Kenneth Burch

Love is just a four letter word 
part I 

Dawn had begun only moments ago. The spring morning had just made plans to began it's opening sequence of dancing amber lights and song, it's morning glory now rising. As they lay there, the bed made for two looked comforting and warm. An observer from above could have easily mistaken the two for a couple, married perhaps, maybe not, but lovers just the same. This however was not the case. Rachel Evans was born only sixty miles from here in a hospital in New Jersey. Her mother who had found more interest in drinking then mothering, had laid the plans required to raise a daughter who'd spend most of her adult life looking for the love she needed long ago, her wishes still unfelt. As the now opening light of a Spring morning cracked through the shades now covering the windows, the following breeze with it's gentle scent awakened her.

Bluer then blue eyes opened to yet another morning, blinking at first to adjust and began scanning the room, remembering. She sat up wincing a little and pulled back the covers. The sleeping form beside her let out a grunting sound from it's throat and turned over, sticking out it's leg. She pulled back her blonde hair that managed to always find it's way in her face and tried to arrange the long legs she'd had since birth to ready her walk to the bathroom. It was going to be another one of those mornings.

Steven Hall worked nights at the Tower Records on 4th street in New York. By day he attempted to hold down yet another job uptown were he managed a not so well known bookstore called "Ryan Reads". The bookstore had opened about twenty-five years ago by a man who'd learn to read by listening to his mother's singing. Like Rachel, he too had found life at home filled with broken promise and a constant array of back handed law and order issued by his father. At the age of 15 and fighting the battles of a young man cast out from a group of people he called friends, he decided to come out and to inform his father that he was gay. At first it wasn't so bad, the beatings had calloused most of his wounds from since he was young. Steven could never understand why he was never able to simply be himself, always striving for what his father wanted. At the ripe old age of seventeen, he moved out. He worked odd jobs here and there and after dropping out of school only months into his senior year, meet Rachel. She too had found the road to normal life unfitting and between the two of them, form a friendship that had now lasted more then 15 years. Two against nature.

The sound of running water from the bathroom had awaken an always sleepy Steven. He turned rubbing his nose and kicking off the rest of the covers and sat up. The room had a bright amber haze and brought a welcoming smile to his face as he reached for the remote, clicking on the TV. The morning newscaster was once again feeling us in on the latest happenings from the night before, his tie reflecting the new season. Steven listen for a moment before changing the channel. He scanned several before stopping in on the video by some artist with a funny name, he was screaming in a microphone about pain and laughter, Steven thought he was cute but couldn't sing to save his ass. he then changed to another station where some woman was bragging about her recent weightless and how it only took several months. The before and after photos looked a little fake, but he guessed it wasn't impossible. He'd read somewhere that if a person really tried, they could drop about eight pounds a month, before going crazy and hitting the candy store. The next channel contained more of the same bullshit and he was just about to click it off when a voice called to him. "Hey, morning sleepy head. Are you going to sit there all morning staring at the tube or find something to do?" She'd walked over now smelling of dial soap and shampoo and kissed him on the cheek. He blew his morning breathe at her and she pulled back telling him to go brush. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do." he said and began walking towards the bathroom, scratching his backside. "Don't scratch it, wash it" she said and broke out into that laugh he still found annoying. He held up his middle finger while still walking and closed the bathroom door behind him. Rachel had managed to fry two omelets, one with cheese the other without, some toast and coffee by the time Steven came out. He was still wet at the ankles but had readied himself just the same. His curly brown hair now looked almost black, still three shades from his light brown eyes that gave him a kind of goofy yet trusting look she loved so much. "Did I get any calls last night?" he asked taking a bite out of his toast. The crumbs had fallen on the cream color cotton shirt he decided to wear and Rachel thought he'd never grow up as she watched him look down at them and smiled. "I'm not sure, I got in late myself and by the time I took off my shoes, I was dead to the world." she replied. He got up from the table, shoving the remaining half of toast in his mouth and walked over to the answering machine. The digital reading indicated that no calls had come there. His face had dropped a little and he pushed it quickly away as he turned to face her. "Did we get any?" she asked. "Nah, I was hoping to here from mom, she was supposed to go for some test this morning, I'll call her later." "Really?" she said. "I hope it's nothing serious, can't have mom down you know." Yea, tell me about it." Who else can I look to for outside insults." "And what about him?...did he call you yet?" she asked. "Nope, and fuck him of he doesn't." You know I'm getting sick of his shit, it's like we're going nowhere with this." She could she him getting upset and tried to defuse it by changing the subject. "Come here, I want you to do something for me" He waved his hand away and was now beginning to pace the floor. She looked down to notice the remaining droplets of water had collected on the floor. At least he was completely dry now she thought. As he walked over to her, she pulled back his now damp hair and motioned his head to her shoulder. "I was thinking that it would be nice to head up to Maine in a couple of weeks, I love the way it looks in the Spring." He pulled back his head now, fighting the grin and said "You love the way it looks in the Spring? Rachel Evans, you've never been to Maine in your life! He had pasted on the goofy smile of his and she could see even now he was feeling much better. "Yea I know, but I've seen the pictures on TV once or twice. Good morning America did a whole show once on Maine in the Spring, looked beautiful with the flowers and all, besides why don't break out the running shoes you keep in the closet throw on a pair of jeans, clean I hope and join me?" He glance over at the phone and up at the clock, she could see his mind wondering, he was thinking, thinking about it and of course him. "Oh all right" he said. "I'll tell William tomorrow about using some of my vacation time and I guess Andrew will cover for me at the shop." I'm not going to say shit to Tony, the way things are going, he won't care much anyway. He began looking sad again but pushed it back with a quick smile and hugged her. 
"Fine then, it's settled. I'll make the arrangements tonight and in two weeks, you and I are out of here, get it?" She looked down at her watch and realized she was now running late. She took one final sip of the coffee and put it down. "Shit, will you take care of this?" she asked. "Yea go ahead, I'll clean up everything and see you later." "Ok, I'll call you later and don't forget to call your mom." She grabbed her pocketbook which still hung from the kitchen chair from last night and headed out.

It was just after 2:30 pm when the phone of Larry Wilkens rang, it startled him at first and he'd jumped a little. He was trying to finish the cheese steak sandwich he bought from Irvin's on 44th, and was almost there when he heard Steven's voice on the other end. "Larry? you there?" Larry quickly swallowed the remaining chunks of meat, cheese and bread not to mention the last bit of extra mayo and hot peppers, and tried to speak. "Yo Steven!" he said. "What the hells going on over there?" Steven said. "You sound like you got something in your mouth, anything I should know about?" Larry burst out laughing spiting bits of bread on himself and the kitchen table, I'm sure there were fragments of meat and cheese rounding out group. "Well, Mr. Smart Ass, before you called I was trying to finish my cheese steak, you caught me in the middle." Oh sorry about that Steven said. "Larry, the next time the phone rings while you've got food in you mouth, why don't you simply wait until you swallow before picking it up, this way you gay friends won't think otherwise." Larry burst out laughing again, he always laughed at every other sentence out of Steven's mouth. Steven often thought that if he became a comedian, he'd want people like Larry to attend. A few simple words and wham! everyone would be on the floor clutching their sides with laughter and he'd make millions for doing mostly nothing. "Steve your so fucking funny man, you catch me every time." "So what's up guy, thought you'd be sleeping in today?" Despite his uncontrollable burst of laughter at almost everything Steven said, Larry could since something was wrong and tried to keep his sudden burst to simple snicker. While to some this would have seemed rude, Steven had known Larry and been very good friends for about 12 years, he more then understood his friend well doing. "I started to, thought it'd be a good chance to catch up on some much needed rest, but I don't know. I think I'm in a quiet way, going insane." That was too much and no matter what Larry did, there was just no way on hold that one in and released another burst of laughter, this time causing him to break wind as well. "Steven, talk to me man, what's really going on? Rachel in your shit again?" No, it's not Rachel, she's fine. In fact she taking me to Maine in a couple of weeks, she wants to see the flowers or something...I don't know" Larry had taken another sip of Pepsi and wrapped up the paper his sandwich came in and thrown it in the trash, he belched and cast his attention outside the window of his apartment to catch the glimpse of two children on bicycles, passing by. He never once stopped listening to the voice he called friend on the other end. 
"Steven? Is this about Tony? Let me guess, you two at it again?" His voice never raised but seemed to suggest that it had been long enough for he and Tony. In his voice Steven could hear him saying "don't you think it been long enough ole' pal, how long are you going to keep letting this fucker control you like that." "Well yea, it is about Tony. "I haven't heard from him in about three weeks and I'm just getting sick of this shit!" "Look Stevie, I told you two years ago when you fell for that shit, that he'd fuck you over after awhile, believe me babe, I know a fucking dog when I see one." Larry had now sipped his Pepsi again and was proud fully awaiting Steve's reply. "Your right as always Larry, besides who better to know a dog, then a dog itself." This time it was the Pepsi that sprayed from Larry mouth and nose as he failed to control the impulse to crack up. "Shit man! I'm fucking up my apartment over you, stop making me laugh!" "You laugh enough for both of us pal, I'm only happy to apply." Steven reached for a paper towel and blotted his shirt and countertop, looking around for wherever else he might have sprayed. "Ok, ok I'm a dog, but every one of those ladies knew so, I think they got just what they wanted, besides I let them know right up front, Larry's here for the pussy and the pussy only, all that love shit can be left at the incoming door, where they can pick it back up on the way out." This time it was Steven who found Larry funny, he laughed for about 10 seconds which was a lot for a man who hadn't laughed in a week. Larry thought about what he'd said and smiled to himself. "I wish I could be more like you Larry, If I had just a little bit of that, most of this hurt would never have come this way to begin with." Larry could feel that something was really wrong here, Steven had called him many times before talking about this and that and although Rachel was Steven's very best of friends hands down, he thought that maybe there were times when he needed to speak to someone different, someone I guess like him. "Now look Stevie" Larry sometimes called Steven "Stevie" as if he were a little boy. He meant no harm in it, it was just his way of saying that what he'd said was so stupid it could have only come from a little boy and not a grown man about to turn 30 in a year or so. "The last thing, the very last thing this world needs is another dog." "I admit there's a need for my type, but what this world could really use more Stevens, you know, the caring type who believe and care, my position is to help others see just how important you really are." "I mean if everyone went around fucking and taking names, not giving a shit about one and other, what world happen to the word L-O-V-E?" Larry waited once more, and again glanced outside the kitchen window just in time to see an old woman walking a dog. It was one of those kind with the pushed in face and curled up tongue that always seemed to have trouble breathing, only now it had lifted it's stubby leg to piss. "I don't know" Steven finally replied, maybe love would in up being just another four letter word." Normally, this would have been it, this is the kind of shit that Steven would say that should have put Larry in stitches for the rest of his life, but it didn't. Larry Wilkens stood for a moment thinking, his mind had pulled away from the old woman and her funny looking little dog and had retreated to somewhere he only visited once or twice every two years, it was here he felt for the first time a pain deep inside for his friend of many years.

Rachel had just come in from lunch when her pain in the ass boss Ted Holdson informed her of the flowers now sitting on her desk. He always gave her that look whenever he mentioned anything non work related. He carried that frown of his she thought everywhere. With Spring fresh in the air, a trip planned to Maine and now flowers from she knew who, things were looking better by the minute, as for Ted "Prick" Holdson, fuck him. A million Spring days couldn't crack that frown. Three dozen peach colored roses covered most of what was her desk, her paperwork from this morning barely visible. She looked around smiling as she reach for the small peach colored envelope attached to it's clear plastic holder, on the cover the spelling of her name written with a gentle touch. Sitting down, she could hear Ted bitching about less talk and more work to both Sara Jenkins and Amy Plummer who's husband was anything but. Those girls could go on day after day talking about anything under the sun if he'd let them. The< third member of the talking trio was Chris Tolbert who'd taken off today. Rachel opened the card and read the words Thinking of you, loving only you. She smiled and reached up sniffing them, in her mind she envisioned her. The card had been signed the same way every time, just a simple "K" curled at the bottom. Rachel had met Kayla at a function held by the company for. She remembered seeing Kayla for the first time wearing tight fitted slacks and a blouse to die for. She had a look about her that had drawn attention from every living soul, married and unmarried. She also had away about herself that warned others to simply stay away, I guess you could say she was a real no nonsense kind of woman. Jet black hair and a deep olive complexion kept her looking tanned year round. She had this way about her that somehow told others that no matter what she did, she would always control it. And after three years of a blissful relationship, prove to be doing just that. Kayla Howard had managed to keep Rachel locked, stocked and barrel where others seem to fail. It was moments like this, that few had to wonder why.

After a ten minute daydream, Ted's blabbing voice reminded Rachel that she had work to do. The last thing she needed was having that bald headed freak of a boss, walking past her desk looking for a reason to speak to her. She didn't so much hate him, as much as she simply didn't care for his nature of doing things. as he walked past her desk she kept her eyes focused on her monitor, and only glance once at the flowers as he went by. She was about to pull up the next page of files when the phone rang. "Pointcave Industries, this is Rachel how may I help you." The voice on the other end was low, but easily recognizable. "Well" it said. You could start by taking off those panties and showing yourself to me." Rachel tried to fight the urge to lean back and do so, the shiny bald head of a nosy boss helped. Instead she smiled into the phone and in a girl like giggle, said "You are so bad, you are". She switched the phone to the other hand and said "They're wonderful!" trying not to draw the attention of those around her. Kayla was now controlling the conversation and in a strange way, was what Rachel loved most about her. "I was hoping to see you tonight, would it be a problem?" Rachel could almost feel herself began to moisten at the very words of "Tonight". Between Kayla's work across town and the time she spent taking classes in Law, she often found it next to impossible to get together. Yea, that talked often but what she needed most was to be held, held like only Kayla knew how. "No, tonight's find, but let's meet at your place, Steven's off tonight and he should be home sleeping all day, I wouldn't want to wake him." She was smiling now, her thoughts already on tonight. "Ok, I'll pick you up around 7:30, we'll grab some take out..ok?" 
"That's fine" she said. "I've got to go, baldy is getting close again." "Tell him to fuck off, your taken, and tell him I said so." she said. Her voice was sure and direct. Although her boss was hardly the weasel kind, Rachel would hardly attempt to fight him unless she had to. Kayla on the other hand, would do it for fun. 

To Be Continued

Love is just a four letter word 
part II 

The phone had rang almost seven times before Steven who had fallen back to sleep, picked it up. His vision had been blurred by the deep trance of an afternoon nap, and he was trying to adjust to both where he was as well as when. "Hello" he finally said. "Hey sleepy head, how are you feeling?" Rachel's voice was upbeat and poppy, a little too poppy he thought. "What's got you so up and glowing?" He said, knowing for the most part the only reason why. "Oh I'm just spreading a little sunshine to those I know is all." She was feeling good he felt, must be, could only be Kayla. "Well do you mind telling me what's go you all up and glowing, I can barely see as it is." He was rubbing his eyes now and trying to reach for the TV remote at the same time. "Let's just say that when I returned from lunch this afternoon, the most beautiful arrangement of peach colored roses had made their way to my desk, and not by themselves." She was still smiling as she told him, almost forgetting his current mood. "Well, it's nice to see that you have someone who cares about you, give them our address, maybe they'll do the same for me." It was then that she quickly remembered that Steven hadn't heard from Tony, his somber mood only prove that nothing had changed. "Shit Steven, I'm so sorry. I forgot all about it. I assume that he still hasn't called yet huh?" "Nope" he replied, his voice had grown an echo that she didn't care for and had drop her smile as well. "Listen kiddo, Kayla's coming over tonight to pick me up. Be a sweetheart and be sure to clean up a bit ok? We're going out and maybe to a movie, with a little luck I'll be home tomorrow." His voice was silent for a moment as he turned his attention towards the talk show about missing children, a woman in Seattle was begging for the return of her 21 year old daughter who left home to sell herself for sex. Steven shook his head at the idea and returned to his conversation. "I'm sorry Rachel, I think I blanked out for a second, I got most of what you said, but what about Kayla?" Rachel had glance over at Mr. Baldy who had once again found more interest in walking around the office, then he did sitting in his big leather seat, she felt like ducking from him just for laughs and decided it was useless. "I'm trying to tell you that I'm going out with Kayla tonight, she should be there around 7:30 or so, just pick up the place a little for me." "Ok, I got that part. I just thought for a minute you'd added to that." He turned from the talk show and now watched a commercial where a little boy was trying to sit on the toilet all by himself, his little feet was hanging and the boy who's eye were bright and happy, had the biggest little grin on his face, Steven smiled at this thinking, if this kid knew what could be ahead of him in this life, he'd more then likely do himself a favor and stay right where he was, sitting and shitting. "So I guess you might spend the night there, right?" he finally replied. "That's what I'm hoping." she said. Her grin was super wide now and he could feel her breathing heavy into the phone as a result. "Alright, I'm going to put the chain on the door when you two leave, if you don't score you'll be force to sleep out on the street till morning got it?" A low screech followed by laughter came from the other end and he could tell she didn't mean to let it out, she tried to muffle it with her hand, but it carried on for about a second or two. "Will you stop that! I'm trying to keep my boss from coming over to my desk, you not helping me." She backed up from her desk, and stood up trying to look around as if she'd drop a pen or paper, taking her time she noticed that the chatting trio minus one had already spotted her and were no doubt building a conversation based solely on a burst of laughter. She could see that Ted however managed to return to his office and was now working his lower jaw on the phone.

"Guess who I ran into this afternoon?" She was still giddy but had settled down for his sake, it just didn't seem fair to be pushing to much of her brightness on a man now covered in rain. She always felt sorry for him when he got like this, but sometimes felt he deserved it. He simply let too many people take advantage of him, in a strange way she believed he would never look at it her way, it simply wasn't his nature. "Let me guess......oh Ricky Martin?" No silly, she said. "Adam Coleman from West Central, remember him? He had that great looking tan that never seem to go away, his hair is all gray and slicked back?" "You couldn't take you eyes off him the whole time at the picnic last summer." He was flipping through his mental files trying to pull up Adam's image for a second look. The TV's volume has spiked thanks to an ad about hair loss. He turned it down, then off just in time to remember and see Adam's face. He was an older man, maybe forty but he remember him looking very good for a man of his age. The thing Steven remembered most was the way his hand kept wondering around that right side of his neck, it was as if he'd worn his hair long for sometime and had kept the habit of moving it around, even though it was at the time short. Rachel was right, he looked good.

"Oh yea, I remember him. Where'd you see him?" "He came into Sammy's wearing this really loud shirt and tiny round glasses, he tried to look like a movie star, but resembled more so of a jerk, his shirt was simply out of fashion, despite it's color. Anyway, after strutting around he spotted me and walked over. He asked how I was doing and believe it or not, asked about you. Don't worry, I told him you were fine and that your trying to write some music and stuff." "So I'm a writer of music now?" What else have you told him about me? Did you tell him that I'm staring in the next Oliver Stone picture as well, or maybe I'd decided that tennis was my next venture, oh and don't forget that episode on Martha Stewart were I'm cooking a roasted duck and red wine, I'd hate to have you leave that out." He was getting carried away and Rachel while enjoying his little running gags, knew it wasn't unhealthy to tease him now. She figured she'll change subjects to slow him down, at this point what could it hurt. "Calm down Steven, Jesus Christ if I didn't stop you, you'd never get back to sleep for a week, I'm working an hour or so late so be sure to take care of that for me and be a doll and run me a hot bath, say about 6:00. Do you want me to pick you up something from Irvin's on the way home?" She could hear him trying to catch his breathe, the sound at the apartment was quiet, there was a click on the other end and the sound of a TV. "Cheese steak, if it's not too much trouble, I'd like to have a cheese steak." He had a range of emotions that often ran into and over each other at times, Rachel figured it had a lot to do with his father and the names. She thought about it again and figured that not so old saying was right "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names cause permanent damage..... She loved Steven dearly and would do anything for him, but there were times when even she felt useless. Although excited about her evening with Kayla, she wanted that weekend away with Steven as well, he really needed it now. "One cheese steak with extra onions and hot peppers, hold the mayo for mustard for the funny man on the phone." she said. This finally brought him back to her with a crack up of laughing and an almost dropping of the phone. She told him she loved him and would be home soon. He said the same and hung up.

Larry Wilkens had finished his work out early from the gym around the corner from his place on 14th and Reading. His sweatshirt soaked, he jogged home thinking about Tracy Elms, a young lady he met at the "Triton Club" not more then a week ago. He didn't take her number, but offered his. It was just a matter of time now, he knew she'd play hard to get for awhile, they all did but in the end she'll call, they always do. Trent Walker had bumped into him and was trying to sell him a cheap gold watch. "Come on Trent." he said "I ain't got time for that shit...get it?" To this Larry himself cracked up, poor Trent was too fucked up to get anything these days, drugs had long since taken his soul and mind. "Iiiiii...ju..ju...just thought yu yu nene..needed to look good wh..when you went out man!" Trent said. Larry was about to turn the corner and gave Trent one last comment. "I already look good motherfucker, get off that shit and you'll see...." He turned back around and picked up the pace, his Casio told him it was almost 7:30. As he walked into the art deco styled for a man making under $30,500 apartment, he glanced over at the phone on the wall. The red light was now blinking, someone needed love he thought. He jumped into the shower, slipped into his favorite cotton shorts and T-shirt and after combing his hair, checked his machine. Four calls had come to him in the 90 minutes he had been gone. First was Aaron Thomas, he and Larry used to swing out every Friday night three years ago, he guessed between the two of them, they fucked about 40 to 50 women in two months, they could never find a box of rubbers big enough for them. Aaron had decided to settle down and after that close call of fatherhood, gave up the club scene altogether. Larry guessed that he had call to catch up on old times. The last time they talked, Aaron had fallen in love. Nice girl from the Bronx, a little crazy, but nice.

The second call was from Kim Reeves. She and Larry had been lovers years ago, around the time he turned 15. She'd come along just in time to shatter his heart and turn him into the beast he'd become. After much attempts, they decided to leave it as friends, and friends they were....good friends. The third call was Tracy Elms. With music in the background, she tried to sound too sexy, it kind of turned him off and he figured for punishment, he'd make her wait. "Fuck that come on shit" he said almost grinning. "I'll have to carry you around for a bit sister, we'll dance when I say so." And in his mind, he blew her off....for now. The fourth call came from a woman at "Tower Records" she was informing him of the Jazz CD he ordered. She was trying to pronounce the name and to Larry was fucking it up. "Mr. Wilkens this is Carla from Tower records. We have a cd for you by Andis Vollenwalker, that you ordered. it's in and you can pick it up anytime....thank you." "The name's "Andreas Vollenweider" bitch! and it probably wouldn't hurt if you took that gum out your mouth." he said to himself and laughed out loud. His apartment was on the second floor and next door was an elderly woman named Alice Peterson, she didn't need any further proof, she always knew that something was wrong with her neighbor next door. "Nice guy" she'd say, just a little off.

Larry picked up the cordless and after jumping back on the couch and placing his feet which stretched to the far end, thanks to his 5' 11" frame, called Kim. She surprised him by picking up on the first ring, her voice was pleasant but contain hints of worry. "Hey girl, how you doing?" he said. Larry Wilkens spent most of his young adult life playing head games on those of the opposite sex, it was what he did, but not who he was. Kim Reeves was one of only two women in the entire world who could break him down with a whisper, the other was his mom. "Oh I'm glad you called, fine, I'm doing fine" she said. "I called you to talk to you about Steven. Have you talked to him today?" He stood up and walked over to the fridge, opening it he reached for a glass of orange juice and poured himself a glass. He was still staring at it when he replied. "You know, I spoke to him earlier today as a matter of fact. He called me, we were talking about a few things and I could feel something was bothering him, I asked and not to my surprise something was. Seems Tony has left again and Steven's really feeling fucked up about it. I hate to see him this way." "Well, I called him today as well, I'd forgot it was his day off and was going to leave a message, when he picked up the phone. We talked for a bit, I even tried to get him to out to get something to eat, but he didn't feel like getting dress. I even called Rachel at work and she told me he's been like this all morning. She said she was going to bring something home for his dinner, but that she and Kayla were going out. I figure I'd call him back later, I was hoping to stop by before Derek called telling me that he was dropping Taylor off early, bastard, couldn't even keep her another day." He had been listening the whole time, always did when she spoke and was about to tell her that she was too good for Derek, that Derek thought of no one but himself. He wanted to tell her that after all these years it he who really loved her and would never do the things Derek had done to her. He wanted to tell her everything, but did. What was the point? If there was anything he wanted to have change, it would be himself. "I'll tell you what." he said. "I'm going to leave the dock early tomorrow and drop in on Steven myself, I could use a little break anyway, besides I too am worried, only not as much as you. I'll see what I can find out about Tony at work. I know a guy there who used to hang out with him, maybe he's seen him or something." She had turned the phone away for a second to tell her daughter Taylor to sit down. Taylor was trying to get up on the back of her sofa and had almost fell in the process. Kim had suppressed the shock of fright. "I'm sorry" she said. Taylor almost got on top of the sofa and for a second, nearly fell. That girl is so crazy sometimes." "She gets it from her mother, you know." he was trying to be funny, trying to lighten the matter a little, but it didn't seem to
help. "Well, I don't know where you get that information buddy, I'm a woman of many things but crazy is not one of them. Maybe you've got your women friends mixed up." She knew just how to throw them, those wicked razor sharp daggers that skipped over and around everything and reasons he'll never know found his heart. In when they did..... "Alright girlfriend, I waving the white flag ok? I'm waving the white flag. Do me a favor and give Taylor a kiss for me and I'll talk to you later." She knew it had landed, the daggers that is. She wasn't really aware that she had that kind of power over him and would have given her soul to have had it years ago. But the times had changed and so had she and the battle of hearts as far as she knew, was over.

To Be Continued


part III 

Steven Hall had managed to get out of bed, wash his face, and after sitting around scanning through the same TV channels twenty times over, picked up around the place. 
All day long he'd sat staring at the phone and thought for a couple of times that it may have stopped working. When this thought came, he'd walked over and lifted the receiver. The dial tone had assured him that everything was just fine and for him....working. As asked around 6:00 he walked into the bathroom and after checking under the cabinet, found and poured Rachel's favorite bubble bath. He ran the water hot as she asked and walked back into the living room and sat down. On the television was an old man swimming. He looked to be about 100 years old but the commercial said 80. Steven watched with little excitement as the man swam from one side of the pool, to the other. According to the ad, it was because this man of age had eaten bananas for the last eighty years. The phone rang and for an instant, his heart jumped, not too hard but enough to attract his attention to it and he wondered if it was at all possible to stop your own heart from beating. He hadn't reach this point yet of course, but he thought of just maybe stopping the central nerve center, where he thought the emotions were located. He would not only stop them, but pull them completely out, ripping maybe the very roots of them all. He walked over and picked up the phone, deep inside unknown to even himself, he prayed it would be Tony. "Hello" His throat was dry, almost scratching the very sack it sat in. "Hey Steven, it's Albert from the bookstore." He hopes had crash quickly and he was now trying to regroup without knowing it. "Oh hi Albert, is everything alright there?" "Oh fine." he said. "I was just wondering if you'd forgot that you had promised to cover for me tonight. I was waiting for you to come in and thought that you had maybe overslept." "Damn!" he replied. He had forgot, last weekend Albert Wales of South Jersey who found himself in the big city, thanks to a girlfriend who refuse to live where people relied on "Shoo bees" to bring them money in form of gambling, told him it was NY or bye. Poor Albert, never been in love before and was damned if he was going back. "Albert, I'm so sorry man, I'm really sorry. I'd forgot all about it and had even asked Edward for an extra day off. I'm not really feeling well." He could since Albert's disappointment in his silence and was already trying to come up with another way of helping him. A small but bright light clicked in his brain. "Tell you what, I'll call you back in no more then five minutes, I'll have something worked out believe me." He waited for Albert to say "OK" and hung up the phone. After a new dial tone, he called in a favor to Robert Hayes. Robert had owed so many favors to Steven, that it would have taken an accountant just to keep up. Steven had covered for Robert during the summer of 97,98, and parts of 99. Robert for the life of himself, couldn't keep a job, too much partying and not enough growing up is what Steven always thought. Anyway, Robert had lost his newest job and only three weeks and was just speaking to Steven about working with him at the bookstore. He even went as far as to come in and hang out for an hour, just to see if he liked it. Steven quickly dialed his number and crossed his fingers, hoping he'd be home. Four rings later, Robert picked up. "Hello" he said. "Robert, shit man Robert is that you?" Robert had so many people who wanted to beat the shit out of him, that he often acted like he was himself, it was a cheap trick but it somehow worked. "Who is this?" "It's me Steven, Steven Hall." Robert's voice changed and a high pitch of glee was inserted for good measure. "Yo Steven!, what's up? Got some work for me or what?" Steven couldn't believe it, it was perfect. He needed Robert and Robert who spend most of his spare time< hanging out, was home and willing to work. "As a matter of fact yes and no." "I need you to cover for me at the bookstore in like twenty minutes, Robert I really need you to do this for me." Robert listened as Steven ran down to him the situation and agreed to everything. Thirty-five minutes later, Albert Wales along with his NY girl were on their way out for the evening.

Rachel had made it home and record time considering the traffic, she raced upstairs and after fumbling with her purse, remove the keys and opened the door. Steven was laying on the sofa and raised only his hand and was pointing towards the bathroom. She walked over kissing him on the forehead. "Thanks baby, your such a sweetheart" she said and handed him a brown paper bag containing Irvin's very famous cheese steak, made to order. "I am running so late, please keep an ear out for me, I shouldn't be too long." and with that she closed the door. Steven got up and headed for the kitchen. Tony or no Tony, there was no way he was going to waste a sandwich from Irvin's. Not even for all the tea in China.

He was just about finished when the doorbell rang. He walked over still chewing and opened it to Kayla who smiled reaching out to hung him. "Hey Sweetie!" she said. "Where's my baby?" Steven pointed towards the bathroom and finished swallowing his sandwich. Before he could get another word out, she walked over and opened the bathroom door. Rachel screeched in response but after seeing it was Kayla, laughed out loud and started giggling. Kayla looked back at Steven, who'd returned to the kitchen and closed the door. From out in the living room, one could hear laughter.

Kayla had returned from her playings inside and was now sitting next to Steven waiting for Rachel to finish getting beautiful. She leaned over and was now looking at the stack of CD's in the wooden rack along the end chair. She reached over and pulled out a classic. John Coltrane's "My one and only love" with vocals by Johnny Hartman. "Now this is music." she said. "Do you mine if I borrowed this? she said. Steven had glance over, here only part of the one sided conversation and put two and two together. "Sure, help yourself." You like jazz?" "Love it" she said and placed it in her purse. Kayla had long dark hair and it had been pulled to one side, in a twist. She had on a pair of tightly fitted fashion jeans and a sweatshirt with NYU. It looked like the kind you never wore to sweat in. Her shoes weren't really shoes at all, they looked more like sneakers, white and there was not so much a scuff to be seen. These too were not for playing in.

She sat with her legs crossed and smiled at him. On the television a show about broken homes and the movie stars who came from them, was doing a story on Brad Pitt. The photos of a young Pitt made Kayla's face frown and she motioned a spat before calling him a dog. Steven however, paid no attention to her as he found the Pittman hot since birth.

After about 20 minutes, Rachel came from out of the room. Her hair still slightly wet. She walked over to Kayla and kissed her, their tongues reaching, and asked Steven if there was anything he needed before she headed out.

Kayla lived about twenty minutes from the Big Apple. The ride there took 45 minutes because of heavy traffic and the two took this time to catch up on missing conversation. Rachel sat crossed leg and turned to face Kayla who was driving. She had a habit of doing this and Kayla who found it cute, showed off her driving skills to help entertain. The black Mazda zipped through the traffic of both New York and Jersey tags. Kayla often cursed the fellow drivers, claiming that idiots should have been killed at birth. Rachel just laughed and turned to see a gloss white Lexus coupe with gold trim, past them both. "Nice!" she said. She turned to look back at Kayla who had down shifted and looked away. "It's a piece of shit really, over fucking priced." she added.

The entrance to Kayla's apartment was lined with fresh Spring flowers. Although the evening had well set in, the outdoor lighting had added a sweetness and warmth much like a small sun setting on her lawn. Rachel smiled still holding Kayla's hand and now more then ever feeling like a school girl deeply in love. As they walked up to the front door, a neighbor from across the street opened their door. The woman who'd waved walked out to the side of her street with a bag of trash. She sat the bag inside a larger plastic container and turned to go back in. Had she turned around once more, she would have seen both Kayla and Rachel kissing, Kayla's hand now clutching at Rachel's backside. The two finished and after walking in, the door closed. It would remain closed till morning.

Kayla's apartment was designed more like a home, with it's fireplace and high ceiling. The paintings that dressed the walls were those of a trendy form of art. Women wearing very little and positioned in strange ways. Kayla walked over to the kitchen were she placed dinner from Dean and Deluca on the counter. Rachel removed her pocketbook and shoes and made herself comfortable on the couch. Sometimes, Rachel would love to just sit and stare at the place her lover lived. She couldn't help notice how it seemed that every time she visited, something new would appear. Kayla had such good taste. She was about to ask about a lamp when she found Kayla's mouth on hers. She closed her eyes and began kissing as Kayla's tongue probed the inside of her mouth. She could feel Kayla's slim but strong hands caressing her blouse and unbuttoning it at the same. The tongue which had greeted her, began it's long journey out of her mouth and down along side her neck, a trail of saliva followed. Rachel could fill the heat inside her rise, a thin layer of sweat began to form and cover her face. With eyes still closed, she could now feel the unsnapping of her bra and the breathing of Kayla deepened. Silence now played in the background save for the barking of a dog blocks away. The tongue had made it's way back to her mouth and was now dancing inside. Rachel could now feel her breast being tugged on by Kayla's fingers, her nipples erect and now hard. Her breathing began to speed up as did her heart rate as Kayla's fingers left her breast and began working their way towards her stomach. Rachel tilted her head back and tried to control herself as the tongue that was once in her mouth reappeared at her mid section. The scrapping of fingernails were felt along her sides as she now could feel her panties being pulled down. The tongue assisted as it began it's job of combing through her pubic hair. She could feel Kayla's hot breath gently blowing on her. A warm burst of heat came from Kayla's mouth and she began tasting Rachel's now very moisten place. Rachel reached up and was now holding her breast, rubbing at their nipples and trying very hard not to beg Kayla to continue. Kayla's fingers were now working on her breast as well, the feeling of four hands covering her body, almost brought her. Her eyes had tried to open but the feeling had increased below as Kayla had now entered her and was almost lapping at her inner walls. Rachel reached up at her own neck and began running her nails up and down, side to side. She could feel Kayla's fingers up at her breast and she reached down and began running her hands through her hair. A low hum followed by a moan and grunting sounds came as Kayla began slowly turning Rachel over. Once over, Rachel could feel Kayla's tongue exploring her from behind, working it's way up and down. Kayla's hands had returned to Rachel's backside and parted her, clutching hard as they did. Rachel moaned and released herself. She put her fingers in her mouth and tried her best to avoid an outright scream, it hardly helped. Kayla began working her tongue deeper inside trying to catch as much of Rachel as possible, Rachel could now feel the shaking of Kayla's hand on herself as she forced it deep inside bringing herself as well. Kayla's sounds of coming forced another climax from Rachel and this time she couldn't help but scream. She tried to continue her screaming, tried to let out everything but found Kayla's fingers still dripping wet, inside her mouth. She could taste Kayla now, tasted everything about her. The scent of her come had driven Rachel crazy and she found her hips beginning to shake. Her body had been taken over and from here, she knew not were it would end, nor did she care. She tried this time to open her eyes, to look upon her lover and to gaze into her eyes but found it impossible. Kayla had moved quietly to her face. Her clothes and panties too had been removed and Rachel could now feel hair moisten with come, on her face. She could smell the heat of her lover and it brought her again as she tried to tongue her. Kayla's body began moving slowly at first, then sped up as she came once more, releasing herself over Rachel's face and mouth. She pulled herself forward as Rachel's mouth was now trying to catch it all. The room had turned to a sauna as the two began lapping at each other, their tongues and fingers working the playing fields of each other's body. The pillows of the couch had fallen as for the last time that evening, they came again. Their bodies had been shaking uncontrollably and with moans and quiet screams, begged each other to stop. The forms of two naked women embraced in their own version of what is called a 69. The lasting effects of spasms and cum, still motioning them. Perfume and sweat followed by the fragrant smell of sex filled the room. The two laid there still touching each other, their tongues and fingers, hands and bodies, now tired. Off in the distance, the dog had stopped barking. 

To Be Continued


Love Is Just A Four Letter Word. 
part IV 

By mid morning, Kim Reeves had managed to drop her daughter Taylor who had just turned three, off at her mother's place and notified her job that she would not be in. She felt fine and had no back problems which was common in stocking rooms. She wanted to pay a dear friend a visit and thought it simply couldn't wait. She thought about calling first but decided against it considering the situation he was in. Steven had many problems as some people do, but for Kim they had mounted far too high and way too soon for her taste. So with $17.57 in her pocket, she caught the subway from 126th street and rode it to 14th and Vine. Along the way, her mind drifted to a much warmer and happier time of her friend's life.

The mirror had been completely fogged by the steam and Rachel who had awakened a half hour before Kayla, readied herself for work. She'd brought a change of clothing and remembered that she'd also kept some here at Kayla's as well. While an inch or so shorter then Kayla, the two were about the same size. She sat on the side of the bed and was now lotioning herself and staring at Kayla who was still fast asleep.

Outside, the sounds of a city waking up reminded her that time was not on her side. She reached over and kissed Kayla, waking her up she asked if she could have a lift into town. "Of course you can sweetheart" Kayla said after turning over and rubbing her eyes while looking up at the alarm clock. "I'm the reason your out here, aren't' I?" she added. She reached up from a restful position and tried to kiss Rachel back. "Not with that breath!" she said and picked up the pillow from her side and threw it at Kayla.

It was the morning news that awakened Steven from his restful sleep. He turned over only a couple of times and then realized, he was not in bed. The newscast was live from Delaware, where a man had picked up a gun and only after beating his son to death with a rubber hose, turned the gun on himself. Reasons for the incident, was still unknown. All police would say was, the man had many problems and that both he and the boy's mother, were not together......anymore.

Steven poured himself a glass of orange juice and plopped back down on the couch. He stared several times at the telephone on the kitchen wall, before falling back to sleep. The television now displaying a talk show where runaways find a new lease on life by selling their bodies for sex, the show's host had the nerve to look astonished and shocked. An hour into an otherwise perfect afternoon nap, the phone rang breaking the quiet storm of Steven's rare peaceful sleep. By the time he reached it, it had rang almost five times. "Hello" he said. His voice still filled with sleep while his body tried without success, to maintain a normal balance. "Yo Steven, what's up?" the voice on the other end said. It was Larry who'd decided to drop him a line just before getting off work. "Hey Larry" he said, still adjusting. "Not much, just trying to get some sleep, all I ever do now is sleep. What's up with you?" He was now looking over at the TV his eyes caught by a video of a woman dressed in sheep's clothing, she was hunting wolves.

"Listen buddy" Larry said. I don't mean to pour salt on a wound trying to heal, but have you heard anything from Tony?" "No, nothing." his voice now tapered off. In the distance on the other end of the phone, Larry could hear the television's music, only the music. "Steven, I can't tell you how to handle this, no one can but I think you may need to understand that there's a chance, a small one I hope, that Tony might not want to be with you anymore. You may have gotten the kiss off, the hard way too." Normally, this would seem cruel to run down to a person the undeniable truth, but this was after all Larry and one thing Steven knew was, Larry lived by the truth. "I've thought about that many times, been thinking about it more and more and from what I gather from it, it wouldn't make any sense." Steven had in such a short time waken up. He picked up the remote and began changing channels. Images of store brought products cleaning floors and making clothes whiter then white, flashed by. "Larry, I know this seems rather silly and I guess almost sad to hear, but for me man, I really miss him and I'm not afraid to say this, but I need him as well." Larry had been listening all along, despite the fact that he never really thought of Steven as gay. He knew he was and had known for years before they became friends. It's just that now it had never occurred to him that Steven had been hurting a lot deeper then he thought. It was no different from the cold empty feeling left behind from a normal relationship gone bad, that hollow feeling that drags at the soul and forces you to go from heaven to hell in three quick steps. "Well, I'm not sure how long this stage of your life will remain man, I'm just trying to help and maybe understand that there might be a chance, is all. I'd hate to see you tumble into the abyss of depression, I've been there man, shit turns cold there." He was about to continue talking, he wanted to feel in a round about way if he should ask around for Tony. He just wanted to hear from Steven if he should, and was just going to do so when he found himself being asked to hold. The phone clicked silence leaving a low pitched hum, he waited.

The chime came from the doorbell. It sounded like miniature bells in one of those enchanted cities, you see in the movies. Rachel had falling in love with that sound and checked everywhere looking for it. It had a warm and gentle welcoming sound, after almost seven years of hearing it, it still did. Steven walked over and thought about looking through the peep hole. This was after all New York and anything could happen here. He didn't, never really did and opened the door. Kim stood with that smile of hers, and even with arms filled with two small brown bags of food, tried to open them to him. He lit up with excitement forgetting to close his house coat. "Hey girl!!" he yelled out and reached for the bags while trying to kiss her at the same time. He pulled her in and closed the door only now checking himself and trying to straighten up. Kim walked into the kitchen and placed the bags on the counter. She could see the phone off the wall and turned to see if Steven was going to pick it back up. He didn't though, found whatever she had in the bags, of more interest. "Girl, what did you bring me?" he was almost busting with glee. Steven's face had brighten with excitement and she was about to ask who was on the phone when he glanced over at it and looking back at her, pointed saying it was Larry. She walked over to it and picked it up saying "Hi" but heard nothing. "He hung up." she said and was about to do the same when Steven who had begun digging though the bags of bread and lunch meat, looked over telling her that he had put Larry on hold. She clicked over and spoke again. "Hello, Larry?" Inside she too began feeling excited. She'd spoken to Larry just yesterday, but this seemed different. I guess it was because she knew he too would be caught by her being here. "Hi, Kim? girl what do you think your doing?" "What does it look like?" she said. She had turned to see Steven still digging in the bags and had already started making a sandwich to which a bite had already started. "I stopped by to check on him." she said. There was a silent break and Larry had begun. "Kim, this is very important, I know of only one guy here at work who may know where Tony is. He's not the kind of person I'd normally talk to, but considering the circumstances I'm going to talk to him. I was about to ask Steven what he thought about it, when you came over." She stood watching Steven push most of the sandwich down his throat without so much of a few chews. "I hear you." she said and asked Larry to hold on a second. "Steven!, Steven Andrew Hall when was the last time you ate, a month ago?" She stood looking at him awaiting an answer, but got none. He jumped on the sofa and began flicking through the channels. He smiled once at her showing teeth filled with food. "Larry, I'm not sure if that's such a good idea, I mean he's here and I see him, he seems to be in not great, but good spirits. Maybe you should just wait." She said. There was some yelling on the other end of the phone, and Larry had added his own special touch to it, calling one of his coworkers a motherfucker. In the background, more voices joined in and before she knew it, it sounded like a fight about to happen. "Look, I've got to go" he said. His voice had risen a bit but not so much to her as to someone on his end. She could tell he was pissed and was now trying to remain calm to her. "I'll call back later or maybe call you tonight..ok?" "Okay" she said. "Larry?....just be careful alright? Just do me a favor and just be careful." The was a click on the other end and he was gone.

They now sat in the living room eating sandwiches and watching TV Steven still had that gleeful look on his face and while it was good to see him like this, Kim still found herself wondering. A newsbreak came on and took them live to a home in Brooklyn where four bodies were found. A chopper flying just above, tried to report what had happened. Kim and Steven eyes were fixed and ears open as they listened closely.

To Be Continued



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
part 5 

Rachel had found herself sitting in the office of her employer and wondering what the fuck he'd had called her in here for. She'd always maintained a good relationship with everyone and although she liked to talk a little more then she should, she didn't have a clue as to what he would say to her. As first, he paced the floor holding onto a file in a large brown envelope, it had been marked several times by different names and departments. He seemed to her a man not quite sure of his next move, but had only now decided to pour real thought into it and had come to a cross road. As he was about to speak, the phone on his desk that rarely rang, did so.

By the time Larry had made his way home, the answering machine in his living room showed 14 messages. He clicked to listen as he undressed. He walked towards the bathroom and was just about to start a shower when message number six contained her voice. "Larry, are you there? It's Tracy, do you remember me from the club? I've been trying to reach you for a couple of days and was wondering if this was your way of just blowing me off. You could at least call me back. Anyway, I'll give you my number one last time. It's 965-4437 if I don't hear from you in a day, I'll assume the brush off. Hope to hear from you....bye."
He thought about playing it over and decided once was enough, he had business elsewhere and wasn't really in the mood for he called "make up conversation" there's was plenty of time for that later. The clock on his living room wall which kept time thanks to an electronic device located somewhere in Washington DC told him he had about an hour to get over to the gym. From there, he'd have to play it by ear.

Steven had managed to break a early evening nap in time to catch a show of "COPS" which was being aired on his favorite channel. He stood up and walked over to the kitchen only now looking for anything left behind from Kim's surprise lunch. He sat back down, having picked over what was left of some Cole slaw and a few crumbs of potato chips and watched closely as a team of police officers closed in on a man who had just beaten his ex-girlfriend's son with a rubber hose and had tried hiding in of all places, the boy's tree house. The telephone rang and Steven reached for the remote, turning the sound down he spoke. "Hello" his voice seemed hallow and even to himself it sounded as if it was now coming from a voice box from beyond. The was some sound from the other end, but no voice. He was about to hang up the phone and decided to speak again. "H e l l o " he said. The voice on the other end came from somewhere deep inside Steven's soul. It had appeared to have dragged most of his lunch with it and he fought the urge to throw up. "Hello Steven" the voice said. Inside his mind, he began racing through the many people he'd know and those who had his number. He couldn't put the voice to a face but tried anyway. He wanted to say "yes" just to hear more but found a secret level of fright now working it's way to the surface and without much hesitation, he hung up. He stood waiting, waiting for it to ring again and to maybe try once more to place the voice, but it didn't. After 15 minutes, he walked back over to the sofa and sat down. His eyes staring at the phone. 

Ted Holdson's desk had lost most of it's appeal and Rachel was beginning to get annoyed by both it and him. He was still chatting on the phone and had now placed the brown envelope on top and to her he seemed to be leaning backwards in his leather chair as if he intended to be awhile. She sat quietly noting the pictures and awards displayed just behind him. "He was really full of himself" she thought and noticed that he had glance over at her and was now forming one of those fake smiles you handed out at work and play to those you needed to be close to. Rachel could spot a fake smile from twenty city blocks away. She had mastered one herself less the one year out of high school. Ted's looked really bad and she was about to tell him so when he began to say good-bye to the person on the other end. After hanging up, he apologized and cleared his throat.

"Rachel, I very sorry about that and I promise to accept no more interruptions, no matter who." She was sitting up now and readying herself for the worst. She was thinking about any and everything she'd done here since day one and while mounting a defense, turned the rest of her attention to Steven. Her eye's were darting now, trying to take everything in. Despite her true feelings of disliking the man before her, she couldn't really say she hated him either, he just seemed weird at times to even her. "The department has expanded and with the obvious growth of corporate stocks and marketing, the company has giving me room to improve my department as well." He said. She was still looking him straight in the eye, never turning away and was still waiting for the moment when the ax would fall. She could see he had worked himself into a level of calm and was even sitting up a little more straighter then normal, Rachel figured he was in a sick sense, enjoying this. After a few more lines of blah,blah,blah he announced that she was being promoted to supervisor, he claimed to have selected her himself. As he handed he the brown envelope, she could see that even now he was expecting her to thank him with a life long commitment of blow jobs and a few hand jobs, should the need arise. She hated that look in his eyes and felt the urge to take the now out stretched hand and smack it away, only after spiting in his face and walking out. She ran the idea passed her mind again and found humor in it. As the urge slipped back into her private storage of emotions, she smiled and thanked him only now feeling for the items both she and Steven would be able to afford. "I really don't know what to say" she said. "I just thank you and will promise to do my best. continued, she was still smiling not at him but the thought she'd had only moments ago. "No need to thank me, this you did all by yourself." he said. His face was shining a little more the usually and she had a second were she almost believed that if he wasn't such a prick and didn't stare so much at her and glance over shoulder when she worked and didn't just appear besides the time clock when she was late and maybe grew more hair and fixed those teeth and stopped wearing those out dated cheap suits and maybe encourage more and insulted less, that maybe just maybe she would call him "okay" but that was not the case and Ted Holdson was Ted Holdson, always was and always would be. That was that.

Kim had managed to pick up Taylor from her mother's place downtown, feed her and after running her a bath and reading her "Green Egg's and Ham" put her to bed by eight o'clock. The two stared into each other's eyes grinning. It was a game they played to see who'd blink first. If mom blinked, Taylor could stay up another 30 minutes, if not it was off to bed. Tonight, while the sounds of a somewhat quiet city continued, little Taylor who's little nose and large bright smile she'd got from her father, lost. Kim reached over kissing her and as always told her how much she loved her before getting up and turning off the lights. She glance over to the Donald Duck night light before walking out. She walked over to the phone and picked it up. She thought about calling Larry. She didn't know why, but just wanted to. She hated these sudden rushes that came to her. They always did when it came to him. He'd had that kind of effect on her and she guessed it would always be. She now pushed it away and decided to call her friend Jasmine Platt, she ran into her earlier and wanted to talk then but she needed to get to Steven's place. Now she had time.
It was not the sound of the phone ringing nor the explosions coming from the TV. that woke Steven from his now couchful daze. It was the turning of the lock by a set of keys. Coming in was Rachel with some really good news.


To Be Continued


Love Is just A Four Letter Word 

It was just past 2:30 am when the phone rang, waking both Rachel and Steven. The two had celebrated earlier and had found the floor comfortable enough to spend the night on. Pillows had been snatched from the sofa in the living room and placed one behind the other forming a make shift bed. Six bottles of beer and two bottles of some mid priced wine, had circled them.

Steven turned over trying to reach for the cover that wasn't there as Rachel knowing better, got up and walked to the phone. She'd forgot to remove her slip and Steven could now see it hanging half off. He wanted to laugh but found the ringing of the phone pounding his head. She picked up the ringer only to hear a breathing sound on the other end. "Hello" who is this?" she said. The person on the other end continued breathing and for an instant, she thought it was maybe Kayla playing one of her sick jokes to arouse her. She was about to call out to her but thought it not a good idea, this was after all New York, land of the sickos. She waited a few seconds more listening to the hush like breathing and called out again. "Hello, are you just going to breathe or do you plan on speaking?" She knew she sounded silly, like some bimbo in one of those cheesy slasher films she seem to like so much, but couldn't help herself. The alcohol was having it's way with her. Rachel could never hold it, not as good as Kayla. The voice remained silent save for the breathing and she found herself getting bored and hung up. As she turned to walk away, it rang again. "What the fuck!" she said, turning around this time almost falling over a pillow that had landed by her feet. She'd forgot she brought it over. Steven had sat up now and was looking at her through a pair of slitted eyes. His brown curly hair was a mess, his was now running his hands through it as if who ever was on the other end of the phone would maybe see them. Steven too had held his alcohol very badly. The voice on the other end of the phone had turned darker as it's owner temper began to rise. Rachel could now tell it was a male sound, it's breathing had somehow changed, it's tone less rounded. She spoke once more and then waited for a response. When she got none, she said "Go fuck yourself!" and slammed it down. She thought for a second, then took it off the hook. She picked up the pillow and tried to walk a straight line back to the floor where a Steven Hall had already returned to dreamland.

The following morning, Kim Reeves had sent Taylor off to school where pre classes were teaching them the alphabet and other assorted learning skills. Her mother had called and wanted to talk about the phone bill she'd ran up last month, while over. Kim under normal circumstances wouldn't mind hearing how she owed her mother X amount. This morning however she wasn't really in the mood for it. She told her mother that she was first of all sorry, that she didn't mean to place the call from her house but at the time, Derek had stressed her out and she needed to call someone from outside her circle of friends. She wanted to tell her mother that at the exact moment in time, she needed to hear Linda 's voice. Linda Rollins was one of those "Johnny come lately" friends. She and Kim had gone to school together, but weren't really close. Linda had dropped out of school only months into her senior year. She had got pregnant for a young man named Alvin Dibbs. Alvin had spent most of his spare time selling drugs and talking shit. It was his shit talking that landed him in a situation where minutes later, he was found dead in the streets. Seems someone didn't care for what shit he had to say. Linda would later leave after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jason, after her own father. She would head out West to a small town in Seattle, there she raised Jason and got her GED. It was only shortly after the shooting that she and Kim became good friends, Kim being there so much for her after that very hard and darken time. The two kept in touch calling about four or five times a year, but what four or five times. Hours would past like minutes as they would update each other on the rundown of the neighborhood. It was one of those rundowns that had landed Kim in trouble with her mother. She loved her mother and promised to pay the bill next Thursday, payday. "Don't play with me Kim, have my money sweetheart." her mother said in a stern but loving voice. Kim hung up the phone, still blowing kisses to her mother and decided to run a bath. As the warm water collected inside the tub, she undressed from her pajamas that matched her daughters and got in. The water instantly calmed her and as her mind drifted it landed on an old but still active emotion. Once there, she again thought about Larry. Her legs spread slightly as she worked the now melting bar of Ivory soap. Her pecan tan complexion, seem almost bronze as the lather coated her. She reached up touching herself and looked down to see that her nipples had already erected. She began sliding her hands between herself and touching gently at her pussy that was now very excited. Her moans were now growing in volume, as her head laid back. Her eyes remained closed as she drifted back in time to when she was just a bit younger.

He'd come to her only minutes after seeing her standing along side the fence of the school yard. she and three other girls were just standing and talking about a teacher named Mr. Rose. He was very handsome and the girls while giggling talked about some of the boys that would make fine and handsome men one day. Kim known then as Kimberly was just pulling back her shoulder length hair, when a voice from behind called to her. she turned to see a young man standing now in front of her, his face drenched in sweat. She could see he'd been playing basketball and had walked away from the game with the ball still in his hand. Behind him a few voices called out for his return. He ignored them but managed to flip the basketball over his shoulder, to where it landed close to the court he'd been playing on. Kimberly remembered how he never took his eyes off her the whole time. He smiled a wide but wonderful smile showing all but two of his teeth. She remembered thinking that he must have lost them in a fight or something. She also remembered thinking how cute he looked without them. He reached up touching her on the nose and asked if she had a boyfriend. She told him "No" and tried not to smile, it didn't work and she found herself unable to stop giggling. Her girlfriends had slowly walked away, but not too far as they wanted also to see what she would do. She could now smell his sweat mixed with some kind of after shave, for a moment he smelled a little like her father when he had come in from working on the car during the summer months. " My name's Larry" he said. His eyes seem to have changed and they were now gleaming with a tint of greenish brown. Kimberly thought he looked like an angle. He asked if he could walk her home from school, carry her books and anything else she thought she might need. She smiled shyly telling him she waited for the bus after school. He smiled again, this time showing her patience and asked if she would like to see a movie together one day. Kimberly Reeves daughter of Joe and Emma Reeves had at that instant felt a knot binding ever so slightly inside her. She'd seen him many times before. He seemed quiet to her and stayed to himself mostly. The young girls of her age all like him and from what she could find out, none of them had even so much as to got a phone call from him, let alone an invitation to a movie. she smiled again, this time turning around to see her friends Carla and Lisa standing and giggling. They looked so silly to her now, even though she was just doing the same only minutes ago. "I'll have to ask my father first" she said, trying to keep from smiling. "That would be fine" he replied and held out his hand to her. As she reached for it another knot formed inside. This one had worked it's way a little further down, several months later so would yet another.

The water had turned cool by the time she opened her eyes. She looked down at herself studying her breast and legs. She was still a young woman and still very much in love. A small part of her hated it.

The afternoon traffic was hell but Kayla had place the car in second gear and was now creeping along with the rest of it. The car's sound system was blasting a new tune by Sade and she was slowly tapping her hands on the top of the steering wheel, her jet black sunglasses hiding her dark brown eyes. she leaned back and turned her attention to a woman walking her dog. It was one of those little dogs, they called pugs. This one had a tan coat and along with it pushed in face, had what Kayla thought was the cutest little curled up tongue. She sat thinking about how she would like to have a dog like that. She was about to call out to the woman walking it, to ask what the dog's name was when a horn beeped from behind, breaking her day trance. She glance in her review mirror and after seeing it was some jerk, held up her middle finger. she waved it around a few times before putting the car in first gear, speeding up and off on the next street. "Fucking Jerk!" she yelled out, turning again onto 57th street she said out loud "Charlie!" that's what his name should be. She decided she would buy herself a dog.

As the afternoon soaps went off, Steven turned his attention to channel 34. Court TV was showing the verdict of a woman who had killed her husband and his mistress. She'd hacked them both with an ax she brought him for Christmas only a few years earlier. He watched as the judge ran down the list, so cold she seemed to him. Even though the glass tube, Steven could see she had once loved and cared for the man now buried in pieces. The sentencing was nothing, she'd already seen her hell.

To Be Continued 



Love Is Just A four Letter word 
part 7 

It had been just over two weeks since Steven took off from work. Most of the duties of a night store book manager, had been taken over by Russell Mills. Russell had filed most of the orders himself without so much a phone call to Steven's place for conformation. This in itself hadn't settled to well with Steven, but he knew it was mainly his own fault. "The world has never stood still for even it's greatest of men" was his father's favorite phrase. He often said it so much that for years it had lost most of it's flare, only now did it return. He made his way through the rows of crowded books. Most of them were merely second hand, but to Steven they had but a new magic of their own. Downstairs is where most of the real gems were hidden. He stood on the lower steps looking from left to right at what would be his hang out spot for the next week in a half. There was so much to do and with so little time, he needed every sparing moment. The store had taken on it's very meek kind of style. Customers from as far away as Japan had come here looking for books long since out of print. Steven had tried once or twice to talk David Fuller, the store's day manager into asking for a computer for the store. He remembered the look he received and now shook off the image as he walked over to the first pile of books sitting on the floor. "Steven, you've got a phone call!" yelled Dana Steward. Dana had just started working at the book store only about a week ago and had shown herself to be quite pleased with the surroundings. She'd made jesters towards Steven a couple of times, but after getting the obvious vibes, diverted her attention elsewhere. She kept her upbeat perky attitude and Steven in his own private way, had thanked her for doing so.

He picked up the phone, only to hear Rachel's voice filled excitement. It had been her first full week in her new position and Steven had to almost pull back the phone from his ear, fearful of losing an ear drum. "Okay, okay I see your still excited, you don't have to rub it in you know." he finally said. She was going on and on about the changes she wanted to make and how she had no idea how much work was needed to do so. Halfway though the possible rearranging of lower staff, she stopped. "What's the matter with you?" she said. "Nothing" he replied. "Don't tell me nothing Steven Hall" she said. "Don't attempt to tell me you've forgotten who your talking to." Her voice remained sweet and supportive but carried with it an air of "Don't fucking lie to me" with it. "I don't know Rachel, It's just that I've got a lot of shit to do here and I'm trying to clear it up before we go." There was a moment of silence on her end of the phone, broken only by the words "Go where?" Steven was about to respond and had only micro seconds before Rachel beat him to it. "Oh shit!" he said. Oh baby I'm so sorry, I forgot all about it." "Let me call you right back." He was about to say "How could you." He wanted to yell out that she couldn't have forgotten about the trip, that she wanted it as much as he did, that it was her idea in the first fucking place. He was about to do just that when the phone clicked dead. "Fuck! he said, hanging up the phone. Dana who had been stand two isles over peeked her head around the corner, looked then did one of those ''let me just stay over here" takes. Steven stood for a moment staring around the store. After rubbing his hands through his hair and signing out loud, heading back downstairs. Dana watched, her eyes fixed on a young man seeming to be carrying the world's largest problem on his back, a slight slump now plastered to his frame.

The room was dark except for a candle burning just right of the small but scented room. Music played but at a very low volume to avoid interfering with the mood. After a total of fourteen phone calls, two of which were laced with words that many would call "cries of plead" Tracy Elms graduate of East Orange high, third in a family of six, daughter of Albert Elms factory worker in Perth Amboy got her summer wish. Larry had stood quietly with his hands in his pockets, observing the room. She walked in from out of the bathroom with a stunning brightly colored nightie, her full size breast held 
scantly in. She walked over to him, looking both shy and yet daring and held out her hands 
to him. He smiled and found some amusement to this and took her hand. She backed him into her bedroom, never once turning around, and after gently removing her slippers, 
whispered to him that she'd waited so long for this moment. She reached up to kiss him, but not before feeling his already stiffen member. She touched it, a sign came from her lips and Larry who had just come to stop the phone calls, undressed.

Rachel's first call from her new office, after hanging up with Steven was to Kim Reeves. Kim had stepped out to her mother's leaving her answering machine on. The voice on it pleading to her to pick up. Rachel's second call was to Kayla's place. She'd hope to catch her home but didn't. She wondered for a moment of her whereabouts and hung up. 
She thought about paging her, but didn't want to alarm her, this was after all not an emergency. Kayla hated when she< paged her just to say hi. She sat for a moment thinking then decided to call anyway, fuck it she thought, "She'll get over it. 

Larry had worked his way to Tracy's lips while his hands explored her breast. He carefully pulled down the silk garment and began sucking at her breast. he could hear her moaning and she was now begging to work her lips towards his ear. He pushed her back, she fell slowly to the bed and parted her legs welcoming him. To this he smiled, removing the last sock on his right foot. He flung it to the right not caring where it went and began kissing her thighs, her hands topped with cherry red finger nails, scrapped at the side of his neck. He could smell her excitement and glanced over at her fully haired pussy that also scented with a touch of apple spice. To this he also smiled. 
He began working his fingers into her flesh, first rubbing then grabbing. She pulled at him wanting to kiss and hold him, he delayed her request and stayed below now tasting her. She was looking up towards the ceiling now, her eyes rolling back in her head and released herself into his mouth. His hands clutched at her breast, tasting everything coming from within and began slowly turning her over. He long brown legs seemed out of control from the rest of her as she moaned once more coming again. Her body shook, as she begged him to stop. While her voice spoke of satisfaction, her body craved more. Larry worked his way towards the top of the bed pushing aside the pillows. He took one of them and propped it under her head, he then took his now rock hard penis and began stroking it in front of her, the motion of this drove her crazy. He was now looking down at her body, her right hand was pinching her right nipple while her left hand had found itself the busy task of finger herself. Larry could see her thick figure moving in a snakelike fashion and it turn him on. He moved himself closer now pushing himself inside her, her warm mouth opening just for him. He could feel her tongue working it's magic on him as he pushed it in and out of her, her body jerked a little each time. After what seemed to him five minutes, he pulled himself out, she let out a sigh that sounded more like a "please don't" and he stretched himself over her licking her again. The scent of apple spice had been replaced by the animal heat of passion and she was now working out the first sounds of human language. "Oh fuck me!" she said, her voice now sounding almost husky. She wiggled her lower body as if to say no more licking, now baby wants to fuck. Larry pushed his face deeper and while grabbing at both sides of her thighs, held her still, it was his way of say "No!" I'll fuck when I'm ready." He pulled her up from the bottom, pushing both her legs behind him and deep into her chest. To this he again forced his tongue in her, moving it around as if a mad man was trying to drink from a cactus. Her moans trade for yells as she came again, clawing at the only pillow left. Her thick body bounced up and down as she tried to stop the orgasm, her voice reaching for higher octaves. "Shit! Fuck! Oh my god! oh daddy please make it stop! Please make it stop!" Her mind had escaped from every thought of her earlier day, blanked out from her job, her family, her life. She screamed out and tried to push his head back, tried to get him away from her down there, he was draining her. Larry was now soaking in sweat and only now felt he was ready. He pulled himself away from her, listening to her now heavy breathing. He forced her legs apart and after stroking himself several times, push himself in. Her could instantly feel her soaked pussy as the now matted hair of her wound, open up. "Oh shit! she said and pushed her head back into the pillow. He began penetrating her and pulling back. On the fifth entry, she screamed out and he push in deep. "Fuck! he said. "Who's pussy is this?" "Tell me, who's pussy is this?" He was now thrusting back and forth, his rhythm now changing. He was still looking down on her, watching the broad array of facial changes, waiting for his answer. "Who's pussy is this?" "Come on, tell me!" his voice never raised but the impact of it's nature did. He arched his back and began picking up the pace, his lower back fixed and thighs pushing against her ass. "It's yours daddy!" she yelled "It's yours!" "Please stop, oh daddy, please stop!" To this he picked out the pace even more. He pushed back her legs to where they had now almost touched her shoulders, he was now pounding her, and pounding her deep. He listened again as she screamed out in ecstasy. Leaning forward, he could hear her heavy breathing followed words of plea, he ignored them and pulled back pushing and pulling. He flipped her over, listening to wincing sounds 
coming from her throat. His grinned widen. From behind her, he lifted his hand and brought it down on her backside, slapping her. He did it again and again, timing his strokes. He could hear her voice more clearly now, tired but still cursing him. "Yea daddy, you like that?" Slap that ass!, it's yours baby all yours." He smiled to himself and stood up, keeping his dick inside. He was now on top of her, humping her from behind. She yelled out "Fuck it" and began coming again, this time trying to shake him off. Larry held her body between his thighs as he continued thrusting himself in and out of her. He reached down placing his fingers on her pussy and while continuing to fuck her, took her come and tasted it. He smiled to himself again and kept going. "Shit baby!" he said. "Your a nasty little bitch aren't you?....Aren't you!" He could hear her trying to answer and was just about to do so before coming again. Larry's entire body was soaked. While still stroking her he looked down on her back, there he saw an equally soaked woman who had got much more then she had bargain for. She was a fine woman who had offered him a reasonable amount of pleasure, but by now he was getting bored. The candle had almost flickered out as he pushed her to the side and wedge himself between her, pushing in once more. He kept fucking her while he reached up first touching then directing her to look at him. He could see she'd enjoyed herself and was now trying and hoping he'd get off soon. Her face glowed warm by the light. She was no longer saying her nasty little names to him, only now moaning with touches of pain. She was drying out. Larry had seen enough and was now concentrating on her breast that were now bouncing up and down. He focused mostly on them and her lips that were now moving but not saying much. He shook his head left to right quickly to shake off the sweat and after turning her head once more towards him, pulled out< and shoved it in her mouth, the warmth brought him. Larry's face had winced with pleasure as he released himself. He could feel her head trying to move as she was no doubt have trouble swallowing. He held her still as best he could and waited until he was done, only then did he pull himself out and drop back on the remaining covers of the bed. The candle did now flicker out and the two of them laid there in the dark, their hearts still quickly beating. 
For the next twenty-three minutes, not a word was spoken between them.


To Be Continued




Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 8 

The nightclub had been packed that weekend. Most of those seeking a good time had piled into automobiles with friends hoping to find love on the dance floor. Dance style rhythms bounced and echoed throughout the large room while young men and women, worked their magic hoping to lure members of the opposite and same sex. Kayla had walked in late, she'd called Rachel and told her to meet her there. She had work piling up and needed to have it in some kind of order by Monday. The music was loud and offered anyone willing to dance, the perfect excuse. 

The nightclub is called "Foxy's" located just off 112th street. It's surrounding location was at one time considered hip, smooth and whatever names of that time was used to describe a happening place, that was many years ago. Since then, the place has changed not only managers but owners as well. The name however has remained the same. Many of the locals attend Foxy's every Wednesday and Saturday night. These are the only two days in which the drinks are only fifty cents, with no cover charge. The only problem with this is, there are always many who love to drink. Fights here happen so often that the owners placed signs saying "We're packing, and not moving". The inside of Foxy's has changed quite a bit over the last forty years as well. Neon lights were plastered along the bottom of the railings and on the floor. High above not one, but four huge silver balls with reflected surfaces, shot glitters of light throughout the place. The dance floor was also huge, as many as 250 dancers could move about their way without ever touching. DJ RipSkip was in rare form spinning imported LPs of underground dance mixes, with his leather baseball cap turned backwards, he smiles and waves his hands. 

Their table was placed in the corner of the dance room, Rachel preferred to keep her back to the wall. She and Kim Reeves along with Sara Banks sat watching. They were now staring over the floating candle that sat in the middle of the table. On the floor was Derek Collins. He was out there shaking it up with a beautiful Asian woman. Her long straight and silky black hair, swung like a heavy curtain, her legs shaking. Kim looked back at Rachel who was already looking at her, and then turned away embarrassed. "Fuck it girl" she said. "What are you going to do, go out there and kick his ass?" Kim's expression had changed as she had now focused the image of them dancing into one of anger and hurt. " You know, I'm so sick of his shit!" she said. She reached up touching her left eye, trying to stop an oncoming tear, Sara who had picked up on what was happening motioned to Rachel to look again at Derek and his dancing lady friend. The two had now stopped dancing and were not clutched in an embrace, as the dancers around them continued. Sara had turned but to Rachel and then to the dance floor, this time giving both Derek and Suzy Wong the middle finger. She then turned back to Kim placing her hand on her back and rubbing it, a sign that everything's going to be okay. "Fucking men!" Rachel said, she just out and burst the phrase without thinking. "This is one of the reasons why I say fuckem' all" she continued. "Oh come on Rachel" Sara said. "Don't start that shit again, it's not like lezzies don't fuck up as well." Sara had had her bouts with men as well, she hated their god awful ways too, but unlike Rachel she had no intention of trading species. Fucked up or not, Sara banks loved men and everything that came with them "What you should do girl, is go over there and punch that shrimp fried rice eating bitch in her face!" Sara said. Her temper had risen to a new high and for a moment it looked as if she was the one being made the fool of. "Jesus fucking Christ!" Rachel said. "How the hell do you know she eats fried rice?" The two looked over at Sara who's fair skin had now turned plum. "Well" she said. "Don't they all?" with that the three ladies sitting in the far corner of the hip Foxy's lounge dance club, burst out laughing, for now it really didn't matter what was going on the dance floor. 

Steven had walked over the fridge and after opening the door, squinted at the light. He'd come home earlier from a double shift. The book store had given him a migraine and he found his vision getting blurry on the way home. He started to stop off at Larry's place but decided to head straight home. He called Rachel at the office only to hear that she had left for the evening. When he had walked in, he could tell that she'd been home, showered and changed and after leaving some money under the nightstand on his side of the bed, heading out for the evening. He looked at the money and turned away, what he wanted was more sleep. He was just about to walk back into the kitchen when the phone rang. It was as if his heart rate had been pushed upwards and he could almost feel it thumping uncontrollably as he reached for the receiver. He waited for a second then picked it up. He was now standing perfectly straight, his slippers side by side of each other as if he had been a soldier standing by his post awaiting orders. His heart continued racing out of control as he conjured the nerve to speak. "Hello" he said, his heart now pounding. On the other end he heard silence followed by a click. Standing still he gripped the phone and held it to his mouth. Without knowing, he felt himself shaking and tried to steady himself as best he could. He thought about calling the number back, dialing that special code that would allow him the number of the last incoming call. He wanted to know but at the same time, found even that knowledge, fearing. "What if it wasn't him?" he thought, "What if it was someone else?" he started feeling dizzy now and wanted to return back to bed. As he walked over to the sofa, it occurred to him that he could in fact be losing his mind. To this he felt the urge to laugh, although he found nothing funny about it. As he sat down on the sofa, he stood up and began rubbing his temples, something strange was indeed happening. He started walking away from the sofa now and was beginning a slow pace of the living room floor. He picked up the remote for the television and clicked it on. The stations flipped past, some showing old movies, others showing a form of late night talk shows. Steven stopped on one showing a music video. He continued pacing the floor unaware that he was well on his way to passing out. 

Larry had returned from the gym early and after having a conversation with Trent Walker who had tried once more to sell him one of those cheap watches, walked upstairs to his apartment. He shut and locked the door, a habit of his thanks to a good up bringing and a careful mother, and walked over to the answering machine. Seven messages read across the face of a digital display. He clicked it on and walked into the kitchen. Most were from people and friends, one had promised him a great dinner if he called back within the next two hours. Another came from Rachel, asking when he was ever going to get around to calling her back, she said two day was too long and laughed, hanging up. Another message had come in around 3:15 that afternoon. It was Tracy calling him back and thanking him for a wonderful time, he final line was asking for a return call. 
Larry had sat down on his favorite chair and was now drinking water from one of those fancy plastic bottles. He sat it down and was now looking up at the ceiling still listening to the past incoming calls. The final message came as a hang up, a sort of simple "Click" that would normally mean nothing, but somehow this one did. He sat still for a minute and was allowing the quite of the room, to soothe him. Her began replaying the messages in his head. He was now thinking about each one, some more then others and had eliminated the one from Tracy altogether. After listening to the messages once more, he took another drink and headed for the shower. Outside, off in the distance through the howling sounds of the city, an ambulance races past. 

It had been close to ninety minutes before Kayla showed up at Foxy's. She came in wearing a sleek black outfit that caused stares from just about every living being in the club. Rachel's blue eyes were now tinted green, as she watched her walk across the dance floor waving to someone and smiling. 

To Be Continued


Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 9 

Kayla sat down and apologized for being late, she was still looking around and smiling although no longer waving. Rachel had fixed an expression of quiet anger with a half once of jealously thrown in for good measure. The dance floor had changed beats in the music was now a strange form of club mix and a weird form of new age, Ripskip was in rare form alright. The silver cloud of cigarette smoke had now made it's way to their non-smoking section, a true sign. "Hi everyone, what's happening?" Kayla said now sitting down looking over at Rachel. "Not much girl" Kim said. She was still glancing over at Derek who'd along with a mysterious Asian woman, had worked their way over to the bar and were now holding on the each other. "So, how was work?" Rachel finally said, she had turned away only briefly before looking back at Kayla, her bluish green eyes now only blue. "Same shit you know, cramming like an exam only being paid better." Kayla replied. She was now motioning over to the waitress who had walked away. Sara had updated Kayla on the newest find of Derek's. She pointed over to where the two had now sat down, at the table they kissed and even from eight tables away, you could see Derek making his moves. The young Asian woman with the perfect size 5 figure, laughed tossing that long full and very straight grade of hair to the side. She was very attractive despite the red silk dress that looked painted on. Kayla looked that the Asian attraction and put on a slight grin that slipped past everyone but Rachel. "Try not to break your fucking neck!" she said, getting up and excusing herself before leaving for the ladies room. The back ground music had seemed to change on cue as if in a movie. Kim had turned to Kayla who had watched Rachel walked away and returned her attention to the dance floor. "Kayla, what are you doing girl?" she said. Kayla was now bobbing her head to the beat and smiling ever so. "What do you mean? I'm not doing anything, I don't have to she's doing it all can't you see?" Kim had dropped the formal smile she had for Kayla and putting aside the fact that Sara was still at the table unloaded a piece of her mind. "Look girl, you know how she gets whenever we all go out. She can't stand it when you waltz in showing off in the strange way of yours. Then, you know it upsets her when you play like your single in front of her." Kayla was listening but still glancing around as Kim spoke. "Oh please Kim, I understand what your saying but you've got to understand, Rachel tends to get carried away with her emotions, it's true I love her and we're and item but I'm single to mingle, if I want. Besides, what harm is a little look doing? Shit, it's not like I'm taking numbers or grabbing at a woman's ass or anything." The beat had changed again to one of Kayla's favorite and she took the opportunity to break away and head out to the dance floor, still bobbing and only now showing some dance moves. "You tell her to come out here if she wants to talk!" She said. Kayla had now worked her way to the center floor and was now approached by two men for whom she smiled and turned away from, her first dance of the evening was to be a solo act. 

Larry had dressed and after calling and leaving a message on Kim's machine, called Steven. He wasn't sure but was feeling strange and his thoughts had been on his friend. The phone had hanged several times before a half sleep Steven picked up. His voice carried that strange sort of deepness that only comes from someone who'd just come from sleepy town. "Yo Stevie! you there?" Larry said. He was trying to get Steven attention before he hung up, Steven had managed this task a few times in the past. "Hello, hello, who's this?" Steven replied. "Who the hell do you think it is? It's me Larry, wake your ass up." By now Larry was laughing out loud, trying not to insult his friend but finding him simply funny at the moment. "Listen pal, I was wondering what the heck you been up to, I haven't heard from you in almost a week, are you feeling okay?" Steven had returned to the real world and was now looking inside the fridge for something to eat. "Yea, I guess I feeling fine for all that means." He spotted some orange juice from the lower rack and reached for it, taking a sip he decided to finish it, the sound of swallowing was heard on the other end of the phone. "Hey! what the fuck is going on over there? yo SH, what are you doing man?" Steven couldn't help himself now, most of the orange juice that was left in his mouth, had now been sprayed over most of the kitchen sink. Some had even found it's way through his nose. "Damn it! Larry, see what you've made me do?" He couldn't help but laugh, even if it was at himself. He reached over grabbing at a paper towel and tried only after spraying some Windex on the counter, to clean it up. "Yo guy, I'm sorry but you should hear how that sounded on this end, what's a man to think?" Larry was still laughing and had forced Steven to break out into another laugh session, this time sounding more like himself. "Okay, okay, point taken" he finally said. "But that's not happening here and you should know that." He had settled back into the self inflicted "why me" syndrome, Larry could sense the quick change. "Listen friend, have you seen Kim lately?" Larry almost sounded like a young kid asking his teacher if he could sit next to the classroom window, there was an almost child like beg to his voice. "I saw her a couple of days ago, she stopped past to see me and we talked for a little bit. Rachel went out to the club, I bet Kim went with her." Larry had stopped talking for a moment and Steven could now tell he was thinking. "Club huh? Who else went?" Steven had just finished cleaning up the mess he'd made and click on the TV. He was now racing through the channels, scanning for something good. A news channel had now been covering some place down at the Jersey Shore where some idiot had managed to damn nearly burn down his whole neighborhood block. Several houses along with a WaWa Food market had been completely destroyed. Steven clicked and turned away, his head shaking as he did. "Well, if I had to guess I'd say Kayla and I'm not sure is Sara went or not, she's so fickle sometimes you know." "Yea I know, poor thing" Larry added. "I don't know, I've been trying to get a hold of her for a day or two now, seems like she avoiding me." "Avoiding you?" Steven said. "Now why would she want to do a thing like that?" After all you two have been through, all those years ago, naw couldn't see it." Strange how things could turn themselves around, normally it would be Larry tossing out the jokes, sitting back while Steven laughed. Larry didn't like being on the receiving end. He didn't care for the wit or the way it seem to hit you dead on, much like a fast ball, had it been anyone else he would have fired back, trying ever so much to insult wherever it hurt the most. But this was not just anyone, it was Steven. "all right, very funny now let's get down to business shall we?" Larry had shaken off the fast ball and was no himself. "So your telling me that the girls went out and you didn't want to go?" Steven had found a box of Saltines and had worked his way through four of them, he was now waiting for a clear throat. " Yea," he said. "That's what I'm trying to say, Rachel left me some money for dinner so I know that won't be back anytime soon."

A form of quiet fell between the lines of the telephone conversation between them. Larry was first to break it. "I'd hate to bring this up but, have you heard anything from Tony?" Has he called or anything?" Now there really was silence between them, this time it remained for almost a full minute.

Rachel had made her way back from the ladies room where she had found it packed with women and some girls who had found their way out for the evening. They were standing in front of the mirrors and in between fixing their sleazy outfits and applying another coat of make up, spent most of the time running their mouths off about who'd they like to go home with. Rachel had heard it all before, same lines coming from different people. She found most of their idle chit chat boring to say the least, but listened just the same, there wasn't much else to do while sitting. Kim and Sara had ordered her another drink and had turned their attention towards Kayla who had drawn quite a crowd with her dancing. Rachel watched as many gathered around, some trying to join in, others simply watching.

Rachel took a sip of her cocktail drink and sat back in the chair, her eyes were still darting the dance floor. "Don't go there girlfriend" Kim said observing her reaction. "It's not worth it, let it go and have a good time." she continued. "Fucking bitch loves to show off, I hate when she does this, I really do." Rachel was still sitting although her left leg had starting shaking a little, nerves it seems. Kim had taken her attention from Kayla and her obvious display of sexual teasing and diverted her glance over to Derek and his new catch. Suzy Wong was now leaning forward and laughing out loud, her hand gently resting on his back. She had a way about her that Kim didn't really care for. Even with the music pumping at loud volume, Rachel had no problem hearing Kayla's laugh as she dance among the others, her eyes now tinted green.

To Be Continued



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 10 

Kayla had finished her dance and after sending out signals to every living creature in the nightclub, had now walked over to the table where a pissed off and now silently angered Rachel was sitting. Kayla walked over kissing her on the lips and reached up gently clutching at her neck, a sign she always did whenever she was sexed up. Rachel's anger had defused and she found herself feeling stupid for allowing such controlled emotional devices to be worked on her from Kayla, she never could resist them. Kim had looked at them smiling but found it short lived as her attention turned once more to the dance floor. Ripskip had slowed things down a bit with a slow jam from the past. Heatwave's "Always and forever" was now echoing the floor and everyone had decided to reminiscence, holding on to lovers from the past with those of the present. "Oh girl, that's my jam, you know I've got to get out there." Sara said, now moving away from the table and looking for a man. "Every slow song is your song, when you looking for love." Kim added. She too had looked away from Derek and tried to remember another time with another man. She had did this only days before, there it was again.

Larry had made his way out the door for the evening. He'd talked to Steven for awhile and decided to see what the weekend would hold for him. Foxy's was out of the question, there was no need to go looking for trouble, it was already looking for him.

1:15am. The telephone had rang again in the kitchen of Steven and Rachel's apartment, the sound barely awaking a very stressed and tired Steven. He turned over looking for Rachel hoping that she would get it and found her side of the bed still empty. He glanced up at the clock radio and shook his head. While trying to reach for the phone, he felt a sharp pain in his right arm and he winced at it. The phone had rang once more then stopped. With a sudden sharp pain now stabbing him, Steven had sat up from the bed, wishing it away. He moved his arm back and forth, slowly at first then began moving it quickly. He remembered a school teacher telling him this once before during high school, it's amazing how these things come back to you. The pain had stopped and he found a small layer of sweat forming on his face. "So much for a morning work out." he said to himself, and started to get up. Walking into the bathroom, he clicked on the light and after lifting the toilet seat, pissed. Midway through his late night activity, the phone rang again. Despite the fact that he had been up and pissing with the light on, Steven jumped just the same. He seemed surprised for some unknown reason and after shaking himself, made a bee line for the phone. He picked up hoping to hear Rachel explaining why she hadn't returned, but heard that annoying sound of silence again. "Who is this?" he said. "Why do you keep calling me?" he added. "Leave me the fuck alone!!" He shouted shortly before hanging up.

Rachel had found herself at a bar with Kayla. They had dropped off both Sara and Kim and after a quick stop passed Kayla's place had end up at "Renny's" a gay bar on 14th street. It was much smaller the Foxy's and no where near as loud. The music here was strictly underground. Some of the gay bands from Europe and even a few locals had provided the perfect back drop, volume low, message loud. Rachel had ask for a seat in the back of the bar. She handed the woman who had smiled at them both a twenty dollar bill and followed her towards the back. Rachel passed several tables where mostly women sat, their dates and lovers just across from them, at round wooden tables. Some of the women were clearly gay. Rachel had been able to spot a gay woman a city block away by the time she was 16. Most had that look of trapped in their eyes, that painful stare that cried out to anyone who'd understand. She had learned that this look had been shared by everyone of her type looking for a way out. She could remember seeing this very look in her own eyes one morning. It was the day just before she told her mother. She remembered hearing the "click" on the other side of the phone.

As she now walked, her hand being held by Kayla, she could see their stares. She looked back at them motioning that she more then understood. There was however one woman sitting alone. Rachel's eyes locked on to her not because of her attire which seemed to match very neatly the surrounding atmosphere. It was her eyes, something was wrong with them. To Rachel they looked a little too, well, normal. The woman had an odd glare to her eyes as if she had found herself here by force, a will not so well settling within herself. She continued looking back at Rachel as she walked past, only her head turning. The room had become rather dark as they walked. The music had even changed as did the surroundings. Now the bar looked less like a bar at all, there were now mirrors where there were once simple wall paintings. No more signs stating "Free minds, free women" the room had changed completely. The tone which had seemed almost country in a New York kind of way, had now given off a more European underground club appeal. The colors had faded from brown and orange, to a colder form a black. They came to a stop, now standing in front of a booth of sorts. Rachel looked around to see there were others as well. Each booth while small, had a private surrounding about it. Candles sat burning slightly on each table, the light low and warm. The waitress (if you want to call her that) had smiled and asked if there was anything else she could do for them. Kayla had that strange look on her face and smiled to the woman, telling her that for now she need nothing more. As the woman walked away, they sat down, close, very close. The room was dark, much darker then Rachel had thought, she could now barely make out the other tables let alone the women at them. She looked back down at the hall they had come from only to see very little, a slight shadow of someone, probably the waitress faded. She was about to speak, to ask Kayla how she knew about this place and before she could, she felt Kayla's mouth touching hers. She held her as her tongue began probing through her mouth, Kayla's hands now touching her breast. Rachel wanted to pull back, she didn't want to give Kayla any form of rejection, but she didn't feel right here She felt like a school girl being touched by the cute little boy in her class who sat just behind her, the one every girl in the school liked including some of the teachers, she felt as if he had decided it would be her, she would be his little girlfriend, the one he wanted to kiss in front of the school, in front of all those watching eyes. They had began making out, like school girls on a Saturday night, minus the giggling and silly boys. Kayla had worked her way down her pants and was now fingering her, she could feel her hot breath now blowing in her ear, there was an odd sense of pleasure that came to her, that simple little "be bad girl and like it" feeling. There was a stint of cigar coming from a table nearby, normally Rachel would find the odor off setting. She hated the smell of anything burning leaves. On this night however, it seem to calm her, to place her in a mood she found herself unable to control, and for reasons unknown, liked it.

Rachel could feel herself getting wet. Kayla had removed her hand and was now unbuttoning her blouse, the dark room was now filled with sounds of moaning and cigar smoke, the latter coming from two tables away, there a woman big and husky, was also making out with her lover or friend. Rachel turned again to see who else she could make out in this darken room of lust, but not before she felt Kayla's fingers in her mouth, upon it, an odor and taste she knew all too well.

Kim had found that Zen that comes only from a deep sleep, when the phone that sat just to the right of her nightstand, rang. She'd awaken quickly and tried to catch the phone before it's third ring. Taylor was sleep in the next room and while dreams of sugar plums were not so much dancing in her head, she slept very lightly. Kim had known all too well the troubles of getting her back to sleep. She picked up the phone and after adjusting it, spoke. "Hello" she said, she was still gathering her thoughts. "Hi, it's me, before you start in on me, I know it's late, I was just thinking about you and decided to go against my will and call you." She recognized the voice but pushed aside the excitement, maybe it was because sometimes you have a gut feeling about a call like this, or maybe you've come to the fact that it just doesn't matter anymore and it is only then that it happens. "No, it's okay" she said. "I was sleeping but if there's something on your mind that can't wait until tomorrow, go ahead, I'll listen." She sat up, pulling the covers back and could now feel her own heart thumping in her chest, she wanted to reach up, to cut on the lamp next to her bed but was afraid that by doing so it would break the mood or perhaps worst by shattering what could simply be a mere dream within a dream.

To Be Continued



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 11 

It had rained for almost three weeks straight, before the clouds hovering above decided to head Northeast. That was just fine with Steven who found the inside a little more then he could handle these days, he needed to get out, to walk among the crowds of people, more importantly, he needed a change. Rachel had promised him a trip to Maine. "A chance to get away" she said. It was now four months and after her new position at her job, and the crazy ups and downs of sexual tricks Kayla was now playing on her, had found little time to put the trip in forward motion. He stood now, staring out the window, his mind ever so carefully taking off in several directions at once, all leading mostly nowhere, and yet targeting the same. Tony had never left his thoughts, he'd tried over the last six months and even more so the last several weeks, to put him aside, to cast him out of his heart and to finally move on. This task however had proved more challenging then he thought. Why was it? He thought. Although it was a little after four o'clock in the afternoon, the heavy clouds above had managed to block out most of the sunlight, giving the appearance of dusk. Steven could see the buildings and streets light up from the glare of cracking thunder, it's booming sound now shaking the windows. He watch as the rain fell, heavy at times and managed to catch a glimpse of his own image in the window's reflection. He was beginning to dislike what he'd seen, the sadness, the loneliness, the tell tale signs of a man voided of his lover's touch, all reflected in images of himself on a rainy day thanks to mother nature. He'd cried himself to sleep many times while Rachel was away. She was the single most important person in the world to him, one who'd never left his side in support, but there had been times when even the best of friends, found moments and secrets, that were best left unknown. "Could she really know?" he thought to himself. "Could she in fact be aware of just how much it's hurting me?"

Steven had tried so much to keep himself strong. He knew this thing called loved was the most strongest of emotions, he or anyone else had known. He was turning 28 years of age soon and felt as if his life had already come to an end. He hated the grip Tony's past had on him. The all too obvious way, he'd walked out on him. Not a word, not even a sign. Four years had come to a simple kick to the curb, a "fuck you and have a nice life" had been it all. He was trying to make some sense of it, to put together the much needed pieces of a puzzle that had no picture on the box, no way of showing or telling the owner what the finished product should look like. He hated being left in the dark. He moved away from the window, the rain now slowing down and walked over to the television which had been off for most of the day. He started to turn it on and was about to do just that, when the phone rang. The final sounds of thunder, crackled in the distance. "Hello" 
"Yo Stevie, it me!" Steven could hear a touch of excitement in Larry's voice and it seemed to make him feel a little better, he didn't know why, it just did. "Listen pal, I've got to talk to ya, are you busy?" "Busy?" "Oh yea, I busy all right, I was just counting the clouds when you called and afterwards there's some problems in China I was thinking about solving." Larry burst into laughter which wasn't to hard for him to do by now. Steven had thought about what he himself had said, and after playing it back like a sound recorder, laughed himself. He had to admit, it was rather funny. "Dude, I've got to tell you, there are times when you can be so fucking funny." Larry added. Steven, despite the sudden increase of zest fullness, was still aware of how should we say "chipper" Larry was. It wasn't as if he wasn't the kind to be so anyway, it's just that he hadn't be so much in the last couple of months. Not that he himself had been popping around, having barrels of laughs and sitting in the warm sun, drinking iced teas.

"So my friend, now that you've managed to damn nearly bust a liner in your laugh sack, what can I do you for?" Steven had now even surprised himself, he really was feeling better although nothing had really changed, crazy how this shit goes, he thought. "Well, I was wonder if you'd do me a favor, it's not much but it would really help me out. It's not so much for me, but for a friend, well, our friend." Steven was listening although by now had worked his way over to the fridge, opening it and now looking for something close to eat. He found nothing, and closed the door. "Okay, so it's our friend." he added. "All right, fuck it, it's Kim, I need you to do me a favor and it involves Kim." Larry had signed afterwards, as if he'd needed to go ahead with the sentence against his wishes. "Fine, so what's with all the secret coding?" "You could have told me that from the start." Larry was now feeling rather stupid having heard Steven version of it. He'd after all been rather clever as far as he was concern, except when it came to Kim, always Kim. "Well, now that you put it that way, I guess it was kinda of silly, thanks...I think."

The cabinet just off the left side of the dishwasher, contained a box of Honey Grahams. A bit stale but, when it's all you have, it's all you have his father once told him. "Well, it's like this, I was hoping that you could watch Taylor for me, I mean us?" Larry has said it, got the hard part off his chest. He waited for Steven's answer, his fingers oddly enough, crossed. "Sure, what the hell, I'll watch her." Steven finally replied. "But what's the big deal, why doesn't she have her mother watch her?" "Well, it's kind of a long story and I wouldn't want to waste your time with it, but befo..." Larry didn't have a chance to finish, Steven had cut right in, his list of questions nearby. "Look friend, it's me okay? Not some thick headed fuck from your job, if you've got something to tell me, just do it, it's not like your going to tell me I've got cancer of anything." Larry had chuckled a little more, seeming more sillier as the conversation went on. "Stevie, Kim and I are going away for the weekend. We're hoping to spend some time away from the city and see if something can come of it. I could have her mother watch Taylor, but if her mother knew she was spending anymore then a second with me, she wouldn't do it. You know how much her mother hates me, the years have not tarnish her one bit, there, I said it." "Whoa, where and when did this all happen?" "I know I've been doing a lot of sleeping, but when the fuck did you and Kim decide on this? And what about Derek, can I assume that that's over with as well?" "Kinda, yea, I mean fuck him. He doesn't want to care for her, he spends most of his time making her look like a fool anyway, fuck him if he doesn't like it."

"Oh so now your the knight in shiny armor right? Your mister nice guy all of a sudden, the one with the bleeding heart?" Whatever happen to the others, you know, like Tracy?"

"Tracy?, aw man, fuck Tracy Steven, she's a fucking hoe! Bitch has been sweating me for weeks, I did her just to blow her off, got sick of the fucking phone calls, besides, there was never anything there to begin with. She was simply a fuck."

"Look Larry, I'm the last person in the word authorized to give out advice on love, seeing that I'm failing the course myself. But what makes you so sure about this with Kim? Man, she's one of my few best friends, you included. I just don't want to see this shit blow up in our faces. If it doesn't work, we'll never be able to go out together again, have you thought about that?"

"Yea I did, I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but the way I see it, you only go around once. Besides, Kim and I had something strong years ago. I admit I fucked it up, but I know she still loves me, shit man, Taylor should have been mine."

"Larry, all right, okay, all fucking right! I understand man. Jesus, I can't believe you. You get really weird when it comes to Kim man, really weird. One day I'd like to ask you about that, but until then the answer's YES! I will watch Taylor. There was a moment of silence on the back end of the phone, all quiet on the Western front. Steven who had worked himself up, took the cracker made of honey, flour and sugar. He popped it in his mouth, not bad he thought, stale in all.

Rachel called, her first concern was that Steven had picked up the dress she had in the cleaners. She needed it tonight, Kayla was taking her to Nola's for dinner. From there, who knew. Kayla had become unpredictable lately, seeming to react to everything see saw or heard. To Steven, she seemed to be jumpy, on edge and she seemed to be losing weight, most of it showing in her face. She'd obtained those slight dark rings under her eyes and began wearing belts, something she once told Rachel that she hated. 
He wanted to talk to Rachel tonight, wanted to sit down and have the world put itself on pause, things were moving too fast for him and he was beginning to feel matters slipping away. He knew perfectly well that his love life was fucked, told himself that almost everyday. But for Steven Hall, the world around him was also slipping apart, although not as bad.

To Be Continued


Love Is Just A Four Letter World 
Part 12 

The book store where Steven worked had called his apartment, he'd failed to show up for work for the third time in two weeks, this was so unlike him.

"Breaking off from the local network station, I've just learned that it was several teens who were killed. We're trying to gather most of the information from authorities, but must say even they're confused about what really went on here. All we can say is, that around 2:30 this afternoon, a vehicle< traveling South on the New Jersey Parkway, flipped over killing the four passengers and the driver. The vehicle continued moving onward now flipped over were it crashed a second time into a bus heading Northbound from the Jersey Shore. Six passengers aboard that bus were killed as well. What we are trying to understand, is how something like this could have happen."............

The Television's volume had changed as did the broadcast which returned to an episode of "Cheers", although a rerun, Steven still found a few laughs hidden, and would occasionally catch himself laughing out loud. This helped a little, though it failed to cover everything, try as it might, it just couldn't mask everything. He looked over at the clock in the kitchen and saw that it was just after six, he was just about to get up, when the sound of an opening door, turned his attention. "About time girl!" he said still walking to the kitchen. "Well, it's nice to see you too." she said.

Walking over to him, they kissed. Only afterwards did she ask him why he wasn't at work. Steven turned his eyes to the floor like a little boy being scolded by his mother and looked back up, he blue eyes had a warm forgiving glare that said "It's okay, I understand" in them. "You know Steven, we've got to get moving here." she continued. "Yea, I know, I know" he said. "Well you knowing, isn't helping matters. What we need here is to somehow get you ass in gear! I'm trying to hold up the fort dear, but fuck me, I can't do it all you know." She wasn't so much pissed as she was more so irritated at both him and Kayla, more her them him. She'd walked towards the bathroom picking up a few of his clothes he'd left laying around. Gathering them up, she continued complaining about everything under the sun, lastly throwing in her new job and old boss for good measure.

She sat down, removing her shoes and dropping them along side the pile of T-shirts and other items she collected, she was now just sitting and looking off in the distance. Steven who'd now walked over sitting back on the sofa that had become his private hiding place, looked over at her. He sat watching her, he even counted to himself how long she'd go before blinking. He did this not for amusement, but out of concern.

"Now it's my turn dear, are you okay? I mean are you fine, really fine like the friend I love?" he asked. She turned her attention slightly in his direction indicating she'd heard him and smiled a little, pulling back her hair she exhaled a sigh. "Yea, I'm alright." she said. "Don't pay me too much attention, this girl's just in the mood to bitch, so sue me." He laughed little, finding her funny and added "Sue you? Honey, you don't have enough money." She turned to him, rubbing both her thumb and pointer finger. "Well sweetheart, don't forget I still got more money then you." He smiled adding a half hearted chuckle. "Well Miss Richass, you think you could get us some take out, I starving and haven't a drop of cash to my name." "Go ahead Steven, order something." she said. "What would you ever do without me?" she added. It was he who walked over this time kissing her on the forehead. "That's easy, I'd die" he answered.

Kim had just returned home from work when the answering machine finished recording a message. By the time she shut the door, all she could hear was the "click". She put the few items she had in her hand down and quickly walked to the bathroom. She was two days away from her secret getaway with Larry and there was still a lot to do. Walking over to the machine, she played back all four messages. The first came from Macy's where her order had come in, sleep ware, she'd only ordered a week ago.

The second call came from Larry, he had a list of things he wanted to run past her first, mostly things like where he thought about meeting and if it where true that chocolate panties would not melt. The third call bothered her. It was Derek, he was calling to tell her how much he was thinking about her and how he'd like to see her this weekend, maybe take Taylor to the park he added. She frowned upon hearing his voice, her mind bouncing back to the evening at Foxy's. He was in every since a dog, a no good for nothing D O G. But what bothered her evening more was, that he had the very nerve to call her. "No Sushi this weekend?" she said to herself. She wanted to laugh, to just breakout in a frenzy of girlish giggles and tell him to fuck off, to tell him that this weekend it was SHE that was going out, having a great time and making love. She wanted to call him back, to tell him that he was a fucking asshole, that she hated him and wanted him to leave her alone. Playing back the message, she listen once more to his silent way of begging for her love, wanting her to fall for the very cheesy lines that awarded her Taylor four years ago. "Bet you have it all planned don't you?" she said to herself. "Walk you ass right over here and after a few dollars on lunch and a hug to Taylor, you'll start in on the slow walk to my bedroom, that is the plan isn't it Derek?" she said almost out loud. "Well F.U.C.K.Y.O.U" she said, this time out loud. The fourth and final message was her mother, she was going to be downtown this evening and decided that she would drop Taylor off at home, when the two of them finished shopping. "Shit!" Kim said. She was going to have to figure out where to put the new luggage she had bought only yesterday. Placing them in the closet, she readied herself for a shower. While inside, the phone rang once more.

Kayla had knocked off early and decided to call Rachel. She had nothing in mind, but wanted to go out anyway. Her mind needed a rest from the demands now placed upon it. Lately she's found herself acting a bit out of character, she knew Rachel had noticed but tried to control it. She so far had been happy to see Rachel not bitching about it and figured it was just a phase she was going through. Walking from the building on West 57th street, she felt herself getting dizzy and just managed to stop herself from walking right out into the street, where an oncoming yellow cab sped past, it's driver cursing her in the process. 
A young man, who'd seen most of it, ran over to her. "Are you alright mam? You almost got yourself killed, shit! two seconds more and you'd been road kill! Kayla could hear him speaking but his voice seemed far away. She tried to gather her thoughts as quickly as she could, remembering that she was still in New York. "I'm fine, thank you, but I'm fine." She said, pushing anyone close to her away. A few seconds later, everything had returned back to normal, her vision had cleared and her balance had readjusted. She looked around, seeing a few others who had gathered and held up her hand, signaling she was fine. She didn't like the feeling though, all the people watching and she being the center of it all. The young man who had snapped the unexpected drift, was still standing next to her. She could see he wanted to stay with her, maybe even walk with her for a time or so. She could see it in his eyes, that look of concern and she hated it. "I'm fine, really." she finally said. "I just got a little dizzy in all, working too much I bet, I'll be okay for now, thank you, thank you so much." She wanted him to leave, to at least get away from her. She'd never seen the man before, and later would be unable to recognize him again, but for now, all she wanted was him away from her. The thoughts now bouncing around her head, worried her. True she didn't care for men sexually, but where did this sudden form of hate come from? The young man handed her purse, she must've dropped it and forgot she had it. She thanked him once more and only now did she look at him directly. He had a kind but confused look in his eyes. Kayla thought at first it was because of the current situation, she'd found herself in. But after a second look, she saw it wasn't so much her, as it may simply have been him. Those eyes of his, they looked distant. She checked her purse, first turning it around and looking inside. She began to feel silly and rude doing this in front of him, but she'd had other worries to think about. Turning, she waved a cab. The young man had left, continuing on his way, Kayla never saw him again.

As the yellow cab made it's turn onto Broad Street, Kayla checked once more in her purse. She opened the hidden pocket and removed a small packet. Inside contained three small pills, wrapped in clear plastic. She popped one of them in her mouth, laid back and dosed off, the sound of the aged vehicle with squeaky breaks.


To Be Continued


Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 13 

Larry had finished cleaning up his apartment and was just about to hit the shower, when his doorbell rang. He walked over and opened the door to find Tracy Elms standing there, her smile much brighter then the pinkish summer dress, she was wearing. "Hey you!" she shouted, throwing up her arms and plunging forward surrounding him with her fragrance and warmth. She held him close, waiting to hear his surprise. "Shit!" he said, out of response he held her, his hands clutching close to her backside. "Tracy, shit, how did you find me?" She was still smiling and was now hopping slightly with enjoyment, his hand now completely clutching her. She pulled back now, her eyes gleaming with excitement. "How do you think I found you? Your not the President for Christ sake! All a girl's has to do is ask around you know, you'd be surprise what a person could find out." She was still excited and had even reached for his hand, holding it tight. Apart from her own self induced glee, she failed to notice the look upon his face, the one that said "You have to be kidding me, this can't be." "Well silly" she said. "Aren't you going to invite me in? She stood on the steps, her body now swinging ever so slightly from left to right, she was now looking down at her new dress and the way it flowed around her. "How do I look?" she asked. The expression on her face was one of assurance, she knew perfectly well how she looked, she simply wanted to hear it from him. "You look fine Tracy, real nice." he finally said. He motioned her to come inside, looking around as if someone could be watching, someone like Kim. He watched her from behind noticing the way she not so much walked, as she swayed, her arms apart as if she would at anytime break into a spin like in the "Sound of Music" movie. Larry looked on with some amusement. "So, did I catch you at a bad time?' she asked, no longer swaying, she found his favorite chair and took it upon herself to sit down, her hands where now on both sides of the chair's arms. Her fingers, dancing on them. "Not really, I was just about to jump into the shower. I need to get dress. I have to make a few stops you know, get some shit done." he replied. She stood up now and walked over to his window, peeking through the light fabric curtain. "You know, you've got a very nice place." she said, walking over to him and now once again throwing her arms around him.

"Thanks" he said, pushing away her arms. "Listen Tracy, really, how did you find where I live?" Who did you talk to?" "Oh come on Larry, or do you prefer Lawrence, which is it?" "Besides, does it really matter, I'm here and so are you, I'd say we could have a quick snack and lunch, what do you say to that?" She had now walked over to him, her hands moving up and down her body and the young lady with the girlish manner, had quickly blossomed into a very sexy and seductive woman. "I've got to tell you, I knew where you lived two days ago. I was waiting, just waiting for the right moment, I wanted to surprise you with something special, something very special." Larry had never seen a dress come apart so quickly, revealing a copper tone body of female flesh that even he found hard to resist. "I know you want some." she said. "All you have to do is stand there." she finished. Tracy Elms showed little pride as she walked towards Larry, removing her shoes. Although there was no music playing at the time, Larry would swear he heard some as she slowly got to her knees and after kissing the zipper of his denim jeans, unzipped them. Larry wanted to push her away, to tell her that he didn't care for her the way she did him. He wanted to yell out, to maybe scream in her ear that it was just a lay, nothing more. There were seconds before hand when he even thought about slapping her, trying to knock some sense into her, waking her up from her self made dream world. He thought of many things to do and say, but in the end, with his mind wandering away, Larry Wilkens with so many things to do that day, getting ready for his secret trip with Kim and the arrangements needed before hand, did just as Tracy said, and stood still, the coldness of her wet mouth, all to inviting.

The television had found itself on for most of the day. Steven had ran it into overtime, during his talks with Rachel. Those dark and rain filled clouds which had moved North, had done nothing more then make room for a new tenant, this one not a big, not as wet. Kayla had called earlier, she decided to stay in for a change, sort some things out, she said. Rachel and Steven had found themselves sitting on the carpeted floor of the living room, both wearing shorts and T-shirt and facing each other like school kids playing jacks. "You really love her, don't you?" Steven asked. Despite his love lows, he never took his attention of how things were going with her and Kayla, away. He could see her mind a million miles away, although she herself hadn't noticed. Rachel was without a doubt the strongest emotionally of the two. But that didn't mean that there couldn't come a time when even the little guy on the team couldn't have his day at bat. "It's funny" she said, pulling a long strand of blonde hair from her face. "Had you asked me that oh say, a year ago, the answer would be yea, sure. Had you asked me that say two years ago, it would have been yes, in small letters. And had you asked me that very same question about four years ago, the answer would have been, Hell YES! Do you see where I'm getting at?" Steven leaned back and spread his legs so that his toes were touching hers. He smiled quietly at her, a gentle warmth grew between them. "Yea" he said. "The way you put it, by next year, it could be curtains for you two, in two years, you won't want to hear her name, in three years, you'll hate her.... Is that what you mean?" Still sitting back, he gave her his biggest smile, feeling proud of his theory. "From what book or TV show did you come up with that shit?" She said almost laughing. "None, made it up myself, like it?" 


"Why not?"


"Because what?"

"Not because what, just because."

"Because you don't want to look at it that way, that maybe ole' Steven landed on something of absolute, something real?"

"No, that's not it Steven. I just feel that I don't think everyone can find that end all, be all love in their lifetime. Shit, I know people in their late fifties, that still haven't' found it. I'd be willing to bet, that just this morning, someone somewhere, died without ever finding that one person, with that one kind of love. I just find the idea of not finding it, too sad and at the same time, too damn annoying."

"Well, I was just going to say.......

"And furthermore, Kayla can often act more like a bitch, then most straight women I know. Take Sara for instance, She can be a bitch too, but not the way Kayla can. I'd be willing to say that Kayla has pushed the envelope of being a bitch, there's bitch forms in that woman, that I bet no one has ever seen before, Webster would have to hold up the next edition to add new meanings. Fuck, she can be a bitch at times!"

"Well, I was just going to say that...she..."

"And where does she get off taking me to this fucking cowgirl country club, where she decides to make out like we're in some high school make out area?" I felt like, well I felt like cheap, like some too bit whore, looking for a quick lay."

"She took you where?"

"Oh forget it Steven, I tired of talking about it"

"You sure?"


"Really sure?"


"I can't hear you."

"YES Steven, the answer in YES! I'm done okay, DONE!

"Fine, can we get something to eat, I'm hungry all over."

"Shit Steven, don't you ever think about anything but food?"

"Yea, but you don't have one."

"Lucky for me....." 

It was less then twenty-four hours before Larry and Kim were to sneak away, bags packed and plan in motion, Larry went over his check list once more. He wasn't used to leaving his place for too long at any one time. Let's face it, with all the player haters in his end of the neighborhood alone, it just wasn't a good idea. He did what he could making sure to let as few people as he could know he'd be gone for the weekend. He even went as far as to tell Tracy, he was going to see his cousin in New Jersey. The one who was almost killed in an automobile accident. Of course he had a cousin in New Jersey, and yes he often drove like a fool, but not lately. He didn't know why he felt the need to lie to her, he just did. Maybe in a weird kind of way, he just didn't want to risk telling her the truth, maybe that would have simply been too easy. He looked into his overnight bag once more, checking for certain items he knew he would need. He'd forgot to put inside his favorite style of sunglasses, he was just about to do so when the phone rang.  "Hello" he said.

"Yo Larry, it's Derek, got a minute man? I need to ask you a question." 

"Yea all right, what's up?

"Well, I was wondering if you've seen Kim?" I've called her a few times and she doesn't seem to be home, any ideas?"

To Be Continued 



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 14 

It seemed rather stupid, trying to reach her at this state. Rachel did have one redeeming factor about her personality, she was stubborn, bore straight to the bone. Steven knew that whenever she got in this kind of mood, it's always been in his best interest, to leave well enough alone, even the greatest of fires, burn out sooner or later.

They sat quietly after awhile, looking at the television's constant array of bullshit entertainment. One video after another by super slim over made up young pop stars, who's only major problem is what to do with all the fucking money they're making. Steven changed to another channel where an old woman was trying to return a small bird to it's nest in a tree just outside her house, in the back yard. "Wouldn't you just like to see the old bitch fall, for once?" Rachel said, breaking the silence. "Why would you want to see that, what good would it do?" Steven replied. "What good would it do, who cares about the good, I'd just for once like to see the old bag fall, life's like that you know, filled with ups and downs." She had that frown on her face, the one that said "yes I can be a bitch and I'm very proud of it". She turned glancing up at the clock, seconds later, another sigh. "Do me a favor and change that." she finally said. "Why, we always watch videos around this time, don't you want to see what's new this week?" Steven was trying to work with her, trying to fill in the blanks of what was really bothering her without making her come out with it. "What's new?" Shit, hasn't been anything new in the bullshit music in years! She answered. "What could possibly be new about the same old shit?" "Every fucking video, shows the same shit all the time, fucking Country music with all it's cowboy hat wearing bitches, crying about how they need a fucking man. Pop music divas singing about that same old shit about how strong their man needs to be while they walk around wearing next to nothing on those slender hips. Then it's the same old rock shit, more sorry music playing dicks who's only claim to fame is some fancy director shooting the video. Oh and let us not forget that Rap music, again same old shit with different faces, more messages from that underground shit hole called the inner city. Everyday there's another video showing more of those "Homeboys" as they call them, wearing more jewelry then the Queen of England, and those scantly dressing whores, they call "Hoes" who do nothing more then shake their asses in front of the camera, inviting anyone with money to a fuck, Jesus, I'm sick of it all!" Steven sat looking at her, he'd never seen Rachel in such a tiff with someone or everyone. 
He could tell she wanted him to just remain quiet, and to listen. Sometimes, the best friend in the world is simply that, one who just sits there, mouth closed, opinions kept, and listens.

"You know Steven, everything seems to evolve around love, money, jobs, companies, food, music and let's not forget the never ending number one hit "SEX". It's like the drug no one can do without. All we ever do is base everything on or around it, it's like there's nothing else on the whole fucking planet to do but have sex." "Doesn't that just suck?"

"Well, I wouldn't say that so much." Steven replied.

"No, why not?"

"Well, I'm the wrong person to ask really, if you can remember, I haven't had sex in 6 months, and despite how your feeling, I'd love to have it again before I fucking die!" They both looked at each other, Rachel had returned to earth or somewhere near and was once again reminded of a very dear friend, hurting a lot more then she.

"Oh baby, I'm so sorry. she said. 
"I've been spending so much time fucking off after work and being jerked around in some weird way by Kayla, that I completely forgot about the only person who has never left my side, Damnit! I feel like a fool. Steven, please forgive this often bitch of a woman, one who minds you, loves you so much."

"I hate when you lay that shit so heavy on me, you know I can't say no to you, why do you do that?"&

"Well, maybe it's because I hate myself sometimes, and I really need your forgiveness. Or maybe it's because, I can. I'm not really sure which one it is, most likely both though."

The two shared another in what they hope would be a series of laughs to come.

Larry sat back still listening to the question Derek had asked. He made no move to add to it, nor did he feel the need to supply information to Derek. The two had been friends somewhat from high school, both had attended NYU but both had also failed to finish. It was during this time, the two had become closer. Derek had met and began a relationship with Kim and oddly enough, Larry at that time had no problems with it. It was right after the birth of Kim and Derek's daughter Taylor, did Larry and Derek's friendship seem to depart. To those from the outside, it would seem that Larry never liked the way Derek treated Kim. He had talked to Steven and even Rachel many times about it in the past and claimed that he would even kill Derek is he ever laid a hand on Kim or Taylor. It was doing those years that Larry seemed so protective. He had come full circle now with his thoughts and emotions.

"Well, I was just wondering if you'd seen her or heard from her, is all?" Derek's voice hardly seemed concerned to Larry, more like sneaky then anything else. Those simple little tricks used on people to get them to cough up information unwilling, is something the two had become masters of. Larry didn't care for it's use on him.

"Look homeboy, I talked to her maybe yesterday. Last I know, she's doing just fine. So why don't you just come out with it, cut the bullshit and ask."

"My man, I'm just asking if you've seen her is all. I called her several times and she hasn't got back to me, I'm worried is all, can't a brother be worried without the world coming unglued?" Damn, what's up you your ass?"

"Nothing's up my ass motherfucker, I'm just telling you what you need to know is all. You rang me remember? I'm just kicking it with you, just don't come off trying to push shit you don't know anything about. Now you know that if a honey you've called, doesn't get right back to you, maybe she's busy, maybe she's got better things to do, or maybe she's just tired of your simple shit. Hell, who knows what could be the reason? But I'll lay you odds, they're good ones."

"Listen Larry, I can tell that something's up with you, so here's what we're going to do. I'm going to say peace to you my brother, and hope that what ever it is that's fucked your day, that it leaves real soon. So ciao my brother....peace out."

"Later, much later."

Larry hung up the phone, and if anything became of it, one thing was certain. While he didn't have anything that would warrant having an attitude before the phone call, he did now. He stood up, glancing around his living quarters, he tried to focus on this weekend. As for his phone friend, he promised himself that should it come to something, he would take care of Derek himself. Right now he intended to enjoy himself. He picked up the phone and dialed Kim's. He had no intention of questioning her about Derek or anyone else, he himself knew all too well "The Do's and Don'ts" of relationships. He had also known that you never pour gasoline around an area known for sparks. As the phone rang, his thoughts set once again on the weekend ahead. 

Kayla had walked just walked in the door, when the cordless phone with hung from the almond colored wall in the kitchen, rang. She kicked off her heels, flinging one of them onto the kitchen floor, she< answered it. A voice of a man on the other end spoke. 


"Hi, it's me. How are you doing?" 

"Fine, I just walked in. What's going on with you?" 

"Not much, I was calling you to see if you needed anything. Are you good?" 

"Well, I could use some, not much though, tell you what, why don't you stop by in about an hour. I'll leave the door unlocked. Just do me a favor and ring the door bell twice before coming in, okay?" 

"Twice, got it cya soon." 



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 15 

Come Friday morning at around 7:30, the doorbell of apartment 234 where Rachel and Steven lived, rang. Rachel was just finishing her first cup of coffee, and was about to head off to work. Steven had taken off today, which had become a trademark of his and had always had weekends off for as long as Rachel could remember He had been up since 6:00, showered and surprising enough, fixed breakfast. While the bacon had been over cooked by three minutes, the eggs were as Rachel's father would say "Right on the money". It was a term she seldom used.

Three figures stood at the door. Two very well known, the other just known. Taylor had only been in existence for a little over three years. Rachel and Steven had quickly become god parents. For the last two years, both Rachel and Steven worked extra hours at their jobs, just to afford those crazy toys, marketed by television, to super young consumers. So it became a happy moment seeing Taylor come running across the living room to the waiting arms of her Aunt Rachel.

"Hi Ant Raay Chill" She said, dropping herself into the waiting arms. Rachel could still smell a sugary form of breakfast cereal, on her breath. "Hi sweetie!" she replied, picking her up. "Oh my goodness, your getting heavy!" she said. "Kim, what are you feeding my baby?" "Oh a little of this and some of that, oh an a pinch of that, you know."

"Well, a little less of that pinch please, Aunt Rachel won't be able to pick-up her favorite niece, before long. " She was now holding Taylor and swinging her from left to right, Taylor's eyes were darting from Kim's to Larry's and back to Kim's again. She had a wonderful smile and it was moments like this that made Kim the most proud. "Hey! Don't hog her all to yourself, let me have some!"

Steven had walked over reaching for Taylor. She giggled as he did so, tucking her head behind the neck of Rachel. Kids always do this, as if they believed that hiding one's head, hides the body. We sometimes try this even as adults, old habits die hard.

"Steven, are you sure it's no problem?" Kim said. She was placing Taylor's things down and reaching inside her purse for her list of phone numbers. "We'll be back no later then 8:00pm Sunday, no later." she added, poking Larry in his right side. Taylor had asked to be put down and had walked over to the TV, she was happy to see "Blue's Clues" showing on it. She sat down at watched as the adults behind her, talked.

"So, where are we off to kids?" Rachel asked. Standing in front of them like that, reminded Kim of a mother asking her children about their plans for the summer, or maybe a Saturday spent at a mall. "Well, since you ask, we're going down to the Harbor in Baltimore, got a room for two at the Hilton, just across the street. Ever been there?" Kim replied.

"Once, the Harbor that is," said Rachel.

"Well, I'm told it's very nice in the summer, lots of nice things to do there too." added Steven. He had turned his attention to the TV where Taylor had remained fixed. They had found another clue, something that is both black and white, it seems to like and live in the cold. Steven could see Taylor trying, she was rocking back and forth in the chair. "Children seem to use this act all the time, it helps them think." He thought.

"The most important thing is, we're trying to get away from the city. Sometimes, your whole life could change, just by crossing a crowed room." Larry said.

"Wow! Rachel said. That's some heavy shit, don't you think?" she whispered. She was looking over at Taylor, making sure she didn't hear her.

"Yea, I guess it is." said Larry. "I got it from the strangest of places too."

"Let me guess, New York Times, Life, Entertainment weekly?" Rachel added.

"Hell no!, got it from a Peanuts film. A boy named Charlie Brown, I think." The group of adults, who had found each other courtesy of one event or another, and who had remained friends for such a long time, laughed out loud together.

"Your sick Larry, get some help if you can." Kim added. "I intend to, just as soon as we get to Baltimore my dear, just as soon." "The look on Kim's face was one that said "You are so nasty, I've always like that about you." She went over a few things with Steven, noting as he wrote them down. She gave him the room number and emergency numbers which included her mother's place should something really come up. She had told him only in case of real emergencies. The very last thing she wanted her mother to know what that both she and Larry had dropped of Taylor so that they could run down to Baltimore, to spend a weekend of fun and sex. The idea of the two trying to make a relationship work again, would be just too much for her. It wasn't so much that her mother hated Larry, it's just that she hated seeing what he'd done to her emotionally, years ago. Mother's would always have the job of mending their daughters hearts.

"We better get on the road soon, I want to beat the traffic. Shit gets crazy heading down the shore or anywhere about." Larry added. He walked over kissing Taylor and asked if she knew yet what the animal Blue was trying to tell her. She still had no clue but her knew that whenever she found out, she would never forget it.

"Honey? Are you going to be a good girl for mommy? I promise to bring you something back okay? Kim was trying to ease away, making it seem as if she and Larry were just going to the store and would return with some cookies. She'd spent weekends with her grandmother before, but never with Steven and Rachel. Kim's thoughts were only that this one time, everything would work out fine. A parent when leaving their child with someone other then family, always feel as if their doing some really bad thing, as if their love had weaken a bit, cared a little less or something. Truth is, it never does. Steven and Rachel were family. While they never really attended any family functions like get together or picnics, they were family. When Kim meet Derek and began having feelings for him, it was Rachel she talked to about it first. Steven was still the only person in the world who knew Kim cried all night long when she found out she was pregnant. Steven was first to know. She kept it from her mother for another five weeks. So it was these kinds of matters that came to Kim in her decision to ask Steven for the favor. She had already missed Taylor, and they hadn't even left the room. Larry walked over to Steven thanking him again for helping out. They shared one of two jokes between them and by 9:45am on a clear summer morning, Kim Reeves and Larry Wilkens were on their way, to where they really didn't know. Time will indeed tell.

The office had a comforting way about it, Rachel thought. She had placed pictures and one or two of Taylor's art works in frames. While not in her position very long, the office looked rather filled. One large pane window with a touch of tint, sat just behind her. She didn't care too much for the color of carpet. She'd never been too fond of gray, not even as an emotion. She tended to be more beige then anything, and promised herself that if she hung in long enough, making the right moves, she would have it changed. As for the desk, well, it too would have to do for now. Of all she liked and disliked, one thing in her office was absolutely perfect. It was the solid oak door that separated her from the world just outside. Not only was the door massive, but it seem to buffer the sound coming from the outer offices as well. When it closed, it had a nice "Clunk" of a sound that told anyone listening that whomever closed this door, meant to be left alone, and that was final. Rachel really liked the use of polished stainless steal locks and hinges that came with it.

She sat looking slowly over her upcoming day's work and was about to call Kayla when Kayla, surprising her, called her first. "How you doing?, it me"

"I know it's you, how have you been? Is everything all right with you?"

"Yea, sure I guess, why do you ask?"

"I'm not sure really, I just don't feel that everything's fine with you, and well maybe me as well, maybe you have something going on that your not ready to talk to me about."

"What do you mean, going on? Are you trying to say that I'm doing something wrong, maybe cheating on you, fucking around maybe?"

"I'm not saying that Kayla, I'm just saying that things seem to be changing is all."

"Changing? how, how are things changing Rachel, you tell me how the fuck are things changing, if you've got something to say, say it! Otherwise, shut the fuck up!"

Rachel sat looking at the now closed door. Her mind wishing that she had another one that could shut out the sounds coming from the other end of the phone. She hated hearing Kayla like this. She hated hearing that sound that comes from two lovers possibly arguing over nothing and yet something. She hated the obvious signs of a relationship in the first few stages of decline, but more importantly, she hated the feeling that came deep inside along with it. That all but too simple feeling of failure. She looked around at her paper work and spun her chair around to the window. The sun was now shining brightly casting shadows of buildings upon others. She could see traffic moving in the distance and wondered how many others were feeling the way she felt at this exact moment.

"Kayla? I'm hanging up now, I'll call you later."

"Fuck that Rachel, you talk to me now!"

"I'm hanging up, goodbye."

"Fuck you bitch!"

There was a click on the other end of Kayla's phone, pissed off she dialed again. The operator on the other end and at the office, informed her that Mrs. Evans was in a meeting and is not to be disturbed, she could however take a message and see that she would get it. Kayla started to curse out the operator, she wanted to tell her that she too was a fucking liar, that she had just hung up from Rachel and that there could be no way she ended up in a meeting in less then 30 fucking seconds. She had a lot of nasty things she could have shared with this operator bitch, but decided against it. She despite what she was feeling and the reasons for it, knew the woman was just doing her job.

"No thank you, I'll call back later."

Kayla slammed down the phone. The following word came from deep down....cunt!

Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
Part 16 

The evening had been rather uneventful, the two had sat around watching TV and listening to Jay Leno's jokes on Bill Clinton. There must be a million of them now, thought Steven and he decided to turn in early. "Goodnight" he said, kissing Rachel who had sat staring off in space. Her focus not on him or the new lines of Leno's humor. She whispered back "goodnight" and returned to her staring. She had spoken to Steven earlier about her fallout with Kayla and the two of them, outside the company of one small human recording device, talked about it. Steven was no expert at the laws of hearts, but he was trusting. Sometimes, it's all you really need. How odd was it to come to such a situation when only weeks ago, everything seemed just peachy, or was it?

Rachel had taken the chance of removing the phone from the receiver, she had this way about her that whenever she found herself upset or even pissed off, the best way to handle the matter, was to return to herself within herself. It was a silly phrase that made no sense to anyone but her, and she liked it just for that. It was her little way of regrouping, of somehow settling into that quiet little place where nothing could touch her. She named this place "Else" as in somewhere, and no one, absolutely no one, knew of it. She remembered going to Else for the first time when she was only 6 years of age. Her mother had beaten her for knocking over the pot of potatoes on the stovetop of their home. Her mother didn't even check to see if she had been hurt or for that matter in the kitchen when it happened. Truth be known, she wasn't even in the house. She tried to tell her mother that, tried to beg her mother to listen, but it didn't work. Her father had been out drinking just the night before and had returned home late, just in time to slap her mother around. Rachel had figured that her mother needed someone to take it out on, why not her.

It would only come much later, say a year or so, that her mother would walk into the house after hanging up clothes, to find Rusty, the family dog that Rachel was always afraid of, standing on his hind legs and with a nose larger then his head, pushing over her beef stew, the contents falling over the kitchen floor. Her mother said later how she shouted at Rusty and tried to beat the dog with the broom stick nearby, but Rusty was big, and very hungry, seems it's master had neglected him as well. Rachel's mother would later tell her of how she tried to kill that dog, that day. But after telling her tale, all she ever did was laugh about it. Her mother never once apologized for accusing her. And if she did, by now it really wouldn't have mattered. Diane Evan's daughter had already begun slipping away.

Rachel had turned off the television. She sat listening to the sound of the living room clock on the wall. Steven had picked in out several years ago and she thought it looked goofy then. She never really cared for the design or the colors but they had worked and saved, renting the place together. She was still staring at it when she heard Taylor cough in the guest room. She sat up looking in on her and noticed her cover had come off. Although it was smack in the middle of summer, Steven loved to run the air condition all day and night. He would always say to anyone asking, it was his God damn human right to be comfortable, even in the summer's heat. Rachel walked over, placing the cover back over Taylor. She smiled as Taylor's feet poked out just under the cover. Such little toes, always seemed cute. She stood looking down at her favorite and only niece and couldn't help drift off. She didn't so much close her eyes, as she simply wondered. Her life, her father and mother. Could or would things had been different, had she been giving more love?

She oddly enough found herself thinking of what it would have been like to not be gay. Had she found what she needed so long ago, would she had married by now? Maybe she would have found a nice man who cared for her and promised to protect her from anyone doing her harm, anyone, even dads. Might she had loved this man? Wanted this man? Could there have been a time in which she would be experiencing the pleasure that normal women feel when excited by a man? She tried to think back at a time when she did. Was it little Bobby Turner? The young kid four blocks away who spent the whole summer telling her how much he loved her? Could he had changed her? Would he be the one, to pull her from the ashes of broken desires and a loveless childhood? And then there was Johnny Hilps, the fat kid who lived across from Bobby. Like Bobby, he too had a crush on Rachel. He used to ride his faded red bike to the candy store, returning with a bag of hard and soft candies. Chick-o-sticks and red jelly fish, were his favorite. He'd park his beaten up red bike on her front lawn, waiting for her to come out. Rachel remembers him waiting for almost an hour some days. Her father had noticed him doing this one day and for his own sense of kicks, released Rusty, who was mostly chained up, She remembered her father laughing his ass off as Rusty nearly bit poor Johnny. Rachel watched from her bedroom window as Johnny frighten out of his wits, tried to move as fast as he could. Rusty had still been on the chain which her father at the time held onto, but for Johnny, death was coming on four legs. After that afternoon, he never came back. Rachel although very young, never found that incident funny at all. She thought about it now and the idea almost drove her to tears, so many wasted chances. Had it been her parents fault? Had they spent less time fighting and her father drinking, could they have saved their only daughter?

She even asked herself if maybe the loveless creatures who had raised her, did it for love or lust. She never could remember a time when the house in Jersey had even a touch of love. Her grades in school weren't much better then the parents who sent her. Why was she doing this to herself? A shot of self induced self pity was not her idea of comforting. She'd come a long way alone, following the years of neglect. Had it come to this? A young and attractive woman, heading a supervisory job, turned gay at age 12, only to have seconds thoughts at age 30? Was it so wrong to question your own decisions? We all have made bad choices in our lives, could she be doing one as well?

She walked over and sat down, the clock's ticking now soothing. She imagine for a moment that she had been born into a house hold of love. A home where mommy washed and cleaned clothes and daddy repaired broken bikes. A father who's warm and gentle smile came only when he saw his little girl happy. A mother who came in and kissed her every night before cutting of the light by her night stand, and telling her she loved her. A father who promised to love the woman who she called mom forever. She imagined the little girls life now, filled with a wonderful man and maybe even a little girl who coughed because of the air conditioner. What would she have named her? Elizabeth maybe, or something like Claire. She would be a good mother too, she knew that now. She would never allow her daughter to think for one second, that she wasn't loved.

And what about "Else"? Would there be an Else if it hadn't been for dear old mom and dad? Would she need to run and hide within herself, to escape to where no one would ever find her, because no one knew where to look? She finished this question and decided that she'd spent enough time beating up on herself. "What's done, is done." she said to herself and leaned back in the chair, her eyes closing.

The room had been locked from outside, she was trapped. On the corner of the bed, sat a glass of water. There were lipstick stains circling the top, red in color. There was a dry heat as the clicking sounds of the radiator kept the room warm, very warm. Outside the winds of winter ruffled the shingles above and ever so still she laid. The dark room cast it's silver light from a window. A warm glow found it's way from the bottom of the door. She now tried to move and found the ends of her arm fastened to steel handcuffs, which were now locked to the bedpost. Her legs were free, but weak as she looked down to noticed she was naked. She could hear the sound of the door knob turning, and looked over in time to catch the glimpse of a woman coming in. She tried to speak and found only the sounds of silence. The woman had reached over and kissed her on the forehead. She could feel the softness of her touch and the gentle way she did it. The woman lit a candle next to the bed and it was only then that she could see who it was. The woman, the woman from the bar, the one with the normal stare. She remembered thinking how she didn't belong there, how she looked too normal.

The woman stood over her, and she could now see her breast full and firm. She looked further down to see something wrong. The woman had not been a woman after all. Her breast were firm and skin very soft, but it was the penis that now hung limp between it's legs. She tried to scream out, but couldn't. Her eyes were begging him not to, but he or it wasn't listening. She watched it undress, and pulling on it's penis, trying to erect it. She felt the now cold touch of it's hands as it explored her, poking at her and now seeming to laugh. It placed itself in front of her, inviting her to suck it's nipples. When she refused, he smacked her, then smacked her again. She found herself touching them with her tongue, hoping for nothing more. She could feel him beating himself as working himself hard for her. Again she tried to scream. It had worked it's way down between her legs and was now lapping at her, she could feel his warm breath on her clit. She hated it, hated it so much but felt herself coming. It was a burning come that seem to last forever. It felt so good but bad at the same time. There was nothing she could do. She came again and felt the warmth of urine leak between her legs, it laughed and now worked her legs apart. She could see it's shiny hairless chest gleaming with sweat as he pushed himself inside her. She screamed once more as she came and passed out.

It was just passed four o'clock in the morning when Rachel awaked to a period from hell. She jumped up just in time and ran to the bathroom. Her nightmare completely forgotten. Washing herself, she thought of Kayla. She thought about replacing the phone back online. She could never live with herself if anything were to happen with Kim and Larry. What if they needed to contact her? What if Taylor's mother need to hear her little girl. And what would she think if she was in Kim shoes? A daughter should never feel for one second, that she is not loved.

To Be Continued



Love Is Just A Four Letter Word 
The Conclusion in a summary forum 
The complete story leading up to here: 

Tracy had awaken to a bright sunny day in the city that never sleeps. She and a girlfriend of hers, had gone to the movies last night. Afterwards, they went clubbing along the West side, where the two had met a couple of would be nice guys. They talked and laughed as the young clubbing type do, taking in the sites and sounds. The talker was from Newark, New Jersey. His partner called him Kevin. Kevin Roberts came to New York this evening looking for some good times and a chance to mask that feeling left from the woman who had recently walked out on him. She apparently had enough of his lazy ass, non job holding position. The other young man was more quiet, he kept to himself for most of the evening and more so answered questions, then ask them. The four had met at Foxy's and Tracy decided to convince her girlfriend Elaine to take the two men up on their offer. So it came at no surprise when they called Tamika's house, asking for Tracy and another night out................

This should come as no surprise, but to be honest, I've grown tired of writing this story. Most of you are more then aware of how I write. I write in moods as I'm sure many writers do. The problem is this is why I carry colored buckets for a living, as supposed to making appearances on Oprah. I simply can't keep a story flowing for too long before growing bored. It's really a pain in the ass to be like this, but I guess we all have some form of cross to bare. My friend Kevin who's been nice enough to post a couple of my stories on his web page, has asked me more then a few times about when I'm going to continue the story. I have so many emails asking the same. (just kidding)

I thought about squeezing another few chapters out of it, dragging the story for a few more rounds. But just couldn't pull it off. I thought you should know that as I write, I often find myself midway through a chapter, feeling like "oh I just don't feel up to it today". However, there were and are times where I'd just assume call out from work, just to stay up late and write. With L.I.J.A.F.L.W I felt the need to carry the story a lot longer then normal. Shit, back in the day I'd have Steven dead in a week, Rachel killed in a car crash and Kim dies of a drug over dose. Oh the joys of Love, and the sorrow it brings.

When I first came up with the idea for the story, it had come just on the heels of my Aunt Cynthia who'd asked if maybe I could write a love story. I thought about it for a bit and after laughing my ass off for what seemed like hours, I decided to give it some serious thought. How was I who loved writing about death and people doing it, going to set that shit aside and try a love story? It's not as easy as you think you know. For me, I have to come up with an idea that would add some excitement, to write. Secondly, it would have to have a weird sense of direction. Let's face it, I'm not going to write a love story about boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy back and so forth. That shit would be just too damn painful. Besides, you guys can get that kind of shit on TV or cable. So being the somewhat sick fucker that I am, I decided to stir up the love story crap, just a bit. You know "Kick it up a notch!" "BAM!" sorry, couldn't help that.

We've always read about people in love and we've known of such. We've gathered around& coffee machines at work and whispered to one and other about the hot flings going on around the office. We've giggled at the idea that Susan is really sleeping with David and that Martha is a dyke. We've laughed out loud when we heard about how Rick has decided to suck dick instead of pussy. It's all been such a blast trying to solve the romantic mysteries of work life, and the people in it. While these adventures won't help make us better employees, they sure give us what we believe we need...something to talk about. 

During this series, I asked as I always do, how things are being received. Didn't know that, did you? Oh yea, I check with certain people to somehow get a grip on if the series is taking off, or falling quickly. I'm not going to tell you who my informants are, it's a secret. But, they've never let me down so far and believe it or not, I trust their opinions. Want to hear some of the reviews of L.I.J.A.F.L.W? Well forget it, it's none of your business anyway (hehehehe). But I will tell you this. It took awhile for it to get it's fat ass, off the ground. At first, many of you were like: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? or Where the Hell is this shit going? It's true, it's really true. 

But of all the static I heard, one of the lines of problems some of you had were: WHY HASN'T SOMEONE DIED YET? and of course my all time favorite: WHY THE FUCK ARE THE CHAPTERS SO LONG?

Well, to answer the died bit: It's a love story, not all love stories end in death you know. Can't two people fall in love and not after some point in their relationship, try to kill each other? As for the length of the chapters, you must be fucking kidding. How am I going to get you to care about a person, unless I have you spend some time with them? Besides, I was trying to cover five people at once, their lives were going in different directions at once and it was (the way I look at it) important that knew that. Would you rather have read something like this:

David walked home from work that evening, his face covered with engine grease. He had no clue as to how he would pay Tom the money he owed. He stumbled over a shoe which had found it's way on the side walk, and almost fell. It was then that he noticed a kind burst of laughter coming from the window, across the street. A young woman stood trying to control herself from laughing again, when David returned a smile. He waited before crossing the street and after doing so, with a face still spotted with machine grease from work, ask the young woman out on a date. She agreed, and offered him a wet wash cloth to clean his face......The End.

I mean you must be kidding me. What the Hell is that shit? So with that said, understand that I had to do it. Had to give it a bit of the ole Stretch! Okay, now that all that's out of the way, let's talk about something real. My friend Kevin who's been ever so kind as to post the story on his web page, offered to take over the story and add a little bit of his own twist to it. Knowing him, he'd have Rachel fall in love with Superman and Tony after killing Kim would admit that he's the one responsible for shooting JFK from that window high above the grassy knoll. Then he'd bring in Batman and maybe even Thor (back from the dead) to take on the evil "Alchandler" on the planet "Yor" by the time he got finish, poor Rachel and Kayla would forget they were once females. (hehehe)

So after all this chit chat, I'm only now coming to where I should have been, three pages ago. I decided to end the story, not so much answering questions, as much as creating new ones to think about. Let's face it, nothing in life is for certain, but death. And in this world all we've ever wanted to do is live, and living no matter how you look at it, involves some kind of love. 

"You can't always get what you want, but you'll find that if 
you try real hard, you may get what you need.." 

The Conclusion: 

Larry Wilkens: 

Larry oh Larry. I had so much I wanted to write about him at first. Here's a true 90's kind of lover. He's every bit a player and a real fuckem' and leave 'em kind of guy. You should know that he's never stopped loving Kim Reeves and had hoped to one day get back with her. His biggest problem was, he hadn't a clue how to do it. For Larry, life meant adding up the scores of lays in his life, and waiting to see if anyone comes close to hitting his numbers. Deep in the back of his mind, he's always feeling Kim's hidden love, trying to surface. Whenever this happens, he's off and running for cover. Afraid of love you say? Oh no, Larry is far from that. He's just not sure if he should be thinking that way at this point in his life. Like I said, Larry's a player. A player who enjoys being just that and figures that there's plenty of time for that famous walk down the aisle. Now, let's not kid each other. Some women are grateful for men like Larry. Some women could care less about the marriage bit, the house, the kids and the dog named Spot. For these women, men like Larry are always and will always be in such high demand. Before I go on, my survey claims the amount of women simply looking for a man to just fuck, is about 14%. Give or take a point or two.

So we now have Larry, working out at the gym, playing sports on the weekends and spending most of his free time screening messages from possible fucks and shopping for a new suit to wear clubbing. You can get the understanding that Larry has no real goals in life other then dating women. This is not to say he's a loser, although you couldn't completely rule that bit out. He's just a player, playing. Towards the end of the story, I had him and Kim heading South for a weekend together. This should come as no surprise, seeing that Kim had somehow come to grips with the fact that she still loved Larry. I wanted to have a few moments where, the two would meet and exchange remarks that would say just that, but it never came to be. I brought the two together for that weekend not because Derek was acting like a dick. Sure he was making the rounds at the clubs behind Kim's back. But you should know that they were not seeing each other that heavy anymore. Okay, ok, they had a sweet little girl together, and things may have tried to blossom, but it didn't. So much for that theory.

Larry as well as Kim were starting to have feelings igniting all over again for each other. It's safe to assume that for one to a thousand reasons, the two just couldn't keep the flame lit and burning. The weekend trip to Baltimore would hopefully give them a chance to maybe start anew. Could you say that it worked? Well, its hard to say that. These two have been friends for a very long time. Larry has been there for her through a lot of shit. She's seen through his many relationships, how screwed up he can be at times. As for their trip and attempt at a new start? We'll, not in this life. I would think that their time has long since come and gone. Larry's idea woman is nowhere to be found. She's just a woman who exist only in his mind....good luck pal.


Now this guy had so many problems, that they no longer seemed like problems. What I mean to say is, Derek was simply one fucked up player. He wanted so much to be like a Larry Wilkens, type of player. He just didn't have it. What Derek had, was a sense of timing. He just so happen to be in the right place at the right time to score with women. He was a real talker, who'd spend most of his idle chat on telling women how good they looked. A sucker punch that always worked, if I ever saw one. Only problem is, it always did. Derek who by the way never seems to have a last name, would never come to grips with himself or Kim when it came to his daughter Taylor. Derek is just one of those cats (your basic dude) who will never settle down. I wanted to have a point where both he and Larry would have a fight, based over the needs of fathering and love for Taylor. Larry of course would win, but I wanted to show a moment where even the lowest of men at some given point, could show love. The fight would send Derek to the hospital& and have Kim rethinking their relationship, or the lack there of. 

Trent Walker: 

Talk about a nobody. Trent is one of those people for whom life had just dumped everything it had on the top of one's head, but kept them alive for some crazy sense of amusement. He was the everyday lowlife, searching for a meaning in his ever downing luck. As you may have noticed, Trent has among other problems, managed to disconnect from the world we know. Earlier in his life, Trent had got into a fight with another young man. After beating the shit out of the young man, he walked to a bar nearby. The young man returned not with a gun, but with a young lady. The young lady had then made a few passes at Trent, while the young man hid outback of the bar. Now this is where things go a little left of center. The woman talks Trent into getting her and him a room for the evening, for which he agrees. As they head upstairs to the room. The young man follows. Upstairs, the woman allows Trent to make his moves on her and only after allowing him to undress, places a few drops of some acid in his drink. They fuck, he drinks, he trips and after swearing that he's seeing Lucy in the sky with diamonds, the door of the motel opens, to where a young and now pissed off young man, beats Trent to within inches of his life, with a baseball bat. Trent helpless to do anything, passes out. He later recovers from the bat wounds, but his mind is fucked forever. So ends his story. 

"The people in the streets, have all seen better times...." 

Trent Walker, wasn't really going to have much to say or do in the story, no matter what. It's just that while writing the story, I came up with the name and thought it was so cool sounding that I couldn't help but make a person to have it. I had thought about having him killed in a hit and run accident but figured he'd been dead already for years.

Tracy Elms: 

Now here's a point that never seems to stick. Tracy for all that she was, was a whore. You can paint it anyway you want, using any color you want, but when it dries, and it always will, she's a whore. Despite what you think, she's a clean whore, meaning that she works everyday still attends classes at night, showers daily, but she's dirty if you know what I mean. Yea sure she comes from a good family, but that don't mean shit on a real scale. Tracy is one of those women who spent more time being told how cute she was while she was a little girl. Maybe something went wrong to where older men would buy her candy and then clothes. Maybe she found the attention she thought she needed, while giving herself to anyone she liked. Not a stupid young woman, just not very smart. By the time she runs into Larry, she's at that point in her life where she really wants to find someone to love, only problem is, she continues to use the same methods, she's always used. Her attempt to capture Larry would always fail. She hadn't a clue how to go about it. Truth is, Larry would have never seen himself feeling anything for Tracy, except an erection. It's a shame really, I wanted you to know that deep down and at one time in the past, she was really a wonderful person. Tracy would later move on, after having Larry all but curse her out of his life. She would find many men and lovers and maybe even a few female ones as well, but in the end she'll always come back to looking for that one thing she feels she needs, love and attention. And to this, she would do anything. I had plans on Tracy calling Larry to inform him that she was pregnant, that she was going to have his child no matter what. I had an outline where Larry so fumed over it, would threaten to kill her unless she aborted. I figured that you had seen or read that kind of shit before, didn't want to bore you.

Kim Reeves: 

Now here's a woman for the 90's and beyond. She's the kind of woman that men want to have but never at the time they have them. What I mean is, Kim is the woman, most men would want to marry. She's smart, beautiful, has a wonderful sense of humor and has a heart the size of Texas. Playful and cute, despite her own reasons, she too is confused about what she wants. She often cares too much for people who care too little for her and never seems to give up on the very people, who give up on themselves. An almost saintly woman in a kind of way. Kim's love is a strong kind of love. The very kind that last for many years. I had wanted to show her feelings for Larry early, wanted to really get them out there and see if I could make it work. I started to send them to Paris at first, but figured it would seem entirely too damn corny. Let's face it, A trip to Paris would simply not fit into their life style. Kim's the kind of woman who will have very little trouble finding the right man. Her only problem is, she'll never know how to let go of Mr. Wrong.

Had the story gone on, I wanted Kim to talk to her daughter Taylor about her father. I wanted to somehow work in the fact that Kim would tell Taylor how Larry was almost her father. This however would have come only after Taylor would tell her mother how much she loves Larry. There were going to be a few moments where Larry picks Taylor up from school. The two stop off at the park where after Larry walks with Taylor, he begins to understand that at one time, she could have been his. Kim will later leave New York. She'll take Taylor to Maine where she herself will meet a young man and for the second time in her life, fall in love.

Ted Holdson: 

Ted was simply a quick throwaway. He had very little to do with anything except provide a back drop to Rachel's stress at the job. If anything, Ted was the kind of man who hated the young for being young and acting young. His only real sin, he himself never had the chance to do so. Love can often be painted using the color green as well. When I first started, I considered having him make a pass at Rachel. At that point she would tell him how she was gay and loved being so. She would also tell him that if for some reason she wasn't gay, she would still never give him anything besides a slap in his face. To this she would walk off the job. He would later call her at home and beg her back. Men like Ted are always needed in a love story, they let us know just how much lovers are needed and admired.

Kayla Howard: 

I have to admit, Kayla was supposed to be the real sub star of the series. I mean I had a lot of cool shit going to happen with her. Here we had a woman of sorts that was gay, but also had that strange aural that hovered just above her head that said at anytime, she could flip back to a normal relationship. Now that's not to say that there's something abnormal about a gay relationship, I'm just saying that we can't have everyone jumping to the gay side, because how the Hell will the world continue to grow? Don't give me that science shit, we need male to female intercourse, and that's all there is to it. Kayla had this all so cool way of dealing with her life that I wanted to have come out. For example, towards the end of the story, we find her talking on the phone with a man. The man is not so much mentioned as he just happens to show up. You also get the feeling that he's been asked to call and keep in touch with her. The reasons for this is, Kayla had developed a drug problem. No the drug is not cocaine, come on, this is a love story remember? And besides, I'm writing it and therefore, we don't go to the obvious, it would simply be too damn easy. Now remember Kayla taking Rachel to all those crazy night clubs? And remember her wanting Rachel to do all that freaky shit? Well, the reason for most of that was, Kayla while cool as school, was getting addicted to Ecstasy.

Neat right?

The man on the phone was her dealer. I was going to have a point where Kayla would have become so dependent upon the drug, as to do almost anything. I don't mean to go out on the streets selling herself for the cash. Kayla had a good job and made a half way decent living. But I wanted to clip her wings just a bit to show how even the smoothest of people, could find themselves off track. I had planned to start off with Kayla starting to lose control over the relationship with Rachel. If you can remember, Rachel seemed to be a woman very much in control of everything except Kayla. Kayla ran the relationship, much like a man would to some people. She had controlled most of the actions the two did, right from the beginning. There were times where, Rachel didn't really care for what Kayla wanted her to do, but did them anyway. As the relationship between both Rachel and Kayla, began to unwind, I wanted to have a few moments where Kayla would began experimenting with various sex acts. These acts controlled mainly by the drugs, would have Kayla slipping further away from the life she'd chose and into one of well, should we say STRANGE.

I'd plan to have her engaging in several forms of sex with different partners. Here is where I was really going to flip you guys out with weird sex shit. I chose Kayla for this because of a belief that I have. You see, in my opinion, there are various types of gay women. There are gay women who may have been born gay. There are woman who may have become gay because they had far too many fucked up relationships with men (now here's where things get crazy, I have trouble buying that excuse, because as a younger man I've had many heartbreaks where women have walked right out of my life, and although this had always left me quite sad and hurt, I never ever once, wanted to suck a man's dick). Then there are the really crazy ones, these are the women who turn gay in order to make some kind of fashion statement. They're gay, but not really if you know what I mean. Some of this underground club music, pushes these trend following people into gayhood. For them, the door is always open, swinging both ways if you know what I mean. Kayla could almost fall into that lot of people. Yea, she's gay but you should have got that feeling that she may not have always been. She's the kind of woman who at one time, had a warm and caring relationship with a man, and only after hanging out with a few girlfriends, a few drinks and some more dancing, and maybe a couple of nasty fallout's with the old man and WHAM! Kayla flips the script!

I had intended to have Kayla and Rachel break up. this is not to say that gay relationships can't work, they do, I'm sure of it, and if not, either do normal ones (hehehehe). I just thought it would be kinda cool to have Kayla, a woman so in control, step out of it and find herself rethinking her life, from the bottom up. As for Kayla's life and her addiction? I planned on dragging her through the ringer, but being the strong woman she was, come  out of it. What was going to be left, was a very different woman. One who would have left New York and Rachel (seeing that by then it would have been over anyway) and headed of all places, West. Man I'm really going to miss her...sob :(

Rachel Evans: 

Now of all the people in the series, I found Rachel to be the most interesting. I say this for many reasons. One: she of all her other friends, struggled with her life and the paths she chose without blaming anyone. She could have made a big deal about how her life as a young woman, well young and little girl, was filled with anything but love. She had of all her friends, the deepest of secrets. The last chapter closes with a dream of hers. In it a woman comes to her, at first a woman then turns to a man. Rachel had been raped by her father as a young girl. He'd started this nasty deed when she was only eight years old. The dreams were to work their way inward towards her adult life. I wanted to have them pop up more so as the relationship between her and Kayla, broke apart. Rachel would then have to confront them head on and would even find herself leaning on Steven for support. Rachel's life was to remain solid throughout the series. Yes some really nasty shit was going to come down on her, like the woman she loved, leaving her. And the dreams were to come in from all sides, almost confusing her, but she's stronger then she knows and after some time, would have shook everything off.

The first few chapters of the series, talked mainly about her and Kayla, with Steven as a back drop. I wanted to set up the fact that Rachel and Kayla's relationship, was used for my own excitement. I admit that for me, it was the spring board for the story. I wanted to screw around with the idea of them and use it to hold together the fact that Rachel and Steven could love each other and live together, without having sex between them. I wanted to set up that Rachel was very much in love with Kayla and Steven with another. The only real way to make this work was to have them both be gay and yet in love. Rachel's Love for Steven, ran deep, very deep. An almost sister to brother kind of love, were the two of them had found each other, because of their lives and the past they held.

Make no mistake about it, Rachel and Steven were very close. A true bound if there ever was one. When I came up with them, I had at one time thought about putting Rachel in a situation where she would be forced to choose between Steven and Kayla. This was to take place when Kayla lands a job in California and asks Rachel to come and live with her. Rachel, torn between the two would have ended up staying with Steven. despite her love for Kayla, Rachel could and would never leave Steven behind. The two had something that for odd reasons, clicked.

As for Rachel, she would continue moving up in the company she worked for, and find that after awhile, her feelings for Kayla would dissolve. This would not be done to say there was never anything strong between them, it's just that with Kayla falling from grace, so to speak, Rachel would find herself needing to rely much more on Steven. Remember, they had some history together and had been friends long before Kayla or even Tony came along. True friendship can often out last the best of loves.

Steven Hall: 

I saved Steven for last because of a couple of reasons. He was the person who's life seemed the most fucked up and empty. He also seemed to have the most trouble moving forward, after the failed relationship with Tony. At first I thought about doing some really crazy shit to Steven. At first I had planned to have him confront Tony at a gay bar where a fight was to take place. Tony although I never really got to deep into explaining him, was a much stronger person (physically) and would be reduced to fighting Steven, beating him up if you will, to get his message across. You see, Steven and Tony had nothing from the start. Sure the two had gone out for awhile. The relationship had last for some six months or so. But they never really had anything solid. Tony was more of a "Stick and Move" kind of guy (hehehe, penny just dropped for me as well). Tony had no real plans for Steven except for a good time and someone to talk to. The relationship lasted as long as it did, because of Steven. Steven Hall was just one of those people who simply won't let go of a relationship, even when it's no longer in his hands. 

Like I said, I had planned a fight between the two as lovers do when it's times to say good-bye. The fight was to have landed Steven in the hospital where he would be really messed up. Larry was to search and find Tony, who had headed to Philadelphia and beat the shit out of him. I even had the idea where, Larry was to walk down the street afterwards, whistling the tune "The things we do for love". Steven would recover of course, but for Tony, well let's just say that love and the emotion it triggers, can often hurt. I'd plan to have Larry never tell Steven it was he who'd done it, I wanted to paint the understanding that sometimes, friends do for friends and nothing need be said.

You may have remembered that earlier in the series, there was a lot of talk about Rachel taking a vacation with Steven to Maine, something about seeing the flowers. I wanted to have Rachel and Steven vacation together, giving Steven some time to get over Tony. I thought it would be nice to make a clean break from the everyday run of the mill life. It's like anything else, nothing will get a person out of town, like a bad romance. When love breaks down, oh the hurt, oh the suffering, oh the pain in the ass games your mind plays on you while you wait for that emotional flush. I had planned the vacation, but after getting too involved with Rachel and Kayla's relationship, pushed it a little too far away. Spring had come and gone and summer was setting in. Besides, Rachel's new promotion had put everything on hold for the two and I just didn't see where it would come about, anytime soon. Now some of you may have wondered about all the television, Steve watched. It seemed that all he did was watch television and snack on food. Well, think about it? All you ever do is sit back and do just that, when love's gone wrong.

" To have found this perfect life, and a perfect love so strong, 
that there can't be nothing worst, then a perfect love gone wrong..." 

For Steven, all I can say is that some of us, never get the joke. Some people never catch what it's all about. And for them I do really feel sorry for. Love is one of those fucked up kind of things that draws you in every time and has you doing shit, you never thought you'd do. It's the strongest of emotions known to man or woman and often hides behind false faces. There's some six billion reasons why we're in constant pursue of it, the feeling and everything that comes with it, is only one of them.

Steven, only after being beaten by his lover, was to find that in a sick kind of a way, Tony had done him a favor. I was hoping to have Steven get on your very nerve with his "Oh I miss Tony bullshit". I 'd planned on taking him down that road of self pity for awhile. I didn't want to show this because he was gay, I just wanted to show that no matter who you are or where you come from, that love in the wrong wave (meaning only one sided) can fuck you over something good. The good thing to have come out of the series, was that in the end, Steven had the only love he ever really needed, in a five foot blonde named Rachel.

L o v e i s j u s t a f o u r l e t t e r w o r d 

T H E E N D 


I'm sorry for closing the story before it's time. I really thought I could keep it going for awhile. So many ideas had come into play that never came about. I thank you for taking out the time to even read it despite my poor use of grammar. I've always wanted to write and have enjoyed my series of writing very much. I love the internet and the opportunities it provides for people like me (somewhat sick, but harmless). In all serious, I've tried to supply you with some form of cheap entertainment. I do this not because I think you need it, but because I do. Thanks for listening. 

Kenneth Burch