careful deliberation, helped along by her having to twist her five foot five form into a pretzel to avoid the splash of a truck racing through a large puddle on the curb, Joey made a choice. As nice as it would be to have her hands around the weather girl's neck, it would be much more satisfying to have them around Kevin's.
Joey had finished her shift at the SVC Pharmacy over on Eighty-third Street and was halfway out the door when Kevin West, the assistant manager, had stopped her. She should've realized, Joey thought later, that something was up when Kevin asked her if she still went over to Seventy-fifth Street to catch the bus. The question caught her off guard, so instead of saying that she was going in the other direction today, she said yes she did.
"Great," Kevin had said, flashing that smile that Joey found so condescending. "Then you can do the store a big favor and drop a prescription off on Sixty-ninth and Third, it's only a few blocks out of your way. Mr. Collins asked me to make sure that it went out as soon as it was ready and Bobby won't be back for another hour at least. You don't mind, do you?"
Actually, Joey did mind, she minded it a great deal. Kevin seemed to go out of his way to make sure she got more than her share of the dirty jobs. Part of that could've been attributed to the fact that she was the new girl, having been there only a few months. That much she could accept. What really bothered her was that she was sure that the other part of it was because he had asked her out when she had finished her probationary period and she had turned him down flat.
While he never said anything about it afterwards, or repeated the offer, one of the other girls had told her that he wasn't the kind of guy who took rejection well. Still, she couldn't shake the feeling that he went out of his way to dump things on her. There were times she wondered if maybe she should've given him a reason. That she didn't date older men, or men shorter than herself. Or she could've been totally honest and told him that his chances of getting into her pants were the same as any other man, totally zero.
Still, despite all of that, she hadn't refused to play delivery girl. The request, however indirectly, had come from Mr. Collins, the store manager. Additionally, she had been late twice in the last two weeks and no one had made a big deal about it. So she had given him an equally fake smile and taken the bag. As she started down the street, she hoped that S. Carter, the name on the label, appreciated the door-to-door service.
All of this, of course, was before she reached Seventy-first Street and the sky had opened up with such force as to make her feel like someone had dumped a bucket of water over her head. By the time she walked up the steps of the townhouse a few blocks later, she felt like she'd jumped into a pool with her clothes on. With all the stores on the street already closed, there was no escaping the rain.
At the top of the stairs, Joey closed her all but useless umbrella and rang the small intercom by the door. Less than a minute later a woman's voice answered, asking who was there.
"SVC Pharmacy," Joey said into the speaker/receiver, "I have a delivery for Carter."
"I'll be right down," the voice said.
When she had first started at SVC, Joey had made a few deliveries when they were really busy. She remembered two of them on this block. If S. Carter ran true to form for the residents in this area, it was the maid who was on the way down to deal with her. The owner of the house would be far too important to deal with the little people who made deliveries and such.
With that in mind, she was surprised when the door opened and there stood a thirty-something woman, her shoulder length blond hair tied back in a ponytail. Wearing a white blouse, black slacks and a cashmere sweater that Joey guessed cost more than she made in a week, the interim delivery girl changed her opinion of this being the maid. Even more surprising were the first words out of the woman's mouth when she saw how wet the girl was.
"Oh my goodness, you're positively soaked," the five foot, six woman gasped as she reached out and pulled Joey into the vestibule. "You come inside this minute."
The redhead had no chance to object as the woman took her useless umbrella out of her hand, putting it and the plastic bag with the medication on a nearby table. Then she just as quickly pealed off the equally drenched windbreaker off Joey's back and draped it across a row of wall hooks.
"What kind of idiot sends a person out in weather like this to make a delivery?" she asked rhetorically as she turned back to face the younger woman.
Joey was about to say that it hadn't been raining when she left the drug store, but decided that since Kevin was an idiot for so many other reasons, she wouldn't debate the issue. She was more interested in the way this woman, who for some reason seemed familiar, continued to surprise her.
"Why don't you step inside the parlor and dry off by the fire," the woman went on as she motioned to the room to the left. "I'll get you a towel for your hair."
Joey thanked the woman for the unexpected kindness, then watched her as she walked down the hall and disappeared behind another door. Turning in the direction she had pointed, Joey reasoned that if not the maid, the woman had to be some kind of employee of the person who owned the house. Someone who still had enough of a connection with working people to have felt sorry for the rain-soaked girl. Possibly she had been in the drug store before and that was why she seemed familiar.
"You think I'd remember an ass like that," Joey mused as she stepped into the sitting room.
The room looked larger than her studio apartment, filled with overstuffed chairs and dominated by a large fireplace, the warmth of which could be felt even in the doorway. It was only when she stepped over to the fire that Joey realized just how wet she really was.
"Here you go," the blond haired woman said as she entered the room and handed Joey a towel.
"Thank you," Joey said as she began to dry her hair. "I'm afraid I'm dripping all over your floor."
"Don't worry about it," she smiled, bringing another sense of recognition to Joey. "A little water isn't going to hurt it and besides, it's not my house. I'm only borrowing it for the week."
"Oh," Joey said as she finished drying off her hair, wondering what this woman's story was and more importantly, why she couldn't remember where she'd seen her before.
"I really feel bad about you getting so wet bringing me what turned out to be a needless prescription," the blond said. "It seemed like I'd forgotten my medication back in Los Angeles and had my doctor call in a replacement. Then, about a half hour ago, I found it in my bag."
"Well it was an honest mistake," Joey smiled to show she wasn't upset about getting doused for nothing.
"I think that the fire, nice as it might be, really isn't going to do the job," she said as she noticed that Joey's blouse and jeans were still quite wet. "If you want, there's a laundry room down at the end of the hall. You could toss it all in the dryer and it should be done in a half hour or so. There's a robe hanging on the door that you could wear in the meantime."
Joey looked at the woman with suspicion for a few moments, wondering if she might have some ulterior motive in wanting her to get naked. Not that she would really mind if she did. Joey didn't normally go for women older than herself, but this woman was definitely first class and it had been almost four months since her now ex-lover, Sonija, had moved out of their apartment and her life.
"Sounds like a plan," Joey smiled again and followed her down the hall to the laundry room.
Joey felt a slight sense of regret when, after opening the door and giving a quick explanation how to use the dryer, the woman excused herself and said she'd meet her guest back in the parlor. She had almost hoped that her benefactor was planning something.
"Oh by the way," the woman said, pausing in mid-step and turning around. "Can I get you something to drink to help warm you up. Coffee, Tea, or maybe something stronger?"
"Coffee would be fine," Joey replied, thinking that there was another way she preferred to be warmed up. One that Sonija had been especially good at. "Cream and sugar if you could."
"Not a problem," the blond said as again she disappeared.
Joey began to unbutton her blouse when she saw her reflection in the full length mirror hanging on the back of the door. Wet as her shirt was, coupled with the fact that she didn't wear a bra, her nipples and the surrounding areola were highly visible. There was no way the older woman couldn't have noticed them. As she continued to strip, the twenty-one-year-old idly wondered what she had thought of them, if anything.
Dropping everything she had been wearing into the dryer, including the cotton panties, Joey again took a moment to look at her nude body in the mirror. It was a body she was proud of, slim and well toned, with breasts just big enough to compliment her form. The redhead liked the size and shape of her own mounds, yet preferred larger on other women. Sonija had a very nice pair, she remembered, thinking for a moment how nice they felt in her hands, and in her mouth. From what she could see of the lady of the house through her blouse and sweater, hers were nicely shaped as well.
"Put your eyes back in your sockets, girl," Joey grinned to herself as she put on the robe, taking note of how soft the material felt against her flesh. "Not every woman you meet is going to want to get naked. Even if you sometimes wish it was that way."
Wrapped in the silk robe and leaving her damp shoes by the dryer as well, Joey headed back to the parlor and her waiting coffee.
"Thank you," Joey said as she took the cup of coffee and tasted it. "Mmmm, this is very good."
"It's a special blend," the woman offered as she directed Joey to the two chairs closest to the fire, each of them sitting down in one. "I really like it. The owners of the house always have a supply of it on hand."
"What's it called?" Joey asked, thinking that if it wasn't too expensive she might like to buy some for herself.
"I'll write it down for you before you go," she said, taking a sip from her own mug.
"Not that I want to look a gift house in the mouth," Joey said after thanking her once more, "but I have to say you're very different from the kind of person I expected to find on this block. Most of your neighbors wouldn't even have noticed how soaked I was, much less have cared."
"Well, I guess that even though I've had some success in my life, I try to remember where I came from. My family was working class and I started out that way too." she said. "But I know what you mean. Most of my neighbors back in Los Angeles and the people I work with are pretty much like that."
"Is that where you're from?" Joey asked, taking another drink of the wonderful coffee.
"Actually, I grew up less than fifteen miles from here, in Apple Ridge," the woman grinned, "it's just that most of my work these days is out on the West Coast."
"What kind of work do you do?" Joey asked.
"Oh different things," she answered enigmatically. "I like a variety."
"I just realized something," Joey said. "You've been so nice to me and I never even asked your name. I'm Josephine Greer, but everyone calls me Joey."
"It's Sara," the blond said as she finished the last of her coffee.
"S. Carter, of course," Joey said, remembering the name on the prescription. "Well, I can honestly say that I'm very glad to meet you Sara."
"And I you, Joey Greer," Sara smiled, "it's been too long since I've had the chance to just chat with someone and not have to worry what they wanted from me."
A sudden thought of what she would like from the pretty woman sitting across from her flashed through Joey's mind. Proof once more that it had been far too long since she'd slept with anyone. She gave herself another mental "down girl" and changed the subject.
"It's funny, but I keep getting the feeling that I've seen you somewhere before," Joey said as she finished the last of her own coffee. "Maybe you just remind me of someone I know but for the life of me I can't remember who it..."
Joey abruptly stopped in mid sentence as the pieces of her puzzle suddenly fell into place. How could she have not realized it before.
"My God," she gasped, her voice cracking. "Sara Carter, ... you're Sara Lynn Carter, the actress!"
"Guilty as charged," Sara said as she waved her coffee cup in salute at Joey finally figuring it out.
"I've never met a celebrity before in my life," Joey continued to gush.
"And you haven't met one now," Sara insisted, "I'm no different than you or anyone else. I'm not one of those people who think that just because you make movies that you're somehow better than other people."
"But you are so great." Joey went on, "I can't believe I didn't recognize you."
"Well when I'm working I usually wear contacts," Sara said as she touched the rim of her thin, black metal eyeglass frames.
"It can't just be that," Joey said.
"I don't know," Sara smiled, "it always worked for Clark Kent."
It took a moment for Joey to get the joke, but she laughed when she did.
"I still feel silly for not recognizing you," the younger woman said. "I must've seen 'Hearts Of Stone' twenty times."
Sara shook her head slightly. She had made twenty-two movies since she landed her first role at eighteen and the one everyone always talked about was 'Hearts Of Stone'. Still, it wasn't surprising. Like Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct', the role had drawn attention to her in a way nothing she had done before or since.
It had been a role that her agent and a number of friends had advised her not to take, if for no other reason, that the character she would be playing was a teacher having a secret lesbian affair with one of her colleagues. It was a role too close to a truth better kept private in their opinion. She had tossed aside their concerns saying she didn't see what the problem was. After all, she had never been a teacher.
Yet the film had turned out to be the sleeper hit of the summer two years ago, fueled in no little part by a rather explicit love scene between the two principal characters. Contrary to her friends' worry, Sara had not been outed by the movie and had gone on to become an A List Actress.
"My ex and I the saw the movie on our first date," Joey went on, "Sonija couldn't stop talking about it for weeks."
The reference to Joey's ex didn't escape Sara's attention. Unless she was dating a man with a definitely unmasculine name, the younger woman and she had a lot more in common that she might realize.
"Could I ask a question?" Joey asked.
"I'll understand if I'm going over the line here," she went on, "but there's something that we used to wonder about."
"I've never been offended by any question," Sara said, "but I always reserve the right not to answer them."
"That's fair," the redhead said.
Joey paused, thinking about how best to phrase her question. As she did, Sara wondered if it was the question people most asked about that role. The one she had worked out a set answer for a long time ago.
"In the movie, you and that other actress, the one that played Miss Thompson, I don't remember her name," Joey began.
"That's right, Diane Gallagher," Joey repeated. "Well there was that part in the movie where you and her, well I mean when ... I'm afraid I'm really not sure how to ask it. I know the two of you are actresses and it was just a role that someone wrote, but Sonija and I always wondered if there was something more to it than just play acting. I mean it seemed so real and..."
It had been the question Sara expected, one that had been asked countless times since the movie first came out. Normally, Sara usually made a joke about it, saying that at the time she never realized her performance would be so convincing. Yet, for some reason she really wasn't sure of, the thirty-three-year-old didn't want to give that stock answer.
The true answer to the question, if she ever wanted to give it, was that it was indeed the result of some fine acting. And one of the key ingredients to a good performance, as one of her early teachers had repeatedly told her, was practice, practice, and more practice. A little smile formed at the corners of Sara's mouth as the actress remembered all the nights she and Diane had spent doing just that. By the time that scene had finally been filmed, there hadn't been an inch of the other's body that both of them weren't intimately familiar with.
"It looks like it's stopped raining," Sara said as she took a few more moments to consider her answer.
Joey turned and looked out the window, confirming that the intense storm had indeed burned itself out and the sky had begun to clear. It reminded her that her clothes should just be about dry as well. As if in response to that thought, the dryer buzzer went off, confirming her guess.
"Well I guess that's my cue," she said as she rose to her feet. She thanked Sara again, both for the coffee and her kindness. As to her question, she now assumed Sara was exercising her right not to answer.
Joey had gotten as far as the door to the hall when Sara finally spoke.
"Why don't we just say that there was nothing in that particular movie that I didn't enjoy and leave it at that," she said.
The slim redhead took more from Sara's smile than anything she actually said. It was a smile reflected on her own face.
The clothes out of the dryer felt warm against her skin as Joey put them back on. Not as warm, however, as the feeling she had deep inside to now know the answer to a long held question.
Fully dressed, she walked back to the front door where Sara was waiting. One last time, Joey thanked Sara for her hospitality.
"It was my pleasure," she smiled.
Joey turned to leave, then paused. A thought had passed through her mind while she was getting dressed. One she thought silly, but one that wouldn't go away.
"Sara, I was wondering," she said, "if maybe one of these nights you might like to go out for coffee or something. I know that the answer is probably no, but if I didn't ask, I'd always wonder what you might have said if I had."
Sara took another long pause before giving an answer, leading Joey to think the older woman was trying to politely decline. Like she said, it was the answer she expected, but at least she would have tried.
"Well, we sort of already had coffee, didn't we?" she said, prefacing what Joey was sure was a thanks but no thanks. "So if maybe you'd like to have dinner instead, say tomorrow night, I'd say yes."
"That's okay I expected..." Joey started to say to the reply she expected, then realized that it hadn't been no. "I mean, yes, that would be great."
"Tomorrow night then, say about seven? Can you meet me here?"
It was a still stunned Joey that nodded her head in acknowledgment and headed down the stoop to the now dry street below.
"I hope you didn't get too wet last night," Kevin said to Joey when he saw her the following morning, his voice filled with a false concern.
"Not in the least," Joey lied, her smile giving credibility to her words. "In fact, I was already on the bus by the time the rain started."
"Oh that's good," Kevin said before he turned his attention to something else, but not without his disappointment showing. "I was afraid you'd be wet all the way home."
"I just bet you were," Joey thought as she too went back to the task she had been dealing with. A small chuckle filled her when she thought that she had indeed been a little wet on the bus ride home. A wetness that had been centered between her legs.
A few minutes later, just as she finished restocking the shelves in aisle five, Debbie Harris came up to her. She and Debbie had become pretty good friends in the few months Joey had worked here. Or at least as good friends as she could become with anyone in the store.
"What did you do to piss off, Kevin?" Debbie whispered as she leaned close, her long black hair falling across her face.
"Nothing that I know of," Joey whispered back, "except maybe not fall for one of his little pranks. Why?"
"I was just wondering because he seems to be in a bad mood," she explained. "Mr. Collins yelled at him this morning about not personally delivering some prescription that he told him to and then he seemed to be even more ticked off after talking to you."
"How did Mr. Collins know Kevin didn't personally deliver the prescription?" Joey asked, trying to make it sound like it was just idle curiosity.
"I think the customer called up and said something about sending the delivery boy out in that rainstorm last night," Debbie offered. "I thought it nice that someone would do that. Bobby works real hard to get his deliveries done as fast as he can."
"I guess he does," Joey said, glad that no one knew she had been the one Kevin had given the package to drop off.
"Feel like going out tonight?" Debbie asked, changing the subject, "Carol, Trish and I are going to go over to Kelligan's. Lot of nice guys there on a Friday night."
"I think I'll pass," Joey said, "I have other plans."
In the past, Joey had gone alone with the other girls when they went out after work. Not to troll for guys of course, but just to enjoy the company of friends. One of these days, she probably would let it slip to her co-workers about her sexual orientation. After all, it really wasn't a secret since most of her family already knew. She just found that it sometimes put other women on the defensive and it was best to let them get to know you first and not some label that they might have stereotypes about.
On the other hand, if she had thought for a moment that Debbie might have been interested, Joey would've certainly asked her out. The twenty-three year old was everything she liked in a woman. But, after only knowing her a short time, it was obvious to Joey that the long haired brunette was only interested in sharing her bed with men. If she had thought otherwise, Joey had mused at the time, she might've been tempted to violate her own strict rule about not dating anyone she worked with. Even in straight relationships, dating on the job could be a real problem if things went bad. Especially in a small store like this one.
"Hot date?" Debbie asked.
"Maybe," Joey said in a hopeful voice.
"Well maybe one of us will get lucky tonight," the dark haired woman laughed.
Joey just grinned, thinking that wouldn't be bad at all.
The end of the workday couldn't come fast enough for Joey. She had made arrangements to take her lunch break at the end of the day and head home early. Normally, if one of the girls were going out someplace special after work, they would bring a change of clothes and just dress in the bathroom. That wasn't good enough for Joey, at least not tonight. Even if it meant traveling all the way downtown and back, she wanted to shower and change before her dinner date.
Quickly stripping off her work clothes, Joey stepped into the bathroom and turned on the water in the shower. It took a few minutes to warm up to a comfortable temperature, but as soon as it did, she stepped under the pulsating jets.
Closing her eyes, Joey enjoyed the warmth of the water running across her back. The opportunity to wash off the day's grime more than justified the long trip home. There were few features in the studio apartment that could really be called desirable, but if she tried to list them, the glass walled shower would be at the top of her list.
She tilted the showerhead to a lower angle, causing the water to gently caress her body. With her eyes still closed, she could imagine the touch of a lover's hand against her skin. Savoring the sensation, her hand brushed against the handle, increasing the pressure as she began to caress her breasts. Shifting her legs as she played with her now erect nipples, she directed the flow of water between her legs, causing a rush as the flow made contact with her clitoris. Pulling the long armed showerhead further down, she spread her legs wider.
Her other hand brushed against the flow control once more, causing the water to massage her ever stronger. Small waves of gratification danced across her body, ripples that translated into soft cries. Delights that triggered cherished memories.
Back when she shared the tiny apartment with Sonija, the shower had been their favorite place to make love. The enclosure had really only been designed for one, which only made it more fun to squeeze two of them in there. As she soaped herself up, Joey's thoughts drifted back to those fun days. Specifically, the first time the two of them had used the shower together.
"Need someone to help with your back?" Sonija asked through the glass door.
"I don't think we could both fit in here," Joey called out as she once more took in the narrow confines of the stall. Her voice carried more than a touch of disappointment in its tone.
"Oh I'm sure there's enough room," Sonija laughed, "especially if we both get all wet and soapy."
Not waiting for an answer, Sonija opened the shower door, sending a spray of water across the tiled floor. Joey's first reaction was to say something about the mess being made, especially since she knew from experience the tiles leaked, but quickly lost that thought when she saw that her new roommate was already naked.
Sonija Vazquez stood three inches taller than Joey, with a much larger build. Her most prominent features, aside from her light brown skin, were long jet black hair, which she wore in a braid and a pair of oversized breasts. Sweet mounds which, politically incorrect or not, were the first thing that drew the redhead to the twenty year old.
Sonija stepped into the shower, squeezing in behind the smaller girl. It was a tight fit, but neither minded the press of their flesh against the other. Taking the soapy cloth from Joey's hand, she began to rub it across her back. Sliding it down, she ran the small cloth across the redhead's ass, covering that with a spread of bubbles as well. Then, with a gleam in her eye, she let the wash rag slip from her fingers and grabbed Joey's cheeks.
"Hey!" Joey shouted, caught by surprise.
"Hush," Sonija whispered into her ear, running her hands up the length of Joey's wet body until they converged on her small breasts. "You know you love this."
Joey's mock anger quickly faded as she felt her lover's hands massaging her round globes. They had been dating three months now and had moved in together two days before. This was the first night they had both been home.
"If you'll turn around, I'll wash your front too," Sonija said with a grin.
"You dropped your washcloth," Joey countered, tilting her head back so that she could kiss the woman pressed against her back.
"I'll improvise," Sonija smiled as she returned the kiss. "I know you love it when I improvise."
Still tight in her embrace, Joey turned in Sonija's arms so that they were face to face. Their lips met again as she opened her mouth wide to let her lover's nimble tongue slide over hers. No longer in any rush, she just stood there in the artificial rain and reveled in their mutual pleasure.
Filling her palms with liquid soap from the dispenser, Sonija began to wash Joey's breasts with the flat of her hands. She drew tight circles around the small pink centers, then moved outward until she held a globe in each hand. The dark haired woman stepped back as far as she could, letting the overhead spray wash away the bubbles, then bent down to kiss each one.
Wrapping her hands around Joey's waist, Sonija's kisses of the soft, wet flesh became more intense as she shifted the pert nipples into her mouth. Joey closed her eyes and bent her head back, letting the water rain down on her face as she enjoyed the twin sensations.
She realized a few moments later that Sonija had somehow managed to work her way down onto the shower floor. There, she lifted one of Joey's legs, exposing the freshly shaved mound within. Sonija smiled when she saw the gift, the result of her having casually mentioned once that nothing turned her on more than a bare pussy.
With Joey's bare womanhood directly above her, Sonija lifted her legs just far enough to press her darting tongue deep inside. Quickly finding the exposed clitoris, the Puerto Rican woman began to lick it. A touch that sent moans of pleasure spilling from Joey's lips. Her hands held on to the legs alongside her face as the two of them rocked back and forth.
Their rhythm and the movement of Sonija's tongue grew in intensity, as did the orgasm building inside Joey. The strokes became shorter as she applied more pressure. The redhead was just about to explode when the taller woman pulled them even closer together and buried her face deep in her mound.
Joey's knees grew weak as she climaxed. A climax even more explosive than the last she had enjoyed at her lover's tongue. One that would always stay in her memory.
A memory that faded as Joey remember that Sonija belonged in the past and Sara, while she might not be her future, at least belonged to her present. A present that she had better pay more attention to.
Stepping out of that shower, Joey took a moment to look at herself in the mirror that hung on the bathroom door. The mirror was pretty cheap as compared to the one she admired herself in yesterday, but it still got the job done.
Joey turned around slowly, again taking note that she still had a lean, tight body. For the first few months after Sonija had left, she hadn't paid much attention to her diet or how often she made it to the gym. She was glad to see that little damage had been done from that period.
Moving her gaze down below her waist, the large patch of red hair brought a frown. Again, it was an area that had been neglected somewhat since her lover had left.
The thought caused a sudden flush through her body as she remembered once more how nice it had felt when Sonija used her tongue on the area in question. The girl had been phenomenal, Joey recalled, able to go at it for more than an hour when she was in the mood. An hour that the redhead liked to describe as the nearest thing to heaven on Earth. She found herself wondering if Sara might be like that.
"Let's not let our imagination get too far away from us," Joey told the little voice in her head as she dismissed the memory. Still, even as it faded, she found herself wondering how much hair Sara preferred on a woman.
Glancing up at the time on the small clock that hung from a wall hook, she decided that she wouldn't have time to do anything about her hair there anyway. It was clean and soft, it anything came of tonight, that would have to do.
Moving to her bedroom, she put on panties, deciding to skip a bra once more. It was rare that she wore one at all, and Sara didn't seem to mind it yesterday. The dress she had laid out for herself was a nice light blue, sleeveless number. More conservative than some of her dating outfits, it still was tight enough to show she was all woman beneath it. After selecting matching shoes, she finished her ensemble with a small gold chain that she'd had since her high school days.
It was a favorite piece of jewelry and had always brought her luck. A gift from the girl who had been her very first lover back during senior year. Every time she put it on, she always took a moment to think of Carol London and the whole new world she had opened Joey's eyes to. Wherever Carol was now, Joey hope that she was happy with her life.
A few more minutes to apply her lipstick and the lightest of makeup and Joey was out the door. It wouldn't do to climb back into a bus dressed up like she was, especially during this time of day. So she had decided to splurge and had called a few minutes before for a cab.
By the time Joey was again standing at the door to Sara's borrowed townhouse, she was feeling more than a little nervous. Was she reading more into all of this than she should? The more she thought about, the more possible it was that Sara just thought it might be a nice distraction to have dinner with a fan.
"Well if that's all it is," she promised herself, "I'll just make the most of it."
She rang the intercom and waited for a response. Two minutes passed, then four and Joey began to worry that maybe Sara had to leave suddenly for some reason. It hadn't occurred to her in the excitement of meeting the actress last night to leave her cell phone number with her.
Finally the door opened and there stood the Sara Lynn Carter that Joey would've recognized anywhere. Gone were the thin glasses of the night before, replaced by the contacts she had mentioned. Also gone was the simple ponytail as her hair was now done in an elaborate weave. She wore a red dress, not that different in basic design from the one Joey wore, but it was a certainty that it hadn't come from the racks at the Mall. Sara also had a lot more to fill it with as well.
"My, don't you look lovely," Sara said as she stepped aside to let Joey in.
"Thank you," she replied. "I hope I'm not too early."
"Not at all," Sara said as she closed the door behind them. "Our car should be here in a little while."
"Our car?" Joey inquired.
"My friend who owns this house also provided a car and driver for my use while I'm here in the city," the actress explained. "I really hadn't made much use of it before, but figured it would be easier at night than trying to catch cabs."
"That makes sense," Joey said, thinking how hard it sometimes was to get a cab in the city, especially on a Friday night.
"Would you like a drink while we're waiting?" Sara asked.
A drink would certainly feel good right now, Joey thought, but nervous as she was, drinking on an empty stomach was not a good idea. So she declined the offer.
The two waited in the parlor, making small talk about the cable film project Sara had come East to talk to the Network about. To Joey, it was a whole different world than the one she lived in. One that sounded exciting and new.
"You know, I was wondering something last night, but never got a chance to ask," Joey said.
"Hopefully, not another question about 'Hearts Of Stone'," Sara laughed.
"No, it's just a general question."
"Fire away then," Sara said as she leaned back in the plush chair.
"I see on all the shows about Hollywood that most stars have a bunch of people to do things for them, what they call ... oh I forget what they call them." she said.
"An entourage?" Sara asked.
"That's it," Joey smiled. "An entourage or at least some kind of assistant that runs errands and takes care of things for you. I was wondering why you didn't have anyone like that."
"Well as far as not having an entourage," the blonde explained, "I've made it pretty clear how I feel about the self-serving phonies in Hollywood. The last thing I'd want is to have a bunch of them around me all the time. I used to have an assistant, a very nice young man named Robert who handled my life better than I ever did."
"What happened to him?" a curious Joey asked.
"He met another nice young man and the two of them moved to San Francisco," Sara smiled. "I still get a card from them on my birthday every year."
A ringing noise from Sara's purse cut off any further conversation as she reached in and pulled out her cell phone. Pressing a button to bring up a text message, she read it and put the phone back in her bag.
"Our ride is outside," she announced as she rose to her feet.
Joey stood up as well, following Sara into the hall. The older woman paused just long enough to activate the alarm system and they were both out the door.
When Sara had mentioned that she had a car at her disposal, Joey never realized that it would be a plush limousine. The closest she had ever come to riding in a car like that was her sister's wedding when she was a bridesmaid.
The driver, dressed in a chauffeur's uniform, was waiting on the curb by the rear door. As they came down the steps and approached the car, he tipped his hat to them.
"Good Evening, Miss Carter," he said as he opened the door for them.
"Good Evening, Charles," Sara said, "Lovely night for a drive, isn't it?"
"Indeed, Ma'am," the silver-haired fifty-two-year-old replied as the two ladies climbed into the back and he closed the door behind them.
Charles quickly moved to the front and started up the engine. An opaque window separated the two sections of the limousine, giving the passengers a large measure of privacy. A similar coating covered the door and rear windows. The material allowed you to look out, but prevented people on the street from looking in.
"Where are we going?" Joey asked as the car pulled out into traffic.
"It's a small, lovely restaurant that I discovered back when I was appearing on Broadway," Sara replied. "The food is fantastic, the ambiance superb, and most of all, the privacy is paramount."
"Sounds great," Joey replied.
"Oh, I know I should've asked before," Sara remembered, "but you do like Chinese, don't you?"
"I love it," was the younger woman's quick reply.
"Good," Sara smiled, "because if you don't, we can make other plans."
"No, Chinese food is fine," Joey insisted.
"Well, it's going to take a little while to get down there in this traffic," Sara said as she reached for a small bottle that had been resting in a bucket of ice. "Would you like a little glass of champagne?"
This time, Joey said yes.
Forty-five minutes and a few drinks later, Joey felt the car pull over and the door was opened by a still smiling Charles. When she stepped out onto the street, the redhead was surprised to see not a restaurant in sight.